Beilein: Keeping Confidence Tough for Team

After Michigan's 62-44 loss to Wisconsin Saturday, Michigan headman John Beilein says his team is having problems maintaining confidence, but will continue to look for answers in the coming days.

Opening Statement of Coach Beilein:  "Obviously we've dug ourselves into a very big hole or I should say that Wisconsin put us into a very big hole with the way they played in the first half.  The way they shot the ball.  The last second shot there at the end of the first half was a perfect example of what was happening and nobody scores over 50 points on them.  When you see 40 points at halftime you know you are in trouble.  We were two for two from three in the first half and then 0 for nine (in second half).  We did not have good looks.  We did not have good looks.  I do not think sometimes they had good looks, but they made them and we did not."

Question:  How hard is it for the team to keep its confidence?

Coach Beilein:  "It's really hard.  It's really hard right now.  We've had such great support from our fans.  We've had great support from the student body.  Nobody deserves that type of whipping at home, but we certainly got one."

Question:  How hard is it for them to keep their confidence when everything is falling for them?

Coach Beilein:  "That's my job.  It's tough to do.  We try to stay with it and they are really playing well right now.  They do not even have (Jon) Leuer.  They're amazing.  Anybody who can do that to Michigan State at their place with the way they did it to them.  It was almost a carbon copy of what they just did to Michigan State and they did to us, but they did it to us on our home floor, which does not happen.  Even the teams that are in the Big Ten that are really at the bottom, which I guess we are now can usually stay with a team in the first half.  We couldn't even do that."

Question:  How demoralizing is it when they hit a shot like right at the end of the half?

Coach Beilein:  "It was tough.  I actually told the team at halftime that let that be the best thing that can happen to you right now that they can't keep doing that.  They continued to grind down the clock shot and then make winning plays.  We would just have a breakdown some time and that was probably the most shot clock violations that we ever forced.  At the same time, look at the stats in the last 10 seconds, they also scored a bunch of points in the last 10 seconds.  They are just really good.  They are a very good team."

Question:  You were talking yesterday how the past two games you guys have played here that they have kind of taken you out of the game early; does it every get to be a mental thing when things like that start to happen early?

Coach Beilein:  "I do not know.  We have except for the Iowa game really been able to reach our goals in any games.  If it is happening every game and it has been lately, yeah it is just hard.   I do not know if it is mental.  We've got to be better.  We've got to improve as a team.  We've got to improve individually.  We've got to continue doing that."

Question:  Is there a concentrated effort not to shoot three pointers because for the first 17 minutes you guys did not have any.

Coach Beilein:  "They chase you off every screen and they were going to take that part away from us.  We weren't trying not to shoot them.  We were trying to get open ones and we just couldn't get any.  They are just a very good defensive team both individually and as a team.  Obviously Peedi (DeShawn Sims) had 15 at half and 18 in the game.  We got the ball as much as we could but then he was crowded in there and he had a tough time against the traffic inside."

Question:  Is there anything that you take from this game or this kind of one you are going to tell the guys try to brush it away and move on?

Coach Beilein:  "I do not know what to do right now.  I've got to watch the tape and see. I'm usually better after doing that to try and put things in perspective.  I try not to get too high or too low off either one.  Study it and then we have some days to work on our own game and see what we can do before we go tot Minnesota."

Question:  You moved Darius (Morris) back into the starting line up…?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, yeah right now we just felt that the conversion factor of Laval (Lucas-Perry) really that is going to always be a difficulty position for Laval to play.  Stu (Douglass), we just need some guy that can get into the lane a little bit and has a point guard mentality to play.  I thought he did a good job.  I thought he made a couple of nice passes.  He still has a lot of areas that he needs to work on but just throw them out there and let them play.  Let him play and see what he can do."

Question:  You talked about what Wisconsin, where you really that displeased with your defense in the first half or was it more they just made shots?

Coach Beilein:  "I got to watch the film more.  There was a couple of times where we did not do some things when they missed.  I do not know if a ball did not bounce our way but it could have been a two to three point game at halftime very, very easily because we forced them into so many shot clock situations.  They missed seven shots and got five offensive rebounds.  That takes your heart away.  Now you've guarded them for 69 seconds that is really hard and we guarded them a couple of times for between 60 and 70 seconds.  That's really hard to come back and do that.  They just take your heart away by getting that rebound and then having to do it again.  Then you have to run down and run your offense and be patient because you're not going to get easy shots."

Question: What's the mentality of the team like heading into the Big Ten season and Big Ten Tournament?

Coach Beilein:  "Where you in there (the locker room)?  It's not good right now and they are young kids that are really struggling to find success right now and that's my job as a coach to help them get there.  Now what the story of our season is trying to get rid of a tough loss and move to the next game.  We've got to do it again.  I suspect we'll have to do it again and we'll have to do again until we continue to get better."

Question:  How concerned are you at this point that maybe that confidence just isn't going to come?

Coach Beilein:  "It's not only a matter of confidence.  That's not the only issue. We've got to get longer and stronger and shoot it better and get more skill.  We got a lot of things that we got to do.  I do not think it is a confidence as much as we've got to get better as a team."

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