Detroit Southeastern wing guard Brandan Kearney decided today that he will announce his college choice on November 3rd. Next Generation Sports has a lengthy profile on Kearney’s career to date as well as information about his college choice.
Here is Kearney’s final list:
Florida International, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Syracuse.
The most recent national article on Kearney ($), from Scout.com, named Michigan State the favorite but NGS says that we will just have to wait.
Now everyone has read the articles stating that Michigan is the leader, or Michigan State is the leader, and even an article about Kentucky being in front. How will BK handle the time up to November 3rd? “I’m just going to keep researching the situation at each school and go with the team that I feel the most comfortable with no matter where they are located,” said Kearney.
The full profile is definitely worth a read.
Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims (Picture from: KIRTHMON F. DOZIER/DFP)
Photo from MGoBlue.com
Michigan Basketball Media Day was today and, similar to last year, Beilein put the media through a mini-practice. After the media was done running through their wraps, hikes, pretzels, Mikan drills, and three-point shooting, they got down to business about the upcoming season.
The necessary audio clips are available at MGoBlue including interviews with John Beilein, DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris, and Zack Novak. The Manny Harris interview is the definitely the best listen, he talks about just about everything from the incoming freshmen to getting his first credit card.
The themes of the day are pretty clear: stay hungry and continue to get better. The question marks are the point guard position and what happens with some additional front court depth. We’ve discussed these ad nauseam this summer and it’s pretty clear that Beilein himself isn’t even sure about the answers.
Here are some highlights and quick hitters from John Beilein’s presser, I’ll post a compilation of media day links first thing tomorrow morning:
- Jon Sanderson has been a great addition. He knows not only his S+C but his basketball as well.
- “Can’t hang on to last year much longer”
- Only two hours of skill workout per week in the preseason, so only 8 to 10 hours total since school started. This number will be exceeded almost immediately once practice begins. Will know much more after first couple weeks of practice.
- Ben Cronin’s red-shirt time is over, ran a 5:53 mile, has a small gait to his natural walk that is more habitual. Runs “pretty darn well for a 7-foot guy”.
- Can’t lose the hard edge that they established last year — “we are still hunters”. Have to make sure that attitude carries over.
- Non-conference schedule strength will go up and down depending on the team. With this many great players coming back, they had to embrace opportunities for challenging games because this is the year to do it. There are 7 teams that have a chance to go to the NCAA tournament in the Old Spice Classic. Also mentioned an opportunity to go to Maui down the road.
- No one has higher expectations than Beilein. “We didn’t finish first or second, we finished seventh.”
- “If I see them playing like they think they are better than they actually are, then they’ll hear about it”
- Front court depth. “We won because of small ball and we lost because of small ball” Get a chance to see what some of the other guys can do over the next couple weeks. Would like a 9-10 man rotation, don’t want to play too many people.
- Jordan Morgan. Should be cleared in the next couple weeks to practice. Haven’t seen him play in a long time, since his high school season. Been dormant for a long time, don’t expect him to come back flying.
- Laval Lucas-Perry. Huge performances at Indiana and at Minnesota last year shouldn’t go unnoticed, without those they are an NIT team. LLP and Novak have changed their bodies significantly – leaner and seem quicker.
- Primary ball handling at the point is a big issue. Laval, Stu, Darius, and Eso will all get looks, going to see who is best. Not opposed to putting a freshman at the point.
- Darius Morris. Great length and energy. Want to play defense. Good vision, typical point guard skills, has to translate his skills to college.
- Getting into the tournament and advancing is a reasonable goal at this point. Great programs have stability.
- Manny and DeShawn need to assume ownership 100% and this is a major step. Don’t know how they are going to respond until it happens.
- Student tickets. Culture for athletics in Ann Arbor, don’t ever want to lose hoops fan base. Want students to attend games and love their teams.
- Want DeShawn to become more versatile, create match-up problems, and continue to evolve.
- Kelvin Grady. Great story, whole team is wishing him success, want someone to kick the ball to him to give him some space to run.
- Harris and Sims carrying the load is a good strategy, just have to have others ready to step up when they aren’t. Comfortable with the number of shots that Harris and Sims take.
- Want Manny to have better balance between drives and three point shooting – opposite of Stu and Zack who need to drive more, want Manny to shoot more. Manny is capable of being a lock down defender as well.
Previously: Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Next up in the seemingly never ending series of Big Ten previews, the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana was absolutely terrible last year, so bad that they didn’t even fall on most efficiency charts. Tom Crean is no newcomer to coaching though, and improvement seems likely in Bloomington. Alex from Inside the Hall, one of the best team specific hoops blogs on the internet, agreed to answer some questions about this year’s Hoosier team. You can also find a series of player profiles over at Inside the Hall.
Last year was beyond awful (losing 21 of last 22) in Bloomington but as a Michigan fan we are familiar with how fast a turnaround can happen. What are the expectations for the Hoosiers this year? I assume they will be better but by how much?
Expectations are still fairly modest because it’s year two of a substantial rebuilding process. I’m not quite sure anyone understood how bad last season was going to be until it was said and done, but it was one of the low points, in terms of wins and losses, in Indiana history. Tom Crean has seven new faces that he’ll piece together with a couple of key returnees and the Hoosiers should finish out close games that were losses a season ago.
Kyle Taber was the only graduating senior, was there any other attrition of note?
There were two transfers that most are viewing as addition by subtraction. Nick Williams (8.9ppg) moved on to Mississippi and Malik Story (5.9 ppg) is now at Nevada. While both logged significant minutes as freshmen, neither guy figured to see as much time with the recruiting class that has arrived. It also helped answer a few questions about the scholarship situation, which is still a bit of a logjam.
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Previously: Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Next up in the Around the Big Ten series, Northwestern. The Wildcats pulled off some shocking upsets last year and the folks in Evanston are excited for the upcoming year. I got a hold of Lake The Posts to talk some Northwestern hoops.
Last year was one of the best seasons in recent history for Northwestern basketball… How do fans feel about this year’s team? Are they expecting more this year?
There is a somewhat unprecedented sense of optimism heading into this season. We return 4 starters, but the loss of 3-point bombing bad ass Craig Moore definitely will hurt. However, we have a relatively hyped frosh in Drew Crawford who is the slashing/scoring/dunking (what – a dunker?!!!) type we rarely get at NU. Many believe THIS is the year we FINALLY break into the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. A lot of speculation over what type of celebration would be bigger – ‘Cats in the Dance vs 1995 Rose Bowl (Rose Bowl usually wins that debate). My only fear is that Carmody doesn’t continue to make poor personnel decisions down the stretch of key games.
Craig Moore was one of the best shooters in the entire conference, is there anyone waiting in the wings to replace his deep threat?
Each of our bigs has improved their shooting, including John Shurna, the 6-9 soph who spent the summer helping the USA u-19 team win a world championship. I’ve also heard promising things about incoming freshman, Alex Marcotullio, who allegedly has some range.
Just how good is Kevin Coble?
That good. He’s got the look that inspires chuckles from opponents as his wiry frame belies his true talents. He makes the improbable look routine. The kid is an all-out player who simply gets it done. However, there will be no more surprises as most teams will adopt the “contain Coble and let the other 4 beat us” approach. Without the proven 3-point dead-eye of Craig Moore, the key to NU’s season will be consistent outside 3-play from Shurna and/or others to send a message to Big Ten teams that you can’t just collapse the D and play a zone which is what I would do.
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