The Wolverine

November 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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10 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2016   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS for people who have already grown up," Harbaugh said. "Larry's faced over 90 sur- geries … that's probably a record. We feel like we're drawing the long straw on this one, to have Larry part of our team. "To Larry and his whole family, welcome aboard. You're an inspiration to all of us." "I was not given much chance to survive outside the womb, let alone survive two weeks after birth," Prout acknowledged. "I've been cut open and sewed back up many, many times. Not all of the surgeries were a success, but this didn't stop my family from bringing me back. "I'm signing and committing to the University of Michigan football team, and I'm thankful for this op- portunity." His family expressed great thankfulness for the expe- rience with Michigan foot- ball. Larry Prout Sr., his wife Kathryn and their other five children have all been in- volved in a team effort along the way. "It's a family thing, too," Prout's father said. "We can all celebrate and just stand back and go, 'Wow, look where he is now.' You know, he started walking when he was nine, and to accomplish all these things and be a part of something as big as U-M football, it's amazing — it's really amazing." — Leland Mitchinson and John Borton Michigan basketball assistant coach Jeff Meyer enters his 38th season as a collegiate coach and his ninth at Michigan this year. He's been a big part of the program's renaissance under head coach John Beilein, and answers a handful of questions for us in this Q&A: The Wolverine: How different has the offseason been with two new assistant coaches in Saddi Washington and Billy Donlon? Meyer: "In terms of communication and culture, it takes time to kind of roll out how we do what we do. We didn't just lose the two full-time coaches, but a video analyst — and Pete Kahler [former director of operations, now an as- sistant at the University of Detroit] took care of a lot of the administrative stuff. Waleed [Samaha, U-M's new director of operations] has come in and done an outstanding job, but he's still got to learn the lay of the land, so to speak. It just takes time to communicate how we do what we do. "But they've been really, really good at bringing some fresh eyes on what we do, and Coach Beilein has been tremen- dous on being open to different ways to maybe enhance what we do." The Wolverine: How receptive has Coach Beilein been to the new assistants' ideas? Meyer: "I think he's been one of those guys that has tried to continue to grow. He's mentioned the game has changed, continues to evolve, and he's open to new ways to teach. "He's tremendous with that and continues to be." The Wolverine: How familiar were you with new assistant coach Billy Donlon's defensive prowess before he got here? Meyer: "Obviously his teams at Wright State [were in the] Horizon League … because I was at Butler for a number of years, I still have relationships in the Horizon League. I knew his teams really took a lot of pride in their defense and had been very, very good with it. "We're trying to get seven more stops a game. If you can get seven more stops a game, instead of being mid-40s [percentage-wise shooting] you're at 41 or 42. In our league if you can be around 40 you're usually in pretty good shape, especially with how we run in transition. That's even more opportunities to get up the court and score." The Wolverine: You've had a lot of success coaching the wings here with players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas. What's the next step for redshirt junior Duncan Robinson? Meyer: "We can get him to the free throw line more. That's going to require us to maybe be creative in how we utilize him offensively. We've not done much with posting, but at 6-8, if they try to match him … he usually gets a small for- ward match, which in our league can be anywhere between 6-4 and 6-6. If you can get him down on the low block a little bit … we're working with that and will try to get him to the free throw line with that. "A lot of great shooters, once they become marked men they've got to learn how to cut, to change speeds with their cuts and use the rim. The back-cut is huge and with our of- fense, he's still growing with that." The Wolverine: Senior Zak Irvin has been on the wing and at forward — where do you envision him seeing the most time this season? Meyer: "We always say we have two positions — you're either on the floor or on the bench. We play either right side, left side [of the floor]. Zak is one of the guys that started on the right side, migrated to the left side; then when Caris [LeVert] got hurt, he went to the backcourt. "When you've had a guy have success at all three positions, you're going to use him [everywhere]. He's going to be very, very versatile." — Chris Balas Sitting Down With Michigan Basketball Assistant Jeff Meyer After Larry Prout Jr. (left) signed with the Wolverines, he got to meet several of his new teammates, including tight end Jake Butt. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL JEFF MEYER

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