Michigan coach John Beilein assesses his group after a 1-1 start in Big Ten play heading into Saturday's contest against Maryland.

Michigan coach John Beilein assesses his group after a 1-1 start in Big Ten play heading into Saturday's contest against Maryland.

After avoiding disaster against Penn State, Michigan turns it's attention to a matinee matchup with Maryland Saturday afternoon at Crisler Center.

Trailing by 14-points with 13 minutes remaining against the Nittany Lions, the Wolverines were able to go on a 32-15 run to walk away with a dramatic 72-69 victory.

"I would not have liked to have been on the other side of that one given the Iowa loss before that," Michigan coach John Beilein said Friday. "I think it's very indicative of what the league is going to be like this year. 

"I think you saw that again last night with a double overtime game last night at Iowa between Nebraska and Iowa."

After opening Big Ten play Sunday at Iowa followed by Wednesday' win over Penn State, Beilein acknowledged yesterday and today have been as much about refreshing legs than anything else.

Prior to Sunday's off day for the team, the first in quite some time, the Terrapins present a unique challenge for the Wolverines, who also sit at 1-1 to start conference play.

"Maryland, again, any time you've got Melo Trimble in the game you know you've got an outstanding player," Beilein said. "All their bigs are really efficient and they've got three young freshmen."

Coming into this contest, Tremble is averaging 17.8 points per game while shooting a scorching 83-percent from the free throw line.

Most importantly for Michigan though remains a sense of urgency, playing with intensity, and not just when facing a significant deficit.

As Beilein noted Friday, Wednesday's comeback against Penn State was great, but playing on that level on both ends more consistently is a great priority.

"I think their backs were to the wall," Beilein said. "I think if it's a two point game they're probably not feeling that sense of urgency that they felt at that point. 

"It's something we've talked about a lot, the good news is they're all good kids. The bad news is the edge that a lot of great teams have has been lacking in some games. There's no way we can win without that edge."

"You almost got to rely on their intelligence and sometimes they've got to get stung by this like the Virginia Tech game," added Beilein. "The other night in Iowa, when we look back at it and there's seven to eight plays where we didn't have that edge mentally where the focus was there or didn't have the edge physically."


The Michigan Insider Top Stories