Weekend Roundup (8-17-09)

Meet Tim Hardaway Jr.

hardaway-jr-srIsrael Gutierrez wrote a great feature story on Tim Hardaway Jr. and his relationship with his father in the Miami Herald.

The article details the strain that basketball put on their relationship and how Hardaway finally reassessed his approach this winter.

“One day, I just sat up there and looked at the game,” Hardaway said. “When I looked at it it was really my fault. I saw why I almost broke up a happy home. Because I was always on him.”

Their relationship has steadily improved since then and Hardaway Jr. has continued his steady play. Here are two more quotes that stood out:

“You know how people say, `Play the right way?’ He plays the right way,” Hardaway said. “He understands the game inside and out, because I’m always talking to him about it.”

“I definitely see the [NBA] potential in him,” Hardaway said. “But he’s got a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

The whole article is worth a read and you can read it here here.

Best in New England?

smotryczNot quite, however the New England Recruiting Report updated their 2010 rankings and Evan Smotrycz moved up to the #3 slot behind only Nate Lubick (Georgetown) and Gerard Coleman (Providence).

Not only did NERR slide him up their rankings, they also raved about his game.

Evan Smotrycz cracks the top three for the first time and that’s a very deserving honor when you consider the type of AAU season he’s had.  Ever since his commitment to Michigan in the spring Smotrycz has been on an absolute role [sic].  Always dangerous off the catch, the skilled forward has become much better with the ball in his hands and can now consistently create his own shot with the dribble.  Another thing that bodes well from Smotrycz is that he plays his best when the lights are on the brightest.  The proof is in the pudding as he’s played to rave reviews at the Pittsburgh & Providence Jam Fests this year in addition to the Rumble in the Bronx and NBA Players Camp.

There is no doubt that Smotrycz and Hardaway are a very good start to the class of 2010, but adding Zeigler or Prather would take the class from very good to one of the best to head to Ann Arbor for a long time.

Ethics Committee

AnnArbor.com’s Mike Rothstein has jumped head first into the Michigan basketball beat. This weekend he put together an intriguing series of pieces discussing John Beilein and the ethics committee. The three pieces include Beilein’s goals for the committee, how Beilein’s past has led him to the committee, and finally a look at what other coaches would like to see.

The problem with addressing “ethics” in college basketball is that there are simply too many issues to tackle. Beilein realizes it’s a slow process, and change won’t come overnight, but he also doesn’t want to committee to do any policing. Because the NCAA doesn’t have much policing ability to begin with, I think the whole idea is a bit hollow. You can make as many rules as you want, but at the end of the day the NCAA just doesn’t have the power to enforce many of them.

The committee will have no shortage of issues to talk about. Whether it’s selling “programs” at AAU events that cost several hundred dollars, the Nate Miles situation at UConn, or the precarious Renardo Sidney situation. Since the committee is focusing on education, maybe they could teach Rick Pitino a lesson too.

My issue with the NCAA is that there are so many of these stories (these are just a couple from the last several months) but we hardly ever see any punishment handed down for things that seem like real issues at high-major schools. But, never fear punishment is on the way… for Southeast Missouri State. SEMO is being slapped with three years of probation, scholarship reductions, and vacation of wins from 2006-2008. Why the punishment?

The committee found that the impermissible presence of men’s basketball coaching staff members during summer strength and conditioning activities and observation of out-of-season pick-up games occurred in 2006 and 2007. The committee also found that impermissible extra benefits were given to two men’s basketball student-athletes: one in the amount of $239 for unpaid institutional fees in August 2007, and the other when the former assistant coach drove a student-athlete 171 miles from campus to Memphis in October 2006.

A ride, $300, and coaches watching pickup games.

Manny Makes Andy Katz’ Wooden Watch List

manny-clemson manny-airplane

Manny made Andy Katz’ list of 50 players to watch for the Wooden award in 2009-10. He wasn’t fortunate enough to make Katz’ top 15 though, although three other Big Ten players did, Hummel (5), Lucas (6), and Turner (12).

If you want to start thinking about this year’s schedule, Katz calls Kansas the consensus #1 team in the country and they number one and three players on the list in Aldrich and Collins. Speaking of the Kansas game, Jeff Goodman listed the Michigan/Kansas game as one of his top non-conference games of 2009-10. He’s understandably not too keen on Michigan’s chances in Lawrence:

The Wolverines knocked off Duke and UCLA last year, but this would be mammoth if they could go to Lawrence and pull off the upset.

The Michigan/UConn game also made the list and Michigan’s game against Boston College qualifies as one of the “next 40″.

Schedule Updates

Finalized schedules are due out this week but the Cedar Raids Gazette got a hold of Iowa’s schedule. Per a tweet from Mark Snyder, Michigan will host Iowa on January 30th at 3:30 PM and travel to Iowa City for a game on February 16th at 8 PM.

More Links

  • Brad

    really good article on Hardaway…and i think the journalist might be on to something with the weight of his dad’s criticism off his shoulders…add to that the pressure of choosing a school being removed and Hardaway Jr. might be able to rapidly improve and reach that potential his father sees…i got a feeling he might turn into a special player

  • Gary

    Nice story on the Hardaways. As a parent, I can relate to the problems Hardaway Sr. has had trying to find a positive way to work with his son. Those who have commented negatively here about reports of Tim Jr.’s raw skills may not understand how hard it is for many parents to teach their own kids. I look forward to seeing Tim Jr. on the court and Tim Sr. in the stands.

  • Kyle

    That article on LLP is a breath of fresh air. Glad to see he’s putting the necessary work in and that he’s a potential replacement for the floor leadership we lost last year in Lee and Merritt.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Nothing but positive things day after day for the Michigan basketball program. I’m absolutely foaming at the mouth to see some of the improvements a year makes on our young players. I’m more excited about the upcoming season than even the arrival of football and I can’t remember the last time I felt that.

  • Dave

    we know what manny and deshawn are going to bring to the table but picture an even better version of the both of them…..thats pretty scary………….however im very excited to see what llp, darius and stu bring to the table, way more than anybody else……..it is extremely encouraging news about llp (to bad stu couldnt make it to the PGC) nonetheless positive news about stu as well, and darius could really make this team extremely fun to watch as long as darius picks up the system farely well………i consider these 3 guys the key guys for this upcoming season……..these 3 will determine a lot of this team i believe……….and maybe getting anywhere from decent to solid play from one of the bigs and this team is very very dangerous…….its going to be a fun year for michigan basketball

  • Erik

    I agree about the NCAA not having enough resources to effectively police all teams. However, as you pointed out it is counter productive to let big programs walk with violations. If the NCAA ever wants to seriously crack down on ethics, they would punish programs (big or small) proportionally according to their infractions. Since we know this won’t happen any time soon, the ethics committee is a bit of a joke.

    Kudos for Coach B heading the group, but I’m a bit jaded about any real ability to drive change. And, not for the constraints of policing, but because of the NCAA’s decisions on who to enforce against. The USC/Mayo case is pretty well a slam dunk (no pun intended) and I bet they let USC slide. It’s a travesty, but it’s how the business works.

  • gandhi

    what are the odds that if manny has a good year (as expected) that he returns for his senior year???

  • Brick

    I don’t think it’s a given that he’s leaving if he has a good season. I have yet to see him labeled a “lock” for the first round and I think he’s smart enough to know he shouldn’t come out unless he will be drafted fairly high in the first round.

  • gpsimms

    http://www.wtka.com/index.php?fuseaction=home.podcasts_sel&id=1966

    Sam talks about the scholarship situation as it regards to the wings in 10 and 11. He thinks we only take two more in two years. In other words, if we land one or Prather/Zeigler, we only have room for one of Kearney/Brundidge. It’s nothing we didn’t already know, but it’s worth a listen anyway.

    No one can blame Beilein, because the team was in such desperate shape in the first year, but I can’t help but feel like he might regret some of the offers he threw out early on. It will be unfortunate if we don’t have room for a Brundidge type because of guys getting buried in the depth chart like McClimans.

    Now, we all know Beilein has no problem with playing small. Is it possible that if they don’t land a Plumlee caliber big in 2011 that they do take another wing? Would Gibson qualify as a big for Beilein? He’s said before he thought it would be fun to have a starting five of all 6’6″ or so guys.

  • Kenny

    gpsimms, you are too quick to judge McClimans. He could be the surprise of the 2009 class. A tall shooter with 7-1 wing-span, and with good vertical leaping, timing and body control, he could be a elite blocker and rebounder in a couple of years.

  • El Capitan

    I also believe McLimans will be a great surprise. Beilein wont force him to post up, but instead will let him float around the perimeter and knock down some 3’s. He’s going to be a very tall power forward playing like a small forward.

    I also think Morgan will be the dud of the 09 class, not only because he is extremely overrrated, but also because of this knee injury that I think will set him way back. Unlike McLimans, who has great height and length, Morgan is shorter and stronger (and he isn’t even THAT strong). He has no range and apparently has lapses in effort, which simply won’t fly next year on this team.

    Having said that, I think both will redshirt this year and we won’t see them until next fall…

  • ZRL

    El Capitan, try not to be so harsh on Morgan. His Mom does read this blog you know.

  • Brad

    gotta disagree capitan…i dont think morgan will be a dud…not every player on the court has to be able to shoot the 3 ball well..it helps to have a workhorse inside and from what i have seen morgan is plenty strong going into college. i cannot comment on lapses in effort, but if so it was still in high school ball. coaches develop players in college and beilein does a solid job getting players to give 100%.

    A good example would be msu’s draymond green. in high school, he was slow, heavy, and did not always put forth the effort. but look at what he did last year for the spartans and i bet he will be a force in the coming years unfortunately…

  • I Love John Beilein

    Morgan’s gonna be good to have. He’s a banger and there’ll be times when he’ll be needed. it’s way too early to count him out.

  • Kenny

    Morgan may not become an all conference player, but he is a smart kid, and smart kid always finds way to contribute to his team. Coming into 2010, it would be interesting to see how Beilein replace Peedi for the post position. Neither Smotz nor McLimans plays the post. Cronin and Morgan will share the minutes. Even if Cronin starts, we need Morgan to be his main backup. Given the situation, maybe Beilein should go after Nate Lubick if he decommits.

  • JBlair52

    El Capitan – no offense but I think you’re way off. I’m not saying Morgan will be a star but he’s got a good build and a good work ethic. He has nice footwork near the hoop and COULD become a good rebounder.

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