Beilein Pleased With Harris' Efficiency

Michigan headman John Beilein reacts to his squad's 77-55 victory of Michigan Tech in the season opener. He discussed Manny Harris' career best performance, his playing rotation, looks ahead to tonight's game versus Northeastern, and more.


Coach Beilein opening statement:  "I had a lot of respect from watching the tapes of Michigan Tech last year, in particular in that game with Michigan State.  They also played Saginaw Valley, so I was able to watch some games.  I really have a lot of respect for the way they played.  I wasn't surprised when they cut it back to 10 points and was really happy that we could get away from them late, give our guys just five more minutes to rest.  This is very strange to have and its good to have the tournament, but when you're the home team, our guys are still going to go to classes tomorrow.  So it's a little different than when you have a weekend tournament.  I obviously was concerned about that.  It beats being on the road, hosting it.  We want to get our guys rested enough to play what looks like a very good Northeastern team."

Question:  "Do you think Manny (Harris) was able to do what he did without forcing things tonight?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, didn't you think so?  Yeah, we've been trying to get him and I'm redundant with a lot of these things but when try to be over clever, making a play and being a player.  Where you end up running the play or being a player; it's a big thing.  He's still looking for his avenues... 'when can I use this speed and quickness?'  How can I make my game so efficient that I'm harder to guard.  You might be more effective if you do less and I thought that was a great example of it tonight.  Shoot when you're open, drive and kick when you're not."

Question: It seemed pretty effortless, 30 points that is a career high for him and it seemed like he got them in the flow.

Coach Beilein:  "I didn't think there was too many times….the fact that last year because he was an off guard and he is playing defensively at off guard, so he's usually 22 feet from the basket.  Now that he is matched up with a forward more, he can rebound and that is going to initiate some pretty good fast breaks. Last year at this time, Manny probably had at practice and games, a charge a day that he would do offensively.  I don't think he had one tonight, but I can't recall one right now in scrimmages or anything.  He's really seeing the floor much better and developing."

Question:  The two 3s off the bat that you got from Anthony Wright off the bat, is that what you like from him?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, if he comes off.  We need to be able to spread the floor with him and Zach Gibson a little bit.  For him to come out and do that that was a great start out for us.  On opening night there is usually a few jitters.  It usually shows that he has got a great deal of confidence and that was a good way to start."

Question:  Coach you played the majority of the first half in your 1-3-1; what made you start the game with that?

Coach Beilein:  "The way that they ended up playing.  Those two little guards, I shouldn't say little, but their 5'10" and their both in their fourth year.  Just watching their tape, I had so much respect for how they ran offensively.  I just thought that we would be chasing them around, chasing them around, and that eventually they would get to a three.  Sometimes in that zone, we would take the ball out of the guard's hands and let other people make decisions.  So that is what we were trying to do.  Don't like those guards get comfortable, because I think they are both very good players."

Question: Did you come out flat in the second half or was just one of those things?

Coach Beilein:  "We had two turnovers right away.  We're still making some really strange decisions.  When were open, we don't shoot it.  When we're guarded we shoot it.  That will go on for another year.  Usually in the first year of everybody's play and really with the new positions a little bit, it will continue going on.  I thought we gave them a couple of points with some turnovers.  Had two in and out three point shots and all of a sudden as you well know, with the three pointer it can go from 19 to 12 in no time."

Question:  Did you feel like the team ran the court a lot better?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, hopefully that will be thing where we'll be able to score a few more points by pushing the ball in transition.  You got to stop people to do it though.  Got to stop people.  First half we did, second half when we were talking about coming out flat, its because we didn't stop people, so we couldn't run, couldn't set our defense."

Question:  Coach you said you wanted to come out with an eight or nine man rotation; how do you feel about it?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, I just stayed with the eight right now.  Of course Jevohn Shepherd is a senior; he's a fine young man and he's just got to wait for his spot right now.  He came in and played a good five or six minutes.  We stayed with that eight.  Two things, you would like to play a lot of guys, but I don't think really anybody ever gets comfortable if they're not getting between 15 and 25 minutes.  Usually an eight man rotation in a close game will get everybody in those pretty good numbers."

Question:  How do you expect things to go for guys that are switching positions?

Coach Beilein:  "I don't know.  I saw a couple of things that were really encouraging and then I saw some things today that we need a lot to work on.  Offensively, defensively, everything… but we're trying to get people sides of the floor.  We're trying to get people more comfortable of where they can be more efficient.  What's always worked, you got to change if it's not working.  So we're trying to change some things and tweak some things."

Question:  What did you see from Northeastern?

Coach Beilein:  "I didn't watch the game at all.  I traditionally don't do that.  I will have tapes.  When I go to my computer right now, I'd be a basket case if I watched the other game right now.  I'll go to my computer tonight and I'll be able to watch enough of them in the next 24 hours and I know there coach very well.  He's a great friend of mine by the way who was at Boston College as an assistant.  I'm sure he's watching us and it's like he's watching West Virginia and where watching them and it is like we're watching Al Skinner and BC."


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