Notes & Quotes from Legends Classic Teleconference


Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, John Beilein, Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, and UTEP coach Tim Floyd were all available on a conference call earlier today to discuss the upcoming games in Atlantic City as part of the Legends Classic. Michigan will take on Syracuse at 7:30 pm on Friday. Here are some notes and quotes from all the coaches on the call, starting with Jim Boeheim.

Jim Boeheim

  • “In the four games we’ve played, we;ve been very erratic on the offensive end of the court.” Haven’t played as well as he’d like, but the young guys are trying to find their way. Need to make strides on offense.
  • “Turnovers are lower than they were last year, we’re just not putting the ball in the basket.” Has guys who can shoot it, but they aren’t relaxed yet.
  • Michigan didn’t play like a young team against Bowling Green, was impressed. Played with a lot of confidence.
  • On why John Beilein has never beaten him: “We’ve had better players.”
  • Thinks all of his veteran players need to be more aggressive and more assertive. Need to take a bigger role, need a little more from their bench and from the four upperclassmen.
  • Looking forward to the road trip, “I think we’ve been a pretty good road team over the years.” Last year, Syracuse didn’t lose a road game until their last road game.
  • Hasn’t seen UTEP or Georgia Tech yet, just started going over tape of Michigan.

John Beilein

  • Was told that he has the third-youngest team in Division-I, but is pleased with how they’ve played so far even though they haven’t faced any team close to the level of Syracuse.
  • Would rather have Tim Hardaway Jr. coming off the bench, but with Manny Harris’s departure Tim has earned the right to start. Has a lot to learn but is very receptive to coaching.
  • Jon Horford is still learning how to play as a big man and still has some weight to gain but has shooting ability and a real desire to get better.
  • Doesn’t think he’s alone in never beating John Boeheim. “He has a tremendous program.” Every year he seems to have a great team.
  • Boeheim’s teams have always been “unflappable” on the road, and that’s one of the main reasons he’s had so much success.
  • “Sometimes all it takes is a guy like Hakeem Warrick to block your first jumpshot into the stands and all the sudden your guys aren’t so anxious to shoot the ball.” It’s not just a 2-3 zone because it’s so long and they stick with it so well. Also, don’t underestimate their man-to-man.
  • Hopefully the Eurotrip will help the young team go on the road, and he’s looking for an increased maturity and understanding of “road mentality.”

Paul Hewitt

  • Has a perimeter-oriented team but some of his young post players are “coming along.” Likes the way his team is playing coming into this tournament.
  • Glen Rice Jr. is a very smart player, being around the game and learning from his dad has certainly helped him. Gifted athlete, but this year he’s better prepared physically.
  • Wing Iman Shumpert is a good athlete and has a chance to be one of the team’s best rebounders and has committed himself to that this year.
  • Forward Brian Oliver is another guy who has improved a lot this year. Has changed positions from wing to forward and has rebounded well but still needs to mature a bit.
  • Thought his team rebounded well after a tough loss to Kennesaw State on the road on November 15th.

Tim Floyd

  • Transition to El Paso has been very comfortable, mostly because he spent the first 9 years of his coaching career at UTEP under Don Haskins and so much if familiar.  Thinks he has a “good group.”
  • Likes the backcourt, thinks he has one of the better backcourts in the country. Randy Culpepper was player of the year in Conference USA a year ago and is off to a great start, averaging 21 points per game. Also like their 6-7 point guard Julyan Stone, who will probably end his career as the all-time assist leader at UTEP.
  • Rebounding has been an issue this year and will be an issue in New Jersey.
  • Turnover numbers are a little distorted because a bunch came in the last five minutes of the team’s game against Western Carolina. Has been able to live with the TO’s so far this season.
  • Pacific, UTEP’s one loss, is a good team, could be like a St. Mary’s or Northern Iowa.
  • I would sure like Coach Beilein to get that first win against Boeheim this Friday.

    Watched Minnesota over the weekend. They looked really good. Boy is the Big Ten going to be stacked.

  • A, why is Tim Floyd allowed to coach, anywhere? B, why isn’t Glen Rice, Jr. playing for us?

    • Beast1530

      JB went after Glen Rice Jr. but he chose to go to GT. He probably didn’t want to live up to his dad’s legacy at Michigan which is a lot to live up to.

      • HHW

        His dad also lives in Atlanta I think. Probably wanted to stay closer to home and play in the ACC.

  • Nate the Newt

    Answer to B: the same reason Tim Hardaway Jr. isn’t playing at UTEP.

  • AG2

    Whoohoo! Let’s go Silverswords!

  • Evan

    I actually think we have a chance to win this thing. We are playing really well while the other teams have struggled so far

  • steve

    boheim has always had better players than beilein?

    • Benjamin


      When I first read that it stung a bit, but only because it was the truth.

      With their stuggles this year, maybe we can steal it on Friday.

  • Grandchamp

    Decent write up from detnews.

    Brandon is just as resolute on another issue: his men’s basketball coach.
    John Beilein is widely expected to endure a long, hard winter with the Wolverines men’s team. Beilein’s recruiting, to date, has been a tepid venture compared with that of his heavyweight rival, Tom Izzo at Michigan State. But there is not a hint of pessimism, of dissatisfaction, of we’ll-wait-and-see in the athletic director’s view of the man who three years ago arrived from West Virginia as Tommy Amaker’s replacement.
    “John Beilein is, I think, the perfect guy for the University of Michigan,” said Brandon, whose predecessor, Bill Martin, last winter signed Beilein to a contract extension that runs through the 2015-16 season.
    “He is chairman of the NCAA ethics committee, and he will abide by the rules even to the detriment of wins and losses.
    “John Beilein is a stand-up guy. He is a winner, and he’s going to be a winner here. He’s just got to get the athletes to win championships.”
    Serious about basketball
    That effort, Brandon believes, is contingent on Michigan more than Beilein. The university must give Beilein the brand of facilities that will draw, not repel, recruits. It’s a crusade now visible in those hydraulic excavators that rest outside Crisler Arena, where a $23 million basketball Player Development Center spanning 57,000 square feet is being constructed.
    “Crisler Arena, fundamentally, has been untouched for almost 50 years,” Brandon said, referring to Michigan’s primary basketball home, which opened in 1967 and is set for a $20 million renovation that will wrap up in 2012. “It’s woefully inadequate: locker rooms, coaching rooms, meeting rooms.
    “You have two teams (men’s and women’s) practicing at different times of the day. It’s been really hard to see basketball as a priority at Michigan. Recruits look at Breslin Center (Michigan State) or Kohl Center (Wisconsin) and it’s hard to convince an 18-year-old that we’re as serious about basketball here as we are about football.
    “Where’s the evidence? Where’s the commitment?
    “But when we can finally show a recruit (PDC is scheduled to open fall 2011) two full practice gyms, dedicated strength-and-conditioning area, new meeting rooms, and a facility that is first-class in all respects.
    “And then you can walk through a tunnel to a brand-new Crisler Arena (new seating and aisle configurations, complete electrical and technological overhaul, etc., are on the way) and one of the best overall facilities in the country.
    “Then,” Brandon said, “we’ll be competitive.”
    Until that time, Beilein is safe, at least as far as his boss is concerned.
    “You’ve got to think about a coach coming into a program still suffering from the trauma of a nasty probation sentence (the NCAA’s 2003 verdict, which followed U-M’s self-imposed sanctions stemming from 1990s violations under then-coach Steve Fisher), who inherits inferior facilities, and now you say: ‘OK, Coach. Turn this program around.’
    “Our job is to provide him with competitive facilities,” Brandon said, “and then get off his back and let him coach.”

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  • jeremy

    Who are the top 2 youngest teams?