The All-Beilein Teams: Bench Mob

The All-Beilein Teams: Bench Mob

Submitted by Ace on April 19th, 2017 at 1:39 PM

In fine form. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Previously: All-Bench

John Beilein has spent ten seasons in Ann Arbor. As of the most recent, he's the winningest coach in program history with 215. He snapped Michigan's post-sanction tournament drought in 2009, the first of seven NCAA appearances with the Wolverines, three of which have extended at least into the second weekend.

In recognition of the above, as well as the need for offseason #content, I've put together a series of All-Beilein teams, inspired by this twitter post and the ensuing conversation. My guidelines:

  1. I'm attempting to put together the best possible lineups, which isn't necessarily the same as picking the best individual players at each spot.
  2. I'm choosing individual player vintages (i.e. 2013 Trey Burke). A player can only be chosen once for each category, but different player years (i.e. freshman bench gunner 2014 Zak Irvin and well-rounded senior 2017 Zak Irvin) can be eligible for separate categories. The same player/year can be chosen for multiple categories—for instance, 2013 Mitch McGary making the All-Bench team doesn't exclude him from making the final All-Beilein team.
  3. Eligibility for certain categories may be slightly fudged because of the limited pool of players.

I'm not putting too many constraints on myself for this exercise since the point is to let our imaginations run wild. Speaking of running wild, this team is a little different than the others: today's group is comprised of the best contributors to the Bench Mob.

RINGLEADER: 2013-14 ANDREW DAKICH

The only member of the Bench Mob to merit his own highlight video. Dakich peaked in this role in 2013-14, when he could be the exuberant youngster instead of an assistant coach in the making. He's the ideal captain of a Bench Mob: he'll dance in the pregame huddle, be the first off the bench to greet players after a timeout, make a scene after a big shot, and coach up the point guards on the best way to approach the high ball screen. It won't be easy to fill (and leap out of) his seat.

Honorable Mention: 2012-13 Josh Bartelstein. Another walk-on who became a team leader, Bartelstein isn't your traditional hyper-excited bench fixture. Anyone with ESP, however, deserves serious consideration for the first team.

If we were ranking legendary Bench Mob moments, this would be at the top.

[Hit THE JUMP.]

We On: The Excerpt

We On: The Excerpt

Submitted by Ace on September 4th, 2013 at 12:34 PM

The captain of Michigan's 2012-13 basketball team, Josh Bartelstein, has written an e-book on the team's remarkable Final Four run featuring a forward from Zack Novak and excerpts from Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Stu Douglass. "We On: Behind The Scenes Of Michigan's Final Four Run" is available now for the very reasonable price of $7.99 at Blog Into Book and will also be on Amazon and iTunes later this week. The following is an excerpt from the book detailing Final Four Saturday—the victory over Syracuse—and the day preceding the national title time.

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Saturday:

Final Four Saturday!  We got to sleep in a little bit because we played the late game of the night.  There was an incredible buzz in the hotel with Michigan fans everywhere decked out in Maize and Blue.  We couldn’t really walk down into the lobby without being swarmed, so the players stayed in a secure area, but it was hard not to check it out.  Gameday consisted of three or four different meetings: Offense, Defense, Special Situations, and then final thoughts.  The plan was done, everyone knew how we were to beat Syracuse, now we just had to do it.  We watched a ton of film, but it was really hard not to lose focus and start thinking about a night we had all dreamed of so many times.  It didn’t help getting hundreds of texts from family and friends, some giving advice on how to beat the zone and others on how hard they partied the night before.

We had about a 40-minute shoot-around at the Georgia Dome.  Very, very light, almost just getting shots up, but we needed to leave the hotel and get some fresh air.  Sitting around all day until 7pm when our bus left would be torture.  The mood was very relaxed, guys were joking around like it was the first day of practice.

The key was somehow finding a way to take a nap.  You can’t watch any TV stations because everyone is just breaking down the games and at this point I couldn’t listen to it anymore.  Around 6pm our uniforms got dropped off with the official Final Four sticker on them.  There was no turning back now.  The bus left around 6:30pm, but the town was incredibly dead outside.  Everyone was inside the stadium watching the first game or at a bar.  The streets were empty as we took the 20-minute ride in.

I don’t think I need to go into much detail as to what took place during that 40-minute game.  But in case you forgot.  Mitch was Magic Johnson picking apart that zone, Caris and Spike hit huge threes, Jordan Morgan took an iconic charge, and Michigan fans took over downtown Atlanta for the night.  Our game plan to let a 6’11 freshman who just began starting games a month ago break down the best zone in the country in the biggest game of his life worked.  Were you surprised?  Honestly, I said it before, but you can’t give our coaching staff a week to prepare for a team.  It isn’t fair; they had this scheme down to a T.

We didn’t get back to our hotel until around 2:30am.  Between another media session, guys getting cold tubs and figuring out some logistical issues, it was a long night, but we were all wide awake.  The competition after the game was to see who had the most text messages on their phone.  Don’t quote me on this, but I think Mitch had around 210.  I got a message from the Mayor of Chicago, so I was feeling good.  The other thing that hit us was that we were playing for the National Championship literally in one day.  You spend all season thinking about championship Monday and the Michigan Wolverines were there!

[Hit THE JUMP for J-Bart's account of the hectic, exciting day leading up to the national championship game.]