U-M / Iowa Postgame

John Beilein, Max Bielfeldt, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, and Aubrey Dawkins recap Michigan's 72-54 loss to Iowa. Hawkeye Coach Fran McCaffery also chimes in.

Postgame interviews courtesy of MGoBlue.com

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

Opening statement ... "I think you have to go back quite a few years to see a game like that played at Crisler. You have to give a lot of credit to Iowa; they were terrific. They really have some great pieces right now, with (Mike) Gesell running the club really well. (Jarrod) Uthoff really had an exceptional game today; a big guy, a 7-2 guy that can pass it is big. Aaron White is very good, and then (Peter) Jok was tremendous today, in between shots, all over the place. They were very, very good, and we weren't nearly as efficient or even as close to being good, and that was for a lot of reasons. Mostly it was just having a bad day and being really overwhelmed with their timing, their talent, their length, and their size. It was a close game until they went zone, and then we got a few good shots, but they really surprised us. We practiced it little bit; they hadn't played a lot of zone, but we certainly weren't efficient against it."

On Iowa's defensive scheme tonight ... "They haven't played that two-three zone much this year, but they were certainly terrific with it today. I don't know if that was what won them the game, but it certainly changed the game. It was 20-something, or 19-19 when they ended up going to it. Spike (Albrecht) hit a three in one of them. They (Iowa) haven't played the two-three much, but they were terrific in it today. Their length was difficult for us, and we're still trying to look at not just zone offense but being a player and making plays against the zone. We weren't very good at it."

On the height and length of the Iowa players ... "They just throw the ball up. We have been really good in our zone defenses, but when you're 6-9, 7-2 and 6-9 -- they just throw the ball over our heads all the time. We made some mistakes in there, but we have to give them a lot of credit. They are a really good team, and they played like it tonight."

On freshman Aubrey Dawkins leading the team in points ... "He did a great job of just spotting up against the zone. Spike (Albrecht) found him several times and that was really good for him (Dawkins) to get that because he hasn't been able to get at those types of openings. I thought that when we cut it to 12 we had a chance, but they had a couple of tough buckets after that, and we couldn't convert in the end, and all the sudden we're down 18. It's one of those things that we just have to grow from. It's our only option, but I really liked Iowa's team right now. They've got the complete package; they've got the point guard -- (Peter) Jok really played well today. (They have the) big man -- Aaron White, who we know is really good. Jake Uthoff was also a really good player tonight. That's the way it goes."

On Iowa's point guard, Mike Gesell ... "Yeah, he's just a really good point guard. (Anthony) Clemmons comes over and gives him a little bit of a spell. Mike really sees it. He's had a lot of minutes now, being a three-year starter. They've got a really nice team, and I'd be surprised if they don't win a lot more than they lose if they play like this. They hit some tough shots as well, but they shot 62-percent against us, and we threw everything we had at them."

U-M Senior Forward Max Bielfeldt

On Iowa's length on both ends of the court ... "With a tall team like that it's tough to simulate in practice. When you finally go against it, you just can't quite get the same thing."

On how to adjust against Indiana ... "Indiana is a different type of team. They are obviously really good in transition, and we did a little better with that today as opposed to against Michigan State, so we improved there. We just have to understand those little deficiencies that we show; we have to understand how to improve with that and go on."

On the struggle of interior scoring and the offensive flow ... "It's tough with the zone. We were trying some different things and trying to get the shooters open. It's harder to get those post touches out of a 2-3 zone because you have to pick and choose your looks. We honestly couldn't quite find the rhythm. We were trying to get some shots to fall, and they weren't. They just ran a really good game plan."

On Iowa's height ... "Tapping it around is tough when you have three 6-9-plus guys in there. Odds are their hands are going to be right there too. We just have to understand that we have to clear guys out and not let them all gang up in there, so it's a 50-50 chance."

U-M Freshman Guard Aubrey Dawkins

On Iowa taking control in the second half ... "They just pulled away. They are a really good team with a lot of length on defense and a lot of talent on offense. We just couldn't keep up with that tonight."

On Iowa's switch to zone defense ... "They are really long, so in their zone, their arms are in the passing lanes. It's tough, so passing through that isn't easy. It was really good defense for them."

On whether or not he feels responsibility to hit threes in the second half ... "Not necessarily, but I knew somebody had to step up and make some shots. We were struggling, so I took them, and they went in."

U-M Freshman Guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 

?On how the 2-3 zone compared to other opponents this season ... ?"I don't know if it's the toughest. All of the teams we've played against use 2-3. Traditionally, they are very good at that, and that gave us trouble throughout the game."

?On Iowa's success shooting and compensating for the injuries of teammates Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. ... "They are just a good shooting team. They shot something like 70-percent from the field in the second half, so that's a big part of the game. We've kind of settled in and just started to run the offense. In the flow of the game, we just have to take open shots. Coach encourages us to take open shots when we are open, so we don't really worry about how many shots we are taking."

?On using this game as a growing experience, playing a team with so much size ... "I think it's a learning experience for all of us. It's good to go against a team like that, with experience and that are older than us. We just have to grow, get back to practice and prepare for the next opponent."

?On approaching the season differently after sustaining so many injuries ... ?"I think that was always the focus, to get better even though expectations were high. We've always wanted to grow and become a better team, and the same holds true today. We are all trying to get better, and we have the same exact expectations."

Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery:

?On effectiveness of zone against Michigan offense in the first half ... ?"We got some consecutive stops in that sequence, and we got some run-outs. The defense was good and consequently the offense was good. They were cooking pretty well against our man (defense), and there was one time out there where they were shooting like 67-percent up until that point. I think we were down three or two, so we made the change, and it was very effective."

?On restoring a double-digit lead after Dawkins' threes ... "I think any time you are up double digits, they get it under (that number), and then you can put it right back up on the next possession, obviously that's a huge momentum shift. It was for our team; I was really proud of Jared (Uthoff) there. I thought Mike (Gesell) played a great game tonight; when he shot it, when he drove it, when he moved it on, his decision-making was spectacular."

?On Iowa's second-half burst ... ?"We maintained our energy level defensively, but we kept sharing the ball. The way we passed the ball today made it difficult for them to key in on any one guy. When you have five guys in doubles, you are a very unselfish group, and you keep them on defense for a while, it's going to be hard. They went to the zone, they went to the 1-3-1, and we scored against that, so that was also helpful. They went to the zone first, and we scored immediately, and then they went to the 1-3-1 and we scored against that. Teams struggle against that, and we play that as well, and teams struggle with that. That can get you sideways, but it didn't get us sideways tonight. We really attacked it well."

?On Coach Beilein's success through injuries ... ?"It's not remarkable to me, because I've known (John Beilein) a long time. I remember when he was at Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia, and here. Even when he was a high school coach in Western New York. His teams are always going to win, they are always going to be prepared, and they are always going to be tough to beat. He's not a guy that's going to stand up here and cry about who he doesn't have. He's going to say, 'Okay, this is what we've got, and we are going to play and we are going to win.' You think about the fact that they were 6-4 coming in, with two overtime games at Michigan State and against Wisconsin here, which tells you the kind of coach he is and the talent that they have is young. Those kids I've been impressed with, (Muhammad-Ali) Abdur-Rakhman and (Aubrey) Dawkins in particular. (Kam) Chatman is going to be really good. They have good young players that are now getting a chance to play a little earlier than he would want them to, if he had (Derrick) Walton and (Caris) LeVert out there. Those guys are putting up numbers, and (Max) Bielfeldt, who has been really good; I've been impressed with him too."

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