Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Title Says It All - well except that Beilein is King of the World. Saving that for another thread.
Campus Insiders' Jordan Cornette and Ray Crawford recap the Wolverines selected in the NBA Draft including why Nik Stauskas will star in Sacramento and Mitch McGary will bring the Thunder in Oklahoma City.
I don't mean for this post to take away from what a great job coach Beilein has done in rebuilding our program. He's taken us to a place in basketball that I can barely remember as a kid, but I've been thinking about this for awhile and I understand that they are only tangently connected, but it seems like Hoke changed everything.
Football is the heart and soul of our athletic program. When Hoke was hired, Michigan basketball was on a brutal game losing streak and was 1-5 in Big Ten play. When Hoke declared "This is Michigan, for God's sake" he seemed to give everyone, not just the football team, a boost of swagger. We went on to get to 9-9 and won a game in the tournament.
This year I've noticed that football and basketball seemed to be connected. Mitch McGary is spotted going nuts during the Western Michigan football game. Tim Hardaway is seen rushing the field after OSU. Denard and company are regulars in the Maize Rage. Beilein calls OSU "Ohio." I even think I remember an interview where one of the basketball guys kept saying "This is Michigan."
Does anyone else have that feeling?
Via Detroit News:
"We have received no direction in those areas, none," Beilein said during the Big Ten coaches teleconference. "No direction from anyone; we just adopted it. There's just some uniformity with what Brady has done."
There is a great article by Sam Webb at the News on some advantages Michigan has in recruiting McGary http://detnews.com/article/20110908/OPINION03/109080444/1131/SPORTS0201/John-Beilein%E2%80%99s-system-could-be-deciding-factor-for-5-star-Mitch-McGary.) Some of this is a repeat from earlier (his friendship with Novack, Bielfeldt, & especially Robinson.)
But the article is extremely positive on Michigan's chances with McGary because of the coaching acumen of John Beilein, and his past use of post players. McGary's current AAU coach, Wayne Brumm is quoted extensively. Brumm says,
When you're doing an analysis for a big guy, it is very important to see how they're going to use him."
Extreme familiarity with the recruiting process has hardened Brumm to the typical promises made by college coaches. . . . Brumm is most concerned with how his team, and in this case McGary's future team, plays the game.
"I don't want to hear how they're going to use him," he said firmly. "I want to know how they are going to use him based on how they've played in prior years."
And therein lies Michigan's great equalizer in the race for McGary's services. The Wolverines may not have the recent national championship success of their contemporaries, but they do possess a characteristic that could prove just as pivotal, if not more so.
"The post player is intimately and intricately involved in John Beilein's system," Brumm explained. "I don't know anybody who runs a better offensive system for a post player than Michigan. So I have to say, why not (Michigan as a possible destination)? Everybody else is (analyzing McGary's recruitment) like they're a friggin fan. We're trying to pick a school that is in Mitch's best interest."
As good as this is, the article gets even better. Brumm suggests that as Beilein has better and better players, he will be a huge force to be reckoned with. In other words, the future looks very, very bright, whether or not McGary comes:
John Beilein can flat-out coach. The people I talk to and the coaches I talk to, I'll flat-out tell you — they are scared of John Beilein. They are worried about the day he starts getting the talent that they've got (at their schools). He's been at a bunch of places that he couldn't recruit high-major talent. Now he's at Michigan and it looks like he is making some headway there. When he starts with an even slate in terms of talent, look out! Look what he did last year. Look what he did with Darius Morris, Timmy Hardaway, and look what he has done with Jordan Morgan. My goodness, isn't anybody paying attention?
The article ends with high praise for Bacari Alexander. If you want a great read on Beilein and Michigan basketball, that goes beyond fluff, be sure to go through the full article.