John Beilein met with the media on Friday to discuss his team’s upcoming match-up with Penn State at the Crisler Center this Sunday at noon. Beilein touched on an array of subjects, from Glenn Robinson III’s struggles to how Michigan has bounced back from the devastating loss to Michigan State to the dedication of Crisler event on Friday night. Beilein also mentioned that Jordan Morgan was able to participate fully in practice, but he is not 100 percent. You can watch using the embedded media player below or read selected notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “Exciting weekend here with the re-dedication of Crisler. Hence, I’m dressed up a little bit for later on today. It’s really exciting. So many people are coming back, and I’m so proud of this new facility. I like looking at the eyes of the former players who have come back so far, the few that I’ve met, and others to come. We also have a challenge with Penn State on Sunday that’s playing better and better, despite their record. They had a chance to beat Iowa last night. We have to be ready for that. I think we regrouped very well after the loss at Michigan State. Had a great practice on Wednesday, and a full practice, all in. Then we took yesterday off and now we’re ready for our normal two-day prep for the Nittany Lions.”
- On how Michigan moves on from the loss in East Lansing on Tuesday: “There’s a part of it that has to stick with them, and then part of it is, we have to embrace reality. This is life at this level. I saw today, I was looking at the Sagarin ratings, we play the third-toughest schedule in the country, and someone told me, Tom (Wywrot, Michigan basketball Sports Information Director) pointed out, with the third-youngest team in the country. It’s reality. There’s bumps in the road. You’re going to have bumps in the road, and it’s part of getting better.”
- How the team misses Jordan Morgan on both ends of the floor: “It shows. His lift, his technique and there were a couple times when he didn’t make good, physical box-outs the other night, which is something which, obviously, he hasn’t practiced in three weeks, or since the Illinois game.” Beilein said there are still things he needs to practice and getting his reaction time back.
- On where the team misses Morgan the most: “Defensively, as a center. And then giving us some versatility and some consistency backing up Glenn (Robinson III). We were in a pretty good rhythm there, maybe 5-10 minutes a game for Glenn when Jordan would go over there. … Finding a suitable guy to do all those things has been hard.”
- On Morgan’s health: “Wednesday, he did everything everybody else did. He wasn’t at 100 percent, I don’t think there’s any question about that. But I think every day he’s getting closer to it.”
- On the possibility of shutting Morgan down for the game against Michigan State at Crisler on March 3rd: “We miss him quite a bit. I think with a game Sunday, and then we don’t play again for eight days, that will give us time to gauge what he’s able to do. … I’ll know more. We’ll also consider that for getting him back healthy. He was so anxious to come back in the Indiana game and those things. You’ve got to trust how a young man feels, but it probably didn’t assist in his recovery.”
- On Glenn Robinson III’s mindset at this point in the season: “He’s a freshman playing basketball and he’s doing the best that he can do right now. He’s a wonderful young man who’s learning all the time. … He’s doing fine. He hasn’t had some of the opportunities. People have shut things down.”
- On Tim Hardaway Jr. apologizing to fans on Twitter: “I think Tim felt really bad. I thought Tim was playing as good as any player in the country going into that game, and I think he had a bad game and he felt bad about it. So, he wanted to put that out there that he really felt bad about it. You’ve got to respect him for the fact that he’s passionate and that young man loves Michigan. He felt really bad for all our Michigan fans and for his teammates.”
- On considering playing Robinson at the 3 in order to open up more plays for him: “The only problem now is that people are defending him differently. He plays off residual stuff that we do. … People are playing him differently and he’s not having the same opportunities. … he’s learning how to play when it’s really physical. … What is he comfortable with? Right now he’s really comfortable being an athlete, a slasher, an offensive rebounder, and he’s been playing against 22-year-old men every night. It’s reality. He’s young, and he’s playing against really, really experienced players.”
- On Penn State: “Losing (Tim) Frazier was huge for them at the beginning. They’re getting better at playing without him, (DJ) Newbill had a great game last night. They do a great job at taking care of the basketball, their field goal percentage defense is good. … They’re a Big Ten team and they’re playing everybody tough.”
- On using Friday night’s Crisler dedication ceremony to reach out to former Michigan players: “It’s been a great focus for us. This William Davidson Player Development Center, the Crisler Center, we’re trying to make this a home for all our former players. This is where they could come back to at any time. Before, where would you come back to? Would you come back and sit in the tunnel, at the old Crisler? Where do you go? You need to be able to look at the memorabilia and the video boards and show their families, saying, ‘See? That was me on that team.’ There’s some healing that needs to be done as well, along the line.”