Nice Fox Sports blog on Michigan B-Ball

Submitted by StephenRKass on October 21st, 2009 at 12:20 AM

There's a nice blog from Fox Sports guy Jeff Goodman on Michigan Basketball up this evening. Jeff Goodman visited Michigan practice today, and gives a positive report. One of the highlights is Michigan shooting:

This team will have as many quality shooters as any team in the nation. You've got guys like Stu Douglass, Zack Novak and freshman Matt Vogrich. Manny Harris has really improved his proficiency from long distance, and Laval Lucas-Perry and DeShawn Sims are more than capable from beyond the arc.

He also sees Darius Morris as key:

Freshman Darius Morris should get the brunt of the minutes at the point as the season goes along. He's the only natural floor leader, and his competition is from Douglass, who is more comfortable at the two-guard spot. Morris defends and can set his teammates up. He doesn't need to score. Defense is more important for this team.

Among other things, the lack of a big to back up Peedi is a concern; Manny is a legit first team All-American candidate; and Novak and Douglass are better than they look (code for "they aren't just slow white guys who can't jump.")

All in all, a nice article.

My questions:

1) How long will it take for Morris to get to speed? If he can get the kinks out by January, we could be formidable.
2) Will someone big step up and produce?

Already, the prospects for this year are awesome. If Morris catches on quick, and we get significant production (at least defensively) from Ben Cronin, or Zack Gibson, or a combination, we could go very, very far.

It is so nice to have BOTH football and basketball to follow.

Comments

TomW09

October 21st, 2009 at 12:33 AM ^

You've always had a basketball team to follow ;)

As one of the 450 that purchased tickets last year (this is my fifth straight year of student season tickets), it's nice to have people other than the diehards paying attention again, but lets not ignore this team if they struggle; like has been done in years past.

StephenRKass

October 21st, 2009 at 12:41 AM ^

I fondly remember buying a pair of season student tickets for a number of years. Seats were assigned back then, and having two meant I could bring a friend or a date. Regarding following the team, for us alumni out of Ann Arbor, there has been limited Michigan coverage in the last few years. And it drove me crazy what happened under Amaker. I am thrilled with Beilein. I'm sure you'll have an awesome time going to all the games this year. Enjoy!

TomW09

October 21st, 2009 at 1:00 AM ^

Not having had to live away from Michigan, I couldn't imagine how tough it would be to follow M hoops. At least the BTN helps this drastically for people like you!

I just hope that people other than the regulars attend ALL the games this year, whether it be Northern Michigan or Duke, Michigan Basketball deserves to have a full house every night!

And I definitely second your sentiment on Amaker. I still can't get over my freshmen year when we upset Top-10 Illinois, Top-10 MSU and then in the home season finale choked away a game to Indiana, which would have almost assuredly put us in the tourney. I was never so irate at a coach in my life.

bluebots

October 21st, 2009 at 12:39 AM ^

I really hope we're not looking at Novak again as our starting 4. I like Novak a lot ... in fact he's probably my favorite player, but it's tough to have him regularly guarding 6'7"+ guys. I never quite understood why we didn't often have Gibson and Peedi in at the same time last year.

TomW09

October 21st, 2009 at 1:05 AM ^

There was nobody to back them up. Can't risk having both on the floor and get in foul trouble. Last year Novak was our best option. This year he probably still is. It's not the most terrible thing in the world: the offense doesn't need two big guys on the blocks and defensively the 1-3-1 can help hide Novak's height disadvantage.

However, I certainly would love to see Gibson have a breakout senior year, I'm just not expecting it.

aenima0311

October 21st, 2009 at 12:48 AM ^

Novak probably won't play as much 4, with Cronin and McLimans likely to receive minutes in the post, but I'm sure that he's going to play there more than a bit. His most natural fit is at the 3.

TomW09

October 21st, 2009 at 1:03 AM ^

I'd temper the excitement about Cronin and McLimas. Given Michigan's ability to play the 1-3-1 (which can hide the weakness of our height disadvantage), our offensive strategy, and the fact that we'll play few teams until conference play with several bigs, I'd expect Novak to get most of the minutes at "the four."

("The four" in quotation marks for all the reasons listed above).