Five takeways from Michigan's win at Nebraska

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You were spot on with these Dylan.

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One take away that I didn’t know, but found out through fan’s comments and Howard’s rotation, that Bajama must not be very good. It is very telling that walk on Baird played all those minutes over Cole. Plus, fans (in the know) comments were that in practice he has been horrible. Disheartening.

There may be something else going on with Cole like an injury or off the court issues. The truth is we just don’t know but it seems odd that a kid with his size and pedigree can’t get on the floor over Nunez and Baird.

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Who are these “fans (in the know)?” Do they actually have credibility as folks truly “in the know?” Are they in practice? Do they have friends on the team or as managers or coaches? Where are they getting their information?

I don’t believe Cole is “not very good.” He may be struggling in practice. He might be “overwhelmed” as I understand someone has said, but I’m not in practice, either, so I don’t know. What I do know is that “something” must be up. I don’t know what that is, either. I have some ideas, but I don’t know.

Another thing I know is that Cole was ranked 111 on the 247 composite and 74 on 247 internal rankings. He was also offered, in addition to his Michigan offer, by Oregon State, Washington, and Virginia. Oh, and then there is Coach Beilein’e eye test. Watch his video and go back and check out Cole’s, admittedly, very limited minutes on the floor this year and you’ll certainly see a young man with some offensive skills.

Now please know, I did not come on here and post this so someone who wants to argue can come on here and bash or criticize Cole Bajema. I was reluctant for that very reason to post this, but I think something is up. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t think it’s that he’s just “not very good.”

So, again, I ask, who are these fans who are “in the know?” I’d like to send them a PM and ask what it is that they know and how they know it. Thank you.

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The notion that you bring up about “Coach Beilein’s eye test” is a real thing. Beilein was very willing to take on developmental projects (if they show the requisite qualities and tools) that blossom by the time they are juniors and seniors (and sometimes sooner, see Lavert). There is still a high ceiling for Bajema as a player and he has a lot of tools to be successful but I am guessing that it is a bit more discouraging for him at this point knowing the incoming class and the trajectory that these types of classes are going to be the norm. It is a tough mindset to get in to know that for all four years you are going to have to beat out some new uber 5* talent.

I think folks need to be trusting Juwan a bit more on whether Bajema is playing. If JB was still here, we would have reference points for how he deals with these situations and has built up some trust form the fanbase.

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Oh, I trust Juwan. I doubt that there is anyone on the forum who is more pleased than I am with the fact that Juwan Howard is the basketball coach at Michigan. I do trust Juwan. I don’t think Juwan is “pushing Cole out” as someone suggested. But I do think there is a lot we don’t know. And, frankly, I’m not sure we have a right to know everything Juwan and Cole know about Cole’s playing time or lack thereof, though I understand and respect that folks disagree with my opinion on that.

Having coached many kids over many years, and having watched my own son go away, to a completely different part of the country, to play at the DI level (minor sport, but the sport he LOVED), and then wanting to come home at Christmas, I understand that there are things we just don’t know. OR, knowing that Trey Burke packed up and was going to leave after his freshman year. We just don’t know. There is so much a coach has to know about his kids besides the X’s and O’s of coaching basketball, and I trust Juwan is on top of things, athletic ability, basketball skills, academics, the emotions of his players, relationships, etc, etc., everything.

I trust Juwan. I trust his assistants. I believe they want the best for the program and for Cole Bajema. I believe there may be something going on that we just don’t know, and it will play itself out, one way or another.

But we all like to speculate, don’t we? It’s human nature, I guess. When I hear the speculation being put forth, though, that “Cole may not be good enough,” and that this is coming from “people in the know,” or that “Juwan may be trying to push Cole out,” I’m going to push back on that kind of talk.

Oh, one more thing, when I said no one, well, other than Juwan, that “no one is more excited (I guess I said ‘pleased,’ but ‘exciting’ is a better word) than I am that Juwan Howard is the basketball coach at Michigan” that does not mean that there aren’t others just as excited about that as I am.

And finally, like everyone, I really hope everything will work out for the best for Cole, for Juwan, and for the program. Somehow I think it will. Not everything worked out for my aforementioned son, but that was entirely on him, though he eventually did play three years at the DI level, just closer to home. In the long run, while his golf “career” didn’t work out, he’s pretty successful today, has a PhD, taught graduate level students for several years, eight I think, left college teaching to work in business, now Director of Purchasing for all food and beverage for the Rose Bowl, Brookside Golf Courses, and the restaurant at Brookside. Things worked out. Things oftentimes work out, even when we don’t understand why or how, even when we sometimes agonize over those decisions at the time!

Well said. I think your reference to “developmental projects” is valid. I’m not sure many on this board saw Cole as an immediate fixture in the lineup. He was so thin and IMO not ready to bang in the B1G. Very similar as you say to Caris without the quickness. It seems 5 stars will be the future for the team…I just hope they can stick around for more than a year. We’re going to need solid kids with maturity to support the freshmen and help them grow. The balance of talent will be interesting as the team moves forward. 5 star kids do not guarantee banners but it sure helps.