Jay Bilas on Manny Harris

Dylan Burkhardt
kramer.jpgI was among the many people who ripped Jay Bilas for his criticism of Manny Harris after the Purdue game last year. But Bilas had some kind words about Manny Harris in a Sports Illustrated column by Richard Deitsch while talking about his relationships with coaches and players and how it effects the way he does his job.

“I have situations where I’ve second-guessed a coach on the air and I try not to even consider what the coaches’ feelings will be about it. There are times in dealing with coaches and players you have a relationship with and dealing with comments you get off the record. That’s where you hope your best judgment comes in. I worked with Manny Harris of Michigan two summers ago. I have not worked with or been around a better kid. Last year, he was involved in an elbowing incident and I was pretty hard on him. I could have sat there and said, ‘Great kid, let’s dismiss it,’ but I didn’t. I said what I thought and I had a lot of critical comments from Michigan fans. But I didn’t know any other way to handle it. I worked with Manny again this summer and we joked about it. Adults don’t handle that situation better than he handled it. I wish I had the poise that kid has.

It obviously speaks worlds about Manny Harris’ maturity and personality. I’m all for speaking your mind on air and I have no doubt that is what Bilas did but that doesn’t change my mind that he was wrong about the play. Bilas also gave Harris and Evan Turner some praise in his ESPN column for posting triple doubles.

Other Notes

  • Per StatSheet, Michigan has the 3rd youngest team in the Big Ten (by average class year per minute played). Iowa and Indiana are the only younger teams while Ohio State is the oldest.
  • Mike Rothstein chatted with Gary Grant about Manny Harris and his triple double.
  • Bringing two canned goods to the game Friday gets you in the door for one dollar.
  • John Gasaway is the voice of reason, saying that we shouldn’t fret over early season ugly wins.
  • Northwestern faces Butler tonight (8 pm BTN) in what could have been a huge statement game for the Cats, instead it will more likely be a demonstration of how they can cope with out Coble.  The Geeks have a preview.
  • Programming Note: Posting has been a little light this week and I apologize. Should have plenty throughout the end of the week including an early Old Spice preview as well as the necessary Houston Baptist preview.
  • Sid

    I still feel pretty sure that Manny took into account that “clearing space” could end as it did. That’s not to say he went after Kramer, but that he was aware that it was a possible if not probable outcome. But Kramer was never one to keep his nose out of the way either, and everyone seems okay with it, so bygones.

  • JB

    I think Bilas should own up to the ridiculousness of his comments about the elbow. Manny was doing a standard transfer of the basketball and clearing out space. I remember being taught how to do this type of transfer as a middle school kid. Most of the time the defender will back off. It was clearly a foul on manny, probably a flagrant, but it was still not a dirty play and did not warrant an ejection. It was unfortunate how it ended up.
    I guess this article puts Bilas a smidgeon ahead of Rosenberg in my book. barely a smidgeon.

  • Beilein was still a little perturbed about it at his coaching clinic, and demonstrated just how Kramer defends.

  • Jalen

    Ohio State, the most notorious of the one (or two)-and-done teams in the Big Ten, has the oldest team in the league?? That’s very surprising. Props to them, I suppose…

  • mitchigan

    I know he is starting to backtrack a great deal these days, but Michigan and Manny deserve an apology from Bilas for his comments throughout the last two season. If you remember even Kramer didn’t think the play was dirty (see below). Anyway, that’s all in the past and Manny’s going to be player of the year this year.


  • Brick

    Remember that your average Ohio resident takes at least six year to graduate HS so they are probably 20 years old by the time they get to OSU :)

  • Dylan

    For the average age thing… OSU has no freshmen, which inflates their number I’d say.

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  • Tom, Too.

    I believe that after the Manny incident, followed closely by the Novak elbow, warranted a “Michigan is out of control” statement by Bilas. Don’t like him and never will, no matter how much back tracking he does.

  • gpsimms

    Other way around, I think, Tom, too, comma, comma,,,. I think Novak’s elbow was first.

  • JimC

    Two cans of food + 1 dollar = BBall ticket.
    I have to think about the tradeoff.
    Would that be a blue section or gold?

  • Tom, Too.

    That’s right….the elbow was OSU and pretty flagrant. Bilas just waits for something negative about JB and UM to let loose. Google “Bilas rips Beilein” and see what pops up.