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Beilein To His Team On Offense vs. Florida — 'Be Quick, But Don't Hurry'

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Michigan head coach John Beilein and his team will face a unique defense today against Florida. The Gators are 42nd nationally in defensive efficiency, but they’re solid in what they do and have improved as the season has progressed.

Florida gave Nevada fits at times with its trap press, and teams have given U-M problems with it this year in similar fashion. Beilein believes that’s prepared his team for what it will see in today’s round of 32 game.

“They’ve got to play ball at that time,” Beilein said. “We’d like to get into something [on offense] at the 22-second mark. Get it over halfcourt and get moving. Too many times even by our own walking it up court, we’re starting at 18. That’s not enough time. That will be a big emphasis in practice.

“Whatever they’re in, keep the ball moving and be quick but don’t hurry. Get yourselves in position to get yourself into some kind of action, and it’s going to be your choice a lot.”

Michigan’s support staff even set up a hotel ballroom like a basketball court, using tape to create a free throw lane, halfcourt, etc. in preparation. Beilein and his coaches, meanwhile, spent the last 24 hours breaking down the Gators and what they like to do.

“It will be very much like Iowa who gave us problems with that, and Penn State who gave us problems with that,” Beilein said. “I think we’ve learned a lot from those games.

“Iowa the way they change [defenses] and Oregon a couple years ago … are they man, zone, changing in the middle of it? It’s always difficult to figure it out. They’re good at what they do.

“Hopefully we play with our heads up and play ball. They’re going to make us play ball. That’s what happened against Montana. We couldn’t run a lot of stuff. They were iso-ing us, pushing us down. We had to play a lot of ball.”

NOTES

• Michigan contested shots at a 90 percent rate against Montana, one of the top four performances of the year.

“Whoever the opponent is, if you can contest, get to those points …this team will be a little taller, stronger, but it won’t be more veteran,” Beilein said. “As long as we can get a hand in there and just have good, solid contests without fouling, make sure they don’t get second shots, we’re going to have a chance with a lot of people as you can see this year.”

• The Big Ten went 7-1 in its first round games. Only Wisconsin lost, blown out by Oregon.

That didn’t surprise Beilein.

“The last 10 games, all the way back to the Wisconsin game, we’ve played one non-NCAA team and they’ve already won a game, and that was Nebraska, who just had a heck of a run,” Beilein said. “We lost three of those games and I think won seven of that whole group.

“Last year we had four NCAA teams. Our last 10 games were all NCAA teams but Nebraska. I think that’s prepared all the Big Ten teams for playing at this level this time of the year.”

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