Michigan Executive Associate Athletic Director Mike Stevenson calls it an “embarrassing situation.”
The much-anticipated movement of the students to the floor at Crisler Arena was delayed. The company hired to complete the project failed to get the bleachers ready for Michigan”s first exhibition game yesterday. According to Stevenson, it will be done by Michigan”s next game on Sunday.
The renovation began on Oct. 15th and was expected to be done by the 26th. While Stevenson said the arena was made available from 7 p.m. to 11 a.m. every day since, the workers from the Canadian company that Michigan contracted, Sheriton, have been “moving too slow, not working overtime and not having all the parts,” Crisler Arena Manager Lisa Panetta-Alt said.
Stevenson said that supplemental assistance from the University is coming today in the form of five outside carpenters from Pittsburgh who will “assist and supervise” the existing crew to make sure it is finished.
Instead of sitting in the seats they paid for, students were placed sporadically around the second level of the arena, with the exception of about 20 Maize Ragers, who sat in the new courtside seats behind the benches.
First impressions: It didn”t take very long for Michigan”s three freshmen to make an impact. Just six minutes into the game, with the Wolverines down five and struggling to find a basket, freshman Dommanic Ingerson entered the game and gave Michigan a “shot in the arm” according to coach Tommy Amaker. Ingerson immediately crashed the offensive glass and tapped in a missed shot. He then knocked down two treys in an 8-0 Michigan run a few minutes later to get the Wolverines back on track. Ingerson ended up with 11 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.
“When (the freshmen) came in the game we were kind of staggering,” senior tri-captain Leon Jones said. “They lifted up the intensity for us, and that”s what we need from them.”
Mia: Three of Michigan”s top players either didn”t play or missed significant minutes yesterday. While healthy enough to play, sophomore Bernard Robinson was suspended by the coaching staff for a “violation of team rules.” While he didn”t disclose the reason, Robinson said he knew for “a while” that he wouldn”t be playing and said that he”ll be practicing with the team today.
Amaker sat LaVell Blanchard the entire second half of yesterday”s game when he found out that Blanchard”s right ankle, which he turned two days ago in practice, was bothering him.
We were just “keeping him out to get treatment and not try to take a chance injuring his ankle or making it worse this early in the season,” Amaker said.
Sophomore center Josh Moore, didn”t play either. But Amaker said his major concern wasn”t necessarily Moore”s nagging herniated disk.
“Before you can become a good player you have to become a good practice player and we haven”t been able to have that happen with Josh. I hope that he can be more consistent.”
Blast from the past: Former Fab-Five member Jimmy King was spotted taking in the game yesterday.
“They look good,” said King, who Amaker has contacted several times this summer. “The atmosphere is better. It”s going to take some time, but Amaker is the kind of guy that can bring them back.”