John Beilein, Kameron Chatman and Zak Irvin were on the podium after Michigan’s buzzer-beating win over Indiana on Friday afternoon. Watch both players and the head coach discuss the win and what happened on the final play.
COACH BEILEIN: We’re thrilled about that win. We have a lot of respect for Indiana. And by winning this championship, in a year that I think the league was anybody that could get eight or nine wins in this league this year really had a great team. And they got 15 of them. So they’re a terrific team. And you all know the story at our place. They just pounded us. They had four-minute stretch. They outscored us 20-0, or five-minute stretch, 20-0. And for our kids to know what happened in that game and bounce back and play the way they did today. It wasn’t like we made a run at the end. That game was nip and tuck from the very beginning. I don’t know what the largest lead was, but it probably wasn’t more than three or four points. And the last things is being so proud of Kam Chatman here, who spent the first two years, a lot of time sitting down in the bench with us. But he’s, yes sir, no sir, working hard every single day, trying to grow his game. And for him to be rewarded with that big shot, with that moment that he will always be remembered for, is worth it for me knowing he has done such a great job of handling all of his adversity of not playing. So proud of him and everybody on the team.
Q. Kameron, you get ball, you get the bench behind you screaming at you. Did you have any idea how much time was left? And just take us through that shot.
KAMERON CHATMAN: Yes. I knew that we were what coach calls double-eyeballing, and I knew I was going to be in the corner. And so I told myself that I was going to be ready to shoot it. But I didn’t think Derrick was going to pass it to me, and he ended up passing it to me. And I hesitated a little bit, but then seeing how much time was on the clock, and then I just let it go. It felt good when it left my hands, so it was pretty good.
Q. Zak, Coach Crean was just talking about Kameron’s three was huge, but the one before it was maybe the biggest play of the game. Can you talk about that? You were head-to-head with Yogi, staring him eyeball-toeyeball before you drove and kicked and everything. Talk about that possession a little bit.
ZAK IRVIN: I was trying to penetrate, and I saw that they helped in on me. And I saw Duncan open in the corner of my eye, and I gave it to him, and he knocked it down. I was proud of him. He was 0-for-5 before that and three at the rim. And for him to knock that down, that was huge.
Q. John, don’t take this question the way it sounds, but what was he doing in the game? I mean, I know he has got ability, but you didn’t play in the other 32 minutes or whatever.
COACH BEILEIN: After Muhammad fouled out, and I don’t know what it was, a minute to go or whatever, I knew — he is one of our better flow players on offense. We can run things through him. And so we ended up just going with it, instead of putting Aubrey in there at that point, because our other guys just aren’t sort of — we would have had to change some positions to get that done. So we decided just to leave him in there, move Zak to a two guard, and let him play. And that’s the last guy we would have — you know, if we would have called a timeout, I probably would have done something and said, “Kam, you go to the other corner if we’re going to run that play.” But when I saw the spread of the floor and Derrick with the ball, I said, we can’t get this by calling a timeout. So let him just go, and he made a play. He made a great play, drew and kick
And if I was guarding in that game and I knew Kam’s history as a three-point shooter, I would have given help off the corners as well, because his history would say he was not going to make that. I do see him in practice make it more and more often, and it’s just a big thing for him in his career right now.
Q. Coach, it seemed like a lot of people were clamoring for Aubrey at one point when Duncan was struggling, but the shot that he made, is that the reason he is still in the game when he’s even struggling?
COACH BEILEIN: There’s a flow that we have in the game. We liked our flow. We liked what we were are able to do with the team. And sometimes, some of our guys, the game flows better for them than others. So whether it’s the matchups they had, we just decided to go with it. And I felt good about Duncan being in there. One of the reasons Duncan or Aubrey, it’s not because they’re not making shots; it’s because their defense, when we need them to get somebody else to play better defense. That’s why they have gone in and out more than not making shots. And Duncan really did a good job defensively today.
Q. John, you’ve obviously coached in a lot of these conference tournaments in your time. But given the circumstances here, NCAA Tournament on the bid against the number one seed in the tournament, can you help put this into perspective as far as ranking among best shots or clutch shots?
COACH BEILEIN: You have seen it all. Because we had the same things happen on the other side. I mean, I’m talking half-court shots to go to an Elite Eight game. I’m talking just crazy stuff that has happened the other way. So I’m thinking it was coming back around somewhere that one of these would come our way. But it’s a big moment for us to be a 1-8 game and make that play, after all we have been through this year, right, for that young man to do it as well. But it’s going to probably go down when I pack it in some day and I just look back at all of those shots, that one I will remember a lot because of the type of young men that we have on this team. There are two seniors, Caris and Spike. That’s all they do. They haven’t been able to do anything despite the whole year or the whole Big Ten season for Caris. They got knocked down and kept getting back up. That’s why it is so rewarding. And Kam is a great example of that.
Q. Have you talked about Mo Wagner yet today?
COACH BEILEIN: No, I have not.
Q. Can you just talk about his spark off the bench and the energy that he brought in in a few minutes?
COACH BEILEIN: Ricky got slightly injured the other day, and he really didn’t feel he could go as hard as he wanted to. So Mo is our next man up. The first play that I called wasn’t for him to shoot a three. It was a pop play for him to get it and just get space to get into a ball screen with Zak. And when he turned and shouted, I shouted, I said, “What is he doing?” And, of course, that was his second on the year, I think. He is just that type of personality that expect the unexpected