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Tuesday Morning Brews: Back in the Saddle

Spring practice rolls on, Women’s basketball wins the WNIT, and Women’s gymnastics is going to the NCAA Championships

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Tuesday Morning Brews. Thanks to Nick for ably filling in for me last week while I was attending to a personal matter. In this morning’s Brews we have some Spring Practice highlights, a little bit of recruiting news, the first post-season title in Women’s basketball history, and win streaks galore for softball and baseball.

Let’s hit the links:

Spring practice rolls on and one position group that’s drawing a lot of attention is the offensive line. With graduation and Grant Newsome’s knee injury, Michigan has the task of replacing three starters up front. Despite this loss of experience, OC Tim Drevno is optimistic. In the above video, Drevno highlights the 2017 OL recruits and the unit’s competitive drive as two reasons why the OLine will be just fine this year. Also playing a role will be new OTs/TEs coach Greg Frey, who looks to make an impact in his (second) first season with the Wolverines.

Here’s just some good ol’ hittin’ action from spring practice, also known as guys being dudes. Right off the bat, it looks like Ben Bredeson taking care of business before Rashan Gary recovers and plants Brian Chu, who made a sub-optimal read. A little while later, Big Mike Onwenu holds his own against Chase Winovich and in a battle of new guys, Ja’Raymond Hall drops Donovan Jeter. There are several other good performances in there so I recommend watching the full minute-long video.

The Opening, a recruiting showcase put on by Nike, held its Chicago event this past weekend and 2018 Michigan commits Aidan Hutchinson and Emil Ekiyor were on hand. Hutchins made some noise by measuring 6’ 6 1/2” during check in. Put that together with his reported weight of 245lbs on Scout and you have a large DE prospect who’s going to cause problems for opposing linemen when he gets to Michigan. Ekiyor, an OG prospect, made some noise of his own by taking home MVP honors for the camp. Hutchinson and Ekiyor are two of Michigan’s three commits in the 2018 class so far, with the third being Otis Reese. All three rank as four star recruits.

Women’s basketball topped Georgia Tech in the WNIT Championship on Saturday afternoon to earn their first post-season title in program history. The game was an evenly-matched slugfest, but the Wolverines finally pulled away in the 3rd overtime period to win 89-79. Katelynn Flaherty led the way with 27 points, joining the 2,000 point club for the Wolverines in the process. Hallie Thome also paced the offense with 25 points. Both Flaherty and Thome received WNIT All-Tournament Team honors, with Flaherty taking home the WNIT MVP trophy.

Women’s gymnastics won their NCAA Regional this past weekend, their 12th regional title in program history. The win advances them to their 23rd NCAA Championships. The Wolverines led the way with a composite score of 197.350 while Alabama, the highest seeded team in the regional, came in second with a composite score of 196.625. Alabama will also head to the NCAA Championships as the top two teams from each region advance. The NCAA Championship meet is April 14-15 in St. Louis.

Softball has continued their winning ways, stretching their streak to 12 with a series sweep of Northwestern this past weekend. Things started with offense for the Wolverines on Friday as they run-ruled Northwestern 10-0 and cruised to a 6-0 victory on Saturday. On Sunday, the Wolverines didn’t show quite the same offensive prowess they had exhibited earlier in the weekend but they still tallied a comfortable 4-0 victory. That makes seven shutouts in a row for the Wolverines, with the team outscoring opponents 50-0 in those games. Michigan now owns a 26-7-1 record and a 6-0 record in conference, good for first place. The Wolverines will be back in action with a trio of games at Ohio St. next weekend.

Baseball has continued their hot start, winning their last six games and eight of their last ten to claim a 22-6 record overall. The Wolverines two losses in that span came at the hands of Maryland, and Michigan owns a 4-2 record in conference - good for fourth place in this nascent B1G season. Michigan is five games into an 18 game homestand (yes, seriously) and they’ll be back in action this evening when Notre Dame comes to town. The game starts at 7 PM and will be broadcast on BTN Plus.