Saturday, April 07, 2007

Beilein Ramblings, Etc.

In my estimation, Beilein is a very good hire. Congragulations to Bill Martin on an extraordinary job 1) keeping the search quiet, 2) getting the guy he apparently wanted all along, 3) coming up with the money to pay Beilein a competitive salary, and 4) not paying his buyout (apparently). As glad as I am to have Beilein this search bodes well for what will be the most important decision facing the athletic department in more than 10 years when Lloyd eventually retires. Brian at has several fine posts about Beilein (which anyone reading this has probably already read, and if you haven't you should).

I am concerned about this year's recruiting class, however. While thing looked good in comments from Udoh and elsewhere regarding Harris and Legion, this Harris quote from the Detroit News cannot be good:

"I'm opening up my recruiting," Harris said. "I'm not looking at one or any school in particular. Michigan is still a school I'm looking at."

Perhaps as concerning is a quote from Alex Legion's mother from the DetNews indicating that the issue with his decision is not so much about his game, or the team's style (within which he would fit perfectly) but about who else he is playing with:

"Al talked with him (Beilein) for an hour on Wednesday," Williams said. " When you have a ballplayer like Al, it's not about him. What's important are the players you have around him."

I take this to mean that if Harris leaves, Legion leaves. Ouch. Coach B. has some hard work ahead of him in the next few days.

Hopefully he and Harris both come to the realization that Beilein's addition to UM will add to the attractiveness of Michigan, and make them far better players in the long run than TA ever could have. There is certainly still hope, as Legion stated:

"We watched films of his teams at West Virginia, and he told me what his teams were about," Legion said. "He seemed very knowledgeable. His teams like to shoot the 3(-pointer) and run that 1-3-1 defense. That offense suits my game."

How great is it that Beilein is already out there doing far more public appearances than TA did in an entire year? This may very well be the biggest long term advantage in recruiting that Coach B will have over TA. There will a stark contrast between coach B and TA, and one that will certainly help Michigan in recruiting and player development.

On the other hand, how disturbing is it that TA actually required players to make appointments to come see him?