2004-05 BKM vs. South Florida -- Postgame Quotes

Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker

On earning a win over a quality opponent ... "No question that they were a quality opponent and an outstanding basketball team. We really struggled to guard Leather. He is an outstanding player. I thought the difference for us was doing a decent job on Ryan Swift. We made it tough for him to get his shots. Between those two kids, Leather and Swift we knew we had to do a good job on both of them. We didn't do as well on one, but we did pretty well on the other."

On the play of Ashtyn Bell ... "You mentioned some of the guys that won't show up in the headlines and Ashtyn Bell is one. He broke his nose a few weeks ago in practice. J.C. Mathis coming in and giving us a boost as well. We got quality minutes out of some players that that you wouldn't ordinarily think and certainly we needed that. They held us together with resting Dion (Harris) and getting Ashtyn in the game. I thought Ashtyn really bothered Swift with his quickness. I told our players that I though this was one of the more significant wins for our program in a while given the circumstances that we're facing."

On free throw shooting ... "We needed to use the line in terms of trying to figure out ways to score. I thought we were the aggressor in attacking the basket and making plays around the rim and trying to get the line. We have been shooting free throws pretty well lately. Hopefully we can keep that going. They did foul us some late that boosted the total free throws, but I thought the guys, especially Chris Hunter being 10-for-10 from the line was outstanding."

U-M Junior Chris Hunter

On the victory ... "It was a hard-fought game against a great team in South Florida. They have a lot of great players; Terrence Leather was tough to guard. I think we just digged it out today. It was a total team effort. Our guys came in off the bench and stepped up, especially J.C. (Mathis) and Ashtyn (Bell). Ashtyn hasn't practiced that much in weeks because of his nose and he gave us some key minutes."

On Michigan's success from the free throw line ... "I think that is something we definitely focused on coming in. Yesterday we did a lot of free throw shooting and it paid off for us today. We took the ball strong to the bucket and we capitalized from the line. That basically got the lead for us."

U-M Sophomore Dion Harris

On continuing the homestand with a win ... "It was a great win. We had everybody step up for us today, from the guys who were playing to the guys who weren't playing. It was a great win for us and we want to build on that for Tuesday's game (against Boston)."

On his job of running the point against South Florida ... "For me to run the point, I have to be active and have energy the entire time, no matter how good or how bad it's going. I just have to stay active and keep everybody energized, and that's what I tried to do today."

U-M Junior Ashtyn Bell

On his defensive performance against a speedy point guard like Brian Swift ... "Coach (Amaker) told us before we saw the scouting report that they were a very athletic team, especially Swift and Terrence Leather. We're also a very athletic team, so it wasn't that hard to defend them because we do that everyday in practice. We go full-court everyday in practice, so we're used to it. A game situation is kind of different, so we just wanted to focus on playing defense as a team. They're a good team. They're quick, they can shoot, they can do it all. I think our defense won the game for us today."

South Florida Coach Robert McCullum

On the Michigan game ... "I thought Michigan was a tougher team, to sum it up. In the first half, it was offensive rebounds. We would get a stop and we would wuss out to take a shot and they would get a long rebound. One we should've gotten, we didn't. I was really pleased with our play offensively in the first half. You come on the road and you make 52 percent of your shots. It's hard to expect more than that. Unfortunately, we had nine turnovers. It's not like they were extending pressure, it was just a lack of toughness. Those nine turnovers I thought were the difference."

On the play of Terrence Leather and Brian Swift ... "Unfortunately, Terrence was in foul trouble and when he is not in the game, it is a different game for both teams. They can do different things and they can extend the pressure. For example, they can look to contain Brian Swift more. This is the third consecutive game where we haven't gotten very much scoring out of the two and three spots. That too, puts more pressure on Terrence and Brian to be able to score. So we made the decision in the first half to put Terrence back in, because I didn't want the game to get away from us and it paid off. They were just a tougher team. I thought the most obvious example of their toughness was the difference in free throw attempts. 29 free throw attempts to 11 is just too big of a margin to overcome on the road."

USF Senior Terrence Leather

On scoring a career-high 30 points ... "I can't talk about it; we lost. We didn't win, I wish we would've won, but we lost. At halftime, we talked about doing the little things and trying to help our team win. Getting rebounds, boxing out and diving on the floor. I came out and got an early foul and that hurt our team."

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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