John Beilein met with the media this afternoon to talk about Michigan’s tough loss to Arkansas and look ahead to tomorrow’s matchup at Purdue. Of note, Beilein said Jon Horford will dress tomorrow and “may” play, depending on his progress in practice today. Here’s video of Beilein, followed by notes and quotes after the jump:
- Opening statement, talking about the Arkansas loss: “Our kids were very resilient to a bad start but at the same time we showed a lot of heart. I just love our persistence in staying with what we were trying to accomplish. The win obviously would have been great but the loss also, if we use it the right way, can help us in the Big Ten.”
- The team has had a good attitude following the loss and Beilein said everyone’s confidence remains high. “The film session was very good. It was a difficult game for everybody. We fought hard and now we’ve moved on. We know we’ll have a similar battle against a tenacious defense when we play Purdue.”
- On Arkansas’s 11-for-11 start to the game on Saturday: “They made some easy shots. Our transition defense was not good. They only scored six points actually off run-off turnovers, but that was a difference and they made tough shots. That was an all-time record for balls to hit the rim, roll around and still go in. But they had it going, and I hope that will come around to us one day.”
- On Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, who missed all of last season due to an ACL injury: “I think there’s a rusty period that everybody goes through when they’re off for that long. He’s just had a couple bad games, I don’t see a huge drop off.” Beilein said he thinks the biggest reason for Hummel’s struggles is the absence of E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, who both graduated last year.
- Michigan is still in the process of trying to develop a “flow” in the offense, which has played a part in Tim Hardaway Jr.’s recent struggles, as he is often the focal point of the offense.
- On the upcoming schedule, in which Michigan has at least a couple days off between each game, whereas that wasn’t the story recently: “We don’t want to do every three days again, but if you have three days between games, then two, and then three and then two, I have no problem.”
- On Purdue losing badly on the road to Michigan State: “I think it’s part of what we’re dealing with now. You go and you play at another place’s gym, I mean, we’re 12-0 at home, Purdue’s 10-1 at home, Michigan State I believe is undefeated at home. Those are pretty tough percentages to beat. I don’t care who you are. Unless you’re the Chicago Bulls, it’s pretty difficult to beat those percentages.”
- Heading into the game at Iowa, as well as the game at Arkansas, both teams were coming off bad losses. The same is true for Purdue, which isn’t a good thing for Michigan. “It hasn’t been good for us so far. They come out and they refocus. Losses, if treated the right way, are very positive. What else are you gonna do about it? You can beat it into the ground, it’s not gonna help you. You have gotta turn it around.”
- On Arkansas’ speed: “I have never seen that speed at three or four positions. Reggie Hamilton, we had trouble staying in front of him in transition at Oakland. Well, (Arkansas) had four Reggie Hamiltons. That was very difficult for us. I love Eso and I love Josh Bartelstein, but they do not give us that in practice. So it’s just difficult to simulate.”
- Beilein coached Robbie Hummel when Beilein had a short stint as a court coach for Team USA in the Under-19 World Championships following the 2008-2009 season. “I got to coach Robbie just a little bit, and this is just a great story of a guy sticking with it through a lot of adversity. Just a ton of adversity, twice, and now he’s out there playing, and he’s playing well. He’s one of the best players in the Big Ten after two ACLs. It’s a remarkable achievement to do what he’s done.”
- On the Purdue defense: “It’s always been a challenge for us. Last year, they got up on us 19-4 or 19-3, and we came back to make it a one-point game, but then they took it away from there. They just wear you down with their defense eventually and we have to do everything we can to keep that from happening so we can stay in that game late.”
- On Jon Horford: “He’s gonna travel with us… A little rusty, as you can expect, but he has practiced with us the last couple days. So we’ll continue to monitor him, we’ll see what he does today. He’s got a good scout team workout. Before we do anything, he’s gotta show in practice he’s really playing the best he can play.” There’s a chance that he “may” play at Purdue.
- Beilein is going to show the team some clips of Eli Manning during a film session today. “I mean the guy is knocked down, three people are laying on him and he’s up calling audibles like in three seconds… Talk about mental toughness. That’ll be some of the first clips we show them today because you gotta have that adversity… Trey I think, and many of our other players have that quality, or they will be working toward that.”
- On if the team has shown signs of fatigue after Saturday’s game: “No, that was a tiring game but we didn’t give into fatigue in that game. It does wear you out. If you had to play a game the next day then it might have been telling, but I think we got enough rest.”
- On Evan Smotrycz’s energy: “It’s good. He played a little bit extra yesterday, just to make sure that he gets that heart pumping a little bit more. He did well. He just needs to keep going out there and keep working his way through all this. He’s the victim of his own success. You’re shooting 55%, you go into shock when all the sudden you go 1-for-3, let alone the percentage that he’s been shooting.” Smotrycz was an option on the final play Saturday if Arkansas would have helped on Burke as he came off the screen.