Somewhere between incoming freshmen and fifth-year seniors, Avery Queen started to get muddled in the speculation of who would start at point guard for the Michigan basketball team. But based on the past two exhibitions, the sophomore looks to be the Wolverines” first returning starter at a guard position in three years.
Fifth-year senior Mike Gotfredson, who rarely played in his first year with Michigan last season, got the start for the first exhibition against the EA Sports All-Stars. But he received 10 minutes of play, while Queen had the lion”s share at point guard with 28 minutes. Queen also got the start last Sunday and played for 36 minutes.
Head coach Tommy Amaker “changes the lineup every day. He just plays whoever played the hardest,” Queen said.
Whether Amaker will use the reward system beyond the preseason remains to be seen. No matter, Amaker seems to be most comfortable with Queen, who he called his most experienced ballhandler, running the offense.
“I think Avery played a really solid game for us,” Amaker said. “We told him and the other guys that going against (Nike Elite”s) Curt Smith and Ted Dupay are going to be as big of a challenge they”re going to face all year. I think Avery did a good job trying to hang with them.
“I think Avery did a nice job last game coming off the bench and he had a good week of practice. He”s earned that to this point, and we”re going to see how things go this week.”
Gotfredson saw just two minutes on the floor in the last exhibition against the Nike Elite. Freshman Marcus Bennett, who played six minutes in the first exhibition, didn”t even make it into the game.
The other guard to factor into the equation is freshman Dommanic Ingerson. Used to playing as the off-guard his preference Ingerson is still feeling out the tasks of running the point.
Ingerson said he needed a “better understanding of what the coaches want from that position, getting back and attacking the gaps. I”m still learning that position, so I have a little lapse sometimes.”
In the final minute against the Nike Elite, Amaker pulled Queen for Ingerson to try to spark a comeback at the end of the game.
“I think he wanted Dommanic to create a few shots, get into the lane and penetrate,” Gotfredson said. “I think that”s what coach was looking for at the end there, more of a penetrating guard who can get a shot off.”
Ingerson”s misadventures in his three trips down the court included a pass out of bounds off Bernard Robinson”s hands, a would-be assist to Gavin Groninger, who missed his three-point attempt and Ingerson”s own airball on a three-pointer.
“Our coaches wanted me to attack the gaps, get people open a little bit,” Ingerson said. “I didn”t do a good job doing that.”
Queen has acted somewhat as a mentor to Ingerson. With both their dorm rooms and lockers next to each other, the two find themselves with ample opportunity to talk about the finer points of the one-spot on the court.
“He needs to develop more. He”s got a lot of potential to be a good point guard,” Queen said. “He”s still young, still got a long way to go. But I walk with him and talk to him. We just talk back and forth. Sometimes he asks me, or if we”re watching the game we just start talking about it.”