John Beilein Post-Season Presser

Submitted by Tim on March 29th, 2011 at 2:24 PM


Photo from under-construction Crisler Arena. I already covered yesterday's most pressing issue, the potential early NBA entry of Darius Morris. The rest of John Beilein's post-season talk follows. If you're interested in the video, UMHoops has you covered.

Handling Expectations

Though the expectations for the 2009-10 team didn't pay off, this team has handled some increased expectations, even just over the course of the season. "We focus on just us getting better," rather than worry about expectations. "It's the ones that sort of sit back and rest on their laurels that won't get better."

On the drop-off in 2009-10: "I think most of us were part of that. Whether you're an incoming recruit - they were a part of that - and they know stories about it. So we don't have to talk too much about it, and I don't think we should beat them over the head about it."

Talkin' 'Bout Practice?

The team gets 8 hours of instruction time once the season ends. Yesterday, they did the fourth hour of practice, and the last one in Crisler Arena before the facility is closed until next fall. During those 8 hours, a lot of the time is spent showing the players the offseason practice routine the coaches want them to practice.

The coaches give players a written "shell" practice plan, and also instructional DVDs that demonstrate some of the drills. In terms of individual development, the next 5 months "are an important time for us. What our guys are going to do when the coaches aren't watching anymore." Stu went to a private facility last offseason to work on his game, and the coaches encourage the other players to get private instruction.

"We've got a bunch of self-starters, and you just never know how much they're going to improve. I think you saw that with Darius over the summer." It's hard to pinpoint any individual player to make a big step forward in the offseason. It all depends on how hard they work on their own. "I think when Tim Hardaway Jr. goes home and sees Tim Hardaway Sr., they'd be in the gym within hours, because Tim Sr. was in the gym for hours."

Going Forward

"What we're really working on right now is making sure that we have the option to just not go to four guards and play that way." It sounds like they're trying to develop more 4/5 players so that Novak is more free to play the 2 instead of guarding the likes of Bill Cole from Illinois. [Ed: or Trevor Mbakwe.]

"The competition level is gonna be very high, because we're going from 10 scholarship players to could-be 13 scholarship players."

Teams like Butler are good to observe playing in the Final Four, because they show how far a good team concept can take you. "But we're still the University of Michigan, and we love what the large University in a BCS conference can also bring to our recruiting."

There are no specific team goals for next year. Just like every year, they start out wanting to be in the top 6 in the conference (since those are usually the tournament teams), and then to win the Big Ten Championship once you reach that level.


The coaching staff is fielding calls from a lot of interested recruits, with the success on the court. "We feel positive momentum." The Player Development Center and Crisler renovations (pictured at right) are going to be a boost for recruiting, but more importantly for the team's practice. "We can practice any time that we want to, they can practice any time that they want to that fits their schedule in their free time." The new facility also allows the coaches to drill more concepts at once, and film everything, etc.

Incoming Freshmen

[Note: Max Bielfeldt wasn't mentioned by Beilein, I assume because they hadn't received his official LOI by yesterday's conference]

The incoming players are given a similar voluntary practice plan to the returning players. "We can only give them... 'these are some of the ways to improve as a player.'" Both Burke and Brundidge are going to enroll in summer term, and be here in June.

Trey Burke - "He truly is a point guard, he truly runs his team. He really has great pace to him, and his quickness is exceptional." He will add quickness to the roster - which Beilein talked about lacking several times this year.

Carlton Brundidge is also a quick player, and excels in ball-screen situations. He played well for a great high school program, "but I'm really looking forward to putting him in the Michigan program as well."

Darius had to play a lot of minutes this year, and adding these two guys will give the team more options to give him some rest. Zack and Stu will also get an opportunity to play a little less and get some rest. They want freshmen who want to compete right away for playing time.

Next Year's Schedule

Playing in the Maui Invitational, they'll have the opportunity to play three high-level opponents, and the ACC/Big Ten Challenge should give a solid opportunity for a home game (though there's a chance they may have to switch and play away).

"Now we're looking at several opportunities to do what we've done in the past with the Kansas, with the UConns, with the UCLAs." There's also an away game at Oakland already planned.

They're trying to line up the guarantee games right now, and trying to fill in to get a good strength of schedule. "I think we have understood what the committee is looking for."

This following item doesn't come from Beilein's conference, but it also relates to next year's schedule: The new 12-team Big Ten will feature seven 2-plays and four 1-plays, with the 1-plays from last year (for Michigan, that's Illinois and Purdue) guaranteed to be 2-plays this upcoming season. There are no protected rivalries, so there's a chance Michigan and Michigan State only play once.


shoes untied

March 29th, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

The gold seats have been completely removed. The picture, of the gold section with a few seats left, are the seats that were test seats this season. The athletic department tested multiple types of seats. Also, if you attended games you would have seen one section of stairs in the blues with different colors. That too was for testing how they held up against spills. Crisler is closing on Monday. They were able to remove the golds already because the only event left is gymnastics this weekend. Attendance for gymnastics events are similar to womens basketball game, so the gold sections are not needed. The pull out blue seats on the  west side have been removed in the last few days. In fact, the hoops are, as well, taken apart and removed. The plans for the renovations are going smoothly and look great. Enjoy the update, and sorry for my poor writing skills (not an english major here).


March 29th, 2011 at 3:05 PM ^

[Note: Max Bielfeldt wasn't mentioned by Beilein, I assume because they hadn't received his official LOI by yesterday's conference]

Bielfeldt can't sign an LOI until the "regular" basketball signing period begins on April 13.


March 29th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

For the record, I found the date on this chart at

Signing Dates

For Prospective Student-Athletes Enrolling in the 2011-2012 Academic Year

Sport Initial Signing Date Final Signing Date
Basketball and All Other Sports Not Listed (Early Period)  November 10, 2010  November 17, 2010 
Football (Midyear JC Transfer)  December 15, 2010  January 15, 2011 
Football (Regular Period)  February 2, 2011  April 1, 2011 
Field Hockey, Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, Men's Water Polo  February 2, 2011  August 1, 2011 
Basketball (Regular Period)  April 13, 2011  May 18, 2011 
All Other Sports Not Listed (Regular Period)  April 13, 2011  August 1, 2011 



March 29th, 2011 at 4:34 PM ^

The two years that Indiana and Purdue played only once (2008 and 2009), you'd have thought the world had stopped turning, or that the NCAA had actually levied a serious punishment on a big-name program, something of that nature ... protected rivals in basketball become too much to work out given that you're playing once anyway, and it usually ends up like MLB interleague play where you have some rivalries that actually mean something and others that bore you to tears (hey, those great Tigers-Diamondbacks games will stay with me until I die).

Big Blaze

March 29th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

"Darius had to play a lot of minutes this year, and adding these two guys will give the team more options to give him some rest. Zack and Stu will also get an opportunity to play a little less and get some rest. They want freshmen who want to compete right away for playing time."


The Kemba Walkers, Jared Sullingers's etc of the world NEVER get "rest" time. 

College basketball has so many timeouts right now its rediculous. Ohio State RARELY subbed anyone, minus Lauderdale for Kraft. In this day and age I really don't think you need to. UCONN won 5 games in 5 telling me these kids can't  play 2 games a week with atleast a day in between? Come on. However, now that we might have some quality DEPTH I can see more subs happening. IMO your best players NEED to be on the floor essentially all the time (minus mop up duty/foul trouble)


I LOVE everything else about this post!