Mike Lantry, 1972
On that Ewing Theory...
I noticed below that I got called out a little bit on a previous statement that Michigan would be the beneficiary of the Ewing theory sans Horton. I should clarify that I mean in a couple years, when (presumably) someone like Jerrett Smith takes over the point when Horton graduates. You know, someone with a scholarship. There's certainly no way that Michigan will experience any benefit this year when his replacements are Dani Wohl and Ashtyn Bell.
Horton is shooting at a frigid 0.387 rate and has 54 assists to 43 turnovers... he just hasn't played very well. Sometimes he'll get streaky hot but the reason his shooting percentage is so low is that the guy makes a ton of bad decisions. That doesn't exactly make him unique on the team, but as the titular point guard, it's part of his job description.
It's just that after his freshman season, he seemed like a future star. That hasn't really panned out and Michigan fans are searching for answers as to why. It's been a tough year for everyone involved with the basketball program... I just hope Horton can put it together for his senior year.
Anyway, I guess we were talking about two different things on that whole Ewing theory. No biggie.
The thing you have to remember with Horton is that he may not be perfect, but there weren't too many other McD's All-American point guards knocking down the doors of Crisler 4 years ago. I can almost guarantee having Horton was way better than the alternative.
Comparing him to Jerret Smith is interesting. Horton is more of a combo guard, while Smith is more of a throwback point guard. Michigan might have fewer turnovers with Smith, which will be nice down the road when Michigan runs a more fast break offense with Shepherd and Morris on the wings, but they'll also be losing Horton's ability to create and knock down his own shot. Once Abram and Harris leave, I'm not sure Michigan will really have any solid shooters, which means they may struggle in the half court.
All in all, I think Horton has done way more good for Michigan than he has done harm. Obviously he's not a perfect point guard, but Michigan isn't a great basketball. I think most of us knew that from the offset. You're right that this team tests your patience, but I think a lot of people are spoiled by the elite talent level and national success of the football and hockey programs and have a tough time seeing the basketball team for what it is.