Friday, December 19, 2008
Laval Lucas Perry makes his debut for the Michigan Wolverine basketball team tomorrow at 4:00 pm at the Palace of Auburn Hills a few miles south of his hometown of Flint. Unfortunately i will not be there, but i hope that i will be able to find a way to watch, due to the fact that i am home for the holidays at my parents house and they do not have cable.
Still i will be rooting for the Wolverines and be trying to keep up with this historic game as it happens.
On You Say Maize I Say Blue last month i predicted that Laval Lucas Perry and Stu Douglass would be the impact freshmen who would lighten the load of Manny Harris this year. I also said that any expectation higher than a winning record overall and a NIT appearance would be unreasonable. The former may still be correct but as a result of the early season play i feel that i underestimated the Wolverines.
I had heard a lot about Perry when he transferred here, i heard he was the kind of player that fit Beilein's system of shooting threes. Of course at the time i was under the impression that the system relied entirely on shooting three pointers and not any sort of mixing it up with inside shots. This year the Coach's system has began to flesh itself out with the three point shot setting up the inside game. Make a few triples and then pound it inside with the backdoor cut has been Michigan's mantra all season, giving them an astounding 7-2 start and upsets over Duke and UCLA.
The most amazing thing about this is that they did this without the player who was supposed to fit the new system. They also did it without relying on Manny Harris to do everything, and while Manny has done pretty much everything on the court at one point or another, he's gotten plenty of help from his supporting cast, which Perry joins tomorrow.
I hope i get to see the game on TV because this game is on as big a stage as one can find in the state of Michigan. The Palace, the home of the Pistons on a road game against a team that made the tournament four years ago, and have challenged in their conference to make it the past two years. Oakland is not a team to be overlooked, they have a loyal fanbase and they will show up hoping that they will replicate something that happened last year, a win over Oregon at the Palace last year. Michigan has to be on the guard, and keep their new guard from messing up in his first game in front of a bigger crowd than he will play against in normal competition. But then again there are so many ways that this game is not normal.
More on Schafer and McGuffie, plus i'll have a GLI preview after Christmas.