Notebook: Michigan battling injuries ahead of Italy trip

Michigan 77, Purdue 76-20
Dustin Johnston

Michigan heads to Italy on Friday to play four games in ten days against an assortment of Italian club and All-Star teams. The Wolverines won’t only be at an experience disadvantage overseas, they’ll also be shorthanded when they make the trip overseas.

DJ Wilson and Max Bielfeldt will both make the trip to Italy, but won’t play in games as they recover from injuries. Bielfeldt is still sidelined from hip surgery this spring while Wilson is out 4-6 weeks with a broken pinky.

“The (injury) we probably planned on the least was D.J. Wilson. Right from the beginning, his injury to his right pinkie kept him from doing almost everything,” Beilein said when speaking to the media on Wednesday morning. “We’ve found that he can shuffle really well without anyone guarding him. That’s been difficult because we were trying to experiment with him at a couple of positions but we never could do it.

Bielfeldt’s hip surgery was originally supposed to keep him out for ‘most of the summer’, but there was an expectation he’d be ready to play in Italy. He participated in some drills during practice on Wednesday, but was a spectator in most live action.

“We were very hopeful that Max Bielfeldt could play when he’s over there (Italy), but he’s not going to be able to play,” Beilein said. “He’s still not moving in the way we want him to move. Austin Hatch is continuing to do rehab; he’s in some drills and he probably will play in some games over there, but he’s not as ready as we hope he will be later on.”

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Video: Inside Michigan’s pre-Italy practice

Michigan opened its practice to the media on Wednesday afternoon before it heads to Italy on Friday. The Wolverines took the floor and ran through a series of drills before getting into some limited five-on-five action. Video recording was permitted during drills and we compiled some footage to take a first look at Michigan’s incoming freshmen and returning players this season.

More from Practice

Video: Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman discuss summer progress

Michigan freshmen Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman are both expected to play critical roles for Michigan this fall and the duo met with the media after practice earlier this afternoon. Watch both newcomers discuss the transition to college and their expectations for the trip to Italy next week.

Chatman after the jump.  [click to continue…]

Photo Gallery: Michigan prepares for Italy trip

Michigan Pre-Italy Practice - 4

Michigan held a practice open to the media this afternoon in preparation for its upcoming trip to Italy. Check out an assortment of photos from the practice after the jump. [click to continue…]

Video: Caris LeVert and Aubrey Dawkins talk Italy trip

Caris LeVert and Aubrey Dawkins both met with the media after Michigan’s open practice this afternoon in preparation for their upcoming trip to Italy. LeVert discussed his injury last season, both when it happened and how his recovery is going, while Dawkins discussed his athleticism and how he fits into Michigan’s offense.

Watch Dawkins’s interview after the jump including a replay of his monster dunk from practice today.  [click to continue…]

Michigan to play in three Super Tuesday games

Michigan 77, Purdue 76-19Michigan will play three nationally televised games as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday feature this season. The Wolverines will travel to Ohio state on January 13th, host Nebraska on January 27 and host Michigan State on February 17th.

The rest of the Big Ten schedule has yet to be announced, but Michigan’s complete non-conference schedule has been announced and can be found here. The non-conference slate is highlighted by Syracuse, Arizona, SMU and the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.

In Big Ten play, the Wolverines will play two games against Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers, but will have single plays against the other teams in the conference. Here’s the complete Super Tuesday schedule from ESPN.

2015 ESPN Big Ten Super Tuesday Schedule

  • Jan. 6 — Ohio State at Minnesota, 9 p.m.
  • Jan. 13 — Michigan at Ohio State, 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 20 — Iowa at Wisconsin, 9 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 — Nebraska at Michigan, 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 3 — Indiana at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 10 — Wisconsin at Nebraska, 9 p.m.
  • Feb. 17 — Michigan State at Michigan, 9 p.m.
  • Feb. 24 — Wisconsin at Maryland, 7 p.m.
  • March 3 — Iowa at Indiana, 7 p.m.
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