Happy Tuesday, folks, and welcome to this morning’s Brews. I don’t know about you, but I spent entirely too much time out in the sun this weekend without sunscreen, so I’m moving rather gingerly to start off this week. One guy who hasn’t moved gingerly is John Beilein. From the word go he’s put everything he has into Michigan Basketball and it’s finally paying off, as he’s produced six first round NBA Draft picks in the past five years. Beilein may have to replace two assistant coaches this offseason, but it’s time that he gets the credit he deserves. Also in this morning’s Brews we have a profile on Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman where he discusses his summer and some content from Michigan Man Rich Eisen.
Let’s hit the links:
I’ll admit it. I thought John Beilein should be fired. It was early January. Michigan had been wrecked by South Carolina, blown a nine point lead against a not all that good Virginia Tech squad, taken to the woodshed by UCLA, and opened B1G play by losing three of four. I thought it was over. I thought John Beilein had lost his team and, despite what he had achieved, it was time to make a change. For the good of the program, to continue the success Beilein laid the track work for and started, I thought it was time to make a change. I’ll also admit this - I was wrong.
Of course we all know the rest; Derrick Walton’s players only meeting, wins against ranked Wisconsin and Purdue clubs, an abortive plane flight to DC and the run to a B1G Tournament Championship that followed. When we’re lost in the woods of any particular season, we sometimes miss all that Beilein has achieved. The Michigan Basketball news this week is about D.J. Wilson, and rightly so. The young man showed confidence in himself, reached for the NBA, and landed in the first round (not to mention a rookie deal worth over $6,000,000). But it’s Beilein’s success beyond Wilson that I’m referring to, and it’s that track record of success I ignored when I thought he should be fired.
D.J. Wilson is the 6th first round pick from Michigan in the past five years. That’s right, six first round picks in five years. Where does that fall in terms of other schools over the same timeline? Third, behind Duke and Kentucky - and ahead of UNC and Kansas. How many first round draft picks does Tom Izzo have over that period? Three. John Beilein is one of the top developers of talent in college basketball, and it’s about time that he gets credit for developing talent at the rate that he has. And it’s about time that I give him the benefit of the doubt he deserves.
So what do you say, folks? Do you approve of John Beilein’s job performance? Weigh in with the poll below and down in the comments.
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Keeping with the basketball theme, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was recently profiled by MGoBlue. MAAR spent three weeks in Spain earlier this summer, studying and taking in the culture through a class on the role of sports in society. MAAR told MGoBlue, “Going to Barcelona put everything in perspective for me. You think you're going to a rich district, but a lot of the same things are going on there that are going on in our country. It puts everything into perspective about how good we have it as college athletes.” He also spent time interning with a medical malpractice law firm in Pennsylvania.
Shifting gears to some football content, the NFL Top 100 players of 2016 that I brought up a couple weeks ago has finally worked its way to the Top 10. In the above clip, Michigan Man and all around great sportscaster Rich Eisen discusses how he would rank the Top 10 players (consisting of OBJ, Le’Veon Bell, Tom ‘The GOAT’ Brady, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, Khalil Mack, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Von Miller). Eisen would rank the Top 5 as Rodgers, Brady, Bell, Mack, Jones. The actual list was released last night at 8 PM EST, and Tom Brady was #1.
Finally, a little bit of housekeeping. Michigan’s matchup in the B1G/ACC Challenge has at last been put on the schedule. We knew for a little while now that the game would be on the road against North Carolina, but now we finally have the date. Circle November 29th on your calendar, folks. It’s going to be a big time matchup, and we’re going to find out early in the season just how good Michigan Basketball will be. Go Blue.