and... i like them? I think I like them.
Hearing Daniel Horton speak on "Inside Michigan Basketball" brought back some memories, good and bad. It made me think about how far the program has come, and the obstacles that they have overcome.
Inexplicably, my Michigan basketball fandom originated from watching this guy
Jack up contested 3 pointers that would make Tim Hardaway Jr. blush. Dom Ingerson was like the NFL Braylon Edwards of college basketball. He couldn't hit a 3 pointer for his life unless he was falling out of bounds with three guys draped over him. My fandom grew out of free tickets and a love for the University of Michigan. I suppose thats why Brian's wording, "Right now we're going through the last vestiges of having no expectations because we have no program" made me just a little bit angry. Because I can remember when we had no program. I remember when beating Bowling Green was a big deal. I was there, and it was actually quite a while ago.
There were starts and stops along the way. When Daniel Horton came on the scene and ripped off 13 wins in a row including Michigan's only contest against baby brother
finishing third in the big ten conference, I thought the program had arrived. Several thousand key injuries, a costly suspension, and several broken promises from Bill Martin later, and hindsight tells a different story.
That beautiful sparkling player development center standing next to Crisler. That tells me that the program has arrived. You see, that practice facility was promised to Tommy Amaker in 2001. And when Daniel Horton came back to Crisler and remarked, "This was promised to us as freshmen. We were going to be using this facility as juniors" it brought back all the old anger. I cannot blame Tommy Amaker for telling him that, as it was the same line of garbage Bill Martin was selling him. Years later in a rivals article about the big house renovation, Martin would comment on the (then)dilapidated state of Crisler Arena, stating "I know what side my bread is buttered on. If basketball recruits care about facilities, they wont come to Michigan."
Oh how far we have come. Can you imagine David Brandon saying that? Just look around that arena. Look at that gorgeous scoreboard, every inch of it flat panel display. At the brand new block "M" adorned seating. Look at that shining glass-encased practice facility. Go ahead tell me that Martin layed the groundwork for it. Then I'll remind you that he promised it a DECADE ago. Think for a second where the program would be if he had kept his promise. I know, I know, he had the Ed Martin scandal to think about. But look at USC. Look at OSU. If I'm not mistaken, OSU's basketball program actually got STRONGER in the wake of their scandal. USC's football team seems to be doing just fine. You are blaming the wrong Martin.
But enough of the old anger. Four years ago this young man stepped onto the Crisler floor for the first time
I'm going to say that the moment Novak walked out onto the floor, that was the moment Michigan had a program again. That team went on to beat #4 UCLA, #4 Duke, beat Clemson in the NCAA tournament, until finally conceding a tight game to the #2 Blake Griffins and their ridiculous officiating crew.
Just look at where Michigan Basketball is today, and what they have overcome. I dont think they have played a home game this year in front of less than 10,000 fans. Thats a testament to both the marketing department and the team on the floor. Just standing there in that mostly-dead crowd at the Wisconsin game. Having witnessed Michigan totally embarrass a ranked Wisconsin team. And it didn't even seem like a big deal. Like it was expected. How far we have come. And what fun we have to look forward to in the coming years. I guess what I am trying to say is...
How much fun is this?
Hopefully he catches on someplace else, but I can't help but think it's a bad sign if you can't make the roster of one of the ~5 worst teams in the league. Best of luck to the kid.
EDIT: Seems he had an injury of some sort that limited his practice time, which obviously may have influenced this decision.
Mitch McGary had an impressive first game for Brewster, scoring 17 points and grabbing 17 boards. Rivals posted the highlight video:
Interesting they list him now at 257 lbs. and he looks it in the video. But, he looks very active and athletic. Also looks like he has some pretty good teammates too.
I was driving through Knoxville this afternoon and got to listen to part of an interview of Jalen by local AM radio host Tony Basilio. I only got a chance to listen to a small portion of the interview, but what I did get to hear was good. I caught the tail-end of some of the Fab Five Documentary questions and after that Rose talked a bit about his relationship with UT assistant head coach Tony Jones and how he, Jones and UM assistant Bacari Alexander (all Detroit Southeastern alums)have shared scouting info for tomorrows game. Rose also went on to say that he felt that firing Pearl would be a huge mistake, that his good deeds outweigh the negative things he has done.
BEWARE: I'm still at work and have yet to try to listen to the archive of the show, I just thought I would post it for people who end their workday earlier than I do.
EDIT: I'm not sure if the interview is in segement 1 or segment 2
IF we beat UT on Friday, we will have a home court advantage vs. Duke in their home state. Why you ask? History my friends. Back in 1979 Duke fans cheered for a 72-71 victory over North Carolina in the tourney in Raleigh, NC. However, Duke did not play in that game. That tourney game was Penn vs. Carolina. All the Duke fans showed up to cheer against their rival. This started a trend we will benefit from this Sunday. According to my source, a professor at UNC, "The crowd on Sunday will consist of 3,000 Duke, 500 Michigan fans, and 17,000 Carolina fans cheering against Duke."
I could only catch part of the Fab Five documentary on ESPN on Sunday, and I was wondering if anybody knew if ESPN would be replaying it at all this week. Really wanted to see the whole thing, but haven't been able to find it yet. Tried to find something through google/ESPN searches but came up empty. Anybody know of a replay date?