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Michigan gets Johns: Beilein gets statement recruit, adds to list of in-state success

Tom Izzo and Michigan State are known as one of College basketball’s premier programs, but since John Beilein arrived, the numbers have began to tilt closer to even. Today's move adds to that list.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State has one of the most consistent and respectable basketball programs in the country.

Tom Izzo, the Spartans head coach, has built teams at MSU year in and year out and made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1997.

He's been to seven Final Four’s and won one National Championship (2000), to go along with seven Big Ten titles.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Michigan State vs Miami Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Izzo is one of the all-time greats, no matter how you look at it.

As you could guess, even if you didn't know a thing about MSU, they bring in top recruits.

Since 2003, the Spartans have nailed down the top recruit in the state of Michigan seven times, not including Josh Jackson who left the state and decided to attend Kansas.

Izzo has dominated that aspect of recruiting.

Today, John Beilein and Michigan made a statement.

Brandon Johns, the top rated recruit in the state of Michigan for the 2018 class, committed to play basketball in Ann Arbor.

And the Wolverines took him from Izzo’s backyard.

Johns attended East Lansing high school and was ranked No. 1 by the 247Sports Composite. He joins East English Village guard David DeJulius, a three-star prospect, in the U-M class.

It's the first time that Michigan has gotten a player at that rank since DeShawn Sims in 2006.

But this time, the snag of this recruit means a little more.

Michigan just lost assistant coach Jeff Meyer to Butler as he joins LaVall Jordan’s coaching staff.

Northwestern just took Billy Donlon from the Wolverines bench after just one season at Michigan.

So that leaves Beilein and assistant coach Saddi Washington as the current state of coaching in the basketball program until they make a new hire.

To Johns, that didn't matter. He has seen what the Michigan basketball program has done over the past decade since Beilein has ran the show.


And the numbers back it up.

While Izzo has still had great seasons during Beilein’s tenure at Michigan, the Wolverines have been right there to compete with him.

Tom Izzo (right) speaks with John Beilein (left) during a game at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.

There were a couple down years. Two of the first three seasons that Beilein arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan finished with a losing record. There was a year between where he took a group of guys most didn't expect to do anything, to the NCAA Tournament round of 32.

That was just the beginning. After the 2009-10 season Michigan made the NCAA Tournament four straight years, and produced runs.

After tying for first place in the Big Ten in the 2011-12 season, Beilein’s next act was his first Final Four as a Wolverine, losing in the championship to Louisville.

That season was followed up with a outright Big Ten title and a run to the elite eight.

During each of those years, Michigan lost key players early due to the rapid development of their talent (Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson, Mitch McGary).

It lead to a down year in 2014, but the two seasons that followed (including last year) were teams that achieved above what they were expected to produce.

Making it to the NCAA Tournament round of 64 after winning the play-in game was more than what people thought that 2015-16 team could do midway through the season.

The same kind of rocky start to last year had Michigan fans down again, but Beilein did what he does.

Getting the most out of the talent he has, when it matters the most.

Michigan (26-12, 10-8 conf.) won the Big Ten Tournament as a No. 8 seed. Then went to the sweet sixteen and fell one shot short of moving on.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Final-Michigan vs Wisconsin Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

MSU (20-15, 10-8) was knocked out in the second round of the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.

Since Beilein arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan State has beaten the Wolverines 12 times. Michigan has won eight times.

Izzo has won the Big Ten three times since the Beilein era. Beilein has won it twice.

The Big Ten Tournament: Izzo three, Beilein one.

While the numbers still tilt in Izzo’s favor, Beilein has given him a run for his money, and no other Michigan coach can say that.

Today, he just took advantage of what many people critique Beilein for by getting Johns.

The 6-foot-8 forward is now going to wear the maize and blue. He brings a lot of athletic ability to the table for Michigan in the future. He can shoot the 3-ball, drive to the hoop, and finish hard at the rim.

While MSU and Izzo have still had the higher rate of success since Beilein arrived, what Michigan’s head coach has done with the talent he's had is respectable.

Now he has a top recruit in Johns for 2018, he went out and got a graduate transfer in Jaaron Simmons, who was going to be the leading Mid-American Conference player of the year candidate, to fill a gap at point guard this season.

Charles Matthews is a transfer student from Kentucky who could be a future star in the making.

While Izzo deserves a monumental amount of credit for what he has done in East Lansing, Beilein shouldn't go as something the people that root for Michigan push aside.

In 10 years at Michigan he's had plenty of success, and getting this top recruit over Izzo is just another sign of what could be to come.

Michigan State is still a great basketball school, but as long as Beilein is around Michigan will be right there with them in the state.

Today, is just another example of Beilein keeping up, and continuing to reach new levels of success.

With what Beilein has done with lower ranked players, Johns could be the beginning of his greatest move yet.

Until then, the battle will continue between Beilein and Izzo, and today's move was just another statement, this time in favor of Michigan.