To the casual fan it must seem that, on or about November 10, 2017, John Beilein was abducted from his home while he slept and was replaced by a cunning cyborg body double running the software package branded as “Deluxe Tony Bennett 2.0 Except for the NCAA Tournament.”
That’s one possibility. Another is that Beilein hired something of a defensive mastermind the previous summer in the form of assistant coach Luke Yaklich.
As has been well documented, Michigan’s defense has been on a tear since Yaklich arrived in Ann Arbor. Indeed, this marks the assistant coach’s third consecutive season of incredible D.
The first took place when Yaklich was still on Dan Muller’s staff at Illinois State, and one of the most remarkable aspects of the assistant’s personal streak is surely that it started after he lost the nation’s No. 1 shot-blocker. Only when Reggie Lynch transferred out of Normal and embarked on his ill-fated journey to Minnesota did the ISU defense achieve escape velocity. Yaklich plainly knows his stuff. Continue reading