Ford says Michigan may have most talent in the country

In an ESPN discussion with Jay Bilas, Chad Ford had the following under the question: Which team is the nation’s most talented?

Trey Burke - Kingsrow

“But the team that may have the most talent in the country, in my book, is Michigan. The Wolverines currently have five players ranked in our Top 100. Kentucky is the only other team to have as many Top 100 players.

Right now, point guard Trey Burke is the only Michigan player ranked in our top 30, but Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. both have the ability to crack the first round of the NBA draft. Freshmen Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas are further down the list, but both have a real shot at getting drafted down the road.

That’s in part why I believe Michigan is a Final Four team and may give Indiana a run for the No. 1 spot by the end of the season.”

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.

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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: