Blowout Loss to Zona Another Part of Process

John Beilein, Derrick Walton and Caris LeVert reflect upon Michigan's 80-53 loss to Arizona. Michigan's head man pointed to the lopsided defeated as an example of the growing pains his young team must go through on the road to improvement.

Quotes courtesy of

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On whether Arizona was as good or better than anticipated today ?... "I think they were a little bit better. That's as good a team as I can recall us playing. Last year, we played some really good teams, but they are playing at a high level. They have a lot of experience, and Stanley Johnson was a tremendous player today. We did not have any answers for him."

On games like this being part of the process of building a young team ?... "This is a huge part of the process. Two things happen. Number one, you realize that on the road there has to be incredible execution and focus. Number two, [Michigan's players] now know how much they have to work to be at this level where we have been playing at for the last couple of years. There is a lot of work involved, and it is a painful process to go through. I know; I'm in the middle of it. It really hits home when we tell them, 'these are the important details of the game,' and it hits them right between the eyes after a game like this."

On the offensive looks U-M was able to get ?... "We had a tough day (shooting the ball), and you have to credit their defense. They have great length that really got to us very, very quickly. We didn't make some of our outside shots that sometimes we can make. We're on the road with a different ball, and you have to make a few shots and get used to it. I think their defense is really good, and they are just a very experienced and talented team in transition. It's really difficult to get back on defense."

On an extended time off before next Saturday's matchup with SMU ?... "That's what I can't wait to get to. We have some tests on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so we will be light for those three days, but things really calm down after that on Thursday and Friday, so we will be able to get a lot of work done."

U-M Sophomore Guard Derrick Walton Jr.
On Arizona's defensive length and how they used it to their advantage ?... "They tried to take us out of a lot of sets that we usually look to go to, but we still got quality shots. We just didn't make enough of the shots we are accustomed to making. They did a good job rebounding and scoring when they needed to."

On whether or not today's opponent was as good as any team he has faced while at U-M ?... "Yes, I would say so, especially with the balance they have inside and outside. The way they executed was key down the stretch."

On U-M's defensive approach ?... "We did a good job scouting them and knowing their tendencies. This team is still young, so you have to expect some letdowns defensively. We just need to keep making the right steps in the right direction and as the season goes on we will do a lot better defensively."

U-M Junior Guard Caris LeVert
On how U-M can use this game to grow ... "We have to learn from this game. They played a great game; they have a lot of experienced players, and we have to take this, grow from it and use it later in the season. We need to call more huddles and make sure everyone knows their plays and is locked in. At points we competed. In the first half we cut it to 10, and we competed down the stretch, so that is something we can take from this."

On how to fight through rough shooting stretches ... "You still have to find a way to get the ball to the basket. Whether that's passing it, driving and getting to the free throw line. I think we took pretty good shots, they just didn't fall."

On how the upcoming week-long break will benefit U-M ?... "It will be big for us. We get a chance to focus on Michigan for a couple of days before focusing on SMU.

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