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Friday, November 4, 2011

2011-12 BIG Basketball Preview: Michigan

Coach: John Beilein – 67-67 (.500)
Lost:  G Darius Morris
Returning:  G Tim Hardaway Jr, (So), G/F Zack Novak (Sr), G Stu Douglass (Sr),  F Jordan Morgan (So), F Evan Smotrycz (So), F Jon Horford (So), G Matt Vogrich (Jr), F Blake McLimans (Jr)
New faces:  SG Carlton Brundidge(106), PG Trey Buke(142), PF Max Bielfeldt
Tim Hardaway, Jr. performed beyond
Michigan's wildest dreams last year.
Now that expectations have been
raised can he do it again?
Preview:  It’s too bad Darius Morris left for the NBA because if he had stayed one more year in Ann Arbor there would be a lot of talk about how this team could challenge Ohio St. for the Big Ten title.  Now it’s Tim Hardaway’s team and his continued improvements last season make me believe he’s up for the challenge.  A 6’5” guard, Hardaway has a nice outside shot but excels in drawing contact penetrating to the rim.  Hardaway will need to improve his efficiency though if the Wolverines are going to be successful in March. Seniors Zack Novak and Stu Douglass are perfect role players, doing the little things such as rebounding and guarding the opponent’s top player that help take the pressure off the younger guys.  Three of the aforementioned young guys are Jordan Morgan, Evan Smotrycz, and freshman Max Biefeldt who the team expects will bring a presence on the blocks.  Point guard duties will likely fall to Trey Buke, a promising recruit with excellent ball handling skills and a better three point shot than Darius Morris.  Michigan will continue to employ their crazy offense; relying heavily on threes (36.9% of Michigan’s points came on three pointers last season), this team is loaded in guys who will make you pay for leaving them open. Defensively, the Wolverines run a variety of looks including zone and a 1-3-1 which is either highly effective or worthless.  Beilein’s squads have made marked improvement in his time in Ann Arbor and I don’t think this year will be any different.
Shot in the dark at the starting 5:
PG Trey Buke
G Tim Hardaway, Jr
G Stu Douglass
F Zak Novak
F Jordan Morgan
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