At times Tuesday, John Beilein wasn’t quite sure what his players were thinking defensively.
Michigan allowed 1.4 points per possession in an 80-67 loss to Michigan State, and, after the Wolverines fell behind early, they couldn’t get the defensive stops they needed to mount a comeback.
Watch what Beilein had to say about the game, and check out notable quotes below.
Opening statement: “They’re really playing at a high level. I think you all look at them and see they’re going to be very good down the stretch in February and March because they have really good players, a really good coach, they have a great system. They certainly showed that today.”
On defensive issues: “They got an awful lot of layups. I mean, 62%. It might have been a little bit closer game but Trice came out and hit those threes to start the game. There was two plays, all of a sudden the shot clock is going off and they’re laying it in because guys just went and did something. I can’t explain what we do sometimes when we just leave a guy or two guys guard the same guy. I think a lot had to do with Dawson, if there’s a miss he puts it in. He did a tremendous job of that.”
On stopping Denzel Valentine: “He was going to pick us apart because of the way he sees the floor. … He had six points. They had 80. Sometimes, it’s not him scoring the points. It’s the assist or the assist that leads the assist.”
On Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas being in the NBA: “I’m really happy for them. I hope they have incredible, long NBA careers. It’s an opportunity for some freshmen to play early. It wasn’t the plan, but the plans change and we have to adjust. I’m not bitter. It is sweet for them. We just have to retool again. I was thinking about that today. You’re building this house, you’re building this house, and then all of a sudden the ivy, you have to replace the ivy. All of a sudden the screws are coming loose and you have to rebuild it again.”
On Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman being aggressive: “He got in foul trouble again with them, and that’s tough for us right now — and God bless our guys that come off [the bench] there. I love the way he came out in the second half, but he couldn’t be aggressive in the first half. He only played a few minutes. We did go against our rule and play him with [two] fouls there just to try to keep it closer, but it’s tough. He’s still learning on the fly, too, for all the good things he’s done.”
On Derrick Walton’s potential return: “You all know, I am not a doctor. He’s been trying, but it hasn’t gone as well as we’d hoped.”
On positives: “We’ll try to find every silver lining we can in this.”