It appears as though Michigan might have played themselves out of the tournament today, with a loss in the first round of the Big Ten tournament to the Golden Gophers. At least we have a history of tearing up the NIT, so I guess I have that to look forward to. Some quick observations from todays game.
1: I'm down on Tommy Amaker right now, hence the title of this post. I'm sick of his turtle necks, I'm sick of hearing about what a nice guy he is, and I'm tired of these late season collapses that Michigan has suffered the last two seasons. I thought this was Michigan's best chance to get back in the tournament since they stopped paying their players but now it looks like they'll be on the outside looking in.......again. I also realize that this senior class has been hampered by injuries, and suspensions, since that promising sophmore season when they won the NIT, but part of their underachieving can be attributed to questionable coaching, and todays game was no exception. For example when they were down 7 with about two minutes to go in todays game, Amaker had Michigan still playing a zone defense, which allowed Minnesota to dribble nearly 30 seconds off the clock, when time was precious to Michigan. Even Steve Lavin was imploring Michigan to do some kind of trap/press to force a turnover, or a shot, or ANYTHING that might make Minnesotas give up possession, and/or stop the clock, and it's never a good thing when Steve Lavin is outcoaching you from the scorer's table. Later with a little over one minute left and Michigan having cut the lead down to 4, Chris Hunter missed the first of two three pointers he would heave up in the closing minutes. Why didn't Amkaer call a timeout and instruct his charges that they didn't need a three yet and there was still plenty of time left? Oh, because Michigan had already burned up all of their timeouts. So it was a miracle when Lester Abram took the initative to drive to the basket and get a quick two instead of panicking and jacking up an ill advised three. Even though Abrams ended up fouling out after a Minnesota player drew a charge, it was still refreshing to see that at least one guy on the team knew what the hell was going on and it wasnt even our head coach. I'm not saying they should fire Amaker or do anything reactionary if Michigan fails to get into the tourney.....I'm just saying I wouldnt be surprised if he turned into the next Quin Snyder.
2: I hate Courtney Sims. Was anything more predictable then him disappearing in what was arguably Michigan's biggest game of the year, when their NCAA tournmanent hopes were on the line? No, of course not. Can't Michigan pay someone to brainwash Sims into thinking he's playing Delaware State every night?
3: I love Brent Petway, and I like him even more now that he got the No. 23 shaved into his head. I just noticed this today, and he may have always had it and I was just to blind to see it, but it's great. I hope he get's the chance to have an NBA career similar to Kenny Walker, who inexplicably has his own ridiculous website, I think I was the first visitor ever.
4: Is anything more ridiculous then those Pride of the Program segment ESPN runs during their college basketball coverage. They always pick the most obscure schools, schools I didnt even know existed let alone have Division I college basketball teams. Also I know a lot of these small schools havent had much of a chance to get to an NCAA tournament or do anything of real significance, but some of the entries are pretty pathetic. The other night there was one for Slippery Rock University, (a school cleverly nicknamed The Rocks) and their Pride of the Program moment was knocking the Boston Terriers out of the conference tournament about five years ago. I just want to know what is needed to qualify as a Division I basketball school, if me and four of my friends got together and called our Gus Macker team Amorphous Blob University, would we be eligable to play in the North Coast Atlantic Conference, or better yet if I rounded up a similar group of temas could I get an automatic NCAA berth? These are the questions I need answers to.