U-M / Illinois Postgame

John Beilein, Andrew Dakich, and Aubrey Dawkins recap Michigan's 64-52 road loss in overtime to Illinois.

Postgame interviews courtesy of MGoBlue.com

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

Opening statement ... "I think both teams played well, both were trying to be tournament teams and move their way through the Big Ten. Illinois was really good, especially down the stretch. Our defense was outstanding, except down the stretch. I think that was for a lot of reasons. As hard as we work -- and we're in great shape -- for some of our younger and older guys, it's tough to sustain that energy without having that depth that you probably need in a game with this type of impact. It's hard to lose, but I'm really proud of our team. They're playing as hard as they can play, and we were a few plays away from a great victory, a road victory. It didn't happen, so we'll move on."

On the final plays at the end of regulation ... "We had a play we were trying to run. We blew one of the plays we were running. Spike (Albrecht) ended up throwing the ball up. We were trying to get a couple of options. That was one of them; it was just the wrong route. It's really hard sometimes to throw it. I would like to have Ricky Doyle or a big throwing in, but we don't have that type of passing in them right now. Spike (Albrecht) has got to be the one. If you remember, he was the one that threw against Purdue last year. He's effective."

On switching to zone defense ... "We're getting better at it. I think we're understanding our coverages and what we have to do. It does open up for some rebounding, which hurt a little bit. We're working a lot of things, and that's probably our issue right now. We're trying to do anything we can to stay in the game and we're not great at everything right now and that gets exposed sometimes in the games."

On Spike Albrecht's defensive performance ... "He's playing with everything he's got right now. He's playing with everything he's got. He wasn't brought in here to be a 39-minute get-the-ball-to-player kind of guy. So he's fulfilled the role valiantly and made some big shots for us today."

On the team's overtime struggles ... "I did say, 'listen, we're going to work really hard on these first possessions. Don't panic if they get up early. It's a long time.' We missed a shot, and we threw one away. I think there was a huge let down that we didn't win that game. Just look at our kids, just look at that time. They didn't have that same zest I think you need going into overtime. We tried to get it in, and then they scored the first six points. It was tough to come back."

On developing the strength of the team ... "They're growing every minute that they're doing it. We don't have that type of roster that's going to blow people away. We're going to be in this every single game, and part of our issue is the late-game adjustments that we have to make in a game. We haven't been able to work at those as much because we're still trying to dribble the ball and catch the ball on two feet and shoot the ball with good spin and the fundamentals of the game. All these young kids shouldn't be in these situations and they're forced to be and we have to get better at it."

On Max Bielfeldt ... "We were going to go with him. He didn't play a lot in the last game, but he's a senior; this game means a lot to him. We had a hunch that we'd go with him. Mark Donnal actually played well and Ricky (Doyle), but we stuck with him (Bielfeldt). He hasn't had a lot of playing time at Michigan. He's always represented his family and the university so well. I wanted to give him a really good opportunity. If we had the fouls to give, he was taking the last shot if we had the time."

U-M Sophomore Guard Andrew Dakich

On the reason behind the close losses ... "We're kind of gassed. We're young, and we're still growing in that aspect. We've played in hostile environments and lost against Michigan State, Indiana and Illinois. Now we just have to capitalize against the Michigan State game."

On Spike Albrecht's leadership performance ... "It's great. That's the kind of guy he is. He's so confident in himself, and he has to be because we need someone to step up like him, to be a veteran, and that's what he's doing. He's giving it his all. It was a very emotional game for all of us; we wanted to win."

U-M Freshman Forward Aubrey Dawkins

On Spike Albrecht's leadership ... "I think it's a little bit his team. He's a junior out there, one of the oldest guys. He's got a lot of experience to lead us out there and make shots for us. He wants us to take the shots too; if we're open out there we should do it."

Oh his first-half dunk ... "My teammates know I can jump, and they want me to go to the basket every time, and that's just what I did. It happened."

On another tough overtime loss ... "We're upset. Everybody is not happy right now. This is the third time it's happened, but we've got to keep pushing. Nobody's giving up."

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