John Beilein is a great coach

Submitted by InRichRodWeTrust on March 7th, 2010 at 8:41 PM

People need to calm down, like I’ve said before in Beilein's last year at WV he lost his top 6 scorers from the previous season and still won the NIT championship and had wins over 2 top 10 teams. I was checking out the players they lost and it was astonishing he did so well. He lost Kevin Pittsnogale,Mike Gansey, Patrick Beilein and many others.

We have a great coach in Beilein. We just need more depth. We have a SF starting at PF,a SG starting at PG for most of the season, and a PF starting at C.

It was truly remarkable that they made it last year. Imagine if Beilein had players with the talent Michigan had in from 2004-2006 or the depth. Get this. Amaker had 2 Centers, 2 power forwards and so on.

Beilein’s results from his last year at WVU

Michigan season highlights from 2008

WVU highlights(Just like RichRod,Michigan fans fail to recognize Beilein had past experience in his profession)



March 7th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

We throw around "great" as easily as we throw around "fire". His track record is far more "good" to "very good". Those same Big East years you speak of, he only finished in the top half of his own conference once. That's not the track record of great. It's the track record of a coach who is good, and has a system that causes fits in the Tournament on short notice, but only goes so far.

2002–2003 West Virginia 14–15 5–11 6th West
2003–2004 West Virginia 17–14 7–9 T-8th NIT 3rd Round
2004–2005 West Virginia 24–11 8–8 T-7th NCAA Elite Eight
2005–2006 West Virginia 22–11 11–5 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2006–2007 West Virginia 27–9 9–7 T-7th NIT Champions

What he did before that is at a level where the talent effectively doesn't matter. At an equvilant level, BCS conference, he was middle of the pack. Innovative? Admirable? Yes. But while I think any reaction after a day like today is tinged with emotion, and no one is getting fired, or deserves to be fired yet, let's not all bask in the hope that past greatness will carry us to future greatest. Because it wasn't there.

If you want to be like Brian and believe that past respectability will lead to our respectability before Beilein gets too old to coach, and that's good enough as a stepping stone, there's nothing wrong with that. But if you're thinking there's any past evidence that greatness is around the corner, well...we have different definitions of the word.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:26 PM ^

I definitely think we throw the word "great" around too often and that we also give too much credit/blame to coaches, but I think you have to look at the totality of the circumstances.

Beilein's Elite Eight run at WVU was the deepest in school history aside from a national title game loss when they had a guy named Jerry West on the team. The school had only made the Sweet Sixteen four times prior to his back-to-back trips (by comparison Michigan has made the championship game 5 times). He also appears to have left the program in great shape for Bob Huggins (another very good coach having lots of success) after inheriting a team that was down in the dumps.

Combine that with tourney success at Richmond and Michigan (coming off such a long absence) as well as an appearance with Canisius and you have an extremely impressive resume.

I don't know if he's a good enough recruiter to get us to "greatness" but there aren't many coaches (who we could actually get) in the country that I would trade him for.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

Beilein's own peers consider him a great coach; there are many articles out there on this. That's where it's coming from. As for his WVU record, keep in mind that they hadn't done anything in a long time when he got there. He had to build that program from the ground up and turned them into an annual tourney team. What kept him from greatness, according to many, was that the talent level he had wasn't quite up to national-contender levels, owing to the fact that 1) there isn't much of a recruiting base there and 2) he's not the guy to cut corners in recruiting (though his successor there probably is).

Beilein came to Michigan in large part because we had a stronger recruiting base. The theory has been that his coaching, combined with typical Michigan-caliber talent, will achieve great things. That could well happen. His first recruiting class here was not up to our usual levels but his classes since have picked things up (and he's off to a good start for 2011). Let's see where we are when more of his guys are around and schooled in the system.

Steve in PA

March 8th, 2010 at 9:20 AM ^

The only problem I have with this is the fact that that cheatin' prick Huggins is doing better than JB in WV. I'm wondering if in the world of college basketball and dirt sandwich recruiting if a program has to be at least "a little dirty" to break through to the next level.

Not a happy concept if true.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:00 PM ^

Just want to recap the argument: Finishing in and around the top half of a conference that includes UConn, Georgetown, Cuse and Nova (and Louisville and Marquette by the end) at a non-traditional power (to say the least) and a run to the Elite 8 with said non-traditional power is not "great." OK.

"What he did before that is at a level where the talent effectively doesn't matter. At an equvilant [sic] level, BCS conference, he was middle of the pack."

That literally makes no sense. The talent doesn't matter at some level? That's irrational. With teams at Richmond and Canisius, teams essentially as talented (and often less) as the others in their conferences, he did things no coach had at those schools before or has since. THAT'S when coaching makes a difference - when talent levels are similar. Talent always matters.

At Michigan, he has LESS talent than most of these schools at the moment (MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, Purdue always, Illinois generally, Indiana soon), he's done very well-to-eh. It's year THREE. We just had more success than we had in 10 years. If his turnaround wasn't "great," what would have been? Only a championship?

If we're talking recruiting, well, that's a different discussion (I think he's done well here, but it's an arguable point). His peers recently voted him the TOP coach in the nation at doing the most with the least - THAT'S, again, what a great coach does. If you wanted National Championships at WVU and Richmond, I don't know what to tell you, but that's something less than a "great" opinion.


March 8th, 2010 at 12:21 AM ^

If your point is that UM needs more talent to beat the upper level big-10 teams, then I agree. However there quite a few fans that thought JB could finish in the top-3 consistently with less talent, because he could out-coach Izzo, Matta, Ryan etc.. This year should hopefully disprove that. This has been one of the least athletic teams at UM in a long time, JB has to take some criticism for that. No one is saying he should be fired or anything like that, but recruiting is a big concern.


March 8th, 2010 at 12:53 AM ^

Why does everyone think that because true freshmen and sophomores are mediocre that they will never amount to anything? When Ekpe Udoh was a freshman at UM, he averaged 5 points and 4 rebounds and as a sophomore he averaged 6 points and 5 rebounds. It is amazing he ever got better because we all know that you are at your best as a true sophomore.


March 8th, 2010 at 3:01 AM ^

#1 - did you even read the numbers? Top half is barely accurate. Middle of the pack would be much more so.

#2 - yes, 1 run to the Elite 8 and a number of NIT runs is not "great".

#3 - the teams at the lesser levels have far less of a talent differential than the teams in the upper level YOU point out comparing our talent to other teams in the Big Ten. Doh. And every team he coached was not the least talented in the conference at the time.

#4 - actually, on average, we've had less success than we have had in 10 years. We were at least making NIT's regularly. We've done better one year, and worse two. You even then say he's done well to eh. Sounds like what I said. Neither is great. What would have been great? Progress. Not regression.

#5 - and, you act like recruiting isn't part of college coaching. Uhm, yeah, it is...actually, it's the biggest part. Because guess what...come April, the only teams that are going to be playing are the ones that recruited the best talent. No matter how good their coaches are. The ones that will probably win there will have both. His peers see him as a great x's and o's coach. That's what getting more with less is. But GREAT coaches get talent AND know x's and o's. If you can't do both, you can't be great. THAT'S what a great coach does.

#6- I didn't want anything at West Virginia...if he had won national championships, he wouldn't be here. But, if you take a conference bottom feeder, a great coach wins a conference championship with that team, eventually. Or, you know, builds a program that can finish among the top teams, at least a few times. The irony is West Virginia has a shot at winning a national championship now. Not because their coach is doing better x's and o's, but because they have more talent.

No one is expecting him to win National Championships, or even Big Ten titles in year three. But could he do that once, somewhere, before he's anointed great? That's all.

Thinking before writing is your friend. There are some other reasonable responses and addendum's to the point around here. You might want to follow their lead.


March 8th, 2010 at 7:50 AM ^

This has a lot to do with Beilein abandoning the Amaker strategy of loading up the nonconference slate with creampuffs.

On recruiting, Beilein would be the first to tell you that you need talent. He is NOT trying to win with only 2-star guys. Look at whom we are pursuing.


March 8th, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

I haven't had any issue with your addendums or Purplestuff's. Hope that was clear, though the way the threads branches it's tricky.

And I thought I made it clear in my first post that I'm not saying get rid of him. Just that in his defense we throw around great as easy as "fire" the guy. And it may have been a game of semantics (and who doesn't like some antics?), but to me, great is Coach K, Roy Williams, Izzo, etc. level. Not got to the 8 once. And if you want to say he's a great technical coach, that's probably true. (Though I think the system sets itself up more to surprises and upsets than consistent greatness - YMMV). But you need players to be great. And IF (I don't know yet, it's not over yet) he doesn't finish recruiting with a flurish, we're looking at 3 years from the 2011 class to be mature and good...and after SEVEN years, how many more is Beilein going to have left in him?

He's a great guy, but he's not a kid anymore. He came here because he thought it would allow him to finish his career on top. And I don't know that he's that much closer to it than if he had stayed at West Virginia at this point. But nothing is set till the recruiting class is signed. It's just that if one wants to defend him, they should do like you, with reasoned responses. And not just throw out "he's great" because of imagined top flight success and some 5 year old SI small sample poll. (I mean, Jim Carty and Michael Rosenberg said he was great too...but now I'm just being mean).


March 7th, 2010 at 9:20 PM ^

"I was checking out the players they lost and it was astonishing he did so well. He lost Kevin Pittsnogale,Mike Gansey, Patrick Beilein and many others."

I also think Beilein is a great coach considering the talent he has had to work with.

The problem is his recruiting. He doesn't recruit well enough to consistently make the tournament.

I do, however, agree that he is a great coach.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:36 PM ^

Beilein recruited well enough at WVU to turn them into an annual tournament team. They've gone each of the past six years except for 2007, when they were left out despite a 22-9 record (and they promptly went on to win the NIT). At Michigan, he is now pulling in higher-rated players than he did at WVU. It's just a matter of time.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:56 PM ^

"The problem is his recruiting. He doesn't recruit well enough to consistently make the tournament."

Hardaway Jr., Smotrcyz, Brundidge, and possibly Ziegler or Horford.

Also, Morris was highly rated and we have McLimans who redshirted.

The guy can recruit.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:24 PM ^

Two of Beilein's teams have sapped my will to live and caused me to question the hire. Tonight they moved from disappointing to embarassing. However...Last year was the most fun I've had in over a decade. That buys him another year in my book.

Blue boy johnson

March 7th, 2010 at 9:39 PM ^

After giving all these insightfoul threads a look see, I've come to the realization that Belien is everything good and bad. I guess it just depends if I put on Fox News or MSNBC

Mitch Cumstein

March 7th, 2010 at 9:42 PM ^

jk. But seriously, stop drinking the Koolaid. Hes a good coach, that has had "success". If he does what he has done in the past we will be a mid to uppermid team in the b10 and make a run every few years in the tourney. Hes a good coach.

That being said, we stink this year. And ultimately some blame needs to go on his shoulders. So I don't see what the big deal is with people criticizing him. Don't take it personally when people are reasonably critical of UM coaches.


March 7th, 2010 at 9:46 PM ^

If people have actual criticisms of a coach and his decisions/actions that is one thing, but people griping because of losses or poor performances as if any coach has a magic wand capable of making a young, undersized, not so talented team good (and if such a wand exists Beilein certainly used it to full effect last year) gets really annoying, especially when said coach is a universally acknowledged leader in his profession.

Mitch Cumstein

March 7th, 2010 at 10:06 PM ^

I see a lot of criticism, followed by people giving the blanket "Hes the coach, he knows better than you". As for personnel issues, its his 3rd year. I know he really has only had 2 recruiting classes, but there are underclassmen contributing all over the country. Its not too much to expect for him to have enough talent to go over .500. Would you have been defending an under .500 record before the season?


March 7th, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

If the gripe you have is that he has done a poor job recruiting so far, that is a legitimate opinion that can be debated factually. I personally think he's been hamstrung by some bad luck with injuries/transfers to his big men and the fact that there are only two halfway decent upperclassmen on the roster (a situation he inherited), but again, that is a point that can be debated. It is when people just say "this is unacceptable" and "he has to prove more to me" and "the record just has to be better" that I get annoyed and I think others do to. That is the only point I was trying to make.

Mitch Cumstein

March 7th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

I guess people giving reasons for their discontent would be good, but I don't think criticism should be unacceptable on this blog. I mean I often see people make reasonable points and get negged b/c of the unwritten rule that somehow criticizing performance is anit-Michigan.

Also I don't think the recruiting is the only criticism to be had. We lost several games this year to teams with rosters that I wouldn't consider better than ours. I leave it at that though.

Blue in Yarmouth

March 8th, 2010 at 8:30 AM ^

"coach is a universally acknowledged leader in his profession."

I am not joining either side of this debate. In fact I read this thread in hopes of gaining some insight into the coach himself.

I haven't followed basketball since the second fab five left AA and have recently been trying to get back into it. While doing so, I have been trying to make up my mind where I sit in this matter (as to whether JB is a great coach or not.

I am still unsure where I stand mainly because:
a) I don't know enough about him
b) haven't been able to follow the sport as much as I'd like
c) haven't had time to research his past

For these reasons I don't think it would be fair for me to make a judgement at this time. I can say, however, that the existance of this and many other similar threads makes that statment you made untrue. Obviously it isn't "universally" accepted that he is a great coach if so many people think he isn't.

I'm not trying to be an asshole, I'm just saying that isn't very accurate.

Blue boy johnson

March 7th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

Hello. Zack Gibson scored 10 points today, how bout that! Also we OUTSCORED State in the 2nd half, how bout them apples! If we can parlay our par excellence into the Big Ten Tourney look out!!

Illini Boy

March 7th, 2010 at 10:47 PM ^

Eight of the eleven teams in the Big 10 will be better next year than this year.

MSU loses no one important and gets a top 10 recruiting class nationally

Purdue loses no seniors (though Johnson may declare) and gains a top 25 recruiting class. Hummel and Moore will be seniors.

Illinois loses no one, was starting two freshman for most of the season, and adds a top 10 national recruiting class

Minnesota's best players, minus Westbrook, return and their strength is on the inside, where they are still young. Al Nolen will likely return as well.

Northwestern will get back Coble from injury, and Juice Crawford is only a freshman.

Indiana was extremely young this year, and their monster class enters their sophomore season.

Iowa was also extremely young. They'll improve, though they'll still be bad.

Penn State returns Battle for his senior season

That leaves OSU, Wisconsin, and Michigan. OSU loses Turner but will get one of the top three recruiting classes in the country. Wisconsin loses Hughes and probably Leuer, but they always seem to reload and never miss the tournament. Even if both are worse next year, history says they won't be much worse.

Michigan will lose their best player (Sims), their second best player will probably declare because he can't stand the coach, and they're bringing in -- at best -- the fifth best recruiting class in the conference.

Plus, Michigan missed two potential losses on the schedule, playing Purdue only once and not traveling to Champaign.

Even without taking their opposition into account, Michigan will be noticeably worse next year. Compared to the rest of the Big 10, Michigan will substantially regress.


March 7th, 2010 at 10:53 PM ^

Michigan will lose their best player (Sims), their second best player will probably declare because he can't stand the coach

And you know this . . . how?

BTW, MSU is losing Raymar Morgan, who was their leading scorer both times they played us, so I'd say that's a significant loss. Lucas might give the NBA a look as well.

Illini Boy

March 7th, 2010 at 11:03 PM ^

Well, since Sims is a senior that's pretty easy.

As for Harris, the fact that he an Beilein don't get along is the worst kept secret in Big 10 basketball. I'm certainly not the only one who things he's splitting (see: Cook, Brian).

Draymar Morgan has been a huge disappointment for MSU. Losing him isn't that big of a deal. Lucas might split but it's highly doubtful.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:08 PM ^

....because Delvon Roe has been such a stud it won't be hard to take his place? Also, I could understand if you took a "D" out because someone was a horrible defender (ex - elvon Roe) but why did you add one to Mr. Morgan? Stick to Illinois basketball. You sound like a troll


March 7th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

Brian doesn't really cover the basketball program (Tim does), so even if he thinks that, I'm not sure how plugged-in he is. Given the way the local media here cover Michigan sports, if there were a serious rift between Beilein and Harris, there would be many stories written on it. There haven't been. (And there is the little issue that he really hasn't raised his game this year, and his draft stock is slipping.)

Illini Boy

March 7th, 2010 at 11:27 PM ^

Yes, truly I have been schooled. By misspelling a name, you have proven everything I said incorrect.

In about a month you'll start seeing the first projections for 2011. Also in about a month you're also going to see dozens of butthurt threads about how nobody has any respect for Michigan or Beilein the Magnificent. I'm sure they'll be wrong too.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

There is a rift. This is fact. Beilein sat Manny at Iowa last year. Suspended him this year. Knowing people that work with the team, I think I can safely say that it's not all sunshine and lolipops.

Luckily for us, Manny played his way out of the NBA draft throughout B10 play.


March 7th, 2010 at 11:12 PM ^

Or it points to how stupid your post was. So you point to Sims leaving and think the other 4 returning starters don't mean anything? And getting 2 guys who could step into major minutes as well as a good shooter who transferred in halfway through the season means we are going to get worse? Yes, yes you are blind.