I'm a casual NBA fan -- I don't follow everything going on. So was a bit surprised to not see Mitch on the bench in these playoffs.
Looking into it, I see he took a leave of absence in April for undisclosed reasons -- he's not listed as injured. I'm not looking for baseless speculation as to what the leave was all about. Family, most likely.
I see from his Twitter feed that he is now traveling with the team and in his usual Big Puppy mode, smiling and bouncing around. So I guess the break from the game left him a little bit out of the kind of shape these guys need to be in for the playoffs? Or is it tactical?
NBA people -- any thoughts on why he isn't back on the Thunder's bench?
Scott Skiles has resigned after one season as head coach of the Orlando Magic. He says he just wasn't the right coach for the team.
In our world, Skiles will forever be remembered as the Sparty a-hole who repeatedly called Antoine Joubert "fat boy."
Michigan won't be in the Gavitt Games, but they will head to Pauley Pavilion in 2016-17.
They last played in the 2011 Maui Invitational with Michigan taking the 3rd place game, 79-63.
Last played at LA a decade ago when UCLA was ranked #1.
UCLA and Michigan will begin a home-and-home series next season in Westwood, source told @CBSSports. Return game in Ann Arbor in 17-18.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 9, 2016
2016-17 non-conf schedule will include
- 2K Sports Classic with 2 games against either Marquette, SMU (sigh) or Pitt
- at UCLA
- 12/17 at Cincinnati
- Home B1G/ACC Challenge game
2017-18 non-conf will feature-
- Maui Invitational
- vs UCLA
- vs Cincinnati
- Road B1G/ACC Challenge game
- vs Air Force
I had not seen this until just now. After Tuesday night's Warriors game it appears one of our favorite Spartans played a one man game of freeze tag during the post game presser and lost.
Per his high school team, 6-6 wing Harold Baruti, an unsigned senior out of Mountain Mission HS (Grundy, VA), is headed to Michigan today for an official visit. Rivals has him as a three star with offers from SMU and UNC-Wilmington. Highlight reel below.
All the high profile prospects for '16 are already signed (with a few exceptions UM has no contact with). It stands to reason that anyone Michigan adds to the '16 class will be a multi-year project or a low-upside role player.
Or does it? Let's look at Beilein's late spring recruits* to see what we might expect (assuming the two available scholarships aren't used by grad transfers or walk-ons).
- Max Bielfeldt (committed 3/6/11) - Stolen from various mid-majors (and eventually, after Michigan offered, Illinois), Max was a 6'7 C who took 2-3 years of development before becoming a useful bench player. Ended up the primary option at C (due to attrition) by his senior year on a bad team before excelling as a bench player (at Indiana). Still a great success on the part of Beilein to turn an undersized mid-major talent into a valuable rotation player in the Big Ten.
- Spike Albrecht (committed 4/6/12) - prep schooler stolen from App State (revenge is ours!) was added during the panic to replace Trey Burke (before Burke decided to come back) thanks in part to his AAU connections (McGary, Robinson, Bielfeldt) in Indiana. Turned into a charismatic and unflappable fan favorite. Like Bielfeldt, he ended up starting on a bad team but was better suited to be a backup. Highly effective in that role and, assuming health, seems destined for success in a grad year situation that better fits what he offers.
- Caris Levert (committed 5/11/12) - young 6'4 late bloomer stolen from Ohio blossomed into a 1st round NBA pick. Developed faster and further than anyone could have hoped. Early intentions for a red-shirt were scrapped once Caris proved to be better than more veteran bench players. Beilein's ultimate "diamond in the rough".
- Muhammed Ali Abdur-Rahkman (committed 4/17/14) - prep schooler stolen from mid majors. Scouting report praised his driving skills but noted limited perimeter skills. Despite the uptick in 3% and reduced turnovers that view has largely held true. Yet MAAR's already an excellent role player and improvement from freshman to sophomore year is encouring for his future. Clearly a success for Beilein as MAAR's proven to be a valuable starter on an NCAA tournament team.
- Aubrey Dawkins (committed 4/28/14) - prep schooler stolen from Dayton after he couldn't get into Stanford. Considered a 3&D wing player who lacked guard skills beyond shooting and dunking. Surpassed expectations in some ways (occasional starter as a freshman turned into a 6th man who had the best 3-point shooting on the team in Big Ten play over the last 2 years) and disappointed in others (D was awful even for an underclassmen). Didn't reach his substantial potential at Michigan, but will still be playing college ball in 2019(!).
Beilein has had fantastic success and production from his late additions. That's reason for optimism. None came with any accolodes. All were overlooked by major programs. All became valuable contributors in one way or another. From the scrap heap Beilein's gotten an excellent backup PG, a scoring SG, an impact 2-way wing, and 3-point shooting specialist. All in their freshman year. Beilein's used older prep school kids capable of contributing immediately and he's grabbed young (for their class) projects with upside.
Whoever Beilein gets, they'll probably be a solid contributor, at worst, and they may very well help right away. I'd rather get a grad transfer for '16-17 if given the choice, but have to respect to the track record.
*Novak, Horford**, Wilson and Wagner were added pretty late in the cycle too (recruiting began in Fall or Winter) but there's a significant difference between committing late and beginning your recruitment in Spring, only weeks before graduation. Robin Benzig was another Spring signing but he was supposed to sit a year. All of them also panned out in one way or another (pending whatever Wilson will do), though not always for Michigan.
**The examples of Horford and Bielfeldt (not to mention Donnal) should be all you need to be patient with Wagner, Wilson, Teske, and Davis. Beilein's bigs tend to be a lot better as upperclassmen, if they make it that far.
EDIT: I forgot Colton Christian. Adjust Beilein's Spring "batting average" to 5/6.