John Beilein - Final Media Roundtable

Coach Beilein sits down with the media one last time for cap off the 2010/11 season.

Coach Beilein: "We have had four hours of workout. We had only eight hours that we could work with these guys once the season was over and it has been tremendous how hard they are working. I think our team has an incredible hunger of what hard work and togetherness can bring and we're sad to see…exams start in just two weeks. We're sad to see this part end because the improvement, we see it right in front of our eyes. I think we saw some of it during the year. Trying to go into the summertime with the same momentum and continue it through, five months, we're we basically have to step back is an important time of us, what our guys are going to do when the coaches aren't watching any more. We love it, but we hate to see the school year come to the end. It is time for the guys to go back home here in May, early June and just get away while working at their games. Then come back in summer term and work together and before we know it, it'll be September."

Question: Do they know your drill?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah what we do is right now try to instill. We have four hours left, actually one more hour, so five hours left to work them out, put the plan in. The day is also the last workout at Crisler. If you go in there, it looks like the Roman Coliseum up there at the top. Today is the last day, we're out of the locker room tomorrow. We're going to use IM. We're going to use wrestling weight room. We're still working out some details where we get our training in. It maybe (we ) eat with football. There are all kinds of things going on, but we still got to work through it."

Question: How nice will that be to not have to do that (too much noise)?

Coach Beilein: "I love the idea that our guys cannot only practice any time we want to, but they can practice any time that they want to, it fits their schedule and their free time. When we're in the new facility, we'll be able to work a press offense on one court, a legitimate size court and then also work on our fast break offense and scouting other teams. It will be very efficient. I think we will still pick Crisler if we have a choice where we're going to practice, it still would be Crisler. The new one, the cameras are going to be in the ceiling and we can really do some great video work."

Question: Do these guys get a written plan for the summer and if so, how detailed?

Coach Beilein: "I think we'll give them something written that is a shell. Just a plan that is obviously voluntarily for them to follow and then DVDs that they explain the drills on them and that they can go out and if they want to watch them, they can watch them. We're going to use the DVDs more than anything. We tape all these workouts right now and then they can watch, okay here is what Bacari (Alexander) was doing with me in these drills and you look back at your plan and they can just look at the DVD."

Question: When guys like Stu (Douglass) last year went to a private facility, do you encourage those types of things?

Coach Beilein: "We want to look into that as much as possible that they go to work out with people who have an idea of what it takes to improve as a player. We'll look at all kinds of those options over the summertime."

Question: Today is the last day that they have access to the gym?

Coach Beilein: "To Crisler."

Question: Because of construction?

Coach Beilein: "If you go and walk in there Larry, you'll see. To begin the process and really be able to dive into it, we have to get out of the locker room Friday. Friday is the last weight room day; Thursday is actually. Today is the last actual basketball day."

Question: Until when approximately?

Coach Beilein: "Probably September or October."

Question: Is it the same for the freshman, with a DVD and everything, you'll tell them exactly what you'll expect from them in the offseason if they want to have a chance to come in and play?

Coach Beilein: "We can only give them, this is some of the ways to improve as players and then it is up to them."

Question: Do they come up for summer term as well?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. Most of our guys will return for summer term."

Question: For like Trey (Burke) and Carlton (Brundidge)?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah they'll be here for summer term."

Question: Is there one player that you're looking at that is either going to have a huge summer without your instructions or needs to maybe?

Coach Beilein: "We have a bunch of self starters and you just never know how much they are going to improve. I think we saw that with Darius (Morris) over the summer and people do not know how hard he works on his own and that was a big reason for his improvement. There are a lot of self starters. I think about when Tim Hardaway, Jr. go home and sees Tim Hardaway, Sr., they will be in the gym within hours because Tim Sr. was in the gym for hours. We have that type of environment that some of our kids are going back to."

Question: How do you prepare them for increased expectations and do you have to start even doing that now, because a lot of times you'll see teams that are really good when they are under the radar but all of the sudden the expectations go up and things change.

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. I think they handled that okay by winning at Michigan State and when you come back home, everybody expects you to win because you beat them at their place. They've handled some of that somewhat, but I don't think we handle it any differently. We just focus on us getting better and don't worry…just block everything else out and worry about how we're improving as a team, because everyone is going to improve as a team. It is the ones that sort of sit back and rest on their laurels that won't get better."

Question: Was there any mention from you or Stu or Zach (Novak) having been through it. We were in the NCAA before and the next year it didn't turn out the way we wanted it.

Coach Beilein: "I think most of us were part of that whether you were an incoming recruit, they were a part of that. They know stories about it and we don't have to talk too much about it and I don't think we should beat them over the head. You shoot poorly from the foul line, you don't talk more about it. Don't put more pressure on it. They know what they have to do. They're a pretty sensible group."

Question: Can you talk about how much the staff chemistry really played a part?

Coach Beilein: "I think we all have some strengths and I mean really some very significant strengths and we just fed off each other. We deferred to each other. I really felt that I delegated more and I could just see the relationship with the players and it allowed me to look back at the game much differently because there was a lot more, they had great ideas that some of them, I said yeah. I tried that about ten years ago and it doesn't work, I said I like that one, let us try that. They were great."

Question: Did you hire them with the intention of giving them that autonomy?

Coach Beilein: "No, they earned it. They really earned it and you could sense that within weeks. I think that is why when we went through the interview process, I was looking for guys who could really teach and had great ideas. I've talked with some many coaches over the year and I'll meet with a couple of guys who came through the coaching ranks like I did. We in the last five to ten years, the changes to the game continue to evolve at a rapid pace. You don't think the game changes, just lately we've talked about the use of the ball screen, which all my guys are really good at. It is very much like when the three point line came in. What I see is that there are a lot of moving parts on a ball screen but it is very confined to two people and when you're trying to get five people, all moving parts are bigger, it is sometimes harder to coach until you really get an experienced group."

Question: Obviously you gave us the paper about the NBA and the article about Darius Morris, can you just kind of comment on?

Coach Beilein: "This is something…a really good issue to have. If we have these situations every year, we're we have young men who have the possibility of being drafted or most importantly having a career in the NBA, these are good things to have. Within two days after the season was over, I called Darius into the office, suggested that we go through the Undergraduate Advisory Committee and gather information and that is all that is happening right now. I talked with his (Darius) dad and Darius and we all agreed that this was the best way to go about it and that's what we're doing. We'll hear back from them shortly and that will be confidential and he will make decisions based on the information that he gets."

Question: Is it strictly on that information with you and Darius, obviously you give him your opinion as well.

Coach Beilein: "I will give him thoughts, but I stay pretty open minded. There is nothing we want more than to have Darius Morris have a career in the NBA. There is nothing we want more. You work toward that but that is the big thing, have a career in the NBA. That is something that we'll work with him, as we will hopefully with many more future players."

Question: Does he technically enter the draft but then he doesn't sign with an agent so he can pull himself out or does he not technically enter the draft?

Coach Beilein: "If you read that paper it will spell out really to you. What you do right now is, I don't know how old it is, but it is an undergraduate advisory committee…like I said, we were proactive in this. You go and you ask what do you think. You've seen me play, everybody has seen me, what do you think? Then they tell us what they think and then that gives him a better idea of whether he should put his name in for the draft or not."

Question: You stress that you want Darius to have a career in the NBA. From your experience and what this committee will say, how important is that extra year to come back from coming back from sophomore to junior and what you've seen from his game?

Coach Beilein: "Sometimes it is a huge difference and sometimes it may be no difference. So there is a lot involved in this and you have to think about it. It is a very important decision. I can't say anything more about it, other than I think it is unique for every individual and you only need to have one team out there that really, really likes you, but again having the career, we all know is really important. It is not about getting drafted, it is about having success in the NBA if you are going to leave college."

Question: You said you suggested this to him, but did he bring the idea forth?

Coach Beilein: "No. I called him the first day, come on and let us talk. We need to talk about this. It is my duty as your coach to gather information for you. Let us get this going now so that he is hearing from the right people and he has got his coach behind him. Did the exact same thing with Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims right after their sophomore and junior years."

Question: Do you know who is kind of guiding it from his family inner circle, is it his dad more or his brother more?

Coach Beilein: "It will be his dad."

Question: There are obviously wrong people out there telling 100 kids that they are first round picks; what do you say or do to guard against this.

Coach Beilein: "You say these are the specialists in the NBA at this. This is who you should be allowing to advise you."

Question: What did you learn with the two experiences with Manny, the first year and then the second year?

Coach Beilein: "I think everybody is really unique in it. I think it was good for Manny to have this type of advice and he really wanted to be in the NBA and didn't feel that he could come back to college with having both feet in. So he made absolutely the right decision and he has proved it."

Question: Is that one of the tough things with being a coach? Obviously you want Darius back, you've started to build something really nice but at the same, you would hate to lose him, but like you said, you want what is best for him.

Coach Beilein: "You want what's best for him and what's best for the program as well. Like I said, there is nothing we want more than to continue to develop young men to be god students…we are not looking for guys who they just want to go to college and that's it. They have no aspirations of playing basketball after college. I think every college player wants to play at a higher level when he's done. You cannot fault anybody for that and that really moves people and motivates them."

Question: What is Darius telling you?

Coach Beilein: "I think I'll keep those conversations between Darius and I. That is the way this will be from here on out. What I'm just doing is giving everyone an education and I don't mean that in a pompous; I'm just saying that this is information that gets out there from all different avenues is not always accurate, as we know and this where we are with this stage."

Question: If he is not projected with this group as first round pick would you advise him to come back?

Coach Beilein: "Everything that I do with Darius will be confidential from that standpoint, but I think he is a very bright man. He is a bright young man with a great family and they will…I'm sure they'll do what is right."

Question: Not to trick you, but in general if you are not told that you are not told that you're a first round pick.

Coach Beilein: "That's the general consensus is that people if they are not first round draft choices and there are a lot of risk involved. Last first round draft choices are the same as second round draft choices virtually. We want what is best for him."

Question: If he does come back, what is his next level here?

Coach Beilein: "That he has got to continue to work and get better in all the strengths and weaknesses that we continue to work through. He is a gym rat. He loves to play and he loves to practice and that's really a separator for him. Alright this is what you have to do to get better and we'll help you with this plan, but it is still team, team, team while you're doing that."

Question: Is there potential for distraction with the rest of the team, especially with the timing now, finishing off the year, maybe he's here, maybe he's not.

Coach Beilein: "No. I think our guys really like Darius and I think this will be something that they'll all help him work with. There is extra things that go with it as far as jus the press coverage and things like that but as long as he is out there working every with them when he is hear, it is fine."

Question: In general, are there any negatives to just putting your name in, going through the process and then pulling your name out?

Coach Beilein: "There can be."

Question: Such as?

Coach Beilein: "You can be exposed. If you are 18 or 19 years old; he just turned 20 and you're working out against 23-year-old guys. If you do not have a good workout, it is not always good either. You want to be ready when you're ready. You don't want to be in and out, in and out and show indecision and you only have one time to put your name in. You can catch things the following year, you're either in or you're out."

Question: So he could not do the same process again next year?

Coach Beilein: "No, no. If he put his name in, which he has not done."

Question: What do you take away from your run in the NCAA?

Coach Beilein: "Go back to the old time values that we've all had as a coach that we even forget when we're coaching, what togetherness, team work, a great staff. Just what a whole lot of hard work can accomplish."

Question: You had areas such as three point shooting where you went up dramatically from last year to this. Through these individual workouts, are there some specific areas that you would like to see team wise get a lot better next fall?

Coach Beilein: "What were really working at right now is making sure that we have the option to just not go to four guards and play that way. That'll be the biggest…we were trying to that this year. It was very successful on some occasions and sometimes it was not as successful. We would like to have that ability to go either way with the same amount of success. So that is the biggest thing is can we play a little bit bigger and then just getting that competition level is going to be very high because we're going from ten scholarships to it could be 13 scholarship players. There is going to be a lot of competition."

Question: You cannot talk about specific names, in terms of recruiting, do you feel it is at the highest point it has been since you've been here?

Coach Beilein: "It is very positive. We're getting a lot of great calls and a lot of interest that I can tell we're building some momentum in those areas. We still have a long ways to go. It is still being constructed. Just those avenues and our success, we would like t be more successful in the future and still be playing in the future, but we feel positive momentum."

Question: Can you talk about your incoming freshman and how they could fit into this team?

Coach Beilein: "I went to see Trey Burke play and Jeff (Meyer) saw him in the championship game. I saw him in the semifinal game. He truly is a point guard. He runs his team. He has a great pace to him and his quickness is exceptional. We're really looking forward to…I think we played a press several times and were not as quick as we would like to be especially in the backcourt where it can be helpful. Carlton Brundidge brings so much quickness as well. We'll put Carlton and a bunch of ball screens and I think he is going to be very successful. Sometimes with high school players, they're good or whatever but you put Carlton and he is around three or four shooters, it really could be very helpful for him. He's had a great high school career with a great high school program, as has Trey Burke. I'm really looking forward to putting them in the Michigan program as well."

Question: You cannot really look into the future, if you had those two guys would they have played significant minutes this year?

Coach Beilein: "There would have been a chance of it, because Stu is still…Stu has never played point guard until he had to come here and did a good job here. His turnover numbers were at an all time low this year. He got done what he needed to get done, but at the same time, Darius had to play a lot of minutes. Look at our game where I got to take him out of the game against Tennessee he was so tired. Believe it or not, I don't think Zach Novak will mind playing 30 minutes a game as opposed to 35 or Stu. I think they can even be more productive. Who knows, everybody is going to have to earn everything. I look forward to seeing how those guys face that competition level. Because some freshmen come in and they really go after the competition level and others will say, I'll wait my turn. We really want guys that want to compete for minutes right away."

Question: If you had to predict right now (Darius) would you say he is back?

Coach Beilein: "I can't predict. We're gathering information. I don't go in there and study who is coming out and who isn't coming out and I think up until that time a lot will be determined on that. I cannot predict that."

Question: Any thoughts on the young gun (Brad) Stevens and (Shaka) Smart and what they have done with their program?

Coach Beilein: "I think it is great. From still being a Richmond Spider from way back the, no love loss with VCU, between Richmond people and I'll always consider myself a Richmond guy, but Shaka, I have known him for many years. He is a really fine young coach. Brad Stevens is on the ethic coalition with me and a very good friend and obviously LaVall (Jordan) was on that staff with him when Todd Lickliter was there. So we're very close with them as well. It just proves a great point, you get a bunch of young men that all play together and play for the right reasons, a lot of good things can happen in March."

Question: Will you use that at some point, that these guys did it and stuff or do you not really use other teams for a model?

Coach Beilein: "We look at the teams what teams are out there and you can just see how these teams are playing a certain way and we'll study them but we're still the University of Michigan and we love what the large university in a BCS conference can also bring to our recruiting. We have a good mix of doing things, like basketball should be played across the country and it can win at this level. If it wins at the so called mid major level and you can beat Kansas and Pitt and people like that then you can win in the Big Ten with that same togetherness. The same team work."

Question: People talk about higher expectations, when will you guys set your goals for next year?

Coach Beilein: "We never set the goals other than, I don't think there will be goals then work hard every single day and I think the goal for the University of Michigan is to go after Big Ten Championships and that has always been the goal but the truth is that in the Big Ten, it is such a strong league, if you are in the top six, you're going to go to the NCAA tournament. Let us get to that level before we get to championships. Because championships as a #1 or #2 seed, let us just get in the darn thing because we haven't been there in so dang long was the whole philosophy that I brought in here. Now let us continue to work towards the university goal is to win Big Ten Championships, which we've done in so many sports, so successfully for so long."

Question: Is it hard for you to believe that they have not won one since 1986?

Coach Beilein: "I wasn't even aware of that. I don't study that history that much, but I'm sure you guys have."

Question: As you get closer to maxing out on scholarship players, will you have as many opportunities for your current walk-ons?

Coach Beilein: "We haven't done that. We're in the process of meeting with all our players. We've met with a couple, meet with a couple today, just keep meeting with them and try give them an update and encourage them to keep working hard, but we haven't gotten to that point yet."

Question: What does your schedule look like next year?

Coach Beilein: "With the Maui invitational, it is going to give us three great games. We have the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which will be here, we hope. It is 90%, every now and then a team has to go twice and with Nebraska coming into the league, there is a chance that some teams may either home again or away again. We're hoping we're not one of those teams because we're planning on scheduling. We're looking at several opportunities to do what we've done in the past with the Kansas, UCONN and UCLA, just the home-the-home, but nothing in stone yet. We have a game up at Oakland still that we will play."

Question: Do you have a timeline that you want to get that done by?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. What you're trying to do is guarantee…there is always opportunities to play big time teams, home-in-home late, so we're trying to line up most of our guarantee games right now and then try to fill in with the strength of schedule. I was really happy that it ended up being a top 25 schedule I believe it turned out. I think we've understood what the committee is looking for. I think it has helped us with the seeds we've had."

Question: Is there a preference to play teams that are in the state that are mid major or do you prefer to play out of state?

Coach Beilein: "I think we've played Oakland and there may be a football agreement with Eastern Michigan coming up again, but it would be back and forth with whatever we think is good. When you talk about in state, out of state, keeping the money here, going somewhere, it is always hard to do. We'll try to embrace some instate rivalries, but with Michigan State there is a great one already."

Question: What about Notre Dame? Obviously there is so much with football but with basketball never really helped in that regard?

Coach Beilein: "Yeah. We haven't been able to get that one going. We'll continue to try."

Question: They don't want to play you?

Coach Beilein: "I'll just say that I would rather not say that. Notre Dame, I'm sure at some point we'll get together with them."

Question: Do you see a problem sometimes with people do not want to play you because you guys have beaten so many big teams?

Coach Beilein: "I do not think so. I know we had a lot of people that wanted to play us for this year. So it wasn't a problem. The shoe was on the other foot last year."

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