Beilein, Michigan Taking 'Serious' Approach

Michigan coach John Beilein and several players met with media Friday afternoon prior to the first full practice of the 2015-16 season. Coming off a disappointing .500 season, the Wolverines are eager to make amends and get back into the postseason.

After struggling to a .500 finish in the 2014-15 season, Michigan basketball is back on the practice floor and eager for a fresh start.

Constantly searching for new and innovative practices to implement into his program, John Beilein officially tipped the 2015-16 campaign off with an activity now very familiar to the football team.

Friday morning began with a little 6:30 a.m. run.

"It's going to be twice a week probably," Beilein said.

In addition to the mile run, Beilein ran a practice walkthrough with his young group as well, something he hopes is beneficial in many different areas this season.

"What I'm trying to do now is knowing the personnel on the team, as you know we watch a lot of film, we're trying to try some new methods with some of our guys that what you see sometimes you retain but what you do you're going to retain more," Beilein said. "It was low impact, it was dummying things before we watched film and we're going to do more of it this year, more attention to certain details of the game so that when we do practice later that day or later on, we don't have to stop practice."

As far as the early morning team run, seniors Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht added they think Coach Beilein "might have stolen the idea from Jim Harbaugh."

Regardless, Michigan isn't taking too kindly to the 16-16 result a year ago despite a run of injuries and a roster featuring seven players taking the floor for the first time.

The expectations are different at Crisler Center these days coming off successes over the last five years some programs dream about.

For Michigan, that's the focus, getting back to competing for a Big Ten title, back into the NCAA tournament and potentially making a run into March, much like the Wolverines did in back to back seasons prior to last year.

And this off-season, that's the approach players and coaches alike have taken leading up to this point.

"Coach Vall left a word for us on the board before the summer got started and that was, serious," LeVert said. "I think the guys have really taken on that role, the sophomores especially, they've really grown up in the weight room and on the court as well.

"They're just looking forward to going out there and giving it their all every game."

One fresh face can be found on Michigan's 2015-16 roster, that of freshman forward Moritz Wagner, now in Ann Arbor straight from Berlin, Germany.

Aside from that, the Wolverines are full of familiarity and continuity, along with several players that were able to see a heck of a lot of minutes as freshmen, including both Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.

"Compared to last year, they're still not an experienced team," Beilein said. "We do have four guys that have played a lot of college basketball, the four scholarship juniors and seniors.

"But the other, we've got so many still young guys that were thrown in there and yeah they're better but I think our practices will go -- we won't have to stop practice for some things -- but we're still going to be stopping practice because now the next step is, we couldn't physically intimidate anybody last year cause we were just babies out there.

"Some of these giraffes and young thorough breads are turning into bigger people and they've got to be able to use that now."

Injury updates

Michigan's four upperclassmen have each dealt with injuries over the last calendar year. While Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. appear to be full go, Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht will still be brought along slowly.

"The two that are 100-percent right now are Derrick and Caris," Beilein said. "There's no restrictions. We're trying to just rotate Spike out of drills but there's really no restrictions other than he's really not moving the way he'll be moving in a couple more weeks.

"Zak is now dressing for practice and doing some foul shooting, just doing things to get him out of this next phase. But he's full scale in rehab whether it's the treadmill and the under water treadmill."

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