John Beilein spoke with the media after Michigan’s first road win of the season, a 74-66 victory over Bradley. You can watch using the embedded media player below or read selected notes and quotes after the jump.
- On Nik Stauskas starting: “He needs to have more practice with some of our early plays including coming out after timeouts. … If he hadn’t played such good defense on (Scott) Wood (for NC State), this never would have happened. He showed he can guard people, he showed he can get in the lane and obviously he showed he can shoot.”
- Beilein saw opportunities for Michigan to “play through” Stauskas, partly because Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were so well-defended.
- On Stauskas’s defense, “That’s what the coaches are all looking for. Matt (Vogrich) really understands what we’re doing defensively. … Nik, after four weeks, it’s more difficult. … He’s proven he can do that now.”
- Max Bielfeldt got the lion’s share of playing time over Jon Horford because Bielfeldt was coming home. “He and Jon go at it every day. … I almost asked Jon to step back a little today because Max is going home and let’s put him in there. Jon’s a good teammate. I thought Max answered the bell really well, too.”
- On burning Caris Levert’s redshirt: “Our intention is not to just burn it for two minutes a game. (We want to) put him in there, put him in the top eight or nine, and hopefully he’ll play even more minutes than that. … He really wanted to do it, too.”
- More on Levert: “What one of his roles will be is to be a defensive stopper out there.” The objective in playing Levert is also to get more rest for Tim Hardaway Jr., since Beilein doesn’t see Levert as a big dropoff from Hardaway defensively.
- Beilein emphasized that on a few of Michigan’s late turnovers, Bradley was simply able to steal the ball. “That was just a matter of protecting the ball against hard pressure, and obviously it’s something we need to shore up. I don’t think we did anything stupid during that time, they just took the ball away from us.”
- On his big men: “There’s a competition between all four of them every day. … We’re just trying to find out what the right fit is.”
- On whether he’s happy with playing the game (at Bradley): “There’s not any genius in it other than saying ‘hey we want to go on the road’. I guess if you have the Michigan brand and early season premature ranking,that’ll bring people. With the Missouri Valley officials, they did a great job, you don’t have your officials. That was a terrific environment for us today.”
Video by Dustin Johnston, words by Joe Stapleton.