March 17, 2012
Coach Borseth | Players | Press Conference | Game Central | Photo Gallery
Michigan Head Coach Kevin Borseth
Opening statement ... "It's an exciting time of year I think for everyone at this point right now. March Madness has started. We're certainly excited to be a part of that and delighted to be here in Oklahoma and ready to start things off."
On playing in their first NCAA Tournament in 11 years ... "I've been in seven tournaments before and I've played on five other teams' home team floor -- Texas, Connecticut, Old Dominion, UCLA. Been on all their floors and been close to beating a lot of them. For a matter of fact, we've come short on just about everyone. But it's not about them; it's about us. It's about our opportunity to come here and play. I think our kids have played well on the road everywhere we've gone and their focus has been on us. I don't look at where Oklahoma's been. I don't care where Oklahoma's been. I care where Michigan is going. Really, that's where our primary concern is at this point. Our whole thing has been zeroed in on that. We know there's going to be a lot of people here and we've played against what you'd call a hostile crowd, and I don't mean that in a way that Oklahoma fans are not good fans. I would suggest they're probably very good fans. They're probably very consistent with what Nebraska was. Very big crowd, and very good fans; very good women's basketball fans. But it's about you playing. It's about you answering and about you doing the things that you do well on the court better than the other team does what they do well, which is really where our prime focus is."
On his concerns about Oklahoma ... "Every team we play, I don't care if we're playing the sisters of the poor, I look at them being a lot better than we are to start, it doesn't make a difference (which team we play). I always look at the other team, look at their players, and think, 'Geez, boy they're really good. This player's really good. That player does this well. How are we going to stop this? How are we going to deal with that? How are we going to rebound? How are we going to shoot? How are we going to pass? So I think, as a coach, you kind of over-analyze everything, almost to a point where you fear everything, regardless of who you're playing. So for me to sit here and talk to you about every player that Oklahoma has, every set that they run, would take a long time. But they've got a lot of strengths. They've got a lot of athleticism. They've got a lot of skill. They shoot it well. They've got kids who can put it on the floor one-on-one. They've got kids who are on that basket that pose a big problem for you. Defensively, they're solid. Again, they've got tradition of being here for so long period a time. We're playing on their home floor. So I'm giving you all of the things that they have that are going in their favor, at this point. And it could be Old Dominion e're playing, for that matter, and I'd tell you the same thing about them. And again, I go back to that where I started. It's about us, it really is. And I tell our players that to go. I said 'You've really got to concentrate on what you're good at and go out there and bring your wares and do the best you can. If it's good enough, doing the best you can, then so be it. If it's not, then so be it. But you better lay it on the line because at this level, this time of year, you better be ready to play because everybody's laying it out there."
On what kind of step this year has been ... "The last two years we sat by that TV screen thinking we had a chance to get in. We finished third in the Big Ten last year, but only had 18 wins and didn't get in, and we thought we had a chance to. So sitting there in front of that TV screen at my house and not getting in again, was just, what do you say? And then this year we moved it. [We thought] our house was bad luck or something. But we do have a good player development center we just put up. We sat in the player development center and our name came up and the room exploded. And I'll tell you what; it's a measuring stick for every recruit out there that's looking at your program. How well do you do when you compete nationally? Do you get into the national tournament? If you get in, you get a chance to play for all the marbles. And if you don't, it's really not (maybe) what a lot of people are looking for. And Michigan's a great academic institution, it really is. You're going to get some kids that want to come here based on that solely. But a lot of kids are looking at schools for how well you do, the tradition that you have. And I think that our ability to get into the tournament is at least a step in the right direction and hopefully we'll not only turn some heads, but capture some in the process."
U-M Senior Guard/Forward Carmen Reynolds
On the 10 days prior to the NCAA Selection Show ... "Personally, I tried not to think about it, not to dwell on it, because it was out of our control, and just to focus on getting better as a team and doing what we could do in preparation for what we're going to do now. And thankfully, we're in the tournament."
On the challenge of playing in Oklahoma's gym in the first round ... "It's fun to go far away and play games. This season I think we did a good job (on the road). I'd say Nebraska and Florida and Maryland, we were able to compete with the teams and win some of those. We like to play on the road. It's fun for us and exciting."
U-M Senior Guard Courtney Boylan
On what it means to get to this point ... "It's extremely exciting for us. It makes it even sweeter, that we were so close the past couple seasons and we weren't able to get in. We're just extremely excited to play. It's been over two weeks since we've had a game, so we're just really excited to play."
On if they are stir crazy after two weeks of not having a game ... "Not stir crazy. We've had really good practices the past two weeks, so I think that's been really beneficial for us. But not having a game for two weeks, you're kind of amped and ready to go. So like I said, we're just excited for the opportunity to play."
On the matchup against Oklahoma ... "Oklahoma is an extremely talented team. We've been able to watch them a little bit so far in the film room. And we're excited to have the opportunity to play them and just try our best."
On playing in their first NCAA Tournament in 11 years ... "It's an extremely, extremely tough challenge that we're faced with here. They're constantly in the Final Four. I've seen Oklahoma on TV a lot. Obviously, we're in a different situation. We haven't been here in 11 years. And we're generally not on ESPN like they are. But still, like I said, we're just excited about the opportunity of being able to play them and just to be in Norman, Oklahoma, to be able to be a part of the NCAA Tournament. I think that's been something that we've been yearning for a while now."