Video: John Beilein Talks “Camp Wolverine”


John Beilein addressed the media before practice this afternoon and discussed everything from what he’s seen out of the freshmen to his expectations for this year’s squad, noting that Michigan’s goal should always be to win a championship. Here’s video of what the Beilein had to say before the team’s sixth practice of the season.

Find the second half of the video (from an improved angle) along with notes, quotes and more after the jump.

On the first few days of practice…

  • The team refers to the past 6 days as “Camp Wolverine.” They’ve practiced every day since last Friday.
  • “With the calendar we were able to get maximum hours in these 6 days, so we’re using every bit of the 20 hours we are allowed.” Beilein said the team has been practicing “really hard.”

 On the freshmen’s progress so far…

  • They’ve been good, although “there’s always those points where so much is going on….it’s just about going into the next stage of their development.” Hoping to continue to strive for that next level.

On a possible rotation…

  • It’s too early to tell…  Mixing up several different lineup options – “We change them almost every day, what the top 10 will be. There’s about 12 guys who have been alternating at the top 10.”

On if he’s considering redshirting anybody this season…

  • Always an option with every freshman. “Every coach will tell you, they’d rather have somebody play at 22 than 18 if they have the right attitude.”
  • Will consider redshirting with other players too, not just the freshmen. “You could always think about that.”
  • For upperclassmen, rule is that if you play in any games, even the scrimmages, you can’t redshirt. Said that was a rule he was just made aware of: “I did not really realize that rule was there.”

On what stands out with Burke and Brundridge…

  • Been impressed with their adaptability. “It’s been a really good sign that they are of a high IQ, and when they get on that court, their basketball IQ has been very receptive to change.”

 On leadership…

  • Leadership has been great so far. “We’ve got incredible teachers right now.”
  • Said at one point in practice, there were too many people talking in the huddle, but “This is a good problem to have.” He referenced a time where both Coach Bacari and Jordan Morgan were trying to help Max Bielfeldt. “We gotta say okay, we love this impact, but let the coach talk, and then you grab him afterward.”
  • Also mentioned that while watching film, Stu Douglass picked up on something that Beilein missed. “That’s so good to have. We’ll take this any time.”
  • Beilein’s fourth team at WVU and fourth and fifth teams at Richmond were similar to this team in terms of leadership.

 On Midnight Madness…

  • Beilein didn’t watch any of the other teams’ activities.
  • “There’s a chance” Michigan might do it in the future, but he was happy with what the Wolverines did instead. “All I know is we got four hours of work in that day that we needed, and that we could not have done if we had Midnight Madness.”

On Smotrycz and his added strength…

  • “He’s shown an aggressiveness that comes with having a more defined body,” but that hasn’t taken away from any of his skills he had before the weight gain.
  • Assuming his body composition is “pretty good. I don’t think he’s gonna lose that weight.” Said it’s all more muscle weight.
  • He could play “any position but point guard.”

 On how much time it will take to develop chemistry with the freshmen…

  • Once you get to around 20 hours, you can see that chemistry starting to develop. “Now they’re bonding with the upper classmen, so that’s always good. They’re taking them under their wings.”
  • The upperclassmen are teaching, and the freshmen are all ears.

 On Jordan Morgan’s increased athleticism…

  • He’s gotten more lift over the offseason, but “I don’t think it’s a huge change — it’s a huge change from two years ago, but that’s gonna level off once you make the changes he made in his body his first year.”
  • Morgan is working more on skill development now rather than changes in his body. “Both he and John Horford have made passes out of the post the last 3 practice they never would make, that they’ve never made in their lives and they’re making them now.”

 On Stu and the point guard position…

  • Stu has played a decent amount of point in practice. “With the two guard set, our guys are just changing back and forth.”
  • He’s continuing to become more comfortable with the ball “when he’s not just a shooter.”
  • He likes playing with Brundidge and Burke since that gives him more of an opportunity to shoot rather than control the point.

 On how much the big name players will play per game…

  • Some guys will play 30 minutes this year instead of 35, which is a good thing. “They’ll be more productive when they have a little bit more energy.”
  • Last year would have to call time outs for rest because “that was our only way of putting the best chance of winning on the floor.”
  • Should be more productive with less minutes, more players.

 On expectations…

  • This is Michigan – “You can’t be at Michigan without talking about trying to be a champion.”
  • In order to be a champion, “you’re always striving for that.”
  • A reasonable goal is to try to traditionally be toward the top of the Big Ten, because “if you are, you’re in the NCAA Tournament.”
  • Buda

    It’s unfortunate JB had to give that entire interview at gunpoint…

  • Ghoward44

    I wish JB would stop having the politically right answer and just say who is the “best” five on the team.

    • Then what would we debate for the next couple of weeks?

      • Ghoward44

        What have you heard should be the starting five?

        • Wayman Britt

          My bet the starting five for first few games is:
          1. Morgan
          2. Smot
          3. Hardaway
          4. Novak
          5. Douglas

      • Kenny

        Who is the #10 in the rotation.? TH, Stu, Novak, JMo, Smot, vogrich, two freshmen guides, horford are likely to be safe as the top. Colton, Blake, Eso, Max all lurking for the last spot?

    • gpsimms

       i doubt he knows at this point.   i’m sure he’s excited, just like we are, to see how quick the freshman develop to give him some answers about the pg situation.

  • Kenny

    Is there anyone else excited about Smotrycz’s progress? 

    • Bluebufoon

      Jon Horford’s improvement is going to play huge dividends for this team especially against elite competition. If Morgan, Smotrycz and Horford are able to hold there own on the defensive end of the court, this team could compete against anyone.

      • Kenny

        Rivals’ story,, mentioned that Smot has been the lead rebounder after several scrimmage. Sounds to be he went through a Morganesque transformation. Smot already brings a lot to the table offensively, if he is now a force in rebounding and hold his position down low, he will be a premier big man in the conference this year. 

      • Mpwilliams85

        I would be really excited to see a line up with Morgan at the 5, Horford at the 4, and Smotrycz at the 3…. there could be any number of combinations for the 2 and 1 along with them…. but if that lineup could be reasonable for stretches that would give us size that we haven’t seen in many years.

        • I understand that people want to see this sort of a line up because we’ve played small ball but I just don’t think it makes any sense. How would that lineup defend anyone? Do you want Horford checking a guy like Deshaun Thomas and Smotrycz trying to guard someone like William Buford? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Smotrycz playing more minutes at the four and Horford at the five already gives you a larger lineup than last season when Michigan closed the year with Smotrycz backing up the five.

          • bball

            Could they run a 2-3 or the 1-3-1 zone with that lineup?

        • sane1

          Hardaway has 3 locked down. If Smotrycz spends time as other than a 4, it will be at 5, and Horford is 5, too. You won’t likely see Horford playing any 4. Beilein couldn’t run his offense with those three on the floor together.

        • Kyeblue

          Unless horford develops some parameter skills, he will used only at 5. While beilein says that smot has skills to play 2 an d 3, I doubt it would ever happen. an interesting question is who will see time at 4 besides smot and Novak, who will see time at 4. Bielfildt, Christian or McLimans? If beilein is counting 10 in his rotation, one of the above three is in unless eso gets the 10th spot.

      • deSal

        i agree, i think horford will be one of the first players off the bench and play a good chunk of minutes at the 4 and 5

  • Tenz

    I havent heard any news about MITCH…and i feel like this is a bad thing… soooo whats the deal with that?

    • Billiam

      Well, he certainly wasn’t at camp “wolverine”…

      I keed, I keed

      He’s been keeping this whole thing close to the vest, so there isn’t much news.  That being said, we do know that he’s not seriously considering UK (won’t go on an official to there), he enjoyed his visit to UM, NCU, and Dook (, and while he did seem like he was coming her (same link, but see the date) it looks less certain now.

      Just my opinion, but I think we took a step down from almost certain to “only” the leaders.  He said he’d announce around Halloween.  So, we be aight.

  • Mattski

    Some discussion of redshirting, including of upperclassmen. Anyone got an idea who he might be eyeing? With so much talent coming in. . . 

    • CraigP

      Only one I could think of is Colton Christian.  Although I did notice on the official mgoblue roster page that Blake McLimans is listed as a Jr., not a RS/SO.  Maybe he is the one, or maybe he has already been told he is not getting a 5th year. 

      • gpsimms

        i think he’s just been told already.  he definitely played 0 minutes as a freshman.