John Beilein was available to speak with the media following Michigan’s 79-60 win over Wayne State for its second exhibition victory of the season. The coach addressed the Wolverines’ hot shooting, the improved defense of his freshmen and much more. You can watch the full presser using the embedded media player below and listen to notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “Wayne State played well and there were three men down from their starting lineup. It tells you how good that team can be. It tell you how far we have to go, as well. But I think that they really played great defense. Playing Wayne State, you get the same thing every time: quick talented players and guards. Boy, they really played well today, and we had to have a great first half to get some separation. It’s good for us to play a team like that that’s going to challenge us defensively like they did today.”
- On Wayne State winning the rebounding battle: “We were experimenting a bit here and there, but we’re so spread out in our offense, they were spreading us out with four out, one in. I think our guys have to learn that just because you’re on the perimeter doesn’t mean you don’t have to get in there. They were boxing out and we’re leaving Jon (Horford) down there to rebound, and they were crashing through with four people.”
- On what he thinks of the progression of his team so far: “I like the progress that we’re making. I really like the progress we’re making, but the competition will continue to change and we have to rise to the occasion. There some things we know we need to work hard on, but a 19, 20 point win isn’t doom and gloom, either. It’s a good way to keep going in the right direction.”
- On having so many shooters, with six players hitting 3-pointers: “They were so small that the only way we could play anyhow was to go out and play with only one big in there. And we’re going to have four shooters out there. So that was good just to be able to spread the court. To see Zak come off and do that is really good for us, I think, and good for him as well.”
- On experimenting with lineups: “We could go in to this changing starting lineups all the time. Look at the personnel, see what they’re doing. The experimentation will probably continue sometime into the near future, but not too much longer. We’re going to look at what are the best roles everyone can have on the team.”
- On Zak Irvin: “Zak, whether he’s spotting up in the corner or whether he’s on the wing or out front, if he stands there people will find him. Just having that one extra shooter — a little bit like when we would play small and have (Zack) Novak out there, it’s that one extra shooter out there who can really impact an offense and get to the rim better.”
- On Caris LeVert: “I want to get him into the game as much as we can and get him in early. The other thing is, Caris on defense is really helping us. So yeah, he’s learning more and more what he can do. When he changes speeds, he gets shot out of a cannon a couple of times. That’s really big for us. Just love coaching the kid. He’s going to play a lot of minutes.”