spoiler alert: i linked this
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?
With a big tip o' the cap to MGoVideo for posting highlights—and even the full game stream—from last night, here are a couple gifs from the NMU game.
First up, Mitch McGary's two-handed jam on the break:
And here's Glenn Robinson III finishing an alley-oop from Tim Hardaway Jr.:
Yeah, last night went pretty well.
Vitale had an article on the five players in college basketball that need to step up this year, and our own Jordan Morgan was on the list.
When people look at Michigan, Trey Burke is the first name they think of. I feel Jordan Morgan, the big man up front, has to raise his level of play. He was the top performer on the glass for the Maize and Blue, but he has to provide an inside scoring presence after averaging just over seven PPG.
It will be interesting to see what his role is this year, considering we actually have depth at PF/C. If he doesn't improve offensively, both McGary and Horford could pass him on the depth chart.
Here is my projected starting line-up:
PG : Burke
SG : Hardaway
SF : Robinson
PF : McGary
C : Morgan
Can also make an argument now that Michigan has the best class in the Big 10. Robinson is the highest Big 10 commit (Yogi Farrell and Gary Harris are both also 5 stars), and McGary is ahead of both Perea and Hollowell.
Gary Harris is down at 25, which surprises me a lot.