Coach Beilein: "There is certainly a lot of excitement at Michigan and Michigan State throughout the state. Even all our great followers all over the country and the world, just watching this game because it is the team's last game of the year and both teams are playing for the postseason in some respect; and we're excited about it."
Question: It just seems like the dream scenario for fans I suppose that you would have the in state rivals, both on the so-called bubble, fighting for a spot in the tournament, last game of the year and the fact it is your building. Just talk about the emotion of it all?
Coach Beilein: "It is all good. I think the dream scenario really is for both of us to be in the Final Four one day. That would be a dream scenario and playing each other in the championship game. They both have long and proud traditions. Michigan State in particular the last 12 year or so or even more have done so well in postseason. That's our goal to get that consistency back in our program."
Question: How do you get these guys to get the emotion out of it a little bit because they're going to be amped up for a game like this?
Coach Beilein: "I don't think you completely take it out but this is our 31st…we've played a lot of games and as a result, they've been there before with it. Michigan State has been there a lot more. A lot these kids have played in Final Fours. We got to separate it and this is the best time to learn what it takes to learn in March and how you have to separate it. I do not know if I have a formula for that other than to speak a little bit about it, but let us go play."
Question: A lot of your kids seem be kind of saying, we feel like we've been in one and done time for the last six weeks; how much can that help them?
Coach Beilein: "If our guys have felt like that, that's good because they've performed in those situations. We're not in one and one time, but when you look back at seasons, you look back and you say that game right there, that game right there probably was the difference. So we don't know whether this one is or not. We just are going to go out and play the best we can."
Question: What is going to be like for you tonight, I know get amped up for this to, the night before a big game like this?
Coach Beilein: "I'm going to go recruiting. I'm going to go recruiting, but it is not like to take my mind off of it, I got a job to do and you look at the big picture right now."
Question: How to sleep though?
Coach Beilein: "It is hard to sleep every night for me."
Question: Have you guys done anything differently with big games this year with a young team, do you approach them differently?
Coach Beilein: "We've had a lot of big games were we've had national attention. You're playing the #1, #2, #3, you play so many good teams. No not really. They are going to be good. We're going to have to be really efficient because of our size and our bodies, people are going to be stronger and longer in some situations and so we have to be very efficient in the ones that we can control."
Question: You talked to them going to 13 straight tournaments and that's the precedent you want to set in your program; this win we obviously know the implications could it kind of change the tide or at least start changing the tide in the state of Michigan?
Coach Beilein: "If you ask me that question five or ten years from now, I'll be able to give you that answer. It is one of the steps in the process that you play in front of sell-out crowds. You're team plays well in these situations and you play against a great basketball program. It is part of that. Whether this game has anything to do with that, we'll figure that out later on."
Question: How much of this week has been about Michigan State but not X's and O's but the rivalry?
Coach Beilein: "It has been very much about us getting better. Because of the Kansas game played in the second semester, we did not have one time since Christmas that we could really concentrate on ourselves and shore up some of the things that we needed to do. So Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we spent a lot of time just making ourselves better. Than we went through a normal prep like we would for any game."
Question: Considering the fact that Michigan has not taken two in the same season for Michigan State since 1997, could this be…there is a lot on the line for the program.
Coach Beilein: "Like I said, we'll answer that question some other time. Right now, this is a game, if we were playing so many of the other Big Ten games with both teams having postseason on their mind. Perhaps something happens in this game determines some postseason. The fact that it is Michigan State, it makes it certainly significant to everybody here, but I think both teams, they are going to be judged at the end of the year, how far did you go in March and this is just the beginning of March."
Question: What happens in this game or any rivalry game that doesn't happen in a typical game?
Coach Beilein: "I've had quite a few rivalry games, whether it was Niagara and Canisius, Lemoyne and Gannon, Pitt and West Virginia, Richmond and VCU. There is a lot of excitement and a lot of interest and other than that, it is a game. It is a game and I wouldn't say hey our kids didn't play as hard against Minnesota because we weren't playing Michigan State. Once that ball goes up, it is a game. I think the crowd, everybody's tickers might go a little bit more and they yell a little bit more, but it will be a great basketball game once that ball goes up. Before and after, people will deal with it as a bigger game. Once that ball goes up, I think our kids will fight just like they do every day and so will Michigan State.'
Question: Obviously, you guys shot very well in that first meeting in January at the Breslin. What do you have to do to kind of slow them down?
Coach Beilein: "They are just very difficult. They really have so much star quality to their talent. Their talent is just incredible. As a result, we have to make sure that they have to shoot against guarded shots. You do not give them secondary opportunities. Their transition offense is one of the best in the country. You have to find ways to negate their talent just by making sure that you are solid with your D."
Question: You guys went into the last game with nothing to lose. Do you take the same approach even though there is something on the line there, given that not many people felt you would even be here?
Coach Beilein: "I would hope that we play to win every time, like we went up there, we play to win and that would be the thing for this game tomorrow is to play to win. That is all there is to it. Despite the fact that we won up there that doesn't put it in a negative, just like if we had lost up there, we play to win."
Question: Does the fact that the Spartans played on Wednesday give you guys an advantage?
Coach Beilein: "Naw. They are in a rhythm. They are in a two-day prep. I think over time a one-day prep and over time a ten day period of two-day cluster would maybe give a team an advantage, but I wouldn't say so. I'm sure they are going to have a great plan. They are going to have great practices. They got a great coach. They'll be ready and hopefully we will be as well."
Question: Did the win over Michigan State kind of propel all of this?
Coach Beilein: "It is tough to say. Once again, I will be able to give you that answer at the end of the year. The significance of that game, certainly it was significant for our confidence and certainly if that growth in our confidence helps assist us in other games, then it probably would be. I think we still have more work to do whether then to judge what were the highlights in our season."
Question: Since that game, what do you feel that you guys have gotten better at?
Coach Beilein: "I think just like it was that game or another game, we understand our roles on the team. We have a more defined rotation. People just really know their roles much better than they did at that time. We were all searching on how to win at this level with such a young team and what those freshman as they learn and the two sophomores as they learn, now they have a little bit more experience that they didn't have to wait until next year because they got it early in the freshman/sophomore year."
Beilein: pre-MSU Roundtable
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