SportsMonday Column: Make Michigan basketball great again
Another regular season ended for the Michigan men’s basketball team Saturday night, and Michigan once again isn’t in position to make the NCAA Tournament.
The Wolverines just can’t stop losing.
It seems, based upon social media, as if a small segment of the fanbase has decided it’s time to move on from Michigan coach John Beilein, and on to bigger and better things. Michigan basketball, they seem to imply, needs to be great again — needs to win again.
They’re absolutely right, but Michigan has to be careful in making its next hire. It can’t mess up again like it did when it hired Beilein, the guy who has the third-most wins in program history, has led the Wolverines to the Final Four and the Elite Eight in the last four years and has had five NBA draft picks in the same time period. Clearly, there’s only one man who can fix all of this losing. He might be a little busy right now, and he has never coached basketball, but who needs free time or basic knowledge of Xs and Os when you can win at everything?
Enter Donald Trump, future Michigan basketball coach.
Coach Trump, as you know, will be a winner. His Michigan teams will beat everybody.
Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana won’t stand a chance. If anything, Michigan fans will get bored of all of the winning.
“Remember that Beilein guy who only took us to one National Championship Game? That was cute and fun,” they’ll say as they wear hats with the word “Trump” on the front and a block ‘M’ on the back.
After hiring Coach Trump in the upcoming offseason, Michigan will win the next seven national titles, including a historic victory over the Chinese national team in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. China, the world will learn, never beats Coach Trump.
And forget about politically correct coachspeak. After Saturday’s game, Beilein took time out of his postgame press conference to praise his opponent. Who wants to hear that after a devastating loss?
Coach Trump will say what’s on his mind. He isn’t beholden to anyone: Not Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, not the NCAA, not anybody. If he wants to compare Tom Crean to a part of the female anatomy, he’ll do it. The NCAA could attempt to punish him, but it won’t matter. Coach Trump’s Michigan won’t rely on NCAA money, anyway. He’ll use his own cash to grow the program into something great, just like he built his empire off his father’s small million-dollar loan.
On the court, Michigan’s playing style will change. You’re sick and tired of the Wolverines failing to develop dominant big men, right? Those guys will grow on trees under Coach Trump.
Nobody, after all, knows the importance of size better than Coach Trump. Michigan’s players are going to be yuuuge.
And don’t even get Coach Trump started on how long his players’ fingers will be. Richard Bighands, a 2021 five-star recruit, will be able to palm three basketballs with his right hand. Michigan players will have the biggest hands.
Coach Trump will undoubtedly bring a sense of accountability that the program is lacking. Michigan is supposed to be the leaders and the best, right? It’s time to start taking the fight song more seriously.
If players miss shots, Coach Trump will utter his famous catchphrase: “You’re fired.” (Coach Trump doesn’t fully understand how scholarships work.) Excuses won’t fly under his regime.
People will do whatever Coach Trump tells them to. He will assemble the finest staff in the world. Dennis Rodman and Chris Christie will be his assistant coaches, and Dr. Ben Carson, a graduate of Michigan’s medical school, will come home to be the team doctor. No Michigan player will ever get injured again.
After Coach Trump’s third national title, Crisler Center will become “Trump Center.” After his seventh, Jim Harbaugh Stadium, formerly known as Michigan Stadium, will be renamed “Trump Stadium.” Harbaugh, who will have won just three national titles by then — a statistic for which Coach Trump will frequently make fun of him — will wear only Trump-brand khakis.
Coach Trump will retire after the 2023 season to work on his new reality TV show, “Tanning with Rich People.”
But before he leaves, Coach Trump will take action to give Michigan the best in-stadium experience the best, too, by expanding the Maize Rage. Sure, Michigan will lose money from all of the donors who pay big money to sit close to the court, but the logistics of the situation will make too much sense to ignore.
The Athletic Department, led by Coach Trump, will build a huge wall — a massive wall — around the new Maize Rage to make sure nobody other than Michigan students can get in. If any opposing fans try to sneak in, the Crisler ushers — armed with tasers, handguns and bazookas — will use any force necessary to send them back to their seats. Michigan State’s “Go Green, Go White” chant will never again be heard in the arena’s lower bowl.
And who’s going to pay for this wall, you ask? Seven letters: T-O-M I-Z-Z-O.
Cohen can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @MaxACohen.