U-M / SMU Postgame

John Beilein, Mark Donnal, Caris LeVert, and Zak Irvin recap Michigan's fourth consecutive loss, 62-51 to SMU,

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement ... "SMU was really impressive today; their point guard, their length, their defense. Part of my angst will be the fourteen turnovers we had. We had 10 from our veterans, actually 12 from our veterans, but let's credit SMU a little bit, too, for speeding us up and really just making us play where we made some really tough decisions early in the game. Some early shot selections, some early execution. I thought the start of second half was really a telltale sign in this game. I was so proud of our team when we fought back and took a three-point lead. At that point I thought, 'Alright, we are making strides now. We can play with a lot of people if we pull this one out'. Obviously, we did not have enough. (SMU Coach) Larry's (Brown) defense was really good, but I do think we had some incredibly good open looks that we did not hit, either inside or on the perimeter. You throw in 14 turnovers and the way we shot the ball, and it is a tough win. We will just keep working. We have another game on Monday with Coppin State, and we will see how we can do to grow from it."

On the defensive play of SMU ... "I thought that we had some really good looks at the rim that we did not finish in the first half, a lot of them that we have to work at. The second half, we some really good looks from three, but we could not knock them down. They really protect the paint. They get down inside of us and would not let us get to the rim as much as we wanted to. We shot 22-percent. I would think, and obviously it may change after I watch the film, but I believe, out of the ones that we missed, we only took two or three hurried shots. When we rushed things, the start of the second half it was bad, and there were some points in the first half where our shot selection was hurried, and this is something we are working hard on."

On how difficult it is when the team is in a shooting slump ... "It is difficult. We are not a three-point shooting team, we are not a throw it inside team, we are not a drive team. We are a whatever the defense is going to give us (team). Today they gave us a good combination of that. On most days, in most seasons here, we very rarely have a shooting day like today. That is obviously part of it. We also had some pretty good opportunities at the rim. Particularly, a couple in the first half and a couple in the second have that we should be making, and we have to work at that."

On the shooting and the turnover issues ... "That is what we just talked about in the locker room. That was my big point. I have been coaching a long time and I realize that sometimes the ball just does not go in the basket. They had some good looks, too, from three and except for the flurry at the beginning they did not make a lot of outside shots, either. They are longer than us, but you are going to have games (where that is the case). We cannot go down and blow up fast breaks. We started the second half with a great stop and a fast break but we threw a bad pass and then took an off-balanced shot. That is not how you are going to win and our guys know it. They are upset about it as well."

On the run sparked by Mark Donnal... "He really did a good job. This is what we need. We have to get some scoring out of that particular position. We started Ricky (Doyle) today. He certainly did not have the impact that he did in other games, but at the same time, little by little, we are getting better. When you play teams like this that has such a different roster than we have as far as their experience, it is just really hard to be able to play unless we are executing really well. The 14 turnovers is really bothering me. We have some guys that value the ball, really do a good job at hitting the open man and playing off of two feet. But boy, those 14 turnovers today, it is like, 'what are we thinking?'."

On the positive play of the Michigan defense ... "Our defense certainly did (play better at times). We have to get better. We have been working really, really hard in practice. Maybe we worked too hard at practice and we are tired today. That is what the shooting stats would show me. On the other hand, we have proven time and time again that you can have a bad shooting night and still win the game if you have eight, nine, 10 turnovers. We had four or five that were completely unforced. (We were) just giving the ball to the other team and that makes it hard."

U-M Junior Guard Caris LeVert
On Michigan's offensive struggles ... "Sometimes you miss shots, but there was no reason for the turnovers today. That's the main problem -- offensive execution -- and we didn't execute at all down the stretch."

On Michigan's 36 three-point attempts in the game ... "We took a couple bad shots, but I think the majority of our shots were good shots. We worked to get ourselves some of the looks we wanted. We didn't knock them down, and turnovers really hurt us down the stretch."

On taking responsibility for the loss ... "I take a heavy load on my shoulders. I didn't play well and I turned the ball over a lot. We just have to keep working hard in order to get better, and we need to start executing when it counts."

U-M Freshman Forward Mark Donnal
On the final seven minutes of the game ... "We made a few turnovers in a row, and they took advantage of the turnovers that we had. They executed, and it hurt us."

On Coach Beilein's confidence in him to shoot the ball ... "(The bigs) have progressed over the course of the season, and he's built trust in me to take those kinds of shots that I took today. He has confidence that I'll make them and so do I."

On allowing SMU's big run late in the game ... "We just didn't execute the way that we should have. There was a 10-minute stretch that we had a few turnovers, and when you give away possessions like we did it ends up hurting us in the end."

On whether or not coming off the bench changed his pregame preparations ... "I prepare myself the same way every game, and whether I'm coming off the bench or whether I'm a starter, I'm going to bring energy and do my job."

U-M Sophomore Guard Zak Irvin
On what the team needs to improve ... "Execution is a big thing for us right now. In the second half we did not execute to well coming out of halftime. Toward the end of the game we were playing pretty well defensively, but right now we need to get better with our execution."

On what is causing the scoring droughts ... "It's tough. It is like there are lids on the rim right now. When shots are not falling we have to be able to do things in other areas. We need to get to the basket; we were in the double bonus for a while in the second half. We just have to make baskets from the free throw line and get back in the rhythm. "

On what is causing the missed shots ... "A lot of it is simply that we just have to be confident. Even if you miss one, you have to be thinking that the next shot is going to fall. We are struggling right now, and everyone just needs to stay confident."

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