John Beilein spoke to the media after his team’s victory against NC State at the Crisler Center on Tuesday. Beilein talked about Michigan doing its part in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the emergence of Nik Stauskas, Trey Burke’s complete performance and much more. You can watch the full press conference using the embedded media player below or read notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “We played a very, very talented team today. I just said on my radio show, it’s just like our Arkansas game last year — getting used to that quickness, and that talent, I don’t think we ever got used to it. We gave up 57 percent (shooting for NC State). They’re just so quick to the rim. Their fast break, they run it right down your throat, so we hadn’t seen that and I know we’ll grow from it. Not happy about the 57 percent, the 72 points, but extremely happy to get a win over a high-quality team that will have a good year.”
- On Nik Stauskas being such a dynamic scorer: “He’s been that everywhere we’ve ever seen him. If he’s open, he believes the ball is going in, and he has as clean a stroke as you can have. He really picked us up there in the first half and I love what he gives us.”
- On Trey Burke’s complete game: “He didn’t do anything differently In the first half he had nine assists. … and we scored 43 points. He wants to win. Whether he has to score points, because they were locking up those rails on Nik and Timmy (Hardaway Jr.) and not giving them any room, so he just goes to work. He’s just got that ability that only the best point guards have to use a screen and then re-use it and jump it in from 15 to 23 feet.”
- On the production from Jordan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary in the first half: “When Howell got in foul trouble, that was a big part of the game. And I don’t think that foul trouble should hurt us this year with those three. We’re still working with them so we can play both of them (Morgan and McGary) at the same time, finding out what packages we can use.” Said it’s a luxury to have so many guys to throw in the game, but it comes at the expense of playing time for guys like Jon Horford and Max Bielfeldt.
- On if Michigan could have won a game with a scoreless first half from Trey Burke a year ago: “That would have been difficult, but with nine assists — I mean, if he had nine assists, somebody was scoring. He was finding the open man.” Said Burke was “not happy” with his turnovers in New York and he even had a few in practice yesterday. “He felt he was maybe rushing things or not being as patient as he needs to be. I thought his pace tonight was terrific.” Stressed the need for Burke to trust his teammates and said he does now.
- Said it’s great having Mitch McGary able to come in and rebound the ball so well — “Jordan (Morgan) can’t do it by himself… Mitch gives us great energy all the time.” Said he’s getting in much better shape than he was in at the beginning of the season. “I took him out not because he was tired but because he gave up middle on a drive, and that was a scout-specific thing, and he said, ‘Coach, coach, I’m not tired!’ but I said, ‘No, don’t give up the middle.’ He’s used to coming out when he’s tired because he gives so much.”
- McGary puts in extra work with the coaching staff “often.” Works especially hard on how to play without fouling, how to play bigger in the post. “What a pleasure to coach. … I’m just telling you, it’s been really good to coach him.”
- As far as what more he needs to see from the offense, there were several plays out of timeouts that Beilein said his team “could have executed better.” Struggling at times to tailor the game plan to the evolving skill set of the young players.
- On Nik Stauskas possibly in the starting lineup: “We all have our superstitions. When we have a starting lineup, I want to see Matt (Vogrich) have some success in there. If Nik’s adapted so well to it, but it’s something you have to consider down the line. You want minutes.”
- On offensive rebounding: “This game, we probably send three back (on defense) more than we have all year, because (NC State) would just go north-south as fast as they could, and very speedy with that. We only sent two guys to the boards today.”