Michigan coach John Beilein joined the Big Ten coaches teleconference Monday morning to discuss his team’s win over Ohio State, the Wolverines’ practice schedule ahead of a tough road test at Maryland, Derrick Walton’s health, and more.
Opening statement: “We had a really good win yesterday over a very good Ohio State team. It was much-needed. We’ve really been battling these last couple of weeks and getting better, even though the scoreboard didn’t necessarily reflect it. Yesterday, I think we saw some of our hard work pay off.”
On having time off: “My plan right now is, they get today off and have a full-scale practice tomorrow. Go as hard as we can, as long as we can tomorrow. And then Wednesday back it off again so that tomorrow would be a get-better day, 100%. And then Wednesday would be sort of a rehab, rest day. And then we go into our normal two-day prep. Spike needs some rest, and some of the freshman need some rest, but then some of the other guys need a lot of work. We’ll grind like this all the way through the end of the year.”
On Derrick Walton: “We’ll find out more. The first thing is, ‘Can you walk without pain?’ That, we’re hopeful he’s having no pain right now as he gets used to [being without the boot]. You can imagine there’s a difficulty of walking when you haven’t walked normal in four weeks now. He’s trying to get used to that, and next will be running, and next will be basketball action. We’re bringing him along slowly. Very hopeful that he can join us on the court again before too long.”
On relying on man-to-man vs. Ohio State: “We went into the game prepared to play both man and zone. Based on the numbers in the first half we thought man-to-man was fine. We showed them a few sets of zone in the second half. … I’m glad we have all three. I just wish we were better at each one of them. Yesterday, man-to-man seemed to work best for us, so we just stayed with it.”
On shooting so well early: “We only took a few shots that I thought to myself, that was not a good shot. The ball rolled in a couple times, too, to be honest with you — the ball rolled around the rim and came back in. I think we’re getting much better at, first of all, passing the ball so that people can shoot it better, whether it’s a layup or whether it’s a shot from distance. Second of all, our kids have worked hard on their shooting. It has not been a strength all year long, and it’s always been a strength. The basket maybe was a little bit bigger once it started to go in. As I’ve told you before, it gets contagious.”