Sims & Harris Moving Past Disappointment

After the heartbreaking 57-56 loss to the Michigan State Spartans, DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris discussed their disappointment, why they weren't able to hold on to the lead late, bouncing back from the defeat, and much much more.

DeShawn Sims:  "You're just in shock and the world feels like a tragedy now, but as long as there is more basketball to play you still got to maintain a certain focus and move on to the next game."

Question:  What do you think it is about this team that kind of makes it unable to hold on to a lead late?

DeShawn Sims:  "The other team, the efficiency of the other team.  It hasn't been like the teams that we've played and lost leads – they've all been NCAA teams and it is proven, they make NCAA plays in the last four minutes of the game and that usually decides a lot of games in the Big Ten."

Question:  Is that especially true tonight; I mean it wasn't like you guys made a lot of bad plays down the stretch.

DeShawn Sims:  "Yeah some shots did not go in and they also hit a big shot.  It easily could have went the other way."

Question:  Is there any one or two plays you are going to take away from this…I know you told me the other day that things stick in your mind when you do not win games is there one or two tonight?

DeShawn Sims:  "I haven't even settled on my thoughts yet about the whole game.  I'm just trying to soak this loss in.  I haven't really even thought about it yet."

Question:  I guess you got to give their defense credit?  You guys only shot 33%.

DeShawn Sims:  "Yeah and I probably shot 20% of it.  They are a great defensive team.  They work hard, strong guys and they are good at what they do, at stopping people not just scoring."

Question:  At the end of the day to be so close how disappointing is it?

DeShawn Sims:  "It is definitely disappointed to be so close and not be able to capitalize and get a win.  Those are the losses that hurt most.  When you losing by 15 you kind of already know you lost but the tight game probably hurt the most."

Question:  Do you think that last shot was down when it left your hand?

DeShawn Sims:  "The last shot, I definitely thought it was down.  It rolled in and rolled up there for a second and it looked good.  It definitely hurt that it did not go in."

Question:  It looked like the guy had to grab your jersey there when you got free from him, did you feel it?

DeShawn Sims:  "Yeah there was definitely was some contact but this is the Big Ten and I probably wouldn't have wanted to have that called either if I was the defender."

Question:  When they were making things pretty hard on you inside did you make an effort to kind of move outside – you hit a couple of threes?

DeShawn Sims:  "I wasn't finishing inside.  I knew my stroke…I've been working on it, I shoot the ball well.  I knew my stroke was going and I just let it ride today and I knew I was hitting every shot that I took."

Question:  Is there anything that you guys have learned over the last couple of days, losing Manny and then getting him back today?

DeShawn Sims:  "We're a team.  Teams capitalize.  We've gotten so much better in the last five or six games and that's just been good for our overall season and not just these last couple of games.  As a team adversity sunk in and we definitely capitalized on a lot of it and learned form it."

Question:  One of the things that has improved has got to be the defense, you guys forced 18 turnovers?

DeShawn Sims:  "Definitely our defense has stepped up.  We've gotten better defensively because we kind of assembled some roles on stepping up and stopping your own man and that has been carrying us and keeping us in games."

Question:  That last play… what did coach say in the huddle to you guys?

Manny Harris:  "Basically just said believe and we drew up a good play and it just did not go down."

Question:  Manny what did you learn from this whole experience?

Manny Harris:  "This game?"

Question:  I mean the last couple of days and what not.

Manny Harris:  "I do not want to talk about that too much.  I just want to focus on getting better as a team.  That's over with."

Question:  I'm not asking specifically, I'm just what you learned in general from the whole experience in terms of something that might help you, help the team down the stretch here.

Manny Harris:  "Just keep leadership within this locker room because we need it for our team."

Question:  Talking about the game and you guys had control there at end; take us through the final couple of sequences.

Manny Harris:  "We had control but a minute and a half is a lot of time left on the clock.  They got a good rebound and made a play.  Came back down and made another play and we drew up a great play, got a good look and it just wasn't able to go down."

Question:  You've lost more of these close ones than you've won this year, is there a theme to that do you think?

Manny Harris:  "Naw, I just think we can buckle down a little bit more and stay more focused in some areas but it just seems like the ball does not go our way in close games for some reason."

Question:  How disappointing is it?

Manny Harris:  "It's real disappointing.  A Final Four team, top five team right now and we were just right there beating them and we let it slip away so it hurts a lot."

Question:  Is it as tough a loss as you've had to suffer here?

Manny Harris:  "Yeah probably so.  Like I said they a Final Four team, had them up and just couldn't pull it out."

Question:  How you specifically take on more of a leadership role?

Manny Harris:  "Just leading by example and just doing anything for the team to get better."

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