Former Michigan coach John Beilein is still working, working as a Big Ten Network analyst and keeping busy with Zoom calls to former players and assistant coaches in addition to the media. He has been impressed by Wolverines, having kept a close eye on some of his former players and Juwan Howard’s additions.
The result has been fun to watch. Although he did not get anything to say about his replacement, Beilein obviously said that at the time he thought Howard would be a good successor.
“Why I thought Juwan was a great choice … in my exchanges and communication with alumni, Juwan always stood out to me as a guy who truly honored his time in Michigan,” Beilein said. “He came back and graduated from Michigan.
“When we talked during the low season, he was really thirsty to learn about the game. Here’s this guy, two decades in the NBA, a coach with the Miami Heat, and he was thirsty to talk to our staff about basketball. When he comes in, he comes from the Heat culture where it’s about hard work, not about star and star stars. The team is the star. It fit right in with the Michigan form. ”
So did his employment. He retained assistant Saddi Washington as a residence permit, and he added a great teacher to former NBA player Howard Eisley and the completed college coach of veteran Phil Martelli.
They have come together to be an outstanding example for their players.
“What staff he put together,” Beilein continued. “To keep the guys he kept, so there was still some retention there for recruitment, philosophy and culture, and then add his own identification with his own personality, Howard Eisley, and then bring in Phil Martelli … he’s gone through this earlier. I think they won 26 games in a row at St. Joe’s. Taking him on board was really a huge decision he made, because Phil really has a lot of everything you need, just like the team.
“The team reflects the coaching staff – very talented, and this is not their first rodeo either. They have all been through it a lot. ”
Wolverines will have much to prove after a two-week lockdown, one that is expected to delay them from returning to court by February 7. But those who question whether the early success was a mirage are no longer wondering, Beilein said.
“I think everyone realizes it’s for real,” he said. “They have proven where they are right now, but there is a long way to go in the schedule. They will handle it beautifully, but there will be bumps in the road here and there, and they will handle them, and it will make them better. But they are good. Legitimate. I do not go too far into the top five, No. 1, No. 1, but they can with the Big Ten Championship, and if you can win the Big Ten Championship, you can win the national championship. It’s so simple.
‘There’s a lot of basketball to play, and you need to have a few breaks. Watch some of our runs to championship games. We needed a Trey Burke three from 40 feet and Jordan Poole’s shot. You need a few breaks to get there, but they have a lot of what it takes to get there. ”
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