"No one memory though," he said, "was more important than the other."
Beilein said the task at Michigan, where he is now 67-67, has been more difficult than rebuilding at West Virginia.
"Kids are committing earlier," said the coach. "At West Virginia, I was still able to get kids in April. We got J.D. Collins, Jo Herbert and Pat Beilein to add to Kevin Pittsnogle, who we inherited. We added D'or Fischer as a transfer. We could paint with our own brush.
"But here we've coached them through and recruited through. It's maybe a little later than at West Virginia, but in the same direction."
That direction has been up. In Morgantown, Huggins took over and continued the climb. And, yes, Beilein has been watching.
"They've done extremely well," said the Michigan coach. "It's a great accomplishment how well they've done the last few years."
Huggins is winning at a 70.6 percent clip at 101-42 in four seasons at his alma mater. Beilein was 104-60 (63.4 percent) in five seasons. It's tough to compare records because of schedule strength and teams inherited, but it's not tough to compare coaching styles. Could Beilein and Huggins be more different?
"I only know how I coach," Beilein said. "Both of us coach basketball and do the best we can. All I know is [Huggins] has won a lot of games."
A big difference, of course, is Huggins is a Mountain State product and returned to the hills often, whether he was coaching at Cincinnati or Kansas State. Beilein has few ties.
"I keep in touch with my former players a little, but otherwise I don't have much [contact with those in West Virginia]," said the UM coach. "I stay within where I'm at. I talk to Gansey and J.D. Collins and some of the guys. Tyrone Sally's mom called the other day.
"I just keep moving forward though."
Likewise, WVU has moved on. Mountaineer fans are happy with Huggins. And that's probably an understatement. "Thrilled" would probably be the more correct word.
But know Beilein is happy as well.
"This is Year Five [at Michigan]," he said. "And I love coaching as much as ever. There's no plan. It's just teaching and rebuilding.
"I have a great contract. I love being the coach at Michigan."
Seems his move worked out for all involved.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.