Beilein's Roundtable: Talking Big Ten Tourney

Coach Beilein gives a long interview on what the situation looks like for the Wolverines, going into the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow.

Opening Statement Coach Beilein: "Okay we got a big job today to pick up the pieces and the sulking period can be over now and go in and try to get ready for another first round matchup with Iowa. We'll have a good practice. We'll have a good film session today. It will be splint between the two. The Michigan State game for half an hour and then about a half an hour of pre-Iowa and then go and have two hours of a good practice."

Question: After a couple of recent disappointments, you said you've worked them pretty hard, is that a tough balancing act?

Coach Beilein: "Yean now with the tournament and obviously…hopefully it becomes more than just one game, but you do not know. We'll work hard, but I do not know if we'll go to the extent that we've done before."

Question: How different is the tournament mindset?

Coach Beilein: "With us it is a brand new season. I know with me, but we discussed it for a minute on the bus on the way back and that was just about it. Then everybody needed space and this is the first time we will reconnect here in 48 hours. I'm not sure what their mindset is."

Question: What do you want theirs to be going in…?

Coach Beilein: "One game at a time, do not look that we got to win four or we got to do this or do that. Just one game at a time and then one game at a time. I know it is coach speak, but you can't do it any other way. At the same time you are four wins away from going to the NCAA tournament. It would be an incredible story, but it has happened."

Question: DeShawn Sims was talking about maybe even breaking it down even smaller than one game at a time to even four minutes at a time.

Coach Beilein: "That's traditional. We do four minute quite often at this time of the year."

Question: Does that help a team that maybe had opportunities or stretches…

Coach Beilein: "Four minute disappearances at times."

Question: …when they've been hanging their heads…?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah, yeah. We try to shorten it as much as possible. Practice is little small victories within every practice. Whether it is a shooting drill or whatever. Virtually there is a reward or punishment for everything you do. So you're trying to get that done in practice as well."

Question: I'm not really asking you to put your psychologist's hat on, but in three short days before the game, is it possible to get a team that has struggled with mental toughness to believe that they still have that opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament?

Coach Beilein: "That's my job to do that. We've bounced back after some very disappointing losses this year and we've done it not consistently but we've bounced back. This is another one of those times where I hope that we have a bounce back. That will be our only intention."

Question: What gives you the confidence that they can win four games?

Coach Beilein: "I do not have confidence in that. I have confidence that we're going to try and win one game at a time. Then if we win again I'll have confidence that we are going to try and go do it again. That's the only confidence you have. I do not think we go into this confident of an NCAA tournament bid. We go in confident that we are going to play our best every night."

Question: When you look back at this regular seasons will this be one of the most frustrating that you've had as a coach?

Coach Beilein: "All these years, I'll probably save that answer until when it is all over. I think there has certainly been some very good points, but there really has been some difficulty games and difficult circumstances."

Question: Was there a point in the season that was most difficulty for you?

Coach Beilein: "I think I'll answer that at the end of the year. Let me look back at it a little bit and really look at things."

Question: How much more is about execution when you're playing a team for third time and there are no surprises?

Coach Beilein: "There are always surprises. People every game, when we're playing Minnesota, playing Michigan State; their throwing stuff at us that we haven't seen a lot on tape and we're trying to throw stuff at them that they haven't seen on tape. So there is always going to be new looks and new things. You can't outfox yourself either. That's really important."

Question: Aaron Fuller was a real problem for you at the last game, is there something that he is doing now?

Coach Beilein: "He's just become really assertive. He's that rugged four man that we've had trouble matching up with. He plays much bigger than 6'6" because he just really gets to the rim both with and without the ball. Without the ball as an offensive rebounder, with the ball a variety of spin dribbles and leverage moves. So he's been difficult for us. We've taken that into account with our scouting report."

Question: Tony said you weren't interested in the CBI this year; can you just expound on why?

Coach Beilein: "I think the University made a decision that we were going to try and qualify for the NCAA or NIT. I do not know about the CBI to even comment on it other than that was a goal and I think that is a reasonable goal. It is the top 100 teams in America go to the NCAA and NIT. I think that should be a goal. If we do not get to there then we gave it our best. We'll revisit it after we see the success of the CBI or our season this year."

Question: You said that you hadn't done the math on wins. I do not think that you need a winning record.

Coach Beilein: "I understand. I just found that out. We haven't been close to not having a winning record. It was either 10 and 22 or decidedly above it. So I did not know it. I also know that it is much more difficult to get into the NIT than it was years ago. Any BCS school that had a pretty good record was going to do but the NCAA selects it now and there are a lot of good schools that have had better years then us."

Question: How has Blake McLimans responded? Has he practiced at all this week?

Coach Beilein: "We did not have a scout team this week that is anywhere close to what we've had. We will have Eso Akunne that will be playing like a four and a five and Anthony will be playing a four and a five. That's the cards we've been dealt all year round.'

Question: What importance if any do you place on getting them readjusted to the setting down there that particular arena set up?

Coach Beilein: "Nobody can really get adjusted to it. We all play in big time arenas. It's not like you're in a gym in the lower mid majors. Every arena we go to is a pretty high level arena. It's a pro arena. It is a touch different. No one gets any practice time there. There is nothing that you can really do. So we won't do anything special."

Question: Do you have a favorite conference tournament moment?

Coach Beilein: "I was traveling back last night from recruiting, but I was listening to the CAA and the Metro. Five out of seven years we were in that championship game in two different schools, three different conferences with one all the line, one chance. I do not even recall any tension or being nervous or any stress, just coach the game. You either feel really good the next day or you are really upset…you're really disappointed the next day. Seeing yourself in those situations during that time, I can't even put myself there again. As the games are going on and the crowds are going crazy and most of those games we played were late decision type of games. It's great memories."

Question: You said you never felt any stress; is it more stressful in this type of situation or maybe in the Big East?

Coach Beilein: "It all blends together. It all blends together. I think when you're really on the bubble that may be stressful. Sometimes we've gotten in and sometimes we haven't. Those are pretty stressful times. You are putting stress on yourself because it is not just you. You'll spend the night watching the Gonzaga/St. Mary's game and seeing how that is going to impact you. That's more stressful than your own games. I still remember last year clicking in a movie theatre. Went to see one movie that was stressful as it was (laughter) and my wife said you will not go to your Blackberry. Yet I was checking the USC/Arizona State game the whole game, unbeknownst to her. Those are the stressful moments, your wife could hit you (laughter); those are the stressful moments."

Question: Now that she knows is she going to give you…?

Coach Beilein: "She still does not know. I just revealed a secret right there. I went to the bathroom and checked the score."

Question: Any further word on potential surgery for Jordan Morgan?

Coach Beilein: "I think we're going to let it quiet down and do it as soon as we can. It could be up to a four month recovery so that is a difficult…beat goes on with our big guys."

Question: The walk on Josh Bartelstein, does he have to have surgery too?

Coach Beilein: "I'm not sure if that will be required. They are waiting for that to quiet down. He is going to be able to walk through practice today."

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