John Beilein spoke with the media at Crisler Center on Wednesday night after Michigan’s 73-70 loss to Virginia Tech.
“Thank goodness in my time coaching I haven’t seen too many games like there where we lead the whole game and can’t make enough stop or finishes offensively to win the game. Obviously, Virginia Tech’s got a really good team, they really shoot the ball out. They’re guard play was outstanding … we just didn’t do enough — we’re back again, 52 percent from the field, just doing some strange things on defense. It really cost us.
“Offensively, I think we got some good baskets, but we did not get to the foul game enough, and I think the big thing was fouling them … One-and-one in both halves with ten minutes to go, that’s not us. It’s not an official thing, it’s a Michigan thing. A couple of our guys griping with the officials, well, they’ve been calling that all year long, and they’re going to continue to call it, so you can’t do it. So we’ll get better from it, it’s a great learning curve game for us, and we’ll grow from it. Virginia Tech, as I said, they’re a really good team. Look at their scores from last year, they played some really good ACC teams really well, and they could be a tournament team as well. We didn’t deserve to win the game the way we played in those last ten minutes.”
On Wilson’s foul trouble:
“But it’s trend, it’s like the Mo thing from last year .. he’s got 18 fouls in these seven games and he was leading the team in fouls going in. I want our guys to play aggressively, but the foul shot foul, whether it’s a good call or not, it’s just, here’s two points for the other team. And by the way, you have three fouls on you. He’s going to learn. It’s good stuff for him to learn from. It does impact our defense.”
On Irvin’s missed two down stretch:
“We got the three point shot. I didn’t get to call timeout there. We were trying to isolate him, and they took him away a little bit, and we know what to do when they take him away and we didn’t do it. It’s that simple. So now we got isolated, we got all gumped up there, we couldn’t call a timeout, and we got a bad shot. And we wanted to get some other action on that play — they took a little bit away, but not enough … we have a great counter for that, and we didn’t do it.”
More about Irvin’s shot:
“Well once we got in the shot clock time there, they switched every ball screen. Every ball screen the whole day, they switched it. And it allowed us to get to the rim a lot. So they were going to switch any ball screen, so we tried to stay away from that at that point. Even slipping it, they did a good job of reading that. It just was bad … I wish we had timeout to put something together, but we didn’t have time to put something together, so we ran a play we do run, but they blew it up, and like I said, we didn’t counter it well.”
“There’s times he’s got to finish at the rim. We’ve been really working on his two-point field goal percentage. It’s got to grow. He’s really an elite shooter, he’s seeing the floor well, but he’s got to get to that rim. Those seven foul shots, we were getting layups. We got to the basket a lot today. So they weren’t as physical as some teams we play in the Big Ten. But we still gotta get there more. Mo’s shot, it was point-blank seven feet away, and we wanted him to (take it) there because it was a seven-footer, and he missed it. Duncan got to the rim. If Duncan can get to the rim, we can get to the rim. We’ve got to continue to work at that.”
On strange defense from UM down stretch:
“The last three it was a dribble hand-off, some guy assumed there was a switch coming. We just stopped on the play. Another time in post, I don’t know what we were doing. They just threw it in and scored. We didn’t even know where our post was. It’s stuff we need to get better at. Sometimes we just lose that edge, where you’ve got to get a stop. We lose that edge to get a stop. We’ve got to be a better defensive team than that.”
When VT went small ball, did you think about going back to Moe?
“Scoring points wasn’t as big as trying to stop them. Mark’s a better defender [than Moe]. In defense of Moe he’s been sick all day, didn’t feel good. he was doing alright taking ball to basket. Drew him up in end where he had the walk call. I didn’t see it but a huge call in the game. trying to drive their big right to basket. Unfortunately that was a walk call and a huge turnover in the game.”
What did VT do better down stretch?
“Maybe they missed one three. We had a couple misses. We couldn’t finish at our end. They got a transition lay-up. They got two big threes, and that’s the eight points right there. They’re a cagey team. They have the same guards that made plays for them last year. We’ve got the same guards and our guards, our whole team has to get better.”
Concerning that only 6 players scored?
“Worries me we’re not getting more minutes [off bench]. Xavier got two fouls right away. This is a process we all go through to get better. I did like what Jon [Teske] gave us off bench in limited minutes. Tough guard for him when they go small. I’m trying to get minutes off bench, but second half, you’ve got that extra long timeout, everyone is going to use their timeouts, not as much need for rest as in first half.”
Zak vanishing down stretch:
“He flattened out on his shot when he missed it there. We had a couple critical turnovers as well. We couldn’t get him as open as we got him before. We had a lot of ball screen action and they switched it—when they’re playing small, we should be able to do some things when they switch, and we did it all game long and all of the sudden didn’t some of the things we wanted to.”