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. [click to continue…]

Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Tim Hardaway Jr. met with the media this afternoon to discuss their first official week back in the gym with the team.

You can find the Douglass and Hardaway videos after the jump. [click to continue…]

Around the Big Ten 2011-12: Ohio State

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Bob Baptist from the Columbus Dispatch joined us for the next installment in our Around the Big Ten preview series featuring question and answer posts with various journalists and bloggers covering Big Ten schools. (Previously: Penn State, Minnesota)

1. Jared Sullinger, Will Buford and Aaron Craft all played major roles on last year’s team and will all but assuredly start. What about the other two spots, what players are most likely to step in for David Lighty and Jon Diebler?

At this point, before I’ve seen the team practice or play a game, I’ll guess Deshaun Thomas will start at the 3 and freshman Amir Williams will start at the 5. I’m not sure how much Williams will end up playing, but he will supply a defensive backstop while also allowing Sullinger to start games at the 4. Williams is athletic and can run the floor, from what I’m told. The question is, is his body ready to hold up against high-major teams like Duke, Kansas and much of the Big Ten. I was told he has put on 20 pounds since he arrived on campus in July; whether that’s enough, we’ll see. Thomas’ body transformation wasn’t as dramatic as Sullinger’s during the offseason, but he dropped 10 pounds and redistributed the rest. Most important for him is that he "add a motor," which is what coach Thad Matta told him he needed after last season. If he does, he could be very productive, because he showed glimpses of it last year both scoring and rebounding.

[click to continue…]

2011-12 Player Preview: Stu Douglass

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MPG PPG RPG APG ORtg Usage eFG% 3PFG% DR% OR% A Rate TO Rate FT Rate
30.4 7.1 3 1.7 97.3 14.8 51.9 35.8 10 2 10.9 17 5.5

Stu Douglass is the most polarizing player to discuss on the Michigan basketball team. Common perception of players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Zack Novak or Evan Smotrycz is relatively homogenous. Everyone agrees that Hardaway is great player, recognizes Novak’s leadership while accepting his limitations and understands that Evan Smotrycz can shoot but needs to improve his rebounding. When it comes to Stu Douglass, most fans seem to be completely focused on his positives or negatives, there’s no middle ground or understanding.
[click to continue…]

2011-12 Big Ten Position by Position: Wings

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Next up in our positional Big Ten previews, which will feature guards, wings, combo forwards and bigs, we have the wing guards and forwards. The wing group is highlighted by Ohio State senior William Buford, Michigan sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. as well as a pair of true freshmen. [Previously: Guards, Bigs]

1. William Buford – Sr. – Ohio State

MPG PPG RPG APG ORtg Usage eFG% 3PFG% DR% OR% A Rate TO Rate FT Rate
32.4 14.4 3.9 2.9 113.2 23.2 53.2 44.2 11.4 3.8 17.7 15.1 16.2

Upside: Buford is the fifth most efficient returning player in the Big Ten that used over a fifth of his team’s possessions and should have even more opportunity this season with the departures of David Lighty and Jon Diebler. He’s a lethal three point shooter (44 percent last season) but has struggled a bit inside the arc, and needs to be more aggressive attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line.
Downside: One of the most underappreciated stars in the Big Ten, Buford has been overshadowed by his teammates’ starpower throughout his career. First it was Evan Turner and last season it was Jared Sullinger. Sullinger is back for another year which means Buford won’t be the featured player yet again.
[click to continue…]

Around the Big Ten 2011-12: Minnesota

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The next feature in our Around the Big Ten preview series of Q&As, Jonathan Foster from FromTheBarn stops by to discuss Minnesota’s team this season.

Previously: Penn State

The Gophers lost 10 of their final 11 games last season despite a promising non-conference start. What are the expectations for this season in Minneapolis?

With so many new faces on the team, the only real expectation is to not lose 10 of the final 11 games. The Big Ten should have something of a down year, with the departure of so many of last year’s best players, so finishing in the top half of the Big Ten is a goal. But no one would be shocked if the Gophers slide off the bubble into the NIT. But hey, that is better than last year, and better than most other teams in this town in the last year.

[click to continue…]

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