Friday, February 01, 2008

Detroit fishwrap comment of the day

With the Wolverines cagers getting bitch slapped once again, this time by a mediocre Minnesota at Crisler, 77-65, Michigan fans are coming out of the woodwork with their knee-jerk reactions.

In the comment thread of Mlive's recap of Michigan's 16th loss of the season, the natives are becoming quite restless. One being BlueInSC, who is ready to give up on head coach John Beilein, and his offense, before his 1st season at the helm is over.

This is the worst Michigan BBall team in years. They may have talent, but they have little desire, no vision, and little intelligence. They also don't play as a unit. I don't know what the hell Beilein is doing. He seems like an old coach who's best days are behind him... How many more years does he plan on coaching? He's on the down hill.

I don't care what anyone says. I miss the Fab 5 and Fisher.

This comment hits one of my biggest pet peeves, fans claiming a team has no heart. I believe the vast majority of the time fans are confusing a lack of talent for a lack of heart.

It's been obvious for quite some time Michigan has only a handful of legitimate Big 10 caliber talent. That's NOT Beilein's fault. If the talent to run Beilein's scheme is still missing after 2-3 seasons, and the team remains a Big 10 patsy, then we can talk about his abilities as a coach. Right now, due to a combination of factors he had nothing to do with, the deck is totally stacked against Beilein winning with any regularity.

I think we can deduct several things from this current Wolverines season...

1. Tommy Amaker left Beilein a roster full of kids who aren't Big 10 quality players. The first requirement of any basketball player is the ability to shoot. For whatever reason, Amaker didn't think that skill was necessary, and gave scholarships to a bunch of bricklayers.

2. Beilein's offense absolutely requires players that can SHOOT, especially from beyond the 3 point arc. Unfortunately, check observation #1.

3. From what little I've seen of Michigan (The Big 10 Network has made hoops season a rumor to me), Beilein's offense consistently generates open looks, but his players can't convert. The Wolverines are the proverbial "gang that couldn't shoot straight." Again, go back to observation #1.

4. Should Michigan have a better record? Sure, but I think even .500 ball would have been a huge reach. They were destined for the depths of the Big 10 before the season ever started.

5. Beilein has a proven track record of success, having won, and consistently made the NCAA's, at every stop. You couldn't say the same about the track records of the past 3 Michigan head coaches had before they took over the Wolverines, Steve Fischer, Brian Ellerbe, and Tommy Amaker. Beilein deserves the benefit of the doubt.

6. I'm willing to give Beilein a couple of seasons to recruit his sort of players. Until we see the fruits of his recruiting, you can't judge him.

7. A season this awful has been brewing for quite some time, and Beilein isn't to blame. An athletic department that let the program atrophy after the NCAA sanctions, and 2 AWFUL, indefensible coaching hires, are...


  1. Amen. Unfortunately, the same people will probably be bitching about DickRod when the football team struggles next year.

  2. Actually, I think the people who will be bitching about DickRod next fall are the ones who are on his bandwagon right now. His success, or lack thereof, is going to depend on how many more of Lloyd's players he runs off during and after spring practice. Since he hasn't signed his contract yet, he could bail and head on out to an NFL position coaching gig in May, if he doesn't sign either of the qbs he's after and runs off #'s 3 & 4 from this year. I think that Herbstreit's prediction of 6-6 was based on DickRod signing at least one of his target qb's and keeping him healthy throughout the 12 game schedule. It's tough to run that old modified single wing without a triple threat tailback.