February 22nd, 2013 at 9:01 AM ^ Actually, mostly confirms what we know to be true about Coach Beilein, but some good insights therein.

  • Passionate
  • Cerebral
  • Driven
  • Ordered
  • Loves his players
  • Loves Michigan


February 22nd, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

"Before the practice facility was built, he made sure the lighting and the floors — down to the positioning of the Block M — exactly matched the Crisler Center, so the shooting environment didn't change." - from the article

I found that detail to be fascinating, but not entirely unexpected from what we know about John Beilein. This is another thing that shows - as MGoShoe touched on above - the passion he has for the program and how invested he is in the success and development of his players. I don't know how many coaches would get that involved with even relatively minute details of their environment, but it is great that he wants to be that involved in making sure even smaller details play a role in the program's ultimate success.

That was a very good read, and thanks for sharing this!



February 22nd, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^

"Back on the screen, there was a brief tale of the gazelle and the lion. Beilein read it aloud, that the gazelle must run faster than the fastest gazelle, or it will be killed. And the lion must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will starve."

Good article, and it really shows the passion Beilein has for his program, but if that's the analogy the players are relying on, it might explain why they've looked so confused on the floor recently...


February 22nd, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

Made sense to me -- whether you're on offense (hunting) or defense (the hunted), you've got to be a step ahead, running faster than whatever is behind you (in this case, the other team).

Just my take on it.  I liked it, though.  Besides, I doubt the players are thinking too much about gazelles and lions on the court, they really should be thinking about Wolverines and how they can eviscerate everything and anything, despite their size.

Now I'm rambling..


February 22nd, 2013 at 1:20 PM ^

Sure, that's the moral of the story, but Wojo didn't tell the story right.  He says that in order to succeed that the gazelle has to be faster than "the fastest gazelle" instead of the fastest lion, and that the lion has to be faster than than "the fastest lion" instead of the slowest gazelle, it doesn't make much sense.

I understood what he was saying as it applies to the team; we've all heard that story before. I was just making light of the fact that he mixed up the story, that's all.  Doesn't change the fact that it was a pretty good article.


February 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 AM ^

The Fable of the Lion and the Gazelle

The earliest instance located by QI appeared in the Economist magazine in 1985 in an article titled “Lions or gazelles?” where the words were credited to a securities analyst named Dan Montano [DMLG]:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

Mr Miggle

February 22nd, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

Nor did Beilein. Here's the relevant quote from Wojo's article:

Back on the screen, there was a brief tale of the gazelle and the lion. Beilein read it aloud, that the gazelle must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed. And the lion must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.

Why someone would completely mangle the quote and then claim to be confused by it has me baffled. Did Wojo edit his article?


February 22nd, 2013 at 11:01 AM ^

Yeah, it's not as inspiring, but I'm pretty sure that logically, the gazelle must run faster than the slowest gazelle,* or it will be eaten, and the lion must also run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. **  

* See also the joke that starts with "Two Michigan Law students go camping" and ends with "I don't have to outrun the bear . . ."

** Assuming one gazelle will feed the pack of lions, and that the pack won't let a slow lion mooch indefinitely.  Otherwise, add replace "slowest gazelle" with "slowest N gazelles", where N is the number of kills it will take to make the lions stop chasing.


February 22nd, 2013 at 9:32 AM ^

Another thing that should be mentioned is that this is Beilein's last stop.  I know it is well known among true MBB fans, but people always like to bring up coaching changes.

I actually came away from the article thinking a lot about LaVall Jordan. We like to talk about Bacari as being a head coach in the making, but I'm starting to think LaVall Jordan might be one of the rising coaching stars in CBB.

He's risen the coaching ladder pretty fast.  It's just his tenth year coaching and he's already one of the top assistants at an top program, having previously coached at Butler (his alma mater) and then Iowa.  MGoBlue says he's in charge of the guards and he's obviously had some great success there (Morris, Douglass, Burke, THJ).


February 22nd, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

I think both have great futures. And choosing your assistants wisely is one way to extend success. I think both may move on to HC jobs soon, so JB will probably have some replacements to make. But he did a good job getting Jordan and Bacari, so I think we'll be alright. I wouldn't mind one of them taking over for JB, but Brandon seems to want to go for more proven coaches based on comments from his other hires. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

Puts a few things in perspective for me, like it's real easy to complain in the open threads on MGoBlog about Beilein, about McGary missing a layup, about giving the opponent an open look, etc. but they come to practice and they work hard, all with the common goal of getting better.  Hopefully we see a solid final stretch (14-4 in the conference anyone?) and a deep tournament run.


February 22nd, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

Has has not won anything. For the most part, when he plays a top caliber team he loses. I am not a Michigan State fan but Tom Izzo is head and shoulders above Beilein in almost every aspect of the game. Had he been coaching the Michigan team when they played Michigan State recently they probably would have won

Until he demonstrates he can hang with the big boys I suggest everyone reserve judgment regarding his tenure at Michigan.


February 22nd, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

He's taken four different schools to the NCAA Tournament.  He won Michigan's first Big Ten regular season title since '85-'86.  He got Michigan to the No. 1 ranking for the first time in 20 years.  He got them to the tournament for the first time in eleven years.  He is unimpeachable as far as ethics...But yeah, otherwise I don't see why people appreciate him either. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^

Thanks for the opinion of the low hanging fruit, every program he's gone to he's made it better. He struggled his first few years here and look at where he's taken this program now...this is a 22-4 basketball team that hasn't been ranked lower than 7th all year. He's a darn fine coach and he's taken this program where it hasn't been since the mid 90's. I'll let you know my judgement, I'm glad he's here and hope he continues to succeed.


February 22nd, 2013 at 1:46 PM ^

I don't see anyone proclaiming he is the greatest or the best coach in the conference. But considering the history of the Michigan bball program since Ellerbe took over, he's done some pretty impressive things at Michigan. But what a time to start posting for the first time since the OSU-Michigan football game. My instincts tell me you are a troll and my post and common sense is fruitless when confronting you. But I'll post this anyways. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

I think you can make a case for him as the best coach in the conference.  He has the youngest team in the league and has been in first place most of the season, and still has a shot at the title now.  If we fall short, it might only be because of a half-court buzzer-beater.

You can, of course, make a case for several other coaches - Izzo, Ryan, Matta, maybe Crean.  There are a lot of good ones in the Big Ten.  But Beilein is up there.




February 22nd, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

I think it's Izzo, hands down. We can talk about how he has benefitted from Michigan being down, but every recruit from his first recruiting class and on that has stayed for four years has gone to a Final Four. That's impressive. And it is not like MSU was a blue blood program when he took over. Not Wisconsin, but not  Kansas or UCLA either. I think you'd be hard pressed to make an argument for anyone over Izzo. 

JB has done an incredibly impressive job at Michigan, anybody denying that is an idiot. And I think you can make an argument for him for one of the best coaches in the country. 

snarling wolverine

February 22nd, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

I think Izzo's done a really good job, but there are also definite natural advantages to being a major D1 coach in the state of Michigan, just as there are to being a major football coach in Florida.  If you look back over the last half-century, basically whichever team is on top in Michigan will be a national-title contender.  Consider: since 1957, the two schools have combined for 14 Final Four appearances, which is about one for every four years.  (The two schools have never gone in the same year.)  When we basically decided, post-Ed Martin, that we were going to de-emphasize men's basketball and compete on the cheap, that opened the door wide for him.  

We're entering basically uncharted territory now.  There have been almost no times when both programs have been good.  It'll be really interesting to see what happens.




February 22nd, 2013 at 3:04 PM ^

I think it is impressive that Izzo has kept MSU nationally competitive since the turn of the century where we've seen the talent in the state dip tremendously. In the 70s-early 90s, you could live off of the state if Michigan and be a very good team. JB has gotten us near an elite level in the same in state climate, which is impressive as well. This season and where they stand in the recruitment of some elite players in the future leads me to believe they're not going anywhere. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

the program with realistic eyes. I have not indicated he is a bad coach. All I am saying is he has not produced any outstanding teams which have been competitive with the power programs. This year the team reached #1 status soley by default and when pressed to play against high powered teams they have been beat rather soundly. It reminds me of Notre Dame or Michigan playing Alabama in football. 

Seriously, does anyone believe the Michigan basketball team will reach the sweet sixteen this year?

Now if Michigan standards in competitive sports has been lowered to being competitive with middle tier schools is all that matters then I am out of line. 



February 22nd, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Last year we beat the conference contenders at home. We have yet to play one at home. A realistic fan would probably take a wait and see approach this season. 

And again, you're criticizing things that nobody has said. Nobody said we had an elite team last year or anytime in JB's tenure. This is his first squad that has the potential to be elite. And we have several more opportunities to prove ourselves elite or just very good. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 4:23 PM ^

I'd be severly disappointed if we didn't make the sweet 16 but you're assuming that there isn't even a chance we make it. How do you come to that assertion when looking at our team? You see a team that lost 3 of 4, ok thats fine, do you also see that as losing to 2 top 10 teams on the road and being a fluke half court shot from coming 2-2 in that stretch?

You come off as a lay down Larry that looks like a troll when your last post was about the OSU football game, and now on an article that's a nice piece about Beilein and what we don't see behind the scenes. I suggest you look at our whole body of work rather than what has transpired over the last 2 weeks. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

because there is more to life than Michigan athletics. However, I do periodlically check in and post when I believe I have something to say. What I have quickly learned participating on this site is if you want to get points just build a shrine to Michigan teams in your back yard and post comments in accordance with the shrine.

FWIW, I went to Michigan when nothing less than a Big Ten championship was acceptable. Being second or third in the conference was considered a failed season. Times have changed and today being above 500 is defined as a successful season. It may be I am being unrealistic. But unless you demand better rarely do you get it.

Much is written about the highly critical nature of the eastern media regarding their sport teams especially in cities like NY, Boston and Philadelphia. One cannot ignore the results.


February 22nd, 2013 at 8:12 PM ^

They haven't just suddenly gotten tough in those towns. They've always been tough. And Philly sports generally have sucked. And Boston didn't just get tough in the last decade....but before that they had a really long streak of sports suckitude outside the Celtics. New York has money, which helps, and more teams than anywhere else, so more chances. Tough media hasn't made the Jets stop fom being a joke most of the time, or the Rangers nothing more than a one year wonder, or the beloved Knicks in decade 4 without a trophy. Good teams win. Tough media doesn't do shit.

And "speaking the truth" is always the last bastion of assholes.


February 22nd, 2013 at 9:22 PM ^

I totally agree with nickb and i have mentioned this concern in other threads also..times have changed biiiig time and if we want to be elite we need to let go of this whole bullshit that we care about academics and all that... No elite athlete cares about academic and basketball is a perfect example, one year in college and if ur good enough off u go to NBA..athletes get treated differently and come here to succeed and improve as an athlete so they can move on to bigger things sucj as NBA or NFL, they dont care about their social studies degree...

All i want David Brandon is to be more hungry and more aggressive.. U want elite football team go hire Saban and give him an offere he cant refuse, or Les Miles or Tressel.. Got to pay to play, all this Michigan man b.s is a joke to me considering the greatest coach we had was an ohio man who became a michigam man after coaching here for soo long...

You want an elite basketball program go to MSU walk accross the basketball court and hand Izzo a blank check and have him write a price..these are just examples but the point is, times are different and we need to keep up, BIG ten itself needs to keep up... Bring in junior college kids, take a chance on a thug and maybe he will win u a championship OR make the news for robbery, but these are chances we need to take in order to win is faster, players are faster and bigger..we need to change our attitude on how we get our athletes and coaches period


February 22nd, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

You are embarrassingly off base. Plenty of athletes, elite and mediocre, care about academics. Brandon Knight did. He had a 4.0 at Kentucky as a 5 star recruit. Myron Rolle was a 5 star and became a Rhodes Scholar. 

I can only guess you are trolling too as your post is just a joke. Izzo would take that blank check, cash it in for 200 million and ruin the athletic department on his drive back to East Lansing. 

I'm pretty sure you don't understand recruiting, Michigan, or even sports in general. 


February 23rd, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

Its people like u that make our fan base look bad, no one in this forum likes criticizm and if somethig bad is said about the team then you all get your panties in a bunch.. We all have opinions and I am the kind of guys that just wants to win ALL the time and be the best...I am sorry what do you know about recruiting?? Please fuckin amuse me? RR era had good recruiting and look what happened?? Recruiting dont mean shit to me until i see production, yes i follow it and i want to learn more about our guys and really want to know how well we do.. I am tired of loosing constantly to osu and i am tired of barely winning against our instate rival, who we should blow them out of the water with our " recruiting"


February 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

First of all I have an engineering degree from UofM and going back for my masters so how am I not a fan of UofM?? But what I am not is a delusional fan like some of you are, who sit here and do nothing but bitch about how we lost a game due to this and that and all kind of non-sense.. U want to win all the time, you need to pay for it an have nothing but the best PERIOD.. And all these bullshit about academics, please spare me... The only school that cares about academics and is good at football is Standford... You want to pound ur chest about academics and have a bad football team then go and root for Dartmuth or PEN or one of those ivy leagues


February 22nd, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

I am not a Michigan State fan but Tom Izzo is head and shoulders above Beilein in almost every aspect of the game. Had he been coaching the Michigan team when they played Michigan State recently they probably would have won

Are you aware that Beilein has beaten Izzo head-to-head three of the last five times? Or are you one of those frontrunners who was "too cool" to support Michigan basketball until this season?

BOX House

February 22nd, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

anyone who criticizes Beilein most likely was not a fan in the early aughts. I remember when cheering for an NIT Championship was the best I could do, I remember sitting in a half-empty Crisler arena during the Amaker era, and I remember when I could show up 2 minutes prior to the game and still get prime seats in the Maize Rage. This was a lousy program not so long ago, and Beilein has completely resurrected it. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 6:40 PM ^

That we could actually get, would do things the right way, and do a better job? Because Brandon was right; if he fired him he'd have to go out and find another Beilein. Will he go down as one of the elite coaches of all time? Probably not, but barring a major downturn in future years that recruiting shows no signs of happening he's not going anywhere because we can't really do any better for us. But if you have any names, I'll listen. If not, you probably need a nice big cup of shut up.