Friday News & Notes

Sorry for the sparse posting this week. I’ve been trying to get a few things finalized and we should be back to normal next week. Here are a couple articles that might be worth discussing over the weekend.

Butler Vouches for Beilein

%27sean_butler[1]Three years ago Da’Sean Butler was playing in the NIT final with his former head coach John Beilein. Tomorrow night, he’ll be playing in the Final Four. Butler had some interesting comments regarding Beilein amidst the Final Four media hoopla:

“Everybody has to buy in, and you have to get the right people,” Butler said, referring to Beilein’s offense, which requires discipline and precise shooting. “You’ve got to get the absolute right people for that system, because if you have even one person that doesn’t understand or doesn’t care to understand, a cancer on the team of some sort, then it can throw everything off, honestly.

“The system works. That’s the best system I’ve ever been part of in my life as far as just running an offense. It suited me so well. I think everybody kind of gets into, you’ve got to get all these five-star and whatever recruits, and for him, you just need to find the right players who can obviously make shots, but who will work hard. And if you find that right group, and not like prima donnas, it could be a very good system.”

“You can go and win with eight freshmen recruits,” Butler said. “(Michigan has) a great coach, and it’s just a matter of everyone buying in.”

There’s a lot to digest here. Butler speaks very highly of Beilein’s offense and recognizes that his system can be extremely successful. That’s good but the buzz word that stands out is buy in. “Buy in” and learning curve have been thrown around a lot regarding this offense. Whether this year’s team bought in or not is a whole new issue but I’m curious how quickly next year’s team can buy in and learn this offense.

Darius Morris appeared overwhelmed for stretches this year and Matt Vogrich never quite made his way off of the bench. Next year Michigan will have anywhere from 5 to 7 players who have never played in a college basketball game in their life. They will have only three upperclassmen and rely heavily upon their younger players.

Essentially they will be trying to “win with eight freshmen recruits” as Butler puts it. I want to wait to really delve into next year until the 2010 recruiting class is wrapped up but the #1 issue to watch is how quickly these young guys can pick up the offense.

Plumlee in Action

recruit_i_plumlee_576[1]Marshall Plumlee’s Christ School team lost to Winter Park in the ESPN Rise Invitational and the 6-foot-11 junior had 5 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Plumlee didn’t get many touches on the offensive end but was very active on the defensive side of the ball. Josh Houchin is editing a highlight video of Plumlee’s game that should be up sometime tonight or this weekend.

Next up for Plumlee is a trip to Germany for the Albert Schweitzer tournament where Plumlee will play with Team USA. Michigan remains very involved in Plumlee’s recruitment and he is one to watch intently this summer.

Carlton Brundidge’s Commitment Remains Firm

The Free Press caught up with 2011 Michigan commitment Carlton Brundidge after his state playoff run and the junior remains firmly committed to Michigan.

I’m happy with my decision,” Brundidge said Friday, after his Bluejays lost in the Class A boys basketball state semifinals. “I wish I could put on a uniform and help (Michigan) out now. I’m still hearing from a little bit of schools. On my phone you can tell what state they’re in, so I’m like, nah.”

“I talk to them [Michigan coaches] a lot,” he said. “I tell them I’m struggling with this, what can I do? How can I lead my team better? They give me a couple pointers.”

There was never any question of Brundidge’s commitment wavering but it’s always good to hear it in this day and age. Brundidge led Southfield to one of their best seasons in over 20 years and he should be poised to have a big season on the AAU circuit.

Tournament Expansion Appears Inevitable

The hot topic in Indianapolis this weekend is expanding the NCAA tournament. A back and forth sequence between John Feinstein and NCAA VP of basketball & business strategies Greg Shaheen is becoming internet legend. Change appears to be coming to the NCAA tournament whether we like it or not but the NY Times put together a nice debate piece featuring a a number of experts from Jay Wright to John Gasaway to Will Leitch. Naturally the coaches are all for expansion but there a number of interesting opinions that are worth a read. Inside the Hall has a wrap-up of some of the other tourney expansion talk around the net.

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