- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan basketball coach John Beilein spoke to the media on Friday to discuss all things Michigan basketball. Here are some of the key points he touched on:
ON JORDAN MORGAN AND EVAN SMOTRYCZ'S INJURIES: Beilein said he wouldn't know too much more until after Saturday's practice. Each player that played heavy minutes (which would include Morgan and Smotrycz) have a light practice today, though Beilein noted that the two would be seeing trainers today. Beilein said he hadn't heard that it was anything major or structural to the injuries.
ON WHETHER HE COULD ROOT FOR OHIO STATE: If the Buckeyes beat Michigan State in East Lansing the Wolverines will earn a share of the Big Ten title. "I don't know if I will be rooting for anyone," Beilein said. "I will be watching the scoreboard. How about that? I'll be watching the scoreboard with great interest."
ON BREAKING AWAY FROM ILLINOIS LAST NIGHT: Beilein said it was a combination of sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. hitting shots and playing "with great faith in himself." He also pointed to the Wolverines' defensive stops and rebounding efforts. "I think we really played good defense with great pace and poise when they made their run," Beilein said.
ON WINNING ON THE ROAD, WHAT IS DIFFERENT NOW FROM EARLIER IN THE SEASON: Michigan started 1-4 on the road in conference play, but have since gone 3-0 with wins over Nebraska, Northwestern and Illinois. "I think over time you get more experience, you get used to it," Beilein said. "Right now, when you're usually one road game a week or at least once every week and a half you get more accustomed to a road game. But early in the year it's a little bit of a shock going into game after game after game where the crowd is so hostile toward you and the rims are different and the ball is different."
ON HARDAWAY JR.'S SHOT: "He just worked really hard on having a good foundation and balance before and after he shot," Beilein said. "That was a big thing because he was very inconsistent, even shooting in practice. He really worked at having better balance all through." Beilein also pointed out Hardaway Jr.'s shot selection against Illinois, when he went 6-for-7 from the floor for 25 points.
ON PENN STATE'S TIM FRAZIER: Beilein said that Frazier is just as fast as anyone in the Big Ten. "He has a unique ability to get into the lane and float, teardrop, runner and in between spaces or over big guys," Beilein said. Frazier was a player the Wolverines' helped off of last season, but this year, with Frazier averaging 18 points, five rebounds and six assists per games, the Wolverines most likely won't do that.
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