2011-2012 Season

Notes, Quotes and Video: John Beilein at Michigan Media Day

John Beilein addressed the media at Michigan’s annual media day this afternoon. Here’s footage of his entire address followed by highlights, notes and quotes after the jump.

Click through for full notes and quotes or check out the rest of our content from Michigan’s Media Day.

Opening remarks:

  • Very excited for first practice on Friday. “It’s something we’ve looked forward to since our last game. We’ve had a very good preseason.”
  • Worked hard on strength and conditioning and basketball in general. “I think that’s one of the signs of a very good team is how they develop in the summertime.”
  • Good to have players coming back… certainly have key replacements to make, something they’ll work very hard on all year long.
  • Ball screens will continue to be a big part of the Michigan offense.
  • Feel good about everybody’s development. “This team likes each other, and they like to practice… they may feel differently after the first week or so.”
  • Only have had 9 hours and 15 minutes together as a team. Will go four hours Friday and Saturday…will go more on Friday and Saturday than in the last 5 weeks
  • Everybody has to get better, coaches need to be versatile. “We are not resistant to change, yet still staying to your core values of what it takes to win games.”

On how the offense will be different this year without Darius…

  • The loss of Darius’s length will be a big factor.
  • How will young guys handle their roles? Yet to be seen.
  • Rebuilding at point guard, but “the strength at the other positions should help that be an easier transition.”
  • Will have a lot of patience developing.
  • Trying to get in as much experience as possible, with three games before Thanksgiving tournament — usually it’s just two. “But that won’t be judgement day. I think they’ll continue to go to that November period…there’s many times that we will continue to see where the team is and what lineup best fits.”

On balancing Tim Hardaway’s high expectations…

  • Not concerned about it – “I don’t worry about it at all.”
  • He already has a lot of experience from last year. He handled it very well as a freshman.
  • Have enough depth so that he, and everybody else, won’t be incredibly fatigued at the end of tough games.

On the big men…

  • Horford has made some positive strides. Working on limiting silly fouls. “He was basically getting himself into foul trouble…when he gets into foul trouble he puts teams over the bonus. We don’t like putting teams in the bonus.”
  • He’s been on a mission since last year and has out on weight over the summer. Horford definitely looks stronger.

On scheduling…

  • Has become difficult getting a schedule the way you want it because of conference changes. “There’s not those games any more that you can just go (get). Everybody gets their RPI’s through these tournaments.”
  • Scheduling this year was the most challenging it’s been.
  • There are a few brutal stretches this year — starting with the Maui Invitational and including a stretch in December (Iowa State, Oakland) and the middle of the Big Ten season.

On Trey Burke

  • Have to categorize him with Carlton Brundidge.
  • Still doesn’t know much about either of them. “I’ve seen them, but nine hours is all we’ve spent with them (this preseason), and some of that is just really elementary.”
  • Has liked how they’ve responded to the learning curve early on, and their desire to be good players and to be coached.
  • Both have shown ability to shoot the ball, “which is always good to have to be guarded by the perimeter.”
  • Burke is more of a true point guard, Brundidge is more of a combo guard.

On expectation for the frontcourt…

  • So far, Smotrycz and Hardaway have been “two of the more impressive players so far in the preseason.”
  • Neither is 20 yet, so they’ve got a lot of responsibility for being so young.

On the players coming into the season in good shape…

  • Summer workouts were voluntary.
  • Players were living at the dorms, lifting at the wrestling arena, locker room was at the baseball stadium and they were practicing at the IM building. “Throw those things together and it wasn’t easy. You had to be very motivated…they volunteered very well.”
  • Have done some conditioning tests, and everyone passed except one player, who had an injury.

On if this program is at the point where the tournament should be an expectation every year…

  • Not there yet. “We’re still gonna be hunting that every day. I don’t think we’re at that point. We still have a lot to prove.”
  • Gonna have to perform early and in the season as well. “There’s a lot of good teams and coaches out there.”
  • Chemistry of the team is still yet to be seen too.

On if Burke can bging something to the table that Morris couldn’t, specifically his shooting ability…

  • Still too early to tell for Burke.
  • Morris made others better shooters with his assist ability.

On the Maui Invitational…

  • Every early season tournament is a challenge.
  • Old Spice Tournament a couple years ago “was difficult for us. A pretty good Creighton team, a Marquette team and Alabama that were very good. It’s challenging.”
  • Very thankful to be playing in it.
  • “If you perform poorly there, it doesn’t mean your season will be a disaster…if you do perform well, you certainly can put some things on your resume that will be very helpful when it comes time in March.”

On Stu Douglass playing point…

  • He’s played many minutes at point guard. With a two guard set, it takes some pressure off the other guard.
  • He’s certainly an option and “I know he’s worked really hard on it.”
  • Also will often guard the opposing point guard, which is a very valuable asset.

On having veterans on the team this year…

  • “We’re a veteran team, but not loaded with juniors and seniors with tons of playing experience.”
  • Have a bunch of “sophomore veterans.”
  • The freshmen have been extremely receptive so far.

On how the freshmen will fit in…

  • It was a lot different last year with six new players trying to fit in.
  • Any one or 2 freshman could play a great deal – “it’s not six people you’re trying to fit in there.”
  • It’s possible they all could play.
  • In the next four weeks, we’ll learn a lot about them.

On the preseason top-20 ranking…

  • Preseason polls are inaccurate; not going to pay a lot of attention to it. “We like our team a lot, but I’m not gonna be looking at are we top 20, are we top 10…I want to bein the top 68 in March. That’s where we want to be.”

On Jordan Morgan’s next step…

  • He’s worked hard on not just going off drop offs, leverage points, and being able to score one-on-one and being able to shoot consistently in the 15-foot range.
  • He still has a way to go, but “he’s a worker, he’s a warrior.”

On how the way the season ended last year has impacted preparation this year…

  • Very “hungry group right now. They know we were close to playing in the Sweet 16.”
  • Felt we could have won Big Ten tournament last year.
  • Challenging to see what we can do to do “up above what we did last year.”

On areas Michigan needs to improve on the most from last year…

  • Collectively, having a better defensive team.
  • Impossible with six freshmen for everybody to be on the same page.
  • If there’s a freshman in the lineup, “how do you bring him in the fold at a quicker speed?”
  • Have a great coaching staff to do this. “We all want to do more…we can do some special things.”

On player development center impact…

  • Practice will be much easier to run.
  • Will have six baskets that you can constantly use.
  • Will be able to put in extra practice at times when they couldn’t before because the women were practicing. For example, “Come on Tim, let’s shoot for 15 minutes before practice. It may not be a lot, but he can go and make 100, 200,300 3’s during that time…it’s really going to help us.”
  • After practice will be much easier too, with more cold tubs.

On when the new facility will be done…

  • There’s been a delay because of some extra moisture on the floor.
  • They say it takes “two weeks to put down, and two weeks to cure it.” They haven’t started actually putting it down yet, but they should soon.

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