John Beilein fired up about Slippery Rock, says Michigan will likely use short rotation
ANN ARBOR -- John Beilein rarely opens up a press conference without applauding his opponent.
Whether it's Michigan State or Northern Michigan -- he's always got something positive to say.
On Friday (8:30 p.m.), his No. 5 Michigan basketball team opens up its 2012-13 regular season against Division II Slippery Rock, the same lovable step-child of the Michigan football program for years.
But Beilein, true to form, isn't laughing or joking heading into this one.
"People don't know or realize what Slippery Rock has become as a team, this is a team, (if it gets) some breaks it can win a Division II championship," Beilein said. "They just scrimmaged Navy, at Navy, and were ahead by 30 in the second half.
"A lot of people think of the Slippery Rock we announce at football games. This is not your father's Slippery Rock."
Regardless of what, exactly, your father's Slippery Rock actually is, the natural draw for Michigan to schedule this game does in fact come from its friendly tie with the football program.
Michigan football public address announcers begun announcing scores of Slippery Rock games in the late 1950s, and the tradition turned into a reality in 1979 when Michigan athletic director Don Canham invited Slippery Rock to play its rival Shippensburg at Michigan Stadium.
But Beilein doesn't want to hear any fairy tales about his opponent, he just wants to play.
"This is an extremely talented basketball team, this is going to be more than a test, it's going to be the real deal," he said. "We're going to have to grow up real fast.
"We could not go to Navy and be up by 30 in the second half right now."
As for his own rotation Friday, Beilein says he'll likely run a seven to eight-man rotation to begin with.
He said he'll likely stick his the same starting lineup of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Matt Vogrich, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Morgan. Freshmen Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas will likely be the first two off the bench, though Stauskas is questionable with a back injury.
Beilein said that if Stauskas can't go, he'll likely use freshman Spike Albrecht more -- possibly alongside fellow point guard Trey Burke. He also hopes to get injured sophomore forward Jon Horford back into the lineup.