After his team’s 64-57 upset over Ohio State, John Beilein began his postgame press conference with a lighthearted joke.
Check out what he had to say in the video player, with select quotes below.
Opening statement: “Really a good, highly charged game. I’m really proud of the way that our guys performed. I have a lot of admiration for the Ohio State program, and the way they just continue to play hard, play well. Their defense is just outstanding. I really feel good that we were able to win the game despite the great plan they have and the players and the coaching staff is excellent.
“Really, good win for us, and one that’s really much needed. We have a tradition of not singing the fight song if we don’t win. So that locker room has been starved for the fight song, it seems for a couple of weeks. Our guys sang it with a lot of gusto today.”
On veterans demanding a win: “Spike and Zak, we had nine assists and no turnovers. Just think about that. Zak had five [assists] after six games and he gets four in one game. This is a thing we’ve addressed with him. It’s not a will not, it’s a sort of a thing that was a cannot. He didn’t see the floor. … Zak Irvin’s attitude during this adversity has been tremendous, and I think it paid off today.
“We had 13 assists. We haven’t had 13 assists in a long time. I know that’s a stat a lot of you don’t value as much as I do, but it means you made two people guard you and you got somebody open.”
On contributions from Chatman, Dakich: “They’ve been working so hard in practice. Kam continues to make progress. … Where some people may be dialing back in their practice right now, we’re actually practicing more with those guys because they need this fundamental work. We know when the season’s over, we get two hours a week for a couple weeks and then limited in the summer. So trying to use every valuable minute. Kam, it certainly showed off today. He was very efficient with his game, except maybe the last turnover.”
On defending D’Angelo Russell: “I thought Muhammad, who, as most freshmen are, is still learning a lot about playing defense, he embraced this matchup with Russell today. He’s a tremendous player but did a great job, particularly in the first half. Played very little zone today. He was really good. He can do that. He has the athleticism to do that.”
On inside presence: “For Ricky, who’s 18, playing against these 22-year-olds, it’s a challenge. And Mark is 19. It’s a big challenge. It’s like I’m a freshman and you’re on the varsity. They both went in there and did everything they can.”
“Who would’ve thought three years ago when I was recruiting him that he’d play 40 minutes and a team as good defensively as Ohio State would be in a full denial on Spike?”
On Dakich’s three-pointer: “I’m going to give him the business because he made a three and then — it wasn’t just him — we gave up a three on the other end. There was two or three steps of celebration and then maybe relief that attributed to that. If it didn’t, I’ll make it attributed to that. He’ll never forget the moment he celebrated the first three that he’s made.”
On getting looks in the first half: “We’ve been tweaking like crazy. Probably too much. But we’re not going to be afraid to make changes as we go forward as people play us different ways. Not turning the ball over was huge for us.”
On Spike Albrecht: “Who would’ve thought three years ago when I was recruiting him that he’d play 40 minutes and a team as good defensively as Ohio State would be in a full denial on Spike? ‘Deny Spike Albrecht!’ A box and one was coming next. … Who would’ve thought that would ever happen? He sees the game like we’d like everyone to see the game.”