Stu Douglas Interview: John Belein’s Leadership, A Zack Novak Story, and the Current State of Michigan Basketball

I had the pleasure of catching up with University of Michigan basketball legend, Stuart Douglas, earlier this week, and he did not disappoint. As expected he offered some thoughtful analysis on Michigan basketball and gave me a few gems about some of his former coaches and teammates. 


We kicked things off by exploring the leadership of coach John Belein. Stu explained that some of Belein’s development came when he had to learn to step back and trust his players and assistants. He also confirmed John Belein’s notoriety for focusing on fundamentals. Stu also walked through the preciseness of his passing drills and workouts. 

Zack Novak and Stu Douglas
Photo: H. Gonzales, Detroit Free Press

No interview with Stu Douglas would be complete without a Zack Novak story. Stu vividly described a time when he and Novak had a college conflict that ultimately strengthened their bond. Douglas and Novak played four years together at Michigan. Their relationship was instrumental in rebuilding the Michigan basketball program to national prominence. 


Stu shared my optimism and patience for Juwan Howard and the current Michigan team. He said “I think they finally figured out their balance offensively,” but admitted that it’s a complicated situation. He clearly admired the perimeter defense of young stud Kobe Bufkin, but explained that there’s still a lot for the team to figure out on the defensive side of the ball. 


If you want quality basketball analysis and overall good content, look no further than Stuart Douglas. You can find him on his “Go Blue with Stu” podcast, as well as a new pod that he and Nik Stauskas recently launched with Beyond The Big10 called “The Men of Ann Arbor.”