John Beilein met the media on Thursday in San Antonio, two days before Michigan’s meeting with Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four.
Beilein, who was named CBS Sports’ Coach of the Year on Thursday, addressed an array of topics during his press conference, including the similarities between Michigan and the 11th-seeded Ramblers. Below are some of the highlights from Beilein’s press conference.
What Michigan’s John Beilein said at his Final Four press conference
On similarities between Michigan and Loyola…
“I think there’s a lot of similarities. I think that Porter’s worked for a few coaches and he’s been a head coach at Loyola and before. So I see the Rick Majerus influence. I see just tremendous individual defenders. So they don’t have to give a lot of help.
And we would like to think that we’re similar in that way. I think there’s a lot of similarities in these two teams, and that’s why we’re both here. I think we play the game efficiently at both ends of the floor. But both of us start with our defense, I think. We really pride ourselves in playing good D.”
On slowing down a Loyola team that has a lot of scoring options…
“They’re all hard games. If they’ve got a guy that can just — they’ve got one guy that can get to the foul line or shoot it and you’ve got to key on him, he sees everything, that’s hard. But you need five good defenders on the floor to guard these guys. Because they’ll find a weak guy.
And we’ve improved a lot in that area of having consistency with defense, one through eight. We still have some weaknesses here and there, but — and they’ll try and find them and we’ll try and find theirs.
But it is difficult. Because anybody can — you have to guard everybody with the same respect and the same game plan.”
On preparing for the next game instead of enjoying the wins…
“No, it’s not — relief for a moment, then it’s what’s next. Then it is obsessed with what’s next. I’ve got to plan. We have to get better. What’s the schedule? What are we going to do? How can we maximize this time?
So there’s no time to just sit back and smile and laugh with everybody. It’s time to go work. And that’s all we’ve been doing.
Tuesday, Sunday, who knows whenever our season ends, I can sit back then and I think I will enjoy whatever happens, that we either get the most out of this team or we went all the way and won a national championship, that’s the time when I’ll look back and say, you know what, that was a fun year.”
On what a Final Four appearance means for a program like Loyola…
“They’ve worked very hard. And I think we’ve seen this with VCU. We saw it with George Mason. We saw it with Butler. These teams are good. And it’s just the counter to what happens in many power conferences is we have such young teams and then they have a transfer. They have a young kid who just like came right in, the big kid has done just a great job for them, as well as the kids who come off the bench.”
Beilein’s full transcript can be found here.