Sizing Up the Competition
Evaluative Capsules of the Non-conference Opponents
Old Spice Classic
27-29 November 2009
Walt Disney Sport Complex – The Milk House
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 2008-09 Record: 21-14 Postseason: NCAA 2nd Rd
UM overachieved last season. And with the return of SF Manny Harris, GD Lucas-Perry, and PF DeShawn Sims this years squad – a year more seasoned, will have expectations for greater achievements. They return 4 starters, 90% of scoring and 87% of their rebounding. Wolverines lost SR PG C J Lee and So Gd Kelvin Grady. While I am not convinced that Beilein is that good of a coach, results cannot be argued with.
The Wolverines will be a good, scrappy team – probably a bit cocky after their NCAA success and battling Oklahoma in the 2nd Rd.. Many of the preseason polls have them ranked, between # 11 & # 19 ( most as # 18). They will probably be the 1 or 2 seed at the Old Spice Classic, in Orlando, over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Jays should see them in the 2nd round of that event. They have the talent to run, but Belein teams like half court sets and the 3 ball. If they play Belein ball, it plays into CU’s defensive hands and the Jays will win handily on the neutral court.
Returning Players: SFs Manny Harris & Tony Wright, PF DeShawn Sims, Ctrs Zack Gibson & Ben Cronin, SG Laval Lucas-Perry, and So. role players SF Novak and PG Douglass – both 3 pt specialists. Douglass also sported a 2:1 Ast/TO ratio. PG Morris and Vogrich could impact right away.
New Recruits: LA’s PG Darius Morris 6′ 1”, Chicago SG Matt Vogrich, Ill. Gatorade POY, Fwds Jordan Morgan & Blake McLimans. Ctr Cronin & Gd Person are R-Fr this season.
Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. 2008-09 Record: 27-8 Postseason: NCAA Sweet 16
The Musketeers. What can I say that hasn’t been said by others with better prose? Their system works…change the coach and yet they keep winning. This year will be more of the same. They also lost 3 players to graduation/draft, BJ (Raymond), CJ (Anderson) & Derrick Brown, but most expect Xavier to reload. Brown was expected to be the lead guy this season – but off to the draft. X is ranked in many pre-season polls (#18 – #21) and will be the 2 or the 1 seed at the OSC. Due to their familiarity with & recent playing history against the Jays, I believe the Musketeers will opt to avoid a pairing with CU until the finals of the tourney. Why risk the loss in the early going – allow the teams who are not familiar with CU to see for themselves.
Returning Players: Ctr Kenny Frease, Fwds Jason Love, Jamel McLean, Big PG Jackson – Little PG Holloway (both are TO prone).
New Recruits: So Transfer (Indiana) SG Jordan Crawford