Earlier today I wrote a diary which looked at how John Beilein has performed as a coach when his team gets 4-7 days of rest. Now I look at how John Beilein has performed as a coach in the tournament when compared to other coaches and the norm.
As many pundits such Nate Silver have pointed out, John Beilein is the best at outperforming his seed level. This was evident last year and back in his Richmond days when the No. 15 Spiders took down a No. 2 seed. But what does that actually look like?
John Beilein is 9-4 in the NCAA Tournament while at Michigan and he was 5-2 at West Virginia. He went 1-1 at Richmond bringing his combined tournament record to 15-7 or a .681 win percentage. Of course, some of those losses were with a stacked deck. Can anyone blame Richmond for losing a second round game in 1998? Can anyone blame John Beilein for losing to Duke on a missed floater, or losing to Louisville after last year's run?
By adjusting for what the expected outcomes are, John Beilein is solid in the NCAA tournament when favored to win or in a close matchup. He is also .500 when expected to lose. Yes. On the biggest stage, coach B is .500 when his team is expected to lose! Amazing.
Let's start at how I came to this conclusion
Richmond: 1-1 in games where he was expected to lose (15 seed).
West Virginia: 2-0 in games he was expected to win (vs. Northwestern State, Southern Illinois) and 1-0 in toss up games (his No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 Providence) and 2-2 in games where his team was the clear underdog.
Michigan: 4-1 when expected to win (the loss being against Ohio) and 2-0 in toss up games (Clemson, Tennessee). He is also 3-3 in games where his teams were expected to lose such as games vs. Oklahoma, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, Florida and Louisville. In fact that may be generous as many expected Michigan to fold against VCU last year. That could have been considered a tossup.
Spanning his three schools, coach B is 6-1 in games he was expected to win, 3-0 in tossup games and 6-6 where his team was an underdog. Based on Ken Pom rankings, you can make the case that this is a tossup game. Based on the seeds, you can say No. 11 Tennessee is a clear underdog. But even if you classify Michigan as the underdog, remember, coach Beilein is 6-6 in the NCAA Tournament in games he is supposed to lose with wins over top seeds and blue blood programs.
No matter how much love is given to Tennesee's big men or their tournament play as of late, Beilein has beaten better teams with far less. And for that, you have to feel pretty excited about his tournament odds.
By the way, his .681 win percentage is just slightly south of Izzo's .688 conference game winning percentage. And if you are wondering what the best percentage is in the tournament? Well, that belongs to coach K. He's right around .750.
This is a really funny story. Beilein usually tries to walk to the hotel after games when they are on the road so he can get some fresh air. Last night after the game, he was walking with a local police officer who was his body guard and they got lost.
Mlive story is here.
I will embed the video below.
John Beilein, already among the finalists for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award, has now been named one of the five finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. The other finalists are Tony Bennett, Virginia; Larry Brown, SMU; Billy Donovan, Florida; and Gregg Marshall, Wichita State. The winner will be announced on April 6 in Dallas during the Final Four weekend.
From the Naismith press release:
John Beilein, University of Michigan: Beilein guided the Wolverines to a 25-8 record, his fifth 20-plus win season, and fourth straight, in seven years at U-M. Michigan won its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years, claiming the conference by three games. This season, U-M recorded wins over three straight top-10 opponents for the first time in school history, despite losing Tim Hardaway Jr. and 2013 Naismith Trophy winner Trey Burke to the NBA. U-M earned its first No. 1 seed at the Big Ten Tournament and reached the championship game for the first time since the inaugural event in 1998. Beilein was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year by the media.
Michigan has a press release on this as well.
The stock on Michigan Basketball couldn't be hotter right now and alot of credit goes to where it should - like Beilein and his coaching staff, and the players. The last few years have brought acclaim and fun basketball back to Ann Arbor. Michigan recruits good kids who represent the school well. And, we're competitive with the elite programs and improving year by year.
But, I've noticed that members of the community have been dogging Jalen for being so vociferous about inclusion of the Fab 5's inclusion back to the fold. I, for one, think it could have a good effect on the school. Alot of ppl now a days dont even know the history of the team and its iconic brand of basketball. But alot of ppl do and I'm glad that Beilein and Co. have been so receptive of their input and support.
Jalen Rose wasnt implicated in the Martin Scandal and by all measures has been a model for the school. He had an illustrious NBA career and has become a solid broadcaster and personality. His Grantland segments are gold. He loves Michigan almost as much as he loves himself. So, why begrudge him to use his platform to try to get what he wants. It might be what is best for the school.
The US Basketball Writers Assocation has released its list of 10 finalists for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award. John Beilein deservedly makes the list and is the only finalist from the Big Ten. The other nine:
Tony Bennett, Virginia
Larry Brown, SMU
Jim Crews, Saint Louis
Mick Cronin, Cincinnati
Billy Donovan, Florida
Steve Fisher, San Diego State
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
Greg McDermott, Creighton
Jay Wright, Villanova
The only Michigan coach to have won this award is Johnny Orr, who received the honor in 1976.
This seems like a perfect opportunity for a history lesson.
As you remember, John Beilein was on the hot seat to start his fourth year at Michigan.
He had one season of success in his first three years, but that was with players recruited by the former coach.
HIs third year was supposed to be good, but at the begining of 2010 ......
Michigan may very well have been the most underachieving team in the entire nation, and it has now lost its two most talented players.....
Yeah, but what about that NCAA berth, you say? Well, Beilein rode a tandem of stars with very little around them ... and they were both recruited by Amaker. So you have a coach who has only had success based on using two players, and he didn't recruit either one of them.
To start his fourth year, things looked BLEAK. Article here.
Of course, Michigan is a current Division 1 team which is supposed to be competing in a power conference.
And the coach who was supposed to be turning this program around is entering his fourth season.....
Basically, Beilein is not the answer Michigan thought it had last year at this time. The sooner the administration realizes it, the sooner it can begin to rebuild the program. Again.
Interesting? And, isnt it supposed to be easier to turn around a baskebtall program quicker (kids play earlier, etc.)?
If you are looking for an example of a football coach who looked lost after three years, look no further than Pat Narduzzi heading into his fourth year:
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State defensive coordinator: Offense was hardly a problem for the Spartans in 2009. At 29.7 points per game, they ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring. However, the Spartans allowed 26.3 points per game, which ranked in the lower half of the conference. They weren’t much better last season on defense. The root of the problem has been a porous pass defense, one that allowed a league-high 267.6 yards per game. The Spartans have the offense, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, to make a run at a league title, but questions remain on whether the defense improve enough to alleviate some of the pressure on the offense. If the defense can’t, head coach Mark Dantonio could be looking for a new defensive coordinator.