Recap: John Beilein on WTKA

Dylan Burkhardt

John Beilein joined Sam Webb on WTKA’s Michigan Insider this morning to talk some hoops. You can catch the podcast here and here are a few highlights:

  • Still in an exploratory stage, looking for some consistency but noted that DeShawn Sims had a great week last week.
  • Manny Harris was able to go “pretty good” on Saturday and Sunday and is getting healthy. Just being careful because he gets sore after going hard for consecutive days. Hopeful that he will be 100% by the first game a week from Saturday.
  • Would really like to see Anthony Wright step up.
  • Darius Morris is a true point guard, he thinks like a point guard and guards like a point guard. All the upperclassmen are helping Darius along, feel good about him on the floor with four upperclassmen. Darius is playing multiple positions on defense but just the point on offense.
  • Jordan Morgan‘s return is delayed two more weeks, making sure to be cautious. Knee injury has taken away from what bounce he had.
  • Ben Cronin has shown some flashes over the last week, a little bit more bounce and a feel for the game. Sneaky suspicion that he’s a gamer, might be able to step up in game action.
  • Zack Gibson will be able to play the four and five, can move him around a bit more this year. Would like to be able to go big or small this year.
  • Eric Puls and Blake McLimans are down the road guys, not in the rotation at this point.
  • The three leaders of the team are DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris, and Zack Novak but they are growing into the role.
  • Main goal is settling on a temporary rotation. Want to see how the team can adjust when they go big and get all the wheels turning. Want to settle on a 9 man rotation and could throw a 10th in the rotation at times.

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  • Andy

    I caught the tail end of this on my way into work. So if it’s a nine man rotation, that has to be…



  • I would think Wright and Cronin would be fighting it out for the 9th spot. The “maybe 10” leaves some leeway for situational lineups.

  • Adam

    I agree with that 9/10 guys

  • Kenny

    Cronin is definitely in the 9 man rotation, otherwise Gibson cannot be moved around. The 10th person could be Vogrich.

  • JB

    it sounds like for the most part we’re in for another season of small ball, but with more weapons than last year. Should we expect more minutes from gibson this season. i think beilein has high expectiations for cronin in the long run, so i imagine he’ll end up getting some minutes.

  • JB

    i don’t think i see wright in the rotation.

  • Kenny

    The only way that Beilein can think about playing big is that Cronin is ready to play back-up at 5. Otherwise, it is essentially the same front court as last year, when there were no real alternative to play small, as Wright is not much bigger than Novak. It is clear that Beilein wants to red-shirt Blake and Jordan.

  • Dave

    vogrich is definitely not 10 he is definitely in the rotation getting solid mins

  • Old Style

    When is the deadline for redshirting?

  • JayRich

    Yeah, I agree with the above, take out Wright and insert Cronin and you have your 9.

  • gone

    Anybody have a pic of the new maize rage tshirts?

  • bird

    I don’t think it’s maybe 10 – they will play 10 deep. Vogrich will get his shots. Wright will get significant pt, too. “Tracy” (that should be Jordan Morgan’s nickname if it’s not already) really should be redshirted, so Wright should get some important frontcourt minutes. Plus — and I know it’s not the prettiest thing in the world – but you have to admit that Wright does go off once in a while. You watch him get the ball and think, “NO don’t shoot! … oh … okay. Nice!” Then 30 seconds later it’s, “NO don’t shoot!” All of a sudden he’s got 12 points. I love that stuff. It’s like when a pitcher his a home run (which can happen when baseball is played as God intended).

    I also suspect Cronin’s a gamer. It was the Norfolk State game last year, I believe, when he got to play maybe eight or nine minutes. It was the first time I’d seen him and I remember thinking how gangly-goofy he looked. But he made this one nifty play in the paint. He showed quickness and agility that I didn’t think he was capable of. It was only a flash, but I distinctly recall being impressed. Does anyone else remember that? He might surprise.

  • mitch

    I can’t see Cronin being much of a player. He seems way too stiff. I don’t think Wright will get many minutes either. It does appear that we have way more talent this year than we had the last 10.

  • JayRich

    I just don’t see Wright getting many minutes either. He didn’t earn (many) minutes last year and we had no size up front so how is he going to play now when we add Cronin to the mix. To me it is a numbers game. We lost two people from last year (Merritt and Lee, I know Shepherd too but he didn’t play) and gained three (Cronin, Morris, and Vogrich) so once again, how does Wright all of a sudden get minutes?

  • BL11

    If you look at the minutes played from last year…almost 56 minutes per game left this squad….
    Lee (16mpg),
    Merritt(13mpg), and
    Shepherd(9mpg). (these numbers are a little inflated because they don’t count games NOT played in)

    These numbers include Wright getting 11 mpg. If we project Dmo to get 20 mpg that still leaves 36 minutes for cronin or vogrich. Wright will see some minutes. Plus I think Beilein sees Wright and Gibson giving us some solid production this year….just a hunch

  • Tyler

    It’d be good to see this I especially would enjoy seeing the freshman getting that playing time. As far as Wright and Cronin getting playing time, I have no problem with that we will need some big guys as we match up against big teams and they need to “do work” also.

  • Tyler

    It’d be good to see this I especially would enjoy seeing the freshman getting that playing time. As far as Wright and Cronin getting playing time, I have no problem with that we will need some big guys as we match up against big teams and they need to “do work” also.

  • BL11: I think you would be better off looking at conference numbers

    Lee 20
    Grady 17
    Merritt 11
    Shep 5.5

    Basically you have the minutes backing up Manny (Lee last year most of the time) and the minutes in the backcourt. Douglass and Lucas-Perry were around 20 mpg and will probably see an increase. Morris will get a big chunk. And it sounds like they are getting Vogrich ready to play the 2 or the 3 (behind Manny).

    Wright stepped up in the tournament when Manny went down to fouls against Oklahoma, so he will probably get a chance at the 3/4 at times as well.

  • C Page

    I think the starting lineup should pretty much remain the same w/ replacing D Mo @ the point!! D Mo and Vogrich should get the most min outta the incoming class.

  • P Dubya


    There was some chatter / speculation about Wright and his scholarship in year five, given the limited open slots left. I’m like Bird above. Those occasions when Wright goes off are bizzaro, but fun. But I’m wondering if he’s not basically on a one-year try out–if he contributes, he’s back in year 5. I hope he does. This is still a young team and a veteran contributing would be great. But if he doesn’t crack the rotation with much regularity this year, what are his chances in year 5 for PT? Given how young the ’10/’11 team will be, especially in the front court, maybe he’s an important component to keep around despite his underwhelming size and athletic ability? I guess I’m wondering what your best guess is to his fate if he’s not much a contributor this year. (I suppose a lot of that would depend on the recruit that would take his place, so for argument’s sake, what if a 4-starish guy wanted to pull the trigger.) I’ll hang up and listen …

  • maxwell’s demon

    Here’s something I didn’t expect: the three leaders in 3 fg % last year Lee, Grady, Merritt…

  • Tyler

    Well if you look at the number of threes they took compared to the overall shots if you took 1 three and missed one your 1/2 and 50% which makes you sound really good.

  • JayRich

    everyone’s kind of right, I forgot about Grady leaving (don’t know why since it is in the news all the time during football), so maybe Wright gets some minutes but I’m still not buying much. He is what he is which isn’t very good and I think we should focus on our young guys and not someone who may not be with us next year.

  • KJay

    One element of the Wright debate is the walk-on situation. This year we have 12 scholarship players, with the last ship going to Eso. Assuming we lose three players next year (Gibson, Sims, Manny), and add three (Smotrycz, Hardaway, Zeigler (fingers crossed)), then we’ll still have the one ship open and most likely that will go to Eso again. However, if Wright doesn’t come back, that’s an extra one that can go to a deserving guy like Puls, Bartelstein or Person. It’s a good way to keep those guys motivated as well. The following year, if we sign both Brundidge and a big, there won’t be any ships available for walk-ons.

  • mitch

    I wish A. Wright could do more than just chuck it. He really doesn’t offer much else. He might be good for a spark off the bench once in a while. By the way i’ve known Brundige since he was youngster, he is an absolute beast. We better get a scoring big to come in with him.