2005-06 BKM vs. Miami (Fla.) -- Postgame Quotes
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Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker

On defense being the difference in the game ... "I thought the second half defensively was a tremendous defensive performance by our team. I thought our guards with Daniel [Horton], Dion [Harris] and Lester [Abram] against their very explosive, quick perimeter players did a tremendous job there. Defending those guys, making them take tough shots, getting turnovers and getting things in transition. I thought our post guys were tremendous with hedging and helping, but also getting on that backboard in the second half."

On turnovers in the game ... "That was the difference. We took care of the basketball better in the second half. We caused some turnovers by their team, we cashed in and we converted. You look at some of the differentials in that regard, I thought that was the key element and the key step to the game."

On a well-balanced scoring attack ... "It's a tremendous opportunity for our kids right now to grow. I mentioned that to them on the bench and I mentioned that to them here in the locker room. I was incredibly proud of them. I love the balance that we seem to have right now with our team offensively. I think we were really rushing and were so excited to play in the first half. We were throwing the ball all over the gym. I thought we settled down and we made some tremendous plays in the second half. We finished the month of November undefeated, including our exhibition games and we also talked about that. So what a nice start for our kids, and we knew we needed to have a good start for this coming season to get the confidence for our kids. I think right now we are in a good frame of mind."

On Dion Harris ... "We need him to be able to shoot the ball and be an offensive presence for us. I think when he does that, you see his energy level go up and he becomes a better defender. He got on the offensive glass and he made some great passes this evening. I think he had six assists and one turnover. I just thought his flow of game was tremendous. But he made some shots and I think with Dion that's such a key for him - to see that ball go in the basket."

On Graham Brown ... "He did a tremendous job on the backboard. With those shots being blocked, I thought they intimidated us a little bit in that first half and we shied away from the contact. But with Graham, he's just going to keep coming. He's not going to stop, he's a full-steam-ahead kind of guy. When you saw him rebound the ball in the second half and get defensive boards for us is when we could get our break started because we got the ball off the backboard."

On Lester Abram's defense ... "To have only one player on their team in double figures when they were an explosive offensive team with Diaz and the kid Clemente on the perimeter and Lester was tremendous on Hite. He got in him pretty much in the whole evening. I thought his length and his size really bothered him. And for Lester, we wanted to have him get inside, try to take advantage of his size against their perimeter players and he got to the line 10 times."

U-M Senior Forward Graham Brown

On being aggressive on the glass ... "We tried to focus on that coming out at halftime. We knew they were kind of turning their backs a little bit. As a big men, and guards, we used our size to try to attack the offensive glass and try to get a couple more offensive opportunities and that's what we did tonight."

On the atmosphere ... "The atmosphere was great. It felt like a tournament game, it felt like we were back in the NIT. It was just a great feeling to be out there and have the fans and the students be there loud. It's just a great feeling. Hopefully they keep on backing us."

U-M Senior Wing Lester Abram

On the balanced scoring attack ... "I thought the main thing was to come in and play good defense on the guards. We talked about that in practice about them having three good guards. Their big men were good shot-blockers but I think we calmed down in the second half and played more of Michigan basketball."

On his aggressive play ... "They were playing a zone and I was just trying to get in open spots in the zone. My teammates were spotting me, I was just trying to get to the hole and get to draw fouls."

U-M Junior Guard Dion Harris

On the defensive effort ..."Going into this game, we wanted to establish ourselves defensively on their perimeter. They have good perimeter guys that can really score and shoot the ball. That was our objective to come in and focus on them."

On his performance on both ends of the court ... "I just tried to come out and be aggressive. I don't think I've been that all season. I just tried to forget about the foot injury. Everybody wants to talk about it. I just wanted to contribute to the team tonight and they helped me out."

Miami Coach Frank Haith

On the game ... "They ran a physical second half. Our perimeter guys have to do a better job cutting. The team brought pressure and they were very aggressive. We have to do a better job setting up on defense and a better job getting open. We had a tough time getting in our offense. For the most part our kids played hard. Michigan is a physical team and very aggressive. They had easy transitions and buckets."

On the second half of the game ... "The second half they were very aggressive. They out-rebounded us and we had 19 turnovers. They just ran a physical game. They were the aggressor."

Miami Junior Guard Guillermo Diaz

On the game ... "The game was pretty good. Towards the end they had a stretch were they went 18 up. In the beginning we had a lot of energy. We gave up a lot of shots and a lot of running transitions. We didn't have the same intensity that we had in the first half. Next time we can't quit. A lot of things happen in the game, but you can't quit."

On the difficulties scoring in the second half ... "Most of the time we were looking for each other to score. The first half a lot of people were scoring and taking a lot of shots. We were running plays from the post. In the second half they were not trying to score that much. I tried to take over the second half, but I can't do it by myself. I tried my best. Michigan played well. They are an experienced team so they know a lot. All of them are seniors, so they know a lot more than us younger guys. But we know it doesn't matter. We need to fight it to the end."


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