Late last week, the Utah Jazz added West Virginia Weslyan head coach Patrick Beilein to Quin Snyder‘s staff as a video coordinator and player development coach. Beilein has a reputation as a shooting instructor and has an existing relationship with Jazz PG Trey Burke. Beilein’s father John was the head coach at Michigan where Burke played. Beilein was also a graduate assistant for the Wolverines.
The move could pay dividends for Utah as Burke and Alec Burks have occasionally struggled to shoot the ball. No. 5 overall pick Dante Exum also needs to develop better shooting touch, and Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey has stated that the team would like Enes Kanter to develop into a three-point shooter.
Beilein, who spent two years playing in Holland and Ireland after wrapping up his collegiate career at West Virginia, coached the WV Weslyan program to a 20-12 record while competing in the WVIAC and Division II last season. His team shot nearly 48 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three-point range. For a Jazz team that hasn’t exactly burned up the nets from deep recently, this could be a great hire for the team’s shooting development.
At only 29, Beilein doesn’t quite have the “shot doctor” reputation of someone like a Chip Engelland, who helped Tony Parker become a consistent shooter or even former Jazz man Jeff Hornacek, who worked with Gordon Hayward and Andrei Kirilenko among others before taking the head coaching job with the Phoenix Suns. However, he should be a nice complement to the Jazz’s young, growing coaching staff.
It’s not the kind of hire that is going to make national headlines for the Jazz, but for a coach and a general manager who have repeatedly insisted that player development is perhaps their highest priority, it’s a solid move that could pay off in a big way for Burke, Burks, Exum, Hayward, Kanter and others.