And We're Off: SVSU Pre-Game

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Basics
WHAT: Michigan vs. Saginaw Valley St (ex)
WHEN: November 6th, 7 PM EST
WHERE: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
TV: ONLINE
AUDIO: WCBN
Tickets: Of course they are available! Students also get in free with M-Card.

The second season of the Beilein era tips off (exhibition style) tonight. The most painful thing we have learned this off season (not Ekpe’s transfer, Lubick’s surprise commitment to Georgetown, or anything else) is that there is not a lot of info coming out of Camp Beilein. In the Amaker era there were open gym reports constantly, at the very least these gave us something to talk about all summer. Although, after hearing how well Courtney played in open gym year after year maybe it’s better to not build up expectations. The bottom line is no one really knows how much this team improved. We will finally start to understand the situation and be able to discuss the team beyond blind speculation after tonight.

There is a long interview with Beilein on MGoBlue.com but the embed code just won’t work. It’s on the right side of this page under Multimedia. The starting lineup is still up in the air but here are my predictions for tomorrow:

  • PG: David Merritt
  • SG: Stu Douglass
  • WF: Manny Harris
  • PF: DeShawn Sims
  • C: Zack Gibson

The two guys I almost threw in there are Zack Novak and Anthony Wright. These are just hunches though so let’s hear your predictions too.

There are some pretty good quotes from CJ Lee’s latest blog on MGoBlue:

“We want to come into this game like we do every other game and that’s with a strong mindset that we are going to make a statement” added Kelvin Grady. “We’re going to let people know, and let ourselves know, that we can play with anyone in the country. We can play hard, we can play smart and we can play together and overall we are going to have fun.”

I don’t think Michigan is going to prove that they can play with anyone in the country tomorrow but there are still some things to look for. Here is a quick list:

  • The freshman: This is Cronin’s test run, the staff has to make a decision regarding a red shirt so his play will be important. If he looks outmatched by a smaller Saginaw team, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him red shirt.There is a place for at least one of Stu Douglass and Zack Novak to get big minutes, and probably start. How does Stu look? Is he more than a shooter? Does Zack looked slimmed down? Is he playing at the two or the three? The freshman are going to be the most intriguing cog to watch early in the season because they are going to have their numbers called a lot in my opinion.
  • Point guard: Who is getting a majority of the minutes? Merritt, Kelvin, and CJ will all probably play some point guard and shooting guard. Who looks the most comfortable running the team? Who holds onto the ball?
  • Saginaw’s inexperience: Looking at Saginaw’s roster it appears they only return 2 full time starters from last year, both senior guards. Their roster also includes 8 freshman. This is a 12-14 GLIAC team, not like the Grand Valley team that beat MSU en route to a 36-1 season last year.
  • The 1-3-1 Zone: Without Ekpe I expect the 1-3-1 to be featured much more than last year when it was basically scrapped half way through the season because we couldn’t stop anyone with it.
  • DeShawn Sims: Does he play inside or out? DeShawn should be able to get any shot whenever he wants against a team like Saginaw, however it will be obvious whether he makes an effort to take his game to the post.

I’m not worried about the final score but I expect a result similar to last years Ferris State game (a 78-40 win). Remember last year Michigan coasted past Ferris State, Radford, and Brown before being sent hurtling back to reality against Georgetown. This year the first real test with be Northeastern in my opinion, clearly an easier game than Georgetown, and a game we should be favored in but still a tough game against a quality team.

We will also get our first glimpse of whether any of the student ticket policies are working. Any student gets in free with an M-Card, and students who bought tickets better be there if they want their giftcards and clothes.

Other Pre-Game Links:

One thing I want to see increase on this blog is comments during games, last year there wasn’t a lot of discussion during the game. So if you are on your computer watching the game come here and leave your thoughts. I’m also planning to do a “live blog” for a couple big road games.

  • KG’s

    if david merritt starts, i will be disappointed beyond belief. that will be like giving up on the season before it even starts. I don’t understand why people are so ahrd on grady, he is clearly the only one with any D1 tools. If merritt/lee take too many minutes, then I will be counting down the minutes to LLP, and then to darius, because a merritt/lee led team can never be good.

    p.s. all players named kg are ballers right?

  • Well, the starters in an exhibition game aren’t necessarily the starters for the season. And I’m sure Beilein will do plenty of tinkering and trying out different combination throughout the game.

    And I’m just throwing out my guess…

  • josh

    KG better start

  • Giddings

    No love for CJ? Inside reports are that he’s the true leader of the team. It was hard to tell last year though if he was better as a starter or as a backup.

  • Steele

    I’m looking for KG to start. Hopefully he’s improved enough over the off-season to make things happen this year.

  • KG’s

    don’t get me wrong. ive read the things lee has written on his blog. mentally, i do like the kid, but there’s no comparison in their stat lines. grady has more potential as a scorer and their t:a is the same.

    lee can still be a huge team presence leader type from off the bench. mentally, i like him; he just isnt a d-1 talent.

  • umdcbball

    I understand what you are saying, KG’s. I hope that Grady has improved enough to take the reigns of this team too, he does have the most upside of any of the three.

    But I wouldn’t say that Lee is not a D-1 talent. There are a lot of D-1 basketball teams and I think he could contribute on the court to at least half of them and start on a quarter of them. I mean there are whole bunch of small D-1 conferences out there, full of tiny schools people haven’t heard of.

  • Rob

    Invited to listen to the game tonight on the wcbn sports stream, available on wcbn.org. our live coverage of michigan-saginaw valley state begins at 6:50pm, 10 minutes before wtka and bigtennetwork.com.

  • jBdub

    Re Cronin: JB said in the interview on the front page of mgoblue.com that they have until 30% of the season to decide whether or not to redshirt him. I think, though he didn’t elaborate, this is because he’s behind due to injury.

  • Steele

    Beilein said something similar on his WTKA interview today. Cronin will play a little tonight, but JB didn’t sound very confident that he’ll be ready to go this season. Sounds like he’ll be red shirting. He also refused to give out the starting lineup saying fans will have to show up to find out who’s playing. I guess I can wait another couple hours to see…

  • BL11

    team looks in good shape but not playing all that great….feed is average at best. what does everyone else think?

  • Pete

    The feed was great but now it sucks balls. Probably more people on it and its slowly down. Seems like a lot of turn overs and manny isn’t playing that well.

  • ryan

    they look horrible.

  • Corey

    I cant stand this feed , im going to lose my mind

  • BL11

    It better be altered for Sav St and FGCU games…(and others throughout the b11) or else they might want to reconsider this option…maybe for archiving games for re-viewing…but not only option live games.

  • duffy

    Douglass looks pretty good, Sims and Gibson have been decent, too. Novack looks slow but had that nice 3. Manny and the point guard play ahs been unimpressive

  • Corey

    yeah did it like freeze for anyone right now?

  • hoosierine

    yeah this feed is bad news…good to see them hitting threes, otherwise, looks pretty bad

  • BBall

    I’ve been watching in spurts but saw Navak, Stu(2), Merrit (2) and Gibson all hit 3’s! and Deshawn make a layup!

  • Kevin in GR

    Well, can’t take too much from the 1st half of an exhibition game, but I will try :)

    The offense seems to be flowing better. Perimeter defense was pretty poor. The freshman’s 3pt shots look nice! Manny not doing much at all, with Deshawn doing a few good things. Neither Wright nor Grady did much, but Merritt seemed solid at the point. Gibson doesn’t look too bad and appears in better shape than last year too.

  • BL11

    Novak stayed on his man as good as the other guys…unless you were referring to a certain time where he looked slow….cuz i didn’t see it and that was one of the things i was looking for tonight.

  • Dylan

    at the game…

    Stu looks solid, beyond the threes he looks alot more confident with the ball than Novak and has made some nice passes.

    Nothing from Manny except playing poor d.

    Peedi got two post touches and scored both and didn’t get the ball again down there.

    Merritt looks the best at the one and has made open shots.

    Just a couple thoughts I’ll have more after the game.

  • BL11

    DSims had back to back post moves that looked nice…we will need more of that throughout the year.

  • hoosierine

    whichever pg can create some shots, i mean for themselves, will be the best one. one of them needs to be at least a tiny scoring threat to set others up….hate to say it, but that looks like merritt right now.

    also, think dsims can finish like this against real competition? some nice inside moves so far…

  • Corey

    i cant get the game to turn back on , its like froze.

  • duffy

    maybe slow for novack was a little hasty, as Dylan said Douglass looks confident, I don’t get that vivbe from Novack and he looks thicker bodied then I expected…it’s the first preseaon game of the year, we’ll see, I’m not trying to get down on anyone, I guess that was just my impression.

  • UMDC

    The game’s not working for me either.

  • michiganman777

    is it halftime? is that why the feed isnt working?

  • Kevin in GR

    Yeah, I’m having some difficulties with the game too. There is a blue circle in the middle. I’m not getting audio either. I get the opening Jimmy John’s commercials just fine though!

  • hoosierine

    i’m just listening on mgoblue now, b10net has some work to do on these, eyt. too bad, its a great idea.

  • Kevin in GR

    The 2nd half has started. I’m listening through MGoBlue.com
    http://www.mgoblue.com/Multimedia/MultimediaCenter.aspx?id=154594&categoryId=81860

  • UMDC

    Yeah, the Jimmy John’s commercials come in load and clear.

  • michiganman777

    COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.. This is BS

  • michiganman777

    is it working for ANYONE?

  • Corey

    nope its annoying

  • Kevin in GR

    Audio is now working for me through BTN, but video is still frozen

  • michiganman777

    its working!

  • Kevin in GR

    WOOO HOOO! Working for me too…..for now anyways.

  • michiganman777

    the game is now playing in fast foward and obviously behing in real game time. Im not complaining though as long as I can watch.

  • michiganman777

    noooooooooooooooooo

  • duffy

    Matt Shepherd and Jimmie King saying LAvall Lucas Perry looking “exceptionally sharp” in practice, good to hear

  • Kevin in GR

    I have DSL and am watching/listening with the 750 KBPS option at the bottom. It seems to be in sync with this option, but wasn’t with 1500

  • Pete

    Sims is a beast

  • duffy

    They look a lot better in the 2nd half, what i’ve seen of it.

  • michiganman777

    Sims played awesome..

  • Kevin in GR

    Random stats and observations: UM 81, SVSU 55. UM shot 48% vs 35% for SVSU. UM 13 Turnovers vs 22 for SVSU. Sims 19pt, 9 reb in only 27 min. Douglass 9pt, 6 asst. Harris 16pt, 4 reb, 3 asst in 31 min. Wright 6pt, 6 reb. Much better 2nd half than the first!

  • UMDC

    Just one exhibition game, but I feel a lot better about the shooting. Stu and Zack seem like real threats from downtown and it seemed like Wright was better too. Wright also seemed like a nice wide body that could get some rebounds.

  • WTHEF?

    I completely agree with UMDC’s comments about Stu, Zack, and Wright. I thought Cronin looked like he could definitely have a role on this team and bring a dimension that we don’t have. Unfortunately it seems like his hip is still bothering him quite a bit. He walks and runs like he has one leg longer than the other because of the issue with his hip. If his hip will continue to improve during the year – I would say lets play him because in 5 years he will be a real good player but we should have a deep team. We need his size now. Plus I think it will make him a better player next year if he gets some minutes this year. However, if it is only going to get worse or not improve, we might want to take the hit and sit him.