Tuesday Links

Dylan Burkhardt
  • Bob Cousy Award Nominees
    A list of the 66 finalists for the nation’s best point guard doesn’t include Darius Morris — the guy who ranks 3rd nationally in assist rate and is scoring 15 points per game. Go figure.
  • Observations from the week that was
    Eamonn Brennan with some thoughts on Michigan thus far: “Michigan will stay out of the Big Ten cellar. The Wolverines aren’t exactly setting the world ablaze, but they’re significantly better than the doom and gloom that preceded this season.”
  • U-M’s Jordan Morgan lifts game with hard work
    “He grew up loving Michigan because I did,” Meredith said. “We didn’t really know he was going to Michigan until he was offered. He really didn’t believe it at first. When we told him that Coach Beilein was calling, Jordan asked, ‘For what?’
  • All about the Big Ten: Blue renewal
    Jason King joins the uncomfortably large group of people writing positive things about Michigan. I miss the days when they were writing things like “Is it time to give up on John Beilein?” over the summer.
  • Format C:
    Brian shares his thoughts on the hoops season thus far
  • The Bartelstein Blog: Entry 15, Big Win, Dancing with Stars and Fantasy Breakdowns
    Bartelstein discusses Eso and Corey dancing as well as fantasy football
  • NCAA makes example out of Izzo, UConn women’s streak and more
    The ‘more’ includes this nugget: “I realize it hasn’t come against top competition, but Michigan sophomore point guard Darius Morris has had a nice recent stretch. In the seven games since he laid an egg in a loss to Syracuse, Morris is averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 assists. He had 18 and five in Saturday’s win over Oakland.”
  • Area boys basketball squads hitting their strides
    “Trey Burke is the best point guard in the state. I hate to go back, but you can’t overlook the fact that he’s gone against Corey Joseph who’s starting at University of Texas and Nick Johnson (and other college players). (Burke) held his own against those guys and he’s still in high school. And these guys are playing starting roles in the top 20 teams in the country Division-I college.  “Trey Burke can hold his own. The saddest part was that he lived in the shadows of Jared (Sullinger) last year. The bottom line is that Trey Burke is a winner.”

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  • Kenny

    Good effort to dig out the old articles by those idiots. I never had any respect to any sports writer. It is a job that every high school graduate is capable of doing.

    not to dismiss the emergence of Morris as an elite PG, but Jordan Morgan, by far, is the biggest surprise of the season. Nobody, maybe except his mom, would’ve dreamed about this kind of productivity from Morgan as redshirt freshman. Has Beilein really see Morgan’s potential when he offered, i don’t know, maybe he is surprised too. Burke, seems to be a real deal, and ready to make an impact from day 1.

    Now I have some feeling that Burke was grossed underrated too.

  • matty blue

    somebody find out morris’ facebook and twitter pages so we can tell him he’s not considered one of the 66 best point guards…pretty sure that will crank him up even further.

  • JimC

    Indeed, these guys seem to feed off the “no respect” thing.
    As far as I’m concerned, let’s just predict we’ll go 14-17, finish 10th in the Big11, etc etc.

    Just keep ignoring Michigan hoops. It’s working so far.

  • Skinzkid

    Without Morris we have 4 wins if that this season. Without him our offense falls apart. I never expected him to be able to run this offense like he has this year. Morgan has been good, but he spends most of his time sitting on the bench in foul trouble. Hopefully he can find a way to stay on the court a little longer.

    • UMQuasi

      I’m not sure where this notion that Morgan has foul trouble every game came from. Here are his numbers and fouls by game:

      SC Upstate 18 minutes 3 fouls
      Bowling Green 24 minutes 3 fouls
      Gardner-Webb 21 minutes 1 foul
      Syracuse 32 minutes 4 fouls
      UTEP 21 minutes 4 fouls
      Clemson 22 minutes 2 fouls
      Harvard 25 minutes 3 fouls
      Concordia 26 minutes 4 fouls
      Utah 17 minutes 4 fouls
      NCCU 19 minutes 3 fouls
      Oakland 18 minutes 4 fouls

      I think Beilein aims to play Morgan about 20-25 minutes a game. So, really the only two games where his fouls have limited his playing time is Utah and Oakland. Sure, he’s had quite a few 4-foul games but that doesn’t mean foul trouble in and of itself–it depends on when those fouls came.

      Also, people have said that he got in foul trouble again in the first half of the Oakland game. He got his 2nd foul with about 3:30 to go in the 1st and had to sit the rest of the half. I don’t consider that foul trouble. Three and a half minutes is like a normal rest–the fouls merely dictated when that rest was taken.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        5.8 fouls per 40 minutes certainly isn’t great and in several games he’s picked up two early ones.

  • GregGoBlue

    Love that Bacari Alexander quote in the Jordan Morgan article:

    “…at the end of the day, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard… When you go against (better) guys, you just try to outwork them and if they win, you shake their hand.”

    • JimC

      Wow i like that one.

  • Deacon Blues

    Actually, if you read the “Is it time to give up on John Beilein?” piece, it’s fair.

    It was basically in response to another article that was much harder on Beilein. The second article concluded that last season was bad and the offseason was worrisome but that it’s too early to put Beilein on the hot seat. Most reasonable people would probably agree.

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Saw Horford walking around campus with a giant ice pack on his knee today. It didn’t look like it was a bad injury since he was walking fairly normal, but something to keep an eye on.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Would figure that’s a pretty standard thing. Horford had the little knee tweak before and they’ll probably ice it after practices from here on out. Standard treatment for a lot of players I’d assume.

    • Gus Johnson Pure

      Icing is used as a preventative measure against inflammation/injury, not just to heal a booboo. Probably nothing to worry about, but good heads up anyway.

  • MAS

    Kenny, JM’s mon wasn’t the only one to believe. I been touting his potential for a few years. I remember telling Balas his assessment of the kid was wrong and telling the little spartinas he was better than Nix.

    Bigmen are truly hard to evaluate during HS games since it is dominated by guards. They are at the mercy of other to get them the ball and when they fight hard for post position and don’t see the ball they tend not to fight as hard everytime down then they get the “low motor” label. I truly believe one of the most importmant factors for judging a bigman’s potential is if they look lost when they are further than 5 feet away from the basket.

    • Sid

      Interesting. Going to have to watch for that “five feet away” tip-off in the future. Intuitively, I’d say there’s something to it.

  • How about a big hearty welcome to SB Nation’s (/CBS Sports) new Big Ten Basketball blog… started today!


    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Who is writing that blog? Any idea?

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Looks like it might be this guy: http://twitter.com/#!/Christopher_KP

        • Merlin

          Christopher is off to a bad start IMO if thats the best he can do.

          • eddie

            agreed. it’s amateur hour over there.

          • the_white_tiger

            I think we’re way too spoiled by this site but you’re right about them IMO.

        • mgocanada

          And that map graphic depicting the Big Ten region colours the whole lower peninsula in Spartan green and gives us the upper peninsula in blue. Not sure who they cheer for up there in Sault Ste. Marie or Marquette (probably more into curling), but that made me laugh.

  • Azad

    What does everyone think our best 5 on the court is right now going into the conference season? Clearly that’s a tough judgment to make with the inconsistency of the freshmen and matchups, but I feel like the lineup with the highest ceiling has to be Morris, Novak, Hardaway, Smotrcyz and Morgan, just because of the size and versatility. I know that Stu is the glue guy but I like keeping Novak out of the 4 spot for too long.

    • JimC

      Morris, Novak, Hardaway, Metrics, JoMo.

  • Hey Dylan,

    Like others above, I wondered what kind of evaluations Morgan had received from you and others in the lead-up to his signing. But when I went to his page here on the site there was nothing like that there. Clearly, he was pretty unheralded; he’s emerging as sort of a prototypical smart, gutty workhorse big. But did you do any pieces on him? Where would I find them?

    Thanks in advance. . .
    P.S. I don’t think he’s getting called for ticky-tack fouls. He’s a banger, and he’s going to be playing against players with bigger reps. Foul calls will be part of the baggage.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      It’s kind of funny… This site started right in the middle of December 2007 (I guess that means we just turned 3 years old) and Jordan Morgan committed on December 17th.

      I quoted a couple scouts in this post — http://www.umhoops.com/2007/12/17/jordan-morgan/ — but obviously I was still learning the ropes as a blogger myself.

  • eddie

    Noticed that Jordan Dumars may be eligible to play as early as Thursday. Any reports as to how he has performed in practice? Is he likely to see any court time this year, and if so, at whose expense?

    Given the pleasant surprises from the other sons-of-NBA’ers, I’m curious to see how Dumars develops and fits in…

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      He’s not quite healthy, and he isn’t likely to earn any sort of significant playing time anytime soon.

  • Dirtgrain

    Darius Morris looks like he’s about to go ninja on somebody in that picture. I can hear him making a high-pitch, Bruce Lee “hwaaaaa” as he does it, too.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Two Belgian clubs, including the Mons team that Michigan beat, advanced to the final 16 of the FIBA EuroChallenge. Maybe they aren’t so bad after all.

    • Kenny

      A lot of american sports writers has no clue of sports played outside US. While those oversea professional basketball leagues are not NBA, they are not jokes either.

  • Sheryl

    Audio of Glenn Robinson III’s game is starting now if anyone is interested. They play Munster which I believe is a very good team…..

    • Sheryl

      I think I jinxed Lake Central by posting this link. Good grief.

  • Giddings

    Looks like Oakland just lost to Valpo by 103-102. Too bad. Never too early to start rooting for our opponents to win as many games as possible to help the RPI…

    • Beast1530

      Oakland is overrated by a lot of people because of the win over Tennessee and a close loss to MSU. They have not been impressive outside both games.

      • Tweeter

        I wouldnt go that far. Both the Illinois and Purdue games were one possession game midway thru the second half. Plus Valpo is a decent team, however tennessee did just lose again tonight. People did get way too excited over the won big win for Oakland but they are still a solid team. Probably not any better than bottom quarter of the Big Ten but solid overall.

        Its really tough to judge a basketball team based on one game. Its even tough to judge them based on a quarter of the season.

      • Kenny

        Tennessee just lost their third game in a row at home to USC, which itself is a good team. I agree with you that Oakland was overrated coming into Saturday’s game.

    • UMQuasi

      Valpo’s Cory Johnson scored 33 points on 12 of 13 shooting (3-4 3pt)…wow

  • detroitbry

    TREY BURKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AG2

    St johns ran northwestern off the court in the second half. Might be time to jump Michigan to 7 in the power rankings.

    • mgocanada

      I concur.

    • Tweeter

      And PSU lost to Maine ouch. Mich is up to 5th in the BT in Kenpom ratings.

  • elprof

    Hidden in the Comcast on Demand menu in the –> Sports and Fitness –> Big Ten Network –> Michigan folder is the Duke/Michigan game from 1990. It’s something like 5 screens hidden from the main page as you have to scroll through some. Hurley and Laettner versus Rumeal Robinson, Terry Mills, Loy Vaught, and Sean Higgins. What a game. It went overtime with last second shots. Big time plays by Rumeal and Sean Higgins. 110 to 108. Crisler was rocking. This should be required viewing for Michigan fans, especially younger ones that may not know what it was like and what it will be again.

  • JimC

    Sorry Dyan, I just don’t go to MGoBlog for basketball. Ever. And I get the whole brotherhood of bloggers thing.

    Plus, you’ve created such a nice “niche” for yourself here. ;)

  • Giddings

    I’m calling it now – Harvard beats UConn tonight.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Should be some fun ones tonight… Texas/MSU, Illinois/Missouri, and Harvard.

      • Evan

        Utah plays butler tonight which would also help us If Utah wins even though butler has played really bad so far

        • Beast1530

          People are putting too much expectation on Butler because of last season. They really miss Gordon Hayward. He’s their best player. Avery Jukes is an another big loss because of his ability to score off the bench. People should’ve known that Butler is going to take a step back from last year and the past few years.