COACH TOMMY AMAKER: Obviously, they're very talented, very deep, and I think every time we were trying to get to a position to put even more game pressure on them, they certainly had an answer. And obviously with (Greg) Oden on the interior for their team, they can always throw it in there. We didn't do a good enough job obviously of pushing him out further from the block. But that's difficult to do. But I give them a lot of credit. I thought we did some tremendous things on the glass. I thought we were active and had a lot of obviously second chance opportunities, but certainly not enough offensive fire power to be able to put the game away. We put more game pressure on their ball club.
Q. Dion, why did it seem like some of the things you guys
did offensively against Ohio State in the first game, why did they seem less
DION HARRIS: I don't know. I just thought we didn't shoot the ball well. I think that had something to do with it. Not to take anything away from them, I thought they did a good job of shutting down some driving lanes for us, things like that.
But looking at the field goals and all, I don't think we shot that well. I think that had something to do with us not executing our offense and scoring baskets.
Q. What's the mood in the locker room right now? How are
you guys feeling? How disappointed are you? How ready are you to move on? What's
kind of the general feeling?
DION HARRIS: Of course we're disappointed. This is a big game for us in the Big Ten Tournament. But with us, we've always done a good job of taking that in and looking at things and what happened in games before and then moving on, addressing things and then moving on.
Q. This is for Dion: Did you happen to notice the new Ohio
State uniforms, and especially being a Michigan kid, what did you think of them
and the changes that they're trying to do?
DION HARRIS: I don't know. I mean, obviously they were new uniforms, but I don't think we paid much attention to that. We had a game to play, so I don't know.
Q. Brent, can you talk about your team and specifically your
effort on the offensive glass, just what you were trying to do? You did it against
Minnesota and here today, too. What was the adjustment during the regular season
for the Big Ten Tournament about offensive rebounding and especially today?
BRENT PETWAY: I wouldn't say it was so much of an adjustment that we made. We may have given it a little more effort. We were tipping a lot of balls out and our guards were a little bit more alert, I believe, getting to those loose balls when we were able to get in and tip them out. I think the whole season really, I think we've always gone to the glass pretty hard, and again, that's the emphasis we have in our program is to rebound offensively and defensively.
Q. For both Dion and Brent, you guys had obviously made the
NCAA Tournament a goal this year. Right now it looks like you're not going to
make it. Very close. How come? What will you point to as to why you didn't quite
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: I don't think that's fair to say that we will not make it, so I don't think we have that information to answer that question. So I don't think you should ask them what would point to why we didn't make it. We haven't been told we're not going to be included in that tournament yet. I think that's fair. I don't think we should assume that right now and ask those kids to have an answer for something that is not proven to be accurate yet.
Q. Brent, how tough is it to handle Oden offensively and
defensively, especially late in the game when they can kind of dump it into
BRENT PETWAY: Yeah, he's a load down there. He's a great player. He has his size and he knows how to use it. It's tough to match up with him and not foul. It's tough to stay out of foul trouble. We had that happen to us. That hurt us a little bit. Again, you've just got to give him credit. He knows how to play the game and use his size.
Q. Do you guys think there's a chance you're in the NCAA
BRENT PETWAY: I think we've always got a chance to get in. We played, we've shown we have the ability to win some games. Again, it's up to the committee. No one knows that answer.
DION HARRIS: I agree with what Brent said.
Q. Dion, was there anything they did specifically to you
on defense that kind of held you down, or was it just missing shots?
DION HARRIS: I mean, if you look at the stats sheet, I didn't shoot particularly well. I don't think I did a good job probably trying to go get shots and make sure I worked hard for open shots like I did in the previous games.
THE MODERATOR: We'll finish with questions for Coach Amaker.
Q. Coach, you guys really seemed like you stole the momentum
in the second half there getting it down to three, but then Oden came back and
really established himself and was dominant. Is there any reason you guys didn't
double team him more during the game and let somebody else try and beat you
the way he asserted himself?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: We've had a strategy playing their team the two previous times and obviously it wasn't good enough to win the basketball games, but we haven't been a team that's actually doubled that much in the post. I thought that if we could make him try to score over the top of us a little. We didn't do a good job of pushing him further out from the basket. I thought his post position was so deep that it put us at a disadvantage. I like the strategy we've had and we've been within striking distance with this ball club. I thought we had opportunities, and every time we had one, we couldn't push it over the top. We certainly felt we had a solid strategy of trying to go at Ohio State.
Q. Do you think you're in the NCAA tournament?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: I don't know. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to who's in the tournament. There's no need for me to answer a question that I have no knowledge or input to make a reality. We're hopeful. We've done so many things to put ourselves in position, but certainly a lot of teams are in the same boat that we're in, so who knows.
Q. Should you be in it and if so, why?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: We're hopeful. We're hopeful that we can be included in that, and if we aren't, we'll take the next step, whatever that may be.
Q. Last year when you got the news that you were not in,
you were very good about saying we had our season, we had our chances, we're
not going to gripe or complain about it. Obviously you don't know what's going
to happen, but do you look at the season and say we did the best we could do
and do you feel the same as last year?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: Again, it's premature for me to answer it. We're coming off a loss, and if we get a chance to revisit the year a little bit and reflect, right now I don't think it's the time for me to reflect on the whole year.
If we would like to talk about the basketball game today, I'm more than happy to do that.
Q. Where do you go from here? Do you sit and wait for Sunday?
Do you meet with the team?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: We'll meet with our ball club as we normally will and see what the next step is for us for this season, whatever that may be. We'll try to look forward to it and do the best we can.
Q. You went from 41 percent in the first half to your team
shooting just over 25 percent in the second half. What did they do different
after the break?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: Well, certainly we didn't shoot the ball well in this tournament, yesterday nor today. I thought our guards in particular took the majority of our shots, didn't shoot well from the outside. I don't have an answer right now what they did differently. I'm not sure that they probably had a different strategy to change. We didn't shoot a great 41 percent. It's not lighting it up. So I'm not sure they changed much.
I thought we missed some opportunities We missed some chances to get a few lay ups when we had a fast break opportunity. I thought it was deflating for us. No excuses. We didn't shoot the ball well and certainly it hurt us. Yesterday it hurt us somewhat and certainly it hurt us against a very talented Ohio State team today.
Q. Having a 21 8 rebounding edge and down by six to Ohio
State, what did you tell the team coming out of the locker room?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: Well, we certainly felt that we missed a one and one with 17 seconds left to go in the half, and then they came down and scored at the end of the half with (Mike) Conley's shot. We thought we had a chance to close the gap, we thought we did a tremendous job on the glass, and hopefully we could continue that in the second half. We really felt that our ability to box them out was going to be critical, and they were doing that for us. Our kids were doing it. And then we thought if we could attack their zone, we thought we were playing too much on the perimeter, not working the ball out for shots, so we concentrated on those three or four things, and that was pretty much what we talked about at halftime.
Q. When you guys were leading in the rebounding category
there for a while, and when you do that you can get in transition, did you want
to get into a transition game, or did you feel like, you know, we really don't
want to run with this team? Was there something in that strategy where you did
not want to run or did you try to get in the transition game?
COACH TOMMY AMAKER: Well, we wanted to try and see if we could get easy buckets. They're hard to score against in a half court set. Obviously they're big and physical and deep especially across the front line. We felt if we could get something out on the floor and get a primary or fast break opportunity to get an easy bucket early, we certainly wanted that, and certainly that wasn't the case for us today.