Am here to pass on some information many of you will find comforting, regarding our basketball team. As a student I had season tickets from Frieder/Fisher's Title through the Fab Five, and have had many thoughts and a view you may appreciate.
I have learned in those years, that the Michigan Basketball program is either one of two things. A Giant, or a Sleeping Giant. There is no middle ground. When its on, the spotlight nationwide, is blinding, so much that you'll be surprised by the strength of it. Perhaps the magnitude of it is from filling a void in the media channels for when the Men's football team isn't playing. The majority of you here are a lot younger than I and have not experienced the frenzy that is Michigan Basketball when it awakens, and boy, I hope you are ready when it comes.
It was so big, that there was even a brief fleeting moment in 1989 that it was bigger than the football program, when after the title, Bo spoke to us at a celebratory ceremony with Glen Rice and the other players, and Bo made reference "and hopefully we can follow it up with winning a football title the next year!". Most reactions to that in the crowd were quiet and subtle boos, a displeasure of sorts because at that time, the basketball team was king, at that time. Maybe because it was April, and they just took everyone on a wild ride in the tournament, but nonetheless, it was true.
The program has been a sleeping giant since Tom Goss fired Steve Fisher, which was very unfortunate, because Ellerbe was out of his league. And since the program has been sleeping since.
Now, in the present, Coach Beilein has been operating at a large disadvantage regarding facilities, which are very substandard, and this, believe it or not, means a lot to recruits, and a lot more than it should. MSU has been able to clean up in this regard concerning the top recruits. But what it has seemed Beilein has done is that he has been quite resourceful, landing players that are late bloomers with potential to be stars. For until the facilities and recruiting ability is even-board, then this was the best Beilein could do, and DB has alluded to this issue.
Beilein found Darius Morris, who literally looked like a little kid, when recruited, a kid among older boys. And now Morris, by leaps and bounds, looks like almost a man among boys, though not quite yet...that will be next year.
Beilein found Jordan Morgan, who impresses the heck out of me, who is so fundamentally sound, it is shocking he had no good offers. Morgan is cleaning up down low, and is operating alone. We are one big man recruit, away from being a Giant, again. Well, maybe two. Am glad to see Morgan have a big game on the stat sheet, which now should draw more attention to his play. He also has seemed to have a major development growth spurt, by leaps and bounds, after playing Sullinger last week. You could see at the start of the game, his tentativeness, as if he didn't have the full confidence. Then, last night, he crushed NW's big men. If we had two Morgans down low, we'd be top 7 in country right now. That is not lip service. Morgan is that effective, and is doing it alone. Beilein hit a home run finding this kid.
Beilein found Tim Hardaway Jr, who has grown by leaps and bounds. Word was that Hardaway wasn't good enough to be recruited by us, and his list wasn't impressive. But now, you can imagine how many teams would recruit Hardaway. I fully expect him to be in discussion for All-Big Ten next season, at this pace.
Beilein found Jon Horford, who needs to play, and play alot. Horford is a guy who will metamorphisize in the offseason, and is a budding star. Am surprised MSU did not recruit this kid. Here is another who is a late bloomer, and reminds me a little of Eric Riley.
Beilein found Glenn Robinson Jr for next year. When I was a student, Robinson SR committed to Purdue early, and was heartbroken because he said had he known that Webber, Howard, and Rose were all gonna commit here, that he would have without question. He loved the Wolverines. As much as I liked Ray Jackson, he was not of the caliber of the other Four, but Big Dog was. And Beilein just landed Big Dog Jr.. If this kid develops late like Hardaway, then you'll be very very pleased because his dad was a beast.
Note, that we are that one big man recruit away, from stepping into that blinding spotlight again, and becoming a Giant.