Video & Quotes: John Beilein after Mount St. Mary’s

Orion Sang
on

John Beilein spoke with the media on Saturday night after No. 25 Michigan’s 64-47 win over Mount St. Mary’s.

Opening comments: “Shades of New Jersey Tech where one guy can just make miraculous shots and keep them in the game. If you look at our defensive field goal percentage, we had some good stops and did just enough and hit enough threes to get a W. They were a bigger challenge for us than you’d think. I think it’s better to be 5’5” than 5’11” because you get under everybody. With just a primary ball screen defense, sitting two shooters in corner, it becomes a 2 on 2 game. We weren’t going to give 23, 55, or 11—outstanding shooters—looks at basket. He was playing 2 on 2 and he had a great game.”

On Zak Irvin’s hot start: “For Zak to come out stroking the ball the way he did was important for us and he made a huge shot down the stretch.”

On the frontcourt: “The start of the second half, [Wagner’s] offensive rebounds were big. DJ had a big offensive rebound today too. Something we’re not as known for as much. But it was against a smaller team.”

On Wagner: “[Wagner’s] learning what he can do. He still had 4 turnovers. Mark came in and gave us a great defensive effort. (It’s) a process for Moe to be a more efficient defensive player.”

On free-throws attempted: “We were averaging a really high 20 free throws a game going into the game. And so it’s part of their defense a little bit, the way they were playing, they were going underneath a lot of screens and forcing us to drive into crowds. So they actually were giving three pointers up a little bit to allow us to get that. So we gotta continue to find areas to drive. People are going under a lot of screens on us right now. It’s another trend in basketball, and everyone’s gotta keep staying with it, including me. And they’re not hedging and recovering…they’re just staying between the man and the basket, getting in heavy gaps. We have a few playmakers, but we don’t have a lot of playmakers there. We gotta continue to work on that to get better at that. Muhammad has got to be more of a multi-dimensional player when he drives.”

On Irvin’s bounce-back game: “I made the correlation, it was like Caris Levert’s SMU game last year. Nothing could go for him. He just didn’t make some plays that we’re used to Zak making. So I love it. He had great energy, he took the coaching really well the last two days about how he may be trying to do too much sometimes, about some tendencies that he’s had that are out there on scout that he’s gotta realize he can’t continue to do or people will take away.”

On opposing defenses: “You’re trying to prepare for everything, but the trends keep continuing. Like this team is the first that iced us and downed us the whole game. This is what Purdue has had success with against it. So it’s a great time to practice it. We do it occasionally. It’s like trying to guard Princeton on offense…here’s what they do, try to guard it. And every game is different. We’ve just got to keep adapting, and the better we get at it, the better we’ll be.”

On Irvin’s playing time: “That run they had was what I was trying to protect (against)…Ibi and X are working so hard and extra right now. But as you can see, it can go to eight like that. And right now, like most freshmen, defensively, they’re trying to figure a lot of things out. And so I can’t give the rest — tomorrow, they have rest, and then we’ll work hard Monday, Tuesday with X and Ibi so that every day they get closer to getting in there. If we’re still playing this way in the middle of January and February, it’s going to be a hard year. These guys, we’ve just got to bring them along, win games, rest, bring them along, win games, rest.”

On defending Mount St. Mary’s Junior Robinson: “He’s a tough dude to stay in front of. He’s Spud Webb a little bit, what he can do to people. It’s just hard to stay in front of him. I don’t know if they were blown coverages as much as he’s gonna show you a jump-shot, which we’re going to take away, and he’s going to cross over and he’s about this high…when he crosses over, his nose is on the ground. I’ve never seen a guy take a charge with their knees, that’s where he is. So we had to get used to that, and it wasn’t like, ‘Hey, we’re not playing hard,’ it was like, ‘Alright, we showed you video clips on this kid. He can get buckets now, you got to stay in front the best you can and then stay down. DJ had the one foot up like this guarding him. You guard someone like this, he’s going to attack your front foot — it’s over.”


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