Freep article: Beilein and recruiting

Submitted by StephenRKass on March 7th, 2018 at 5:57 PM

There is an excellent article by Nick Baumgardner at the Detroit Freep Press about John Beilein and recruiting.

LINK:  John Beilein topples recruiting critics:  builds true team at Michigan.

Nick talks about how many fans (me included, FTR) thought that Michigan's championship run in 2013 would lead to increased recruiting success. And how this almost completely failed to materialize.

Here's the list Nick compiled, of guys Beilein recruited who went elsewhere:

  • Devin Booker, 5 star, Kentucky
  • James Blackmon, 5 star, Indiana
  • Keita Bates-Diop, OSU
  • Treven Bluiett, Xavier
  • Vince Edwards, Purdue
  • Derryck Thornton, 5 star, Duke
  • Luke Kennard, 5 star, Duke
  • Tyus Battle, 5 star, Syracuse
  • Jalen Brunson, 5 star, Villanova
  • Jamal Murray, 5 star, Kentucky
  • Jaylen Brown, 5 star, Cal.

Instead, Beilein got 2 star Muhammed Abdur-Rahkman, Wagner out of Germany, (who no one else recruited,) Robinson, a Div III transfer (unheard of!!), and Zavier Simpson, after Cassius Winston chose MSU. Matthews was on the bench at Kentucky, a transfer, Teske and Davis were needed backups to Wagner at the 5, Poole had a modest offer sheet. Livers was really the first highly ranked guy we got head to head in recruiting against MSU.

The point, according to Baumgardner, is that Beilein has done an excellent job in recruiting a TEAM, not a collection of individual stars. There are other schools who will have guys go in the lottery, other teams with more athletic talent, other teams with more guys who will play professional ball. But Beilein has done an excellent job recruiting the right guys for Michigan, guys who have bought into his system and have gelled well together.

I love the incoming recruiting class. But on paper, we're woefully far behind. Duke has 4 guys who are 5 star talents. Oregon, Kentucky, Kansas, Villenova, LSU, North Carolina, and Providence ALL have multiple guys ahead of Michigan. I don't care any more. Many years ago, iirc, Brian felt that Beilein's ceiling was crippled by recruiting. The way that Beilein coaches, and the team plays, I no longer feel that his recruiting is a liability.

TL,DR. Summary:  Beilein does a great job of recruiting, and Michigran will be fine.



March 7th, 2018 at 7:32 PM ^

Now, there is one thing I'd be interested in knowing . . . I wonder if any of the guys on the list who went elsewhere wish they had gone to Michigan instead? Guys who know now that they would have been better off playing under Beilein in Beilein's system? Of course, it'd be pretty hard to get anyone to be honest about that, but it did cross my mind, there might be a few kids who wish they had gone to Michigan instead of their actual choice.

San Diego Mick

March 7th, 2018 at 11:39 PM ^

is that too many of them have an inflated opinion of their game at 18/19 years old.

Jaren Jackson for example, great player but he was useless against us, he needs more work and in reality could use another year in college. He would have gone straight to the NBA but he was pretty invisible in many games, especially against U-M.

It helps to go to college, become a man in an academic environment, learn a few things instead of being a teenager up against grown men, what's the freaking hurry?


March 8th, 2018 at 12:37 AM ^

That's why you have NBA scouts. Scouts will tell players coming out of high school the reality that they will not be starting or even playing at their current talent level and could use more seasoning in college.

The hurry is if you want to do something and are qualified and capable of doing something....why arbitrarily wait to do that thing? Especially when this could be your livelihood.

Steve in PA

March 7th, 2018 at 7:18 PM ^

Chatman was the worst defender I ever saw in D1 basketball.  It's like he never played defense before college and that was from when JB didn't put a premium on defense.  

At times Livers has been lost inside but that is because of switching/not switching and I can understand that.  It also got better as the season went along.  Many times Chatman was completely on the wrong side of the floor from who he was supposed to be guarding.

2 Walter Smith

March 7th, 2018 at 8:23 PM ^

The level of competition Chatman played against here in the Portland, OR area was woeful.  He was literally a man against boys . . . short, unathletic boys who weren't good at basketball.  If iron sharpens iron, then Chatman was sharpening his iron against lint.


March 7th, 2018 at 6:20 PM ^

Looking at that list of names I wonder how many Beilein could have brought to M if he did what other coaches seem to be doing ($$).

I bet Beilein sleeps well most nights.  Probably a lot better than Izzo does lately...

South Bend Wolverine

March 7th, 2018 at 6:24 PM ^

I think there is an entirely serious argument to be made on this basis that Beilein is the greatest coach of his generation.  *Everyone* else is cheating, to a greater or lesser extent.  He's like a hypothetical guy who comes in like 18th every year at the Tour de France, but who is actually the greatest cyclist alive, because he's the only one doing it without doping, etc.  And Beilein doesn't even come in 18th, he's coming in towards the very top, more than once.

Really the only counter-argument in his lack of a National Championship, but a) those are super-random in college b-ball, b) in reality he did win one in 2013, and c) he's not done yet.  Everything else points to him being right at the top.  If he were playing on level terms with everyone else in terms of recruiting, etc., he'd be in the Final Four every damn year.


March 7th, 2018 at 7:09 PM ^

Depends how you define in his generation. Gary Williams didn't cheat (mostly out of laziness and hatred for the AAU system) and won a championship and had MD top 10 for 5 years and 2 final fours. I don't think people think Jay Wright is cheating and his recruiting has been similar to Michigan's and he has a title.  Beilein is still up there but some other seemingly clean guys have championships and sustained runs.


March 8th, 2018 at 12:45 PM ^

Best offensive coach yes, but not defensive coach. I love this team so much because of the defense we play.. yes, all the coaches deserve credit for this, but it seems Yaklich has upped the ante and coaching on that end. (And I should add, its also because of the mental make up of the players. You can teach them defense until you are blue in the face, but if they dont put in the effort and play as a team, it means nothing)

South Bend Wolverine

March 7th, 2018 at 6:20 PM ^

Any other fan board, the title "[Team's Head Coach] and Recruiting" would cause everyone's heart to stop because they'd assume that the link would be an expose of their massive cheating.  I do enjoy the total calm that comes with rooting for Beilein teams.  Oh, and the 4 Big Ten Championships.  I enjoy those a lot too!


March 7th, 2018 at 6:20 PM ^

The one that really disappointed me was Tyus Battle who was already committed to Michigan and chose Syracuse a team we have beaten 2 straight. How can anyone consider Syracuse a better program than Michigan especially now? With that said I don’t care I wouldn’t trade our players for any loser on this list. Jaylan brown to Cal LOL


March 7th, 2018 at 7:19 PM ^

Syracuse is a basketball first school, recruits definetly are somewhat influenced by that. And lets not be stupid, I love this team but pretty much all of those guys would be fantastic in our system, that is why Beilein recruited them.

Also Syracuse cheats and so did Uconn under Calhoun, neither school deserves shit (bitter former MD fan who watched all the top talent in MD and DC go to those schools knowing they were getting paid)


March 7th, 2018 at 6:31 PM ^

Bates—Diop was passed on by Michigan if I remember so he should not be on this list. The guy was a 3 Star so not too many were disappointed at the time although he’s turned out to be amazing