Michigan to host open practice on November 5th

Michigan 77, Purdue 76-27

Michigan basketball season is just around the corner and the Wolverines will host an open practice on Wednesday, November 5th. The practice will run from 6-7 p.m. and be followed by a meet and greet session featuring selfies, but no autographs. The Wolverines first exhibition game is scheduled for for November 10th against Wayne State before the season opener on Saturday, November 15th against Hillsdale College.

Full details of the event in the University release below. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The defending Big Ten champion University of Michigan men’s basketball team will open practice to the Maize Rage student section as well as the general public for an hour from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Crisler Center.

“We feel it is always important for us to engage with our fan base, especially with the Maize Rage section,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “They have been so vital over the last few years creating an amazing environment at Crisler. With the season just around the corner, we wanted to open a practice and allow everyone a chance to get a glimpse of this team as they work hard to get ready for the 2014-15 season.”

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Michigan among top ten schools for Derryck Thornton Jr.

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Class of 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton Jr. cut his list to ten schools this afternoon.

Michigan made the cut along with Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, California, USC, Miami, UNLV and NC State. The news was first reported by Scout.com’s Josh Gershon.

“I love the staff (at Michigan) – it’s a great staff,” Thornton told Scout.com. “And all the coaches there are super supportive. I love the style of play and coaching staff.”

The 6-foot-2 point guard is the No. 7 prospect in the country according to 247Sports Composite rankings and previously visited Michigan in June for the Wolverines’ College Practice Camp. Michigan, Kentucky, Duke and Arizona all have multiple predictions in 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball.

The Wolverines currently have one commitment in the class of 2016, but Thornton holds one of eight scholarships outstanding in the class.

Offseason Storylines: Michigan searching for go-to sixth man

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Basketball season is around the corner, and, over the next several weeks, we’ll run down some of the biggest storylines facing the 2014-15 Michigan Wolverines. In this edition, we search for a go-to sixth man to replace Zak Irvin.  (Photo:  Dustin Johnston)

Michigan’s talented starting five last year couldn’t do everything on their own last season.

When the Wolverines needed an offensive spark, they turned to Zak Irvin. The forward had one principal job: shoot the ball. And that he did, shooting on more than 25% of Michigan’s offensive possessions when he was on the court.

He was by all accounts a 3-point specialist — he made them at a 43% clip — and 73% of his attempts came from beyond the arc. And he was often the offensive wrinkle that made Michigan so difficult to stop, especially midway through a given half.

After losing Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, Irvin won’t be hiding on the bench this year; he’ll be a starter from day one. The Wolverines might also have a deeper rotation this year, but here’s a closer look at the candidates most likely to fill Irvin’s role as the go-to sixth man in 2014-15.

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NBA Roundup: Glenn Robinson III makes the cut

B0uMa5hIYAArykt[1]The NBA season tips off on Tuesday evening and a number of former Wolverines will be involved in the 2014-15 season. With five Michigan players drafted in the past two seasons, we’ll feature a regular NBA roundup to track their progress throughout the season.

Robinson makes the cut

Glenn Robinson III faced a tenuous situation after being selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a second round pick. Second round picks don’t have guaranteed contracts and his status was up in the air, especially after a summer filled with roster moves as the Wolves shipped out Kevin Love. Robinson eventually signed a guaranteed contract with the Wolves before training camp, but still had to make the roster.

“Whatever happens happens,” Robinson told the Star Tribune on Friday. “That’s the mentality I have. I control what I can control and I think that I’ve been playing well in practice and the games. Who knows what is going to happen, but I’ve done all I can do.”

It came down to the final day, but it appears Robinson did just that. The Wolves are planning to buy JJ Barea out of his contract to free up the final 15th roster spot for Robinson.

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Recruiting Notebook: Michigan showing late interest in five-star wing

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According to a report from On the Radar Hoops, a Michigan assistant coach was in to watch class of 2015 five-star Jaylen Brown yesterday. Brown is the No. 2 prospect in the country and this is the first reported interest from Michigan.

Brown’s recruitment is already at a very advanced stage. He’s taken official visits to Kansas and Kentucky and is also planning to visit UCLA and Georgia on officials. His fifth remaining visit has yet to be determined and, according to this report, North Carolina and Georgia Tech are the primary schools trying to earn the final visit.

Where will Jaylen Brown take his fifth official visit? “We haven’t decided on the fifth visit yet,” his mother said. “We’re just going to leave that open for now, and see how things go.”

Jaylen recently told reporters that he is considering an official visit to North Carolina after coach Roy Williams flew to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago to observe his workouts. Georgia Tech, which was the first school to offer Brown, may also be a contender for that fifth visit.

Is it fair to say that Brown will decide between North Carolina and Georgia Tech for that fifth visit? “That could possibly be it,” his mother said.

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Burning questions facing Big Ten teams (Part 2)

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Big Ten players and coaches took to Chicago last week to face the media for the first time this season and answer questions about expectations, offseason development and more. With the start of the season less than a month away, we ran through the conference to look at one major question facing all 14 teams. Previously: Part 1 

Wisconsin: Can the Badgers handle expectations?

It’s no surprise that the conference’s consensus favorite has to answer the easiest question. Bo Ryan returns four of five starters and his critical reserves from last year’s Final Four team. While losing Ben Brust’s 244 3-point field goal attempts will hurt, more playing time for Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig is a good thing.

And if there’s ever a program that won’t be affected by lofty preseason expectations its Bo Ryan’s.

“Well, it really doesn’t affect when we’re doing our transition defensive drills,” Bo Ryan quipped from the podium in Chicago. “I don’t think my guys are thinking about (expectations).  Our guys live in the moment, or at least we’re trying to‑‑ it appears that way.  They’re trying to get better.”

People generally question a team’s ability to handle expectations when they don’t know what else to criticize them for and the Badgers fit that mantra. They have the league’s best big man, best NBA Draft prospect, an experienced point guard and all of the right role players. It’s hard to argue that the Badgers don’t have a legitimate shot of winning the league and competing for a trip back to the Final Four.

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