First Word: In-State Rivalry, Glenn Robinson III & More

Dylan Burkhardt
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Fuel on the Fire

Draymond Green took part in Sam Hosey’s Spartan Fastbreak Show and provided this quotes (transcribed by Joe Rexrode) in regards to what was worse: a first round NCAA loss or being swept by Michigan:

“I have to go with the loss to Michigan because that’s gonna stick with me forever right here (pointing to heart). Like, it hurts so bad, I didn’t know the feeling because I’d never lost to them prior to this year. And then to lose twice, it still bothers me. Because it’s Michigan and I hate, just, it makes them feel like they’re better than us. After them not winning at the Breslin for like 13 years, however long it was. And now they feel like this is their state. And this is Michigan State’s state. We own this state, it’s our state. And it gives them the hope and a crazy reason to think this is their state. And I completely disagree with that 100 percent.”

Rivalry talk is cheap in the off season but it’s pretty clear that Michigan’s sweep hit a nerve in East Lansing. My biggest concern is that Michigan and Michigan State somehow won’t play twice next season with the new Big Ten schedules. Assuming they do, there’s no harm in drumming up a little more excitement for next year’s games.

Glenn Robinson III Off To Solid AAU Start183254_197707993589856_100000519692843_678305_4001190_n

Most states wrapped up their state playoffs last weekend but that doesn’t mean AAU ball hasn’t already begun. The main tournament last weekend was the Swish and Dish in Milwaukee, WI. It was Michigan commitment Glenn Robinson III’s first tournament of the season and the slashing forward got off to a solid start. Here’s a snippet of Brian Snow’s report on Scout.com ($):

The future Michigan Wolverine is definitely an improved player over last summer. He is making open shots, and just looking more involved and comfortable as a player. Robinson has to get stronger with the ball, especially in traffic, but that could develop with added strength and confidence… He is just so much more confident and it shows when he tries to dunk everything instead of settling for jump shots. Robinson hit several pull up jumpers which was good to see, and he also can hit from deep.

Roger Bohn was also impressed by Robinson’s slashing ability. 2012 big man Mitch McGary, a Chesterton native that prepped at Brewster Academy, also played extremely well alongside Robinson. McGary lists Michigan among numerous other major schools but could be one to at least keep an inquisitive eye on. Another prospect to watch that played well in Milwaukee this weekend, 2013 big man Nolan Berry. Berry is an extremely skilled big man from St. Louis that has reported Michigan interest in the past.

Patrick Heckmann Still An Option?

patrick-heckmann[1]We first discussed German wing guard Patrick Heckmann in December but it appears that the German might still be an option for Michigan. Our best eyes and ears across the pond, Christophe Ney from the wonderful EuropeanProspects.com, provided this report over the weekend:

Two of the biggest names that are still on the market for the Class of 2011 are the French forward William Howard and the German guard Patrick Heckmann. As Heckmann has finished his season with TV Langen a few days ago, he will most likely be on some visits in the next days and weeks. The 1992 born player averaged this season 12.0ppg (53.5% 2FGs – 32.0% 3FGs – 81.1% FTs), 3.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, 2.5topg in the third German League. He gets interest from lots of High Majors at the moment and it looks like Michigan and Boston College are the main names according to recent rumors.

Obviously Michigan has 13 players on scholarship next season, which makes adding Heckmann a tricky situation. That means the Michigan interest could be older information or the U-M staff could just be keeping their options open as a contingency plan.

Michigan Basketball Goes Hip-Hop

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Michigan jerseys are everywhere, in hip hop. First it was Chris Brown wearing a #23 Michigan jersey on 106 & Park (video) and then it was Lupe Fiasco wearing Tim Hardaway Jr. jersey while performing at Hill Auditorium over the weekend. Don’t think Michigan players haven’t taken notice.  Bacari Alexander settled to teach the youngsters a thing or two about music as the team moved out of the locker rooms last week. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little off-season fluff.

John Beilein Talks Hoops in Houston

Not much all too exciting here, but John Beilein stopped to chat with a CBS Sports guy about Michigan’s season and the Final Four:

Further Reading:188683_1311020553760_1778021955_534087_2294972_n

  • JD

    Good to see that Michigan is in Draymond’s head. I hope that means more dumb fouls from him in 2012.

  • detroitbry

    How does Green feel that msu didnt want him until UM started recruitied him heavy?

  • ScottGoBlue

    DeShawn was Maine’s leading scorer. Well done, Peedi. Here’s hoping your day in the NBA comes real soon.

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    That would be awesome to snag Mitch McGary. Dude is a beast.

  • Section13Row15

    I like the fact that the U-M vs MSU rivalry is back on the map. And why is it a crazy reason to believe that it’s our state after sweeping them and going further in the tournament with a younger squad?

  • Kenny

    From the december report, Heckmann can be either 2011 or 2012 and plays 1-3. The report also went as fas as say he excelled while playing PG. Make sense as a contingency plan for D-Mo going pro.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Talking to Christophe, it appears that Heckmann is all set to be a 2011 kid, FWIW.

      • Quick Darshan

        DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th best International player at his age. Pretty impressive. Oh, well. I guess you can’t get them all.

  • Tyler

    I have never been invested in those scouting website rankings, but if nothing else it shut ups the MIke Valentis of the world (albiet for brief period of times) about how MIchigan’s recruiting will hold it back. Are the 2011 rankings final? If they are, are Burndidge or Burke expected to rise or drop? And when the next 2012 rankings come out, how far will Robinson (and/or Nik) rise?

    • Tyler

      shuts up*

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I think I care even less about the Mike Valentinis of the world than recruiting rankings.

      2011 rankings are generally refreshed after all of the all-star games, so sometime in the next couple weeks. Don’t expect that much movement because it’s hard to scout many kids on the high school circuit compared to AAU.

  • Kenny

    If Chirstopher’s report is accurate and the interests from Michigan is genuine, maybe there is some thinking among the staff that D-Mo not returning is a real possibility, say with 20-30% chance?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Coach tells Christophe that Michigan is interested in Heckmann. Completely true, as they were recruiting him for a while. I don’t think that knowledge has any direct correlation to Darius and his future. The outcome could, I suppose, if Morris does enter the draft then you could see Michigan make a hard push for Heckmann. The information that they are recruiting him probably doesn’t.

  • FL Wolve

    Burke will rise and Brundidge could possibly slip. Reports are Brundidge had kind of an up and down season, nothing to really fret over however.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Possibly but you have to think, how many times has any national scout seen Brundidge play this year? I don’t think that Southfield played in many national tournaments.

      Burke might raise because he won Mr. Basketball and had a great season, I think Scout probably saw him play once or twice, but these end of senior season ranking movements are trivial at best.

  • http://maizecoloredglasses.blogspot.com the_white_tiger

    Thanks again for the link, Dylan.

    Maybe Green wouldn’t be feeling so badly if he didn’t go 3-14 from the floor against Michigan in Ann Arbor. Those were comments that reeked of an inferiority complex, which like, duh. I am kind of surprised that MSU, as the better basketball program, still gets so bothered when Michigan beats them. You’d think that they’d be above that, but hey, it’s State.

    • Tyler

      I’m not convinced that MSU will countinue to be the better basketball program. It’s not that we swept State this year, it’s that we swept State this year with a frehsman & sophomore-ridden team. This isn’t like football where Michigan has been better for 50 years, and a short era of a poor experiment ruined that. Before Tom Izzo we were the better program. Hell we still lead the head-to-head series by 15 games or so even after getting our ass whuped for the past decade. If Tom Izzo does indeed leave soon, the door will be left wide open. And if stays I see no reason why Michigan can’t compete. As much as State fans deny it, we still bring that national brand to the table while they don’t.

      • http://maizecoloredglasses.blogspot.com the_white_tiger

        I’m not saying that MSU has been the better program historically, because I know they haven’t been. I can tell you that – being the same age as many current recruits – Michigan State is a premier basketball program and Michigan has been irrelevant for most of my lifetime. Hopefully this will change soon, but for as long as I can remember, Michigan’s been bad.

  • Colby

    If a ship does open up for 2012 does the coaching staff use it on another big man like McGary or go more toward the wing? Also is there a possibility that Max pays his own way after a year or two to open up a spot?

  • detroitbry

    Who said Brundidge had an up and down season? He made the Det News Dream Team, Mr. Basketball didnt.

    http://detnews.com/article/20110331/SPORTS05/103310415/1049/sports05/Detroit-News-2011-boys-basketball-Dream-Team

  • jim-e-p

    State is a regional program – always has been and always will be. By that I refer to its recruiting base. Draw a big smile on a map, centered in East Lansing and curving around Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Cleveland over to Toronto. This is where State gets nearly all of its players. So, when UM and IU (and DePaul) are down, there is enough talent in this region for MSU to field a nationally relevant team. In the last thirty years I can think of only Carlton Valentine (DC area) and Chris Allen (GA, but with Lansing connections if I recall) as notable players from out of that semicircle. I am undoubtedly forgetting someone, but the list is still small. In that time UM has pulled in top 100 or better types from MA (Butch Wade, Rumeal, C Sims, Smot), DC area (Bullock and BRob), Florida (Rellford and Hardaway), Mississippi (J Ward), Texas (King, Jackson, B Crawford, Horton), California (Higgins, Ingerson, Morris) and Seattle (J Crawford) in addition to all of the midwest states. The tide has turned back again and Izzo, and Green, know it.

    • james

      While it is true that we pull in talent from a wider base, it’s not like the players you’ve named had a ton of success. I’d trade national recruiting for the national exposure that Izzo’s “regional” (it works on multiple levels, think about it) success has brought to MSU.

      • jmblue

        Not had a ton of success? Some of the guys he mentioned won us a national title and went to multiple Final Fours.

  • Brian

    I like the way you think, but I have to disagree. MSU is still getting a lot of talent and Izzo is still a great coach.

    Unlike football, I feel like there is room for two good programs in the state. Our return to respectability isn’t going to sink their program.