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Posted on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 : 7:04 p.m.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein explains player rotation, redshirts and Manny Harris' hamstrings

By Michael Rothstein

As the season progresses, Michigan coach John Beilein figures his rotation will whittle itself from 10 players to a more manageable 7 or 8 with two other guys available for spot duty.

For right now, and probably throughout the non-conference schedule, the third-year Wolverines coach said he’s going to be open to seeing how minutes fluctuate.

“That’s kind of what we did last year, too,” Beilein said. “We’re going to get spots and see how people perform. You play someone 10 (minutes) or 5 and they are playing pretty well, then you move the minutes up or you stay there.

“If they are playing 5 or 10 or 15 minutes and aren’t playing well, then you scale back.”

While Beilein has used a 10-man rotation before and said he’s been thrown in all kinds of situations, including using a three-headed rotation at center once, most good teams have a set 7 or 8 they go to.

“Right now, we’re not ready to determine that yet,” Beilein said.

All this means is don’t be surprised if Michigan’s lineup looks a little bit different for Saturday’s opener against Northern Michigan (7 p.m., Big Ten Network) than what the Wolverines showed last Friday against Wayne State in an exhibition.

Beilein said he hasn’t made a concrete decision yet but he’s still in his exploratory stages when it comes to lineups and rotations and matchups.

“It’s about who comes off the bench as much as who starts for us,” Beilein said. “Guys who come off the bench I like to be seasoned players who can come off and say ‘Hey, I’m not starting but give me the ball because I can’t wait to shoot it in.’

“That’s what I’d like to have come off (the bench).”

It’d be unlikely that either junior guard Manny Harris or senior forward DeShawn Sims would be moved out of the starting lineup, but the other three positions could be open for switching.

It also likely means you’ll see some combination of Harris, Sims, fifth-year senior Zack Gibson, redshirt junior Anthony Wright, sophomores Zack Novak, Laval Lucas-Perry and Stu Douglass, redshirt freshman Ben Cronin and true freshmen Darius Morris and Matt Vogrich for a while.

Get your shirt, your red shirt
John Beilein, as expected, said he’s planning on redshirting freshmen forwards Blake McLimans and Jordan Morgan this year.

├é┬áBeilein doesn’t see the logic in burning a year of eligibility for a player for extremely limited action. If a move necessitates Morgan or McLimans popping into the rotation, he’ll get rid of the redshirt but until that point, don’t expect to see either player for the rest of the way.

“It just doesn’t make sense at this point,” Beilein said. “If we think they can help us this year, then we’ll play them. If we don’t think it’s going to help, I’d hate to trade 30 seconds or 2 minutes in one of these early games for a whole season in the event down the road that they don’t play much more.

“It just doesn’t make sense.”

Morgan, meanwhile, is still awaiting medical clearance to being playing at full speed. Beilein had initially anticipated Morgan would be cleared after his knee surgery last month, but that has been delayed.

Manny’s Hammys OK
Some good news for junior Manny Harris. He’s practiced fully over the past week and his strained high hamstrings appear to finally be on their way to healing.

It doesn’t mean Beilein isn’t going to keep an eye on his star and what is going on with his legs, but there is a little bit of relief there.

“It’s pretty good right now,” Beilein said. “He’s still going to therapy but he’s been practicing full-go for about a week.”

This and that
It’d appear as if Lucas-Perry has won the reserve point guard’s role, although Douglass will also see some time at the position. If both are on the floor, though, expect Lucas-Perry to be the primary point. … Beilein first heard about recruit Tim Hardaway Jr. when he was a sophomore in high school courtesy of assistant John Mahoney. … Beilein’s field goal percentage defense goal each game hovers between 41 and 43 percent.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Fri, Nov 13, 2009 : 10:14 a.m.

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