Notes, quotes from John Beilein on Big Ten teleconference


Michigan B1G Championship-3John Beilein was available to speak with the media via the Big Ten coaches conference call on Monday. The coach talked about winning the Big Ten, how he calls plays and more. you can read the full transcript of the call below. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

Opening statement: “It was another good week for us and we’re thrilled to have clinched this (Big Ten) championship outright this past Tuesday and beat a good Indiana team on Saturday in really a tremendous atmosphere here in Crisler. Our guys are excited. We’ll be back at practice today and next week and know that we’ll have difficult challenges but great opportunities in the Big Ten tournament.”

  • On the possibility of playing Illinois or Indiana in second-round game of Big Ten tournament: “Yeah, but I think that probably goes for all three teams. There’s a familiarity. When we were playing Illinois this past Tuesday, we hadn’t seen them all year long and it was a single play. Indiana we hadn’t played in a month. The fact that we just played those two, it helps all three teams just as far as the recall of the different plays people run and the personnel, they’ll recall it better. It has probably very little effect on the play in the game because all three teams are in the same deal.”

  • On how to maintain his team’s serious edge: “We got to make sure we get enough rest, but we also got to make sue our practices are like any other practices we have. They’ll be a little shorter, but at the same time they will be intense. The coaches will not let up. We’re pretty demanding in the tempo of our practices, the communication piece of our practices and the intensity. If you just take care of those, hopefully they just go out and play the exact same way.”
  • On whether his teams run set plays or it’s more fluid: “You want all the secrets, huh? It would be a combination of both. If we’re calling some action, it could morph into anything, though. It’s the action we want them to go to, but if the other team blows it up it becomes a different action somewhere else. Also, there’s times when I have no idea what they’re going to do. We say the ball is going to talk.”
  • On honing his craft at the lower levels of coaching: “To answer your question, absolutely not have I seen most everything. It is absolutely incredible in these years as a coach — and we have some really good coaches in this league who have coached a while — every year, at least I am looking at something I have never seen in my life. And you learn something every practice, every game, you learn, you learn, you learn. To answer your second question, absolutely, and that goes with everybody. I was so fortunate to make mistakes at the lower levels that I could learn from the hard way. I’ve never been an assistant coach, so I didn’t learn by the method. I sort of had to learn by saying, that was not smart what we did today and I have to learn to be a better coach from it. That’s really assisted me in any success we’ve had after coaching at the small-college level — where, by the way, many of the coaches are every bit as good as the coaches that are coaching right now. There’s a lot of great coaches at every level.”
  • On his appreciation for what Nebraska coach Tim Miles has done this season: “It’s been terrific. He’s been a little nomadic as well, as I have, in just changing jobs and trying to just find a great situation where he can coach at the highest level. The way Nebraska has embraced him, the atmosphere there — I think we played their first Big Ten game there. It was a great atmosphere there. This team is put together differently as far as Big Ten (teams) would be, given the amount of transfers they have right now. As a result, that can go either way. These transfers have bought in and done a great job and as a result they’ve had a spectacular year. And his staff. We all get way too much credit as head coaches , and Tim is a great one, but our staffs are the backbone of all the head coaches.”
  • On having assistant coaches who have been with him a while: “I think that everyone would prefer to have guys for two or three years in their program, but what (Walter) Pitchford has done to that team, and (Terran) Petteway, the redshirt year with them is invaluable when they were transferring sitting out because they could really sit back and learn the game. I think that’s one of the great advantages. This rule where people shouldn’t have to sit out a year is crazy. Because that is one time, they get free education for another year and they get to be better basketball players. They’ve used that very well.”
  • On why his teams can’t seem to get the Big Ten tournament despite lots of success in regular season and NCAA tournament: “I do not know. I think any time you’re in the tournament, you’ve really got to be playing great basketball or you’re done. It only takes one game. It’s always different. Whether we were at the Richmond, West Virginia, or Canisius, you had to win that tournament at Richmond and Canisius — you had to win that tournament. That’s one thing you’re going through. At West Virginia in that first NCAA bid, we had to win a lot of games to go to that the first year, and we did. I think there’s a different sense of purpose in those things. You’ve got to go and get through those first few games and really play well. You’ve got to find ways to get lucky and find times to play hard and if you can, you could be sitting there in the championship game.”
  • On how his game plan has evolved from a two-guard offense to the pick-and-roll, as well as defensively with the 1-3-1: “There’s two things, and you’re right on with one of them. You adapt to your personnel. We always have. You try to morph our offense and our defense to the personnel that we have. Secondly, it has very little to do with opponents. It has to do with trends in the game and the way the game is. This year, some things had to change because of the way the game is going to be officiated. The game continues to change. As a coaching staff, we’ve tried to change right with it. So many teams will play you so many different ways, you have to become versatile in your approach. But you’d also be crazy not to use the ball screen offense and the variety of them that I learn about — I learn more about the ball screen offense every day, just by playing another game or having another practice. And defense.”
  • On whether he thinks he watches more film than most coaches: “I have no idea what other head coaches do, so I can’t answer that question. I wouldn’t say every minute of practice, but I probably watch an hour of every practice over and over again trying to get the angles right, trying to use it as a teaching tool with our players. So you can tell them one thing — you can show them another. By telling them and showing them firsthand, I think it’s been a great learning tool for us.”
  • Mattski

    I guess that if the ball knows it’s not much of a leap to it talking.