In the second most-watched press conference of the day, John Beilein met with media following his team’s 73-65 overtime win over Illinois. He discussed Aubrey Dawkins and Ricky Doyle’s performances, using the zone defense and more.
Check out his press conference in the media player or read select quotes below.
Opening Statement: “If we hadn’t messed up the last two seconds of the first half, I think we would have felt better going into halftime. But at the same time, we came out, and 13 down with 11 to go and got a win.”
On Aubrey Dawkins: “That’s huge for us to get guys that can make shots like that. With most freshman, it’s not matter of making shots. It’s a matter of playing some defense early in their career. As he continues to learn so much about defense, we haven’t been able to get him in there as much. … It’s huge just to have another guy that can stretch the floor for us.”
On getting confidence back: “To see the freshmen surrounding their teammates, it just pumps everybody up and gives us so much confidence.”
On big games from freshmen: “I think one of the most gratifying thing [was] many of the baskets down the stretch were scored by Ricky and Aubrey in those last 10 minutes of the game. … It was just big to have the freshmen. We always talk about outliers on our team. … Ricky has already been one in the Syracuse game. For Aubrey today, this is big. It’s good for Aubrey and it’s good for Muhammad, good for Kam. They look at that and say, ‘That could be me next time.’ ”
On being down 13: “We’re just trying to keep everyone confident, move on to the next play. We put Aubrey in because we said, ‘We just gotta get another guy in who can shoot the ball.’ Derrick was not having a great day.”
On the zone looks: “We’re working to have our defense be a weapon in several areas. … It would be good if we can be really confident about playing multiple defenses at a time with this particular team.”
On players coming off the bench: “Few people can do it really well. That was very encouraging from Aubrey today. I think we’ll see him more in that role moving forward.”
On significance of win: “I know how difficult it is to win on the road. If you don’t win a home game like that, it’s going to be very difficult going forward. The big thing is, it gives us so much bounce in our step to have great practices. You grow in both victory and defeat, but the confidence that you need is really huge, and I think we got a big dose of it today.”