Maryland 68 Minnesota 58
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, MN
Head Coach Tubby Smith:
On the game:
“We did do some things well, but we didn’t get to the line like we wanted to. When one team shoots 31 free throws and the other shoots nine, you’re not attacking like you want to.”
On next season:
“The future is bright. I like the returning players and how hard they played. Damian Johnson’s numbers are off the chart. He’s had more deflections than I think any player I’ve ever coached. Blake Hoffarber had a great year and it was great to see Jamaal (Abu-Shamala) finish up like he did tonight.”
“There’s a lot of things that go into a successful program and we have all those resources here. The sky’s the limit and we expect to be playing in the NCAA’s next year.”
On the rebounding disadvantage:
“They are a big team. We’ve scrapped and clawed all year long to overcompensate in rebounding the ball and worked hard again tonight."
Maryland head coach Gary Williams
“Tubby and I go back a long way. He is from Maryland and almost went here. We’ve also played against each other quiet a bit in our careers and I’ve seen that the teams he coaches get after it. Tonight wasn’t any different. Both teams were in familiar situations at the end of the season and both teams came out tonight ready to play.
“I thought we were in good shape defensively but I never thought we had it won until that last minute. Minnesota runs their offense efficiently and can get after it so we were never too comfortable with the lead.”
Minnesota forward Jamal Abu-Shamala
On the start of the second half:
“They came out with a lot of energy. They took it to us right away. We should’ve been the ones going out there and throwing that first punch. You’ve gotta give them credit; they came out with intensity."
On the variety different lineup:
“We’re used to having a lot of different lineups this season. I don’t know how many different lineups we’ve used this year. We’re all pretty comfortable playing with each other. We handled it alright, but we could’ve executed and focused a little more to get the win.”
Minnesota forward Damian Johnson
On Maryland’s lineup:
“They had a lot of big guys to throw at us and they had a lot of energy. There was a time out there when I was the only post player we had available. That made it tough for us. We were really under-sized and that made it hard for us rebounding-wise and it was rough on our post defense also.”
On carrying this season’s lessons into next season:
“I think this game helps some of the returning guys evaluate their weaknesses and their strengths also. Maryland was a tough ACC team and we’ve had some trouble with ACC teams in the past. I can’t remember the last time we won the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. A lot guys have seen what they have to work on and what it’s going to take to help us be successful next year.”