Michigan Players Not Yet Satisfied

After Michigan's 62-59 victory in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Manny Harris, Deshawn Sims, and C.J. Lee reflect on the game and discuss how they weren't just satisfied with making it to the Big Dance.

Question:  CJ (Lee), you were the last person announced in the starting lineup, you were sitting there all by yourself, heading into the NCAA game; what were you thinking with that weight on your shoulders, all alone sitting on the bench?

CJ Lee:  "I was thinking what our team's been thinking.  We have no pressure, just go out there and do the things that we've been taught.  My role is to be calming influence on offense, do that for the most part today except for a few stretches and then play as hard as I can on defense.  That's all I think about when I'm going into the game."

Question:  Manny (Harris), you allowed the game to come to you tonight, but when you made the three point play, was that you just kind of knowing that you needed to put the team on your shoulders again?

Manny Harris:  "We just work on that every day in practice, a two on one and the guy was in between, me passing the ball to DeShawn and playing me so.  I just went up, got my body into him and luckily I made the basket."

Question:  You guys could have lost tonight and in the eyes of most people this would have been a very, very successful season.  How did you guys overcome that the idea that you could have just walked in and done whatever, but actually come out and beat a very good team?

"To a lot of people it would probably feel like that, but to us, to ourselves, we excepted to win and wanted to win and that was the main thing."

Question:  CJ can you talk a little bit about Manny's performance tonight and just the timing, the way he made teammates better, the timing of the shots.

CJ Lee:  "Manny did tonight what Manny has been doing all year.  We ask so much of Fresh on a daily basis whether it is in practice and games. He just did a remarkable job of knowing when it was his time to take over.  Just throughout the game, his patience to know when to shoot.  He's got guys on him and he's kicking out to shooters and when he's doing those things, we're a tough team to play against."

Question:  Manny you experienced what Terrence Oglesby experienced this season getting thrown out for an elbow; what's that feeling like when you're stunned and told that you're ejected? 

Manny Harris:  "It's frustrating.  You just go into the locker room and pray that your team could win.  There is nothing that you can do at that point.  The only thing you can do is hope and pray that your team wins."

Question:  Guys, talk to us a little bit about Oklahoma; how do you think you will match up against the #2 seed Sooners, DeShawn?

DeShawn Sims:  "Didn't do a lot of scouting on Oklahoma yet, but I'm pretty sure that within the next 24 hours the coaches will have us prepared and we'll be ready to play."

"Same thing, we know the coaches are going to have us prepared to play."

CJ Lee:  "Yeah whoever we're playing in the next round our coaches are going to do a great job of getting us ready."

"We're just going to be prepared.  They got great players.  Coach definitely have us prepared."

Question:  DeShawn, you guys seemed to start a bit slow, did you think it was nerves a little anxiety going out there at first?

DeShawn Sims:  "Definitely, 11 years, first time in the tournament.  We sense as a team that we want to stay in the tournament.  It wasn't an accomplishment for us just to make it and you know anxiety kicked in, a little anxious.  Then we were able to persevere.  It didn't take long for us to get a rhythm.  That's why we have great teammates.  We pulled each other together and we where able to sustain confidence throughout the game."

Question:  DeShawn in the first half they were just grabbing offensive rebounds left and right; was there anything that coach told you or you told yourselves to keep your confidence up and try to do something more inside?

DeShawn Sims:  "Yeah it was tough, guys were grabbing offensive rebounds.  Luckily I had teammates pick me up.  Most of it was things I could control.  Just had some lapses during the game and in the second half, I gave a better effort and I gave enough to get my team over the hump in the second half and we prospered."

Question:  Stu (Douglass), you and Zach (Novak) have kind of gotten used to being in the starting five, but was there anything today that you guys did to kind of calm the nerves a little bit just to kid of great ready for your first tournament game?

Stu Douglass:  "You can't really say it is another game but that's how you have to prepare.  We came out and the coaches had us prepared.  We just had to be confident and trust in ourselves and you can't get nervous.  I don't think that Zach was nervous.  I definitely wasn't nervous."

Question:  Manny, you guys used the bench a lot tonight.  It seems like they gave you minutes even if they didn't give you points.  Did you notice a difference in freshness maybe down the stretch?

Manny Harris:  "Oh yeah.  For the starting guys, we need little breathers and stuff to keep us fresh down the stretch and the guys that came in off the bench came in and gave a great effort and that's one of the big reasons why we was able to pull out the win."

Question:  Talk about the intentional foul and also what kind of impact it had on you; it seemed like you guys really pulled away from them after that?

Stu Douglass:  "He was coming off a screen and I don't know if it was intentional or not, but elbow came up and hit me in the face, stuff like that happens.  We've experienced that as a team.  I think we kind of rallied behind that.  Oglesby is a great player and for them to lose him, was kind of a big hit on them and we played great perimeter defense but to have one less down it definitely took a little (pressure) off us."

Question:  DeShawn you've been here for three years; how was your preparation and your feelings before tip off; how did that compare to all the games you've played here so far?

DeShawn Sims:  "It's safe to say that it was different, this game, not because it's a tournament game, but we almost got to the point where we….is it the end of rope to us or what's next, so it was a little different for me today.  I didn't prepare as well as I have in the past.  I'll be prepared to play on Saturday."

Question:  CJ, the fact that this could have been your last game, did that thought cross into your mind before the game?

CJ Lee:  "No it didn't honestly.  All year we've just been talking about 40 minutes of focus, our coaching staff has done a good job and telling us to play in four minute segments.  Every media timeout, he is like we'll see you in four minutes.  I really haven't thought about it being the end, I'm just trying to play as hard as I can to keep this thing going and give them what I can give them."

Question:  Manny can you just talk a little bit more about that three point play when you get the ball there, they're coming back; what's going through your mind there, were you pretty determined to find a way to score at that moment?

Manny Harris:  "Like I said, we went over that every day in practice.  The guy was just kind of shading me and DeShawn and I just wanted to make a play and that's what it ended up being and luckily I was blessed to make the three point play."


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