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BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 15, 2014


Aaron Craft

Thad Matta

Shannon Scott


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Michigan テや 72
Ohio State ‑ 69


COACH MATTA:テつ Go ahead and go to questions.

Q.テつ Aaron, first of all, just what happened on that last shot where the ball‑‑ it appeared to slip out of your hands.
AARON CRAFT:テつ It slipped out of my hands.

Q.テつ Aaron, you were out for an extended period and came in, you had to go almost straight to the foul line there.テつ Did you feel like you weren't back in the flow of the game at that point?
AARON CRAFT:テつ It's not about sitting out or anything.テつ You've got to step up for your team in that moment, and I didn't.テつ We knew that was going to come back and haunt us sometime.テつ The two games we've had, we haven't shot the ball well from the free‑throw line, and it cost us today.

Q.テつ Shannon, what did you guys start doing better offensively to rally from double‑digit deficit the second straight day?
SHANNON SCOTT:テつ Just staying aggressive really.テつ Kind of dug ourselves into a hole again.テつ I feel like as a team when our head's underwater, we start fighting more, and we started doing that again today.

Q.テつ Shannon, the game you had on offense today, did it stem from your defense?テつ It seemed when you went in the game early you were very disruptive to what they were doing at their end on offense, and I wondered if that got you going?
SHANNON SCOTT:テつ It always helps, but I've just got to learn to stay aggressive on offense at all times.

Q.テつ Aaron, they're shooting threes at a pretty crazy clip early on, and it's coming from guys all over the floor.テつ Seemed like you used the defense still to kind of regain your poise and get back in the game.テつ How did you do that?
AARON CRAFT:テつ Just kept trying to tell ourselves they couldn't keep shooting the way they were.テつ They started off five‑for‑five or something like that.テつ Some of them were open and some of them were contested.テつ We wanted to limit the open ones, and if they make a contested one, he made one off the backboard, what can you do?テつ Like Shannon said, we just wanted to stay aggressive, and we did a great job fighting back by halftime.

Q.テつ Aaron, I know you're going to want to go back in the game, but the way the guys were playing, the flow they were in, were you going to be okay just sort of being cheerleader or did you want to go back in?
AARON CRAFT:テつ I trusted in what they were doing.テつ It was amazing to just watch on the sideline.テつ They were doing a phenomenal job.テつ They finally got us a lead, we got over that hump, and just down the stretch I was hoping I could come in and make a difference.

Q.テつ Can you walk us through the thought process of how you were going to manage Aaron, given the team had rallied to take a lead without him?
COACH MATTA:テつ Well, we wanted to give him a break in the first half.テつ There's nobody in the country that plays harder than he does, and we knew he was a little bit tired.テつ And we had that long segment‑‑ I think the media time‑out was at 4:14 in the first half ‑‑ and we knew another one was coming, so we didn't give him a break there.
I was okay, especially the way the guys were playing, giving him as much rest‑‑ we knew it was going to kind of come down to the end, and keeping him over there was‑‑ I was fine with it.テつ Like I said, those guys had a pretty good flow to what they were doing out there, and he's not going to miss a beat when he comes back in the game.

Q.テつ LeVert said, when he was in here, that his job normally is to get back on defense and not offensive rebound, and that you guys weren't really paying too much attention to him on the boards all day.テつ Is that what your plan was, he really wasn't a priority in your rebounding scout, and is that why he got open for that offensive rebound?
COACH MATTA:テつ No, to be honest with you the way they got us on the boards in Game 1, rebounding was a big key.テつ Now, they didn't send guys the way they did really until about that play was when he went.テつ It was a heck of a play on his part, and we just‑‑ we missed him.

Q.テつ I don't mean to belabor this, but do you think about maybe not putting Aaron back in the way things were going, or is he a guy you have to have out there at the end?
COACH MATTA:テつ Oh, absolutely, yeah.テつ You have to have him out there, no question about that.テつ The way Shannon was playing, there was just possessions where you knew it was going to come down to the defensive end of it, and you want him in the game when the game is on the line defensively.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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