Good Tuesday Morning, folks. Depending on where you are in the country, spring may be starting to arrive. In this morning’s Brews: Rashan Gary performs at a high level in spring workouts, Men’s basketball gets a signature win on Senior Day, Women’s basketball secures the three seed in the B1G Tournament, and Softball ties (!) the #1 team in the country.
Let’s hit the links:
Rashan Gary showcased dominance and great effort while earning top performer honors for this morning's conditioning session. Video evidence: pic.twitter.com/YqlbE08xd7— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 23, 2017
So guys, I have some breaking news here. It’s pretty big so you might want to sit down before you read any further. Ready? Alright, here we go... Rashan Gary is a freakish athlete. Yeah, I know. Total shock, right? Coach Harbaugh posted a clip of film from a spring conditioning session last Thursday, and I’ll just say it’s impressive. Gary is, of course, in the #3 jersey in the center of the group. The former #1 recruit is showcasing that speed and agility with nearly 300 lbs on his frame. He might be above 300 lbs now since the roster hasn’t been updated since last year. I can only speak for myself, but I’m definitely looking forward to watching him on the DLine next year.
Michigan basketball notched a huge, HUGE, win over the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday. Prior to the game the Wolverines honored the seniors expected to leave the program after this season (Walton, Irvin, Donnal, Lonergan, and Dakich), and then sent them out in style with an 82-70 victory over the #14 team in the country. Mo Wagner was the star of the game, scoring 22 in the first half, and leading all scorers with 24 points. Wagner’s 22 points before the break is the most scored by a Wolverine in a first half since Daniel Horton had 24 against Bowling Green in 2002. Walton continued his high-flying ways and contributed a double-double (17 pts., 11 rebs.). John Beilein’s crew finishes the regular season with two games on the road; Wednesday at Northwestern, and Sunday at Nebraska.
The win over Purdue has improved Michigan’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology update projects Michigan is in the tournament as an eight seed, an improvement from his mid-week update where Michigan was a nine seed after beating Rutgers. Even before Michigan’s victory over #14 Purdue on Saturday, Joe Lunardi speculated that the Wolverines were already off the bubble and safely in the tournament. Bracket projection data aggregation project BracketMatrix.com lists Michigan as being included in all 98 projected brackets tracked by the website. It looks like the Wolverines are squarely in the field, and only need to worry about where they’ll be playing when Selection Sunday rolls around.
Softball spent the weekend out west at the Mary Nutter Classic in beautiful Palm Springs, California. With a slate of five games on the docket, including three against ranked teams, it was an opportunity for some quality wins early in the season. The Wolverines performed admirably, exiting the weekend with a 3-1-1 record. The weekend started on a high note on Friday, with a 5-4 win over New Mexico State. On Saturday, Michigan split their games - losing to #18 Texas A&M 3-0 before beating Bethune-Cookman 13-4 in a run-rule shortened contest. On Sunday, the Wolverines faced the #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles and fought them to a 5-5 tie; which, despite being in the rule book, was something I did not see in my four years of scoring softball games. After a short break, Michigan bested #21 Arizona State 3-0. Softball now owns a 9-4-1 record and returns to action next weekend with five games at the Judi Garman Classic.
The Women’s basketball regular season has come to a close, and, despite dropping three of their past five games, it was one for the record books. The Wolverines’ 22 victories ties a school record for the program, and their 11-5 conference record is good enough for the #3 seed in the upcoming B1G Tournament. Heach Coach Kim Barnes Arico also was named B1G Coach of the Year and team leaders Katelynn Flaherty, Kysre Gondrezick, and Hallie Thome earned All-B1G honors. Securing the #3 seed in the B1G Tournament affords Michigan byes in the first two rounds, which starts on Wednesday. The Wolverines’ first game will be Friday evening against the winner of Michigan State and Rutgers/Wisconsin. Michigan has an aggregate record of 3-1 against those teams this year.
The #11 ranked Men’s Swim & Dive team captured conference runner-up status in last week’s B1G Championships. The Wolverines finished tied for second with 1,382 points. Indiana took home the championship and finished with 1,504 points. Michigan swimmers took home four individual championships with Felix Aubock (2), Paul Powers, and Charlie Swanson taking the top spot on the podium in the 500m freestyle, 1,650m freestyle, 50m freestyle, and 400m individual medley, respectively. Aubock, Powers, and Swanson also earned first team All-B1G honors with four Michigan swimmers also earning second team All-B1G honors. Aubock also earned the Freshman of the Year award.
Q/A with Michigan icon LaMarr Woodley https://t.co/plsWI1w6tx— Maize n Brew (@MaizenBrew) February 25, 2017
Just in case you missed this one from Saturday, our very own Von Lozon caught up with Michigan legend LaMarr Woodley last week. Following a panel discussion at Delta College - which is up near Saginaw - Von was able to ask Woodley a few questions. Topics like recruiting and coaching were discussed, so check it out if you haven’t already.
Coach Beilein has made it to the final round of the Coaches 4 Charity Challenge, and as of the time I wrote this he maintains a slight lead over Purdue Coach Matt Painter. This round will determine whether the ChadTough Foundation, Beilein’s chosen charity, will receive a $15,000 or $100,000 donation. You can vote once per day, and all you need to vote is a free ESPN account. Follow the link in the tweet above and let’s help send a good bit of money to a foundation doing some great work. Go Blue.