John Beilein was available for media today before Michigan goes on the road to play Michigan State. Video is below, with notes and quotes after the jump.
- Have seen improvement every day in practice that fans can’t always pick up during games, especially from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Evan Smotrycz. “I see it every day. Something new, that ‘aha!’ moment. ‘okay, I got that now.'”
- Korie Lucious not playing doesn’t alter the game plan for Michigan State at all, still have plenty of guards who can shoot, penetrate and distribute.
- On the big men and going inside less as the season progresses: “They’re developing players. They’re developing talent.” Going up against each other in practice isn’t like going up against Sullinger, Johnson, Sampson.
- Against Minnesota, ran into trouble against the zone. “We hadn’t seen the zone in a month … we didn’t execute the way we had to against the zone.”
- On reasons other than youth for struggling in the Big Ten: “Our quickness isn’t great.” Have to make up for it by “gapping a little bit more, double-teaming sometimes.” Addressing lack of quickness with Carlton Brundidge and Trey Burke. “We’ve got to find another way right now. We’re not as tall, we’re not as strong and we just have to keep working.”
- “When the other team has more developed talent than your young, developing talent, it ain’t about the schemes … it’s about a taller player, a stronger player scoring over somebody.”
- Doesn’t believe Michigan State is struggling. Said they’re still the number 25 team in the country, they’ll go to the NCAA Tournament, they’ve lost on the road to good teams. “They’re a heck of a team, they’ve got a heck of a coach and they’re not struggling.”
- It’s hard to simulate the physical play of Michigan State because they do it so well. “It’s part of basketball, we have to understand that.”
- With the bigs, they’re trying to figure out in practice who will help them the most in games. Besides Jordan Morgan, haven’t gotten consistent efforts from anyone in games or practice.
- The results from practice may not be on the scoreboard, but you can see them other places, like how Hardaway’s improved. “He had great shot selection the other day. He had 20 points against a pretty good Minnesota team.”
- Regarding NCAA Tournament comments after the Northwestern game, said the team chants NCAA every day in practice and has since he started coaching. Not saying they have to get to the NCAA Tournament this year.