Michigan vs. Wisconsin B-Ball Snowflakes and Post Game Open Thread

Submitted by Mr. Yost on March 15th, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Wisconsin I and Indiana II were disappointing ENDINGS. This was flat out a disappointing EFFORT.

(Slight Mod Edit - condensing snowflakes to one thread. This thread had more replies and discussion, but M-Wolverine won the "thread title" contest. LSA)



March 15th, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

It's easy to just dismiss complaints as tantrums when you don't have anything to respond with.  If I'm being so illogical, why don't you provide some logic?  Tell me why you disagree.  There are 116 teams in the country better than Michigan in defensive efficiency.  38 of them are starting at least 2 freshman.  We're dead last in the conference in opponent FG%.  The only thing illogical here is the excuse that youth is responsible.


March 15th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

Worst defensive player? Probably Stauskas. If you didn't start Stauskas, you'd be starting Vogrich or LeVert. Then people would be complaining about how those guys don't produce on offense.

I haven't seen anyone complaining about Burke stealing the ball at key moments lately.

If Michigan doesn't win every game, people are going to find something to complain about.  And someone inevitably says "The coach doesn't know how to coach _________."  Mike Debord sucked as an offensive coordinator, even though he won a national championship.  Al Borges sucks as an offensive coordinator because he can't turn Denard Robinson into Andrew Luck.  Scott Shafer sucks as a defensive coordinator even though everywhere he's been - except Michigan - has had a good defense.

There are other factors involved besides "Beilein can't coach defense."  It's very simplistic.

And you do throw tantrums when Michigan loses, going through threads and just posting randomly with whatever comes to mind.


March 15th, 2013 at 5:45 PM ^

You didn't actually respond to any of my points.  All you did was provide a list of poor arguments that I never made and two examples of Burke stealing the ball.  Is it your contention that being 117th in defensive efficiency and last in the conference is due to youth? You say the argument that Beilein has proved to be a poor defensive coach is simplistic.  Ok, so tell me what you think the cause is.  The numbers don't support the youth argument, and Beilein has never had a team in the top 25 in defensive efficiency.  If this doesn't persuade you, I would genuinely like to hear what you think is responsible.


March 15th, 2013 at 5:58 PM ^

I'm not qualified to determine what's wrong with the basketball team's defense or offense, and I won't claim to be.  You don't really seem to be, either.  All I'm saying is that your argument is very simplistic ("He can't coach defense") and perhaps there's more to it and/or lots of factors you aren't considering.

I do think youth could be a large factor. True or not? I don't know. But defense is mostly about two things - energy and fundamentals. Young kids who have never played a full college season before might be short on both of those things right about now.  And that Wisconsin team that we just lost to included Evans (5th), Bruesewitz (Sr.), Berggren (Sr.), and Brust (Jr.) who were all heavily involved.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

I'm not qualified enough to tell you exactly what's wrong either aside from the obiouvs lack of effort at times.  I also couldn't tell you precisely why Rich Rod's defenses weren't very good.  Is he immune from criticism as well regarding his defensive coaching abilities?

As a coach, you are responsible for the product you put on the floor.  When a coach continually has bad to horrendous defenses and never produces a good defense in his entire career, it's perfectly legitimate to question his ability to put together a good defense.  I don't know why this is so hard for people to grasp. 

Let me ask you this:  What would it take for you to declare Beilein a poor defensive coach?  Clearly, being worse than every other team in the conference isn't enough for you.  


March 15th, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

No, Rodriguez wouldn't be immune to criticism. Why? Because I/we here at MGoBlog have a pretty good idea why things went poorly.

I don't know what it would take to call Beilein a poor defensive coach, but your arguments certainly aren't convincing me.  And I think I'll wait until he's not throwing out there a bunch of undersized guys (like Novak) and young guys (like Stauskas).

You're harping on the defensive issues, but this team is 26-7.  If those defensive issues are fixed, what would this team be?  30-3?  29-4?  So basically what you're saying is that you wouldn't be satisfied unless this team - that was 24-10 last year and is now playing a ton of freshmen - was a legitimate #1 seed and/or a favorite for the national championship game.

Again, Michigan is having its best year in a long time.  It's just silly to start calling for his head (which you may not have done in this thread, but others have) or to say that he's clueless about coaching.


March 16th, 2013 at 1:51 AM ^

My arguments aren't convincing you because you're a blind homer with a complete inability to evaluate facts.  Once again, you just can't help but throw out strawmen.  Did I call for his head?  Nope.  Did I say he's clueless about coaching?  Nope.  Did I say I'm unhappy with the record?  Nope.  You say you'll wait until he's not throwing out undersize guys.  Well, he's been doing that for about 20 years.  Do you need another 20 to prove to you he's not  a good defensive coach?  Frankly, it's pointless arguing with you. 


March 15th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

It might be a valid excuse if it hadn't been the excuse that was used last year and the year before that too.  The only year in the Beilien era where people haven't said "we're young, wait until next year" was the '09-'10 season.  Boy, I sure hope that we get to relive the glory of that season next year.

snarling wolverine

March 15th, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

You've got to calm down.  You're taking one conference tournament loss way too hard.  You're acting like every season under John Beilein has been the same.  Here's his yearly records:

2008 - 10-22

2009 - 21-14

2010 - 15-17

2011 - 21-14

2012 - 24-10

2013 - 26-7 entering the NCAA tournament

How can you look at that track record, which is consistently positive aside from one season, and not see that he's a good coach?





March 15th, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

Three of our starters aren't right out of high school, and they aren't performing any better.  I'm not asking for the young guys to be on all-defensive teams.  I'm asking for the team as a group to show some semblance of defensive competence.  If you think PSU putting up 84 points and Wisconsin scoring 15 times in a row is because of youth, I don't know what to tell you.  We've had major defensive problems all season.  We're dead last in opponent FG% in the Big Ten.  Worst of all, there hasn't been any improvement.

I just don't understand why people keep making excuses for this. 


March 15th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

Because this is Polyanna Central.  If you criticize the coach, you should expect to be negbanged by a bunch of temper-tantrum throwing apologists who swarm around critics like antibodies.  It was like this in the RichRod era too.  Posts that criticized Rodriguez for the team's turnover margin and lack of defense were usually invisible within minutes.  Beilien walks on water here at mgoblog, despite the fact that in 6 seasons, he is 7-18 against our two biggesat rivals, and he has yet to win two games in a post season tournament.


March 15th, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

"he is 7-18 against our two biggesat rivals,"

This is a fun statistic, but it's not very telling of anything; it implies that Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State (the two rivals you're referring to, I presume) started off at the same place. They didn't.

Over the past two seasons, as Beilein has had upperclassmen and full roster of players whom he has recruited, he is 2-2 against Michigan State and 2-3 against Ohio State.  That's not lighting the world on fire, but it's clearly a step in the right direction, and those programs are/were already pretty good to start.

He was 3-13 against those teams at one point. He's 4-5 lately. The trend seems to indicate that he will either hold steady or continue to improve. 


March 15th, 2013 at 5:53 PM ^

Let's frame this discussion another way.


If, back in 2007, somebody told you that our next coach would win a grand total of two NCAA tournament games, not make a single Sweet Sixteen or Big Ten Tournament final over the next six years, and that he would go 7-18 against MSU and OSU, would you have been fist pumping because that's so awesome and it wildly exceeded your expectations?

I guarantee you there's nobody who like the Beilien hire who thought that we'd still be having this discussion six years into his tenure.  I certainly didn't.  I at least expected him to have one tournament run by now. When Beilien took over, we were about the caliber of this year's Illinois team. Not Penn State or Northwestern. Less than .300 winning percentage against MSU+OSU is absolute rock bottom of what I consider to be acceptable. 

Beilien's results, up to this point, are bare minimum for what we should expect a guy to do to keep his job.  I'm not saying that he should be fired, but I'm sick of hearing about what an awesome coach this guy is.  The only thing that he has accomplished at Michigan is not being a bum like his predecessors.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:05 PM ^

Being ranked #1 at any point during this season wildly exceeded the expectations I had for Michigan football six years ago. Michigan was terrible at times and mediocre at other times.

I don't think Beilein is Mike Krzyziewzkdsiekwzski or anything, but the talk of firing him and that he's a terrible coach is just plain ridiculous. Ridiculous, I tell you!


March 15th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

Are you one of those fans who just suddenly (re)discovered college basketball after a long absence?   I don't recall you posting in any of the basketball threads here.  You seem to not remember the context of Beilein's hiring very well.  

In 2007, we hadn't made the tournament in nine years.  We hadn't won the Big Ten in 21 years.   Beilein has ended both droughts, to the point that NCAA appearances are taken for granted and Big Ten contention is expected.  It was a disappointment that we didn't win the Big Ten this year.

Regarding the MSU/OSU record, if you've actually followed Michigan basketball over Beilein's tenure, you should know that he lost every game (or close to it) against them his first 3 years but has split the difference since.  You are aware that we've won four of six against MSU and won the last two at home against OSU, right?  



March 15th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

I'm not disappointed by 26-7.  I'm indifferent to it.  You are remembered exclusively by what you do in March.  Were that not the case, Bill Frieder would be remember as one of Michigan's greatest coaches. 


March 15th, 2013 at 6:00 PM ^

Beilein has done a nice job rebuilding the program.  I don't dispute that.  The argument here was about defense, or lack thereof, and neither you nor Magnus have provided any plausible explanation that would refute my argument about his defensive coaching abilities.  The numbers have been horrendous for a while, and it cannot be explained by youth.  

And yes, when you have an all-american PG, a first-team all Big-Ten SG, three top 100 freshman including two in the top 50, and a three-year starter at C, it's a little disappointing to lose to the worst team in the conference, lose to Wisconsin twice, get utterly embarrased  on your biggest rival's home floor, and likely end up with a 3-4 seed.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:18 PM ^

The statement being argued is "Beilein can't coach defense."

You talk about an All-American PG, an All-Big Ten (and a questionable choice at that) SG, and a bunch of good freshmen.

What does any of that have to do with defense?  Burke plays pretty good defense, so take him out of the equation, and you're left with Hardaway + and undersized Morgan + freshmen.  And you want him to create an elite defense with a small center and a bunch of guys like Stauskas at SG/SF and Glenn Robinson III playing PF?  Douglass and Novak were decent defensive players, but they couldn't create on offense. Now Michigan is scoring more, but they're playing worse defense with Douglass/Novak being replaced by Stauskas/LeVert and the like.

Michigan fans aren't going to be happy either way.  It's a no-win situation unless Michigan goes to the Final Four, and even then, I bet we'd have some whiners complaining if Michigan lost to Duke or Gonzaga or Florida in that round.

So we can sit here and bitch and moan about our terrible coach, but we're 26-7 and this is the best year at Michigan since...I don't know when.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

You're just throwing out one straw man after another.

I didn't cite the All-American and Top 100 facts to argue that we should have an elite defense or to indicate that Beilein can't coach defense.  I was arguing that given the overall talent, it's pretty understandable for people to be disappointed about losing to teams far less talented.

I also never, at any point, said that I want an elite defense. I stated that I wanted a competent defense.  To support the argument that Beilein is not a very good defensive coach, I cited numerous statistics from this year and from his entire career.  

You still have not refuted my arguments.  You're just supplying enough straw for all the cornfields in Iowa.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:45 PM ^

without arguing about the semantics of what constitutes "elite" defense, the obvious flaw in my argument is that beilein has never coached elite talent, so it is an uphill climb for him to produce a top 25 defensive team.

that being said, there are coaches (bo ryan is the first to come to mind) that create overachieving defenses. beilein used to minimize the effects of his teams' talent disparity by playing the 1-3-1.

so now that michigan is trending towards teams with elite talent, could beilein make a top defensive team? definitely. but i don't know what he has done in his career to make somebody predict that.



March 15th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

I don't think he's necessarily recruiting with the intention of keeping just one "big" on the floor at a time. I think it's just worked out that way so far. The best five players at Michigan have typically been four smaller guys and a center, and you can't put all your big guys out there at once. Michigan should have Horford, McGary, Morgan, and Doyle all on the roster next year. I think you're a little more likely to have some combination of those guys on the floor at one time next year if Doyle's playable (Bielfeldt and McLimans are on the roster but they're not particularly guys you want to get on the floor no matter what).


March 15th, 2013 at 6:56 PM ^

but, it seems like beilein's main concern is having a 4 that can stretch the court on offense. i doubt mcgary will see much more time at the 4 next season unless he develops his shooting.

i could definitely be wrong in this regard, but if it is the case, then i'd definitely like to see beilein recruit a tall, huge defensive bull of a center.


March 15th, 2013 at 9:16 PM ^

We can't make them come here, but if we never strongly go after them it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe now that we're "back" he might feel we can attract that kind of talent now, but more versatile skinny 6'9" guys at center isn't what Tai is taking about. Or exactly what he's talking about as the problem when those guys are playing center instead of PF.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:58 PM ^

That's like criticizing Rodriguez for running the spread.

Beilein's been constructing teams like that for decades now. Not once has he had what people are referring to as a "true post player", and since the whole design of his offenses revolves around an empty lane it's easy to see why. What he's typically tried to have are bigs like Pittsnogle, who might be a little bit small or soft against the very biggest of the bigs on defense but pose a serious matchup problem for those same bigs at the other end.

It worked pretty well in the Big East, a physical, post-heavy conference. I don't see any reason to think it can't work here. I also think it's a misreading of the current team's difficulties.

But more to the point, if it's not what we wanted we shouldn't have hired him in the first place.


March 15th, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

It was assumed he ran it because he couldn't get top talent. He can now.

And that's all it did in the Big East- work pretty well. They finished 6th (west), 8th, 7th, 3rd and 7th. Had one pretty good run in the Tournament.

The exciting thing was it seemed he and his new staff had really adapted to what it takes to win with good players rather than scrappy underdogs. But the talent and the system seems to be at odds for over a month now. Maybe The program still program still needs more evolution. But he's been here longer than anywhere since Le Moyne. But at least we're getting close.


March 15th, 2013 at 10:00 PM ^

I never assumed that, or even realized anyone else was thinking that way. Dean Smith ran something very similar (I'm guessing more people learned the shuffle from his book than anywhere else) and I never noticed he was trying to win with scrappy, undertalented teams.

If the adaptation to "good players" is the endless succession of high ball screens, I think it's a failure and I don't think it will continue. If it's the conversion to playing a lot of man instead of 1-3-1, I think that one's going to stick.


March 16th, 2013 at 12:07 AM ^

A true post player. To find out Dean Smith ran a system like that is going to be a shock to Bob McAdoo, Bobby Jones, Tom LaGarde, Sam Perkns, Brad Daugherty, and Eric Montross. Rasheed Wallace would have been te ultimate Beilein player, but Smith even left the next guy with Brendan Haywood. So post wise what Dean Smith has recruited and ran is nothing like what Beilein has run in the past.


March 15th, 2013 at 11:51 PM ^

Burke really only plays pretty good defense when he chooses to, and this does not happen consistently enough to feel confident over the course of an entire game. I think we have seen this team, a select few times this year, show they can be active with their hands, move their feet and hold their defensive position. We just need to see this effort more often in order to feel confident in the defense. This is why it feels like the issue is related to coaching/motivation. It is all about the effort given on defense.

snarling wolverine

March 15th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

That's an ugly record, but keep in mind that 1) two of those wins were prayers answered and 2) Ryan's also 10-0 against Tom Crean and has a winning record against Izzo.  

Bo Ryan's a really good coach and his team has been a Big Ten contender his entire tenure (12 consecutive top-four finishes).  We've only been a Big Ten contender the last two seasons.  Last year we destroyed UW in our only meeting and this year we were a halfcourt shot from winning in Madison.


snarling wolverine

March 15th, 2013 at 6:40 PM ^

Beilein is actually 4-2 against MSU the past three seasons.  He's won three straight at Crisler and won in Breslin in 2011.  

If the 7-18 record the guy above claims is correct, it's obviously misleading.  Yeah, Beilein sucked against MSU and OSU when their teams were far more talented than his teams were, as any coach would.  Now that he has comparable talent, he's holding his own.




March 15th, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

not a banner-raising event in my books. It's been a solid season. Finishing 5th in the B1G is OK. 3rd or 4th seed in NCAA is OK.

I'm not in the "fire Coach B" camp (I'd advocate firing the B1G winning coach for his tirade long before any coach losing a few close games). He's recruiting well and we could be really good the next couple of years.

Life will be tough without Burke, but maybe the sophs will figure out how to win road and late season games. Have to find a way to actually beat UW, OSU and MSU consistently.


March 15th, 2013 at 9:25 PM ^

I'm not even excited by a three-way banner in Bball or 8-5 in Fball like UW. Last year was positive based on our dismal recent past - a portend of things to come. This year, 5-way just seemed like every kid in soccer getting a trophy.

We had some bad luck this year. It happens and it's not a shame to finish a game out of first place. But Purdue might be the only decent road win and that is offset by the PSU loss - not title worthy. We let a great chance at UW and PSU slip away, which are the wins necessary to win outright banners.

Next year, how about we win some tough road games and hoist an outright banner?