A pretty big game for the Ben Ball warriors this weekend (early tip off at 11:00 am PST), when they take on the Michigan Wolverines. It is always exciting when two schools such as Michigan and UCLA go head-to-head in any sport. But this game will have a little added luster, at least on the surface, given that Michigan is coming in with a 11-1 record.
Here is a quick look at the numbers via Mid Majority Report:
UCLA v. Michigan (Numbers via MMR)
Michigan certainly has a decent record but they have taken on only one decent opponent in NC State, a game which they lost during the ACC-Big-10 challenge. Michigan blogosphere is not all that excited about Amaker?s hoops team. From Dave over at Maize n Brew:
Michigan's flunked its first true test, falling to North Carolina State 67-74, in a game where Michigan trailed by 21 eight minutes into the second half. Unfortunately, life does not get easier for the Wolverines. Following their UCLA trip, they play host to 2006 Sweet 16 member Georgetown who is currently 7-3. Though G-Town hasn't played the toughest schedule in the world, they have bumped heads with Oregon and Duke already this year. Following that, Michigan opens its Big Ten Season at home against Illinois on January 3rd.
The schedule was designed to give Michigan some casual observer points in building toward a NCAA tournament berth. For the non-observant, 11-1 looks great. However, so did 10-1 last year. Michigan's lack of a true test, and their failure to even guess at an answer during their warm up against NC State does not instill confidence.
Hopefully we'll have a better gauge on this team on Saturday. Don't get your hopes up.
The Wolverines have some more athletes beyond Sims. Here is Sportsline?s blurb on key Wolverines in addition to Sims:
Usual Starters -- F Lester Abram, F Brent Petway, C Courtney Sims, G Dion Harris, G Ron Coleman. Key Subs -- G Jerret Smith, F Ekpe Udoh, F Jevohn Shepherd.
Just like us, the Wolverines' fans have their worries about their team?s offense. Brian jotted down some of those worries on MGoBlog:
Sometime early in the first half Jevohn Shepherd made that cut where he flashes in front of a guy in the post and presents himself near the elbow, having used the two guys battling for the position as an inadvertent screen. The result was an uncontested layup, and I thought to myself "Richard Hamilton does that all the time," and then my mind wandered to the Pistons offense and the NBA's general obsession with the screen and roll (or pop). Why don't we use our big men to get Abram or Dion Harris either a favorable matchup or a driving lane? This I don't understand, but I also don't pretend to have all the answers here. 1) Is this a figment of my imagination? 2) If not, why don't we do this? 3) With our next two post starters capable shooters might this change in the future?
And, speaking of the Holidays, I will be leaving town for the Holidays today. So my posting is going to be sporadic till next Tuesday night. I have written up couple of things which I am hoping the other guys will put up. Look out for a great post from M tomorrow. And we will probably have an open thread starting Saturday. You, of course, are welcome to keep this place rocking in the comment sections and in the diaries. I will try to sneak back in here if I can.
But, if I can't come back here before Sunday, I want to wish all of you a very Merry-Xmas and Happy Holidays.
Thank you so much again for making this little blue and gold painted world so much fun.