Opening Statement Coach Beilein: "That's what we do for a living guys – is coach. I think that's probably what we love the most about it, you don't know. Expect the unexpected idea out there. We've practiced really hard the last three days. I had some concern that we had practiced too hard at times that their legs would be there and they wouldn't be able to shoot it. We actually did a shoot around today like we were on the road. We simulated a road game, which we never do a shoot around at home. I like to save their legs. They do get to shoot for an hour before the game; how much shooting do you need? Today, we simulated a road game. We had an 11 o'clock shoot around and a three o'clock just like if we were at hotel. Do not know if it worked, have no idea. Probably had very little bearing on it, a couple of shots dropped and it got contagious."
Question: You must have loved the 21 assists to four turnovers?
Coach Beilein: "Was that unbelievable, have you ever seen that one before. I think the 20s with less than five. So that was really good against a team that forces 12 or 13 a game. It was good for us to…we ended up taking 53 shots and if you keep in mind, we took 65 in the Illinois game and scored 40 some points. You do not think that stat will come up on the blackboard, it will."
Question: Talk about the way Darius (Morris) attacked the press.
Coach Beilein: "He really has done a great job. I haven't looked at the final numbers here for what he had overall…six assists and one turnover. Yeah, he's still having trouble throwing the ball into the ocean sometimes but at the rim, he and Coach Jackson and everybody has been working so hard with him finishing at the rim. He wasn't scoring from the outside, but he wasn't finishing at the rim either. So it is a big thing. He works hard at his shot, but it is obviously a work in progress, but I really like the way he handled their defense."
Question: If you pounded them for three days, may you pound them for three more days?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah for the Michigan State game…we have those practice hours we have to follow (laughter). Tomorrow is a mandatory day off, but we have three days, so I do not know what we will do yet. This sort of has to sink in. It certainly gives us some type of confidence in ourselves going into what is arguably if we are going to have any success in the season it has to go through Michigan State and then it has to go through the Big Ten Tournament. It's hard to do and Michigan State has certainly handled us for a while. So we're going to have to play even better than we did today probably."
Question: Was that the idea situation down the stretch, where you had the lead and get the seniors out there?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah. I did not like to do that to Tubby (Smith) and his team, but at the same time, it was the seniors and they have one chance to walk off that floor one more times, so thank goodness we had a couple of fouls to give and we gave them. I thought appropriate ending. Anthony (Wright) ended up with an in and out three and then took a charge. Zach (Gibson) and DeShawn (Sims) both…I really loved it that the two bench shooters came in and hit their first shot, which is not easy to do. I'm glad the way that ended. I told Kathleen today before I left that I can never recall not having a home game and coming home so disappointed in the last month of a season. I have been, but I won't be disappointed tonight."
Question: When you look at the course of the past two years; how is it that you match up so well with Minnesota?
Coach Beilein: "I have some type of ideas, but I'd rather not share that with them. Last year we were two very good teams and we played remarkably well at their place. I can't explain it. All I know is that Tubby has won a national championship. He's a tremendous coach. We both sort of came in at the same time and we're both still trying to put our mark on our program and hopefully we'll both be very successful at it."
Question: You said yesterday that senior day kind of goes one of two ways a lot of times, just with the seniors specifically…at what point did you realize it was going to go in a good direction?
Coach Beilein: "I do not know. With my attitude sometimes I'm saying to myself, 25 points up with five minutes to go, I'm saying even I can't blow this lead. Those are the things that you're saying to yourself. I also know that if you are playing a team that does not go after you full court you're in pretty good shape. They could create turnovers in a hurry because that's what they do. So I was concerned about when it was just about 20 and it could be 12 in no time. We went zone one time and they hit a three and I said get out of the zone. Did not want to give up a lot of points…I never think the game is over until it is over."
Question: Six assists for Zach Novak and played around with lineups a little bit.
Coach Beilein: "Yeah how about that one lineup. We had a big lineup there for a little bit. We only worked on it for two days and it killed us in defense transition because that's a whole new scheme that you have to run. I was telling someone that there is an actual plan for defensive transition. It is not just everybody yells get back. There are people that have to take certain people and then you sort of play from the outside in and you take sides and he had to learn a whole new rule, which he new going into the first semester. We experienced with that against a very big team, because they were really good in the high low game. He's a bright kid, he can play every position."
Coach Beilein on the Minnesota game
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