John Beilein was on hand to speak with the media following his team’s nail-biter of a third Big Ten victory, over Nebraska in Lincoln. Beilein talked about what was going through his head over the last few minutes, what he saw on Nebraska’s final possession and more. You can watch the press conference using the embedded media player below or read notes and quotes after the jump.
(Video by Pat Radigan of Corn Fed Sports.)
Opening statement: “What a basketball game. If you watch these games, last night watching Minnesota and Penn State and all the other games that we’ve had, there’s so many games that are just going to be like this. Tim’s got a great team here. This is a team that’s going to be really good, as they as they stay together, stay unified, keep playing together, they really got a lot of talent and he’ll do the right job with them. We’re really fortunate to get this win. We shot 62 percent from the floor, couldn’t stop them, thank goodness we shot the ball very well. Let’s have some quick questions, I’d love to have some, also knowing that we have a long flight back.”
- On the block call on Nebraska that Derrick Walton drew that could have gone both ways: “I love the way it went. The block/charge right now is very confusing everywhere in the country. I’m sure the people who make these rules are going to find ways to make it better and make it clearer to understand. I’m glad we finished it.”
- On Walton’s confidence going up for the shot late: “It was actually something he’s been working on, we’ve been working on, that particular play. He just took it right at him and scored. He had some other options, he didn’t look at those other options. He looked to score. … That was one of the options: go in and score. That was one of the options. If it blew up at all, we were going to call timeout. With that amount of time on the clock, we wanted to see if we could get them quick before they could set.
- On Jordan Morgan: “(His game) was really good. We’ve seen this, you all saw this, anyone who’s been with us when we won the Big Ten championship and when he had that good year three years ago. He can get things done. He just needs to have confidence. It’s him one night, it’s Jon (Horford) the next night. Who knows who’s going to get this done? But it was really good.”
- On Morgan’s effectiveness in the pick-and-roll: “Because he’s rolling really hard, and he’s one of our better ball-screen defenders. He helps us both ways, on offense and defense. But finishing around the rim and catching the ball around the rim, he was really good.
- On the last couple minutes of the game: “We wanted to make the foul shot, and then we don’t do that, and then you’re going away one way or another with a one-point game. The ball was up, it looked like it had a chance, the next one looked like it had an even better chance, we’ve been on the other end of that last year, with a Big Ten championship on the line. Fortunately, it went our way.”
- On the execution early in the Big Ten season: “I think they’re getting better at understanding the timing. Those ones that we do run on timeouts, I think the coaches do a great job of getting the pace and the space to it correct. That was big that we could do that a couple times. The big issue was trying to stop them. They’ve got a lot of guys who can drive the ball. If you look at the Arizona game, the Stanford game, the Minnesota game, this game, there are a lot of games that have gone down to the last buzzer.”
- On the last 10 seconds of the game: “We wanted to look at their formation and see what they had, just tell them the defense we were going to be in and their tendency. Bacari (Alexander) did a great job with the scout. What their tendency was to run at that time. We figured they were going to take the ball at the basket through a variety of screens. Just stay in front of them make them score the ball over what we call a walled chest. Do not reach, don’t put them at the foul line, make them score over you.”
- On if Nebraska ran what he was expecting: ” there are a whole bunch of things they can do out of that formation. a whole bunch of things. We had no idea what they were going to do, other than, here’s where they are, there’s a left and right play, we need to be in our gaps and at the same time switch screens and stay in front of people. They can run five or six different things, and they chose some dribble penetration.”