GoBlueWolverine's Andre Barthwell looks back on a week that saw Michigan go 2-1 on the hardwood. …
Burke, Douglass, Morgan talk Wildcats
On the challenge of facing Northwestern PG Dave Sobolewski: I really haven't seen him play a lot. I watched him on film, he's a good player, takes care of the ball, good passer, great shooter so I definitely respect him as an opponent. I'm sure he's a big key to their offense similar to what Jordan Taylor was.
On the different defenses he's facing as a freshman: Sometimes but the coaches reiterate so much, they keep telling me things and telling me things until it sticks in my mind. We go over our plays all the time, sometimes it's too much but I have a great team around me in case I do forget something.
On having so much thrown at him as a freshman: The coaches do a good job even in practice, they have us scrimmage against the second five and have me do everything they just taught me. If there's a new play they throw in there I have to go out there and be able to run it and that goes into the game.
On watching other teams in the league: We look at other teams but we just try to stay focused on our next opponent. We know on any given night we could lose, every game is a tough game in the big ten with how competitive it is as a conference.
On Jordan Morgan's recent play: Last year foul trouble was almost non-existent but mentally he could kind of take himself out of the game. Yesterday he really just treated the second half as a whole new game, just came out and gave us a lot of energy, he's shooting the ball well when he gets it inside and isn't complaining when he doesn't. He's making stuff happen when he has the opportunities.
On Morgan shouldering the load with Horford out: He's a competitive guy, Jon there or Jon not he wants to play, he wants to help our team win, score buckets, get rebounds. He's got a lot of skills, his post game is getting a lot better working with Coach Bacari.
On Shurna's (6-9, Sr. F, NW's leading scorer at 28.7 ppg) struggles last year against them: He was coming off of a concussion and was a little bit out of it, I don't know how much we're going to look into that. It's really just guarding the system and sticking to our defensive principles, they have a lot of weapons, Drew Crawford is the third leading scorer in the league so we have a lot to take care of defensively. We just have to listen to the gameplan, listen to the coaches and just be really focused in practice because there's not much time.
On differences in Crawford's (6-5 Jr. wing, NW's 2nd leading scorer at 17.3 ppg) game: He's really athletic and kind of a sneaky shooter. Their system is run and so hard to defend sometimes, you're switching out and different guys are guarding one guy on a possession and then coming back with a whole new match up. He's not going to surprise us.
On pressure of stepping up with Horford out: He's definitely a presence down low that we're going to miss. It's not really pressure you just have to pick each other up, that's your job as teammates. When he's out for however long he's out we just have to pick him up.
On his foul trouble: That was a focus going into this year, being able to play more and staying out of foul trouble but it definitely became more important when Jon went out.
On his game against Wisconsin: It's my job on the team to get us extra possessions. It's there I just keep crashing the boards and getting extra possessions.
On his strategy for offensive rebounds: Just being more aggressive and staying aggressive all game long and assuming every shot will be a miss.
On this teams goals and the offense: That's just something we do as we go along we just kind of build the offense, it has a lot to do with people scouting us. We like to be able to counter any defense we see. Our goals from the beginning are to win championships, we say that everyday. Last year we wanted to get to the tournament and this year we want to win championships. Big ten championship comes first and then win as many games in the tournament after that.
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