Dec. 7, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team moved to 8-0 on the season Tuesday (Dec. 4) with a 73-41 win over Western Michigan on Tuesday (Dec. 4), and after a day off on Wednesday, went right back to work on Thursday preparing for its next opponent -- the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Roughly once a week, the U-M coaches hold a special Quarterback Club, where small groups of players take time to learn and review offensive sets on a wooden basketball court board. Today's meeting, run by head coach John Beilein, Coach (LaVall) Jordan and Coach (Jeff) Meyer, included the quarterbacks, or guards, that will direct the offense throughout the game -- Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert.
With the help of customized checker pieces that represent each team's five players, Coach Beilein ran through offensive sets that are crucial to their game plan for tomorrow's matchup with Arkansas. It gave the players an opportunity to see plays on a smaller scale and ask questions prior to running them in practice.
Much of what they focused on in today's meeting involved different ways to get players open, as Arkansas is a quick and athletic team that will apply tough defensive pressure for 40 minutes.
Prior to today's (Friday, Dec. 7) Quarterback Club, film session and practice, the Wolverines held a media roundtable. In addition to Coach Beilein and Jordan Morgan speaking with the media, Burke, Albrecht and Coach Jordan sat down to talk about today's quarterback club.
U-M Assistant Coach LaVall Jordan
On the concept of the Quarterback Club ... "The importance of the Quarterback Club is for guys to understand why they're doing what they're doing. A lot of times, kids are very compliant, especially with the good kids we have, and they don't ask the question 'why?,' so we try to give them a method behind the madness. We want them to be comfortable and own it while they're out there on the court, so they don't have to look at the coaches during the game as much."
On what things they cover during the QB Club ... "We work on signals, different concepts and set-play calls as well, so that they know when coach calls something from the bench, what he's looking for and they understand how to make it happen. A lot of it is to review what we have as our offensive package and how they can signal it and make it come to fruition without the coaches."
U-M Freshman Guard Spike Albrecht
On how the QB Club benefits him ... "It's a lot easier to visualize because we're doing it on a little basketball court board that Coach Beilein has. Coach Beilein, Coach Meyer, Coach Jordan and then Trey (Burke) and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) are there to help walk me through all the plays and how we want to execute against the team we'll be playing. So for instance, tomorrow we play Arkansas, so we'll work on stuff to help us prepare for Arkansas. We have certain plays to help us get open because they'll heat us up and put a lot of pressure on us. We'll learn ways to get open and value the ball."
On having multiple ways to learn all under one roof at the Player Development Center ... "It's really helpful for me, especially for me as a freshman. Trying to learn all the plays and the whole system, this gives me another way to figure it out, and it gives me an advantage, on top of having the gym and the film room."
U-M Sophomore Guard Trey Burke
On the benefits of the Quarterback Club ... "We go over the offense and some of the difficult reads we have trouble running during games. Coach Beilein does a good job of reiterating to the freshmen and showing them other options in the offense, besides just being a robot and running a play. He does a good job of showing them how to be a player. We do this about every week and it's really great for us because it allows us to get more comfortable, not just seeing it on the court but seeing it on the board as well."
On how he learns the system best ... "I learn better seeing it visually on the court. The QB Club helps me by seeing the offense from a different prospective. I prefer actually seeing it and running it on the court and then having someone right there to let me know if I'm doing it right."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423