Jimmy King: If the Fab Five played under John Beilein, 'we'd have averaged over 100 points'
Chalk former Michigan basketball star Jimmy King up as a big John Beilein fan.
King, a member of the program's famed Fab Five, talked with SiriusXM's College Sports Nation on Friday about the Wolverines' rise to No. 1 nationally.
Almost all of the credit, he says, goes to Beilein and his system.
"It's his system," King said. "If you look at coach Beilein and look at what he's accomplished every year, I think his first year he won 10 games. Every year he's improved, he's got great recruits in, coach Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan are doing a great job of coaching these kids.
"A point that's never really emphasized is the mental growth of a player. Just from sitting in meetings when I was doing radio for Michigan basketball, his teaching style and the way he demands effort from these guys. … If the Fab Five was in the system the guys are playing right now, we would have averaged over 100 points."
Both King and fellow Fab Fiver Ray Jackson were on the call with Sirius, discussing a number of Michigan basketball-related topics, including top-ranked Michigan's visit to No. 3 Indiana on Saturday (9 p.m., ESPN).
Jackson agreed with King about Beilein's system, but also said he enjoys the coach's ability to build mental toughness.
"Coach Beilein gives them a sense of toughness," Jackson said. "I like his toughness, his mental toughness he prepares the team with.
"I'm definitely riding with the Maize and Blue (on Saturday). They represent what we started, along with Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson and there was a sense of toughness, 'when you played Michigan, you have to bring your A game or you're going to get beat.' I think coach Beilein has restored that."
Both players were also asked to respond to former Indiana coach Bob Knight's recent comments about how the Fab Five "never won anything."
Of course, they both disagreed.
"My response would be we did win," King said. "We won hearts, we won with culture, we won respect. If you were to talk with individual fans, they would tell you when they were coming into college or coming out of college or just a big fan of college basketball, they thanked us for the great times they had.
"We didn't win a (Big Ten or national) championship, but that doesn't diminish what we did as a group."
Added Jackson: "We changed the game. The game was changed by the Fab Five. ... You remember the Fab Five."
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