The State of UM Basketball

Wanted to make a more appropriate thread for the talks of what is up with Michigans program. And I really do not want any fights or saying someone was right or wrong and this thread being taken down because of that so please don’t. I have realized this season that the team is under achieving and has been ever since Glenn Robinson, Nik Stauskas, and Mitch McGary declared for the NBA draft especially last year and this year. A veteran team should not be losing the way they have been and is inexcusable. When teams like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, and most top Big Ten teams have the experience we have this year they are ranked top 10. Yet we have this and are not even receiving votes and blow games. The lack of star power is concerning because John Beilein is paid as a top 10 coach. From x’s and o’s maybe he is top 10 but thats only half the battle. He can not land the big recruits and the ones he has (Irvin Chatman Walton) have been under achieving. The state of Michigan basketball is very concerning long and short term.

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Just my take but his offense does not lend itself to landing the big time athletes and recruits. HIs 5’s biggest contribution on most trips is to set as many high balls screens as needed to free up the PG. The 3 and 4 often wait in the corners for the same PG to penetrate and kick, And the SG often waits on the opposite side of the supposed penetration waiting for the same.

Too often very few parts are moving; hardly an offense that attracts young men to be on ESPN’s top 10 plays.

Lets face it; these kids ant highlight reel stuff and this offense does not really generate them. At least not with this cast.

I disagree with this. I think the whole offensive scheme thing is overblown. I think JB is just a terrible recruiter. He’s not a dynamic personality at all and he lacks charisma, both of which are important for recruiting. Also, he seems to restrict himself on the kids who he will recruit. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s only recruiting kids “running to get into Michigan” or if he simply won’t recruit any shady kids, but his pool of targets is significantly smaller than most schools. Alot of kids seem to be off limits to JB and he won’t even consider them.


The program is definitely not trending in the right direction. Most of the reason is recruiting. Beilein is getting good role players, but has been shut out of getting a future NBA’er or All-American. This year’s freshman class looks underwhelming also. Other teams in the Big Ten have freshman who are contributing.

He needs to land at least one stud who can take the game over at the end of the game and create their own shot.

I flip my side a little bit…

Part of me wants to say, we’re a football school, we had a 10 year tourney drought along with a big smack on the hand for violations. In 8 years we’ve made the tourney 6 times, won the Big 10 twice, and made the Elite 8/Finals. If that’s normal…I’ll take it.

The other part of me says…JB is a good coach. We have a great school and brand. We have had recent success. Recruit a little better and all the pieces can come together to be a power again. Where was our success? When we had NBA players. Ironic? No.

We have good players. We just need a star or two mixed in. I’m thrilled with Wagner and Wilson as the frontcourt. And I’ll take Teske and Livers as some potential for future. But where is our 6’6" athletic NBA potential guard? (Manny - Timmy - Stauskas - Levert)


This^^^ and we desperately need Poole and Matthews to be those guys fast. The question is- will they be?

If you are right we have bigger problems, because the style of play is easier to change than the coach.

As someone that speaks to recruits all the time, its all of the above. Its JB, the system, lack of excitement, etc…the program is just viewed as stale, boring, whatever term you’d like to use for non-exciting.

From a JB standpoint, I don’t really need to add anything. I think we all know he’s not the most persistent guy on the recruiting trail during post-visits. He’s great on actual visits, but he just doesn’t follow-up enough and make kids feel prioritized.

In terms of style of play, it is definitely not viewed as a plus. It just lacks any sort of excitement. It’s all off ball movement with no sort of athletic plays. Kids generally want to play an uptempo game where they can get out in space and make plays. One kid told me “its like they have to think about 10 different things before they can make a decision, not a lot of freedom to just go out and play”

When I went to the IUPUI game with Steve, his exact words to me were “Coach Blount would sub all the starters and would make us run stairs if we ran a play with slow movements and soft cuts like that”

I think this is something we all know, but that is the difference between Michigan under Beilein and other programs, there is no accountability right now, and so small details go without correction.

Its a combination of several things, but the root of the problem is at the top. He has to change a lot of things before the ship is righted. Unfortunately, I think he’s too stuck in his ways to change his on-court approach, but there does appear to be some bending on the recruiting trail in terms of the type of player we target.

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I don’t buy that. Our offense was a thing of beauty in 2012 and 2013. And those two squads put 6 guys in the NBA. We let guys have a ton of freedom and put them in great position for big numbers. Hard to argue with that.

It seems to me we just still lack the cache to recruit with the Dukes and Kentuckys of the world. Kinda like how Oregon football, now that it has fallen back a bit, can’t go head to head with blue blood programs and get players.


Regarding style of play, I will say now that the shot clock has shortened, we need to change things up a bit. When we were scrapping to stay in games, it made sense to burn clock and run a lot of movement…and chuck threes hoping for the best. But now I’m seeing too often pointless ball movement that simply burns clock and does nothing. Either attack or move with a purpose.

Keep in mind that I just started the recruiting gig in April, so 2013 and 2014 is absolutely irrelevant to current kids. That team just doesn’t have any historical significance to kids outside of Michigan. So while you don’t buy it, it was certainly said…and for the context of the conversation, being last year’s team, it was and is absolutely true.

I’d echo the above but add that even if the recruiting is challenged, he could do more to make the guys he ends up with look and play more confident. The last set of games, combined with his own comment that sometimes he “has to tell guys how good they are” is a problem. 3-4y guys looking nervous is a coaching problem and would have made a difference in the VaTech (at home!) and Iowa games, and I think it will play out similar throughout the year where we look lost/nervous/tight in games and end up losing when we held leads that tenured and confident teams are meant to hold.

I know you have your site on updates with recruits but what else do you do? You talk about going to games practices etc., what is your “gig” if you don’t mind me asking. Feel free to not answer if you do not want to

I’m a scout. I watch HS and AAU games and provide detailed scouting reports, advanced stats, film, etc.

Interesting, did not know. Do you do this for a school or just for your site?

Colleges subscribe annually, and I have tailored packages for some schools as well.

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I know I know I will be called a hater but when I look at sites like and ESPN and schools with no where even close to Michigan’s stature or history land recruits that would look great in the Maize and Blue I simply shake my head.

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Here is my problem. This years team makes me cringe. Look at the scholarship players. 2 seniors 3 juniors (Donnal a junior since he is playing in his 3rd season) 2 sophomores 3 freshman and 2 redshirts. The 5 upper classman have starting experience and we are the most experienced team in the big ten maybe Wisc comes close. Teams like Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan St, even Iowa are top teams in the COUNTRY when they have this kind of experience. Us? Lose games like the Vtech game and Iowa. Iowa is a bottom tier B10 team this year and we lose. That is a bad loss no way around it. This should be a year of success but is instead “ok lets build a resume and hopefully get into the tourney”. This team should be a tourney team no question with the experience.

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Could not agree more but it appears some here are happy with effort or close calls. My first thought is that unlike the local little league team those that lose do not get trophies.

Who in this thread is happy? @ace_maker4