Nov. 10, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the official start of the 2011-12 Universtiy of Michigan men's basketball season just one day away, head coach John Beilein addressed the media on Thursday (Nov. 10) to preview the first stretch of the season and talk about two recruits who signed National Letters of Intent to join the Wolverines for the 2012-13 campaign.
The Wolverines will tip off the regular season against Ferris State on Friday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m. in front of a home crowd. The game will be shown on BTN.com. The Michigan Athletics department will hold a care package drive and honor America's servicemen and women during the game, as well as at its football game against Nebraska on Nov. 19.
The excitement around Michigan basketball continued to build as forwards Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) and Glenn "Tre" Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central HS) signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday (Nov. 9).
Here's what Beilein had to say about these highly regarded players, as well at the current Wolverine squad:
U-M Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement ... "Now it all starts -- the real thing. We've had a good week and we've been able to make a lot of improvement after you start playing somebody else, between our scrimmage and our game against Wayne State, who I thought was really good defensively -- really good. They shortened the clock enough so that it was a shorter game than we wanted. At the same time, it's a great learning time for us and now we go into this game against Ferris State, who had a Sweet Sixteen team last year, an Elite Eight team. They had a very good year. They lost some very good players, but they had some guys sitting out. They played Michigan State pretty well for most of their game. We'll have to be ready to play."
On changes to the starting line up ... "We're going to put Trey Burke in at the starting point guard. He really feels good out there. Two things -- he's really a point guard who has really done a great job his whole life of running a team, but I also think Stu (Douglass) took two shots and had zero points. This is the same young man that approached 20 points against UConn and Ohio State. I think Stu actually doesn't mind, I know he doesn't mind coming off the bench and hunting shots more than running a team. He's a shot hunter more than he's a guy running a team. It's worked well in practice so far."
On signing Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary ... "We're really enthused. When the media gets to really talk with Glenn Robinson III -- we call him Tre -- and Mitch (McGary), you'll love the personalities, the enthusiasm. They are just fine young men who you want to coach, and the big thing is that they want to be coached. Glenn has the explosiveness and a really good feel for the game. His passion for the game is incredible. You can't teach some of those passion things that we talk about, and those two certainly have it."
On how he sees Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary fitting into the offense ... "I think they are both versatile where they can both play a couple of different positions and that's what is really appealing to them. You're trying to always make your team multi-dimensional with their approach. Those two already come in with qualities that you could play them at a couple of different positions."
On Zack Novak's role in attracting Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary to commit to Michigan ... "I think Glenn (Tre) played varsity as a freshman and did actually play against Zack -- they were in the same league. He did know of Zack, and of course at that time Zack was putting up numbers in the high twenties against most teams, so he remembered that. And of course Mitch grew up watching Zack -- he was smaller than Zack at one time. And so they grew up to be pretty good friends and Zack really mentored him. Zack's role here and how he loves the University of Michigan really spoke well for our chances with both young men."
On where he would like to see the most improvement in Friday's game ... "I think we need to play with the same type of poise that we were at the end of last year. It's hard, you just don't do that, you play summer basketball. There was such an excitement in this building when we played Michigan State here. You couldn't be more hyped for a game, and we played with great precision and poise in that first half, yet now our first game in a new area, we did anything but that. That's the biggest things, let's just get settled down and play basketball the best we can play. We have to play harder in some areas and we have to play smarter in some areas."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423