Notebook: Michigan rises in polls, Burke nabs fifth Big Ten freshman honor, Beilein on Big Ten call

Michigan 56, Ohio State 51- 7John Beilein met with the media this morning for his weekly Big Ten Teleconference call. Among today’s news is that Michigan is now ranked 11th in the AP Poll and 13th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and Trey Burke was picked as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The selection was Burke’s fifth this season, one more than Tim Hardaway Jr. had during his freshman season last year. Here are the notes and quotes from Beilein’s teleconference:

  • Opening statement: “We had a week to get ready for a lot of things last week. We really had a great day Saturday with GameDay, being here, with a great Ohio game being here. it was a close game all the way. Fortunate to stay in the lead and keep the lead when the buzzer ended.”
  • On the importance of seniors Stu Douglass and Zack Novak in rebuilding the program: “I wish I could say I was this accurate at all in recruiting, but we were just looking for two really solid kids that we could count on that love basketball, ran through the doors at Michigan because they wanted to play in the Big Ten and they love Michigan. And that they were going to be young men that could really be solid in the classroom, on the court in every way. That’s what they proved to be. I think in recruiting, people don’t understand the part about those four years, how much better they’ll get if they have really good work habits. Their work habits have not only made them better, it’s made the rest of our team better. Trey Burke comes into the gym and he sees Stu or Zack working extra before or working extra afterwards, he then realizes well, that’s what I’m supposed to do, and he’s always done that. But if he came in and saw two seniors that were late for practice or complaining about practice or didn’t work in the off-season, he may go more toward that way. They’ve helped us create a culture here that I hope is everlasting.”
  • On Northwestern, which Michigan is set to play in Evanston at 8:00 tomorrow night: ”I just think they’re a really good team. I watched stats from last year. Their field goal percentage is up from last year, their 3-point percentage is up from last year at this time, their defensive field goal percentages are better. They’re just a really quality team. Bill obviously is one of the best coaches in the country. Shurna and particularly Crawford but now their point guard (David Sobolewski), oh my goodness, he’s having an incredible freshman year. They keep getting better game by game in my estimation.”
  • On how Jordan Morgan’s redshirt year helped him in the long run: “The redshirt thing is something that’s not for everybody, but for certain young men and women, it is absolutely the best way to their success. I think it takes a lot of pressure off their freshman year, where a young man is trying to play against 21 and 22 year old men. No different than a freshman in high school playing on the varsity. It’s very difficult. Jordan’s an engineering major, and then became injured, so it really made sense. We talk to every freshman that we don’t believe is starting from day one and make that suggestion to him and tell him everything before we put him in that first game. Most obviously choose to try and play. I’m sure many after four years wish they would’ve redshirted that first year. I think we can suggest things and if we really disagree, I think we would get the parents, get everyone involved. Some you still will suggest more strongly than others, but it is the player’s decision.”
  • On Jon Horford and his redshirt status: “We’re going through that right now with a medical redshirt with Jon Horford, but now it’s coming down to my decision because I want what’s best for Jon Horford. Having him play four or five games right now to help us win is not what’s best for him. He should be entitled to another full season.”
  • On Saturday’s win over Ohio State: “I know one thing in a game like that where I think you have two good defensive teams, Ohio is just longer than us, it was the team that was going to make tough shots. We really made some well-guarded shots. Stu, Zack, Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan’s step across layup, they were really well-guarded, we just made them. They had several similar shots that just didn’t go in. I didn’t really grade their shots as much as I graded out, were we in the right spot? Did we do everything we could?”

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