SI.com: Michigan basketball coach John Beilein lauded for success despite lack of depth
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Who says you need depth to succeed in major college basketball?
Michigan basketball coach John Beilein went through the 2011-12 season with hardly any, and earned a share of a conference championship in the process, something that drew the attention of SportsIllustrated.com on Wednesday.
SI.com's Luke Winn listed his annual college basketball coaching awards, and included Beilein as the coaching having the "Most Success With The Least Depth."
According to Winn, Michigan's reserves accounted for 16.7 percent of the team's minutes on the season. Only two teams played their bench less than Michigan in all of Division I college basketball a year ago, Siena and Youngstown State.
"No one got by with a shorter rotation than Beilein," Winn wrote. "After losing point guard Darius Morris to the NBA earlier than expected, and then big-man Jon Horford to a medical-redshirt year, the Wolverines' coach allocated just 16.7 percent of his minutes to reserves.
"And yet, Michigan managed to finish in a three-way tie for the Big Ten regular-season title -- the first time that's happened since 1985-86."
Michigan's bench leader in minutes played, by the end of the 2011-12 campaign, was sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz -- who finished the year averaging 21.1 minutes per game after being removed from the starting lineup 18 games into the season.
The Wolverines will have to replace Smotrycz's minutes next season, as he recently decided to transfer to Maryland.
The only other Michigan reserve to see action in all 34 games a year ago was guard Matt Vogrich, who logged 10.7 minutes per contest.
Despite losing Smotrycz, as well as senior starters Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, Michigan could have more depth next season with the addition of a highly-touted four-man recruiting class that features five-star wing Glenn Robinson III, four-star forward Mitch McGary, four-star guard Nik Stauskas and three-star guard Spike Albrecht.
Also, Horford and fellow forward Max Bielfeldt are expected to compete for minutes after redshirting the 2011-12 campaign.
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