The Afterglow: Basketball vs. Eastern Michigan

At some point during the first half of the basketball game against Duke, I decided that I was going to go to the basketball game against Eastern Michigan.  As opposed to previous years, I have actually enjoyed watching this team play.  They are generally likeable players who are well coached and play hard for the entire game.  I remember watching the teams with Horton, Hunter, Abrams, among others, trying to win games and do well, but failed by their coach.  Watching Tommy Amaker stand there and wave his finger as though that meant anything other than pass it around the perimeter then let Horton make a huge play was one of the most frustrating things to watch.

I saw flashes of the Beilein system last year and was really excited for the season this year.  This year with only a few new contributors (Novak and Douglass) Beilein has made this into a very entertaining and, more importantly,  competative team.  I’m committed now to attend as many games as I can.  Tim is probably going to head to the Big Ten Championship.  This is almost exclusively the result of Beilein’s coaching.  He has, in less time than I ever thought possible, made Michigan Basketball relevant on campus again.  Now there’s a plan for a new practice facility going before the Regents in January.  This is a program on the rise, and I can see Beilein getting Michigan getting this team all the way with the right personnel and a bit of luck.

Eastern Michigan Specifically

  • The attendance was actually fairly impressive for a game where most of the students are either home or studying for exams.  Granted the fact that the “away” team was a defacto second home team and student tickets are free, but no way would this game be that well attended last year.
  • It was kind of weird that they never announced at the game that Beilein wasn’t there.  I didn’t know until someone texted me.
  • If you told me that Manny Harris would be held to 2 points in the first half and DeShawn Sims wasn’t all that effective either, no way I would have guessed that Michigan would have a 10 point lead.
  • No one can stay in front of Kelvin Grady.  I actually look forward to seeing teams trying to press him.
  • Manny Harris has this ability to get wherever he wants on the floor whenever he wants.  It’s a bit absurd how he can knife through  the defense.  It wasn’t just against Eastern, either; he was able to do it against UCLA and Duke.
  • Jevohn Shepherd may be my favorite player on the team.  He doesn’t have the tools of Sims or Harris, but he’s gone from being an afterthought to a very solid contributor.  He even carried the team a while in the first half.
  • The biggest applause of the game was when Lloyd Carr walked in during half time.

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6 Comments so far

  1. Tom says...

    They announced at the very beginning of the game (during the intros) that Beilein wasn’t there.

  2. Pat says...

    Actually LLoyd was there at the start of the game. He walked up from the tunnel through the students, and took time to shake hands and talk to kids. Then he sat somewhere behind them for the 1st half. Then he walked around the arena to get to his seats on the court. And he played cowbell, which he sucked at. I don’t think I have ever seen a man with worse rythym.

  3. hackattack13 says...

    yes they did announce his absence as tom said-something along the lines of due to health reasons he is at his home resting up or something. as a student here it is great to have the team doing so well. also i had 4 people ask for my bleacher ticket to the game sat…thats saying alot for an eastern game

  4. Anthony says...

    I’m so excited about what I hope is the new starting five: Sims, Harris, Shepherd, Grady, and Lucas-Perry. If LLP is as good as I’ve been hearing and Shepherd keeps up the outstanding play, we really don’t have a weak link. Grady has proven to be a very effective point guard; his ball handling is amazing, and he’s starting to get the confidence to attack the basket. If we get solid contributions from the bench, it could be a very fun season (it has been already).

  5. Paul says...

    I get the feeling that Grady will stay coming off the bench. I think it’s been shown that Grady is better than Merrit, but I think LLP is going to start, so Beilein wanted to make sure Grady stays comfortable in the role he’ll have during Big Ten season, and I really like what he’s doing out there. He’s an instant burst of speed and he’s able to break down the defense, get inside and find the shooters on the perimeter.

  6. tbliggins says...

    Shep is the perfect example of the difference between JB and Tommy. Shep has provided a solid contribution after 3 years of poor, sporadic play. Tommy had zero ability in developing players. It is too bad that Dion Harris didn’t have a chance to play for JB, he would have flourished with his shot. Overall it is just really refreshing to watch players play w/ a purpose on offense.

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