John Beilein was available to speak with the media following Michigan’s 75-67 win over Iowa on Wednesday night at the Crisler Center. You can watch the full interview using the embedded media players below, or read notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “As I’ve said after the last few wins, especially Saturday, we just beat a real good team. We’re really pleased about it. I feel pleased with the way we responded again. I think in parts of that game we took their best shot when they used their length inside and confused us defensively by running a man, zone switching in the middle of possessions. Really, that made our guys think. We weren’t flawless. We figured it out just enough. It was a great atmosphere I think even because of the snow, a late-arriving crowd because of the snow, I think. I felt charged up and our team was really charged up by this win.”
- On Spike Albrecht starting the game: “How do you think he handled it? He handle it pretty good? Seven assists, zero turnovers. We got the call yesterday morning that Derrick (Walton) had a temperature and flu-like systems. Obviously he went to see his doctor and we just kept him away from everybody all day. He didn’t even come to practice to see the game plan. The fever broke, he felt good today, at least enough to give us a minute or two. But Spike was fine. Really pleased with the way he played. The biggest assist of the game was over the top when their zone had us confused, over the top to Glenn (Robinson III) was one of the bigger plays this year.”
- On being 2-0 in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of the season: “You know I’m so boring in this. I don’t even look at it. I know Iowa’s good, and we beat Iowa. But forget about Wisconsin, forget about the next opponent – we just beat Iowa. When we look at it at the end, and Wisconsin, and Iowa and Michigan State are all in the NCAA tournament, whoever’s after that will be in the NCAA tournament, you’ll think, we beat some really good teams. We just keep growing from it. I’m really pleased. What is this eight in a row? That’s good stuff.”
- On his team’s defense, setting the pace of the game: “Our defensive field goal percentage just seems like it’ll never go down. People are just getting some easy buckets here and there because we’re playing small and people may be shooting over the top of us, but it gives us an advantage offensively. I thought the pace was good. It’s almost 20 points below what they’ve been scoring. We ran when we wanted to run. I’ve got a lot of trust in this team, that they really understand what the plan is. Nik (Stauskas’) three, when we were up seven late, with a minute and some to go? I loved it because it was a dagger. Maybe a few years ago, I would have pulled that one back out, or I would have been mad at Nik for taking it. It was great. If it goes in, it’s over. We still had to hang on. I liked that pace today.”
- On Jordan Morgan: “This is the old Jordan who we all saw. Not only that, he’s sitting in our offices during the day, he’s around our guys, he’s messaging our guys. The leadership right now, I didn’t foresee this coming. You have Mitch (McGary) and you have Jon (Horford), and then all of a sudden he’s got his shot. He’s been so team-oriented all year long, even when he was playing few minutes. All of a sudden, here’s a great lesson in front of him. You never know how things are going to turn out. Really proud of him. Love that kid.”
- On being surprised by Nik Stauskas: “I’ve watched him two years in practice. I watch him ever day, and he just has that ability right now that’s very rare to get his own shot, to get to the rim, to make foul shots, to draw fouls. I don’t know if I ever get surprised too much. I love his growth. You know what I am surprised by? For a shooter and a scorer, he’s really embraced defense. He did a great job on Aaron White in the first half. He got a foul early and then came back and played pretty good defense.”
- On his team’s rebounding: “That was my greatest fear: that it was going to be another Arizona 17-rebound game that you just can’t recover from. We did a great job of playing one-on-one in the post. Not ball-staring in the post but staying locked in on the rebounder. When the post missed, we were locked in to our guys. That is a great credit to Glenn Robinson. He did a great job of keeping guys off. (Melsahn) Basabe in the first half was all over it. That was really their six points. How many offensive rebounds? They only got four in the second half, and a couple of them were long rebounds. Rebounding is not exactly a science because the ball just goes at a different angle. The 50-50 ball were what we really wanted to concentrate on today.