2003-04 BKM vs. Rutgers -- Postgame Quotes

Michigan Head Coach Tommy Amaker

Opening statement ... "Certainly we're very proud to win this prestigious tournament and to be able to do it over a ballclub and an environment that is second to none. Looking how Rutgers plays, they're very tough and athletic. Herve Lamizana is a phenomenal player and I think his line speaks for itself. Having said that, I'm thrilled for our team and our program. We became postseason eligible at the beginning of the year and tried to make the most of our season. I think our players have done that in a fine fashion to make our university very proud."

On U-M settling down and playing its own game ... "We were talking at halftime and throughout the second half about poise. Sometimes in a game like this, your opponent can speed you up a little bit. I thought the crowd was also involved in that; it was a very electric atmosphere. Sometimes you can play faster than you want to, and I wanted us to slow down and show poise offensively. We never seemed to find that groove and get in sync. We were very fortunate that they missed some shots late and that we were able to get to the free throw line. We didn't make those free throws that allowed us to keep a comfortable margin, but certainly it was enough to come out with a victory."

On the defense of Bernard Robinson Jr. ... "He has been our best defensive player all season and for my three years at Michigan. He's a phenomenal defensive player with great instincts, length and athleticism. He's very bright defensively and I think he has a great basketball IQ. I think we tried to hurry and chase some of their guys off of shots. They normally make some of those plays, so we were very fortunate that this was one of those nights where they struggled. All of our perimeter players factored into that equation tonight."

On his thoughts on the win and what it means to the players ... "I'm very proud for our players and our program. I've been lucky enough over the years to have a chance to play in some exciting games and tournaments and to be a part of some things like this. As a coach, I'm proud and happy for our players. Knowing that we have two seniors in our locker room and that this was their final game, how many players can say that they won their final game of their collegiate careers in a tournament I'm proud of them and I'm hoping that they'll remember this for a lifetime and I'm sure that they will."

On the large Rutgers crowd ... "We anticipated that given the proximity they would have a great turnout. I thought their fans were phenomenal for their team and that made it even more difficult for our ballclub. I think we have a great following right here in the New York metropolitan area. I think it was great that we had a number of our people who showed up and were here for the first game and certainly we had a nice turnout of students and our pep band. So, we heard our fans as well. You have to say that you heard the Rutgers fans a little bit more, but we certainly heard our folks also."

Sophomore Daniel Horton

On finishing the game from the free throw line ... "We knew we had to focus. For the most part, we just had to concentrate more on the other end and prevent them from getting off threes and then boxing out and rebounding."

On playing in front of a rowdy Rutgers fan base ... "Coach (Amaker) always says there is nothing better than winning on the road. This was basically a road game for us, playing a Big East team in a prime-time arena on the big stage. It was just a giant step for this team."

On Bernard Robinson Jr.'s defensive performance against Quincy Douby ... "He did great. We knew he had to be solid on him, have the first step on all screens and just be there on the catch and make him try to beat us off the dribble. I think we have the quickness and the size to be able to contain guys like that. Bernard did a great job tonight."

On having Bernard Robinson Jr. ending his career on a winning note ... "I'm so happy for him. Not a lot of seniors get to go out winning their last game and we were able to accomplish that for him. To do that for him and Colin (Dill) is just great."

Senior Bernard Robinson Jr.

On whether the thought that it was his final game crossed his mind ... "Not during the game. My only thought was that we have to win this game and get that championship. I've never really won a championship before, but we got one here today."

On what it means to have success at a national level ... "We prepared all year to come out and play like we did in this tournament, we just never proved it during the regular season. We came out and played the way we were capable of playing and we've been playing great basketball the past six games."

On his thoughts of his career at U-M ... "I've enjoyed my time here at Michigan and I'm glad I didn't go anywhere else. I'm just really glad that I've been able to be a part of this."

Senior Colin Dill

On how the seniors get to go out with a winning feeling ... "It's something we've been talking a lot about lately. The two of us have been through a lot in our four years here. To end it as a champion is something special. I think that to be able to win your final game is something that every player dreams about and aims to do. We're just glad that we could end it right and win our last five games."

Freshman Dion Harris

On the key to Michigan's great perimeter defense against Rutgers ... "I think it started with the Oregon game. We had to fight through a lot of screens in the game and be there on the catch when they got the ball. Rutgers has a lot of great perimeter shooters and we just tried to go out and be there on the catch and chase them off threes. That was the entire plan, and it started with that Oregon game."

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