Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wolverines Making A Run

Not much was expected from the Michigan Wolverines basketball team this year. You really couldn't blame the so-called experts. They were coming off a dud of a season in which they were picked to go to the NCAA tournament and didn't make any kind of postseason. They lost their top two scorers in Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims and the help coming in was young.

Well the youngsters have grown up pretty fast. The Wolverines outlasted Indiana yesterday 73-69 to improve to 16-10 and 6-7 in the Big Ten. They were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 26 points in another solid effort by the freshman. They've won 5 of their last 6 and have played well on both ends of the court. If they just could hit some late game free throws to ice games they'd be all set. I won't knock them on it though since they've been winning.

The team seems to have bought into coach John Beilein's system and they're having different players step up. Whether it's Zack Novak bombing away from three or Jordan Morgan picking up dirty work points inside, things seem to be working out in Ann Arbor. A big reason is the play of point guardDarius Morris. He looked lost at times as a freshman last year, but he's really kicked it up a notch. There are a few things he needs to work on, but he should be at least second team all Big Ten. If it wasn't for Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Hardaway might be the conference freshman of the year.

The Wolverines have made a nice run to put themselves in the mix for an NCAA tournament bid, but face a steep climb if they want to get there. They have games against Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan State remaining. If they can somehow win three of those games and get a win or two in the Big Ten tournament, they might get in. Otherwise they still have some work to do.

The future appears to be bright for the Wolverines after some dark days and near misses. Hopefully for the Michigan faithful they can keep the momentum going in the right direction.

No comments: