Since that time Beilein has made his way to and from Dallas watching Harrison once again lift the Wildcats with a late, contested three-pointer in the closing seconds of a game, only this time it happened against the Big Ten’s lone representative in Texas, the Wisconsin Badgers.
With the season over and his travels ceased, now what’s Beilein supposed to do?
“The decompression is very hard right now,” Beilein said Wednesday afternoon. “When you work as hard as we all work all year long and all of the sudden going home at seven o’clock without anything to do is very difficult for me.
“Thank God there’s St. Louis Cardinal baseball and the MLB channel.”
Beilein says he plans to utilize the dead recruiting period toward the end of May to trip in Northern Michigan for some down time, a place he says he “loves” traveling to in the off-season.
Before then though, Michigan’s program awaits some very important decisions from the likes of sophomores Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III on whether or not they’ll head to the NBA or return to Ann Arbor for another season.
Though the Wolverines don’t recruit the one and done types that litter Kentucky’s roster or even Duke of late, Michigan has become accustomed to key off-season decisions from underclassmen, most recently from the likes of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. last season, both of whom ended up being selected in the first round of the NBA draft.
For Beilein and his coaching staff, even the players and recruits now, this is just the normal routine.
“I’m a bit more comfortable with it because I know it is part of the game and it is here to stay,” Beilein said. “Unless some rules change it is here to stay so you have no choice.
“It’s like the pick and roll, you choose to defend it several different ways or you stay with one thing and they’re going to eat you up with how they do it. So, you’ve just got to be very versatile in how you approach this.”
Education, not just in the classroom or on the court, is a key component to this entire decision making process. All three of Stauskas, McGary and Robinson III are now halfway through the process of earning a college degree and Beilein stresses the understanding of appreciating the next level opportunity in front of them but at the same time ensuring life after basketball is taken care of as well.
And with all that, Beilein instructs and informs from all perspectives, including several circles inside the NBA.
“As we go through the process we will give them as much information as it comes in,” Beilein said. “From the NBA advisory council and from other people involved in professional basketball that can advise us.
“So, we’re trying to give them as much as possible. I can’t say we’re meeting everyday, but as it comes in and we work at getting it in, here’s what everyone’s saying.”
Beilein adding, “You hope during the course of their education they’re looking at things from a much broader perspective than some guy that’s in his cellar projecting the NBA draft, and still living with his mother.
“Nothing wrong with still living with your mother, so, we try to really say this is what the NBA says and this is what you should look at so we are really vigilant on this in educating them on their life from a broad perspective, you’re going to live to be 80 or 90 years old, look at where you are, what do you have to do?
“I don’t think one of our guys regrets, that supposedly had those opportunities or supposedly their draft stock has dropped, or believes any of that. They’re trying to get better everyday and they focus on that.”
Beilein himself wouldn’t reveal who exactly submitted paperwork to the NBA in order to receive better information on their draft stock and draft position but did say the Wolverines have yet to hear official word from the league.
“We have not heard anything back yet,” he said. “But we have talked with them all. And that’s about all I’ll say.”
A Preseason First Team All-America selection heading into the 2013-14 season, McGary could be the Wolverine with the most difficult decision to make. After enduring a back injury heading into the fall McGary fought through pain and eventually opted for surgery at the end of December.
Right now, McGary is working his way back, increasing his work load daily, getting closer to the point of being able to participate fully in individual workouts with NBA teams, if, of course, he decides to leave for the pros.
“I had a good workout with him yesterday, did an individual with him yesterday but it was limited to 20 minutes,” Beilein said. “It was very good. So, I would assume if he makes that decision he’s certainly progressing in that direction.
“He worked with me for 20 minutes yesterday and we’ve been increasing it. He was at 15 minutes, now he’s 20 minutes, 25 minutes, try and progress it very slowly. And obviously rehab is non-stop.”
In the latest mock draft from DraftExpress.com, Nik Stauskas goes No. 16 overall to the Chicago Bulls, while McGary would be the No. 3 pick in the second round to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Glenn Robinson III at No. 8 in the second round to the Detroit Pistons.
Second round draft picks in the NBA are not guaranteed contracts.
Beilein said he and his assistants, specifically Bacari Alexander and LaVall jordan will have conversations in the near future once the college basketball coaching carousel begins to move but also noted all of his assistants love Michigan and would only leave for the right job, on the right level, with the right fit.
Asked who might stay for ‘Camp Sanderson’ this off-season, similar to what Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert did last year, Beilein wasn’t sure who exactly would participate in it and during which period, spring or summer, but says the most important thing for Stauskas and LeVert a year ago was “they made that decision themselves.”
Beilein lit up when asked about incoming freshman Austin Hatch who will take his official visit to Ann Arbor in the near future. The biggest thing Beilein stressed, above all else and amidst questions on Hatch’s future on the basketball court? Beilein says, “He’ll be here (through everything).”