Beilein! Beilein! Beilein! (Unverified Voracity)
Beilein Beilein Beilein. Noted on the sidebar but worth repeating is Rosenberg's latest:
From all indications, John Beilein is not just a candidate to be Michigan's next basketball coach. Beilein is the candidate. [emphasis original]
Michigan athletic director Bill Martin is not tipping his hand publicly, but he appears to have zeroed in on West Virginia's Beilein. There are a few hurdles to overcome before Beilein is introduced as the next coach. Beilein's Mountaineers are still playing in the NIT, so he has yet to have a face-to-face sit-down with Martin. When that happens, anything is possible. One man might say something to turn off the other. Beilein might ask for too much money, though that is highly doubtful.
And Beilein might say, "Michigan? Ha! West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home." That, however, also would be surprising. Beilein had serious interest in the Indiana and North Carolina State jobs last year (he was a finalist for both) and has told friends he wants a shot at a national championship.
There is no doubt he would have a better chance at Michigan than at West Virginia. In other words, the hurdles are 10 inches high. Martin and Beilein easily can hold hands and jump over them together. It is not a 100% lock that Beilein will be Michigan's next coach.
But it is better than 50-50.
I wish Rosenberg had been a little more explicit as to whether he's got an inside source here or if this is just a gut feeling. It certainly sounds like he's got good reason to make such a strong assertion, but a little more transparency would be nice.
Andy Katz has the same info:
Michigan is expected to seek out West Virginia coach John Beilein this weekend in Atlanta after the Mountaineers finish with the NIT final on Thursday night in New York.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the Wolverines plan to unofficially interview three or four coach candidates -- possibly Beilein, Xavier's Sean Miller and Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery -- and then choose one for a formal interview. Their focus, though, is on Beilein.
Katz has been throwing out random names for two weeks now. It's good that he's finally on the right track. Cookie time.
Endorsed by Wonk. Also noted in sidebar; also worth re-noting. Wonk, perhaps feeling lingering guilt over abandoning the conference that nurtured his blogging ambitions from thew womb, takes an extended look at John Beilein and gives him two thumbs up. Most illuminating passage for any PSL coaches or fathers of incoming point guards who regard Beilein's system as a "slow down" approach is a look at WVU's pace in the Big East. Number in parens is possessions per conference contest:
8. St. John's (65.2)
9. Villanova (65.2)
10. West Virginia (64.2)
11. Louisville (64.1)
12. Cincinnati (63.2)
You'll note that Michigan managed to pound out a mere 61.2 possessions per game, and that West Virginia's number would have been the highest in the entire conference, though the pace of their opponents undoubtedly had something to do with that. Kenpom's numbers are slightly different (Wonk uses only conference games) and less flattering but hardly tell the story of a redneck Northwestern: West Virginia was faster than four Big Ten teams in terms of pace -- with an adjustment for how fast your opponents play -- and the two teams directly in front of the Mountaineers, Michgian and Minnesota, were two of the most turnover-plagued teams in the country. Turnovers have a tendency to make you look fast, if stupid. All indications are that at the very least West Virginia's pace will fall in the middle of the conference. Granted, the Big Ten is the slowest, most boring conference in all the land, but you can't credibly claim that a lack of pace will kill Michigan recruiting if the Big Ten had a recruiting year much like the SEC just did in football -- and they did.
Potential Michigan Coaches Deathmatch! I haven't paid close enough attention to the NCAA tournament in recent years to remember this without an assist from helpful messageboarders, but last year six seed West Virginia and John Beilein crushed eleven seed Southern Illinois 64-46. While it would be silly to conclude from a single game that Beilein the man, the quotes from the Saluki players in the aftermath are interesting:
"We ran into something we've never seen before," Southern Illinois forward Randal Falker said. "It was all confusing. I've never seen a team that can all hit the 3s. We just couldn't match up with them."
"We haven't played a team like that where all five guys can hit the 3," Southern Illinois guard Tony Young said. "It was a crazy game."
"We ran into a buzz saw," coach Chris Lowery said. "Their experience outreaches our tradition."
...not really sure what the last one means. Note that this is a slightly less experienced version of this year's Saluki four-seed that featured some seriously hellacious man-to-man defense.
Verrry eeeenteresting. The Hockey News surveyed 283 NHLers -- almost half the league -- on a wide variety of issues. The results are really interesting: 70% of players want to keep the shootout as-is, a scanty 3% want the penalties for fighting increased, a small plurality want to keep the (retarded) delay of game minor for throwing it over the boards, and 66% of the league hates Sean Avery more than anyone else. (Duh: Elisha Cuthbert.) Of direct relevance to you, the fervent college hockey fan (or person who just tolerates my fervent fandom):
If you had a son who was an NHL prospect, would you prefer to see him play:
1) U.S. college hockey (140) 52%
2) Major junior hockey (104) 39%
3) European hockey (26) 10%
4) Other (0)
Also I must note this:
What's the best thing about your job?
1) Living dream/playing/adrenaline/sold out buildings, etc. (111) 43%
2) Friendship/Teammates (32) 12%
3) Money/Lifestyle (26) 10%
4) Travel/other cities/road trips (25) 9.7%
5) Times off/Summer (22) 8.5%
6) Playing against best/competing (11) 4.2%
7) Everything (8) 3%
8) Fans (6) 2.3%
9) Women (5) 2%
10) Naps (3) 1.2%
11) Winning (3)1.2%
12) Fame (2) 0.78%
13) Hotels (1) 0.4%
14) Media (1) 0.4%
15) Trainers (1) 0.4%
16) Video Coach, Steve Summers (1) 0.4%
Etc.: Interesting Daily article on life after football for people who aren't Alan Branch. Would have been more interesting if they had caught up with a David Bowens or even Kelly Baraka; News article on how M is going to have to ramp up its coaching pay (duh)... Izzo raked seven million this year(!).