Michigan head coach John Beilein was pleased with his team’s performance in Lincoln, NE on Saturday afternoon and outlined how the Wolverines were able to escape with a victory.
He praised Derrick Walton’s steadfastness despite some mistakes, Duncan Robinson’s understanding of the game and his team’s late free throw shooting in the win.
On Duncan Robinson:
“He’s realizing now that people can play him a certain way and it’s his movement without the ball that’s going to be really important. He had the backdoor cut, he had a burn — there’s backdoors and burns they are two different cuts — he did both of those today. Sometimes taking the ball to the basket as well . He’s learning with all of the video and all of the Synergy that people are going to sit on him different ways and he’s got to do more than stand and wait for people to get him open.”
On the lead evaporating:
“If you’ve been watching college basketball for the shot clock and now the shorter shot clock and the three point shots. leads aren’t safe it just can go so quickly. 18 can get to 12 quick and then there’s a little spurt, then two more threes and its six. We had a couple of turnovers there that were very costly as well and then we fouled guys in transition. It just happens.”
On learning to play on the road:
“It just takes maturity. It takes time. Muhammad… We all watched Muhammad pass the ball last year, that was a key back door play and Duncan reading it. Two guys that have never played together, didn’t even know each other last year until they saw each other. Now they are responding in that great atmosphere. Things like that… to just not rely on the coach to draw something up.
“We wish we had Spike, we wish we had Caris, but these guys can’t rely on those guys to make plays so they’re improvising.”
On free throws late:
“We’ve been really working at that at the end of practice, knowing that we did it the first time at the end of practice where each guy has two foul shots and we have to make a certain count, we pump the music. We were both about 3-of-12 and I said ‘I think this is something we’ve gotta work on’.
We’ve been working on it like crazy and yesterday I think out of 24 shots that we took, I think we made 20 of them.”
On Derrick Walton:
“The big things are his rebounding ability. He got one, I swear he was this high off the floor, but when he had the key turnover and all of the sudden it’s a two-point game. They fouled him and now he goes to the line… There’s nbeen a lot ofp layers that are down. We’ve got the ball, we’re not in control, but we’re up four and he just gives the ball to the other team. Now he goes to the foul line and those babies hit nothing btu the bottom of the net. That just shows another step in him and just being a leader of this team and a guy that they can look to.”
On Nebraska’s ball screen defense:
“They actually did something different than they did the last game — something that other teams have done. So we’re trying to prepare for that more and more. That’s the beauty of this and it’s also why we have to work so many hours. Everybody will play you differently and people may not have ever have done something and say ‘oh that worked, I’m going to try that’.
“They have to make a read and they have to make a play and we have to see the next option and a couple times we threw it away trying to look at an option that wasn’t there. We continue to look at it and see what we can do, they have young bigs as well and they were swithcing some screens here and there. We’rel earning on the fly with this group.”
“Benny (Parker) makes you turn it over. He will make you turn it over. He does that, but there was a couple of times where we mishandle dthe ball. Kam had one go through his hands, you’re gonna have stuff — but you’ve gotta be under 10 or shoot the way we did tonight.”
“That was another press we saw. It was a different press. It was not a true zone press, it looks like a zone and then they match up with the cutters. It took us a while to (figure that out) and that was painful, watching us negotiate it was painful.
“Then we said just shoot threes at the end and had two open ones and missed them both so that was a hell of strategy. It’s something that we just have to continue to grow.”