John Beilein, Ex-Wolverine

John Beilein, Ex-Wolverine


May 13, 2019

So . . . Michigan’s basketball coach got yoinked by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, a former Michigan State Spartan.

Obviously, I’m more of a football guy, but I never liked watching Michigan basketball more than I have during John Beilein’s tenure.

I’ll miss that guy.

18 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    May 13, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    A crushing blow. Beilein was the whole package – a great coach, great leader, an eye for talent, ability to develop players, he GOT Michigan culturally, and had a fan-friendly style of play on top of everything else.

    I don’t think you can replace the best basketball coach in the NCAA. All Michigan can hope to do is get back up off the mat.

    What a great run.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 13, 2019 at 11:55 AM

      For me as a fan, I’ll never experience anything as enjoyable as the Fab 5 teams. Beilein’s 2013 team with Burke/Staustkas/Hardaway/GR3 and everyone else wasn’t too far off though.

      Though they never had the talent and swagger of those teams, the guys on the teams the last couple years were about as likable as it gets too — from Walton to Simpson, Wilson to Teske, MAAR to Robinson, it was just great to watch these kids develop and play through their weaknesses.

      Beilein could make lemonade out of lemons but also knew how to cook filet mignon.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 245
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      May 13, 2019 at 12:21 PM

      OK – this brought me out of hibernation………
      To call it a ‘crushing blow’ is a complete overreaction and Michigan MBB has nothing to get off the mat from.

      Michigan historically is much more of a basketball school than a football school even tho U of M is easily described as both – one of the few Universities for that matter that can really be described as both. But given that Michigan MBB has played in the NCAA Championship game at least once in each of the last 6 calender decades (1965, ’76, ’89, ’92, ’93, 2013 & ’18) save 1 (2000-2010); I don’t think this is any kind of ‘crushing blow’. Michigan will continue as they are and as it has always been for the last 60ish years: A Great Basketball Program University.
      As I See It………INTJohn

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 13, 2019 at 12:42 PM

        John – I hope you are right. My comment was no insult to the program – which I agree is as successful if not more so than football over the last however many decades. Just acknowledgement of Beilein’s greatness.

        Beilein is basketball Bo Schembechler. We have seen (in Ellerbe and Hoke) what a disastrous hire looks like. It’s not easy, especially with the timeline being what it is. I hope there’s a Moeller or Carr or Harbaugh in the cards. I worry there’s a Rodriguez or Hoke.

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 291
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    May 13, 2019 at 1:19 PM

    I looked at Beilein as a good coach and recruiter for his style of play, finesse and ball movement but too often over reliance on shooting threes. One of the best coaching moves he has made in recent years is emphasizing more defense and rebounding and screens to drive into the paint .This made his UM teams well rounded enough to overcome most the 1 and done elites and compete well with other well coached and successful teams around college ball.

    I thought he was a good and honest man and promoted a clean program above all else. I was surprised he left and will miss him and wish him well. I hope the NBA doesn’t eat him alive.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 13, 2019 at 2:54 PM

      100% agree on your second paragraph – though some ex-players don’t like him and say he played favorites, I think that’s just how it goes with coaching. It’s amazing that he had the success he had while playing by the rules, not offering scholarships until on-campus visits, etc.

      IMO – Beilein was great because he went with what he had and made the best of it. He ADAPTED – all the time, over and over, without giving up on his core principles (good kids, team play, value the ball, space the floor).

      I don’t think he set out to build a roster like he has now as part of some grand vision. It just kind of happened and he rolled with it. Tried to get Winston but landed Simpson. Worked hard to turn Matthews into a better shooter but it wasn’t meant to be. Couldn’t quite get Poole reigned in. Couldn’t have anticipated losing gunners like Wilson and Wagner both to the NBA. I don’t think he wanted or expected it to go this way but when you end up with Simpson-Matthews-Teske as your veterans you’re going to be a defense-first team.

      Hiring Yaklich played a big part in that to be sure — but that also came of losing Donlan after 1 year pretty unexpectedly. Beilein wanted to get better on D but I don’t think he wanted a team of bricklayers like this. I think he’d trade these defenders for shooters if he could, Simpson perhaps excepted.

      BTW though – Michigan still wasn’t really a good rebounding team. 137th in the country in rebound rate. Beilein still had little interest in going after ORB, even with this roster which seemed perfectly geared for it.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 13, 2019 at 3:02 PM

        Example of Beilein adapting is how different all his PGs have been. Probably the most important position in his system.

        Morris – oversized distributor, gifted passer, no jumper

        Walton – undersized shooter, struggled to finish, took 4 years to be the alpha after deferring to Stauskas & Levert.

        Burke – took 0 years to be the alpha, ball-dominant elite scorer

        Simpson – non-scoring pitbull who has to concoct goofy shots to score

        It doesn’t get much different than this and all of them had success in some significant form.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3030
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          May 13, 2019 at 7:33 PM

          Yeah, I agree. He didn’t find a cookie-cutter point guard model. He just rolled with whoever he got. Of that particular group, I think Burke and Walton were probably the closest to each other, but it took Walton several years to get there.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4774
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 14, 2019 at 12:28 PM

            He did have some control over who he got – all the more impressive that he had the vision to look at somebody like Simpson (coming off Burke and Walton) and know that he can win with him.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 13, 2019 at 7:34 PM

      Agreed, GKblue. I have a lot of respect for him.

    • 17years
      Comments: 182
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      May 13, 2019 at 8:18 PM

      At first it was a surprise. But after thinking about it I’m not surprised. He did interview for Detroit last year.

      I just want a top notch replacement.

  3. 17years
    Comments: 182
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    May 13, 2019 at 8:16 PM

    Billy Donovan is the name being kicked around now. Looks now like that would be a great hire.

    The name Juwan Howard is also being kicked around. I personally don’t want an on the job training coach.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 14, 2019 at 12:27 PM

      I’m skeptical an NBA coach getting paid $4M next season (even if he is fired) has legitimate interest in going back to college. Especially considering he’ll be in demand in the NBA within a year, if not immediately.

      I’m also skeptical about the fit from Michigan’s side given the above, Pitino connections, and rumors of cheating at Florida.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1289
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    May 13, 2019 at 10:27 PM

    I don’t get all the discontent toward JB. He was a class act, ran the cleanest of programs, and won a ton of games – including rivalries

    I don’t expect him to do too well in Cleveland, but can’t blame him for giving it a try. He’s trying to run a clean program, the NCAA doesn’t care for clean programs, and then he’s stuck losing key players to the League. Why not bounce?

    Best of luck, now let’s go get a big fish!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 14, 2019 at 12:15 PM

      Agreed. He’s 66 years old, and his time is running short to jump to the NBA. I think that was clearly a bucket list item for him, so good for him for making his dream come true.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 14, 2019 at 12:31 PM

      Beilein has succeeded at every level. I don’t see why he can’t do well at Cleveland. Not saying he’ll win a championship – given where the Cavs are that’s all but impossible – but I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the Cavs were in the playoffs in 3 years or at least one of their players looks like an all-star in that time-frame.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    May 14, 2019 at 12:39 PM

    I know Michigan can pay well but I’m not convinced the big names being thrown out there are available or good fits. Some of these are Gruden-to-Michigan level not-happening. Others are just lateral moves that don’t make much sense unless those coaches have some (not yet public) frustration with their situations. You never know but…no.

    That all said — Matt Painter is one that makes some sense to me, since he has great respect for Beilein and the program, Michigan would be a step up in prestige and is easier to sell top recruits on than Purdue. He’s been around there long enough that he might be open to moving on. No idea if he’s willing, but it could make more sense than say Bennett or Wright. If Michigan is going to fire dollars at somebody, Painter would be better than anyone I can think of (including some of these “big fish”).

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    May 14, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comments on the next coach with parallels to football.

    I want a guy who can continue what Beilein did. He is basketball Bo.

    I don’t want a ‘big name’ with a dubious fit like Rodriguez . — Donovan.

    I don’t want a guy with a dubious resume just because of his ties to the program’s past like Hoke. — Howard.

    If there’s a basketball Harbaugh – I don’t know who that is. Maybe Beilein’s kid?

    I do want continuity to keep the program godfather’s success going, like Moeller/Carr did. — Yakich, Washington (or even Jordan) would be good hires. Listen to Coach B!

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