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March 14, 2008

John Beilein

Ron Coleman

Deshawn Sims


COACH BEILEIN: Wisconsin certainly did a great job defensively against us today. And they've done that. We're not the lone rangers in this. And I was really proud of the way we defended. Actually, our percentages continued to come down as the year went along. We held a very veteran team to a very good low score. But we could not throw the ball in the ocean today. And you gotta do a little of that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for DeShawn Sims or Ron Coleman.

Q. DeShawn, talk about, you shot 20 percent for the game. Just talk about their defense, was it as much their defense? Maybe you had an off night. Just talk about that, please?
DESHAWN SIMS: I think it was both their defense and because we got some good shots and we didn't convert on our open shots. We give credit to defense also. So it was both.

Q. Obviously this was a rebuilding season and you got a new program going with Coach Beilein. Talk about going forward, about the program itself looking forward?
DESHAWN SIMS: Since Ronnie is not going to be here, we just going to keep on fighting and we did a good job of not quitting and letting those losses become contagious. And every game we went out trying to fight and try to get better every day. So that's our mind-set throughout the rest of the year, that Coach Beilein is going to be here and the rest of the players keep fighting and keep working.

Q. When Anthony made that 3 at the beginning of the second half, got you guys within three, which was the closest since the beginning of the game, what was going through your mind at that point, and what happened that you were just never able to get any kind of a run going together?
RON COLEMAN: I just think that, you know, that really gave us a spark. Guys still got good shots after that. But we just couldn't convert any. That kind of hurts when a guy knocks down a big shot like that you can't knock down anymore.
And you know I give credit to them. They played a great defensive job. Flowers in particular. Just all over the place. And guarding well.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your time. We'll finish up with questions for Coach Beilein.

Q. Coach, it was a rebuilding year, but there's a lot to look forward to. What did you say to your players who won't be going to a tournament but to look forward to next season?
COACH BEILEIN: First thing is we'll have our last team meeting surrounding Selection Sunday. We will have dinner and watch the game and watch the Sunday night selection, because that's where our dreams are. And that's our only intention.
So I made analogies of how -- I grew up on an apple farm and I gave analogies to how you prune apple trees. And we got pruned many times this year so the apples will grow bigger and better every year.
So we've gone through that process and we embraced it as much as we could, as hard as it was, and now we just move forward with a similar plan, with a few additions and a great group of young men.

Q. With all the hype about the tournament, there's so much talk about what teams do offensively and individual scorers. A team like Wisconsin isn't going to rate highlights, but just talk about what they do and how that relates to where they can be successful in the tournament?
COACH BEILEIN: I think in particular, with us, where they have had particular great individual defenders, they're a great team defense. But when they have great individual defenders at certain positions, it's been very hard for us as we continue -- we've got to continue to try and get more and more guys to score the ball.
But I think today in particular, Flowers was incredible on defense. And then they -- wherever you go there's a crowd of Wisconsin, a crowd of white jerseys there today. And then, of course, defensively, because they limit the number of possessions -- both teams took 50 shots. We had some turnovers. They did. So probably a 60-possession game. Kids aren't used to playing 50-, 60-possession games sometimes. And as a result offensively you get a little antsy.
And you are -- they get you just being a little less patient because you haven't had a lot of touches because you just had to guard them now for 32 seconds. And a couple times today we guard them for 32 and guard them for another 32 because they kicked the offensive rebound back. I think one time we got them for another 32.
So their offense is such a great part of their defense. They wear you out on offense so that their defense is even better.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for your time, Coach.

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