Novak & Sims Discuss Iowa Victory

After Michigans 59-52 win in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament Zack Novak and Deshawn Sims discussed the keys to the victory and looked ahead to Friday's match-up with the top-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes.

QUESTION: The two of you guys started off cold in the second half. (Zack),you hit that one big three. Do you think that kind of ignited you guys in the second half? 

ZACK NOVAK: I mean, we got a nice little run after that, and Laval also came and hit a really big three. But I think we just kind of -- like you said, we got cold for a little bit, but seemed like once that went down, we got back on the right track and were able to finish it out.
DESHAWN SIMS: That shot probably started some momentum for us to kind of get back, take the lead again and got the game within four. You know, that kind of separated us a little bit.

QUESTION: Talk a little bit about the team effort it took to slow Aaron Fuller out there.

ZACK NOVAK:  Like you said, total team effort. I mean, he really hurt us when we played there. I don't know what exactly he did today, but I mean, it wasn't anything near that.  I don't know, we had good defensive rotation on him, and it seemed like almost every time somebody was making a hit on him, and then our guards really did a good job coming in to help rebound, too, I thought. It was a total team effort, and I think we got it done.

QUESTION: You guys have seen Ohio State twice over the season. Can you just talk about what you sense about tomorrow's game going into it?

DESHAWN SIMS:  It's a talented team. You know, we've just got to come out and not be scared, just go and attack them.  We played them twice, we beat them once, and we just have to go and -- it's all or nothing, and try to win it. 
ZACK NOVAK: I mean, we beat them for a full game, and I think we beat them for a half then the next game. We're confident going in. They're a really good team.  They've got a lot of talented guys.  But we're going to be ready to play, and just go out there and have fun, see what happens.

QUESTION: How important was it for you guys to jump off to such a quick start and start so strong after the Michigan State game, just like rebounding from that? 

ZACK NOVAK: I think it was -- it was just good for our psyche.  We came out.  Shots were falling, people were making good plays, and kind of built us a little bit of a cushion there.  Any time you can do that in a tournament, in any game, that really helps.  They're a good team.  They fought back, and they definitely didn't give up.  But I thought we did a good job coming out.
DESHAWN SIMS:  We always have good games with Iowa.  They battle us and we battle them. We didn't know their mindset.  They didn't have the season they expected just as well as we did. So we knew both teams was coming to fight, and we had to come out and try to sustain some energy.

QUESTION: Manny obviously had a tough game against Michigan State the last time out.  What did he do differently today, and maybe how did you see him prepare differently than that game?

DESHAWN SIMS:  He played confident. He let the game come to him.  He hit his first shot, and that usually does it for him, for a player of his caliber, just being able to hit your first shot.  You see the ball going in, and it just gives your overall game confidence.
ZACK NOVAK: Yeah, I mean, he was good today.  Like DeShawn said, he came out.  I remember he hit a three in transition, just pulled up a real nice shot, and I mean, when he's on, he's really tough for anybody to stop.  When he just lets the game come to him, we're a really good team.

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