Scrimmages on Michigan's agenda during off week


ANN ARBOR — John Beilein paid his dues.

Michigan head coach John Beilein gestures during a game against Maryland.
Michigan head coach John Beilein gestures during a game against Maryland.

He rose up through the coaching ranks, starting in junior college before moving up to Division III, then Division I mid-majors. When Beilein was hired by West Virginia in 2002, he already had 373 career wins. So he’s well-versed in the conventional.

That’s what the Michigan coach and the rest of the Wolverines are tasked with this week — an atypical week off before the start of the NCAA tournament. He twice faced a similar situation — at Canisius and Richmond. The Wolverines aren’t complaining about their four wins in four days. They’re just searching for the appropriate balance.

“I think what we’ll probably do is make sure we take some time off, whether it’s frame it up like a training camp with these little two- or three-day sessions with a day off,” Beilein said. “We definitely have at least a 30-minute live scrimmage with officials somewhere in the middle there to make the difference up. We didn’t hold back a scrimmage, so we can’t scrimmage anybody else.

“We have 17 guys on the roster, so we can have some type of an all-star game scrimmage just to get people in and have reps. That’s the plan. It’s different when you’re used to the other format. But we’ll still find a way while we’re waiting to be selected.”

If Michigan plays next Thursday, it will be a 10-day layoff. Friday would mark 11 days since the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Regardless, Beilein is A-OK with how things worked out.

“I’m just dealing with it the best I can,” he said. “I’m not going to say I’m in favor or against it. I’m usually always in favor of the cards I’m dealt.”

Contact Kyle Rowland at, 419-724-6110 or on Twitter @KyleRowland.