U-M / OSU Postgame

John Beilein reflects upon Michigan's 71-52 loss to Ohio State. The Wolverines' headman discusses his team's poor first half effort, the encouraging play of his youngsters, and preparation for the February rematch with the Bucks.

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

?Opening statement ?... "In the first half, we just did not play well. It did not help that Derrick Walton Jr. was not in the lineup for most of that time, but we did not play very well, and we are better than that. At the same time, we will learn a lot from it and we will get better. Our guys will come out of this as a better team somehow. We will make sure of it."

On the difficulty of coming back from a deficit like the team faced at halftime ... "We were out of it early tonight. Derrick Walton's foul trouble was a problem for us because they amped up the pressure, got a few turnovers and layups, and it took us out of sync. It is difficult to overcome that, but that will happen, and we have to be better at responding next time it happens."

On the battle in transition ... "They did not miss many shots, and they got 10 offensive rebounds, so we could not get out in transition to get our points. The last couple of days I have wanted to work on battling for rebounds, but you have to count on the team to execute when you have been practicing it all year long. We could have great transition defense (in practice) on Sunday and Monday, and game day it could be empty. We did not practice a lot the last couple of days, and today we learned something about our team. Game-to-game carryover is difficult when you are talking about things you are doing well."

On younger players who showed energy when given the opportunity ... "We went with that group, which makes up our Maize team in practice and is a group we use quite often (in practice) because frankly they play the starting lineup very well every day. The starting lineup did not have it going, so we thought 'Let's go with the young guys,' and I think we played even with them during that period of the game. That is something we may see more often in the future. I have never been a big advocate of platooning, but we have to do everything we can to prepare them to play better in the future."

On what can be learned from an experience like this in preparation for OSU's trip to Ann Arbor in February ... "They have to have a mindset that this is Michigan against Ohio State. This is a team that you have to have incredible passion for. You have to find every way you can to stay in the game so that you can win it. They are a better team than us today, no question. Between now and February 22nd when we play them at home, we have to improve a lot."

U-M Junior Guard Spike Albrecht

?On the difficulty of coming back from a deficit like the team faced at halftime ?... "It is tough, especially on the road. That was one of the things we talked about before the game. We did not want to dig ourselves a hole on the road. It's a whole different animal than playing at home and unfortunately that was what we did tonight and we could not climb ourselves out."

?On whether or not he was surprised by the team's energy level ?... "Surprised, even disappointed. As Coach Beilein said in the locker room, it was just a weird atmosphere out there. As veterans, if guys like Caris and I see that and feel that the energy level is low we have to step up and say something."

?On a few easy buckets for OSU late in the first half ?... "When we were down 10, we got into scramble mode, and I think that had a lot to do with it. We were trying to rotate and trap guys to dig ourselves out of that hole. We just messed up rotations on the backside, and they got a lot of easy baskets as a result of that."

?On the atmosphere and how that played a factor ?... "From the very beginning of the game, it was a little different from what I expected. Usually (playing in Columbus), they jump right out into the game and climb into us. Both teams were kind of coasting at first, and we were shooting with them for the first four minutes. I felt that we stayed in that coast mode for the rest of the first half, and they picked it up. We just did not match their intensity, and you are not going to win in the Big Ten on the road if you do not play harder than the other team."

U-M Junior Guard Caris LeVert

On the pace of the game and reflecting on the loss in general ?... "To start the game, the energy was kind of weird. We did not come out with the necessary energy to win that game, which is why they went on that run before halftime. We did not get easy baskets. They had a lot of points in transition, and we had a scoring drought. We just did not do what was necessary to win that game."

?On troubles finding an offensive rhythm ?... "They did a great job defensively, and we knew that they were going to do that. They were denying our entries all night, which made it tough for us to get into our offense, but the wings, myself included, have to do a better job of getting open and still getting into our sets."

?On his offensive output affecting the team as a whole ?... "We as wings have to get open; we know that when the wings don't get open the offense gets stagnant. We have to do a better job of cutting hard and setting screens. I think we prepared very well for Ohio State. We saw everything that we needed to see on film."


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