OSU Postgame - Beilein & Co. Relish Victory

John Beilein, Zak Irvin, Spike Albrecht, and Andrew Dakich recap Michigan's 64-57 upset victory over Ohio State. Buckeye headman Thad Matta also chimes in on the Wolverines effort.

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

Opening statement ... "That was a really highly-charged game, and I'm proud of the way that our guys performed. I have a lot of admiration for the Ohio State program, and how they continue to play hard and play well, in addition to their outstanding defense. I feel really good that we were able to win the game despite their great plan and the excellent players and coaches that they have. So, really a good win for us and one that was much needed. We have a tradition of not singing the fight song if we don't win, so that locker room has been starved for the fight song for what seems like several weeks. Our guys sung it with a lot of gusto today."

On the key factor that gave Michigan a victory tonight ... "We work a lot on execution. We work a lot on everybody giving it their all. Every minute in practice is about detail. Nothing trumps hard work and believing. They did a great job today of covering the details. We worked very hard on them, but executing the details and doing it with passion. That was as charged up as we've been all year."

On upperclassmen leadership ... "It was really big today, like when Max (Bielfeldt) helped us get two extra possessions. Spike (Albrecht) was just phenomenal; he was just absolutely terrific. Who would have thought that four years ago when we recruited Spike Albrecht -- the only team that probably did at this level -- that Ohio State would go almost a box-and-one and not let him get the ball. It wore him out. He just needed a little break and then he kept on coming."

On the offensive performance of the team ... "It was really big that we could get into the lane. They have a very good defensive team so it was important for us to get in the lane and make it really hard for them to give help and to get our shooters open. We threw a couple to the rim where guys were able to finish it at the basket."

On the remainder of the regular season ... "We only have three games left. We have a week to get better and we will get better. We won't stop the grind right now. That's what it produced today. Who knows what can happen right now. We've got three games that are all really quality games that if we can just win them -- who knows? That would give us 10 wins in the league. That's a pretty good resume. We obviously have to beat some people to get that done. We have to get two road wins and win a home game. Who knows what can happen?"

U-M Sophomore Guard/Forward Zak Irvin

On starting the game aggressively ... "That was a big key of ours. We didn't want to settle for shots in this game, especially at the beginning. We wanted to be able to attack and be able to feed our bigs and get close shots."

On the magnitude of this game weighing on the team ... "Today, it looked like our guys had a different mindset. You could see it on their faces. With it being a big rivalry game against Ohio State, I'm glad how hard we came out and competed."

On his all-around performance ... "I tried to find areas for my teammates. I know I can score the basketball, but I tried to get my teammates open and get on the glass as well. We've been working going into this game on me seeing the floor because I get so much attention, so I just tried to find open guys."

On fighting through Ohio State's second half run ... "I was proud of our guys. They made their run; we knew that they would, so we were able to counter that and keep playing our game and stick to the game plan."

On playing as underdogs in this game ... "We came out with a chip on our shoulder. We really wanted to stick to the game plan and stay solid. We wanted to attack them early and get easy points and execute our offense."

U-M Junior Guard Spike Albrecht

On Zak Irvin setting the tone early ... "He came out and played with great energy and knocked down some shots. He also got to the glass and got some rebounds. Zak is our energy guy, so guys feed off of him. I was really happy with the way he played. I thought he was really fighting out there."

On containing Ohio State's second-half run ... "We had to stay poised. We have been in that situation before where we had big leads -- five or ten points -- and let it slip away. It cost us some games. But we really locked in during timeouts, just saying that we weren't going to lose this game."

On the team not panicking in the second half ... "With all of the hard work we put in, we really earned this one. We always say, 'We deserve it, we deserve it,' but we really earned this one by staying resilient and fighting the whole 40 minutes."

U-M Sophomore Guard Andrew Dakich

On the team's effort overall and especially what he saw from Kam Chatman ... "I think the starting five just really got it started today. We were all hungry for this, this one especially. Nobody likes to lose and it's been five in a row. Everyone had a winning mentality today. No one was sulking or moping, or anything like that. Kam (Chatman) played the way he's supposed to; that's who he is. We've seen that all year long, but to finally see him do the things we've been seeing has been special. I'm proud of him."

On Spike Albrecht's performance ... "He's incredible. He's a gritty guy who can make any play down the stretch. I couldn't be happier for him. He's one of my closest friends on the team and it was really sweet to see what he did."

On what produced the day's biggest plays ... " It was just confidence. We've got to make those plays if we want to win these kinds of games. I think we have always been right there, but we haven't always made those big plays where it's just you and you have to be special. That's what Coach Val (LaVall Jordan) says: 'You have to go do something you're capable of doing.' It may surprise people; I'm sure we surprised a couple of people today."

U-M Senior Forward Max Bielfeldt

On the scrappy play of offensive rebounds ... "That's kind of what I'm in there to do. Every 50-50 ball, I try to grab and just kind of change the overall momentum of the game. It was a pretty physical game. Ohio State is a physical team, and we just tried to match that."

On breaking the five-game losing streak ... "We were a little frustrated with the losing streak, but I think overall we kept our heads high and kept the energy up. We're all pretty thrilled to win this one. There's no relief here; it was really good for all the young guys to beat Ohio State, and it was a fun one. It just felt good."

On whether or not the team felt any added anxiety playing two rivalry games in one week ... "Not really; we knew Ohio State was going to come in here and want to sweep us. We practiced all week, and had to bring that extra passion to the game and really come in there with that extra energy, and I think it showed in those first 10 minutes or so. Everyone just came off the bench ready to go, and everyone just played incredible."

Ohio State University Head Coach Thad Matta

On the problems Michigan was giving OSU on the screen and roll ... "A month ago we didn't have a problem with it. We knew where we needed to be, but we didn't do a good job of tracking the basketball off of that. There's going to be a split-second when the roll man is going to be open; we got that corrected, but it's just being up where you're supposed to be, seeing what's going to happen. It seemed like we were on our heels too much offensively. Give them credit; they were able to do anything they wanted to against us, especially in the first half. You can't do that with this type of offense."

On the way his team started today's game ... "I was shocked, honestly. Early on I was telling myself, 'Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic, we'll get through this.' I finally panicked in a timeout early in the game -- not panicked, but just tried to get them to ignite and get going a little bit."

On Michigan's front court being so productive ... "I think with who they have out right now, the points have to come from somewhere, and those guys did a good job. When you're shooting the ball the way they were early, and from as deep where they were shooting it, there's going to be a little bit of give and take. Those guys did a nice job of playing off of the shooters."

On Spike Albrecht's ability to hold up against the athleticism of OSU ... "I thought when we put Sam (Thompson) on him late, Sam did a pretty good job, but we're telling our guys going in, he's playing with house money. He's out there just balling, having the time of his life. He made some tremendous plays, tremendous reads, which he has shown throughout his career. He's a heck of a player."

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