Dunn Says Team Represented Beilein Well

Assistant Jerry Dunn took over the head coaching duties for an ill John Beilein during yesterday's 91-60 victory over Eastern Michigan. The veteran coach discussed the play of Jevohn Shepherd and Kelvin Grady, the plan for inserting Laval Lucas-Perry into the lineup this week, his knowledge of Beilein's prognosis, and more.

Jerry Dunn Opening Statement:  "I thought in the wake of all the things that have happened in the last 48 hours, I think our guys did a tremendous job of representing Coach Beilein and a team that is coached by him.  They exemplified I think the things that he has tried to instill in them in terms of fundamentals.  If you look at the box score, we had 24 assists, five turnovers.  We were 16 from 33 from the three point line.  That's Coach Beilein's stamp all over the team."

Question:  Can you give us a little bit more description on Coach Beilein's prognosis and what is the situation?

Jerry Dunn:  "Not really.  I'm not a doctor and I don't want to botch it up.  I think probably I noted he is at home resting and that is about the extent of it as far as my explanation of things."

Question:  Do you anticipate that he'll be back for next week's game?

Jerry Dunn:  "We're hoping that he will be.  I don't have any definite knowledge of that right now."

Question:  What was it like for you to just be kind of thrust into the head coaches role again after being an assistant?

Jerry Dunn:  "I was driving to Chicago yesterday when I was told that I had to come back.  I was out on the road recruiting, but I didn't know if I was definitely going to have to coach the game today.  It's like okay, your back in the saddle for a game and that's kind of how I looked at it.  I didn't think any more of it then that.  My main concern was how coach was doing and how our guys were going to react to not having him here."

Question:  Talk about the spark Jevohn (Shepherd) gave you in the first half and how he has progressed this year?

Jerry Dunn:  "I'm just ecstatic with how Jevohn played, especially with Manny (Harris) having foul trouble early in the game.  I think he's progressing and he's really come along in a sense of being more poised on the floor.  Obviously, he's given us another scoring threat, but more importantly he has been very solid on the defensive end as well."

Question:  What did you say to your guys going into the second half; a team that was outrebounding you guys; how did you get them to out shoot them and out rebound them in the second half?

Jerry Dunn:  "I thought going into the second half with a 10 point lead that it was really critical that we start out the first four minutes very solid.  We knew that we had to shore up our rebounding on the defensive end.  We had to do a better job of post defense, and I thought we did that.  We were entertaining the thought of going back with some zone, but I felt the last eight minutes of the second we really established ourselves with our man defense, so we stayed with it."

Question:  Coach in a way could help you guys that you were able to do this without coach and even Kelvin said that when he made a mistake, he could almost hear coach yelling at him?

Jerry Dunn:  "As I said on the radio, I think it's a great compliment to the teacher and the leader that the pupil performs at his optimum when the teacher is absent.  That's when you know you have greatness sort of speak in Coach Beilein because even when he's not here, he's here – they still hear him.  We all hear him."

Question:  Was it refreshing to make that run at the end of the first half without Manny really being a big part of it?

Jerry Dunn:  "I thought that was important for the psyche and the confidence of our team to be able to do that.  I thought Manny handled himself very well in the first five minutes of the second half.  He didn't try to force the action.  We tried to make sure that things were run for him so that he wouldn't have to press to try to get going.  I thought Coach Jackson did a great job yesterday in practice, because I wasn't here.  He did a great job in preparation, did a great job in walk through today and John Mahoney.  We have a staff of guys that really pulled together in times like these and they did an outstanding job."

Question:  After such a big win against Duke, how hard is it to not be able to play for a week and to be able to keep that momentum going?

Jerry Dunn:  "I think coming off of finals, that's always been a scary situation for me.  I think that guy's minds are a little cloudy and a little rusty, especially when you haven't played in a week and you put all those things together and it kind of equates to a slow start.  I thought once we got going the guys didn't panic and they stayed with the game plan."

Question: After starting the game so close, going back and forth for a little bit and then you kind of pulled out and before you guys took a stranglehold back on the situation, did you feel that it was going to be a neck and neck game for most of it; when you started to build that 10 point lead, did you feel that you guys were pushing more than you had been?

Jerry Dunn:  "I think any time you play a cross-town rivalry, guys know each other, no one is intimated in coming here and playing.  Those guys play with our guys all the time.  I felt that it would be a dog fight early on and we just had to separate ourselves in some fashion and we did with our defense.  I thought that was the key."

Question:  From a coaching standpoint, how is this team going to be different next week playing Laval (Lucas-Perry)?

Jerry Dunn:  "I'm not sure to be quite honest with you.  I think that one has to think that coach will slowly get him into what we're doing and I think one of the biggest things and he'll have to address that is to make sure that as we are getting Laval Lucas-Perry into the flow of offense and what were doing that we don't rush it and we don't put too much pressure on him."

Question:  Is the plan to put him (Laval Lucas-Perry) in right away…?

Jerry Dunn:  "I'm not really sure what the plan is.  He'll (Coach Beilein) will have to address that with you.  I don't want to speak for him.  I'm sorry."

Question:  Ben (Cronin) didn't play today, is that kind of a sign that maybe he's going to sit this year?

Jerry Dunn:  "Well coach still has to make that decision and we just didn't want to risk anything today.  I thought probably if he was here today, he would have made a decision to play him or not, but I felt that that was not one for me to make."

Question:  Kelvin (Grady) kind of provided a spark with three triples in the run in the first half; how much did that rub off on everybody and how contagious is that?

Jerry Dunn:  "I think that Kelvin is playing a lot of confidence.  He is a very likeable guy.  When he makes a shot it ignites the entire team.  I think that any time you're struggling to score or you're trying to get separation, those are the types of things that widen the gap and certainly, I think he bolstered our confidence and gave us a little swagger going into halftime."

Question: You guys had it going with some big three pointers in the game; where you just trying to go with the flow or take what the defense gives you or did you just give them the green light to go ahead and shoot?

Jerry Dunn:  "I didn't give them a green light of any sort.  I thought that most of our shots came within the flow of the offense and there again, as Coach Beilein's teams become more familiar with what we're doing each year, I think you'll start to see a number of three point shots that are taken within the flow of the game and in the offense, they become the norm, as opposed to something that probably doesn't happen much."  

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