First of all, despite the loss last night, congratulations to the women's basketball on a fine season. As others have pointed out, a team picked to finish last in the Big Ten ended up being the last Big Ten team playing basketball this year.
Which got me thinking about all the doom and gloom that seems to surround the men's team's prospects next season. Regardless of how the late signing period goes, the team surely will go into the season with a roster collectively inferior to this year's team in terms of a combination of talent and experience. But does that necessarily translate into a season worse than this year's?
It seems to me that the success of the women's team stemmed in large measure from superior coaching and excellent team chemistry. This was far from the most talented team in the country, but they made up for that by playing tenacious defense and precisely running plays on the offensive end to get easy layups and wide-open three-pointers. They also succeeded despite starting two freshmen and a sophomore.
In Borseth and Beilein, I believe Michigan has two excellent basketball coaches in place. I have no doubt that next year’s men’s team will be well coached. With an improvement in team chemistry and everyone on the roster fully “buying in” to what Beilein is preaching--coupled with an influx of new talent--I think the team is going to be much better than the current doom-and-gloom predictions.