Court Vision with C.J. Lee
SUNDAY, DEC. 21 -- Still Have Work to Be Done
It has been a while but much has happened since the last blog. Final Exams are finally over and our team can concentrate purely on basketball for a while. This is the time we need to use to make great improvements as a team. The last two weekends, we have beaten Eastern Michigan and Oakland University. Both games were good games in the sense that we got some contributions from a number of different people.
The Eastern Michigan was a unique situation for our team. Not having Coach Beilein on the bench was weird in all honesty. However, other than not physically seeing him there coaching on the sideline, our coaching staff did a great job of keeping everything the same. Our pregame routine was the same, our game preparation was the same, and the same calls and adjustments were made during the game. Our coaching staff told us that the biggest compliment you can give your teacher is performing well when your teacher is away. Coach Beilein is our coach/teacher and we were happy to pull out the victory for him.
Playing against Eastern Michigan was interesting because we are very familiar with them. Those guys are nice enough to come play open gym with us during the summer and we have a good relationship with some of those guys off the court. The main thing we wanted to do was stay focused for the entire 40 minutes. We had a few lapses in our 1-3-1 zone but other than that, we played good man to man defense and we scored the basketball very well from three.
Playing in the Palace of Auburn Hills was great experience for our team. Oakland is a team we did not want to take for granted because we knew the type of players they had and what they were capable of doing. I was very happy for Stu Douglass. He knocked down some incredible threes and was very active for the entire game. He seems to like NBA arenas because he had a similar performance in Madison Square Garden. Seeing Laval Lucas-Perry make his debut worthwhile was also great to see. I was impressed by his poise and his ability to let the game come to him. Manny Harris did an unbelievable job of creating for others the whole game. Thirteen assists is something that you don't see every day, especially from a player at the small forward position.
Right now, our mindset going into the holiday break has to be all about handling our business. It will be nice for guys to get a couple of days off for the holiday, but we have some more work to do first. We have put ourselves in a good position to have a good record going into the Big Ten season. It is important that we close out these last two non-conference games with a sense of urgency. We do not have any games to waste and is important that we are hitting are stride as a team come Big Ten season.
I would also like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Holidays!
Enjoy the time off and please continue to support Michigan Basketball!