2008-2009 Season

Student Practice Open Thread

I can’t make it to the practice tonight, any students that do make it please leave your thoughts in the comments and I’ll bump the best ones to the main page. The practice is 5:30-7:00 at Crisler (enter through the tunnel) with free pizza.

First bumped post, this one from Jimmy:

Just got back from the practice and I’m encouraged. First off, let me begin by saying that neither Cronin (hip) or Novak (ankle) played. Beilein said both were minor problems and they should be practicing soon. [NOTE: Others have reported that Beilein said “Cronin has not been cleared to play yet” or something along the lines. So I wouldn’t take this as definitive either way regarding Ben’s health.]

They scrimmaged for the entire time (Blue vs Maize) and the blue team looked like it was a likely starting lineup.

5- Gibson
4- Sims
3- Harris
2- Douglass
1- Grady

Lucas-Perry and Wright were standouts on the Maize team and will definitely be in the rotation, so that’s 7 right there. I’ve been hearing good things about Novak, so that’s my bet for the 8 man rotation. Shepherd, Merritt, Lee & Puls look like the odd men out although they each did some nice things and could contribute when called upon.

Like I said, I am encouraged. The offense looks much more fluid, and it’s still a work in progress. I was individually impressed with Zack Gibson and Laval Lucas-Perry. LLP will certainly be a boost when he’s eligible. He’s smart, strong, and skilled. Gibson looks bigger and more confident. He hit a few long jumpers, attacked the rim and was in good position defensively.

Quick Hits:
– Beilein said they haven’t put in any inbound plays yet. No big deal, we’re 6 practices in.
– Passing was crisp and there was good off the ball movement. Lots of open shots, but they weren’t falling for the most part.
– Anthony Wright will average 10 ppg off the bench. He’s still got the quick trigger and was the more prolific scorer today.

From BlueC:

At the practice Wright frightend me to be honest. I was sitting behind John Mahoney who was coaching the maize team, and he laughed everytime Wright chucked a 3. Also Wright seems uncanny at hitting really not-great/not-open shots, but missing actually open shots.

Other thoughts:
-LLP looked like a stud, although he never really had to shoot it he looked very confident off the dribble and has good athleticism.
-Zach Gibson-Looked solid on offense, could average double digit point possibly but looked pretty bad on defense. Also we have no depth, also Puls didn’t provide much of anything and sat on the bench for most of the practice.
-Deshawn looked good, and more active on the glass-he needs to step up because I don’t think Gibson is the strongest rebounder
-Manny disappeared on the floor, but also didn’t really look like he was trying too hard, he could always get open when he wanted to
-Stu Douglass, looked a little outclassed but remember it’s only his 6th practice
-CJ, Merritt, Shepard-didn’t do anything extraordinary/different from last year.

But yeah we looked decent, LLP in particular looked like a stud to me and the team seems to be hitting more threes.

From michiganbballfan:

We looked much more comfortable in the system at the onset of practice. Our inside prescense overall looks weak. Rebounding looks to be a team effort as we do not have any real tough rebounders inside. Anthony Wright chucked, but made. He looks to be a real good hit or miss option as a sixth man off the bench who is not scared to pull the trigger. LLP looked confident and had poise. This is something we obviously lacked last year and look to improve on. While Douglass did not have his shot, he looked a little uncomfortable. It was evident the form and range was there, with more comfort in the scheme he should be good to go. Grady looked more confident on the court and seemed to get a little stronger. Hopefully he can find a way to get more shots off as well as have a better decesion making. However, it seems that Michigan will ultimatly go as far as Manny and Deshawn take them. Deshawn seemed to have energy today and hopefully he can refine some post moves to help on the interior scoring. While Manny was not spectacular it is evident he is the best player on this team. His quickness and ability to get to the rim are uncanny. With a year under the system, and some more players to add to the mix. Look for a much better team this year around.

I’m hearing there were around 100 people there, please add to the comments if you made it.

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