Hardaway Jr: "It's good to have our fan base"

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Michigan junior shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. discusses the Wolverines preparation for VCU, defending 'home court' at the Palace, and the freshmen playing without fear.

Full Transcript: Tim Hardaway Jr. talks Michigan and VCU.

Q.  I'm wondering if you could tell me what type of coach John Beilein is.  If you could, please, elaborate and tell me does he push your buttons by yelling and screaming?  Is he analytical?  Is he patient?  What does he do to get the best out of you guys?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  Coach Beilein's very patient with the team, and one thing that makes Coach Beilein really special is he's a teacher of the game.  He really takes film very seriously when you're not having practice that much.

And he really wants his guys to really learn the fundamentals of the game and just try to make the game easier for yourself while you're being coached by him.  So that's one aspect of Coach Beilein that's really important to know about him.

 

Q.  Is it a big deal to have this game Saturday essentially in your own backyard against VCU?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  Well, I mean, I'll be lying if I said it wouldn't be, but, yeah, it's good to have our fan base behind us while we're playing here.

We know they're going to bring energy, just like we're going to try to bring energy.  So it's going to be a tough matchup for us, and both teams are really going to bring it.

 

Q.  Tim, are you expecting to have to handle the ball a little more because you're facing this full court press?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  For that havoc defense, I think they're going to stress a lot to try to get the ball out of Trey Burke's hands and just try to do the best they can to make myself, Nik Stauskas, and even Caris LeVert bring the ball up the court.  So we're definitely going to stress us bringing the ball up the court with confidence and just try to get ourselves into offense.

 

Q.  Tim, talk about how the freshman took playing in that first NCAA game yesterday, not from a performance standpoint, but just emotionally and psychologically?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  Well, I think a plus for them was just playing in Michigan, playing Auburn Hills, playing close to campus and having the fan base we did.  I think they felt very comfortable with their surroundings and I think that really helped them out with their first NCAA tournament.

 

Q.  Tim, we've followed a lot of these games and throughout your career, what do you remember when you were growing up when you first started playing?  What was that like having a father who'd accomplished so much in the game?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  It was hard just to try to follow his footsteps, and you try not to worry about it.  You try to leave a legacy of your own.

It takes a long time to do that, so, I mean, he just tells me to go out there, have fun, just play my hardest, and he's behind me a hundred percent.

 

Q.  On paper, it's VCU's guards.  They're a bunch of fast guards against your guards.  You guys turn it over less than anyone in the country.  How big of a deal is that for you guys in terms of mind-set going into a game like this?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  I think we just -- you know, playing against Aaron Craft, Victor Oladipo, and, you know, West Virginia guards, Arkansas guards, I think we kind of know what to expect from them.

Like we said, Coach Beilein just going to do a great job of just preparing us and we're just going to have to watch a lot of film from here on out before the game starts in order to see what we have to do in order to win.

For either one of you, do you think this is getting overplayed and that everybody's focused on you guys breaking the press and no one seems to be paying any attention to when they have the ball and the rest of the game?

I mean, it is what they do.  I mean, that's VCU's whole mind-set, is to turn you over.  They're going to play that havoc defense and they're going to do a great job of it.

We just have to go out there and contain it and just try to make sure we don't get scared, don't get nervous when they're in it.

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