John Beilein met with the media on Friday afternoon to discuss Michigan’s offseason and preview Michigan’s first practice. Find selected quotes from his press conference in the transcript below or watch the video in the media player above.
“I’m really excited. We already practiced once today, we went through a walk through sort of a rehearsal of today’s practice. We can use extra hours now because of limited days. It’s ironic because right after the practice got out I had a phone call I had to make to a player that was on my first team at Newfane Junior High School. This is my 41st team and it’s ironic because we lost our first game and before the game I was physically nauseated and I said ‘one thing I do know, I can’t do this for a living.’ and now it’s 41 years later and I love what I do for a living.
Yes we get to practice in the summer and the spring and in the preseason now but its two hours per week and you just get a point made and the you wait sometimes six days to talk to a kid about it and you lose so much. Now we’re in this point where we can do more and use our time, we’re back at it again tomorrow, we’re back at it on Saturday and for three days we’re going to essentially get 6 weeks. We’re going to 12 hours over three days. That’s almost a whole summer. We’re excited about having that repetition that a lot of the guys really need at this time.”
On experience: “Yes we have four guys that have played a lot of college basketball — the four scholarship juniors and seniors. But the other guys, we had so many young guys that were thrown in there and yeah their better. I don’t think we’ll stop practice as much but we’ll still be stopping practice because now the next step is, we couldn’t physically intimidate anyone last year because we were just babies out there. Now some of these giraffes and young thoroughbreds are turning into bigger animals and they have to be able to use that now. Whether you’re here, high school or the pros, there’s always something next.”
On the 6:30 walkthrough: “Knowing the personnel on the team, we’re trying to try some new methods with some of our guys. What you see sometimes you’re going to retain, but what you do you’re going to retain more. It was low impact, we didn’t tape up or anything. It was dummying things before we watch it on film. We’re going to pay more attention to certain details of the game so that when we do practice we don’t have to stop practice.”
On injuries: The two that are at 100% right now are Derrick and Caris, there are no restrictions. We’re trying to just rotate Spike out of drills, but there’s really no restrictions other than he’s not moving the way he’ll be moving in a couple weeks.
Zak is now dressing for practice and he’s going to do some foul shooting and he’s just doing things to get him out of this next phase, but he’s full scale rehab whether it’s the treadmill, the underwater treadmill.”
“I anticipate (Zak Irvin) to be on the court either in practice or in games by the start of the season.”
On Moe Wagner’s transition: “There’s a little bit of a language issue. It’s just different terminology that he’s not used to. He’s really doing well with it. He picks up things very quickly and he’s essentially just got a feel for the game that is going to be really fun to coach because I think he does see the game. The games pretty slow for him. You’ll see him he’s 6-foot-10 and a half or something and he’s long and he’s putting on weight. One minute he’ll look very awkward and the next minute he’ll give you a wow moment. It’s going to be fun watching his development.
“(English) isn’t his primary language. I’ll give you an example, we have the (shooting) gun and he had never seen one before. The next day he wanted to know if he could go on the pistol again and nobody knew what he was talking about.”
On new ideas: “We’re testing a lot of things right now including making our offense and our defense extremely versatile, even more versatile than ever. In order to do that everybody has to be able to pass it and see and guard multiple positions. We’re going to throw that around a lot and you can’t throw that around in the middle of the Big Ten season. How many different positions can some guys play and how can our offense and our defense work so that doesn’t take a lot of brain power to get that done.”
On attending other practices: “Looking for ideas, guys like Stan Van Gundy we go back 30 years. There’s a lot of that going on but at the same time if I told you some of the terminology I hear. For example we have trouble with some of our guys learning how to cut. I was over at Jim’s practice and one of the coaches told someone to stick your foot in the ground and go and I’m sitting there saying that’s terminology that I needed. I told our guys to stick their foot in the ground and go and everyone could cut.”
“I’m going to go to see one more pro practice Monday and I come back with not 30 things but five or six key things that I’m going to implement immediately whether it’s terminology or a set.”