Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker
On Michigan's 21 assists ... "The first thing I look at is our assists and how we are being unselfish with the ball. The turnover margin is a little higher than we wanted tonight, but we are very pleased with the 21 assists. I just told the team about that in our postgame and mentioned Jerret (Smith) with his nine assists and they gave him a round of applause for nine assists in his first collegiate game. He is a tremendous passer and has a great feel for the game and great instincts. Our guys love playing with him for obvious reasons."
On Central's run to open the second half ... "We had the ball to start the second half, but opened up the half with a turnover. We didn't play very well in the second half and certainly the first four minutes of the half. We were able to buckle down and make some shots. We went to a zone because they were much quicker than we were this evening. I thought the zone pushed them back and made them use the clock a little more so that helped us disrupt their game a little bit. I thought that was the deciding factor for us, changing our defense to zone, making some shots when they went to zone. Dion (Harris) made a couple of threes and Lester (Abram) got an alley-oop to open things up."
On the shot-selection to start the second half ... "I thought we were playing at a frenetic pace which was caused by the pressure Central Michigan was putting on our players. When you get pressure like that you speed things up and it made us a little uncomfortable. That caused us to take some hurried shots and we did it in the first half as well. I thought we did it in the first half because we were so excited to play our first game on our opening night here. Later, I thought we settled down and I thought Jerret Smith allowed that because we had Jerret and Daniel (Horton) in the ball game."
On the play of Courtney Sims and Graham Brown ... "I was really impressed with Graham and the workman-like effort he gives every night. I though he could have had a few more rebounds. With Courtney, I thought he was so efficient shooting from the floor. We have done a better job with him of managing his minutes where he doesn't play as tired. He wasn't as fatigued so he looked sharp."
U-M Senior Wing Lester Abram
On the season-opening win ... "I thought we played good at times. Obviously, we were kind of sluggish. We're still trying to get better as a team everyday in practice. Hopefully, we can continue to get better and have a good season."
On his performance tonight ... "I was so excited at the beginning of the game, I was playing a little bit too fast. I had a couple of turnovers at the beginning and I had to calm down. Once I calmed down, everything started flowing for me."
U-M Junior Forward Courtney Sims
On his performance in the post ... "I was just trying to establish myself because we knew they were undersized and they weren't really double teaming the post that hard. I wanted to open the floor up for our guards."
On what the team did to overcome the slow start in the second half ... "We just picked up the intensity. We really had the same intensity but we were making mistakes. We slowed it down a little bit and started executing."
U-M Freshman Guard Jerret Smith
On the bench production ... "Everybody gave 100 percent when Coach put them in. We work hard in practice, so when Coach gives us the opportunity, we have to take advantage of it."
Central Michigan Coach Jay Smith
On tonight's game ... "First, I want to compliment Tommy, they played a good game. Three years ago they had all these guys that were young and we came and beat up on them. I can see they have become men. Also, I want to compliment our team on our ability to keep fighting. Our biggest worry was to come out and turn it over right away and dig ourselves a hole. The second half we came out and made several stops in a row and cut it down to 11. The real big difference in the game was that the first 10 minutes we got ourselves in a 15-, 16-point deficit."
On one-on-one play ... "We couldn't swing the ball. They really made it hard for us to swing the ball. I thought the second half we loosened it up with some cuts. We are going to learn as we go. Three years ago, these guys were freshmen. Now these guys are men. I am going to make sure we play Michigan in a couple of years, so our guys we be the older ones. It's a veteran team and we competed. My biggest worry in the first half was when we turned it over and got a couple of baskets. I was ready to get going, then I look the other way and they are shooting free throws because we didn't move our feet and play physical with our feet and body."
CMU Sophomore Guard Giordan Watson
On tonight's game ... "It was a hard-fought game. We came out in the second half and executed better. I feel that if we would have come out the first half and played like we played in the second half we could have won or even had a closer game."
On the game's impact for future games ... "Just dealing with pressure. They came out and pressured us big time and played big defense. It also teaches us we have to come out and play 40 minutes and not just play the second half."
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