The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel published a feature story on Canterbury’s Austin Hatch today. Hatch averaged 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore while guiding Canterbury to at 17-5 record. Reporting his measurables at 6-foot-6 and 214 pounds, Hatch has begun to draw interest from numerous college programs including Michigan, Purdue, Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois and Virginia. Michigan appears to be the preliminary leader in his recruitment:
“Michigan is probably No. 1 right now,” he said. “They’ve shown the most interest in me, and I’m most interested in them, especially with their academics. Coach Beilein is a great coach, and they have a great group of guys and a great coaching staff.”
For more on Hatch, make sure to read the full News-Sentinel profile.
Michigan won’t extend offers to sophomore prospects until June 15th but Hatch appears to be one of several 2013 wing prospects in that class which could receive an offer. Some of those other wing prospects on the Michigan radar include Zak Irvin, Steven Haney, James Young, Bo Zeigler and EC Matthews.
With the National Championship game officially in our rearview mirror, we’ve reached the point in the off-season when national journalists churn out the first of many “way too early preseason top 25” lists. Not surprisingly, almost every national analyst has Michigan somewhere within their top-25. NBCSports’ Mike Miller has Michigan projected at No. 9, Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn at No. 13 and FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman at No. 17. Rivals.com appears to be one of the few publications that doesn’t have Michigan ranked. These early rankings obviously don’t mean much, especially when NBA draft entries will change the landscape over the next month. Despite the apparent foolishness behind these lists, one thing is clear: the national media feels great about Michigan’s 2011-12 team.
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One of the many renovations that will be made to Crisler Arena this off season is the installation of new video screens. TS Sports, the company responsible for upgrades at the Bradley Center (Bucks), American Airlines Arena (Mavericks/Stars) and Value City Arena (Ohio State), will be implementing the new design. Here are the details from the release as well as a rendering (right):
In conjunction with Phase I of the Crisler Arena renovations, TS Sports will replace the current center-hung scoreboard which was installed in 1998.
“The new video system at Crisler Arena is a basketball fan’s dream,” said Vice President of Sales Matt Ritter. “The system will feature 14 LED video displays from Lighthouse Technology tracking all major events throughout the game – instant replays, fan shots, hustle stats, animations, graphics and much more.”
The new center-hung at Crisler Arena will consist of 14 LED video displays:
· Four (4) 12’ x 16.8’ Pi10 10mm main displays
· Four (4) 6.28’ x 16.8’ Pi10 10mm scoring displays
· Four (4) 6.28’ x 6.3’ Pi10 10mm advertising displays
· One (1) 2.1’ x 81.9’ Pi10 10mm top video ring display
· One (1) 2.1’ x 44.1’ Pi10 10mm bottom video ring display
New scoreboards will also be installed at Michigan Stadium and Yost Ice Arena as well, more details here.
In his first college basketball game, against Division II Northern Michigan, Matt Vogrich hit five three point shots, he was also crossed over several times and looked completely overmatched defensively. The latter turned out to be a much bigger factor in Michigan’s 2009-10 season. Vogrich seldom played after that first game, severely limited by his lack of quickness defensively, and made just six more three point shots over the next 31 games of his freshmen season.
There were serious concerns over whether Vogrich could play at this level, even as a shooter off the bench. In his sophomore season, Vogrich tripled his playing time and improved his shooting numbers, seeming to provide Michigan with an opportune boost off of the bench in several key moments.
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Before the season I mentioned that Evan Smotrycz might have one of the most difficult transitions of any of Michigan’s freshmen. That sounded odd because Evan was the top rated recruit in Michigan’s class, an RSCI consensus top 100 player, and appeared to be a perfect fit for John Beilein’s system.
One of the toughest positions to transition from the prep to college level is a perimeter oriented four man. 6-foot-9 players with skill show out on the AAU circuit, where the level of defensive intensity is a bit lacking, but to utilize all of those skills on the college level is a different fight. There are exceptions to this rule (see: Robbie Hummel) but for the most part it’s tough for these type of players to play an efficient brand of basketball as freshmen and Evan Smotrycz’s up and down year followed this rule. He displayed tantalizing flashes of his potential with nine double figure scoring games, tied for 4th on the U-M roster, including game changing performances versus Clemson and Michigan State. There were also a boatload of 2-9 and 3-11 type performances that demonstrated the freshman wasn’t quite there yet.
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Fuel on the Fire
Draymond Green took part in Sam Hosey’s Spartan Fastbreak Show and provided this quotes (transcribed by Joe Rexrode) in regards to what was worse: a first round NCAA loss or being swept by Michigan:
“I have to go with the loss to Michigan because that’s gonna stick with me forever right here (pointing to heart). Like, it hurts so bad, I didn’t know the feeling because I’d never lost to them prior to this year. And then to lose twice, it still bothers me. Because it’s Michigan and I hate, just, it makes them feel like they’re better than us. After them not winning at the Breslin for like 13 years, however long it was. And now they feel like this is their state. And this is Michigan State’s state. We own this state, it’s our state. And it gives them the hope and a crazy reason to think this is their state. And I completely disagree with that 100 percent.”
Rivalry talk is cheap in the off season but it’s pretty clear that Michigan’s sweep hit a nerve in East Lansing. My biggest concern is that Michigan and Michigan State somehow won’t play twice next season with the new Big Ten schedules. Assuming they do, there’s no harm in drumming up a little more excitement for next year’s games.
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