I was talking about us needing to be ready for a blitz on our coaches over the next few years recently. And I was thinking about the chances of West Virginia making it into the tournament this year. I'm not counting my chickens, but the possibility is there. And if it happens, someone is bound to come looking to take away John Beilein. It was impressive that he was able to bring the program so far in such a short time. From 8-20 the year before he arrived to the elite eight in his third year. Include in the sweet sixteen team last year, and the even more incredible job he is doing with a very young team of players that no one really wanted, but fit his system to a T this year. (how's that for a run on sentence?)
He coaches, period. His offense and defense are not easy things for most players to pick up. But he takes the time to teach them fundamentally all the things they will need to be able to do in his system as he is teaching the system. I've never sat in on one of his practices, but Beilein must have a great ability to present a mental picture for his players to grasp on to. Who said communication is overrated? I think it would be fun to compare and contrast his practice style with someone that gets all the five star recruits and more or less rolls the ball out there for practice. That's a shallow thing to say, I know, but I bet I'm right more than not.
In related news/publicity for the company, there is a nice piece on Beilein over at the Basketball Fanhouse by Charles Rich. I'm not doing the basketball thing over there. Frankly, I'm glad. I would never get anything done if I would have gotten involved with that. Plus, it might be a little embarrassing working beside all those blogging giants. They have assembled quite a crew to cover basketball. So check it out and look in the lower right hand corner for the rss feeds if you are into that type of thing. They're there for all four fanhouses.