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287198_220229284692849_113453778703734_609291_6489111_oFrom Michigan Basketball on Facebook

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.


An Early Look at the 2011-12 Backcourt

Borrowing an idea from our friends at Inside the Hall, here’s an early look at five major storylines affecting the Michigan backcourt for this upcoming season.

How does Trey Burke perform as a true freshman point guard – In all but the rarest circumstances, freshmen point guards struggle. We examined this phenomenon during Darius Morris’s freshmen year and despite his struggles as a freshman, he excelled as a sophomore. Reports from open gym on Trey Burke have been extremely positive, with some going as far as proclaiming Burke as the best player on the floor for stretches. Open gym is just open gym, and the hardest step for Burke will be learning the offense once practice starts. That being said, his quickness and three point shooting should add a new element to the pick and roll offense that was featured last season with Darius Morris.

Ty Kish, from City League Hoops, posted some footage of Burke at a recent summer league game in Columbus. The footage isn’t necessarily earth shattering but it’s pretty clear that Burke has gotten bigger and stronger:

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