- Michigan lands an important local recruit in bold Derrick Walton Jr.
“Coach Bacari said it a lot — that he wanted a lot of guys from the Detroit area, so I guess I was his main target and it was a priority for me to come to Michigan,” Walton said. “What they said is they wanted to bring U-M back to a focal point for guys in the Detroit area.”
- Austin Hatch: August 22nd Caring Bridge Update
Probably the most encouraging update yet, highlights: “So far Austin prefers chili rather than hamburger or ravioli, Austin sang ‘Hail to the Victors’ with us, Austin is working hard on his mobility skills”
- Catching Up With Guard Eso Akunne
- 2011 Summer Breakout Player of the Year: Mitch McGary
At least one national scout warns to “not count out Michigan” in McGary’s recruitment
- Indiana Class of 2014 Rankings
Several names of note including McIntosh, THompson, Wideman, Sellers, Bluiett, and Poindexter
- Big Ten’s 2011-12 basketball schedule delayed
“From what I know, it may be early September before the schools are cleared to release the conference schedules to media outlets and fans.”
- Pat Summitt, Tennessee women’s basketball coach, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
One of the best articles I’ve read on Pat Summitt’s upsetting diagnosis
- RTC Summer Updates: Big Ten Conference
A bit dated, but some notes from around the league
In what we hope to make an annual feature on the blog, here’s an early look at some of the Big Ten players that could have breakout performances during the upcoming season. These are generally players that had limited roles in the offense due to opportunity, or had slightly underwhelming seasons, last year but should be in line for a much more productive season in 2011. Last year we outlined high offensive rating and low usage, high usage blocking players departing and in-season improvement as some of the major criteria for identifying breakout players. As a rule of thumb, players that were named to the All-Freshman Team last year (Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Melsahn Basabe and Tim Hardaway Jr.) are ineligible for this squad.
Deshaun Thomas (Forward, 6-6, 230lbs, Ohio State)
Deshaun Thomas had no problem finding field goal attempts when he was on the floor last season. He used a higher proportion of shot attempts while he was on the floor than any other player, including conference player of the year Jared Sullinger. For such an aggressive player, Thomas posted pretty solid shooting numbers, making 54% of his twos and 33% of his threes. His defense on the other hand, was an issue as plays like this were a bit too common. Thomas has the talent and his defense should come along as a sophomore and the opportunity is there with both Jon Diebler and David Lighty graduating on the wings.
We’ve posted several scouting and highlight videos of 2012 Michigan commitment Glenn Robinson III this summer, but here’s some additional footage from both the NY2LA Summer Jam and Invitational compiled by the Midwest Ballers.
- Video: Glenn Robinson III Summer Highlights
- Video: Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary Summer Highlights
- Video: Glenn Robinson III at IBCA Top 100 Showcase
- Video: Glenn Robinson III at Indiana Junior-Senior All-Star Exhibition
- Scouting Video: Glenn Robinson III at Adidas May Classic
- Video: U-M Commits Glenn Robinson III and Trey Burke
- Scouting Video: Glenn Robinson III at Pitt Jam Fest
- Scouting & Video: Glenn Robinson III vs. Hammond Morton
Borrowing an idea from our friends at Inside the Hall, here’s an early look at five major storylines affecting the Michigan backcourt for this upcoming season.
How does Trey Burke perform as a true freshman point guard – In all but the rarest circumstances, freshmen point guards struggle. We examined this phenomenon during Darius Morris’s freshmen year and despite his struggles as a freshman, he excelled as a sophomore. Reports from open gym on Trey Burke have been extremely positive, with some going as far as proclaiming Burke as the best player on the floor for stretches. Open gym is just open gym, and the hardest step for Burke will be learning the offense once practice starts. That being said, his quickness and three point shooting should add a new element to the pick and roll offense that was featured last season with Darius Morris.
Ty Kish, from City League Hoops, posted some footage of Burke at a recent summer league game in Columbus. The footage isn’t necessarily earth shattering but it’s pretty clear that Burke has gotten bigger and stronger:
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- Above: John Beilein on ESPN U with Andy Katz, Kevin Stallings and Andy Kennedy
- U-M’s Beilein talks money, Big Ten, Darius Morris and more
Beilein chats with the Free Press
- 8/12/11 -Bartelstein Blog: Summer Days Going Fast, the Rookies and the League
- Catching Up with Guard Corey Person
- McGary could go directly to NBA from prep school
This doesn’t seem to be a likely option at this point, but it’s a real option.
- ESPNU 100 superlatives
McGary featured for the best motor in the class of 2012
- ESPN Class of 2012 Rankings
Glenn Robinson III is now ranked 53rd nationally by ESPN.com while Nick Stauskas is ranked 85th.
- ESPN Class of 2013 Rankings
Zak Irvin is ranked 70th, Mark Donnal is ranked 84th while Derrick Walton is the No. 25 point guard and just outside of the top 100.
- Scout Class of 2012 Rankings
Robinson at No. 39
- Austin Hatch Caring Bridge Update: August 14th
“Austin continues to make steady progress on his recovery. He enjoys getting outside for fresh air and sunshine. We are delighted with the excellent medical, nursing and therapy care he is receiving.”
Michigan has a shot at McGary. The Wolverines have already landed an unofficial visit, made McGary’s top six and have developed a strong relationship with the SYF Players AAU program after landing commitments from Glenn Robinson III and Max Bielfeldt.
On the other hand, it’s tough to be too optimistic when the competition includes Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. There’s a reason that McGary is ranked among the top five players in the country: he’s really good.
A recent report from Evan Daniels noted that Michigan was one of the teams most often mentioned in regards to McGary. However, there’s also been plenty of talk that most people don’t have a clue what McGary’s going to do. McGary took a trip to Florida this week and outlined his visit plans in a new blog on ESPN:
At the beginning of September, I’m taking an official to Michigan [Ed: WMU game]. After I get back from there, I’ll take an unofficial visit to Kentucky, then Sept. 6-7 I’ll take an official visit to North Carolina. After that I’ll head over to Duke from Sept. 8-10 for an official. I’m gonna watch Duke play Stanford on the football field. Then I’ll head to school on Sept. 11.