Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference

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Michigan vs Northwestern_27John Beilein joined the rest of the Big Ten coaches on the conference’s weekly teleconference on Monday morning. You can read notes and quotes from the full interview below. (Photo: Scott Mapes)

Opening statement: “We feel really good about having a great road win against what I think is a really good Nebraska team as they evolve. They’ve played a really difficult schedule up to this point and we were fortunate to come away with a last-second win. Four of our last six games have been last-second games. It is fortunate. And now we have Penn State, who has been on the other side of some of those last-second games lately. They’re a hungry, steadily improving Penn State team tomorrow.”

  • On Wisconsin’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Michigan during the regular season last year: “We’re a game ahead here, but I know you just got to do your job. The thing that comes out is that we had very similar situations. We took bad angles on that play, and that falls on the coach 100 percent. We didn’t have the help we expected on that play and that falls on the coach as well. We had two more situations that year: Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen game and Syracuse in the semifinal game. What we learned from that Wisconsin loss paid off in both of those situations. Because both times we defended it much better. So who knows, if he doesn’t make that shot, whether we make the necessary adjustments in how we coach that last play.”

  • On Jordan Morgan’s increased role: “First of all, he’s just an incredible young man. I’d like you to check how many people will have two engineering degrees by the time they graduate in five years. He’ll have both a bachelor’s and a master’s in engineering when he’s done at Michigan. So that’s one thing. The other thing is, we won a Big Ten championship with him starting every one of our games at center, or almost every game. Last year, he was really playing well — we had one loss, were the number one team in the country when he went down with an ankle injury. That ended up really finishing his season to be the complete defender, the knowledge of our system, he never really came back from that. Right now, he’s healthy again, and that’s been a big difference. He’s got experience. We’re so glad we have him in reserve, because he’s really not a normal reserve.”
  • On Glenn Robinson III’s recent improvement: “With the loss of Mitch McGary, we had tweaked what we do both offensively and defensively. What’s resulted is he’s getting more touches, he’s really embraced the opportunities we’re giving him, and he understands how hard work can really pay off. He’s been a great captain for us so far, and we’re thrilled when we see him be as aggressive. We said three things have to happen for him to bring his game to another level: he has to go harder, the coaches have to find ways for him and his teammates have to see him better. All those things happened at Nebraska.”
  • On Nik Stauskas’ progression: “Well, getting to the foul line is one. He’s already shot more foul shots in these 15 games than he shot in 39 last year. So that’s a good step in the right direction. Defensively, where he wasn’t a weak defender, it wasn’t a strength. Now, he can stay in front of a lot of people, whether it’s in the post or off the post. And he has really evolved in those two areas. Obviously, his assist numbers are way up. He’s trending to have numbers that point guards have. That’s good for everyone.”
  • geoffclarke

    Who are some other teams in the country with a couple of excellent wing players? I’ve got to think when GRIII and Stauskas are playing up to their potential, they’ve got to be one of the best combinations of wing players.