Thursday, March 21, 2013

Michigan Thursday: Wreck it Ryan and The Phone is Ringing

Have you ever had one of those days, where everything was going right?  You enter a store and all the things you need is on sale, That check you have been waiting for shows up in the mail and your work load is strangely light.   That was the day I was having yesterday and sort of the off season the Wolverines were having.   Michigan signed a great recruiting class, 6 high school seniors enrolled early in January, Gardner got his redshirt,  Michigan got a new LB coach who is a former player and Fitz/The Count were coming back from injuries.   Things were going really well, until the news of Ryan's ACL tear. 

I thought it was strange that both Ann and ESPN Wolverine Nation basically did the same article on Tuesday talking about how much linebacker depth Michigan has for a change.     That next day, Michigan's best player on defense goes down with a year ending injury.    I'm not worried about someone filling in, I worried about someone filling in that isn't Jake Ryan.    He is clearly a playmaker on defense and this will have a very big effect on Michigan's defense next year.   Time for Cam Gordon to become that playmaker we always hoped he would be.  


Today is the start of the NCAA Tournament and the Wake Call is now for the Wolverines.   We don't need to re-cap the last month of the Big Ten season but here is what I think will be the formula for success for the Wolverines in this tournament. 

Big Stage for Prime Time Players:

Trey Burke needs to have one of those Player of the Year runs in the tournament.  We have seen it many times with the likes of Glen Rice, Danny Manning, Carmelo, Durant, etc.   Where one player lifts the rest of their team to the Final 4.   Trey needs to be that guy.  

So does Hardaway.  He doesn't need to be the #1 star on the floor but he needs to play like it.   If he doesn't go for close to 20 a game the Wolverines will be in trouble.

Bright Lights For Freshman:

Freshman can do two things in these type of games, play big and capture the moment or wilt under the heat.    The following guys need to play huge:

  • Nik needs to get his shot on.  If he is stroking the 3 ball and gets some open looks early, that will be a great sign for the Wolverines.   Nik also needs to step it up on the defense side of the ball.

  • GR3: I'm not worried about his offense as I am his defense and rebounds.   We need GR3 to be athletic around the rim and get some boards.   A few momentum changing dunks here and there won't hurt either.   Don't get lost out there kid.

  • McGary:  Do what you do kid.  Play strong defense and get a ton of boards.   Bring the energy.

Lost and Found

  • I'm not sure what is going on with Jordan Morgan but he has to elevate his game and start making some lay ups.  His misses are killing Michigan.   He needs to hit free throws,  hit the boards and make some layups.    His defense hasn't been too bad but he needs to make the bunnies when he gets them. 

  • Horford has been playing well of late but he is a bit "hot and cold" when he gets into the game.  Horford needs effort on the boards and solid defense. 


Michigan has been to the top of the rankings this year and pretty much a top 10 team all year long.   Now everyone thinks they are done after a grueling Big Ten season that took it's toll on the young Wolverines.   Nobody is talking about Michigan and most basketball guys don't have them making it out of Auburn Hills.   When was the last time you remember Michigan playing in the NCAA Tournament in the State of Michigan?  I can't ever remember a time. 

If Beilein has some "magic sauce" he needs to pull it out now.  I want to see pretty much every defense known to man played by the Wolverines.   I want to see 1-3-1, the 2-3, Man and everything else. I also want to see a ton of ball movement on offense (not watching and waiting Burke to do something). The expectation nationally for Michigan is non-existent..  They have the talent, the coaching, the #1 player in the nation and they are playing the first two games at home.    This is the last shot for Burke and the time is now.

The phone is ringing and it's time to Wake  (insert you own expletive) UP!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Jordan Morgan should start making layups? How bout our 6-10 center starts dunking the ball.

Scott K said...

Michigan winning without Burke scoring significantly, is a beautiful thing. Trey Burke with 10 to 15 assists is just as deadly as Trey Burke with 19 points. I hope he, as much as anyone realizes that. U can pile up assists when your shooting is cold, U can pile up assists when any one of your teammates shooting is cold... When your shooting is cold, chances are all you'll pile up is missed shots.
Trey deserves all the credit and accolates he's getting, BUT, he could really use another year to mature as a player, getting better at decision making and making his teammates better around him... Sometimes he tries too hard to carry the team, that won't fly in the NBA. GO BLUE!!!!