This list is completely arbitrary and not a genuine analysis of the relative merits of state fossils.
There is a nice Freep story on Andrew Dakich and his place at Michigan. Link: Dakich: Michigan Perfect Fit.
Here are several things I found interesting:
- He turned down scholarships and guaranteed PT at mid-majors to play at Michigan. Having a chance at a Big 10 school was key.
- This is the fifth time a prominent, basketball savvy father has wanted to entrust his son to Beilein. (Hardaway, Horford, Robinson, and even Bartelstein.)
- He knows his role (3rd point guard after Spike & Walton,) but also believes he can earn PT.
- Dan Dakich and Beilein go back a long way, and Dakich also has a good relationship going back a ways with others on the Michigan coaching staff.
Andrew Dakich on the visit, Michigan, teammates, and the fit:
“The visit was awesome, the campus was amazing, the facilities are unbelievable, the academics,” he said. “I’m really close with Mark, and I’ve gotten a lot closer with Zak because he lives near me. I thought it was a perfect fit, and my dad did, too. He said, ‘Your dream is to play in the Big Ten and see what you can do.’
On his father's relationship with Michigan:
My dad trusts him more than anyone. … It’s one of the best coaching staffs, if not the best coaching staff, there is. He’s very excited and thinks I’m in good hands for the next four years.
On the appeal of having a chance to play:
On a team that started walk-on guards just five years ago and played a virtual unknown in Albrecht major minutes in the national championship game, Dakich has hope.
Apart from what anyone thinks of Dan Dakich as a commentator, he knows basketball. The implicit trust and recommendation from him and other prominent Dads in the business (Hardaway, Robinson, etc.) speaks extremely highly of Michigan and the coaching staff.
The other thing I never thought about in the National Title Game was the huge recruiting tool Spike Albrecht has become in reaching out to a player like Andrew Dakich. The fact that Spike spelled Trey Burke, played alongside him, and had an insane performance in the National Title Game, gives hope to all kinds of kids who want to make it in the Big Time. They now have clear proof that they have a chance at Michigan. It is easy for a coach to say that "all playing time is earned, and everyone has an equal chance.." Beilein, on the other hand, proves this when someone like Albrecht (and also LeVert) get substantial time on the floor.
A lot of people were understandably wary of a board post previewing a hypothetical championship game. I might be in the minority, but I'M OKAY WITH THIS. Consider the actual team's necessary preparation:
This deep in the tournament, all of the teams are clearly very good. To win two games in three days requires more than just a day of prep for the second game. If I were the coach, I would consider having the first day of the week be devoted to the two potential teams to come in the Championship. Reasoning?
First, you want to prepare more than just a day for Louisville/Wichita. You can get to the championship if you just prepare for 'Cuse, but you can easily lose if you're unprepared for the finals. Having 4 days to prep for Cuse vs. 5 days is not as detrimental as having 1 day for Louisville when you could have 2.
Second, not wanting to confuse the team. That's why I'd do it the first day, because otherwise the team gets confused and doesn't focus on Syracuse when it should be. Talking about L'Ville the first day and then the day before the hypothetical game means a good memory refresher and you can start from somewhere other than scratch. (I get this reasoning from exam studying, where one studies first for the exam that will come last in a series, which I have found to be very effective).
Then there are the other forms of reasoning for the fan perspective, e.g., we're not the actual team and can discuss other things, etc. But if the team should be preparing for both games, can't fans do it too?
Thoughts? Does anybody know if a coach prepares the team for both games, or decides to make it as far as possible and hope a day is enough to prepare? It might really be unfeasible to prep for 2 teams the first day, but I think it's also really hard to get over the final four hypothetical victory high in one day and go to work with 1.5 until the next game.
Very interested in the storyline of this game. Beilein has to be one fo the coaches who knows this zone inside and out.
Also, I'd love to read some early analysis of how Cuse stuffed the IU offense - seemed like Yogi Ferrell was lost out there against the vaunted 2-3. Lots of TOs forced, but it was interesting that that Cuse stopped any Hoosier transition game as well.
The contrast could not be more startling.
Last night, Indiana looked like it had never even heard of a 2-3 zone before, and Syracuse simply demolished them. Just like that, the B1G's best team was gone.
Tonight, a team that was capable of abusing all of Michigan's weaknesses played solid basketball and got production from all of its key players. Withey was a force underneath the basket, and every time McGary was matched up against him one-on-one Withey got the better of him.
Yet somehow McGary produced 25 points, Burke had 10 assists, and Michigan won a basketball game they had no business even keeping close, against a team that was as bad of a matchup as Michigan could imagine.
And Beilein must receive the credit. Unlike Tom Crean, he did not shrink from the moment; he put Michigan in a position to succeed. In a game where Michigan had to score effectively and efficiently against a strong defense, Beilein devised a strategy that put them in the right place. McGary scored 25 points--but never when he was posting up Withey. Beilein moved Withey all over the court on screens and switches, and used movement to get McGary in position to score.
Somehow, Michigan's offense found all the right spots to keep scoring, even when Burke started cold. Somehow, Michigan was in all the right places to score. Somehow, Beilein was able to keep Michigan humming.
Beilein was masterful.
Nice piece over on ESPN.
Edit: Also some good Burke fluff. They are loving us this week: