Dec. 21, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the Wolverines' final game before the start of Big Ten play slated for Thursday (Dec. 22) against Bradley, University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein and select players addressed the media on Wednesday (Dec. 21) to recap the Wolverines' win over Alabama A&M and preview their upcoming matchup with the Braves.
Following the tilt with Bradley, Michigan will have just one non-conference game remaining -- at Arkansas on Jan. 21. The Wolverines have gone 9-2 through their non-conference slate, including a perfect 6-0 mark at the Crisler Center.
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On preventing distractions from finals week and the holidays ... "I think the whole idea that we're playing a team with a lot of talent and that they've seen their talent on film, they know that we're going to have to play well. They're not looking at a team that has played all road games and they're 0-8 and they're waiting to get to their league schedule. I don't think that's going to be an issue. They all have flights the next day sometime after noon, so I'm sure they're thinking about going home. We've got to prevent that."
On having balanced scoring and rebounding as a team ... "I do like the idea that we're getting points -- I think we almost have five in double figures right now and those are pretty good teams when you can put those numbers up of that equality as far as who can score points for you. Our rebounding numbers as a team may not be up, that certainly has to do with shooting a high percentage on offense and a few things. Stu (Douglass) is getting rebounds, Trey Burke is getting rebounds and then Evan's (Smotrycz) numbers are so far up. We're sharing a lot of the action that I think that's important."
On Evan Smotrycz's high shooting percentage ... "First of all, it's very difficult I've found to guard when you have a four-man that can really shoot. There is usually a matchup problem somewhere out there. The thing is that someone's not traditionally ready to guard a great three-point shooter at that position. He's going to get himself open with being more patient. He's worked a lot individually just on his technique -- making sure his follow through is clean and direct. He's worked hard to get his balance and his footwork always the same on every shot. Sometimes younger kids will come in and either they're hot or they're not. They don't know that mechanically they're may be a reason for that."
On what to expect from Bradley ... "I think that (Taylor) Brown is an extremely talented player that can go out and get 18-25 points. Their guards are long and quick, both 6-3. (Jordan) Prosser gets a bunch of offensive rebounds. They're closer to what we'll be expecting in Big Ten play. They're in transition with a new coach, which is difficult, but they can beat anybody they play, I really believe that -- I just want to keep that until the New Year."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423