The Michigan Wolverines saw their 2020-21 season come to an end on Tuesday night in a 51-49 Elite Eight loss to UCLA. Senior guard Eli Brooks was the player sent to the podium after the contest and had to field questions about what happened.
Below is the full transcript, courtesy of ASAP Sports, of the media session with the team’s reaction, thoughts on a fifth year at Michigan and more among the topics covered.
Q. It’s tough in locker rooms after games like this, everybody wants to win so badly and everybody had a shot at the end. How did you guys go about consoling each other, boosting each other after maybe something you said to somebody or that somebody said out loud?
ELI BROOKS: I think at this point, it’s just more individual moments. Coach addressed the team, but people — people went up to people individually and talked to them. But yeah, that was about it.
Q. If you could kind of walk us through the plan and then the execution of the final, I guess it would have been four shots, from Franz’s missed three and your put-back to Mike’s end-to-end shot and then the final one, if you can recall?
ELI BROOKS: We were in place to make shots, and came up short, yeah.
Q. You guys only scored 49 points. Did it feel off kind of in the huddles and out there on the court or was that just the way the ball bounces, so to speak?
ELI BROOKS: Yeah, when you don’t make shots, it makes things a little more difficult. Yeah.
Q. Curious as a senior what you personally have taken from this season?
ELI BROOKS: I think just the adversity that we had. I mean, everybody had in this season. Just how close this group was and how locked in and mentally tough this team was all season because there’s a lot of teams, a lot of opportunities that we could have took the easy way out and made excuses and we didn’t do that. We stepped up and we played hard every single game.
Q. Was it extra frustrating to lose not playing your best? You had some nice performances coming in, and you beat yourselves in some ways.
ELI BROOKS: They played extremely, extremely hard. They earned that win. We’re not going to take anything way from them. But they made everything challenging, yeah.
Q. If you wouldn’t mind a follow-up here. If you could speak to how difficult this season really was navigating through COVID and whether all the protocols you had to deal with were, I guess, worth it to you in the end?
ELI BROOKS: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of sacrifices to be made throughout this season just to get through the season. I mean it, was worth it because we had a good group of guys and we got to play a game we love. But it was difficult.
Q. I know the loss is still fresh, but you and several seniors on your team do have the option to return for next year. Have you put any thought into that yet, and have any of your teammates talked about it with you?
ELI BROOKS: I think that’s a conversation to be had in our exit meeting. I mean, I talked about it with my family and weighed the different options, but I didn’t come to a conclusion. I can only speak for myself.