THE MODERATOR: We have coach Ben Howland, Travis Wear, and Joshua Smith. Coach, if you'd like to start us off.
COACH HOWLAND: "Well, first of all, I was really impressed with how well Michigan plays. They're a very good team. They were in the tournament last year. They have a veteran group of guys who really know their offense and execute it great. They shot a very high percentage against our defense."
"Again, our defense, we're going to have to change. This is a hard team to play because they shoot it so well. They have so many little nuances to their offense. They really take advantage of that. Horford had a great first half. Hardaway, Novak are obviously outstanding. Your point guard is a really good player. For a freshman, he's very good, Burke."
"Again, we are taking probably too many three point shots. I don't know how much that was forced by their defense. But we're not shooting the ball well from three. We're going to have to be more patient offensively, and we're going to have to pack things in better."
"We're off now until Monday, and these guys will have some time to recover from three days in a row playing hard. Then we've got to get back and have good practices Saturday and Sunday and get ready for Pepperdine. We'll start to make a comeback and dig ourselves out of the 1 4 hole that we're in right now."
Q: Coach, how do you feel your team is at now versus where you were a week ago?
COACH HOWLAND: "I've had the second half against both Chaminade and Kansas. We played well in both those halves. We haven't put together a 40 minute game yet. We dug ourselves a hole against Kansas in the first half in the last six or seven minutes. But it's really obvious that we have a long way to go to be able to compete against the teams on our schedule that are left. It's going to be a hard fight. Our guys have to be willing to get to work. Nothing's easy. We're going to have to really, really fight hard to get it together in practice, and execution on both ends of the floor."
Q: Coach, that is the longest time you guys have hung in there and you really refused to let them pull away. What was the difference in the second half when they did get away?
COACH HOWLAND: "We had it to a five point game with just a little over 15 minutes left in the game. And Josh was exhausted, so I called that timeout. We were on a run, but he was really tired. We took it. I can't remember if they scored out of that timeout or not, but that was a key juncture. They came down and made some big shots. Hardaway, I thought, started to really take over at that point. I thought he really started to play well that last stanza from the 15 minute mark to about the 5 minute mark. I don't know how many points he had, but it seemed like he had a ton of them."
Q: How is the morale on this team right now given the first five games?
Travis Wear: "Obviously, we were a little disappointed. We wanted to come out on the national stage and play well. We wanted to go out and play well every night. Our morale, we know it's a long season, and we have to keep our heads up. It's a marathon and this is just the beginning. We realize we have a long way to go to get better and compete with the teams that we're going to be playing against later on in the season. But I think everyone's heads are up right now. I don't think we're depressed or down or anything."
Joshua Smith: "We came out here and our goal was to win the whole thing. That didn't happen. I mean, we're still a good team. Some of the guys' heads were down. They outplayed us. But like I said, we're going to go back, and try to get ready for Pepperdine and practice and get our second wind."
Q: The starting quarter of this team came out that way. Coach, what do you see there with what needs to happen to get that going?
COACH HOWLAND: Obviously, with Reeves we've had an in and out situation with him. He was returning an all league player from last year's team. I think that both Dave and Travis who are new, they've been very up and down. Dave is replaying the three, but that's still part of your front court. Both these kids are just gaining experience, kind of like I said yesterday. So I think they'll become more consistent. We need more rebounding out of our front line and better production, especially on the board play. But Josh has just got to keep working to get himself in better condition. Josh is a load down there in the low post. You've seen what a lot of people are doing until now with the double team. Everybody we've played they've just about swarmed him when he gets the ball. We have to do a better job of helping him when he gets double teamed of getting him back out and having him get a better scheme."
Q: Perimeter defense gave up a lot of open threes. How do you fix that?
COACH HOWLAND: "They hurt us every way imaginable, with back cuts, with open threes. We're going to have to pack in our defense. We're trying to. We've got to pack it in even more. Everybody's got to be inside except for the guy guarding the ball. We're going to have to really make some changes to our defense so that we can try to avoid getting beat as bad as we are off the dribble, which is creating a lot of openings for team's offenses."
Q: Stover started, didn't see much of him after that. What happened there?
COACH HOWLAND: "I was just concerned. Anthony's strength is defense. We were struggling to score, so that's why I didn't go back to him. That's not his strength. We have struggled to score in all four of our games other than Chaminade games, and that's a big part of our problem is our inability to score. I think he gives us great energy. He plays really hard, and he's still going to be someone that we're going to count on as we move forward here."
Q: Travis, you guys have been outrebounded in almost every game. Why are you guys not getting more boards considering the size that you have?
Travis Wear: "I really don't have an answer. I think we're putting forth the effort. I think that we just need to go attack the ball when it goes up on the glass, box out our men, primary focus. I don't really have a reason why."
COACH HOWLAND: "The biggest reason our numbers are so bad is we're missing a lot of shots. So usually the defensive team, if you look at the board play, tonight, for example, they had a lot more defensive rebounds than we did. They made 62%. We made 40, and there were a lot more rebounds that they're inside position on."
Q: Injury-wise, De'End, what's his situation?
COACH HOWLAND: "I'm not sure what the status is. He has an inflamed patella tendon to the point where he is really in a lot of pain. And that's why he's not playing. It's not something that's going to be cured quickly, either. It's something that's kind of a long term issue."