Beilein's Roundtable (Week 12)

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein met with the media to discuss his team as it prepares for today's match-up with Iowa at 4:30 in Crisler Arena (TV: BTN).

Coach Beilein: "Alright got one day of rest. Had a great old school practice yesterday, getting back to our basic stuff and now we are ready to play an improving Iowa team that has been a tough team for just about everybody, as they have gone through a lot of adversity. We had a good day of practice, going to have another good one and then we got to play well. They have proven, everybody can prove…if you look at the scores right now, anybody in the Big Ten can beat anybody on any night anywhere. So we're going to have to…hopefully we will not carry…what would that be called…any extra luggage from the Michigan State game and we've done everything that we can to keep that from happening. If yesterday's practice is any indication, the luggage is off our backs as far as that goes."

Question: What does that mean ‘old school'? Is that just in tone or is it…?

Coach Beilein: "We haven't had time to do fundamental drills, passing, defense, whatever it is. It has been that five game run was impossible to go back to fundamentals because you were always concerned. Yesterday we certainly did Iowa concepts and Iowa tendencies, but it was more about Michigan."

Question: Where do you see Iowa getting better the last few games?

Coach Beilein: "Right now with the adversity, they lost (Anthony) Tucker, I do not know if he is coming back or not. Any time anyone is out of the lineup, it takes a while for people to get settled. He looks like he is really settled into this rotation. Aaron Fuller has really improved. The kid (Brennan) Cougill, his ability to shoot from the three changed the Indiana game. So they are comfortable now with people's rolls on the team and I think that is very important. We got to that last year when we really started playing well when we figured out that time what's the best way to win, it was these seven or eight guys in his amount of minutes. I think they sort of have that right now."

Question: The struggles you guys have had with three point shooting, but there are a couple of guys who are really light; is there a point where you have to just say….?

Coach Beilein: "To score points, for example, Anthony Wright was the lowest on the team for a while and now all of a sudden in the last five games he's got the best on the team. So you can't…to score points, we do not have a lot of other options right now. We're not the biggest team. We're not the quickest team. We do not have a lot of other options. I think we've been a bit more selective, although I think the Michigan State game part of our…we got a little too amped up a few times but it was only four or five shots that we would like to take back from that game. In a game that ended like that those four or five shots are pretty important."

Question: You said Iowa has settled into a rotation; it looks like you've been settled into a rotation, does it feel like it?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah some what. Anthony until the Connecticut game, he had not played well. He's a senior and you said how long do you stick with him and then he came right out of that. So anything could happen at any time. (Zach) Gibson did not play very many minutes the other day because all of a sudden…not all of a sudden but through a lot of hard work and dedication DeShawn Sims has become one of the premier players in the country, so where is Zach going to play then and get major minutes. I do not expect that continue, him having one minute or two minutes or whatever he played. You'd like him to give DeShawn (Sims) more of a rest but in that game DeShawn wanted no rest, I know that."

Question: You were talking about the old school and getting back to fundamentals; what does that do, is it like setting a reset button a little bit?

Coach Beilein: "A little bit. You review the slippage that you have that you do not have time. That's my biggest challenge every day is that I plan practice for about two hours. I plan the practice and it always starts and there is not enough minutes to get it done. Then I got to select what we can do and still save their legs. Usually today I like to go 105 minutes, 100 minutes. Getting it there, chopping that down from 130 minutes that I'd like to do is the biggest challenge in coaching."

Question: DeShawn has been playing well but he looks completely tired at certain points…?

Coach Beilein: "It's not about conditioning, it's about fatigue. It's about what we just went through. It was almost an NBA schedule but our guys go to travel in between. Our guys, the travel, getting back, I think that had a lot to do with it. There are four teams that have a schedule like we had during this year. Ohio State preserved through it. We were three and two in it and it's tough."

Question: You talk about DeShawn and not being the biggest team and then somebody put video highlights of Robin Benzig online recently and then you had Ben (Cronin); how big a setback is that in the overall point?

Coach Beilein: "You can…hopefully those were going to be two very good players for us at this time with size. We're probably one SAT question away, a few and an injury away from having that type of presence."

Question: Does it change what you're looking for in recruiting, the fact that you do not have that size?

Coach Beilein: "It's hasn't changed. We've always been looking for that, we just had an injury and go back to Robin. Robin's case, I've never taken a kid that did not probably already have the score and that was that one chance I took and it did not come through."

Question: In terms of Stu (Douglass), you talk about moving past the Michigan State game, obviously were you afraid of his mental thing, we because talked about the end of the game about the shot?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. His biggest challenge right now is all the role of having a point guard having never ever playing it before and having to play that has been tough for him at times. He continues to make steps forward. Are they giant steps? No, but they are steps in the right direction."

Question: More mental than physical?

Coach Beilein: "Like many players, they will get a little paralyzed by it and he's tired. He's tired too. He's not a kid that…he can probably run a mile great, but do not know if he could run three miles great. He does not have that type of endurance and I'll have to keep a better eye on that."

Question: When you were talking about from 130 to 105 in practice, what do you decide to cut?

Coach Beilein: "The first thing you do is that if I got a whole bunch of 10 and 11 minute drills, I try to make 10 and nine minute drills. Well if you got 10 of those drills, you got 10 (minutes) right there. I try to go that way and then I'll see where I can combine drills. For example, I might have a transition defense drill and I might have an offensive drill that is two 10 minute drills, I'll say okay, let's make the offensive drill, we'll turn into transition defense and I save four minutes, that's what goes into it."

Question: Where you guys are right now in the season just in terms of how you handle the personalities of the kids?

Coach Beilein: "I think you have to have a good balance of keeping them positives but giving them realities as well about either welcome to college basketball or listen, you're going in the right path. You just got to hang in there. A combination of patting them on the back and said, we told you so. You got to continue balancing that and still try and end everything as a positive note but sometimes you just got to end practice and say…I was reading Chuck Daly's book, Daly Wisdom; he says someday you just have to land the plane. Some days right now that I just need to land the plane and start over the next day. Just say okay we got through today, we got better, we got better. Can't solve all these issues today, just get the plane on the ground and start again the next day."

Question: Kelvin will he be sitting on bench during games?

Coach Beilein: "We're still working that out because of the hours. Today, he just texted us to see if he could watch film with us today with us because he's on a different week. It's more complicated than people would think. I'm sure back in the old days some football player might just show up for basketball practice and scrimmage and nobody even knew he was on the team."

Question: Those are the hours that he usually sits on the bench.

Coach Beilein: "Yes three hours and actually if we ever told him that we told him you have to go to the game and watch it, it is three hours. It is completely voluntary if he wants to go to the game. We can leave him a ticket. We can leave him a ticket. There is a lot of stuff."

Question: That's got to be a guy situation for you; a guy on the team can't even …?

Coach Beilein: "Yep and I think we're working towards that because he's on football scholarship and we certainly do not want to get in the way of that career so we're making sure that we do things the right way. I think we are getting closer to how we can work. He's changed a couple of classes that just earlier discussion sessions that they allowed him to go into, so now he does not have his four o'clock class. It's the same class, the same teacher. It's just a different time."

Question: You mentioned that Coach Dunn might come back this year at some point, is there any update on his status?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. It's funny that you should ask that. We expect him to be back Monday, as earlier as Sunday."

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