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November 15, 2012 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-15

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From Page 5C
This way, Beilein couldleverage the one posi-
tion in which Michigan had the edge in physi-
cality, whereby Morris could attack smaller
defenders and spread the court for the team's
Follnwing the humiliating loss to Minnesota
in Jan. 2011, the Wolverines curbed a six-game
losing streak and won nine of their next 12.
They earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament
and won their first game in convincing fashion,
75-45 over Tennessee.
"I think he learns how to be more flexible
with the talent that
he has," Morris said
last week. "He might
not be as strict on
certain things, but
more 'Whatever you
can do, do it.' But
his overall philoso-
phy and the morals
that he instills in his
kids. That's why he's
so successful"
Many thought
Morris's early
departure for the
NBA meant doom
and gloom for Mich-
igan for the foresee-
able future. What
they couldn't have
realized was that the
move paved the way
for the most promis-
ing era in Michigan
basketball since the
Fab Five in the early
0 1990s.
Upon arrival in
Ann Arbor, someI
wsexpected of - 5.
Burke,buttnot as
much as he deliv-
ered. Michigan was
expected to compete
in the Big Ten, but
not threaten Ohio
State or Wisconsin.
Beilein had the
task of integrating Freshman forward Mitch M
a freshman point
guard into a team with seniors Novak and Stu
Douglass, who had dreams of makinga lasting
impact in their last year.
So did the coach work extra hourswith Trey
to teach him all of the intricacies of his offense
so that he could command the system by Big
Ten play in January? Quite the opposite.
"What we did do, because that's the tough-
est position to come into, is we shortened our
package in games," Beilein said. "We tried
to work on our package for the future, but
we shortened our package for him in games
because it would be too much for him."
The plan seemed to work. Burke led the
team in scoring and assists, was named Big
Ten Freshman of the Year and earned the com-
plete respect of his teammates.
6C Tipoff - November 15, 2012

Burke led the team to its.first BigTen cham-
pionship in 26 years.
"We all came here with some different ideas.
and John filters the best of them," said assis-
tant coach LaVall Jordan. "He's always think-
ing about the strengths of the team to get us in
the best position."
Burke's season earned him national acclaim
and preseason All-America honors this year.
But that success almost came at the expense of
the Wolverines' success this season.
News came out shortly after Michigan
bowed out in the first game of the NCAA

on his players for four years. Now, there's a
tradeoff. The better his players become, the
better his teams will be - but long-term suc-
cess is placed in jeopardy as the allure of
money and fame in the NBA is too much for a
college student to ignore.
In all but one of Beilein's seasons at Michi-
gan, an underclassman has led the team in
scoringand assists. The young guards have
flourished in the system, and the. NBA came
calling for each of them. This wasn't Canisius
"With Manny and Darius and now our cur-
rent players, Trey and Tim, we want what they
want when it comes to their future," Beilein
said. "And if they're in a position to move to

for all, to head to the NBA --whether to plug in
craftysophomore SpikeAlbrechtorgo directly
to the touted recruit, Derrick Walton.
But other things need to stay the same.
"We adjust to the players," Beilein said. "But
there's certain things that are not negotiable.
You're going to be a good teammate, you're
goingto be in a (defensive) stance, you're going
to buy into defense."
The rise of Michigan basketball and the
growing presence of top-flight talent in Crisler
Center might follow an easily constructed nar-
Beilein came to
Michigan, a higher-
profile program and
made use of rapidly
improving facilities
and culture to attract
some of the best bas-
ketball talent in the
country on the way to
bringing the program
back onto the nation-
al scene.
If only it worked
that easily.
More likely was
that Beilein didn't
just begin to attract
great talent.
He developed
3 decent players into
good players. His suc-
cess attracted good
players, who became
very good players. He
parlayed those guys
into the Glenn Rob-
imsons and Derrick
t Waltons of the hoops
. scene.
Michigan basket-
ball is seen asabwayto
add value to a player
with given abilities.
It's a way to showcase
their strengths.
"I think Coach
Beilein lets play-
ALDEN REISS/Daily ers do what they're
e next few years. comfortable- doing,"
Burke said. "But then
he'll get on you if you're doing something that
you're not capable of doing. The players love
playing for him because he's a players' coach.
He allows his players to make mistakes."
Morris says high schoolers with dreams of
playing in the NBA ought to heavily consider
Twenty-five years after Hicks at Le Moyne,
the styles of Beilein's teams have varied. Ear-
lier teams were slower and operated mainly in
the half-court.
This year's athletically superior group fig-
ures to run much more in the open court, but
the principles stay the same.
The underdoglabel for Beilein's offense may
have been shed, but the tenets of the offense
stay constant. Find the open man.


How the alley-oop redefined Michigan's expectations
ohn Beilein is no stranger to touch and McGary, another pride Wolverines' disappointing first-
watching his players lofta of Chesterton, Ind., who is the round exit from the NCAA Tourna-
basketball from beyond the hulkingpost presence that finally ment, the season had already been
-point line. For much of his career, gives Beilein a difference-making deemed a success by most when
t's been the bread and butter of rebounder. Add in sharpshooter Michigan finished in a three-way
his offense - something his teams Nik Stauskas and you've got what's tie atop the conference. Later this
practiced so often that he even sure to be one of the nation's most month, for the first time since 1986,
leveloped a special ball to help productive freshmen classes. a Big Ten Championshipbanner
>layers track the rotational spin of # -Throw in a more nimble, agile will be raised to the Crisler rafters.
:heir shots. Jordan Morgan, a reborn Hard- But a conference crown alone
That's away that may breach triple-double won't satisfy this year. Until Big
no different territory in some games this year Ten basketball champions start
:his year. and Burke, the first preseason All- earning Rose Bowl invitations,
Beilein's American Beilein has ever coached, they'll continue to be judged by
slayers con- and it's easy to forget that just a their performance in March - a
inue to send few seasons ago, Michigan hadn't month lastyear that was unkind
tall after - received an NCAA Tournamentbid to the Wolverines, who seemed
tall in the DANIEL lo11seasons. deflated after exceeding so many
air from at WASSERMAN If Michigan were a basketball regular-season expectations.
east the 20 ''-school, Beilein's doubters in 2007
eet and nine may have rivaled another West Vir- ***
nches that it takes to go from the ALDEN R EISS/oaily ginia product that arrived to Ann
arc to rim. But a number of times - Freshman forward Glenn Robinson 11 has taken to the rim early and often this fall. Arbor a year later. The criticisms Beilein is used to his players
his season, instead of the ball he finished, "if you have athletes." Last year, when the Wolverines of Beilein paralleled some of the lofting the ball from beyond the
arching downward into the net, But Beilein didn't just come to had middle-of-the-road talent by first naysayers of Rich Rodriguez: 3-point line, just as he's used to the
ts trajectory is aimed to the left or this realization. The play is said Big Ten standards, they won with finesse offenses with spread-you- goals of his programs growing loft-
.ight of the rim. Out of nowhere, a to have originated in the 1960s, Beilein's schemes and with the grit- out principles won't work in the ier each year. But even to a tenured
oaring Tim Hardaway Jr. or Glenn and the talent it requires is the tiness exemplified by Zack Novak Big Ten. coach like Beilein, this season is
tobinson III snatches the ball from exact reason Beilein turned to the and Stu Douglass. But Beilein won with his'system, unlike anything he's familiar with.
nidair, and in one fluid motion 3-pointer. If his players couldn't Novak and Douglass are gone falling just short of a Sweet 16 in his "At Michigan, you come to win
hunderously redirects the ball spark the crowd with monstrous now, but as Michigan continues second year. In that season, when championships," Beilein said Tues-
hrough the hoop. slams, at least they could score to draw charges - even late in Michigan tied for seventh in the day.
The alley-oop: the most exciting baskets that counted for one more 40-point blowouts - it's sometimes conference, and the few that fol- There are new goals in Ann
play in basketball. point than yours. But now, in his easy to forget they aren't out on the lowed, just getting to the Big Dance Arbor this winter. A Big Ten title
For the first time in his 35 years sixth season at Michigan, Beilein floor. was enough to please the fan base. might be a 3-pointer, but it'll take a


of coaching, Beilein now incorpo-
rates the alley-oops into his prac-
"I realize it's a really good play,"
he noted Monday, pausing before

has the shooters, the slammers and
the guys who can do both.

But they are gone, and roaming
the Crisler Center corridors in their
place is a new No.1 in Robinson,
the freak of an athlete in an NBA-
ready body who also has a shooter's

Last year, the bar was raised.
Beilein's bunch broke their huddles
in practice with "Big Ten champs."
That was the goal. Even after the

trip to Indianapolis in April for this
year to be an alley-oop.
-Wasserman can be reached
at dwass@umich.edu

AcGary was a highly touted recruit coming in this fall and is expected to be a potent rebounder in the Big Ten for th

Tournament that Burke would be thinking
about entering the NBA Draft. On April 4, CBS
Spotts reported that Burke was indeed leaving
Amid the rumors, fans questioned how the
Wolverines would be able to deal with losing
their underclassman point guard for the sec-
ond straight year. in a year that seemed to be a
big step forward for Michigan, Burke's depar-
ture would beckon a rebuildingyear.
Burke quelled the speculation by announc-
ing that he'd return to Ann Arbor for his soph-
omore season on April 9.
The episode frightened the Michigan fan
base for a short while, but it spoke to a larger
trend under John Beilein.
Longgone are the days where he could count.

the NBA, we have to be prepared to not be sur-
prised. We have tobe prepared to expect that.
Just like you have to be ready for an injury or
other types of attrition, we have to be ready for
it. You have to be prepared for a really good
player that has an opportunity in professional
Certainthings change when Beilein has this
type of player. He needs to decide whether to
redshirt a player that may be a bigger part of
the program once the NBA guy has moved on.
He needs to take advantage of the late
recruiting periods. He must make sure the
goals of the program align with the individu-
al's wishes.
He may very well have to switch everything
up for next season if Burke decides, once and

Freshmen provide depth, scoring options on offense
By COLLEEN THOMAS obviously, Nik Stauskas can But with the addition of McGary, did in high school - yet. increased. Through the first three
Daily Sports Writer rebound, Caris (LeVert), he's sur- Robinson and Stauskas, specifi- "I like having that shooter come games this year, the Wolverines
prised me (because he) can rebound cally - each of whom averaged well off the bench who has the confi- are averaging 89.3 points per game,
It's like you just got dealt pocket and Glenn (Robinson III is) prob- above double digits in high school dence to come in and shoot right while last year they averaged 60.7
aces in Texas hold 'em - a power- ably the most athletic guy in (that - Michigan has an arsenal of weap- away," Beilein said. "(McGary and over the same span. Robinson and
ful pair with options to boot.Doyou group)." ons that can take the pressure off Stauskas), whether we change the Stauskas are averaging double dig-
bet conservatively, or go all-in? The five freshmen - McGary, Burke and Hardaway on offense. starting lineup or not, I know those its, and McGary leads the team
Those are the kind of options Robinson III, Stauskas, LeVert and All five freshmen have seen the two will be starters or coming early with 7.7 rebounds per game - an
Michigan coach John Beilein has Spike Albrecht - will bolster the court at some point this season, off the bench." area in which Beilein wants to see
this season. Wolverines' lineup, giving Beilein either in an exhibition game or a Albrecht and LeVert, who com- improvement.
After succeeding in past seasons different options other than sim- regular-season game, and have mitted late, are other valuable addi- It's obvious that the freshmen
with mediocre cards by betting ply relying sophomore guard Trey began to make contributions. Rob- tion for the Wolverines. Though will provide numerous options for
smart, Beilein has brought in Mich- Burke and junior guard Tim Hard- inson is the only rookie starter and LeVert is likely to redshirt, Albrecht Michigan's offense - their signifi-
igan's best recruiting class in over away, Jr. has impressed in his all-around is a key to the backcourt that the cant contributions early on have
a decade to provide more options Last season, the Wolverines game, but Beilein has expressed Wolverines haven't had in years - come from both talent and work
offensively to this year's squad. relied heavily on the duo's offensive interest in seeing how McGary and another true point guard. ethic in practice, Beilein said.
Since the beginning of the sea- production, as they averaged 14.8 Stauskas develop to consider plac- "(Spike) surprises me every day," "What it can tell me is they
son, Beilein and the returning and 14.6 points per game, respec- ing them in a starting role. So far Beilein said. "He just plays every are receptive to continuing to be
Wolverines have expressed plenty tively, while each playing more this season, Beilein has been estab- day, he makes you smile to watch coached," he said. "They really want
of excitement about adding fresh, than 30 minutes a game. Michigan's lishing rotations, subbing Stauskas him play. He just has a presence out to learn whatever we can teach
young talent. other top scorers from last year - and McGary in early and often. there. He certainly doesn't pass the them and what their teammates can
"I'm definitely impressed with Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Evan Stauskas is deadly from beyond (eyeball) test, but continues to be teach them. When you go out to a
the level of athleticism they've Smotrycz - have either graduated the arc, and McGary is a significant productive." practice, there is enough going on
showed," Burke said. "Last year we or transferred, leaving the Wol- post presence, both in scoring and Though it's very early, the num- with a player when they're recep-
weren't really as athletic as we are verines with few returning scoring rebounding, but neither of the rook- bers don't lie: Michigan's offen- tive to practices and pick things up
this year. We have Mitch McGary options. ies have seen as much action asthey sive production has significantly quickly, that's refreshing."
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