2013 Michigan commitment Zak Irvin is one of many high-major prospects from the state of Indiana playing in the 2011 Metropolitan Indianapolis Fall League. UMHoops was in attendance for last nights session and compiled this footage of Irvin in the embedded media player below.
In a new 2011-12 preview feature we’ll be looking across the conference, position-by-position, at the Big Ten’s top players. We’ll breakdown the conference’s top 10 guards, wings, combo forwards and centers over the coming week. We’ll start with the guards.
1. Jordan Taylor – Wisconsin
Upside: Taylor was the most efficient player in the conference last season. He was deadly from three point range, didn’t turn the ball over and got to the free throw line often. Most publications have Taylor rated as a preseason All-American and he should fight Jared Sullinger for Big Ten Player of the Year honors.
Downside: While Taylor had the luxury of playing alongside one of the conference’s elite inside-out big men, Jon Leuer, last season, he’ll be forced to play with a front court defined by question marks and inexperience. How does Taylor handle the burden of carrying even more of the offense.
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The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette confirmed that Austin Hatch has returned from the hospital and will continue his recovery process at home. The Journal Gazette notes that its unclear where Hatch will be living and published handful of quotes from the Hatch family, via e-mailed statement:
“We are extremely thankful and relieved that Austin is home with us,” Hatch’s family said Sunday in an emailed statement.
“While Austin has made great improvements, he still has obstacles to overcome as he continues to heal, grieve and acclimate to life after tragedy,” the statement said.
This is obviously a major step for Austin, but it’s also the just the first of many in a long process. Hatch was hospitalized for the last three and a half months following the crash and he still has a long recovery process ahead.
Reports have been swirling all week that Mitch McGary was close to reaching a decision and that Michigan was in the lead for his commitment. That news appears to have taken a backseat today as the latest consensus appears to be that McGary’s recruitment is completely open.
ESPN’s Dave Telep reports that all six schools that McGary has previously listed – Michigan, Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Maryland and Kentucky – are viable options in his recruitment at this time. Here’s a snippet from the free portion of Telep’s ESPN Insider update:
A few days ago, the recruitment of Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy) looked like it was coming to a conclusion. The information that came across my desk from multiple sources involved in his recruitment, pointed directly at the University of Michigan. I’ve been doing this a long time and when the talk heads in this direction, the outcome typically follows right on down the road. McGary’s recruitment is nothing, if not atypical.
Michigan, Duke, North Carolina and Florida would have to be considered viable options. You hear less regarding Maryland and Kentucky. Round and round we go, where McGary lands, no one knows. During the Recruiting Nation show Paul Biancardi nailed it. “The thing that is absolutely sure about Mitch McGary is that he’s unsure about where he wants to go.”
ScoutHoops.com has a similar, more detailed, report on their national premium message board ($).
Zack Novak, Jordan Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr. started all but one game last season and can safely be penciled into the starting lineup. The other two spots in the Michigan starting lineup are more worthy of debate. The three primary candidates for the final two spots are Stu Douglass, Trey Burke and Evan Smotrycz. Smotrycz and Douglass split time in the starting lineup last season while Burke appears to be the most promising incoming freshman on the Wolverine roster.
In today’s open thread we want to hear who you think will round out the starting lineup. Will Michigan go with experience, young talent or size? Beyond that, how deep will John Beilein go on the bench? He used a short bench last season (Michigan ranked 337th in bench minutes last season) but appears to have more options this season with Jon Horford, Matt Vogrich, Carlton Brundidge and others. Answer both poll questions below and join the debate in the comments.