Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Big Ten News: Michigan’s John Beilein Headed to NBA to Coach Cleveland

Is this a turning point in the balance of power in the Big Ten?  Maybe.

This is what John Beilein told me in January in response to my question on what it takes to turn around a college basketball program the way he did at Michigan after a slow start —

“But you also need other teams to go down, you gotta have teams that go through stuff,” Beilein said.  “We were fortunate that a few programs went down in that era.  It was right after that Indiana had their rebuild.”

You can do everything right, but if nobody goes away.  Wisconsin’s not going away, Michigan State’s not going away, Michigan’s not going away.”

Is this the moment when Michigan is “going away?”

Beilein shocked the college basketball world today with this news:

It is way too soon to speculate on a program implosion in Ann Arbor, but these are the kind of moments that often trigger such an event.

That is especially true when news such as this comes as a surprise to players and recruits, which appears to be the case.

As part of the natural process in such situations, there will be speculation as to whether players will transfer or leave for the professional ranks, and recruits will have a change of heart.

Michigan guard Jordan Poole had already confirmed that he would stay in the NBA Draft.  Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews have been invited to the NBA Draft Combine and have left the door open for a return to Ann Arbor.

Already not a deep team, the Wolverines can ill afford to lose much of their roster.

The top players expected to return for Michigan at this point are point guard Xavier Simpson, center Jon Teske and forward Isaiah Livers.

On the recruiting front, Michigan has two class of 2019 signees in small forwards Jalen Wilson and Cole Bajema.  Both players are around 6-foot-7 and are best known as shooters.  Both are four-star recruits, with Wilson ranked No. 50 and Bajema No. 105 according to the latest 247Sports Composite.

With two open scholarships on their roster, don’t be surprised if Indiana at a minimum inquires on Wilson and Bajema should they ask out of their letters of intent.  We are not aware of any prior extensive involvement with either player, but not many teams have open scholarships at this point.

Michigan has also earned a verbal commitment from 2020 shooting guard Zeb Jackson.

After starting 46-53 through his first three seasons at Michigan, Beilein revitalized the program, winning the Big Ten regular season in 2012, and the Big Ten tournament in 2017 and 2018.

He led the Wolverines to NCAA national championship games in 2013 and 2018.


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