Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
?Opening statement ... "To have a quick turnaround like we had, especially with the way we played on Saturday, it was important to get a win any way that we could. I loved the way we started the game. The way we just looked tired in the second half, I thought we persevered just enough to get a good win, and we needed that so that we could have a little bounce in our step going into the holiday break. So we will not practice again until Friday (Dec. 26) at 8 pm. We are going to lift, and I might shoot with some guys that come in early. Other than that, it was huge just to get back in the winning column again and move forward."
On today's production from big men Mark Donnal and Ricky Doyle? ... "They are making small steps in the right direction, but they are making steps in that direction. That is so key for us going forward, that those guys just get used to playing inside, playing against contact, finishing around the rim. Obviously, the Coppin State inside guys are not what they will see in the Big Ten, however, it was just good for them to get some points. For Ricky to get 16 points tonight was huge."
?On the positive leadership and play of Derrick Walton Jr.? ... "He has continued to evolve here, because you know, last year, there was a lot of responsibility for him, but he had so many helpers on the court that were teaching him the nuances of what we do and being a point guard. He is growing, but he has a lot of growth to do in that area, to see all the things as defenses change. He made a couple of those (adjustments) today, and that will be big as he continues to grow in that area. He had nine assists, and I really like what else we had, having three assists from Zak Irvin, because that was huge. He only had five on the year so far, and that is not a number he is very proud of and he is trying to grow that right now by hitting that open man. Really, he hit Derrick (Walton Jr.) with a wide-open pass, and that could have been one, too."
?On the high number of assists (18) for the team ? ... "They were playing a zone, so you are going to have more assists there as well, but we have been preaching that, sometimes, everybody is such a good kid on the team. They want to help their teammates, and they want to make this play, but it turns out being a tough two or a tough three. They do not need to do that. Just trust your teammates, trust each other, trust the offense, and good things will happen."
?On the importance of the upcoming break ? ... "Without question it is huge for us. I'm saying the trip overseas (to Italy) was tremendous for us, however, these kids reported here in June. Some of them only went home for like three days in October break, and that has been it. So these three days right now are huge. In the second half, they continued to press us, but I thought some of our guys looked really tired out there, so they need to go home, put their feet up, get in their own bed, have mom do some cooking for them, and then they will come back, and we will be ready to go for the Big Ten schedule."
U-M Sophomore Guard
Derrick Walton Jr.
On how well the team worked the ball ... "I took some time this week to sit with (U-M Assistant) Coach LaVall Jordan and just see some spots that would be open in that little zone that they played. (There were) just better reads in the half court that were open tonight, and I was able to see them."
On his injury limiting his explosiveness ... "Sometimes, but in the moment I feel a little bit of adrenaline, and I just play off that. Shuffling can be tough at times, but as I said the adrenaline helps a lot, and I'm able to play. It's gradually getting better every day."
On the biggest thing the team needs to add going into conference play ... "Just consistency. It is hard to get that out of the young guys, but for us to be successful, that is going to be key. For us that's a big thing, and just staying confident in ourselves is also important. The last couple of games we have not been shooting the ball as well as we know we can, but we are continuing to have faith because we have already made that shot 1,000 times and continue to shoot them."
U-M Sophomore Guard
On his jumper in tonight's game ... "I felt pretty good about it today. I worked with Coach Beliein yesterday, just shooting reps after practice. I felt good in my shootaround and going into the game today."
On the shooting night of the team ... "We didn't have our best shooting night, but we were able to make a lot of shots. We just have to continue that going forward, stay confident and knock down shots."
On the play of Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal... "We're getting a lot from our bigs right now. We just have to keep that going heading into Big Ten play."
On the alley-oop from Caris LeVert... "I told Caris in the last timeout we had that I was going to be burning and to look for it. He told me he would, so he threw up, and I just went to go get it."
U-M Freshman Forward
On the 21-3 start to the game ... "We were just real hungry coming into this game and wanted it really bad."
On the importance of the win heading into Big Ten play ... "It's huge. It really helps our confidence, and we're really excited for the Big Ten, and we're going to be practicing real hard to be prepared for this Big Ten season."
On confidence after getting a good start to the game ... "It's all situational. As soon as I catch the ball, I quickly turn my head to see where the defense is playing me. If I see the defense is playing me off, I'll go. If the defense is playing me tight, I'll try to work the midline to a counter or hit an open man."br>