It’s a beautiful day!   No question the star of the game was this guy, who once again showed poise beyond his years:001-Trey-Burke_thumb[1]

That photo was taken after Burke’s first start of the year in game 2 against Towson.   Back then I wrote this:

Burke is a cool cat for a true freshman by the way.  He admitted he was a little nervous before the game after [getting] the nod for the start, but he certainly wasn’t nervous breaking the game down for the media.

I think that was the last time he was nervous because that’s a cool dude.   He’s cooler than Treezy with shades in the Maize Rage.  And he not only led the team with the ball most notably creating the game winning score, he made several very nice plays on defense.   In the final seconds (after he’d been on the court all but a couple minutes of the game) he had the awareness to help out Novak to stop Green’s drive just past the stripe, and he while he didn’t get the rebound, he turned, got a body on Green and broke up Green’s attempt to tip the ball in. 

Radio >>  As an aside, I had the unique opportunity to listen to a portion of the game on the radio while heading back to the area.  I caught about 10 minutes of the game on WJR with George Blaha Will Tieman on the Spartan Radio network and now I know what play-by-play sounded like in the 1950s in Indiana.   When I got in range of WTKA 1050AM I flipped over to Matt Shepard and David Merritt and what a difference.  And trust me, this isn’t a Green vs. Blue thing.  Each guy is fair albeit with a clear (and understandable) leaning toward the teams they cover, but the difference between the quality of the broadcasts is severe.  Props to Shep for delivering an outstanding call—he’s quick with the info, actually helps you visualize what is going on and, something he’s always done well, brings great energy.

A little show and tell.  I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the media experience covering hoops as I made it to the Towson game Monday.  First, a view from the new media section:001 - Press

The media used to sit in two rows: one midway up the lower bowl (where the students sit today, see the maize rage filling in above) and another just below the concourse in the blue section as well.   The perspective was a bit closer in the Blue section before of course, but the new area is more spacious and a nice angle on the game.  I asked a few media vets what they thought of the new space and they seemed pretty good with it.

Postgame was pretty interesting.  At the end of the game U-M media relations walked around with a short list, asking the press with whom they wanted to speak after the game.  I wanted to ask for Jalen but didn’t.

Most of the media who hang around postgame then head down on the court, through the tunnel and wind down a hallway (not quite the kitchen in Good Fellas) and enter the Junge Center—the building between Crisler and the Big House.   Shortly after the players arrived, spread around the room and took questions for about 10-15 minutes.  A few shots:

001 - Hardaway

Hardaway, above, had a few folks chatting with him but most wanted to chat with freshman Trey Burke, who got his first career start Monday and had a big game:

001 - Trey Burke

Burke is a cool cat for a true freshman by the way.  He admitted he was a little nervous before the game after the nod for the start, but he certainly wasn’t nervous breaking the game down for the media.

Obligatory Zack Novak:

001 - Zach Novak

They don’t give Novak one of those Michigan pull-over tops. (Blood stains).

After the players left Beilein showed up & answered questions for about 15 minutes or so.  There’s a big difference between hoops and football press conferences.   I preface this by saying I know this isn’t a revelation; I’m just offering up my feelings leaving the place.   The questions (and Beilein’s answers) are so much more surgical and specific in a basketball presser, at least this one.

001 - Beehive

Football postgame pressers start with injury updates then broader questions about how units or players performed, and maybe about a controversial call or decision.  There’s rarely something really interesting there unless the postgame midfield handshake got weird.  This press conference jumped into specifics moments of the game [via UM Hoops] and Beilein’s fairly candid read on certain player performances/development, why he did some of the things he did during the game, and what it might mean for the next game.  For instance, Beilein explained why he left Burke for a long time [“I just wanted to see what he’d do without a rest. I thought he did pretty well with it.”] and he shared some insight from a one-on-one film session he had with the frosh and what he’s trying to show him.

The questions were sharper and the whole thing had more of a the feel of a conversation between Beilein and the media. 

UM Hoops coverage:

  • Game 2: Towson at Michigan Recap Nov 15, 2011
  • Video, Notes & Quotes: John Beilein on 64-47 Towson Win Nov 14, 2011
  • Video: Trey Burke, Zack Novak and Tim Hardaway Jr. After Towson Win

    Follow MVictors on Twitter

  • After the Penn State loss, I’m guessing most M fans would say a NCAA tourney bid is not going to happen in 2009. That’s of course a 180 from just over a week ago, but we were warned by a few folks this season might go this way. Shots aren’t falling and the team is struggling, Coach Beilein talked with Sam Webb and Andy Evans this morning on WTKA about where the team is at, what he’s doing to get things back on track, and how he & Pittsnogle faced a similar slump one year at West Virginia:

    .
    The situation is even worse than Brian at mgoblog suggested just earlier this week:

    Moving forward, the last two games have blown whatever margin of error Michigan had in their effort to make the tournament. Even if you assume wins home and away against Northwestern and away against Iowa—potentially dodgy but absolutely necessary to make the tourney—you have to find three wins in these games to get Michigan to .500 in conference:

    Home: Penn State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue
    Away: Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota

    Yikes. One of those assumed games is Saturday’s tilt against Kevin Coble and the bomb-dropping Northwestern Wildcats who showed Michigan State a little something called style last night at Breslin. A few highlights from the action, you’ve got to see these guys:



    And more….I can’t get enough of these guys: