Introducing Kevin Raftery and Other Site Notes

imageSeveral of our friends, rivals and companions in the Michigan sports realm have announced major staffing moves over the last month and now we want to take the opportunity to announce a move of our own. Kevin Raftery will be joining the team as a day-to-day correspondent in a role similar to Joe Stapleton’s last season. Raftery is essentially a utility man, he’ll cover games and press conferences, most likely dabble in recruiting and deal with any other duties that come up along the way.

Raftery is currently a senior editor at the Michigan Daily where he’ll be covering the Michigan football team this year. This spring he also traveled to Augusta to cover Michigan student Lion Kim at the Masters. He will still be invested in his football coverage at the Michigan Daily but you should start to see posts from him shortly and he will gradually post more as we draw closer to the season. You can also follow him on twitter.

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Video: Mitch McGary Shatters Backboard at Elite 24

2012 Michigan recruiting target Mitch McGary was invited to play in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event in Venice Beach this weekend and made headlines but shattering the backboard with a dunk during warmups. Here’s footage of McGary’s dunk:

McGary will begin taking visits next weekend when he takes his first official visit to Ann Arbor for Michigan’s football season opener. He’ll also travel to Kentucky (unofficial, 9/5), North Carolina (official, 9/7) and Duke (official, 9/8) in the comings days and weeks.

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2011-12 Big Ten Potential Breakout Players


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.

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Video: Glenn Robinson III AAU Highlights

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.


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