Two Wolverines Make First Team All-Conference

Big Ten Press Release:

Rosemont, Ill. – Michigan State has been chosen as the unanimous Big Ten favorite heading into the 2013-14 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Spartan sophomore Gary Harris as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third, respectively.

Harris led a six-member preseason All-Big Ten team, as the media vote resulted in additional honorees due to a tie. He was joined on the team by the Wolverines’ Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, the Buckeyes’ Aaron Craft and Penn State’s Tim Frazier.

Michigan State, which is ranked No. 2 in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll, returns four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished with a 27-9 record. Tom Izzo enters his 19th year at the helm. Harris and Payne were both named second-team All-Big Ten last season, as was senior guard Keith Appling. Harris also picked up Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades from both the coaches and media.

Michigan welcomes back three starters from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA Championship game. John Beilein enters his seventh season with the Wolverines. Robinson III was a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection by the coaches last season, and also collected All-Big Ten honorable mention plaudits from the media. McGary became a regular starter during the NCAA Tournament, and averaged a double-double during the Wolverines’ run to the Final Four. Forward Jordan Morgan, a Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection last season, also returns for the Wolverines.

Ohio State returns four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Elite Eight. The Buckeyes, who also won the Big Ten Tournament last season, are led by tenth-year head coach Thad Matta. Craft was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media last season and was also a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team along with Shannon Scott, who also returns in the Buckeyes’ backcourt.

The complete 2013-14 preseason poll and All-Big Ten Team can be found below:

 

2013-14 BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS
1. MICHIGAN STATE
2. Michigan
3. Ohio State

2013-14 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
Mitch McGary, Michigan

Glenn Robinson III, Michigan

Gary Harris, Michigan State

Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Aaron Craft, Ohio State

Tim Frazier, Penn State

2013-14 PRESEASON BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Gary Harris, Michigan State

Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS

*Additional honorees due to ties

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Highlights from Last Night’s Concordia Exhibition Win

Highlights from last night’s 117-44 exhibition win over Concordia:

Glenn Robinson III led the way with 33 points while Nik Stauskas poured in 23. Caris LeVert had 10 assists, Derrick Walton & Spike Albrecht each had 4 apiece. Jon Horford had 12 rebounds and Jordan Morgan had 7.

Tweet from Concordia Assistant Head Coach Nick Sherwood:

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A Split During Livestock Week

By Basketball Writer: Drew Montag

It was Livestock Week for the (#19) University of Michigan men’s basketball team last week.  They played the “cows” (Michigan State) and the “hogs” (Arkansas), and they won one and lost one.  On Tuesday (01/17/2012) they beat (#9) MSU 60-59 in Crisler Arena, thenon Saturday (01/21/2012) they lost at Arkansas 66-64.  This brings Michigan’s record to 15-5 (5-2 in the Big Ten).

Both games were exciting, and both games came down to the visiting team taking the last shot with a chance to win the game.  Trey Burke - Grantland.comIn both games, the last-ditch shots failed.  In the MSU game, our old buddy Draymond Green missed a runner with about 2 seconds left, and his follow-up tip-in attempt also missed, even though it wouldn’t have counted anyway, since the horn had already sounded.  In the Arkansas game, Trey Burke got off a good 3-point attempt at the buzzer, and it rimmed out.

UM played a very good game vs. the Farmers Spartans, getting ahead early and keeping a comfortable lead for most of the game.  After leading by 7 points (36-29) at halftime, Michigan pushed the lead up as high as 11 points (47-36) with about 12 minutes left in the game.  Everyone knew that MSU would have a run at some point in the game, and this was the point.  State went on a 16-2 run, and led 52-49 with 5:47 left to play.  The rest of the game was very tense, with UM recapturing the lead with 37 seconds left, and MSU holding for the last shot, which didn’t go in.  When the final horn sounded, the place exploded, and a certain usher in the upper bowl might have behaved less than professionally.

Oh yeah, in case you haven’t heard, Michigan has beaten MSU 3 times in a row now in basketball.

The good news here is that Michigan won a big rivalry game, and looked good doing it.  They are also tied for 1st place in the Big Ten.  The bad news is that UM has had one of the easiest Big Ten schedules so far, and they play most of their remaining games on the road, or against the other contenders, or both.

The Arkansas game was the exact opposite of the MSU game: Michigan got down early, fell way behind, and spent the whole game playing “catch-up”.  Arkansas started the game as hot as any team I have ever seen.  They hit their first 11 shots, including a few 3-pointers, and built up a 20-point lead midway through the 1st half.  Michigan never gave up, and they managed to close the gap to “only” 13 points at halftime (46-33).  They kept scrapping and clawing, and got within 2 points a few times in the closing minutes of the game, including the final 7.6 seconds.  Burke got open, took the shot, and … oh well.

Continue Reading on UMGoBlue.com

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The End-Around 2

On Darius Morris:Darius Morris

So it is now official, Morris is going pro after only two seasons as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan.  First analysis on his decision.  Although I believe if he had stayed another season he would have been drafted higher, I can only wish him the best and I believe he will be a solid back-up guard in the right team’s rotation.  Nobody wants to see another Ernest Shazor situation.  For what it is worth, Morris continues to climb every time ESPN’s Chad Ford updates his mock draft.  He currently projects Morris to be drafted 23rd by the Houston Rockets.  ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb said a few weeks ago that Morris should go pro if is given indication that he will be drafted in the Top 20, otherwise he should spend the off-season working on his jump shot. Andy Katz now has Michigan as a loser following the deadline to enter the draft.  He predicted they would have been a Top 15 team next season if not for the surprising decision.

Now for the aftermath and how it effects Michigan Basketball for the 2011-2012 season. 

Gary Parrish of CBSSports has Michigan 20th ….while Andy Katz has them 23rd:

The Wolverines would have been much higher but took a hit when Darius Morris unexpectedly decided to stay in the draft. Tim Hardaway Jr., is back; so, too, are Jordan Morgan, Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, Jon Horford and Matt Vogrich. Michigan will tussle with Wisconsin behind Ohio State in the Big Ten. But losing Morris takes a creator off the floor.

Michigan and Bradley will play a home and home the next years with Bradley. That means Bradley will visit Ann Arbor this upcoming season and the Wolverines will return the favor the following year.

Paul Zeise wonders if the University of Pittsburgh is becoming a reservoir for other program’s malcontents (Cullen Christian & Ray Vinopal mentioned).

Jamie Samuelsen believes that Lloyd Carr should be elected into the College Football Hall of Fame … And I agree.

David Brandon says he won’t gloat over Ohio State’s current situation.

Future Wolverine O-Lineman Tony Posada is looking to shine at this week’s Florida State Championship Track Meet.

Angelique Chengelis recently highlighted five potential difference makers for the Michigan Football team heading into next season.

Chad Henne says that Jim Mandich’s last words to him were confidence building.

And to close things out today, check out Zac & Jill Moon’s Wedding Entrance, a true must-see:

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDdYlsj_MkI[/tube]

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B-Ball Stat Update

It has been a year of firsts for this year’s young Michigan team on the hardwoods.Darius Morris

All 20 point games by Wolverines have been their firsts. Darius Morris (4), Jordan Morgan (2) & Tim Hardaway Jr. (1) this season have all reached this plateau for the first time in their careers. Morgan and Hardaway Jr. are freshman, so that is expected, but this stat reflects a team growing together. There will be growing pains, but they’ve been fun to watch.

The same can be said for Wolverines and games with 10+ rebounds this year. All 6 games in which a player reached that mark has been a new occurrence this season – Zach Novak (4), Jordan Morgan (1) & Stu Douglass (1).

Nationally as a team Michigan has been playing very disciplined ranking 21st in personal fouls a game at 15.8, and 10th turning the ball over only 10.9 times a game so far.

Darius Morris ranks 21st in the nation in assist to turnover ratio at 2.70 while also currently ranking 4th in assists per a game at 7.3.

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