and hire noahtahl!!! He's a genius!!
The Iowa Overtime, in retrospect
When Manny Harris fouled out yesterday, my first thought was I hate these refs. My second thought was oh my god if we somehow pull this out John Beilein's benching of Manny Harris during the Iowa overtime will go down in Michigan basketball lore.
At the time of the benching, most fans were pissed because they thought his coaching arrogance had cost us a trip to the tourney. JB claimed he did it becuase it was "best for the team in the long run". Yesterday showed us what JB meant by the long run. The Iowa overtime gave the team experience playing important minutes without Manny. Remember, the first time Manny missed important minutes (after the ejection), the team totally imploded and quit. JB wanted to teach the team that they are capable of competing against good teams without Manny. Although they got smoked in the overtime against Iowa, they never quit during the overtime, just as they never quit yesterday (while also going against shit refs in both games). JB's most controversial coaching decision almost resulted in the team going to the sweet 16.
In fact, I think this, more than anything else, proves why John Beilein is such a great coach. John Beilein's most controversial decisions, such as benching Manny Harris during the Iowa overtime, recruiting two low rated Hoosiers over Detroit leftovers, and inserting CJ Lee into the starting lineup, end up being his most applauded decisions in the long run.
because of the iowa loss the team lost a 7-9 seeding and this would have made a major difference in whom michigan faced and just maybe we would be looking forward to a sweet 16 matchup on thursday.
With a seven seed, they would have faced a 2 seed in the second round, which is exactly what they did with their current seed.
With an eight or nine seed, they would have faced a 1 seed in the second round.
On other words, a better seed would have only given them, at best, the same second round opponent.
and the reason they baffle me is not because JB is beyond criticism but because they isolate a couple of decisions and argue that changing those decisions would have a net positive effect on outcomes.
This ignores the fact that the season is not merely a collection of games. It is a collection of practices, film sessions, meetings, and games; ergo, JB is not making decisions with the same information you have at your disposal. He's making decisions with far MORE information than you have, and his track record tells us that he gets MOST of them right. The sort of coach who makes decisions based solely on short-term outcomes would yield us different long-term outcomes.
To wit: Anthony Wright was playing well in the first half on Saturday, but there's a reason he averages 3 minutes per game. He's proved (all year) that he isn't as good as the other people on the team. When Wright gets a few minutes and makes a few shots, that's great for our team, but it doesn't mean that JB should alter the rotation (once foul trouble is no longer a concern) in order to get Anthony Wright on the floor. He wasn't hot, he just made 4 shots! Should JB really make coaching decisions based on whoever is hot during each game? Can't you see the downside to that approach?
Or, another point: Sims and Gibson don't play together all year, so why would you start playing them together more often in a really important game? Sims/Gibson is not part of the rotation, it's not a good fit offensively, etc. etc. You can't completely change what you do as a team without causing other (perhaps undesirable) changes in other parts of the game. You're assuming that all of these changes would only improve our performance (or improve the score differential), but that's not the way changes work. Change impacts all facets of a game, and major personnel shifts of the sort you are advocating probably don't lead to victory in most situations. Douglass and Novak were our best shooters all year: they're the guys you want out there shooting when we need a comeback. It's true they didn't make them Saturday, but they were the guys most capable of making those shots.
It's fair to criticize JB, and I suppose some of your strategies might have worked (or might not have worked), but very few successful coaches initiate major alterations of the lineup in the second round of the NCAA tourney. What great coaches do is play the lineup that got them to the second round of the tourney.
....wait a minute, you mean we wont be awesome if Manny leaves early even though his, uh, "back up" anthony wright played well on Saturday....
Damn! At least thats what another riduculous poster was telling us yesterday in his 'we are better w/o Manny" thread.
Who are these people? How did they learn to type?
I loved the diary that Zone Read Left posted, but I am with you in the response the above comment.
Why do you assume that the rest of the season would have played out exactly the same way if we'd have beaten Iowa? This was a young, inconsistent team. If they'd have beaten Iowa, who's to say they wouldn't have let down their guard and played the Purdue game with less intensity?
with a 7-9 seeding, Michigan would still end up playing either a one or two seed to advance to the sweet sixteen
"JB wanted to teach the team that they are capable of competing against good teams without Manny."
I think Iowa doesn't deserve to be considered a good team on the level of Oklahoma. Manny just couldn't hit the broadside of a barn that game and JB wanted to sit him down to turn it into a learning experience. Leave it at that.
I think it's a stretch that JB was thinking after the Iowa loss, "Man, we pretty much just ruined our tourney chances, but in case we make the 2nd round, we will be so much better off in case Manny gets in foul trouble!" Give me a break.
I agree with the diary post. I posted at the time in the A2 News that whatever JB's reason was, it was a good call, and that the team would be better for it. My opinion is that he had to show Manny and by extension the whole team that nobody is bigger than the team.
After Manny's benching, the team came together and played arguably their best ball of the year. The upsets of UCLA and Duke were great games, but the team played a lot more within the system after the Iowa game.
That, I think, was his real point: either you buy into the system 100% or you don't play. It is better to have five people on the floor who are playing the system than four who are and a star who isn't. In other words, there will be no "Manny being Manny" situation at Michigan.
To me, there was never any doubt or "controversy" over the decision. Thanks to a lot of short-sighted "fans," though, there was. Beilein is a great coach, and will have Michigan doing some serious damage in subsequent years.
This was a great season and a great job by JB. Congratulations to all.
At the time of the benching, most fans were pissed because they thought his coaching arrogance had cost us a trip to the tourney.
Most fans? A vocal minority, yes. But a lot of us (the majority, I think) concluded that we didn't know enough about the situation to tell what was going on, so we accepted JB's rationale. The man's won over 500 games. I was willing to trust his judgment then and I am now.
hack a shaq is for pussies. i for one am eternally grateful JB never even considered that. he's a man. be a man, don't be desperate. jeezus.