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Posted on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein now on Brady Hoke's 'Ohio' bandwagon

By Nick Baumgardner

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke's refusal to refer to Ohio State as anything more than "Ohio" apparently is contagious.

Following the Michigan basketball team's 64-49 loss at Ohio State on Sunday, Wolverines coach John Beilein began referring to the Buckeyes simply as "Ohio."

That theme continued Monday on the weekly Big Ten coaches' teleconference, so much so that Beilein was asked why he was doing it.

"I can't tell you how it's happened, it's just sort of happened," Beilein said Monday. "I kept hearing the 'Beat Ohio' (chants) and I heard (the Ohio State crowd) yelling yesterday 'Oh-io, Oh-io.'

"So, we just call them Ohio."


Michigan coach John Beilein on calling Ohio State "Ohio:" "I've received no direction from anyone, I've just adopted it myself."

Angela J. Cesere |

Beilein said the decision to simply refer to the Buckeyes as Ohio isn't any type of Michigan athletic department initiative, it's just something that's rubbed off from football season.

"I've received no direction from anyone, I've just adopted it myself," Beilein said. "So there's some uniformity with what Brady's done."

Since his hiring last January, Hoke has never actually called Ohio State by its proper name, a habit that rubbed off on his entire roster and has now made its way into Crisler Center.

“Growing up in the state of Ohio, I had a lot of respect for Coach (Woody) Hayes and loved Coach Hayes,” Hoke said last season. “But I was not a fan of that university in Ohio because my buddies were, so I had to be different. I became a Michigan fan, fanatical about the University of Michigan.”

The Michigan football team snapped its seven-game losing streak against the Buckeyes in November with a 40-34 win, while the basketball team's 15-point loss in Columbus on Sunday marked the sixth consecutive time the Wolverines have lost at OSU.

Smotrycz continues to fight through struggles

Michigan forward Evan Smotrcyz seemed to have a bit of a rebound performance against Purdue last Tuesday, breaking through with a 10-point effort.

But at Ohio State on Sunday, the 6-foot-9 sophomore struggled again.

Smotrycz, who posted three consecutive double-doubles for Michigan in late December, was 1-for-6 shooting against the Buckeyes with three points, one rebound and four fouls in 18 minutes.

He's now had one double-figure scoring game since Dec. 29, and no double-figure rebounding efforts since that time.

"Those double-doubles were against a different talent level than we're playing right now," Beilein said. "It's not something we said he'd be doing all year long, because (very few people) do.

"We're making sure he gets extra reps in practice, making sure he watches enough film to see — whether it's rebounding or defense — where he can improve. We're doing everything we can to get him to take ownership of his blind spots, so he can get better every day and become more than just a shooter."

Indiana a tough transition test

The Wolverines (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) return to the court Wednesday with a home game against Indiana (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network).

Earlier this season in Bloomington, Ind., Michigan struggled to defend the Hoosiers in the transition game, resulting in an early double-digit deficit. The Wolverines ultimately fought back, but still fell by two.

"It's difficult to catch them, because they're on the move so quickly," Beilein said Monday. "You have to be very focused in a speedy fashion, and that was a big issue for us the first time.

"They're probably one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, and then you certainly have some incredible developing post play with (freshman Cody Zeller). They're hard to stop, and we have to be better than we were (against IU)."

Hardaway still working on shot selection

Michigan sophomore forward Tim Hardaway Jr. is shooting just 27.8 percent from 3-point range on the season. In Big Ten play, Hardaway is even worse, at 21.8 percent.

"Tim's got a great attitude, and what he's really going to work hard at is shot selection," Beilein said. "He'd like to have a few of those (poor 3-point shots) back, and everyone is a higher-percentage shooter when they have a little more space. Tim has a great ability to shoot while guarded, but maybe a little more patience and his percentages will rise.

"We talk about it consistently. And Tim wants to win so badly, sometimes he tries to do it by himself. It's a good quality to have in a guy who wants to help his teammates so much, but at the same time, it isn't always good to go for the home run when you might have just a single."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:38 a.m.

I sure hope he doesn't start calling Michigan State, Michigan.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

Instead of calling The Ohio State University OHIO, maybe he should spend is energy trying to beat the better team in Ohio State. Call us OHIO all you want as long as you take your 15 point butt kicking. GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!

Wally the Wolverine

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

I guess I don't get it. The whole "Ohio" thing seems to be some sort of immature attempt to insight name calling or show a total lack of respect. It's actually a bit of a slight to the real Ohio U. It would be tantamount to the OSU coaching staff referring to us a "that university in Michigan". Is that what we're to become - a bunch of childish namecallers?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

If you are familiar with the rivalry, you would know that Woody Hayes used to refer to UM as "that school up north."


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

maybe it's tantamount to referring to themselves as 'thee' ohio state university and watching people on this site buying into that bit of ridiculous pomposity. as for the 'immature attempt to insight (sic) name calling or show a total lack of respect' maybe they are finally getting what they deserve. so i'm on board with hoke and beilein.

Big Brother

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Boy, for as good as you are attempting to make Ohio sound, it's amazing that they haven't won a title in 52 years. What comes around goes around and with your loss of Sullinger and our better recruiting class, your win streak will end at 3 years.

Michael Weinstein

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

So our logic is that while your DB head coach hasn't sniffed victory over Ohio State, it still should be pointed out that OSUs star player will leave for the NBA some day so you can finally end the losing streak? Calling your daddy by a different name doesnt make him your son....and it doesn't change the fact that few of your current players could start for OSU.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

BB, OSU has one senior, the rest are sophmores and freshman. They are loaded. it's going to take more than one class to catch up. They have more talent sitting the bench than UM has starting. Novak??, Morgan??

Michael Weinstein

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

No offense, but Michigan basketball hasn't beaten "Ohio" In 3 maybe your head coach should devise a plan on ow to beat them, as opposed to playing stupid mind games....maybe you guys should call Ohio State your daddy.....


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

Brady Hoke gets the rivalry, now so does John Beilein. I will take the Beat Ohio chants as long as its competative and we win most of the time!!