There's a great article in today's Michigan Daily on the link between the 1989 National Championship and the years of basketball futility at Michigan. (http://michigandaily.com/content/2009-03-18/michigan-basketball-1989)
Being an old fart (pushing 50), I vividly remember 1989, and the years leading up to it. It was well known in basketball circles that Frieder wasn't in control, and things were shady under him. He simply didn't run a tight ship. Fisher seemed such a breathe of fresh air, and after those 6 wins and the championship, how could Bo not hire him? (As an aside, it's interesting that Fisher is almost at the top (just behind Beilein, iirc,) in terms of coaching efficiency in the NCAA's. Those 6 wins will do that for you.) But I digress.
Fisher probably wasn't the best coach, and wasn't strong enough to control the team. He might have been too successful with recruiting the Fab Five . . . and the inmates were running the asylum. Fisher had more than he could handle. And what a mess with Ed Martin. BTW, I have to believe the same thing still happens in big time b-ball circles, but is just more hidden. But with Frieder, Fisher, and Ellerbe, there was a lack of institutional control and team control. Even with the 89 team, there was the talent to win, but they rarely put it all together during the season, yet another sign of a team with mediocre coaching.
I will take Beilein, and winning the way he is winning, any day over Fisher and Frieder. There was a post yesterday about the kind of players we want at Michigan. (one and done stars like Greg Oden and Derrick Rose, or players who stick for four years, albeit with less raw talent.) Thinking back to the past at Michigan, even before the last 10 - 15 years, we have had too many players with the wrong attitude. I will take hard working team players with solid talent who stick 3 - 4 years any day over prima donnas who barely tolerate the coach, and are here only as a stepping stone to the pros.
There was an awesome analysis in the NY Times last month highlighted here and at UMhoops about former Duke player Shane Battier (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/magazine/15Battier-t.html). He is EXACTLY the kind of player who fits Beilein, and who wins. Not a glory hound, not the first one everyone sees, but a great player. What a shame, that coming out of the Detroit area, he never even considered playing for fellow Dukie Amaker. I bet he would have listened to Beilein. Another player from this mold is Scott Skiles. Yes, Skiles wasn't squeaky clean, but man, he played hard and was prepared. He willed his teams to win. Not the most talented, but solid talent, hard work, and a winner. These are the kinds of players we want.
Under Beilein, I see more players like this coming to Michigan. The future's so bright, we'll have to wear shades.