Michigan will head to Salt Lake City next year to play Utah, last year’s mid-major RPI (13) darling. Utah was 24-9 last year but as a commenter points out, they lose their top four scorers to graduation. Because the game is on the road it will probably be tricky but on the other hand these are the games that can really boost an NCAA tournament resume. A road win is a road win come March and it’s not like Utah is going to be as bad as North Carolina Central. The game is scheduled for December 9th. The future schedule page has been updated.
My questions surround this section of Snyder’s article (emphasis is mine):
Michigan has not yet released its nonconference games, but a few are known, including a Thanksgiving tournament in Orlando. A home game against Connecticut is expected, too, as reciprocation for last year’s trip to Storrs, Conn.
After playing Duke the past two seasons, the Blue Devils are not expected to be on this season’s schedule.
Other dates are still being confirmed, but there are not expected to be many more notable opponents.
The last I heard, UConn was not expected to come to Ann Arbor until the season after this one. I also expected Duke on the schedule but maybe Snyder knows something I don’t. The third paragraph I’m not so sure about either. I expect there to be one more big name opponent on the schedule at least. That coupled with the pre-season tournament is a pretty strong schedule in my book. For review, go look up the RPIs of the teams who played in the Old Spice tournament last year.
Beilein Staying Busy
John Beilein is a busy man. He’s not only leading the NCAA ethics committee but he’ll also serve as a court coach for the USA U19 trials. He will only run the tryouts, not travel overseas with the selected team.
“I am pleased and honored to be selected to assist with USA Basketball this summer,” said Beilein. “I really look forward to this experience with great anticipation. The opportunity to contribute to USA Basketball, work with our game’s finest coaches while teaching and coaching our nation’s top players is a privilege.”
Speaking of USA Basketball, 2011 wing-guard Brandan Kearney will also be involved in USA basketball as he’s trying out for the U17 team. I’m also hearing that Kearney plans to visit Ohio State on May 31st and an offer may be on the way as soon as the middle of June. He also has rescheduled his unofficial visit to Ann Arbor for June 3rd.
ESPN scouts also caught Tim Hardaway Jr. in action last week at the Nike MDC. They liked what they saw, naming Hardaway Jr. one of the weekend’s biggest surprises:
Hardaway, who has obvious basketball bloodlines, displayed high-level ballhandling and passing ability at both guard positions. He is an excellent athlete who uses his quickness and length to his advantage. He showed he is a threat from 3 if the defender backs off. He was very good in transition pushing the ball up the floor and is a great finisher at the rim. He had a good feel for using ball screens and also could create off the dribble. He was able to get into the paint for a midrange jump shot and did a nice job drawing the defense and kicking out to an open teammate. Defensively, he is a smart, fundamentally sound player who understands angles and has above-average lateral quickness. He still has upside and is developing some point guard skills. As his body continues to mature, Hardaway should blossom into an excellent college player.
It’s the summer time so that means that we can throw out all kinds of rankings. ESPN ranked the incoming classes of the Big Ten recently (which I’m sure they will do again this fall) and here are the results.
Most notably, Matt Vogrich was named the sleeper recruit of the Big Ten:
Vogrich (Lake Forest Ill./Lake Forest) has the range that begins as soon as he steps in the gym. The opposition has to constantly account for him as he will knock down jumpers from well beyond 3-point range. His shooting prowess will fit seamlessly with the penetration of Manny Harris, and when on the floor with fellow 3-point marksman Stu Douglass, the Wolverines have two shooters who can space the floor and give DeShawn Sims more room to operate in the paint. Vogrich can also pass the ball very well for a shooting guard and teammates should find themselves on the receiving end of a number of deft Vogrich passes.
ESPN ranked Michigan’s class a ‘B-’ overall and I have a hard time disagreeing with that ranking. Compared to the other teams in the conference, a ‘B-’ seems just about right.
And one final shocking piece of news: Memphis (Derrick Rose) cheated (on the SAT) under John Calipari’s watch.