somehow we're only 124th
I think the Horford kid is going to improve a ton, just like his brother did at Florida. They both were pretty good in high school, but not overpowering. Al bulked up, just like Jon will do, and I think we'll have a very solid player on our hands.
See, I've been waiting for someone to ask.
I don't what our strength is, but I know our leader is Morris. I love watching him on the court.
simple as that
crappy comeback wins against teams like Harvard are only valuable when they offer game experience to young players. as such, UM will get a lot out of a game they should have walked with as compared to a team like MSU having to grit through similar, where it could be more harmful than good
I'm knocked out by their exuberance, their raw power - and their punctuality.
to say whether this team will be better than last year's, but Morris is without question improved. We're also considerably longer (although today Novak did end up playing a fair amount at the 4). Morgan has been a pleasant surprise but I'm still concerend we will get abused in the post by teams like Minnesota, MSU, Wisconsin, OSU. The defense is also somewhat surprisingly improved.
Awesome. I had that exact pair, circa 1992.
They pass the ball beautifully.
This team finally feels like a team. No offense meant to Manny at all, I think he's a great player, but there were certainly times over the years where his attitude was detrimental to the team, not to mention his departure has given Morris the chance to assume the role as the definitive leader of the team.
As it should in Football and all the other sports!
Their commitment to diversity.
The team seems to be better on the defensive side of the ball with some solid play on the post. The passing is also pretty good, which may be mostly due to Darius Morris' skill at the point. I also think Darius is the best player on the team at this point. Overall Stu Douglas and Novak look much more comfortable in their positions this season. The biggest addition to the team has to be the post players like Morgan. They may not score a lot, but having bigger guys under the hoop can't hurt. Nice to see the team win today, but I don't expect much out of this team this season. I'll hope for an NIT bid at the most. A shocking Big Ten Tourney win is the only way they make the NCAA tournament.
The fact that they are all looking to score instead of just finding Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims and letting them take contested shots.
Zack Novak not playing the 4 is a close 2nd.
To your point, Smotrycz had 18 at Clemson and Morgan has scored in double digits 3 times (including a 20 and 8 game against Gardner-Webb). This team is much, much deeper than last year's squad and has gotten points from a lot of spots already this season.
They'll be up and down a few more times this year most likely, but I really like the looks of this team with a little more consistency (comes with experience) and another quality recruit or two in the mix.
"Unpredictability" would be accurate, I think. Last year, it seemed that 80% of the points were going to come from Manny and Sims and no one else could do more than score by accident. As was mentioned earlier, Morris, Hardaway, Douglass, Morgan and Smotrycz have led the team in scoring in different games this year and I think everyone on the team feels confident taking shots when they have too.
Saying that, I think Hardaway has fallen in love with the 3 in the 3 or 4 most recent games and I think he needs to get back to going to the basket a little more to make the starting lineup a little more dangerous going into the Big 10 season.
We all seemed to have the same thoughts at the same time..........
I think not being dependent on Manny or Peedi to make the plays has helped them play 'team-ball' more efficiently. Obviously, one would like to have Manny and Peedi still at UM, but different players have had to step up their games with those guys absent. Today, it happened to be Douglass. Previous game was Smots. Hopefully, we will see the FR and the team as a whole continue to develop! GO BLUE!
a Beilein team, running his system. Depth too.
This team will do better than 15-17.
Agreed. I think this team doesn't care what the predictions are. They either don't know or don't care that they're predicted to come in last in the conference.
They got wings.
Last year, nobody consciously slacked, but there sure was a lot of standing around, watching Manny and Peedi, and pretty much forcing them to play two on five ball. This year, everyone is involved, and everyone seems confident to take their shot when it comes. And nobody is standing around and waiting for anyone. Most of all, as a commenter posted, they are playing like a team.
This team has no stars yet, but a lot of people with very good talent, decent height, and versitility. I wholeheartedly agree with the OP that there is pretty much no way to predict who is going to be the "star" from night to night. I think this team is a lot more fun to watch than the previous versions of JB's Wolverines, even if they don't make the NCAA's this year.
And, though I think they will probably end up in the NIT, I am not counting them out of the NCAA's quite yet, either. With teams like this, you just never know.
And imagine if Hummel did not go down for the season. Hopefully the kids can grow up fast.
some luck and we could SOS our way into the tourney. not expected, but not that distant a possibility.
College basketball is, above all else, a guard's game - and we've got a really good one in Morris.
I just wish he quit with the crazy cross court passes already!!
Yeah, he still tries to go for the spectacular play sometimes when it isn't there - but you've got to love his floor vision. His teammates need to be ready for passes at any time. He had five assists today, and it easily could have been around eight if his teammates hadn't been caught off-guard by great feeds.
Beating weaker teams.
Clemson went 21-10 last year, is a perrenial tournament team, and was 37-2 at home before we beat them. I'd say that's a pretty good win for a team with only 2 upperclassmen on the entire roster.
I was referring to the fact that we are in the weakest part of our schedule. Hopefully, we will do well in the Big Ten.
Barely beating an Ivy League team (not named Princeton-not that they are great) at home is a win but not a great win. Clemson was with out a doubt the best win so far.
except for the fact that harvard was picked to win the ivy league this year (even losing their best player Jeremy Lin). this was a good-not great-win.
As great as Manny was, he was allergic to defense at times last year. Also, he never totally got on the same page as JB (to the point where he was suspended for the Purdue game last year). It seems like this year, even thought the team is much more inexperienced, everybody plays hard, everybody plays defense, and the chemistry is significantly better. It feels like an actual team and it seems like every kid in the program has completely bought in.
One quick side note, John Beilein is one heck of a coach.
Better ball movement, and better team defense. More depth
... Theres no bigger difference than how much taller we have gotten. We have gotten bigger at every position this year. Last years biggest flaw was not having anyone big enough to play the paint except gibson, who never got any minutes. Jordan morgan is everything I thought zack gibson was going to be.
The size of our guards give match problems for everyone. They can play great man to man as it is now, and just think about haveing hardaway jr's wingspan to disrupt passes in the zone.
Defensive intensity. Everybody looks at Beilein and assumes it's all about offense, but thus far the most impressive thing is that their defense competes extremely hard, and attacks the defensive boards with a vengeance. I'm confident their deficiencies will be exploited by bigger, faster, and stronger Big 10 teams, but this is a team that is going to battle and leave it all on the floor, and should be a team we can be proud of.
John Beilein for Defensive Coordinator? wait what?!
The defense is much, much better. Manny didn't play it throughout the course of games. He would let up at times. Morris is a dog on defense and really leads. Hardaway also plays hard and the size inside helps a lot. Everybody playing hard and playing together on defense makes us improved.
I love where this ship is headed. I can't wait to see what things look like in a few years.
i've seen so far the biggest improvment that i have seen is rebounding... we've only been out rebounded once this year that that was the UTEP game... i'm not a fan of novack leading the team in rebounds yesterday, but when there is 3 guys on regular basis going to the boards i'll live with it... what will really help this team is another good ball handler, there is a big drop off from darius to stu, zack and THJ...
I've only seen 3 games this year so far, but they sure seem to play a lot more like a team. They are a lot less dependent on one or two players. They really seem to have good chemistry on the floor, which is what I perceived to be the biggest problem last year.
I like this team!