Question: You seem to play better against Iowa, this year and last year; do you take anything from that?
DeShawn Sims: "Just play better against Iowa, we must like Iowa."
Question: Is it a match up thing?
DeShawn Sims: "It's not necessarily a matchup thing. It's basically been about my starts, how I came out. That's led me to the success coming out strong and being effective early."
Question: As a senior do you start feeling a little bit nostalgic about this is the last time I'm going to Iowa, this is the last time I'm going here?
DeShawn Sims: "No not at all. Some places, I do not think I've won at Iowa yet…yeah I have. Some places are memorable like playing in Breslin or playing at Purdue. Like Penn State, the first year we played at Penn State it was pretty tough and I couldn't wait to go back to Penn State. Iowa, it's cool."
Question: Because you've played well there, does that make it a little more memorable than Iowa would normally be?
DeShawn Sims: "You usually want to go back when you play exceptionally well or you lose really bad to them, but it hasn't been that case. After last year, I'm definitely waiting to go get a win in Iowa."
Question: Is that because it was so close in overtime?
DeShawn Sims: "Yeah. There were some plays that we could've controlled down the stretch. I think we got a hang of them now. We going to try for a second time."
Question: Why is this team so much better defensively than it was say a month ago and why was it a little slow coming around on that end at the start of the year?
DeShawn Sims: "We're practicing it more, practicing with a little bit more detail, making the guys more accountable. Coach has been doing a great job of making more people accountable instead of assuming they supposed to know where to be help side. Coach has actually been teaching it and enforcing it. We've just got better at it in practice really."
Question: Can you talk about the stretch of practices that you've had with the break a little bit…have they been hard practices?
DeShawn Sims: "Yesterday was a pretty tough practice. After the Wisconsin game we had some pretty tough practices. When you those types of practices, which is tough and a lot of conditioning get done. It just refocus you. The things that you can control in the game you kind of see them more. The things that can happen in practice as far as the discipline. Having hard practices has been key for us in our success."
Question: You've been with Beilein for so long, do you get the same gut reaction to the hard ones; this is helping us, because some of those guys have never been through anything like that?
DeShawn Sims: "Definitely some of the practices previous to the ones before the Minnesota game, I haven't experienced some of those things. Knowing what it can do as far as making guys pay more attention to things that they need to be. It sort of puts in the back of your mind a punishment, you kind of worried not to do things because of the punishment. It helps in college basketball."
Question: What were some of the things that you hadn't experienced in practicing before Minnesota?
DeShawn Sims: "Just the conditioning part. We ran a lot. It was really a lot but it made everyone think twice about making a bad decision on the court or not value the possession. Just things that you do not think about down the stretch of game, in the Minnesota game we thought about probably because of the practice we had."
Question: You guys really struggled for a couple of games before Minnesota; what was it about that game that kind of led you to turn it around a little bit?
DeShawn Sims: "We had a tough stretch in those six games and playing without pressure from winning the next 10 games and actually taking some losses and refocusing, playing without the stress of the next couple of games, definitely helped us to relax and go out and play basketball like we wasn't playing…playing without pressure. We was just going out and competing. When you can play without pressure it just loosens the team up and I think we did a pretty good job."
Question: Is that the biggest thing you take out of the Minnesota game is that type of mentality?
DeShawn Sims: "Yeah just keep playing. We had a tough stretch and the stretch is over and we can't do nothing about it. We could have made up some ground as far as the NCAA, but we did not and we just got to keep competing and not think about the tournament and that's probably why we play so together because we weren't thinking about tournament hopes."
Question: As the games get fewer and fewer is that hard to put that out of the mind?
DeShawn Sims: "Like I said after the stretch, it was a big stretch and we going to keep fighting and that stretched could have determined a lot for us. We did not do as well as we expected and that just opened our mind…we refresh our mind for another stretch that was all."
Deshawn Sims and Manny Harris: their comments on the game, and on what's to come…