Free Press sports activities writers Orion Sang and Vince Ellis are in Chicago attending the 2019 NBA draft mix, Might 15-19.
Vince Ellis and Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel isn’t just making an attempt to switch a profitable basketball coach. He’s trying to find a coach who will hold the program’s established culture intact.
Profitable, obviously, is necessary. However sleeping is more necessary.
For many U-M alumni and for a lot of the varsity’s basketball group — together with many former gamers — the most effective a part of John Beilein’s tenure was that it afforded restful nights.
Nobody nervous concerning the police blotter. Or the NCAA policing committee. Or whether or not Beilein would say the incorrect factor after a troublesome loss.
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They knew what they have been getting. Now it’s up to Manuel to make sure that continues.
Former Michigan Fab Five stars Juwan Howard, left, and Jalen Rose greet MIchigan followers as they watch the Wolverines play Louisville in the course of the 2013 NCAA championship recreation on the Georgia Dome on April 8, 2013 in Atlanta. (Photograph: Andy Lyons, TNS)
And meaning taking an opportunity. The proper of probability.
On a coach who has to prove he can win. As an alternative of a coach who has to show he can match at U-M.
Because profitable is just not sufficient.
Sure, the Massive Ten titles and NCAA event runs are an enormous purpose why Beilein’s departure to the NBA stings. Yet it’s an understatement to say that losing Beilein the person was as painful.
Which helps explains why Juwan Howard and LaVall Jordan are on Michigan’s list to take over its basketball program. Both candidates make sense.
Lots of sense.
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Not just because they know the place — Howard played for U-M’s Fab Five; Jordan coached under Beilein — but because both embody the spirit of the school and of what Beilein built.
That’s where Manuel must start.
Not by making a call to Rick Pitino, which wasn’t going to happen anyway. Nor by making a call to Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, who made the NCAA title game last month and who recently signed a six-year $27.45 million contract, which is roughly $4.6 million per year, some $800,000 more than Beilein’s $3.8 million salary at U-M.
Beard is likely too expensive. And while he’s a very good coach and knows how to win, he may not be the best fit in Ann Arbor.
It’s not worth the chance.
Howard or Jordan are. Because the only risk is that they’d lose. This a risk worth taking, especially at U-M, which is a football school anyway — it still drives the athletic department and the fancy of most alums.
U-M’s decision makers won’t admit this, of course. But what they want more than anything is to not have to worry.
Besides, there is no reason that either Howard…