ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach John Beilein is all smiles of late and for good reason.
His tenth ranked Wolverines currently sit at 9-1 in the Big Ten, tied for first place with Michigan State, his team is playing selfless basketball, unaware of who gets the most credit in the scoring column game to game, not to mention Michigan is doing all of this without Pre-season All-America First-Team center Mitch McGary.
For Beilein, the chemistry is just there with his group.
“The real fact is that they really like each other,” Beilein said Friday. “And you don’t always know that when you recruit young man you think, obviously every kid you sign, at least the kids we’ve signed, you think this is a really good kid. They don’t always turn out to be that way, you don’t always know.
“This group has really turned out to be some special young men who really like each other. I mean, they hang; getting them out of here, getting them out of the locker room, they’re really good. So, when you have guys that are friends playing together, it speaks to they see each other.”
For some teams looking to zero in on a conference championship, the natural inclination can be to look a little further ahead -- not Michigan.
Sure, match-ups with Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin are on the horizon but the Wolverines have their attention squarely focused on No. 17 Iowa Saturday.
The Wolverines took care of Iowa at Crisler Center on January 22, 75-67 the final, led by Nik Stauskas’ 26 points. As is the case with several teams Michigan will see for the second time in the latter half of their schedule, adjustments will be made and they’ll have to be ready for them.
“I just look at the whole game and say what did we score, what did they score on, what are the things we have to do better, what is their personnel,” Beilein said. “Because you really don’t know until what you emphasize everyday in practice is what they emphasize everyday in practice.
“And it might not even be a play, it might be an angle, and you just look and watch it all meshes together and then try to summarize what you see and make a whole new game plan. Some of it may be very similar but some of it may be different. I’d assume Fran is doing the same thing.”
After leading the way with 23-points in Michigan’s win over Nebraska Wednesday, Beilein remains focused on getting sophomore Glenn Robinson III not just more looks, but better looks offensively.
Confidence being a part of the problem for Robinson III at times, Beilein continues to encourage his young star.
“I can guarantee in the film he saw every one of his shots that went in and we continue to do that cause he’s capable of that more than he’s not,” Beilein said. “It’s just trying to find what he’s comfortable with, put him in situations like that and then he’s got to go up believing the shots going in.”
Beilein adding, “when he is involved, when he is scoring, we’re a tough team to guard.”
McGary starts rehab
John Beilein broke a little bit of news Friday at his press conference.
Asked if there’s any update on the health or schedule of sophomore center Mitch McGary, Beilein let everyone in on a secret.
“Breaking news; he has started rehab,” Beilein said. “Do not have any news on (rehab) but I would assume it’s very, very light right now but he has started rehab with it.”