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Friday, April 19, 2013


The high winds we've been experiencing this week are probably due to the collective sigh of relief from fans of Wolverine Men's Basketball, as their team avoided a total implosion when Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson decided to try a second year of college. Their long-forecasted departure for the NBA will apparently wait until next year.

Who in their right mind thought those two could actually make such a jump after their freshman seasons? Did anybody actually check their season stats before making such bold proclamations? Well, I did, and it doesn't take long to see through the Blue Wall of media manipulation in this case:

  • ROBINSON:  32% 3-point shooting, 1.1 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game
  • McGARY:  7.5 points per game, 44% free-throws, 0.7 blocks per game, zero three-pointers

Why would those numbers lead anybody to suggest, much less believe, that these guys were going to out-jump Magic Johnson to The League? The answer is that it wasn't the numbers that did it. It was the mainstream sports media, once again bowing down to Lord Yellow Shoes, trying to pump up the Blueblood reputation and inflate the public image of the most over-rated sports program in America.

Those who are not staying to become champions represent 42% of minutes played last season, including 49% of their team scoring. It will hardly be the same team, but they avoided total devastation by retaining two of their non-student athletes.

Here's what UM has coming back:

  1. Jordan Morgan, Senior Forward
  2. Jon Horford, Junior Forward
  3. Glenn Robinson, Sophomore Forward
  4. Mitch McGary, Sophomore Forward
  5. Max Bielfeldt, Sophomore Forward
  6. Spike Albrecht, Sophomore Guard
  7. Caris LeVert, Sophomore Guard
  8. Nik Stauskas, Sophomore Guard

Those eight players will run the off-season workouts with each other, six of them for their first time. Looks like the training program will be directed by Morgan and Horford, who combined for 24 minutes of playing time and seven points per game last year. Those guys know how to "git 'er done".

It could have been worse for the Wolverines, but they have plenty of work cut out for them if they want to finish in the top half of the conference next season. 9 of their 11 players will be freshmen and sophomores. The "senior leadership" will come from a 15-minute-per-game backup. As for Spike-the-Second-Coming taking the reins? He played eight minutes per game for his 2.2 point season scoring average (just about the same as LeVert). At least Albrecht checks in at 5'11".

Thus ends the first phase of John Beilein's career as Michigan Head Coach. To the Victors go the spoils, which in his case is one conference title and one final four in six years. Now he must rebuild, not just reload. There is little reason to believe that UM can hit the 30-win mark next year, though they have a good chance to win 20. There is no reason to expect the Wolverines to win five games in the NCAA Tournament, but finishing fifth in the league is a fair forecast.


The Three-Part series looking at the current state of chUMps Basketball:

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  1. you should save this article and read it next year as you sit on the couch with the rest of your team watching michigan in the ncaa tournament

  2. Anonymous - Glad you visit so often. I suggest you read SpartanMan82's fact based posts on the near future of "your" program. You are buying into something that is not there. ANY other program that lost what Ann Arbor lost and has coming back what they have, would be downgraded severely, but not THE MACHINE - THE MARKETING MASTERPIECE. I placed links to the previous posts so you can see the facts if you so choose. You are welcome back any time. Thanks for commenting. Good luck with that lineup next year. Your "hope" is admirable.

  3. Very funny Anonymous comment. Prototypical chUMp thinking. This guy figures that because his team will be good, our team will be bad. Classic distortion of thought.

    UM "dodged two bullets" by retaining a pair of freshmen, and by doing so, will probably earn a bid to the Big Dance next year, as do 6-7 conference teams annually. He should be glad to see his team extend their short streak. But to extrapolate that into MSU missing the tournament is absurd.

    NOTE: MSU finished the regular season ahead of UM, ranked higher and seeded higher. Michigan loses seven players, including two starters, one of whom was Player of the Year in many polls. Michigan State loses one or two players, including one or two starters, period.

    The University of Michigan Men's Basketball program has hit the high-water mark under their current coach, and will drop backwards next year. How far remains to be seen. MSU had a similar experience in 2002, after Tom Izzo's sixth year. Matt Painter is going through a similar phenomenon at Purdue. Tubby Smith didn't make it that far.

    The question isn't whether or not it will happen, but how bad it will be, and whether or not Beilein can pull out of it.


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