John Beilein, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. took the podium in Chicago after Michigan’s nine point loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten quarterfinals on Friday afternoon. Read the entire transcript of the post-game press conference below.
JOHN BEILEIN: I want to congratulate Wisconsin and Bo [Ryan] and his team. They really played a particularly great second half. They made — their run of threes there in the second half was a huge part of this game.
Part of it is our defense, part of it is their great offense. But it was — I was proud of our guys. We fought back and we had some chances to take the game back over and get back in front, we just couldn’t do it.
So a lot of that has to do with as we develop as a team and a lot has to do with how talented Wisconsin, talented a team Wisconsin really is.
Q. Tim, what did you do to your leg in the first half and how do you feel now? How did it maybe bother you did your during the game?
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: When I was in the back getting looked at in the locker room, they showed the replay. I went to go shoot the shot on [Mike] Bruesewitz and I think he fell. And then his foot got under me when I was landing and then twisted my left ankle. And I went back and got looked at.
I’m fine now. It was hurting for a little bit. When I came back out it was hurting. But it loosened up while I was playing on it and it got better while the game was going on.
Q. For Trey, how difficult is a game like that to play against Wisconsin where every possession, every basket seems hard to come by and then they started hitting them in the second half?
TREY BURKE: It’s difficult. Especially when we shot the way we shot as a team in the first half. We had some really good looks, just didn’t fall. Wisconsin did a really good job executing down low and kicking the ball out and they hit some big shots when they needed them.
Q. Tim, early in the second half Ryan Evans kept backing down you and Glenn [Robinson III] in the post. How effective was that move and was that maybe something you hadn’t seen from Ryan Evans on film?
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: We seen it in film. He was just doing a great job of just taking what the defense was giving him. And he does a great job of, they all do a great job of just landing on two, pivoting through pressure, and finding ways to get to the basket. And that’s what he did today. He did a great job of executing it and when we helped, he found his big men and they scored.
Q. For both players, with the week before the NCAA tournament now ending on this somewhat sour note, what is the main thing you guys think you have to work on and deal with this coming week?
TREY BURKE: Just continuing to grow and continuing to grow as a team on defense. I think that today we didn’t have the best offensive game, I think we got to really, got really a lot of good looks. So it wasn’t really our offense, it was really just playing team defense and sticking together when we needed each other. We fought back to the end.
And they had some rolls, some bounces on the rim that dropped for them. I think we just got to continue to get better. We got to refocus, regroup. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes, because sooner or later we’ll be done. So hopefully we’ll learn from this loss and get better.
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: The shots weren’t falling for us in the first half. We were taking wide open shots and they just did a great job of just staying in the game and just trying to stay in the game throughout the whole entire game. So Trey said it all.
Q. Trey, in the latter part of the first half, beginning of the second half, you had a hard time getting things to go. Was it anything Traevon Jackson was doing or Wisconsin defensively was doing to stop that?
TREY BURKE: No, not really. I got really good looks, good five foot to seven foot jump shots, and I was open on a lot of them and they just weren’t falling today. That’s just something that I have to play through. I have to continue to play through and try to get my teammates going.
And I think we did a good job of fighting back towards the end, but we didn’t have the best shooting game today as a team and maybe next game those shots will fall.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. You may return to the locker room. We’ll take questions for coach.
Q. Sort of the same question that I just asked them for you. Heading into the tournament now, there are some things we have seen that have recurred, some of the defensive lapses. What is the main thing that you want to impress upon your team going forward?
JOHN BEILEIN: Just we really got to grow defensively. You look at the game, we couldn’t make shots in the first half and we only scored 20 points. Then we put, get 40 in the first half or almost 40 in the second half. So that’s not the issue.
It’s just we have so many — there’s so many things you have to continue to get better at and all it takes, a team like this, it isolates you so much, it takes one breakdown here or there and they’re scoring points. The second half they scored at will. So that will be the big thing.
We’ll fix it the best we can. We have been trying all year long. There’s a process that we all have to go through to get better at it and hopefully we can shore up enough to continue playing for a long time.
Q. Frank Kaminsky hit a shot as the shot clock expired with about two and a half minutes to go. Made it a two possession game. How much do you think that changes the tone of the next two possessions both on offense and defense?
JOHN BEILEIN: There was some really big moments in that game. That was one of them. Kaminsky, they were really out of luck and he got an angle to drive to the basket that I’ll have to look at the video, but all of a sudden he was driving by us. And so that was a big play.
But there were other big points. I thought when we went zone [Traevon] Jackson hitting the long three, I think it was Jackson, [Mike] Bruesewitz stepping out and hitting threes. We had a couple 20 percent guys that were really shooting the ball well. There were many moments. But that one’s going to be striking for a little bit.