Michigan's No. 15, a Manny Harris injury update and rules are passed
ROSEMONT, Ill. - John Beilein is already taking preventative measures to make sure his star player isn’t hurting for the entire season.
Junior guard Manny Harris - an All-Big Ten team selection Thursday - has battled pulled hamstrings since the start of practice and Beilein, himself a victim of the consistently tight hammys, has been extra cautious.
It’s why he’ll steal Harris some rest when he can, like during Saturday’s open practice and again Tuesday when he knew Michigan would have an off-day Wednesday.
By doing this now, he’s hoping this doesn’t become a season-long discussion.
“Now that it’s happened, it’s got to be a season-long therapy thing,” Beilein said. “We can’t let down. He’s always been tight in his hamstrings. I have tight hamstrings so I know what it’s like. It can lead to back problems.
“Stretching is not my favorite thing to do, it’s not his. Therapy isn’t, but he has to do it. “
No. 15? No way?
DeShawn Sims showed up at media day dapperly dressed - Beilein asked if he could borrow his light gray pullover over a shirt and tie deemed perfectly business casual - and then didn’t seem to know much about the day’s news.
He wasn’t on the All-Big Ten team. His response: “Oh, that sucks.”
Then he found out Michigan was ranked No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll (and later the Associated Press media poll) and he wasn’t aware of that, either.
Sims had good reason, though. He was sleeping.
“That’s a great ranking but again, it’s still, the way we work and how pumped these guys are right now, we won’t pay attention to it,” Sims said. “It’s like last year when we were picked to finish ninth in the Big Ten.”
Harris had a similar reaction to the news being ranked. It seemed to roll off of him in an ‘OK, next,’ type of way, although he seemed a bit more excited about it.
“All right,” Harris said. “I definitely care but I know, for example, we beat ranked teams last year, anybody can be beat. So I think, and I’ll make sure the team knows, just because we’re ranked 15 doesn’t mean we can go out there and be lazy or something like that. Anybody can be beat, from No. 1 to the last place.
“But it’s definitely an honor to be No. 15.”
Harris happy on the All-Big Ten team
Harris’ selection to the All-Big Ten team - four guards and a forward, all of them juniors - wasn’t much of a surprise. And while Harris was joking, there had to be a little bit of truth to his initial reaction when he heard the news.
“I would have been mad if I wasn’t,” Harris said. “But I didn’t know that. That kind of stuff seriously don’t matter.”
But if he wasn’t on the team, Harris said it’d motivate him. And that his desire to play in the Final Four in Indianapolis is another motivating factor.
“It doesn’t take too much to motivate me,” Harris said.
Lucas Player of the Year
Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year at the end of last season, so it is little shock he is beginning this season tabbed as the league’s top player.
“To be honest, I never really just thought about it,” Lucas said. “I didn’t think about it at all to be honest.”
The Spartans are the No. 2 team in the country and were picked to be the best team in the Big Ten this preseason.
The NCAA Board of Directors passed new legislation reforming college basketball recruiting, something Beilein has been a part of as part of the ethics committee.
“I was in favor of many of the things that they are going to vote about today,” Beilein said this morning, before the vote was passed. “But I can’t be too specific. But I think we’re making progress in some pretty significant areas, I think.”
For more information on what was voted on Thursday, check out the Washington Post story from Eric Prisbell.
Beilein said before he left media day that he’d comment on the passage of the laws, if it happened, Friday.
This and that
Michigan’s players ate at McCormick’s & Schmick’s in Rosemont on Wednesday night. Sims reported he had a pretty good Kobe beef burger. In the midst of talking with the media, a high school student sat down at Beilein’s table and just watched him until Beilein stopped and asked who he was. There as a student with the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, the kid told Beilein he is a Michigan fan. Beilein seemed happy with that answer and the kid hung around for a while.