Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dunking Deutschman

First off, let me say that it is an AMAZING feeling to have electricity back after a 5 day blackout. It's crazy how out of the loop I feel after getting back online for the first time and going to or and feeling completely lost (The Tigers are 8 back?!?!). The feeling of confusion is nothing compared to the ones of anger and frustration I've had for DTE Energy these past few days. DTE is steadily climbing the charts, reaching "Comcast-esque" territory as one of the worst public service providers in the area. If any of you reading this lost power/had damage done to their house, hang in there and may you have a speedy recovery with it all.

This past Wednesday, Coach John Beilein was on WTKA radio in Ann Arbor and spoke briefly with radio personality and Detroit News writer Sam Webb about new recruit Robin Benzing. As previously posted by our own Stu Zaas, Benzing played for Germany's U18 team and averaged roughly 10 points and 4 rebounds per game in 2007. Although Beilein kept things brief, he went as far as mentioning that Benzing could develop a skill set similar to that of countryman Dirk Nowitzki. He indicated that Benzing has the makings of an inside-outside game similar to that of the former NBA MVP, however stating that Benzing will only be used as "an emergency center" and will be used sparingly. This means more playing time for Zach Gibson, the other center with an undeveloped skill set. Should be interesting to see if Coach Beilein keeps to his word, or if the pressure to play the young prospect reaches a critical point early in the season. It seems doubtful with Ben Cronin coming in, but stranger things have happened with Maize and Blue Basketball in the past two years.

In other local news, IU guard Jordan Crawford (formerly of Detroit Renaissance) appears to be headed home, set to transfer to UDM after his transcripts are released by IU. This has been reported by two local papers and one prominent recruiting site, but nothing official has been released. UDM has collected a nice class of transfers this season and look to have a great roster lined up for the 2009-10 campaign. The only reason I bring this up is to propose a possible home-and-home series between Michigan and UDM. UDM is recruiting players that will make them a Horizon League contender and this would be a great way for Michigan to possibly develop a nice rivalry game with an up-and-coming Mid-Major located nearby. Look for either MSU or UM (or both) to work out some type of series with UDM in the next two years. The opportunity seems almost too good to pass up with the type of talent UDM and Ray McCallum are bringing to Detroit.

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