OSU Bigs did U-M In

Michigan headman John Beilein reacts to his squad's 65-58 loss to Ohio State. He discussed the height disadvantage his team faces on the front line, the grueling stretch of games his team is in the middle of

Coach Beilein:  "We had the lead there, 44-40 with eight minutes to go in the game.  They're going to score easy points because of their size.  (B.J.) Mullens is tough to stop and (Dallas) Lauderdale as well just around the basket.  They had a great game plan.  We just had a lot of tough breaks at different times during that game and we would have to play a pretty prefect game to beat them.  They have great talent and they were better than us for tonight, no question about it."

Question:  DeShawn missed some shots that he normally makes.

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, what he got 13 looks, so we tried.  We just got to keep working with him, working with him.  They really did a good job of getting to Laval (Lucas-Perry) and Zack Novak, and he (DeShawn) will, he will.  Obviously Stu (Douglass) shot the ball well.  Manny (Harris) played a great floor game.  They're a good team and they stopped us.  That's all there is too it."

Question:  Coach with another slow start for you guys was mainly the 1-2-2 zone?

Coach Beilein:  "It is something very different.  It's the first time we've seen it all year.  We probably only see it one more time.  That aggressive and the way they play it and the pressure.  We had a couple really strange turnovers during that time too that they did not force.  We only had 12 turnovers, but if we only have eight, we might win the game.  We just had to play a better game to beat them and I thought they played pretty darn good."

Question:  On the size mismatch down low?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah we're trying to do everything we can to make up for this lack of size against teams like that.  They did a good a job of trying to exploit that, early against the zone and just by isolating people.  Did we win the final rebounding, no, but we got 14 offensive rebounds.  We're trying.  We're trying, but they were the better team tonight."

Question: Toughest loss this year?

Coach Beilein:  "They're all so dang tough for me.  I just wish we had played better.  I thought we had some opportunities to win the game, but we're young and still learning.  We have to improve.  We have to improve playing teams like that.  Their setting the table right now…they've got enough quality wins outside the conference that if they win in this conference, they're going to be another NCAA tournament team.  We got to be able to beat those guys on our home court."

Question:  Talk about the youth, maybe that played a part in the last four minutes of the game when they went on a run?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah they're young too.  Both of their point guards are juniors or seniors, I'm not sure.  Both went through the junior college ranks, so their a little bit older.  We do have three freshmen out there a great deal and what they were through last year with (Evan) Turner and (David) Lighty and all these guys playing all of these minutes, now Turner, he's been there and done that before.  We have some guys like that as well.  I think individually we can play and hoping the team, coach, everything, we can do better, just got to keep working."

Question:  Penn State's next, what's…?

Coach Beilein:  "This is really a tough stretch right now.  We have another two days.  We haven't had that day…I don't want to make excuses, we've hadn't had that recovery day.  Where you just say guys we don't want to see you – it is back preparing.  We are going to try and rest tomorrow.  They're playing very well.  Did they end up winning today? They're playing as well as anybody right now and we're going to have to go in there, but we got to shore up what we do.  We've given up easy baskets and we're not making some easy baskets."

Question:  On the defensive impact of Mullens and Lauderdale?

Coach Beilein:  "It's hard offensively.  That's why their game plan is so good.  They got the two big guys and if they're playing man to man defense you can exploit that, but they just play this zone.  They haven't played one possession of man the entire year long.  That's their thing, so they got a good game plan here, that way you can't exploit the big guy on the perimeter offensively so that is why it's a tough one for us.  When we've beaten big team, DeShawn (Sims) has been able to go away from the basket, hit a couple of threes, drive people, things like that."

Question:  What about when you're on defense?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah…what do you do? We are 6'7 1/2" and 6'5" and were lying on both of their heights.  It's just really tough.  That's where hopefully we will continue to recruit and get guys that are a little bit bigger there.  Right now it is what it is and we got to find other ways – double teams, different things.  A lot of stuff today you just can't stop."

Question:  On if Michigan prepared well for the zone.

Coach Beilein:  "I thought we did.  I know DeShawn feels bad because he usually makes those shots, but we got some real good looks at different times.  I didn't think we got a lot of good looks from the outside.  I thought we got good looks; they really pressed up on the outside and little short areas.  Then when we take it to the basket, because we have so many guys that are under 200 pounds and we get in there and we get nudged a little and it bothers us."

Question:  There were several guys in the locker room talking about the quick turnaround from here to Penn State; is this one of the toughest time of the season for you?

Coach Beilein:  "This eight days, obviously, I've been through it before, but I don't remember this type of thing.  Not an excuse guy.  The one day that we had off, we got home at six in the morning from Illinois.  We are going to do something different tomorrow.  We're actually going to take tomorrow completely off, which is rare, because we still have two days to prep.  I think we need to rest and then because we don't have classes on Monday, we can do a little bit more on Monday and go to Penn State on Tuesday night."

Question:  On how he plans to keep players from losing their confidence.

Coach Beilein:  "What are we right now?  We're 13-5.  It's not the end of the world.  We just got to say okay, we're getting better.  We're ahead by four points with eight minutes to go.  We're a couple of plays away now from winning that game.  We got to shore up some things and we'll get better.  Tell them what they can do and not what they can't do.  We got to keep working on that."


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