The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 83

46 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2018 2018-19 BASKETBALL PREVIEW T here's still soreness, and he can't yell the way he wants to, but Michigan head coach John Beilein is back at the helm of the U-M basket- ball program full time. Beilein got emotional Sept. 25 while thanking the media for respecting his privacy while he recovered from dou- ble-bypass heart surgery in August. He also said he's on his way back to full health and appreciates every day, as he always has. "I think the initial shock that you're going to have this done, and then when you wake up and realize what just happened to you … your heart's been stopped for a long period of time, and you have been carved open," Beilein said. "You just think about, 'Wow, what just happened?' and it's great. "The doctors were incredible, but you realize that was literally life changing for everybody." Beilein said he and his coaches thought about cancelling the August trip to Spain, but he insisted they go. Lead assistant Saddi Washington took over for him, and Beilein didn't see any of the games until they were already played. His administrative staff helped get him clips, etc., and he dissected the action that way. He'd even thought about putting off his surgery until after he got back, but his wife Kathleen's quick admon- ishment put the kibosh on that, es- pecially after he nearly blew off the stress test that might have saved his life. "I had the first part of my physi- cal I always do at the end of the year and they said it's time for the stress test," he said. "I said, "I've only got 30 minutes; I've got to catch a flight.' I said let's do it later, and I actually wasn't going to do it because it's no fun. They get you on a treadmill and they run you and lay you down. It's no fun. "Everybody, get a stress test … just get one at some point, because who knows what would've happened?" They found two blockages, and Beilein went in for surgery Aug. 6 at the U-M Cardiovascular Center. He was on the floor doing just fine dur- ing the team's first practice in prepa- ration for Michigan's regular-season opener against Norfolk State Nov. 6. As for his lifestyle … there will be some changes, he promised. "Oh, boy, yeah," he said with a laugh. "There are all these stress management things I'm going to do and all these things that I think every coach goes through during the year to try to make sure you stay healthy. There's no question I'm going to stay healthy, I'm going to be in great shape, I can coach for a while. But less stress … I think we all need that in life, and I'm going to embrace it." That meant skipping a simulation of the plane crash the team went through two years ago before the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C. "I said, 'No thanks. I'd rather not do that again,'" Beilein joked. "There have been a few things happening in my life … I think I've gravitated that way as it is. "It's great to be here. This has been as unique a nine months that any- body could have in their life." Beilein confirmed at the Big Ten's media day Oct. 11 in Chicago he was well on the road to recovery and feeling much better, though he still couldn't throw a two-hand chest pass. He also said he was having a hard time slowing down, insisting he was the same guy. "I hate to lose too much," he said. — Chris Balas U-M DEFENSE IS AHEAD OF OFFENSE IN THE EARLY GOING Michigan head coach John Beilein said it took four weeks last year to re- alize his team wouldn't be as efficient offensively as it was the season prior. His goal this year is to find ways to improve the offense while maintain- ing the defensive identity that helped lead the Wolverines to the NCAA title game last year. It won't be easy, he knows. Despite getting to two NCAA championship games in the last six seasons, winning it in this climate is tough. Even win- ning the Big Ten will be difficult, he said at the league's media day Oct. 11 in Chicago. "We had four teams in [the NCAA Tournament] last year, and there was a reason for that. We were a very young league," Beilein said. "We have teams that have almost every- body back that are going to be terrific.   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL John Beilein Is Back At The Helm After Heart Surgery Head coach John Beilein admitted he will have to make some lifestyle changes after a double- bypass heart surgery in August, but he's happy to be back coaching his team. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2018