Following his team’s 72-56 win over Coppin State, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein discussed breaking a four-game losing streak, the performances of Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, Austin Hatch scoring his first official point and more.
Watch Beilein’s postgame press conference in the embedded media player, and click the jump for select quotes.
Opening statement: “It was important to get a win any way we could. I love the way we started the game. The way we just looked tired in the second, and I just thought we persevered just enough to get a good win and so that we got a little bounce in our step going into the holiday break.”
On Zak Irvin becoming a complete player: “We’ve been talking all year about the other things besides shooting. If you’re going to shoot at the volume that he’s shooting at right now: His assists are low; he had three tonight. His rebounds have been low; he got seven tonight. His steals have been low; he got two tonight. He’s trying to see what a complete player looks like, and he’s trying to evolve into that. Be more than just a shooter.”
On the fast start: “It was big for us to have. When [Kameron Chatman] is out there and he’s starting to just feel — he’s getting more comfortable at times. And obviously we’re going to need him. It was good just to get a start. I liked the way we ran up and down the floor and obviously Zak hitting his shot is big too. I had those things with Tim Hardaway: If I saw him hit that first one, I knew it could be a really good night. Zak knocked one down. Derrick, I thought, with his nine assists, he’s evolving right now as a point guard. The game keep evolving, so he keeps evolving.”
On the big men: “That was really good for them just to finish around the hoop. I don’t care who you’re playing, just finish around the basket. [Mark Donnal] hit another three, and that will expand some things for us. [Ricky Doyle] continues to grow, to simplify his game. Keep it high, land with balance, a fake or two, sight the rim and sight the basket, put it in.”
On pregame message: “No one likes losing the way we have. I think it was along the lines of, ‘Let’s have some fun.’ When you win, that’s fun. People don’t have fun when they’re in comfort. They have fun when they overcome challenges. We have a huge challenge in front of us, just to grow this team. That was fun for many of them tonight.”
On shooting 14 threes against smaller team: “As long as we’re taking good shots, I really don’t care where they come from. We did score in the paint more than we have been. … I liked today that we looked inside, we threw it up to the big guy a few times.”
On the break: “Spike needs it; Caris needs it; Zak needs it. Those guys have been putting in heavy minutes. We said, ‘No basketball.’ Don’t go back to your high school. Don’t do anything. Derrick needs to rest.”
On Austin Hatch scoring an official point: “The exhibition game was one thing. I told Austin earlier, ‘Just shoot it. The Lord will take care of it. Just shoot it.’ And it almost went in.”