GoBlueWolverine was on the road last night checking out 2013 Michigan commit Zak Irvin and Hamilton Southeastern narrowly beat Indianapolis North Central, 86-83 in Indiana. Also in attendance was Michigan head coach John Beilein. Though clearly attentive to the game before him, he was also paying close attention the hardwood action about an hour south in Bloomington between the Indiana Hoosiers and the first place Michigan State Spartans.
Said Beilein. “I was watching that game with interest last night just to see what would happen.”
Michigan’s headman was on his phone quite a bit throughout the evening as Indiana ran away from Michigan State 70-55 to give Michigan a shot at the Big Ten title. If the Wolverines win out and Ohio State beats Michigan State at the Breslin Sunday afternoon the Maize & Blue will win a share of its first conference title since 1986..
“Would you like to win a conference championship out right? Yeah, but if you’re co-champs, or tri-champs, or quad-champs I don’t care, we’re champs and that’s what we’re trying to get to,” said Beilein.
Before the Wolverines can even think about what’s happening between Michigan State and Ohio State, they must take care of their own business and that starts with heading to Illinois and capturing a tough road victory. Then Sunday they head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State.
“There’s many places that Michigan and many other teams have not won at in a long time,” said Beilein. “We’re trying to get a really tough road win and we’ve got two of them to get. Both teams have been very good at home and we have to play like we did at Northwestern, at Purdue, at the Palace, we’ve got to play like that in order to get that win.”
With some time off the coaching staff has been able to give extra attention to players further down on the bench, including freshman forward Max Bielfeldt.
“We’ve had double sessions with guys that don’t play a lot. A guy like Max Bielfeldt I might have six hours with, total, all spring to work with him,” said Beilein. “During the year we’ve seen great strides in many areas. He’s a tremendous rebounder, he can really shoot from the outside. When he sets a screen or hedges, people feel it. That is one strong man.”