Michigan Head Coach Tommy Amaker
On Michigan's overall performance ... "I thought we dug in a little bit more in the second half and really wanted to defend. They were tough for us to guard with that swing offense, flex cuts and things that they were able to run. But certainly we did some really good things -- we got on the glass. We didn't finish as well as we wanted -- we probably could have had some more points. And again, we're still struggling shooting the ball from the foul line. I know we didn't shoot particularly well from the three either, but I'm more concerned now as we continue to go further on. With some close games, we're going to be able to have to win somehow, and usually foul shooting is going to be the difference, and we're still struggling in that area."
On his decision to sub out the starters early in the game ... "We really felt that we wanted to gauge our players -- their energy level. I've always known that this is a tough time of the year with the exams and all the things that they're dealing with. But we certainly felt that we didn't have the zip or pop in us right away. I was concerned, but I was happy to see that our second unit came in there and really gave us a shot in the arm. We got the crowd going and the energy level up. We did a nice job with instilling in us the passion of getting out on that floor and playing defense, and playing with a lot of spirit."
On the team's performance in the second half ... "I think they were. I think they were motivated coming into the second half. I felt that we didn't play as well as we wanted to play. We did some decent things, holding them to I believe 23 points in the first half, and certainly 52 for the game. But starting off the second half, I thought our guys did a pretty decent job of being ready to go. And I thought that because we weren't ready in the first half, we came with something right away. I think they were a little nervous that they were going to get subbed out again."
Senior Wing Lester Abram
On his season-high offensive contribution ... "I saw open lanes and I was just attacking the basket. I was playing closer to the basket; that was the main goal. When I was running the floor I also got some easy looks. That was pretty much it."
On Michigan's non-conference performance ... "I think as a team we get better every game. We have had some lapses at times but we come to play every game. Our young guys have a lot of talent and you can see them picking it up. You can see our coach trusting them more and putting them out on the floor. By the time the Big Ten season comes we should be deeper than what we are right now."
Senior Forward Brent Petway
On Michigan's early adjustments ... "We had to get a little bit tighter with the ball. Our bench came in and gave us a great lift. We had a few turnovers that got us out of our rhythm early. We had to just come back out and pick it up and give it a little more energy."
On Michigan's season-high rebound performance ... "We are one of the best rebounding teams in the Big Ten and we want to be the best if possible. We always want to come in and win the rebound margin every game."
Senior Center Courtney Sims
On the game ... "I just knew we had to pick it up. I think we started off slow. It could be a lot of things. Usually at the beginning of the year we play a lot of games, sometimes three in one week. We had this week off and I think that contributed to the slow start. I think we have got to do a better job because next week if we do this we are going to be down by a lot. We are looking forward to next week and picking it up."
On the contribution from the bench ... "Our bench did a good job. We talked about that at the beginning. Before the game we talked about getting our bench in the game and give us some energy. They came in and really picked it up for us in the first four minutes. They did a good job."
Northern Illinois Coach Rob Judson
On his overall impressions of the game ... "A very good Michigan Wolverine team -- the best defensive team that I think Tommy Amaker has had. Great ball pressure, great wing denial and they are athletic enough to protect the paint so that made a big difference in our game today. I thought our guys competed well. The difference in the game was the turnovers, obviously, and then (Michigan's) offensive rebounds. But in the second half, our team did a little better on the rebounding edge. We're looking to build on this game. It was good for our guys to come into this environment and play a very athletic and high-level team. We wish the Wolverines the best as they head into Big Ten play -- they are very good."
On the performance of Courtney Sims ... "Courtney Sims is able to, with his weight, post so deep. And we tried to double team him from the perimeter. It worked pretty well at times, but he still got good angles inside and caught the ball in a position to score before the double team arrived."
On Michigan's ability to pull down numerous offensive rebounds ... "Always in basketball, you have more accountability boxing out in man-to-man defense. But guarding Michigan's man-to-man offense is a difficult task. So our zone defense was better C it made the Wolverines use the shot clock more. But then when they shot it, you don't have the accountability on the box-out. So that's something our team needs to grow with. We need to have that accountability and be able to box-out and get a rebound out of our zone because that can be a good defense for us."
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