maybe i should have had greg howard write the brandon obit.
I thought about using a more provocative title, given my opinion on this, but no reason to troll on an already bad news day:
I think McGary is gone. Not based on draft stock, but on tea leaf logic. Consider:
- Horford already knows McGary's decision, but Mitch hasn't announced yet. Why wouldn't he announce right away if he were coming back? Horford says his choice had nothing to do with Mitch's decision.
- GRIII appears to have made his choice. And, if reports are accurate, it is to leave. Now, it has been thought that GRIII and Mitch are a package deal. Maybe or maybe not, but it seems like they are/were trying to reveal the news together.
- Even if that is not explicitly the case, though, wouldn't he be more likely to leave if McGary left? GRIII wants to play (and, importantly, defend) the small forward position. That has always been difficult in Beilein's system, but it's impossible if McGary leaves--GRIII would be guaranteed to play the 4 for the entire season.
I could be wrong and I hope I am. Mitch has much more to gain by coming back than GRIII did, and not as much to lose. But this all makes lots of sense if Mitch is leaving.
We'll find out soon.
Illinois was a confusing team last year. They were ranked at some point in January and somehow they failed to make the tournament. A defensive team that laid bricks, they could not score consistently enough to be any good. Towards the end of the season Illinois held a couple of really good teams, including Michigan State, to under fifty points. Illinois was a hard to project for this year as they do not lose a whole lot but they do not bring any thing special in either. They lose Jon Ekey and Joseph Bertrand to graduation. This means losing:
This really is not that bad as they return 3 starters and the rest of their bench players. Here is their projected rosters:
# Name HT WT YR POS
24 Rayvonte Rice 6-4 235 RS. SR SF
A bulldog of a player, had some trouble with his shot last year. Undersized for the three but makes up for it with his weight. The starting Small Forward, averaged 15.9 points per game.
32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 250 SR. C
A very tall man with a very smalll rebounding rate. Uses his jump shot WAY to much. Scored 6.9 points per game last year. The starting Center, could make a huge jump this year.
13 Tracy Abrams 6-2 190 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, averaged 11 points per game and 3 assists per game last year.
11 Aaron Cosby 6-3 195 SR. SG
The third guy off the bench, played at Seton Hall and had to sit out a year.
3 Ahmad Starks 5-9 170 RS. SR PG
A transfer from Oregon State, will get this year after sitting out last year. Back-up point guard. Probably good for 10 minutes a game.
35 Darius Paul 6-8 220 JR. PF
A good stretch four, a transfer from Western Michigan. Many of you will recognize him as Brandon Paul's brother. The back-up Power Forward.
10 Mike LaTulip 6-1 170 JR. PG
A walk-on that may get minutes in the beginning of the season. The 3rd string Shooting Guard.
31 Austin Colbert 6-9 210 SO. PF
The 3rd Power Forward, could player Center as well. More of a traditional Power Forward.
25 Kendrick Nunn 6-3 180 SO. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, started to really blossom at the end of last year. May be Dakich's new favorite player.
22 Maverick Morgan 6-10 250 SO. C
The back-up Center, will get about 10 minutes a game this year.
21 Malcolm Hill 6-6 210 SO. PF
A smaller type of Power Forward, may get passed up by a freshman later on in the season.
1 Jaylon Tate 6-3 160 SO. PG
The starting Point Guard, will not get many minutes.
Leron Black 6-7 215 FR. SF
A four star that will back up Rice, could start eventually.
Michael Finke 6-9 200 FR. PF
Once he adds weight he could be pretty good. A three star. With all the transfers they have that will be able to play right now, Finke may redshirt.
Projected Starting Lineup
Point Guard: Tracy Abrams
Shooting guard: Kendrick Nunn
Small Forward: Rayvonte RIce
Power Forward: Malcolm Hill
Center: Nnanna Egwu
Michigan plays them at home and away next year.
This Illini team will be very experienced and tough to beat anywhere. If they are shooting well, they will be very tought to beat. I project them to finish 8th in the conference with a record of 9-9 in the conference. The fact that this team will finish like this shows the depth of the B1G next year.
Next up... Maryland
Virginia Tech freshman forward Trevor Thompson is going to transfer to Ohio State. He is the second transfer forward to choose Ohio State in the last 2 weeks after landing Temple graduate transfer Anthony Lee. Thompson may be eligible next season as he may apply for a hardship waiver.
Not sure what Thad Matta is selling, but the transfers are buying for some reason even with senior starter Amir Williams returning. Indiana and Tom Crean have now struck out on two of the big time transfers they were targeting to Ohio State.
Obi is a 6'9" center. Uncertain if he would have to sit out a year. Not new but in light of Horford news could he be a fit?
Let's avoid the Caris LeVert comparison because other than being a late signee and school he has a comittiment to, and size (6'6), build (makes Caris look fat) and position (SG) he is nothing like Caris... ok ok, feel free to get all crazy on projections.
More seriously he only has one offer and even that offer was originally a North Dakota State offer but said school's coach moved to Ohio and brought the offer with him. Taylor says Seton Hall and Creighton are sniffing around in the general vicinity but no offers. Kid played in same AAU program as Mitch, Spike, and GR3.
Anyhow UMhoops.com has the full story.
Profile at UMhoops - bored of developing 3 stars into NBA draft picks Beilein is trying for 0 stars.
Per @AlexKennedyNBA on Twitter, JMo has signed with Roger Montgomery of MSG Sports.
"Harvard's Kyle Casey and Michigan's Jordan Morgan have signed with Roger Montgomery of @msgsports."
I'm guessing Jordan is going to go over to Europe and play for a few years, a la Zack and Stu. You can make a pretty darn good salary over there, much better than the D-League. No doubt some European team is going to appreciate the hard work we all know Jordan brings to the table. Awesome to see him continuing his career in basketball, and I have a feeling those degrees from UofM Engineering will treat him just fine when he comes back to the states.