Coach Beilein looks forward to tonight

Coach Beilein looks forward to the big game tonight -- Wisconsin at Crisler, 6:30, BTN.

Coach Beilein: "It is rare that you have these opportunities where you have great teams, two home and one away that you can be in the position that we're in and certainly a top 100 team, trying to be one of those 68 teams. We have opportunities here and we're going to do everything we can to take advantage of them."

Question: You mentioned this a little bit everything yesterday about the second time through the Big Ten scheduled, you guys have performed pretty well over the years second time around in all your conferences. Is there a system that you have to that?

Coach Beilein: "We hope that as the year goes on, the team mentality improves and the game slows down for them the second time around. In watching the Wisconsin game the first time around, we're still certainly going to make a lot of mistakes and it is not a game of perfect, but when you watch that, you watch Evan (Smotrcyz) and you watch Tim (Hardaway) and you're watching them, Jon Horford and guys like that perform and they were not…(Jon) Leuer and (Keaton) Nankivil are seniors and they're freshman and you can see it over and over again."

Question: When you play a team that shoots 82% at the line, does that affect in any way with how you defend them?

Coach Beilein: "We don't foul a lot as it is, but we got in foul trouble there and then the game was 48-44 and then they went to the line six straight times. We're doing everything we can to avoid that. They are good at drawing fouls and we need to avoid that as much as we can."

Question: Is this a game where maybe you pick up the pace a little bit and try to get them out of there methodical…?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah that is the difficult question here. It is like playing Northwestern teams. If you go down and you have a wide open look you got to have the swagger to take it. At the same time, you know that if you don't make it, you're going to spend another 30 seconds on defense. So it is that sweet spot. You got to continue to understand. We had a couple of times in that game in key moments Zach (Novak) with one and Tim (Hardaway) that we just got the ball back and gave it right back to them was a contested three in transition. However in that game, Zach also made like four in a row to keep us in contention. So that is something that you just have to flow with and I got to trust our guys to know what a good shot for us and if it does not go in, we want them to know that they should have taken it, but it just didn't go in."

Question: Is part of the danger of maybe want to put the pace up is that they have such a good point guard in (Jordan) Taylor if necessary."

Coach Beilein: "Whatever you take from, he sees it and just takes something back to you. You give up something every time that you attack him either defensively or offensively in different ways, just great vision. He plays 38 minutes a day and he has one turnover a game. It is incredible point guard, his efficiency as a point guard. I do not know if we pick up the pace. We have to pick our right shots. If we're guarded, we're not going to shoot it. We're going to make sure that we keep working until we get the right shot, not any shot."

Question: How is he comparable to Darius Morris?

Coach Beilein: "I would say he is very comparable in his freshman and sophomore years. He averaged 1.6 points a game, I believe as a stat as a freshman, but he did play 200 or 300 minutes. Last year next to Trevon Hughes, he just played off Trevon, was a great point guard and didn't give it up. Now in his third year…he shot a very low percentage from three his first year, now he is money in the bank off the dribble and of the catch, just really has developed. That's what I think everyone, as you go through the recruiting process, alright we will have players who make impacts like Tim does is making right now, certainly like Zach did and Stu (Douglass) did at times in his freshman year. There is an awful lot of good players that you don't know about until their junior and senior year and then you start to see, wow those guys really developed."

Question: Do you sense a little fatigue in Zach maybe right now?

Coach Beilein: "No. He just plays so hard and he uses every muscle in his body, you know…he's not going to be running sprints today. It is part of the season, he's a tough kid, but we try to keep it as light as we can on him, but I do not like the word fatigue around him. I try to keep him fresh, keep him as fresh as we can."

Question: You work so hard in taking charges; what do you say to him after a game like over the weekend and do you say anything to a particular crew, what are you seeing that I'm not?

Coach Beilein: "I think he understands whether he was in the right position or not. I do as well. I think those in review, people will make pretty good decisions on whether those were the good calls or the bad calls."

Question: Are you concerned about bench production the past couple of games since Stu has been in the starting lineup? You are not getting that same scoring, but he is still averaging his seven or eight, but you are not getting that from the bench?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah it is really a tradeoff. There were several times this year that Evan started but virtually didn't play, didn't play many more minutes than he is playing right now. We would like to get a little something more. Matt Vogrich has got to be left open right now to get his shot or be in transition. It is tough to get him open. People don't leave him open because they know he's deadly. As he develops his game, it is tough. It has got to be rebound baskets. It's got to be…we don't have a lot of scorers right now. We're fixing that with recruiting, etc. If they take something away from a few of our guys, it's tough to find points from them."

Question: Have you decided on whether Stu is starting?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah Stu will start again. It is four good starts that we've gotten off to. It makes sense."

Question: You just mentioned kind of the charge/block; how have you overall felt about the officiating this year? It seems like you have talked about it more.

Coach Beilein: "I've been really pleased with the officiating overall during the year. They are learning. What I do like right now is that there is consistent review going on with officials. They're all independent contractors and even though they work Big Ten games, there is not the same accountability that there is with the NBA. When you are working one league, so as a result I like that there is more review going on between the officials. I shouldn't say more. I don't know how much. I get there is a sense that there is a lot of review going on to make them better officials. Everybody has improvements and no officials are going to be perfect. I just like what is going on. I think there is a really refreshing attitude about, lets make every game the best we can with the best officials and let us keep getting better, nobody is going to be perfect."

Question: Do you track the way officials call games?

Coach Beilein: "No. I don't even know who is officiating the games when I go out there. I do know who is doing Wednesday game out of a fluke, but I don't know. I walked out there and I don't even know who is doing the game. I can't get into that. I can tell them early, I'll tell our team how they're calling the game and then try to adjust in the game. You don't know…that's an inexact science."

Question: Taylor has 31 turnovers all season, is there any way that any team can really pressure him into speeding up the pace of his offense maybe forcing some errors.

Coach Beilein: "It is really hard to do. You take a big chance you do that. It is not just him with the pace of the offense. It is everybody who touches the ball and what they run. He is going to have it more of the time. He is just very calm and cool and collective is what he does. Really a consummate point guard and perfect with having those shooters and those two big bodies around him. The balls in his hands a lot."

Question: Not that Tim lacked confidence into this season but is he a more confident player right now?

Coach Beilein: "I think everyone's confidence is going to be enhanced when they have success and over the last month or so, he has had very consistent play and that's what breeds confidence. Success doesn't necessary get it as much as consistency and he has had a lot of that."

The Michigan Insider Top Stories