Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway Jr. were available to speak with the media on Monday afternoon. They discussed Michigan’s upcoming match-up with NC State, hanging the Big Ten Championship banner, and more. You can watch the players in the embedded media players below with content (and quotes) continuing after the jump.
Tim Hardaway Jr.:
- On NC State: “We’re expecting a battle tomorrow … They’re coming in here to make a statement.” Said he sees them as every bit as good a program as North Carolina and Duke.
- On what he showed at Madison Square Garden: “It really showed me handling the ball really well, but it wasn’t just handling the ball. It was me coming off screens, and my big men helping me get open and loosening the defense up. All I had to do was knock down a shot.”
- Said Michigan only making four 3-pointers against Kansas State shows how this team can get points in many different ways. “We can get to the basket, and everyone is just creating for one another out there on the court.” Also mentioned that the defense has been a big part of finding ways to score on the break.
- On raising the Big Ten Championship banner and what he tells the freshmen about the Big Ten season: “We just tell them that it’s going to be a grind out there. Every game is big — you can lose on any given night. You’re going to have to bring it whether you’re playing the worst team (in the league) or the best team.”
- On what the team got by playing against good competition: “Pitt and Kansas State are both very physical teams. It was definitely a good experience for us. We’ve been going up against some mediocre teams maybe, so obviously we were able to prove ourselves a little bit and get some good experience.”
- Said his defense and rebounding are the two areas of his game that have progressed the most since the start of the season. “Those are two things the coaches are really stressing me to improve on, so I’m just embracing that at this point.”
- On the matchup with NC State: “We’ve been looking forward to (the game against NC State) for a while. The Big Ten-ACC Challenge is something that’s pretty big. We’re definitely looking forward to it.”
- While the team has been rebounding the ball better, it’s isn’t because more players are involved in the action. Said they still always want two players back on defense and that it’s been mostly the 3-5 players getting boards.
- On seeing the Big Ten Champion rings distributed to last year’s team: “Obviously, you see the rings and — I want one now (laughs) … it’s great for them but we’re hungry now and it’s on to the next one.”
- Notable quote: “I don’t really get nervous before games.”