I avoid posting much about basketball until after National Signing Day, because there’s too much football-related stuff going on for a part-time blogger to cover everything. However, it’s nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy some good college basketball when things settle down after NSD. In the aftermath of Michigan’s win over Tulsa and loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, here are some thoughts from a football coach on Michigan basketball.
G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
I was thoroughly impressed with Abdur-Rahkman down the stretch. He has been a pleasant surprise after not doing much in 2014-2015. MAAR is the one guy on the team who can attack the basket in the half-court and make things happen. Add in the fact that he doesn’t mind getting dirty and making hustle plays, and I might even suggest that he was Michigan’s best player at the end of the year. If not the best, then he was at least the most consistent. He averaged 13.6 points/game in Michigan’s final nine contests after only topping that average once in the first fourteen games of the season. He’s not a future NBA star because he’s not particularly quick or explosive, but he’s on par with some of the guys who were the team’s stars in Michigan’s lean years.
G Spike Albrecht
Albrecht was one of two seniors for Michigan this season, but hip problems – for which he had surgery last summer – derailed his season. It was announced at one point that he wouldn’t continue his basketball career at Michigan, but others have suggested recently that he could use this season as a redshirt year to return in 2016-2017. If he does come back, he would be a great backup point guard to Derrick Walton, and Michigan’s offense has enough wiggle room to allow Walton, Albrecht, and incoming freshman Xavier Simpson all to get minutes. (It would also hopefully ensure that Andrew Dakich doesn’t have to play a crunch-time role, which would be great.)
F Kam Chatman
It was fun to see Chatman hit the three-pointer to win the Indiana game, and not only because it was a win for Michigan. Chatman was about the last person I would expect to hit a dagger like that, but he pulled it off. You can see his talent, but he needs to get stronger. He’s also one of those kids who would benefit from an influx of confidence, and maybe the finish to his season would help him get there. It would be excellent if he could develop as an option at the four, so Zak Irvin doesn’t have to play out of position. Michigan could use his presence in the frontcourt not only next year, but in 2017-2018 after Michigan has lost Albrecht, Irvin, Derrick Walton, and maybe Mark Donnal.
Hit the jump for a rundown of the rest of Michigan’s key players.