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I think MSU has the historic advantage since they have 2 NCs and a lot of B10 championships. But, right now, I think the CURRENT PROGRAMS (more than just the current teams and less than historical) are now on equal footing. Consider the facts over the last 3 years (a long time considering turnover in CBB):
1. Head to head - the home team wins (UM even has a 4-2 advantage over the last 3 years. It is equal at 4-4 over the last 4 years).
2. Both shared the B10 title last year and expect to finish similarly this year.
3. UM is pulling in talent that roughly equals MSU.
Now, the big concern when making a comparison like this is that your prediction is premature or inaccurate because of some other temporary reason. (Maybe it was just Kalin Lucas? Maybe it was Darius Morris? Or, maybe Draymond Green? Burke?) So, this might be the biggest factor in being able to say UM has closed the gap and the current programs are on equal footing:
4. This has all come while MSU is in the midst of its program-defining term under Tom Izzo. Izzo is still the head coach and MSU is still in the top 10 in the polls. This is not MSU falling on itself. Moreover, Izzo HATES UM and he is their legendary coach. MSU is not likely to take over control of the rivalry with someone else in the future. This is it.
Has Izzo done more over the last couple decades? Sure. Is he doing more now? Nope.
Personally, I consider the GAP closed. Michigan will be on pace with MSU for years to come. (Now being neck and neck may not allow UM to make up for lost years when MSU did well, but UM doesn't have to do that to be an equal going forward).
P.S. - MSU fans last bastion is that MSU has done better in the NCAA tourney. Well, these three years don't show much difference. While this year's tourney has yet to take place, over the last two years, combined, MSU has gone ONE game further in the NCAA tourney (i.e., they have played one more game). If UM lasts one game longer than MSU in this year's tourney, then over the last 3 years, the NCAA tourney results will be the same or better for UM.
This post was edited by Peterklima 12 months ago
You forgot facilities. We've also invested over $100 million to upgrade and expand our basketball facilities, including adding the practice facility. We've been behind other top programs (including MSU) for years, but that is no longer the case.
I'd love to express the same sentiment, but Coach B has got to get his team to the Sweet 16 and beyond before I join you.
I think it all depends on your opinion of what is significant to a basketball program. Typically (as you noted) the major measures are: record, head-to-head games, recruiting, and NCAA Tournament performance. Michigan holds up pretty well in these categories over the last few years. However, some other important characteristics to measure in terms of programs are name recognition, facilities, and home court advantage. These are typically the factors that separate the truly elite programs from the teams that are good for a couple of years and fall off. These things were major factors in the return of IU to prominence and are some of the major reasons why programs like UNC and Duke never fall off.
As someone noted, Michigan has made major strides in facilities and this is something that has already payed dividends in terms of recruiting. Having top notch facilities can keep your recruiting up, even if the success on the court isn't quite there. The name recognition is also certainly going up as well. Michigan is playing big games on an almost a weekly basis, getting covered in the national media, and is being talked about as one of the best teams in the nation. The home court advantage and attendance are improving as well (anyone who goes to the games can attest to this). The one thing to consider is that these categories take years to establish. I think Michigan has really picked it up and closed the gap on MSU, but I'm not totally convinced that they are on the same level as programs. In 4-5 years? Maybe, but as programs, Michigan still has a little work to do, at least in my opinion.
Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit
True, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Look at how far we've come in the past three years. If he can do that, it's reasonable to expect him to be able to get us to the Sweet 16 and maybe even further with a little luck. He took WVU to the Elite Eight, so it's not as if he has no track record of success in the NCAA. He's done it. He just hasn't done it at Michigan ... yet.
This year will be big. He hasn't had top talent in years past, this years UM team is legit in the top group of 5-6 that should be expecting a final 4.
Also good to see you posting PK.
I'm down with that. I'm just saying that I won't consider us on par with State until we make some noise in March. As far as recruiting, program development, fan support, etc, Beilein has done a remarkable job.
I think we should wait until march. If the basketball team gets eaten alive in the tournament like msu did in their bowl game in 2010, then the comparisons will be made that we are not quite there yet.
Thanks swiz. This year will be big. I can't wait for the tourney. And next year we are poised to have a solid team. We are so young compared to State, etc.
P.S. I hope to be back posting all the time soon. I recently changed jobs and we have a lot of work to do here, but it will calm down.
MSU starts a freshman (Harris) and has two quality freshman coming off the bench in Costello and Valentine. Dawson and Trice are sophomores, and Payne is a junior. The only senior is Nix who will be a big loss. Yes Michigan has a lot of freshman but if Burke leaves that's a big loss that will be impossible to completely replace. If Payne goes pro for MSU that would really hurt.
For Michigan next year it's about McGary, Stauskas, Levert, and Robinson coming back as better players so that Walton doesn't have to totally replace Burke on his own. Then you add in Donnal and Irvin and Michigan would most definetly have a solid squad next year.
Agree that Burke will be impossible to replace. And Hardaway will be a big loss too. But everyone else who returns will almost certainly get better, especially the five freshmen (McGary, GRIII, Stauskus, Levert, Albrecht). And we have several highly talented FR coming in. The team will be less centered around one player (Burke) but it will be very talented and very deep. We shouldn't take a major step back as a team and if our bigs (esp McGary) learn to play better in the paint, both offensively and defensively, we could actually be a better team next year. We could be next year's IU.
As in four months younger?
What? We consider Valentine and Costello quality players already? I think they haven't established much yet. They are like Caris Lavert or Spike Alrecht. They look good sometimes but are not a big part of the team this year. (Costello might be a nice guy, but a State fan would not want to pin much hope on him yet.)
3 of Michigan top five players (ppg) are true frosh. One of State's top 5 are frosh. So, who is the younger team? Or, who relies on youth more? Michigan.
How much of MSU's scoring depends on true frosh? How about UM. Just because MSU has Costello on the bench doesn't mean they are a young team.
Minutes played by freshmen in yesterday's game:
30% more freshmen minutes for the Wolverines.
I expect Michigan to be a top-15 maybe even top-10 team next season.
I think Derrick Walton will be exactly what next year's team will need - a distributor that can score when needed. Walton has been described as a true point guard and his highlight videos attest to that reputation.
But we will need more ball handlers that can attack the basket, finish at the rim, collapse defenses, and create for themselves or others. That will go a long way in making the team more dynamic and harder to defend.
At times, this Michigan team is too reliant on Burke to create off the bounce. I'm hoping that Stauskas and Robinson (in particular) will improve considerably this off-season and become capable of running the team in a pinch to take the pressure off of Walton.
* * * N E O . R E T R O * * *
I honestly don't think the gap can be considered "closed". MSU went to back-to-back Final Fours in 09 and 10, in addition had been to the Final Four in 99, 00 (NC), 01 and 05. That gives a program the sort of credibility that you just don't get only through good regular seasons. And even if that was more than two or three years ago, programs are built and maintained over longer timeframes. It's a bit self-serving to use three years as the drop-off point (a bit like OSU fans who go on about the rivalry record and pick random starting points) .
And that is without NS most of the game. He was replaced by a frosh, but they would have probably increased the numbers a bit with Nick in there
Once again, I am talking about currently and going forward. Michigan's program has a lot of cred from the FFs in the early 90s, the NC and the previous years.
I am not comparing histories or drawing a line to compare histories. I only want to compare current standards with guys over a long enough period to eliminate flukes.
I picked three years because I don't think any current UM players were on the team 4 years ago(maybe Morgan?). There has been turn over.
Freshmen minutes were even higher during the stretch Jordan Morgan was out with the ankle injury. For example, in the first UM-MSU game in EL, the freshmen minutes were:
As long as the program trends upward and we progress every year, I'm good.
From where we were (hoping to make the tournament) to where we are (competing for back-to-back championships), we should be content to just watch and enjoy. But like everyone, I want to make it to the 3rd weekend of the tournament while besting the so-called "decades best program"
I see a distinction between teams and programs, teams relate to players and classes, programs go beyond that. MSU football was the better team than us 2008-2010 and arguably 2011 but we still have had the better football program. Similarly, I think MSU can be said to have the better basketball program until we can continuously match them or outdo them in all aspects including Final Fours and so forth over a longer time span.
If it was just about players then you could easily make every year the point of comparison as especially in hoops every year the team has a different identity. But then you'd have to say Miami has the better program than UNC but that's silly.
The point isn't a 3 year window. It is about the foreseeable future. MSU football's run was necessarily temporary. The same with Indiana BB's bad years. Some current runs are not sustainable. Miami, etc. Michigan being as good or better than MSU in BB has no indications of being temporary. None.
So, the gap is closed going forward and there is no legit reason to think that it is temporary.
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