I appeared on WTKA (1050 am), Ann Arbor’s sports talk radio station, to talk about Michigan basketball this morning. The Wolverines are 1-2 in the Big Ten. How much can they improve going forward? I discussed it with host of the “Inside the Huddle” show, Michael Spath. Listen to a recording of the conversation here:
Perhaps you watched Michigan’s nationally-televised game against Virginia Tech last night. If so, you saw the good Wolverines — building a 15-point first-half lead — and the bad, as they fell apart in the final eight minutes. Just a reminder that I’m covering the team for UMHoops.com. I wrote about last night’s game and will continue to produce content throughout the season, so I hope you’ll check it out.
Here’s a scary thought: Anthony Davis, one of the top players in the NBA, would be a college senior this season. If players were forced to stay in school for four years, what would this season look like? Taking into account transfers (but not future injuries) and acknowledging that many of these players would have chosen other schools, here is a potential Final Four.
Even Tom Izzo had to admit the top of the Big Ten isn’t all that strong. “This year, there’s no question that it’s been Wisconsin and the rest,” he told me yesterday. “Maryland is now proving to be in that class. But the strength at the top isn’t as good as last year or some of the other conferences.” For that reason, the conference as a whole has dipped considerably this season.
The first people I recognized on the day of the NBA draft were the Zeller parents on the ninth floor of the Westin hotel in Times Square. This couldn’t have been more fitting. If you’ve watched any college basketball the last five years, you’ve seen them. As the parents of three sons who played college ball, Mr. and Mrs. Zeller have gotten as much airtime on ESPN as Dick Vitale.* Cody, the Indiana center, was this year’s draftee, so when he showed up to meet his parents for breakfast, followed by his oldest brother and his family, I felt right at home.
*In the Zeller family, each son is better than his older brother, as opposed to the Kahn family where the middle son is by far the most talented.
When kids start high school, adults of all kinds can’t wait to tell them how this is not middle school anymore. It is time to get serious. The dedicated students rise to the challenge. The same thing happens in college. This is not high school, the professors say. No more coasting. Again, the committed students do well.
Trey Burke was a dominant high school player but was told he was too small for the big, bad Big Ten. He was the National Player of the Year last season and led Michigan to the national championship game. Now there are doubts about how his game will translate to the pros. Yes, he will be a lottery pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft; in fact, it’s hard to imagine him falling past the Pistons at No. 8. While hardly any expert thinks Burke will do poorly at the next level, opinions run the gamut as to his ceiling. Continue reading Trey Burke: What Is His NBA Ceiling?→