COLLEGE BASKETBALL FINAL FOUR NOTES : MICHIGAN : Running With Wildcats Is Inviting
After facing patient Temple in the NCAA West Regional final, Michigan might find playing Kentucky in the national semifinals almost liberating.
“Full-tempo basketball,” Wolverine point guard Jalen Rose said of the Wildcats. “They pull on those shorts and try to get into you. That’s the kind of game I like to play.”
Red Auerbach, president of the Boston Celtics and a George Washington alumnus, offered this opinion to the Washington Times before Michigan played the Colonials: “Michigan has so much talent that, if they fall behind, they’ll start going one-on-one. You can break it open on them if they start that. I think they’re the type of team that can be the best in the country one night and lose to anybody the next. They’re all looking to the NBA and that leads to them flashing their individual skills.”
Auerbach also questioned Rose’s ballhandling ability and suggested that one way to beat the Wolverines is to press them.
Said Auerbach of the 6-foot-8 Rose: “He’s tall. He looks over people, passes and takes good shots. But I don’t know if he can handle the press.”
Footnote: Michigan struggled against Auerbach’s Colonials but won anyway, 72-64.
Five Michigan players have been first-round NBA draft picks since 1988: Gary Grant, Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught and Terry Mills.