Morris Now on Same Page with Coaches

In the aftermath of his bounce back performance in Michigan's 61-57 victory over Michigan State, Darius Morris reflects on how the team came together after the Minnesota loss, his meeting of the minds with the coaching staff, and much much more.

Question:  You haven't been there before, beating Michigan State like that, but you acted after the game like you had been there before.  Did you guys talk about that a little bit about not getting too high after that?

Darius Morris:  "No we didn't talk about it at all.  I think just coincidence that everybody believed that we could do it and we achieved it.  After we did it, it wasn't like it was a huge surprise. You've got to go out there with that faith that we could do this."

Question:  You did not get in their face though.  Even though the rivalry, you didn't get in the crowd's face.  You guys were pretty restrained.

Darius Morris:  "It's just a certain respect that we have for them.  Even though they are our rivals, you've got to respect their home court.  You don't want to do anything that you're going to regret doing in the past.  Both teams were very competitive.  The fans were really energetic, so we were just fortunate to come out with a win.  We didn't want to rub it in their faces or anything like that."

Question:  What is the biggest thing that you guys can take from this?

Darius Morris:  "Just the experience of winning on the road, getting a Big Ten win on the road, and also a rivalry win.  A lot of wins that were lacking on this team, we don't have that many wins for the people that are on our roster under our belt in a rivalry win.  So it is definitely something that we can put under our belt and know what it takes to get a rivalry win in this Big Ten conference."

Question:  What was the most creative, printable thing that the crowd said to you?

Darius Morris:  "I don't, pregame when I first came out there and went and sat down to tie my shoes, they were just coming with so many different things.  I credit them to be the most creative crowd that we faced all year.  They didn't hold anything back.  I don't want to repeat anything."

Question:  Is it nice to silence a crowd like that?

Darius Morris:  "Oh definitely.  Actually when I missed a free throw I knew there was only one second left, but I thought the game was still going because the crowd was just so quiet, I heard the buzzer and then everybody just had this look like, oh no, this can't be it, there is still more time on the clock.  I'm like, ‘I'm going to celebrate (laughter).'"

Question:  Is there anything with these nationally televised games, the ESPN games and the CBS games, those seem to be probably your four best games of the year.

Darius Morris:  "It is just tremendous focus that goes into these games.  You know that you want to impress all the people that came before you and played here and you just want to present the university so well on a national stage.  You want to give the fans something to cheer about.   So you know it is nationally televised and you just want to go all out, which I should and we should do every game -- whether it is televised or not.  Definitely when it is on nationally television, you definitely feel that pressure."

Question:  A little more of a job trying to pump up against an Iowa that is just one and seven in the league?

Darius Morris:  "No not at all.  Last time I checked our record is two and six.  We need any win that we can get and this team is really good.  They are coming off getting some wins as well in the Big Ten and we need to really focus and prepare like every other game with tremendous focus."

Question:  You knew that it would get physical down the stretch last night and you even got thrown to the floor at one point.  Can you talk about playing through that?

Darius Morris:  "Yeah especially on the road you can't expect any calls.  We knew coming into this game that we had to be good enough to beat Michigan State and we had to beat the refs as well.  Not to say that the refs were bad or anything, but we didn't want to put it in the refs hands.  We didn't want to cry about any calls that should have been called.  You play the game based on not what the ref is going to call.  You want to be able to win those games even without the ref giving you calls.  If they do, hey, you want to make the smart basketball play."

Question:  Coach Beilein said that he did not have to tell you the difference between Minnesota and Michigan State in intensity.  Did you know?

Darius Morris:  "Yeah.  Even though I'm from LA, I really embrace this rivalry and I even took a class on the history of college athletes taught by John Bacon and he really instilled to me the knowledge and the history that goes in between this rivalry.  It just makes me want to play even harder."

Question:  You looked like a different guy though in two games.

Darius Morris:  "I feel good.  I feel great.  We had a team meeting and a lot of things got cleared up and we really went back to the basics of this team.  I also met with the coaching staff and everybody is on the same page now and we are ready to move forward."

Question:  How you guys best definite consistency now; can this win springboard you and how do you make sure you stay consistent through this stretch?

Darius Morris:  "I think okay now that we got this win, now we erase this out of our mind and we do all that we can to go 1-0 on Sunday.  That is just the main goal, is to move on to the next game as quickly as possible and when you're too low, don't get too low and when you're too high don't get too high.  So we really need to come back down and really get focused for this game."

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