It got dicey in the closing minutes on Saturday afternoon, but Michigan held on for the 10-point win over a talented Iowa State squad. Here’s video of John Beilein discussing the win.
Find the full notes and quotes from Beilein’s presser after the jump.
- I was pleased with the defense – held Iowa State, which came into the game averaging almost 40 percent from behind the arc, to just 22 percent from deep. “Our guys stayed tough with it and really helped us get a win and helped us get enough easy baskets, because there’s not a whole lot of those in the college game.”
- On Jordan Morgan, who had 16 points: “That’s huge for us. You can’t just be a perimeter team, you’ve gotta have some presence inside…we just have to get the consistency and the mindset.”
- Turnovers were key down the stretch, as Iowa State cut Michigan’s lead to just 6 in the closing seconds. “There’s really no defense for a turnover. You can go back, hustle all you want, but usually the numbers are favoring them… that’s one of the things that keeps our team in games and that could have cost us had the game been a close one.”
- The team shot 83 percent from the free throw line. Very pleased with that. Good to see Morgan go 2-for-3. “We’ll take 66 % from him for now.”
- Have been working on getting the ball inside at a good angle, but Morgan also scored without angles today. “That’s really important for him to do. We work so hard in these areas and we came out in the beginning of the season and didn’t show these areas. It’s tough to win without it. That was a good step for him.”
- Credits the 13-2 run to end the half to the bench. Akunne’s 3-pointer and McLimans’ 5 points really gave a spark at the perfect time, and it proved to be even more important when Iowa State made a late-game run. “The separation on that team… we won’t play another team that can get back in the game as fast as Iowa State can. The spread was huge for us and Eso and Blake had a lot to do with that.”
- Didn’t double team Royce White in the post — as they had recently — because Iowa State has so many good 3-point shooters. Didn’t want to give them any easy looks.
- The team had a “great” big man workout in practice Wednesday, and “Blake was really good at it. So we said let’s give him a chance and he performed.” Akunne has been consistently good in practice, which is why he’s continued to get a couple minutes per game. McLimans hasn’t been quite as consistent, although his last couple weeks have been “fairly strong.”
- On Douglass and Vogrich, who are both struggling from behind the arc: “They’re either hurrying or pressing. I’ve been there before, I’ve watched it with my own son. There’s not much you can do. I’m concerned for their own attitude. I want them to know that they still have the green light when they’re open, because that’s the type of shooters they are.”
- If Akunne continues to play well, he could take some minutes from Vogrich and Douglass. “A smart coach would do that if he keeps playing like he is.” Akunne puts guys “into a blender, like a milkshake, when he starts shakin’ and bakin’, and all the sudden he gets an open shot. He’s good.”
- Horford played limited minutes because he has a “soft spot,” or a “stress,” in his foot. He’s currently wearing a boot until he recovers. “We’re trying to gauge that before we see where he can go.”
- Defensively, Morgan is like a safety in football. “He’s gotta be in the back, watching everything that’s going on…He’s gotta embrace that role, especially when we’re playing off someone.”
- Looking forward to playing Oakland next Saturday. “Oakland is a tremendous basketball program with a Hall of Fame type coach (Greg Kampe), as far as he’s been their only coach there forever. It’s going to be a great challenge for us…We’ll go up there because we know it’s a quality win. If you can beat them, you’re beating a very good Oakland team.”