The Upcoming Basketball Season...

Submitted by Webber's Pimp on October 14th, 2010 at 10:24 AM

So what does everybody think about this years squad? Can we expect 15+ wins this year? 

I'll say this about our squad, we're as deep as we've ever been. Practically every position has 3 guys battling for a job. That kind of competition should pay off down the line. I actually feel good about this team...

I'm sure we'll have our ups and downs but it helps to be able to send waves of players out there. EVen if some of them make limited contributions. This is particularly true at the 4 and 5 positions where you can use up fouls and bang down low. Ultimately our success will ride on the ability to hit from outside. Looking ahead to next year we'll have CB, TB, and possibly DP. That is a massive influx of talent. And we haven't even discussed the possibility of adding Amir Williams...Anybody who's not happy w/ the current state of the program hasn't been paying attention.



October 14th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

I think the success and enjoyability of this season is going to be in the eye of the beholder.  I don't think they'll win 15 games.  I do think that we'll see a lot of growth from the young guys and a lot of teamwork.  They also won't be so frustratingly undersized this year...I'm looking forward to the season but I don't think a winning season is a realistic expectation until next year. 

kind of a big deal

October 14th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

Is it really considered depth if they're all just mediocre?  I'm saying mediocre because some players are just not great, others have high potential but need develop.

Hope I'm wrong in my assessment, but I'm thinking it's going to be another rough year.  


October 14th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

This team could win seven games and it could win twenty.  It could be THE surprise team of the year, sorta like Butler's team of tweeners a few years ago, or it could get the living crap beaten out of it in the BT on a regular basis. 

I'm guessing it's somewhere in the middle.  The shooting percentages should go back up, and they won't be able to stand around and wait for Manny to do something.  The trip to Europe had to help.  They will probably spring a few upsets, and lose to a few teams we think they "should" beat. 

This year, I think anything over .500 would be a very, very good year. 

Webber's Pimp

October 14th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

Consider the progression in terms of Beilein's recruiting classes:

2007 - Manny Harris (early departure); Kelvin Grady (left team to play football);  Note that Coach B had to hang on to these Amaker recruits initially; Alex Legion was a casualty due to the coaching change. 

2008 - Stu Douglas; Zack Novak; Ben Cronin (no longer on the roster due to injury)

2009-  Darius Morris; Jordan Morgan; Matt Vogrich; Blake McLimas; 

2010-  Tim Hardaway; John Horford; Evan Smotrycz; Colton Christian

2011 - Carlton Brundridge; Trey Burke; Dom Pointer (?); Amir Williams (?)

As you can see the classes are getting better and this should lead to much better results on the court. One thing we know about Beilein is the can man coach.

Phil Davison

October 14th, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

Is obviously going to be a huge issue. Will Matt Vogrich be able to become the shooter everyone wanted him to be? That would require him playing defense which at his size (from last year) is a tough task. Gotta love the hustle in this team though, Novak is the scrappiest player in the Big 10, Stu Douglass plays hard, as well, and those guys will provide great leadership. IMO, leadership will be a key strength of this team. Those guys have been contributors on a NCAA qualifying team, they learned under CJ Lee and Merritt, so there's no reason to believe they won't fill those roles that seemed somewhat lost on Manny and DeShawn last year.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

I love the guys on this team. I think they've got a lot of character and heart, and there should be a lot of maturity and leadership as well. I'm just not sure if that's going to translate into wins against B10 teams that have more talent.

Maize Rage

October 14th, 2010 at 10:58 AM ^

Thanks for starting this post, I love talking basketball!

Outside of the Legends Classic and the ACC/B10 challenge, the OOC schedule is very easy. I expect 8-9 OOC wins and 6-7 conference wins. Overall, an NIT invitation or a strong run in the B10 tourney would be a successful season for this group of players.

I am bummed there is no midnight celebration to start off the season though…


October 14th, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

I dont think most folks realize the amount of wins that are easily available in the OOC sltate.

I think folks remember being .500 (or was it one game below .500) a year ago heading into league play. That wont be the case this season. It should be more than enough padding to the record to get into the NIT, as long as they dont totally collapse and pull of a 4-win league season or something.

UTEP--the likely consolation game in the Legends Classic, held the Saturday night of the OSU/MICH game

Utah---at home, the Friday night before the Big Chill.

Those are the swing games. Win those and they're probably, what, 9-2 heading into Big 10 play. I'll take that. Lot of confidence building, hopefully


October 14th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

for this team but it doesn't seem likley at this point.  So much youth and inexperience its hard to expect many of them to develop right away.  See e.g., 2010 UM Secondary. 


October 14th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

Seems about right to me.  But more importantly will be to see if Mclimans and Morgan can develop into bigs that can play in the B10 and if Hardaway and Smotrycz can becone letigimate top dog type players on a tourney tean down the road.  Should be a fun season, no expectation just hoping that some youngs can start to develop.


October 14th, 2010 at 11:15 AM ^

This is a bad team.

Beilein has failed epicly on the recruiting trail for 3 years.

We're about to reap the rewards of that failure.

Now is the winter of our discontent.


October 14th, 2010 at 11:38 AM ^

I guess you're right if by "failed epicly" you mean recruiting three top 100 players (Morris, Vogrich, and Smotrycz) in the last two classes along Hardaway, who was on the fringe of the top 100.

Beilein already has two top 100 recruits locked up for the class of 2011 (Brundidge and Burke) and is in very good shape for a third--Pointer (see this article).

This team has a lot more talent than is generally believed--and will be even more talented next year.

(EDIT: I didn't neg you.)


October 14th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

I have been a rabid fan since the Ellerbe years.  This is nothing new to me.   I have gone into Crisler and rooted for some bad teams in the past.  If I am wrong, and Morris, Vogrich, Smotrycz, and Brundidge squeak into the tournament two or three years from now NO ONE will be happier or more surprised. 


October 14th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

Kudos to you for being a rabid fan during such a tough stretch. I've been a rabid fan for much longer, so at least I've witnessed some very good seasons (along with the recent bad ones).

As far as the tournament goes, I'll be disappoiinted if the team doesn't get in fairly comfortably in 2012.


October 14th, 2010 at 11:40 AM ^

If this team shoots for a higher 3p% than last season's team, it will be better than last season's team, even with the losses of Manny and Peedi. Novak and Douglass are too good to repeat last season's performances, IME. Novak, especially, will be helped by playing more SG. From reports out of Summer practice, it sounds like Hardaway is already looking like the go-to guy that can create his own shot. 

Smotrycz and McLimans will be the wildcards. If those two can get the other team's bigs out on the perimeter and knock down threes consistently, we'll be able to pull out a couple upsets of the upper tier B10 teams.

Mitch Cumstein

October 14th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

but I'm pretty pessimistic. Beilein has been a little bit of a disappointment to me, and I have a terrible feeling this this will be his worst year. The one solid year he had, we had two outstanding players and some decent depth. I feel like some players have regressed since then, and we don't have as much talent. I think we'll have less than 6 b10 wins this year, and I think we'll get out-rebounded in over 3/4 or our games this season.

I think when its all said and done, outside of a 2 wins (one that got us into the tourney and one win in the tourney), Beilein's tenure as M coach will look very similar to Amaker's except with more scholarship players and less total wins.

Just my opinion, and I feel like this is the place to share it. Trust me, I have nothing against Beilein and would love to see him have a surprise year and prove me wrong. Like I said, this is just me being honest.


October 14th, 2010 at 12:57 PM ^

A beating around here is hardly likely given the general negativity about the basketball team on this site.

I'd be curious to know who you think has regressed? I find this an odd criticism of Beilein, especially when you're making comparisons to Amaker, because it was under Amaker that players notably regressed over the course of their careers. Prime example: Courtney Sims.

It seems particularly unfair when Beilein's first U-M recruiting class (Novak and Douglass) is just beginning their junior year. Isn't this sort of criticism a bit premature?

And, by the way, if Novak is one of the "regressers," how about if we see how he does when he's playing a position that actually suits his size?

Kilgore Trout

October 14th, 2010 at 12:21 PM ^

I am predicting an 11-18 (4-12) season after a quick look at the schedule.  I don't see how they can stack up in this year's Big Ten and excpect to win more than four games.  Penn State and Iowa at home look winnable and Beilein seems to have Tubby's number for some reason.  Maybe they'll get a win against Indiana at Northwestern at home, but I'm not overly optimistic.  I see them losing Syracuse, UTEP, Clemson, Oakland, Utah, and Kansas in the non-conference. 

Unfortunately, this is basically the same as Amaker's fourth season.  I had and still somewhat have high hopes for Beilein, but aside from the clutch win at Minnesota that sent them to the tournament in '09, his record is indistinguishable from Amaker's. 

In general, I'm not a fan of systems that require certain types of players.  A coach should get the best players possible and run a scheme that fits their strengths.  This is an offense that is predicated on outside shooting that can't hit the broad side of a barn and a trapping defense that has so far lacked the athleticism at the top and bottom of the 1-3-1 to be effective.   I was most disappointed in how Beilein handled Kelvin Grady.  He may not have fit the system perfectly and had some defensive deficiencies, but he was a good ball handler, distributer, could hit the open three at a reasonable percentage and was quicker than anyone UM has had on the court in years.  I know Dylan at umhoops liked to say he didn't think Grady could get to the basket, but I disagree with that.

Recruiting wise, sure, Vogrich and Morris were considered top 100 guys, but anyone who saw them play knows that was an error on the recuiting site's part.  Basically, I'll take raw physical talent over a specified "system" guy any day.  Talent wins big time basketball.

So that's what I have to say about that.  I love this team and have had season tickets since the Fab Five, but I'm just not optimistic.

Kilgore Trout

October 14th, 2010 at 9:59 PM ^

I don't "know" that they won't live up to their billing, but if you're taking bets, let's gamble.  I've watched a ton of Big Ten basketball over the last 25 years and seen a lot of freshmen come through.  I watched those guys play and that's my opinion.  I certainly hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.


October 15th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

I'll bet you 100 MGoPoints...

But seriously, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we--and that was precisely my point.

I brought up Beilein's top 100 recruits earlier in this thread mainly because I'm tired of the constant complaining on this site about Beilein's recruiting. Even if he lands Pointer, which would probably put U-M's 2011 class into the top 15 nationally, these complainers will ratchet up their demands to another level, perhaps saying "When will Beilein start bringing in top 50 players?"

So it goes.

Blue boy johnson

October 14th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

Going to be playing Belien ball this year. Coach seems genuinely excited to have the players to fit his system.

Belien must have high expectations for Hardaway and Smot, because he virtually said they would be starters this season. Appears Morris and Vogrich will be the primary backups in the back-court.

Very good chance M starts 3 Freshmen and two Juniors. Watching the presser, it was pretty clear to me, Hardaway, Smot, and Mclimans/Morgan are going to be starting in the front-court. 3 freshman on the front-line, this is going to be interesting.

Out of the 4 and 5 spots it looks to be a rotation of 5 freshmen, there is going to be a lot of fouling going on, especially in the early goings.


October 14th, 2010 at 6:27 PM ^

The Big Ten is absolutely LOADED this year, with MSU, Purdue, and OSU in the top 5 nationally, Illinois and Wisconsin in the top 25, and Minnesota and Northwestern with pretty good teams.

It's a deep, mean conference, which is unfortunate for a young team.


October 14th, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

I think we're only going to see between 10-15 wins. Just not enough experience and talent to overcome the tough schedule. What I'm looking for is improvement as the season progresses. Hopefully its enough to see the recruits like we've seen lately keep on coming.