Reaction to Stress Key For U-M (w/video)
This story originally published on
John Beilein
Posted Feb 16, 2013

Four road games in four deafening atmospheres, and Michigan has walked away from each with a conference loss. Now with just six games left until postseason play, the Wolverines must learn to make plays through adversity. **With Beilein presser video**

When a difficult situation arises, the natural inclination in life is to revert back to what had always been taught as opposed to how the issue should be dealt with properly. Following the embarrassing loss to MSU Tuesday, Coach Beilein is determined to keep the team on an even keel.

“Part of it (the loss) has to stick with them, and part of it is we have to embrace reality that, this is life at this level,” said Beilein. “We’ve played the third toughest schedule in the country and as someone pointed out, we have the third youngest team in the country.

“There are bumps in the road. You’re going to have bumps in the road and it’s part of getting better.”

Keeping calm, cool and collected in an up-tempo and relatively brand new setting isn’t as simple as doing the same rep over and over again in practice.

That’s why, for example, when Caris LeVert sprints to close out in transition as opposed to being balanced and under control and squeaking his shoes like he’s taught, he gives up a free lane to the basket for Denzel Valentine to hit a two and the foul.

And that explains why Mitch McGary, someone Beilein cited as “a work in progress” at the beginning of the year, panicked when he had no one open in the half court offense, instead choosing to blindly throw a pass across the middle of help defense right into the hands of a Spartan.

That’s why, no matter how many times it was stated in the scout, Gary Harris was still left open at the three-point line.

And that’s also why sophomore Trey Burke, a player who’s been through the battles, had the experiences, was able to pump in 18 points, efficiently shooting 7-for-11 from the field.

As coaches say after a demoralizing defeat, the Wolverines can’t let the same game beat them twice. More importantly, as Michigan looks to have success in the final regular season games prior to the ‘anything can happen’ Big Ten tournament and the one and done NCAA tournament, they’ll need to stop reacting the same way to stressful situations, instead forcing other teams to feel the pressure.

The Ohio State win was the first part of that blueprint.

“We have six games left and four of them are at home,” said Beilein. “Every one of the top teams in our league we played on the road first, or on the road and not back at our place.

“We still have to play well at home and protect at home. It’s not a given that we’re going to win at home, but hopefully the schedule will be in our favor down the stretch.”

To watch video of Beilein, press play below.

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