"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
While basketball may be more than two months away, and football has barely gotten its feet wet, I thought that given the massive amounts of anticipation that will inevitably build over the course of Notre Dame week, a little hype video fun might help assuage some of that anticipatory build. It may not be football-related, but hopefully it’s entertaining and gives people something to watch this week.
The past few months I’ve watched numerous Michigan Football hype videos on YouTube, some better than others but all equally demonstrating passion and excitement about Michigan Football. I’ve even learned a few things myself, including a few very creative video ideas, impressive editing techniques and most importantly the significance of song choice (as evidenced by a mild disdain for 30 Seconds to Mars, which is cool, no worries, I get it). But, what I didn’t see was anything hype-video related for the basketball team. I found this simultaneously moderately unfair and completely understandable. Nevertheless … an idea began to form and I got to work.
The result is below for your enjoyment (per usual, it's in HD if you switch to 720/1080 within the embed):
Now, a few words if you’ll indulge me.
Basketball will always hold a special place in my competitive center. I gushed over the Fab Five when I was in middle school, and I was lucky enough to play ball in high school just down the street from Crisler at Ann Arbor Pioneer HS. I know and love Michigan basketball as much as any fan I know, save for a certain friend of mine who lives in Cali and could literally be the Maize Rage all by himself.
I say that only to hopefully bolster the following.
I realize that the inclusion of the Fab Five clips may not sit well with some people, particularly any clips of Webber. I can see someone looking at the video and saying things like “That’s not what those kids should strive to be on the court” or “That’s not who they should aspire to be.” I can understand those sentiments, but that’s not the reason why I mashed the clips up. I don’t want this team, or any other Michigan Basketball team to be like the Fab Five, for both the good and the bad tied to that team.
I was as crestfallen as anyone when the bottom dropped out of the men’s basketball program and our name got thrown around in the muddy gutters where vacated seasons go to wither and rot. I didn’t mash-up the clips to tell Tim Hardaway Jr. that he needs to be more like Jalen Rose, or Morgan like Webber, or Burke like King (though if Vogrich turned into Pelinka, or McLimans morphed into Voskuil, I’d grin stupidly). I mashed-up the clips because that was the last time Michigan Basketball was great.
Not good. Not tournament-worthy. But great.
I mashed-up the clips to show that Michigan Basketball has the capability to be great … right now.
For the first time in forever I feel like Michigan Basketball is finally grazing its fingers up against what it feels like to be a truly dominant program again. From the returning players to the freshmen, from the coaching staff to the recruits landing on campus in a few years, top to bottom and back again, this group of kids finally looks like they’re ready to put their own indelible stamp on Michigan Basketball.
I haven’t felt like that in awhile.
The last time I did I was 10 and Webber was catching alley-oops from Jalen and Jimmy, Juwan was hitting mid-range jumpers and Ray was chomping at the bit on the bench waiting for his turn to start.
So, I didn’t mash-up the clips to tell this year’s team that they need to be more like the Fab Five.
I mashed-up the clips to remind everyone that this year’s team can do everything that the Fab Five did on the court. They can hit the same threes, throw the same alley-oops, wear that same passion and fire on their sleeves and play within a successful system as a team just like the Fab Five did.
They can be great. Just like the Fab Five were once upon a season ago. They may not reach it this year, but they’re building the foundation and laying the groundwork. It’s going to be something else to watch.
Thanks for the indulgence. I don’t usually prater on in these diary entries, as they are first and foremost to serve as a viewing vehicle for the video, but I felt the extra explanation necessary given the sensitivity of the material and the potential for misinterpretation.
Per usual, many thanks are necessary and a few questions will attempt to be pre-emptively answered:
As always, my efforts are not possible without the efforts of others, particularly the folks over at UMHoops.com. Footage was used from a great many sources, including Dylan, who took the time to film considerable amount of practice last year, while Coach David Merritt put together some very nice All Access behind the scenes footage of Zack and THJ. However, the greatest amount of props and thanks has to go to Josh Houchin, who produces the excellent “end of season” highlight videos for the entire team, as well as Darius, THJ, Zack, Stu and Jordan individually. Those videos can be found HERE for your own perusal, while the full-season video can be found HERE. His editing is outstanding, and I definitely recommend viewing them if you haven’t already. I will certainly be taking some of his techniques into account for my own future videos. Lastly, thanks to MgoVideo/Pahokee for uploading the basketball highlights from last year.
Music: “Lux Aeterna” by Clint Mansell (Full Orchestra version) via “Requiem for a Dream”. I considered Public Enemy’s “He Got Game” and Eminem’s “No Love” as hip hop/rap alternatives to the classical piece, but in the end Lux won the day. I’ve always wanted to see this piece of music in a video like this and I figured I might as well be the one to give it a shot. Hopefully it's tolerable to the internet masses, as it's an excellent piece of music. FYI, ignore the "music tag" on YouTube, as that song is in no way by Ray Ventura.
Length: Yeah, it’s on the long side. But there’s no good place to splice down the music, and dammit if I’m not going to give everyone their attention span’s worth for a hype video. Hopefully the build to the fanatic finish is enough to assuage any tired eyes.
Voiceovers: They are from an NBA Amazing video where players like Wade, Kobe and KG talk about their love of basketball. I needed something to cover the lulls and those fit perfectly with the clips. Unfortunately the YouTube video has been taken down because the TV station it was broadcast on filed a request about the images, but the audio is still good to use thankfully.
Opening Commercial: That’s from Michael Jordan’s “Become Legendary” line of advertisements. You can watch the original version HERE.
Basketball Speeches: The first speech after the commercial is of course, from Hoosiers. If you didn’t know that, I can’t help you. The others later in the video are from “Coach Carter” and “Glory Road” respectively.
My Favorite Part? The Sparty crushing segment, easily, building to the NCAA highlights.
This is just my version of a basketball hype video, complete with all the trimmings that I think should be in something like this (storyline + coaches + practice + highlights + theme + music + etc.), instead of the more straightforward versions (highlights + MUSIC + rawr).
Hopefully this gets the ball rolling on a few more basketball videos, as I’d love to see other people’s takes on this kind of effort, which is a little bit different from the football versions in the sense that the highlights are a little more generically compact and repetitively similar, and thus requires some alternative editing concepts. I’d love to start seeing this become a regular occurrence for the basketball team.
That’s all I got. Thanks for the feedback/comments. Always appreciated.
This is honestly the best hype video I've ever seen. I loved some of the football videos, but the editing and the music here were EPIC. I have been ready for this season since Darius missed that floater, and this made me even more excited!
I'm not a big fan of hype videos, but this is an exception. Well done! I also am completely with you in your use of Fab 5 footage. I've always been a Michigan fan, but this is the first time that I have felt so positive about Michigan Basketball in many years, basically, since the Fab 5.
I actually think that with Beilein, and the new PDC, we are on the horizon of a golden future. Under Frieder and some of the following coaches, there wasn't enough control of the team and, I thought the coaching could probably be better. If we have great coaching, great players, and great facilities, the future is very, very bright. While Duke, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, (and to some degree, Ohio,) have been good destinations, NONE are in the midwest. Michigan State has been the sole real exception. With Michigan becoming an elite destination, we will be in the mix for candidates coming out of the states of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, & Ohio, many of whom would like to stay in the area rather than heading to Duke or Florida.
“Top to bottom Michigan is about excellence, greatness. You have my pledge I will carry forward the excellence of Michigan football." Jim Harbaugh, December 30, 2014
This is incredible. I love the sentiment about this team being able to do all the same things as that team (although I think the only player who could pass like webber was morris, which is ironically illustrated in the clips, and he is gone)
This is superbly done. I personally LOVE that you wove a story connecting the team today to the Fab Five. It's a legacy that Michigan should own! Also, I've taught practically the whole team at one time or another in my hoops culture class at UM and it did my heart good to see the video show them fully: not just the talent and the joy of their triumphs, but also the heartbreak of when they have fallen short. Great job!