Michigan coach John Beilein spoke with the media following his team’s decisive 88-66 victory over Holy Cross at the Crisler Center on Saturday. Beilein addressed the absence of Mitch McGary, how he thought his big men stepped up and much more. You can watch the full press conference using the embedded media player below or read notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “I think we just beat a really good team. I do believe that. First of all, they have a back-to-the-basket post man, which you don’t find very often, and then they have a great plan around him. … That’s a team that has a chance, in the Patriot League, to do very well. Because the Patriot League has good teams — whether it’s Bucknell, whether it’s Lehigh, Lafayette, Holy Cross, BU now, but a really good league. So it’s a good test for us, because they play a similar style to some of the team’s we’re going to play, including Minnesota coming up. I really felt good about the way we played. … I really liked the energy we had.”
- On the team’s mindset after news of Mitch McGary’s injury: “Going into the Stanford game, I think everybody knew this could be happening because he wasn’t getting better. So I think we understood that it was important to beat Stanford to know, alright, we can be strong still without Mitch if we just band together. … I think everyone is rallying to it. Obviously, Mitch is really good friends with our team. They are playing for him just as much as they were playing with him.”
- On his assessment of the frontcourt play against Holy Cross: “16 (points) and 10 (rebounds) was good today. I think a couple times Jon (Horford) was really aggressive. Sometimes he still has to have a little bit better shot selection when we post him up. But he and Jordan, I thought Jordan was really solid tonight. He got some 50-50 rebounds he used to get, and he got tired. He didn’t hedge a couple ball screens and we took him back out of there because he just got tired. He hasn’t had that type of game minutes.”
- On Glenn Robinson III being aggressive: “There’s three things. Number one, he’s got to look for these opportunities more. He’s such a good kid that — it may be a fault — he’s not looking for his own opportunities. Number two, we have to continue to recognize where he’s comfortable. And number three, his teammates need to pass better. Because there are several times in games, he’s wide open. It happened a couple times today. He’s a good player. Throw it to him when he’s open. So we’re getting better at recognizing that.”
- On Jordan Morgan’s past experience helping him replace McGary: “(Morgan) won a Big Ten championship. He was our starting center on a Big Ten championship team. It is really valuable to have him, and he’s got to have the right mindset every day. He’s sat enough. He sat that whole game when we beat VCU in the tournament. He didn’t play, and that was the first game he didn’t play. That hit him hard. All the sudden he’s out there starting again. He deserves it because he’s worked hard.”
- On guards rebounding and producing in McGary’s absence: “We can focus on some different things. Mitch on the perimeter is a passer and a dribbler and a driver. He’s different from Jon and Jordan. So we were going to use him more in those situations and really open up the floor. And then we had to shut it down, obviously. We have a different plan, and obviously Nik (Stauskas) and Caris (LeVert), we’ll put more things in for them to play off that and use those two as more of a pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop type of screener to really get us good looks at the basket.”
- On the balanced offensive production: “One of our things is, ‘The ball talks.’ There’s no plays being called — there’s looks, there’s action, you counter and you read and react. And we went with that almost exclusively today. You can see how I called some quick-hitters because I saw something that was happening because now it’s time to counter the read-and-react offense. We are teaching that more and more than we ever have right now.”