Following the Michigan basketball team’s 74-52 win over Le Moyne, Michigan coach John Beilein spoke to the media about coaching against his son, using his depth, shuffling lineups and a shorter shot clock.
“We’re still trying to figure out how you put that all together. You have two teams are playing each other, running the same plays, we’re calling out the plays to each other. It was just a workout in some ways, both of us (thinking) let’s play somebody else, let’s wait to the film to try and get better and that’s what we learned. We tried to get a lot of guys even minutes and see how they reacted. We saw some real good things and we have several young men that are still, what I’m saying is they’re close, but they’re still in the process a little bit slower and they can’t make a quick read on something, and we’ve got to drill that in and drill that in.
“For some of them, it’s so easy, and for some of them it takes more time. I loved our defensive numbers at halftime — I hated our offensive numbers. Second half, it flipped on us, the offenses for both teams were much better, probably because the defense wasn’t. So we’ll learn from it. I am so excited, more so than anybody in this room, to get up at about 6 a.m. and watch a whole bunch of video tomorrow so that I can be ready for our 12 o’ clock video session. Because we’ve got to get better.”
On open looks:
“Yeah 3-for-15 in the first half and we had like five of them that were wide, wide open. But that’s going to happen sometimes, that’s why it’s important for us to find other ways to score. We throw the ball to the post, we drive the ball better, so it’s going to be a challenge. When we get Zak Irvin out there it’s going to be a whole ‘nother component for us we have to put together. But we have to be able to score in other ways than Caris and Derrick. I loved the way Duncan played today. Defensively he’s still — he played all zone at Williams, so he’s still learning how to play that man defense really well, but I love what he gives this offense.”
On son Patrick Beilein’s team scoring out of timeouts:
“Did he score out of the timeouts? I didn’t look at that. I’m sure that he’ll remember that, this stuff will probably not happen again, but that’s something he can remember.”
On talking to Patrick before the game:
“It was funny, I asked the question to my staff, ‘What is appropriate playing against your son? Is it a hug, or is it a handshake? (Michigan coach) Jim Harbaugh actually texted me today and said ‘Enjoy the moment’ and I said ‘I know this is your territory here.’ But I should have asked him ‘What do I do before the game? Is it a handshake or a hug?’ I think I sort of did both.”
On getting emotional during the game:
“No, I had no moments like that — I was trying to get my team to play better. You know that’s going to be the issue for me every time, forever. Kathleen could’ve been on the other bench and I would’ve been trying to get my team to play better.”
On the shorter shot clock:
“Yeah there were a couple times where we really noticed it and thought ‘Wow, we’ve really got to get something going.’ I think there are times in our offense that we’ll take an extra dribble, we’ll take an extra minute to set up that we can’t do. We’ve got to shorten down that dead time so that we can really get into things quicker and read it and cut better. We’ve got to work on getting comfortable with that 30-second clock, but I think we got rushed a couple times.
“We might have to go back to (practicing with a 25-second clock) because there’s things that take us three seconds to do when we don’t have that. We have to pound the ball and keep moving.”
On testing out lineups:
“We’re just trying to figure it out and see what works. When Zak (Irvin), hopefully he comes back soon, but when he comes back, what are you going to do when Zak comes back? D.J. (Wilson) and Kam (Chatman) are going to split those 40, and we knew we were going to make sure Moe (Wagner) got in there, and then split the other side (between Mark Donnal and Ricky Doyle).
“One thing you may have noticed today is that if you get lost in a defensive assignment and you get a blow-by, take a seat. We have that luxury that we haven’t had before
“Yesterday we had nine groups together and I try to manipulate the lineup to see what I want to see. But this is a puzzle right now, but I’m not puzzled, I’m extremely interested in what we want to do. There’s a lot of pieces to this puzzle we’ve still got to figure out — we’re not close.”
“I thought they played really well together. They missed a couple of defensive assignments, which they’ve got to be defensive shut down guys right now, I mean they’ve got to shut people down and that’s got to be the mentality. But, you know, in the past couple years, we didn’t have that luxury. Last year, if one of them had a blow-by, I wouldn’t have gone to Mohammed-Ali (Abdur-Rahkman) because he wasn’t ready to do it either. Now guys like that are a little bit better. I will not have a quick hook on offense unless they blow up a timeout play, but defensively, we’ve got to hold them accountable. But to have them together is good. They can be elite defenders, I think that’s there mentality.”
On opening next season at Le Moyne:
“That will not be happening. For sure. Like I said, this is probably a one-time thing, and we did it just to repay Le Moyne, get Patrick off to a good start and create a human interest story for you guys.”