2011-2012 Season

Video, Notes & Quotes: John Beilein after Michigan’s 70-61 win over Illinois

John Beilein met with the media following Michigan’s 70-61 victory over Illinois at the Crisler Center on Sunday. Here’s video of the coach, followed by notes and quotes after the jump:

  • Opening statement: “To get down 7-2, it was concerning to me. I just didn’t like the pace of that game. We needed something good to happen. All the sudden, Jordan gets in foul trouble, Tim hits a shot, Evan hits a shot – and we had been waiting for that. We needed that. It was like a shot in the arm. It propelled our defense. We slowly increased that lead so that we could get away from it in the end.”
  • On how to get out of a slump: “I don’t know that I’m a scientist at it, but we really try to understand the pace of a season and trying to figure out what is the best way for your team to be good in February. Because usually if they’re good in February, they’re good in March. That’s also a great way to motivate your guys, just saying, it’s better now, and we felt really good. You have two of your shooters with shooting stats like we had, and the team is 18-7, that was pretty good news. So spin it around.”
  • On stopping Illinois big man Meyers Leonard: “You just try to limit his good touches. It did cost us some foul trouble on Jordan, but then also that puts Evan where he’s on the perimeter, and Leonard’s got to chase him around a little bit. We had a lot of attention on him. I’m watching Paul and Richardson every minute, because those guys can get buckets in a hurry.”
  • At one point in the second half, Michigan had seven team fouls and Illinois had zero. However, “We deserved it. We were putting our hands on them. We can’t do that. It could have been their athleticism and quickness, but we’ll watch that on film and we’ll run a few sprints for that. We did not play smart as far as that… Almost every one of those fouls could have been avoided with better posture.”
  • On defending offensive rebounding: “Since we decided to go small, we’re going to have to give up some of those. We just have have to continue to box out and box out. But you can box the heck out of (Leonard), and we’re not getting that ball. Straight up over his head and you can’t move him out of there without a foul. Their length got us a few times. It’s something we just have to battle through and hopefully get some exchange on the other side.”
  • On the bench production: “That has been badly needed that we have Matt (Vogrich) come off with some swagger. He doesn’t get many shots in the game. And then Evan as well. If we get that type of bench production, we can keep winning at a pretty high pace. I liked Evan all week in practice. He had energy, he had a good look on his face. Matt is the same thing. You don’t face this type of adversity much in your life. Stu had to go through it, Zack had to go through it, so why can’t Tim and Evan and Matt go through it? It’s going to happen, and you just have to keep pressing on and think positive.”
  • On Smotrycz: “When we really made our push into the NCAA Tournament (last year), Evan Smotrycz, in the Illinois game, which probably solidified a bid, he was key in that one, hitting two threes. He’s a much better player in other areas. He’s not just a shooter. But when that shot started to not fall, after being uncanny with it early. It was almost like if he had shot 33 percent and then went on a slump, it would have been less damaging. He’s going to have to deal with it. It’s part of life. Worse things could happen.”
  • On the potential of this team, especially considering the fact they’ve been successful even as Hardaway, Smotrycz and Vogrich have struggled: “It was sort of a microcosm today that we were also in foul trouble today and we were able to hang in there. The learning curve, the success, sometimes it’s just a bounce of the ball and it’s very mental. It’s not just like an assembly line thing. They’re human beings, and mentally you can have an edge or lose an edge.”
  • On Novak and Douglass, who have been steady while others struggled: “They are unconsciously competent in everything they do. They see it all right there, and that’s what we’re trying to do with our players all the time. When a freshman comes in, he is unconsciously incompetent. He’s looking around, he doesn’t have any clue. But you get to that fourth level where you just see it all, and you just react out of habit, that’s where (Novak and Douglass) are right now. It’s amazing some things they’re doing in practice. Right now they’re seeing the game at a really good pace.”
  • On the win: “Just a good win, because it was a team win. We had nine turnovers, and four of them we almost hurt some people with the passes we threw into the crowd to start the game. It’s just not like us, but we probably got through that okay.”
  • On what Michigan will do in the next six days leading up to a home game against Ohio State Saturday: “I wanted to see how we finished this game before I planned next week. We have got to get rest, but we have got to get better. We’ve got to lift weights. It’s a great time to get guys two days off their legs in some situations. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to talk to a couple people who have had that nine o’clock game that we have against Ohio. It’s a long day. Do we want to even practice that day because it seems like you’re playing at midnight? I’m going to do some research and figure out what we do.”
  • More on the break: “I know today it certainly is good to know they don’t have a game in two days again, that they can enjoy this win. Forget about Ohio. That’s something we’ll address on Thursday and Friday. Right now the big thing is that we need to regroup, energize, do some work. It’s not like we’re preparing for Ohio for five days. It’s not like football. We’ll do a normal two day prep. It’s the other three days. What are we going to do those other three days? I hope I choose some good things.”
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