UM Hoops vs Western Michigan Tuesday 8:30PM Crisler Big Ten Network

Submitted by ClearEyesFullHart on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Looks like Steve Hawkins just had a baby.

  No, not that Steve Hawking.   Western Michigan’s basketball coach.  His wife went into labor just before Western’s tip-off with Oakland.  NTSteve Hawkins has been a fixture on the sidelines for Western Michigan for a decade, and even the birth of his second child wasn’t going to stop him from leading the Broncos to a good Grizzly smackdown.  The 76-72 win moved Western to 6-1, with their only imperfection coming in their first game against a bad Cornell team.  That’ll happen when 3 of your best players are freshmen.

     NTSteve Hawkins thought he had it made with a solid team last year…Until nearly the entire team took their turn on the injured list.  Western would go on to have a disappointing year, 14-20.  In the offseason they lost Mike Douglas, Demetrius Ward, Flenard Whitfield, and Matt Stainbrook to graduation and/or transfer.  Those that stayed got a chance to build chemistry with some talented freshmen on a whirlwind tour/4 game exhibition fest in Italy, France and Monaco. 

The team we will see on Tuesday doesn’t look much like the one Kalamazoo watched last year.  And Broncos fans are happy for that.

     The Broncos, much like the Wolverines, have seen a major  infusion of talent in the offseason.  Brandon Paul’s baby brother Darius (6-8 freshman forward)   has injected a lot of athleticism into the front court, as well as adding 12 points and 6 rebounds to the cause. 


6-1 freshman point guard Jared Klein takes some of the ball handling pressure off of Austin Richie. 

Klein averages 2 steals to go with his 6 points and 3 boards, and helps to space the floor with his outside shooting (.429 behind the arc).  6-5 freshman swingman Connar Tara chips in with 3 points and 3 boards as well as 20 minutes of solid defense.

     Preseason all Mac West 6-7 senior forward Nate Hutcheson returns as the Broncos best player. 

He is averaging 14 points and 5 boards, scoring inside as well as out(.333 from behind the arc).  6-4 senior guard Brandon Pokley has been absolutely killing opponents from downtown, shooting a blistering .455(on about 5 attempts/g) from deep. 

6-2 sophomore point guard Austin Richie leads the Broncos in assists(4) and chips in from behind the arc shooting .316 from downtown.  6-10 junior center Shane Wittington leads the team in rebounds with about 9(WMU has outrebounded its meager opponents 37-29ish).  Wittington also chips in 10 points and is always a threat to erase shots in the post(6 blocks in his last game against Oakland).

     The Broncos are a nice team, and I think they will be very competitive in the MAC.  They’ve beat Oakland at home and South Florida on the road.  Obviously if #10 Bandon Pokley is getting open shots on the perimeter it’s going to hurt.  But yeah,

  And obviously Shane Wittington and Darius Paul are getting it done in the post…but yeah,

.  They’ve got some nice players, but you look at this team, and you look at our team, and there is a certain degree of “Anything you can do, Michigan can do better”.  And I think  this is what we will see on Tuesday.

     82-65 Michigan wins.

Go Blue! 



December 3rd, 2012 at 7:18 AM ^

Thanks for the analysis. I always enjoy reading these and hopefully we play much better then how we played on Saturday. I know it was our first road game, but we looked sloppy throughout much of the game. I go to Ball State so I want to see how good Western Michigan is since they are in the Mac West and Ball State will have to play them this year as well.


December 3rd, 2012 at 12:40 PM ^

Thank you OP.  I really look forward to and appreciate your basketball previews.  

Not sure why you got downvoted unless perhaps the quality of the free work & analysis you provide is not quite up to the demanding standards some posters require.


December 3rd, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

The preview itself is good information.  My reasoning for downvoting was because including any pictures of a debilitated Stephen Hawking is just unneccessary and an invitation for the board's lower percentile to start a troll war.  OP trying to be clever, I get that, but this was a ginormous reach.  The guys don't even share the same last name.


December 3rd, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

Since I literally have no points and this is almost related since your title clearly states UM Hoops...I just want to give everyone a quick reminder. The AMAZING basketball resource has been looking for some donations to help cover their costs when they travel to watch the team play as well as on the recruiting trail. They keep a great blog over there and I have followed them for a few years now. I was hoping they would continue to grow (exponentially) with the bball team...but they still need some help. Their goal was to raise $10,000 and so far they have about $7,600. They are a great Michigan bball resource that could really use our help. Is the MGoCommunity up to the task?