For the first time this season the Michigan basketball team will take the floor outside of Crisler Center.
Continuing on in the 2014 Legends Classic, the Wolverines (3-0) are set to do battle with Oregon (3-0) Monday night at 9:00 p.m./est in Brooklyn.
Michigan took Friday off as the coaching staff caught up on film, players also receiving treatment and some much needed rest following eight straight days of games and practices.
Hitting the road Sunday in order to allow for practice time on the floor at the Barclays Center, the Ducks provide an interesting test for a Wolverines team still looking to find a rhythm as the freshmen continue to progress.
“I believe this is very similar to go from Hillsdale to Bucknell,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “Similar styles, just more talented, better players, and that’s what we’ll see with Detroit. Really similar style to Detroit and they’re a shot blocking team, their players are a little taller at certain positions, very similar styles though.
“They’re going to pressure us just enough so a lot of lessons learned from one game to the other.”
Some of those lessons came in the form of poor angles taken defensively, lapses in communication, and a lack of balance offensively, to name a few according to Beilein.
Utilizing film to emphasize positives and negatives of Michigan’s play thus far, the Wolverines’ coaching staff continues to cross more issues off the checklist with every opportunity on the floor.
“I think we have less questions everyday but there’s a lot of questions,” Beilein said. “And that’s very typical of a team that has this type of make-up. That after three games we have a lot of work to do and how quickly we can answer those questions will help us go in a more pointed direction because we’re still trying to figure out who is who.
Moving forward, and especially in a situation that leaves the Wolverines playing on back-to-back nights, the freshmen will have to sink or swim, accounting for greater roles for extended periods of time.
And as Beilein noted, that’s okay.
“I’m sure there’s going to be moments where we’ll have to,” Beilein said. “There was moments in Tim Hardaway’s career where we realized he’s getting this. And you just leave him out there to play through things, and the same thing with Trey Burke. You have to get a trust level both ways that they are getting some of the things.
“It’s really hard to cause there’s a tape delay process cause there’s so many things going on, especially in today’s game. As a result, I’m sure there’s going to be moments where we’re going to find out and we’ll try to make sure we’re more ready than we would be if we didn’t address these issues in practice the way we do.”
Very familiar with freshmen commanding key roles in his program, especially in recent seasons at Michigan, Beilein is quick to point out it’s not all rosy right from the jump, even for future first round NBA draft picks.
“I think we forget when Trey Burke played his first game against Western Illinois, on the plane to Hawaii, he was out played 100-percent by the fifth year guy from Western Illinois,” Beilein said. “We won by two or four points and the way out on the plane, this is going to be a tough year with a freshman point guard.
Beilein adding, “I think we all remember the development and don’t remember the start as much.”