Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
ANN ARBOR- Since basketball seems to be the popular topic the last 24 hrs I figured that it be a place to start for my weekly sports dish. I know most probably are expecting me to write about that shot heard around the world made by Kawhi Leonard in the NBA Playoffs last night but I figure I wait on that ( Yes, it was a money, clutch shot but the comparison to MJ not quite sure on that so I will save that sermon for another day).
After 12 seasons, Wolverine head ball coach, John Beilein is deciding to try his luck in The NBA. Beilein leaves Ann Arbor to take over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Will that be a hit or miss only time would tell? So now the question at hand who takes the reigns now with his departure? During his tenure with the Wolverines, it is no question that Beilein has transitioned the program to be seen as a top coaching stop not just amongst the conference but on the national radar.
Here are my picks as early Buzzer Beater to take over at Michigan.
Chris Beard, Texas Tech
Look at what he managed to do with those Guns Up Red Raiders out in Lubbock. A heartbeat away from the national championship. If he could take that ball club to those lengths just imagine the possibilities at Michigan. It’s going to be difficult to steal him away from the Lonestar state. It’s worth a call and meeting, especially with the Beard defense, could be a pivotal transition for the program to up their game. This could be a step forward for Beard if he is looking to beef up his resume for future endeavors too.
Luke Yaklich, Michigan
Sometimes you don’t have to go too far from home to make a talented hire. If you’re looking for a someone who knows the ins and outs of this team then an in house hire like Yaklich just may be the clutch shot. While Yaklich doesn’t have an extensive resume outside of his four years at Illinois State as an assistant before he arrived at Michigan don’t shut the door just yet. As an assistant under Beilein, he has demonstrated he knows how to take a team and turn it around especially with defense. Yaklich in just a couple seasons has been a key mastermind behind the Wolverine Defense going from not to hot.
Billy Donovan, OKC Thunder
With the rumor mill buzzing that Donovan’s inability to get past the 1st the round of an NBA playoff the last three trips could have him in the hot seat it might be worth a call. He may not have quite found his niche in the NBA but when it comes to coaching at the college level there is no denying that Donovan would be a solid hire for a team like Michigan. His time at Florida speaks for itself. He is a great asset not just for coaching but recruiting.
Rick Pitino, Unsigned Free Agent
I had to put it out there. Come on folks despite the extracurriculars that come with Pitino if we are just looking at pure resume well that speaks for itself. I hate to break it to yo but no program these days are not tainted that unfortunately is the nature of the beast in collegiate athletics. So the question is should Michigan reach out touch Pitino’s hand and try to make Michigan basketball a better place if it can?
Juwan Howard, Miami Heat
To take a line from Bear Bryant’s playbook,” Momma called. And when Momma calls, you just have to come runnin’.” Mommas calling and will one of the members of the FAB 5 answer her call? Howard will forever be a staple in programs history and the legacy of the Fab 5 will forever have changed the face of college hoops. Howard is definitely on the up and up with 6 seasons under his belt as an assistant for the Heat and also been considered for other openings around the NBA most recently the Cavaliers job (the irony of that hire). I think this be a strong hire for the Wolverines all the way around. If anything the conversation should be started.
Like any coaching hire, there are is a great deal to consider. You can’t just hire based on certain presumptions. Like any college basketball program wanting to compete, you have to find a fit vs just a name or merit hire if you want longevity and success in the grander scheme.
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University, graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ Misskyus2011