- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan coach John Beilein wrapped his radio show up a few minutes ago. There was a bigger crowd than last week at Pizza House in Ann Arbor, Mich., however not a massive crowd like what shows up for Brady Hoke's weekly football show.
Beilein, as always, hit on a multitude of topics. Here they are in that always convenient bullets.
How Beilein would describe his team to others: "Our goal all the time is to have a team, that even in losses, people say they want to come back and watch our team play."
More on that: "They just want a team that plays hard and smart and plays together and there isn’t attitude all over the room. The attitude is that they play for Michigan."
Beilein on leading teams by 20-plus points: “It’s just hard to do. Here’s what happens. Your team doesn’t let down as much as the other team plays with great freedom and guys who haven’t made a 3 say let’s take one.”
Beilein on Evan Smotrycz, who has played extremely well of late. Coincidentally, as Beilein talked about him, he was featured on the Inside Michigan Basketball show on the TVs at Pizza House: "He was very close to three double-doubles in a row and that’s all right. He’s getting there little by little. He still has a lot of work to do but he’s working on all the little things that could make him a special player."
Asked about his non-conference schedule, Beilein said playing Duke helps prepare his team for a team like Purdue and playing Virginia helps prepare for a Wisconsin.
Beilein on Carlton Brundidge's improvement: "We see in practice. If we see it in practice, then we put him in the game. We say to everybody you’re not going to get a shot in a game unless you show it in practice. You get two hours a day in practice."
Beilein said one of the big things with Brundidge lately has been to groom him more at the point guard spot to steal Trey Burke some rest at times. If he's going to play, it'll be at the point.
Beilein on what he'd like to see his team shoot a game: "45 to 46 percent is a pretty good percentage and we want teams to not shoot 40 percent. When I first began coaching, this was before the 3-point shot, if a team scored 70 points, you’re probably going to win the game."
On guys taking charges: "Zack Novak sets the precedent but Evan Smotrycz, Tim Hardaway Jr. probably took two or three the whole year. Now Evan’s one of our better ones."
Beilein on Novak: "He’s getting there. He’s not showing his versatility. He’s showing his hard work. He’s living the dream right now playing the two guard in the Big Ten."
Beilein said they play Bradley on the road because Illinois is a good recruiting area (Peoria, Ill., where Bradley is located, is the home of freshman forward Max Bielfeldt).
Beilein on offense or defense tougher for freshmen: "With Trey, as a freshman, he’s basically tagging his man the whole time, watching his man. If he was a center, maybe the defense would be more difficult."
Beilein on teaching Brundidge, Stu Douglass helps a lot. Also, someone else: "Eso Akunne is pulling Carlton aside and teaching him what he needs to do." Akunne and Brundidge are also competing for minutes.
Beilein on Jon Horford: "He knows he needs development and he wants it."
Interesting nugget -- Beilein left tickets for LeBron James for Chris Paul's last game at Wake Forest (Beilein and West Virginia beat Wake in the NCAAs)
Beilein on Darius Morris first game: "I'm looking forward to it. That young man has tremendous will to make it to the NBA. Even though it is the not opportunity other people had, like Manny Harris with rookie league and looking around, hopefully with the Lakers, when Mike Brown throws him in there, he'll be able to absorb stuff."Bradley coach Geno Ford:
On transition first year at Bradley: "Well, the transition period is always tough on several fronts. You have the logistical ones with moving and family and then trying to build a program.
"You're just trying to build and get better."
On last couple weeks going 2-2: "We've got a bunch of new guys and trying to run different stuff than they've done in the past. The things we've spent the majority of time on is communicating, building a system of communication offensively and defensively" as well as terminology. The other is essentially teaching guys how to play hard and how to win. "You have to get a culture in place of what it takes to win."
Ford on Taylor Brown, who didn't play last season as they checked out his heart: "He's been a good player for us. He's a kid that was honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore and if we can win enough games, he could put himself in position to get first or second team accolades.
"He was diagnosed with a condition that six months later was said he did not have. It was a condition that wasn't an enlarged heart but an athletic heart."
Ford on Beilein: "I hope people understand what they have up there. If you talk to coaches, he will be on lists of guys top five, X's and O's, in the country."
Ford on Patrick Beilein: "He's a superstar in the business."