2011-12 Player Preview: Jon Horford

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Jon Horford was the number eight man in Michigan’s rotation last season and played fewer than seven minutes per game. Despite his limited playing time, the sophomore big man is regarded as the most likely breakout player on Michigan’s roster.

Horford has the bloodlines – his brother exploded between his freshman and sophomore seasons en route to two national champions and the NBA. He demonstrated his potential, including a big dunk during Michigan’s NCAA tournament loss to Duke, and has added strength to his already long and athletic frame. Despite the positives and obvious potential, we’re still talking about a guy who played 19 minutes and scored 3 points during Michigan’s final 13 games combined. The sample size is small but here’s a closer look at what Horford could be capable of this season.

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Tuesday Links: Novak Kicks, PDC, Trey Burke Impresses, More


2011-12 Player Preview: Matt Vogrich


The differences between Michigan and Tennessee were striking as both teams ran onto the floor at Time Warner Cable Arena for their round of 32 NCAA tournament game last March. The Vols were markedly bigger and stronger at almost every position. As Michigan struggled with Tennessee’s size and athletic advantage early, missing 12 shots in the first eight minutes and falling behind by a four point deficit that felt larger, it was Matt Vogrich that arose as the unlikely hero. The 6-foot-4 skinny sophomore with floppy hair  checked into the game and provided Michigan with an immediate shot in the arm.  He scored on an array of three pointers, backdoor layups and fast break steals while keeping Michigan afloat in the first half. That was enough to get the Wolverines to the second half where they went on to dominate the game.

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2011-12 Big Ten Position by Position: Combo Forwards


Our fourth and final Position-by-Position piece focuses on the conference’s diverse collection of combo forwards. Whether they play inside-out or outside-in, combination forwards with size and skill have become a mainstay in modern college basketball. Some of the league’s most talented players are in this group but it’s also a very top heavy group with a number of unproven commodities in the bottom half of the top 10. [Previously: Guards, Wings, Bigs]

1. Draymond Green – Sr. – Michigan State

MPG PPG RPG APG ORtg Usage eFG% 3PFG% DR% OR% A Rate TO Rate FT Rate
30.1 12.6 8.6 4.1 106.8 25.7 48 36.6 23.8 9.6 30.6 18 41.2

Upside: Green racked up two triple doubles last season, including one in the NCAA tournament, and is among the league’s most versatile players. He’s a tenacious rebounder and a smart passer but has proven he can score as well.
Downside: Green continues to slim down and proved that he can hit the three point shot last season (37%) but really struggled inside the arc, especially with the 10 to 15 foot jumper.

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Michigan Ranked 18th in USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top 25

usatodayrankings[1]Michigan is ranked 18th in the USA Today/ESPN College Basketball Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll which was released this afternoon.

Michigan is the one of three Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, coming in behind Ohio State (3) and Wisconsin (14). Michigan State and Purdue also received votes.

Memphis, the Wolverines’ opening opponent at the Maui Invitational, is ranked 9th in the preseason poll. Three other schools in the Maui Invitational are ranked in the top 25 including Duke (6), Kansas (13) and UCLA (20).

The last time Michigan was ranked in either top 25 poll was November 23rd, 2009 when the Wolverines were ranked 15th. The AP Preseason Top 25 is expected to be released on October 28th.

You can find complete USA Today/ESPN Top 25 after the jump.
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Thursday Links: Preseason Top 25s, PDC and Jon Horford

Photo: Michigan Stadium Aerials

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