John Beilein met with the media this evening to breakdown Michigan’s 71-53 Big Ten opening win over Penn State.
Read the transcript and notable quotes from Beilein after the jump.
- “It’s always important that you win home games in this league. We all know how hard it is to win on the road so I was aprehensive just to see how we were going to respond hewn we were playing in our conference. I was pleased with how we responded. We’re still a huge work in progress, there’s a lot of evolution going on out there, but I like the direction that we’re going. We still have a lot of things to clean up”
- On Smotrycz’s play at the five: “When you have him and you have another shooter out there, a real big time threat on the floor, it really stretches things for everyone else. It helps Trey get to the basket more and gives Tim more room as well. The way he’s rebounding – he had 10 again – last year we’d give up something in rebounding but this year we’re not giving up nearly as much.”
- On his message to Hardaway early: “Just calm down a little bit. One of his greatest strengths is that he can take his jump shop whenever he wants to. This is something he’s worked really hard at, I might be able to get better if I’m a little more patient. The message was ‘be patient and let the game come to you a little bit’. He was pretty excited about plyaing in this game and while I’m talking to him I look around and Matt Vogrich is knocking down a three so that was good that Tim could sit down and then play”
- On Tim’s two point shooting: “That was my point in the locker room. I told him “Tim, I loved your game because you went 1 for 7 from three and still had 26 points’. He took the ball to the basket, posted up and did some things that we’ve been working on to make him less of a one dimensional player. He wouldn’t have done this last year. His strength can be a weakness. He’s got great elevation and timing on his shot but he’s going to make more when he’s not guarded.”
- On Evan and Jordan staying out of foul trouble: “They’ve just gotten better. We work at it very hard but they’ve gotten better at it. Evan will still take a swipe now and then, Jordan will do it too, but they’ve just gotten better at understanding how the game is called. We had three great officials and that’s the way it’s going to be in the Big Ten. They’re going to have to learn to play without fouling and they did a good job. I’m sure the guys on the bench aren’t happy because they don’t get as much time but I thought Blake gave us three or four great minutes.”
- On playing a short bench: “I can’t tell you why. I realized that after the game was over a little bit. Those 20-point leads late, believe it or not, I’m not as apt to go to the bench. I know 20s can become 10s and I just wanted to bleed it out. Maybe I’ll regret that tomorrow.”
- On Hardaway opening things for others: “It’s big because of a couple things. He had four foul shots and that’s big for him. I ‘d love to have him shoot 100 to 150 during the year. Frazier has over one hundred and we’re only a third into the season. Number one he gets to the foul line and number two – his offensive rebounding numbers are really low – it gets him close to the basket. He’s arguably our best athlete, get him there and he can do more things around the rim.
- On seven assists and no turnovers in Burke’s first Big Ten game: “Yeah I mentioned that after the game. They’ve been turning people over 15 or 16 times per game and I thought they did a great job on the ball screen, hedging and doubling us a couple times. It’s tough to say a key play in an 18-point game but when we started to pull it back we used the whole shot clock, avoided two double teams, got the ball in the lane and found Stu in the corner. That was a patient play.”
- On benching Burke early after a foul: “I’m sort of getting this idea with our young guys. They think I only have one foul, I’m cool, but it’s not. The other coach is going to say right at that time, let’s get him out for the first half. So just, settle down and get Stu in there for a minute. You’ll probably see that more with the young guys, Novak I might not do it but Trey I chose to do it.”
- On handling the big lead: “I was really disappointed with those two turnovers by Zack and Stu to start. We don’t see that 1-2-2 press that much and we had an attack we wanted to run but we did attack it. They doubled us out of the first pass and we did alright with that, we’re getting better recognition. Of all the things they could do – 1-2-2 trap, 1-2-2 back to man, 1-2-2 back to 2-3 zone, etc. – that’s a lot of stuff for an 18 year old kid to understand. The more he does it the more he’ll understand.”
- If Evan Smotrycz is becoming the player he envisioned: “No he’s got a long way to go. But I love coaching Evan Smotrycz. He might not think it sometimes but he’s a high risk high reward at times and he’s learning how to take some of that risk out. His two back door passes today were great plays and in the past he’d make that play whether it was open or not. When I recruited him I really loved his skill to see the floor, as a 6-foot-9 guy that’s really good.”