Renovated Michigan basketball program sparks hoops revival

Dylan Burkhardt

Mike DeCourcy on the Michigan resurgence

This is not a class that demands a nickname of its own, or someone else’s modified to fit the circumstance. It is transformational, though, for Beilein’s Michigan. When he was hired away from West Virginia, some analysts blasted the choice on the basis he would be either unable or unwilling to recruit elite talent.

“I think it’s understandable people would think that,” Beilein says. “I think Da’Sean Butler was the only top-100 player we had at West Virginia, and he was 99 or something.

“I realized at West Virginia it wasn’t the end-all. You could still win. But one of the attractions about Michigan was I thought you could recruit really high-level student-athletes. They had a history of winning national championships and going to Final Fours. I really felt if given this opportunity and this environment, it was a situation where I would be able to recruit those guys. I didn’t think it would define me, but I thought there was an opportunity.”

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  • Mattski

    One of the more substantive pieces I’ve read about where the program is going. Robinson sounds like he’s got his head on straight:

    “Everything has been pushed up a bit,” Robinson says. “The excitement, the expectations, what people expect to see out of this season has been turned up a lot. A lot of people are making noise about us five coming in. I’ve heard, ‘The Next Five,’ the next Fab Five. All five freshmen are high-character guys, and I don’t look too far into that at all. We’re just here and ready to play our roles.”

    • DingoBlue

      Indeed, this was a good read. I also liked how the players are excited about a fingerprint scanner to get into the locker room. I’d play around with that too.

  • Steve2081

    Irvin lead his team with 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting (2 for 3 on 3’s). He also added 3 rebounds and a steal.

    Walton didn’t play for whatever reason.

    • Steve2081

      15 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals for Zak in his second game. Still no Walton.

      • Steve2081

        Looks like Walton rolled his ankle or something. It also looks like his and Zak’s team is wearing down from all these games and having 3 guys hurt. They just lost to one of the 2014 teams.

  • Wayman Britt

    Nice article on how Beilein has turned the program around. AD Martin did a great job when he plucked a coach from West Virgina. As we all know he should have stopped at one.