Jan. 13, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the Wolverines off to their best start since the 2006-07 season at 14-3, University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein addressed the media on Friday (Jan. 13) to recap U-M's overtime win over Northwestern on Wednesday (Jan. 11) and preview the upcoming matchup at Iowa on Saturday (Jan. 14).
Michigan went into overtime for the first time this season on Wednesday (Jan. 11) against Northwestern. After trailing the majority of the game, the Wolverines fought back to win in overtime, 66-64, behind 19-point efforts from sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) and freshman guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland).
During the month of January, Michigan will play nine games in 29 days, including a stretch of six games in 17 days (Jan. 1-17). With four of those games in the books, the Wolverines have recorded three wins and will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to face the Hawkeyes on Saturday (Jan. 14).
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement ... "It's not the NBA schedule, especially the one they have right now, but this probably gets as close as it can be to in during the middle of January. We were able to take a good day off yesterday just to get our bodies back, but now we're full go again. We spent about an hour and a half already this morning just watching film; we're very fortunate that Friday morning we do not have a lot of classes. Now we'll practice for an hour and 45 minutes, then go to Iowa and get a little bit of film in tonight. Then the game is at 12 o'clock tomorrow so there's no shootaround, we just get up and go play. So it's a great prep for us for if we are going to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament. You have to be able to be resilient through both victory and defeat. Same thing goes if you were ever in a situation in the NCAA Tournament, where you're traveling all over the place. So hopefully this is good prep if we're going to get to that point in March."
On the scout team adjusting to different styles ... "They can adapt. The ones that have been doing it a while, Corey Person, Eso Akunne, Josh Bartelstein, and Colton Christian, have been very good and have done it for sometimes four years with Corey, so they know things. Max (Bielfeldt) and Sai Tummala are the ones that really have trouble flipping from one speed to another; one language to another is what it's like. Today you're in Spanish, tomorrow you're in French, then you're back to Portuguese because it looks like Spanish, but it's not quite Spanish. They do a wonderful job with it, and that's why we had them sing 'The Victors,' because they really embrace that role. Believe it or not, even though they're playing that role with the team, when Blake (McLimans) played that role all week because he was (Northwestern forward John) Shurna, and then sure enough he goes in and they hit him with a back door and a chin cut because he hadn't guarded it. He knew how to do it, but not how to guard it. So it's difficult."
On the next step to winning road games ... "If you look at the records of the teams from our three losses we have, those teams have pretty good records. You have to win one and just find a way, and then it can get to be contagious. But the fact is that it's a hard thing to do and we have to look at ourselves and say we have to be special. We have to be not just better than that team, but play significantly better than this team today in order to win. If you're going to win on the road in conference play, you have to play your top game. If you're having an off night, it's probably not going to happen."
On staying focused on Iowa and not looking ahead to Michigan State ... "I think we understand and we have been very good at that. We're going to be focused on Iowa, there's no question about it. It's not necessarily about leadership, it's about all 20 of them taking it one day at a time; all 16 of those guys and the four coaches, it's one day at a time."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423