Five schools poised to benefit from Beilein's Michigan departure
While the sudden and unexpected loss of John Beilein is a huge blow to Michigan, the Wolverines' competition is breathing a bit of a temporary sigh of relief that they won’t have to compete with him on the floor or in recruiting. Several teams could likely benefit.
Part of what made Beilein so special at Michigan was his ability to not only evaluate, but develop talent. He and his staff also searched far and wide to find “Michigan” kids and picking out who exactly stands to benefit the most (outside of Michigan State) isn’t easy because of the Wolverines' diverse and versatile recruiting attack.
Looking across the college landscape, here are five programs that stand out to me as potentially benefiting from Beilein’s departure.
Archie Miller is still working to gain strong footing in the Big Ten and not having to worry about Beilein anymore is surely a relief. I’m sure Indiana would love to take a run at a guy like 2020 Michigan point guard commit Zeb Jackson if he opens things up and it could also mean one less competitor for a guy like big man Zach Loveday or a scorer like Nimari Burnett. Michigan will surely be able to land a very good coach, but I’m sure Miller and Hoosier fans would rather roll the dice against whoever replaces Beilein.
I’m looking at a potential short term impact here. Kansas really wants a combo forward who can score and is in the thick of it with Memphis for five-star Precious Achiuwa. But let’s say Bill Self and his staff miss on him. I’m sure they would love to look in the direction of top 50 Jalen Wilson. Now, Wilson is currently signed to the Wolverines and undecided about what to do next. But, he also just happens to be the best friend of five-star point guard R.J. Hampton, for whom the Jayhawks are in a final group with Kentucky, Memphis and Texas Tech to land. The potential for an unexpected boost is certainly there.
I mean this one is obvious right? If anybody is popping virtual bottles or throwing a party over Beilein’s departure, it has got to be Tom Izzo and the Spartans. Don’t get me wrong, Izzo and his crew have still been having plenty of success and Beilein hasn’t ever hurt them too badly in local recruiting. But, not having to worry about that guy anymore down the road has to be a huge relief. Is this the final nudge needed for four-star junior forward Carlos Johnson to go ahead and give the Spartans the nod? At a minimum, it has to be a huge help with “Scooby”.
While Beilien and Michigan have recruited all across the country, they have also been quite active in the state of Ohio. Chris Holtmann and his staff have to be glad that they no longer have to deal with him. I’m also quite sure that they are letting Jackson know that they’d be very interested if the stud in state point guard decides that he wants to back off of his Michigan pledge.
If I were to pick the coach who most closely matches Beilein in terms of temperament, recruiting strategy and ability to evaluate and develop talent for his system, then I would most likely go with Virginia coach Tony Bennett. Bennnett competed head to head with Beilein most recently for Michigan signee Cole Bajema and if he were to reopen things, I’d bet Bennett and the Cavaliers would be all over the Washington product after taking some NBA losses on the heels of their 2019 National Championship. It’s also one less strong competitor for what is a knockdown/dragout battle to land five-star big man Walker Kessler in 2020.