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Early Basketball Observations

After watching Michigan handily defeat Radford and Brown this weekend here are a few things that I've noticed.

1. John Beilein can flat out coach. This is a completely different looking team at both ends of the floor. Beilein is putting guys in positions where they can succeed and is not asking them to do too much. It's going to be very exciting once he can develop some talent and build a deeper program. Right now he's going to have to rely on DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris for a bulk of Michigan's scoring and you can't have just two reliable scorers in college basketball.

2. Kelvin Grady might beat out Jerret Smith at the point guard spot. He has really good speed and he sees the floor so well. Daniel Horton did not run the fast break as well as Grady has in these first two games. He has really good vision and I have seen him on numerous occasions find DeShawn Sims or Manny Harris for very easy layups. He is really quick defensively and fits in nicely at the bottom of the 1-3-1 zone.

3. Manny Harris can flat out play. This kid was brought in to rescue Michigan basketball and he just might do that. He has a rare combination of length and quickness that allows him to play the top of the 1-3-1. I lost count as to how many tips he caused when he and Ron Coleman or DeShawn Sims trapped the ball handler in the corner.

4. When you watch DeShawn Sims play, you can see why Tommy Amaker was fired. This guy has proven in the first two games that he can score from anywhere on the floor. Yet under Tommy Amaker he was the second big man off the bench. He is a really smart player and is going to be a force to be reckoned with come Big Ten play. I'm having a hard time thinking of a player in the Big Ten that is as versatile as DeShawn Sims.

Bottom line: This team still has a long way to go. I do not see them winning at Georgetown or Duke, and I do not see them beating UCLA at home. However, don't be surprised if they make a run in Alaska. The teams up there are not going to have a lot of time to prepare and may not know what to expect. If Michigan can knock down the three's with the same consistency, they are going to beat Butler and possibly even Virginia Tech in the second round. We will know a lot more about this team after the Great Alaska Shootout. However, even if they do not produce results, just go back to point number one and remember that they are in good hands.

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“Early Basketball Observations”