Earlier today at Crisler John Beilein, women’s hoops coach Kevin Borseth, Athletic Director Dave Brandon and many others were on hand to be a part of the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Player Development Center.
Obviously, building a practice facility is a huge step for the basketball program. Brandon said not having one has “had to have had a detrimental effect on our ability to compete for recruits.” He also mentioned that anyone who knows what 18-year-olds want in a college would know a facility like this is really important factor in their decision on where to go. The facility is scheduled to open in fall of 2011 which means the current recruiting class, 2011, would be able to use the facility when they start their fall classes.
But it’s not just going to be a boon to recruiting. Beilein mentioned that the new facility will open up players’ schedules so they can be whatever major they want. Right now, the men’s and women’s programs have to split their time at Crisler, which of course gets hectic. With another facility, the practice times can be more flexible and free up players to take whatever classes they want. A good example of who this could have helped would be Eric Puls, probably. One of his main problems was scheduling practice and being an Engineering major, and having this facility will most likely eliminate that problem.
Beilein: “We can tell a kid, ‘All right, you can be an engineering major, or you can be a business major, or you can take that professor you want to take.'”
Beilein also talked about looking forward to being able to be in his office and have a player just drop by to shoot around, or have some guys come over and play pick-up.
“I cannot wait til I’m sitting in my office and a player comes by to shoot and just drops in and says ‘Hey coach, how you doing?'”
Overall, definitely a giant leap for the basketball program. I think recruiting is where the new facility will have the most effect, but if it makes it any easier for Zack Novak to be a business major, that’s fine too.
Other notes: Patrick Beilein will be leaving his GA position for an assistant coaching position at Dartmouth.