It's a Celebration Bitches! In honor of John Beilein's hiring everything is on the house! Grab a celebratory glass and pour your self a frosty glass of what's
1. It's Officially Official, Officially. Beilein is Michigan's Head Coach.
2. Mgoblog Breaks Down The Beilein 1-3-1
3. Will Beilein's System Work at Michigan?
5. Beilein's First Job: Get Tommy's Recruits Back to Ann Arbor
6. Bob Wojnowski is Still Cynical About Beilein
Michigan Makes Its Official Announcement: It's Beilein! At a Noon eastern press conference today, Michigan will officially announce John Beilein as the 16th head coach of Michigan Men's Basketball in the program's 90 year history. Michigan's official press release indicates that Beilein was signed to a multi-year deal with no contract specifics. It also gives an unreal amount of information on the coach's history, both at the DI and DII levels. Of note,
Beilein has taken 10 different teams to a postseason tournament -- four NCAA and six NIT. He has compiled a 20-10 all-time record during postseason play and is 6-4 in NCAA play with two Sweet 16 appearances (2005, '06) and an Elite Eight appearance (2005). He is 14-6 in NIT play, winning the 2007 NIT crown with West Virginia.
Brian listened live to the presser. Great stuff. Biggest nugget from the press conference:
He gets it. I like this guy.
Which is good because he's going to get paid in full.
According to the Ann Arbor News, Beilein will make $1.3 million per season as part of a six-year contract. While Beilein's base salary will be $200,000, he'll receive $1.1 million in other compensation each year which is said to include public appearances, television shows, and all the other little things Amaker didn't do. In addition, Beilein's contract has some nice bonuses for doing things NCAA tournament related. Beilein gets $25,000 to advance to the tournament, $50,000 for the Sweet 16, $100,000 for the Final Four and $150,000 for the national championship. Imagine that, no bonuses for the NIT.
Brian, How In God's Name Do You Have This Much Time? For a man who professes to love football, hockey and soccer above all other sports, Brian does an incredible job explaining Beilein's 1-3-1 defense. Even if you're not a basketball fan, it's well worth the read.
1-3-1? Beilein's an East Coast guy! At Michigan? Come on Now! If you weren't convinced that the 1-3-1 is a good way to defend your basket by Mgoblog's explanation, you're probably not alone. I prefer straight up man or a low post zone. However, the 1-3-1 is awesome at limiting three point shooting by the other team, and three pointers have killed Michigan rallies more time than I care to remember. However, I'm of the belief that Beilein employs the 1-3-1 because it was the best way to mask the deficiencies of the players he had. Beilein's coached long enough to know that his teams were going to get scored on due to the talent differential straight up. I strongly suspect you'll see some serious wrinkles in his zone/man plans as he gets comfortable with his new team.
Mark Snyder put together an excellent look at Beilein's demeanor in his piece this morning on the coach. What stands out is the attention to detail and how much emphasis he puts on conditioning. Beilein demands ever player "must run a 5:30 mile each fall or they don't play" and runs a "50 three-pointers-in-five-minutes drill, the one that he insists has made his players better shooters."
Beilein seems to put an emphasis on the things Michigan has lacked for so long. Concentration. Discipline. Endurance. If the Beilein system means I take these along with the 1-3-1, well, that's an easy pill to swallow.
Recruiting: As I mentioned yesterday, the return of this year's recruiting class is going to be huge for the next three years.
Jim Carty, a long time member of the Beilein Bandwagon (oooooh, I like that! Beilein Bandwagoneers? Yes!), penned an excellent article on Beilein's system, personality and abilities, and how they'll make Michigan better. Of particular note are the comments of Scout.com guru Dave Telep who's seen Alex Legion play more than any of us.
"Are you kidding me?'' Telep said via phone Tuesday, laughing. "It would be difficult to draw up a system that's going to get Alex Legion more great looks at the basket. John Beilein will be better for him than he could ever fathom.''
With Beilein already reaching out to Legion, Harris, and Grady, all signs indicate that this guy takes his recruiting efforts very seriously.
This is good, because losing out on Michigan's signed recruits at this stage would be a significant blow to program right now. While you certainly can't pander to an 18-19 year old kid, somebody should've picked up the phone and said "hi" to their recruits and let them know that they were still important to the school. I'm not suggesting ask for input or send them flowers, but when you yank the guy that recruited them, you should at least let them know you still want them to show up in August.
In a worst case scenario, losing all three recruits, Michigan would take a significant hit in terms of competitiveness for the next three years. We've seen what a bad/non-existent recruiting class can do to competitiveness (e.g., the Jarrett Smith class).
Re-wooing these kids is important to Michigan and to Beilein's start. It's a good thing to see he's already on top of it.
Woj Not Convinced. Yet. While I agreed with Bob Wojnowski's earlier article questioning why Beilein was everyone's first choice, I'm not rushing to his defense questioning whether Beilein is the right fit.
Tommy Amaker's teams didn't improve in six seasons, so he was fired. Martin sought a better coach and will pay him well, stifling those who suggested he couldn't afford Beilein.
Others -- including me -- need to see more to be convinced there's a huge upside.
What others? I know I questioned why he should be the first choice, but I never said I'd question him if he was chosen. I know this seems duplicitous, but look at my posts, I routinely say I like the guy and my major question was his recruiting and offensive philosophy. At least one of those issues have been addressed to my satisfaction. Is there a major booster who's upset, a prominent member of the administration, a kid named Gary who cleans the toilets? Who? Woj goes on to say:
First, yes, he will get players out of Detroit. He coaches at Michigan. Brian Ellerbe got players out of Detroit. Beilein will too. My question was and is, will they be the elite players that have slipped through Michigan's fingers over the past decade. That's a valid question that only time will provide a valid answer to. Second, stop asking rhetorical questions. Seriously. Condemning the 1-3-1 without offering a rationale for why it sucks is lazy. I know. I've done it.
The proper question should've been "How will the 1-3-1 stack up against a Center and Low Post focused conference?" This I don't know yet. My initial response is "not well." The 1-3-1 is focused on denying entry passes. However, if a good ball handler can get the ball down low, well, you're screwed. The Big Ten is replete with good ball handlers and big men. My guess is Beilein's system will adapt based on talent and opposition. Beilein's been around too long not to have other tricks up his sleeve. It's my opinion condemning the defensive system he used as a means of insinuating the coach is all smoke and mirrors is dumb. If you think he's smoke and mirrors, say it.
On the whole Woj does attempt to be fair and addresses some of his own criticisms. However, it's apparent Beilein wasn't what he had in mind. I think winning will cure a lot of those concerns.