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Friday, February 5, 2016
BIELFELDT BUSTS BEILEIN'S BELIEFS
Michigan Basketball Coach John Beilein has unusual ideas. Most of the time, the media crowns him as a "genius" for his "innovative approaches". You know, things like playing without a big center, chucking up two dozen threes per game, and leaving defense to those who play hockey.
But what about his theory of avoiding players who can play a full four years of college basketball? Beilein brought this approach to UM when he arrived in Ann Arbor nine years ago. His first order of business, conducted quietly and out of the public eye, was to toss players off his team before they could use up all of their eligibility. This allowed him to fill more positions with his own recruits in a shorter period of time, eliminating the need to show loyalty to the players he inherited upon his arrival.
Beilein is not alone in his practice of "cleaning house" at the front-end of a new job, but he hasn't really stopped doing it. The Wolverines in the Beilein Era don't have a Midnight-Madness event to start the season, and they don't have much of a Senior Day to finish the season, either. Very few players have competed in four consecutive years under Beilein.
The latest player to get his termination notice was Max Bielfeldt, a front-line player who paid his dues by red-shirting and grinding his way through the program to establish his role on his team. The Moose was never a candidate to leave early for the NBA, or even find his way into an NBA arena without a ticket. But by all accounts, he seemed to complete his mission with dignity, staying out of trouble and going to class, and for all practical purposes, doing the best he could do.
That wasn't enough for John Beilein, as the Mad Scientist of Michigan re-classified the big guy prior to his fourth season, and gave him plenty of notice that he would not be invited back as a Fifth-Year Senior. The poor kid was actually left in limbo for a couple of months last summer, after giving his all to improve and have his best season at UM, hoping for a chance to stay with his team to finish his career in the colors of his choice. Eventually, Bielfeldt was dismissed from the Wolverine program.
Left with plenty of talent and experience, Bielfeldt looked for another team, and signed up to play for the Indiana Hoosiers, causing Beilein to rupture his cerebral cortex. Seems that Coach John didn't consider the possibility that he may have to play against a man to whom he gave the heave-ho. But that's exactly what happened on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor.
Tom Crean brought his Crimson-and-Cream into Crisler with Max Bielfeldt giving directions on how to get to the Crisler Center, how to find the locker-rooms, and basically, how to beat the hell out of his old team at his old home.
John Beilein got his ass royally kicked-in by Indiana, and we can only guess how much help Crean got from Max Bielfeldt.
While the graduate transfer came off the bench and only scored five points, he did hit a three during the historic 28-0 run, and he added seven boards, two assists, a steal and a block. But his biggest contribution may have been made in the days before the game, when he must have handed over the Michigan Playbook (figuratively or literally) to Crean, and in doing so, given the former Izzo assistant the keys to victory for many seasons to come.
The Wolverines were literally cut to ribbons by the Hoosiers, after beating Indiana like a drum for years whenever they came to town. What could better explain the massive turnaround than Bielfeldt explaining to his coaches and his new teammates how to beat the boys in blue?
We congratulate Max Bielfeldt on his triumphal conquest
of the man who shunned him, and the players
who were chosen to replace him.
As for the John Beilein Doctrine, it's another kick in the ass for the crazy guys who coach the yellow-shorts. The Wolverines are not doing things "the right way", and it's great to see when things don't work out for them.
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