Michigan Wolverines 2012-2013

Discussion in 'College Basketball' started by Phall, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Head coach John Beilein returns for his sixth season with the highest expectations of his 34-year career. He can be credited with having restored the Wolverines to former glory; the two previous black head coaches in the "post-Fab Five" era were unable to make the NCAA Tournament during their generous tenures. Beilein is a stark contrast from his predecessors, known as one of the "smartest" and "hardest working" "X's and O's" guys. Indeed, his synopsis can be written entirely in caste language.

    Beilein is the reigning head of the inaugural NCAA Ethics Coalition. Contrast this to previous coach Tommy Amaker, now at Harvard, whose roster has been slashed in the wake of widespread cheating allegations against black players. Beilein inserts himself into his players' lives, guiding them even in superfluous chores such as building positive credit profiles. As a surrogate parent, Beilein nevertheless still targets recruits trending from stable, two-parent families (even the blacks). He hired a local black mouthpiece (Bacari Alexander) as his assistant to bolster his "street cred", and this has been helpful during pursuit of the darker high schoolers.

    Onto the roster: Michigan faces the daunting task of replacing its two white co-captains, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass. Both of these four-year players were unheralded recruits who blossomed into dependable floor leaders. In their wake, a new Fab Five recruiting class comes to campus, with a wrinkle... three of them are whites!

    [​IMG]

    Mitch McGary is the literal centerpiece of the incoming roster. Ranked as the #2 overall recruit in the country, here he explains his fall into the twenties:

    McGary ironically projects to be much more of a focal point on his Big Ten team than on his all-black AAU squad. It will be fun to watch him match up against the conference's best player, Cody Zeller. McGary should start at power forward and play a majority of front-court minutes.

    Senior shooting guard Matt Vogrich and center Blake McLimans return to the team in supporting roles. Redshirt freshman Max Biefeldt will compete for backup minutes in the post. Spike Albrecht and top-100 shooting guard Nik Stauskas join McGary as true freshmen.

    Michigan's six scholarship whites are an outlier, especially as a top ten team. They project to roster at least five whites for the next four years.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  2. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Here is some bonus coverage of the incoming freshmen. True point guard Spike Albrecht was rated with two stars by the scouting agencies. He is largely considered a stopgap at the position, only offered a roster spot as a contingency plan in case of Trey Burke declaring early for the NBA.

    [​IMG]
    In other words, Spike is a treasure trove of caste tropes. More:

    Here's the write-up for fellow white freshman Nik Stauskas. While slightly less egregious, Stauskas still does not escape the stereotypes despite a top-100 ranking.

    [​IMG]
    Now let's contrast to black freshman Caris LeVert:

    [​IMG]
    This silky smooth future pro is in fact likely to redshirt. In my subjective opinion, he is more likely to transfer than start at any point in his Michigan career. He has chosen #23 like everyone's idol Jordan, which makes me question his inclination to function as a role player. LeVert previously decommited from Ohio University as his list of scholarship offers improved, and I predict that he eventually winds up at one of these smaller programs where he can assume a larger role.
     
  3. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,247
    Location:
    Michigan
    Great spot on review of Michigan basketball. I really like the way Beillein has built the Wolverines into a perennial contender by making them a kind of Duke of the north. I know a lot of old time Blue die-hards that are confused and disappointed in not having the hip-hop type of team like the Fab Four. Winning cures a lot of DWF-ism however.

    Kudos also for joining the site and jumping in and writing a review with such a good knowledge of the intricacies of the caste system. :clap2:
     
  4. Freethinker

    Freethinker Hall of Famer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    4,492
    Location:
    Suffolk County, NY
    Good post Phall. As a college hoops fan, I enjoyed reading that post. I've heard a bit about McGary but nothing on the other White recruits. Michigan will definitely be a top 25 team to route for along with Indiana, Duke and Wisconsin.
     
  5. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Thanks for the kind words, guys. Basketball is a tough sport to follow, so it's refreshing when a program finds success without being run like a zoo. It's hard to believe that Beiiein was on the hot seat just a season and a half ago. Building up a clean program is often a very secondary consideration.

    As for the caste language, it's becoming obvious even to casual fans that don't consider why it might be in place. I've played the game with friends where I'll send them a player profile and they'll guess the race. With a bit of cherry-picking, they get it right every time.

    Here's a clip from media day where the players discuss the crucial topic of breaking backboards. It's sort of a McGary hype video, but you'll also notice no paucity of palefaces.
    [video=youtube;fgBEWMWxNsM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgBEWMWxNsM[/video]
    And no, your eyes aren't deceiving you: Michigan has a jew shooting guard as senior walk-on and unofficial team blogger :israel:

    Btw Freethinker, Michigan plays an exhibition game in the Barclay's Arena in December. :cool:
     
  6. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I spit my milk out while reading this hilarious overview of Bielfeldt's skill set:

    [​IMG]

    It is reassuring that this 6'7, 245 lb. teenager can overcome his lack of natural athleticism by taking an urgent, business-like approach to the game.

    I don't expect Bielfeldt to play very much this year, but his future seems bright and I'll be happy to cheer for him in garbage time. He is another one of Coach Beilein's signature two-star white players who can only overachieve. Bielfeldt's redshirt was forced by an injury, but there was a buzz that his strong play during practice last season marginalized the departing starter Evan Smotrycz (white player attrition: yes, anything is possible at Michigan!).
     
  7. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Here's a little excerpt from an interview with last year's team captain Zack Novak. Zack, by the way, did not get a single workout from an NBA scouting team, but did score 32 points last week for his pro team in Holland.

    GEE ZACK, I HAVE NO IDEA! :huh:

    [​IMG]

    Albrecht scored 16 points and tossed 6 assists in Michigan's easy exhibition win over Northern Michigan last night. Nick Stauskas led the team with 17 points in 19 minutes. Albrecht's performance has already earned him an upgrade from "emergency backup plan" to "four-year contributor" in the eyes of the student journalists.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone care to guess which point guard Albrecht has drawn comparisons to? There have to be at least sixty point guards that play some NBA minutes each year...

    :lol:
     
  8. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,247
    Location:
    Michigan
    Good post, the absurdity of the racial dynamics is hilarious in a frustrating manner. However Beilein's comments about guys not meeting the "eyeball" test is a bit odd. Flutie, ok he was short, but Montana was a star high school QB and was 6'2", 205, and of course starred at Notre Dame. Theismann was only 6 foot 195 but that was not "small" in his era and he was another highly recruited Notre Dame star QB that almost won the Heismann in a 10-1 senior season. I have no idea what "eyeball" test they possibly could have failed, as being a big strong armed white guy is exactly what the eyeballs are looking for at QB. Maybe Beilein is sending us some intentionally ridiculous comment to subtly point out the double standard.

    Anyway whatever he has to do to keep recruiting White kids that can play and give them a shot. The man should win the CasteFootball Collegiate Basketball Coach of the Year Award for giving White kids playing time at a major DI school.
     
  9. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    12,005
    Way to go Michigan. I have a dream that one day we can have an all white fab 5 and that the media would actually take notice for their talent and not their skin color. All of these kids are very talented, athletic and hungry to make a name for themselves. This is a team that we will have to keep a close eye on. Great job and welcome to the board my friend.
     
  10. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Michigan defeated a pesky Bradley team on the road yesterday to progress to 7-0, looking fully-deserving of their top 5 ranking. They appear to be firm in starting four blacks, but white players remain instrumental to the team's success. Five out of ten players logging minutes yesterday were white.

    Nik Stauskas has been an absolute revelation. The true freshman scored 22 points in his first start of the season, eclipsing his 20 pt career high from the previous game. Stauskas is shooting an absurd 58% from beyond the arc with no signs of slowing down.

    [​IMG]

    While his shooting is incredible, another very impressive aspect of Stauskas' game to me has been his ability to take the ball to the lane. He gets to the foul line frequently, where he is a predictable 20-21 for the year. Check out his take at 0:26

    [video=youtube;uSn4L4D-dgE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSn4L4D-dgE[/video]

    Mitch McGary is the first man off the bench. His energy and talent are irrepressible, but he is prone to fouls and mistakes. When he refines his focus a bit, he will once again project as a serious pro prospect. As it stands, McGary might throw an outlet pass at his guard's feet, or he might rip a ball at the top of the key and run the court for a slam.

    Matt Vogrich has been relegated to the bench and will see fewer minutes as Stauskas develops. He is still a rotation player because of his defensive strength and spot shooting.

    Spike Albrecht remains the reliable backup point guard, which is all that could be expected alongside all-conference Trey Burke. Max Bielfeldt may have won the backup center role over Jon Horford, which is surprising "on paper" but encouraging for the team's future.
     
  11. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Michigan won a snoozefest tonight, demolishing Eastern Michigan 93-54 to improve to 12-0 on the year. Blowouts are always fine opportunities for the Wolverine whites to pad their stat sheets, and tonight proved no exception. Mitch McGary went for ten points and ten rebounds in eighteen minutes. Stauskas continued his torrid shooting pace, knocking down five of eight from behind the arc and tallying 16 points and 5 rebounds. Albrecht and Bielfeldt gave steady contributions as understudies, and Vogrich and McLimans were afforded enough floor time to escape the "Trillionaire's Club" (the ignominious box score of one minute played and zero stats accrued).

    Overall, the team has trended a bit more black than I was hoping at season's onset. Before conference play begins, here is a scorecard with regard to racial rooting interests:

    The Good

    Nik Stauskas is front and center here. He has scored in double figures in all but the first game of the season. Stauskas has forced his way into the starting lineup, has otherworldly usage rates and shooting percentages, and seems to be an unimpeachable top-ten freshman. As a shooter, he benefits from the space cleared by future pro guards Burke and Hardaway. Still, he is solidly the #3 option for offense and gets to the foul line consistently rather than just spotting up outside. Stauskas earned his first collegiate technical foul this past Saturday in Brooklyn for jawing at the West Virginia bench after draining another 2nd-half corner stroke. I must admit that I still beamed at that call. All caveats aside, it is remarkable that this unheralded Canadian demands such attention.

    Mitch McGary still plays young and raw. He commits too many fouls and turnovers to consider a leap into the NBA next year, which actually treats Michigan fans to another year of the passionate big man. McGary is firmly the sixth man, and could usurp fellow freshman Glen Rice at the four by the end of the year. As strange as it sounds to say, he exudes "upside".

    Spike Albrecht has exceeded expectations as the backup point guard simply by doing nothing wrong. He spells future first round draft pick Trey Burke at the drop of a hat, and succeeds in breaking presses and staying turnover-free. In a pinch, he can shoot in space. Albrecht is largely expected to remain a backup next season when Michigan's new black supastar point arrives on campus, but I hope Beilein has the temerity to force a competition and split the initial minutes more equitably.

    Max Bielfeldt has looked fine down low in his minutes off the bench, regularly filling in for the oft-injured Jon Horford. He seems cautious on offense but rebounds hard. Max is destined to start later on in his Michigan career, as the NBA is unlikely to come calling for a 6'7 white power forward. Ironically, Jason Maxiell is enjoying his eighth year of employ as a multimillionaire for the local Pistons with exactly the same build.

    The Bad

    Matt Vogrich played poorly as a token starter at the three. While Stauskas supplanted him in the starting lineup, Beilein chose to burn Caris LeVert's redshirt to replace those backup minutes. Since he is a senior, Vogrich is likely relegated to the end of the bench barring injury or heavy foul trouble.

    Blake McLimans, another senior, is probably not even considered for useful backup minutes. He suffered a bad knee injury early on in his college career and has never asserted himself since. I'd rather Stauskas assume his ten or so three-pointers for the rest of the schedule when it's all said and done.

    The Upside?

    Michigan looks like a firm #2 seed for this year's tournament. There are enough rooting interests to support them as favorites over many other less-inclined teams at the top of the pile.

    McLimans will be replaced by incoming white freshman center Mark Donnal, who is ranked much more highly out of high school (for whatever that's worth). Hopefully he develops into a more prominent role.

    Burke and possibly Hardaway will go pro after this year, leaving Nik Stauskas as the incumbent leading scorer. While other players (McGary, Glen Rice) will fill some of that void, we can look forward to plenty of media attention on the Ontario Onslaught. Minutes and usage will be up for grabs in Beilein's merit system next year, and plenty of whites will have the opportunity for them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  12. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    7,247
    Location:
    Michigan
    Very nice post as is typical. I watched most of the game and both Stauskas And McGary made highlight plays, Stauskas with a loong three and a defender in his face, and McGary with a nice slam. McGary also made a nice reverse lay-up. The reason to point that out is almost all White big men are portrayed as gawky doofuses who can't jump and don't have any game, just big bodies for scoopin' up rebounds and feeding the ball to the real players.

    MCGary looks like he breaks that mold. He's got a good scoring touch. Problem is, as mentioned in your original comments about him, he's got what I call "white man's disease" the uncurable urge to sacrifice yourself for others. So if he once again subverts his own game for "the good of the team" then he will end up as just another Big 10 white guy, good for rebounds and put backs and nothing else.
     
  13. Phall

    Phall Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Here is McGary finishing a stab steal and running the court himself for a flush, albeit against an inferior squad:

    [video=youtube;lXZwVu5djC8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXZwVu5djC8[/video]

    McGary may peak as a 2 and 10 player this year, but he is capable of much more. With two NBA guards in the front court, I won't piss and moan about his limited offensive role... for now. Michigan has a valuable chip at the table. McGary committed to Beilein with some expectation of developing his professional skill-set. We might have to wait a year, but we'll see much more of him as the roster turns itself over toward him.

    McGary still registers well below Cody Zeller's bar of elite talent. Perhaps that was always an unfair comparison, but he'll have two full seasons of conference play to prove his worth to the pro scouts. We'll still see him under the basket in the pro league eventually. I hope he waits it out with his college teammates to expand his role and prove his worth for a larger stage.
     

Share This Page