This past weekend we traveled to Peoria, Illinois, to face Bradley for our first official away game of the season. We were all eager to see how the team would perform under the pressures of an opponent's court.
Nik Stauskas and Glen Robinson III were key contributors to our win with 35 points between the two of them. Bradley's toughness helped them with a late run, but we were able to hold them off with our execution and free throw shooting down to the stretch.
It is always special in college basketball when a student-athlete gets to play in his hometown. Max Bielfeldt received that opportunity with our game in Peoria. His teammates and our staff were thrilled with Max's play last Saturday. With his family and many childhood friends watching from the stands, Max's activity on the court and on the glass in particular helped us tremendously.
Last night, we battled the Western Michigan Broncos in Crisler Center. With steady effort and execution, we were able to improve our overall record to 8-0.
Our point guard, Trey Burke, had a very solid performance last night. Our staff felt that he set the tone with his playmaking ability. He finished with 20 points, 7 assists, and 0 turnovers.
Our focus now shifts to Arkansas, which visits Ann Arbor on Saturday. We went down to Fayetteville last year and played a very entertaining, hard-fought game vs. the Razorbacks. We will take the next few days to prepare for Arkansas, which plays an up-tempo style with their very talented players.
We can't wait to see a packed and loud Crisler Center on Saturday at noon for tipoff.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving in New York City went well. We were able to secure a tournament championship by beating two very good teams in Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Both Pittsburgh and Kansas State are great rebounding teams and are extremely well coached. A point of emphasis in both games was team rebounding.
The game vs. Pittsburgh was the first game of the season that we trailed for a significant portion of the game. I thought our guys showed signs of toughness by continuing to stay the course during the game. Pitt did a great job of shortening the game by taking the shot clock down very low on the majority of its possessions in the first half and not allowing us many transition looks.
The game against Kansas State showcased some of our explosiveness on the offensive end. This team is capable of scoring points in a hurry, and we like the fact that we can build leads in games with solid halfcourt defense and quick strikes on offense. Kansas State did a good job of pressuring our ball handlers and taking away some of our passes.
I was thrilled that our team played well in Madison Square Garden. We wanted to make this a memorable trip to New York, and we are pleased that it resulted in a NIT preseason championship.
I would like to congratulate Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. for making the all-tournament team. I would also like to congratulate Tim on winning the Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament. Tim played tremendous basketball in New York, and we love what we are seeing from him.
Now that the NIT Season Tip-Off is over with, our focus is now on helping the Big Ten Conference win the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. We have a ton of pride in our conference affiliation and we desire to represent the Big Ten Conference the right way. We have a lot of respect for our opponent, N.C. State, and look forward to battling them in Crisler Center tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in front of a packed arena!
Hello from sunny and warm Naples, Florida!
Our staff is currently down in the Sunshine State for our annual IWLCA meetings, and we will cap off the week recruiting at the last tournament of the fall -- the President's Cup. We've spent the past two weekends of November out on the lacrosse fields, and after a pretty chilly start to fall recruiting, the beautiful Florida weather will serve as a great way to recharge our batteries while watching some fantastic lacrosse.
After Florida, I'll be heading back to New Jersey for a couple days to spend time with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm looking forward to enjoying a little down time and really excited to head up to Madison Square Garden the nights before and after Thanksgiving to see the Michigan men's basketball team in action in the NIT Season Tip-Off! There's nothing like college hoops in the Big Apple ... GO BLUE!
This week is a big week for our program as TEAM ONE will ink their way into the history books with the signing of their National Letters of Intent, and we couldn't be more excited! In the next couple of months, we will be celebrating each member of TEAM ONE with a special highlight on our website, and we can't wait to share with you what makes each and every member of TEAM ONE special. Congratulations to all of our U-M pioneers -- we are so proud of you and the best is yet to come!
It's hard to believe that fall will soon be in the rearview mirror and the holiday season is just around the corner, but what a great time of year this is! There sure is a lot to be thankful for, and for me the opportunity to be a part of building this lacrosse program here at Michigan is one of them! I would like to take this time to wish you a very warm, wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving filled with meaningful time spent with family and friends and, of course, delicious food!
We are pleased with the 3-0 start to our season. Our guys have responded well to the demands of competition. We have so much room for improvement and it is nice for our staff to have game film now to teach and instruct from.
The IUPUI and Cleveland State games served as good tests for our team. Each team challenged us in unique ways in Crisler Center this week. This will help us as we continue to go throughout the season.
If I had to point to one characteristic of our team that I really like right now, I would say that it is our team's unselfishness. The ball movement and flow have been very solid so far and will only continue to get better as our team gets more comfortable on the court.
The back-to-back game scenario in college basketball is rare. It usually only occurs in the preseason tournaments and conference tournaments at the end of the season.
The quick turnaround time puts a ton of pressure on the staff to put together a concise game plan and on the players to play hard and smart with limited rest time. Our team responded well to this early season scenario. They showed great maturity in their ability to handle their classes, game preparation, treatment/recovery needs, and the games over a two-day period.
Advancing to New York in the Preseason NIT is an accomplishment for our team. We are looking forward to heading to NYC because this will serve as the first opportunity to win a championship with the 2012-13 team. Our preparation over the next week will be driven by championship thoughts and aspirations.
For many of our players this will be first time playing in Madison Square Garden. Playing there is certainly special, and we look forward to the opportunity of taking on Pittsburgh next Wednesday (Nov. 21) at 9:30 p.m.
Last week was pumpkin carving night. One problem, we had no pumpkins. One hour and three stops later we ventured into a Kroger grocery store, I mean pumpkin patch, and chose our blank, round, orange canvases. Not exactly the "pick out your pumpkin" experience we were looking for, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Perhaps next year we won't wait until October 30 to get into the Halloween spirit.
It was a crisp, windy, eerie night to create jack-o'-lanterns. Were they going to be a trick or a treat? The ritualistic evening went something like this...
The hocus pocus began with each one of us terrorizing the Internet for the perfect ghostly image that would reflect our fury in one way or another. Travis chose Sparky, who is apparently a dog from the Halloween movie Frankenweenie, and Pam decided it was only proper to honor Gracie, a mysterious black stray cat who surreptitiously dwells in our backyard. I was thrilled to use this opportunity to celebrate Michigan PRIDE, so like any crazed Wolverine would do, I carved the block M for all the GO BLUE goons and goblins wondering in the spirited land of the Maize and Blue.
After preparing the dining room table we began operating on the big orange gourds. Hack, hack, saw, saw, hack, saw, hack and saw. It seemed as if all three of us embodied the accuracy of a lumberjack combined with the precision of a brain surgeon. I felt like a crazed artist, working madly for hours to complete my version of the "M"ona Lisa.
The final product was something special, at least to us. After we had the lighting ceremony, I couldn't help but want to scream, "It's alive, it's alive!"
The night before Halloween, otherwise known as mischief night (or Devil's night if you live in Michigan), was a memorable family event. A big thanks to Sparky, Gracie and "M" for making our evening so much fun -- it was spook-tacular!
Thankfully, I coach much better than I carve a pumpkin!
I hope you all experienced a hair-raising Halloween. I am sure it was a BOO-tastic evening.
This evening, we will take the floor in the freshly renovated Crisler Center. The arena looks tremendous, and we thank all of those who have worked so diligently to get it ready for the season.
Our staff and our players are excited about taking the floor for the first time vs. Northern Michigan.
Our student-athletes have been working hard in the weight room, on the court, and, most importantly, in the classroom in preparation for the season. We will bring a ton of passion to the court, and we hope to see the seats of the Crisler Center filled with energized fans at 7 p.m. tonight.
Last night, after we finished our preparation for Northern Michigan, our staff and our student-athletes had a little Halloween Hysteria in the WDPDC. It is always good to mix in a little fun after a few days of focused attention on an opponent.
On a more personal note, on October 26, my daughter Seana and her husband Ryan blessed us with our second grandchild, John Griffin Hendricks. John was rocking a block M skullcap within hours of his birth.
This has been a productive week for the program. Fall break afforded us the opportunity to get some good work done on the court on Monday and Tuesday. It also gave us an opportunity to visit the St. Louis Center in Chelsea, Mich.
Visiting the St. Louis Center with our team was a great experience. Serving in the community is something we value as Michigan Wolverines. As a basketball program, we recognize how fortunate we are to compete for a school like Michigan, and we recognize that our reach must extend further than the basketball court and out into the community. Putting a smile on the St. Louis Center residents' faces was tremendous for me and our players.
I wanted to take this opportunity to let Wolverine Nation know that I am partnering with the American Cancer Society with their Cancer Prevention Study-3 in Ann Arbor. I am joining the study as a community champion and my plan is to enroll in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 at Washtenaw Community College on Oct. 27, 2012.
I am committing to this study because I, like many people, have had family and friends who have been touched by cancer. It is important to me to do everything that I can to help find ways to prevent cancer and ultimately put an end to cancer. This study is part of that effort, and I couldn't be more excited about helping out.
As I stated in my last Beilein Weekly, I am going to begin tweeting some of things that I believe as a basketball coach. Here is an idea of some of the content that I intend to tweet.
I Believe ...
- Lots of shooting in practice (at least 20 minutes)
- Video tape individual shooters every few months to let them understand their technique
- I believe in videotaping every practice and I usually watch at least half of it a second time
We are looking forward to this weekend's matchup vs. MSU in the Big House. We wish the Wolverines the best of luck. We all will be rooting hard for them in the stands on Saturday.
What a fun couple of months it's been! September and October have been filled with campus visits -- both official and unofficial -- and we've had a blast. Football games in the Big House, Ice hockey games in the newly renovated Yost Arena, Wolverine tailgates, walking tours through campus on beautiful fall days where the changing leaves on trees light up the sidewalks, celebrating "Team One" with an official trip to campus and welcoming new prospective Wolverines for the first time to the wonderful place we call home.
With each visit this fall, our excitement for next September and the start of our women's lacrosse program has grown. It has given us great joy to spend time with the young women who will make up our first lacrosse team, and there's nothing better than to see the beaming smiles on their faces as we talk about the amazing journey ahead of us. A young group of girls who will be coming together to learn, grow, create and make history from the start is something truly special and unique.
And November is no less exciting as we'll kick off the month signing the first women's lacrosse players to program history! November is also a big recruiting month for us, so we'll be hitting the road nearly every weekend, and I'm excited to get back out there and watch some great lacrosse! The 11th month of the year also brings with it the 2012 edition of the IWLCA Convention in Naples, Fla. I'm looking forward to connecting with fellow coaches, getting caught up with everything going on in the sport of women's lacrosse, soaking up some of that warm Florida sun, and enjoying a great weekend of recruiting to top it all off!
It's hard to believe that summer is now in the rear view mirror and the holiday season is just around the corner, but what a great time of year this is! Before we know it, we will be ringing in 2013 -- the year of the arrival of TEAM ONE! For now, it's all about enjoying the process.
Basketball officially begins today! Our first practice is this evening at 5 p.m. and we are looking forward to it. The players have finished up their preseason skills testing and now it is time to translate all of their off-season efforts into success in-season.
This first practice is especially exciting for our five freshmen who have not yet experienced a complete Big Ten practice. On the practice floor, we establish good habits. The habits we establish will determine the type of team that we will be. I can't wait to see how our guys attack these first couple of practices. We are confident that they will bring the appropriate level of intensity and focus.
During this time of the year, basketball activities allow me to get into a nice rhythm for work. Most days start out with me watching film or planning practices very early in the morning. When I arrive to the office, I usually try to spend the morning handling any office work that needs to be completed. After lunch at my desk, I usually meet with the staff to finish planning practice and to discuss other basketball matters. Practice usually begins every day in the late afternoon with a film session before we take the practice court.
Stay tuned to my Twitter (@JohnBeilein) over the next few weeks as I tweet some of the things that I believe as a basketball coach. These beliefs have emerged out of my time as a basketball coach from the high school level to the Division I level.
After the excitement of the Staff vs. Student-Athlete softball game a few weeks ago, things around here have finally settled down and it is back to business. We are looking forward to official practice starting this week, but for now the players are completing their preseason skills testing.
Preseason skills testing serves as a way to assist our guys in their on-the-court development. The summer months serve as the time for players to work on their games. Skill testing holds them accountable working on their game. Our staff loves preseason testing because it becomes very evident who has invested time into working on their game.
Last Wednesday, I went to watch the Detroit Pistons practice in their facility in Auburn Hills. I am a big fan of Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank. We were very fortunate to have him speak at our coaches' clinic last year and I appreciated the opportunity to watch his team practice last week.
In watching NBA players move up and down the court, it is amazing to me how quickly space disappears and is taken up by world class athletes. One second a driving or passing lane looks open and the next second it disappears.
In watching Lawrence Frank conduct practice, I was amazed at how we echo many of the same things that Coach Frank teaches his players. When a teammate hits the ground, help him up quickly and enthusiastically. Point guards are the quarterbacks and must always know the time and score. Communication is critical on defense, especially in ball screen defense.
The amount of information NBA players must retain is tremendous. Basketball truly is a thinking man's game. Watching Lawrence Frank run practice further lets me know that at the highest levels, the mental edge and capacity that a coaching staff can foster in a team helps separate the team from its competition.
It is not about what the coaching staff knows; we can't execute the plan. It is about what the players know and are able to execute.
We look forward to kicking off the start of official practice on Friday. Guys were able to put on their uniforms last week for picture day in Crisler Center. Seeing our players in their uniforms is exciting for the players and for the staff because it signals that the season is drawing near.