Michigan Basketball: The Usually Non-Paradoxical Coach Beilein — Michigan’s Straight Rail
Perhaps Coach John Beilein may be a little mysterious to very young recruits, but on the whole there is no mystery to his methods. He relies on tried and true absolutes and as such there really is nothing of a paradox.
Turn the clock back and Coach Beilein would fit in nicely with many of the so-called old school types that accelerated basketball to a very high level. He likely would find conversation engaging and enjoyable with guys like Pete Newell, Fred Taylor, Henry Iba, and perhaps even John Wooden.Coach Beilein is essentially a self-made man. He coached young and he was never an assistant. Being the headman at a small school means a coach must do it all: plan, administrate, scout, be inventive, and survive to get a chance at the next level.
This has proven to be useful to Coach Beilein as likely there will be little or nothing he has not encountered. On the other hand, he does not have the advantage of a huge family tree, as would a Donovan or Rick Pitino.
Coach Beilein has viscosity, but it may be safe to label this level of flow as controlled and somewhat slow. He does not change elements of his program just to change. He looks at the actual state and envisions the ideal state, then adjusts his resources to attempt to push forward the actual state.
Coach Beilein would have made a great Ward Cleaver, but perhaps he is too quiet to play even that calm role. He is the type of coach that few parents would question regarding the welfare of their student athlete.One of his greatest traits is patience. He is patient perhaps to a flaw. But his belief in the final result of his system supplies the room to be patient.
Those who have similar traits as Beilein get tagged with stereotypes of strengths and weaknesses. In Coach Beilein’s case the perceptions have at least some validity. The book on Beilein is that his teams could not rebound and play strong man-to-man defense. It was also “documented” he did not recruit stars.
At Michigan Coach Beilein certainly has enjoyed more resources. So, the recruiting tag has pretty much melted away with two classes. For the first time in ages Coach Beilein has mentioned to the nth degree the importance of defense and rebounding. He appears to have converted. Now we will see if improvements do materialize.
Probably few coaches enjoyed a lightning run to the Championship like Coach Beilein. In essence this was an earned reward for all those days of putting his toil into lesser teams in small venues. But Coach Beilein would never lessen the importance of sports at lower levels, and indeed he knows such experiences made his very fiber and reinforced his underlying foundations of basketball and basketball management.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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