John Beilein is classy

Submitted by Brhino on January 18th, 2012 at 12:15 AM

From his postgame press conference:


Michigan State, I’m telling you, is one heck of a team. They’re difficult to defend and they’re difficult to score on. Fantastic coach, coaching staff as well. Draymond Green is as good as anybody that there is in the country and we really feel fortunate to get a win, especially over a program like that.”


“It’s always been a great rivalry. You look at the last 10 or 12 years, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry. They’ve been beating us pretty well. Our thing is we’re trying to win a Big Ten Championship. Michigan State is so good, and I admire what they do so much. The whole university, everybody, it’s a great place. You’ve gotta beat places that you admire, you’ve gotta do that to win a Big Ten Championship.”

Now, try to picture Mark Dantonio saying something like that.  You know, swap in Denard Robinson for Draymond Green, whatever.  Did your head just explode?  Mine did.



January 18th, 2012 at 12:18 AM ^

What gets me is he recruited Green, and only then did Izzo swipe in and steal him.  Beilein pays him a compliment, and yet this is a post game quote from Green:


"They won three. Before that, how many how had they won?" Green said. "They got their little three, but they come to East Lansing in a few weeks.


Never before have I been so glad we missed on a recruit.  He's a hell of a talent, but his whining to the refs and his attitude are pathetic for a senior.

Umich Agent 0

January 18th, 2012 at 12:23 AM ^

That and his mother is insane. I was at the game right next to the MSU parents (and right next to Denard but that's another story) and Dreymon's mom was going nuts after every call. She was so pissed anytime a call went against MSU or him in particular. I could never tell if she was yelling at Michigan or the refs though...

kevin holt

January 18th, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

Green went immediately to the ref after a made free throw from his team (that's right, they made the throw), and whined about getting boxed out with Hardaway's elbow. I admit with a bit of shame that I was laughing with glee while saying something about Green getting elbowed in the vagina. It was uncalled for.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:18 PM ^

Just take one look at Izzo and it's easy to see where Green gets his attitude from. Izzo is a great coach but complains (or works the refs) the whole game. He even went after the officials after the game was over. Players observe that and unless corrected by their coach will emulate those actions. For as long as I can remember Izzo coaching I can remember MSU having players consistently berating officials. I'm glad our players have Beilein and his class act to emulate.


January 18th, 2012 at 1:01 AM ^

As much as I hate MSU, that's not an apt analogy. Izzo is a class act, and the MSU program he's built is genuinely worthy of admiration. He has high graduation rates and his players stay out of trouble. They've dominated us (though that appears to be changing, thankfully), but they've done it in the right way.

Dantonio, on the other hand, is a douchebag of the highest order. 


January 18th, 2012 at 2:53 AM ^

On a broad level, I would tend to agree with you that Izzo is classy.  But compare Beilein's statements with those made by Izzo in a conference call before the game, wherein he said he didn't like 'one thing' about Michigan:…


I mean, I don't agree with Beilein that State is a great school (Izzo's program is the best thing Sparty has going for it), but it was gracious of him to say so.


January 18th, 2012 at 3:51 AM ^

Izzo built his team for 12 years by reminding recruits' parents of what he called the "Fab Five Scandal."   He works the refs more than Bobby Knight ever did.  He says "Spartan for Life" out one side of his mouth, but is always looking for his golden ticket to the NBA.  

Most of all, he has two starters who should have had their scholarships revoked shortly after orientation last season.  Not only is Tom Izzo not a class act, but considering the facts of the case, he could be seen as someone who is enabling some very disgusting behavior on the part of his players.  

Tom Izzo is a reptile, but he wins a lot.  Consequently, the media has been giving him the royal slurp job for the last fourteen years.  Maybe if he loses a few more, the media will start asking him the tough questions.  Or someone from a Detroit paper will investigate some of the things that go on there.  

Either way, the myth of "Classy Tom Izzo" is a joke.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

"Most of all, he has two starters who should have had their scholarships revoked shortly after orientation last season"


I missed this can you please expound and possibly provide links?  Can anyone provide a run down of Izzo looking the other way or questionable ethics over his career?


January 18th, 2012 at 6:53 AM ^

One of the things that I really like about Beilein (as well as Hoke) is that they will show endless respect  for the other program and its personnel when it is pretty clear that none to very little will be given in return (see Draymond Green's postgame comments).

I also like that  Beilein even acknowledges that, until recently, this had been a pretty one-sided matchup and not much of a rivalry game, which not only speaks to how far the program has come under his watch, but how little we actually obsess over MSU in the grand scheme (i.e., we actually have other games that we would consider "key"). This is a detachment you almost never see in  EL. 

Such behaviors make excellent coaches, and therefore excellent coaches for Michigan. 


January 18th, 2012 at 8:26 AM ^

Seems like a lot of their interviews go in similar paths.  It's nice to see.  Give your opponents all the praise and respect in public.  Behind the locker room doors I'm sure they're giving their teams the unedited versions.

might and main

January 18th, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

I've always respected Izzo as a great coach, but fercryingoutloud he whines more than I do, which is really saying something.  I'm reevaluating my take on Izzo and his stock is going down. 

I loved Beilein's quote above about how much he respects *everything* about MSU.  That's got to be a calculated statement in response to Izzo's cry-baby "I don't like one single thing about UM" and it's a sophisticated way to get under Izzo's skin a bit more, but in a way that can't be attacked.  Beilein is Sun-Tzu, working his magic on multiple levels.

And the in-game compare/contrast couldn't be any more stark.  Yes, Beilein will occassionally work the refs, but Izzo is non-stop whining.  Every freaking play.  Man it gets old fast. 

Beilein's generally calm, cool demeanor vs. Izzo's head-about-to-explode for 60 minutes schtick ... I like our coach.


January 18th, 2012 at 9:32 AM ^

Given what Beilein has been able to accomplish in his first 4.5 seasons at Michigan, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that he's the superior coach to Izzo.  He's taken lesser talent than what Izzo has gathered at MSU and built a team that is it's equal.  I can't wait to see what John can accomplish with the elite level talent he's gathered for next season and beyond.  Michigan basketball is exciting again.


January 18th, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

Interesting how it was so focused on conditioning and having tired legs.


Michigan and MSU's last game was on the 14th of January (2 days off between games).  MSU's prior game was on the 10th.  Michigan's was on the 11th.  MSU's game before that one was all the way back on January 3rd.  Michigan had two games within that span on the 5th and another on the 8th.


If anything Michigan should have had the more tired legs having played 5 games in 13 days (to MSU's 4 games in 15 days!)


Bielien off-handedly spoke to this praising his team for going 3-2 within that stretch of 13 days saying how rigorous it was and how proud he was of his team fighting through it like he did, even noting they could have been 4-1 in that stretch having a chance to win at Indiana earlier.


Beilien definitely takes another high road when extinguishing one coach's excuses when his team went through an even worse stretch.  Not sure if this was on purpose on his part but if so I love the subtle nature and how effective his phrasing can be.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:04 PM ^

This is a difference between Michigan and MSU.  At Michigan, this is expected.  It would be shocking for a Michigan coach to say otherwise. Our coach is supposed to take the high road and be complimentary.  In this vein, you have some people uncomfortable with Brady Hoke calling OSU "Ohio," feeling that that isn't showing them enough respect (although he generally is complimentary of them overall).

At MSU, OTOH, there's sort of a cultural expectation for the coach to get in a few shots at Michigan.  Not that anything goes, but an MSU coach is supposed to regularly give sound bites like "We just hate those guys, and they hate us."


January 18th, 2012 at 12:31 PM ^

is going to look less and less appealing as the pendulum swings back.

I have no problem with the games being intense, with MSU being good in the major sports. But Beilein and Hoke's classy and respectful approaches will resonate more and more by comparison. Izzo's demeanor in the post-game presser, where he also trashed his kids, was disgusting.

These guys are digging their own grave, and like a lot of recent MSU moves, I'd be surprised if there aren't some people out there in charge of "positioning the MSU product" who don't know it, and feel mighty uncomfortable about it. You do not win over the general public with such crying.