Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
(EDIT update: UM 66 NW 64 final; OT) Michigan looks to continue its success defending home court. A win tonight would move Michigan into a tie with Illinois for second place in the conference. Of course no game is guaranteed for the favored team (e.g. OSU losing again last night). Game starts at 630 EST. Current standings:
Morris is going into his junior year of high school. Has interest from big ten programs, but Michigan is one of the first to offer him.
"(Michigan) actually showed a lot of interest in (Monte)," said Morris' mother Tanya. "He loved the way the team came together in the tournament. He loves the way Coach Beilein handled the team. They are very high on his list. Very high." "They're at the number one spot right now," Morris added. "It's the support they've shown me — showing me how serious they are recruiting me. I like their campus and their offense — how they spread the court and how they like the point guards to have the ball for at least six seconds. I just feel like their style of play will fit mine."
I've recently been seeing criticism on mgoblog of Coach B's offense generally and of Darius Moriss specifically. In consideration of this criticism, I've taken data from the most recent game to give a glimpse into the inadequacy of this criticism.
Here's a link to umhoops.com and its "5 Key Plays" in the win against sparty at the Breslin Center (first win since 1997). 4 of the key plays show Michigan winning the battle with one of them showing the opposite. Play 1: Novak's 4 point play early in the game; Play 2: C. Christian beats the shot clock for 2 pts.; Play 3: Draymond Green scores 3 pt. play in transition for sparty; Play 4: Novak for a long 3 pt. shot; Play 5 (2 plays actually): Stu Douglas hits 2 pt. shot late in the game and Douglass hits 3 pt. shot even later in the game. Here it is for viewing (note Stapleton's statement):
"Please let us know in the comments if you think we missed one. It seems weird that Darius isn’t explicitly featured in any of these."
I can think of one commenter in this mgoblog community who feels it necessary to criticize DMo w/o any real support for that criticism--something about ball-hogging or not passing or not being a team player. I can think of many users who criticize the offense/defense Coach B uses or the talent he recruits. My responses:
1) Of the four--really five since Stu gets two plays in his one video clip--plays resulting in Michigan's favor, DMo assists on the play or does more. Play 1: DMo draws a double team and makes a skip (no look which freezes the defense) pass to Novak in corner who's open b/c his man dropped down to help on the open post guy b/c of the double team on DMo; Play 2: DMo drives--and draws an extra defender sufficiently away from Christian --and assists on the made shot by Christian; Play 4: DMo gets the rebound (offensive rebound!) off someone else's shot and then assists on a 3 pt. shot to Novak; Play 5: DMo assists on Stu's 2pt shot (admittedly Stu created that shot, but DMo still had to recognize Stu's comfort at that place on the floor in that situation to make the pass) and DMo draws a second defender again to hit Stu for the open 3 pt. look to clinch the game.
Yes, DMo also made the turnover in Play 3 that led to Green's score and 1. But that only leads me to my next point (made ad naseum by many against the trolls and ignorant critics of the bball team): YOUTH. DMo is a sophomore starting full-time for the first time. He will make mistakes, but he does--at least on this night in front of an Izzone and meatheads wearing numbers crying insecurity--make more positive plays than negative ones. He will--if he hasn't already--have struggles with ego/maturity and a learning curve.
What about the five freshman who rotate in regularly with 3 of them starting?
2) Coach Beilein has a young but talented team. As a group, the team will play down to competition (hopefully not Iowa today, but I wouldn't be surprised). But we've seen it play up to competition all season long too. The latter is not a given with just any team full of two juniors and the rest underclassmen. Coach B should get praise for this part, for which he seemingly does not. With maturity (and patience from us), Coach Beilein will show the fruits of his progress. And please remember this tidbit from the detnews today:
In 2009, his second season at U-M, Beilein guided the Wolverines to a 21-14 record and back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons, with a first-round win over Clemson. Michigan's 11-win turnaround tied a school record for the largest single-season turnaround.
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110129/OPINION03/101290383/Victory-takes-some-of-the-pressure-off-Michigan’s-John-Beilein#ixzz1CXQiapcD
I am curious about your thoughts as to what the current biggest rivalry game is for the men's basketball team . . .
Back in my day (1993-97), I think the majority would say that the Duke game in December was the biggest rivalry game. (It seemed to get the most attention and draw the biggest number of students sleeping out and lining up to get first-come, first-serve seats.) After the Fab Five left, it seems like the Michigan State games became the biggest rivalry games. Now, being further removed from the program, I'm not sure as to what the general sentiment is on campus. Is Michigan State the biggest rival? Ohio State? I'm interested in reading your thoughts.