ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan coach John Beilein took the podium Friday night after Michigan’s 76-58 win over Howard.
The Wolverines had a slow start on offense, not scoring for the first 5 minutes, but the defense stood out Friday night. Beilein discussed that — and more — after the game.
Howard’s matchup zone defense:
“What Howard did defensively was something I haven’t seen. We may not see that type of quickness all year long. We had all kinds of plans…some worked, some didn’t. It came down to just playing ball.
On Michigan’s defense:
“Up until the end of the game, I thought our defense was great. It forced 17 turnovers and had great efficiency.”
On D.J. Wilson’s performance off the bench:
“He’s a guy we can run to the rim, and he’s a great outside shooter, too. He’s a guy that we have some things to work on with him, too. There’s a lot to his game.”
On not scoring for the first five minutes of the game, and if that’s a concern:
“It’s a defense (Howard’s) that left us very confused early on. We don’t practice against that type of quickness. But am I concerned? I’m concerned for 40 minutes of the game.”
On the decision to start Moe Wagner or Mark Donnal going forward:
“I think who’s the best for us to win the game (will start). It won’t be about offense or defense. They bothered Wagner down low with their quickness, so he is working through some things.”
On if Austin Davis’ redshirt will be burnt:
“We’ll only use him if we really need him for minutes – if something catastrophic happens, we’ll need him. We can make the decision (on a redshirt) at any time. He worked out full today, but we’ll only burn that redshirt if we feel we have to.”
On the half-court offense, offense overall:
“I thought our half-court offense was OK. But Howard wasn’t letting us do much on offense. It went good and bad — I think we scored the same in each half. There’s a lot of clean-up we’ll have to do.”
On Howard’s future:
“Howard has a chance, when they get its best player back, to win the MEAC, and we might see them again in the tournament.”
On pulling Moe Wagner early in the second half:
“I didn’t take Moe Wagner out for the missed shot — I’ll never take a player out for missing a shot. It was for a high-ball screen, and his eye was on that missed shot and he has to turn around and be a defender, not focus on the missed shot.”
On the 17 forced turnovers, 9 steals:
“There’s a great emphasis right now on getting up in the offense’s face on defense. But, remember, we were top 10 in the country in least amount of fouls last season, so we need to adjust to playing an up-tempo defense and not fouling.”