By Dylan Burkhardt | Uncategorized | Posted on October 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm
The 2011 Maui Invitational field has been announced and it is loaded. As expected, Michigan will make the trip to Hawaii but they will be joined by college basketball’s elite. The field also includes Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA & host Chaminade.
"West Virginia was out when we got back (from the official visit)," Nolan [Pointer’s father] reported. "It is down to St. John’s and Michigan, but we think Michigan is on their game. They are going all out for this kid.”
"I made sure Michigan was last," Nolan said proudly. "After our last visit we’ll come back and it will be over (soon). What makes (the Michigan visit) so good for that day is (Beilein) is planning on all the recruits being there. It is the homecoming day where all the teams get together and it is the first day of practice. That was (Pointer’s) whole concern — getting to know the players. After that visit is when we’ll take 24 to 48 hours and make a decision."
The feature story in the Detroit News is definitely worth a full read. It’s not a done deal by any means, but most consider Michigan to be in a strong position for Pointer’s services. This weekend’s visit will obviously be important as Pointer plans to decide shortly after. There will be plenty to keep Pointer entertained this weekend, including the first weekend of practice and the Iowa football game. Michigan commitments Trey Burke and Pointer’s AAU teammate Carlton Brundidge also both plan to take their official visits this weekend.
John Beilein fielded questions after the players were through. He had a lot to say and covered a wide range of topics, including rotations, the Europe trip, and how he’s going to try to replace all the lost production with Manny and Peedi gone. [Video from MGoBlue here]
Feels like the Europe trip gave the team a head start. The team wouldn’t have made the trip had the freshmen not been allowed to come.
Some of the “direction” of the team’s play may look familiar this year but we will definitely see some “twists and turns.” In coaching, you have to adapt.
Loves the attitude, chemistry and teamwork, as well as length and the improved strength and injury prevention.
There will be no “Michigan Madness” this year, which Beilein said was mostly his decision. Instead he’s going to have a two-hour and 15-minute practice and that’s how the season will begin. Just wanted to get to work–never been a big fan of that. Last year there was a pulled hamstring during it.
Anticipates having a three-headed monster at center, with Jon Horford, Blake McLimans and Jordan Morgan. He said all three are fighting for time, and the competition is “wide open.”
At the four, he said he can always put “The smallest four-man in Division-I basketball (Zack Novak)” in and be sure of what he brings, but he told Colton Christian and Evan Smotrycz to go in and battle for the position.
Feels a fresh atmosphere around the team because of not only all the freshmen but also all the new coaching staff. Said he thought they “set a record” for press releases last year because of all the turnover.
I was on hand for Michigan basketball media day today at the Junge Center. Actually, I was more than on hand–I was an active participant. John Beilein and the rest of the staff thought it would be fun to have the media go through an average (but very scaled-down) workout that players go through. Participants included Mark Snyder from the Free Press, Tim Sullivan from MGoBlog and Mike Rothstein from AnnArbor.com. We attached these weird heart rate monitors to ourselves and our heart rates were projected onto a big T.V. screen. Suffice to say, I was at over 100 percent of my optimum heart rate after the stretching portion of the workout. And that’s all I have to say about that.
To the good stuff. After the workout, players were brought before the media. We didn’t have quite as much time as I would’ve liked, but I was still able to catch up with a bunch of guys and here’s what they had to say.
The freshman have responded well to the conditioning. Some got tired at times, but that’s expected. So far they’ve really held up well. Most of them arrived in pretty good shape.
The team was able to get an idea for what they have while they were in Europe; what different guys can do, what they bring to the table, etc. It also showed some of the guys what they needed to work on when they got back. It especially helped the young guys figure out what they needed to do in order to be able to effectively contribute.
Michigan has a really young team, but is very talented. They have a lot of guys who can “Think the game.”
Everyone is healthy other than Jordan Dumars.
Europe was more physical than he thought it would be. He expected it to be more of a finesse game, but he was playing with really good players. A lot of them were last cuts in the NBA. He thought the team played well overall.
Game experience is huge, but the freshman have done a good job so far of picking everything up.
He’s been focused on not just being a shooter so that he can score in different ways, working a lot on pull-up jumpers, which are a big part of the offense. Manny handled them mostly last season and the team needs someone to step up in that regard.
He got a lot of time to work out with the coaches before going to Europe, worked a lot on pull-up jumpers. Coach Meyer, Alexander and Jordan worked with them around the rim. Vogrich also has gotten much stronger, adding 15 pounds of muscle during the off-season. He’s hoping that will help him when going to the rim and coming off screens.
The focus has been on the things that don’t show up on the stat sheet: closing out, loose balls, etc. especially given how many close games Michigan lost last year.
His confidence level is a lot higher from last year–he feels like a completely different player. Doesn’t know what it is, thought the whole team was in a rut last year. This year, they have a fresh start and the shots are falling.
The added bulk effects his defensive game much more than offensive. He doesn’t need to use his forearms to bump people when they try to take it to the rim against him. Was “Kind of a liability on defense.”
Lots of young talent on the team. It’s a rebuilding year, but they “Still have a lot here.” Lots of good athletes.
Freshmen have a really positive attitude, never hear any complaints. Everybody’s trying to get better every day. “If we get themselves better, they get Michigan better.”
A lot of great talent on the team, though it may not be apparent from last year’s roster. People say there aren’t any stars, but if we come together as a team, they’re going to do a lot of good things this year and get some wins.
Has a new leadership role and is more vocal than last year, when he may have been slightly hesitant as a freshman. He’s been through it once before which allows him to help others.
Has more freedom to go out and execute the offense.
Looking forward to making plays for his teammates and also create for himself. That’s part of the game plan.
Sources: NCAA investigating Baylor
I don’t think anyone is shell-shocked to see “Baylor” and “NCAA violation” in the same sentence but this text is the most chilling: “I guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it,”
Confessions of an agent Inside look at the agent business from SI… Very eye opening story and this stuff is prevalent everywhere.