Beilein Says Defense a Work in Progress

Michigan head coach John Beilein reflects upon his team's 92-68 victory over Hillsdale. While pleased with his squad's explosive showing on the offensive end, their defense left a lot to be desired.

Opening statement ... "Somehow there was never a feeling that that wasn't a close 24-point win. There is a method to why we did that, but when you watch, Hillsdale doesn't have a team. Hillsdale has a program. It's what we try to do as well. You try to get the right kids, they play a great system, they're there for quite a bit of time and they just get better and better. Watching Kyle Cooper over four years, he has become a really good player who could play at a lot of division one places. Being a coach of LeMoyne for nine years, I hope that people would say that we ran a program like Hillsdale has done. It was great for our guys to have to guard really smart players that could all shoot, have a system and learn from it. We'll take it, but like I said that felt like a very close 24-point win."

?On the defensive performance of the team ... ?"This is what we have to do. We have to learn. We're still trying to find out who we are defensively, what are our patterns of switching, and they exposed that a lot today. Our scout team practiced Hillsdale for 20 minutes; some of those guys have been practicing for four years. It's going to expose things that they see and then they can get better at it. Frankly, there are some things you can't stop. You have to hope they miss because the action is so good."

?On the motivation offered from the banner raising ceremony ... ?"I mentioned that to all of the guys that I gave the rings to. The ones who are currently on the team, I told them 'Let's do this again'. We have this vision that we're going to compete for championships. At the same time, I told the other guys to sit back and look at what just happened and know that this is what we're trying to do every day at the University of Michigan. I counted 18 banners and there are guys in that group that have had a place in three of them. That's really important, that we understand that if you stay together, what we do does work."

?On naming Caris and Spike team captains ... ?"We make a big deal of that in our locker room, but we don't make a big deal outside the locker room. They will be captains all year long. We had a team vote that was practically unanimous and it was unanimous with the coaching staff too. We're really excited about those two guys leading us into the future."

?On the Maize Rage helping unveil the Big Ten banner ... ?"Our staff got together and thought that these kids have waited out in the cold, they're at every game, and today they're in the upper bleachers for a division two Saturday afternoon game in football season. We value our relationship with them so much and we wanted to make sure that they knew they were a part of this."

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