So, what did I miss? Only three basketball games, a College Hockey Showcase sweep, the beginning of the fallout from Sparty No! Part II (Glenn Winston Edition), and Charlie Weis getting fired? Oh, OK. Let’s turn it over to the blogosphere why I continue recovering from tryptophan poisoning and too much rest.
First, a few thoughts on Michigan hoops after an ugly 1-2 weekend in Orlando. I was able to catch the first two games in their entirety, but was forced to follow along with the Alabama game online, so if something seems off about these observations, blame ESPNU.
- Manny Harris is tremendous, and could be blossoming into an All-American before our eyes, but the guy needs more help than what he’s getting right now. DeShawn Sims is a very good player, but I’d like to see him stay on the block more — we have enough perimeter shooters, and Sims isn’t exactly a three-point gunner anyway. Forcing him to play down low could help his consistency issues — it seems like every game there’s a significant stretch where he disappears.
- Yes, Michigan is going to need a third player to step up in every game. I do expect that to be a different guy depending on the night — LLP took the role against Creighton, and then Michigan dropped two games when there really wasn’t a consistent third option.
- The free throw shooting over the weekend was terrible, to put it bluntly. However, I don’t think that issue will continue to plague Michigan throughout the season. There’s simply too many good shooters on this team for them to be shooting that poorly from the line. I’m not going to fret about free throws unless Michigan continues to shoot poorly for the next couple games.
- Never thought I’d say this, but can we see more Zack Gibson? He’s really developed as an offensive player, providing a threat in the post, and also is a presence on the defensive end. I’d like to see him and Sims get some time together when the Wolverines have to face bigger squads that are exploiting the team inside.
More coverage on hoops: MGoTim has his breakdown of the final two games posted, appropriately titled “Work in Progress“, and also takes a look at the Big Ten’s chances in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. UMHoops, as always, has game wraps, and Dylan also gets former co-captain David Merritt to answer five questions about the team. He has a lot of great insight about the team, and I look forward to hearing his thoughts as the season wears on.
On the football side of things, Dr. Saturday looks at Brandon Graham’s Heisman chances in an alternate reality. Honestly, if the guy isn’t a first-team All-American, it’s a crime. The Rivalry, Esq. put out a lot of great content over the holiday, including a discussion of what to do with Denard Robinson, why getting two BCS bids would hurt the Big Ten, and a look at how expansion could help the conference’s image.
Also, Bo Schemblogger has the most tremendously succinct denial of transfer rumors (these about Austin White) that I’ve ever seen. Funny how actually talking to a guy can really clear stuff up.
In national news, Michigan won’t have Charlie Weis to beat up at Notre Dame any more, which would be really sad if he wasn’t such a grating blowhard. The WLA has some suggestions for his next job, while Boiled Sports takes Weis to task for ducking the media and leaving his players to answer questions about his possible firing. You stay classy, Charlie.
In hockey, Puck Daddy looks at the problems of the NCAA against the major junior leagues after Robbie Czarnik quit for the OHL and Jack Campbell decommitted for the same reason last week, and The Blog That Yost Built has your weekend recap after Michigan took out Minnesota and Wisconsin in the College Hockey Showcase.
Regular content will resume tomorrow now that I’m through the post-vacation hangover and all caught up with school. Hope everyone had a great holiday.