The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 83

M BY JOHN BORTON pened. The Wolverines became Big Ten champions in 2012, then geared up for the future by first retaining point guard Trey Burke and adding a host of high-cal- iber talent for the coming season. Head coach John Beilein sat down with The Wolverine to discuss the achievements of the season just experienced, the new- comers and what lies ahead. ichigan coaches and play- ers repeated the mantra, but few outside of Crisler Center believed it … until it hap- to roll with the punches in the NCAA Tournament. It's neutral courts. It's the best teams you can play. You re- alize you can't play a perfect game every night. If you get caught in an imperfect game and the other team plays well, you're going to lose. "It rolls right off us. We're disap- pointed, but it doesn't stop our mo- mentum one bit." The Wolverine: With Zack Novak pride when you hear that. The first four years for us were more about getting an NCAA Tournament bid, rather than winning the league. "Last year the Big Ten champion- by the words "Big Ten champions?" Beilein: "There is a great sense of ing, just like consistently making it in the NCAA Tournament helps us. The people who played in the program the last few years, it gives them such a sense of achievement. "When you talk about champion- ence your program going forward? Beilein: "I'm sure it helps recruit- ships every day and then you win one, there is more credibility to what teamwork can accomplish. We talked about it every day." The Wolverine: How do you balance ship became the primary goal. It feels really good. We are proud we set a goal as a team and then went out and accomplished it." The Wolverine: How might it influ- John Beilein Talks About Newcomers, And The Future The Wolverine: How are you affected WOLVERINE Q&A and Stu Douglass gone, whom do you expect to be the take-charge players in the offseason? here the longest — Jordan Morgan, Blake McLimans, Eso Akunne, Matt Vogrich and Josh Bartelstein. This will be their fourth year. They obvi- ously understand the culture. Now we need Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jon Horford, who are going into their third year, to embrace the leadership more and want to step forward there. They already started doing just that. I also sense Trey Burke is ready to lead in every way he can." The Wolverine: What does it mean to Beilein: "The guys that have been have Burke back as your point guard next season? Beilein the excitement of winning the title with an exit from the NCAA Tour- nament that was earlier than you'd have liked? Beilein: "The NCAA Tournament is "When you talk about championships every day and then you win one, there is more credibility to what teamwork can accomplish. We talked about it every day." such a bounce of the ball. You look at Louisville, getting knocked out by Morehead State in the first round last year and this year they are in the Final Four. "You have to understand, you have Beilein is looking forward to putting together the puzzle pieces of his versatile, talented and young team in 2012-13. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL much as a player this year. He devel- oped and has great work habits. With the minutes he played, he's almost a junior. If a guy played 18 minutes a game in his freshman and sopho- more years, that's a pretty veteran player. He played 36 a game his first year. He has a ton of valuable ex- perience he can share with younger players. "Between Trey, Jordan and Tim, we've got three guys who played a Beilein: "Two things — he grew so lot of minutes. Now they will show that experience this season." The Wolverine: What does Glenn Robinson III bring to your program, and what positions might he play? Beilein: "Right now, we like the ver- satility he brings us. When you're playing some teams in our league, of- fensively and defensively, you have to be versatile. This is a common thread, every year, with our teams. "When we have to play small, Glenn gives us the ability to play small. When we have to play big, Glenn can also give us the ability to play big. He's got both the length and the athleticism to stay in there with big guys, and also the skill level to play on the perimeter. "I don't know where he will play the most — yet." The Wolverine: What will Mitch Mc- Gary add to your lineup, and is he more of a center or a power forward in your mind? Beilein: "We'll wait and see. The ad- vantage is, this summer we can work with these four freshmen. We'll be able to know a little bit more going into October about what they can do. He's versatile, too, because he's very comfortable in what we call the tun- nel — the area outside the arc, where the ball is passed and people move. "Standing face-up, he's very com- fortable there. But he's also a tremen- dous rebounder, and such a high- motor guy. He'll get rebounds just because of that motor. "I don't know, until we see more. Some guys cannot adapt to two posi- tions. Our hope is that he will have great versatility as well." The Wolverine: What are your thoughts on Nik Stauskas and where he fits in? Beilein: "Nik is rare. The typical 6-6 shooter is usually a one-dribble player. A one-dribble player is some- one who is going to shoot, or he's go- ing to fake and then take one dribble and shoot or pass. Nik has a multiple- dribble game and a unique ability to get in the lane if he does not shoot it. It's very rare among kids of his size. JUNE/JULY 2012 THE WOLVERINE 33

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - June-July 2012