Audio & Quotes: Zack Novak, Evan Smotrycz and Trey Burke Talk Final Exams, Alabama A&M


Media availability was cut short due to final exams but the Michigan athletic department still released a handful of sound clips from Zack Novak, Evan Smotrycz and Trey Burke in preparation for Alabama A&M. Find the audio of the player interviews embedded below or read along with our transcript.

Zack Novak

On his leadership role evolving: “I think as a sophomore it was a little more difficult just because you’re leading guys that have more experience than you, have been around longer than you, that really were leading you just a year before, but you kinda get put in a different position. It was delicate. It wasn’t easy, but it was a really good experience.”

On his role this year: “I think one of my roles on the team is just see what other people are doing, what’s clicking for them, what’s not clicking for them, and I guess I can kinda just step in and fill in for what’s not really happening. Just being around for so long now, you get to know the game so well and our system, that I’d hope at some point I’d be able to start picking up some assists, so it’s nice that it’s happening.”

On rebounding: “Especially at the guard positions, i think that there’s not many things I can say I’m probably one of the better among the guards in the conference. I think rebounding is probably the only thing, so it’s just something I pride myself on. It just helps the team in a lot of ways, especially because we’re still smaller than a lot of teams, so our five men, sometimes we just tell them, just keep your man off the board and I’ll come in and clean it up. Really it’s a credit to them.”

Evan Smotrycz

On the key to his recent success: “I think what I’ve just been trying to do is stay out of foul trouble, play good defense and rebound, and I think the points have kind of just found their way to me. I was just trying to stay solid and stay on the floor.”

On what he’s focused on to stay out of foul trouble: “Just been talking myself through posessions, trying to break bad habits of reaching in after I play good defense and just ruining the possession. If I can stay on the floor, stay out of foul trouble and play smart, I think I can contribute in a number of different ways.”

Trey Burke

On his first semester as a college student: “Everything’s going good. Classes, at first it was a chacnge, a transition from high school to college, but I’m pretty much used to it. It went by fast, faster than I thought it would. That just goes to show how quick the season goes by, and that’s why we gotta take every practice seriously and execute.”

On adjusting to the college game: “I’m adjusting pretty well now. First the speed was different, and guys were bigger than the guys you play in high school. I’m pretty much adjusted to it now, being comfortable with all my teammates out on the court. The seniors are making me feel comfortable, learning all the plays. I’m pretty much comfortable.”

On his role as the second-leading scorer on the team: “I really didn’t know what to expect when it came to that category. I knew that I had to help contribute scoring because Darius left. I knew I had to fill some shoes and at least contribute in scoring. I knew I had options to go to when I got into the paint for other scorers to go to.”