The offseason has been one of renewal for Michigan basketball. Michigan cleaned house by bringing in a brand new coaching staff to revive the Wolverines.
The ties between the coaches and are already being built.
“We”ve already meshed together,” assistant coach Charles Ramsey said. “Anyone who didn”t know better would think we”ve been working together for years.”
Head coach Tommy Amaker and assistant coach Billy Schmidt did in fact work together at Seton Hall. Amaker also brought in Chuck Swenson from Penn State and Ramsey from California.
The coaches have all met individually with the players, as part of what Ramsey called an “ongoing process” of communicating with the team.
Some players and coaches already knew each other from past years for various reasons.
Ramsey, who tried to recruit Leon Jones, LaVell Blanchard, Bernard Robinson and Dommanic Ingerson to California, will be coaching them despite not getting them to sign with his school originally.
“It is kind of ironic,” he said.
Blanchard named finalist: Forward LaVell Blanchard made the cut as one of 16 finalists for the 2001 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Men Team. The final 12-man roster, which will be named in late July, will compete in the FIBA World Championship for Young Men in Saitama, Japan from August 3-12.
Billy Schmidt went with Blanchard to Colorado for the three-day tryouts last week.
The Big Ten had the most finalists for the team with six: Illinois” Frank Williams and Brian Cook, Indiana”s Jared Jeffries, Iowa”s Reggie Evans and Michigan State”s Marcus Taylor joined Blanchard.
Blanchard was quoted on usabasketball.com on how he felt after being named: “I was honored. Just a lot of relief and happiness.”
Recruits arriving: Dommanic Ingerson and Chuck Bailey will be arriving on campus later this month to begin their college careers. The two will take part in the Summer Bridge program, offered to minorities as a means of getting adjusted to university life.
Should JaQuan Hart achieve the necessary test scores to become academically eligible, he too will likely join the program.
Captains: Several weeks ago, the team voted on captains and selected three seniors – center Chris Young, guard Leon Jones and forward Rotolu Adebiyi.
Young started all 28 of Michigan”s games last year and averaged 8.6 points per game. With the loss of Josh Asselin, Young figures to be Michigan”s primary threat in the low post.
Jones saw 14.6 minutes a game and Adebiyi had limited action, entering late off the bench in eight games last season.
Happy Birthday Tommy: Amaker turned 36 last Wednesday. When Seton Hall hired him as a 31-year-old, he was the Big East”s youngest head coach in its history.