Posted on: December 29, 2011 5:45 pm

Michigan's Jon Horford out with stress fracture

By Jeff Borzello

On the surface, an injury to a player averaging just over 10 minutes per game wouldn’t seem like a big deal. When it’s the only backup big man, though, it becomes a problem.

That’s what Michigan faces going forward, as a stress fracture in Jon Horford’s right foot will keep him out an extended period of time.

“The plan is for next week to have one close look at it to see if there is progress, but we don’t expect any,” head coach John Beilein told the Detroit Free Press. “If we feel the rest of his season is in jeopardy it doesn’t make any sense [to bring him back].”

Horford, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, was the primary backup down low for center Jordan Morgan. He was averaging just 2.7 points, but grabbed an efficient 3.6 rebounds and was also the team’s leading shot-blocker.

Horford had missed the last three games, but came up big in Michigan’s two biggest wins of the year. He had six points, six rebounds and four blocks against Memphis, and 12 points, seven boards and three blocks vs. UCLA.

With Horford on the mend, Beilein will need more minutes down low from Evan Smotrycz, a natural forward who can also step outside. 6-foot-10 sophomore Blake McLimans has seen more minutes the past few games.

“It shortens [the rotation] quite a bit,” Beilein said. “We’ve got to make sure we have the right depth.”

Michigan is 10-2 so far this season, and kick off Big Ten play Thursday night against Penn State.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: November 21, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 6:03 pm

Michigan out-executes Memphis in Maui upset

By Jeff Goodman

On paper, it appeared to be the ultimate mismatch.

Memphis and its collection of talented, highly rated athletes vs. Michigan and its group of intelligent, skilled guys.

Few gave the Wolverines much of a shot. However, that should change now that John Beilein has a group filled with "his guys." Michigan used crisp execution and also controlled the tempo to come up with the 73-61 victory over Josh Pastner's Memphis team in the first game of a loaded Maui Invitational.

"I can't tell you how many times we've done that," Michigan's senior leader Zack Novak said after the win. "We trust our coach and it works out."

It may sound crazy, but this Michigan group may be tougher than a year ago - when it had Darius Morris. Freshman floor leader Trey Burke may not have the physical tools of Morris, but he's poised, can run a team - and the difference between he and Morris is his ability to make shots.

"The kid is not playing like a freshman at all," Novak said. "That type of environment against that team is kind of unreal."

I'll put Novak up there leadership-wise with just about anyone in the nation - and guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz and Jon Horford have all improved since Michigan lost to Duke on a last-second miss from Morris.

Many figured that if Michigan was to knock off Memphis, it would be from beyond the arc. However, the Wolverines made just a half-dozen trifectas in the game.

"We knew we weren't going to win playing in the 90's," Novak said. "So we slowed it up and we went to our zones. I think they had trouble adjusting."

Now comes a matchup against either Duke, the team that ended Michigan's season in the NCAA tournament, or Tennessee.

But Novak wouldn't bite. He's too damn smart.

"We're just going to play whoever," said Novak, who is in the esteemed business school in Ann Arbor. "We played them both last year; it'll be a great matchup either way."

Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:01 am

NC State's Leslie among three suspended Friday

By Jeff Borzello

North Carolina State announced on Friday that forward C.J. Leslie will sit out the first three games of the season due to receiving impermissible benefits.

Leslie and his half-brother accepted $410 from a friend after a car accident last May. The friend, a former NC State student, allowed Leslie to borrow his car and also paid an apartment application fee for Leslie’s half-brother.

NC State reported the violations to the NCAA.

“I understand the issue and regret what has occurred,” Leslie said. “I will support my teammates in every way possible and look forward to getting back on the court.”

Leslie missed the Wolfpack’s 84-75 win over UNC-Asheville on Friday, and will also be on the sidelines for Sunday’s contest against Morehead State, and Wednesday’s game against Princeton.

He averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season.

Glen Rice Jr. suspended for violating team rules

Shortly before Georgia Tech opened its season against Florida A&M, head coach Brian Gregory announced that Glen Rice Jr. had been suspended for three games for a violation of team rules.

Gregory did not get into specifics.

“The guys are learning that there are consequence, but there’s also going to be growth,” Gregory told reporters after the Yellow Jackets’ 92-59 victory. “We’re here to help him grow from this.”

Rice Jr., a 6-foot-5 swingman, averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. He sat out last night’s game and will also miss next week’s matchups against Delaware State and Saint Joseph’s.

Marquette’s Juan Anderson suspended for three games

The NCAA has suspended Marquette freshman forward Juan Anderson for three games because he accepted a free ticket to a Brewers’ playoff game.

The Golden Eagles self-reported the violation.

“My college eligibility is much too valuable for me to risk,” Anderson said.

The freshman from California had been receiving rave reviews for his performance in early workouts and practices.  

Photo: US Presswire

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: November 3, 2011 5:04 pm

No. 2-ranked Mitch McGary announces for Michigan

By Jeff Borzello

Michigan couldn’t get a top-five prospect, right?

That was the popular line of thought for many throughout Mitch McGary’s recruitment. The last five-star recruit the Wolverines received a commitment from was Daniel Horton back in 2002, and John Beilein has never been known to pick up top-50 guys on a consistent basis.

With Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Florida and others in the mix, the Gary, Indiana native still always kept Michigan at or near the top of his list. On Thursday, McGary made it official – he’s going to be a Wolverine.

This is a monster commitment for Beilein and Michigan. He’s the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country, shooting up the charts with a dominant spring and summer for the SYF Players. Beilein runs an offense that allows for the big man to play multiple positions and do different things on the court, which is perfect for McGary.

McGary will fit in with Michigan and could take them to the next level in the Big Ten. He’s a high-energy big man whose attitude and personality are infectious to his teammates. He can score around the basket and also knock down face-up jumpers out to the arc. McGary runs the floor very well, and his shot-blocking ability and athleticism have improved greatly. Moreover, he is strong and makes an impact on the glass.

There are only two seniors on the Wolverines’ roster right now, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak. Tim Hardaway Jr. is poised to become a star on the perimeter, while Jordan Morgan is developing into a consistent option down low. With freshman Trey Burke set to be the point guard and Beilein’s usual assortment of shooters, Michigan is a Sweet 16 threat this season. With McGary and two other top-100 recruits – Glenn Robinson and Nik Stauskas – coming into the fold next year, do the Wolverines have Final Four potential?

That’s how big this commitment is for Michigan; it immediately makes them a major factor in 2012-13, and also potentially opens the door for more high-level recruits to make their way to Ann Arbor.

There’s no longer questioning whether Michigan can get a top-five recruit. The Wolverines just did.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 10:38 pm

Video: Michigan's Zack Novak can kick it

Michigan guard Zack Novak may be featured on the hardwood, but he showed Jeff Goodman his kicking talents from inside Michigan Stadium.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:13 am

McGary's parents favor Duke; AAU coach Michigan

By Jeff Goodman

WOLFEBORO, N.H. - Exactly one year ago, the question from coaches was whether or not Mitch McGary could play in the Big Ten - or another big-time league.

Now he's the No. 2 player in the nation.

The 6-foot-10 McGary, an Indiana native spending his second year at Brewster Academy (N.H.), has taken three visits and could take three more.

McGary went to Michigan for a rainy football game a few weeks ago, where he hung out with fellow Chesterton High (Ind.) product Zack Novak. Then he went to North Carolina and most recently, took an trip to Duke.

McGary didn't deny the fact that his parents favor Duke while his summer coach with the SYF team, Wayne Brumm, likes Michigan.

He also said he's still taking it all in right now.

"I'm keeping quiet," he said. "I'm putting it down on paper and seeing what school fits me. I'm not sure when I'll commit."

Could today be the day?

It's when Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will travel to Brewster and meet with McGary.

Roy Williams and John Beilein were both at the school on Wednesday. Billy Donovan and Mark Turgeon came earlier in the week while John Calipari is set to make an appearance on Saturday.

"It's brutal trying to figure it all out, but I know I have great options," he said.

Ones that weren't there a year ago.

McGary said he would like to take visits to Florida, Kentucky and Maryland - but he's not sure if and when that will happen.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 10:20 am

Austin Hatch's recovery makes a big jump

By Matt Norlander

There's still so much more to go, but for Austin Hatch, the Michigan basketball recruit who survived the second plane crash of his life in June, significant progressed has occured. He's able to talk -- even sing! -- and is putting down solid foods.

Monday night, we saw the 12th update from Hatch's Journal. It was written anonymously by someone I can only assume has spent hours and hours by his side, sacrificed sleep, work and luxury.

This is far and away the most encouraging update yet on Hatch's condition.

Austin is well underway with his a-maize-ing comeback. Although his recovery will be long and difficult, his progress causes us to rejoice and hope. A few highlights from the past week are:

-So far Austin prefers chili rather than hamburger or ravioli

-Austin sang 'Hail to the Victors' with us

-Austin is working hard on his mobility skills

'Team Austin' includes a wonderful group of therapists who push him hard and all of us celebrate his success. Austin and his family are especially mindful of all his classmates and the entire Canterbury family as they returned to school today.

We've seen incremental signs of improvement from Hatch, but nothing like this until now. Nearly two months after the plane crash that killed his father and stepmother, this is the most positive news yet. And if you missed it earlier this month, I can't recommend this Elizabeth Merrill feature on Hatch enough. It's tactful and eloquent.

If you're still compelled to, you can sign his Guestbook page at CaringBridge.org. He's closing in on 2,000 messages. Send him over the top.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 9:54 am

Source: Maui Invitational matchups set

By Gary Parrish

The Maui Invitational matchups are set to be released later today.

But CBSSports.com already has them for you.

According to a source, the matchups are:
  • Duke vs. Tennessee
  • Memphis vs. Michigan
  • Kansas vs. Georgetown
  • UCLA vs. Chaminade
The Duke-Tennessee winner will play the Memphis-Michigan winner in one semifinal while the Kansas-Georgetown winner plays the UCLA-Chaminade winner in the other semifinal. Five of the eight Maui participants are ranked in the latest version of the CBSSports.com Top 25 (and one). The group is led by No. 6 Duke and followed by No. 8 Memphis, No. 11 Kansas, No. 20 Michigan and No. 25 UCLA. So the bracket appears a little unbalanced provided you believe in those rankings. Seeded roperly, the bracket should look more like this:
  • Duke-Chaminade
  • Michigan-UCLA
  • Kansas-Georgetown
  • Memphis-Tennessee
The problem with that more accurately seeded bracket is that Duke refuses to play non-Division I opponents (like Chaminade), and tournament officials, a source said, wanted Duke on the opposite side of Kansas and UCLA in order to give the event a chance at a Duke-UCLA or Duke-Kansas championship game. In other words, Kansas, UCLA and Chaminade had to be on the opposite side of Duke. The unbalanced bracket is the byproduct.

The losers in all this?

Memphis and Michigan.

One of those top-20 teams is starting 0-1 in Maui.

Official Maui bracket | Early season tournament guide
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com