A lot of the cedit for player development goes to the new assistant coaches. This staff has been AWESOME with the young guys this year.
MBB: Player Development
Agreed, the difference in the defensive intensity and the rebounding has everything to do with the staff.
I love watching this team. I expect a nice leap next year to send Stu and Zack off on a high note.
Bacari Alexander is doing great work with the bigs. I love watching Jordan Morgan play down low. He still isn't quite there as far as finishing when there is a lot of traffic and can be overmatched when playing truely large (6'10"+) players, but he knows what it takes and has great awareness.
Also, the whole squad plays hard and plays for keeps. It's a great attitude, and that's half the battle. If they continue to play with such passion, add in the new practice facility and we should continue getting good recruiting classes.
hit a home run with the assistant coach hires. You can see individual players and the team improving from week to week.
equally as impressive as the player improvement - which i agree is substantial - is how HARD these guys are playing. it's impossible not to like this team.
I couldn't agree more about how HARD these guys play. It feels/looks like more of a team than last year. However, the shooting woes are sometimes inexplicable even though Kansas's D had a lot to do with it yesterday. They have to practice shooting all day long in his system and it just doesn't seem to translate to games very well. Overall, though, I am content and a little surprised at how well the team is playing for now.
This man was given the time to succeed based on adjusted expectations.
I don't feel like puking.
Scratch that, reverse it.
And that had more than a little bit to do with the facts that 1) the program was severely limited, resource-wise, when he came in and 2) he posted the best season in the program's last decade in his second year.
It's because no one really cares about Michigan basketball. Amaker's last two teams won twenty games and went .500 in the league both years. Taking over that while inheriting Harris and Sims would have been a recipe for UNACCEPTABLE! at a school where people actually attend basketball games.
At the end of the day though, it is probably a good thing for all of us.
agree with you at this point. Although I hope we can get a second big man that plays like Jordan Morgan, because I dont know about you but watching McLimans on the floor yesterday was a horrific sight for me
I think Horford will get there, sooner rather than later. He has the instincts and the positioning. As far as I can tell, he just needs experience and time in the weight room.
several times this year. Once he bulks up he should be a force. He's long and athletic. I'm digging the future with Morris, Morgan and THJr.
Morgan is certainly a pleasant surprise being a redshirt freshman. I love his intensity. Also, the improvement of Horford will be interesting to see, because all we hear is how that kid loves to work, work, work.
Secondly, Douglass' improvement should be noted. He has maximized his minutes in probably 85 to 90 % of our games so far. His ability to get to the rim has improved as it went from zero to being able to do it versus Big Ten guards. This team and it's work ethic certainly lend to a lot of promise for the future.
last year, and is slowly regaining it. He missed a few big shots down the stretch yesterday that I was tempted to attribute to lack of confidence, even now. Really would like to see him get a rhythm with his shot and beat out some of the newcomers next year. He runs the team quite ably when Morris is out.
I agree on most of that, but to be fair, Douglass' shooting percentage was horrible yesterday, and has been, all year. We could've pulled out the W, had he made some shots!
my exact thoughts during the game yesterday
and he has had games where he carried us with his shooting.
Even after two poor shooting performances in a row, Douglass is still shooting 39% from 3 for the year. I don't know many people who would consider that horrible. Prior to those two games, he was up around 43% which is a great percentage from 3.
in fairness to Stu Douglass, pretty much everyone on the team was clanking on open looks yesterday. we could've pulled out the W if anyone had made some open shots. his contributions are subtle, but they are still there.
Good to see someone echoing my exact sentiments about Vogrich. My buddy and I have gone back and forth about him(he called him a wasted scholarship) and it was nice to see him as a solid contributor. Another example I would point to is that the same team in 08 that lost non-conference games to Harvard and Central later knocked off OSU in Big Ten play and gave 1 seed Wisconsin all it could handle in the Big Ten Tourney. I really like the ceiling of this team next year because if Hardaway puts it together along with Morris, we can be as good as we've been since I started following MBB(Ellerbe years).
I have the same feeling about next year. Trey Burke is hitting over 50% of his shots this year. Burke and Brundidge will add a lot to this team. No disrespect to Novak and Douglass, but the 2013 Tourney is where this team will really be at its height.
That being said, I would caution anyone who is underestimating the value of Novak to this team. Remember when people were happy that CJ Lee and David Merritt were graduating? Yeah, the next year didn't work out so well, did it?
Guys like Lee, Merritt, and Novak know that they have to work hard. They push other people on the team, and in doing so create an atmostphere of mental/physical toughness and selflessness. I'll be very sad to see Novak graduate after next year.
I definitely agree. Would we have been close at all in that game yesterday if not for Novak? Hopefully some of the younger guys(I'm personally hoping for Morgan) step up and help maintain this new attitude that the team is developing after Novak and Douglass graduate
The team talent level may go up in 2 years, but when we lose Stu and Zack, we lose the heart and sole of this team. Last year it was Manny's team and this year it is Zack's. He is setting the work ethic and team play attitude.
It's good to see what a coach can do when given enough time to fully implement his system.
/re-reads previous sentence, sighs, drinks.
bought himself some time with the ncaa tourney appearance in his second year. Had UM not made the ncaa's that year, I'd guess his seat might be a little warm right now.
Football is king at UM. Everyone wants to see the bball do well, but the pressure and scrutiny to win on the bball coach is not nearly as great as that of the football coach.
Any talk of player development has to include Jordan Morgan. I'm amazed at how far he's come as a player. It's nice to see guys like Morgan, Morris (can we please never, ever, EVER call him the butterfly?), Vogrich come into their own. I'd say it bodes quite well for the future of this program.
I'm impressed that Novak consistently gets double-doubles against strong competition. He's our leading rebounder now at 7.2/game.
Novak is my favorite player to watch on the team. I love the way he gets in there against anybody and scraps for the ball. He may not be the biggest kid but his heart is unquestionable.
Novak is easily one of my favorite players. His hard work and hustle are the reasons why he is able to play against opponents that are much bigger than him.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is also one of my favorite players already. I know he goes through some slumps and has freshman mistakes. I think his ceiling is pretty high and it doesn’t hurt to have those bloodlines.
I would totally agree that Novak consistently plays 6 inches and 30 pounds heavier when he is on the court. This guy hustles and hustles and hustles. As a coach you can never have too many kids with a work ethic or nose for the ball like that.
I also agree about the ceiling with Hardaway Jr. He makes some very freshman mistakes, but he has a quick first step and the ability to take it to the bucket under control. If he can learn to shoot a higher percentage shot instead of bombing from behind the arc he will increase greatly.
As for Morris, I am not as high on this kid as everyone else is. He is much better than he was last year at this time and has definitely grown into his ability. He still has a way to go. He needs to learn to move the ball around more effectively and quit taking poor quality shots. He often picks his dribble up long before he has a pass in mind or a shot in mind. he also is quick to get airborne with no outlet pass or shot available. Don't get me wrong, he is going to be good.....but he is not great yet. He could use another summer of growing mentally in the game where he learns to create shots for himself rather than just throwing the ball at the rim.
coaches <drink heavily> to improve the team. If Bacari Alexander has made this much of a difference in helping our post players, DAMN did we miss out on him working with Sims last year.
Sims had a really good senior year; he wasn't the problem. The bigger issue was that we had almost no other tall bodies on the team (and that Douglass/Novak couldn't hit the broad side of a barn).
That and the total leadership vacuum. I love Peedi, but dude's a headcase, and when the guy trying to keep you focused is Manny Harris you've got a real problem. The fact that he was our only legitimate C and PF obviously didn't help matters.
Miss those guys despite the inconsistency, but this team is about 100 times more fun to watch than last year's.
was not a team.
I am a huge fan.
Is there any better picture to describe Zach Novak. Novak's got the ball on the ground as a bigger, stronger opponent lies on the ground in pain wondering, "How in the hell does he keep getting the ball away from me?" (HT: UMHoops)
The only way to improve the picture is to show 3rd degree floor burns on his knees and elbows...
The New york times had an interesting article on a new gadget that measures a shooter's arc. Finding the right arc improves the chances of the ball going in. This combines a video element so the shooter can review the tape and make adjustments. The guys take a lot of 3s but no one would be complaining if they made more.
I'd throw those two out as point guards who excelled as freshman, but in general I agree with your take on point guards.
Despite your belittling tone...
I'm well aware that PG is the relative equivalent to QB. My point was that we haven't seen that development in quite a while around here. The last decent recruit UM had that could reasonably be considered a point guard was Daniel Horton. He was terrific his freshman year and only managed to match that performance in his senior year after two off years.
You thought Morris was going to be a bust? I actually never thought that, I thought he was a for sure star in the making. One of our first true good PG in a while. He worked with John Wall over the summer and has improved his game greatly.
I do agree with vogrich though. I thought he was going to be a bust, and he still may be. He's gotten better but still not to the point where I can eliminate him from being a bust. He still doesn't contribute that much to the team, but he is only a sophomore, hopefully he'll continue to get better.
You were more optimistic than me, which is a good thing. Bust was probably an overstatement, but seeing his shot last year and how he looked a bit lost in the offense didn't scream top 100 guy to me. Like I've said, I'm more than happy to be wrong about him.
I think that he is becoming a mini-Novak. He has gone from just being a shooter and a turnover waiting to happen to a hustle guy diving for loose balls, playing defense and rebounding. He needs to add strength, but should continue to develope quite nicely.
Hey does have one of the nicest shots I've ever seen. I've got to see him in-person this year and the TV doesn't do him justice. He needs something though (maybe it's that strength) to warrant additional PT, and hopefully he can blossom into that pure shooter he can potentially be.
It just seems like the "true center" guys are few and far between, or they have no skill like that guy Foster at Utah. Izzo seems to win with just a bunch of swoll 6'8"-6'10" guys who bang inside. Hopefully adding weight to the three young guys will help but I'd settle for a group of tough, hard-nosed guys who don't get pushed around and let the outside guys shine before I worry about landing an elite big man (not that getting one wouldn't be super swell).
I actually think we have the big bodies, they are just not big enough......yet. if mclimans or horford can put on some much needed beef, they will do just fine backing up Morgan. And both being freshmen helps tremendously in that they haven't been in a strength and conditioning program very long. Let's not kid ourselves, the strength of this team is the guards, so as long as we get serviceable big men who like to do dirty work, this team should be just fine. Morgan is doing great at that, but we definitely need someone else. I personally think horford is best fit for that position.
end up there, which is fine. But, I agree that we do need another big (with skills).
With Morgan(RS Fr), McLimas(Rs Fr), Horford(Fr), Smotrycz(Fr), and Christian(Fr) all playing either the 4 or 5, and only losing Douglas and Novak in the next 2 years, it just isn't good scholarship management to go after another big right now.
I have been really surprised with Morgans development thus far, and I don't think anyone expected him to be playing as well as he has. However, Morgan needs to develop playing with his back to the basket, becoming more comfortbale with the ball at the top of the key, and learning how to stay on the court and away from foul trouble.
Player Development + Great Assistants + Player Development Center + Crisler Arena renovations ...
Yeah, I do like where we're going...
Detroit News reports that Jordan Dumars may apply for a "medical redshirt" because of the torn meniscus on his right knee that was surgically repaired before the season. Story has quotes from Joe Dumars:
"He has come back, but not at 100 percent — about 70 percent," Joe said Monday. "We talked about it and we don't want to waste 70 percent (health) on a few games, so we might to try to medical redshirt this year."
Last year's guy for me to say, "He's gonna be special next year" was Morris. He was a big kid that played point AND defense. He wasn't ready yet as a freshman for JB's system.
The player I'm saying that with this year is Hardaway Jr. He's long, quick, and can shoot. Another year of weight room and experience and I thkn he's gonna be a very special player.
As much as I loved Manny, he was a bad fit and that hurt the team last year. It's been addition by subtraction for this team.
Josh Bartelstein's blog comment about Coltan Christian? He says that the shot doctor (Coach Beilein) has been working a lot with him on his shooting and he is really starting to come along. Josh thinks that CC is really going to be good once he combines all of that athleticism with improved shooting. If that happens, that will be the ultimate in player developement.
Also, I expect Smotrycz to make a huge jump in developement by next year. It may come this year.