Thursday, November 8, 2012
Basketball Notes & Updates - Slippery Rock
The first thing I would like to address is the injury to Nik Stauskas that John Beilein announced earlier today. In my post following the Northern Michigan game, I talked about the impressive play of Stauskas and about how I thought he was going to be an important part of this team. He has been having some problems with his back and will likely miss at least the Slippery Rock game. This shouldn't be a major concern for now since Michigan should blow past Slippery Rock and the following two opponents. After that, Michigan will get close to a week off before they face the quality teams in the Preseason NIT Tournament. Let's just hope he's ready by then or Michigan will have to look for someone to make some big contributions off the bench.
Continuing with injuries, by all accounts, Jon Horford will be out on the court tomorrow night. Horford has a lot of potential for this season and could allow Michigan to effectively run the two post offense, which has alluded them for so long. Of couse, all of Horford's contributions will have to be taken with a grain of salt on Friday. He will be returning from injury against a pretty weak team, but it will be interesting to see if he gets on the court at the same time with Morgan, which many have expected. Even if he doesn't play starter's minutes, he is going to be a solid big man later in the year and give Michigan some quality frontcourt depth.
Another interesting development has revolved around Caris LeVert. He got a good deal of play in Michigan's two exhibition games, but wasn't extremely impressive. He could do everything, but he couldn't do everything well enough to warrant burning a redshirt. Beilein has seemed to echo this sentiment and has said that they will be looking to redshirt LeVert for as long as possible. This is the smart move and could pay off big time a couple of years down the line. Of course, injury could change these plans, but for now, don't plan on seeing LeVert until next season.
And finally, we know when Michigan's Big Ten championship banner is being raised! It will occur during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against North Carolina State. I was thrilled to hear this because there were rumors ranging from the Slippery Rock game to Michigan's Big Ten opener. This is a perfect opportunity. Crisler will be packed and will be roaring when the banner goes up to the rafters
Michigan will be starting its regular season tomorrow night against Slippery Rock. The game shouldn't be very close, but it should make for some interesting moments given Michigan's tradition of cheering Slippery Rock scores. We will also get to see Michigan play back-to-back games on the following Monday and Tuesday nights for the beginning of the Preseason NIT Tournament. Both should be lopsided victories, but Michigan should have most of its lineup by the end of these games. For the most part, the season begins in the Preseason NIT, but don't underestimate what these games can tell us about Michigan's team this year. It should be an interesting few upcoming weeks.