Jevohn Shepherd - It was Strong day for the athletic Canadian. He was more aggressive with the basketball, as evidenced by a couple of nice drives to the hoop that he finished with lay-ups. However, his best play came on a drive that didn't go all of the way to the rim. After receiving a pass on the right wing Shepherd made a strong move toward tin. A help defender slid into his path to take the charge, but Shepherd adjusted by slowing his momentum and pulling up for a leaner that he completed off the glass. That' was clearly a move that he doesn't make one year ago at this time. He didn't attempt any jumpers from my recollection, but it's not a stretch to say that his shot will look better if he is truly more comfortable on the court this season…and Saturday he looked comfortable.
Jerret Smith - The sophomore point guard had a nice day. He had a couple of open threes, of which he nailed one. He also did a nice job of running his team. Courtney Sims got at least two easy baskets courtesy of a Smith penetrate-and-dish. He was more assertive with his teammates than we've seen before as well. Seeing Smith bark at other guys on the floor was definitely something new.
Ronnie Coleman - When he hits a jumper early, his confidence shoots way up. He drained his first three from the left corner. The next time he touched the ball, he gave a shot fake from the same spot, then dribbled to an open spot beyond the arc in the elbow area, and drained another. The next time he touched the ball the D crowded him and he drove across the court from right to left, before finishing with a short jumper from just outside the paint.
Brent Petway did what he always does on both ends of the floor, but it's clear that he will try to be more of a threat offensively this year. What that translates into is more 15-18 foot jumpers. Most times that shot comes off of a turn-and-face out of the post. The shot looks good, but it doesn't seem to be as in rhythm as his catch and shoot attempts facing the basket in warm-ups. That's especially true when his turn-and-face is followed up with hesitation before jacking up the shot. It will be interesting to see if this is a shot he can hit when the lights are on.
Lester Abram - Strong day taking it to the hole for Lester. Some of his drives may have been charges during the regular season, but on a day when the refs had generous whistles…Abram took advantage. Meanwhile, his teammates paid the price.
Deshawn Sims - The youngster showed flashes of the wealth of offensive talent he has by delivering a few moves in the paint AND finishing a couple of plays facing the basket. That said, some of his aggressiveness will have to be tempered a bit. He definitely would have been called for charges on a few of his drives to the hole. Defensively, Mike Jackson spent a lot of his day on prodding Sims to flash to the dribbler to allow his teammates to get over screens. The youngster seemed to pick it up on his own as the day went on.
Ekpe Udoh - Very nice day for the freshman. He was decisive with the basketball and showed unexpected quickness. His best move of the afternoon came when he received a pass with his back to the basket in transition…but instead of deliberately pounding it inside…in one motion he turned to his left and went to the rim, blowing past a flat-footed Courtney Sims to complete a lay-up. By the way, this kid is absolutely a FIERCE rebounder. FIERCE!.
Courtney Sims - Big…physical…too much to handle for his teammates to handle one-on-one on the blocks… pretty much nothing new there. Sims didn't have a whole lot of attempts, but he was effective when he did. Again, that's nothing new for Sims in open gyms and scrimmages. At the same time, it must be said that he didn't face any double teams and he wasn't being pushed off the block. How he handles those things when the Wolverines face real live competition will tell the story of how much improvement he has actually made.
Dion Harris - He nailed his first three but was pretty quiet after that. He had a few uncharacteristic turnovers as well. It wasn't anything that should cause concern…it just wasn't his best day. He has played far better this offseason.