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Notes from Schembechler Hall

Was browsing through my favorite Michigan blog to get the skinny on 7-0 Wolverines. Joey and his Michigan buddies are not totally sold on the ratface's protege, but they are somewhat (cautiously) optimistic after the fast hoops start in Ann Arbor. To say that Joey is not biggest fan of Amaker (and you guys think we are harsh on poor Dorrell) is an understatement. Here is Joey on Amaker before the season got started:

Look, we all know the Tommy Amaker story: A promising Duke assistant and potential Coach K successor got put on at Seton Hall in 1997. He stayed there until 2001, making the tournament four times. In 2001, the rising star left to rebuild a Michigan program that had fallen into infamy and disarray. He will surely be a success because, well, he went to Duke and he's really nice. What people like to leave out is that Amaker left Seton Hall following a season during which his Seton Hall team--a preseason top-ten outfit featuring the best freshmen group in the country--came within one Rutgers loss of missing the Big East tournament. That team closed the year on a 4-11 tear.

These same people also like point to Amaker's increasing win totals (11-18; 17-13; 23-11; 13-18*) while ignoring that Michigan is usually an inefficient, disorganized mess on offense that often fails to adequately box out, rotate on defense, move the ball, and penetrate. And let's not even talk about offensive production in crunch time, situations that require excellent preparation and clear understanding of basketball strategy.

There is, of course, a chance that Tommy Amaker knows what he's doing. As mentioned above, he finally has a healthy roster wholly populated by his players. And perhaps his increasing win totals are indicative that his players are learning. However, I remain a resolute skeptic. Show me an Amaker player who has become appreciably better during his time in Ann Arbor; show me an Amaker post player in possession of an actual low-post skill set; show me an Amaker team that plays organized offense; show me an Amaker team that knows what a good shot is and how to get one in crunch time--should I continue?
But things are looking better now after their big win over Notre Dame in South Bend, and their latest win over South Florida pushing their record to 7-0. Sounds like Joey is not crazy about their big man Courtney Sims, then again we have our issues. Key matchup is going to be between the backcourts. I am excited to see what AA can do against Daniel Horton (if they are matched up against each other). It will be very tough to win this game in Ann Arbor. They are going to be all jacked up for this game. But if we play like we did against Nevada, we are going to have a shot. I am excited about this one. GO BRUINS.