John Beilein was pleased with his team’s effort, but noted that the Wolverines just couldn’t get enough breaks down the stretch to escape with the upset. The Michigan head coach discussed Mark Donnal’s ability to stretch the floor, Michigan’s inbounding woes and much more in his post-game press conference.
Opening remarks: “It was a great game for national television, for all of the people in this great arena and for all our Michigan fans wherever they are. Maryland was just better than us and made too many plays to get the victory. I’m proud of our kids and the way they battled. We got ourselves in a little trouble in the first half and thank goodness we battled back because that can go the wrong way very quickly, especially with this team in this arena. We battled back, and they did it again in the second half. We just didn’t have enough to get it done. We had tough breaks down the stretch, the ball didn’t bounce our way a couple of times, other things didn’t go our way a couple of times. In the end it just wasn’t enough to get a victory. I congratulate Maryland on being a really great team, a prowler in the Big Ten. They represent us well. They have a great coach and a lot of talent. We have a quick turnaround with Northwestern on Wednesday so we can’t mope about this. We have to learn from it and get better.”
On Mark Donnal’s performance: “This is what we saw in recruiting with him. He had to get to that next gear where he’s not in second or third gear. He’s in fourth gear a lot and he has a fifth gear that makes him a really good college basketball player. There were times today when he was really getting it done, and I was dialing him up today. Usually it hadn’t been successful when I did that, but he was ready to do that today and it changes our whole team.”
On what it takes to get better heading into the tournament: “We have three games left and two of them are at home. It is what it is for just about everyone in this country. You’re sitting there and you have to win the games you need to win. I tell our guys there’s a formula for it. You have to win on the road, and we have four of those. You have to beat good teams and we have a few of those, but you need more of them. You can’t have bad losses. We’re trying to avoid those all the time and I’d argue that Ohio State wasn’t a bad loss. They have 10 wins in our league right now and it’s as good of a league as ever. We have to do more. I’m sure we have to do more and I’m going to make sure we do everything to get that done.”
On what Michigan does against Melo Trimble that helps them succeed. “He’s such a talented as a player. You try to determine your angles with him and try to get good ball screen coverage and he’s been going to the line eight times in the past five games. How many times did he go to the line today? (8) That’s why we lost. We have to keep him from the foul line. There’s times he just draws contact, he’s great at drawing contact and I think that’s what we did well at our place. We didn’t send him to the foul line. Today, he got there and fouled Derrick out.”