So I heard about this earlier.
There is a Freep article about new Detroit head coach Bacari Alexander meeting with media on Wednesday and it mentions an interesting prospect.
It appears that Michigan and Detroit are working on playing in the first-ever event at the new Little Caesars Arena in 2017.
EDIT: Not the first event period but the first BASKETBALL game.
This is actually historically significant. Why?
Because what was the first-ever event of any kind at Joe Louis Arena? Michigan Basketball vs Detroit on December 12, 1979, an 85-72 Michigan win.
Valparaiso forward Alec Peters was a name brought up previously on the board as a potential grad transfer for Michigan--not sure if it was legitimate buzz from either party, or just fan-generated wishful thinking.
Peters withdrew his name from the NBA draft just before the deadline last night. He could still return to Valpo or is eligible for a grad transfer to play for another college this upcoming season.
Personally, Peters would be an outstanding fit for the Michigan basketball team at the 4 position. The Illinois native is 6'9", 230 pounds with the following stats over his 3-year college career:
2015/2016 - 18.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 85% / 51% / 44%
2014/2015 - 16.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 83% / 49% / 47%
2013/2014 - 12.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 77% / 49% / 38%
Stemming from a Domestic Violence arrest that he had. Basketball-wise, it is a pretty substantial loss to them (he averaged about 15.5 points and 5 rebounds last year, torched us for 23). They suspended him immediately after it happened months ago, and waited on the results of the case (he plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery) to make a final decision. Illini basketball just got a lot less dangerous.
For the hoops fans on here, thought I would pass on an interesting observation made over on UMHoops by user MattD (the guys who runs the Endless Motor hoops recruiting website) - Beilein seems to be altering the profile of the type of player he's looking for. Based on recent interest that the staff has shown, it looks like they're beginning to put a higher priority on athleticism, even if it's at the expense of offensive skill.
In the past, the primary characteristics Beilein looked for seemed to be shooting (first and foremost), court vision (in the sense of both spacing and passing ability), and general on-court IQ. Those often seemed to be prioritized over quick-twitch athleticism or defensive assertiveness.
However, given the recruiting board that's developing for 2017, those priorities appear to be changing. Two cases-in-point: Harold Baruti and Jamal Cain. Both have received significant interest from UM and both are above average in the athleticism category. However, they each have room for growth in terms of shooting the ball. In the past, I don't think Beilein would've been as interested in them (particularly Baruti). Other guys on the board in 2017 fit the same mold - Cohill, Carmody, Dawson, and Tillman.
I don't think it's going to be a wholesale change, but I think we'll see some of the weight that was focused on general basketball skill (shooting/passing) shifted over to athleticism, if Beilein thinks a player will improve on the skills front with good coaching.