Throughout his career, there's been a common thread: how much Jim Beilein prepares his team through the use of video.
In an age of fast-moving and constantly changing technology, this Michigan team is the beneficiary of Beilein's most advanced video training.
"He's obsessed with it," junior guard Manny Harris said. "We watch it every day. You come from class, walk by his office and he'll say, 'Come in; I want to show you something.' I honestly think he wakes up at 5 a.m. and looks at tape -- probably earlier than that."
Indeed, Beilein usually sets aside an hour in the morning to watch at home, so that when he comes into the office, he already has not just watched tape of a practice or a game, but also edited it down for a digestible 20- to 30-minute hit.
"I don't want any distractions, nothing; I just watch it," Beilein said. "I don't have to watch and then come tell someone to cut it. I just cut it and then I'll watch my cuts again."
Video coordinator Matt Duprey has simplified Beilein's laptop icons to make it easier for him to use. Duprey is almost like Kramer on "Seinfeld." If Beilein yells from his office for help with a program or an edit, Duprey comes bursting through the door. Maybe he's not as animated in his entrances as actor Michael Richards, but he doesn't hesitate when summoned.
"He's always here," Beilein said. "I caught him going to the bathroom once. It really pissed me off."
The computer program allows Beilein to have every practice and game on his laptop as soon as it concludes. This is nothing new to most coaches. But the difference may lie in how hands-on Beilein has become. He has one key on his laptop that starts and stops an edit, and he makes the cuts, over and over again.
"If a kid is in a shooting slump, I'll clip one of him making a shot 10 times so he goes out on the court thinking he made 10 in a row," Beilein said.
As Beilein was watching last Tuesday's practice, he was cutting a sequence in which freshman Eso Akunne moved toward the top of the key and then correctly bounced a pass toward the streaking Blake McLimans, a fellow freshman. But the timing was off. So he cut the video to show the movement first, which was correct, and then the timing of the pass, which was not. The spacing was off during the possession from other players, too, and that was made as a cut as well.
The team watched roughly 40 minutes of video before each practice last season, Beilein's second with the Wolverines. Now he's down to about 20, since this is more of a veteran group and he has refined his own video technique.
"I don't think he can live without the laptop," Harris said
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