A Historical & Modern Comparison of John Beilein

A Historical & Modern Comparison of John Beilein

Submitted by smwilliams on February 7th, 2016 at 8:58 PM

Part 1: Introduction

In the aftermath of two consecutive, embarassing losses at home and a season that has been satisfactory at best (and by satisfactory, I mean, that outside of a win against Maryland, Michigan has handled the teams they should beat and lost to the teams they should lose to), there has been an ongoing debate on whether John Beilein should be on the hot seat or even fired. This is an objective look at John Beilein's success in the context of Michigan basketball history and Beilein's modern contemporaries.

Part 2: Michigan's Place in the Pecking Order

A week or so ago there was a debate about "blue bloods" as it pertained to college football programs. The consensus was that some programs (Michigan among them) have an inherent advantage and sustained legacy of success. The program draws the best coaches and the best players. Jim Harbaugh isn't leaving the NFL to go coach Purdue. John Calipari isn't leaving Memphis for Auburn. I used a fairly simple system to rank every program in a Power 5 + AAC + Big East conference. A NCAA Tournament appearance is worth 1 point. A Final Four is worth 5 points. A National Championship is worth 10 points.

In the interest of time and space I won't list every level and program. The system came up with 7 "Blue Bloods". UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, and Kansas. On the second level, there were 12 programs. They are:

Ohio State, Michigan State, Connecticut, Arizona, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Arkansas, Michigan, Villanova, Georgetown, and Florida.

These are the programs that historically have matched Michigan's success. You could argue against Oklahoma State's inclusion (made it based on two titles in the 1940s) or that State or UConn deserves to be bumped up a level. So, how is John Beilein doing compared to the coaches of these 11 programs (Ohio State and Michigan State will be saved for the B1G section)? Let's take a look:

Coach School Yrs W/L% CC NCAA FF NC
John Beilein Michigan 8+ .610 2 5 1 0


Coach School Yrs W/L% CC NCAA FF NC
Sean Miller Arizona 6+ .762 3 4 0 0
Mike Anderson Arkansas 4+ .624 0 1 0 0
Mick Cronin Cincinnati 9+ .618 1 5 0 0
Kevin Ollie Connecticut 3+ .693 0 1 1 1
Billy Donovan Florida 19 .715 7 14 4 2
John Thompson III Georgetown 11+ .675 3 8 1 0
Jim Boeheim Syracuse 39+ .742 10 31 4 1
Jay Wright Villanova 14+ .686 3 10 1 0









Throw out Boeheim. It's impossible to compare Beilein to a guy who has been at Syracuse for 40 years. Beilein's resume at this point is most comparable to Mick Cronin at Cincinnati which makes sense. Cronin relies on fielding a strong defense that creates rock fights, but his teams routinely hae trouble scoring. Cincinnati was in a strong Big East minus the last 2+ years so it's not like the American offered an easy way into the tournament. Every other coach outside of Mike Anderson (who has a higher winning %) has been more successful.

Part 3: Beilein's Place in Michigan History

Okay, so Beilein hasn't been as successful as the coaches of other programs on Michigan's level, but he turned what had been a pretty big disaster and resurrected it. How does Beilein compare to the other coaches in Michigan's long history? Because the NCAA Tournament didn't expand until 1985, I gave coaches a tournament berth if their team had a winning % over .667 (a 20-10 record today).

Coach Yrs W/L% CC NCAA FF NC
John Beilein 8+ .610 2 5 1 0
Tommy Amakar 6 .563 0 0 0 0
Brian Ellerbe 4 .508 0 1 0 0
Steve Fisher 9 .695 0 6 3 1
Bill Freider 9 .680 2 5 (+1) 0 0
Johnny Orr 12 .649 0 4 (+1) 1 0
Dave Strack 8 .559 3 3 (+1) 2 0
Bill Perigo 8 .438 0 0 (+1) 0 0
Ernie McCoy 4 .460 0 0 (+1) 0 0
Ozzie Cowles 2 .667 1 1 0 0
Bennie Oosterbaan 8 .528 0 0 0 0

This looks a little better for Beilein. He's already led Michigan to the 3rd most NCAA Tournaments under one coach (counting an extra one for Freider). He brought respectability back to Michigan basketball. His % of NCAA Tournaments to seasons is better than everybody but Fisher. Is he the 2nd best coach in Michigan history? I think he is.

Part 4: Beilein vs B1G Contemporaries

Last part of the analysis is how is Beilein doing compared to the other coaches who have been in the B1G while Beilein has been at Michigan.

Coach School YRS W/L% CC NCAA FF NC
Bruce Weber Illinois 9 .675 2 6 1 0
John Groce Illinois 3+ .575 0 1 0 0
Kelvin Sampson Indiana 2 .741 0 2 0 0
Tom Crean Indiana 7+ .541 1 3 0 0
Todd Lickliter Iowa 3 .396 0 0 0 0
Fran McCaffrey Iowa 5+ .591 0 2 0 0
Mark Turgeon Maryland 4+ .671 0 1 0 0
Tom Izzo Michigan St. 20+ .717 7 18 7 1
Tubby Smith Minnesota 6 .605 0 3 0 0
Richard Pitino Minnesota 2+ .521 0 0 0 0
Doc Sadler Nebraska 6 .532 0 0 0 0
Tim Miles Nebraska 3+ .500 0 1 0 0
Bill Carmondy Northwestern 13 .478 0 0 0 0
Chris Collins Northwestern 2+ .506 0 0 0 0
Thad Matta Ohio St. 11+ ..751 5 9 2 0
Ed DeChellis Penn St. 8 .452 0 1 0 0
Pat Chambers Penn St. 4+ .439 0 0 0 0
Matt Painter Purdue 10+ .640 1 7 0 0
Eddie Jordan Rutgers HA HA HA HA HA HA
Bo Ryan Wisconsin 14+ .737 4 14 2 0

Wow, that's a lot of data and one joke, so let's try to break it down. Matta, Ryan, and Izzo have been the gold standard for the past decade plus in the B1G. Beilein's closest comparison is probably Bruce Weber. You know who got fired after missing the tournament 3 times in 5 years? Bruce Weber. Still, during Beilein's tenure Michigan has been the 4th best program in the conference. That's basically in line with history.

Part 5: So, Should He Be Fired?

No. We don't know what the hell is going to happen the rest of the year. Michigan needs to take care of business against Minnesota and Northwestern, go 1-2 in their road games against Ohio St., Wisky and Maryland, and split their homes games against Iowa and Purdue. That'll give them 2 solid wins and no bad losses at 21-10 and a winning record in the B1G which should put them in the tournament. If that happens, Beilein is safe. If they make a run to the Elite 8 or Sweet 16, then it's even more of a no brainer. However, if Michigan collapses and loses 5 of their last 7 and miss the tournament, he goes into next year on the hot seat. If they miss the tournament against next year, that puts him well below the level set by let's say Matt Painter at Purdue, traditionally a worse program than Michigan's.

Beilein and hotseat...is it fair?

Beilein and hotseat...is it fair?

Submitted by UMxWolverines on February 6th, 2016 at 3:14 PM

I realize this seems to be a trend with John Beilein teams...it's either feast or famine in terms of offense because of the lack of a big man most of the time. I don't remember the defense being this bad overall ever though. 

Something has to give though. I don't know if it is fair to say he's on the hotseat just yet, but defense has to improve next year and recruiting has to improve. 

Izzo had quite the stretch during the 2000s where they were pretty mediocre. I don't think Beilein should be on the hotseat, but improvements must be made. 

Louisville MBB Self-Imposes One Year Postseason Ban

Louisville MBB Self-Imposes One Year Postseason Ban

Submitted by goblue7612 on February 5th, 2016 at 1:29 PM

Louisville is going to announce that they will be announcing a one-year postseason ban for their men's basketball team in the wake of the recruiting scandal.

Press conference supposedly to come at 1:30 PM ET.