Notes, Quotes & Video: John Beilein Looks Back at Maui, Previews Virginia


John Beilein met with the media for the first time since the team returned from its 2-1 showing in Maui and recapped the Wolverines performance in Hawaii while previewing Virginia and the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.  Watch Beilein’s comments in the embedded video player below or find detailed notes and quotes after the jump.

  • Virginia is a young team like Michigan – only have three seniors. They’re in the third year with coach Tony Bennett, and they play a lot like Wisconsin…” Just a difficult, difficult team to play against, both offensively and defensively.”
  • Michigan took the red-eye flight from Maui on Friday. Took Saturday off, and had a really good practice on Sunday.
  • The Big Ten needs somebody to win on the road in this challenge, and the Wolverines are excited to have the opportunity to represent the conference in Virginia – although they still would have preferred to play a home game for the challenge.
  • This environment will be a lot different than in Hawaii, a neutral site: “It’s hard, but it’s something we have to do. We have to do it nine times in our league, we still have to go to Arkansas, so there’s some times you just have to be able to do this.”
  • Beilein like how Michigan “played with great passion and energy and confidence against some really good teams” in Maui.
  • Trey Burke performed “fairly well” in Maui.
  • On Novak’s performance in Maui: “It was like he was at Michigan State again last year. He was really playing just with great confidence, great leadership.”
  • On Hardaway’s performance: “Tim had Tim-type games…he can do a lot of things just in one half.”
  • Would’ve loved to win the championship in Maui, but happy with the way the team played. “I do see some things that are very promising, and I also see a lot of things that we have to really work at.”
  • On zone defense: “We haven’t spent much time, probably similar to what we’ve done the last couple years, but I do see that it’s something we have to continue to use.” Had to use it against Memphis because of foul trouble. Different defensive looks can really help or really hurt you – have to be careful with how you use them.
  • In order to be a good team on the road, the key is to limit turnovers. “A turnover half the time leads to a fast-break lay up, a fast break dunk, it changes the energy of the game.” The back court “has got to value the ball.”
  • Have to get a couple of road games in order to get more – “It can be very contagious.”
  • Not too concerned about tired legs. Tried to keep a healthy balance of rest and work in the last few days.
  • On the possibility of Max Bielfeldt. who has yet to play this year, redshirting: “I don’t think we ever have to declare that, but we do declare that he is (not redshirting) if we put him in there. If there’s a reason why we haven’t put him in those games, that would be it.”
  • Virginia’s defense is very good, very similar to Wisconsin’s. They’re only giving up 46 points/game, so that’ll be a big challenge.
  • On Smotrycz: “He’s been so good in practices, and he’s just still gotta learn, when I get into games, I need to play a similar style. When he lets the game come to him, he’s a far more efficient player, and he knows it.” He’ll continue to adjust. He also gives a lot of flexibility in terms of different lineup possibilities.
  • Horford and Morgan will continue to share time at the 5 position. Morgan will be the starter tomorrow. Happy to see Horford have a good game against UCLA.
  • Hardaway made a couple plays against UCLA that he’s never made before. “We’ve never seen him see the game at that speed.” He’s really developing into a big-time player. UCLA even played a box-in-one man defense on Hardaway , and they still couldn’t stop him.
  • Burke is still developing, “still not seeing everything.” Hoping he’ll continue to see the game at a slower pace.
  • On Morgan and foul trouble: “He gets so into the game and the physicality of it that he gets caught on the second end of things.” He’s got to keep learning and learn how officials call games.
  • sane1

    I always learn something listening to Beilein pressers. 

    • They really are great stuff. He’s pretty candid, doesn’t sugar coat much and genuinely seems to just love talking hoops. 

  • LongtimeFan77

    He also does a nice job at never criticizing his players while he points out the things they need to improve on by saying that “I think he is disappointed in that”.

  • BoomBaby

    Mbakwe out for the season (ACL).  Tough blow for the Gophers and really the Big Ten.

    • Yeah, very tough to see Minnesota making the dance without him. Gotta feel for a kid like that in his final season. 

      • rlcBlue

        Final season? Surely if Robbie Hummel can be simultaneously eligible for both intercollegiate athletics and retirement benefits, Mbakwe could take a medical redshirt this year?

        • Technically he could, but not happening.!/MedcalfbyESPN/status/141239319716315137