Video of John Beilein speaking with media about the Big Ten Tournament, a chance for revenge against Illinois and how his players learned to hold themselves personally accountable. Notes and quotes, as well as the second half of the video, after the jump.
- On what his team will need to do to beat Illinois: “We can’t go 2-for-18 from 3 again, that’s for sure.”
- On Evan Smotrycz: “He’s getting comfortable just where he’s playing right now. He could be an x-factor in this game because he can stretch their defense.”
- Compared Illinois defense to Wisconsin, where you think you’re open and then many times a long-armed defender will come out of nowhere and block your shot.
- On Darius Morris: “He has so much passion to win and he has such strong pride in his ability that at time he’ll get headstrong and you just got to reel him in.” Said he’s being much more consistent with practice habits and overall. Smotrycz improving practice habits as well.
- Thinks the team has “taken ownership over what our habits are going to be and how we can add to the team.” Allows the team to just focus on basketball.
- Said he’s always enjoyed tournaments. “The clock (in between games) becomes part of the puzzle.” Said he likes the challenge of having very limited time to prepare.
- Told the team after Northwestern that he felt they were a tournament team. “I don’t know if it’s this year or next year,” but they need to stick to the “learning process.”
- Jon Horford won’t go 100 percent today, going to see where he’s at.
- Always focused on team they are playing, never looking ahead to prepare despite such little time between games.
- Said he likes to have the players enjoy the end of the season, especially if they finish strong like they did, and then approach the tournament like a completely new season. “You won your last home game in front of a sellout crowd — enjoy it.”
- Regarding his team’s resiliency: “A lot of our losses, we didn’t have time to dwell on them and we just moved on.” Said they have confidence because of how close they’ve been to such good teams.
- With all the freshmen he had going into this year, “you usually know that usually it takes longer than this. This one sort of … it just sort of all came together.”
- Said he was watching ESPN and when they brought up Michigan’s resume they didn’t include the “OT” after the Kansas loss and it was a seven-point loss. “That upset me (laughs).”