The media used to sit in two rows: one midway up the lower bowl (where the students sit today, see the maize rage filling in above) and another just below the concourse in the blue section as well. The perspective was a bit closer in the Blue section before of course, but the new area is more spacious and a nice angle on the game. I asked a few media vets what they thought of the new space and they seemed pretty good with it.
Postgame was pretty interesting. At the end of the game U-M media relations walked around with a short list, asking the press with whom they wanted to speak after the game. I wanted to ask for Jalen but didn’t.
Most of the media who hang around postgame then head down on the court, through the tunnel and wind down a hallway (not quite the kitchen in Good Fellas) and enter the Junge Center—the building between Crisler and the Big House. Shortly after the players arrived, spread around the room and took questions for about 10-15 minutes. A few shots:
Hardaway, above, had a few folks chatting with him but most wanted to chat with freshman Trey Burke, who got his first career start Monday and had a big game:
Burke is a cool cat for a true freshman by the way. He admitted he was a little nervous before the game after the nod for the start, but he certainly wasn’t nervous breaking the game down for the media.
Obligatory Zack Novak:
They don’t give Novak one of those Michigan pull-over tops. (Blood stains).
After the players left Beilein showed up & answered questions for about 15 minutes or so. There’s a big difference between hoops and football press conferences. I preface this by saying I know this isn’t a revelation; I’m just offering up my feelings leaving the place. The questions (and Beilein’s answers) are so much more surgical and specific in a basketball presser, at least this one.
Football postgame pressers start with injury updates then broader questions about how units or players performed, and maybe about a controversial call or decision. There’s rarely something really interesting there unless the postgame midfield handshake got weird. This press conference jumped into specifics moments of the game [via UM Hoops] and Beilein’s fairly candid read on certain player performances/development, why he did some of the things he did during the game, and what it might mean for the next game. For instance, Beilein explained why he left Burke for a long time [“I just wanted to see what he’d do without a rest. I thought he did pretty well with it.”] and he shared some insight from a one-on-one film session he had with the frosh and what he’s trying to show him.
The questions were sharper and the whole thing had more of a the feel of a conversation between Beilein and the media.
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