2011-12 Player Preview: Trey Burke


John Beilein might run a two guard offense originally designed to minimize the importance of a point guard but last season showed what a luxury a great point guard can be to any team. Darius Morris was the sort of guard that could make something out of nothing, manufacture a basket and made all of his teammates better.

Trey Burke’s career trajectory was accelerated in June when Darius Morris opted to keep his name in the NBA Draft. Now, the 5-foot-11, 180 pound guard is the only natural point guard on the Michigan roster and will be thrust into the limelight from day one. While he certainly would have enjoyed playing with Morris, I don’t think there’s any question that Burke is relishing the opportunity to fight for a starting position this season. Here’s a look at some of the major reasons why Burke could excel and conversely why he might struggle as a freshman.

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Austin_Hatch[1]The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette discusses Austin Hatch’s status for the upcoming season:

Hatch, who led the team with 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds a year ago, returned to Fort Wayne in early October after spending about three months in a hospital in Traverse City, Mich. He is back at Canterbury with a limited class schedule.

Dressed in his Canterbury blue polo shirt and khaki shorts, second-year coach Dan Kline put the players through their paces, with the goal of getting ready for the season opener Nov. 22 at home against Central Noble. In an honest, matter-of-fact way, Kline said he has no idea whether Hatch will return to the Cavaliers.

“It is unknown right now,” he said. “We are just preparing for the season. I don’t really know how to plan for something like this, but we are moving forward and carrying on.”

State of the Blog: Season Five

Michigan plays its first game of the year this Friday which means it’s time for our semi-annual “State of the Blog” update, which is available after the jump. [click to continue…]

2011-12 Player Previews: Bench Depth


It’s still early but Michigan appeared to have a pretty defined top eight players during its exhibition game on Friday evening. That group included Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, Trey Burke and Matt Vogrich.

Carlton Brundidge was the ninth man on Friday and headlines the bench group that could play a role in the upcoming season. With foul trouble, injuries and shooting slumps, anyone in this group could become an important contributor at any moment. For example, Colton Christian’s shot clock buzzer beating jump shot in East Lansing was one of the biggest shots of the season for Michigan. This is also a group where John Beilein could plan to the future look to use a redshirt. Here’s a closer look at Carlton Brundidge, Blake McLimans, Max Bielfeldt, Colton Christian, Eso Akunne and Sai Tummala.

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Monday Links: Austin Hatch, Shooters & More


Class of 2012 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: November 7th, 2011

Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg. Scout Avg. ESPN Avg.
1 Indiana   5 4.00 3.60 3.60
2 Michigan   3 4.33 4.00 4.33
3 Purdue   4 3.50 3.75 3.75
4 Iowa   5 3.40 3.00 3.20
5 Michigan State   3 4.00 3.67 4.00
6 Wisconsin   1 5.00 4.00 4.00
7 Northwestern   3 1.00 2.67 2.33
8 Nebraska   5 1.80 0.00 0.60
9 Minnesota   1 3.00 3.00 3.00
10 Penn State   2 1.50 0.00 2.00
11 Illinois   1 0.00 2.00 3.00
12 Ohio State   0 N/A N/A N/A

The college basketball early signing period begins this Wednesday so we figured it was a great time to take a look at the Big Ten recruiting landscape. The biggest commitment was obviously Mitch McGary’s pledge to Michigan but Purdue also picked up a nice commitment from A.J. Hammons.

The next big domino that’s expected to fall is Gary Harris, who plans to decide between Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue.

In terms of the actual rankings, Michigan vs. Indiana is a great debate. The Wolverines class has higher ratings overall – and the nation’s No. 2 player – but Indiana’s class is deeper from top to bottom. Let’s hear your two cents in the comments below.

You can find the full class breakdown and run down of recent commitments after the jump.

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