I know there's a snowflake thread, but this is a legit topic that would otherwise get buried there. I'll be providing some mini-analysis as well, so hopefully this is not deemed "repetitive."
I saw a couple people post things like 'What's the deal with Morgan?" and "McGary had a good game," and then people wonder why Beilein didn't run with one player or the other.
From what I see, we have two players that are defensively raw (McGary and Stauskas). Let's start with McGary:
In the first half, OSU really pushed their lead up in no small part due to McGary's poor hedge of ball screens. McGary came into the game with 15:20 to go in the second half. The score was 9-3 OSU. The defensive possessions went as follows:
- Aaron Craft scores on drive off of ball screen. McGary fails to hedge and fails to stay in front of Craft. (11-3 OSU)
- 4 seconds into the shot clock McGary again fails to hedge and lets Craft get into the lane. This time he's nowhere near the ball screen . (13-3 OSU, 13:55)
Michigan calls a timeout and McGary is pulled for Jordan Morgan.
For the almost the rest of the game, whenever McGary was in the game, we went into some kind of zone. In the second half Jordan Morgan defended the pick and roll excellently. He is great at hedging the screen and forcing the ball handler into a tough split/pass or just backing out of the screen. I know this is not sexy, but the dude is great at it and that is why he is such a valuable player.
McGary has a way to go defensively. A long way. He's said things like "I had never stepped foot in a weight room before getting here" and I bet he really hasn't had to play tough defense either. It will come, but it will take time.
Stauskas is the other defensive liability at the moment. I'll admit I naturally pay more attention to the big men, but it would appear that Stauskas troubles are two fold (feel free to correct me or expand if you've paid more attention). Stauskas does not have the foot speed to stay in front of smaller 2s/3s. This problem seems to be compounded by his tendency to have incorrect defensive spacing - he often comes over too far on help and can be late on rotations.
Of course, Stauskas' shot selection didn't help to keep him on the floor. If he's taking poor shots and not converting, LeVert is clearly the better defender.
I love games like this because if you know a little bit about basketball you get some insight into how good John Beilein is at his job. He got creative to find ways to keep McGary on the court even though he was a defensive liability in defending the pick and roll. He played the defense for offense game late and I think we have a clear idea of the game plan going forward with Morgan/McGary and Stauskas/LeVert. Of course, Horford is a wildcard in there. It will be interesting to see how the freshmen develop over the course of B10 play.
Can also make an argument now that Michigan has the best class in the Big 10. Robinson is the highest Big 10 commit (Yogi Farrell and Gary Harris are both also 5 stars), and McGary is ahead of both Perea and Hollowell.
Gary Harris is down at 25, which surprises me a lot.
Hey guys, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nick Stauskas this week and among other things, discussed the reactions of his fellow Canadians when he left to play in the United States: Nick Stauskas
Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com provides us with this (non-paywalled) report of Nick Stauskas's just completed unofficial visit to Michigan. The visit was quite the success.
Stauskas arrived in town Sunday, a day before he was allowed to visit with the coaches. He received the campus tour the following day, watching video of recent games and renderings of the practice facility, wowed by the progress already made.
Following lunch with sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr., the Michigan coaches and others, Stauskas confirmed what many have believed for some time.
"I think everyone knows how good a fit I am for Michigan, and Michigan for me," he said. "Now it's even clearer with how much I love it."
The article then discusses his successes on the AAU circuit this summer and then details Stauskas's upcoming plans.
"I might got to New York for a bit and work out with Steve Nash. He's one of my good friends," Stauskas said of the NBA all-star and fellow Canadian. "I could got to Houston for a bit and work out with [Washington Wizards'] Mo Evans, who is also a friend. I got to know him at the NBA Players Camp in June. Stauskas will return to Ann Arbor in September for his official visit, either on the 17th or the 24th.
And yes, he's hoping his recruiting class is rounded out with the inclusion of one more recruit.
"If we can get [Rivals.com five-star big man] Mitch McGary, that's the cherry on top," he said. "Getting him would be unbelievable. I haven't talked to him - I'm just hoping somehow he ends up at Michigan."
So are we, Nick. So are we.
There isn't anything particularly earth-shattering in the interview, but he does claim to be 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, as opposed to the 6-foot-5 and 185 that was reported at the time of his commit.
I also found the following Q&A interesting not only for the confidence that Stauskas reveals but also for his mention that "politics" keeps him from being ranked higher:
WCS: Although rankings are just numbers, many outlets have you classified right inside the top 100 in the country. You've talked about your shooting and ability to get to the hoop. What parts of your game do you feel you need to improve on over the next year to move up that list, or in other words, what's keeping you from going from a top 100 player to a top 25 player?NS: To be honest with you, the biggest thing that is keeping me out of the top 25 at this point is politics. My game still needs a lot of work, especially physically with my speed and strength, but at this point I believe I have proven to a lot of people that I am more than capable of going at and competing with other top 25 players.
Also of note are his plans for this summer and beyond:
NS: My knee injury has limited my plans for the summer. I wasn't able to play this spring, and that lead to me not being able to go to certain camps such as Pangos All American and NBA Top 100. In July, I still plan to be in Minnesota for the Best Buy Classic, Vegas for the Fab 48, and Phoenix for the Dual in the Desert. I might have a few other tournaments that I will be attending, but I'll have to talk to my coach first. One of my goals since I was young was to play in the McDonald’s All American game at the end of my senior year. I know I have a very long way to go to be able to play in that, but it's still something I dream about. Other than that my goals have basically been to come to Michigan my freshman year as prepared as I can be to play college basketball. I'm working hard so that I leave the coaches at Michigan with no excuses to not play me. And obviously, I'm still working at achieving my biggest goal of one day playing in the NBA. It's a long way away, but at this point I just have to keep working hard and taking it one step at a time.
Stauskas doesn't mention this event (perhaps he's sitting it out because of his injury), but he was selected to play in the 2011 All Canada Classic, which is being held on June 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Among the others selected for the rosters is Stefan Jankovic, the 6-foot-10 big man being recruited by Michigan for the 2012 class. (Other invitees include a couple of former U-M recruits: Kevin Pangos and Sim Bhullar).
Evidently, Jankovic will be attending, but some of the other invitees will not, according to this preview:
Myck Kabongo, Khem Birch and Kyle Wiltjer will not be competing, as they have been invited to both the Jordan Classic and the McDonald's All-American Game, so they are likely to compete in those two as their designated two all-star games.
Anyone know if the two designated all-star games is just a Canadian thing? I haven't heard of this before.
Glenn Robinson III got an extra star and is now the #50 overall prospect. He is currently the #5 prospect in the state of Indiana. He was previously a 3-star, ranked #118.
Nick Stauskas also got an extra star, and is now ranked #89, up from #106.
Stauskas' Rivals page: http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=113514
PS: sorry for the ugly links.