Video, Notes & Quotes: John Beilein discusses the NCAA tournament


John Beilein met with the media tonight after Michigan was selected to play Ohio University in Nashville, TN this Friday in the NCAA tournament round of 64. Here’s video of Beilein, followed by notes and quotes after the jump:

  • Opening statement: “You never lose that excitement of watching that. We’re back in the NCAA tournament. We’re thrilled to have another chance after yesterday’s semifinal loss to go out and play. We respect Ohio University a great deal. They are a very talented team and have shown that over the year and over the last couple of years. So we’re going to have to be ready to play and do everything we can to win that game and take it one game at a time.”
  • On representing the Big Ten: “It’s a great statement for the Big Ten to have so many teams. I think it’s five teams in the top four (seed lines). Five teams in the top 16, it tells you what the league was like this year. It makes us very proud to be the regular season champions as well.”
  • On watching the selection show without the uneasy feeling of being unsure about whether or not the team would be selected: “It was different. The suspense was who we were going to play and where it was going to be. I’m not going to lie about that, but still you don’t get over the moment of when you see your name up there, and then the suspense of who you’re going to play, and then who’d you play if you’re fortunate enough to advance. There’s a lot that goes through our minds. Our kids are all thrilled. With the loss yesterday, we’re eager to get back to work.”
  • On any connections with Ohio: “I know (Ohio head coach) John Groce was at Xavier with Thad when I was at Richmond, and then he was at Ohio with that when he was there. He’s done a great job. I believe he’s a very close friend of (Michigan assistant coach) Jeff Meyer as well. I haven’t seen them a lot. You can bet your pay check that I’ll be seeing a lot of them in the next couple of days.”
  • On bouncing back from losses: “We’ve grown in defeat, and any time you grow in defeat, the quicker you grow in victory.”
  • On preparing for a team in which Michigan hasn’t seen: “We video just about everything that goes up in the sky. We have enough time, they have enough time. When we played Nebraska for the first time, we knew very little about them. So we just have to adjust, but they’ve been watching us on TV and we’ll have enough of their video to be able to make some pretty good guesses about what’s the best way to play them.”
  • On Michigan being past feeling happy just to get into the tournament: “You never get past that stage. I never want to lose that part of it. There’s 240 or 250 teams and you’re one of the 68 that’s in there two years in a row, three out of four. Michigan hasn’t done that in a while. So we don’t want to lose that, but our kids love this time of the year and they really liked their experience last year. I’m sure every one of them, including the coaches, we want to play right until the end. Hopefully we’ll get victory after victory after victory. We just have to get number one first.”
  • On the focus heading into the tournament: “I probably will focus one game at a time, and the team will too because we can’t look past anything. I think we can answer that question about how we feel if it comes to where we do lose at some point, I think that’s when we can answer that question.”
  • On the importance of seeding: “These teams can play that are at the end of this bracket. They’re champions. You better be ready to play when you play against champions.”
  • On calling Ohio State ‘Ohio’ and what Michigan now refers to the real Ohio: “We’re playing Ohio University now, a great university down in Athens, Ohio.”
  • On the benefits of playing in the Big Ten, especially this season: “I think it prepares you for adversity. You better be ready for anything. This is no different than if we were playing on the road or even playing at home against teams that go out through our league… We know what it’s like, when we’re at Penn State the last game, when we’re at Nebraska, when we had Iowa, all those teams that were not ranked and we were, we have to be ready to play whoever it is, and we have to be able to react to the adversity.”
  • On considering how the Big Ten tournament affected Michigan’s seed: “I do look at those things. I know there’s a huge difference of maybe being a one seed or a two, or being an eight or a nine, or a 15 seed. But when you get between threes and fours and six and sevens, it’s the best guess of the committee. And they’re also putting it so that you don’t play each other, so they’re moving numbers around. Let’s play.”
  • On the pressure on the coaching staff to prepare in the next few days: “It’s not pressure, it’s just the same work we do every day. I often reflect that  to my family when they say, ‘That game had me on pins and needles.’ The games don’t have me on pins and needles. We’re just working. This is our career, our chosen path. We just work at it, and that’s what we’ll do this week.”
  • On what the team learned from the Ohio State game: “Ohio State is extremely talented… If we run into a Sullinger and a Thomas and those guys, we might get exposed again in those length and strength areas. Hopefully there’s not too many of them there waiting for us. We saw some things that we have to just continue to improve as a team and improve in the program, because those guys are really, really good. And obviously Michigan State is tremendous as well too.”
  • On the state of the program: “We took baby steps to get where we are. We’re not going to change that plan. There’s going to be baby steps along the line, and we’ll get some breaks. If we’re in that thing every year and we continue to improve what we do as a total program, those baby steps will lead us there. Sometimes you’re going to get lucky, sometimes you’re going to get unlucky, but we just hang in there and stay the course of what we’re doing.”
  • Alex

    I think Gottlieb had only two Big Ten teams advancing out of the second round for some reason. Let’s all prove him wrong over the next week.

    • Scott1222

      Now comparing teams w the BPI rating system…which I believe includes margin of victory…has us as an 8…Bilas did touch on that but still said we didn’t deserve a 4 seed…time to show everyone and the skeptics just how good we are…we still don’t seem to get enuff respect…all good..hopefully UM staff touches on this and really gets our guys playing w a chip on our shoulder!! Go BLUE!!

      • Doc

        Bilas is a piece of human trash, a scumbucket. Ya dig?

        • Scott1222

          Absolutely agreed…

    • Sven187

       I picked 3 to make it to the sweet 16 with Michigan being one of the 3.

  • Doc

    Michigan anally rapes every1 in bracket

  • Just took a look at the NIT bracket and no Illinois, I was pretty shocked by that! Anybody know if they turned down the invite or did they not receive one? 

    • Sven187

      From what I heard their players voted against playing in the NIT but they were going to accept an invite anyway. So I assumed they didn’t get invited. Probably for the best. Their fanbase is so dejected right now I don’t see them traveling very well.

  • Scott1222

    Michigan tip is approx 7:20 ET Friday….

  • Alex

    I have been overthinking this way too much. The performance yesterday definitely affected me. In the end, I think if the players remember that it’s just one game we’ll be fine.

    Like Beilein said have to take it one game at a time. It is nice to be back and if we keep taking these steps, then we’ll be among the elite eventually.

    • Scott1222

      It was a very frustrating tournament to watch…we didn’t execute that well on both ends…I feel THJ is really going to have to step up or “out” of his shell for that manner…I posted a comment yesterday regarding him hiding in the corners on offense…he seems to get lost and becomes invisible…but we all kno he has the capacity to change a game quickly…what worries me is Smot and Morgan in early foul trouble…Smot is known for those touch fouls…but the biggest worry I have in playing Ohio is there ability to cover and shut down an opponents 3 point shooting…and as we kno we rely on the perimeter shots to fall first b4 we r effective in mid range game…I know Beilein is aware of this and should b able to make the proper adjustments….we need to try and attack 1st to put the proper spacing we need around the perimeter…mayb try and few early post moves by Morgan…Hardaway needs to b aggressive and take it to the rack like he did against Ohio St determined to thro it down w 2 hands..couple pick and pop shots from Smot early would help….and really need Novack and Stu to step up!! Go Blue!! Gonna need to b aggressive !!

    • Mattski

      I can’t have been the only person who thought we might get beaten soundly after watching OSU handle Purdue. They’ve got a lot of great players on that team, and they recovered their spark; I thought they’d beat MSU yesterday, too.

      But they’re a little immature, don’t handle adversity very well; too many sheepish grins when they get outplayed, rather than determination. MSU outwilled them down the stretch. 

      • Rblackmore

        agree, and they take too many bad shots.  more talent, but not as good at team basketball IMO.   MSU plays smarter and tougher and that’ll usually win with the talent is close……  

        how many very contested shots does Bufford take a game?  a lot.  thankfully, he hit that one 8 days ago!

  • RB

    Drew Sharpe was obviously trying to get at something with the last couple of questions for an angle on his piece tomorrow.  What a douche.

    • Mattski

      His Freep piece today is awful, even for him. Not just going out of his way to be petty about Michigan, but outright unintelligible in many places. They should at least provide the sadsack with an editor. 

      I used to get a chuckle out of his attempts to skewer Michigan, but. . . that’s enough for me.

  • Mattski

    Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy likes Ohio to upset Michigan and thinks Temple is a sleeper team, too:

  • Rblackmore

    Just some thoughts…..

    Hey, you play well – you advance in the tourney.  We just need to come out and play well – shoot it well, defend well, take good care of the bball… nothing is different.  We are playing Ohio University….  they aren’t better then any of the teams in the Big Ten, but still, we need to play well to win.

    When we get by Ohio University, then its the same with Temple.  We have to play well, shoot it, defend and not turn it over.  Temple is a good team, but they aren’t a top 5 team in the Big Ten.

    Our lack of talent in the Post makes playing well much more important then maybe more talented teams, but we are experienced, we have good leaders, we have a great staff and a tough style to prepare for.  We also have a great PG and that always comes in handy in the tourney.

    Its sweet 16 or BUST IMO.