Michigan Head Coach Tommy Amaker
On Michigan's ability to stay focused when Utah State mounted a comeback ... "We watched the film on this team, and with the games I've seen, they've been down big and have been able to battle back just like they did tonight. This is a team who has a great deal of toughness and resolve. I was very impressed with our kids because we didn't wilt and cave in there at the end when Utah State came back. We didn't shoot particularly well in the second half but we got the defensive stops when it mattered. We also shot pretty darn well from the foul line tonight."
On whether he was confident that the team, specifically the seniors, would come out strong ... "I was confident that our kids were going to compete and show up to play hard. We play hard and give a great effort here at home, mainly due to our defense. I was very confident that we were going to do that tonight."
On limiting Utah State to just six free throw attempts ... "I thought that was the biggest key for us. We talked about it in every timeout, how we can't put this team on the foul line. They're an outstanding free throw shooting team, so we had to play our defense, be aggressive and pressure without fouling. We were able to do that tonight, limiting them to just six shots from the free throw line."
On the younger players stepping up in a postseason atmosphere, particularly DeShawn Sims and Jerret Smith ... "I thought DeShawn Sims gave us some incredible minutes off the bench. He had energy and he was aggressive on the offensive end. He knocked down jump shots and hit the glass hard. He really gave us a shot in the arm. I thought Jerret played a pretty darn good floor game. He made free throws down the stretch, which is what a good point guard is supposed to do."
On advancing to the second round to face Florida State ... "It feels great. Florida State is a very talented and athletic team. We'll be on their home floor, so we certainly feel that we'll have a big challenge on our hands on the road Thursday night."
U-M Senior Wing Lester Abram
On stymieing Utah State's late run that cut Michigan's lead to one point ..."We just had to get some stops. Number 20 (Jaycee) Carroll C he was just a relentless scorer. Every time down the floor, he was just hunting for shots. He was knocking down tough shots. We knew that if we could just stay in front of him, he wouldn't keep making those shots all game. We got a couple stops and were able to score at the end of the game."
On his strong play late in the game ..."I was just trying to attack. The game was getting kind of close and somebody needed to start making some plays. We weren't shooting the ball particularly well C I thought we were shooting too many outside shots, so I just tried to take it to the basket."
U-M Sophomore Guard Jerret Smith
On his sharp three-point shooting in today's game ..."You just got to keep working on your shot. I work on my shot every day. As long as I continue to let it fly, they'll start going in. You just got to keep shooting. There can't be a day when you stop shooting. You just got to get yourself in the gym and improve every day."
On his increased role in recent games ..."There's just a time when you just got to step up and take control. Obviously, you can't be babied your whole life. You got to be ready to step on the court when the coach needs you."
U-M Freshman Forward DeShawn Sims
On his strong play as of late ... "I've just been able to put some games together at the last stretch of our season. I've stopped pressuring myself and been letting the game come to me. It's definitely been easier for me."
On his seven straight points late in the second half ..."When you're playing basketball, you just get in a zone. That's exactly what I was in C a little zone of my own. I knew the shots were going to fall because of the way things were going."
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