Michigan Heads to Europe

Dylan Burkhardt

Press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Thursday, July 1) plans for a nine-day trip to Europe, including four exhibition games in Belgium, with the members of his 2010-11 U-M squad.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our team to get an early start on the season,” said Beilein. “With a young team, we hope this tour will not only help us grow, but will also be a springboard to the upcoming year. Even more important than basketball is the wonderful chance for these young men, coaches and staff to experience an overseas trip throughout Europe. The cultures, traditions and rich history of the countries we visit will be educational and provide lasting memories.”

The Wolverines will depart from Ann Arbor for Amsterdam on Aug. 20. After arriving the following morning, U-M will continue onto the northern part of the city of Brussels for its first exhibition game. The Wolverines will take on Gent in the first of four exhibition contests on Aug. 22. The next day (Aug. 23), U-M will head to the southern side of Brussels and will square off against Leuven in the second of four games.

Before their final two games, the Wolverines will take a day trip and tour Paris on Aug. 24. Returning to Belgium on Aug. 25, the Maize and Blue play its third game against Oostande, a city located in northern Belgium on the southern side of the English Channel.

The Wolverines close their four-game schedule facing newly hired administrative assistant Travis Conlan’s former team, Mons, on Aug.26.

With the basketball schedule complete, the Wolverines will travel back to Amsterdam to tour the city, the Anne Frank house and Diamond Factory before heading back to Michigan on Aug. 28.

The trip is the second foreign trip for U-M in the last six years after U-M spent a four-game exhibition tour throughout Toronto, Canada, prior to the 2003-04 season. The NCAA allows teams to take foreign trips once every four years as long as competition will be a part of the travel. Teams that take foreign trips are allowed an extra 10 days of practice together before the trip.

New NCAA legislation now makes it possible for newcomers to participate in preseason foreign trips. Those newcomers must meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements while completing a minimum of three credits of coursework during the summer term.

Michigan will travel 13 players including the four newcomers — Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, Jon Horford and Colton Christian — on the nine-day tour.

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  • Benjamin

    I love this.

    Hopefully some video will be released and we can get a sneak preview of the team.

  • david

    too bad we can’t bring robin benzing back with us…..sigh

  • CraigP

    Great chance for the team to work on its chemistry, get extra practice time and some playing time against decent competition. Dylan, any idea who the one player is who will not be going? By my count, with the four freshmen, the team has 14 players (10 Scholarship + 4 walk-ons) , but the release indicates that only 13 are going on the trip.

  • Kenny

    maybe not all 4 walk-ons.

  • ZRL

    Does anyone know whether these types of games are usually streamed online or even better put on the B10 network?

  • ZRL

    Just looked these teams up at eurobasket.com and they are made up of about half Americans and half international players. From doing a little research the Americans seem to be either the star player at a mid-major or a solid contributor at a high major. A quick google search reveals that each team has a player or two that had a draftexpress profile and played in the nbdl. I’m going to go ahead and hypothesize that these teams would probably make the tourney in the NCAA’s and Michigan would do well just to compete.

  • G

    Dylan, do you know if these games will be open to the public? And if so where to get tickets?

  • Beast1530

    I wonder if Michigan gets to face Robin Benzing. Would have been a nice opportunity for JB to talk to him about his progress as a player as well as his potential as a NBA prospect since he’s apparently projected to go to late 1st round.

  • Good timing on this announcement. Time to look forward, although with realistic expectations, still with hopes of doing better than expected. The youngest team in the Big Ten gets even younger. The total lack of seniors is tough to deal with in this league. I am supporting Coach Beilein all the way, he will deal. Go Blue.

  • SteinerBlue

    Ten extra practices and four exhibition games is a great head start for this young team. Hopefully the trip will help them gel as a team. As we saw last season team chemistry, or the lack thereof, can raise or lower performance beyond the level of talent.

  • Joe

    Jordan Dumars can not go. He is not eligible to play until after the first semester.

  • gpsimms

    Well, excellent timing for this announcement, because this is awesome. Any chance the BTN picks this up? Considering their summer programming you would think they would go for something like this.

    Though I think I remember PSU took a trip last year and never saw anything about it on TV. But I probably wasn’t watching the big ten network in the summer either.

    I’m really excited to see some of the freshman play, and if the teams out there are that tough I think this could be a great help. Thanks for scouting a little ZRL, I’m excited about this.

  • Brick

    I see that we get 10 practices prior to the trip. Does anyone know when these practices will begin? Is it like football spring practice where they spread them out over a few weeks or do they do 10 straight days right before they leave?

    I can’t wait to see what the new players contribute. I don’t think Morgan will be ready yet so I think Blake will be getting a ton of minutes on this trip.

  • AG2

    A word on the starting lineup. I can see a lineup of Morris, Douglas, Novak, Smotrycz, and McLimans with a bench of Hardaway, Vogrich, and whichever one of Christian or Horford that doesn’t end up redshirting. But is it possible seeing how Morris and Douglas are the only guys on the team who can play the point that they won’t both start?

  • Dylan, I have been a big fan of the site from the outset, so I hope you won’t mind some criticism. You’ve done an exemplary job of keeping things close to the chest to now, taking care not to jump the gun with info you possessed before revealing it.

    But you’re spending a lot of time hinting that you know what went down with LLP’s dismissal, even as you condemn the rumor-mongering–is this the way to go? If you’re expecting the moment will soon come when the story is revealed then I can (perhaps) understand your motivation. Otherwise, it looks a little like grandstanding. . .

    Tell me if I am off base.

  • I understand the criticism Mattski. I was told things about LLP’s departure in confidence and out of respect to Laval and the source I’m not going to publicize anything I’ve heard.

    The problem is that the rumor mongering frustrates me as well… I’ve heard a thousand different things thrown around.

    I understand the frustration but not much I can do about it. Sorry.

  • Tommy


  • Sam

    To answer your question AG2, yes this is possible. I agree 100% with your starting lineup, and given that the 2/3 should be our deepest position(s), we should be able to give Morris a rest well Stu can fill in for him and someone else (Hardaway, Vogrich) takes over the 2. Stu can also get his breathers while these guys are on the court for him. This being said, expect Stu, Novak, and Morris to all average probably about 32-35 minutes a game.

  • I agree Sam. The three of Stu, Novak, and Morris will play a lot of basketball. We need Vogrich and Hardaway to give us some solid minutes with LLP gone. Let’s hope they can step up for the team.

  • Deacon Blues

    Can Hardaway play the point? I realize it’s not his primary position …

    Ultimately, this isn’t a big deal. It’s not like point-guard depth is going to be the difference between the NIT and the NCAA.

    For me, this season is about assessing who can actually play in the Big Ten. Right now, we hardly know if anyone can. I’ll be encouraged by whichever guys don’t look athletically overmatched.

  • Bluebufoon

    Kevin Pangos scored 26 points, 16 in the first half, four assists, 5 rebounds but 10 turnovers tonight in Canada’s one point loss to Germany.

  • georgeesq.

    No, Hardaway cannot play PG.

  • Brian W

    Pangos did a lot better than Amir Williams did in the international tournament. Would be great to have him come to U-M in 2011.

    Gobluewolverine did a couple interviews with Trey McDonald’s dad. Trey visited U-M in May.


    Marquette cut D.J. Newbill, a 2010 point guard, to make room for a transfer from Oregon. Newbill won’t be able to go to another Big East school even though they released him from his scholarship offer. Not sure if U-M would go after him, but feel bad for the kid.


    The NCAA is reportedly taking an aggressive look at University of Kentucky basketball players — past and current — and their possible involvement with professional agents.


  • Thanks, Dylan. If Tommy’s right then I can’t see this harming Beilein’s rep with future recruits. Not such a negative development, all in all.

    This Euro trip seems like a huge, possibly unfair advantage (how many schools can afford to send their whole bball team overseas?), but I’ll take it. Ten practices, a pile of games, more practices on the road. . . hugely helpful. If chemistry’s been lacking, this should help supply it.

  • Go Blue

    Looks about right AG2. Remember this system does not require a true point guard and I could see Hardaway helping out there in a pinch if needed.

  • Bluebufoon
  • Brian W

    Nice interview with Yogi.

    Yogi Ferrell and Ron Patterson’s Indiana Elite team will play in the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis this week. They play at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Northview Middle School. Plumlee and Zeller’s team will play in the tournament also, playing Tuesday at North Central High School.


  • Bluebufoon

    What is the significance of U-M Scout site doing a three-part interview with Trey McDonald ? Is there room for McDonald at Michigan ?
    Or is Trey just an easy interview ?

  • FlWolve

    Good question BB. I wish the three part interview was with Jalen Reynolds however. His video is so much more impressive than McDonald’s. Reynolds would be a great addition to this class.

  • REACH and The Mustangs will both be in Indy and Louisville next week. You can bet that Michigan will have coaches watching both Jalen and Trey. Joe will be there too so we’ll have to see how everyone plays. July is when you earn your offer.

  • Bluebufoon

    Pangos second outing with Team Canada in the 17 & Under World Championships resulted in a 76-68 win versus Australia but KP’s stats weren’t off the chart like the opener. KP finished with 9 points, three assists, five rebounds but four turnovers.

    Folks– Pangos, if we’re lucky enough to get him, would change the face and perception of Michigan basketball. The kid plays with grit and the kind of toughness we need. If left open the kid can score but he’s a pass first point guard that attacks the opposition off-the-dribble and with the pass. With all due respect to the fine PG U-M’ s recruiting the next few years Pangos is the real deal.

    Wait to you folks see the video.

  • Colby

    Hey Dylan, just wanted to say good luck on the road and looking forward to the reports. Thanks for bringing the info, hopefully you can find out some new targets of ours. Hoping we jump in on a couple Canadians Kyle Wiltjer and Anthony Bennett.

  • Bluebufoon

    Pangos with 13 points 6 rebounds five assists and three turnovers in Canada’s 79-72 victory over Spain. Here is a recent Pangos interview for those so inclined.


  • Colby


    Link has the current lists of the top 25 players, we are on Cody Zeller’s list which is not much of a surprise. What might be a surprise is that we are on the list of PF Johnny O’Bryant from MS. Highly doubtful we could get him out of the South but the kid is a honor student and takes the classroom serious.