Michigan's John Beilein comfortable with smaller starting lineup right now
ANN ARBOR -- John Beilein wants to run a two-post offense this season.
But for right now, he's not uncomfortable running with a smaller starting five.
The Michigan basketball coach used a three-guard lineup for both the Wolverines' exhibition games, starting point guard Trey Burke alongside Tim Hardaway Jr. and Matt Vogrich, with freshman wing Glenn Robinson III playing power forward and junior Jordan Morgan playing center.
"That was (a) pretty good (group)," Beilein said Monday. "I thought we got off to two really good starts both times."
Beilein hasn't committed to anything, but with sophomore forward Jon Horford currently recovering from a preseason knee injury, Michigan's true game rotation seems to feature just two big men -- Morgan and freshman forward Mitch McGary.
Horford is expected to return to action in some capacity Friday when the Wolverines open the regular season against Slippery Rock, but Beilein's not sure how much he'll play.
In the meantime, it seems Beilein is comfortable bringing both McGary and fellow freshman Nik Stauskas off the bench first -- giving him a comfortable seven-man combination to work with in real situations.
"I like having that shooter come off the bench," Beilein said, referring to Stauskas. "That's why I used to hold Stu (Douglass) back, and I'd end up putting him in as a guy who has confidence to go in there and shoot right away.
"And I like that Jordan can go four minutes as hard as he can knowing he'll get a rest, and then we can play (Morgan and McGary) together. But (McGary and Stauskas), whether we change the starting lineup or not, they'll be early entrants -- whether starting or coming off the bench."
If Horford returns to action, the lineup could shuffle -- but if he doesn't, Beilein's not overly worried right now considering his group's versatility.
"We're trying to teach Glenn how to play multiple positions," Beilein said. "With Jon being hurt, we didn't know how long it'd be at first so we waited three or four days before saying we had to go smaller.
"But when Jon comes back, Jon has to have minutes, too. ... We'll see."