Novak, Hardaway and Morris Talk Tennessee

Zack Novak, Tim Hardaway and Darius Morris talk about Friday's opponent NCAA Round Two opponent, Tennessee.

Question: On Tennessee

Zack Novak: "Obviously look at their size that's a big thing. They are just really good basketball players. It is going to be a good challenge, but I think it is something to work for."

Question: Have you tried to be a leader this year or has it come more just organically where it just kind of popped. You've taken management classes and stuff like that, did it translate any of that stuff?

Zack Novak: "I'm actually in a class right now that is pretty similar to all that. I feel like I'm coming more comfortable with it this year than last year. Last year was tough being a sophomore, being one of the younger guys on the team. It's a lot different than being the old guy on the team. People just listen to you by default, where as last year, you had to work really hard to get people to listen to you sometimes."

Question: Does more of it come on the court or off the court in terms of trying to help those guys along?

Zack Novak: "Probably a little bit of both. Just all around trying to help them out whenever I can."

Question: People are talking about how in the huddles you've taken some leadership. In like, he says something and you go and you try to make sure that the guys have got the message and everything. Is this something that you kind of learn from your own experience?

Zack Novak: "It is kind of judging to how we've reacted to some of the huddles in the past, maybe if we didn't react so well to something before, I just want to make sure, it is not the end of the world, coach yelled at us. We're fine."

Question: Is the tournament experience worth something to you and Stu (Douglass) and translating to other guys this week, whether on the court or the atmosphere and stuff?

Zack Novak: "Maybe a little bit. I don't think it is a very big deal. The last time we went was all of our first times and I thought we played pretty well. They'll be arlight, they'll be ready."


Question: I guess I saw on Twitter the other night, it looked like you were watching the Fab 5 documentary over the weekend. What did you think of that when you saw it; sold out Crisler Arena?

Tim Hardaway, Jr.: "Yeah I thought it was great, just how the fans were just loving this team but at the same time, they hated some of the things that they did and how they presented themselves. That's how they grew up and it was a great documentary. I loved it."

Tim Hardaway, Jr.: "It is very motivating just because you see how they never backed down from anybody. It just showed that they cared about the game and they just stayed dedicated to their coach and just try to make winning plays."

Question: As young as you guys are as a team already making it to the tournament, do you feel that this could be the start of something special at Michigan the next few years?

Tim Hardaway, Jr.: "Yeah I really believe this could be the start of something very special, just to turn the season from last season, just try to uplift this program. I'm happy I'm here and we did it this year."

Question: Coach was talking about Tennessee's length and their ability to rebound, do you feel like playing teams like Michigan State and Illinois kind of helped prepare you guys for that length?

Tim Hardaway, Jr.: "Yeah, I think it prepared us big time. I've never played a team as big and talk as Illinois. I don't think there is any team in the nation that has that size and length to them. I think it prepared us big time for this game."


Question: What was the biggest thing in Ohio State's 16-0 run that you guys saw?

Darius Morris: "Just things that we had gotten away from, just a couple of shot selections that some people took or just careless mistakes on the defensive end that we weren't really making in a while, kind of slid back into that during that game."

Question: Given the way you guys have exceeded expectations this season, how do you guard against maybe, ‘wow we're happy to be here kind of mentality'?

Darius Morris: "We still got that chip on our shoulder, because although we make it, I'm pretty sure we're an underdog like we have been this whole season. So we're not going to stop here. Our job is not finished. It doesn't mean anything if you do not advance. I like around the locker room and everybody kind of has that mentality, especially he upperclassman that have been here two years ago. It is kind of like they want to get farther than they did before and really help this program."

Question: What do you know about Tennessee?

Darius Morris: "I watched a couple of game son ESPN and I know that they really like to push the tempo, offensively and defensively. They got people who can make shots, a couple of good scorers in there. I know they are kind of big inside."

Question: Can you compare them to anybody in the Big Ten?

Darius Morris: "Not anybody in the Big Ten. Maybe their size, their length, but in terms of the way they play, the quickness and stuff like that really try to get extra possessions by pushing the tempo is kind of unique."

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