John Beilein was available to media today. He answered questions about the recent road trip, playing against the man he replaced at Michigan, defending Harvard’s low-post game and more.
Full notes and quotes from the presser can be found after the jump.
- Had a very good practice yesterday.
- The two Ivies no one wants to play historically are Penn and Princeton. Cornell has moved up into that realm and Harvard is closing in on that too.
- Harvard has several key players coming back from a team that won 21 games last year. “I love their team.” Great challenge for Michigan.
- Harvard forward Kieth Wright is “a big, probably more-experienced Jordan Morgan.” Played major minutes two years in a row. “No question” Harvard will try to score inside. Wright can pass the ball as well.
- On playing former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker: “It’s unique. Let’s just say it’s unique.” Contract was signed before Beilein got here, and “we honor contracts.”
- Harvard’s playing really good basketball and passing the ball well.
- Thinks his team is pretty grounded, “but you always have to work on that with a young team.” Said they were a little slow in practice yesterday but got it going.
- Thought the Wolverines did the reverse of what Virginia did: go on the road and beat a good team. Always good to win the Big Ten/ACC challenge games.
- Tinkered with the lineup with Evan playing at the 5, still taking it day-by-day and seeing how players fit together. Trying to be able to handle any defense, including the pressure man the team faced at Clemson and against UTEP.
- “As we’ve watched Blake and Jon develop, both of them are going through the normal things that you’d see.” Especially regarding shooting. Evan isn’t shy and he’s taller than Jordan Morgan so that’s why he’s playing so much and at so many different positions
- With the freshmen playing a lot of minutes now, the key is to make sure they rest and are getting all the help they can get for the trainers. Want to avoid anyone getting beat up the way Zack Novak has the past two years.
- Really likes Stu Douglass coming off the bench and providing a spark for the offense. “My son was coming off the bench for 110 straight games.”
- When Zack moves back the four, “Against pressure teams, we’re allowed to do some different things.” Hard to guard someone so small, but also hard for Zack to guard guys so big.
- Jordan Morgan has played very good defense against some good big men, but “his defense isn’t very good when he’s sitting next to me.” Needs to find a way to stay on the floor longer and not get quick fouls.