2013-14 Season

Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference

Michigan vs Minnesota_19It’s Monday, which means John Beilein joined the other Big Ten basketball coaches for a teleconference with the media. Beilein talked about his preparations heading into March, taking on Illinois on Tuesday and much more. You can read the full transcript of the call below. (Photo: Scott Mapes)

Opening statement: “We’re finishing our fourth game here in a 10-day stretch. We’re really pleased that we’ve been able to win three of these. We’ve been trying to get rest. There are some teams really playing well — you just listened to Bo Ryan, his team’s playing great — Illinois is is playing as well as anybody. We need to go down and play an exceptional game to get a W. Our guys are excited about the opportunities a win over Illinois would give us, and I think we’ll have great focus in today’s practice and hopefully in our Tuesday game.”

  • On preparing for the NCAA tournament: “It depends on what you did in your (conference) tournament. Sometimes, if you’re not going to win your tournament, it’s best to lose on a Friday or Saturday. Everybody’s trying to win it, make no mistake about that. But men’s basketball is a long season. And you have to make sure, if you have a Thursday game, especially if you’re on the West coast, that you’re trying to get ready and trust what you’ve been doing since October as opposed to trying to reinvent the wheel at that point. It’s all over the place about that prep. It depends on who you’re playing, as well. How complicated are they? Are they playing varied defenses, those kinds of things. So there’s a lot of thought that goes into it. You just hope you have your team ready, that they’re not too tired once the game starts. But you’re also making sure that you prepared enough.”
  • On Big Ten teams having an advantage once they play outside the Big Ten: “I think there’s truth to once you’re outside your conference and you get things going a little bit, I think there’s an advantage for every conference because you know each other so well. We watch each other, we actually get to be a lot like each other. So you get outside the conference, it’s refreshing sometimes to get someone who hasn’t scouted in the games, and sometimes it’s guys who’ve played against each other for five, 10, 15, 20 years. They know each other.”
  • On having the 1989 team around last weekend: “That was a terrific experience for all of us, and I think it was for our 89 team, as well. And we did reach out to Steve Fisher, who was busy with his great San Diego State team, and some of his staff. It was really good because many of the players returned for a Friday night reception, where we had the opportunity for them to talk to the team. I think that was special and inspiring. Then to have them in attendance at that game, with a sellout crowd while the students were still on break, it was a very very good Saturday night in Ann Arbor.”
  • On what his team learned from losing at Indiana earlier this season: “It’s the same thing you get out of every game. You lose at home or away, and it’s a tremendous learning experience if you can put value into what can be taught or what can be learned during that time. I can’t be too specific on exactly what we learned during that time, but I know they were terrific, Yogi (Ferrell) was terrific, I do recall that. Their speed, their quickness, their ability to rebound is tremendous, but as you said, I’m concentrating on Illinois right now.”
  • On Jordan Morgan wrapping up his career: “He was one of the original foundation players when we first arrived in Ann Arbor. We really felt it was important to get foundation guys. They may not be at the top of recruiting lists but they were great guys to establish a culture as we continue to recruit and would develop in time into guys who could play at this level. He was a young birthday, so he started class here in the fall at 17 years old. So it was one of those things where he really bought into our culture as far as what we’re trying to teach and he’s been a great role model as a student-athlete. He’ll have his engineering degree and a master’s in engineering when he finishes up this May.”
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