Following a longer-than-usual postgame meeting with his team, Michigan coach John Beilein addressed the media about the 72-54 loss to Iowa.
Beilein said the Wolverines were surprised to see the Hawkeyes play so much 2-3 zone and that Michigan may have gotten ‘average at everything’ since it has been trying to improve so many different facets of its game.
Opening statement: “They were very, very good, and we weren’t nearly as efficient or even close to being good, for a lot of reasons — most of it just having a bad day. Overwhelmed with their timing, their talent, their length, their size. Close game until they went zone. We got a few good shots, but it really surprised us. We practiced it a little bit, but they hadn’t played a lot of zone.”
On when Iowa switched to a 2-3 zone: “I don’t think it’s as much about them as us. They haven’t played a lot of zone. It’s a good zone, but we have areas where we just have to get better at. Some of it might be schematic, other ones is just seeing spots that are open, get into spots where you can shoot it. We weren’t very efficient.
“I told our guys, it’s the Syracuse length that also got in the way. Not the quickness of Eastern Michigan, but the length, like Syracuse.
“They played off Spike just enough. He’s got to move in closer, he’s got to look like he’s going to shoot it. Caris LeVert was a guy we got in there a lot. He’s a good passer in the zone, or finding people who are cutting into the zone. We missed that today, his vision.”
On defensive issues: “We were trying to find anything we can. I think it’s provided us a couple victories. You get just average at everything. … We were just very average at everything, and they were very good.”
On magnitude of loss: “You take it and you wrinkle it up and you throw it away. And you say, ‘That game is done.’ Let’s learn as much as we can from that particular game, because we’ll see more of this in the future. I’m glad we don’t have to go to Iowa City, because if they do that to us here, let’s see what they do there.”
On being ‘average at everything’: “I run out of practice time. Yesterday we were working at the ‘2’ zone. The day before we worked at the ‘3’ zone. It gave us very little time to work at our ‘2’ zone offense. We’re just grasping for straws. That’s probably a poor word. We’re just searching really, really hard to find the best way for us to play as a team.”
On Aubrey Dawkins: “He’s recognizing things just a little bit quicker. He didn’t block out on the very, very first play. They got a lay-in. We have talked nothing but blockouts since the Michigan State game. He’s growing in some areas that it’s small bits right now but he’s been successful. … He’s gained confidence that he can at least put the ball in the basket. Now he’s got to grow in some other areas.”
On Kameron Chatman’s first half: “He’s got to try to do more with less and just try to keep his game simplified. I’m really happy for him that he was able to knock down the in-between jump shot to start things out. … The speed of the game for all our freshman has been difficult.”