Michigan basketball coach Tommy Amaker is hoping that the large number of fans from the Iowa football game will carry over to Crisler Arena to watch his team’s intrasquad scrimmage, just as he’s hoping that his team’s last two weeks of practice will spill over to the season.
“We’re looking to see if we can have carry over,” Amaker said. “We want to see if we can take what we do in practice and carry it over into the game.”
After two weeks of practice, the Michigan basketball team will suit up for its Maize and Blue scrimmage tomorrow at 4 p.m. The scrimmage is the highlight of the free events in the preseason and it will give Michigan fans a chance to get a sneak peak at the Wolverines in a game situation.
From a game standpoint, Saturday will be the first opportunity for highly touted freshmen, such as Daniel Horton and Chris Hunter, to showcase their talents. For Horton, it will be easy to carry over practice to the game, since his favorite part of practice is scrimmaging. The freshman point guard will probably see a considerable number of minutes on Saturday, as he and Avery Queen are competing for the start.
The scrimmage will also give all the players the chance to get reacquainted with game situations. With officials and a crowd watching the team, the coaching staff is trying to simulate a game setting and see what effect it has on the Wolverines.
“It is one of the earlier times our kids can play in front of people,” Amaker said. “It gives us a look at players under game conditions.”
Unfortunately one of the game conditions the Wolverines will not be hard pressed to simulate is playing with injuries. Two hard weeks of practice have not been easy on Michigan, and while there are no major injuries to players, many of the Wolverines are a little banged up. Hunter had to sit out last week’s open practice and senior captain LaVell Blanchard was shaken up yesterday. But according to Amaker, all of his players should be ready to go for tomorrow’s scrimmage.
Lineups will not be set until this afternoon, but with the split squad, most players will be able to log significant minutes and gain valuable playing experience. But who starts and who comes off the bench will not be that important tomorrow, since the coaching staff plans to mix up the substitutions to get a good look at what combinations work best.
After the game fans will be able to meet the players and coaching staff, who will be available for autographs and photo opportunities.