Michigan Basketball to Do Better Then Expected?

Submitted by Evil Monkey on December 8th, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Michigan Basketball is young but in my opinion pretty talented. They have played well for the most part ( Struggled against Harvard and Utep). Now the Big Ten is good but Michigan is to, and  I think they could compete in it. Now im not saying for a Big Ten title, but they could get some wins. I watched quite a few teams in the Big Ten and every team is beatable if we play good. I think we could upset a few good teams and struggle less against the lesser teams this year. Im really optimistic about this team this year and years to come. Hopefully they play to potential and don't let age get the best of them and I think they could do good. I also wanted to know others opinions? 



el segundo

December 8th, 2010 at 6:51 PM ^

"Live and die by the 3"?

Did you see the Clemson game?  They did not rely on 3s there.  They won the game by getting to the basket, drawing fouls, and shooting well from inside 3.  (Only 6-20 from 3; but 19-28 from the line; 44% from the field).

I predict that, when Michigan plays well this year, they will not usually shoot a disproportionate number of 3s.  Their performance against Clemson is their template for success this year.

"Hoping for .500 in the big ten"?

If they do that, and win a game (maybe 2) in the Big Ten Tournament, I bet they go dancing.

I don't think they will go .500 in the Big Ten, though.  6-10 would be respectable, as would an NIT bid.  I don't think the NCAA Tournament is out of the question, but, to accomplish that, they will have to get a lot out of Jordan Morgan, something out of Blake McLimans, some level of game-to-game consistency from Smotryc and Hardaway, and much less dribbling from Darium Morris.  I expect some of those improvements to occur, but not all of them.


December 8th, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

People need to actually watch the team before commenting.  This team is different than Beilein's previous teams.  They do have a low post presence now and he's got some inside moves.  Do they still work to get an open three?  Yep, but they also rebound them much better because Jordan Morgan stays inside and rebounds.  They are also longer at nearly every position which has improved their defense.  Also, everyone complains about the 1-3-1, but he has hardly used it this year.  A couple of times a game at most.

Remember: zero Seniors, two Juniors.  That's going to be the biggest impact this year, especially in the Big Ten.

Maize and Blue…

December 8th, 2010 at 9:19 PM ^

because of youth.  I've heard about another team that's also very young with a disproportinate number of underclassman.  I believe that coach is under fire though.

The comparisons are really similar.  When both former coaches left their last teams were senior dominated and they didn't leave a lot of quality upperclassman for the next coach.  Luckily for JB it is much easier for a freshman to make an impact in basketball than in football.  One or two very good players can make a huge difference in Bball and you can win it all with 3.  Not so much in football where you need time for players to develop physically to be effective in the trenches.


December 8th, 2010 at 8:13 PM ^

I'm not saying we necessarily live and die by the three, but Michigan is 16th in the country (out of what, 350 or so?) in three pointers attempted per game.  However, we're 258th in 3pt percentage.  And with all of those missed threes, we're only 157th in offensive rebounding. 

Obviously, we still shoot more 3s than almost any other team in the country - we shoot 24 per game, and Navy (ranked #2) shoots 28 per game.  I'm not saying this is good or bad, but saying we live and die by the three isn't too far off either. 


December 8th, 2010 at 6:32 PM ^

Let's just wait and see until confernce play starts before we get all high you guys...

I'm hoping we can get postseason play and build on that for years to come.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:32 PM ^

we'll see. they havn't really proven how good they can be; however, they have proved how bad it can get when we go cold(see UTEP).  not so sure i would be booking a flight for the tourny just yet. If we shoot well, we win. If we dont, we lose.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:33 PM ^

First off we'll surprise them by playing really well and beating some teams that maybe we shouldn't, then just when they're expecting us to play really well, we'll surprise them again with mediocrity... should be a fun year


December 8th, 2010 at 6:33 PM ^

And still think the team can do good?
<br>But let's wait till we have some Big Ten games under our belt. The Conference is stacked right now. Wins are going to be tough to come by, even if we are playing well.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:34 PM ^

My guess is something like 6-10 in conference.  We beat the several teams we are supposed to and maybe get a surprise victory or 2 but our young players will probably start to break down towards the end of the year.  

The great part about the team is that there are several players that can carry us to a win, mostly Darius, Stu, THJR, and JMO


December 8th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

They'll win some games they should lose and lose some games they should win. I think that is the best way to put it. You should be optimistic about the future, this team is only going to get better. In my opinion, once the practice facility is complete, and Crisler gets a face lift (inside and out), and Nike is back - the team will start pulling in some big time recruits. I don't think Beilein is the guy long-term, although I hope he proves me wrong. I do think that he can build us into a consistent winner that would really set us up to bring in a really good coach somewhere down the road. Not a sleaze ball coach (Calipari) or a legendary coach who's just bored (Tubby), but a young, proven coach that will stay a long time and win big.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

overachieve a little and get close to our overall record from a year ago. all things considering, that's a good year.

the way i look at it this team can compete in any game if:

1) Daruis plays well

2) We get contributions (pts), from 1 of either Stew or Zach


3) 1 of either Hardaway or Smotz.

Obviously the game comes down to many factors, but this is merely to be competitive in our conference games. I figure we pretty much know what we can expect from Morgan and Blake as well. You cannot forget that Hightower will be coming in with a lot of momentum to the big10, ready to make calls and alter games, so we should prepare for that as well.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

Beilein has assemble a bottom tier bball team. As one poster stated, they live and die by the 3. When it's not falling, they struggle against the likes of Harvard and Concordia. Until the coach decides to integrate a post presence in his"system", his tenure here will be mediocre, at best. It's time to move on once the new facility is up and renovations are completed at Crisler.


December 8th, 2010 at 6:58 PM ^

but we do rely quite heavily on outside shooting. Lots of trey balls being thrown around. Until we get an established post presence, things will be dicey as we've seen (sometimes hot, sometimes icey). I'm not sure if this is the "system" (that we relying heavily on outside shooting) or if it's that we don't have the luxury of a go to post dude.


December 8th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

The reason we don't have a "post dude" is because that's not a part of Beilein's "system.". He doesn't use traditional, strong post players. All of his big men must move around and be able to shoot 3s. As I stated, when those 3s aren't falling, it is a disaster. I am on record as saying Beilein and his "system" must go. Unless he is willing to change, and he won't, his time here will not move the program forward.


December 8th, 2010 at 7:27 PM ^

The reason Michigan doesn't have a "post dude" is because they have been turned down by most of those they have tried to recruit.  Also, the injury to Ben Cronin and the NCAA declaring Robin Benzing ineligible didn't help.  It isn't Beilein's fault that he hasn't been able to get a legit five to sign with the maize and blue and then actually play some meaningful minutes. 

Besides, I still have high hopes for Horford by the time he is a junior.  His father and brother both took a little bit of "extra time" to "grow into their bodies."  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Horford was a major player in the post as a junior.  I know that Horford, as did Benzing, projects as a four, but when his body matures, he could do fine pressed into duty as a five. 

He'll have plenty of time to be a four in the NBA.


December 8th, 2010 at 8:04 PM ^

His "system" is predicated on all players being able to shoot 3s...NOT your traditional, strong post player. His only big man that even remotely good was Pittsnoggle ( where's he now???). Instead of blindly supporting him, check his history here and at WVU, and you'll see that he is NOT developing post players or even having them in his "system". So please, save your insults and check your facts.


December 9th, 2010 at 12:17 AM ^

He took West Virginia to an elite eight and a sweet sixteen back-to-back and somehow that is bad? You aren't very smart, are you? I guess West Virginia has been a really big basketball powerhouse all of these years, haven't they? Troll on sir, troll on.


December 8th, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

Your post suggests you have not seen the team play. The second leading scorer on the team is Jordan Morgan, our 5. He has not even attempted a single 3 pointer and scores almost all of his points on the inside, mainly off of nice pick and rolls with D-Mo.


December 9th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

Not what I was suggesting at all.  I was responding to a post about Beilein and the team claiming that we have no post presence and it is because Beilein just wants big guys to shoot 3's all the time.  Jordan Morgan's play so far this year suggests otherwise as he has been camped out in the paint and not asked to shoot 3's. 


December 8th, 2010 at 6:56 PM ^

Kenpom had our record predicted before the season started as 12-18 overall and 4-14 in conference play.  As of Dec 5, we are now projected to be 15-16 overall (lose a Big Ten conference tourney game, I guess) and 6-12 in Big Ten regular season.

So, we already have increased expectations after our play to date......


December 8th, 2010 at 7:02 PM ^

They are better than expected but my expectations were ultra low.  Beilein's recruiting has been subpar overall but he seems to finally have all the basic pieces in place - decent depth and height in the post as well as a couple talented athletic backcourt players.  His teams were hamstrung by a ridiculous lack of post players in previous years, forcing him to play a guard at the 4 spot.  So far it looks like all the players have potential.  If Beilein can coach them up and they develop chemistry, the sum may be better than the parts.  I'm still skeptical that they can overcome their talent disadvantage and hang with the best in the Big Ten but now I see that it's a possibility - they only lost by 3 to a Syracuse team that soundly beat an extremely talented MSU team.

They will be interesting and fun to watch.


December 8th, 2010 at 7:24 PM ^

How can you say his recruiting has been subpar so far? He's brought in solid players (Vogrich, Morris, Smotz, Hardaway Jr., Brundridge Burke...) in the last 3 classes and salvaged his first recruiting class with Stu and Zach... Sorry he isn't a one and done guy but he's building a solid team with good players.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

December 8th, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

Darius, Jordan and Stu look to be very good players, despite the lack of interest major recruiting sites (and basketball programs) showed the latter two of them in high school.  Before these guys made an obvious jump, I think it was understandable that people were doubting Beilein's recruiting.  If we see half the jump with Evan and Tim that we saw in Darius between year one and two, UM will be a contender next year.


December 9th, 2010 at 5:06 AM ^

Beilein's recruiting classes to OSU's or MSU's or even a few of the other Big Ten teams.  Beilein's recruiting has been about middle of the road in the Big Ten, possibly lower given the lack of balance - specifically an almost complete lack of highly rated post players.  Moreover, he's been unable to pull in a single top 50 recruit.

That is subpar for Michigan which traditionally has been a top tier Big Ten team and a program which should be able to expect a NCAA team berth most years - at the very least.

I'm being kind. Others might call his recruiting much worse.

MSU has more talent sitting on its bench than Beilein has recruited in 3 years.  That's ridiculous.

As I said, I'm interested in seeing if Beilein can do more with less.  As I also said, he has assembled some talent and all the right pieces for a complete team. So far, he's been unable to work many miracles.  I do think he's a great coach and I'm rooting for him.

Next time, think before you post.


December 8th, 2010 at 7:39 PM ^

Think the team still needs a little bulk up front, but pleased with the pieces in place for the future. It's damn frustrating to watch at times, but others it's pretty nice to see. 


December 8th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

...depending on what you expect.  I expect they will be fighting for an NIT bid by the end of the Big Ten season.

A victory over Utah this Friday would sure be a nice step towards that.