Saturday, November 14, 2009

GBMW: Michigan Men's Basketball Preview -- Northern Michigan at Michigan

Northern Michigan at Michigan

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine -- Preview -- Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan is a division two school but Michigan still needs to come prepared and do their thing.

As the first game of a new season, it is difficult to glean a solid preview for Northern Michigan. Northern Michigan returns the top three scorers from last year's team.

Dean Ellis has been Northern Michigan 's coach for twenty-four years. As is typical for a Division Two school, Coach Ellis also doubles as the golf coach, so that just shows you the difference between the two levels of competition

Key contributors:

Chris Warner- #15, is a 6-1, 170 pound senior. He started all 27 games last season and was selected for four NMU team awards: most valuable, best defender, top rebounder, and the Kip Taylor Memorial Award.

Raymont McElroy- #14, is a 6-1, 184 pound sophomore. He started 26 games last season and was named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year as well as the Newcomer of the Year for the NMU team.

Marc Renelique # 5, 6-2, 198 pound senior. He appeared in 27 games and started 16. He led his team with the best free throw percentage with a .865 percentage from the line.

This is an opponent like most bigger program take on early just to get the "W" and also to build confidence, as well as get players into the game and to better determine what Coach Beilein has against other bodies.

Playing Northern Michigan does not hurt Michigan in the strength of schedule either, and sometimes, this may be hard to believe, playing a good D-2 team is better than playing a really crappy D-1 school.

It is also a nice deal for in-state teams to be able to play each other and help each other out.

To add a little hometown flavor, the WTKA broadcast will have former Michigan Basketball player David Merritt (analyst) helping Matt Shepherd call the game.

On the Big Ten Network side, Michigan will be well represented again with former Michigan Basketball player Jimmy King (analyst) helping Tom Hamilton.

Michigan leads Northern Michigan in the all time series 9-0. Michigan opened up the season with a 73-54 win over Wayne State, who plays in the same conference as Northern Michigan (GLIAC).

With a good season last year and making the NCAA tournament, the students and the fans of the basketball program have been rejuvenated. The student section, "The Maize Rage," has quintupled in just one season. After having 480 student tickets sold last year, the Michigan Basketball student section will have 2,537 total this season. Let's just hope they all show up.

In this game it still comes down to Michigan and what they can do. They are the "Big Fish" now and are not the hunter, but the hunted. UM needs to bring its best game every time the team steps on the floor. No longer will teams take the Wolverines lightly.

Of course Michigan is lead by Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims. This talented duo will be the biggest factor on how far this team goes. They will carry the team this season, but there are plenty of solid contributors who will help this season.

Depth is one thing that Coach Beilein has built in a short period of time. Obviously this asset will make for a better team, especially when practicing against each other. Hopefully the depth and talent level will only get better and better as Coach Beilein's teams build on success.

The Possible Starting Five:

Darius Morris, Laval Lucas-Perry, Manny Harris, Zach Novak, and DeShawn Sims.

Today starts the quest to get back-to-back NCAA tournament selections. Every Michigan basketball fan hopes the tournament selection becomes a regular program fixture.

It is nice to talk Michigan basketball and be relevant and excited again.

Go Blue

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Written by GBMW -- ErocWolverine

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