Coach Beilein: "Just looking at the stats there that's what I sort of confirmed there. It wasn't a great offensive showing but that's what you have to be able to do. If you play defense and you have a bad day offensively…we had a great offense flow sometimes – it was just beautiful and there were some other times that where we just stop. We just got to keep working on some things that we have to see, but what a great defensive game by us for most of the whole game."
Question: How important was it to have them playing as hard as they were right out of the gate?
Coach Beilein: "We made a football analogy, you could lose a game like that in football and have the bye week and have two weeks. We just turn around, three days, forget about it, get over it and let's move on. Then get out of the gate was huge for us. Lot about our defense."
Question: Is that mental reinforcement?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah. The whole thing that I say to you guys, when you got a group like this, there is roughly 100 practices in a season. So there are roughly four practices a week. We're down to 20 practices. It is important with how hard practices are and how hard games are that they can have a positive attitude in practice. We've played our heart out for three consecutive games with Wisconsin, Purdue and then Michigan State and came up empty. Two weeks ago we sang the song, ‘The Victors'. So we needed to sing that song today very badly to be able to practice especially with what's at hand on Tuesday."
Question: You talk about the importance of offensive rebounding especially with DeShawn (Sims)?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah he worked his tail off, staying alive on the basketball. He had a few of those Elgin Baylor; Elgin Baylor they claimed that he would intentionally miss those shots so that he would get another offense rebound and put that in. Sam probably knows that, but he did not do that but he stayed on basketballs even when has missed it, which was very good. He had a great game."
Question: Is there something that Iowa does that allows him to score it seems like consistently?
Coach Beilein: "He scored differently this time. Last time when he scored on them, it was very much off set looks and one on one in the post. He did not score much one on one in the posts today. He scored off residual drives, off of offensive rebounds. I thought they did a good job on him when we ran our post entries. He got a couple wide open layups, but if he did not have a wide open layup, he saw a crowd there when he got the ball. The kid (Jarryd) Cole does a great job with him and (Brennan) Cougill, #50."
Question: You talked about all the things that Zach Novak does outside of shooting, but he hit a couple of threes today; how much of a lift would that give you down the stretch…?
Coach Beilein: "Big threes for him, he's probably our best defender, he is definitely our hardest playing guy. He's got to stay out of foul trouble. It's a big lift for him because he worked so hard. He'll play better defense I know like that if he is not worried about not shooting the ball well. How about Zack Gibson's play too. That's one of the best basketball plays I've seen. He stayed with the play, stayed with the play, stayed with play, tapped it out, that was impressive."
Question: Does it impress you that a lineup with the tallest starting player is 6'8" and you guys get 44 rebounds; does that impress you that you aren't the tallest team?
Coach Beilein: "Well there not that big either. Their thick but there not that big either. You can't get 44 rebounds if you do not make them miss shots, so that's the key. If they are making shots, you can't get that rebound. So that was what was the most important is to do that and they are playing a little bit with four guards, sometimes they had (Aaron) Fuller with a five man – they were really small. Thank goodness we did rebound, but they had lots of misses caused by our D."
Question: When you see a coach's kid, Lickliter's kid was out there a lot (John Lickliter); does that bring back memories?
Coach Beilein: "It made me mad when I heard a few fans yelling at a coach's son because I've heard that many times. One of the funniest was at Notre Dame, they called Patrick (Beilein) daddy's girl (laughter) and that really upset him. It upset me. I'm used to that, but that kids goes out there and plays hard and you know he is playing every day for his dad just like my dad did."
Question: You got a little sloppy at the end there, does it concern you?
Coach Beilein: "I hate to end games like that. We were sloppy at the end, but we stopped scoring because we got sloppy. We had several turnovers. We had an unbelievable ending at the half with the ball turn over, three fouls to give and dive through a passing lane. Hopefully we learned from it. I know it will be mentioned once or twice."
Question: Sloppiness was just a concentration thing?
Coach Beilein: "I think they felt the game was out of hand and that is natural. That's natural when you're up by that much. That's not our goal to ever be that way. We want to finish the game and play all the way through like it's the last bit. I would like to have gotten everybody off the bench but right now 14 point lead, 16 point lead with three minutes left is not safe. It is not safe against a three point shooting team. If I get upset about that and I am a little bit…we wanted to get (Matt) Vogrich in there. We wanted to get Josh Bartelstein – we want to get those guys in at the end of the game and we couldn't do that because we did not finish the way we wanted to."
Question: Can you talk about a little bit about the 10 game season that some of the guys in the locker room…?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah we just tried to break it down. Okay this is over, we can't feel sorry for ourselves after that 24 hour period, come back and we got 10 games left. Wouldn't that be something – 10 games, if you really make a mark in those last 10 games. I do not know what their record could be, but there is a whole new season told them we got to Etch-A-Sketch, put it out there, put their season and just use the Etch-A-Sketch, a new Etch-A-Sketch, it was nice, I wish I had one, boom right off. It was good."
Question: With this specific group of kids do you find it a challenge at all that you worry they might think of 10 games at once?
Coach Beilein: "Naw, we'll do a good job of separating that – just one at a time. What I'm trying to do is once again 80 practices you get, there is 20 left to get better and that includes Blake McLimans, Jordan Morgan and all these guys. Jordan is banged up now, but this is all we got and then you get two hours a week. So it is important that we go as hard as we can every day to try and get better. That's our focus to try and shorten the season from 30 games to 10 games."
Question: Is that a resolved situation with Jordan and Blake?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah Jordan's been injured. He's been reinjured twice since he came back. Yeah it is too late now."
Question: What's the injury?
Coach Beilein: "Just the same knee but different contusion, different injury. He hasn't been able to go for two weeks and so we miss that in practice. Eso Akunne was the four man yesterday. 6'1" four man, but it was okay."
Coach Beilein Speaks
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