Due to the massive snowfall and subsequent freezing over of the roads, Michigan media availability was canceled today. Luckily, we still had the chance to tune into the Big Ten conference call. Here are some notes and quotes from John Beilein’s appearance earlier today:
- “We probably had one of our better performances of the year against Utah Saturday.” Now have North Carolina Central Tuesday and Oakland Saturday.
- Has seen some really nice improvement from some of his players, the key will be keeping up improvement heading into Big Ten play.
- Hard to play on the road in the Big Ten because the attendance numbers are so high almost everywhere, and almost all arenas are hostile. Can’t get out to an early lead and take out crowd influence. “Get the large arenas, you get large crowds. With the smaller arenas, the crowd seems larger than it is.”
- The defense has really improved throughout the year and obviously it will be challenged a lot more as they get into Big Ten play. Competing at a high level right now. Darius Morris in particular is “playing really well.” Also sharing the ball really well.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. and Evan Smotrycz will continue to show improvement as they continue to get more time. Darius was getting some time last year but he struggled feeling comfortable at times.
- The hope is that between Jon Horford, Blake McLimans and Evan, along with Jordan Morgan, they can keep the Big Men fresh and have a steady rotation of all four of them. “We’d like to get that.”
- Really good for Jon to get game experience in a meaningful game like that. “He really wants to learn — his attitude is tremendous.”
- Darius has improved most in his turnover rate and his shooting. Looking very confident in his shot right now.