Following the Michigan basketball team’s 68-57 win over Rutgers, Michigan coach John Beilein spoke with the media about losing his gameplan notes just before tipoff, surviving a trap game, the contributions of Aubrey Dawkins and Ricky Doyle off the bench and more.
“I just ran into a family in the hallway — big family. And I said ‘I hope you all had a good time tonight, because I did not, so somebody had to have the good time today.’ Sometimes you have these games, and we’re fortunate to get a win based on our performance. We’ll go from it, learn from it going forward. Just have to do the best we can, and credit Rutgers for playing hard and guarding us really well, and we’ve got another game (Saturday), and we just have to continue to grow as a team.”
On when he realized it was an off night
“There was a moment in the locker room ahead of time where I realized I was missing my scouting report, it just disappeared. I always religiously go over it one more time, but I couldn’t find it. That was a bad omen to start because after 1,100 games I have the same ritual of looking it over, and I couldn’t find it.
“But yeah, we had the ball dropping around, we had the ball going in and out and we had a couple just really crazy plays … we could have been beaten easily today the way we played both offensively and defensively. If they had made some of those shots, we could have gone down.”
On building momentum
“Sometimes what you have to do is manufacture energy. Missing shots can take a lot out of you, and it takes it out on your defense. So you just can’t put your head down and wallow in it, you’ve got to continue to grow energy as a team.
“When you’re playing an 0-7 team and it’s at your place and you’re coming off a big win, the trap game, the let-down game, all those things are a part of it. … In those types of games, you just have to provide a message for your team moving to the next game.”
On lack of post presence
“I didn’t like the way we did that either. We were probing in our drives, instead of just attacking in our drives. And that’s what we’ll learn from it. With 30 seconds on the shot clock and all of a sudden it’s down to six, you’ve got to stop probing, you’ve got to go! Draw a foul, do something.”
On bench contributions
“That was a big part of our game, to establish that sixth guy (Dawkins), and he played a lot of minutes tonight too. It’s really been good, and as he continues to grow in other areas of the game, he should be an important part of us in these final 10 games that we have left.”
On Irvin’s playmaking ability
“At times people would look at the game and say he’s the primary guy out there. But we went to Derrick later a couple of times just because we felt that it would be a better option for us, but (Zak) is really doing a good job of seeing people … you have to have some help, but he’s really good at finding them.”
On frustration with the setback
“I’m trying to just put this in perspective. I think after I watch the video I’ll be able to speak more to that because sometimes coaches will overreact to a game like that. But in order to play at this level, there are some things you have to do day in and day out, so we’ll just keep working on that.
“We’ve just got to turn it around and play on both sides of the basketball, and they know that is something we’ll address. But one thing I know, is that this team you can coach. They will not put their head down, they will look say ‘Okay, I get what you’re saying now,’ and get better.”