MADISON, WI — John Beilein got his first win over Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday night, besting the Badgers by the score of 77-70. The coach addressed the media after the game. Beilein talked about his team’s mindset during Wisconsin’s late run, the step-back three by Nik Stauskas and more. You can watch the full press conference using the embedded media player below or read notes and quotes after the jump.
Opening statement: “This Wisconsin program is so good. People make a lot of the Kohl Center, because it is a great atmosphere, you’ve got great fans in here. But for us to just beat Wisconsin, any time, with the way they’ve run their program and how well they run their program, the quality kids they have, their staff — it really feels good for our staff and for our team. We got a lot of work to do, but we’re going to enjoy this one for a few hours. We really feel good because of who we were just able to get a victory over.”
- On the significance of the win given Michigan’s drought since 1999: “I don’t get into too much of that stuff, I really don’t. Because you’ve got to get your road wins somewhere, and if you get four or five a year, you’re really in good shape in the league. So it’s another road win. But whether they come here, or whether come somewhere else — it’s great media talk, that’s great stuff. … But where’s your program at the end and how many can you get during the year? But if it’s something we’re going to talk about every year, and we don’t have to talk about it anymore, then that’s a good thing. That’s a really good thing. …”
- On the atmosphere in the Kohl Center when Nik Stauskas hit his step-back three in the final minute: “Are you kidding me? You were here last year, weren’t you? Tim Hardaway hit a three with 2.2 seconds left, and the air never came out of the building. This game wasn’t going to be over until that buzzer went off and we had the win. No, that was a great shot by Nik, but that was a lot of time left for them to win the game.”
- On the redemptive quality of this win given close calls against Iowa State and Arizona: “I value them all pretty much the same. I think our wins at Minnesota and Nebraska were ones that were probably — they were in doubt when the ball was going up at the end. Those were all good games. Ws are Ws, you’re trying to build your resume. At the end of the year, you start saying, alright, that was a win over a ranked team. Who knows where people are at the end? So I’m the wrong guy to ask all these questions. To me, it’s pretty black and white: you’re trying to get wins, you’re trying to get to the top of your league, and I don’t care who you have to beat to get there.”
- On taking advantage of Wisconsin’s ball-screen defense: “When you get your team beat so many times by Bo’s teams, you’re always looking for answers. I don’t know if we found any answers today, but we certainly had a plan coming in, but it’s basically a plan we use a lot during the year.”
- On last year’s shot running through his head as the game ended: “I use the word redemption a little bit. These guys walked into there and I’ve walked into locker rooms before and it haunts you every year about what happened on the road against a certain team, and I thought our guys came in here saying that this is a really good program, number one, and we are going to make up for the loss last year by doing everything we can. And they really played with that type of sense of urgency. So I think it affected our guys, our returning guys, it certainly affected them, but I like the way they responded. Obviously it was very positive.”