2013-14 Season

Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference

Michigan vs Northwestern_7John Beilein joined the rest of the Big Ten coaches on the conference’s weekly teleconference on Monday morning. You can read notes and quotes from the full interview below. (Photo: Scott Mapes)

Opening statement: “We’re thrilled that we were able to start out in this conference with a 2-0 record. We know that the early-season victories are important, although they don’t define your season. We’re glad we could get out of the gate at 2-0, and now we go on the road again, play a late, late game at Nebraska on Thursday. We’ve got to do everything we can to answer a challenge again. Love the way our team responded yesterday to the success we had at Minnesota with a win — responding to success is sometimes more difficult than responding to adversity. So I love the way we came out yesterday and played against Northwestern.”

  • On having assistant coach LaVall Jordan play on the scout team and dealing with other quirks due to injuries: “I think the other thing that has happened, we added Brad Anlauf as a football walk-on was a good addition. He’s a tough kid, he’s athletic. He’s like a decathlete, he plays all these sports. He’s really added a dimension too of guarding Nik (Stauskas) every day or guarding Glenn (Robinson III) every day and being physical with them. That has really helped us. With Cole McConnell with an injured foot, and with Mitch down, we’re down to 13 players, so you’ve got to have those five to give us some competitive games in practice.”

  • On the difference between this year’s scout team and last year’s: Andrew Dakich and Sean Lonergan right now are showing the progress right now that we saw from Eso Akunnes and Corey Person and Josh Bartelstein. Guys who are not on scholarship but are able to go in and get better over their four years. We have workouts for them on game days, we have weights for them on game days, just trying to get them better. And then Mark Donnal in practice, if it was any other year he’d be in there playing. But with having the three guys in there right now, it still does not make sense for him to share minutes when he’s a young 18 years old. I feel like that team is sort of coming together. But when Vall joins that team, they take another step up.”
  • On the competitiveness of the Big Ten: “The more experienced coaches who have been here for a while could tell you more, but this is my seventh year. I don’t know if it’s just me but it just seems that any given night, anybody can beat anyone. The strength of the league, I think when it’s all said and done, will be the top conference or one of the top two or three conferences. It wasn’t like this seven years ago — it was very top-heavy. There are still some programs rebuilding who have new coaches, and I’ve been there, getting used to new coaches is difficult too, both ways. But right now, there are so many programs — there’s 10 without new coaches. That whole idea right now of having your culture set — there are a lot of different teams against whom you’d better be on your A game or you’re not going to win.”
  • On Michigan hitting its stride now that he knows Mitch McGary is out indefinitely: “The ultimate bad news was losing Mitch, a tremendous player. He showed signs this summer in our workouts, and obviously we saw him last March, of having the ability to just dominate games with his hustle, with his rebounding, scoring, passing. Losing him is bad news. The good news is at least now we know he’s out. And now we can move forward. We had two plans going all fall, and we weren’t great at either one of them because we didn’t know which one to emphasize. In our action, all five guys are involved an awful lot. Mitch, we just want him to get healthy now. We look at Jon Horford, we look at Jordan Morgan and we look at Max Bielfeldt, well there you are guys, you’ve got a chance to play right now so go out and get it done. And they are.”
  • On coaching Derrick Walton: “There’s that fine line between being right there, step-by-step with him coaching him there every minute — and what comes with that coaching is some critiquing and tough love you have to show them as you instruct them. At the same time, you just have to say, he’s going to learn that, we can’t change that today so don’t get upset about it, just work on it in a daily manner. He’s been very resilient with it, and I think in the last couple games he’s shown that.”

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