Beilein Pleased with Exhibition Experiments

In Michigan's 81-55 exhibition victory last night, headman John Beilein tried multiple line-ups and experimented with defensive adjustments and found success with both. After the game he discussed the positives and negatives that he took from it, his plans for the line up going forward, the play of the freshmen, and more.

Coach Beilein opening statement:  "I don't think I was surprised at all by the closeness of the first half and watching them play last year and the quickness that they had.  We were really going to have trouble adjusting to that and basically we went into a zone just to change things up.  They got to the foul line right away and it was going to put us into some trouble.  I was just pleased that we ended up getting through a game where we injured and we're going to learn a lot from the film.  Just pleased with our effort, I thought it was very good."

Question:  Coach you said yesterday that today seems more of a dress rehearsal for you.  How do you feel tonight?

Coach Beilein:  "I feel good about some things, but I do know now, as you know... I am a big tape watcher... we can watch the tape now and the learning.  Some of it will be, ‘great play… this is what we're talking about it.  The other one will be, ‘we told you so, this can happen.'  That is what I like about the exhibition game so much.  You learn so much about it without a tremendous amount on the line.  I'm glad we got everybody in there.  Who knows whether some of those guys, Cory Person will ever get in there again, so it is good for him to have that opportunity to get in there, because they work so hard in practice, but I am pleased that we shot the ball well.  If we can make ten 3s in a game, it usually is a good sign."

Question:  22 minutes for Stu (Douglass) is that about what you want for him?

Coach Beilein:  "Between him and Zach, you know Zach Novak until he had got injured he missed a whole week of practice that put Stu in the situation where Stu knew what was going on more than Zach.  When were doing addition everybody was doing fine, then we went to multiplication, Zach missed all the multiplication.  So when he came back, he is having trouble just doing little things.  Stu is a little bit ahead of him with knowledge.  It will be whoever is probably playing the better defense, because both of them can really shoot the ball."

Question:  Did you like Stu's confidence?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, yeah, yeah, he'll probably drive me crazy with that confidence.  I have a rule as long as, my son drove me crazy, as long as it goes in, I say it's okay, but we want them to go in."

Question:   Your lineup tonight, where you just trying some things?

Coach Beilein:  "I've been a big guy with making sure that we have people coming off the bench and we're in some transition now with doing some thing with DeShawn (Sims) and Zach (Gibson) that we're not really sure of a lot of things.  So we said let's bring some people off the bench, it's an exhibition game.  Let's have the right mixes on the floor and then try to figure out during the game what's going to work best during the real games."

Question:  Did you like the way Peedi (DeShawn Sims) responded to that coming off the bench?

Coach Beilein:  "Oh yeah, Peedi has been great through the whole thing.  Last week when we went with this sort of idea that we were going to into this game like this.  You watch CJ Lee every day, he knows he's probably not going to start, he's out there working his tail off and Peedi worked just like him.  Peedi would like to win and he likes those numbers whether he starts or not.  Out goal is to put the five best players on the floor at the same time as long as we can.  But who starts or not is not as important as maybe with other coaches."

Question:  Obviously Manny Harris just kind of kicked it in the second half, is that kind of your doing or his doing?

Coach Beilein:  "I thought he was pressing really hard.  He missed a lay up; he missed a foul shot and that's not Manny.  We told him to just stop.  He was pressing very hard at trying to come out, and he really has pressed hard the whole fall so far.  He just needs to relax and let the game come to him.  I don't think that it's a situation like last year, where sometimes if he had a good game, we could win the game, if he didn't, we didn't have a chance.  I think we have better opportunities defensively and offensively."

Question:  How does it help his game when those 3s are going in from everybody else?

Coach Beilein:  "It should give him a lot of room.  If you can get Stu and Zach; what were they five for something, he should have a lot more room to maneuver.  At the same time, if they play off him, I have a lot of confidence that Manny should shoot it."

Question:  Early in the first half, you guys were running, Manny had the ball and he gave it to Gibson for a really easy dunk, does that speak to…?

Coach Beilein:  "What was he three and two?  The one (stat) that I look at all the time is assist and turnovers all the time and Manny is three and two and I think he can even be better if we can make some more shots.  That's been the biggest improvement that I've seen of him is seeing the floor a little bit better from a crowd.  He still had a couple of opportunities where he didn't see it, but he is doing a better job at that part of the game.  I hope his assist numbers will be way up, at least over 100 this year, even though he is going to play the third guard I guess, small forward."

Question:  What improvement will you look for between now and Tuesday?

Coach Beilein:  "I thought some of the parts of our defense early was stuff that you just can't be ready for this time of the year.  You just can't be ready for that quickness. I thought they were very quick; this time of the year.  I think timing on our offense is the other thing.  I think that our timing was not good today and that is essential to it."

Question:  Pretty similar three point and free throw percentages there for a while, is that good or bad?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, yeah, we'll have to go back to the foul line.  To be honest with you, at this point, we shoot our foul shots every day; it looks like a couple of guys we have to video tape a little bit more and all our coaches spend a lot of  time just smoothing out some rhythm and just getting their for the first time.  I was proud of Ben Cronin there. He's been sitting there watching for the whole preseason and then he gets cleared last year and gets there and makes his foul shot that was pretty cool."

Question:  Coach you got outrebounded?

Coach Beilein:  "You know rebounding is funny.  The first half, I thought there was some effort areas involved with being out rebounded.  The second half, I think we outrebounded them decidingly.  Sometimes the ball is going to bounce along and sometimes you just don't have the effort or the ball doesn't tip your way or whatever.  If we're always close in the rebounding war, I'll be pretty happy actually.  That first half, we were not happy.  We had two offensive rebounds and one of them was David (Merritt).  That shouldn't happen... that shouldn't happen.  How many did we have in the second half?  We had nine.  So we had seven in the second half, much better.  If we can get over 10 offensive rebounds, get five or six each half, for our team the way we spread it, it's hard to offensive rebound, because you're running from so far in."

Question:   Will you continue to try and use Cronin in that role the next two nights?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, we'll wait and see, wait and see how he does.  I want to see how he reacts after this one. I want to see him in a full couple of weeks of practice.  So we'll wait and see in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament if we have another opportunity to use him.  You can see just a couple of opportunities just driving in on him, he just stands there; he's a big man.  He's a big man.  He been so dormant for so long, he needs about a month of jumping rope to get back…a guy like that loses a little bit of quickness, it is really hard for them to play at a higher level."

Question:  Coach with the lineup played tonight; the starting lineup, do you foresee this as being the lineup?

Coach Beilein:  "I don't know.  I'll wait until I grade out the film.  Kelvin (Grady) gives us so much energy off the bench and David is so steady.  It's not sometimes who's starting but who there playing with.  What's the best mix-up when you go in there.  You have to have enough scorers on the floor all the time.  I thought you always had to have two or three scorers on the floor all the time, so when you go to the bench and you don't have any scorers... that's tough."

Question:  What does the three point line back mean?

Coach Beilein:  "I don't think that longer distance is going to make a huge difference, but obviously if we shoot like that.  I think Anthony Wright is a better shooter than he was today as well.  That's essential to play this style is to be able to shoot it and I think we are an improved shooting team even with the line back – I hope we are. I hope we are."

Question:  How hard is it to defend (Michigan) with Gibson and Sims shooting from the perimeter?

Coach Beilein:  "I hope really hard if they're both making shots; they got to make shots first.  Both of them hitting three pointers today is big.  I don't know how many different people hit a shot, but it looks like six guys hitting a three that's pretty good."

Question:  When you've got them both on the floor at the same time, what's the thought there?

Coach Beilein:  "That's what we're deciding, who's better on the perimeter and who's better inside and what can we do.  You think we're tweaking last year, we got to figure this thing out and we can't do it just be projecting.  We got to see it when the lights are on."

The Michigan Insider Top Stories