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MAUI INVITATIONAL


November 21, 2011


Will Barton

Josh Pastner


LAHAINA, HAWAII

Michigan 73
Memphis 61


THE MODERATOR: We have Coach Pastner from Memphis and guard Will Barton. Opening comments from Coach.
COACH PASTNER: Yes, you've got to give Michigan full credit. They really played well. They hit some big shots, we tried to speed them up on some things and we turned it over. But in the end, we didn't make some shots we needed to hit. We missed some short shots, but that's a credit to obviously Michigan. They're a very good basketball team. We just need to bounce back tomorrow and be ready to go to whoever we play, whether that's Duke or Tennessee.
Having this loss hurts, but we've got to shake it off. As I told our team in the locker room, this isn't the NCAA Tournament where if you lose, you're done. It stinks, but we've got to get back and ready to go because we're going to have two more opportunities for top 50 RPI games.
So we've got to take care of business and let this sting, but tonight we have to be ready to shake it off and ready to focus on our next opponent.

Q. Talk about the 10‑0 run they had at the end of the first half and the extracurricular that were going on right at halftime. Did that change the game for you guys?
COACH PASTNER: No, we were up four, and I thought that one segment between the media timeout, the under 8 media timeout and the under 4 media timeout, we got up four, and we didn't shoot threes. We really attacked.
That's what we talked about the entire last 72 hours is we cannot play east and west. We have to go north and south and we've got to attack the paint.
That segment and the last four minutes of the game were the two areas where we really attacked the paint. Basketball's a game of runs and they made that last run. What happened at halftime I just think the guys crossed. It's a heated game and nothing more than that.
We chipped away. They hit some big shots in the second half, and it's just one of those things where we're playing a very good Michigan team, and we're a very good team. That's why we're playing these type of games to see what adjustments we need to make. It's very early in the year, and this will give us a barometer of things we need to get better at.

Q. Is Michigan a particularly difficult team to prepare for in situation like this where you don't see them regularly and they do some different things?
COACH PASTNER: Yeah, with us we're going to play fast. We're going to try to attack. We're going to try to play 94 feet and do different things. We played Christian Brothers which is a Division II exhibition, and then Belmont and then Michigan, so those three games in a row. They're different, but they're sort of similar in some areas where they all spread the floor and they've got good shooters.
So we try to have that where we try to schedule them such knowing that we're going to play Michigan to have some preparation for that. But the biggest thing is we're not a big zone team, because we are a man team.
But for us the last 72 hours, you know, we're trying to prepare against the zone, simulate it in practice. Again, with us, my whole thing for this year is we've got to be focused on Memphis, on us and doing our things.
But, in the end, the bottom line is we held them okay from the three‑point range, because we held them at 30%. That was my number one worry. The second thing that we just didn't do a good job at is putting the ball in the basket. We had six assists on 19 made field goals. That's not the way that we play, and we had some open looks. We didn't stick them, so that's why we're sitting here with a loss.

Q. Will or Josh, is it particularly hard, you said you tried to prepare against their zone defense, but they present that two‑three, and the one‑three‑one, did that switching between those zones present a problem for you guys?
COACH PASTNER: No, again, they're very good at what they do. I'll let Will expand on it. But we practiced it for the last 72 hours and prepared for it. Just the biggest thing was we had some open looks. If you make a couple shots, the ball goes in, and it might say, hey, that's a heck of an offense you're running against the zone. That is some of the things. If you're making shots, you probably are going to get out of the zone.
We didn't make shots. Again, there were a couple of times where we were playing east and west, and that's not us. We've got to go north and south. If we continue to go north and south and attack, we've got a chance where we're going to be really hard to guard.
Lot of times you go to zone to either slow teams down or they'll have difficulty guarding you man‑to‑man. So it's a combination of them playing good defense, and a combination of us not making some shots.
But this will be good for us to be able to take from the film and learn to see what we need to do better as we go forward.

Q. Coach, talk about you guys wanted to be on the attack. Just talk about their guards. Hardaway and Burke seemed to be on the attack and got a bunch of easy buckets, Coach.
COACH PASTNER: I thought Burke, I tell you, I know they lost a really good player in Darius Morris who is a pro, but they didn't have too much drop off with Burke. He's really good, and he's only a freshman. He's a really good talent. Of course, Hardaway Jr. is a pro, there is no doubt about that. A really, really good player.
So both those guys really played well. They hurt us today, those two combined. Nine assists, 35 points between the two. They shot the ball well from the field. They made their free throws and they had nine rebounds combined. So those two guys really hurt us. Those two guys are really good players.

Q. Josh, I'm doing a feature on Luke. Can you just talk about what he's added to the coaching staff and how much knowledge he brings?
COACH PASTNER: Yeah, Luke's been good for us. The guy is obviously been with the Lakers, been with Phil Jackson, arguably the greatest coach in the history. He's been in those huddles. He's been part of the team. He's been on four world championships. He's got two rings. Two of the teams, they won‑‑ two of the four teams he was on they won the rings.
So he's been at the very highest level. He runs up and down the court at the highest level. So he's brought nothing but positives towards us.

Q. Can you tell me just how did it come to mind for you to give him a call and bring him over? How did that develop?
COACH PASTNER: Well, I've known Luke. I coached him when I was his position coach at the University of Arizona. We just when things happened and we had the opening, I kind of waited. I was just really taking my time. When it looked like the NBA lockout was going to continue to be a while, I asked him to do it, and he wanted to do it. Knowing full well once the lockout ends he was going to go back with the Lakers. It was a calculated risk, but the rewards sure outweigh the risk.

Q. How do you keep the players up? Do you worry about any negative carryover going to the next game tomorrow?
COACH PASTNER: Losing‑‑ and I'll let Will, after I answer, I'm going to let Will talk about that, I think that would be good for Will. But for us, losing stinks. There is no doubt about it. Winning is fun, losing stinks.
But, like I said, this isn't the NCAA Tournament where if you lose, you're out. We've got to get ready to go tomorrow because in the end we're playing whoever we play tomorrow, Duke or Tennessee, it's going to be a top 50 RPI game.
It's an important game for us. We have to bounce back. We have to find a way to get the W tomorrow, and after that, find a way to get a W on Wednesday.

Q. You said before they came up here that Michigan wouldn't stall out. That they were going to attack you guys and come at you. Any chance that the players maybe overlooked them?
COACH PASTNER: No, they didn't overlook them. When you're a top 20 team, you don't overlook anybody. I mean, Michigan's good. They've got good players. Just one of those things where they were better than us tonight, bottom line this morning.

Q. Will, can you talk about that stretch? You got up four there after Antonio's couple of free throws. Then they go back on a 10‑0 run there to end the half. It was kind of a skirmish there. Did you feel like the game changed there is this?
WILL BARTON: When they went on that run, the game definitely changed. Like coach said, we stopped attacking the basket. We started settling for jump shots. We didn't do a good job in transition defense, stopping the ball when they swung in transition, closing out guys and calling out misses. That's when they hurt us the most.

Q. You talked about transition a little bit, and you guys definitely had the athleticism edge. So why couldn't you capitalize in transition as much as you wanted to?
WILL BARTON: Well, on defense on our transition defense it was strictly communication. We were getting back, but we were running into each other or running into the same man, and you can't do that against a team like Michigan who looks for the three ball.
They swing it real nice. Those guys can really knock it down. So I knew if we did that, that we'd be in trouble.

Q. We don't know how the next game's going to turn out, but if it turns out the way everyone expects, you guys will be playing Tennessee tomorrow. Can we talk a little about the rivalry, you guys being in the same state?
COACH PASTNER: Yeah, I think Tennessee is obviously, we have great respect for their program. Coach Martin has done a good job with them so far.
Whatever happens today, if we end up playing them, we'll have to be ready. They're a tough, hard‑nosed team. They've got good players. They're an SEC team, and they have a chance to beat Duke too. There are no guarantees. Duke's obviously very good, but they're still young.
Either one we play, we'll have to be ready. Like I said, we have great respect for Tennessee. With us, our whole thing can't be about another team. It's got to be about us, and focusing on what we need to do and to get better in different areas.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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