The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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20 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2018 have off-the-court issues, and that re- ally helped. "And then we had a great deal of luck. Just think of [freshman guard] Eli Brooks, a 60 percent guy, mak- ing two free throws [to send the UCLA game to overtime in a win]. Muhammad[-Ali Abdur-Rahkman], there were so many times we were up by two and he could have made it a four-point game, and he missed foul shots. Then he makes two with a second to play against Maryland, or we lose. "We were very fortuitous, and obvi- ously [freshman] Jordan Poole's shot to beat Houston in the NCAA Tourna- ment was a miracle. If you look at the Oregon game last year in the Tourna- ment, Derrick Walton's last-second shot was a much better shot, and it didn't go in. It evens out." The Wolverine: Many people have commented on the fan support during the NCAA run, and it was especially noticeable during the West Regional in Los Angeles. Beilein: "Wasn't that unbelievable? I'd seen it in Madison Square Garden before when we won the preseason NIT and won the Wounded Warriors Tournament. I'd felt that before [this year 's Big Ten Tournament in New York]. "In L.A., the numbers said we'd have fans there because when we go out on these alumni development trips, there are so many people there. You realize there are a lot of California people that have migrated there or came from there. "We're recruiting one kid whose fa- ther said to me, 'My kids thought peo- ple traveled there.' I said, 'Nobody traveled there. We're here.' I said I knew they were real Michigan fans, too, because they knew all the cheers. "It was incredible. Florida State and Texas A&M fans must have said, 'What the heck is going on?'" The Wolverine: In addition to the success on the court, your guys also excelled in the classroom again, earn- ing the highest honor for Academic Progress Rate with a perfect score. How much pride do you take in that? Beilein: "It's really been terrific. We've had 31 seniors, and the guys that have left have all left without losing us any points. We might have left a half point out there one time. [Guard] Ibi Watson left this year, and we didn't lose a point with him. You have to have over a 2.6 GPA. "But it's not like, 'Oh man, we did it!' That's the expectation. We're just going to keep doing it. "We missed 14 days of school in the second semester because of the tour- naments, but our grades were better than ever. We took tests on the road during the NCAA Tournament. "They are kids that get it. They know when they go to class they're not just lumps in there. They realize, 'I'm go- ing to miss Wednesday because we're going to the NCAA Tournament, so I'd better get everything I can out of Mon- day.' They communicate with their teachers, find out what's upcoming, meet with their tutors. "You get an 'A' or an 'F' in study hall. You don't get a 'C.' We had no F's this year. Everybody went in there with a great attitude, and [the professors] will tell me if they have a bad attitude." The Wolverine: Looking ahead to next year's team without Wagner, how much do you anticipate Teske playing in the middle? Is he a 30-minute guy? Beilein: "I would think that's right. It depends on [rising redshirt soph- omore] Austin Davis and [incoming freshman] Colin Castleton right now, but I would say probably more like 25, and then let's see who comes forward. "Twenty to 30 would be where he would probably be slotted, but if you look at our Detroit game last year and Jacksonville, we were really good when he was on the floor. "What's really going to be the most advantageous thing for him now is he knows he's going to play. Now it's not, 'I've only got to be good for 10 min- utes.' It's, 'Now I've got to be good for 20 to 30 minutes.' "His work habits have to continue, and they have. He's chosen to be here for the whole summer." The Wolverine: With Davis, you've been complimentary but also said he needs to understand the energy he needs to play with at this level. How's he progressing? Beilein: "He had a couple practices last year where we saw the motor. His instincts for the game are great, but as far as running a bit of a read-and- react system … that comes slower to some guys. He should be fine next year. When you're on the scout team, you don't get to do the read and react. "He rebounds, blocks shots, puts his hands on the ball. The fact is we didn't need him last year, and sometimes that's the reason you don't see guys. It's not that they're not good enough. What were we going to do, take more minutes from Moe and Jon Teske so we can get him in there?" Under the direction of Beilein, the Wolverines rank fourth nationally in first-round NBA Draft picks since 2013, with seven, The only schools with more in that time are Kentucky, Duke and UCLA. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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