Beilein Signs Horford; Talks Future

Grand Ledge (MI) PF Jon Horford signed his letter of intent Wednesday. Michigan headman John Beilein discussed how his future big man will fit in next year, how he hopes to finish the 2010 class, transfers, European recruiting, and more.

Coach Beilein:  "We sent out the press release here, but obviously we signed Jon.  Jon Horford signed his letter of intent today, and he is a kid that we've watched for a couple of years and I really like the progression that he is making with the game and excited to have him."

Question:  John talk a little bit about his skill set.  He is not a great shooter but can he develop a little bit do you think?

Coach Beilein:  "What I like is that his touch is very good.  We're anxious to work with him on some things with his shooting, but he is a very good foul shooter and that is usually a pretty good sign about a person's perimeter ability.  What I saw was the progression of a skilled passer, could run the ball, take the break, get a rebound and just go up the court right off a rebound.  As the year developed, as I watched him play, his ability to get a rebound in traffic is getting better as his strength improves.  Really he is very athletic but went up there and got some tough rebounds."

Question:  It looks like he has quite a motor as well.

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah I think many of the good high school players have some type of motor.  As they go to college they realize there is another level, another gear that they all have.  He's had some very impressive games in his senior year."

Question:  Do you think he needs to contribute next year?

Coach Beilein:  "Our three tallest players will be freshman; actually four if you take Evan (Smotrycz).  I wouldn't be surprised if all four of them have the opportunity to really prove themselves this year."

Question:  You talk about needing to get bigger, is that one thing he'll have to get stronger is in the weight room?

Coach Beilein:  "Oh yeah and this will be an important thing for him.  He'll be on campus at the end of June and like I said the other day, I know it seems small to everyone but to have the same technique, the same strength coach three years in a row and have him to be able to start with John Sanderson, end with John Sanderson is really good.  He wants to do this too.  He really wants to work and that really was one of those things that sold me on his future.  He's hungry.  He wants to be a player."

Question:  John do you anticipate signing somebody else in this class?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah, we're going to look at all kinds of opportunities.  Obviously we still have some scholarships and if we find the right young men to fill them we will continue to go, if not 2011, 2012 you bank them for the future.  This was important with John to make sure that we had some more size and length and things like that that we were looking for in this particular class for this year and beyond."

Question:  John are you open to transfers at this point?

Coach Beilein:  "We've always had…one of the things at West Virginia I know was we had a run of transfers every year that was D'or Fischer and Mike Gansey, Jamie Smalligan, Rob Summers that were really helpful in the transition.  We've only had the one transfer so far.  Well now Jordan Dumars as well, so Laval Lucas-Perry and Jordan Dumars.  We were always open to that because that's an extra year of development first and foremost."

Question:  You haven't hired an assistant coach since Monday is that correct?

Coach Beilein:  "(Laughter) I work hard but that is correct."

Question:  It sounds like you guys have a pretty good size visit weekend in; how many guys do you have coming in this weekend without getting into specifics?

Coach Beilein:  "I'm not sure.  I think there is an awful lot of high school tournaments still this weekend.  The numbers fluctuate every day because of the different tournaments and the different options for kids.  We'll have two official visits this weekend as well and Jon will be one of them.  That is one of our main focuses certainly."

Question:  In the past you have obviously looked at Europe before is that still a consideration?

Coach Beilein:  "Here is what's going on with the attrition that we've had.  At the end of April, the NCAA board of directors is going to vote whether incoming freshman can go on foreign trips.  I think I've mentioned this to you before.  In coming freshman have never been able to go on trips, there four years are over and they never went.  So this is something that they are voting on in the end.  We're really going to consider this strongly if everything can fit together and we pull the trip together and we do that if in fact the freshman can make the trip.  If the freshman cannot make the trip, Jordan Morgan may still be injured.  Jordan Dumars cannot travel yet because of the transfer.  It wouldn't make sense to go over there with six or seven people."

Question:  I was asking if you were recruiting Europe?

Coach Beilein:  "That's possible.  Anything is possible"

Question:  Do you have a time frame when you want to make the hire to your staff?

Coach Beilein:  "Yeah as soon as we can.  I think it is very important that we hire someone but it's got to be the right person and we're doing it as fast as we can, but we want to make sure that we do it in the way that Michigan should do it and so we are looking several options and trying to move between the recruiting signing, today I am going over to our last day of individual developments.  We can't work with them after today.  A lot of things and we are trying to put it all together."

Question:  Since you brought up with a potential Europe trip, have you figured out where you would want to go; have you even started looking at that?

Coach Beilein:  "I've always done my own trips.  There are a lot of opportunities and I like said it is down the road whether we end up doing that or not but it is an option.  I misread that (question) because you said going overseas and I was just talking about that with somebody."

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