Detailed Beilein interview with Steve Kornacki


Very interesting stuff:


Reading between the lines, Austin Davis and Livers are on the rise, Charles Matthews and Teske, not so much. In fact, Teske is largely forgotten. Beilein even mentions Mo playing some 4, presumable with AD at the 5.


I wouldn’t really call this ‘not so much’ re: Matthews. “There were moments in practice last year that we could not stop Charles. He is really a gifted defensive player. He’s gifted offensively.”


Speaking with facts straight from the Backside Institute, I’m guessing that perhaps CM’s shot needs work or perhaps his decision-making with the ball (i.e. forcing the issue when giving it up is the better option?).

Nice to continue to hear great things about No Drama Davis. The ability for Moe to get some minutes at the 4 is as big an endorsement as anything Beilein could say about Austin’s game directly.


What exactly do you read from this as a negative?

“There were moments in practice last year that we could not stop Charles. He is really a gifted defensive player. He’s gifted offensively. We’ll have to be patient with him putting it all together. He’s what we call a wolf. He’s a hunter. He hunts shots. He hunts defense. He’s not just playing, he’s hunting. He’s not going for a walk or a run, he’s hunting. And we want him to have that mentality. The next few years with Charles are really going to be great to watch him grow his game in every way. We need him to be good, too.”


A shot hunter sounds like exactly what we need with the departures of Irvin and Walton. Mo is the only other player who has shown an alpha tendency and it’s difficult to lead a team from high post. I too see nothing negative about Matthews there.


Seems like for you, reading between the lines = negative spin.


Dylan, this part:

Specifically, “next few years”, “grow his game” and “we need him to be good”. It doesn’t sound to me like he starts in 17/18 due to a lack of an overall game. Some people would say this is a big disappointment for a 5 star recruit.


I had two positive takeaways and two negative conclusions. Sounds like neutral spin to me.


I think, in Beileinian fashion, he’s keeping expectations from getting too big for “the transfer from Kentucky”.


Who do you think starts in his place? “We need him to be good” seems like something you say about a guy who is going to play a lot.

“watch his game grow over the next few years” sounds like Beilein talking about any player.

Just my two cents. And are we calling Charles Matthews a 5-star recruit now? I don’t think anyone is expecting him to contribute like a 5-star player, are they? He was a 5-star as about a sophomore in high school, top-50 kid when he got to Kentucky, played very limited minutes at Kentucky and struggled.


I would be stunned if Matthews doesn’t start. I see nothing in Beilein’s remarks which expresses anything negative about Matthews, or in any way suggests that he won’t start in '17-'18 “due to lack of an overall game.” Last night, you had the coaching staff “becoming disappointed with Davis, Teske and Currie.” At this rate, we aren’t going to have anybody left to start.


I agree. Matthew’s expectations of himself going into Kentucky have been referenced quite a few times and it always struck me that he must have been rattled a bit mentally when things didn’t unfold as he expected them to at Kentucky. I think he even said once that it never entered his mind, as he entered Kentucky out of high school, that the NBA was not in his near future. I suspect JB is trying to keep him in a good place mentally–so he can be the best player he can be without forcing anything. No pressure.

Don’t tell Charles, but I think he is going to be awesome for us.


I’ll bet you Jordan Poole will hunt shots, too.


Key there will be hunting efficiently :slight_smile:


Oh totally, everything about his personality makes him seem like that type of player (In a good way!). He has some dog in him.


While I’m pleased that you remember something I wrote, that quote is out of context. While discussing possible reasons for Beiein’s newfound interest in recruiting centers, I said it’s possible that the staff is disappointed with Davis, Teske and Currie. Not my personal opinion (I have no insider information) and I followed it with “Just saying…”. The Kornacki article is pretty gung-ho on Davis, so he’s not an issue. I dunno about Teske (and of course Currie just showed up).


Dude…Currie didn’t just show up anywhere. Currie just reclassified from 2019 to 2018, so he won’t be “showing up” until next year.


Yes, Teske (and Watson and Simpson) were lightly mentioned in this article, but I wouldn’t read too much in to that — the focus was mostly on the new players entering the program/eligible to play this season, with a nod to the returing heavy rotation contributors (Wagner, MAAR, Robinson).

As for Matthews, I didn’t take any negative connotation from Beilein’s comments. True, he wasn’t effusive in his praise — like he was for Davis and has been in past years for guys like Robinson in first year of UM eligibility. But sounds very much like they expect Matthews to be a shut-down defender and a shot-hunter on offense. I think it is fair to question how efficient Matthews will be this year on offense, but it sounds like Beilein & Staff feel he has the ability to develop into an efficient performer on offense.

Based on this article, my guess for the 8-man rotation this season would be
Wagner & Davis in the post
Matthews, Robinson, & Livers on the wings (with some potential Wagner mins in a 2-bigs rotation)
MAAR, Simmons & either Simpson/Brooks in the backcourt with a 2-PG rotation filling MAAR’s rest time
***disclaimer, this is not a knock on the guys not included in the rotation, just a nod to Beilein traditionally tightening his bench come B1G play


If Davis converts the 3-4 layups/game that our bigs have tended to miss over the years we’ll be tough to beat!