On Friday, John Beilein met with the media for the first time since last Saturday’s win over Iowa State. Tomorrow, Michigan will take on a tough Oakland team at The Palace at 4 p.m. Here’s video of what the coach had to say about the Grizzlies and other topics, along with notes and quotes after the jump:
- Learned a lot from the Iowa State game.
- Schedule this week: Sunday through Tuesday we “focused on Michigan” and getting better as a team, took Wednesday off, then focused on preparing for Oakland on Thursday and Friday.
- On Oakland: “The names change, but the style stays the same. They’re scoring 80 points a game, 90 in their league. So very difficult to stop from scoring the basketball.”
- Transition defense and individual matchups will be important, especially with guard Reggie Hamilton (20 pts, 4.6 assists/gm) and 6-foot-10 center Corey Petros (12 pts, 11.7 rebounds/gm).
- The Palace is “certainly away from home for us and certainly another challenge that we have.”
- Timing and defense were the focal point during practice this week.
- Horford has been very limited in practice this week with a foot injury. He will play on Saturday but “let’s see how it looks after after this game, how he feels after this game, because we obviously have a decision to make as to if we shut him down how long it’s for and when.”
- This’ll be the last game in a 4-game series with Oakland. “I think that we traditionally want to play our games at Crisler as often as possible. I’m not saying that we won’t go back to the Palace if we think it’s a type of situation that really benefits 100 percent. But right now I think this is the end of a great 4-year series.” No interest in renewing the contract.
- Reggie Hamilton is “explosive. He can score very quickly, and he’s been doing that all year long. I wouldn’t doubt if he’s their leading scorer again, and he will be most games this season.” In last season’s game, Hamilton scored 10 straight points to cut a 20 point Michigan lead to 10.
- Foul trouble is still an issue for Hardaway “because he’s trying to develop his defense to become a real defensive stopper. Sometimes you take on that challenge and it can get you on the bench if you aren’t smart with how you play.” Would love to see him get 32-35 minutes/game.
- Hardaway still adjusting to being the focal point of the opposing team’s defense, but he’s getting more comfortable with it. Obviously was used to doing that in high school.
- Have done a lot of full-court shooting in practice this week. “In our transition offense, we’ve had a high number of open threes that we haven’t made, so we’re really working on running it full-speed and then putting it in a transition game as opposed to a lot of our sets.”
- Not too worried about Douglass and Vogrich, who have struggled from 3-point land. “They’re only 3 or 4 shots away from having a nice percentage. It’s like baseball. The batting averages are .400 or .500 early or they could be .100 early – they can change so quickly.”
- Mentally, Vogrich and Douglass “are fine. I think mentally, the stats probably speak louder than what they think…we all know they can shoot.”
- Vogrich, among others, has come in to get more shots in when he can. “If they took 5 days and made 100 threes without the coaches around, that could be helpful.”
- On Novak developing a mid-range jumper: “That’s something he’s worked really hard on, and the coaches believed that was an important part of his next step.” Adds a whole new element to his game.
- Since the game was originally scheduled to be at noon, the team is going to stay at a hotel near the Palace tonight, even though the game is now scheduled for 4 pm. “We’re gonna shoot at 10:30 tomorrow morning just for a half an hour, so it gives you an opportunity to shoot in an NBA Arena, which is a little different.”