After losing to a Penn State team that had previously been winless in Big Ten play, some coaches and players may subscribe to the theory that the post game locker room should have been full of screaming, clipboard throwing antics. But John Beilein and the Wolverines aren't about to be in the business of overreacting.
"What they need right now is positive reinforcement," said Beilein Friday. "We're going to practice today, we're going to watch very little of Penn State (film) and just move on. That's the best way we feel is to approach this right now."
Obvious disappointment struck a Michigan team that now sits 10-5 in Big Ten play, including a 23-5 overall record. But even after an embarrassing loss that all but cost the Wolverines any hope of winning their second consecutive regular season conference title, players aren't turning on each other.
"They're not bad kids, they're not kids who were pointing fingers in the locker room or we felt that there was any amount of a lack of chemistry," said Beilein. "They understand what we have to do."
"A few of the guys have texted me saying how anxious they are to get to practice today."
As Michigan's 15-point lead began to dwindle in the second half at Happy Valley, so too did the reasons the Wolverines were rated the No. 4 team in the country. Poor defensive play, too many turnovers offensively, and a lack of poise on key possessions that lead to bad shorts early in the shot clock.
As one of the leaders on the team along with backcourt mate Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. understands where the leadership needs to come from. At the same time, 28 games into the season, there needs to be more execution on the court as opposed to in conversation.
"It falls on us two and it falls on Jordan Morgan as well," said Hardaway Jr. "I think you can do so much for someone and talk to someone for so long and try to get them to do something, but it takes them time just to get used to it and you can only do so much.
"They've just got to go out there and do it. You can tell them, but they've got to do it."
Shooting 1-for-11 from the field in Michigan State's 75-52 win in East Lansing just a few weeks back, Hardaway Jr. stood behind similar words in his post game media session, calling out the Wolverines for talking the talk as opposed to walking the walk. With the Spartans (22-6 overall, 11-4 B1G) now headed to Crisler Center Sunday afternoon at 4pm/EST, Hardaway Jr. and Michigan have a chance to gain some of their edge back that temporarily had them pinned as the best team in the country.
"The game in East Lansing is in our minds," said Hardaway Jr. "It hasn't gone anywhere. We still remember what happened and that will take a toll out for our game on Sunday."
Watch video of Hardaway Jr. by pressing play below.
Michigan Moving On From PSU (w/video)
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