Video & Quotes: John Beilein discusses win over Arkansas

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John Beilein spoke with the media during his post-game press conference after his team’s 80-67 victory over Arkansas. He addressed Michigan’s depth, with all five starters scoring in double figures, as well as the unique challenges Arkansas presented. You can watch using the embedded media player below or read selected notes and quotes after the jump.

Opening statement: “Much like last year, I think the speed of the game can wear you down a little bit. When we had to make choices during this game, whether to give in to fatigue or keep on fighting, we kept on fighting. We still limited their possessions, I’m proud of the way we played. They’re a tough team for us to match up with. We don’t see as much of that in the Big Ten, we saw a little of it with North Carolina State. I think Arkansas has the potential to be a very good team. I’m glad we came out on the top side of that one.”

  • On the effect of Jordan Morgan’s energy early in the game: “It was really big for us. This has got to be his M.O.: ‘I’m a high-energy guy that gets all the garbage buckets, defends the heck out of my man,’ and everything will just come his way. … When he’s got that, we’re a much better team.”
  • On Michigan grabbing 18 offensive rebounds: “Both Mitch (McGary) coming in there and Jon Horford was a huge lift again. That’s like two games in a row when he comes in there, the other big men feel him. … It’s good for us to get extra possessions, but it’s good for them not to — (Arkansas) didn’t get a lot of extra possessions today.”
  • On being able to go to his bench to spell Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.: “Spike (Albrecht) was terrific, wasn’t he? … I don’t think he had a turnover today, so his (assist-to-turnover) numbers continue to be, like, a 5-1 ratio or something. It really helps.”
  • On also having the depth in the frontcourt to rotate guys in and out: “There’s two positions in basketball where you have to be in big-time shape: it’s the big man and it’s the point guard. If this was 15 years ago, everybody would be in motion, everybody was moving. … now the two, three and four do a lot of spacing. Those two positions have to be in great shape. With the three of those (Jordan Morgan, Mitch McGary and Jon Horford), we have that luxury.”
  • On the key to pulling away after Arkansas cut Michigan’s lead to one: “What I liked was that we did respond during that time. We didn’t respond with some pretty play — we just got gutty, garbage buckets that made the difference.”
  • “In particular right now, with the new ball-screen offenses that everyone employs, there’s pressure on the rim in a lot of different ways, and there’s rebounding angles because you’re forcing everybody into help side, so you’re going to need some muckers to go in there and get the loose ones. Mitch and Jon and Jordan make a huge difference in that. It’s rare for one of our teams to do that, but we’ve sort of seen the trends in the game and our coaching staff has decided we have to do a little of this.”
  • Arkansas was playing what Beilein called “no-catch” defense, which means constant denial of the ball. This makes it very difficult for a team to make the passes it needs to to get into a play. As a consequence  “It’s more of a dribble game. You need guys who are going to get in there and attack the rim without the ball by getting offensive rebounds.”
  • On all five starters scoring in double figures: “Glenn (Robinson III) making early shots was huge. That type of versatility we really need to have. We can’t just depend on Tim or Trey or anybody. We have to depend on all five being solid, at least having average games.”
  • On the Trey Burke technical for hanging on the rim: “He must have done something that the referee thought was a technical foul. I thought it was a well-officiated game. I haven’t seen that in a long time. I know he was running pretty fast, and when you dunk like that, you may run right into the standard if you don’t hang onto something.”
  • On getting to 100 wins at Michigan: “I’ve been fortunate enough to be at a lot of good places, where if you’re there for four or five years, you have the ability to do that. I certainly hope that the next 100 at Michigan is easier than the first 100. Those first three years were a difficult transition for us.”
  • On being mic’d up for the game by CBS: “We have a lot to sell at Michigan in the way our team operates, the way our coaching staff acts, the culture that we have. Why not let America in on that?”