Amaker, Players Discuss Loss

Head Coach Tommy Amaker

On Daniel Horton:

"I didn't think he was forcing too many shots. I'll have to look at the game tape to see what happened."

On LaVell Blanchard's play late in the game:

"They switched Roger Powell onto LaVell. That move allowed Powell to use his athleticism over the other guys that were covering him. I don't look at that as the reason we lost. They earned the win."

On Chris Hunter in the final five minutes:

"I didn't think he played particularly well in the first half. In the second half, he really played an inspired game with the two put-backs and free throws to give us the lead."

On needing help from other teams to win the Big Ten:

"Our focus is seeing what we can do at Penn State on Wednesday. The only way we can have good fortune at the end is to take care of our own business. We need to get a tough road win and then come back here against Purdue one week from today."

On the two games against Illinois this year:

"We haven't been fortunate to win but they've been two of the most entertaining, good games we've played this season. (Brian) Cook is obviously a tough player to guard for us. They were pretty much the same team we saw in Champaign minus Luther Head, who's out due to injury."

On the first half:

"I think we could have played better defense. Our offense shot well but our defense wasn't on par with the offense."

On LaVell Blanchard's 25 points:

"He was very determined to will us to a good performance today. He knocked down seven three-pointers and he really shot the ball well for us."


Chris Hunter

On his three-point play late in the game:

"I was trying to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. Daniel (Horton) made a great move to penetrate and kick it to me. I was trying to crash the glass hard; luckily I got a piece of it."

On the team's focus after the loss:

"Our goal is the same. Strange stuff can happen, we don't know what could happen by next week. We could still get a piece of the Big Ten title. Our goal is to go to Penn State and get a win."


LaVell Blanchard

On maintaining intensity throughout the game:

"It's for the Big Ten championship. You're in front of your home crowd and you have to play hard. It was a dogfight. We all wanted to play hard, especially me with it being one of my last home games."

On the three-point shooting:

"I got some great passes and was able to knock them down."

On the team's attitude with two game remaining in the season:

"I think we're in good shape. We'll have to go play the games and see what happens. Basically we're just playing for ourselves and our team, it's what we've been doing all year."


Illinois Head Coach Bill Self

On winning a big game on the road:

"I think that we were a different team today than we were against Purdue. I think part of that is Roger Powell. We never had control of the game. They had it a couple of times. We were up four late in the half and then we got up one. We got Dee Brown's floater in the lane then we made defensive stops and then we hit our free throws down the stretch."

On Roger Powell guarding LaVell Blanchard:

"LaVell was awesome. Their whole team played great. Roger still let him hit two threes but then Roger got competitive and I don't think LaVell got another shot off the rest of the game."

On why road wins are tough this year in the Big Ten:

"The Big Ten doesn't have a dominant team. It has a bunch of really good teams. When you have that, home court plays a bigger factor. For most teams it's easier to win on the road late in the season than it is early. I don't know why that is but I think that's the case."

On the play of Illinois:

"That Michigan team today was great. If we played like that anywhere in the conference today I think we could have won because we had to play with them."

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