Talking Strategy with Jeff Meyer

GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb goes 1-on-1 with U-M assistant Jeff Meyer as Michigan prepares for Ohio State today, talking defensive strategy and more.

Sam Webb: Defensively it was one of those games were both teams tried to make an adjustment going to the zone. First of all, I heard coach say, too many blow bys and you went zone to slow them up a little bit. Take me through what you guys have to do to shore things up?

Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer: "Obviously, the three zone has been good for us. It kind of energizes our guys also Sam. Being a noon game, we've struggled a little bit, from time to time with starts. We thought the three zone was just good for this group on this day. Illinois did a pretty good job of finding a rhythm in the second half. I thought the three zone was good in the first half. The second half, they found a pretty good rhythm of driving the alleys and that was to their credit. Their zone obviously affected the flow of the game, which is what zones do. We felt like we had pretty good looks. Two ways that you've got to attack zones is either before they get set up. That means you need to get stops or get some second shots. I thought a couple of tip backs, a couple of big offensive rebounds gave us second shots that at the end of the day were really really big for our team."

Sam Webb: Did you guys change up the routine at all with this being an early game compared to some of the things that you guys did earlier in the season to get ready for early games?

Jeff Meyer: "The last couple of times that we've played at noon, our guys have had better energy. So we felt that we kind of found a better flow, a better routine in terms of getting the kids up and giving them a little time before start and then again, the whole idea of playing some three zone earlier just to energize the guys. Get them moving and touching the ball and covering in the zone."

Sam Webb: Late game execution, your guys have gotten really good at it and they did it yet again today.

Jeff Meyer: "Yeah our kids are really gifted. One of the things that last year's team really helped this year's team is just being able to make winning plays at defining moments of the basketball game. I've had coaches comment on when the game is on the on the line, your kids just seem to know what each other do best and they really connect and are able to make plays together. That's just a credit to our guys. Their ability offensively to just have a great feel for each other, and I do think their expectation level now after the run that we had last year, when you get in close games that we just need to find a way to be successful. Certainly our kids did that again today. Nik trusting J-Mo late in the shot clock or late in the game and obviously the result was a bucket."

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