Transcript: John Beilein, Michigan Players Postgame Press Conference

March 15, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

CHICAGO – Michigan coach John Beilein meets with the media after Friday’s 74-53 win against Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament.

Here’s what he and his players had to say:

JOHN BEILEIN: We beat a really good team today.
That was our February and our March. The way the
season trended and the way the schedule was, we
played some terrific — we played a bunch of NCAA
teams. Nebraska was probably the only team of our
last half dozen of six or seven games that isn’t a team
that’s going to be in the tournament. We weren’t able
to win them all, but this is a real quality win for us. We
needed it after our disappointing loss in really our
regular season championship game Saturday at
Michigan State, and now we advance and move on and
play a really good Minnesota team. We were fortunate
enough to win at the buzzer and win by just a few at
Minnesota.

Quickest turnaround I’ve probably ever had as a coach
to be sitting here right now at 11:00 with a 2:30 game,
but we’ll do our best.

Q. Being back-to-back champions in this
tournament, what is it that makes you guys so calm
and confident coming into this tournament and
performing the way that you do?

JOHN BEILEIN: You know, you asked me that question
before, how have we been able to win. I can’t really tell
you. The only thing I can say, it must be something
we’re doing all year long. It might be that mid-major
mentality I had way before that — how you play in the
season doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to win your
tournament.

There’s nothing intentional here. There’s nothing —
we’re just trying to get better every day, right, and then
I think if you go into tournaments and you’re usually a
team that doesn’t beat itself during the season, maybe
you have some success then.

It’s not intentional. It just happens sometimes.

Q. What did you see in Charles tonight? He
seemed —

JOHN BEILEIN: Well, he was gassed, I’ll tell you that,
but he played great defense. He’s such a big
difference, not only if he’s guarding on the ball, but off
the ball he’s our best — I guess he would be a center
fielder in baseball, a safety in football. He directs the

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whole thing. And a couple of other games when he
was out, that was an obvious issue that we had, that
we didn’t have that voice in the background telling
everybody who to take, guarding his own man without
help.

Q. How great is it to have him back at this
juncture?

JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, one thing because I love the
young man, and to have him just back as part of this
team is huge. But that rotation, that when we have a
follower — like today, when he and J.P. both got their
third foul early, right, we had somebody else there,
right, but then he could come back in and finish the
game. Big difference maker for us. Just look at his
record, right, as a starter at Michigan, 33 wins, 27 wins
now, is that 60 wins in two years? Who does that?
That’s a pretty good time as a starter.

Q. How good was Simpson tonight, and how big is
he for you guys when he’s playing like that?

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JOHN BEILEIN: I think the biggest thing is that we’ve
seen him, it’s a bit of an anomaly, where he’ll go 2-for-2
from three, like he did today, because five or six days
he’s hit 4-for-5, and then he’s had days where it looked
like the ball was going in and it didn’t.
I just love that he’s still confident. The biggest thing is
11 assists and one turnover, against changing defense
all the time, and then Bohannon does not score, and
that’s his match-up. That’s a heck of a day against a
heck of a player.

Q. How much is Iggy reminding you of Mo right
now with stepping up offensively, kind of being
your horse offensively coming down the stretch?
Can you make any comparisons?

JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, I think that that’s a fair
comparison, just that there’s — he is emotional. He
loves to celebrate on the court, right, it’s almost like
you’re watching a European soccer game and
somebody scores a goal. There’s usually something
going on there, and he loves that part. You’ve got to
embrace that.
I know Mo, both of those guys if they were soccer
players, right, they’d have a heck of a celebration every
time they scored. So just they like winning, they like

Michigan senior G Charles Matthews:

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On nine straight Big Ten tournament wins: “It means everything, but at the same time right now we got a short
memory because it’s such a quick turnaround. So, we have to get ready to get prepared for Minnesota, but we are
extremely happy that we came out here with this first one.”

Michigan junior C Jon Teske:

On Michigan fans: “I mean, it’s something special. We have fans all over the place. I mean my freshman year in
D.C. to last year in New York. I mean, they come out and support us and we love that. We get that energy from
them. We can hear them and it’s something special. There are Michigan fans everywhere so it’s something
special.”

Michigan junior G Zavier Simpson:

On defense: “We knew they were going to bring shooters. They’re a great team that can score the ball. So, it’s
important that we just contest. Help out on defense and just play as a team.”
Michigan sophomore F Isaiah Livers:

On building off momentum: “You got a guy like Eli Brooks who is a threat off the bench but hasn’t been in all
season. When you feel his presence in the second half. That is just huge for us and I just think everybody is like
‘Wow Eli [is] confident. I gotta play confident.’ So, I think everybody fed off his shot.”

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