The Big Ten Network's seven-minute segment on Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander is a winner - plus, solid words from Illinois head coach John Groce and Illinois beat writers on the No. 1 Wolverines, more basketball notes …
Alexander has made his mark not only as an outstanding coach of big men, but also with his pregame speeches. BTN's The Journey captured who he is in this piece:
Michigan tops the Big Ten Network's power rankings following a key road win at Illinois.
"The nation's likely new No. 1 team, Michigan has an average margin of victory of 18 points per game in its six Big Ten wins," they wrote. "Its narrowest victory: eight points in a nationally televised prime time game at a jacked-up Williams Arena."
Michigan head coach John Beilein said today he's still waiting for test results on redshirt junior big man Jordan Morgan's right ankle, but he hopes to have him back for Northwestern Wednesday. Morgan was injured early in the Wolverines' 74-60 win Illinois, turning his ankle, but returned to the bench.
"If he's able to go, we'll need every man on deck for Northwestern, without question," Beilein said. "We got back very late last night - that's the big downside of the Sunday night game. We got back at midnight and we didn't have time for the X-rays then, but he was going to do the X-rays this morning."
More praise on Michigan, this time from the Champaign News-Gazette's Loren Tate, who provided this quote from Illinois head coach John Groce:
"From an efficiency standpoint, Michigan is the top team in the country," Groce said. "When we started to cut into their lead, they hurt us with jailbreaks. We had some live ball turnovers, and you can't guard those. They are terrific in transition.
"We are diagnosing this and that, and it comes down to the fact that we got some shots we wanted and we didn't convert. But give Michigan credit. We held them to 5 for 15 on threes, and yet they shot 53 percent, and we shot 37 percent. We can't beat that team when we shoot like that. They have a lot of weapons.
"I give Michigan a lot of credit. You make one mistake and they exploit it like that."