Jan. 4, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the Wolverines' first Big Ten road game just a day away, University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein and select players addressed the media on Wednesday (Jan. 4) to recap the Wolverines' perfect 2-0 start in conference play and preview the upcoming matchup at Indiana on Thursday (Jan. 5).
Michigan defeated Minnesota, 61-56, on New Year's Day to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten behind a career-best 27-point effort from freshman guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland).
Senior guard Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) and sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) joined Beilein at the media roundtable. MGoBlue.com also caught up with Novak, Burke and senior guard Stu Douglass (Carmel Ind./Carmel) to talk about what it's like playing basketball in the Big Ten and what it's going to take for the Wolverines to come away with a win at Indiana.
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement ... "Our goal is to go to Bloomington and try to get a win. We were fortunate enough to do that during my second year here and to do it again would be great. It's a big challenge, but it's a great opportunity for our kids to play in a great atmosphere."
On the problems that Indiana poses for Michigan ... "They're probably the best three-point shooting team in the country. They're shooting 44 percent with some good inside play also. They have a good plan -- they're scoring 80 points a game and they're playing most of their games at their own pace. It's difficult for teams to catch up to them. It's very important that we don't have to play catch-up all day long."
On Indiana's Cody Zeller ... "I've seen him since he was a sophomore (in high school). He's really a tremendous player. He can pass, he rebounds, he's tough, and he's really been a big difference-maker in their team from last year."
On holding opponents to low point totals ... "There have been some moments this year, especially in the last few games, at least a half at a time, where we've really played good defense. We're going to have to do that. We're going to have to play good offense. You hear me say so many times that could be our best defense -- to score baskets so that we have a chance to get back and get set in our defense, which Indiana will do as well. You can score a basket and they'll have the ball over halfcourt in two or three seconds. It's really important that we do that in order to stop them defensively. It goes hand in hand really.
On being worried about Tim Hardaway Jr.'s performance vs. Minnesota ... "Absolutely not. He's going to see great defenses all the time. He's a great scorer and a great shooter. The only thing that would disappoint me is if he backed off at all."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423