I have a lot of time this weekend and started to reflect on the year so far. It turned into me writing about each of the main players production to this point, a quick Indiana game recap, and forecasts for the rest of the year and for next year. It is quite long so if you dont like longer posts you will hate this one... it is also my first contribution so be nice (hopefully it will be a good read for those who look through it!):
First Half: There’s a reason he is thought of as the best point guard in the nation and a serious contender for player of the year. The fact that such a young team has been top-5 all year has a lot to do with his tremendous leadership. He can take over games, and has an ability to raise his game when he is most needed. Has at times struggled with poor shot selection.
34.0 minutes, 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.9 TPG, .487 FGP, .778 FTP, .367 3PP
Indiana Game: 9/24 shooting, 4/12 from 3, 25 points, 8 assists, 3 to, and 4 PF. Not his strongest game despite good overall production. Some very poor shot selection (deep threes, long two step-backs, etc.) but also great leadership at time.
Second Half Thoughts: While fans will be excited about a championship run it will be also interesting to see if he will be player of the year. He seems to have wrapped up being the top PG, and very possibly will be a unanimous all-American. If we win the BigTen it will be largely because he stepped up in big games- and improved his shot selection in close games.
Next Year Thoughts: Hard to imagine him coming back… Stinks for him he gets compared to CP3 because the chances he produces at that level are likely pretty low- but for a player who came in under-the-radar and turned into potentially the best college player who knows…
First Half: With Burke playing all but 6 minutes per game Albrecht does not play a whole lot. A big surprise has been how well he seems to handle things when he gets into the game. Has hit some big shots, plays within the flow of the game very well.
7.1 minutes, 1.5 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.2 TPG, .370 FGP, 1.000 FTP, .353 3PP
Indiana Game: 4 minutes and no stats accumulated. It’s nice that when he steps in the game no one panics too much. A low recruit freshman stepping in for perhaps the player of the year- you would think whenever he steps in fans would hold their breath- the fact that that is not the case says quite a bit- even if his stats don’t seem to impressive.
Second Half Thoughts: I imagine the second half will go just as the first has. Let’s hope he can step in during some high pressure situations and play well to get some good experience for next year- but this is Burke’s team and he will play most of the time obviously.
Next Year Thoughts: Derrick Walton is a top-flight recruit. Let’s see if Walton will follow in the footsteps of Burke and Morris (it certainly seems like he has the ability to). My guess is that Albrecht will play more at the start of next year and gradually give up more and more time to Walton. I imagine that Walton will start at some point next year- but that Albrecht will start the first few games (probably more than Vogrich did this year) and then play 5-10 minutes per game depending on how well Walton matures as the year goes on.
Tim Hardaway JR:
First Half: Last year his game was inconsistent, this year he has been a steady producer. Last year he tried to force his way into games, this year he plays within the game much better. He has made some huge shots, and his shooting has been getting better all year. He can handle the ball well (although too many turnovers), and along with Burke makes up the best backcourt in the country.
34.0 minutes, 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2.2 TPG, .483 FGP, .736 FTP, .410 3PP
Indiana Game: 8-16 shooting, 2-5 3’s, 1 Reb, 2 TO’s, 4 PF, 18 points. Played solid defense, hit some big shots, but did little else.
Second Half Thoughts: He is one of the top players in the country and can take over games. Plays solid defense but can also be silent for longer stretches. Would love to see him step up his game even more but if he plays like he has so far everyone should be happy.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he stays. With Irvin coming in and Stauskas we could absorb the loss- but it’d be great if he came back. He can still develop his game more and would benefit from another year- but he has all the talent to turn into a productive NBA player.
First Half: Glad he used the redshirt! He has been very fun to watch play and has shown signs of having the ability to become a very good player. Nothing too flashy, no very productive games, but consistently plays well when he is in.
11.6 minutes, 3.1 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.1 APG, 0.3 TPG, .391 FGP, .500 FTP, .409 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 min, 2-4 shooting, 0-1 from 3’s, 1 Reb, 1 ast, 2 PF, 4 points. He showed some promise while playing. Handled the ball more than he normally does and looked like he could handle the pressure. That’s pretty impressive considering he was not going to play at all this year.
Second Half Thoughts: Likely more of the same. Hopefully he can improve shot selection a little bit better and be more productive.
Next Year Thoughts: He looks like he can be a very solid player. You can see how many had him as the Ohio player of the year last year in high school. When he continues to fill out his frame he could develop into a very solid player. Some on the board seem to think he has a legit NBA shot- too early for that in my opinion, but you can see brilliance in his future if everything clicks.
First Half: Probably the most pleasant surprise this year. We knew he could shoot on youtube, but 50% from 3’s is crazy. Plus he has two memes- more than a shooter, and blouses… gotta love it.
30.9 minutes, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .486 FGP, .827 FTP, .483 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 points of 3-10 shooting with 1-5 from 3. 1 Reb (offensive), 2 assists and 2 fouls. Apparently he may not have been feeling well- and it makes sense watching the game. When he passed up an open three you could tell things were not perfect. Hard to remember he is a freshman at times- and it is hard to expect great play from a freshman in a serious road game.
Second Half Thoughts: If he continues with his production that would be fantastic. Become a real threat on the pick and roll and off the dribble- would love to see that progress- especially since next year he may handle the ball more without as strong a PG. While he is more than a shooter that is the heart of his game, and shooters go through stretches of greatness and cold spells- let’s hope those hot streaks correspond with big games.
Next Year Thoughts: He has a lot of swagger and the ability to back it up. I can see him becoming a leader on this team, and becoming even more productive. He looks like a future NBA guy, but we should enjoy plenty of 3’s and game blouses moments next year!
Glen Robinson III:
First Half: We at MGoBlog expected big things from the freshman and he has delivered. One of the most productive players, and a very smart and talented player. His athleticism and dunking ability have also led to some of the most pleasant moments of the year.
32.9 minutes, 11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .586 FGP, .677 FTP, .405 3PP
Indiana Game: Only player to go all 40 (in part because he had only 1 foul), but his weakest game. 2 points on 1-6 shooting, 4 rebounds (2 offensive) and 1 assist and 1 turnover.
Second Half Thoughts: Despite the rough Indiana game big things are ahead for GR3. He has been tremendously consistent and productive. I expect big things from him the rest of the way- and if he can improve he has the ability to take this team to an even higher level.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he doesn’t make the jump. He has an NBA body and athleticism and skill-set- but he has a lot of growing to go. Let’s hope that maturation happens in a Michigan uniform. If he stays next year’s team will also be very special- if he jumps it will be much tougher to have as great a year.
First Half: Not a whole lot of minutes, and has only played in half the games. Shows signs of having a lot of potential but not too close for that talent turning into production any time soon.
Indiana Game: DNP
Second Half Thoughts: Less time as games become more important.
Next Year Thoughts: Next year he should still see limited action, but at times has shown signs he could work his way into the rotation as an upperclassmen if he develops the way he appears to be able to.
First Half: Not flashy but a big part of this team. Plays half the minutes as finally Michigan has plenty of big-men to play. Great defense, great rebounder, solid and productive offensive player.
19 minutes, 6.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.1 TPG, .626 FGP, .583 FTP
Indiana Game: L… 2 minutes without any stats battling an injury.
Second Half Thoughts: Let’s hope he heals- because we are a stronger team with him playing. Has also shown great leadership- and leadership on the court means a lot in the college game. May not be the flashiest or highest scorer- but he makes a huge impact and if stays healthy expect more of the same.
Next Year Thoughts: Center position will all be back- and should all see their play step up- I like having solid big men!
First Half: You can see why he was so highly ranked- and you can also see why he dropped in the rankings. Tons of talent, even more hustle! He does so many little things right- outlet passing, boxing out, solid defense, and intangibles galore!
16.6 minutes, 5.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 BPG, 1.0 TPG, .592 FGP, .579 FTP
Indiana Game: 28 minutes, 5-7 shooting for 10 points with 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 assits, 2 steals, 1 block, but 4 fouls. Very high intensity game with good production.
Second Half Thoughts: More of the same- lots of rebounds, decent points, lots of hustle.
Next Year Thoughts: NBA player for sure- but should definitely be back at least for a year. He can definitely develop into an all-BigTen bigman- with more minutes that could even be next year. Such a great rebounder and hustler- if he can continue the high level of production with increased minutes expect very big things.
First Half: Fewest minutes of the bigs that play regular minutes. Less offensive production, but just as solid defensive production.
9.6 minutes, 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.7 BPG, 0.5 TPG, .571 FGP, .600 FTP
Indiana Game: Started and got 10 minutes with 2-3 shooting for 4 points. 1 offensive and 2 defensive boards to go along with 2: blocks, turnovers, and fouls.
Second Half Thoughts: If Morgan battles with injuries he will have to step up. He has struggles with his own injuries in the past- but has shown great signs of progress!
Next Year Thoughts: He will still be behind McGary and Morgan for minutes- but he has some definite potential and can play his way into bigger minutes.
There’s a reason we have been a top-five team all year- we are very good! There have been a lot of good surprises this year, and a lot of production. Burke is a definite player-of-the-year guy, and with THJR makes up the nation’s best guard combo. Indiana game was tough- but this was a young team playing on the road- and we played tough. There are plenty of reasons to expect big things this year- and for the most par I expect players to continue their production levels the rest of the way- which is a good thing considering how solid production has been.
McLimans and Vogrich are the only players who will graduate- so there are a lot of reasons to expect big things for next year. Burke seems very likely to leave, and Hardaway and Robinson are the most likely to join him- but hopefully both will be back. Irvin and Walton should be good contributors as freshman and Donnal will likely add good depth. If Hardaway and Robinson leave we should have a big drop but still be pretty decent- if at least one stays we should still have an excellent year next year- and if both stay and only Burke leaves we can be a top-10 team potentially- especially if Walton continues the trend of excellent PG recruiting.