ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Coming off a loss, the Michigan men’s basketball team has no time to sit around and feel sorry for themselves as the Wolverines prepare for the challenge of the Puerto Rico Tip-off this Thursday in San Juan, P. R.
Michigan (2-1) will take on Long Beach State this Thursday to start tournament play.
“They got back-to-back-to-back Big West championships,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “So they got that culture in place. … They are very athletic.”
If the Maize and Blue were to win, they would face the winner of Florida State-VCU on Friday. If the Wolverines were able to make the championship game on Sunday, the tournament could set up a possible matchup with Georgetown or Kansas State.
Either way, it’s sure to be a tough matchup for the Wolverines after their road loss at Iowa State, 77-70, last Sunday.
“We all learned a lot about this team,” Beilein said. “We learned about some things that we can do better. And now we grow from it.”
Game time is scheduled at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 on Thursday.
News & Notes
Beilein said the team hasn’t practice since the loss at Iowa State. He said they have a film session scheduled shortly after the press conference.
On offensive execution: He noted the team scored 70 points at ISU, but the offensive execution is not where he wants to be.
Mitch McGary only played 22 minutes Sunday, scoring nine points with six rebounds in first game of the season. Beilein said the plan in the game was to play McGary in four minute sessions. They plan on getting McGary more minutes as his conditioning gets to a more proper game shape.
“Probably a similar plan in Puerto Rico,” Beilein said.
Michigan was 4-of-9 from the foul line at Iowa State. Beilein said it’s an area of concern and said they need to get more opportunities at the line.
Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines with 20-points on 8-of-18 shooting on Sunday. When asked who would be the guy to take the late game shots? Belien replied: “Nik was the guy that felt it the most.” He later said they have multiple guys they like in that position. “Nik is one of them. … I’m comfortable with some others.”
Freshman PG Derrick Walton Jr. scored 13-points and is improving in Beielin’s eyes: “He did some really good things. … He’s getting better every day.”
More on McGary’s health – McGary told Beilein he felt good before the Iowa State game. Beilein noted McGary looked fatigued.
Lessons learned in recent tourney play – “The quick turnaround is a big thing. … It’s going to be something new for them in victory or defeat.”
Lessons to be learned from this tournament. – “I don’t know what to expect in Puerto Rico. … we can do a lot things to make us better. Bonding is a huge part of this too.”
On keeping Caris LeVert in the game despite his struggles shooting and finishing with five points. – “We just thought he was going to make his next shot.”
Scouting assignments for coaching staff – Jeff Meyer has Long Beach State. Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordon have VCU and Florida State.