An Early Look at Oakland with Corey Schmidt

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Corey Schmidt is the author of Summit Madness.com, a website devoted to providing quality analysis – quality that fans of some major conferences would dream of! – of the Summit League. Schmidt has been published by Basketball Prospectus, both in print and web, and is a certain worthy of a twitter follow or bookmark. Despite his conference-wide blog, Corey’s roots are with the Oakland Golden Grizzlies and he graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the team that Michigan will face on Saturday afternoon.

It’s not often that a Summit League school loses a player to the NBA Draft, how is Oakland coping without Keith Benson on the roster? Is this a vintage OU team that should compete for the Summit League title?

Not only did Oakland lose Keith Benson to the draft, but it also lost senior Will Hudson to graduation and back-up big man Ilija Milutinovic, who decided to return to his home country to play professionally. Those three were the only big men to log minutes for Oakland in 2010-11, so there was a lot of uncertainty about the frontcourt heading in to 2011-12 since it would consist entirely of newcomers.

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A Closer Look: Trey Burke

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Last spring Trey Burke was spending his days collecting high school accolades and working out in the gym. He didn’t know what Darius Morris was going to do but it didn’t matter. Burke wanted to be the starting point guard in Ann Arbor. By the time Burke arrived at Michigan, Morris was a Los Angeles Laker and Burke was the only point guard on the Wolverine roster. Just a freshman, Burke is arguably Michigan’s most important player.

The situation that Burke has found himself in season is strikingly similar to the one that Morris struggled through as a freshman. Through eight games Burke has surpassed expectations and thinking about this year’s Michigan team without Burke on the roster is frightening.

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A Closer Look: Evan Smotrycz

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Ken Pomeroy released his first series of individual player statistics for the 2011 season on Sunday afternoon which allows us to dive a little deeper into the performance of notable 2011 Wolverines. The first player we’ll examine is Evan Smotrycz. A large jump in production was expected from Smotrycz this season. At the time he was committed he was the most highly regarded commitment of John Beilein’s tenure, his skillset is a great fit for John Beilein’s offense and he spent the summer adding muscle necessary to compete in the Big Ten.

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Recruiting Roundup: December 5th, 2011

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High school basketball hasn’t tipped off in Michigan but that doesn’t mean Wolverine recruiting targets and commitments aren’t playing basketball in other states. Here’s the first edition of our 2011-12 Recruiting Roundup with an in depth look at 2012, 2013 and 2014 commitments and prospects.

Class of 2012

Glenn Robinson III – Commit

Lake Central bounced back from its loss to Hamilton Southeastern and Gary Harris a week ago with an easy win 62-48 win over Valparaiso. It was Lake Central’s first win at Valparaiso since 2003 and Robinson had 16 points and five rebounds despite facing a box-and-one defense all night.

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Five Key Plays: Iowa State at Michigan

1. Trey Burke’s 8 straight points early in the first half

Coming into Saturday’s game, Michigan knew Iowa State could shoot it from the outside. They also knew that big man Royce White could cause some serious trouble in the paint. Early on Iowa State’s offense was working and Michigan’s offense appeared to be sputtering. The Cyclones opened the game on a 10-4 run and Michigan looked to be in trouble. That is, until Trey Burke restored order. Burke scored 8 straight points to calm Michigan fans’ nerves and put the Wolverines right back into the game. The sequence started with a simple pick-and-roll with Jordan Morgan. Burke took a couple dribbles right off the screen before going left after realizing his defender had overplayed the screen. Morgan does a great job sealing his defender and Burke gets all the way to basket for an easy two. On the next two possessions, Burke found his three point stroke and hit a pair of threes from the left wing. The 8-0 run not only fueled the Michigan offense, but seemed to provide confidence on the defensive end as well. [click to continue…]

Photo Gallery: Iowa State at Michigan

All photos by Dustin Johnston, find the full gallery after the jump. [click to continue…]

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