2011-2012 Season

Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference

IMG_6967For the last time this season, John Beilein participated in the weekly Big Ten teleconference to discuss Michigan’s Big Ten title and the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. Here are the notes and quotes from Beilein on the call:

Opening statement: “We had a great day yesterday. It was exciting for us to go on the road and get an always tough road win and then come back and watch two great teams battle it out and end up when it was all said and done with a share of a Big Ten title. As everyone knows it’s such a revered honor, and as a result, we’re proud to have won it with the two teams that we are in who are just quality programs with quality coaches, and now we move onto the tournament and hope to do the best we can in the tournament.” (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

On whether or not Beilein has a preference as to which seed — 1,2, or 3 — he’d prefer in the Big Ten tournament: “Not one bit at all, I think in one of my earlier tournaments I remember rooting for one team to win that we would play the next day, and they proceeded to win. I got my wish and they kicked our tails. So I promised myself at that time never to care about it or want any preference there, just do the best you can, because be careful what you wish for.”

On the importance of the 3-point shot: “I think it’s a game-changer in so many different ways. As much as we use it when it’s appropriate, we hate it when it’s used against us. As a result, the game can change so quickly. We hit back-to-back four-pointers yesterday, when we were up by six and hanging on. Trey Burke hits one and we’re up by ten and we’re in great shape, then they made a four-pointer and we’re back to six. So it’s an incredible equalizer, and it’s why no lead is safe at any time. You’ve got to be up double digits with a minute to go probably to feel safe today.”

On the mindset of the team heading into tournament time: “I think that looking at our last two games here where we were on the road a great deal, we’re going to have to have the mentality of just sticking to things, being persistent, having a right mental state, because of everything that was at stake during that time when you’re trying to be a champion. Going into now the next stage is going down and winning this tournament. What we need to do right now is just rest for a day or two physically and then go into our regular two-day prep before two great opponents, either Minnesota or Northwestern, that have shown this year that they can play or beat anybody in the league. We’re going to have to be ready for that one and take it one game at a time.”

On what it takes to be consistent at this level: “I’ve been talking about this since the day I got here. That’s what Michigan needed to do is be consistent. If you look at Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio, you look at those teams, you see the banners. They might have an NIT banner now and then because something happened, just a bad year, injuries, something happened. Syracuse is like that, Connecticut is like that. That’s where we want to get to, because when you’re doing that, some years you’ll have great great years, but the ball doesn’t bounce your way, and you’re done. Some years you’ll have years that are consistent but not as good as the year before. As long as you’re in that hunt at the end, anything can break your way and you can win a National Championship or Big Ten Title. I think that’s what Wisconsin has shown, and frankly they’ve been a model for us as far as that level of consistency by having a really strong foundation that has been established so that they know that they’re going to be in the hunt most of the time, just hope that they work hard and the ball bounces our way.”

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