Check out this Flint Journal article posted on mlive.com that sports several interesting nuggets from Coach Belein's appearance Monday at the University of Michigan Club of Greater Flint's annual sports dinner.
- Laval Lucas-Perry is on track to graduate in December 2010 and will be listed as a senior even though he has junior eligibility. While Beilein said, "He's going to have a bounce-back year," it looks like Lucas-Perry may be ready to hang up his basketball shoes.
- Beilein has never had a player leave his program and play in the NBA. This year should end that oddity as Manny Harris is a likely pick and DeShawn Sims has an outside chance of being drafted or being picked up as a free agent. Beilein has spoken to six teams or so about each player. Beilein remarked, “If they do not get drafted, they will get a phone call minutes after the draft is over."
- Ekpe Udoh told Coach he wanted to play forward more than center. Beilein said that's how he would have used Udoh if he hadn't transferred. He said that he advised Udoh that he should spend his transfer year working on his outside shot which is exactly what Udoh did and that, in Coach's estimation, is why he's a likely lottery pick.
- The Lavall Jordan kerfuffle with WMU Coach Hawkins was addressed and is over.
- Our redshirt freshmen big men have made big changes to their physiques, but they each had to address different issues. 6'10" forward Blake McLimans played high school basketball at 190 pounds. Now he weighs 238. 6'8" forward Jordan Morgan weighed in at 269 pounds last year. Now he weighs 240.
- Ben Cronin made the right decision to end his playing career as he's still walking with a limp. He may have a chance to stay involved with the program as an uncounted assistant coach.
- One and dones? He'd recruit one if it were the right situation.
- Beilein on twitter? Could be in the cards.
There's some other good stuff in the article, so give it a look.
[Edit: And now, Angelique is linking to the Flint Journal piece. No additional data in hers.]
Atleast for me, Ben Cronin is going to be a huge measuring stick for the success of this team. His preformance could determine whether we see a season ofbaby steps or a season of significant improvement.
Cronin is the most important incoming freshman that will have playing time this year. We are extremely shallow on the bench in terms of bigmen with the transfer of Ekpe Udoh. Cronin needs to be able to step in and be a very good presence inside.
Manny Harris and the rest of the Wolverines will continue to improve individually, but the guys won't improve as a team unless somebody steps up their game inside.
I want to get your thoughts -- Who is the most important player for Michigan basketball this year? Who is the most important incoming freshman?