John Beilein works hard to project calm and control. He has mentioned countless times over his seven-year Big Ten tenure the importance of consistency. If he’s calm, his team will be. But his explosion in the first half of Saturday’s 84-80 win over Indiana showed his finger is on their pulse as the Wolverines cruised to the Big Ten title and look beyond. Drawing a technical foul and needing to be restrained, first by guard Nik Stauskas, then by assistant Bacari Alexander, was an exception. The calls were building, a quick whistle negating a U-M shot clock three-pointer, not getting a charge call, who knows what else in their ongoing discussions, but it was cumulative. It’s a rare case that Beilein lets loose that side in a game — it appears that’s only his fourth tech at Michigan — but that’s what makes it soak into his players. That he kept barking, once forcing the official to give him the sit-down sign from across the court and then after the halftime buzzer sounded, was a statement, not just an incident. The Wolverines see more of it in the private practice sessions, the fire that has pushed him for more than 35 years, and because it’s so rare in games, they can grasp the intensity. “Coming into halftime, we knew he was fired up, and we came out with that intensity to start the second half,” Stauskas said. “I just seem to be in that position when he’s running on the court. I tried to stop him because I didn’t want him to get two technicals (and get ejected.) “Beilein’s always cool, but you could tell he wanted this one.” He wanted it for many reasons — with Indiana’s three straight wins over U-M and IU coach Tom Crean’s actions a year earlier pushing from inside — but also because it would complete the circle.
Michigan coach John Beilein shows some uncommon fire for his 'uncommon' team
Detroit Free Press | Mar 10