Video: John Beilein ‘saw some heads go down’ in loss at Purdue

Alejandro Zúñiga

Michigan fell to Purdue, 64-51, and John Beilein called out his team’s mental toughness in his postgame comments.

Check out the coach’s full press conference in the embedded media player, and hit the jump for quotes.

Opening statement: “It wasn’t pretty, but it was a great battle. Even though we didn’t play well until that point, I thought we were in a great position if, in the second half, we go and make some shots and defend and rebound. Second half, none of that happened. We did not make shots; we did not defend the way defend; and we certainly didn’t rebound the way you could.

“That’s what you get. You get what you deserve. And we deserve to have a second half, to lose the game. You gotta make shots; you gotta rebound; you gotta defend.”

On mental toughness: “I didn’t think our second-half physical or mental toughness was what it had to be. We had some good shots. We have to make those good shots. But then, when the shots aren’t going in, it’s not going to just change. You have to get back on defense and get better at it. We have to understand, you’re not going to win on the road if you’re not going to fight the whole time — the whole game.”

On pulling Zak Irvin in the second half: “He wasn’t making shots, and he will. Maybe he’s tired. We saw what Aubrey can do the other day — let Aubrey go in there and see if he can make that. Zak was not feeling comfortable with his shot, whether it was a layup or not, so go take a rest, watch the game a little bit, and come back in and see what you can do.”

On being in the game despite scoring drought: “We have great kids, mentally tough. You cannot give in. It’s only a 40-minute game. You can’t give in just because we’re not making shots. You saw some heads go down. And that’s my job now: You cannot carry that backpack back and forth. That was my message to the team.”

On using zone defenses against Hammons: “We tried to mix that up. I really think we did a really good job, at times. He’s so long, he’s so big, he’s so skilled. It obviously wasn’t good enough. Let’s say he ended up getting 20 points off twos, and no one else got offensive rebounds. We kept him in check. Then we can win the game. He gets 20, but we still allowed the other guys [score]. I don’t think we have the makeup of a team that’s going to shut down a big guy like him.”

On if team has a go-to leader: “I think it’s developing, but I don’t think it’s a proven leader yet because they haven’t had that opportunity.

“I saw some good things from Spike today. I saw some really good things with his leadership. His body language was really good. The other ones, we have to get better at it.”

  • A2MIKE

    Very sobering assessment, can’t say that I disagree. Caries and Zak may be the best players on the team but they are not the best leaders, and being that they are also two of the most experienced players, they need to be able to lead by example. And the example they set in the 2nd half wasn’t very good. Have no doubt that Irvin sat because of effort, and that would be the 2nd time this season that has happened. Disappointed to say the least. The thing I have loved about building this program is that the guys have always been easy to root for and the team has always gave maximum effort, irregardless of the score. I don’t see that this year. When the shots aren’t falling guys play halfhearted on defense and it just snowballs from there.