national champs baby
Grantland writer Shane Ryan gave Michigan high praise in his rundown of the weekend's games to watch:
5. Arkansas at no. 3 Michigan — Saturday, noon, CBS
Between the emergence of exciting freshman Nik Stauskas and the brilliant guard play of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan has quietly become appointment viewing. I like to gripe about their slow pace sometimes, but watching John Beilein's offense presents a rare case in which even a pacist like me can appreciate the execution. I'm still not sure it's the best option for a team of great athletes (the Wolverines are 327th in the nation in tempo), but it's hard to argue with the efficiency. And to be totally fair, they're one of the few slowdown teams that are actually enjoyable to watch. I might live to regret this, but if I had to pick a title team at this exact moment , Michigan would be my tentative choice.
I think he makes a good point in that such a talented, athletic team should probably not play so few possessions, but nevertheless the efficiency is nothing to scoff at. It's great to have a team that writers are now considering appointment viewing and a legitmate national title contender!
One night every December, students at tiny Taylor University pack the school's gymnasium and participate in a phenomenon that's completely out of place in modern sports: silence.
The fans in the standing-room-only crowd are as loud as a library for as long as it takes Taylor's basketball team to score 10 points. But once that happens, there's no shushing them. As soon as Taylor hits double digits, the students erupt into bedlam, and they don't stop screaming and dancing until it's time for the post-game Christmas party on campus.
Friday's racket known as "Silent Night"—the game ends with a student singalong of the Christmas carol—is very, very quietly a tradition unlike any other.
So, FSU is trying to recruit the nation's #1 basketball prospect, I guess, and some FSU students, uh, tried to, uh, persuade him:
My first reaction: Where the frak was THAT kind of attention on me in Ann Arbor, when in 1984 I told UM I was thinking about going to engineering school there?
My next reaction: Egads, is this even allowed under NCAA rules? Why doesn't it happen (openly) more often?
Sorry for a very selfish, personal thread. Was anyone at the NC State game sitting opposite the student section? If so, did you take any pics of the game? My old man was sitting in 1 of the 4 seats between the nc state bench and the scorers table. Trying to get a pic and frame it for a christmas gift. He just doesn't quite show up in any of the photos taken by the free press/det news/getty images/misc. outlet photogs.
Thanks. Go Blue!
[Edit - PGB: Title emphasis mine]
A recent post about the lack of Michigan Basketball wallpapers prompted me to throw my hat in the ring. I too, am in serious need of a computer/iPad background change, so what better way than to help everyone else out at the same time?!
Full disclosure: I am in no way a graphic designer or Photoshop professional, so all you get are my basic skills. This is also my first foray into creating a wallpaper, so if anyone has tips or recommendations, feel free to share.
Have you ever wondered what our current Michigan basketball roster would look like as an old-school 1970s hoops squad? No? Me either. Until I ran across a gem of a photo in the Bentley Library archives...the 1978-79 team photo – complete with feathered hair, a wicked afro, short shorts and high socks.
It was then that I set out on a conquest to mold both that photo and our current player photos into an epic composite that makes me laugh every time I look at it.
After noting that the amount of players and coaches was almost exactly identical to this year's team, I knew I had to take a crack at it. Also, skin colors were almost perfect with the players that we currently have. There was only one extra body in the original that needed to be accounted for...the glorious man kneeling down on the right in the front row. And let's be honest – he just looks so cool that I had to leave him in.
After a few hours of work, below is the final product. I have multiple versions (desktop color/B&W, iPad) at the link below. I'd have to say that my favorite parts are Jordan Morgan with a sweet afro and Mitch McGary with blonde feathered hair. Also, Trey Burke looks really happy despite how tight his shorts are. I did not deal with jersey number changes because of all the shading and angles those entailed.
Special thanks to TheArtTheArtTheArt's football wallpaper for inspiring this piece.
This could just as easily have been titled “Way Too Early Arkansas Preview Part 2” history buffs can wax nostalgic with part 1 here…http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/way-too-early-arkansas-preview
Here it is 2012 and America’s premiere basketball conference
has an opportunity to flex its muscles against the lowly scum-sucking SEC.
Yes, I am aware that Michigan lost last year in Fayetteville. Yes, I am aware that Ace called it “the most painful possible basketball game to watch” http://mgoblog.com/category/tags/2012-arkansas-hoops
as Arkansas hit their first 11 shots, Michigan turned the ball over repeatedly, and Arkansas shot out to a 20 point lead. Michigan would crawl back, and Trey Burke missed the 3 pointer that would have won the game.
That’s not going to happen this year.
But let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let’s talk Arkansas. Mike Anderson is starting his second year at the helm for the Razorbacks after finishing 18-14, 6-10 in the SEC. At 4-3, Arkansas has lost to Syracuse, Wisconsin, and Arizona State, and beaten Oklahoma. They do exactly one thing well. Anderson’s teams feed on chaos. They force you to turn over the ball. They press with reckless abandon. They run the court as if there were an 8 second shot clock. They call it 40 Minutes of Hell.
Against good teams, they tend to get out-rebounded by 5 or 6, but they force 4 or 5 more turnovers than they commit. That was enough to beat Oklahoma. Syracuse pulled out the win by shooting 10% better. Wisconsin won their game from the charity stripe. I expect that Michigan will take care of the ball a bit better, and failing all else shoot their way out like Syracuse.
Somehow between turnovers their regular rotation individually manages to shoot around 45% from the field(the exception being Rashad Madden, who shoots 68% but leads the team in turnovers). Their leading scorer 6-3 sophomre guard B.J. Young has no conscience whatsoever.
The guy is shooting 16% from downtown, but he still leads his team in attempts at 4/g. The guy runs and chucks like no player you have ever seen, to the tune of 20pts/game.
Last year 6-2 junior guard Madracus Wade averaged 48% from downtown, averaging 5 attempts/game. He was a game changer.
This year he is averaging two attempts and shooting 29% from downtown averaging 7pts/game. Go figure. Versatile 6-5 sophomore guard Rashad Madden and dangerous charge-prone 6-3 slashing junior wing Ricky Scott are picking up the slack, averaging 12 points and 4 assists between them.
Last year Arkansas lost promising 6-7 junior forward Marshawn Powell to a knee injury.
This year he is healthy and effective, averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds for the razorbacks. He is joined in the frontcourt by newcomer 6-7 junior combo forward juco transfer Coty Clarke, who boasts 8 points and 7 boards/game himself. 6-10 sophomore forward Hunter Mickelson and 6-8 freshman forward Jacorey Williams pitch in as well, combining for 11 points and 6 rebounds per game.
So why am I so convinced that Michigan will pull this one out? In a game as crazy as basketball, shouldn’t we favor the team that favors chaos? Didn’t a wise man once say…“The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.”? Well, time is also marked by transfers and graduation. Specifically, the graduation of guard Julysses Nobles, and the loss of his passing(3 assists), defense(2 steals) and scoring(9 points). They also lost versatile PF Marvell Waithe and Michael Sanchez’s big body to graduation. Then big man Devonta Abron took his 20 minutes of post depth to TCU.
Mostly though, I am comforted that Trey Burke has already done his time in hell, and emerged all the stronger. He’s had 18 assists and no turnovers in his last two home games. And this year, he has help.
My son’s middle(and nickname) may have been inspired by Stu Douglass, but if all else fails against the press I’d rather have Spike helping to get the ball up the court. Players like Hardaway and Stauskas have dealt with a pesky steal-crazy defense down in Peoria, and taken the lessons as they’ve come. This is as complete a team as I have seen adorning the maize and blue.
WMU’s coach summed it up the best. Michigan will win this Saturday because, "They just have better players. They’re a better basketball team – it’s as simple as that.”
69-54 Michigan wins.