Team 101

Video & Quotes: John Beilein talks win over Kennesaw State

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Michigan pulled away from Kennesaw State with a late first half run to earn an 82-55 victory on Saturday afternoon. Here’s what Michigan head coach John Beilein had to say after the win.

Michigan pulled away from Kennesaw State with a late first half run to earn an 82-55 victory on Saturday afternoon. Here’s what Michigan head coach John Beilein had to say after the win.

Opening comments:

“Proud of the way we bounced back today and answered those first ten minutes where they really played it straight up. We could all see that No. 0, Ray, was having a tremendous, tremendous game, and wearing us out a little bit. Gave Derrick a little bit of rest, and the rest of the game, we were in him, around him, he had one assist and seven turnovers. So while the field goal percentage (defense) wasn’t great, we did change some things so we could get out and run. Moe and DJ continue to give us — they’re just growing, they’re both sophomores. And at 6’10 and 6’11 as sophomores, they’re not there yet. But every day they get a little bit better, and the minutes they played today really helped us in the long run … everybody had a job to do today, and we did it pretty well.”

On Wagner’s breakout game:

“There wasn’t any gameplan. We’re learning to learn who Mo is. He’s got a great ability to both shoot it from the outside and drive a little bit, and we’re just trying to find these windows that we can use him offensively. Defensively, that’s the biggest issue right now, is how can he improve and see the game. It is one of the most difficult if not the most difficult position on the court, is to be the center with all the ball screen action, and read the action and all the angles. There was nothing special, he’s just maturing as a player.”

On DJ Wilson:

“What’s key right now is his development. He’s still awkward with a lot of things. It’s just everyday of just teaching him some fundamental things .. how he’s landing, when he’s picking up the ball, landing on two feet, grabbing the ball with two hands. He’s probably younger in the game than you think because he’s just maturing like Mo is right now. I just like that he’s got some athleticism, he’s got some desire to get in there and mix it up. We’re going to play a lot better teams than Kennesaw is right now, at the same time, for him to go in there to get whatever double-double he had there, it’s just good that he’s mixing it up. That was not happening a couple years ago, he was just drifting to the (3-point line). There’s this great body that we’re working at, and fundamentally, he’s just working to have great balance in what he does.”

On defense:

“We played the whole defensive position all the way through. They did not have Virginia Tech’s talent. But we completed possessions. They were averaging 14 offensive rebounds a game … for them to come out of there and get those few, that showed we made some progress. We all know that’s Big Ten basketball, is offensive rebounding.”

On late first-half 17-2 run:

“Some times you have to have this. You get told not to touch the stove, you get burned, you remember not to touch the stove. We got it put to us there. They know, as I said on Friday, if you take those two four minute segments from Virginia Tech, I think we figured it out, they were going to score 120 points if you just take those four and multiply it. So those were just bad (periods of) defense at the half. You gotta push through when you’re tired at the end of the half. You can’t wait for guys to miss — you have to make them miss.”

On Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman:
“He started out with some really good looks and it didn’t go. What I want him to focus on is being that guy that can hit some open shots, we can clear some open lanes for him, but the best thing that he can do right now is become a really good defender. With his athleticism he can, we just got to get that mindset so that is how he identifies himself a little bit more, as a defender.”

On Wagner:
“He’s got to have a mix. I would assume people will switch those screens more if it’s a pick-and-pop, and then he’s just got to dive and bury this 6-foot guard. That will be a big point of emphasis … He’s got to prove that he can make these shots for people to have to switch. The next point, he won’t get those openings. They won’t leave him. So now we gotta find other ways to score. At this point, with his body change, he’s not dominating inside. But he’s got to be good enough to play big and score over people without being too tricky.”

On DJ Wilson going from role player to key player:

“After he played limited minutes, he was in our ‘all star game’ at practice, a 40 minute scrimmage next day. Needs to go through ups and downs of a season. in the past it was ‘When am I going to get my chance?’ every chance is not going to be a bowl of cherries and you’ve got to be able to deal with it. Foul trouble bothered him the other game and maybe it’s a different game if he’s out there the last 4 mins of each half. The ebbs and flows are still going to be difficult for him. Missed most of his junior year in HS. New in some of this stuff.”

Big week coming up. On the NCAA Tournament bubble last season. Have you talked about big picture with this team?

“Haven’t yet. But this is what they came to Michigan to do, two marquee universities. UCLA beat Kentucky today and Texas had a great come-from-behind win against Alabama last night. Great opportunities. We’re still in a growth area. Still a long way to go.”

On freshmen minutes:

“If you’re not playing right away, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. It’s pretty natural sometimes for some people to have to wait. Every day it slows down more.”

Virginia Tech could run, Texas and UCLA figure too as well:

“They got like eight points where we were maybe celebrating a basket or just getting back because we scored. Sometimes those are guys like Moes or DJs who haven’t played volume minutes against teams like Indiana or Michigan State—they’ll ram it down your throat if you don’t run back on defense. We don’t mind playing fast at times but we have to adjust to make them play slow offensively.”

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