...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
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.
ca-thar-sis (noun): the purging of emotions, or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
The question of whether or not John Beilein and the Michigan basketball program has reached parity with Tom Izzo’s Spartan program has been answered. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It’s not subject to the vagaries of partisan fandom that cloud objectivity.
Six of Eight. Six. Of. Eight.
That’s science folks. Pure, simple, unassailable statistics; and it is so, so sweet. As Beilein has built his program from tournament bubble team to conference title contender to conference champion and finally Final Four program, the measurement of Beilein’s Michigan to Izzo’s Spartans has been the theme in local media, with the narrative typically being, “Michigan’s closing the gap, but MSU is still the dominant program”. After Sunday, that narrative is blown to smithereens. Any media talking head trying to advance the notion that Tom Izzo still has the edge over John Beilein is just trolling for internet clicks. Check the math guys.
Six of Eight.
The 21stcentury up to this point has been tough for Michigan fans. We’ve all had to suffer a slow, agonizing decline in many of our beloved sports teams. To add insult to injury, this decline coincided with the rise of the internet and social media, almost as if Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook just so our rivals could chip away at the prestige of our beloved Michigan. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in basketball, where we not only saw our once proud program fall in the volcanic morass of NCAA sanctions and probation, but saw our hated rival rise in its wake. It chafed our collective ego to see Tom Izzo elevated by the Dick Vitale’s of the world to the status of Big 10 John Wooden, all the while ignoring the subtle fact that the Spartan’s rise correlated almost directly with Michigan’s fall. And while we as Michigan fans suspected that the Spartan’s emperor may have no clothes, such insight was met by derision by the Spartan faithful as sour grapes, boosted by massive winning streaks over half a decade.
Today that narrative is tossed on its head. Heading into Sunday, Spartan fans conviction that Izzo would right the ship in this game was absolute. It was what he and the Spartans had always done in the past. MSU would come into Crisler and beat Michigan and claim the drivers seat to the conference championship and send Wolverine Nation home disappointed, again; because Coach Izzo is the real deal and John Beilein is a just a pretender who runs a gimmick system. News flash to all those self-assured doubters in East Lansing. John Beilein can scout talent. John Beilein can recruit talent. John Beilein can develop talent. John Beilein can game plan, and John Beilein can coach. And he does it as well as, if not better than your false idol.
Sunday is not some isolated moment in the history of this rivalry. It’s the culmination that has been four years in the making. While Beilein has been recruiting players the caliber of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Izzo has been striking out on blue chippers like Jabari Parker. While Beilein has been developing players like Trey Burke into NPOY and NBA Rookie of the Year, Izzo is making excuses for players who have not quite reached the potential that their recruiting hype promised like Keith Appling. Beilein pulls hockey sticks out of the hands of Canadians and turns them into All-American death-dealers; Izzo teaches his players to slap the floor like lower primates to...to what? Prove that they're the alpha males?
Today the internet is abuzz with Spartans who are struggling to deal with their new reality as the 2ndbest basketball program in the state of Michigan. They will challenge the verity of Michigan’s preeminence with the impotent standard of matching Izzo’s Final Four total or winning the National Championship before respect is paid. But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about six of eight, and the inconvenient truth that while John Beilein may not match Tom Izzo’s record in the NCAA Tournament, he has passed MSU, and if he has done that, then maybe Izzo's house wasn’t built out of bricks after all.
Six of Eight. Catharsis, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a long time coming. Smile and exhale.
From Mgoblog, a Happy 61st birthday to our outstanding basketball coach! Particularly with the football program's struggles in recent years, basketball has been a great pleasure to watch. MBB is approaching elite status and is consistently a contender in the Big Ten and nationally. I can't thank John Beilein enough for what he has done the last 7 years with this basketball program. Let's get him a win on his birthday! Go Blue!
Idle Friday thoughts: which team is better, last year's or this year's basketball team? Compare this team to how they were both at this time last year (ranked #1 for the week going into the Indiana game) and how they were playing at the end of the year, during the tournament run.
If they were playing each other, who would win?