Kaleb Tarczewski, Glenn Robinson III

As Glenn Robinson III goes, so goes Michigan

2 Comments

But when he disappears, Michigan becomes an entirely different — and much more beatable — team.source:

For the first time this season, Glenn Robinson III showed up for Michigan.

In the first 20 minutes against No. 1 Arizona, Robinson had 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting, hitting step-back threes, scoring in transition and beating people off the dribble in the half court. He looked every bit the lottery pick that he’s been projected as being since Trey Burke started throwing him alley-oops.

And it’s no coincidence that, with Robinson playing like an all-american, the Wolverines were beating up on the Wildcats. Michigan took a 37-28 lead into the break, a score that was set when Robinson hit a deep, step-back triple over Aaron Gordon.

In the second half it was a different story. Robinson went back into hiding, taking just two shots from the floor in the second half — the only FG he made was an alley-oop when Arizona was short-handed as Kaleb Tarczewski lay on the floor after hurting his ankle — and scoring all of four points.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Arizona was able to scrap their way back to beat Michigan 72-70.

Much of that was a result of the Wildcats finally flexing their muscles in the paint, which was to be expected. Michigan gave up 17 offensive rebounds, but Arizona only had two second-chance points in the first half. That was bound to change. But when Arizona went big, Michigan was able to counter that by taking advantage of the matchup that Robinson has. Ashley couldn’t stay with him on the perimeter. His presence, his aggressiveness, forced Arizona to go small.

But in the second half, when he disappeared, the Wildcats were able to use that bigger lineup.

And while it may seem almost too convenient, the bottom line is that this game is a microcosm of all that is going wrong with Michigan this season. Without Trey Burke, Michigan has issues on the offensive end of the floor. I wrote all about them here, after watching the Wolverines lose to Duke. Burke made everyone on that team so much better.

To make up for his absence, Michigan needs Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Robinson to be just that much more aggressive. They need those three to be able to attack off the dribble, to break down defenses and create scoring chances. Derrick Walton, their freshman point guard, certainly isn’t ready for that role. Spike Albrecht played great today, but he’s a guy that can take advantage of defenses geared towards stopping the talent surrounding him. He’s not going to be a guy that John Beilein builds his game-plan around.

Add in the struggles of Mitch McGary as he works his way into shape after an offseason back injury, and the Wolverines are essentially relying entirely on their three perimeter talents to create offense.

When Robinson is playing well, they are that much more difficult to guard.

Five-star 2017 point guard Trevon Duval down to 10 schools

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Trevon Duval during the 2015  Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
(Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
Leave a comment

Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is the most electrifying lead guard in the Class of 2017. The native of Delaware dominated the Under Armour circuit this spring and is currently regarded by many as a top-five player in the class by most recruiting services.

Now he’s down to 10 schools as his recruiting is starting to become more of a focus. The 6-foot-2 Duval is down to Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UCLA, USC and Villanova.

Things are still early in the process for Duval and it will be interesting to see if he schedules any official visits soon.

Ohio State gaining recruiting momentum with two 2018 commitments

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 24: Head coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes claps on the sideline in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 24, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Ohio State has lost quite a few transfers and hasn’t had a lot go their way with regards to recent recruiting, but things could be changing after a good weekend.

The Class of 2018 is starting to look really good for the Buckeyes as they landed commitments from wings Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens this weekend. The two in-state products are grassroots teammates together on King James and they give Ohio State three commitments in that class.

Bazley is considered a four-star prospect on Rivals while Ahrens checks in as a three-star. They join another Ohio native, guard Dane Goodwin, in the class as this could be the group that helps bring Ohio State back in regular Big Ten contention.

Butler lands commitment from four-star 2017 forward Kyle Young

Atlanta, GA - SUNDAY, MAY 29: Nike EYBL. Kyle Young #34 of King James Session 4. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
(Photo by Jon Lopez)
Leave a comment

Butler picked up an important commitment on Monday as four-star forward Kyle Young committed to the Bulldogs.

A Class of 2017 stretch forward who can hit jumpers and has an improving skill set, the 6-foot-7 Young comes from Massillon, Ohio and he’s regarded as the No. 109 overall prospect.

Young was impressive in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer with King James as he averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as he shot 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.

This is a nice grab for Butler as Young is the type of versatile perimeter shooter that they like to utilize and he should be able to help a bit on the glass as well.

Young joins a class that includes guards Cooper Neese and Jerald Butler.

VIDEO: Collin Sexton with a trick shot for the ages

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 1.33.34 PM
1 Comment

Earlier this summer, we told you the story of Collin Sexton, how the 6-foot-2 Georgia native went from being a mid-major recruit to a five-star prospect being courted by the likes of Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Villanova.

It’s because he’s a bucket-getter.

     RELATED: Making A Five Star

He averaged 31 points in the Nike EYBL circuit, nine points better than Michael Porter, who finished second in the league in scoring. No one puts points on the board like he does, so it’s only fitting that he was the guy that made a shot from the balcony during ‘The Trip’, Nike’s effort to keep kids associated with their brand from Elite 24:

Lonzo Ball struggled on UCLA’s Australian tour

Lonzo Ball (UCLA Athletics)
UCLA Athletics
Leave a comment

UCLA capped their three-game trip to Australia on Sunday night with a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets, a game in which sophomore point guard Aaron Holiday finished with a team-high 17 points. Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton both added 16 points and freshman Ike Anigbogu finished with 13 points and 10 boards.

This win came just two days after the Bruins lost to Melbourne United, 89-84, when Hamilton — 18 points and five assists — and Holiday — 16 points — were both once again impressive. Alford also added 18 points in Friday’s loss.

It’s not surprising that the Bruins had some up and down performances abroad. Everyone does. It’s what happens when a team of college kids, with three freshmen playing key roles, heads to the other side of the world to square off against teams made up of professionals. Don’t go hanging the ‘Fire Steve Alford’ banners on anymore airplanes just yet.

There are, however, two interesting things to consider from this trip:

– Lonzo Ball, UCLA’s star freshman, was, at best, their fourth-best perimeter player. Seniors Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford and sophomore Aaron Holiday all played well and posted impressive numbers on the three-game trip. Ball? He didn’t shoot well. At all. In UCLA’s 47-point opening win, he was 3-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-3 from three, putting together was was by far his best shooting performance of the trip. In the three games, he shot a total of 25 percent (9-36) from the field and 19 percent (4-21) from three. He did average 5.0 assists and, in one game, notched 13 boards, but Ball’s ability to shoot will be something to keep an eye on.

– And then there’s this, from Bryce Alford:

UCLA needs to travel with more towels.