Patrick Beilein will borrow some from dad's coaching manual

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Patrick Beilein watches the action at the Reaching Higher Camp at Milford on Wednesday.

Patrick Beilein learned the game of basketball from one of the best teachers -- his father, Michigan head coach John Beilein.

Patrick recalls when he first watched his father put a team together and plan for a game while John was head coach at Richmond in the late 1990s.

Patrick, who played for his father at West Virginia, is now head coach at Division II LeMoyne College in Syracuse, where John learned the ropes as a college head coach from 1983-92.

Patrick took notes Wednesday night while watching high school players compete in the Reaching Higher Camp at Milford High School.

"Things are going well," said Patrick, 32, keeping an eye on the action while taking a few minutes to talk. "I got the job in June so it's been good; I hit the ground running. The first thing you do is recruit the team that you're coming in with, and the big thing I did is kind of figure out what pieces you need and what pieces are going to fit into your system. Everybody is returning so I feel good about the guys coming back, so I'm excited."

Patrick said that system is what he learned from his father, which definitely includes plenty of 3-point shooting -- he made 242 threes at West Virginia -- and 1-3-1 defense.

LeMoyne will play Michigan this November, though a date has not been announced.

Patrick feels fortunate to follow in his father's coaching footsteps.

"I was kind of hooked from the beginning with watching him coach when I was at a young age, how he put teams together when he was at Richmond," Patrick said.

John Beilein guided Canisius (1996), Richmond (1998) and West Virginia (2005, 2006) to the NCAA tournament before doing the same with Michigan for the first time in 2009. The Wolverines played in the national championship game in 2013.

While John gets to work with some players in the summer, Patrick doesn't get that luxury.

"I think you get a good feel for your team with those early workouts in the fall once we're in class, and since we're not like Division I, we don't have workouts right now," Patrick said. "Every kid is at home and they're on their honor system of working out."

Patrick is looking forward to the challenges and rewards of coaching Division II basketball.

"Every kid wants to go Division I, and we realize that, but sometimes there's just not a lot of room at Division I," he said. "In the league we're in, the Northeast-10, we have 10 full scholarships, so you can play in a really good basketball league. You're not paying for school and you get to play a great game.

"There's a lot of Division II teams that could beat a lot of Division I teams -- and I'm not talking about BCS schools, but mid-majors. I'm really looking forward to my opportunity."