BBall Fans, Stay The Course!

Submitted by rbgoblue on March 21st, 2012 at 7:59 PM

2010: Deshawn Sims graduates and Manny Harris leaves early, only to go undrafted.  Michigan starts the conference slate 1-5, but comes back with a 6 game win streak, including 2 victorys over MSU, make the tournament, and come within a D-Mo runner of knocking off Duke and heading to the Sweet 16.

2011: Darrius Morris leaves after Sophomore season to be drafted in the second round.  Michigan looks completely boned at PG, except for the late commitment of Trey Burke.  Burke plays his way to Big 10 freshman of the year and the team wins a share of the regular season conference title.

2012: Smotz transferrs, Burke weighs options of going pro...


Right now we don't know how the next season is going to go, but look at the job this coaching staff has done the past two years, after suffering significant early departures.  Both years, Michigan has far surpassed pre-season expectations.  Let's trust these coaches, avoid panic, and let this play out.  Everything is going to work out ok.



March 21st, 2012 at 8:06 PM ^

Trey will stay and Smotz heart wasn't in it. A talent upgrade is on it's way but we lost some depth in Smotz. Him leaving does hurt but his play at times really did reflect his decision to leave. I would rather have seen  everyone stay but if I could be a shrewd prick about it, it's nice to have 3 scholarships available.


March 21st, 2012 at 8:09 PM ^

I mostly agree - we can't panic because I believe the coaching staff will still get us to another solid season. It is just frustrating because we will never get to that consistent 'elite' level - i.e., 7 sweet sixteens in a decade.

We are way better now than the last 10 years - and I appreciate it. I just fear with the constant player turnover, we will never take that next step.


March 21st, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

It is true that our most talented players have established a trend of leaving as soon as possible. This is discouraging because it doesn't reflect the value of staying and getting a degree from UM. Unfortunately, it contrasts with OSU's basketball program where some players have stayed longer than anticipated. I think it makes you at least question the relationship between JB and his players, and the chemistry that the players either do or don't have with one another.


March 21st, 2012 at 10:51 PM ^

That is taking it a bit too far.  Manny really shouldn't even factor into the conversation.  He wasn't Beilein's recruit, and while he was a good player for us, he wasn't great.  Let's face it - he wanted to jump as soon as he could and get paid to play basketball. 

Darius and Trey seem like two different situations to me.  One, Trey hasn't left yet and I am confident he will make a better decision than Darius did.  Darius, like Manny IMO, wanted to get paid to play ball and college wasn't his first choice.  I believe Trey will make a good decision if the indications aren't good.  He is a much better overall baller than Darius, but 6 inches is a big deal. 

I don't see this having anything to do with JB, chemistry and relationships.  Moving forward, this is something we will have to deal with if we want to compete with the big boys.  State has dealt with it in the past and it did cause some down years for them (post Richardson and Randolph).  Duke gave up Irving after one year and reloaded.  We need to get to that point, but it is going to take 3-4 classes of good recruits.  We obviously haven't had that yet. 

After Friday's loss I did, for the first time this year, think about how nice it would have been to have Morris and Burke on the court at the same time. 


Maize and Blue…

March 22nd, 2012 at 8:04 AM ^

They seem to do OK with a bunch of one and done players.  NC has guys leave early all the time.  IMO none of the three that left had shown the ability to be anything but role players with the talent coming in next year.  To be fair to CB, he never really got the opportunity.


March 21st, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

If they hadn't left early? It's hard to become an elite team when your best player leaves after each year. We need some continuity if we want to be better.

snarling wolverine

March 21st, 2012 at 8:17 PM ^


Michigan starts the conference slate 1-5, but comes back with a 6 game win streak, including 2 victorys over MSU,


Actually we were 1-6 to start out. I don't think we ever won six in a row but we did finish 8-3 in league play to reach 9-9. Also, not to be that guy but "victorys"?  Ick.


March 21st, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

Manny and Morris both leave and don't get taken until the 2nd round or undrafted. Now, if Burke leaves and goes in the lottery, I feel like none of us can really blame him. If he leaves and falls to late 2nd round, it's just more frustrating because nobody really wins in that situation. I wish him the best either way.


March 22nd, 2012 at 10:15 AM ^

I keep hearing that this draft is loaded, but the main players in this year's draft seem to be all Forwards: Davis, Robinson, Sullinger, Barnes, MKG, Drummond, Lamb.

No PGs have declared so far and if Marshall and the frosh from Murray State were to leave they would probably be ranked higher than Trey. But this is by no means a loaded draft when it concerns point guards. If Burke is even the 5th highest ranked point guard in the draft, it could still mean a late first or early second round. Even teams with no immediate point guard needs (ala OKC or Chicago) would not mind having a player like Trey on their bench to spot some minutes for their starters.



March 21st, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

I agree, OP.  Have faith in Coach B.  The cavalry is coming.  College basketball by its nature is a fickle and ever changing game, much more so than football.  The teams that win year after year are the ones that can both coach and recruit.  We knew our staff could coach with the best, and now we are learning that the recruiting will be there too.  We just won a B1G title, and all the pieces are falling together to have many more banners in the future.


March 21st, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

the classes we have coming in are so good they will not see the court much.

Our second straight point guard considering going pro before his Jr year.

yeah this program is on the skids. \ s

Taters Gon' Tate

March 21st, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

If Coach B can win a B1G title starting five 3 stars, I think we should be optimistic for the future.  Now that he's started to get the big recruits, the sky is the limit for this program

Young John Beilein

March 21st, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

A lot of times this year, it came down to everyone standing around hoping Burke would make a play.  I think without Burke we could become a more post oriented team and ball movement may actually improve.  The three point kickout will remain a huge part of the offense, but as long as we can beat full court pressure without too many TO's we should be good.  Fortunately one way to beat a press is to be longer and taller than the defense.  And we will get that next year.  And McGary can even put the ball on the floor a little bit.  I'm not saying we will be better for losing Burke, just saying that Coach Beilein will put the players in a position to succeed regardless, and next year we have lots of talent to hide PG deficiencies.  At least that's what I'm going to tell myself.


March 21st, 2012 at 10:35 PM ^

Burke isn't leaving. The Freep is just annoying. They clearly know how to manipulate the Michigan fanbase into clicking. Most people understand what they are trying to do, but some idiot decides to post something about it and it just opens up the can of worms that makes everyone think twice about it. He is just trying to see what he has to improve on and what the execs think, but he can't SAY that. He has to come off like he has the confidence to go to the NBA and play tomorrow.


March 21st, 2012 at 10:42 PM ^

...when we keep losing players early.  Before Smot wore down in January, he was going double-double on teams.  Brundidge was still a young guy who could have developed into a reliable player.  We may still be a tourney team next year if Burke stays or goes, but we need our good players to stay for their junior and senior years if this program will be fully rebuilt.

This isn't Kentucky, UNC or Duke that just reloads every year with future lottery picks. We are still in a spot where we need these kids to stay, develop and lead.


March 22nd, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

...if we're a perennial Final Four team.  But we don't have the depth for that.  So if we keep bringing in 3 guys a year and 1 or 2 of them leave early, we end up with no depth.

And while you're discounting Smots' performance against what you regard as extremely weak teams, we needed that 20 and 10 against Bradley and 20 and 9 against Oakland to win those games.  Lose those games and we start conference play with the pressure of being on the bubble with two bad losses.  

And while you'll gladly wear your B1G championship t-shirt next season, think of where we'd be if we didn't have his 17 points to end the season at Penn State.  

Those are weak teams, which highlights how thin the line was between us being a good team and an average, fringe bubble team.  If he didn't want to be here, then fine.  But we can't keep turning the roster over like this every couple of years.


March 21st, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

It's not about avoiding collapse, it's about taking the next step to being an elite program. we aren't happy with just making the tourney anymore. This is a major setback, and burke leaving would be a complete killer. Sugarcoating it doesnt change that.


March 21st, 2012 at 11:30 PM ^

situation. IMO Trey should stay. Most with his size and skill set are hard to get a read on for the NBA since there are so many great players. I do believe if he were 6'1, 6'2 this would not be a thread about him coming or staying, he would be gone. Man if I were him I'd be crunched. Your dream is right there before you and you have roughly 2-3 weeks to make a decision that could decide your fate. On the other hand, you have to opportunity to come back and play alongside a team that I think (with him involved) could make a run at the Final 4. Getting to the Final 4 with another solid season would definately increase your chances of becoming a solid 1st Round Pick. Prediction based on alot of variables considered: 85% chance he stays.


March 21st, 2012 at 11:34 PM ^

relax ppl.  part of being a great program is dealing with personnel turnover.  basketball is very different than football... i.e., nba is always an option, whereas nfl only becomes an option for jr's and sr's.  the legendary programs (kentucky, kansas, duke, unc, etc.) deal w/ it by taking on a few one and done players every year and complement them with a bunch of solid college players.  michigan already has the latter and we're about to get some of the former - i.e., mcgary and possibly, robinson....

this is part of becoming a great program.  we are going to have less novaks and douglass' and more morris' and (potentially) burke's.

just hang tight and go blue!

Nacho Mama

March 22nd, 2012 at 2:39 AM ^

We need some words of encouragement from Bacari Alexander.  

It is not surprising Burke is checking out his options. He was 2nd team all-American and Big 10 Freshman of the year.  Smotrycz is upsetting, but won't end everything.  Smotrycz had a tough year playing well in fits and starts.  Smotrycz had a good game against Ohio marred by the last turnover.   Smotrycz would have been a major contributor next year but alas he will contribute somewhere else. 

Next year, you cannot deny the talent coming in.  As opposed to Ammaker who never seemed to improve players once they got here,Beilein gets his players to play above their talent level. Future of Michigan basketball is bright.  These transfers will not stop it.  Best of luck to them.  things don't always work out for players but these are good kids who represented the university well. But onward and upward.  Bring me McGary and GR3 and queme los barcos. 


March 22nd, 2012 at 7:11 AM ^

So I strongly disagree with the sentiment of this post. In fact the way you've worded the post almost makes the case that the coaches are doing a very poor job of retaining their talent.

Beilein's job now, male no mistake about it, is to take the next step and put us in contention for elite 8 and final 4 runs. We can't keep playing the role of scrappy underdog just outside the sweet sixteen, constantly replacing strong talent that always seems to leave early. Fans will tire of that narrative soon

Maize and Blue…

March 22nd, 2012 at 8:27 AM ^

What strong talent did we lose? IMO not one of the three players that left was going to be a starter next year come the Big 10 season.  While I love what Stu and Zach did for the program they were extremely limited athletically and the same goes for Evan.  I never understood the Colton Christian signing to begin with as he is a mid major talent at best.  It looked like we had an open scholarship and needed a body to fill it.  CB didn't stay long enough for us to find out.

Fans couldn't care less if strong talent leaves because it will be replaced.  With the facility upgrades and the team trending upward getting elite level prospects will become easier.  Maybe McGary can convince Nerlens Noel to come join him at Michigan even though they were HS rivals (wishful thinking).


March 22nd, 2012 at 7:32 AM ^

There are rumors that coach B doesn't handle the team very well.  Just because he finally has a good recruiting class coming in doesn't make up for all the other horrible classes.  Time to get a good coach.