Video & Quotes: John Beilein previews Ohio State

John Beilein spoke with the media on Saturday in preparation for his team’s matchup against Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday. You can watch the full press conference using the embedded media player below or read selected notes and quotes after the jump.


Opening statement: “It was good for us to have to have, for the first time in a long time, a three-day window between games. The players got to recuperate, the coaches got to go through the Nebraska game and clean up a lot of things we need to discuss. We really had a great skill period of practice yesterday where we did some things that Ohio State likes to do, but we also focused on ourselves more and what we need to do better. It’s going to be a great game tomorrow: 1:30, national T.V. Great team, that is very difficult to beat on their home court. We’re going to have to play really well.”

  • On how his team improved on the road last season and if he’s carried anything over from that: “No, not really.” Beilein said road games in the Big Ten are going to be “indicative of who the really good teams are.” Not many teams have played road games against top-20 teams this season, and most of them “did not fare well.”
  • On his strategy going into the game: “We just try to play our best every play.” Referenced times when Michigan has “hung around” in the first half against Ohio State only to see the Buckeyes make a run in the second half to put the game away. “The runs will happen, but I don’t think there’s anything you can do ahead of time. It’s in the middle of the run when you have to get a stop.”
  • On if his team feels the pressure of being undefeated: “I don’t think we feel any of it. I don’t feel any of it. None of us feel anything. … It’s not about being undefeated. It’s about who did you play, where’d you play them and when did you play them.”
  • On if he still feels like his team has something to prove: “We’re 3-0 in a league we have to play 18 games in. We haven’t done anything. We have a lot to prove.”
  • On containing Ohio State’s offense: “I think it’s Aaron Craft, first of all. It starts with him. He’s the one who finds Deshaun (Thomas). But Deshaun can get it going and there’s no college playbook or NBA playbook that can stop some of the things he’s doing right now. … defense has to be good. I think traditionally where they’ve hurt us is second-chance points.”
  • On having improved athletes to go against Ohio State: “I think we do, but do we have the experience to do that (run with Ohio State)?” Cited the fact that Michigan hasn’t faced a truly hostile road environment yet. “You have to be able to think to do those things. … you need to go on the road, you need to find out how good you are, and improve from there.”
  • On having every contender in the Big Ten on the road first: “That’s a challenge for everybody. It’s not indicative of anything more than where you’re at at that point in the season. And then, you just build from there.”
  • On playing two bigs: Said that with the closeness of the Nebraska game, “We probably played Glenn (Robinson III) too many minutes. … I’d like to play both of them. In this particular situation, you may have to. So we’ll see.”
  • On Jon Horford’s health: “He should be able to go. We’re going to throw him in there, so that should help us as well. … we used him yesterday, and getting the kinks out of him was a smart choice.”
  • On what he anticipates from Ohio State’s offense: “Their offense was a simple but really intelligent scheme of throw the ball to Sullinger and play off his abilities to score, pass, do all things. He hit some shots against us in the tournament last year that the guys that are playing the Celtics right now aren’t stopping. … Now it’s different because Thomas is taking the majority of their shots, Craft is a little more offensive at times than he’s been and Lenzelle Smith is really shooting it well. He was really streaky last year, but he has good numbers.”

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