I couldn't be happier for the Michigan Basketball team today. I am honestly not sure if I've seen UM play a better basketball game since Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard left. They were nearly perfect.
So today marks the end of the agonizing NCAA Tournament drought. I was a member of the Basketball Band while in college and I've followed the team closely ever since - even in the really bad years. My first season was right after Jalen and Juwan left. I got to experience 18 hour trips exotic NCAA destinations like Dayton and Milwaukee (the good land) to watch Ray Jackson and Jimmy King end the legacy of the Fab Five program with 1-and-done showings. The lasting memory was their final game, trailing by a basket, with the ball....only to see Ray Jackson dribble it off his foot to end the game five feet in front of me.
Well now we get to create some new tournament memories! But let's take one last look back on the past ten awful years. I had the idea of coming up with a "all-drought" squad. I decided to break it down in two. These are the players we'll remember (or hopefully forget) from the last ten years:
--- Team #1: These are guys who played their hearts out, were talented, and did what they could to bring Michigan back to the tournament:
PG - Daniel Horton
SG - Lester Abram?
SF - Bernard Robinson?
PF - Lavell Blanchard
C - Graham Brown
-- Horton and Blanchard are no-brainers
-- Abram went through a lot and was good, but not great.
-- Abram and Robinson both fit the Amaker era perfectly as they were good their freshman year and got worse after that.
-- Courtney Sims had the best stats at center, but I couldn't put him there. Too many bad memories.
Tell me who I missed! (Josh Asselin? Chris Young?)
---Team #2: These guys give you nightmares!
PG - Avery Queen
SG - Kevin Gaines
SF - Dominic Ingerson
PF - Courtney Sims
C - Josh Moore
-- I'll never forget that marketing poster with Queen and Moore after they signed. The tallest and shortest players in UM history.....and two of the worst.
-- Gaines was good but couldn't stay out of trouble.
-- Ingerson was a talented disaster
-- Sims was better than all these guys, but maddening
-- Also considered: Epke Udoh, Gavin Groninger, K'len Morris, Reed Baker.
Tell me what you think.....