Beilein: First 5 still an experiment (w/video

Beilein: First 5 still an experiment (w/video

Michigan head coach John Beilein spent nearly the entirety of Monday's final exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State tinkering with the lineup. What will the rotation look like for Friday's opener?

As Michigan left the Crisler Center floor Monday evening after disposing of a pesky but otherwise overmatched Saginaw Valley State University squad 76-48, several questions remain to be answered, none more intriguing than the starting five head coach John Beilein will settle on come the Wolverines opener on Friday against Slippery Rock.

For the second exhibition game in a row, the Wolverines ran out the same line-up with the exception and insertion of sophomore Trey Burke at the point guard position who returned from his one game suspension, due to a violation of team standards, finishing with 16 points and 8 assists. The other four starters consisted of Tim Hardaway Jr., Matt Vogrich, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Morgan.

With less than four days remaining for the Wolverines as they prepare to host Slippery Rock in the regular season opener Friday evening at 8:30pm, is the starting unit set? Coach Beilein still isn't committing to it.

"I'll wait and see the next couple days," said Beilein, "but I thought we got off to two really good starts both times. We're trying to teach Glenn to play multiple positions, and with Jon Horford being hurt, we didn't know how long he was going to be out at first; and we waited three or four days and said we got to go smaller and see how it goes."

After the game Beilein said Horford is now "full go" and will likely see time in the line-up Friday night, giving the Wolverines added depth in the frontcourt. Freshman Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan saw plenty of minutes Monday night, even some time playing alongside each other against a much smaller Saginaw Valley State team.

"We have been experimenting more than we've ever experimented knowing the five freshmen and knowing also the opportunity here to play with two big guys," said Beilein. "So there's probably been more thrown at Trey and Spike at this time than there was last year; but at the same time but they're responding okay, and we'll settle on some things. And we're really—its still an experiment in some ways in what we do well."

Robinson III, who has shot better than 70 percent from the field in two exhibition games, averaging 16 points per, will no doubt take the court first. Other freshmen such as Nick Stauskas, who shot 6-11 from the three point line in exhibition play, and Mitch McGary will see time early but maybe not right from the tip.

"First of all I like having that shooter come off the bench," said Beilein. "Thats why I used to hold Stu back and I end up putting him in. Having a guy that will go in there and has the confidence to go in there and shoot it right away. I like that Jordan can go 4 minutes as hard as he can knowing he's going to get a rest and then try to play them together. But those two—whether we change the starting lineup or not I know that those two will be early entries either as starters or coming off the bench."

To watch video of Beilein after Michigan's win over SVSU, press play below. Recommended Stories

Up Next