Oct. 31, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the start of the 2012-13 just over 24 hours away, there are several things for Michigan Basketball fans to be excited about. Phase II of the renovations to Crisler Center are nearly complete, the Wolverines are ranked fifth in both the ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press Preseason polls, and U-M's roster features an exciting mix of talented returners and explosive newcomers.
Fans will get their first look at the renovated Crisler Center and U-M's new squad on Thursday (Nov. 1) when the Wolverines take on Northern Michigan in an exhibition contest at 7 p.m.
Prior to practice on Wednesday (Oct. 31), head coach John Beilein and select players addressed the media in the Junge Family Champions Center.
At the start of the roundtable, coach Beilein announced that Michigan will be without sophomore point guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) for the first exhibition game as he serves a one-game suspension for violating team standards.
Here's what coach Beilein and some of the players had to say in anticipation to the start of the season.
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On Spike Albrecht getting opportunities to play ... "Spike will start tomorrow. He's been in a back-up role, so he's been running his team or both teams all year long. He's very clever, has great vision and makes some plays that make us smile. I'm sure he's going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. When you're a quarterback or point guard, you're in the position where you may make a lot of mistakes, but he grows from it."
On tomorrow's starting lineup ... "The four that I'm sure will start tomorrow are Spike (Albrecht), Tim (Hardaway Jr.), Jordan Morgan and Glenn Robinson III. I'm still looking at the other four or five options that we have to see who is going to feel in that fifth spot."
On the team chemistry at this point of the season ..."Every team is different. Some players are highly emotional and some are calm and I think they play off each other very well. I think we're trying to get the guys who are calm to amp it up a little bit more, give us a little more enthusiasm and those who give us so much enthusiasm to be more on an even keel."
On dividing up playing time ... "We've tried to do that. I assume we'll have some 30-minute guys -- whatever it takes to win the game. I barely snuck by Wayne State last year about this time and we ended up winning the Big Ten Championship, so we'll go in it to win it, but we'll also try to get as many minutes as we can for people to evaluate."
U-M Senior Guard Matt Vogrich
On starting a new season in the renovated Crisler Center ..."We're just really excited. We love everything that has happened around Michigan Basketball with the William Davidson PDC being complete and Crisler finishing up. All the fans seem really excited for the season so we're just ready to get it started. We're ready for Thursday and then to progress into the season and bring all our talent together and have a great year."
On what style of play fans can expect to see from this team ... "The usual Michigan Basketball -- John Beilein style of play. We're going to make the extra pass, get open looks, knock down a lot of threes, but we're also going to go inside a lot. We've developed our big guys and have a lot of talent inside. We're going to play tough basketball, get on the floor, and play team basketball."
On what the Maize Rage brings to the atmosphere in Crisler Center ... "They're awesome -- we love them. They're loud and they come to every game no matter what the weather is like. We really appreciate them and the energy they bring to the game. We're excited to see them on Thursday."
U-M Freshman Guard Nik Stauskas
On playing his first game in Crisler Center tomorrow ... "It's going to be really exciting. After committing to the University of Michigan almost a year and a half ago, I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. It shows that all the hard work has paid off and I'm excited to get going."
On the opportunity to play against someone in a different color jersey ... "It's get repetitive playing against the same guys, especially now that we know the plays that we're running, it kind of takes away from what we're trying to do. It's definitely going to be fun playing against someone else."
On joining the Michigan Basketball program at a great time..."I'm very fortunate. Michigan Basketball is taking off right now. All the renovations that have been done here are amazing and top of the line, so I'm excited for the fans as well because I know this is something they deserve too."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423