Video, Notes & Quotes: John Beilein Roundtable at Big Ten Media Day


John Beilein met with the media in a roundtable discussion at Big Ten Media Day on Thursday. Here’s video of what the coach had to say, followed by notes and quotes after the jump.

On the team and the Big Ten…

  • Feels like the “luckiest man in the world” to be able to coach this team.
  • The whole league is strong. Only a couple teams rebuilding.
  • There’s a whole bunch of teams somewhere in the middle that “could win it all or could finish 10th, and still be a good team.” Michigan is one of those teams.

On Hardaway…

  • Learning how to be a leader every day. He wants to be a leader, which “is an important ingredient of being a leader.”
  • He’s become a better passer – had 7 assists in a team scrimmage earlier this week.

On leadership…

  • Novak was a leader last year also, but even more so this season.
  • Douglass and Hardaway have “shown incredible jumps in their ability to take on that leadership role.”

On having most the team back…

  • Losing Darius gives even more incentive for everybody to improve even more.
  • Hope that everybody improves in some way.
  • They’ve had “6 months to get better or worse—let’s hope they didn’t get worse.”

On Austin Hatch

  • Not really allowed to talk about him.
  • Every statement first has to be OK’d by the NCAA.

On Hardaway’s ball distribution ability…

  • It’s been striking recently of “how well he’s seen the open man.” Really helps to have Novak, Vogrich on the wings to shoot it.
  • “He’s really embraced that role…” but don’t want him to embrace it too much. Still want him to shoot.
  • Tricky balance of when to shoot, when to pass…he had a similar situation in high school.

On the rest of the team in team scrimmage…

  • Scrimmage against a real opponent will tell the most.
  • Everyone has improved, but “the ones with the most improvement are the same ones I’ve been saying…” Smotrycz, Horford have really showed striking improvements.

On preseason rankings (UM picked 4th in the Big Ten)…

  • To put it simply, it doesn’t matter.
  • There’s “nine or ten teams that could be vying with OSU for a championship.”

On Stu’s coaching ability…

  • Stu enjoys it. Young guys like Stu and the way he teaches.
  • Have been a couple film sessions where Stu has stopped the tape and explained something the coaches missed.
  • “If he wants to be a coach, whatever he wants to do, he could be successful.”

On having a two-guard front…

  • It takes a lot of pressure off the guards – “When you have two guards, you can just throw it to the other guy and start the offense.”
  • Timing is the biggest issue so far.

On the freshmen…

  • “They’re improving at a very high rate,” but still a lot more to do because of all the things that go into it – defending schemes, etc.
  • They’ve shown the “attitude and the aptitude to grasp it at a positive rate.”
  • Enjoying coaching them so far because their “care level and their intelligence level are pretty high.”
  • Mattski

    Anyone else having a problem with page loading here? Several of the last time I visited the page. . . just disappeared. I always have some problems here with scrolling; you have to go way down for comments and sometimes it jumps back up, but this is something new. (I’m in Chrome, btw, on a Windows machine.)

    • Not by my PC but I’ll try it when I get back.

      • Mattski

        Just did it to me again here on Friday ca. noon, Dylan. Page loaded, then disappeared. 

    • Bondyt

      fwiw, did same on my laptop, but I read what was here.
      Great stuff again–thanks!

  • ForeverBlue

    Between hearing JB say that Evan and Horford have shown striking improvement and hearing Stu and Novak talking about Hardaway’s passing and how fluid the offense looks makes me really excited to see this team take the floor.  I think I have been in the minority when it comes to Morris’ departure and its impact.  I don’t think JB’s system depends at all on a ball dominating PG, that was a product of the youth and inexperience of Morris’ supporting cast last season.  I’m not saying that he won’t be missed but I don’t think it will be nearly as much as others do.  And the improvements of others might well more than offset the loss.

  • philip balger

    Listening to Coach B answer the media’s question’s impressed me so much, the guy has a beautiful mind, an absolute bball geek and it will not surprise me at all if he writes a bit of Michigan history before he rides off into the sunset. 

  • section13row15

    As far as Morris goes, I think where he’ll be missed most is toward the end of the shot clock where he was able to use his size to get into the lane and score mid range and inside two’s in the lane. If Trey or Carlton can do that w some consistency we’ll be in good shape.