Coach Beilein on the Minny Win

Coach Beilein talks about last night's win on the road at Minnesota -- on Zack Gibson's contribution, on the low turnovers, and more.

Opening Statement Coach Beilein: "Our team has been waiting to play that for a while. We just haven't shot the ball well. We haven't executed like we did tonight. We got down early against Northwestern in the second half. Wisconsin we got down early in the first half and today at least we could stay in there. I think they only took one or two leads. The second half we really…if you look at the numbers in the second half we only missed a couple of shots and 20 assists on 26 baskets."

Question: The team was efficient in the second half; was that a product of something you saw?
Coach Beilein: "No I think that we maybe weren't rushing some things. We've really worked during the practice time we've had for the last couple of weeks worked at just seeing the floor better. Not running plays but being a player. They were really looking for some different options as they came off the court. Sometimes we do not see anything and then we go around like robots. So that's been a major emphasis, just teaching them on how to make entry passes, just review almost."

Question: There were points in the second half where DeShawn (Sims) was just dominant. He had eight straight at one point, is that something that you saw…?
Coach Beilein: "A lot of that stuff, he hit a couple of jump shots, but it was off of interior feeds by Manny (Harris), in other words, he just had to lay the ball in. It was off penetration where we would force (Ralph) Sampson, (Paul) Carter, (Damian) Johnson gave him a little help and then when they would try retreating back to get DeShawn, we found them before they could get there."

Question: You swept them last year; this is basically the same team that they have here. Were there things that worked last year that you knew…?
Coach Beilein: "I think both teams are the same in the regards they do not have their experienced point…CJ Lee was really play this way, (Al) Nolen was really playing last year. Do not ever underestimate the power of having a floor general out there. Our two young guards, both of them are 19, grew up a lot tonight – both (Stu) Douglass and (Darius) Morris."

Question: Minnesota's team from last year to this year, do you see any change in them?
Coach Beilein: "We've just played well here and we better be ready to play this well when they come to Ann Arbor."

Question: Were you surprised that they did not make a better defensive adjustment when DeShawn was making those easy layups?
Coach Beilein: "No. When you have a big center like they have. You're funking the game up a little bit when you have a power forward in there. He changes so much of our shots. We shot 33% in the first half because he was around. In the second half you spread it out a little bit, you can take him outside and they are not going to move their feet as well…so you can win sometimes playing small. He did take Sampson out a couple of times but still that's what you got to go through when you're training a big young center like that."

Question: Do you feel like your team needed a win like this just to kind of keep any sort of what you're teaching positive?
Coach Beilein: "We treasure ourselves in having small victories every day even if we do not win and we have been making these victories in practice. We've had small victories in games but not the one that is on the scoreboard. So yeah it is always hard when you're coaching a team for them to stay resilient as you have to stay through a long season but at the same time it wouldn't have deterred me one bit. We've just to go keep working through it and we've had a lot of adversity. We just got to keep going."

Question: For Zach Gibson to get a lot of time and produce it must be…?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah that was very good. He's worked very hard. If you saw our practices even on a day after when we are light on starters, Zach Gibson and Anthony Wright have been running and doing all the stuff as if they got this opportunity and Zach was ready when he was called upon."

Question: DeShawn sat early, I think it was eight minutes was it you?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah there was a thing with his defense that we did not like, so we just made a quick adjustment and he did not make that mistake the rest of the game, which was really good news. He really did a great job. Zach bounced off the bench and did a wonderful job."

Question: Two turnovers at half is that something you really stressed at halftime?
Coach Beilein: "We're averaging nine a game as it is and they are turning people over at 15 per day. We ended up with eight in the game, which is below but that's what we want to do. We never want to turn the ball over. That's one of the biggest sins you can make on our team is the careless turnover."

Question: You talked about it initially, the Al Nolen factor; so this is a different team…?
Coach Beilein: "I do not know that because I've only seen him one time. I do know that they are in an adjustment periods. Sometimes adjustment periods last a long time but it is very hard to make those quick…all of a sudden you got one guy running your club and I sense that Al is a pretty good leader and all of a sudden he is not in the mix and that is very hard. We've gone through it. You have it with injuries, you have it different ways. There is reshuffling that takes a while for everybody to get a rhythm to their team. I do not know I've only seen them one time. I know they're good and they will bounce back."

Question: Do you think they missed him more on offense or defense?
Coach Beilein: "I did not watch hardly any games with him. I do not know. Obviously he's a great steal guy but his leadership probably…I do not know this. I'm just saying that would be my first thought. Both teams could be very different when you lose a player. It is like all of a sudden Drew Brees and Brett Farve, all of a sudden they are not there. Believe it or not it is a really important and I've learned a lot about that this year. You can't take that position (point guard) for granted."

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