Road Trip Gallery: Michigan at Iowa

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  • JimC

    Here’s my question for everyone (Dylan, maybe we can get a Forum page for this kind of thing):

    Is this team better or worse than last year?

    We have a better record than a year ago, but a lot of that is the schedule.  Without poring over stats (I’m just going from memory) considering the major players/positions:

    -PG: seems Burke’s a better shooter than DMo was, but DMo was a much better passer.  So maybe that’s a wash.
    -Smot, THJ, Stu: overall, pretty close to last year’s output, I guess.
    -JMo: slightly less productive than last year.
    -Novak: slightly better than last year, with the 2-pt shooting Dylan has pointed out.
    -bench: roughly the same.

    I think the ranking we’ve had has maybe been deceiving, because this team is pretty close to last year’s (and I don’t recall us being ranked last year).

    Interested in your thoughts… 

    • Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh

      In terms of team accomplishments to date: this is a better team — strong record against better competition (hence, higher RPI compared to this time last year).  Additional offensive sets and in-bound tricks.  I like it when they attack after rebounding (another area of team improvement).

      In terms of individuals’ development: again, a better team.  Stu continues to grow defensively and his communication skills on and off the court are MUCH better; THJ is much more diverse in offensive moves and is developing as a rebounder; Smot is growing in similar ways (although obviously not at same level as THJ); JMo is also developing more offensive moves and now when is angry he can be a truly mean rebounder; Novak is better at driving to the hoop (I wouldn’t say graceful but certainly powerful and determined); and a few members of the bench seem less potent offensively but some seem to be evolving at last. 

      In terms of resiliency: here is where I worry.  Morris at midway in the B10 season said with a straight, unflinching face that he expected 20 wins from UM, and he meant it and was going to fight for it come hell or highwater.  He was backed by Zack and the others, but he, the most talented player on the roster, was saying that.  I hope either Burke and/or Hardaway will fight through the conference grind with head held high and eyes constantly on the NCAA prize.  That would inspire the others.  But I’m not sure if Burke and Harday have the time to overcome tired muscles and the tough skin to forget inevitably disappointing games.  Tough road ahead — and I’m cheering for them all the way. 

    • Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh

      In terms of team accomplishments to date: this is a better team — strong record against better competition (hence, higher RPI compared to this time last year).  Additional offensive sets and in-bound tricks.  I like it when they attack after rebounding (another area of team improvement).

      In terms of individuals’ development: again, a better team.  Stu continues to grow defensively and his communication skills on and off the court are MUCH better; THJ is much more diverse in offensive moves and is developing as a rebounder; Smot is growing in similar ways (although obviously not at same level as THJ); JMo is also developing more offensive moves and now when is angry he can be a truly mean rebounder; Novak is better at driving to the hoop (I wouldn’t say graceful but certainly powerful and determined); and a few members of the bench seem less potent offensively but some seem to be evolving at last. 

      In terms of resiliency: here is where I worry.  Morris at midway in the B10 season said with a straight, unflinching face that he expected 20 wins from UM, and he meant it and was going to fight for it come hell or highwater.  He was backed by Zack and the others, but he, the most talented player on the roster, was saying that.  I hope either Burke and/or Hardaway will fight through the conference grind with head held high and eyes constantly on the NCAA prize.  That would inspire the others.  But I’m not sure if Burke and Harday have the time to overcome tired muscles and the tough skin to forget inevitably disappointing games.  Tough road ahead — and I’m cheering for them all the way. 

  • JimC

    p.s. David, thanks for the pics.  Funny thing that Elvis was in the building!