The returning Big Ten Champions of basketball are set to defend their title in November.
But not before they take a tour of Europe, and facing a few local squads, in a few days.
Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein spoke to the media Wednesday to give the latest on the state of his team leading up to the trip. With the Wolverines returning a squad that is filled with youth, However, Beilein stresses that the growing pains the young players will go through will be a positive.
"We're plowing through things and trying to give the players as much info as we can and as much conditioning as we can without overloading them," said Beilein. "I expect us to go over there and play our best, but we could be overmatched in some games, just in experience and size, but it will be good for us."
Although the freshman could be overloaded at some points of the summer, the biggest adjustments and growth to the collegiate level of coaching is behind them. On top of that, taking away the added pressures of schoolwork
"It's been a great adjustment for them. The summer program for our freshmen is very demanding and they have finished it. That's been a big part of growing," Beilein said. "Now, they've been around the players. I think there are two more projects that are due, but now that the schoolwork is mostly done, I'm really looking forward to them playing over there (Italy) without the academic workload on their back."
Junior guard Caris LeVert has seen the spotlight shine a little brighter compared to his previous two offseasons. With leaders of the team last season in Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III now playing in the NBA, attention has been placed squarely on LeVert's shoulder to break out and potentially be another lottery pick for Beilein.
However, the exhibition season might get off to a slow start for LeVert who is currently on the road back to full health after offseason foot surgery -- an injury he suffered during the NCAA Tournament last season. Although LeVert is playing with the team, Beilein stresses that LeVert still needs to get back into game shape.
"Caris started playing last week, but he's not himself yet, Beilein said. "As you can imagine, he was pretty much dormant for 16 weeks and so you'll see some of those flashes today. It's just a matter of him getting back in game shape."
With the 2014 season three months away, the upcoming trip to Italy will be an excellent opportunity for this team to find its beginning stages of an identity.
With a Beilein coached team, anything is possible.