Michigan Wolverines: Michigan basketball

WolverineNation Mailbag 

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Football season, you are so close. Teams are in pads. Scrimmages are happening. Kickoff of the first week of the season is less than three weeks away.

This means more questions about actual football in this week’s mailbag. If you have questions next week, send them to Chantel at @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com through the electronic mail.

Now on to your questions this week.

@saltybarb22 from The Den asksL Who is being developed for the tackle spots behind Taylor (Lewan) and (Michael) Schofield?

WolverineNation Mailbag 

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
10:30
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Brady HokeAP Photo/Carlos OsorioIt's difficult to project what would have happened to Michigan football if Rich Rodriguez had not been hired. Brady Hoke was at Ball State and was not a candidate back in 2007.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Football season begins this week with the opening of Michigan’s fall camp. In a month, the Wolverines will have their first game and all of the questions that have been asked over the past four months will have the beginnings of some resolution to them.

Some questions about football -- and a quick look into Michigan basketball -- populate this week’s Michigan mailbag, filled with your questions.

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WolverineNation Mailbag 

June, 18, 2013
6/18/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- We’re almost at the two-month warning before football season starts, so clearly now is the time to discuss the 2014 season. And basketball. And basketball recruiting.

These topics are covered in this week’s Mailbag, filled with your questions. Have questions for us? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com for next week’s mailbag.

On to this week’s conversation.

robbyt003 from The Den asks: What do you think our special teams will look like in 2014? Hagerup at punter, Wile at kicker? Do you think Hagerup will be able to stay out of trouble and even see the field again?


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
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The summer is here, which means speculation and recruiting really starts to pick up. Michigan held its one-day elite basketball camp Saturday, and the football team has its camp later this month.

So recruiting rules this week's Mailbag, comprised of your questions. Have questions for the mailbag? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com.

Now on to this week's questions:

KobeFan45 from The Den: With the basketball team reaching the national title game last season, what are the chances Michigan signs a five-star recruit?


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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As former Michigan guard Trey Burke moves on to the NBA, he’ll be keeping part of his life close to home. He has decided to be represented by his family.

Burke told ESPN.com he would be represented by his father, Benji Burke, and his cousin, Alonzo Shavers. Shavers primarily has been an NFL agent and is the founder and president of Infinite Sports Concepts.

“I think it’s the best decision for me,” Burke said. “Alonzo is my cousin and also been a football agent for years. He has the experience. My dad is new to the game. I felt going with them would be the right fit and I think we’ll still have the same resources we would have with a bigger firm, just because I feel like I’m marketable enough to get those types of endorsements and things like that. I just felt like it was the best decision for me.”

Burke, the national player of the year for the 2012-13 season, is projected as a lottery pick, perhaps as high as the top five in June’s NBA draft. He set Michigan’s single-season assist record last season with 260 while averaging 18.6 points a game.

The 20-year-old will attend next week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago. He said there were other agents inquiring about signing him before he chose to stay within his family.

“It was a business decision for me and one I felt I had to make,” Burke said. “There were a lot of big-time agents that were really interested and wanted me to sign with them. I just feel like I made the best decision for me.”

Chris Webber, Michigan can reconnect

May, 8, 2013
5/08/13
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Jalen Rose discusses what he would like to see happen now that Michigan's dissociation with Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock has ended.

WolverineNation mailbag 

May, 8, 2013
5/08/13
10:30
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Replacements and leadership are topics which come up during every offseason for every sport.

We'll examine those topics in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag, featuring your questions. Have questions for next week? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or at jenningsespn@gmail.com.

Now, on to this week’s queries.

M2go4blue from The Den asks: How well can we expect Michigan basketball to continue the success from the last two years, with the lack of upperclassman leadership this coming season? From last year, five seniors and a three-year starter in Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. That's a lot of leadership missing.


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He hadn’t played a meaningful game in a long time, forced to sit out his junior season of high school due to a squabble with the California Interscholastic Federation over a transfer. So when Kameron Chatman (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) played last month for Inner City Players, it was a mix of emotions.

Relief. Jubilation. Rust from having missed a season of basketball after transferring from Oregon to Long Beach Poly. And he would have to deal with all of it while playing some of the top competition in the country on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

“It was hard to see, to not be on the court and just watch my team,” Chatman said. “I supported them in practice and stuff like that, but to not be able to get into the game, it was a hard thing.

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Stephen Zimmerman (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) was watching Michigan play this season where he saw something more familiar than he could have anticipated. There the Wolverines were, running a play through their own big man, Mitch McGary.

Immediately, Zimmerman recognized it, and it only helped reaffirm his interest in the Wolverines.

“They used him really well,” Zimmerman said. “The play that they run where it runs through Mitch, we run the same thing with my traveling team, so it was a good thing to see how he ran it and things he did with it.”

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WolverineNation Mailbag 

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s potentially early entrants have made their decisions -- Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the draft, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary out -- and now, the Wolverines roster for next season is starting to take shape.

Also, the most intriguing position battle on Michigan’s football team still has little definition entering the summer.

We address these issues in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag. Send your questions for next week to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan started the week with the expected defections of its starting backcourt to the NBA. It’ll end it by likely remaining in the preseason top 10 for 2013-14 anyway.

More than Trey Burke or Tim Hardaway Jr., the returns of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III were the pieces Michigan needed to come back to avoid a potential major slide next season. And now, they have them.

The return of the two close friends from Indiana gives Michigan depth and top-end talent at every position next season, as they will likely join freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr., sophomore guard Nik Stauskas and either freshman winger Zak Irvin or sophomore wing Caris LeVert in the starting lineup.

[+] EnlargeMitch McGary
AP Photo/Morry GashMitch McGary now needs to prove he can post numbers for a whole season.
Those five -- seven, really, if you include the loser of the Irvin/LeVert battle and the return of three-year starter Jordan Morgan -- could end up as the most talented top seven in the country, non-Kentucky division.

Both guys coming back also signifies a piece of what Michigan coach John Beilein has often preached -- sometimes oddly: that he wants the Ann Arbor school to be a place guys want to stay instead of being a quick stop to the NBA. In reality, college -- and big-time programs -- will always be more of a pit stop than a destination to elite talent, but for McGary and Robinson to turn down being potential lottery selections for one more year at Michigan is significant for Beilein and his program.

It shows those two believe in the development prowess of big man coach Bacari Alexander and wing coach Jeff Meyer to turn them into stronger players. It also reinforces a template Burke set last season of returning and seeing your projected stock improve.

Robinson and McGary have areas in which they need to get better. Robinson needs to add muscle, a reliable outside shot and better defense. McGary still can get in better shape and show he can do what he did during the NCAA tournament for an entire season.

“They are smart kids, have grown a lot this year,” said Wayne Brumm, their former AAU coach with SYF Players. “I think they are really scratching the surface in terms of their game. I think they think that. I think the coaches here know that.

“It’s a real delicate balance between providing for your family and providing for yourself and being a teammate at the University of Michigan.”

The balance has been decided. Robinson and McGary are returning to Michigan. The Wolverines should be a top team again, and with the two of them, they will have a chance at another Final Four run.

Much like Burke a season ago, Thursday likely starts a clock where the decisions for these two players will be different a year from now.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Tim Hardaway Jr. decision to leave for the NBA might not seem like the no-brainer it was for backcourt mate Trey Burke.

Hardaway Jr. isn’t projected as a lottery pick like the departing sophomore point guard. There’s a chance he could sneak into the first round if he has exceptional workouts. There’s a chance he could end up in the late second round or go undrafted if those same workouts don’t go well.

But it is a chance, at this point, Hardaway Jr. was wise to take.

He has done what he needed to do on the college level. He helped Michigan reach its first Final Four in 20 years. He was a first-team All-Big Ten player. And he stayed in college for three years, which is often an eternity for a player who has pro aspirations and makes himself well-known as a freshman.

More than any of Michigan’s other pro prospects, Hardaway Jr. understands what he is getting into. He has lived in the shadows of this lifestyle since he was born. His father was a first-round pick, played in the NBA for 13 seasons and was a five-time All-Star. Now, the son gets a chance to live the basketball life either in the United States or overseas.

If his goal was Europe, then it would make sense to stay because that would always be there. But if his goal is the NBA -- and it clearly is -- it is wise to make the jump now when people are paying attention to him.

For Michigan, losing Hardaway Jr. is not as big of a deal as Burke’s departure or the potential Glenn Robinson III/Mitch McGary announcements because of what the Wolverines have on the roster.

Michigan can slide Nik Stauskas into Hardaway Jr.’s slot as the 2 guard and could either push Robinson III down to the 3 or insert freshman Zak Irvin, the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2013.

The departure might mean Michigan will need some more scoring from freshman Derrick Walton Jr. or sophomore Spike Albrecht as well, but more shots for Stauskas and Robinson III along with shots for Irvin should make up the difference.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In some ways, Michigan knew this was coming for a year -- from the day Trey Burke said he would return for his sophomore season with the Wolverines.

[+] EnlargeTrey Burke
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesSophomore point guard Trey Burke took Michigan to the Final Four and brought home a Wooden Award.
But much like Darius Morris before him, Trey Burke leaves this Michigan basketball program in much better position than when he entered. When Morris arrived, Michigan had just qualified for its first NCAA tournament berth in a decade. When he left, it had made two NCAA tournaments in three seasons and had recruited a point guard out of Columbus, Ohio with a lot of talent.

When Burke came in, he heard questions about how he could replace Morris, now in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now as he leaves two seasons later, giving Michigan its first-ever Wooden Award winner, its first Final Four in two decades and a program now looking to recruit top-50 players every season, the same question will remain.

What’s next? Can Michigan maintain its consistency and upward ascent even without its 6-foot leader in Ann Arbor. And much like two seasons ago, that answer will be yes.


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
10:20
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Michigan FreshmanAP Photo/Carlos OsorioMichigan's basketball fortunes next season depend heavily on the offseason decisions of Mitch McGary (left) and Glenn Robinson III (middle).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan reached its first national championship game in two decades on Monday night and while losing to Louisville, one thing became fairly clear in the first hours of the Wolverines’ postseason.

There is a chance this was not a one-off thing at all.

Depending who leaves and who returns to Michigan’s roster, it could be in a similar position next season. But that is over a summer away. There’s still a football season -- and a spring game Saturday -- to go.

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Final Four photo gallery

April, 9, 2013
4/09/13
2:52
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Tim Hardaway Jr.Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDespinte the loss, Tim Hardaway Jr. and his teammates made some spectacular plays.
For a photo gallery from the national final and semifinals, click here.

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