For the first time since last February, Michigan lost a regular season Saturday at Wisconsin.
Michigan head coach John Beilein had his weekly radio show Monday and talked about the loss to the Badgers. He said the loss sobered up his team, but said it wasn’t a bad loss.
Beilein said that it said a lot about Wisconsin that the Wolverines only fell three spots in the Associated Press poll after the loss.
“If there’s a good loss, that can be one of them,” Beilein said.
The loss to the Badgers was just another indicator of the depth and the strength of the Big Ten.
“People believe we’re going to get seven, eight or nine bids [to the NCAA Tournament],” Beilein said. “Just look at our schedule going forward, MSU twice, Maryland twice….When the league is good, you better watch out.”
Beilein didn’t think the undefeated start has difficult to maintain.
“I know it didn’t weigh on me,” Beilein said. “What weighed on me was how are we going to win our next game.”
Michigan wasn’t afraid of thinking ahead of what an undefeated season might mean.
“I wanted our kids to dream to big,” Beilein said. “Once we won ten games in a row, let’s be one of those special teams.”
One player Beilein was asked about was junior point guard Zavier Simpson. Beilein talked about how Simpson just does his job and the opportunity have come to him.
“He’s got over 110 assists all ready,” Beilein said. “That’s trending to a 200 assist season, that’s only been done by Trey Burke.”
Simpson wasn’t able to get the Wolverines over the hump against Wisconsin Saturday. Beilein talked about how difficult it is to get open looks against the Badgers.
“They just don’t leave the shooters ever,” Beilein said. “Then they just play a two man game….Then we had some shots everyone on our team would want to have back.”
The game against Wisconsin was also one of Michigan’s first games in a while that was close late.
“We hadn’t been down late, since late,” Beilein said. “There’s a certain mindset that you have to have….We hadn’t been in that situation.”
Beilein joked that he can’t wait until Wisconsin’s fifth-year senior forward Ethan Happ graduates. Happ guarded Michigan’s freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis at time and shut him down. He did not score in the game Saturday.
“He had a little foul trouble and the scouting report is out,” Beilein said. “He’ll have to adapt to it.”