John Beilein addressed the media on Friday evening after watching his team score 100 points, for the first time since 2007, in the season opener. Beilein discussed Tim Hardaway Jr.’s monster day, Jon Horford’s return from injury, Trey Burke’s night and much more. Watch Beilein’s press conference in the embedded media player below or find highlighted quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “I was telling their coach that I really like their team, I think they have a great chance. You saw early in the game what we saw on film – that they have a chance. But then when we got it going, we really got it going. We defended, rebounded and that put us in the transition game. We played well as a team and Tim Hardaway Jr. was really special today. With 10 rebounds, finding people. He’s been practicing this way for about a week and its really nice to have him playing this way. For him to score a thousand points in the first game of his third year. He’s really been playing that way – I see another step in his progression playing as a combo type of guard that has really been good.”
- On Hardaway: “When you have [Hardaway] on the floor and Trey [Burke] on the floor and then Matt or Nik over there – I wouldn’t like to defend those type of shooters when he has it going. There were some rough days last year but that’s just what people go through and he came out of it last year.”
- On Horford and McLimans: “Jon hasn’t been out there for two weeks really doing a whole lot. The leg was fine but he felt awkward. I was going to use him only in foul trouble. He looked al little gassed, Blake came in and hit a three, that’s the beauty of depth.”
- “Trey was beautiful setting [Hardaway] up. Those two are working really well together. You’ve probably noticed that. Trey set him up several times. One of his last threes, Trey just turned and gave him this ball with great spin and it’s difficult for Tim to miss those. That’s a beautiful jump shot now. He’s going to have a heck of a career here and beyond.”
- On scoring 100 fairly easily: “They were going to score the ball on us, we weren’t going to hold them to 40, just because of their experience. Those guys are hoopers man, they know how to play. They can score the ball. So if we could get enough stops and run, we felt like we had an advantage.
- “We got a little sloppy today, nine turnovers. Trey Burke in particular, that’s very uncharacteristic for him. They didn’t leave some of our shooters and that made us a little uncomfortable. We’ve gotta work at that.”
- On Tim: “we talk all the time. He comes into my office every day. I don’t want ot take any credit for that. Our whole coaching staff values him so much. He came in here and we were picked 11th in the Big Ten and we haven’t been anywhere near the back of the Big Ten since he arrived.”
- More on Tim: “He was not in a sophomore slump. Are you going to get better every year? If you get better every year that’s incredible. He’s just growing and he’s doing really well.”
- On Trey Burke: “I think he was really so excited to be back out there and playing with his teammates. Probably going too quick. The old John Wooden ‘be quick but don’t hurry’, I loved his patience in the second half. I don’t think you’ll see those five turnovers very often. He was just trying a little too hard.”
- On specific adjustments: “If they were going to play way off Mitch, Jordan or whoever our center is, we were just going to screen them and let [Trey] shoot those 15-footers.”
- On Horford’s big basket: “This is such a wonderful kid. I wanted him to play in the second half but I wasn’t so sure once we didn’t get in foul trouble. I don’t think he was as ready to play as we had hoped. For him to just get in there and make the basket. He had the confidence to shoot a few outside shots, where he is a really good shooter and just hasn’t had the opportunities. We’ll continue to work at that part of his game.”
- On Mitch McGary: “We have a daily program going on with him, just getting him to continue to play bigger. He’s a big man now and there are things that he can do leverage wise to play the full 6-foot-10. The first couple misses, I think he had three rebounds but they are all off himself. The old Elgin Baylor offensive rebound. He hung in there, hit the shot at the end and made the foul shot. There’s a process that he’s going to go through and I’m really confident that at the end of this he has the chance to be a really good player.”