Honoring this Era of Michigan Basketball

Submitted by UMFan1780 on March 4th, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Brian's column about this era in Michigan basketball being better than "This is Michigan" got me thinking about potential ways to honor its legacy some time down the line.  What methods for honoring the team do you have?  I can think of a banner with the names of the players who won a B1G Championship during the Beilein tenure (which might, when it is all over, be quite crowded), retiring Trey's #3, retiring JMo's #52 (he has been here every year except the Manny Harris-led surprise trip to the NCAA tournament and will graduate from the Engineering Graduate program, which is nothing to sneeze at).  What say you all?



March 4th, 2014 at 10:53 AM ^

I can see retiring Burke's #3 jersey, although he only stuck around for two years.

Otherwise, this seems like a little bit of overkill, especially retiring Jordan Morgan's jersey.

Bando Calrissian

March 4th, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^

Might be a while. Michigan's policy on honoring jerseys thus far requires guys to come back and finish their degree in some capacity, or finish it elsewhere, if need be. No degree, no banner.

Really, Burke is just about the only guy in this bunch who belongs in the conversation alongside the other guys in the rafters.  And even that is difficult because of the two-year thing. Aside from maybe LaVell Blanchard, he may even be the only guy in the last two decades, to be honest.


March 4th, 2014 at 3:23 PM ^

Why specifically Lavell Blanchard?  Why more so than Courtney Sims, Bernard Robinson Jr., or Daniel Horton.  Keep in mind, my overall point is that retiring any of these guys I have named is preposterous.  I don't dislike him, I am just curious, why would Lavell Blanchard get his jersey retired?

I think Tim Hardaway Jr. has a better argument than Blanchard if he comes back and gets his degree.  I would think Morgan would get his jersey retired over Blanchard as well.

Bando Calrissian

March 4th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

Blanchard was a local kid who signed on to play at Michigan and stuck with it, despite the fact it was one of the lowest periods in program history. Great leader on and off the court, put up great numbers, the whole nine yards. A complete player and a class act in a period where that meant something. Given the complete picture, that guy left a bigger mark on the program than Sims (who, in fact, got worse over time), Robinson Jr. (decent player, but just that), Horton (whose off-the-court issues speak for themselves), or any other player of the Ellerbe/Amaker years.


March 4th, 2014 at 4:52 PM ^

Lavell is actually a good family friend of mine (my mom was a teacher at Pioneer for years and is a big basketball fan, and we became close with Lavell and his parents while he was there), and we remain in touch to the day.  He's a great guy, and in my mind gave up a lot of potential money by going to and staying at Michigan, out of loyalty to family, the school, and the city.  He had a ton of talent, worked hard in school and stayed for all four yearsa, and was, as said above, a true class act, especially in light of the down situation the team was going through.  He was absolutely the best player of the Ellerbe/Amaker era in my (admittedly slightly biased) mind.  All that said, I don't think his number should be retired.  His accomplishments just don't rank up there with the retired/honored guys now, nor do they match what more recent players like, say, Trey Burke did at Michigan.  Doesn't take away from what he did by any means, but I'm one of those people who holds the idea of retired numbers in pretty high esteem, and as much as it pains me, I don't think he makes the cut. 

Bando Calrissian

March 4th, 2014 at 7:26 PM ^

That's why I qualified it with maybe. To me, he's just about the only one who really has a shot, in a sea of guys who had talent and numbers but nothing else particuarly interesting or notable about them in the long run. Blanchard admirably did his part for a program in freefall, so I'd rather he be the guy out of the dark agesto actually get some lasting recognition, if there was going to be one at all.


March 4th, 2014 at 11:12 AM ^

I don't see Jmo's 52 ever being retired.  What he did for the program was amazing, but his play simply wasn't good enough to warrant retiring his number.  If you retire his, you would also need to retire at least Novak and possibly Stu as well.

LS And Play

March 4th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

I love me some Jordan Morgan, but if we retired his jersey, we would have to retire so many that the whole concept of retiring numbers would lose meaning.


March 4th, 2014 at 12:43 PM ^

He's the only player to win the Naismith in Michigan basketball history. It would be like winning the Heisman in football and not being honored. As far as playing just two years, its a different era. Most of the top basketball players leave early now a days.

PS-Does the school get a copy of the Naismith trophy like they do with the Heisman in football? If so, does anyone know if they have it on display at the Crisler Center?


March 4th, 2014 at 10:57 AM ^

to look at retiring a jersey every era because sooner or later, you'll have no other numbers to use.  Although if the basketball team uses a legends jersey thing, too.  But would like to see the BB team find another way to honor dedicated individuals without retiring jersey's too often.  I agree with Magnus that Burke's jersey makes sense as the #1 player in the country last year, but maybe a "Ring of Honor" or something to that effect in Crisler?

Wolverine Devotee

March 4th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

Little do most know, there is only one jersey retired for Michigan Basketball--#33 for Cazzie Russell.

#22 for Bill Buntin was worn Blake McClimans and #45 for Rudy T was worn by Colton Christian, both recently.

WOTS is that Trey's number won't be honored/retired until he gets his degree. I do believe Trey and Glen Rice's numbers should be RETIRED given their spectacular careers here.

When I had a thread a couple of years ago when I purposed new banner designs for Crisler, I made one for the honored numbers.

The white was to show that #33 is retired. Originally had it in Maize but it didn't make much sense since Cazzie never wore Maize.

Now for honored numbers, Gary Grant, Rickey Green, Campy Russell definitely deserve a banner.



March 4th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

It's quite possible to get your degree  even if you are a star player who gets drafted early.  Shaq did it, Vince Carter did it, and there are many others who did or are in the process of doing it.  While I'm with you that getting a degree is an absurd prerequisite for getting your number retired/honored, there is definitely something be said about guys who stay long enough to earn their degree and/or go back to get it. 


March 4th, 2014 at 1:00 PM ^

Why is it absurd?  This is a university, and they are supposed to be students in addition to being athletes.  Besides, it's worth their while - many of them will end up needing to go into some other line of work down the road anyway.



March 4th, 2014 at 1:12 PM ^

It's absurd because as admirable and impressive as it is for a star student athlete to get their degree, it shouldn't be the basis for determining whether or not the university honors what you did on on the court for the school.  Getting a degree is a benefit for yourself (you said it yourself), not the school.  The rules allow for someone to leave early without the promise of having to return.  If in the time you were at Michigan, you gave your all, made the whole country turn their heads back towards the direction of Ann Arbor, all the while you were doing all this with class, then you should be in contention to be honored.  A degree would just be a little more icing on the cake, but by no by means the rule.


March 4th, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^

I see no reason to downplay the "student" part of being a student-athlete.  At a time when everyone is condemning UNC and other schools for creating joke courses to keep athletes eligible, I think it's all the more important to emphasize that we care about our athletes completing their studies.

Getting your number retired is the highest honor you can have as an ex-student athlete.  It should honor someone who fulfilled both ends of the student-athlete deal to the fullest.

Space Coyote

March 4th, 2014 at 11:15 AM ^

With banners indicating the years they won B1G championships, went to the final four, and hopefully even won a National Championship. Burke may also get his number retired, along with other NPOY types. On top of that, the Coach B era can have a showcase like other teams/eras do within Cristler. IMO, that is more than enough to honor an era.


March 4th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

Retire Burkes number, hang banners, name some building or part of a building after Coach B, and have a special Coach B area of the Michigan sports museum/artifact spaces.

That is more then most people get for anything they do in life.


March 4th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

You retire numbers for program legends. Like, the best five guys your program has ever had. Burke is close but only being here for 2 years hurts him a bit. Jordan Morgan is awesome, but he's probably like #100


March 4th, 2014 at 12:38 PM ^

our outdated "This is Michigan" expectations. I'm all for appreciating this success; not sure hanging all the jerseys from the rafters is necessary, with the exception of Burke -- two years or not, winning POY and leading team to the Finals is a big deal historically, new expectations or not.


March 4th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

We could try to get a fund together to get an auditorium in the B-school named after Novak. Maybe one in the School of Engineering after JMO. I leave that up to you guys though, I don't have that kind of scratch.