May 15, 2001
Ohio State head coach Bob Todd
“This was kind of an interesting year. We were picked to finish fifth or sixth in the conference this year, probably rightly so. When you take a look at roster, we have eight seniors but five of them were walk-ons at one point in time. We have a lot of freshman. There are 17 freshman on our ball club. When you try to analyze our team it was tough to say what was going to happen. I didn’t know what was going to happen. We’ve had some great leadership. They have brought this team together. We’ve played as a team together. Once we got into the Big Ten conference, we didn’t lose a series, which was totally unexpected. We either won or tied every series. This team put itself in a position to be able to win the championship. I think this group has overachieved a little bit and it has been a surprise to me.”
Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber
“We felt coming in the season that we had enough older guys coming back and four sophomores who made an impact as a freshman, that we could be in this position an maybe in a position to win the championship. We opened the season down at Rice, which was ranked No. 1 at the time. We wound up beating Rice and No. 24 Wake Forest before we ever practiced outside. So it looked like we were ready to go. We weren’t quite ready to go. We were a little inconsistent. We came back from our spring trip 4-12. We dug ourselves into what you would call a hole. We lost our first two Big Ten games (to Minnesota). Our kids still believed. We had great senior leadership. We stayed positive and went on a streak that helped us. We won some games that we maybe stole at the end. We put together a very good Big Ten season. Again, I think that was senior leadership that helped. Some of the sophomores stepped up. It was a bit of a surprise for some people. I think our guys are very confident. Last weekend was a little disappointing, but I think our guys are beyond that and ready for the second season.”
Minnesota head coach John Anderson:
“We had fairly high expectations for our team coming in. We had six or seven starters back from our Big Ten championship team a year ago. We lost some key players due to injury and other circumstances. We lost two of our top lefthanded pitchers were gone two weeks into the season. At that point, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from our team. I think we wandered around for a little bit. It was pretty significant for us to challenge for the Big Ten title down the stretch. The thing I was most impressed with is our kids didn’t use the loss of some key players as an excuse. They went out and put together a successful year.
Penn State head coach Joe Hindeling:
Because of our success last season winning the Regional, I think its automatic that the expectations are the same. You want to get back. We played a more difficult non-conference schedule this season. I question whether it was too difficult early on. We have been fighting all year to get back to the .500 level, which we did in our last series. We started out fine in the Big Ten. We went 5-1 before we trailed off a little bit. Entering this last weekend, we kind of put ourselves into a little bit of a corner. But my players, who I respect immensely, really rallied and we were able to play good baseball and sweep Michigan State. I’m proud and with how we played our last series and I know there is a possibility we can continue that play against Minnesota.
Illinois head coach Richard “Itch” Jones:
“We have become a strong ball club because of the changes we forced to make due to injuries. I thought when the season started that if we made the Big Ten tournament we would have achieved about as much as we could. Coming into the tournament right now, we’re about as healthy as we be and hope to do some damage and create some excitement in the tournament. We go into this as the defending tournament champions, so we have that to live on for one more day.
Michigan head coach Geoff Zahn:
“We feel fortunate to come back down here. It feels like we just left because we did. We had one day of practice and headed back. Going into this season, we knew we were young in the field and we felt our players would improve as the season went on. Midway through the season, our young guys got their feet on the ground. Our young players are playing better every single week. We’re a little bit disappointed how we finished up. Overall, we’re very glad to be here and want to represent the University of Michigan well.”