Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference

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Michigan vs Wisconsin_18It’s Monday, which means John Beilein hopped on the Big Ten coaches teleconference to talk about the past week and to look ahead to the next. You can read the full transcript of Beilein’s portion of the call below.

Opening statement: “It was quite a week. We played two really good teams. Probably, if you looked at our schedule, you would say they’d probably lose the away game and win the home game. In fact, that’s the opposite of what happened. We look forward to meeting with our team today, and just as we tried to grow through our victory at Ohio State, to grow even further from the loss yesterday to a really sharp, terrific Wisconsin team.”

  • On whether or not there’s a common thread in the past three losses: “Iowa plays at such a different tempo. The common thing is, as we make adjustments in the game, we just have to do a better job of just working through adversity, picking our spots offensively and then defensively, just playing with a better sense of urgency. No, I don’t think there’s anything. Two of them were away games, one was a home game. Just got to continue to get better.”
  • On the tweaking of the rules making teams better offensively or if it’s just a randomly good offensive year: “That’s an interesting question. I think at the beginning of the year, I think the way the rules were called was probably too much, Right now, I think they’re calling it at the right level, I think there’s still confusion, but I think it’s a combination of both. If you get to the basket, you can get to the foul line easier right now. When you look at it, and obviously hindsight is so much more accurate, the two rules taken together has caused some confusion. Both the hand-checking and the charge rule made it more difficult on teams defensively. I don’t think the purpose of the rule is to get people shooting more foul shots. But right now, the game is, people are scoring more. So maybe that has something to do with it.”

  • On another rule change he’d like to see: “I’ll have to think about that a little bit. … I don’t know much about market share. All I know is every Big Ten game is sold out. In three years we didn’t play a Big Ten game that wasn’t sold out. I don’t know anything about market share. I know there’s high interest out here in this league.”
  • On Michigan’s schedule for the week: “Today we’re going to do some things we need to do just to get better and some things I’ve been trying to do, we just didn’t have enough time with special situations and different things. We’re going to take Tuesday and Thursday off. So Wednesday is going to be another one of those days where it’s, let’s get Michigan better. Let’s not worry about our next opponent, let’s get Michigan better. And then Friday and Saturday will be our prep for Michigan State. There are things on the court and then the mental edge that you have to have that are hard to sustain during a long season. Finding ways to do that, that’s up to the coaches, that’s up to the players. Finding ways to make sure that, when you’re not on your best game, you still can do some other things. We’ll work both mentally and physically on our ability to win games against really good teams.”
  • On being the only team to win at Nebraska: “There’s an excitement there. You’ve got to have a talented team to win in this league home or away, and Tim (Miles) has put together a talented team that have played really well together, which takes time. You saw yesterday against Michigan State, I don;t think anyone would have called that. This team has lots of developing talent and talented players that Tim is doing a great job with. I don’t get into the building thing. Every building in this league is as loud as it can get. There is certainly a unique and novel excitement there, but at the same time, they’ve got good players. They’ve got really good players, and a really good coach.”
  • On what Miles is doing to build Nebraska’s program: “He’s been able to get some players with a lot of experience either as practice experience — they have a lot of 21, 22-year-old players, I’m guessing, just because guys have sat out or played junior college or transfers and things like this. As a result, their body type is really well-developed and they’re mature in their approach to the game. They’re 6-6 right now, and I’m not surprised by that. They can play some really good basketball, whether it’s home or away. Now, they got over that hump and that’s a hard one to get over — winning on the road.”
  • On what the regular-season Big Ten games mean for the Big Ten tournament: “(laughs) You had to make me think about that. I don’t have the experience in this league that Tom Izzo or Bo (Ryan) has, having been here for decades, but I’ve never seen in any league teams, whether they’re a top team or a bottom team, win on the road like this. This has been incredible. Obviously, the home advantage is still the home advantage in college basketball. So the tournament should be a real doozy. Whether it’s a team that probably already has a resume that gets them an NCAA tournament bid, or any team can just get hot and earn their way in. You’re going to have to beat really good teams to win this tournament. Some teams can do that as well.”
  • On keeping the players emotional up for all of these ranked teams: “It’s just the old day-to-day approach. We try to frame it up for them and say, this is what’s around the corner. We’re mostly talking about their study habits, their sleep habits, their training habits. You’ve got to find different motivational ways. We talk about coaching their hearts in February. Different motivational ways to get them focused on this particular game. That’s real, and you just have to continue to do that. You know that it’s been a grind for all of them. Each game’s got to be this stretch approach, one game left in the season, let’s go get it.”