Coach Beilein: "I do not even know what some of the stats read here. I just know we…credit Michigan State's defense, but we did not make some of the shots we needed to make and they made a super shot down the stretch. Our last two possessions, we probably could have had a lay up and gave up to be unselfish and the other one we had a little bit of a layup but it was going to be a tough score, but it would have been a hell of a score if we would have gotten it. Somehow we got to get positives in. It's been a tough five games, four nationally ranked teams in a row, but we'll find positives out of this."
Question: Obviously save the ball actually going in, is that pretty much exactly what you wanted?
Coach Beilein: "We were looking for Manny (Harris) coming off the screen, #1, which they switched on and then basically it is a jump ball. Actually DeShawn (Sims) had time to come down with it because there was 1.5, but he felt he could put it in so it was a good try. That's what you're looking for as a backside block lob. It is really hard to dunk it or do anything like that but with 1.5 he had enough time to put it in and he almost got it."
Question: Were you trying to stay with Kalin (Lucas) and it was a ….?
Coach Beilein: "We wanted to be in a three zone. Tom is so good when it is at that half, they are going to get to the foul line or they are going to get the same shot that they got. So we said let's throw the three zone at them. It's not something that they practice year round and let's make sure. They made a little bit of dribble penetration and then he sort of snuck in behind them and he made the big shot. The ball goes in and out. The ball goes the other we're all in here and can't believe it. He made the shot just like he did the other day."
Question: What did you say to the kids?
Coach Beilein: "I told them…they were really down. The big thing was it is okay to be disappointed, you should not be discouraged by this – you should be encouraged by this. They are a great team. They have got great talent and they've got a great coach. Given a few breaks or a few things that we are learning, we win tonight. Be encouraged by this do not put your heads down."
Question: Obviously the turnovers, just four turnovers tonight and they had 18.
Coach Beilein: "That's why when you shoot the way we shot it, I mean they really did a great job on DeShawn in the post. It was rarely that he was one on one. They did not really double but they gave a lot of attention. Draymond Green is strong and so we needed to make some of the outside ones. In the UCONN game we made three of those and we win. I do not know, but we made nine or 10 threes, all we had to do was make a couple of those and we did not get that done tonight."
Question: Can you talk about the decision to bring Manny in off the bench.
Coach Beilein: "It wasn't a further penalty. It wasn't anything. In the Purdue game when we started out strong, all of a sudden we went to the bench and it ‘Boom' right down. So I thought this was a great opportunity. He's never done it before in his life, it was not a penalty, it was just let's get him coming off the bench and just go in and be Manny in there. I expect he'll be back in the starting lineup."
Question: What's the goal for the rest of the year? You're 10 and 10…?
Coach Beilein: "Just try to get better every day and whatever comes our way, comes our way. Like I said, we've played a very tough schedule. If anybody has beat us with the exception of one or two teams, we've given a tough game, but we just do not have all the pieces together or working together or whatever to for some reason to win these games."
Question: Last year it was a little dire too at a certain point.
Coach Beilein: "Oh yeah we had this same span in January if you remember and it was certainly, whether it was depth, the opponent, who are you playing, where are you playing them. That says a lot to do with how people play."
Question: Does this give you a little bit more confidence?
Coach Beilein: "Like I've said, as long as we are not too discouraged right now. This will be our first day, Thursday where we have a practice that we do not have to concentrate on an opponent. It will be the first day in two weeks where we will have a practice that involves more Michigan instead of the next opponent. So that will be good, we need to do that. We also got to bounce back and move on."
Question: Do you think that Sims was fouled on that alley-oop?
Coach Beilein: "I thought on the way in I probably should have questioned it, but I did not think so. I did not see anything. The tape will show more. Under the circumstances, the crew did a great job with two men. Who knows if the third guy was there, if they would have seen what they saw. I'm sure I'll see some things on the film and so will Tom (Izzo). The crew did their best. They did a good job."
Question: How much did that change when they went down to two refs?
Coach Beilein: "It depends on people's style of play. I also coached a long time when there were only two of them. Sometimes that third official might not be calling anything anyhow or sometime she might be trying to control the game but losing Jim Burr, you do not want to lose him in any game. There are some other games that I would have liked to lose a guy like that (laughter) but not Jim Burr."
Question: How hard is it especially late in the game when Harris and Sims draw so much of the attention of the defense; how hard is it late in the game?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah just go get open shots. We were really trying to get the ball to DeShawn like crazy today and they did a wonderful job of both giving help but also making him catch it out of the comfortable area. It is difficult and they are great coaches, they sat on a lot of our stuff. The other guys…we have this goal of shooting 34% from three. We have made it one time or not at all since the first three games of the season. We've got to keep working on it. At some point when it happens and it continually happens, we can beat a lot of teams. Those guys can't do all those things."
Question: How do you think Manny responded to the last few days?
Coach Beilein: "I think he has had a great attitude and this is what he needs to do right now. He just has continued to work on his game and get better and better. He is a marked man and he has got to do that. It is tougher than people think. It is for some guys to come to practice and work hard and they are complimentary players. When everyone is focused on you and so many things, there is more pressure than people think. He has to continue on working to get better and concentrate on that – he will."
Question: Do you think your team is one point away from the Big Ten's best team? Do you see your team as talented…?
Coach Beilein: "I do not think right now, but I think we're capable of it. For those of you who are from Lansing or wherever, I hope you appreciate what's like for a team to win on the road, how hard it is no matter who you are playing and they just continue to do that. Their game with Minnesota the other day was the same as this situation. I do not know if we can do a point away to going on the road and do the same at Michigan State or a team that is at the top of the Big Ten. At home I think we can play with a lot of people that's for sure. On the road, we've proven that we can hang in there."
Question: What was the explanation you received on the Lucas elbow?
Coach Beilein: "It was actually the exact same thing that happened to Manny last year at Purdue and they should not be thrown out for that. It is an offensive foul. That was the only time that I didn't agree with (referre) Jim Burr...not the only time but one of the times (laughter). That is the way the call should be made. If you do not have the ball and do this or you take the ball and you just jam it, but when you are making a basketball move and the guy's face is right there it is an offensive foul but it should not be an ejection. So I agree. I haven't' seen the tape yet or I might disagree when I see the tape."
Question: There were five or six times where you guys have had leads in that second half and lost leads, is there something that you can point to?
Coach Beilein: "No. It can get contagious but I'd really even be more concerned about it if we had missed a bunch of one on ones to lose all those games. Our defense is our defense and it is good sometimes. We're either just outmanned, they're stronger or a guy makes a shot and we miss one. It comes down to be that simple. If we missed one on ones all the time over and over and over again, it would be tough to win those because when do you start making those. It would be a far different season if we had obviously won even half of those let alone all of them."
Beilein Speaks Postgame
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