John Beilein spoke with the media after his team’s 67-39 win over Binghamton on Tuesday. The coach talked about how he was able to tinker with lineups, how he keeps his players preparing diligently for less-than-stellar competition and more. You can watch the full press conference using the embedded media player below or read selected notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “I thought Binghamton had a great game plan. I don’t know if you noticed, but they didn’t send people to the backboard — they tried to stop our transition offense and then they ended up maximizing every possession. One of the reasons we had the shot-clock violations was because of the fact that they really weren’t looking to score unless there was something wide open with 15 seconds to go. They shortened the game up, that’s why we only scored the 69 points. Thank goodness our defense really did a great job at the end of the first half. Lots of great things were seen out there that we can address for improvement or that we can see we’re making great progress. So, it’s all good. It’s a great learning experience, again. We’re anxious to get back to work, but with the study day tomorrow and exams starting on Thursday, our guys need a good day off.”
- On Michigan playing good defense without fouling: “It’s been a point of emphasis my whole life. For 35 years, it’s been a point of emphasis: why give them easy shots? … We think you can play good defense without having stupid fouls.”
- On Mitch McGary’s night: “He had a test today at 2:00, he got out of it at 3:00, came to the pregame meal, and I know it’s been a tough couple of days for him because he’s really been preparing… There are some things he can do with his body to even get more rebounds and we’re working at that daily.”
- On what Beilein can take away from a game like this: “There are so many things that happened in that game. Now, they get to more individual things. Our scout team, we can’t trick them in practice. They know everything that we’re doing. Eso (Akunne) and Corey (Person) have been guarding this stuff for four years and they are on it ahead of us. We ran some stuff just to get it on film today.”
- On Caris LeVert: “I don’t know what I’m still going to get from him. Just two weeks ago, we weren’t even thinking of doing this (burning his redshirt) just yet. We weren’t serious about doing this until the North Carolina State game. He’s doing, right now, everything that we want him to do. Now, we’ve got to continue to just let him learn and keep getting better. … If the ball is bouncing in the gym, he’s probably out there, a lot of times, all by himself.”
- On Tim Hardaway Jr.: “He had some wide open looks that he’s gotta take that he typically has a great percentage on. Last year, when he wasn’t shooting the ball, he went through a little bit of a funk — I could tell when it went out of his hands that it wasn’t going in. Every one of those today I thought was going in. I’m not concerned about it at all.” Beilein said he was concerned about a couple of turnovers.
- “Vall Jordan said that ‘No one wants to close out on Caris Levert.’ Because he can shoot it, and he can go by you so quick with that first step. And then he sees really well, and with his length — he’s earned his minutes at the end there and he’s taking advantage of them.”
- On Stauskas going 4-of-8 from 3 and that being a so-so shooting night for him: (Laughs) “What was he, 4-for-8? You know what? I’m disappointed, too. I mean dang it, the kid’s supposed to shoot 5-for-8 every night. … When he misses a couple of shots, we’re all surprised, aren’t we?”
- On what he was able to do with lineups tonight: Beilein said he wasn’t able to do as much as he would have liked. “I wanted to get the big man lineup in there.” Said the big question is who’s better on the perimeter: Jordan Mrogan or Mitch McGary.
- On which past team he can compare this season’s Michigan team to: “The one thing that stands out that I did think about, was we had a West Virginia team that started out 10-0 with wins at North Carolina State and LSU. Then got thumped badly, and then all of a sudden went into shock. We ended up having a heck of a year. When you get off to this type of start, you have to be careful when you do lose, some guys will overreact to it. You’re gonna lose. … and you’re gonna lose more than a few, and you just gotta hang in there.”
- On whether he’s surprised at Michigan’s ability to dominate games against all levels of opponent: For Binghamton, Beilein said the team prepared in exactly the same way they did for Arkansas. “If you look at the work habits of the coaches, we’re never going to give them anything but our best, and then they do the same for you. I thought we were really well-prepared for this game.”