Set for his team's 2012-13 regular season opener on Friday evening, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein made sure to tell the media that he doesn't believe Slippery Rock is the pushover opponent many are blindly assuming.
"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. They just scrimmaged Navy, at Navy, and were ahead by 30 in the second half. We could not go to Navy and be up by 30 in the second half right now.
This is an extremely talented basketball team, this is going to be more than a test, it's going to be the real deal. We're going to have to grow up real fast. A lot of people think of the Slippery Rock we announce at football games. This is not your father's Slippery Rock."
The veteran coach usually sings the praises of his opponents leading up to games anyway, but may have a fairly solid case here after seeing the way the Slippery Rock Rock (seriously) manhandled the Midshipmen. Slippery Rock still came up well short against Penn State last year in a 64-47 loss, and it's hard to believe that a relatively healthy Michigan team will find a way to overlook the first game of the season. THIS IS STILL SLIPPERY ROCK.
Beilein also confirmed he's prepared to roll with a starting five of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Matt Vogrich, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Morgan to kick off the year. Freshman Mitch McGary will likely be the first player off the bench on Friday with a moderate dose of Spike Albrecht, while fellow first-year forward Nik Stauskas is listed as questionable to play with a back injury.