John Beilein says Ohio State on the road was 'too difficult a task' for his talented freshmen
ANN ARBOR -- When looking at Michigan's entire body of work through 17 games, John Beilein has no complaints about the way his five freshmen have performed.
But, after a three-point road loss at Ohio State on Sunday, Beilein found himself reminding many that Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht are still freshmen.
As in, they were playing high school basketball at this time last season. And sometimes, the Wolverines are just going to have to deal with that.
"They have performed way above what many freshmen usually accomplish at this time," Beilein said Monday during the Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "But this one was too difficult a task, and there will be other times as well."
Michigan's freshmen have played a major role in the team's success to date this season, as all five have been key members of the team's rotation.
Robinson and Stauskas -- who both hold double-figure scoring averages on the year --started against Ohio State, while LeVert, McGary and Albrecht all saw time in the first half.
But, outside of some solid minutes from Albrecht, none of the Wolverines' youngsters made a big splash in their first Big Ten road tilt.
Stauskas had his worst game of the season, going 0-for-3 from the floor in 23 minutes. Robinson scored 8 points, but was 3 of 8 and had just one rebound in 38 minutes of action.
LeVert seemed tentative early in the game, and never got into a flow -- going scoreless in nine minutes. McGary had a few impressive stretches, but only finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes.
Albrecht was the best of the lot, scoring 7 points in 11 minutes off the bench.
Asked if there was anything he could have done to better prepare his freshmen for a road environment like Ohio State, Beilein said no, not really.
He defended his non-conference schedule, and said that at some point, the youngsters are going to have to experience life on the road in this league.
And they'll also have to learn how to handle both the good, and the bad, that comes along with it.
"We thought we did as much as you could by playing Arkansas, by playing North Carolina State, Kansas State, Pitt, going to Bradley," Beilein said. "You do everything you can.
"But there's some things in the process you can't speed up, no matter what you do."
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