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NIT SEASON TIP-OFF


November 23, 2012


Rodney McGruder

Angel Rodriguez

Bruce Weber


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Michigan テや 71
Kansas State テや 57


COACH WEBER:テつ Just a great opportunity for us, a great learning experience.テつ Obviously they're a very good team.テつ Have two of the best players in the country.テつ But we felt we had to defend it and rebound which we did in the first half.テつ Sometimes you've got to grind games out.
I thought that obviously Burke getting a couple fouls helped us kind of stay in there.テつ I thought we had him a little frustrated.テつ Angel did a good job on him in the first half.テつ But the second half, the first four possessions, we just had a little‑‑ (Indiscernible) had that little righty hook.テつ It's not a bad shot, but he's got to get better at it.
The other quick shots were tough three shots, tough shots, contested shots.テつ They are the best in transition.テつ You've got to give Coach Beilein credit through the years.テつ I've watched his teams, competed against them.テつ He went from walking the ball out, grinding it out, to now he's their best thing is their transition.
That was the number one thing on the board.テつ Once they got shooters, they got quickness.テつ They've got big guys that run.テつ They got in that transition.テつ We spotted them six to start, and spotted them eight or so to start the second half, and that's the game.テつ Now you're just playing catch‑up the rest of the way.

Q.テつ How different was the Hardaway Jr. you saw tonight?
COACH WEBER:テつ Freshman year he was obvious very good.テつ I don't know what happened.テつ He started with USA Basketball.テつ He just didn't make any shots.テつ I'm on the committee and that was going to be our go‑to shooter.テつ I don't know if the pressure or what happened last year, but he did have a big game against us down the stretch that helped him win the championship.テつ But he had struggled.
But he's a different player.テつ He's putting it on the floor.テつ Obviously, he's gotten in the gym and worked on his game.テつ It makes it tough, because you've got to defend two very good guards.

Q.テつ Rodney, tonight you went up against a really good Michigan team.テつ How do they compare to everyone else you had faced to this point?テつ Was it a huge step up once you got on the floor and saw that talent and speed?テつ Was it considerably different from everyone you faced to this point?
RODNEY McGRUDER:テつ It was different from everyone we faced so far.テつ They switched a lot of screens, and we really haven't dealt with that thus far.テつ So that was a little bit different.テつ But we missed a lot of shots that we could have made.

Q.テつ How much does it take you guys out of your rhythm offensively when you fall behind by 6, 8 points?テつ Did you feel a little pressed tonight to force the issue a little bit?
RODNEY McGRUDER:テつ I wouldn't say pressed.テつ We just had to believe in Coach and the plays they execute and things like that.

Q.テつ Angel, how difficult was that opening round that Michigan put on you to start the second half, particularly after they started the game pretty good and you guys having to play catch‑up?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:テつ They ran their plays the whole game, nothing changed.テつ We took bad shots at the beginning of the second half, and that's when they made the run.テつ They got almost like a 20‑point lead, and then it was hard to catch up being down 20 and the number 4 team in the nation.

Q.テつ You talked about their versatility.テつ Is it a situation now where you have to make a choice on how you're going to defend them and hope the other option doesn't work?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, the big thing is you've got to have two pretty good defenders if you're going to be able to‑‑ lot of times if you have a team that has one good player and you have one good defender, if you limit him, you make other people make plays.テつ But they still‑‑ Glenn has a pretty close to a double‑double.テつ He's very athletic.テつ They play small ball with him, and they go big.テつ I thought the rebounding was the big difference in the first half.テつ They didn't have an offensive rebound.テつ I think going in to the 4‑minute mark, and they got three or four of them down the stretch and that kept the lead and obviously the transition.
Rebounding has been our strength, and they end up punking us on the boards 42‑30.テつ That's supposed to be our strength, and they made it their strength this game.テつ So, as I said, they can come at you a lot of ways.テつ Obviously, two great players, transition, the two freshmen are playing‑‑ actually, all three freshmen played pretty good for them.テつ They were solid for them.
The five points Nik had in the first half, those were tough to swallow, because now if you can hold those down, maybe at halftime you're right there.

Q.テつ You guys shot under 37% tonight, and it's becoming a trend tonight, your shooting problems.テつ Is that something you're going to be able to improve upon the rest of your years or something that's going to hinder you?
COACH WEBER:テつ One, our bigs got to finish.テつ Thomas had the big game the other day.テつ He goes 1 for 5.テつ They're a little bigger and they walled him up.テつ Maybe they don't have quite the bounce.テつ Then Will took a couple of tough ones.テつ He's going to be a very good shooter for us.
A lot of it, what Rodney said, they did a good job on ball screens.テつ We've been able to survive on ball screen offense.テつ They did a good job on that, and then they switched to other things, but we didn't read it very well.テつ But then we hurried and rushed some shots in.テつ I still thought some shots we had open.テつ But if you disrupt teams, you get them out of rhythm a little bit, and now you don't shoot the ball with confidence.
We have literally three games in the next three weeks, so we have a lot of practice time.テつ I told our guys, if we're going to become a really good team, we've got to come to practice and get better.テつ We're a solid team right now.テつ We've got some versatility.テつ I think we can be a very good defensive team.テつ But now we've got to put some time on offense, and see if we can read some things.

Q.テつ It did seem like you guys were in a decent position at the end of the first half being down by five.テつ If you could pin it to one specific thing, what was the cause for that six to nothing start in the half?
COACH WEBER:テつ It was just bad shots.テつ We took four rushed shots and they got transition.テつ And they went right away, an 8‑0 run, I think.テつ You spot them six to start the game.テつ You spot them eight in the second half, and now you‑‑ I think then we doubted a little bit.テつ Now you miss some shots or you rush some plays.テつ They got some energy, too, which we had kind of grinding it out and making them fight the whole first half.テつ They got some hands on some balls and stuff.
I still like our group.テつ I think we've got a chance to be good, we're just going to have to figure it out.

Q.テつ When you're doing the scouting for this game, do you look at the tape of the freshmen?テつ Is that squad just radically different or completely different?
COACH WEBER:テつ Last year Novak and Douglas were so important for them.テつ They were the glue guys.テつ I know you talk about Hardaway and Burke, but those two guys, I think they were the captains.テつ They were the guys that made the difference for them.テつ Now they've got a little different team.
You've got to give credit to Coach.テつ He's got freed only, and pushing the basketball, and it makes it tough.テつ I thought the first half we really limited their transition.
Second half those quick, quick shots, long ones bouncing out on the run, you know, rushed one, bounces back there on the run.テつ Now they've got us on our heels and we just could never catch them.

Q.テつ Getting back to Tim and what you were talking about USA Basketball.テつ Was something like tonight what you envisioned when you selected him for the team?
COACH WEBER:テつ Coach was out there; we had talked.テつ He struggled making shots.テつ You can look at his percentages last year.テつ I'm not telling any mind‑boggling news or anything.テつ He had good games, but he had to shoot a lot of shots.テつ He's a different player now.テつ You can see it confidence‑wise, pull‑up jumpers, getting to the basket.テつ The thing we noticed the most was putting it on the floor and getting to the basket make it's tough for people to guard him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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