Video & Quotes: John Beilein discusses home victory over Illini

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John Beilein addressed the media during the post-game press conference following Michigan’s 71-58 win over Illinois at the Crisler Center on Sunday. You can watch using the embedded media player below or read notes and quotes after the jump.


Opening statement: “I was thrilled with that second half that we played today. As you can see, Illinois coming in with a win against Indiana, a win at Minnesota, a win at Northwestern and a bunch of very veteran players. You guys know every game makes me nervous but that one was going to be a tough one to get through. That second half, I think we looked a lot like how we’d been playing earlier in the year. Our defense was great, and that propelled our offense to fast-break opportunities and we got the stops we needed to win. Illinois is an NCAA team, I would assume, and it’s really good to have a team of that caliber in here and get a really good win.”

  • On the stretch in the second half after Tyler Griffey hit some 3-pointers to pull the game to within four points: “Our defense got us some stops there, but those two from Columbus (Trey Burke and Caris LeVert), they have a lot of synergy together. That was part of it. Caris hadn’t been himself with the injury … when they see each other they connect and there’s not a person on the team who doesn’t love Caris.”
  • On Trey hitting 1,000 career points: “He’s not hogging shots. There were some games where he’ll talk to me and say, ‘coach, I should have shot less than that.’ He’s playing the game the right way and he has this confidence about when it’s time for him to go in and get buckets or shoot a three.”
  • On the contributions of Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht off the bench: “As we retooled this week, we talked about that. … We know Trey and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) are terrific players. There are some other guys out there who need to step up for us to continue in the direction we want to go. For Spike, he got a lot of reps this week with the first team. Caris finally was healthy and got some reps.”
  • On Jordan Morgan returning: “We had been very hopeful coming out of this mini-camp that we had that he would be back to his old self — he wasn’t. He was not in the last couple days in practice. There were a few minutes after we’d made the decision to go with Mitch (McGary) when he looked like his old self. … Right from the get go, I knew that even if he’s not 100 percent, he’s better than he’s been.”
  • On offensive rebounding in the second half: “The first half … there were some obvious times where we could have blocked out. There were also some times when we batted the ball off each other and they just got the ball and laid it in. Some of it was happenstance, some of it was technique. In the second half, that was a big emphasis.”
  • On how big a factor Morgan is in the improved defense: “He reacts just a little bit quicker than the other bigs to all the changing that goes on out there. This is a great ball-screen team. … coming out of there, there has to be a guy telling everyone where to go or knows where to go. He knows that. He anticipates much better than the younger guys do.”
  • On if he felt his team needed a half like the second half of this game to remind it of what it was doing earlier in the season: “There’s a bounce in our step right now. … It was all spurred by our defense, but they go hand-in-hand. It is important to have that success. As hard as they’ve practiced, they needed to have that success just to say, ‘hey, it does pay off.'”
  • On how the rest helped the team: “With the length of the schedule in  Division I where you go until March 12th, you’re going to have some bye sometime. You’d probably like to have it at this time, where you go into five games, we have four left now, where we could really just get back to who we are.”
  • On Trey never turning the ball over: “His handle is so sure, even in crowds. He doesn’t try to do too much, either. He knows the times when he needs to give a little bit more wrinkle to his game, and then there’s other times when it’s straight ahead.”
  • On Spike Albrecht: “When we saw him in October, we saw a young man who saw the game at a speed that we’d like him to see at. … We just want him to go out and play, with no plays — ‘Spike, go read the floor.’ He really did a good job.  He and Caris both made lots of extra shots this week, and it paid off today.”