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Posted on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

John Beilein laughs off analyst's prediction of Michigan in the 2013 Final Four

By Nick Baumgardner


On his weekly radio show, Michigan coach John Beilein, left, said of Tim Hardaway Jr.: "He's phenomenal as far as trying to get better and working at it. He has his blind spots just like I do, and just like you do. You just (try) to help him see how to attack things."

Jeff Sainlar |

At least one college basketball analyst expects big things from the Michigan basketball program next season.

Even if John Beilein thinks he's crazy.

Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle joined Beilein on his weekly radio show Monday night to preview the 13th-ranked Wolverines' home game against Northwestern on Wednesday.

While on the show, broadcast by 1270 AM WXYT in Detroit and 1050 WTKA in Ann Arbor, Doyle paid Beilein's fledgling program a rather lofty compliment.

"A note to you guys, I got a chance to see (2012 signee) Glenn Robinson III play in Milwaukee this past weekend, and holy cow is that kid good," Doyle said on the program. "And I've got a prediction next year: I think Michigan is a Final Four team next year."

Beilein's response?

"What happy hour are you at right now?" he said in jest.

While Beilein was quick to fend off any lofty expectations for next season, he did appreciate the praise Doyle dropped on Robinson.

In addition, the fifth-year Michigan coach explained again how excited he is to be adding Robinson (a four-star small forward), Nik Stauskas (a four-star guard/forward) and Mitch McGary (a five-star power forward) next season.

"We love all three of those guys," Beilein said. "(Robinson and Stauskas) came in here very proud for the Minnesota game (earlier this month) and Mitch had come (for the Penn State game).

"They're all doing very well, but we've got some good guys on this team right now. A lot of guys in that room that can get a lot of work done this year."

Hardaway working on positive emotion

Beilein spoke on how emotional Tim Hardaway Jr. played Sunday during Michigan's 59-41 win over Wisconsin.

Hardaway posted the first double-double of his season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and did so with positive emotion, according to Beilein.

Not self-inflicted emotion.

"It's emotion going in the right direction," Beilein said. "That's really important. And I don't mean he's ever been selfish, he's just very hard on himself. And we're all working at that.

"You try and help him through it like everything, just like your own children. ... He's phenomenal as far as trying to get better and working at it. He has his blind spots just like I do, and just like you do. You just (try) to help him see how to attack things."

Burke up to the challenge

Following Michigan's win over Wisconsin, Beilein remarked how much freshman point guard Trey Burke seemed to relish the chance to guard Wisconsin senior All-American Jordan Taylor.

So much so that when Beilein took Burke off Taylor for a moment, the freshman reacted with some disappointment.

Burke enjoys going head-up against the country's best, but not enough to make it a one-on-one game, says Beilein.

"He's grown up in the environment when he's played against the best teams in the country, the best AAU teams in the country and he likes matchups," Beilein said. "He likes the idea of 'that guy's really good, let's see how I match up.' He likes that challenge and it's really good to have that type of attitude.

"It's not about 'I'm going to go down and dunk on him,' he wants two things: To show he can play, but most importantly, he wants his team to win."

All former alums welcome in the PDC

Beilein thanked both the sellout crowd Sunday during Michigan's win over Wisconsin, and the dozens of former players who returned to Crisler Center to celebrate the dedication of the Player Development Center.

In addition, Beilein said he wants to make sure every Michigan basketball alum knows he's welcome inside the new facility.

Now and forever.

"I personally invited a lot of guys to come back, and some of them couldn't make it," Beilein said. "But that's not just our Player Development Center, that is the home of Michigan basketball now and forever. And I want every former player to feel like he can walk in there.

"This is his home. I don't know if we've had that (before), we have that now."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I bleed blue but final four seems to be a stretch. A lot depends on brackets. Would love to see happen.

A2 Rez

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Does every Michigan basketball alum include Chris Weber? I think his not allowed to be on campus ban ends in 2012 and couldn't imagine any greater crowd pleaser, especially to the younger fans, than a reunion of the Fab Five at Crisler. I was at the game on Sunday and was very surprised at the incredible reaction given to Cazzie. I assume a large portion of the crowd (75% or thereabouts) didn't have the slightest idea who he was.

Nick Baumgardner

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

The contact ban between Webber and Michigan officially ends in 2013. From there, it'll be interesting to see if both sides can somehow meet in the middle there. However, there are other players who are in no way banned from campus that were noticeably absent. Several from the 1980s and 1990s -- Glen Rice, Terry Mills, Jalen Rose (though, he's pretty busy as an NBA analyst these days), etc. I think that's what Beilein meant when he said "all alums." There's still a gap between young and old, and it still appears to need work. Nick


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:33 a.m.

Why kill our guys confidence and laugh it off? I do not understand this approach. I want my BB coach to thimk we can be in the final four every year and demand it out of his players. JB has had a long time here to still be saying making the final four is unreasonable. Are we going to be happy with one and done for ever? I hope not! It is time to move to the next step. Leaders and best baby!!!!!


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Beilein's response was entirely appropriate. Next year is next year and nothing Beilein says now about is going to have any affect on the confidence of his players. Beilein's not the kind of coach who gives other teams locker room motivation quotes - and that is one of the qualities I like about him.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 9:55 a.m.

Making predictions for 2013 is trivial, especially right in the middle of the 2012 season. Ask Rex Ryan how well lofty predictions work. Confidence should be earned the right way, by focusing on the next game in front of them, and putting themselves in a good situation to win. Worry about 2013 in 2013.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Let's Go Blue, Michigan Basketball is here to stay. 2013 recruits are going to stack this team, but why wait? This team has the goods to make a deep tourney run NOW. They are only going to get better and gel as the Big Ten season continues. They played a sloppy game against Indiana on the road and still just lost by 2. Bring it on Big10!


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

Beilein is a class act and a great coach. I feel proud having him in control of Michigan basketball. Go Blue!