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How 19 Became the New 22: Michigan's youth revolution

By Neal Rothschild, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 14, 2012

You’re going to be a good teammate, you’re going to be in a (defensive) stance, you’re going to buy into defense.”

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The rise of Michigan basketball and the growing presence of top-flight talent in Crisler Center might follow an easily constructed narrative.

Beilein came to Michigan, a higher-profile program and made use of rapidly improving facilities and culture to attract some of the best basketball talent in the country on the way to bringing the program back onto the national scene.

If only it worked that easily.

More likely was that Beilein didn’t just begin to attract great talent.

He developed decent players into good players. His success attracted good players, who became very good players. He parlayed those guys into the Glenn Robinsons and Derrick Waltons of the hoops scene.

Michigan basketball is seen as a way to add value to a player with given abilities. It’s a way to showcase their strengths.

“I think Coach Beilein lets players do what they’re comfortable doing,” Burke said. “But then he’ll get on you if you’re doing something that you’re not capable of doing. The players love playing for him because he’s a players’ coach. He allows his players to make mistakes.”

Morris says high schoolers with dreams of playing in the NBA ought to heavily consider Michigan.

Twenty-five years after Hicks at Le Moyne, the styles of Beilein’s teams have varied. Earlier teams were slower and operated mainly in the half-court. This year’s athletically superior group figures to run much more in the open court, but the principles stay the same.

The underdog label for Beilein’s offense may have been shed, but the tenets of the offense stay constant. Find the open man.

But now, that open man is a top recruit. And it’s not just one. There’s a whole floor of them.


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