The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Well, Saturday at 2 Michigan takes on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the great land of Clinton(Bill that is).
Big Nasty's team comes fresh off their road blowout loss to KY http://www.kentucky.com/2012/01/17/2032252/kentucky-vs-arkansas-9-pm-espn.html
a team with considerably more NBA talent than your Detroit Pistons.
Beilein may continue with the "3 players back" philosophy that yielded multiple rebounds to MSU, as Arkansas makes a living by pushing the ball up and down the court, trapping, and running motion. They call it "40 Minutes of Hell" harkening back to the '94 glory days http://bloghawgs.com/2012/01/09/remembering-hawg-ball-sec-storied-40-minutes-of-hell-edition/ First year coach Mike Anderson was the apple that fell directly beneath the Nolan Richardson tree. They're going to press. A lot.
6'3" Freshman SG BJ Young is your major scoring option out of the backcourt at 15pts/g. He is shooting .418 from downtown. He also excells at attacking the basket. Think Trey Burke only taller with more recruiting hype and considerably less heart. This is likely Stu's assignment.
6'1" Junior PG Julysses Nobles leads the Razorbacks in minutes played, assists, and consecutive consonants in his first name. Most of his scoring comes from outside. This is Trey's assignment.
Cautionary tale about checking your sources: Marshawn Powell is indeed out for the season. Thank you to those of you who knew this and did not point out that I ate a lot of paint chips as a kid. That is more than I deserve.
This actually leaves Jordan Morgan at a considerable advantage in the post. They've got a 6'8" freshman named Devonta Abron and a 6'8" senior named Michael Sanchez. Niether one has much of an offensive game. Abron is a pretty good rebounder.
6'2" Mardracus Ware wins the "Oh Lord please dont leave him open from downtown" award. He is shooting something like 51% for 3.
Regardless of outcome, this is going to be a great opportunity to learn to win on the road. With limited information, I'm going to compare Arkansas to the Clemson team Michigan beat in the tournament a few years ago. If Trey gets in foul trouble we're cooked.
Beilein getting in on that Hoke swag
THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement.
COACH BEILEIN: It's hard to believe that it's been already five years to have the privilege of coaching at Michigan. We love practicing with this team right now.
We have an incredible team-first attitude that's been very healthy so far. And now we're a couple of weeks away from the start of the season. So we love the young men on our team.
The most difficult thing will be replacing Darius Morris and all the intangibles that we had last year as a team that was really playing with a chip on their shoulder. So we're working hard at that. And I like the progress so far.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. How close to the start of the season do you think you'll choose a starter for the point guard position to replace Darius Morris?
COACH BEILEIN: You know, we have a scrimmage coming up. We have an exhibition game coming up. That will be a big part of it. And then every practice there's an opportunity for me to evaluate.
So I would think about that, the three or four days before our first game with Ferris State on a Friday night, we'll probably choose that just the week of that game.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the improvements to Crisler Arena, what that's meant both in terms of recruiting and just the players you have right now and also the play itself on the court, I think (Michigan women’s head) coach Kevin Borseth talked about the painting of the roof, making it seem a little brighter in there?
COACH BEILEIN: Yes, there's been two things going on. First of all, the Chrisler improvements are striking. There's just -- you just walk into it, you feel like it's a brand new arena.
And it had aged quite a bit. It's a wonderful building for Michigan basketball for a long time. But Cazzie Russell being inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame, that's the last time it was probably updated was when they built it.
So it's been really nice for our kids. I think they feel good about themselves when they're out there. The other thing, with our player development center, our practice facility, is all but completed. It's two weeks away. We've actually moved into the offices. That's going to lead into so much more efficiency how we operate every day.
So it's a very -- it's a good environment right now to grow as a basketball program.
Q. How do you think (Tim) Hardaway (Jr.) is going to react to defenses really keying in on him this season as him being the focal point of the Michigan offense?
COACH BEILEIN: You know, we had an early answer on that the other day. We just had a scrimmage where he was so unselfish he had seven assists and no turnovers in a scrimmage.
And just he sees the open people almost sometimes to a fault, where if they're putting extra men on him or guarding him a certain way, this is a team-first guy now.
So he's been really -- he's fairly comfortable in that. I think obviously he's still young. He's 19 years old. He's still young. His body is developing. But, still, he's going to have a lot of bumps in the road, because you have to guard him.
But he realized that's part of the journey himself to reach his goals of being a great Michigan basketball player and then playing afterwards.
Q. Two years ago there were more expectations in the program with Manny Harris and additional players coming back, how is this year different than those expectations and how that season turned out?
COACH BEILEIN: I think that one of the things that happened in that season was injury to Manny Harris earlier in that season. The expectations were very high, but Manny never really got to 100 percent, we felt, the entire year.
And we were probably more dependent on he and DeShawn (Sims) and the rest of the pieces were not complete yet. I think that we can -- if those two did not have a good game, we had a very difficult chance of winning.
This team, I think, has where the talent, those two are extremely talented players, this team may have a few more pieces, and I think we have a great team chemistry on the team as well, that hopefully a lot of intangibles going into winning. We hope we possess as many as you would need.
Q. Where does Trey (Burke) rank among the other freshmen in the Big Ten as far as being able to play right away, with (Indiana’s Cody) Zeller and those other big-time freshmen?
COACH BEILEIN: I have no idea about the other freshmen. I just look at my team -- you have to look at the rotation and how many veterans they have coming back. He's walked into a great situation with Darius Morris leaving, as far as him personally.
At the same time, there's a lot that goes on from going from a high school guard to a college guard. So after two weeks of practice, he's shown a lot of moxie, some great poise. And yesterday, the other day, in particular, a lot of toughness.
Those are three things you'd like to have a freshman have. Usually that takes a few years for them to accumulate some of those traits. He showed last week some really positive things in those areas that are beyond his ability to make a jump shot or make a play.
And so we're hopeful he'll continue that trend.
Horford will NOT be playing the 4. I've seen it advocated far too many times.
I know a lot of people like to take a roster and parce out players with potential for an increased role (Horford) and throw them into a lineup w/o considering the coach, the system and the role.
Barring a major change in philosophy (not impossible) from Coach Beilein, we will stick with our "5-out" / "1-post" offense. While being relatively adaptive, Beilein knows what is takes to make his offense work, structures his lineups in a manner conducive to scoring and is very creative with defensive tactics (1-3-1 /2-3 zone, smart double-recover schemes) to hide the deficiencies that playing unorthodox creates.
All it takes is one look at what Novak and Smotrycz do at the four spot in this offense to realize that Jon Horford will not be able to do these things.
Horford is strictly a 5 as are Morgan and McLimans. Playing for other coaches, things might be different. It is good to have depth at center and it presents a bit of a roster inefficiency where-in 40 minutes seem too few for Jon and Jordan, given their potential. That's where we see uninformed posters try to cram Horford into a role on this team for which he is unsuited.
Do any of you see Horford running off of screens? Driving after a shot fake? Cutting back door? If you do, you need to get better at watching basketball. If you don't and you still think Coach will stick him in at the 4 to 'get our size on the court' and 'let Novak play wing', you need a reality check.
Smotrycz will get most of the PF minutes next year and Novak will likely get most of the backup minutes there while starting on the wing. Horford may tantalize with ability at times, but he and Jordan will get no more than 40 mins together. Just how good Horford becomes will determine the rationing of minutes at the 5 and not how many minutes they should play together. Beilein's offense works because of spacing and playing one big creates that. He has a track record at Michigan of playing only one big and while that could change in the future, I will believe it when I see it
• Nickname: Wolverines
• Coach: Jim Beilein
this is posted on the NCAA's website giving the tidbits of every team in the West conference
I don't understand the OUTRABBLE (outrage + rabble) about the defensive strategy last night in the last 30 seconds. They had 3 fouls to give... you give them looking for a steal. You can't let Wisc run their 1st choice play to end the game.
Also, I don't mind letting a freshman, <30% 3PT shooter take an off balance 3 form 25 feet.
M played the best game of the year in the most important game of the year. They are playing their best at the end of the year. We lost on a lucky shot off the glass. THERE IS NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT RE: COACHING.
I have been busy and not able to post this earlier, but Beilein's comments after tOSU game are not very encouraging. Here's the quote and link from The Wolverine (bold added by me): http://michigan.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1185166
"They were playing us like a couple teams have played us this year. They lock the rails on all our shooters on both sides," said Beilein. "There's no weak side help; they are making us play a two-man game. It was a good defensive plan, but we still got to the rim a lot. We missed a good number of not easy shots, but shots we should have made."
The end result was yet another heartbreaking loss to a very good opponent.
"We're getting there," said Beilein. "We've got to keep working on the best way [to play]. We experiment every day how to score points in the Big Ten. It ay set us back at times, but we're trying to get a plan for the future."
Reasons this bothers me beyond the obvious:
1) This is an X & O's issue which is one of the things people quickly bring up when describing Beilein.
2) Beilein admits they have encountered this before and they still haven't figured out a game plan for it.
3) In year three of any coach I would hope that halfway through the season the coaches were not still trying to get a plan for the future figured out.
All of the guys seeing time are Beilein guys. How does he not see the plan here?
I know this is from a press conference immediately following the game and he probably wasn't in the best mind set but this does not instill confidence in the players or the fans.