Team 99

Video: John Beilein recaps hard fought win over Detroit

John Beilein met with media Thursday night to discuss his team’s 71-62 win over Detroit. The Michigan coach explained his decision to turn to a veteran-laden lineup for the second half and talked about why the Titans were difficult to defend. Watch Beilein’s press conference with selected quotes after the jump.

Opening statement: “This game was exactly what we expected. A team that was going to come out and pressure us, try to run us out of stuff. And then see how we could handle it. Didn’t anticipate the five-guard approach that Ray used, and it worked really well. I’m proud of the way our guys made continuous adjustments in the game to their offensive attacks. With all being said, they shot 43% and only scored 62 points. That’s a pretty good day defensively. Offensively, when they sped us up in the beginning of the game, we didn’t play with the poise that we expect of our guys.”

On leaning on veterans: “Absolutely. Yesterday, in practice, I saw the same thing. Our scout team really pressured us. … They didn’t turn it over as much, and defensively, they spread you out. Both of those things were key.”

On 10-point run by LeVert: “They came out in the first half trying to really go no catch with him. That’s something new. … Their no-catch defense on him gave us a little bit of adjustment period, and then, once we found some ways to get him the ball, he was really effective.”

“He’s one of those guys that’s multi-dimensional. He’s so quick he can get into the paint. He shoots it very well, and you really can see the assists. That was big for us. We had — and probably a good thing — we had probably six three-pointers go in and out. And that’s a good thing because we now we know that’s going to happen sometimes. You still have to win with your defense. As this year goes on, the coaching staff, Caris, we have to find creative ways to use him so that he can still be a big part of the offense.”

On poise under duress: “That was good for us to see. Probably the biggest reason we kept so many of the young guys off the floor and kept the experience in there. There are certain ways you can learn. Sometimes you throw them in there, you throw them in there and you learn through real adversity, like losses. We’re going to have to pick and choose and learn in practice as much as we learn on the floor.”

On choosing when to turn to veterans: “I didn’t like the way the second half started. I just felt that they were going to come out of halftime and just go after us, and we needed to withstand us. When I took Kam out, we just said, we’re just riding with this and see what it does. It’s been very effective in practice. As we grow the young guys, we still got to try and win games.”

“We thought we were poised, but we weren’t. We just got sped up.”

On driving the basket: “Several times we went into the basket today to try to draw a foul instead of making the darn basket. And that didn’t work very well. So you’re always trying to get to the foul line, you’re trying to get their best players on the bench. I think we should use more of those advantages in the second half, whether it be my play calling or not.”

On tie game with 5:40 to play: “Did I look panicked? I might have been. I knew, when they went five guards, this is incredibly hard to guard. … That was difficult for us to guard. [Juwan Howard Jr.] is a guy, if you give him space, he gets buckets.”

On Zak Irvin’s shot selection: “One of the things we’re working on a lot is shot fake, because you are a shooter and you just don’t drive. I didn’t see that in the first half … but he’s to continue to work on that game so that he can continue to get into the lane.”

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