Monday, March 10, 2014

Michigan Monday: Senior and Sophomore Night

Tony Ding/Associated Press
Michigan said goodbye to Jordan Morgan on Saturday night.   It's been a wild ride with Jordan, he has seen highs and lows with this program and frankly with his own game.   His missed tip cost the Wolverines a share of the Big Ten title last year, this year his solid play locked it up.  There were times in his Michigan career where it looked like he couldn't make a lay-up, on Saturday it looked like Michigan was going to score all it's points on Morgan lay-ups.   His 5 years had pretty much everything you want from a college career and now he has one more run in two tournaments. 

It was a small senior night with just one senior on the team.   Michigan's issue moving forward is, "Was it a sophomore night as well?"

Michigan has 3 sophomores that have to make a decision on the NBA:

Nik Stauskas:  Is the odds on favorite to win the Big Ten Player of the Year and is a borderline lottery pick in the NBA Draft.   It's really hard to imagine after last year, but I believe Nik is gone to the NBA no matter what happens from here on out.   He really has added to his game and has made a name for himself with NBA scouts.   I believe Nik has hit his last 3 pointer in Crisler.  

GR3 is an athletic player with a high ceiling that NBA scouts love.  He is a high riser and could really fit the NBA game.  He does have some areas to work on, his jumper and his ball handling needs to get better.  Is impact on a game is also a question, he has a lot of quiet 15 point games on dunks and open mid range jumpers.  Right now he is considered a late round 1 or early round 2 pick.   I think his decision is 50/50 and I assume his dad will help him make the best decision for him.  He could use another year in college or he could jump to the draft.  If Michigan makes a run in the tourney and GR3 does well, that will help his case for going pro.

Mitch McGary was hot commodity for NBA teams last year.  He decided there was still work to be done in college.  Then his back went out and  has barley played this year.  Mitch's decision is a complicated one.   It's not really a basketball decision, he is a old sophomore because he attended a year of prep school and now has sat out a year due to an injury.   NBA guys are always worried about big men and back problems.  

With his age, I would say he would be jumping to the NBA for sure if he played healthy this year.  He didn't and now it's a very difficult decision.  Most boards have him as a second round pick and that might not be high enough to make the jump.   I think the decision comes down to his health, if he can work out for NBA Scouts, I think he has to go.  If his back is still an issue,  I think he needs to stay in school.  

As you might imagine, if all 3 go this will leave a huge hole for the Wolverines next year.   Let's all sit back and enjoy these next few weeks as Michigan plays both tournaments as Big Ten Champions.  Whatever happens with these guys, happens.

  • Michigan plays it's first B1G Tournament game on Friday at noon.  They play the winner of Illinois and Indiana.   Indiana as we saw on Saturday (and the loss in Bloomington) gives Michigan match-up problems.   If Michigan were to win that game they probably would play Ohio State or Nebraska on Saturday.


Renegade said...

"Nik Stauskas: ... and is a borderline lottery pick in the NBA Draft."

Seriously? I checked a number of different mock drafts and the best I could find was 20th to the Kings. Some were second round. Stauskas' weakness was shown this season when the right person was guarding him. That's all he will see in the NBA ... every night.

Your draft position for him is overly optimistic.

Bob said...

ESPN has him ranked as the 8th best player in the NCAA right now.

Renegade said...

Of course, ranked as the 8th best player does not relate to draft selection.