The Michigan basketball team is coming off a tough loss to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. Earlier today, John Beilein, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton addressed the media. They talked about Duke and issues facing the team before they play Houston Baptist Saturday.
What The Coach is Saying:
- It’s tough to get someone looks when they are guarded as tightly as Nik Stauskas was against Duke. “They just face-guarded him. If they are just going to face-guard a guy, and say he’s not going to get the ball, there is very little you can do,” Beilein said. Beilein added that Duke played a box and one defense, and the best way to beat that is to have your four players defeat the other four players.
- “There is tremendous growth needed to play in the environments we’re going to play in.” Beilein talked about how Iowa State and Duke put forth great crowds, and the team is learning to play in these environments. “We were in the national championship game last year. There’s going to be a lot of attention when you come into town.”
- Don’t expect perfection: “They are 19 year old kids trying to figure things out, and the coaches don’t have all the answers either. It’s a game.” Beilein sees growth from his team each game, and they learn with every practice and film session.
- Mitch McGary is still not quite up to game speed. “His conditioning is still a little below average, but he has been working hard. He did not jump, or run, in a pool.” Beilein ran a dunking drill with him in practice, and McGary was gassed two minutes in. The key is finding the balance of how to hard to push the big man. “We could work his tail off today, but then he’d be tired for the game.”
- Beilein is still working with Glenn Robinson III to find his niche. “There’s no magic formula right now. We have to get him doing what he’s comfortable with.” Beilein called Robinson “a slasher and a burner, the best off the ball cutter anywhere around.” As long as Robinson continues to do this and starts to find his shot, Beilein is happy with the way he is playing.
From the Players:
- Caris LeVert doesn’t need to be told to assert himself. When asked about his second half output against Duke, LeVert said he doesn’t need to be asked to take over a game. “I think it’s an instinct, really. Coach Beilein gives all of us the confidence to go out and play our games.
- “I’m really comfortable playing point guard.” LeVert knows the offense a little bit better than Derrick Walton Jr. at this point, but LeVert will still get most of his minutes as the shooting guard.
- Derrick Walton, Jr. knows he has to be a little more aggressive when teams are shutting down other players. He also is looking to get players easy buckets. “I have to find them in transition and get them easy looks, and get them in the flow of the game.”
- Walton doesn’t see his games in terms of halves where he is playing well and halves where he isn’t. “I think I just need to keep remaining confident in myself, and the inconsistency will go out the window.”
Michigan is in action tomorrow at 12pm Eastern against Houston Baptist University at the Crisler Center.
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