1) Illinois (Previously: 1st / Record: 10-1) The Illini fared a bit better than Michigan State against Oakland, beating them on Wednesday by a score of 74-63, but not much better. Oakland led Illinois at the half in a truly bizarre game — the first seven minutes were played with a women’s basketball, something I’ve never heard of happening. What’s remarkable is that seven minutes of gameplay went by before the players convinced the referees that they were playing with the wrong-sized ball (Big Ten referees, everyone!). Oakland has developed a knack for rushing out to early leads against good teams before relinquishing them late — the Grizzlies did the same thing against Purdue last month and did it against State later in the week. If they can learn how to hang onto a lead, they’re going to be even more dangerous than they already are. Illinois rounded out the week by taking care of business at home against Northern Colorado, beating them by 10.
Next three: 12/18 vs. UIC, 12/22 vs. Missouri at St. Louis, 12/29 at Iowa
By Dylan Burkhardt | Recruits | Posted on December 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm
According to European Prospects.com’s Christophe Ney, Michigan head coach John Beilein recently visited German guard Patrick Heckmann. Heckmann is one of the top guards in Germany and is also receiving interest from San Diego and Maryland. He is a 6-foot-6 guard and was born on February 27th, 1992, which would likely make him a member of the class of 2011 but could fall into the class of 2012. He has also reportedly attained a score on his SAT that should allow him to qualify with the NCAA, a hurdle that Robin Benzing missed by one question. He recently agreed to play with TV Langen — the same club that former WVU player Johannes Herber and former Michigan commit Robin Benzing originated from — but did not sign any professional contract, making him eligible to play in college. Here’s a recent interview with Heckmann that ranges a number of issues, including Heckmann’s desire to play college ball. Here are a couple quick video clips including a half court buzzer beater, alley-oop dunk, and a big block (not 100% sure this is him). We’ll have more on Heckmann in the coming days and hours, but for now here are a couple scouting reports.
Despite having some serious ups and downs during the tournament, Patrick Heckmann was one of the rare satisfactions for the German team. Being able to play all positions from 1-3, Heckmann was mostly used as a SF but excelled when playing the PG in the decisive minutes of the game I scouted. He can create out of his drives either for himself or his team mates and his athletic abilities give him the possibility to wait until he decides what he does when attacking the basket. The German player looked also a bit better on the defensive end. He needs to get more consistent in his effort and his new role with the German 3rd league team of TV Langen will certainly help him in this way.
Offensively, his arsenal is however very large as Heckmann can play every position from 1 to 3. His shot release is maybe a bit slow and he is not the most accurate from behind the arc, he excels when he drives to the basket where he can go until the rim but also create for his team mates. His athletic abilities allow him to finish in traffic high of the glass or with good hang-time and his large body helps him to be protected against losing his balance. His nice wingspan gives him possibilities to overcome his lack of lateral speed on defense but he showed his limits in this area during the tournament.
Brundidge had a smooth 25 points on 8 of 11 (3-4 3pt) shooting to go along with seven assists, two steals, three blocks, and two rebounds in an 86-48 win over Mansfield. Northland will face Beechcroft on Tuesday and Whetstone on Friday
By Dylan Burkhardt | Uncategorized | Posted on December 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm
With not just a Friday night game, but also a number of recruiting features and videos, there was an unusual amount of content that we posted this weekend. Just in case you missed something, here’s run down of the whole weekend.
Jordan Morgan continues to impress defensively in the post, especially when it comes to taking charges. The first of the two fouls was great timing on Morgan’s part — I guarantee this play comes from film study. Morgan waited for a shoulder dip from David Foster he knew was coming and took it. Tough, smart play by Morgan. The second play is a great illustration of how you can draw offensive fouls simply by being in the right spot and playing tough. Morgan was right where he needed to be to put himself in good position defensively, forcing Foster to (illegally) try to move him out of the way. Here’s what he had to say about the plays:
It’s just being smart, I guess. You have to anticipate what they’re going to do and just kind of use your head and outsmart them. He’s a bigger dude, obviously … so you got to try to outsmart him and outplay him.
Drawing these two fouls not only got the 7-3 Foster in early foul trouble, it made the Utes more hesitant to bring the ball inside. Not to mention these plays contributed significantly to Michigan being in the bonus at the 8-minute mark of the first half. [click to continue…]