Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker
Opening statement ... "Certainly coming into this ballgame, I think both teams recognized the significance and the importance of this game. I thought we played in that way. I thought both teams were very desperate in their approach and how hard they played. I thought we had to hold on for dear life. But we shot the ball extremely well in the second half, and on free throw shooting we were outstanding, which is something we have put a lot of emphasis on in our program. It has paid dividends for us, and certainly the outside shooting and play of Dion Harris was just tremendous. His accuracy from the three-point line in the second half kind of broke it open. Certainly we had to hold on and make free throws to win."
On the three-point shooting ... "We don't necessarily talk about if the ball goes in the basket. We talk about the quality of the shot. That is something we have tried to emphasize and teach our players. We want them to know that even if we take good shots and miss them, that we think that's a good possession. We have good shooters and eventually we will be able to make those shots."
On Michigan's performance ... "I give a lot of credit to Iowa; they were down by a lot in this game but they fought their way through it. They made a lot of key plays, but some of the things we did, we did to ourselves. We certainly looked like we were a team on our heels. I wouldn't say we were nervous, but I'd say we were tentative, and that's not something you want to be when you're trying to close out a game like this one. We stepped up on the free throw line, and I thought that was the key to this game."
On Iowa's hot start ... "We thought we had quality shots and evaluated the offense of our team by the quality of our shots. There have been times we've made shots that haven't been good shots. We didn't guard the ball as well and they made us pay for that, but we were able to settle our offense down and that's when we started to make shots."
On tomorrow's game against Illinois ... "We recognize how good of a team they are. I think that have been one of the hottest teams in the country. The game we played against them in Champaign was a very tough game. Being the regular-season conference champs, we know they want to make a sweep of it and win the tournament. Both teams are coming in with a game under their belt and we'll have to see what happens."
Whether today's win will clinch a NCAA berth ... "Truthfully, we haven't focused on how many wins we need to get into the tournament. We're just trying to win our next game. Certainly, the win today didn't hurt us. If we can get a victory tomorrow, it wouldn't hurt us either. We were able to survive and stay alive today, and we're going to try and do the same tomorrow."
U-M Senior Wing Bernard Robinson Jr.
On the team's response to Iowa's opening run ... "We weren't getting back in transition and they were able to get out in the open floor. They had us on our heels and we didn't retreat back in the right manner. They were able to knock some open threes down and drive it in. Once we started to get back on defense we settled down and played the type of defense we were capable of."
On whether the team was nervous during Iowa's late run ... "No, we definitely weren't nervous. There are times when we've had to come together as a group to stop runs and that was one of those times."
U-M Sophomore Wing Lester Abram
On going into the Illinois game ... "I think we feel pretty confident as a team, and we match up with them well. It's going to be a good game and we're not going to back down. We came here with the mindset that we're going to win this tournament. Tomorrow is a big test for us."
U-M Freshman Guard Dion Harris
On his shooting ... "I just wanted to keep shooting and keep preparing for my shot. I think the team wants me to shoot when I'm open and I thought that's what I did today. I was ready to shoot and I knocked the shot down."
On Michigan's hopes for the NCAA tournament ... "We just have to go into tomorrow's game and focus on winning. Hopefully the rest will take care of itself. We can't worry about that right now, we have to worry about winning the ballgame tomorrow."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423