U-M / NJIT Postgame

John Beilein, Caris LeVert, Zak Irvin, and Derrick Walton discuss Michigan's startling home defeat at the hands of NJIT.

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement ... "This team has a lot of components to it that can beat a lot of teams, as they did with the Duquesne win and with their very close lose out at Marquette. Number Five (Damon Lynn) for them was just sensational. We really don't have a defense for those step-back jump shots. He hit shots over people; those nine points, those three straight were the difference. They were the big difference in the game. Caris LeVert was terrific, some of the rest of our guys might have been a little tired, but Caris was terrific, and New Jersey deserved to win the game today. They were the better team today. And we're going to grow from it, over the time that I've been here -- actually in all the years of coaching --there's moments in the season that make you a lot better. My hope is that this will be one of them."

On the intensity of the defense ... "I have to look at the film a little bit, but they made tough shots. They really made tough shots; they shot 58 percent. Now, we gave them some layups as well, and we didn't get to some people in that first half. They gave us a great advantage by turning the ball over early a lot; we didn't take advantage of it, and then they stopped turning it over; they really took care of the ball. So, I'll have to watch the tape; we certainly have to do better defensively than we did."

On Michigan's second-half shooting run ... "I thought we were due to get a couple of stops, and obviously we got the last one down one with 10 seconds to go but didn't get the rebound; it knocked off a bunch of people, and I thought we were going to get one of those stops, and that's what I was telling them. We got down seven, and we just got to get a stop one of the times, and we'll get back in the game. And we're really proud of the way we came back from seven down, but they made just enough plays to get the win. Like I said, those guys, the crowds don't phase them; those guys live on the road. (NJIT Head Coach) Jimmy (Engles) has done a great job. He's got the assistants there that have put in the Princeton idea, which we tried to prepare for in two days. We weren't as good as we liked to be."

On team youth and positivity ... "I think the big thing we have to go forward is continue to develop our bench so when we see a guy who is not right at the time, to get him out of there and put somebody else in because we see it's not going to work (like this). So we just got to keep working at that to develop the bench, which we have been working at in practice. But we have not been using enough of them in games, because they're still learning some trust. But this is really important, that Aubrey (Dawkins) and Muhammad (-Ali Abdur-Rahkman) can come off the bench and give us a little bit more."

On the performance of Caris LeVert ... "It was really good. He did so many things out there, and I mean (hitting) big shots. It is tough, when they answer then you have to answer, then they answer, and you have to do it again, and they answer. So I love his growth right now. And all our other guys that have the experience and certainly didn't have as good a night as he did, but that was sensational. If you like watching great 1-on-1 players, between Caris and (Damon) Lynn, that was quite a show."

On how the team will react to the loss on a national stage ... "We're on this national stage; you have to able to react both ways. When you beat a team like Syracuse, you say 'Okay, that's good.' But this is no different. A lot of people didn't know New Jersey was division one; they don't have a league. This is something that's humbling, and we have to grow through that humility."

U-M Junior Guard Caris LeVert
On the biggest issue down the stretch ... "We'll watch the film, but they made a lot of tough shots. They got the stops they needed. Our preparation was great. They just came out and played better than we did today."

On Coach Beilein's message in the locker room after the game ... "It is a learning experience. We have to get better from it, and we'll start doing that by watching the film. We've gone through things like this in the past couple years so we got to pick up from it."

U-M Sophomore Guard Derrick Walton Jr.
On what can be taken from this loss ... "Coach Beilein will make sure we hear what we need to hear. All the guys in the locker room have high IQ levels. We will think about the things they can do better, and we'll improve from that."

On the defensive intensity ... "I think the intensity was there. We had mental lapses at times, but all the guys in the locker room care for each other, and it hurts to see each and every one of us down. When we watch the film we're going to embrace the fact that we made some mistakes and capitalize next time out."

On the back-and-forth second half ... "We knew for a fact coming into the game that they had multiple guys who could make shots. We had mental lapses on defense where we left guys who are really good shooters open. Down the stretch they made big-time plays when they needed to."

U-M Sophomore Guard/Forward Zak Irvin
On the level of intensity ... "I thought we came out pretty well. I just think they were making some tough shots, and we just starting giving them easy buckets late in the game."

On coming off the Syracuse win and potentially overlooking NJIT ... "I wouldn't say so. We enjoyed the Syracuse win that night, but our coaching staff told us that this team was a great ball club, and they were. They came out and were the better team today."

On NJIT shooting ability ... "We knew what they were capable of, and they proved it today like I said. They were making some tough shots, so you have to tip your hat off to them and congratulate them."

On what he'll take away today and looking forward ... "We just have to come out and play our game. A lot of things didn't go our way and definitely pick up on the defensive end. Late in the game, we did make them take some tough shots, but they made some easy layups as well."


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