Michigan coach John Beilein was available to speak with the media following his team’s win over Indiana. Beilein talked about Jordan Morgan’s senior night, what sort of adjustments he made in order to play Indiana better in the second half, moving forward from a Big Ten Championship and much more. You can watch the full interview using the embedded media player below. You can also read notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “It was a great evening. So many things coming together at the right time against a really good Indiana team. We really have trouble guarding a team with that type of quickness. They really spread us out. Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey, who I got to coach this summer, were spectacular. But at the same time, I can’t say enough about the young man who just left (Jordan Morgan). His willpower over his four, five years, it came to fruition today. Our team was sort of like that the whole game. Not many things went well for us. At the beginning, the ball was bouncing their way, they were making great plays. All of a sudden, we just stuck in there, just like Jordan has over his five years. Just go on to the next play. So I’m really proud of our guys. That’s one happy locker room. We did celebrate, we did celebrate out there, what we’ve really been waiting for since Tuesday to celebrate. Our kids are ecstatic with the way this season has ended. I can’t thank our administration and everyone enough to put that together. I had no idea all that was going on, and it’s just great for the fans to stick around and see a tribute to a really special team.”
- On Jordan Morgan’s play early in the game: “They came in, they started small and they were going to switch ball screens. When they switched, they did it a lot in Indiana but we did not have the right angles. We’d been working on that the last couple of days, how to get the right angles. It’s not as easy easy if you just try to throw it in there when there’s a mismatch, but he had small forwards on him, he had little guards on him and he just turned around and put it in. He used his pivots really well.”
- On Glenn Robinson III hitting a huge three late: “If you know how many times he practices that right corner jumpshot — he burns a lot, he goes back door a lot, but that was one, I mean, as soon as it left his hands I knew it was in. Because we shoot extra together, he shoots a lot on his own, he’s worked really hard at getting his shot so he follows through the whole way. That was textbook. It couldn’t have happened to a better kid.”
- On if this was the longest stretch he’s deployed the 1-3-1 while at Michigan: “It’s not the longest since I’ve been here at Michigan. I think we played Duke here and we played it a whole game one time. But it’s the longest in a while. Similar to probably Florida State this year. We just couldn’t stay in front of them. They’re quick and they have a good plan and given the new way the game is called, it was our only recourse. We couldn’t stay in front of them. We did play man-to-man when we had to, but at the same time, that was the only way I thought at that time we’d win the game. Credit my assistants — they continue to talk me into that, because I hate giving up the threes. They didn’t hit too many, just two I think.”
- On picking up the technical foul: “When was the last time I had a technical? Can someone google that one? (learns it was at Michigan State in 2012). So two years ago. It’s difficult for the coaches right now. The new hand check rules, the charge rules, it’s just been such a big change. It’s just hard to play defense. We had three really good officials out there that I respect. I do think that, at the same time, you do not see me argue with officials a lot, so when I do have something to say — I would have preferred a warning, didn’t happen. Maybe it helped us.”
- On the message going into the game: “A big thing that we stress to our young men, whether you’ve got a paper due or you got a practice, finish it strong. It’s been a clear message since we’ve been here — we’re going to finish things. It’s a great opportunity. Yeah, you’re in good shape, but let’s finish this. Particularly for Jordan Morgan. Two entities: Jordan Morgan and this huge crowd. They’ve come through a terrible winter, there’s 12,707. Every game that they’re here the students are waiting outside. Finish this thing the right way. And of course, for the guys in the room it would be great to celebrate a championship here with all our fans. I had a pretty good hunch the fans would stick around if we had a win.”
- On the slow start: “We watched a couple of shots. We could not get our guys to drive to the basket and land on-balance. They’ve got a great shot-blocker back there and we were just throwing shots up there. It’s an emphasis in practice like crazy, but in games we really have trouble doing it. I think we had a turnover. They can put points on quickly. … they can do a lot of things. The breaks didn’t go our way, but we had a big enough lead to survive.”