spoiler alert: i linked this
There was a column in the Chicago Tribune on the game between Michigan and Illinois yesterday. The article really is more about Illinois' failings and failures than about Michigan. But it gave a lot of credit to Michigan and to Beilein. Here are a few snippets (it is paywalled, I believe.)
The Wolverines moved the ball beautifully, the way Beilein teams typically do. While Illinois too often resembled a team in an AAU tournament, Michigan meshed as all five players worked as one.
Unfortunately, it took most of the season, but Beilein really has the team playing well together.
To Groce, the game got away from Illinois during one five-point Michigan possession with 3 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first half, created by freshman Leron Black's loss of composure.
Black made his biggest impact by drawing a technical protesting a foul with the Wolverines leading 29-21. After Michigan guard Spike Albrecht made both free throws, he hit a deep 3-pointer nearly from his hometown of Crown Point, Ind. Illinois never recovered.
"My assistant says, 'That's a hard shot,' and I say, 'No, that's karma,' " Groce said. "Don't get the technical foul. We've got to be more poised than that. They had more energy than we had, which was disappointing."
That speaks to Spike, and to how the team is coached. I don't think I've seen a single Michigan player with that kind of lack of discipline.
Michigan, missing two key players, used an eight-man rotation. But Wolverines coach John Beilein didn't win his eighth straight Big Ten tournament opener because he lacks the ability to adjust.
We all know this, but I consider this year an incredible coaching job by John Beilein.
I'm hoping that one or two potential recruits see what is happening, and choose to commit to Michigan as a result.
Going along with the recent trend of putting together a team with only 15 dollars, I decided to make one with my own spin. Rather than going all-time and having people argue about quality of competition, quality of teammates, etc. So I decided to ask you guys to put together an all-time John Beilein team. Now the skill level from top to bottom is not amazing, but I tried as best as I could to make the list accurate. This is under the understanding that the player is at the top of his COLLEGE career. So here it goes:
(5) Trey Burke
One of the best college Point Guards of all-time, he took over games although playing a little bit of Hero Ball sometimes.
(4) Darius Morris
"The Butterfly". He could penetrate like crazy and his passing was stellar. I really wish he had stayed an extra year.
(3) Derrick Walton Jr.
I was a little stumped with this one. Walton is one of the more talented Point Guards Beilein has had here, but he has not had time to pass Douglass up. I think eventually he could pass up Morris.
(2) Michael "Spike" Albrecht
He is always good for 17 points in a half or a clutch three. But Spike is not a great defender.
(1) C.J. Lee*
A scrappy defender that can not really compete with the top of the league.
(5) Tim Hardaway Jr.
A streaky shooter that could take over games. If he had stayed his senior year he could have been a top 15 pick in this years draft.
(4) Caris LeVert
Some people are projecting Caris at #4 in next years draft. He will be "the guy" this year.
(3) Manny Harris
The ball hogiest of hogs, but he could score. Put him on a team with a good cast, and he would be great.
(2) Stu Douglass*
A great shooter, turned into one of the better perimeter defenders.
(1) Matt Vogrich
This is the position you should spend money on.
(5) Nik Stauskas
The best shooter of all these players. This one is easy for me.
(4) Zack Novak
The grittiest player of all time. Small Forward is still not his position. If you want a captain, this is your pick.
(3) Zak Irvin
Just the fact that he was here says something. He could make a jump, but he is unproven.
(2) Kameron Chatman
True Freshman, pick him if you want length.
(1) Anthony Wright
Don't be cheap here.
(5) Glenn Robinson III
Freak athlete, a really streaky shooter.
(4) DeShawn Sims
A great scorer, I do not remember a ton about him.
(3) Evan Smotrycz
Yes the lobster makes my list.
(2) Mark Donnal
(1) Max Bielfeldt
A minute eater.
(5) Mitch McGary
A puppy that runs the floor and gets all of the rebounds.
(4) Jordan Morgan
Undersized but more than motivated.
(3) Ekpe Udoh
Too bad he transferred :(
(2) Jon Horford
Too bad he is leaving :(
(1) Ricky Doyle
Have fun and give me any tips about who you think should be where.
*Due to suggestions, I added Lee to the Point Guard and Douglass to the Shooting Guard, this adds to the depth of the 2 and takes a way from the Point Guard.