The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 basketball preview my favorite. She makes great steak with broccoli and cheese casserole ��� that���s number one. She���s a great baker and makes a great vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. That would be number two. ���And, she makes great melted sandwiches with chicken and melted cheese. I had those for snacks a lot.��� He���s hoping the consumption will convert into greater production in some areas of his game this winter. ���I���m just going to do whatever Coach wants me to,��� Smotrycz said. ���The added weight will help me get a lot more rebounds, which was the biggest hole in my game last year. If I can grab some more rebounds and defend better, it will give me a lot more confidence and translate into all areas of the game.��� Smotrycz has already impressed Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander in the Wolverines��� early workouts. Alexander insists the 6-10 sophomore has the capability of providing plenty for Michigan���s lineup. ���He can be tremendous,��� Alexander said. ���You look at a person���s ability to rebound the basketball, with added strength, and what that can bring to the table. There are a couple of dimensions ��� it makes opposing teams foul him to keep him off the glass, or gives us scoring opportunities by him getting to the glass on the other end. ���Adding that dimension gives you a guy who becomes a stat-sheet stuffer. Evan can be a rebounder, a scorer, a back-to-the-basket player, and an inside/outside attacker.��� Smotrycz himself is excited to attack a schedule that he hopes will lead the Wolverines back to the NCAA Tournament in March. He got introduced to it as a freshman, but desires even more. ���It definitely gave us a little taste of success, but as a whole, we���re a real self-motivated group,��� Smotrycz said. ���Coach really tries to instill that in us, to put work in on our own when no one is watching. Internally, we���re all motivated to get back to the tournament and make a run. We have a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth and we want to get back. ���We���ve been through a lot together, and as a result we���re probably a little tighter than most teams. We���ve had a lot of experience, and we���re ready to Freshman Trey Burke has looked very good in preseason workouts, and he may be ready to step in as the Wolverines' point guard early in the season. Photo by per kjeldsen Five Questions About U-M Basketball ��� Who will take over as Michigan���s point guard? It may not happen in game one, or the first handful of contests, but count on freshman Trey Burke to grab that job at some point in the early going. The rookie has been that good in workouts, and senior Stu Douglass ��� who can play the point and probably will to some extent ��� might be more effectively used at shooting guard. ��� Who has improved the most in the offseason? That remains to be seen, although a serious candidate for that tag is sophomore Evan Smotrycz. Not only did he pack on 36 pounds in the summer months, he worked out hard and fashioned it into the kind of sculpted bulk that can make a difference inside and on the boards. He can obviously hit the outside shot as well, and with a year of action in, should become much more of an all-around threat. ��� Will emerging star Tim Hardaway Jr. try to do too much? John Beilein insists he won���t and says Hardaway became a starter as a freshman in part because of his ability to fit in. The sophomore has been very respectful of the senior leadership on this team and fits in well. That said, he���ll be given more responsibilities this year ��� including some of the pick-and-roll action Darius Morris led last year ��� because of his obvious talents. ��� What is Michigan���s biggest concern early on? Morris definitely left an experience gap at the point. While Burke and fellow freshman Carlton Brundidge are very talented, you only need to go back to Morris��� freshman season to understand there are growing pains when trying to step in as the quarterback of Beilein���s offense. Some major competition early on will either see Douglass running the show, or Burke/Brundidge ahead of the curve (or racing to catch up). ��� Who will lead this team? Michigan features a pair of solid seniors in Douglass and Zack Novak. Both will share in leadership responsibilities, although Novak remains the fiery, take-charge, emotional fuse-lighter capable of igniting the Wolverines at any moment. ��� John Borton get back to the tournament and show everyone what we can do.��� Preferred Walk-On Sai Tummala Knows U-M Sai Tummala didn���t need much of an introduction to Michigan basketball when he came on board as a preferred walk-on this season. The freshman out of Phoenix averaged 17.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game at Brophy College November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 69

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