To The Point: Looking Ahead to the Legends Classic

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I’m impressed. I know this team is young. I know they haven’t played anyone. I know this year will be a learning process and the Big Ten is arguably better top to bottom than it has been in a long time. All these things considered, I’m still impressed.

I feel that’s allowable. You can still be impressed and not get carried away. You can still be proud of the way the team has played and not begin booking your flight for an NCAA Tournament game.

You can applaud Jordan Morgan’s effort on the glass and his ability to finish around the basket in the first three games. You can praise Darius Morris for his OUTSTANDING play, controlling the floor from all angles and finding the best shot for the team on the offensive end. You can appreciate the aggressiveness of freshman Evan Smotrycz and Tim Hardaway Jr. and the leadership and consistency of Zack Novak and Stu Douglass. You can even respect the fact that no opponent has scored 60 points against Michigan’s defense.

We can do all these things, but we must keep a level head. We must take it one day at a time. We must have the same attitude that I’m sure the team has right now: Let’s get better today. If we get better today, it’s a good day. If we don’t get better today, it’s not a good day.

Even though we have to let this team grow, we can still smile along the way. And there’s no question, they have made us smile through the first three games. It’s not even about them winning three straight, it’s about their effort and attitude.

We are leaving today for the Legends Classic in Atlantic City and I’m extremely excited. Syracuse is our first taste of true competition and I can’t wait to see how the team responds. Stay tuned right here throughout the weekend because we’ve got special features and coverage for you. I need your help though. I’m looking for coverage ideas while we’re in Atlantic City. Put your thinking caps on. It doesn’t even have to be about basketball. You want a picture of Darius Morris on the bus. I’ll try to make that happen. You want to know Jordan Morgan’s diet and how he lost 40 pounds over the summer. I’ll try to figure that out for you. Anything and everything. Shoot your ideas to me in the comments. I can’t promise anything but I want to accomplish a few of these tasks for you.

Also, my apparel brand, IMU, is having a Black Friday Sale starting tonight at 12 AM. The sales runs from November 26th-28th and features discounts on ALL product. However, I want to give away a FREE shirt to the UM Hoops audience. So here’s the deal: post a comment below predicting the winner and score of the Michigan/Syracuse game. The person that predicts the winner and the closest score wins the FREE shirt.

David Merritt is a former Michigan basketball captain and played on the 2008-2009 NCAA Tournament Team. David is also the founder of I Miss You, Inc. & The IMU Brand, an apparel company focused on offering high quality product while spreading happiness and bettering communities.

You can reach him in a variety of ways namely through his twitter accountblog, or e-mail.

  • mistersuits

    Syracuse 68 – UM 50

  • Alan

    Go Blue , David

    but regretably
    Syracuse will win
    78 – 63

  • Dr. S

    David,

    I like your attitude about this year’s team.

    I predict our balanced team effort will pull us through in a big upset!

    Michigan 62-57

  • Adam

    Michigan 69, Syracuse 65

    Hardaway drops 21 and D-Mo goes for another double double.

  • peterklima

    David, maybe you could ask who is the best dunker on the team? Maybe find out what they think of the Crisler rennovations?

    Anyway, I predict Syracuse 68 – Michigan 63.

  • Lordfoul

    Syracuse outscores Michigan 76-65.

  • mountain52

    MIchigan beats Syracuse 72-67. Go Blue!

  • http://@ufl.edu Mattski

    65-61, Michigan.

  • JRose

    As usual Dylan and crew, GREAT work! I saw where Yogi Ferrell committed to IU. With the committment of Zeller, Crean could have a very solid squad in the near future. Living in IN, I hate listening to Hoosier fans!
    As for the game, we have to get thru the 1st 10 mins without falling behind. If we can hang early, confidence will grow and who knows what might happen. With the 5 days to prep, I say we pullout a close one, winning it at the line down the stretch.
    GO BLUE!

  • Jerome

    Michigan takes a close one- 59-56

  • Alexander Dobbs

    This post made me smile.

    Michigan 67-Syracuse 64

  • bird

    Syr – 61
    UM – 51

  • jds

    Syr – 68
    UM – 59

  • Eric

    UM-74

    Syracuse-69

  • Mike

    Michigan wins, 66-64

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Gotta say, I’m impressed by the remarkable amount of optimism in this thread.

  • Andy

    David – love the optimism and the insight. I’d love to hear some of the players comment on how facilities actually affect recruiting. I know it gets thrown around a lot, but some real first hand accounts would be interesting to hear. Is a bump in recruiting a realistic expectation after the renovations are complete?

    As for a prediction…

    Syracuse 70
    Michigan 61

  • Andy

    I swear to god I made that prediction before reading the preview and seeing it’s exactly what KenPom predicted.

  • Paul

    Nice read. Good Job David. Young teams are always enjoyable and horrible to watch.

    Cuse – 68
    Michigan – 57

  • Gary

    Michigan 68-63.

    If you can’t be optimistic at this point in the season, when can you be?

  • Slacks

    Syracuse 70, Michigan 63

  • JayRich

    Since everyone has guessed basically everything around my first prediction, I will go another direction.

    Cuse 46 UM 38….defensive battle or more likely neither team can throw it in the ocean despite being in Atlantic City

  • Anthony

    Cuse rolls 74-57 Michigan will keep it close in the first half but the zone will give michigan trouble and cuse has the depth that i still havent seen from the michigan team outside of douglass.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    We should be getting our game thread up soon. Have a little surprise video in there too. UTEP and Georgia Tech are tipping off now.

  • sven

    Cal scored a whopping 5 points in the first half against Notre Dame.

  • sven

    Also does Michigan ever do anything like the Illini and have a high school shootout at Chrysler? Every year they have this big shootout that just happens to be filled with the schools of their commits and recruiting targets.

    For instance…..
    “Illinois recruits Tracy Abrams (Chicago Mount Carmel), Nnanna Egwu (Chicago St. Ignatius) and Mycheal Henry (Chicago Orr) are in the field for the fifth annual 2010 State Farm Shootout at the Hall.”

    and…….

    “— Lanphier features freshman Larry Austin, an Illini target
    — Lee was an Alabama state champ in 2009 and features Illini target Devin Langford
    — Bowman Academy features Illini target DeJuan Marrero.
    — Rantoul is led by Division I target Travis Britt”

    It just seems like it would be a pretty handy recruiting tool.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I think you will start to see something like that, at Crisler… not Chrysler. The key is the practice facility, once that opens next Fall they will have more flexibility to do something like that.

  • J.O.

    Michigan 68- ‘Cuse 66

  • RT

    Michigan 67
    Cuse 62
    GO BLUE!!!

  • Justin

    Cuse 69, Michigan 60

  • drae

    Not a win, but a hard fought close one… Need to come out tomorrow and slap UTEP right in the face right out of the gate… This team will continue to get better as the goes on… GO BLUE!!

  • http://www.imutheinsideout.com David Merritt

    Kevin takes home the free shirt with a prediction of 60-49 Syracuse. So he was 1 point off Michigan’s total and 7 points off Syracuse’s total – So his margin was 8 and that was the lowest :)

    I hope we can do this again soon…thanks for all the predictions. I’ll be emailing you Kevin.

    • kevin

      so pumped, thanks man