As a result Michigan Head Coach John Beilein is dabbling with one of his old staples, the 1-3-1 zone, and he's been having some success coming out of timeouts or after substitutions, usually with freshman Caris LeVert or Nik Stauskas leading the charge with pressure at the top.
"You remember in the past even when it was effective at times, but mostly ineffective, Stu Douglass would be out there," said Beilein. "He's not real long. Zack would be there. I believe Manny played there only for one year ‘cause he was more comfortable on the wing."
"That's the most important position (in the zone setup) and we feel with both Nik and Caris, those two guys are long enough, and they feel it the way, and have the energy to do that."
Beilein admits they're still trying to get LeVert up to speed after spending a significant amount of time with the scout team prior to his redshirt being burned at Bradley. As deep as the Wolverines bench goes, Beilein knows some of the young guys, including LeVert, need time on the floor to continue developing. With a struggling Binghamton team in town the bench is likely to empty.
"We just keep evaluating, and the depth is wonderful," said Beilein. "We also don't want to just play guys --- it's guys that earn it. Sometimes to get comfortable they have to get more minutes, so it's a work in progress."
With four games, including tonight's contest, left until Big Ten play gets underway after the first of the year, Beilein will take things game by game, watching the opponents' lineup and strategy.
"I would like to be in a situation where Caris and Spike get a little bit more," Beilein said. "Play big a little bit more as well. It depends on who it (the opponent) is. Some games, that's not the way to play. But there's many games where that is the way to play."
It appeared redshirt freshman forward Max Bielfeldt was primed to enter the rotation after a strong performance in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois in a win over Bradley over a week ago. An ankle injury has slowed the progress throughout the season and will most likely cost him at least another game Tuesday against Binghamton.
"Max could not practice yesterday," said Beilein. "But we are going to take a shot at it today. But usually if they can't practice the day before the game, unless we really don't have any depth at that position, we don't want to make it worse."
To watch video of Beilein from Monday afternoon, press play below.