With Beilein off to NBA, what's next for Michigan?
News broke Monday morning that John Beilein was leaving Michigan for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What does it mean for Michigan’s status within the sport and how might it replace him?
Beilien enjoyed a highly successful 13-year run in Ann Arbor that included trips two trips to the FInal Four (2013, 2018), two Big Ten tournament titles and two Big Ten regular season titles.
Known for developing players that were not highly ranked, the Wolverines actually enrolled a top-10 class last fall and is set to enroll another strong, two-man class. Will Jalen Wilson, a top-50 forward from Texas, and Cole Bajema, a four-star wing from the state of Washington, stick with their original commitments? One can only assume that programs across the nation are working the appropriate back channels in feeling out each side’s allegiances to a now non-Beilein Michigan.
Speaking with Wilson’s travel coach, Vonzell Thomas, today, he told Rivals.com that Beilein’s decision came as a complete shock and just last night, that they were in contact with each other. Furthermore, Wilson has no plans to ask out of his letter of intent until learning who the appropriate hire will be and that Thomas already been contacted by over 20 power conference coaches this morning regarding Wilson.
Beyond the 2019 class, Michigan picked up an early commitment from four-star guard Zeb Jackson last fall.
While things are rolling on the recruiting front for Beilein in Ann Arbor, a fellow Big Ten head coach thinks while Beilein was a major catalyst for the Wolverines’ success, the right hiring can avoid a quick decline.
“Michigan is built to win and one of the best jobs in college basketball," he said. “It will be difficult to replace someone as successful as him, but it’s all about finding the right guy.”
Who that right guy is is difficult to pick right now. While some believed the Cavaliers were looking for a college coach to fill their vacancy and that Beilein was becoming a little weary with recent happenings within the recruiting world, the hiring still likely caught Michigan's administration off guard. Does Michigan go in-house with Saddi Washington or Luke Yaklich? Do it look outward and to an up-and-comer in the mold of Butler’s Lavall Jordan (a long-time assistant of Beilein's at Michigan) or Florida’s Mike White?
This will be an interesting coaching search to track given the timing and whether or not the new staff can hang on to the two four-stars who could ask out of their letters of intent.