Monday, December 22, 2008

Returning Bench Players

On to my thoughts of the returning bench players this year.

1) Durrell Summers - The athletic swingman that the team desperately needs. He was the least heavily recruited among last years freshman, but may be the most athletic on the team. The problem is that we haven't quite seen it yet. After hearing that he had improved dramatically over the summer, I was hoping that he would have a breakthrough sophomore year like J-rich did. This has not been the case. Now, I know the timing of this is poor, but why is he shooting so many threes? Why is more than 1 in every 3 shots he take a three pointer? The obvious answer is that he is 13 for 25 on the season, but I don't really buy him being that good of a shooter. I would feel much more comfortable seeing attack the rack on a consistent basis.
What announcers will say: He's athletic!

2) Marquise Gray - He probably is the most highly touted recruit on this team, but unfortunately as a RS senior he is most accurately labelled as an underacheiver. Every once in a while he surprises us with a double-double, but unfortunately his play normally is average at best. His problems seem to be 100% mental and 0% physical as he has great size and is pretty agile. Pay particular attention to him the next time that he screws up on the court. His facial expressions speak volumes as to how shot his confidence is. Maybe this is a result of regular playing cupcakes at Class C Beecher while in Flint. Or maybe it is because Izzo rides him on almost every play he is involved with, even if he does a good job.
What announcers will say: He's from Flint.

3) Idong Ibok - A guy, who for nothing else, is featured in the MSU commercial most often seen on the BTN. You know, the one where he has that ackward smile just before he goes up for a jump ball. That's hilarious. Seriously, like a reader wrote yesterday (see below), Ibong is very underrated and underutilized by Izzo. He should have seen the floor a lot more in the absence of Suton if not only for his size. Just as Chris Allen has never seen a shot that he didn't like, Ibong has never seen a shot that he didn't think he could block. He try's to swat threes from the lane. That's pretty funny also!
My own personal nickname for him: I Dunk, I Block

4) Isaiah Dahlman - The former Minnesota High School career scoring leader. Unfortunately, his game has not transitioned well to the next level. He has seen limited time on the floor during his first two seasons due to what appears to be a lack of quickness and agility. I had read the reports that he had improved his three point shooting in the offseason and was hoping to have a role similar to Jason Klein this year, but that hasn't happened. Instead, Izzo has shown that he prefers Ashton Thornton over Dahlman which is probably the right call. I feel bad for Dahlman because he seems like a nice kid. I think he should have went the route of his former teammate Maurice Joseph and transfered last year. Sadly, I don't think that he can redshirt due to some scrub time appearances that he had this year. Thus, transferring for one year is going to be difficult.
What announcers shouldn't say about him anymore: The Minnesota High School career scoring leader. (his record was broken this year)

5) Austin Thornton - The rebounding guard who saw a significant amount of PT this year. He seems to have at least a decent three point shot and good size to get some boards. Hopefully he doesn't turn the ball over as he has looked shakey at times while handling the rock. I should have put him in with the freshman, but he technically was on the team last year.
Announcers will say: He turned down several full ride scholarships from MAC schools to be a walkon for Tom Izzo

6) Tom Herzog - Has played sparingly again this year only appearing in 5 games. You can't teach size, but apparently Tom will take teaching shorter guys over playing Tom. That's what you get when you take a guy from Flint Powers.
Thing I remember most about Herzog: Quality minutes in the BT tournament semifinal game against Wisconsin due to rediculous over officiating.

7) Crandell, Kebler - Somebody email me something about these guys that isn't on their bio sheet. All I know about them is that they can't hold a candle to Steve Cherry or Matt Ishbia.

OhioSpartan writes:

Two things:

Roe's freethrows: His form looks fine, I think he will start hitting at 60% real soon and by next year he will be a 70% FT shooter.

Idong Ibok: He started, played significant minutes, and helped the team win. Anyone who predicted that Idong Ibok would do this on the road against a top five team is lying. I think he is the real player of the game that nobody is talking about.

-Well, we can only hope that you are correct regarding Roe. However, I would argue that my form looks great also, but I don't think that I can shoot 70% from the line. And regarding, I Dunk I Block, I agree that he had contributed solidly in the Texas game. Again, he is very underutilized. Hey, also, if you are in Ohio, tell those Buckeyes to leave Braylon Edwards alone. If they keep this up, he might ask to be traded. Actually, with his dropsies maybe that's what they want.

A summary of the current freshmen.

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