Beilein Readies Team for Georgetown

Michigan coach John Beilein met with the media after practice yesterday to discuss how team's progress as they head on their first road trip of the season to Georgetown. The Wolverines' new headman talked about how difficult it is to defend the talented Hoya club, his team's readiness for the challenge, Jerret Smith's status, and more.

Coach Beilein: “Okay so we are off to Georgetown right now. I told the team, and you might have heard me, that you cannot think of a more challenging couple of games than we have had right now. You play Radford, who has a coach who we have never seen coach before. We played Brown, an experienced team running a great Peter Carril offense. And then you have Georgetown, great players running a great Pete Carril offense. So challenging to learn, great for our development.”

Question: So with that being said, are you pretty excited about this as a coach then?

Coach Beilein: “I don’t get too excited about many games, but when we are walking in…this was probably last year the only game for our team (at West Virginia) that we were never in from the beginning to the end. And we had won at Georgetown the year before. So it haunts me a little bit going there. But our players will go in and we will just do our best. We will do our best. That is just for me personally. We are going to out and play and do our best, but it is a tough task playing these guys.”

Question: How do you deal with (Roy) Hibbert inside? Do you have anything in particular?

Coach Beilein: “You know what… we have a whole bunch of things that we have done in the past with him. We are going to try some different things, but he is a load. He is really difficult and great. When he was a freshman, if he got into games, he was a huge liability to the team. Now he could be a lottery pick. This shows that if a kid sticks in school for four years, listens to his coaches, gets better, practices hard, what happens.”

Question: Is it fair to stay that the youth could actually help a team…?

Coach Beilein: “Against Georgetown?! (Laughing) No. No.”

Question: Just with emotions?

Coach Beilein: “I think the youth on this team, when rebuilding a program; I think you would always rather have a young team. So that is a good positive. So I just like the energy that our young kids have brought to this team. Freshman and sophomores have done a great job. Not that the other guys haven’t, but that is what you like about youth. But playing against this team and how well they are coached is not great for a youthful team, but we will do our best and we will learn from it. We learned a lot from Brown, Radford.”

Question: How is Jerret Smith’s ankle?

Coach Beilein: “He is okay. He could actually practice today at different times today. So we will see how he does in the shoot around and I anticipate that this will be his actual sit out game coming up against Georgetown. Because he was able to practice most the time today.”

Question: DeShawn (Sims) says that he is having a lot of fun out there. Are you having fun coaching him?

Coach Beilein: “Not today, I wasn’t having any fun coaching him (smiling). But he enjoys the way we are playing. It was everybody today. Usually the game day, the day before the game, coach is a little bit more anxious than he normally is. But we are just trying to learn how to stay through a practice for 2 hours and stay in it. We had some of the most incredible good moments in practice today. And then we had ones where we slipped back into it is just practice. So we will keep working at that.”

Question: When you talk about, hopefully getting guys to learn how to practice, is this a situation where you are still looking for a small goal here, small goal here, small goals in situations like that and I guess the ultimate goals are coming?

Coach Beilein: “Yeah. If you get so you really know how to sustain a two hour practice both mentally and physically, pretty soon, games are nothing. Games are easy and that is what we are trying to instill in everybody. Work habits for the whole two hours and for the most part we have had that. I think that is why we have made such great strides.”

Question: Would you like to see Zach (Gibson) maybe get a little more involved tomorrow, especially with Hibbert… maybe get him into some foul trouble early.

Coach Beilein: “I don’t think at this point we have to worry about is Zach trying to intimidate Hibbert or anything like that. We just have to worry more about ourselves than about Georgetown really.

Question: I saw you were really stressing with Peedi (DeShawn Sims) out there when a difficult shot presented itself to pass the ball. Is that a tough balance to achieve with him?

Coach Beilein: “True with everybody. What we are working very hard right now is two things; our smallest problem is shooting when you are guarded. One of our biggest problems is not shooting when you are open that driving it and trying to some find something else when you are not open. We have a pretty good shooting team and we ought to shoot it when we are open.”

Question: You were piping in the music to simulate the crowd. Who does the music selection?

Coach Beilein: “It was pretty good a couple times today and a couple of times it was pretty bad. But we let them roll on that. We do want something that could bother; we don’t want something as much as they like listening to. We want something that is more like a Georgetown crowd that they are not going to feel comfortable with.”

Question: Will you get more involved in that?

Coach Beilein: “I am going to get more involved. When I really want to get them, I am going to play them some good Johnny Cash, nice and loud (laughing), and they we will see where their heads are at. A little Folsom Prison Blues will get them going.”

Question: So you don’t want the stuff that they would listen to when they…?

Coach Beilein: “No it doesn’t make a difference. I didn’t think it was loud enough in there. As long as it is loud enough where they cannot hear each other and they really got to yell instructions that is what is key.”

Question: Do you want the players to be more vocal on the court?

Coach Beilein: “Absolutely, we are way too quiet, way too quiet. That is something that we are trying to get.”

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