Notes & quotes: John Beilein talks coaching hires, roster

Dylan Burkhardt

John Beilein joined Sam Webb on the Michigan Insider this morning on WTKA to comment on his new coaching staff and his plans for the roster this offseason. Listen to Beilein’s full interview here or read selected notes and quotes below.

On the assistant coaching process: “What I did was I went back through the nine years and (look at) what has made us the most successful here and what has allowed us to have the success we’ve had. One of the big thing was have some people who — the Big Ten the perimeter of the Big Ten is huge that we can cover that. We’ve had some successes from outside of the area as well — Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas — but still the lifeblood of the program is the Caris LeVerts, Glenn Robinsons, Mitch McGarys , Spke Albrechts in the foot print of the Big Ten.

“We wanted regional guys who also can really teach. That was the big thing. Can teach and could bring me new ideas. We won a lot at West Virginia, the game changed and bring me new ideas and let’s implement them. Now we’re a different team than we were six or seven years ago, but the games changed.”

On Billy Donlon: “It goes way back. One of my first years at Richmond, Billy was the starting point guard at UNC Wilmington. What’s ironic is both of these guys I coached against when they played at Western and UNC Wilmington. Playing Wilmington was like, I think about it 52 weeks a year how are we going to score on them?  They are always there. When he worked under Brad (Brownell) he did the same thing and then at Wright State.”

“I look at defensive numbers a lot, like I think Jim Harbaugh did when he hired his defensive coordinator. What are the defensive numbers over time? He had one year hew as just crushed by injury. I wanted personality to relate with the kids and a guy at the offensive end who could teach individual development. ”

On the schematics of Donlon’s defense: “What he’s done in the ball screen defense is use some different schemes against it at different times. He’s also from the gap type of defense we play, they play in the gaps as well, but different messaging. They have different methodology and different angles for it. The new drills and all of these things. All I know is that was my heartburn for years, ‘how are we going to score against UNC Wilmington?’ I would never play Wright State because I know it’s tough to score on them.”

On Saddi Washington: “He reminds me a lot of Vall Jordan. He’s got that poise and presence about him. He was a great player, not a good player a great player. It’s rare sometimes that those guys are able to teach the game. I had him work out a couple of our managers, and our managers are pretty good, I wanted to hear his terminology, what he emphasized, all these things. He was excellent.”

“For nine years whenever I saw him, I would sit with Saddi all the time. We’d talk basketball, talk recruiting. I would say ‘okay, what’s going on with this kid?’ and he would give me a chapter. He has his ear to the ground on everything. That information is sometimes the most important so you can channel in on where you want to go.”

On who will coach what positions: “We’re all meeting today at four o’ clock to start the process of recruiting and all of the things that we have to delegate. That’s one of them. Billy can coach big men as well. We’re going to just look through this whole thing and see what’s best or maybe we vary a little bit and share ideas in some areas. It looks like Saddi will share perimeter responsibilities, but guys that are face-up guys like Moe, and DJ and really Mark Donnal. The footwork is very much like the perimeter, but he understands the body contact and the angles and all of these things. I’m excited about him working at any position.”

Is the roster set? “We’ll wait and see. We only have 11 guys on scholarship, so the thing is ‘okay, do you take a guy now that would take a 17 or 18 scholarship? Do you go the grad transfer market? But it has to be at the exact position you need a little bit. The good news is we have five starters back, the bad news is that sometimes those guys behind them know they want to play.

“This is a tough time to keep a roster they way you’ve always wanted it to be. When we took that huge class, it w as really a huge class, this is to be expected because they are all sort of vying for the same positions. We had no other choice when we had the NBA, which is a good thing, and Austin Hatch and the transfer with Duncan Robinson and Mark Donnal’s redshirt all added to this really big class. We’ll get through it and we’ll be fine.”

On DJ Wilson playing the wing: “Oh yeah, that’s where he’s going to be. He’s going to be on the wing. He actually can play both wings, he’s involved in practice. He’s going to have a great summer, he’s going to work like crazy at it. Sometimes it’s just that one game where all of the sudden he goes in and has a great game and everything can change. With the way things were this year there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for us to experiment in games, but they were some days in practice that he was just excellent.

On adding to the roster: “We’re going to keep looking at the grad transfer market and see what’s out there and anybody that can come in, but he has to fit. He has to be a good teammate, the attitude that we look for and we’ll do everything that we can to get a guy that can help us immediately as an impact starter or what Aubrey was, that sixth man. How many times do you have something like that happen where you have a great sixth man like that and his dad gets a different job? It’s incredible and you can’t blame him for that one bit. That was a very logical move for him.

On who is staying this spring: “We have two summer terms, they are both eight weeks. That’s 16 weeks on campus. We still leave it up to the players whether they want to do that. Last year most of them chose to stay the whole time and this time most of them chose to go home. I’m good with either one of them. The whole July and August we’ll have 100% of people there plus our incoming recruits. That’s going to be a great eight weeks there. Right now we just have two, Derrick and Andrew Dakich are both here now and they will be working out and doing different things with Jon Sanderson.”

  • Colby

    Does JB really think he will find an impact player who could start or at worst be a sixth man? Hope he has something up his sleeve otherwise he is going to be greatly disappointed. Excited for the new staff to get started though.

  • Chris De Sana

    Camp Sanderson not so popular this year it appears.

    • A2MIKE

      I know. wow… don’t know what else to say

      • Not sure I would really read into that so much as a bad thing. Especially considering basically everyone stayed last year.

        • Chillax

          I dunno. I think with all the work they put in last year, all the injuries, assistant coaches leaving, numerous players leaving that it just kind of took the wind out of the sails. Hopefully the just needed a mental health “day”. That’s what we call it at the office when people work so hard they burn themselves out. Take a day off and do what you want to get yourself straight.

          • A2MIKE

            maybe, and there is some truth in the mental health. However, this team is not talented enough to compete at the highest level without “outworking” their opponents. I just hope they put in the work necessary to achieve the goals talked about.

          • Chillax

            couldn’t agree more. This is not the talent level to be taking a large amount of time off. But I bet the camaraderie to stay over the summer is gone at this point.

          • So was the camaraderie gone before 2014 when only Nik and Caris stayed for both semesters?

          • Chillax

            I’m not 100% sure I’ve got the years right in my head (it’s all starting to blur together) but is that the year when they did before and after photo’s of stauskus. For me that was the first year when I really saw that camp sanderson was able to do. I wouldn’t have expected anyone before that to stay. For me that’s when it really hit the point across that his strength and conditioning program was worth it.

            I’d need to see a year by year of who did camp sanderson because wasn’t that the year when a couple players got drafted and a bunch graduated, or was that before? Not a lot of people to do the camp if they all left. If it was before that, then the talent pool they had was already established, Trey Burke, Hardaway, McGary, Robinson. i don’t want to say those guys were already physically ahead of everyone but those guys came in, in great shape.

          • My point is that, for example, GR3 didn’t stay that summer. That didn’t mean something was wrong. Or there was some lack of connection in the team.

            Michigan’s roster isn’t necessarily large right now either. They’ll hit the ground running in June when the freshmen arrive.

          • Chillax

            I agree. I just wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case this time around. Even I’m feeling a little deflated how this offseason is going. Large quantity of changes to the team, hopefully it’s for the best

  • 93Grad

    Really interesting podcast to listen too. I especially like JB’s wanting to get fresh ideas and willingness to change things on the defensive end.

  • A2JD

    I like that he wants to be strong in the region but I really hope he’s not going to limit most of the recruiting-focus on just Michigan, Indiana, ohio, and maybe Illinois. Michigan has national reach, if they want.

  • bobohle

    Dylan: Anything yet on Harold Baruti’s visit yesterday?

  • umnyc

    I really hope coach remains patient and does not try to fill a roster spot just for the sake of it. I think we got really lucky with the first huge class (Mitch, GRIII,etc), but the second did not work and ended up hindering us from pursuing other talent. Ironically we would have never taken MAAR if he didn’t go that deep with the 2014 class, but I’m willing to take that risk. lets focus on 2017.