Let the games begin!
Congrats to 2013 Michigan basketball signees Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin for being named Gatorade Player of the Year for the states of Michigan and Indiana, respectively. The winners were "selected based on athletic production and impact in season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership."
From the post on Walton:
“Derrick Walton’s work ethic and determination is absolutely phenomenal,” said Chandler Park athletic director John Jergovich. “He’s here every morning at 6 a.m. before school starts taking shots and working on his game. He’s a go-getter on and off the court. Once he sets his goals, both athletically and academically, he’ll do anything to reach them.”
From the post on Irvin:
“Zak Irvin is the best player I’ve seen all year, maybe the best I’ve seen in many years,” said Doug Mitchell, head coach at North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.). “He can get a shot any time he wants, he is in superb condition and he loves to play defense.”
Also today, the Associated Press named Walton the Class B Player of the Year.
This is an interesting piece about Nik Stauskas' development in the Michigan Daily. I've always wondered about how a good athlete in a hockey-obsessed country ends up playing anything else. Getting picked to shoot with Vince Carter at a Raptors' game as a 10-year old is a great anecdote, and generally you get a sense of where his drive and self-confidence come from.
Normally, I don't think this would be board worthy. But after Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin complained yesterday about how the SEC was treated like a mid major in the NCAA tournament selection, I can't resist.
For those who missed Martin's comments, here are the ones from yesterday:
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin predicted two weeks ago that the SEC would earn six bids.
Martin said the SEC's three bids were an ''embarrassment'' after the brackets were revealed, and he didn't back down from those comments Monday. He said Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama are ''NCAA tournament teams'' that landed in the NIT.
''It's almost like a mid-major mentality in this league, when you've got your second-place team that doesn't get in the NCAA tournament,'' Martin said. ''This is a BCS league. It's one of the best leagues in America. That shouldn't happen.''
The SEC's non-conference performance indicates it actually wasn't one of the best leagues in the nation this season.
And then Tennessee and Kentucky went on to lose in the first round of the NIT, to Mercer and Robert Morris respectively. That's a true power conference right there.
This is a reminder (a final reminder from me) to fill out those brackets by 12:20 PM tomorrow afternoon for the ESPN Tourny Challenge MGoBlog Community group. A link to the group is provided below. If you would like to join the group, just sign up and fill out a bracket. I could have sworn there was a mod who said if enough people signed up there could be some MGoPoints given to the winner. ;-)
Group Name: MGoBlog
Password: WeOn! (no spaces, capitilize the W and the O, exclamation point)
Also below I have provided a link to FREE LiveStreaming for ALL tournament games on your home computer or laptop. If you would like to watch all the tournament games on your phone for FREE, a link has been provided below to GooglePlay and iTunes so you can download the app if you like!
ESPN Tourny Challenge MGoBlog Community Group - http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/group?groupID=2997&selGrp=2997&entryID=38148
March Madness LiveStreaming - http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/
March Madness Live Google App - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ncaa.mmlive.app&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDNd
March Madness Live Apple App - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ncaa-march-madness-live/id423246594?mt=8(
(not sure if above link will work, app works for both iphone and ipad)