Last night John Beilein made an appearance at the Maize Rage meeting, along with Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin. While there, he spoke to us and answered some questions that revealed some pretty interesting tidbits that may not have been talked about much yet. Some of the highlights of what he said:
---DJ Wilson is up 35 pounds. Not sure if that was from when he go here or just over the summer, but it's impressive either way.
---Irvin should return from his back surgery soon, and when he does, it will be the first time their "Core Four" of Irvin, Walton, Caris, and Spike will have all been healthy at the same time since Walton got hurt against Villanova.
---In terms of rotations, he doesn't really expect to expand past playing nine guys even though they have more depth this year. He likes eight man rotations, but because of the depth, will add a ninth spot.
---He said he likes to play guys like Irvin and Walton 30-35 minutes a game to keep them in their rhythm (he only mentioned them as they were sitting right there; I assume that applies to Caris as well, with Spike not far behind). Other than that, he expects the other guys to just fill in minutes where they are available. Based on this, my conjecture for the rotation would be Walton, Irvin, Caris, Spike, Doyle, Dawkins, DJ, Donnal, and one of MAAR or Chatman.
---One guy who's missing? Moritz Wagner. Beilein said he expects him to be really good "one day". Right now he said he's a bit awkward and gets banged around a bunch because he had never lifted weights before in Germany. However, he's up to 228 pounds (up from 210 or 215 when he got to AA, I can't remember which one), and Beilein expects him to be up around 245 soon. Didn't say, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a redshirt coming for Wagner.
---Another guy who's missing: Duncan Robinson. I would expect him to work his way into the rotation at some point, but now Beilein sounded as if that wouldn't happen right away. He said Duncan's shooting numbers in practice compare to Nik Stauskas', but that he is a little tenative and "we're trying to get him to stop asking for permission to shoot." Sounds like once he gains some confidence, he'll be key off the bench.
---He also talked about Austin Hatch and how important he is to the team. He said he works out with the team 2-3 times a week to keep his body in shape, and his role is now doing some things that players/coaches don't have as much time to do (i.e. visits to Mott). He also said he views Austin as another son of his, which was pretty cool.
---Last thing, has nothing to do with the players themselves, but Beilein said he wants to totally revamp player introductions and do something different. He hates the intro videos and how it takes everyone's attention away from the court and up to the video board. This year, he wants to do something involving the students making noise and being pumped up to introduce players, but we're not sure what that would be, and then having a different way to actually call out the players' names.
EDIT: idiot first-time topic poster forgot link:
Michigan starting five of: Rice, Tomjanovich, Webber, Rose and ... Crawford (!?).
Question 1: would you put Trey in for Crawford and move Jalen to shooting guard?
Question 2: Should Cazzie Russell displace either Trey or Jalen?
Question 3: which all-time team match-up (U-M or no U-M) would you relish most?
Also, '89 Michigan took out two of the Illinois starting five (Anderson and Gill). Sometimes forget how loaded that Illini team was.
He also nominated Michigan WBB head coach, Kim Barnes Arico, who accepted the challenge and posted a video of it. She then nominated Bacari Alexander, Brian Wiseman and her assistant coach Melanie Moore.
I was just reading an article by Jason King over at the WWL about the strength of the Big Ten this year. Toward the end of the article, King discussed some random things about the season so far, and this was one of them:
4. Random thought here, but the race for National Coach of the Year is going to be an interesting one. Lots of good candidates but no hands-down favorites. At least not yet. Here are some guys who may be considered: Dana Altman (Oregon), Brad Stevens (Butler), Bruce Weber (Kansas State), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Larry Shyatt (Wyoming) and Larry Eustachy (Colorado State).
And for the record, I tend to favor coaches who have surpassed expectations set forth during the preseason, which tends to put guys like Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self at a disadvantage. But I would have no problem if the coach of a top-five-caliber team ended up winning the award. Staying at the top is often as difficult as getting there.
To be honest, I was surprised that he didn't mention Beilein with those other coaches. Granted, I'm sure he wasn't trying to provide an exhaustive list, but I still feel like Beilein has to be on a short list of coaches in the running.
Your thoughts? I'll hang up and listen.
I am curious about your thoughts as to what the current biggest rivalry game is for the men's basketball team . . .
Back in my day (1993-97), I think the majority would say that the Duke game in December was the biggest rivalry game. (It seemed to get the most attention and draw the biggest number of students sleeping out and lining up to get first-come, first-serve seats.) After the Fab Five left, it seems like the Michigan State games became the biggest rivalry games. Now, being further removed from the program, I'm not sure as to what the general sentiment is on campus. Is Michigan State the biggest rival? Ohio State? I'm interested in reading your thoughts.