Beilein Hoops Media Day Comments (Part 2)

Coach Beilein goes through the roster, talks about his team of "sons of famous dads … and looking for the ‘basketball Denard' for this season.

Question: Can I get your thoughts on the unique situation of having so many guys with famous dads.

Coach Beilein: "Yeah it is unique and it is coincidental. From some respect, from our respect but we do take it as a compliment that those are pretty intelligent men that sent their sons to play at the University of Michigan. A funny story was, we were checking into the dorm and Tito Horford was with Jon and then Tim Hardaway, Sr. was with Tim and I'm not going to expose, but another NBA players' daughter was checking in and he walked through and they all looked at each other…so it says a lot about the University of Michigan and it says a lot about their trust in our coaching staff in developing their young men."

Question: Blake was talking a little bit about the physicality of the game over in Europe; what did you see from him and Jordan down low?

Coach Beilein: "Blake is a different 240 pounds and maybe has to scale back now because he's gained weight and now you got to be able to move that weight. Jordan has gone the other way. I think they are understanding that it is a physical game and they are going to have to play through it. It cannot frustrate them and it is very physical over there because most of the players are between 24 and 30 years of age, but I think they learned a great deal and we certainly emphasis it all year long without fouling as well, but we will emphasize it."

Question: You need to have go to guy at the end of games.

Coach Beilein: "At the end of games it is a developing pattern, but I think we did a couple of different things. In Europe, we went to plays that were working no matter who was there, but I would think as it evolves, we'll find that this guy is really good in these situations and this is what we can do against this particular team. Like I said, at this point, we need the ball in Manny's (Harris) hands at this time right now. I don't think we're there yet or DeShawn (Sims). DeShawn had some incredible times where we could really get him the ball inside through running some action. I think that will evolve."

Question: What kind of leap do you expect from Darius this year?

Coach Beilein: "He's really worked hard in the offseason and so between his defense, his assists numbers and then just being able to make enough shots to keep people honest. If he can do those things, it'll be great for us, really good for us, just to make enough shots. and he's worked so hard at it. We obviously, I sense that we don't know how much he is in the gym, but I sense he was in the gym a lot, because he's really worked hard. It didn't show in Europe, he didn't shoot as well. The 24-second clock was a difficult thing for us. We had an awful lot of….my god there is four seconds to go and I don't think we're that type of team that is at its best yet with four seconds to go. There are very few teams that are."

Question: Obviously, you guys are not having any sort of event type of thing was that your decision?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah that was pretty much my decision. I pretty much decided, it is home coming weekend. I just wanted to go to work. I've never been a big fan of that, especially when it was at midnight, but I've never been a big fan of it. Last year, we had a pulled hamstring in it. We just all want to go to work and we hope there will be more hoopla as we watch this team grow that people will come to games to do it as opposed to starting off the season."

Question: Did you see any ancillary benefits from the European trip? Obviously, when you get guys in that environment and a different situation, I don't mean just basketball.

Coach Beilein: "The biggest benefit is there cell phones did not work over there (laughter) and they talked to each other in the back of the bus. It was great. Didn't mean they didn't put earphones in but there was tremendous…we did something historical…that had historical significance almost every day or cultural significance almost every day. They certainly bonded. There are times when you go outside your hotel and you're going to go right or you going to go left and they had to make those choices many times. That wasn't as scripted for them as well, because had time built in for them to discover what it is like to be in a different country. So I think there was a lot of growth, maturity in that. It is not just me and my high school and the University of Michigan. There is a world out there that people live very differently."

Question: What is Horford doing that is maybe a little bit different than the other two guys you already spoke about?

Coach Beilein: "He is very athletic. He can block shots probably better than either of those can. I don't want to say that he's going to go out there hitting threes like crazy because that will not be his job yet, but he made 62 threes in five minutes. That's pretty good for a freshman. That is an element that he will develop. Right now, we just want him to use his athleticism, rebound. He is a very good rebounder, especially in traffic and learn the game one step at a time. We love his attitude and he is a guy that has got a…as Bacari Alexander says, a great want to. He wants to be a player and that's really important."

Question: Do you have any injuries?

Coach Beilein: "Not right now. Jordan Dumars is coming off a small knee surgery where he should be back in another week or so and Corey Person had a similar injury that didn't require surgery, but we're as healthy as we've been in a long time."

Question: What is the next step for Stu Douglass and his progression?

Coach Beilein: "He is going to play an awful lot of point guard. They both can move to off guard, he and Darius are going to be in a battle for that point guard position and we haven't had a lot of those battles, I mean true battles and that's going to be good. He's got to know when he has to use his pace. Lavell Jordan talks a lot about pace and the point guard having this pace to him. He's pretty quick, pretty athletic. I've told our shooters. In my experience with shooters, a bad night is two for six and a good night is four for six. We don't have one for six nights and we've had way too many one for six, one for seven nights from the three point nights. When you're a shooter, one for six, you want to avoid those like the plague and I think you're going to see that evolution as they go into this year."

Question: As young as the roster is, is there a greater capacity for a big swing from October to say February?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah, I'm really interested to see, but you all know what the learning curve is so difficult. You just watch what Denard (Robinson) has done this year and it is a perfect example of a guy out there as freshman and they didn't do a whole lot more than just give the ball to him and run right or run left last year and now it is just grows. There is that evolution that each player goes through that really determines how much better our team develops. Like I said, they are working so hard and now it has really been a shock for us to go from being with them for virtually two straight weeks to see them two hours a week in basketball. That is sort of a step backwards but at the same time we are making the most of it and they got 38 minutes left. The guards have 38 minutes left and they are going to do it about five minutes, so they are out there now. They are willing to work, really willing to work."

Question: Who on this team do you see able to kind of make their own shots like Manny did?

Coach Beilein: "So far, Tim Hardaway has that ability, to rise up. He saved us in a couple of shot clock situations where he just has a great rise to his shot and has confidence in it as well. Certainly, Stu's jump shot and he's working to get to the hole more and Darius can get by people, but it is going to be a challenge and that's what we're working on. Every day at practice how you do get your own shot at shot clock time. We all know this is a heck of a defensive league and at some time, somebody has to get their own shot. So it is going to be a challenge for us, so we're going to keep working at it. With five seconds to go, it is not the play, it is the player quite a bit and we got to keep working at developing our players so they can do that."

Question: Do you anticipate switching rotations more, switching lineups more?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah probably. We don't want it to be an unhealthy looking over your shoulder, am I coming out. It has got to be healthy, healthy competition. We haven't had all those situations. Perfectly was Zach Novak, he did so many things intangibles well we didn't want to take him out of there and it probably hurt some of his strength, which would be three point shooting and his ability to just function at a high rate. We may have a nine or ten man rotation. We may try to get all three centers in at one time…not at one time, but after another in one half. God help us if we put all three in at one time (laughter)."

Question: What was the general reaction in Europe of these teams playing the University of Michigan? How were you received?

Coach Beilein: "Travis (Conlan), I thought he did us no favor and he really…Travis picked the teams and he picked two of the best two in all of Belgium, which one was a Euro league team. There was Big Ten guys, PAC 10 guys. There was guys I had coached against. There was guys that had been in the NBA and I think they had a great respect for us. The Euro league team, Charleroi, they were very, very good. I'm sure they were not in awe of Michigan after that. It was one at half, but the other teams I think we hung right with them, the last game, like I said against a very hostile crowd was a great win. For an exhibition it was great for us to get out on that note and have to make some key plays down the stretch as well."

Question: Do you see (Matt) Vogrich playing the three and the two for you?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah he's going to play everywhere. He has learned a lot…he's played two and three. He'll be a back up at the two as well as Eso Akunne. They'll be fighting with Zach Novak for time. We're hoping that he can multiposition now and that way we don't have to ask a freshman like Tim…because when you multiposition on offense, it is also defensively, it is different out of bound plays. It is not as easy as people thing, but Matt has seemed to grasped that pretty well like Zach has and those are two guys that we can float around a little bit."

Question: Do you have an idea of how you want to start the season opener?

Coach Beilein: "Not yet, but I think I'll be watching very closely…we'll have a scrimmage in two weeks and we'll have an exhibition game in three weeks. We'll figure that out and I saw a great quote from some football coach somewhere…the starting team is only who starts on the first play and it is true. He's in there for the first play, but he might not be in there for the next 39 minutes. There was a lot of change last year and there was more change than I'm used to with the team with who was starting and who was at the guard and we've had two different point guards starting last year. I hope that calms down, but we're still going to continue to rotate it and who earns it in practice. Everybody has got a chance to show us in games. Who ears it in those two hours of practice and then who performs in the games."


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