COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — Following Michigan’s 66-56 loss to Maryland, John Beilein met with media and discussed the Wolverines’ poor shooting night, the use of the zone, and the coach’s rule to bench players with two fouls in the first half.
Opening statement: “I really love this Maryland team. They have a thing you don’t really find a lot today with four, five seniors — all they want to do is win. They have a great plan. They guard you just well enough and they have a lot of people who can put points on the board. It’s good for college basketball, and they’re a great representation of how you should play the right way.
“With us, I was really proud of our kids. It’s the same old story. We’re working really hard, but not quite there to beat a team like Maryland, especially on the road.”
On poor shooting: “That is the biggest question: Where do we go? We tried pounding it inside a few times and that did not work really well today. I think we did get a bucket out of that. It is tough to dial up certain situations. It’s a work in progress.
“I loved what Zak did today off the dribble. He’s starting to see people better. But we have to make shots. Spike had a couple go in and out — might’ve changed the game. But it’s one of the staples of what we do: We have to shoot the ball well in order to win.”
On sitting Irvin, Abdur-Rahkman with two fouls: “I thought the last three minutes of the first half were really key. That was the big difference, that 9-0 run they went on. We couldn’t answer that — we could’ve on a couple occasions. We missed some shots and they made some. You’re going to have those runs sometimes, especially when you’re playing against good teams. That was a big difference in the game.
On how set in stone the two-foul rule is: “If there’s two minutes in the game, there’s not too many coaches that are going to put anybody with two fouls, so it’s sort of a moot point today. If you’re down by 10 in the first half and all of a sudden you get a second foul and you’re down by 15, then you put them in. But in the last couple of minutes, you don’t care which way it’s going to go. Nobody plays a guy with two fouls at the end. Then you’re going to lose him for the second half. The last three minutes were key, but that’s not going to make a big difference subbing at that time anyhow. That’s my thinking.”
On Maryland answering runs with three-pointers: “It is hard, but you have to respect the other team. … Our guys had some problems guarding their athletes, their skill-level today.”
On the 1-3-1 zone: “I don’t want to give secrets to the zone away, but they did a great job of executing, making an extra pass, finding the extra guy. We didn’t have the same type of heat on the ball in the second half. We just have to continue to look at it, but it was so effective in the first half. They’re one of few really good teams that has a negative assist-turnover ratio. Felt that maybe they’d throw it to us a little bit. And they did and then once they felt more comfortable, they got really good at executing.”