2011 Maui Invitational: Five Pre-Tournament Thoughts

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Photo: Michigan Basketball

Here are five thoughts on the 2011 Maui Invitational which tips off Monday afternoon with Michigan’s matinée showdown against Memphis. (2011 Maui Invitational Bracket) The tournament should be among the top preseason tournaments once again this year and will certainly provide an adequate first test for the 2011-12 Michigan Wolverines.

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Five Key Plays: Western Illinois at Michigan

1. Trey Burke’s 3-pointer off the pick and roll

While the pick and roll was one of Michigan’s best weapons last year with Darius Morris, it has scarcely been used so far in this early season. Morris excelled at the play, either driving to the bucket off the pick or dishing it off to the rolling Morgan. But in this clip, we see how the new-look Wolverines can use the pick and roll in a different way. Douglass gets a screen from Morgan on the left side of the arc, but instead of driving to the basket as Morris would have, he takes just one dribble to his right. As Morgan rolls, Trey Burke’s man sags in to cover the pass off the roll, leaving Burke – a much better shooter than Morris ever was – open for three on the left wing.  Burke nailed the bucket, one of his three 3-pointers en route to an early career-high 14 points. This shows not just how Burke’s shooting ability can change a game but how Douglass can still utilize some sets that aren’t necessarily best designed for his skillset.
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Game 3: Western Illinois at Michigan Recap

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Photo: MGoBlue

Three games, three wins and three relatively unsatisfying performances. Michigan handled its business during the first two weeks of the season but, as they prepare to board a flight to Maui on Friday, it’s clear that the Wolverines haven’t found their stride. Tonight, Michigan beat Western Illinois 59-55 in a dragging 55 possession affair.

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Photo Gallery: Western Illinois at Michigan


Find the full photo gallery after the jump. All Photos by Dustin Johnston.
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While John Beilein would’ve liked for Michigan to play better in a 59-55 win over Western Illinois, he admitted that it was good for the Wolverines to play in a tough, close game like this before heading to Maui. Here’s video of what the coach had to say, followed by notes and quotes after the jump:

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Jordan Morgan, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Zack Novak all met with the media this evening after Michigan’s 59-55 win over Western Illinois to discuss what went right, what went wrong and the upcoming trip to Maui.

Hardaway, Burke and Novak after the jump. [click to continue…]

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