Monday, December 18, 2006

Tuesday Hearsay and Conjecture: Basketball Update

It's been a little while since I put out a basketball update of any kind. In fact, I still owe you my 2006-2007 season preview.

It's a little late for a preview, but I'll get you some fun stuff prior to the Opening of the Big Ten Season. As it stands, Michigan is 11-1 early in the season. Unfortunately, that 11-1 mark is deceiving. Michigan hasn't beaten a single team with anything remotely resembling a pulse. The "marquee" win so far this season was a 66-59 win over the the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, one of last year's NCAA tournament teams. The Panthers aren't exactly tearing it up this year. They're 2-10 on the season.

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 guage on this team on Saturday. Don't get your hopes up.

Dammit! K'Len Morris to Miss the Rest of the Season

Well, you knew it was going too well for Tommy's bunch. Currently 11-1 and unranked, a small hole was poked in the Wolverines bubble when it was announced today that 4* freshman K'Len Morris will have left shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the year. Details on the injury are sketchy, but as Morris has missed the last four games it appears to be an ongoing problem.

The silver lining, at least for Morris, is with only 37 minutes under his belt this season it's likely the NCAA will grant him a medical redshirt.

Up next is No. 1 UCLA in Berkley on Saturday the 23rd. The wake for the season is scheduled immediately after the game. At this point, Brian is not impressed.

About Effing Time: Crisler Plans Being Reviewed

After years of twidling its fingers, the University of Michigan is actually beginning to do something about the state of Cristler Arena. The Free Press is reporting that the Athletic department is reviewing 5 architectural firms plans to repair and renovate Crisler Arena. The goal is not only to upgrade the facility, but to provide practice facilities for the the men's basketball team and wrestling program.

Here are the details courtesy of the Free Press:
• The proposed basketball practice facility would be built on the east side of Crisler. The modern facility would help with recruiting and ease the space burden at Crisler, where three teams practice regularly. Rough cost estimate: $25 million-$30 million.

• Update Crisler's infrastructure - improved lighting and examining of the roof to sure up the arena's structural needs. Rough cost estimate: $20 million.

• An independent wrestling facility would be built. The wrestling team has a workout facility at the end of a Crisler hallway now. Rough cost estimate: $5 million-$6 million.

• Club Seating Baby! - It'll eat up some seats, but bring in the money when the basketball is firmly back among the elite. Other possible improvements include improved concourse lighting, a new scoreboard, updated seats and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rough cost estimate: $20 million.

Remember Patrick Beverly? He was last seen here scoring 19 points as a freshman for Arkansas.



One of the reasons Michigan lost out on his services was the state of its practice and game day facilities. Hopefully losing out on a top 50 recruit like Beverly help spur the drive a tad.

Even if it did, it'll be a while before any type of ground breaking occurs. The architectural firm still needs to be chosen, plans need to be finalized, plans need to be approved, and money needs to be raised. In all seriousness, it should be awesome for the 2010 class.

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