ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Riddled with injuries last season, John Beilein had to look for answers from his youthful bench to play key minutes down the stretch run.
In doing so, it gave opportunities to freshman Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, among others, who otherwise wouldn’t of played such crucial minutes, which only benefits Michigan more as they head into its 2015-16 season, Beilein said at U-M’s media day today.
“I think our skill level as far as seeing the floor understanding offense and defense is at a different level than it was last year,” Beilein said. “Just because they are more familiar with it. We worked a lot on it all last year.”
With Caris LeVert, Spike Albrecht, Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin expecting to lead the way, Beilein also noted the overall improved chemistry by the younger players just 15 practices into this years camp.
“I’m seeing some development in some guys that has been terrific,” Beilein said. “It’s development that is encouraging. At the same time, maybe not ready to show what they can do in some early games. We’re juggling a lot of basketball right now as to who plays, where they play, how they play and after two weeks, I know more than I knew two weeks ago, but I don’t know all the answers. I think we need to have a really good year.”
Adding: “The attitude has been terrific,” Beilein said of his team. “I can’t think of a moment that wasn’t a great attitude, a great practice, people working together – this team has a talent for being great though all 16 of them, that is really fun to coach.”
Michigan opens up its season with an exhibition contest at home Nov. 6 aginst Le Moyne.