U-M / Villanova Postgame

John Beilein, Derrick Walton, and Zak Irvin reflect upon Michigan's 60-55 loss to Villanova in the Legend's Classic in Brooklyn, New York. The narrow defeat, though disappointing, was a serious growth exprience for this young team.

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

On the adjustments made that led to second-half success ... "In the first half, you have to give them a lot of credit. Their seven-point lead at halftime was self-inflicted. They came out in the second half and made some good plays; their defense is really good. That defense has some experience of working together, so I was proud that we were able to come back and make some shots, but we don't do that if we don't make the stops on defense. We made great stops on defense and limited them to only eight or nine offensive rebounds."

On tonight's performance ... "I told the kids in the locker room how proud we were of them. I know that's coach-speak, but it was 33-20. I sensed at that time that we had doubts if we would win the game. I'm really proud of how their spirit changed. We made a couple of shots, and all of a sudden their spirit changed. We became a different team.

"We answered them score for score going down the stretch. We just couldn't get that stop. All the little things, whether it's foul shooting, turnovers at the end of the first half and start of the second, those run-outs for easy baskets, we couldn't get those back, and there is no defense for it. We'll learn how key they are and how to keep from having those turnovers."

On playing Villanova ... "They're hitting the open man. They have the extra pass that leads to the basket. They have really good experienced players that play with great bounce. That's the way we want to play. They're really a talented team. They're unselfish, have a post game, great point guard and good wings. Josh Hart comes off the bench and gets four offensive rebounds today. They have the pieces in place to be a really good team."

On playing at Barclays Center ... "This was our third time here, and each time has been a great experience for us. The atmosphere was like an NCAA Tournament atmosphere, and here we are on November 25th."

On Caris LeVert ... "He gets into the lane, and he can finish or find people. We'll either play off him, his score or his residual action from him being able to see the court so well. He really is good at it."

On what was different about that second half ... "We just tried to play really good defense, stay in some gaps, give a lot of help on the post-up stuff that they were going to try and run and try and get the shooters. (Josh) Hart came in, and he's their best offensive rebounder; he had four offensive rebounds and was a killer. We can't give them extra possessions. I think we played really good basketball in the last 15 minutes of the second half."

On the growth that can come from a loss like this ... "There is so much room to grow from this particular game. We did a lot of things right. I think they had three blocked shots where we had layups, and they had blocked shots so we're going to learn to shot-fake a little bit. You have to give them credit; they played good defense at times."

U-M Sophomore Derrick Walton Jr.

On his desire to have a big impact today after foul trouble last night ... "I felt that I let my team down somewhat by getting two quick fouls (last night), so I wanted to come out here and be here for my brothers and try to help get a victory tonight."

On the difficulties a team like Villanova poses ... "They did a good job running their stuff, and they hit the shots they needed to make. We had a couple miscues that we'll go back and look at, but you have to give credit to them, they did a great job tonight."

U-M Sophomore Zak Irvin

On continuing to fire shots after a tough opening frame from the floor ... "In the first half, we were struggling to make shots; but we were still confident. We talked about it at halftime; we just had to have the mindset that the next shot was going to fall."

On the battle on the glass and U-M's contributions from its guards in particular ?... "That's something we emphasize as a group. We just try to make sure our big men get their bigs off the boards, and that allows our guards to clean up the glass. It was a big difference for us going into this game."


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