Entering the 2009-10 season Michigan Basketball will be in a position they have not been in for a long time. After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year Michigan will be saddled with expectations. In the last two weeks I have come across two columns that mentioned Michigan in a good light.
The first one was a rivals.com article in which they asked 4 college basketball analyst who was the best sideline tactician. Jason King said it was John Beilein and here are his remarks:
I’ll go with Michigan’s John Beilein. I can’t remember the last time I saw a bigger coaching mismatch than Beilein vs. Clemson’s Oliver Purnell in last season’s NCAA tournament. Michigan had two good players in Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, but otherwise the Wolverines had no business hanging with a bigger, quicker and stronger Clemson team. Beilein, though, won the game by simply out coaching his counterpart on the sideline. Clemson was confused and rarely got off a quality shot. The other thing I like about Beilein, and I realize this is off-topic, is that he runs his program the right way. There are always rumors about coaches cutting corners and bending the rules, but none of them ever involve Beilein, who has as good a reputation as anyone in the business.
The three other coaches named in the column were; Bo Ryan, Mike Montgomery, and Tom Izzo. That sure says a lot about the caliber of coaches in the Big Ten doesn’t it?
While reading the print edition of The Sporting News I read Mike DeCourcy’s column that spotlighted three teams that will be better than you think in 2009-10. Here is what DeCourcy had to say:
When last season began, Villanova was picked to finish seventh in the Big East-and the Wildcats wound up in the Final Four. So surely there’s a team that can surprise us like that in 2009-10.
Michigan: If there were some frontcourt power, it’d be easier to suggest greatness for the Wolverines. But when has a John Beilein team needed size? His teams advance in March because they execute and score. Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims have the ability to carry a team.
The two other teams he discussed were Mississippi State and West Virginia.
When Michigan hired John Beilein many predicted year 3 would be the breakout season. That breakout season came a year early last year and year 3 promises to be a lot fun. Stay tuned to isportsweb.com as I will have a lot more to discuss about Michigan Basketball between now and the start of the season.