Here’s video from the media room of John Beilein, Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, and Tim Hardaway Jr. explaining Michigan’s semifinal loss to Ohio State. Full transcript after the jump.
COACH BEILEIN: I thought we really battled the entire game today. It’s just very difficult; they’re just going to get so many points just because of the effect of Jared Sullinger in the game. They just get some points that very few people in the country can get. So you have to really play a high level game in terms of efficiency.
We showed some moments today where we were still very youthful, and at the same time Ohio State is a heck of a team, and they’ve beat us fair and square.
Q. This is for any of you guys, but what does it say about you as a team, they have a 16-0 run against you but you come back late with under five minutes to give yourself a fighting chance at the end?
ZACK NOVAK: Yeah, I mean, it’s just kind of what we’ve done all year, I think. There’s been a couple times where we’ve just been knocked down, and we just keep fighting. You know, came back yesterday not in the same way, but we just — we knew there was still a chance, so we were just going to keep fighting and see what happens.
Q. Tim, kind of on the same line, I saw one of the assistants said to you guys, you’re going to remember this. How do you take that sort of run and carry that with you into a likely NCAA tournament game?
TIM HARDAWAY, JR.: Yeah, you know, just not giving up and just playing until the final buzzer. The game is not over until it’s 00:00 on the clock, and you just have to keep on fighting.
Q. Question for Stu, during the run that they made, did you feel like you guys did lose your composure a little bit and did look young for one of the first times?
STU DOUGLASS: A little bit. We might have got a little selfish offensively, didn’t keep our heads mentally. But we brought it in, called a time-out, brought it in and executed a little better.
Q. Zack, obviously not the way you wanted to end it, but talk about what you’ve accomplished going into the NCAA tournament given what people expected of you this year.
ZACK NOVAK: You know, just ever since we started practicing to go to Europe, we just believed in ourselves. So I think we just did a good job of blocking out preseason rankings and just negative talk that people were saying. We understood. We were a young team with a lot of unproven players, so there really was no reason for people to think much of us.
But I think we just — we stuck with it, and there was times this year where we easily could have quit, but I mean, leadership on our coaching staff just kept everyone going in the right direction, and we never quit. And I think that we showed a lot of resiliency this year.
Q. You talk about valuing every possession. Was that maybe the fundamental problem during that run that they had?
COACH BEILEIN: Yeah, we get so amped up with — we’ve got to get the ball down the floor, we didn’t get many points in transition today, and we really wanted to do that. I had on the board today, you’ve got to know the sweet spot of making a play and being a player. And so there were some times there we just tried too hard, especially offensively, without showing probably the patience we needed to have.
Q. Talking about the NCAA tournament, everybody has you guys in now. I’m curious if you can make a case for your team where you think you should be seeded.
COACH BEILEIN: Well, I don’t care. The seedings and all those things, I let everybody do those things. The only thing that — the big thing that I would say, we finished fourth in a great conference. I have never seen the Big Ten be this strong in my four years here. Where else do you have where you have your 10th and 11th teams are drawing 15,000 to 17,000 for every game? It is tough to win on the road here. Top to bottom it’s a very good conference, and we finished fourth. Forget the tie breakers and all that stuff. We finished fourth, and we got to the semifinals and played a high level schedule against a couple No. 1 seeds. Didn’t win as many as we would have liked to, but I’ll let the committee decide whether we’ve won enough.
Q. There was one stretch there where a couple of things didn’t go your way. Was that just — you talked about being way to play above things, was that just a case of your guys not being able to do that?
COACH BEILEIN: Yeah, when you’re playing against Ohio State, you have to either make your own breaks or have some breaks and really play through that, and that’s where they got on the 16-0 run. It just started with a couple tough breaks.