Assistant coach Billy Donlon was brought in during the offseason with one goal in mind.
To improve the defense on the basketball.
To say that team defense fell short of the mark last season is putting it lightly. Donlon, who previously was head coach for Wright State for six years before coming to Ann Arbor, is known for being the architect of tough defenses, which is one of the major reasons head coach John Beilein hired him in the first place.
Despite returning most of the familiar faces from last year, Donlon says that a team always gets a fresh start when a new season begins.
"I think every team is a new team," Donlon said. "You start from the beginning from Ground Zero in a sense. You start all over with each team. That team maybe comes back and they're a little bit sharper at this and maybe not as sharp at that and I think we're all just trying to figure that out."
Despite the team practicing during the summer, Donlon says that he needs to spend more time with his players to find out what they're all about. Much like spring practices in football, time between coach and player is extremely limited.
The time Donlon spent during the summer was clearly not enough to be able to determine anything.
"The summer practices are great to get individual guys better but it's two hours a week," Donlon said. "Can you imagine being able to work on your craft with a ball, with coaches, for two hours a week? Really this is day three and we're just trying to improve to become what we want to become."