Beilein Talks About the D, and about D-Shawn

Coach Beilein talks about the big improvement in the second half yesterday versus U-D … and about Kansas.

Coach Beilein: "Let's talk about the other team first. I love what Ray (McCallum) is doing there. Not only the personnel that he has put together but there is a scheme going on. They played a little bit of zone but it was a matchup type, what we call span… half man/half zone. It gives good pressure. We don't turn the ball over much and they forced us into 13 of them. We turn people over and we only had seven. So they did a tremendous job there. The whole story of the game was our second half defense. Our second half defense was where it needs to be. It had great conviction as Jerry Dunn said before the game. We were on a mission and we got it done, because we had talked about defense but we needed to amp it up, as far as effort area on defense."

Question: How were you able to amp it up in the second half?

Coach Beilein: "I think a little bit out of desperation with them. We went in there…we were down three at half. I think the kids felt a sense of urgency that everybody's talking about it. I think we also had a very veteran team out on the floor as much as we could. As the young guys continue to learn, usually the last thing that comes to young players is the defense, not just defensively but off the ball. The combination of some determination and having a more veteran team helped us there. They have an extremely veteran team; very veteran team, very hungry to win together."

Question: Is that why Darius (Morris) didn't play as much in this one?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah we felt that in this one right now that our defense…Lavel (Lucas-Perry) continues to make great strides. They really understand it like veterans…I wouldn't say veterans, they're sophomores. They're not like these cagey old seniors, but they are getting a better idea of what they have to do and of course Manny (Harris), DeShawn (Sims) and Zack (Novak); there very few cagey sophomores out there. He still needs some seasoning."

Question: DeShawn said you brought out the F chart and ….?

Coach Beilein: "The F it's not…it is A, B, C, D, E, F. We have the same rule in study hall. You either get an A in study hall or F in study hall. There is no in between in study hall. There were some parts of the game, whether it is talking, whether it is running the floor or whatever, we brought it out last game. You don't do it, you are going to pay the next day in practice. It is some absolutes. Some things that you can control. A guy does not fail that except of the game if he misses a foul shot, misses an easy shot. So we have the F chart."

Question: On the F-chart being motivation for Sims…

Coach Beilein: "If it makes him better, he can play every minute of every game. I could sprint him in the middle of the game if I wanted to, if it is going to make him…there was one phase where has missed a tap in and he looked at me and I said what are you looking at me, get back and he intercepted the pass. He is just a very interesting young man who I love, but he's got more than looking at me."

Question: Somebody in the locker room asked DeShawn as you go is that how this teams goes and he said no, I hadn't thought about that maybe I should try thinking about it. Maybe I need to feed off that, yes/no?

Coach Beilein: "Didn't Yogi (Berri) answer questions something like that. Seriously, he probably…he is such a great kid that putting things like that together probably is something that he is understanding right now. I would very rarely say that to someone from a standpoint that it is just putting too much on them, but at the same time there are games that are very true of how well we play, we have a better chance of winning."

Question: I asked him (DeShawn) why the team is 5-4 and he said maybe they bought into the hype…?

Coach Beilein: "I can't answer all those things."

Question: Why do you think you're 5-4?

Coach Beilein: "I think we've played a very difficult schedule. I think we were overrated in the beginning. We finished seventh in the Big Ten. There are 11 teams in the Big Ten and we finished seventh. Teams that should be in the top 20 are teams that finish first or second in the Big Ten…third and they got everybody coming back. It wasn't like we were a juggernaught last year. Put those two things together, Alabama's got Purdue by 16 last night. Utah is a very good team. Marquette is obviously a good team. BC has lost one game to Harvard I think. We're just learning."

Question: Manny and DeShawn said it was pride.

Coach Beilein: "Absolutely."

Question: Pride against Detroit, they don't want to hear it all summer; is that something that you kind of hit at halftime?

Coach Beilein: "We made a point to be able to say that these games against local teams, which now we've played Oakland, we've Central (Michigan), we've played Eastern (Michigan) and we've played Detroit and the division II schools. Yeah they know these kinds. Chase Simon came out the same time that Manny did. I think Thomas Kennedy, I think they know him. They play with a great deal of pride, but we need to make sure that we play like that every day."

Question: Talking about how Ray is putting that together is that more hesitant to schedule them in the future?

Coach Beilein: "That's an option. I walked into Detroit Mercy to do that clinic…no I saw the city championship game last year. I said what a great place. I'd been there believe it or not and Canisius used to play Detroit, not while I was there. It would be an option. It would be an option. We have to finish up something with Oakland before we do home and home with any local schools. If they get to be real good, there is less chance of doing that and they we will get to be really good. If that turns out that could be a great road win and it is better than flying three days to go to Utah."

Question: You amped up the defense because there was a little bit of desperation; do you hope that maybe triggers…?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah, we learned a great lesson about that. We also had to shorten our bench to get that done. You can amp up as much as you want with younger kids of guys that are just still a struggle with defense. Zach Novak didn't play particularly well on offense but he did a great job on (Xavier) Keeling and it is the key to win in Big Ten. You got to be able to guard people. You cannot outscore people in the Big Ten. It is a fact of life. You can't do it."

Question: Do you feel you guys are a better man to man team right now?

Coach Beilein: "No. They cut up the three zone. Obviously we are trying to decide who we are defensively but sometimes the three zone is really good and sometimes it is really bad. It caused 17 or 18 turnovers. They were dicing it up. A veteran team that is very tall at all the positions, 6'6", 6'7", they really see over. We're not a big long team. So we're trying to recruit to that to be able to play the game."

Question: Can you talk about some of the sloppiness in turnovers?

Coach Beilein: "I think we are in the top 10 in the country in least number of turnovers. I don't know if it was sloppiness, they just picked our pockets a couple of times. I don't know if they said if I'm going to come down here and I'm just balling and they picked it – not they were pretty good. They steal it nine times a game. The one kid #11 – Woody Payne – he's getting three steals a game. I don't know what he ended up getting today. I know he got one. But three steals a game would probably lead the country sometimes. So they are very good at doing that."

Question: What about Matt Vorgich?

Coach Beilein: "Just trying to get used to the speed of this game. It is very fast. He's got to continue to work on ball handling. It is very typical of some two guards, shooting two guards that have some size. The speed of the game just so much early. He's got to get it to slow down."

Question: What did you think of his haircut?

Coach Beilein: "I love his hair cut. It was very good. Zach Novak was the barber. I saw him last year – when I saw him last year and went to see him play, they all had done skin heads."

Question: Rebounding in the second half?

Coach Beilein: "The rebounding was great because we made them miss shots. Rebounding effort in the first half was good…if there is no rebounds, you can't get them. Our man to man defense…our zone was porous today and it was because of them a lot and also because of our situations that we have. Defense was much better in the second half. We really worked hard on boxing out after Utah did what they did to us."

Question: You guys will take some time off and prepare for Kansas?

Coach Beilein: "Its half exam week, half not exam week. So one thing right now is to get some guys that are really banged up a little rest. I'll be resting some guys tomorrow. I anticipate a Tuesday/Wednesday really good practices and then Thursday is going to be our off day actually because of a scheduling thing to make sure that we are compliant. One day Friday to get ready to go play a great game in a historic play (Allen Fieldhouse)."

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