- Dick Vitale: The All-Rolls-Royce Team
Dickie V’s mid-summer all-Americans, Manny Harris makes the 6th team and DeShawn Sims gets honorable mention. Other Big Ten: Lucas (1st), Turner (3rd), Battle (4th), Hummel (6th), Morgan (Hon Mention)
- Vegas: Jones excels
Zeigler scores 19 points in an opening day win in Vegas
- Hoops: Zeigler shines, talks Michigan ($)
More on Zeigler from Rivals
- NY2LA SUMMER JAM PLAYER REVIEW
NBE on Zeigler, Kearney, McCallum and Gibson. Trey definitely wants to visit Pitt and also wants to make it to LSU and Arizona State.
- LeBron was really dunked on, but it wasn’t that impressive.
- “The Get Ready” Episode 5
Dave Merritt heads to L.A. and updates us on the latest with his apparel company.
- Prather talks about his game ($)
Latest on Casey Prather
- PGU Exclusive Interview with Ray McCallum
McCallum video interview
- Geoff Larcom: We loved our town, we loved the news, and we loved bringing it to you every day
Today is the last day of the Ann Arbor News. This has been planned for a while but it’s still strange that the next time I go home I won’t be able to pick up the Ann Arbor News. I am very curious to see how Ann Arbor.com progresses, it’s an idea with a lot of potential but it could also go very wrong. I’m working on an off topic post about new media so I suppose I’ll share more then. (AP Story)
We know Tim Hardaway Jr. can shoot it but apparently he has a little bounce as well…
Zeigler Playing Well
Trey Zeigler has had a phenomenal summer and he kept it up at the NY2LA Summer Jam where he earned MVP honors. Here’s NY2LA’s scouting report:
Skilled and fundamental guard, Zeigler packs an extra punch around the rim, not afraid to elevate and finish over and through contact. His vertical dunks surprised and wowed those watching, and once again his ability to pass and finish in transition was among the very elite at the event. An active defender who understands the importance of playing both ends, Zeigler prefers to defend slashing athletes, and gets his own offense started by attacking the cup from the baseline. Co-M.V.P. of the 17u Platinum Division, Zeigler improved each game, and really picked up his scoring once bracket play began.
The scouting report on Zeigler is so consistent at this point that it’s clear whoever lands Zeigler will have an instant impact player. He is the perfect wing man in Beilein’s offense, a guy who can score the ball but also has tremendous basketball IQ and athleticism.
On the Road Again
After a little bit of down time, college coaches across the country are back on the road. Most eyes will be focused on Las Vegas where three of the premiere AAU tournaments in the country tip off tomorrow. Most of Michigan’s targets and commitments will be playing in Vegas as well. Evan Smotrycz (Mass Rivals) and Casey Prather (Nashville Celtics) will both be playing in the adidas Super 64 while Team Detroit (Zeigler, McCallum, Kearney, etc.) will be playing in the RBK Summer Champships (team list).
The select AAU tournaments that are open to coaches this year are even more important because the NCAA reduced the number of live events. It’s a fun time for recruiting junkies and you can be sure that scouting reports and rumors will be spreading across the internet. As always, I’ll do my best to bring them together here. I’ll also be re-tweeting relevant bits that I come across on Twitter from those social-media savvy scouts out there.
Ace posted an update about Michigan alums playing in the NBA Summer League. Ace points to the fact that Petway is the only U-M player in the Summer League as a symbol of Tommy Amaker’s failures which I suppose is true to some extent. Player development was no doubt an issue under the Tommy Amaker regime and whether it was a result of poor talent evaluation as well can be debated for ages.
Ace mentions that Daniel Horton is “off the radar” which is partly true. Horton underwent shoulder surgery in December which shortened his 2008-2009 season in France. In an attempt to find where Daniel is headed next I uncovered a recent interview with Eurobasket.com where Daniel talks about the last couple years and what might lie ahead. Daniel was one of my favorite Wolverines and his 39 point performance against Dee Brown and the Illini stands out as one of the best in recent history. Here’s a snippet:
What leagues you are planning to try the following years?
Daniel Horton: I want to try whatever league that has a team or a club that wants me. In particular, I would love to play in Spain or Italy, maybe Russia as well. I am willing to play anywhere as long as its the right fit for my family and I. Hopefully I keep improving and a major club wants to bring me in to be their point guard.
I mentioned previously that 2012 Indiana guard Kellen Dunham made an impression at Michigan’s Elite Camp. The Pendleton Heights native impressed at the Best of the Midwest AAU tournament last week. Indiana Hoops has a great report:
But, the player who impressed me the most this weekend was Pendleton Heights soph-to-be Kellen Dunham, who as a tenth grader has my personal vote as the best pure shooter in the state. Dunham earned MVP honors for the Central Stars, who won their 15U bracket, by scoring 34 and 28 points in their final two tourney games, with eight threes in each game. He is not one dimensional as you might think, like a Matt Roth. Dunham had several great drives which resulted in slashing scores, getting to the line, or nice assists to teammates, including a no-look dime in the finals that brought cheers from the crowd. In the finals, Dunham started the game nailing his first six threes, four of them in the first two minutes. The outburst from the fans made college coaches, including Crean and Fife, leave the 17U championship for a while to watch Dunham’s display. Kellen was recently at the IU elite camp where he thoroughly impressed, and if he continues to play like he has recently, he is no doubt a Big Ten-caliber player. If he grows another inch or two from his current 6’3 and 1/2 and can add strength, he could be the next Scott Wood, as one college coach told me.
Dunham is only a 2012 prospect and I’m not sure about the level of competition he was facing at this tournament but with his shooting ability he certainly has to be on the radar.
Villanova by the Numbers has been investigating the effect that moving the three point line back a foot had on last year’s college basketball season. Nova by the Numbers focused on how Luke Winn’s predictions from a little over a year ago look in retrospect. Winn’s hypothesis was that the biggest winners from the move would be teams that don’t rely on the three point shot or defend the three point line well. The losers would be perimeter oriented teams that shoot a lot of threes and teams that make a low percentage of their three point shots in general.
The hypothesis makes so much sense that it almost seems rudimentary. Judging by Michigan’s 2007-2008 statistics, they should have been negatively affected by the move (and that’s probably an understatement). The 2007-2008 Michigan team was one of the worst in the country at making (31.2%) and defending (38.1%) three point shots yet they still shot 40.7% of their field goal attempts from behind the arc.
So how did Michigan deal with the move? They shot even more three point shots at a slightly higher percentage. (They also made a dramatic improvement in three point defense — their opponents shot 31.1% compared to 38.1% in 2008.)
Michigan kept on chucking and somehow found success, going from 10 to 21 wins in only a season. The three point shot is obviously a staple of the Beilein offense. Therefore it’s not surprising that Michigan was more reliant on the three point shot than any other NCAA tournament team.
Top 10 3FGA/FGA for NCAA Tournament Teams (National Rank to the left, NCAA seed in brackets)
7 Michigan (B10) 47.9 11 Arizona St. (P10) 45.3 13 Butler (Horz) 45.2 15 Portland St. (BSky) 44.8 26 Oklahoma St. (B12) 41.3 29 Chattanooga (SC) 41.2 38 Akron (MAC) 40.0 40 Mississippi St. (SEC) 39.7 54 Utah (MWC) 38.4 58 American (Pat) 38.1
That list is an eye opener. There are very few high major teams in that group, only Arizona St., Oklahoma St., and Mississippi St, and none of the top ten made it passed the second round.
This clearly isn’t a strategy that is replicated often with success at the high major level. Of those four high major teams, Michigan’s 33.4% three point shooting percentage was the worst among the group by a pretty significant margin. It’s clear that perimeter oriented teams were adversely affected by the three point move.
Nova By the Numbers points out that three of the ten interior oriented offenses that Winn identified before the season ended up in the Final Four (UNC, UConn, and Michigan State). Perimeter oriented offenses didn’t perform so well but I’m not sure John Beilein is too concerned as his tournament success is well documented. Despite the success of interior oriented teams, John Beilein’s teams still perform better against their seed than any other college coach.
Michigan’s three point shooting numbers are even more shocking when you realize that Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims combined to take 64% of Michigan’s 2 point field goals. Stu Douglass (80.3%) and Zack Novak (77.8%) took the highest percentage of their shots from long range on the team with more than 3 out of every 4 field goal attempts coming from behind the arc. Seven players on the Michigan roster took 65% or more of their field goal attempts from three point range. Only Jevohn Shepherd, Zack Gibson, DeShawn Sims, and Manny Harris took more than half of their shots inside the arc.
I’ve mentioned high variance strategies in the past (explained here) and there is no doubt that relying on the three point shot qualifies as a high variance strategy. To most in the college basketball world, three point shooting is typically thought of as an underdog strategy marred with desperation. The common thought is that truly great teams will pound the ball inside rather than shoot away. However, John Beilein’s best teams actually appear to shoot more three point shots than his teams that struggle.
Michigan 2009 21-14 (7) 47.9 Michigan 2008 10-22 (42) 40.7 West Virginia 2007 27-9 (5) 49.0 West Virginia 2006 22-11 (2) 51.4 West Virginia 2005 24-11 (7) 45.9 West Virginia 2004 17-14 (25) 40.1 West Virginia 2003 14-15 37.6
John Beilein coached teams play their best when they favor a strategy that is generally frowned upon in the basketball world. The numbers tell the whole story last year: Michigan succeeded by shooting a lot of threes (7th) even while making a low percentage (195th).
The question is what happens going forward — does Michigan continue to shoot so many three point shots or do they revert toward a more traditional style of play. Looking at John Beilein’s history, it is hard to imagine Michigan relying on the three ball any less than they did this year.
The first place potential change would come from would be the incoming freshmen class. Of the four scholarship players and two walk-ons, three players would be described as shooters first and foremost (Vogrich, McLimans, and Bartelstein). Jordan Morgan gives Michigan a big guy that they were lacking last year, but after knee surgery his impact is questionable. Eso Akunne is without a position, but he possesses a well rounded versatile game.
The one guy who has to potential to redefine the offense is Darius Morris. Darius has the ability to create for himself and others in a way that none of the point guards on last year’s roster could. If Darius can provide a threat to drive and score it would go a long ways toward making Michigan’s offense multi-dimensional and giving Michigan three guys who are a threat to score inside the arc rather than just two.
However, relying on a freshman point guard to reshape an offense is probably too much to ask for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan shoot over 50% of their shots from long range next year but they need to improve their shooting percentage. When you shoot more three point shots than just about every other high major team in the country, you’re going to want to rank higher than 195th in percentage made.
The three point shooting issue is one that has confronted Beilein teams for years and there is no firm answer about what is right and what is wrong. For example, the three point shot was the reason Michigan trailed by 20 points versus Indiana at Assembly Hall (3-18 first half) but it was also what enabled the comeback (7-17 second half). The success that Michigan had last year despite not shooting a very high percentage says one of two things: the strategy really works or Michigan got very lucky.
The topics for discussion on this subject are endless, so let’s hear your thoughts in the comments and then maybe we can revisit this subject in a couple weeks with some follow up.
More Praise for Manny
Fran Fraschilla is the latest Manny Harris fan. Fraschilla had the chance to work the Nike Skills Academies and listed Manny Harris as one of the three college players who impressed him.
Manny Harris at the Paul Pierce camp was very good. He has a very compact game that does not waste a lot of energy. He can shoot the ball obviously and that is a strength but has the quickness to get by you [opposing players].
What I like most about the college counselors is that they are all highly regarded by ESPN and the rest of the media. They come to a camp like this, check their egos at the door and they allow you to coach them. That is probably the greatest thing about the group of counselors every year is that they allow you to coach them.
This has been a successful summer for Manny and it seems like he is drawing the type of attention you would expect from scouts.
Brundidge Dominates Peach Jam
Carlton Brundidge tore up the 16-U Peach Jam bracket as he led the Family to a championship in Georgia. Brundidge is a scoring machine and once he gets going he scores points in a hurry. The only issue with Carlton is that he is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard more than a point guard. His abilities alone are too good to pass up, here’s ESPN:
2011 prospect Carlton Brundidge (Southfield, Mich.) slashed and shot his way to 27 big points in the U-16 final. Brundidge knifed through the defense to score on strong drives. He is a capable shooter from long range, but he is at his best punishing opponents on his way to the basket. When he gets a head of steam with the ball in his hands, the defense gets out of his way. He was able to get a lot done by sprinting the wing hard in transition. He plays with relentless energy and passion, and refuses to be denied when he wants to score — even gathering his own misses for putbacks. It is also important to point out that Brundidge continued to make plays on both ends of the floor even in a stretch during the first half when his shot was not falling.
Jonathan Arledge is a 6-foot-9 220 pound big man from the Washington, D.C. area. Arledge has apparently played his way onto Michigan’s recruiting radar this summer. The 2010 big man has played so well over the last few weeks that he has apparently earned a Michigan offer:
The race to get involved with Jonathan Arledge continues to pick up steam. Fresh off his eye-opening performance at the Reebok Summer Classic, the 6-foot-9 PF/C from KIMA near DC has received offers from Penn State and Michigan. Georgetown and Providence have also been taking an interest.
A little Google stalking of Mr. Arledge yields an article from ESPN RISE Mag that details his explosion onto the recruiting scene. Here’s what Jonathan had to say in the article:
“I want to play forward in college. I think I have the skills to play there, instead of center, even though I’m 6-9,” Arledge told ESPNRISE.com. “I’m working on my dribbling, shooting and my perimeter defense. I think I have a good basketball IQ, but I’ve only been playing basketball for a few years, so I’m still learning parts of the game. But I feel like I have improved a lot the last couple of years.”
“Academics, the college’s graduation rate for basketball players, those are two things I’m looking at,” Arledge added. ‘I’m also looking at the team’s style of play, the coach, does the coach care about his players, stuff like that too.”
RecruitRecon.com recently saw Arledge in action at the Hoop Group Summer Classic in Jersey and they came away very impressed.
The lefty’s all around ability was evident early on in the contest. Jonathan caught everyone’s attention when he jammed the ball home after a quick move on the interior. That showed just how athletic and explosive he can be. Shortly after that, he went outside and hit a three pointer. He continued to dominate from everywhere on the floor. Jonathan finished very well inside, including a couple more athletic dunks. His hands are outstanding too.
Jonathan’s wing skills are what were really surprising. In addition to the early three pointer, he hit another jumper from beyond the arc and two more from just inside it. He can handle the ball too and even hit a runner in the lane. He battled on the boards and cleared a number of rebounds as well. Defensively, Jonathan flashed his athletic ability one more time as he blocked a shot.
RecruitRecon also posted an older report as well.
The skilled big man who is headed to Worcester Academy continues to impress as well. RecrutingRecon got a chance to see him this week:
This skilled forward really impressed us. Tyler is tough and looks to attack off the bounce. He goes at the rim and isn’t afraid of contact. On the interior, he hit a hook shot and crashed the boards and scored on several putbacks. He can handle and had several excellent drives to the basket. Tyler finished well with contact and that led to an old fashioned three point play on one occasion. He stepped outside and nailed a three pointer as well, although he airballed another one from deep. It was an outstanding day for Tyler though.
Sam Thompson is another new target who has apparently earned himself an offer ($). Thompson is a super-athletic 6-foot-7 class of 2011 wing forward from the Chicago area. Thompson plays AAU ball for the same Mac Irvin Fire club as recent Michigan commitment Tim Hardaway Jr (although they play in different age groups).
IllinoisHSBasketball.com recently profiled Thompson in a piece that will get you up to speed in a hurry. However Thompson is another guy who has taken his game to the next level in a hurry and his recruitment will undoubtedly heat up over the coming weeks and months.
Illinois Prep Bullseye reports that Thompson has made great strides in improving his shooting range and it has taken his game to a new level and also that Oregon State might be in the lead for Thompson’s services. The bad news for Michigan fans is that it appears that Michigan didn’t make the cut down to 14 teams according to a video update from Illinois HS Basketball:
Daniel Poneman from IllinoisHSBasketball.com caught up with Tim Hardaway Jr. at the Peach Jam in Georgia for a nice video interview. Hardaway talks about Michigan, why he plays with the Mac Irvin Fire, and appears to forget Matt Vogrich’s name.