There was a column in the Chicago Tribune on the game between Michigan and Illinois yesterday. The article really is more about Illinois' failings and failures than about Michigan. But it gave a lot of credit to Michigan and to Beilein. Here are a few snippets (it is paywalled, I believe.)
The Wolverines moved the ball beautifully, the way Beilein teams typically do. While Illinois too often resembled a team in an AAU tournament, Michigan meshed as all five players worked as one.
Unfortunately, it took most of the season, but Beilein really has the team playing well together.
To Groce, the game got away from Illinois during one five-point Michigan possession with 3 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first half, created by freshman Leron Black's loss of composure.
Black made his biggest impact by drawing a technical protesting a foul with the Wolverines leading 29-21. After Michigan guard Spike Albrecht made both free throws, he hit a deep 3-pointer nearly from his hometown of Crown Point, Ind. Illinois never recovered.
"My assistant says, 'That's a hard shot,' and I say, 'No, that's karma,' " Groce said. "Don't get the technical foul. We've got to be more poised than that. They had more energy than we had, which was disappointing."
That speaks to Spike, and to how the team is coached. I don't think I've seen a single Michigan player with that kind of lack of discipline.
Michigan, missing two key players, used an eight-man rotation. But Wolverines coach John Beilein didn't win his eighth straight Big Ten tournament opener because he lacks the ability to adjust.
We all know this, but I consider this year an incredible coaching job by John Beilein.
I'm hoping that one or two potential recruits see what is happening, and choose to commit to Michigan as a result.