The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2015-16 BASKETBALL PREVIEW BY CHRIS BALAS O h, what might have been for head coach John Beilein's 2014-15 Michigan basket- ball team. The Wolverines, coming off an Elite Eight appearance, lost three players to the NBA before the season began, including one in sophomore big man Mitch McGary who probably would have been back had the NCAA not suspended him for a year for a marijuana violation. If he had come back, good friend and even- tual second-round pick Glenn Robin- son III might have returned, too. Instead, Michigan's frontcourt was left in the hands of two first-year players in rookie Ricky Doyle and redshirt freshman Mark Donnal, fol- lowing fifth-year senior Jordan Mor- gan's graduation. Doyle especially rose to the task, but his production was about what would be expected of a true fresh- man — he started 19 of 31 games, and averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 re- bounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. Now 6-9 and 250 pounds, Doyle is prepping for a sophomore surge. "Physically, his body is maturing," Michigan assistant and big man spe- cialist Bacari Alexander said. "The thing I'd like to see him do is make the transition that Jordan Morgan did at this same juncture, which is to get in the best shape of his life. "I wouldn't say he's there at this stage in his career — it's a work in progress type thing, and a lot of times that's the byproduct of adding a lot of muscle to that frame. "Ricky is 250 pounds and closer to 6-10, so now it's about enhancing his endurance, which might mean getting down to 245 when the sea- son rolls around. That's going to be important for him, because what he needs to be able to add, in addition to his ability to finish, is the ability to play longer segments of games." Doyle shot 61.2 percent from the floor but only 60.9 percent from the BIGGER AND DEEPER Michigan's Frontcourt Adds Length And Boasts Plenty Of Talent

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