- If you missed it yesterday: The practice facility design was finalized and approved and I also broke down the center position for the upcoming season.
- Trey Zeigler and Ray McCallum are officially visiting Oklahoma this weekend.
- Casey Prather will also be back on the road, heading to Gainesville, Florida to watch the Florida/Tennessee game.
- Per Jeff Goodman on Twitter, Marquette freshman Junior Cadougan suffered a torn Achilles today and will likely be out for the season. Marquette is a potential opponent for Michigan in round 2 of the Old Spice Classic and hopes were high for Cadougan, a top 100 recruit. Marquette already last year’s stellar backcourt of Jerel McNeal, Dominic James, and Wesley Matthews to graduation.
- Andy Katz has a fascinating, disturbing, and thorough look at the ill-effects of agents on the world of college basketball. This is just one of many problems that plagues the game. It feels like there is a feature story on a new problem every week.
- It doesn’t look like top 150 recruit Diamond Taylor or freshman walk-on Jeremy Glover will ever play a game in Madison. The duo was arrested 10 days ago for burglary and underage drinking, Taylor has reportedly withdrawn from school while Glover was kicked off the team.
- Jeff Goodman examines who is the deepest team in America. Michigan will face Kansas, one of Goodman’s three choices. Goodman points out how ridiculous it is that Travis Releford is the 13th man on Kansas’ roster, “Imagine having Travis Releford as arguably the 13th man on your roster – or boasting a freshman that was ranked in everyone’s Top 50 players in the nation a year ago as your 13th man. “
- 2011 Chesterton big man Mitch McGary picked up an offer from Purdue, other Big Ten schools recruiting McGary include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State.
- 2011 combo forward Justin Gant will be unofficially visiting Notre Dame this weekend, he was in Ann Arbor last weekend.
- Moses Morgan, a one time Michigan target, appears to be down to Indiana and DePaul.
The Regents voted unanimously to approve the practice facility design today. The 57,00 square feet building features two basketball courts, team locker rooms, as well as training facilities. The second floor will hold coaching offices as well as film and weight rooms. The design also features a “dramatic Hall of Fame ” in the entry lobby. Construction is scheduled to be completed in fall 2011. For a 19 slide gallery of renderings, head over to the official athletic department release.
Beilein on the approval:
“It is indeed an exciting time for Michigan Basketball as we continue to work with our architects on the design of a brand new Basketball Player Development Center. These recent visual renderings of this project reflect the commitment that has been made to both the women and men’s basketball program’s here at U-M. I love the fact that our student-athletes will benefit from having the opportunity to train and prepare, using the latest technology, in a state of the art world class facility. The dedication of so many involved with the design of this facility, and the continued leadership of President Coleman, Bill Martin and Mike Stevenson has been instrumental in moving this important project forward.”
There were times when I wasn’t sure when, if ever, this day would come. It probably should have come a few years earlier, but the past is the past and now is better than never. The facility will no doubt be top notch, similar to all of the other construction going up around the athletic campus.
As frustrating as the wait was, the last year has been extraordinary for this program. An NCAA tournament berth, and a couple thousand season tickets sold for probably the most anticipated basketball season since the Fab Five was a great start. Now construction is set to break ground on a long overdue practice facility.
Everybody knows that Michigan was painfully undersized last year. They got abused inside by teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Their offensive and defensive rebounding numbers were near the bottom of the barrel in the Big Ten (8th and 9th respectively). Their average height of 76.1″ ranked 220nd in the NCAA and 10th in the Big Ten. In terms of Ken Pomeroy’s effective height statistic (a combination of block percentage, 2 pt% defense, eFG% defense, and adjusted defensive efficiency) only Indiana ranked lower in the conference.
Judging by Pomeroy’s rankings, center was actually not Michigan’s biggest concern size wise. Yes, DeShawn Sims is a bit small but he can get by at 6-foot-8. Point guard (Lee, Merritt, and Grady were all under 6 foot) and power forward (NOVAK) were Michigan’s biggest size concerns last year.
There are numerous solutions and combinations to try to alleviate the size issue. One of the most common suggestions is to move Sims back to the four position and throw Ben Cronin and Jordan Morgan in at the five. The most likely outcome is some sort of situational rotation – with Sims being the regular starter at the five and Gibson, Cronin, and Morgan providing situational playing time. (full positional breakdown after the jump)
- Midnight Michigan Madness is only a month away.
- The top 10 hoops conferences for 2009-10
Some more love for the Big Ten, Beyond the Arch says the Big Ten and Big 12 are a “dead heat” for #1 conference.
- Magazine ranks MSU third, U-M ninth in preseason basketball poll
Lindy’s has Michigan as a top 10 team and picks them to the Sweet 16. Athlon puts Michigan at 23rd in their preseason top 25.
- UNC, Michigan St. on top again with toughest non-league schedules
Michigan at #8… MSU, OSU,and Illinois also make the top 10. Big Ten teams are certainly going out and challenging themselves. Also, MSU plays at The Citadel?
- Basketball season tickets (and renewals) are on sale at MGoBlue.com
- Matta has something going at Ohio State
I don’t share Dickie V’s sympathy for kids leaving early, no one thought those kids were staying. There’s no denying that three headed monster of Turner, Buford, and Lighty could be very dangerous this year.
- Whispers: Joseph narrowing it down? ($)
Jerry Meyer from Rivals chimes in on Casey Prather’s recruitment
- Zeigler visits Michigan again ($)
Zeigler recounts his unofficial for the Notre Dame game to The Wolverine
- ITF Hoops Extra: Did Prather get The Vibe at U-M? ($)
Casey Prather’s coach talks to The Wolverine
All of the recruits that were expected in Ann Arbor made their way there (full list at bottom of this post). The football team certainly put on the best show they could and it would have been hard not to enjoy yourself in Ann Arbor this weekend.
Of course the first question at hand is how did the visits go, especially for the #1 recruits on Michigan’s board, Casey Prather and Trey Zeigler, both of whom were on official visits this weekend. There hasn’t been much reaction posted yet, but here is one quick and vanilla quote from Prather thanks to Phil Kornblut from Palmetto Sports:
Prather said he enjoyed the Michigan visit. “I liked the campus and the people,” he said.
Prather likes to keep things close to the vest, after his visit to Clemson he said that Oliver Purnell and company “Made a good impression” but not much more. He certainly doesn’t appear to be tipping his hand in any direction. I expect we will hear more from Prather and Zeigler later today from recruiting websites.
In-homes and more official visits are up next. Kevin Stallings has already had his in-home while Billy Donovan is slated to visit this week before Prather officially visits Florida. Prather’s final scheduled official is to Vanderbilt on October 3rd before he makes a decision.
Trey Zeigler Sr 6’5 G Mt. Pleseant
Casey Prather Sr 6’5 Wing Jackson, TN/South Side
Tim Hardaway, Jr Sr 6’4 SG Miami, FL/Palmetto U-M COMMIT
Tom Droney Sr 6’4 G Sewickley, PA/Academy
Brandan Kearney Jr 6’5 SG Detroit Southeastern
Percy Gibson Jr 6’8 PF Detroit Southeastern
Ed Brown Jr 6’3 Wing Detroit Southeastern
Trey Babers Jr 6’5 SG Saginaw High
Tommie McCune Jr 6’8 PF Saginaw High
Markus Crider Jr 6’5 Wing Wayne, OH/Huber Heights
Justin Gant Jr 6’8 PF Terre Haute, IN/North Vigo
Carlton Brundidge Jr 6’1 G Southfield High
Ray Lee Soph 6’1 PG Robichaud
Cameron Fowler Soph 6’0 PG U-D Jesuit
Kellon McCormick Soph 6’7 F Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Austin Burgett Soph 6’8 PF Avon, IN/High
Gary Harris Soph 6’3 PG Hamilton Southeastern-IN
Jacoby Bledsoe Soph 5’10 PG Hamilton Southeastern-IN
RJ Hunter Soph 6’2 PG Indianapolis, IN/Pike
Yogi Farrell Soph 5’10 PG Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor
Denzel Watts Fresh 5’10 PG Flint Carman-Ainsworth
It was no doubt a great recruiting weekend. We should start to hear more from the various recruits who made it in over the following days and weeks.
The Athletic Department announced today that the student section at Crisler Arena will be getting a little larger. Due to extraordinary demand, 200 seats in section 16 will be allocated for students.
These seats are in addition to the original bleacher seating as well as seating in section 19 behind the band. Seats will be handed out on a first come first serve basis and students who don’t get seats in the lower bowl will sit in the upper gold level.
Earlier this spring I had suggested that sections 10, 13, and 16 should be turned into student seating. While this move isn’t quite that bold, it is a welcome addition nonetheless. There is probably still less than 1000 seats in the blue sections, so over half of the student crowd will be relegated to the gold seats.
Student tickets are on sale again until September 25th for $125 and they can be purchased through MGoBlue.com.