Coach John Beilein met with the media before practice today as Michigan prepares to head to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes at 1 p.m. on Saturday. (Game preview here.) Here’s video of Beilein, followed by notes and quotes after the jump.
- Opening comments: “It’s not the NBA schedule, especially the one they have right now, but it probably gets as close as it can be to that during the middle of January.” Michigan will be playing its third game in a span of six days.
- The team took the day off yesterday. Practice today will be about an hour and 45 minutes and then the team will head to Iowa and watch film tonight. They also watched film this morning.
- More on the schedule: “It’s a great prep for us if we are going to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament. You have to be able to be resilient. Same thing with a situation in the NCAA Tournament.”
- On Iowa: “Forget about the losses. They went to Minnesota and won and they went to Wisconsin and won. That’s who they are.” Iowa got blown out by Ohio State and Michigan State, but that will happen to “a lot of teams.”
- On the Northwestern game: “We made some simple mistakes, but they’re ones that are not redundant mistakes.” There’s so many things to think about with Northwestern, it’s natural that you can’t do all of it.
- The scout team, specifically Corey Person, Eso Akunne, Colton Christian and Josh Bartelstein did a “very good job” helping Michigan prepare for Northwestern and they’ve been great all year. “From one language to another, that’s what it’s like. OK, today you’re in Spanish, tomorrow you’re in French, then you’re back to Portuguese because it looks like Spanish, but it’s not quite Spanish. They do a wonderful job with it. And that’s why we had them sing the Victors (after the Northwestern win) because they really embrace that role.”
- Iowa will be similar to Indiana in that they like to get the ball in transition and get up the court quickly. “They’re gonna push right by us if we are not back pointing out people.”
- More on the importance of the scout team, especially during this tough stretch of games: “They’re really important to us. Sometimes they actually play better than that team. We do that sometimes just to give them confidence. They really can identify (playing the role of other big-name players).”
- On winning on the road: “You have to just win one and just find a way and then it can be contagious. The fact is it’s a hard thing to do.” You’re going to have to play your “top game” if you’re going to win on the road in the Big Ten.
- With the Michigan State game looming next week, Michigan is focused only on Iowa right now, “no question about it.”
- Michigan’s last three games at Iowa have gone to overtime. Why? “Because they’re good and we played well.”
- Beilein won’t scale back Trey Burke’s and Tim Hardaway’s minutes during this stretch of games. “I worry more about scaling back in practice than in the game.”
- Currently, Burke already has more assists this season than Darius Morris did during his entire freshman year. Morris’s freshman year was much different in many ways, but especially because he didn’t have to play as many minutes per game as Burke does.
- On the team’s practice today: “The beauty of having a 15, 16 man team is the first eight or nine, ten guys can alternate every possession. The scout team doesn’t come off the floor. So they’re off their legs running up and down. As a team, we don’t (usually) go up and down a lot. We will (today), because (Iowa’s) transition offense is so good.”