Those comments sound pretty bleak. Hopefully some of the new guys break out and surprise us.
I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
[Ed.- Giving this the diary bump due to massive, relevant info dump -FA]
Earlier this week John Beilein announced on johnbeilein.com that fall practice would begin this Friday at 5 pm.
We’re all really anxious to get to practice. At 5 pm on Friday we’ll throw it up and we’re going to have a great 2 hour and 15 minute practice and never look back. We’re ready for practice to begin and we will work hard to be ready for when games start, too.
After last year's foray into Midnight Madness, Coach Beilein decided not to go that route this year. As reported by Michael Rothstein of A2.com:
“That was my decision,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “It is homecoming weekend and I just wanted to go to work. I’ve never been a big fan of that, especially when it has been at midnight. Last year we had a pulled hamstring in it. We just all want to go to work and we hope there will be more hoopla as we watch this team grow and people come to games to do it as opposed to start off the season.”
Beilein also indicated that unsurprisingly, a freshman will crack the starting lineup.
“May the best man win and the other will back the other one up,” Beilein said. “They are good friends at the same time.”
“I think I’m in a pretty good spot,” Smotrycz said. “After the [Europe] trip I got my conditioning back and had a chance to improve my skills and play with the team so personally I think I’m in a good spot. Just taking things in stride.”
With the team's lack of experience, expect to see a fairly extensive rotation.
Beilein said he might tweak lineups more this season than he has in years past, although he hopes it’ll eventually settle into what could be as much as a 10-man rotation.
“You don’t want it to be an unhealthy looking over your shoulder, am I coming out,” Beilein said. “It has to be healthy competition, but we haven’t always had some of those situations.”
And Rothstein's article from media day continues to press the lack of experience angle:
With no seniors, though, it’s easy to see why Michigan isn’t focused on what could happen right now, but instead on what could be in the future.
“I’m not going to (get into) where it could be. I know we’ll develop and get better every day,” Beilein said at Michigan’s pre-season media day Wednesday. “But I know the Big Ten is at a peak right now with its experience. It’s been tremendous and it’s going to be very difficult for us. If we just focus on developing and focus on developing, we’re going to finish where we finish, but we’re dead set on finishing as high as we’re capable of doing and get better and then we attack again.”
Stu Douglass isn't ready to give up high expectations, though.
“We’ll have to keep re-evaluating (expectations) as the season goes on,” Douglass said. “We definitely did that freshman year. We definitely want to make the tournament. We want to make an impact in the Big Ten. We don’t want to be just going unnoticed in the Big Ten. It’d be huge for us to get a good record in the Big Ten, be a big key for us to get in the tournament, obviously. But we’ll keep re-evaluating it on a day-by-day basis.”
Coach Beilein compares his team's development to Denard Robinson's:
Zach Novack thinks the team will surprise some people and says the team may be naive enough to not realize they're not supposed to do well.
Those comments sound pretty bleak. Hopefully some of the new guys break out and surprise us.
I know people are skeptical about the team's chances this year, but it should be very interesting to see how things go.
It's pretty clear they'll lack experience as there's a good chance that three of the starters will be either true or redshirt freshman:
Chris Balas has a detailed position breakdown at The Wolverine with extensive quotes from Beilein's press conference.
but let's be honest, Anyone with even a smidgen of hope that we'll make the NCAA tournament this year is a true homer. And to you, I have nothing but the utmost respect.
I guess I'm one of those people.
How about a scenario where the team has improved greatly over the course of the season, gets on a roll--and gets some matchup breaks--in the Big Ten tournament, and wins the thing?
Realistically, however, I'm hoping they can get into the NIT, make a deep run there, and set the stage for 2011-12.
GoBlueWolverine Magazine (Scout.com) has part 1 of Coach Beilein's comments to the press.
Question: How will you allocate Zach Novak’s minutes in practice and talk about the benefits of him playing guard?
Coach Beilein: “Yeah I think first of all, we would like to get him down, if he is playing 32 minutes at his normal position I think he’ll be much more productive. There were some times because he was such a good defensive player, he’s a scrapper, high IQ player, he got tired at times. I think we’ll have enough backups to allow him to have a bit more time. I’m thinking that his rebounding numbers will go up because he’s not boxing out Mike Davis now from Illinois or Raymar Morgan. He is boxing out a two guard, so he can go in and clean up defense rebounds and start the break a little bit more. He was the starting two guard I believe going into our wins over UCLA and Duke. Maybe he came in off the bench and played for Stu but that was what he was playing at that time. So I think he is going to…he is shooting the ball well. He loves playing back there, but he can be anywhere but the five man for us this year. He can still play anywhere.”
Question: What did Smotrycz show you over in Europe?
Coach Beilein: “There are not too many shots that he doesn’t like is one thing that we saw over there, which I think is good. I would rather have that than someone tentative, but he has really worked hard since he came back…the summertime, the weight workouts and they prepare to do for Europe that he showed some ability. Now these last five weeks, I’ve seen in his workouts just a little bit more bounce, a little bit more quickness, but he is a high IQ player that still has to learn how to play the college game, but he’s got a moxy and a confidence about him that I like. There are some other things. Those are strengths right now. His shot selection and things like that are something he will learn.”
of the football season will go a long way to determining how desperate I become for the basketball team to succeed.
...an AP article.
Michigan shot under 30 percent from 3-point range last season, a recipe for disaster in Beilein’s free-flowing offense. The Wolverines averaged 24 attempts a game from beyond the arc.
“In my experience with shooters, a bad night is 2-for-6, and a good night is 4-for-6. We don’t have 1-for-6 nights,” Beilein said. “And we’ve had way too many 1-for-6, 1-for-7 nights from the 3-point range. When you’re a shooter— 1-for-6—you want to avoid those like the plague, and I think you’re going to see that evolution as they go into this year.”
“I think naturally, when you lose great scorers like [Sims and Harris], the following year, you’re going to have a lot of balance,” [Darius] Morris said.
[Stu] Douglass says the Wolverines might have become too reliant on Harris and Sims. “We had two huge weapons in Manny and DeShawn, so whenever they caught the ball they were a threat,” Douglass said. “But a lot of times, we’d take really quick shots, and the defense would still be fresh the next possession down.”
I think I will just skip this and read more about the hockey team and just hope for the best in regards to hoops.
says the whenever Colton Christian gets on the court an announcer either asks or says something about him "also playing conerback on the football team"
...we will be reading about "experienced starting lineups" on both the football and basketball teams. And that is when things will really start to get exciting in Ann Arbor.
I'm surprised there is competition between Christian and Smotz. I figured Smotz would have that locked up based upon his recruiting hype. I'm hoping that is a good sign about Christian's game.
I have low expectations this year, but there are plenty of reasons why we could improve on last year's 15-17 record. Namely, the additional height we have now, plus another years experience for Darius Morris. Remember, most players in Beilein's system take 2-3 years before they really "get it"...Novak and Stu were exceptions as were CJ Lee and Merritt. I think this year Darius will make the leap and the redshirted kids will look better than the true freshmen. By next year I think we'll be a very competitive squad.
Another reason for a possible better record than last year: the team chemistry should be much improved.
As far as Christian goes, I think he'll play a bigger role than many anticipated because he fills two key roles: rebounding and defense.
"He's really looked good in individual workouts," said Beilein [about Christian]. "He's an athletic rebounder, not as big as Evan or the big kids, but he plays much larger than his size. He loves defense and wants to guard people."
Beilein has always been touted as a great teacher of the game. With all these youngsters, we'll find out for sure. I really like having Beilein as our coach, he's classy and well respected, but he definitely has his work cut out.
The next couple of years are going to be rough, but just wait until he gets HIS kids into the system...wait...nevermind.
Sounds like we have a lot of grit. I'm hoping that translates to wins on the court, but I think this season is going to be a long series of growing pains.
sounds like an old man lol
Here's the lineup I'd like to see:
SF: Hardaway Jr.
Douglas first off the bench at PG and SG. Christian backs up at PF and Vogrich fills in at SG and SF. Whoever doesn't start at C between Morgan and McLimans backs up there. Horford redshirts.
I would be shocked if they don't. They will do maddening young team things like jacking up threes too quickly or not rotating on pick and rolls, getting out on shooters, etc. But what I like about this team is there are no expectations and there are a few players that are true leaders and who understand the system implicitly. Those two things in a Beilein system is critical. They aren't NCAA yet, but they are NIT. They maybe NCAA in a year or two.
He is getting his type of players, and as I have stated with Rich Rod repeatedly, people don't just go to a new conference and forget how to coach. That doesn't happen. I guarantee we will get equilibrium with MSU again and I suspect Coach B will do well in the Big Ten eventually because frankly he won in a much tougher conference. History indicates he should be successful.
I mean, it's not out of the question that they could make the NIT...but I don't think it's shocking if they don't. I mean, they lost their two best players from last year, so asking them to do better than that team seems to be stretch....
I'm just interested how the program bounces back from the step back they took last year. After the NCAA berth the previous season, it was more than just mildly disappoint to see Beilein's boys to not only miss any postseason play, but actually end with a losing record.
I wouldn't be shocked if Michigan missed out on postseason play yet again. If it happened, I wonder how much scrutiny Beilein would come under, whether he'd face anything like the pressure RichRod finds himself in?