Player Comments from U-M Men's Basketball Press Conference

Senior Center Chris Young

On the win against IUPU-Fort Wayne helping the momentum ... "It was a real big win for us. It was a definite confidence booster. It gives us a lot of momentum going into Saturday's game. If we had lost last night, we would have really been on a skid, losing four in a row with the No. 1 team in the country up next. That would have been a real tough situation for us."

On playing against Duke frontcourt ... "It means that I have to step up my game that much more. I just have to get better and better. I really have not thought about the matchup yet. I know from playing (Carlos) Boozer and some of those guys before that they are big, strong, physical kids."

On the playing Duke ... "We are definitely looking at this as yes, we can win this game. If we go out there and play our type of basketball for 40 minutes, we are going to be in a position to win the game."

Senior Guard Leon Jones

On facing Duke ... "They are a good team and this is a good challenge for us. We are very excited to be playing them. Hopefully we will go out there and put on a good show and play well."

Junior Guard Gavin Groninger

On playing Duke ... "It is going to be exciting for us and it is a big game for everyone on our team. They are the best team in the land and we are going to come in there with an opportunity to get a big win."

On the team's outlook ... "We know that no matter what happens, we are going to go out there and play hard. We are going to be in the game and we are looking for an opportunity to win at the end of the game. We know that we have the personnel and the defense to play with these guys. We have to be mentally tough and not make mistakes at the end of the game."

On playing the game at home ... "That is going to be a big factor. We have had great crowds this year. They have really helped us out, especially the Maize Rage (student section). We are looking for them to give us a boost this weekend."

Junior Wing LaVell Blanchard

On what winning this game would mean to him ... "Really just the win would be more important than anything else. Can you imagine if we won here The crowd would go crazy and it would be a great experience for the team and everyone that supports the team. I think we're just going to go out there and try to win. If I score zero points and we win then I really don't care. If I don't do anything except sit on the bench and we win then, I mean, it's still a win."

On the Michigan-Duke matchup ... "Every game is big. This is the next game so this is the biggest game on my mind right now. I think if you look at all the tradition, the Fab Five, the national championship, it goes back so far and you just want to be part of the legacy, part of the tradition."

Sophomore Wing Bernard Robinson Jr.

On his mindset going into the Duke as a heavy underdog ... "We're going to go out there and play as hard as possible. We know we have to work hard. We need to go out there and play with as much effort and intensity as we can. We have nothing to lose. We're definitely coming into this game looking to win. It's not like we're just going to give up on the game."

On looking back on last year's game ... "It was a big learning experience last year, going into an environment like that and being a freshman and hearing all the hoopla. I didn't know you could get a feeling like that. This year I think we're more experienced and we've got almost the same team. I think we'll be ready for the challenge. We're going to play this game like any other game. I don't think their name or anything is going to be a big thing for us."

On the pressure on him to perform defensively ... "I don't think it's pressure. Everyone has good guards so that's not going to be that much pressure. We just have to play good team defense. We have to let everything come from there. They have very good guards, to take nothing from them, but we just have to play good defense."

Sophomore Guard Avery Queen

On playing against Boston College's backcourt as preparation for Duke's backcourt ... "It helped a lot, especially going against a top-caliber guard like Troy Bell. But, I played against him (Jason Williams) last year, so I am not going to back down. It will definitely be a challenge."

On playing against Jason Williams ... "I am going to play him tough and change it up. I am not going to try and pressure him the whole game full-court and anything like that. I am going to see how he is playing and what he is doing and try to play off of him."

On his confidence level ... "We feel that we can win this game. If you go in thinking you are going to lose then that is what you are going to do. We think we have a chance to win if we play hard and play our game"

Freshman Guard Dommanic Ingerson

On feeling excited about the Duke game ... "I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the game and being able to showcase what we can do. Most importantly, we need to go out there and execute and keep the turnovers down and that's what it's going to take to get a win. We have to play hard defense."

On being fueled by the Duke hype ... "We have to put things in the past and I'm trying to help the team win now. I think we'll be all right. I think it's definitely going to be a big game."

Freshman Forward Chuck Bailey

On what he thought about when he watched last year's Michigan-Duke game ... "I just wanted to know what was really going on. It just made me a little more anxious about wanting to get out there. It could have happened to anybody."

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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