Posted on: March 12, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2010 3:59 pm
Michigan had five players on the court.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
And yet John Beilein didn't use any of them to A) guard the inbound guy, or B) deny Evan Turner the ball. So guess what happened? In a span of 2.2 seconds, Turner -- otherwise known as the CBSSports.com National Player of the Year -- looped around without interruption, caught a clean pass, took two dribbles and launched a 37-footer that swished and gave Ohio State a 69-68 win in Friday's Big Ten quarterfinals.
If I live to be 99 -- and I hope I do -- I'll never understand why coaches don't put somebody on the inbound guy. Cincinnati didn't do it Thursday night, which allowed Da'Sean Butler to catch a clean pass and hit a game-winner. I watched that, went to bed, woke up, turned the TV back on, and watched Michigan use and fail with the same strategy
And how do you even let Turner touch the ball?
He's the one person on the court you absolutely don't watch touching it if you're Michigan. But the Wolverines let him catch the ball and fly up the court with no resistance, and they paid the price they deserved to pay for not learning from Rick Pitino's greatest coaching mishap.
Remember the Christian Laettner shot in the 1992 East Regional?
It happened, at least in part, because Pitino put nobody on the inbound guy.
This was similar in that it made no sense.
And now Michigan is responsible for enhancing the legend of an Ohio State star.
Unless you're Michigan.
Posted on: October 6, 2008 11:34 am
Edited on: October 6, 2008 3:15 pm
It was a slow weekend in terms of relevant commitments.
But Michigan got a good one.
His name is Matt Vogrich -- a 6-3 guard from Illinois ranked as the 100th-best prospect in the nation by Scout.com. The deadly shooter is a significant commitment for the Wolverines because he's the perfect John Beilein recruit, i.e., someone who fits Beilein's system and also happens to be talented enough to be regarded on a national level. In fact, Vogrich is the highest-rated recruit Beilein has committed since taking over at Michigan in April 2007 and the highest-rated overall since he signed Da'Sean Butler for West Virginia in the Class of 2006.
Michigan now has three commitments for the Class of 2009.
The others are Darius Morris (a point guard from Los Angeles) and Jordan Morgan (a center from Detroit).
Posted on: September 26, 2008 12:23 pm
Here's Friday Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: First off, let me say thanks for providing the most offseason coverage of college basketball that anyone could ask for. Also, I have a question: Bo Ryan always seems to do a fantastic job with a very small number of legitimately high-level recruits, and from what I've heard he really only goes after players that fit the Wisconsin system. ... Are there any other major conference coaches who recruit mid-level players like Ryan and manage any sort of success, or is Bo unique?
First, thanks for your first sentence.
A first sentence like that will pretty much get any question answered. So all you emailers should keep that in mind, that I'm a sucker for nice words. As for Bo Ryan, yes, he's unique. But he's still signed his share of high-level recruits over the years -- guys like Brian Butch (ranked 11th in the Class of 2004), Greg Stiemsma (ranked 31st in the Class of 2004), Joe Krabbenhoft (ranked 35th in the Class of 2005) and Jason Bohannon (ranked 42nd in the Class of 2006). So while Ryan does consistently overachieve given the level of natural ability in the Wisconsin program, it must also be noted that he usually has some Top 50-caliber prospects at his disposal.
John Beilein, not so much.
I think that's the name that best answers your question.
I'm not sure Beilein has ever had a Top 50 prospect, but he's done OK for himself. He went to the Elite Eight and compiled a 104-60 record in five seasons at West Virginia before leaving for Michigan, where there is no evidence that his recruiting philosophy has been greatly altered. And though I've vowed to never doubt Beilein because he's proved me wrong too many times, I will say that searching for "diamonds in the rough" who fit a particular system is not the way to compete for national titles in this era of college basketball.
Isn't that the goal at Michigan, to compete for national titles?
If so, I'm not sure that can be done with under-the-radar prospects because a team needs at least three NBA players to win a national title, or at least that's what recent history suggests. Don't believe me, checkout the last five NCAA tournament champions ...
2008: Kansas (Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers)
So clearly, competing for national titles requires NBA-caliber professionals, and I'm not sure Beilein deals in those enough. That's the concern. But make no mistake, the man is a tremendous instructor. And if any high-major coach deserves the benefit of the doubt, Beilein is probably that guy.