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LET THE BALL TALK: Twenty-five seasons of the Beilein offense

By Ben Estes, Daily Sports Editor
Published March 28, 2012

The faces and the uniforms are different, but the offense is so familiar.

“I think (Beilein is) underappreciated to some degree, but the people that are basketball minds in the game out there today recognize his ability,” Rauch said. “(When Beilein was hired at Michigan), I said to one of my friends and fellow players, ‘it’s going to be a matter of time before they’re in contention for the Big Ten.’

“It won’t be that long. He just needed to get some of those kids in that system.”

Five seasons in, Beilein has proven Rauch a prophet. With more and more talent knocking on the door, Beilein finally has what he dreamed of as he navigated those bitter Syracuse winters behind the wheel of the LeMoyne team van.

The offense has been modified plenty already, with Beilein tuning it at every possible moment. It is impossible to know what it may look like in the future, but you can count on a few new wrinkles — they’re constantly being added.

Beilein’s offense hums along at Michigan now. More tweaks may be made; more players may thrive; more championships may be won.

But the foundation was set 25 years ago by a young coach searching for a way to get ahead in Division-II.

They will not know this, but if the Wolverines ascend any podiums in the future, they will be standing on the shoulders of Len Rauch and Scott Hicks, of Dave Niland and Russell Barnes, of Michael Meeks and Eric Poole, of Kevin Pittsnogle and Patrick Beilein and Mike Gansey.

They will not know this, but John Beilein will.