Beilein Prepares Team for Radford

Michigan headman John Beilein met with the media after practice yesterday to discuss how his team improved after last week's exhibition game, the progress of freshmen Kelvin Grady and Manny Harris, what fans should expect to see tonight versus Radford, and more.

Question: (Jerret Smith) sprained his ankle at today’s practice?

Coach Beilein: “At today’s practice. Within about half an hour after I announced to him and the team that he would not be playing tomorrow. Just look at the quote, but (the suspension) is for class attendance policy that we are not going to have any slippage in.”

Question: What was his reaction to you telling him?

Coach Beilein: “I am sure that he is disappointed, but this is the way it is going to be here at Michigan. We are going to go to class and we are going to do things right. It is not about missing one class. Just read the quote and you will be able to see it. So stay tuned on that situation. I will do my best to do the right thing. We will never put his ability to play over how important it is that he does the right thing academically for us. I was holding that out for tomorrow until Radford couldn’t see it (laughing) or anybody else could see it. Then it is too fishy. Welcome to the world of being a coach.”

Question: Have you decided on a starting five yet?

Coach Beilein: “It is starting to develop, but I would rather not give it out just yet. I think the team knows what we are going to do and I think I know what I am going to do, but you will all have to come tomorrow to find out.”

Question: We will be surprised?

Coach Beilein: “Yeah.”

Question: Can you describe your philosophy as far as having the point guard underneath on the 1-3-1? It is a high risk/high reward?

Coach Beilein: “He plays underneath, but very rarely. He is basically going corner to corner and there are times that he is underneath, but it is basically going corner to corner and sometimes when you play teams with really big players, you cant play it because they are so good at throwing the ball up to the rim when he is underneath there. He is only underneath there momentarily usually, but when he is underneath there, he can be exposed. So typically you would love a 6’7” point guard underneath there, but I haven’t had one yet.”

Question: That puts a lot pressure on Kelvin (Grady) and the team, I guess without having Jerret (Smith) there?

Coach Beilein: “Yeah but Kelvin really in the last week has made great strides. I don’t know what will go on, but he and Manny (Harris) really have clicked in the back court very well. It just gives other people with opportunities with the tweak of the ankle or any other situation that comes up.”

Question: Why is that they have meshed so well?

Coach Beilein: “I don’t know. They have been together last summer. They come to the gym. They are working out on their own all the time. They really get along very well.”

Question: You talked last week that you were just implementing the 1-3-1.How far along are you with that and how much do you anticipate using it?

Coach Beilein: “It takes at least a year to learn all the thinking that goes along with it. So we have got it in and it is okay, but it is not where it will be eventually one day. There is just so much too it. Because of the early scrimmage and game, we took a holistic approach to putting it in and then breaking it down. So we have seen some products of the breakdown drills in the last 2 days that they did not even know existed. There is a habit that you have to form with it. We will see it. It won’t be what it will be later on, nor will the offense.”

Question: Kelvin said he and Manny go home after practice, they write down things that they have learned in practice, spend a couple of hours. Do you encourage that?

Coach Beilein: “I want them to study first before they start doing that, but after they get done with study hall, yeah they want to come and learn. I had two or three calls from Deshawn (Sims), I got a call from Kelvin and Manny at different, wanting to get DVDs of the offense. They want to look at it, they want to understand what they are doing a little bit better. So that is great news, great news.”

Question: You have talked about all the firsts. How do you deal with the first, “okay this is the way it is going to be consequences for something like this happening” and how do you teach in that moment?

Coach Beilein: “They understand because it is not something that is unique to me. We are going to try and take out any gray area that is in their life when it comes to academic issues and team rules. There is not a big gray area. There is black and white, do the right thing. So that is always going to be how I coach here and we are really never going to waver from it. We understand there is certain situations and we certainly aren’t going to sit a guy out because he was late from class or do something, but it is always going to be this way here and we will never compromise athletic integrity because a guy is a starter or a good player. And I think that is pretty much the Michigan way.”

Question: You mentioned class attendance issues, I just wanted to double check that.

Coach Beilein: “Yeah. It is in the release.”

Question: “You said you have never treated a game as much like an exhibition as the last one. What specifics things are you doing differently?

Coach Beilein: “We will just try and go win it the best we can. But it is what it is right now. It is a whole bunch of new people, because when you look at it, Peedi (Deshawn Sims) got a little time last year. Ekpe (Udoh) played, Anthony Wright didn’t play, K’len Morris didn’t play. It is a lot of new people. We just got to keep encouraging them on the bench. We have got to keep working with them, but now it is a game to win now. So we will not experiment as much, but there are some things that we re not prepared to do tomorrow. We are just not prepared to do and we will have to make adjustments on the fly.”

Question: Like what?

Coach Beilein: “I wouldn’t like to tell you that (laughing), but that is a good question.”

Question: What do you make of all these, what maybe people would consider major upsets?

Coach Beilein: “I think the parity is going to continue as long as we continue to have earlier, earlier and earlier commits to college. I just think that coaches don’t know their teams. They don’t know what they need and kids at 15 or 16 are committing. Do they ever get better? Maybe they don’t, if they do. I think that that in football and basketball that kids are itching to commit without ever knowing where they are going. So transfers and all these things, that is a concern of mine. We have to jump into it with early commits certainly, but we are really trying to do a good job of making sure that we do a thorough job. Don’t just take a kid because everybody else says that he is good, but make sure that he fits who we are.”

Question: With signing date just a little bit away for this period, do you guys think that you are going to have anything?

Coach Beilein: “No I don’t think that we will have anything, but you don’t know yet. We do have, I believe have 2 scholarships available, so we will sit and wait and see if somebody becomes available, maybe a transfer comes through. We will be open to a lot of options.”

Question: That is for the next period?

Coach Beilein: “Right. For the April period. I would except nothing other than what you may have already guessed.”

Question: When did you show these guys your version of the 1-3-1 and what did they think at first when they saw how you set it up?

Coach Beilein: “We have shown it at different times. I mean I have really tried to show; I have showed probably too much West Virginia film, because I want to show them, them doing it. So we actually every day, we tape that section and we show them, them running it. We have showed them just with the calls and the reads that people make, but that has been about it.”

Question: You play Friday night and then again on noon Sunday. Is that another learning experience?

Coach Beilein: “Yep. That is a tournament type of format almost, even though it is not a tournament. So that is going to be difficult and especially what I have tried to think about both teams. The Brown team is a very good team as well. So it is difficult, but it is difficult for everyone, not just us.”


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