Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Zero tolerance for negativity

Good story on ESPN about the progress coach John Beilein has made at Michigan, which has been ranked in the top 25 this season (with wins over Duke and UCLA) after going 10-22 in '07-'08.

In his second year at UM, Coach Beilein isn't buying into the hype, saying, "We haven't turned the corner yet. We can see the corner up there, but we haven't turned it."

One key to the turnaround is the coach's attitude. As one player put it, "There is zero tolerance for negativity with him. Zero. There's a standard for everything you do, and you gain so much confidence through him. You feel like you can do anything."

The writer contends that Coach Beilein "teaches players things high school coaches don't have the time to teach. Things like transition defense. Whatever he wants to call it, the way he coaches involves a learning curve. Players aren't used to reading defenses as he demands they do, nor frankly are they used to the steady green light he offers. The Wolverines take around 26 3-pointers per game, despite making only 8.8 of them on average."

"It's almost like a football playbook, there are so many plays," [sophomore guard Manny] Harris said. "He has his own vocabulary and it's hard to get down. The other thing is, it's not that you step outside of the system, but you have to be able to create. The system puts you in the position to be open. It's up to you to create and finish."