The Brilliance that is John Beilein

Submitted by BlueCube on March 23rd, 2014 at 12:46 PM

We have heard that John Belilein will not lose a game against a team they have a week to prepare for. (Good luck to Tennessee /Mercer) This article on Mlive talks some about the other problem for teams in the NCAA tournament. Bacari Alexander says that while Michigan can forcus on a few things that other teams do well and determine a game plan to stop it, other teams have to deal with a deep playbook with little time to prepare for it. Obviously the Tennessee?Mercer winnner will have more time however they still have no idea how Michigan is going to play them.

I think that's why Michigan will continue to be a factor in the NCAA's in the future. No one knows how Michigan will play. Whether it's Beilein having a week to tear your team apart or a team only having a couple days to prepare for Michigan's extensive playbook, Michigan has an advantage. Throw in abundant talent and Michigan is going to be a tough team to beat.

The B1G knows Beilein better from playing them more frequently so it's mitigated to some small extent. However, even if you figure out how to beat them one game, they may attack with a totally different game plan the next time.

Maybe I read too much into this article and over analyzed but I think Beilein will soon be getting the attention he deserves for being a brilliant coach and all around nice guy.




March 23rd, 2014 at 1:10 PM ^

You can see it in Michigan's offensive efficiency numbers, and I talked about it a little in a diary, but Michigan has the ability to impose its will on just about any team, and it does that by essentially morphing the offense into something that opponents will not be able to cope with totally.

I sometimes think that this is the reason our starts are slow sometimes, as it seems like we're poking the defense of the other team, trying to find things that we can exploit. Over the course of a season, you find something you can do against just about anyone and a plays for any situation. 

Even being down McGary, John Beilein took that team and reorganized it into a team that could take on a great majority of what McGary would have provided and made adjustments based on the realigned personnel. Very few coaches, it seems, can do things like that quite as well as Beilen.


March 23rd, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

A lot of it is "read and react" by the offense. Our pick and roll is kind of like the basketball equivalent of RichRods read option. Teams know it's coming, but it's hard to stop both the ball handler and the roll guy.

Numerous times yesterday I watched the p&r where both options were shut off. We just reset and try again. There were also numerous back door cuts which you can think of like a RR constraint play. And then when the defense is totally asleep, you lob over the top.

I don't get the sense that we have a lot of set plays. I think what makes us dangerous is how quickly our team reads and reacts to defenses. Back when we had Merritt and Lee, Beilein said his offense takes 1-3 years for freshmen to pickup. Therefore it's impossible for a defense to understand it in 9 days.

Waters Demos

March 23rd, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Watching M so far, I think there's a lot left in the playbook not yet revealed in form of backcuts, motion offense, etc. So far they've only run things through the shooting scheme.  I like M to beat either Tenn or Mercer.  

Can't deny Beilein is class act and first rate tactician.  

I wish Izzo did more in the way of offensive diversity a la Beilein, but I can't argue with success my team has had.  


March 23rd, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

is a ridiculously deep number of complicated plays in the half-court set.  

Which, I suppose, presents a similar, problem to a team not familar with the Sparties trying to defend them for the first time.   But, it lacks the diversity of Beilein's offense and the ability to rapidly change the offensive strategy if something just isn't working.


March 23rd, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

I am a huge Coach B fan and love the way he coaches but, our playbook isn't that big. We have one play to get the ball in bounds that doesn't work against Ohio or Staee. We do a lot of standing waiting for a three. When this team is good it is because of being aggressive and going to the basket.

Ivan Karamazov

March 23rd, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

1. When Coach Alexander mentions a large playbook he is not just refering to inbounding the basketball, its more about having the confidence and knowledge that all your players can run different schemes from one possesion to the next.

2. "We do a lot of standing waiting for a three."  ......That is just false.  There are always people moving and screening to create open looks, I dont know what team you are watching.


March 23rd, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

I sometimes also think when we hit a drought, that we should mix it up a little too. Lots of teams start out this way. It would be great to get detailed explanation on it, i.e. Is it to rest our guy and/or just to stretch the defense, use clock to impose our pace.


March 23rd, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

It's not just the pregrame preparation that sets Beilein apart. He can also make the right in-game adjustments to alter the initial game plan. That happened yesterday, at a key part of the game, as was described in a different MLive article:

After Texas trimmed its second-half deficit to single digits, Michigan gathered for a 30-second timeout. Beilein explained that he wanted Stauskas, who finished with eight assists, to operate as the offense’s primary facilitator, suck in the Texas zone and find the open man.

Asked to describe that huddle, Michigan freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr. called it “five guys who knew what we needed to do to stop the run.”

The run stopped, flipped around, and turned in Michigan’s direction.


March 23rd, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

I am watching Stanford-Kansas.

OK, other teas have better defenses, but, seriously, how many 20 point halves have we seen in this tournament?

I do not see anyone who can stop us from scoring.

Hopefully, offense wins championships.


March 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 PM ^

is not something you'd want to try to do.  I know we can beat them, because we've done it twice, including in their own building.

But, if we can make it to the finals, I'd prefer anybody to the Sparties. Besides which, it would be karmic justice if their two seniors, who should have been kicked off the team and expelled when they were freshmen, not continue Izzo's streak of every player who stays 4 years getting to the Final Four. 

Karma's a bitch. Or at least it oughta be. Just sayin'.


March 23rd, 2014 at 4:13 PM ^

I love coach B but i he really needs to cover for mcgary going forward. His skill players are great but doon with morgan gone mcgary gone, and to me, it appears we are standing on a cliff.

My goodness, imagine had mcgary been playing this year....itd be us and msu 1 and 1a. But it is very disheartening what I perceive as the abyss in the paint without morgan and mcgary.


March 23rd, 2014 at 5:54 PM ^

Im assuming this post was for me. I hope I didnt come across negatively. I havent seen Donnal play so naturally Im uneasy about McGary/Morgan replacements. Those are absolutely two HUGE shoes to fill so to expect a freshman to fill it? Thats a bad bet. Feels we are very lacking here.


March 24th, 2014 at 12:29 AM ^

with a modicum of bb knowledge and almost certainly by an extremely high percentage of any other person coaching the same game, no matter the level. All it took for me to recognize his superior ability was watching one WVU tournament game a few years before he accepted the Michigan job.  I cannot remember the player's name, a white kid about 6'7" who garnered AA honors that I don't believe he would have earned had it not been for the numerous ways Coach found to allow him as many touches as possible.  I say I think he is already recognized as being among the best due to the fact that his offense in that game was predicated largely on the ,"Princeton offense," designed and perfected by Pete Carrill, the Princeton coach for 30 plus years, and the fact that despite playing in the Ivy League, he was recognized as getting more from his talent than virtually any other D1 coach during his tenure in N.J.                ^Due to the disparity in talent between what he had in Morgantown and what he has now in AA, it was extremely wise for him to make this a large part of his game plan.  He still uses it a large percentage of the time and parts of it virtually all the time. His ability to tweak his game plan, based on the upcoming opponent, thus creating the extensive playbook mentioned in your link is attributable in large part to simply being able to acquire a talent base that has grown significantly since his arrival here, thereby allowing him to take advantage of the abilities of his players.  But it's also obvious other coaches, even those with superior talent, do not share the ability of Coach B. to be able to synthesize the info he sees before him on film and immediately begin developing schemes to offset as much as possible any perceived superiority held by the opposing team.  Therefore, not unlike Carrill, who was forced to design an offense his lesser talented players were able to perfect, I think your label of Genius is definitely well earned, and based on comments of opposing coaches, I think the nation has become aware.  It's obvious, and most important, that h.s. players have. It's been a long time since we've been able to recruit players of the level Frieder did, and to a lesser degree, Orr.  

Mr. Elbel

March 24th, 2014 at 5:36 AM ^

But shoot... if we make a second straight Final Four, which is entirely possible, if not likely at this point, you figure those top 20 guys will have to start wanting to play for him. Coach B could truly build a powerhouse with a steady stream of top-level recruits and his ability to use the "Princeton offense" as you put it. If he can make non-elite players play like elite players, then what can he do with a bunch of elite players? (see last year)