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March 28, 2019

John Beilein

Isaiah Livers

Ignas Brazdeikis

Anaheim, California

Texas Tech 63, Michigan 44

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Michigan. Coach, whatever you're ready.

JOHN BEILEIN: I will give you the message that we had in the locker room, that this game shouldn't define who we are. Saddi Washington was great to bring that up. It was a bad day to have a bad day against a really good Texas Tech team. They have a ton of experience on the team. The fourth and fifth year guys are huge, and Jarrett Culver is so good. Davide Moretti is so good. Two high-level players around all that experience. We have some experience. We don't have nearly as much and it showed today. We will grow from it. These guys understand it and it hurts because of the nature of the loss. We got down so big and could not come back, a little bit like our Villanova loss last year. We had separation and we couldn't come back.

Q. What specifically were they doing defensively to make things so difficult for you?
ISAIAH LIVERS: They were isoin' us. We knew it was going to be an iso game. We had to guard or man one-on-one and we didn't do a very good job of guarding. We have past games, but this game we just didn't guard that well.

IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS: We didn't hit shots we usually hit. There was a lot of plays that, you know, I feel like on some days we would make those shots and make those plays. But today it just wasn't our day and they did a great job defensively. All credit to them.

Q. I know I talked to AE yesterday and you guys knew this was going to be a war defensively. Obviously the first half showed that. How tough was it on the floor defensively on both sides? Was it as tight as it looked?
ISAIAH LIVERS: Defensively they read the scouting report. They knew what guys liked to do. They knew who the shooters were and the drivers were and you got to tip your hat off. Coach said, they just played better than us today and it just showed.

IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS: I feel like we had a great game plan coming into the game. We didn't execute and they did and they hit shots and we didn't. I feel like that was the biggest difference.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. Questions for Coach Beilein?

Q. Coach, I know obviously tough loss. But Ignas had his third career double-double tonight. Talk about how far he's come in one season with you this year?
JOHN BEILEIN: He is an easy guy to coach. It's "Yes, Coach" all the time. And he tries to make changes to try to get better. I love his growth. He actually came in this year as not a kid who you'd think was a shooter, and he wasn't. He was a driver. Now he's got a great mixture to both, rebounding, and the next step is to get him to be continuous on the floor. He had three assists in practice, short time yesterday. But he's got a great future, great future.

Q. Coach, you obviously knew Texas Tech's defense was very good, but was there anything when you see 'em out there live that, like, made you think even better?
JOHN BEILEIN: Without question and that was the scouting reports we heard from the different people that played them during this year, that you're going to be amazed at how quick they are, right, how good they are at staying in front of people and how they rally to the ball, which usually gives us open threes and you still can't get open threes. They really have a great plan, which we don't see much, really pushing everything to the baseline and we just weren't good at that. We picked up our dribble. A lot of things we worked on in the two days that we practiced for this and we couldn't get far enough against a team that has been practicing that defense for six months, really.

Q. Coach, it was a tough first half but a competitive first half. What were your thoughts going into the locker room?
JOHN BEILEIN: I didn't like the way we finished it at all. We finished with a bad turnover and that has plugged us a little bit this year, the last couple of minutes. We couldn't get a shot to go in. But down 8 we were in good shape. What really hurt us was the first four minutes. We had two turnovers and two missed foul shots and they answered every time with a couple of threes and another basket. And all of the sudden an 8-point lead was a 16-point lead in seconds. We're a defensive team. We're not a great offensive team and coming back from that was going to be really hard.

Q. You mentioned that not many teams push everybody down the sidelines. Why do you think more teams don't do that? What's so difficult about that to teach that and to execute that?
JOHN BEILEIN: That was a common defense back in the 80s, before the three shot a little bit, everybody was pushing things down, ball screens people do it. But they do it with everything. They will not let you go middle and it sets them up to take away ball screens. But what it was giving up was the corner three. If you have a shot blocker it's a little bit different and giving it away or the basket. They're quick and long at doing that. I looked at Culver's stats. He's got five steals some days and then Matt Mooney has five steels and then Davide Moretti has five steels. They're really good defensively. You can play any scheme you want, but if you don't have good individual defenders, they have turnovers. We are second in the country at 8.8 in the country. They're quick. They're good. They're long. They're veteran. It showed, and they're well-coached as well.

Q. I know it's a tough loss, but you got some good news earlier today with your son getting the job?
JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, it's thrilling for me because I grew up in that county, in the big family in that county and during the golden era, really of little three basketball watching Calvin Murphy play at Niagara from the time I was a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior in high school, watching him play in the freshman games.

I once stood on that court and got on the court like a seventh grader like this is the best gym I've every seen in my life. I grew up on a farm. For him to get that job, even though I became the coach at Canisius and that was our rival and for him to go back there and coach. He has a great future. We look forward to following that. Thank you for that question.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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