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Varsity Blue

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What would Beilein do?

(note: he was offered the job yesterday, and all indications are that, later today, the question becomes: "What will Beilein do?")

Short term:
1) Put butts in seats. Any coaching change is bound to do this, because it generates a little bit of excitement around the program, and people want to be able to see what the new coach will be able to do. Under Amaker, attendance soared to historic lows. I'm a student, and I've never bought basketball tickets. My freshman year I just didn't care, but the last two, I've been looking for an excuse to convince myself to get them. Amaker's departure provides me with just that.
2) Generate a buzz around the program. When was the last time SportsCenter talked about Michigan basketball for a reason other than: a) The Fab Five b) They are playing a legit team (OSU, Wisconsin, UCLA, etc.) or c) They are in the NIT? The answer is not recently, until they started giving updates on our coaching search.
3) Win. Rag on the guy's recruiting all you want. In his first year, that won't matter all that much (disclaimer: except to retain Michigan's current commits, though it's sounding likely that Legion will not stay with Michigan). In the first year, he'll have to win with what is left for him. Fortunately, coaching, rather than recruiting is his strong point. Do I expect him to take the team to the tourney in his first year? No, but I'd give him a much better chance than I would Amaker coaching the same players.
4) Put butts in seats. What? I already said this one? Well, it's for a different reason this time. Before, it was just because of change. Taking the buzz generated about the program, and the potential winning into account, even more people will start showing up. I was embarrassed to go to the NIT games last year, and to find Crisler nearly empty at the first one. However, once it became clear that the team was on a winning track (albeit in the NIT), the fans started showing up (UTEP: 4400, ND: 8554, UM: 8818)

Long(er) term:
1) Make the basketball program profitable again. This goes along with getting people into Crisler. Blame the lack of facilities all you want, but with Martin at the helm, there was no chance of money being spent on a profitless program (note: this is not a criticism; I actually agree with Martin's philosophy on this). With more money coming in, the mythical practice facility and Crisler upgrade will come much sooner.
2) Increase the profile of Michigan basketball. On top of (presumably) not refusing to do a coach's show (cough cough, Amaker, cough cough), the hypothetical winning would increase the
profile of Michigan basketball. It's Michigan. The Fab Five place. With NCAA tournament appearances, it should be able to start recruiting itself.
3) Get facilities upgraded faster. On top of points one and two, Beilein is far more likely to campaign actively to raise funds for new facilities (it's not much work to campaign harder than "not at all"). This, in turn, will lead to a healthy future for the basketball program.

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