this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
This comes from UMHOOPS:
On making the decision to start Horford: “Here’s how part of the decision was made: we were still here, because of this prep, we were still here last night at 8 o’clock. Kids had study hall before practice. We studied, we ate, then we had some more film to watch. And I said to Mitch McGary, ‘What do you feel about tomorrow? I don’t know what to do. You both practiced well.’ He said, ‘Coach, I’ve been coming off the bench for two years. I’m cool with coming off the bench.’ And that really helped to make that decision, and that’s what we have on this team.”
That is coming from a freshman who was once the #2 recruit in the country. I love this team more and more every week. I think Belien has really put a special blend of talent and unselfishness on the court. They way they play for the team and not themselves is rare these days.
P.s. I know my title sucks. Mods feel free to change it if you feel that that is necissary.
I know there's a snowflake thread, but this is a legit topic that would otherwise get buried there. I'll be providing some mini-analysis as well, so hopefully this is not deemed "repetitive."
I saw a couple people post things like 'What's the deal with Morgan?" and "McGary had a good game," and then people wonder why Beilein didn't run with one player or the other.
From what I see, we have two players that are defensively raw (McGary and Stauskas). Let's start with McGary:
In the first half, OSU really pushed their lead up in no small part due to McGary's poor hedge of ball screens. McGary came into the game with 15:20 to go in the second half. The score was 9-3 OSU. The defensive possessions went as follows:
- Aaron Craft scores on drive off of ball screen. McGary fails to hedge and fails to stay in front of Craft. (11-3 OSU)
- 4 seconds into the shot clock McGary again fails to hedge and lets Craft get into the lane. This time he's nowhere near the ball screen . (13-3 OSU, 13:55)
Michigan calls a timeout and McGary is pulled for Jordan Morgan.
For the almost the rest of the game, whenever McGary was in the game, we went into some kind of zone. In the second half Jordan Morgan defended the pick and roll excellently. He is great at hedging the screen and forcing the ball handler into a tough split/pass or just backing out of the screen. I know this is not sexy, but the dude is great at it and that is why he is such a valuable player.
McGary has a way to go defensively. A long way. He's said things like "I had never stepped foot in a weight room before getting here" and I bet he really hasn't had to play tough defense either. It will come, but it will take time.
Stauskas is the other defensive liability at the moment. I'll admit I naturally pay more attention to the big men, but it would appear that Stauskas troubles are two fold (feel free to correct me or expand if you've paid more attention). Stauskas does not have the foot speed to stay in front of smaller 2s/3s. This problem seems to be compounded by his tendency to have incorrect defensive spacing - he often comes over too far on help and can be late on rotations.
Of course, Stauskas' shot selection didn't help to keep him on the floor. If he's taking poor shots and not converting, LeVert is clearly the better defender.
I love games like this because if you know a little bit about basketball you get some insight into how good John Beilein is at his job. He got creative to find ways to keep McGary on the court even though he was a defensive liability in defending the pick and roll. He played the defense for offense game late and I think we have a clear idea of the game plan going forward with Morgan/McGary and Stauskas/LeVert. Of course, Horford is a wildcard in there. It will be interesting to see how the freshmen develop over the course of B10 play.
Apparently McGary can ride a unicycle:
And a quick search here reveals that so can Erik Magnuson. We need a McGary unicycle/Lewan Twosie .gif stat.
This is (the link to) a Michigan Basketball hype video a friend of mine, Luke D'Mello put together. He has done some other videos in the past about Michigan that received thousands of views.
I apologize for my lack of knowledge on how to embedd (Haven't been on this site for a while)
A recent post about the lack of Michigan Basketball wallpapers prompted me to throw my hat in the ring. I too, am in serious need of a computer/iPad background change, so what better way than to help everyone else out at the same time?!
Full disclosure: I am in no way a graphic designer or Photoshop professional, so all you get are my basic skills. This is also my first foray into creating a wallpaper, so if anyone has tips or recommendations, feel free to share.
Have you ever wondered what our current Michigan basketball roster would look like as an old-school 1970s hoops squad? No? Me either. Until I ran across a gem of a photo in the Bentley Library archives...the 1978-79 team photo – complete with feathered hair, a wicked afro, short shorts and high socks.
It was then that I set out on a conquest to mold both that photo and our current player photos into an epic composite that makes me laugh every time I look at it.
After noting that the amount of players and coaches was almost exactly identical to this year's team, I knew I had to take a crack at it. Also, skin colors were almost perfect with the players that we currently have. There was only one extra body in the original that needed to be accounted for...the glorious man kneeling down on the right in the front row. And let's be honest – he just looks so cool that I had to leave him in.
After a few hours of work, below is the final product. I have multiple versions (desktop color/B&W, iPad) at the link below. I'd have to say that my favorite parts are Jordan Morgan with a sweet afro and Mitch McGary with blonde feathered hair. Also, Trey Burke looks really happy despite how tight his shorts are. I did not deal with jersey number changes because of all the shading and angles those entailed.
Special thanks to TheArtTheArtTheArt's football wallpaper for inspiring this piece.
So, I don't know about the rest of you, but in watching the first few games of the season, I often found myself just a LITTLE disappointed to keep seeing McGary getting the ball under the hoop with room and delivering the layup instead of playing the Mighty Zeuz and throwing down the thunder.
Unfortunately, up till last night, we saw him go up maybe once per game, at most, and sometimes pretty weakly. I found myself wondering if this was the same guy who shattered backboards in high school. I mean, he definitely was skilled. No question about that. He belonged on the floor. But where was the force? The dominance?
Last night, Mitch McGary went up strong, really strong, several times. It was at least a good portion of that display of power I've been waiting for, and I'm sure may of you have as well. But that wasn't all he did. He wasn't the big guy waiting under the basket to throw down dunks. He was more. Trying to distribute (and turning it over, but at least trying) fighting for rebounds and loose balls, and making a more substantial contribution than just taking it to the rack.
I'm no basketball player (because I suck), but I've got to imagine that for those that can dunk, it's an energy intensive process. A layup is easier, simpler, and allows you in better position to rebound or get back down court in case something goes wrong. It occurs to me that McGary doesn't play soft sometimes out of necessity, but out of skill and maturity. The guy playing above the rim isn't gonna have as much time or energy to also play down low on the hardwood. I've got to imagine that most freshmen with his power and drive are hard to corral and coach to play the smart game. To me, it looks like McGary is already there. All the same, it's nice to know that, as last night showed, when the need or opportunity arises to simply be a 6-10 ball of badass power, he's still got that in the tank.
What do you think? Do you like to see a monster who is skilled enough and happy enough to dial it back and play the smart game whenever that makes sense? Or do you just find yourself dying for McGary to pull a Blake Griffin every time you see him step on the court?