Nik Stauskas, Derrick Walton, Spike Albrecht and Jon Horford were all available to speak with the media following Michigan’s season-ending loss to Kentucky in the Elite Eight. The players discussed their future plans, what they learned this season and much more. You can watch full interviews using the embedded media players below.
COACH BEILEIN: It was a great college basketball game. I think well‑officiated. Both teams really played well. I think even the people that were sitting in the highest seats got their money’s worth today. So really proud of our team.
First of all, congratulate Kentucky. Really great game. They hit big shots when they needed to and so did we.
But it was a terrific basketball game and one that just makes college basketball continue to grow stronger and stronger in today’s sports world.
There’s one ticket left to Dallas and it will go to either Michigan or Kentucky. Michigan is 40 minutes away from its second consecutive Final Four, but will have to beat arguably the most talented team in the country to get there.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on CBS with Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony and Tracy Wolfson broadcasting the game. Join in the open thread below before, during and after the game.
- NCAA 2014: Michigan vs. Kentucky Preview
- After questioning decision to stay in school, Glenn Robinson III hits his stride
- Michigan prepared for Kentucky after facing Texas, Tennessee
- Video: Nik Stauskas, Derrick Walton, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht preview Kentucky
- Video: Jordan Morgan, Glenn Robinson III and Jon Horford talk Elite Eight
- Video: Michigan assistant coaches talk Kentucky matchup
- Transcript: Beilein, Michigan starters preview Kentucky
|Who: No. 2 Michigan (28-8, 14-3 B1G) vs. No. 8 Kentucky (27-10, 12-6 SEC)|
|Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN|
|When: 5:05 p.m., Sunday, March 30th, 2014|
|Radio: MGoBlue, 950 AM, 102.9 FM, 92 Sirius, 191 XM|
|Preview Content and Videos|
Michigan will face the Preseason No. 1 team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats, for a trip to the Final Four this evening.
The Wildcats went through their fair share of struggles this season. They lost to Arkansas twice, lost to South Carolina and nearly fell out of the top 25 in February. But despite the ups and downs, no one has ever questioned Kentucky’s talent. Now it’s starting to gel.
“This team has size, talent, skill,” Calipari said. “We just had to come together as a team.”
That’s exactly what Kentucky has done and exactly what college basketball is all about. Peaking at the right time is more important than a February game against Indiana or Arkansas. The Wildcats are playing their best basketball when it matters most and given their talent, that’s a scary sight for any opposition. Kentucky has knocked out two of last year’s Final Four teams, undefeated Wichita State and defending champs Louisville, and now they have a third opportunity against Michigan.
INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan will face off against Kentucky on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium for a chance to reach its second straight Final Four. The Wildcats are very strong down low, rebound an absurd amount of their own misses and don’t shoot the ball from outside particularly well.
It should. Michigan’s past two NCAA tournament opponents — Texas and Tennessee — have actually prepared the Wolverines quite well for facing off against Kentucky. Neither Texas nor Tennessee has the combination of size, skill and athleticism that Kentucky has, but they could be seen as extremely valuable warm-up acts for Wildcats. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)
“Just like we were tested against Texas and Tennessee, we are also going to have to come out and box out and be prepared,” Glenn Robinson III said during media sessions on Saturday afternoon. “One thing about them is that they have great wings and guards that can knock down shots as well.”
That last part isn’t necessarily true. They have players who are capable of knocking down 3-pointers — James Young and the Harrison twins (Andrew and Aaron) come to mind — but as a team Kentucky shoots poorly from long range. The Wildcats have only hit 32 percent of their long balls on the season, and only one player — Andrew Harrison — shoots better than 35 percent from the 3-point line.
INDIANAPOLIS — Glenn Robinson III flirted with the NBA draft after last season, but opted to return to school. He vowed that there was more to his game that most hadn’t seen. He wanted to move to the three position and display his complete offensive game. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)
Things never quite went as planned. Mitch McGary got hurt and Robinson’s new role in the Michigan offense never materialized.
“At the beginning of the season, things weren’t going right,” Robinson explained on Saturday. “I was going to play the three and coach decided he wanted me back at the four when Mitch got hurt.”
The move was tough on the 6-foot-6 sophomore.
“I was kind of upset a little bit about that,” Robinson admitted. “I was kind of questioning my decision to come back.”
Michigan’s original plan was to play with two big men at the same, allowing McGary and Robinson to slide down a position from their freshman season. McGary sat out during the fall and Michigan was forced to work on a new plan.
“Because [McGary’s] injury happened early enough in late August, early September, we virtually did all of our individuals without him. We had a month of practice in October without him,” John Beilein said. “So we had that in place. When he came back, you know, then we started to work the other plan that we had over the summer. Then he went down again and we went back to plan A (without McGary). So it was a fairly seamless change back to the original plan that we started.”