I mentioned in the last Cole Huff thread that I work with his father at a High School in Inglewood. He stands outside my classroom between each class period and we talk basketball so I have a fairly good relationship for aquiring inside info in this case. I just spoke with him an gathered some valuable intel.
Cole "won" his appeal to Nevada's blocked schools. They unblocked 5 schools: Pepperdine, San Diego State, UCLA, USC and I think Santa Barbara. Cole is not interested in USC because he does not like their coaches (there was a situation with one of their assistants when Cole was a senior in high school that has soured him to that staff). The only one of those schools that he is really interested in is UCLA. He is still waiting to hear from them. His former AAU coach told him on Saturday that UCLA wanted to do an in home visit today or tomorrow but he has not heard anything since. IF UCLA offers, they will be the favorite.
The current favorite is Iowa. Cole and his dad are planning a visit and have very strong interest. Creighton has been pushing hard and he likes them as well but they seem to be behind Iowa.
It does not sound like Michigan has acctually given commitable offers to Cole or Byron Wesly just yet. Cole's dad told me that Belien is only really interested in the two of them if McGary decided to leave and the coaching staff is still waiting on that decision (from the sound of it the Mitch is still genuinely undecided). It was somewhat unclear if Huff and Wesley were only interested in Michigan if McGary left or if Michigan was only interested in them in McGary's gone. Either way, those two are only in the fold if McGary is not. I realize that that doesn't really make sense since they would have to sit out a year and McGary is likely gone after next year either way, but that is the information I was given. Maybe with MAAR's commitment they don't have the scholarship to offer but I was under the impression that they still had one spot open.
I will try to gather more information and clear up some of the ambiguities in the post after the next class period ends.
Kenpom has done some analysis of end-game and in-game coaching ability and identifies Steve Fisher as possibly the best. Beilein also rates highly.
UM Hoops transcribed today's press conference of Beilein, GR3, Nik, and J-Mo.
Pretty good stuff here (LINK)
From our senior leader:
Q. Jordan, how much do you embrace, kind of like Texas, when you hear the other team has a big physical advantage especially up front?
JORDAN MORGAN: Well, I mean it’s kind of just like it’s a challenge. They’re obviously very good down, like down low, and they’ve got a lot of size and great rebounders. That’s kind of just what this is all about, is stepping up and trying to face those challenges, succeed or not.
It’s just an opportunity to prove yourself as a player and as a team.
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.