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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

One thing you can say for the Michigan blogosphere: BALLS TO THE WALL NIT COVERAGE!!! And by "Michigan blogosphere" I mean "just Maize 'n' Brew, at least until the nice men in the white jackets show up." Dave of the aforementioned blog has busted out comprehensive predictions of every game. In two parts!

Meanwhile, Wonk commented on the Michigan situation before turning his attention back to the tourney-bound Big Ten teams:

If I'm a Michigan fan, my lament isn't only that my team hasn't been to the tournament for eight years and counting. (Though that's the elephant in the room.) No, my beef is precisely with the program that Martin says Amaker is building: my beef is with the way this team doesn't get to the tournament.
There's a significant bit more that is, as always, worth your time.

What future Amaker has rests largely in the hands of an uncommitted high school guard named Patrick Beverly, who has been discussed in this space before. The Victors poster MHoops1 caught Beverly over the weekend and has graciously permitted a reprinting of his scouting report post from the board:
He reminds me of Ben Gordon, in the good ways and the bad ones.

Positives are as follows: Very quick and athletic, hands like a wideout, gets in the lane effortlessly via crossover, spins or blow-bys, and can elevate on a dime. Lots of shooting range and can light it up in a hurry. Very good free throw shooter, ballhandler, and can drive and dish when he's playing that role. Quick hands on defense. Seems very coachable, and has good court demeanor. Tough.

Negatives are: Tends to force the action offensively and put up some tough shots, even when he's shooting badly. Not a set-up PG, as he looks for his own shot too much, though he has the skills for it. Team plays no man to man defensively, so he lacks defensive fundamentals. Needs to move better without the ball.

Bottom line: Will be inconsistent early, but, to quote Hubie Brown, has terrific upside. Needs coaching, but will likely accept same--from talking to people and watching body language, he's a leader and the other kids like him. I really, really want him to go to UM. At this time, it's UM and Arkansas in front of others, and we feel good about our chances, though it's not a done deal by any means. They like him enough that they're holding off the combo from Florida (Martavious Kee), whom they think they'd have if they offered (some pretty good offers already--FSU and Clemson to name two--but he really wants to get a Michigan offer) pending Beverley.

He plays Friday at 8:15 on TV for Chicago area Victards who want to tape or watch the game.
Michigan is competing against Arkansas, Wake Forest, UVA, and a few other schools for Beverly's services.

This isn't a major surprise, though it may be of minor importance to most: Michigan's three 2008(!) hockey recruits have all been invited to the USNTDP tryout camp. Clear evidence of "The CCHA Strikes Back" as regards the OHL: every one of the Midwestern kids is already committed to college --
  • Michigan: Wohlberg, Czarnik, Jenks
  • Ohio State: Steve West
  • Northern Michigan: Justin Florek
  • Michigan State:Justin Tibbett
  • Miami-Ohio: Max Cook
-- except defenseman Ian Ruel, who's from Ann Arbor. These players are all two years away from college and some were closer to three when they committed. Imagine if the best football players in the country were all committed midway through their sophomore years. The Detroit Honeybaked AAA club has six players already committed to college(!).

I'll have more on the hockey team tomorrow. Due to a couple of weekend trips inconveniently placed during home games I haven't seen them in a while and have thus shorted the coverage shamefully... I'll try to make up for it over the last few weeks of the season.