Merry Christmas fellow MGo-Bloggers! There is certainyly some Harbaugh-steria going on and rightfully so. It's been a tough non-conference season so far for our boys on the court. I was pretty bummed about our start along with many of you until I realized how bright our future is.
What do you guys think happens with our squad over the next 3 months and into next season?
I think we finish 9-7 in B1G play and grab 2 wins in the B1G tourney to finish 18-13.
That puts us on the wrong-side of the bubble and leaves us as a top NIT seed. This actually may be a plus for our young team because it likley means more basketball for our guys and some extra home games. We may be able to win the damn NIT when you think about it if our team matures.
I also think we take a game off of Ohio State and Sparty.
Ricky Doyle will emerge as a legitimate 12 and 10 guy.
Caris Levert will be in the running for B1G POY and spurn the NBA for a return to Michigan and a rare Senior season.
We will return our entire squad minus Beifeldt and return to top 10 status next season. Next season may be our best chance to win a National Title as we will be littered with upper-classmen and experience.
Things we need to do to make a National Title happen..............
1. Better player retention. It's great that we put out a lot of pros but of the 7 we've put out recently, only Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have really contributed. Darius bounced around and Manny is in the D-League. Mitch has been hurt and not played. He needed another year or 2 of development. Nik is mired behind a more talented player in Maclemore and is hardly playing at all in Sacramento. GR3 is hardly logging any minutes off of the bench in Minnesota. As a fan of these guys I won't judge them for leaving early but it's hard to argue with the results in favor of them having been ready for the jump to the NBA. All 3 are getting paid a lot of money....but all 3 could have certainly benefitted from another year of college ball. The turnover that Michigan experienced last season should not ever happen again. Somewhere the ball was dropped and losing 3 sophomores to the draft and 1 5th year transfer is just ridiculous attrition. We need all of our guns back in 2015/2016.
2. We need another elite recruit. We've been in on a lot of top notch recruits and been left at the alter time and time again. Beilein has got to land a Thornton/Winston or a Battle. We cannont keep taking developmental flyers on our schollies. We need some more elite talent in Ann Arbor. 3 stars that play like 3 stars and 4/5 stars that arent ready to contribute in accordance to their star ratings will spawn the regression we are currently seeing this season. We need some talent infusion. There is no excuse to not land a Deangelo Russell/Devin Booker or Stanley Johnson type player given the success of our program. We need to recruit better.
3. In-game development this season will be huge. Beilein is a master at this and we need this entire freshman class to be ready for the Big Show next November. They need to be good enough to win a B1G title with. Simple as that. We have the potential to be a dynamic and athletic team next season with a ton of experience. Giving the young bucks quality minutes will be key this season....even if we take some lumps in the process.
4. Caris Levert needs to return for his Senior Season. I'll re-iterate this. Yes, I know Caris is viewed as a top 16-20 pick. He could technically go and get paid. If that is his sole motive then he likely will. However, Caris has an unorthodox game that still needs development. He has not shot the ball well and is still inconsistent. He is a great talent but with his growth over the past 2 years, 1 more year of development could lead Caris into the Naismith category and a potential top 5 status as an out-going Senior. He could also throw on another 10-15lbs of muscle and take his game to the next stratosphere. i really feel that if Caris leaves too early he could end up D-League like Manny Harris. If he stays and fully develops, he could conversley be the next Jamal Crawford. He has a lot of untapped potential in my opinion. For Michigan to reach the Final 4 again its going to take a fortunate occurence like Caris returning for his Senior Year. I think its a good possibility but will obviously be heavily dependent upon his B1G season performance.
Thoughts and Ideas? I'm working the desk at the Police Station here in Sarasota until midnight and have nothing better to talk about than Michigan Hoops! Merry Christmas everyone and Go Blue!!
Uh.....okay, so this kind of got lost in the shuffle yesterday.
Did anyone else know about this game?
Temple led 35-25 at half and outscored KU 42-27 in the second half.
What a weird year so far in college basketball.
Young Austin Hatch scored his first career point tonight. I loved the HUGE oviation he received. +1's all around.
Michigan State just lost to Texas Southern (whose coach is former Indiana coach Mike Davis) 71-64 in overtime. Texas Southern had only 1 win coming into today (0 road wins).