Inspired Manny Harris Ready for Home Stretch

After notching 27 points in Michigan's 87-78 victory over Purdue, Manny Harris chatted with the media about the obvious chip on his shoulder during the game, moving on from being benched at Iowa, his meeting with Beilein, the play of DeShawn Sims, and more.


Question:  Manny, you and DeShawn (Sims) almost have this will where you guys weren't going to lose this game, and every time you guys needed a spark you guys stepped up and made a spark.

Manny Harris:  "Yeah, DeShawn is my roommate and last night we talked to each other for a long time.  We just talked about how close we is (NCAA tournament) and how hard we worked and there was no way we was going to let us this game."

Question:  How low was this team after Sunday and then how did it get turned around so fast?

Manny Harris:  "I don't think we was really low.  The next practice we came in and worked hard.  We had two of the greatest practices that we had all year.  We bounced back real quick from Sunday's loss.  We just ready to go out and play Wisconsin and try to get a win there."

Question:  You say how close, do you have to have these last two games to get in?

Manny Harris:  "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  We got to have them.  We don't know how the committee or whoever go to the NCAA tournament, we don't know how that work, but for ourselves we know we got to win these two games."

Question:  Was there a lot more extra motivation for the three seniors?

Manny Harris:  "Oh yeah.  We had a big get-together last night for the seniors and we had a big get-together earlier today and like I said, me and DeShawn (are) roommates and we (were) home last night and was like, after all this stuff we have to win this game.  It would be a waste to go through this stuff if we don't win this game.  We'd be real disappointed."

Question:  What happened on Sunday? Did that make the team that much more focused for tonight?  Do you think that was a factor?

Manny Harris:  "It made us way more focused.  It seemed like everyone came out with a chip on their shoulder.  We was able to get a key win.  I don't know if it was because of what happened Sunday or just our focus.  Like I said, we had two of the greatest practices that we had all year."

Question:  Why didn't you play in overtime? Why do think that it was?

Manny Harris:  "It was a decision that was made.  Coach didn't feel like I was fresh enough.  I played 38 minutes and it was…that's behind us so I don't really want to talk about that.  The key thing is that we got the win today."

Question: I'm assuming that you probably disagreed with that and you had to work that out?

Manny Harris:  "I agree with any decision that he makes.  I got to -- that's the coach.  Can't bump heads with the head coach, and like I said, I agreed with the decision.  We came out, played a great game today and we was able to get a win."

Question:  What was the value of the team meeting?  How did that help you guys get focused for tonight?  Coach said he called a meeting a couple of days back.

Manny Harris:  "He was just telling us basically that we just got to stick together.  Me, DeShawn, or anyone can be in foul trouble and late in the game one of us might have to sit out.  Were we going to stick together, or is the team going to sulk because one of our soldiers is down?  That's basically what he was saying.  Like I said, the key thing is that we had two of the greatest practices that led to this win."

Question:  What about DeShawn's inside play?  I mean that's where he lived tonight.

Manny Harris:  "For a lot of guys…I played AAU with him.  I seen him in high school.  All those moves -- nothing was a shock.  That's something that I expected from him the whole year and continue to expect from him.  There was no shock.  He's just a great player like that inside and out."

Question:  Did you and (Purdue G Chris) Kramer exchange words or anything about your elbow and stuff like that?

Manny Harris:  "Not really."

Question:  You talked about the team coming out with a chip on their shoulder; how about you personally?

Manny Harris:  "Personally, I had a chip on my shoulder."

Question:  Because of how the last game ended?

Manny Harris:  "Just knowing that we were so close last game until the incident happened that wasn't on purpose.  Just knowing how close we was, I just had a chip on my shoulder knowing that we can beat the #16 team in the nation."

Question:  You said the incident happened, can you expound on that a little bit?

Manny Harris:  "I just said we was close.  I felt like we had a chance to win over there at their (Purdue) home court, but the incident happened where like I said it wasn't on purpose and I got ejected out of the game."

Question:  Oh you mean Purdue.

Manny Harris:  "Yeah Purdue."

Question:  In terms of the Iowa thing, did that stay with you for a little while?  Did you shake it pretty fast?

Manny Harris:  "Naw, it shook real fast.  Like I said, it was a decision.  I agree with his decision, because I have to -- that's the coach.  You can't fight with the coach.  Next practice we came in and I had one of my best practices and the team had our best practice we had all year."

Question:  Do you feel like you and your coach understand each other better now after Sunday?

Manny Harris:  "I understand him.  He's the coach, he knows way more than me.  I'm not here to knock heads with the coach.  We both here for the same thing – to win games.  He did what was best for the team at that point in time."

Question:  DeShawn's has had games where he's played a very strong first half and a strong second half, but he hasn't had a full game like this.  What do you think was different about him tonight?

Manny Harris:  "I didn't let him quit -- not quit -- but get complacent or just be like….just settle for what he is doing.  I stayed in his ear, stayed in his, ear and he wanted it tonight."

Question:  When he hits that three with the clock running down, do you think this is a special night?

Manny Harris:  "Oh yeah, but that's something that he can do.  When he hit that three, I know something else coming after that.  His momentum is high.  He might dunk, he might do anything after he hits one of those."

Question:  Is it a challenge now to stay in his ear for these next two games?

Manny Harris:  "Oh yeah definitely.  He wants it though.  It has nothing to do with me.  He wants it as bad as me and the rest of the team."

Question:  The road has been tough for you guys obviously this year, looking at what you got to do coming up, especially Wisconsin, they are so physical, they really handled you guys the first time; what is your feeling on that?

Manny Harris:  "These are games that we can win, with the right focus and work ethic.  We going to go into that game just like we approached this game with focus and we feel like we can win that game."

Question:  What about the emotion that you played with tonight? Is that something that coach is looking for from you? The team is looking for from you?

Manny Harris:  "Yeah, this time of the year playing for what we playing for.  If you don't have that type of emotion then you shouldn't be here. You got go to play with that type of emotion.  Coach can't do it for us.  It is something that we got to want."

Question:  Did you have a one-on-one with Beilein?

Manny Harris:  "Yes I had a one-on-one with Beilein."

Question:  How did that end?

Manny Harris:  "We came to agreement just that quick.  It wasn't even that long.  We both agreed real quick.  Like I said, that's in the past.  We won a key game today and that's all that matters."


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