Brian's recent Unverified Voracity described a basketball game of 1-on-1 between Jim Harbaugh and D. J. Durkin. It was like regular basketball, except no fouls were called. It sounds a little like tackle football mixed with basketball. When I was a kid, we called that game, "Jungle Ball."
Quite coincidentally, last night I was thinking about making an OT post about Jungle Ball. Reading about Harbaugh's game of 1-on-1 convinced me to write this post. The version of Jungle Ball I played developed from another basketball game called 21. Perhaps you played this as a kid. There were no teams. It was every man for himself. The first to 21 points was the winner. The way that game worked was someone started the game by shooting a free throw. They scored a point for a made FT. If you made 3 in a row, you had to take a big step back. If you missed, whoever got the rebound was on offense. Whoever was closest to that person was on defense. Everyone else gathered around the basket and waited for a rebound. If you made a basket, you'd start shooting free throws, and it continued like that until someone scored 21 points (hence, the name of the game.)
The interesting bit of strategy I enjoyed was the fact that if you didn't hit 21 exactly, you'd go back to 15 or 10 points. That varied from game to game. If you were a poor FT shooter like myself, you'd want to get to 19 so a made basket made you the winner. I never liked having to make that FT for the win when sitting at 20 points.
This game evolved into Jungle Ball in a similar manner as described by Brian. "That's a foul?!?" After spending so many hours getting upset about cheap calls and arguing back and forth, we just decided anything goes. Now, there was no punching or kicking, but you could grab a guy by the shoulders or wrap him up until he let go of the ball. We didn't play that game every day, it was just too brutal, but every now and then, someone would get that look in their eye and say, "how about some Jungle Ball."
Are there any other non-standard games (not football/basketball/baseball) that you played as a kid? Another one I can think of is the politically incorrectly named, "smear the queer," but we didn't worry about being PC in the 1970's. This was like Jungle Ball, only you played with a football, and there was no way to score points. It was basically another name for "keepaway." I think it was good for developing running back skills. Once a guy was tackled, he would throw the ball up in the air, whoever caught it would run around until he got tackled in a pile and you'd start over. I also spent many an afternoon playing kick the can.
Steve Lorenz retweeted an Endless Motor Sports tweet saying this. (I believe the Endless Motor Sports guy posts here, btw.)
Below is a link to a UMHoops article about Cain and his visit today to U of M (albeit one written prior to Coach Beilein offering him).
Each of these statistical profiles are some of John Beilein’s best #shooters at Michigan:
You’d probably agree that player “A” has the best numbers – though, all things considered, the profiles are very, very close. They don’t take everything into account and it’s hard to quantify many things that help basketball teams win. But based on these blind profiles (all of which are very similar), player “A” is arguably the best of the four.
A: Duncan Robinson (So., 2016)
B: Zack Novak (Sr., 2012)
C: Nik Stauskas (Fr., 2013)
D: Aubrey Dawkins (Fr., 2015)
As a senior, Novak was a far better defender than Robinson (despite his size) and a key role player on a Big Ten championship team. Stauskas blew up as a sophomore after playing a complementary role as a freshman. Dawkins had a pretty strict shooter’s profile but was a good one after becoming a freshman starter in Big Ten play. Those three player-seasons are some of Robinson’s very closest statistical comparables.
For a player in his first season at the high-major level, Duncan played well as a starter – even though his three-point percentage dropped off considerably from early-season highs, he was a tremendous floor-spacing asset. He was Michigan’s most efficient player. He finished the season with 95 made threes, third-best in Michigan history (and the best for a player under Beilein). A knockdown shooter in a well-spaced offense is invaluable, and Robinson is slotted into that role for the next two seasons.
[Hit the JUMP for the rest of the review]
I guess it's good to be a top-tier program in the south: