Thoughts on the Basketball Roster/Next year

Submitted by 2Blue4You on March 6th, 2009 at 1:03 PM

I decided to upgrade this to a diary. Still not sure why I spent 45 min. typing this but I was thinking about it. Let me know your thoughts regarding next years starting lineup and anything else you feel compelled to comment on. Go Blue!

I was just thinking about how frustrating it was the past three nights watching the teams I was rooting for in the Big Ten lose in barn burners (Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois). I was also thinking of how frustrating it is to watch Michigan play. They show moments of greatness beating UCLA, Duke, Illinois, Purdue and sticking w/ a #1 ranked UConn team only to look like a terrible for long stretches against Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin (2x), Michigan State, O$U (2x). I do not understand Beilein's rotation as it has seemed to change drastically for some players from the first half of the season to the conference season. So these are my brief thoughts/frustrations of the role players on this team as we move towards the end of the season and look towards next season:

CJ Lee/David Merritt: I love the story of these two guys earning a scholarship and both of them currently attending Graduate School at U of M but in reality I look forward to having more D-1 scholarship type players on the team w/ their departure. I feel like there is room for one on the team b/c it is a great story and really speaks to what college athletics should be about.

On the court I do think anyone hustles as much as CJ Lee. I love seeing him hit the occasional 3-pointer and grabbing a monster rebound against guys taller than him. He is scrappy, a great leader and always plays hard. I can't help but get nervous when he is running the game in pressure situations but that is mostly b/c I watched him turn the ball over twice in the waning moments of regulation against NW. David Merritt seems to be very sound w/ controlling the ball and has solid defense. He seems to be a bit less of a scoring threat than Lee but is a nice surprise every once in awhile on the offensive end.

Jevohn Shepherd: I loved seeing this guy play early this season. He seemed to have settled into some sort of role finally coming off of the bench just to have that role disappear come Big Ten season. If it were up to me, Shepherd would always play before Gibson. I love his athletic ability. He seems comfortable handling the ball on the perimeter and seems to love to try to take it to the hole when he gets a slower big guy out on him. His athletic ability seems to make up some of the height disparity between Gibson and him but I think his inside outside threat makes him more valuable, but again what do I know I was cut from my Varsity team.

Zack Gibson: Jevohn Shepherd is a great transition to Gibson b/c this guy frustrates me to no end. I spent the first half of the season defending him to my gf but now he just bugs me. He finally got a haircut so he doesn't look so stupid out there but he is still our token tall white goon except he is not as good as our ones from the past (Graham Brown, Chris Young). He does not seem comfortable at all handling the ball unless he is 5 ft. from the hoop. But even then he is not sure if he is going to dunk it, lay it in or go for a reverse layup (he did this against Wisconsin when he had an easy layup, but he made it). I do not know what he does in practice but I'm not sure his occasional free throw or layup make up for his moving screens or turnovers. I guess he gives us the much needed height but I hope to God that Ben Cronin can help relegate Gibson to the bench next year.

DeShawn Sims: I can't say enough about this guy and what he does for our team. He is not flashy or demanding of attention but lets his playing speak for itself and that is probably what I love most about him (except his missed 3-pointer at the end of the Wisconsin game). I think every game we need to try to work the ball to him first. He is like Basketball's equivalent of having a running game. You run to open up the pass. We need to go down low to Sims to open up our 3-point game. Right now we seem to do one or the other and only see glimpses of both but next year I think we will be wildly successful if we can do this consistently. Sims plays like he is a few inches taller than he really is. I wish Amaker would have played him more as a freshman but maybe that slowed his development enough where he will stay for his senior year and really become the heart and soul of this team.

Manny Harris: No doubt he is a great talent and is why we are any good at all this year. I think if he goes pro it is a big mistake on his part. I think at least another year will help round his game out and hopefully put some meat on his skinny frame. I do not know if it is something that Manny does when going to the hole but it kills me he rarely gets calls when he goes to the hoop. I think this is the best part of his game and the refs don't help him out and actually give him one or two charges a game. This seems to get to him and he sometimes falls victim to the game getting to his head and throwing him off. On the offensive end he has such an off-balanced looking 3-point shot it is hard to say he is great from there but he hits enough to where it is safe to say he is pretty good. He doesn't look like a Glen Rice or a Louis Bullock but they go in. I wish he could develop that 10-20 ft. range where if he can't drive all the way to the hole he can pull up and make you pay. So I think Manny needs at least another year to refine his game and get us back to the tourney.

Kelvin Grady: He has definitely fallen out of the rotation. Not sure why or how I feel about it. I feel as good w/ him handling the ball as I do w/ Lee or Merritt but I think he is still searching for an identity. His quickness is one of his strongest attributes and works out well in the 1-3-1 zone defenses. Sometimes he finds his range from downtown but that is a bit less consistent than I would like. I think he needs to work on shooting consistency and will always be a role player for us.

Anthony Wright: Not too sure what to make of Wright. He is victim to the strange rotations under Beilein and has hardly been heard from all season until lately. Last year he had a few games (I think OSU) where he rained threes but that hasn't seemed to grow or move forward in any particular way. I like him on the roster in case we run into injury issues like a few years back or to just have someone to come off the bench and add a spark.

Laval Lucas-Perry: I think we were all excited about this guy and he turned in some good games early but his shot seemed to lose him for awhile. I love that he has freshman eligibility and I think we all forget that and were expecting him to come in and be great. That hasn't happened but you can see that he has great potential. I think he has the physical attributes to be very good. He seems strong and comfortable in his body. I have heard he is automatic from 3-point land in practice but he somehow needs to translate that into the game which I think he will. What bothers me most about Laval is when he drives to the hoop he does not seem to know what he is going to do w/ it. He is quick and very good at getting the step on the defenders but does not know if his #1 goal is go to the rim or kick out. It usually ends up w/ a strong miss off the glass when he had the shot and didn't expect to be so open. I think if he finds his shot and becomes comfortable in games shooting it and also learns to drive to the rim and expect to score he will grow into the player we expect him to be.

Stu Douglass/Zack Novak: They are a bit interchangeable in my mind. Novak seems to be more of the scorer but only b/c he takes more shots from 3-point land. Douglass seems to have the body to grow into an even more solid player defensively and offensively. They seem to be on track to be solid contributors and probably frequent starters for the next 3 years at Michigan. As Brian said, they will be the kind of players that would be great players at Butler or some other good mid-major.

Eric Puls: Last and probably least, Puls. I no nothing about this kid other than the mop up minutes he has gotten and even those have been scarce as we have rarely run opponents out of the gym. Probably a career on the bench if he can't get time while being 6'10" on a very undersized team.

We lose only Shepherd, Lee and Merritt so we are in good shape next year w/ a solid freshman class coming in. So it should be very much the same team. I think the Big Ten will be as good next year as most teams seem to have young talent on them. So hopefully our young guys have more of an upside (mostly Cronin) than an OSU who is also returning most everyone. I would think the starting lineup next year would be something like: C Cronin, F Sims, F Harris, G Lucas-Perry, and G Grady eventually being Darius Morris. Sprinkle in some starts for Novak and Douglass and hopefully it will be a great year.



March 6th, 2009 at 1:33 PM ^

Cronin is not this team's savior.

Our best hope is that Gibson continues to grow (not physically) and learn and become a solid 7 and 7 guy. That's what we need and Zack is our most likely chance at it.

Also, Novak and Douglass have taken, and made, the exact number of three pointers, FWIW.

More realistically, I would expect:

G Morris (maybe not to start, but he'll win it very quickly)
G Douglass (most improved defender on the team, by far)
W Manny
W Peedie
C Gibson

This is only if Cronin and/or Morgan can be a quality back up. Otherwise, we're likely to see the small lineup that we had last year - can't have your only two big men on the floor at the same time all game. LLP has shown nothing since Oakland. He's got a ways to go. But I love the prospect of LLP, Novak, Grady, and Vogrich being our guards off the bench. That's ridiculously deep.


March 6th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

I didn't look at the stats of Novak vs. Douglass but it was just my perception that Novak scores more. Maybe he has just had a few more big games scoring and Douglass is a bit more consistent offering 6 or so a game.

I can't say i've followed recruiting in bball enough to know what guys can do beyond what I have seen them do in a Michigan uniform. I was simply hoping Cronin could be a savior or at least serviceable as a 7 footer. I just know big men have torn us up (Mullens and Tisdale).

Our guard depth will be very good next year and into the future.


March 6th, 2009 at 1:49 PM ^

I like where this program is heading, but I was hoping to save talk of next year for at least a couple of weeks. But maybe it is good luck.

You have to like trading the minutes being given to Lee, Merritt, Douglas, and Wright (who will be glued to the bench) going to some combination of the 6 incoming players. I say six because that includes the four scholarship freshmen, Cronin, and Eso (who continues to impress and could win Mr. Basketball).

Gibson is never going to be "good", but I think he could turn into a starter. By putting him at the 5 you accomplish two things:
1. Protect Sims
2. Move Novak to his natural position at the 2/3.

I don't know what we're going to get out of Cronin, Morgan, or McLimas next season, but that's three guys taller than 6'9" and I have to figure at least 1-2 of them can be competent enough to play a few minutes per game backing up the bigs.

The guard rotation is going to be interesting. I know I'm in the minority, but I think Grady makes the offense work better and with a little improvement to his D I think he least initially. I think you start Douglas at the 2-guard because of his defense and ability to hit outside shots. Manny starts at the three.

Novak is your first player off the bench at either the 2-3-4 spot to give you a spark. LLP has to define his role. Can he push Douglas and Novak for playing time? Could he fill the CJ Lee role as a mis-cast occassional point guard? He's still just a freshman. Morris will get plenty of minutes if he can play some defense.

The total wild card is Vogrich. He's basically another Novak or Douglas. Is there room for all of them on one team? Do you redshirt him? Does he beat one of those guys out as the token sharp-shooter off the bench?

If Manny and Sims stay, which is expected, you suddenly have front court depth and a guard rotation that isn't full of walk-ons and freshmen.

My guess?

1- Grady
2- Douglas
3- Manny
4- Sims
5- Gibson
6- Novak
7- Morris
8- LLP
9- Cronin
10- Morgan

RS/BN- Vogrich
RS/BN- McLimas
BN- Wright

WO- Puls
WO- Eso


March 6th, 2009 at 3:03 PM ^

Vogrich may but I think LLP will turn into a solid player next year. He is a good shooter from long range but I think something needs to switch on for him to translate that into games and be consistent. I love his ability to drive but he doesn't know what he is going to do w/ it. I think if he gets confidence going to the hole he provides a great inside/outside threat that would warrant significant playing time.


March 6th, 2009 at 2:45 PM ^

Call me crazy, but

I think we will see:
Starting 5
1 - Douglas
2 - Novak
3 - Harris
4 - Sims
5 - Cronin

The 2(or 3) deep
1 - Grady/Morris
2 - LLP/Vogrich
3 - Vogrich/Novak
4 - Gibson/ maybe McLimans
5 - Morgan/Gibson

Redshirt - McLimans


March 6th, 2009 at 3:33 PM ^

You're crazy!! ;)

I can see Stu starting at PG. The guy is really heady and a smart player. His defense has improved enough to where I think he can defend quality guards. However, I'd hesitate to put him back there without another guard that is a little more of a ball handler. I could see Stu at point and LLP at the "2" as a possibility. Stu/Zack/Manny gives me a little worries with handling pressure and getting into sets early into the shot clock.

From all I've heard, and the few minutes I've seen, Cronin has been unimpressive in practice (had been, at least. Remember this was back in October). He would have to come a long, long, long way in the next 6 months to be starting over Gibson. I'd much more easily put my money on Gibson progressing a little more than Cronin a ton more.


March 7th, 2009 at 7:36 PM ^

Douglass has potential at the PG position, but his ballhanding skills must improve considerably for him to be a fixture at that position.

I really hope Grady and Lucas-Perry can improve their games in the offseason under Beilein because they're better than what they showed this year, which was generally very little with a few exceptions (such as Lucas-Perry today).

The ideal situation is Morris coming in and picking up the system right away, but I just don't see that. CJ Lee playing the PG this year made you realize that Beilein rightfully wants a PG that doesn't turn the ball over and the scouting report on Morris consistently says he turns the ball over a lot.


March 6th, 2009 at 4:37 PM ^

I think you'll see times when Stu and LLP play PG next year. I just don't think you can give either significant minutes at that position. I think you want Grady and Morris to be the primary PG if they can prove themselves on D. You probably put Stu at PG when you need some stops.

I have hope that Cronin can turn into Josh Asselin (for those of you who remember him), but it isn't going to happen next year. I want to see him part of the rotation, but if they start another post player it is going to be Gibson.

They could also continue to use the same starting lineup as this year and go small more often.

mad magician

March 6th, 2009 at 7:10 PM ^

Vogrich and Morris will likely be major contributors next year. Vogrich especially seems a perfect fit for Beilein's system and should immediately become our best outside shooter. This guy is having an amazing senior season at Lake Forest and I could definitely seeing him starting at the 2 guard next year. Morris, on the other hand, is a top 100 player, and like Vogrich, seems to be Big Ten ready. He's more of a pure point guard, I think, and therefore could also emerge as a starter.

Jordan Morgan is up and down. On one hand, he's a big body to add to the rotation, but on the other, it seems the Rivals guys think he's soft. He's had monster performances in some games and disappeared in others. The line on him is "doesn't dominate like he should" but he did get aggressive later in the season. He could be a contributer or a red-shirt candidate, could go either way.

Blake McLimans I know very little about other than he's a prototypical Beilein skilled-big man who probably needs some work before he becomes a regular contributer. We shouldn't expect too much from him.


March 7th, 2009 at 7:23 PM ^

I agree with Vogrich but I'm not sure about Morris. The scouting reports on Morris is that he has great upside but that he's prone to making poor decisions/turning the ball over, which obviously is a no no in the Beilein system. Beilein did recruit him hard, though, so best case scenario he improves as the year progresses.

There is definitely a lot of untapped potential in Kelvin Grady, though. If he learns how to play defense (it's not for a lack of trying IMO) over the summer, he should get minutes next year, even if Morris surprises.


March 8th, 2009 at 9:59 AM ^

Magician, have you seen Vogrich play yet?

I've only seen him once in person, but he has a very slight build. I did a little scouting when I was in Chicago for a business trip.

It's posted here:…

It's only one game and I realize that, but I have major concerns about his being able to contribute next year. He doesn't seem to have much muscle definition at all and will probably be a liability on defense to start the year. Granted, he could hit the weight room between now and next year and Beilein could be working with him on his D once he gets to campus, but honestly, I think he could very well redshirt next year. You might read the report if you get a chance. Not trying to call you out, but just wanted to see if maybe you'd seen more of him than I have.


March 6th, 2009 at 7:51 PM ^

I think that Manny, Sims, and Douglass start. I can't tell between Vogrich, Morris, Grady, & Novak for the other guard spot, and which of the bigs will start. If Grady learns how to defend, and stops having so many mental lapses, he starts. If either Vogrich or Morris learn the plays and are in shape, they might start. However, as it stands now, unless I see something from Grady on D, I see Novak starting. I have my doubts about a freshman starting, unless an overwhelming talent.

Regarding the bigs, I don't have enough information. I really wonder about Cronin. He has got to bulk up, and move without the ball. Against a small lineup, we probably go with Gibson. Against a big lineup, we probably go with the biggest guy who can move, pass, alter shots on D, and create space for Harris and Sims on offense. The issue is whether any freshman (or Cronin) will be strong enough not to be manhandled.


March 7th, 2009 at 3:58 PM ^

We should celebrate our likely tourney appearance, but there are clear signs of weakness on this squad. Going forward, to produce consistent tourney appearances and possible deep runs, roster adjustments need to be made.

First, I don't have problem with Douglass or Novak, but those guys are role players. No matter how many shots Novak hits and no matter how hard he plays, he's never going to match up against a true PF. No matter how many threes Douglass hits and no matter how far them come, it won't change the fact that he can't create his own shot or even dribble for that matter. These weaknesses cannot be masked if Michigan is to take the next step and be a legitimate team year in and year out.

Recruiting needs to improve. There are great shooters out there who are also great athletes who can make things happen and really loosen up a defense. One of the reasons why Michigan is so slow in the half court is because no one other than maybe Harris or Sims (guys who weren't recruited by Beilein) can loosen up defense to open lanes. You need to do that, though, to get open shots and open up the cut lanes. This is something that can only happen with good shooters AND good athletes. You need the combination. Louisville currently has that combination. So does Villanova. Yet those teams recruit far superior athletes than the ones we have. No doubt you want guys with high basketball IQ, but I would like to see the overall quality of recruits improve because Louisville and Villanova both play the type of smart basketball Beilein rightfully preaches. We don't need Douglass, Novak and Vogrich. We need guys who can create open shots and maneuver the lanes. A guy like De'Sean Butler who Beilein recruited would be nice. Earl Clark would be ideal in the system. With a tourney appearance in hand, you have to go after the versatile guys like Clark. The future will definitely rest on recruiting. I want us to be more like Louisville and less like the Fighting Irish.

mad magician

March 7th, 2009 at 5:39 PM ^

Dude, Beilein has been in Ann Arbor less than 24 months and has the team likely in the NCAA tournament. In a word: Perspective.

Also: We don't need Vogrich? If you don't want a kid a lot of scouts are calling the best outside shooter in the country, who single-handedly has lifted his high school team into the top ten in the state of Illinois, I'm sure there's a long line of teams who would love to have him. Probably even Louisville.

And saying we don't need Novak and Douglass? That's just cold, after what these kids accomplished as freshmen.


March 7th, 2009 at 7:07 PM ^

When I said we don't need Novak, Douglass and Vogrich, I was saying that we don't need ALL THREE, not that we don't need any of the three. In future years, I would think maybe two of the three would be good enough (with Novak the odd person out).

If there are guys like Vogrich out there, they should definitely be pursued. I'm not opposed to that recruit and I'll give Beilein a pass on the 2009 class because no one knew this year's team would far exceed expectations.

But in the future, to take the next step, Beilein has to go after guys like Earl Clark, or at the very least De'Sean Bulter. Those are the DIFFERENCE MAKERS that give Vogrich and Douglass the wide open looks that are necessary for them to succeed. I appreciate Novak and Douglass and what they've done so far. But let's be honest, without Sims or Harris, these guys wouldn't even be able to get a shot off.


March 7th, 2009 at 8:01 PM ^

I don't want to spend all night typing up a response to your misguided thoughts on Beilein and what he 'needs' to do to be successful at Michigan (news-flash: Beilein knows what the fuck he is doing).

A few points:

Stu and Zack are freshman and played significant, meaningful minutes for a NCAA tournament quality team. The team would not have been NCAA tournament quality without them. Novak put up 20 on Wisconsin. Douglas was 6-8 from three against the #1 team in the country in their gym. They will be monsters in three years as seniors after after honing their skills under Beilein for three more offseasons.

News Flash #2: Novak is not a PF - he is a shooting guard and wing player. He had to play there this year because even though he was 6'4", "non-athletic" white guy, he was better than a senior monster athlete (shepard), a redshirt sophmore (Wright), and 6'11" Gibson (redshirt junior) isn't good enough to play center or the 4 over Novak.

DeSean Butler was a three-star recruit.

Some stats for you:

05 Clark, Earl........ 29-28 993 34.2 150-346 .434 20-72 .278 76-117 .650 81 181 262 9.0 55 1 92 93 43 29 396 13.7

34 Sims, DeShawn 30-21 921 30.7 188-371 .507 20-71 .282 55-80 .688 78 139 217 7.2 66 3 24 37 26 33 451 15.0

03 Harris, Manny 30-30 985 32.8 156-379 . 4 1 2 41-132 . 3 1 1 162-189 . 8 5 7 56 160 216 7.2 61 0 127 98 15 38 515 17.2


March 7th, 2009 at 8:31 PM ^

First of all, there's a difference between a role player and a playmaker. A playmaker creates plays for the role players. Surely you would concede that Sims and Harris are playmakers, right?

As far as Novak and Douglass, Novak has one game he's responsible for, the first win over Minnesota. Douglass hit a clutch shot against UCLA, so I'll give him that. Funny how you didn't even mention those moments. No one cares about what they did in games Michigan LOST. Yeah, Douglass lit up UConn at their place, but it wasn't nearly enough. We lost.

Your point about Novak playing out of position makes the argument for me. Look, I like what Novak has done. Other than his unacceptable elbow, he plays hard and that kind of stuff rubs off on other players. But you have to ask why Novak is constantly playing out of position. It's because no one else is there. You only have a set number of scholarships you can use. You have to fill voids. Do you really think that Blake McLimans is the future at the PF position?

Your stats about Sims and Harris are meaningless, as Sims and Harris were NOT recruited by Beilein.

Butler was a three star recruit, but notice how I said "at least" guys like Butler. Of course, he's one of WVU's best players now, so in hindsight the three star rating was too low for him.

Finally, I am not questioning what Beilein is doing. I like what's he doing because I think he's one of the best coaches in the country. But coaching and recruiting are not inexorably linked, as you surely know if you follow football. As a coach, Beilein is one of the best in the country, hands down. As a recruiter, I think he needs to take the next step. That's all I'm saying. Based on the record, I think my views are justified.


March 7th, 2009 at 8:59 PM ^

Your points are justified by what?

"No matter how many shots Novak hits and no matter how hard he plays, he's never going to match up against a true PF."

no shit - he's a friggin 2 guard and wing player and will be back at those positions next year because guys Beileing recruited will allow that to happen over the players that he inherited.

"No matter how many threes Douglass hits and no matter how far them come, it won't change the fact that he can't create his own shot or even dribble for that matter."

Really?? That is an ignorant statement. hence the 'idiot' tags.

"I want us to be more like Louisville and less like the Fighting Irish." Considering Louisville lost to Minnesota at the barn and we just beat Minnesota at the barn, I'm not sure how this makes sense. also - Notre Dame is not in the tournament.

Beilein has been at UM less than two years, had a chance to bring in 3 people, one of which redshirted, and already done something that hadn't been done in the last 10 years....

You are aware that WVU went to the elite 8 and sweet 16 under Beilein, right? And that he left to come to Michigan because he thought he could do better at Michigan? The big east can suckit.

you're going to make my head asplode. I'm done.


March 7th, 2009 at 9:19 PM ^


Earl Clark as a freshman:
2006-2007 32Games 48.0%FG 37.0%3P 59.7%FT 121REB 3.8AveREB 0.4A 0.4Bl 0.7St 189Pts 5.9AvePts

Novak as a freshman playing out of position:
2008-2009 29Games 37.7%FG 34.9%FG 69.8%FT 102REB 3.5AveREB 1.3A 0.0Bl 0.5St 201Pts 6.9AvePts

Douglas as a freshman:
2008-2009 30Games 38.0%FG 34.9%FG 63.2%FT 33REB 1.1AveREB 2.1A 0.1Bl 0.7St 177Pts 5.9Ave Pts


March 7th, 2009 at 9:28 PM ^

If Vitale says it's true, it MUST be true!

But so what? Would it make you happy to say Ruoff instead of Butler?

If you think that Douglass and Novak will rise to Clark's level, you are delusional.

And you have once again failed to confront any of my points. Coward.


March 7th, 2009 at 9:20 PM ^

I'm not going to let this go because you're still making absolutely no sense.

1. You fail to engage my point that Novak is playing out of position because no one else is available that the PF position. That means, of course, that a void needs to be filled at that position. Is part of the reason why Sims has to play C due to Amaker's failures as a recruiter. Yes. But you have to at least ask the question about Beilein. Again, do you really think that Black McLimans is the answer at the PF position. I doubt it.

2. My point about Douglass not being able to dribble may have been a bit harsh, but the principle stands. Douglass simply can't dribble the ball. Just watch the game today. Whenever he got the ball, he would very tentatively dribble around looking for an immediate pass. He certainly can't drive inside, nor can he run the floor with the ball under pressure. While he's a great shooter, all I'm saying is that in the future, we can do better than Douglass, not that I have anything against him.

3. Your point about Minnesota beating Louisville is incomprehensible. Louisville is one of the best teams in the country right now and just because they dropped a game to Minnesota and we beat Minnesota twice does not mean that Louisville isn't a good team. I mean, that's crazy.

4. Beilein has been successful thus far at Michigan. Again, I'm not disputing his coaching ability at all. However, he has done this largely with two players (Sims and Harris) that he did not recruit, and would not have likely recruited had they not been holdovers. Again, I'm not saying that Novak or Douglass did not contribute, or will not contribute. I'm only saying that, GOING FORWARD, we can do better.

5. Yes, Beilein was successful at WVU, but what's your point? Do you think that Beilein's tenure at WVU would be acceptable here? In the short term, yes, but in the long term, this is Michigan. I would expect more than just 2 trips to the dance in 5 years. Wouldn't you? The point is, I am of the belief that Michigan can still get good players because the name recognition is still there and will only improve now that (barring unexpected circumstances) we have finally made the dance. Why is it that we can still get a home/home with Duke and UConn and be able to consistently play home/home games with teams like UCLA and Georgetown, despite not having been to the tourney in a decade? The name recognition is still out there. Beilein might as well us it. Yeah, go get your players, but there are players out there better than Douglass and Novak. Beilein would probably be the first to tell you that.