Though there is no media availability before Michigan takes on Arkansas Pine Bluff tomorrow, John Beilein took part in the season’s first Big Ten Teleconference this morning. Beilein noted that the starting lineup is “pretty solidified,” but he’s still searching for a rotation off the bench. Here’s notes and quotes of that and everything else the coach had to say.
- First a couple newsworthy bits: Trey Burke was named Big Ten Freshman of the week for the second time this season.
- Michigan is ranked No. 18 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll joining fellow Big Ten teams: Ohio State (3), Wisconsin (15), Illinois (19), Indiana (20) and Michigan State (23). The Wolverines held at the No. 20 slot in the latest AP Top 25 poll.
- Belein was pleased with a “quality” win over Oakland, now on to Pine Bluff and Alabama A&M as they continue to inch closer to the Big Ten season.
- Exams start Thursday and go through next Thursday, “so like every campus, we’ve got a lot going on.”
- Trey Burke has performed “atypical” of most freshmen. “It’s unusual to have a void at the starting position like we had with point guard. He was able to come in and work hard and he earned it, there’s no question about it. But now for him to be playing 30, 35 minutes a game and still playing at a high level says a lot about his personality, his desire to win.”
- Stu Douglass, who had one of his best games of the season against Oakland, has had some really good days of practice, which is how Beilein likes to gauge how well a player’s playing. “Happy for him, because people don’t see what I see everyday… he’s capable of games like that, and we’ve seen in the past even more.”
- Vogrich had a “really good workout” in practice yesterday. Usually the day after a game, players who didn’t play much in the game have an intense workout the next day. The players scrimmaged, and Vogrich played “exceptional. It only takes one shot for him to get himself back going.”
- On avoiding a let down in the upcoming non-conference games: “You hope you have enough guys on your team that value the experience of playing in the Michigan uniform, and playing at Crisler, having goals of having a great non-conference season so that you can be in position to have a great conference season.”
- The starting lineup is “pretty solidified, and you can count on Stu coming off the bench.” From there, still trying to find who can consistently step up off the bench. Will try to continue to solidify a rotation in these upcoming games, “but at the same time, we’re out to win every game first. Experiment in practice, we don’t experiment a whole lot in games.” Horford is still dealing with his foot injury situation.
- Novak is now at a “comfort level” where he’s seeing things better playing the two-guard, rather than the three or the four like he played last year. “I’m really pleased with his evolution as he’s moved back to a two-guard.”
- On what has surprised him the most about Burke: “As he’s come in, we just continue to give him more and more, and he’s showing no frustration about when he makes mistakes. He’s allowing himself to become a better player because he’s such a great listener.”