DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris
Watching these two stars carve up the Hawkeyes yesterday was a thing of beauty. It's exactly what Michigan fans have been waiting for the entire season, and what has been on display here later in the year. DeShawn Sims started things off early and never let up. It reminds of a conversation I had with an NBA scout at one of Michigan's recent contests. During the Purdue game that scout said "DeShawn really needs to work on is his focus and playing hard ALL the time." I believe in these last four games that is exactly what we've seen from Mr. Sims. Watching him maneuver on the offensive end of the floor, I see someone that is very comfortable with his game and where it is at right now. When he receives the ball in the post he is patient, he has left hook, right hook, drop step, and a face up game all of the way out to three point land. He looks like a guy that feels like he can have his way with the competition. Iowa headman Todd Lickliter certainly felt that way.
"He caught the ball where he wanted to catch it, and he was very comfortable," said Lickliter. "I thought up there (at Michigan) we were able to challenge him we couldn't do that today. I did think he got awfully comfortable and like I say we weren't preventing his touches."
Added Beilein, "The best thing about it (the way he is playing) is his consistency with his attitude over the last month of not being just up and down just staying consistent."
DeShawn, as I have said before, seems to have found that balance that coach Beilein has been trying to get him to. He has not launched a lot of threes but he shoots them at the right time, and he is certainly putting most of his work down on the block. He is becoming a tough cover for anyone that guards him.
As for Manny Harris it was a great all-around game; 18 points 8 assist and 7 rebounds. He was patient and allowed the game to come to him. He has also showed some progress in what he needs to work on in his game. His drive a kick game has been in full effect lately. He had six assists versus Minnesota. Plus, when on the left side of the floor he is beginning to go off the dribble. It is an adjustment that he needs to continue to make to become a more rounded player and to open the floor on the offensive end. The game against Iowa was essentially over when Manny crossed over from his right to his left and went baseline for the dunk! Game, set, match. The Iowa bench had to be thinking, 'if this guy is going to be able to go left like that, then it is a rap!'
Teams just can't guard him when he does that.
Is it the shoes…do you know…do you know…do you know?
Mars Blackmon said that in a commercial back in the 80's when he was promoting "his Airness" Michael Jordan's new shoes. Since then those shoes are the most recognizable gym shoes in the world. Now Michigan is stepping up its game with new shoes and from the look of them they are not Jordan's but they are quite nice. It started with the kicks they wore Wednesday. Very stylish, the dark blue shoes with the maize straps on them it brings a little piazza to their uniforms. It gives them a nice flava to an already solid looking uniform.
Yesterday they sported more fresh new kicks. They were all white with a translucent body a la one of the earlier Jordan models, blue stripes, and yellow shoe strings. Manny took his shoe off yesterday so you could take a look.
Shoe worn against Minnesota
Shoe worn against Iowa
I believe those shoes would make the Fab Five proud since they were the originators of style in college basketball.
It looks like he is out of his slump and it happens to be at just the right time. He came up with 19 huge points in the win at Minnesota. After nailing two big threes versus Iowa he said he was still "feeling it" after that breakthrough performance against the Gophers. Laval told me that he credited Coach Beilein for really working hard with him, taking extra shots and keeping his confidence up. Thursday Laval's body language was such that whenever he shot the ball you believed it was going in. Maybe he will be Michigan's third scorer that they need to take pressure off of Manny and DeShawn. He is sure looks like himself again, which bodes well for the Maize & Blue.
Conseco Field house
I have not been to all the arenas, but this is an outstanding place to watch a basketball game. There is not a bad seat in the place; it is very open and easy arena to get around. It was my first time there and it was very remarkable. It has the intimacy of a high school gm... a far cry from the Arena setting of the United Center and other pro facilities. When Michigan builds its new plac,e I certainly hope they look at Conseco Field house. What a great place to watch a game.
There are rumors running rampant about Trey Ziegler possibly transferring to Detroit Country Day. I have gotten quite a few calls and emails from people wondering this. All I will say for the record is we don't expect definitive word on this until the season is over. Regarding the other rumor about Trey and Country Day guard Ray McCallum Jr. possibly attending college together... he addressed that in a February 13th interview with GoBlueWolverine:
"We're real close," Zeigler said regarding his relationship with the Detroit Country Day star. "We've been knowing each other since we were younger. We hung out a lot this summer. I've stayed at his house a couple of times this year. We've been in contact with a lot of the same schools. (Attending the same school) is definitely a possibility. I would say Oklahoma, Miami, and LSU are probably the main schools that have talked about both of us at the same time."college together. For right now it is just talk and that is where we will leave it until we hear more.
Now in regards to Trey and him making a decision anytime soon, that is not likely according to boy Trey and his father, CMU coacg Ernie Zeigler. In the aforementioned article on the 13th the younger Zeigler addressed his timeline.
"Basically (the decision timeline) is the same," reported Zeigler. "The end of the summer / (early) fall. I'm going to take my visits and see what's out there… what people have to offer for me."
In Wednesday's Detroit News, his father addressed the topic.
"I would love to have my son play for me," Ernie Zeigler said. "But I'm a student of the game. College basketball is a business. If I'm not successful in turning Central's program around, then I have to be ready to help my son to make the right decision. That's why we're going to take our time."
That could be translated a few different ways. One interpretation is if things don't work out for the elder Zeigler in Mt. Pleasant, maybe he'll wind up at an assistant at some other school. That would obviously affect Trey's thinking about Central and that other school, and understandably so. There is just no rush here. We do know that Trey is feeling Michigan and Michigan is feeling Trey probably won't cause him to expedite matters. He chatted with our own Sam Webb this morning and said... "I'm not really any closer to a decision."
The moral of the story is, it's going to be a waiting game with Zeigler. It should be noted, however, that all of the Wolverine eggs are not in the Zeigler basket. That is why it was so important to offer a big time player like Casey Prather, who is also feeling Michigan. There are others they're keeping their eyes on as well, namely Morgan Moses and Tim Hardaway Jr. Michigan's recruiting has evolved in a way where they don't have "A","B" or "C" players, they have a number of "A" players that they would be extremely satisfied with. With the sudden success of the Michigan program, look for more "A" prospects to begin to emerge.