Breaking Down the Fiscal Cliff: Greater Economic Crisis Looms on Americans

November 27th, 2012 § 604 comments § permalink

Fiscal Cliff

The biggest agenda in American politics is the economy and one cannot search the economy on Google without the term Fiscal Cliff showing up in the results. But what exactly is the Fiscal Cliff?

Well, it’s quite simple. On January 1st, the government will reduce its spending by $1.4 trillion in cutting down on the budget. In addition, the 2001 “Bush tax cuts” are set to expire, which will lead to increased tax rates in many areas.

Economic theory dictates that reduced spending results in less money being put towards job creating government projects and effectively removes a certain chunk of the economy. In regards to the ‘other half of the cliff’, an increase in taxes will lead to a greater tax burdens on Americans. The two put together comprise the perfect storm – headed right at the U.S. economy.

In effect, the United States is cutting spending and increasing tax revenue to help decrease the record debt amassed during the Bush and Obama administrations. Overall we’re finally cutting down on our deficit spending as well. Raising revenues will help to lower our debt further.

Reduction in government spending

This whole mess started back in 2000 when government spending got out of control. The Bush administration kicked in billions for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Obama assumed office in 2008, he not only continued these wars, but increased government spending through stimulus programs and establishing ObamaCare. Over this time period, the government has spent much more than the revenue it has taken in. To remain stable, it relied on borrowing money from countries like China. In the summer of 2011, the U.S. government finally hit its borrowing limit, the ‘debt ceiling.’ What did it do to fix it? It raised the debt ceiling so they could borrow even more.

Raising the debt ceiling had its fair share of consequences. For the first time in history, the credit rating of the United States of America was downgraded by Standard and Poor from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’. Many credit agencies saw the rise of the debt ceiling as a sign of uncertainty in not only the economy but the in the American political system. A downgrade in the credit rating ultimately makes it tougher for our country to borrow money and fund the budget deficit. It also results in a higher interest rate imposed on loans taken out by the government.

Congress passed legislation mandating an agreement by November 2011 on a plan to cut the deficit by $1.5 Trillion. If the agreement wasn’t reached, it would automatically kick in beginning of 2013 (right when the tax cuts expire). They failed to make an agreement, so the automatic kick-in date became January 1st, 2013.

The planned reductions are $24 billion in defense spending and $40 billion in Medicaid expenses. A reduction in these areas results in less money being pumped into the economy. For example, less money being spent on defense means less business for defense contractors who in turn have to lay off employees. This may the most responsible action, but it could also have negative repercussions on the economy as well.

Tax Increase

Now let’s look at the ‘other half’ of the cliff, the tax aspect. Back in 2001, tax rates were slashed in across the board by then President Bush. In his first term, President Obama extended the cuts until 2012 while also addition additional tax cuts for 2011 and 2012. All of these cuts are set to expire on January 1st, the same time that the government spending is set to decrease. Below is summary of the current tax cuts and what will happen on January 1st, 2013

· Ordinary Income: (income earned in the workplace) The rates on individual ordinary income will increase from 10/15/25/28/33/35% to pre-2001 rates of 15/28/31/36/39.6%,

· Capital Gain: (income from investments) The rates on long term capital gains (investments longer than one year) will increase from 0/15% to 10/20%.

· Obama-Era Tax Cuts: Many of Obama’s tax cuts to the lower class expire, the biggest ones being an in increase in the child tax

· Estate Tax: (also known as the Death Tax, a tax on passing on money to those in your will when you pass away) There is an exemption up to $5,120,000 and a top tax rate of 35%. In January this exemption will drop to $1,000,000, with a top tax rate of 55%.

· Alternative Minimum Tax: The AMT exemption is an alternative to paying ordinary income tax, basically a way to tax those who normally receive large property deductions. The exemption was previously increased from $45,000 to $74,450. In 2013, this falls back down to $45,000, ultimately allowing more taxpayers pay the AMT as opposed to the ordinary tax rates. The trouble with the AMT is it has not been adjusted for inflation; leading to more taxpayers choosing the AMT route.

· Payroll Tax: In 2011 and 2012, the employee’s portion of social security was reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%. This expires in 2013.

· Obamacare: 2013 marks the beginning of the Obamacare bill as tax rates will increase to pay for it. Those earning more than $250,000 will pay an additional 0.9% tax on their earned income and 3.8% on their unearned income (interest, dividends, capital gains.)

Effects

Ernst & Young has estimated that 710,000 jobs will be destroyed along with a .5% increase in unemployment. The tax increase will also drop after tax wages by 1.8% and the US GDP will fall 1.8%. In other words, America is headed towards another recession, a double-dip recession. The result of uncontrollable government spending has again put the nation in this unfortunate position.

Obama has repeatedly called for keeping the tax hikes for the rich who make over $250,000 while keeping the Bush tax cuts for those under that limit. Speaker of the House John Boehner has stated that he and Republicans want the tax breaks to be extended to all Americans. One possible compromise is that tax breaks would remain from those under $250,000 but there would be some limit on deductions on those making over $250,000 as well as a tighter tax code to close loopholes. This appears to be the likely scenario in place as the deadline of January 1st steadily creeps up on the United States economy.

 

Top Ten Ballparks

April 11th, 2012 § 190 comments § permalink

fenway

Exams are coming around the corner for us students and before we know it, Summer will be here. If you are looking for something fun to do, one great way to do that is spend time at Baseball Parks around America. You can craft your own stadium tour over the summer or just make some time to visit one of these awesome parks. There are ten that I recommend making a trip too.

10.Comerica Park,
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Tigers:


Comerica is located in Downtown. Built in 2001, it has seen the rise of the Tigers going from the AL worst to a World Series contender this season. In that same sense, Detroit has once again becoming a baseball town, filling up Comerica every summer, and setting a record last year for over 3,000,000. It is close to Greek town and surrounded by great sports bars to hang out before and after the game. Comerica Park is a must for any student living in A2 this summer

9. Coors Field,
Denver, Colorado
Colorado Rockies


Coors field was built in 1995 to give the Rockies a home, who previously played at Invesco field where the Broncos play football. Being located in Denver, the air pressure is low creating a hitter friendly park full of HRs triples, and doubles. In addition, there is a micro brewery located in the park, with Coors’ influences.

8. Marlins Park
Miami, Florida
Miami Marlins


Marlins Park is the newest addition to the family of MLB Ballparks. The Marlins previously played at Sun Life Stadium, a Football Stadium. They struggled with attendance and built this park to uplift the franchise with a new ball park containing a plethora of features. It includes a pool and deck in the outfield as well as a retractable roof for those hot or rainy days. It also has glass windows that can open up in left field, giving way to a view of the Miami skyline.

7. Target Field
Minnesota, Minneapolis
Minnesota Twins


Target Field is its 3rd year of operations, hosting the Minnesota Twins. It is located in downtown giving a great view of the city of Minneapolis. With longtime Twins Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer, Minneapolis has became a baseball town, usually contending for the AL: Central pennant. Minneapolis is also a great summer town, containing many lakes for recreation.

6. Camden Yards
Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Orioles


Camden Yards was built in 1992 to replace the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. It was been one of the most revered ballparks in America, being the first “retro-modern” park. It has achieved this by bringing the fans closer to the fields and creating fan-friendly experiences. Through this, it is said to have been the influencer in the creation of 22 other new ballparks in the last 2 decades.


5 Miller Park.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Brewers


Miller Park was created in 2001, as another park with a retractable roof that can open in only 10 minutes. Some of its features are its unique “fan style” roof, a large multi-story slide in the outfield, and the infamous sausage man race; a race between sausage mascots. It is also known to be one of the cheaper venues for fans looking to save some money.

4. PNC Park
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Pirates


PNC Park was built in 2001 as a replacement to 3 Rivers Stadium which previously housed the Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers football team. PNC park was created alongside the Alleghany River, with an outfield view to the Downtown Skyline as well as the hills of Pennsylvania. Other ballpark features include limited seating like Fenway Park, a river walk concourse along the Alleghany, and concourse foods associated with the city of Pittsburgh such as Primanti Brothers sandwiches.

3. AT&T Park
San Fransisco, California
San Francisco Giants


AT&T park was created in 2000 to house the Giants who previously played at Candlestick Park. AT&T Park might be one of the most picturesque parks, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Every game, kayakers sit in the bay waiting to catch home runs. The park typically experience fantastic weather. In addition it is characterized by the giant baseball glove and Coke bottle in left field.

2.Wrigley Field
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Cubs


Wrigley Field is a fan classic and a must-see ball park, being in operation for the Cubs since 1916. Some of the in-park features include ivy covering the outfield walls and a manually operated scoreboard in the outfield, manually operated by a person. There are also seats on the rooftops of building located across the street in the outfield, giving more fans a chance to watch the game. The Chicago Cubs are a beloved part of the city but have not won a Worlds Series since 1908; however, fans still pack the stadium every game in addition to the many sports bars that fill the area. The neighborhood around the park is even called Wrigleyville

1. Fenway Park
Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Red Sox


Fenway Park is another fan classic that id a must-see. It was built in 1912, going on its 100th season for the Red Sox this year. It is a great fan experience with the rich tradition of the Red Sox history built into the park. The Green Monster is the most notable feature, a towering 37 foot left outfield wall. The scoreboard is located on the wall and is manually operate in addition to seating that has been added on top of the Monster. Some classic sounds you will hear at Fenway include Dropkick Murphy’s “I’m Shipping Out to Boston” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,’ which is hear after every win.

Shawn Hunwick has one night stint with Columbus Blue Jackets

March 28th, 2012 § 218 comments § permalink

This past Wenesday, Shawn Hunwick dressed for his first NHL game. You must be thinking this is crazy! This past Friday he was in net for Michigan in the NCAA tournament, playing against Cornell.  Michigan lost in OT to Cornell, being booted them out of the tournament.

It was Shawn Hunwick’s last season as goaltender for Michigan, as he was looking forward to great NHL career with a .939 save % and 2.12 goals against average on his resume for the 2011-12 season. He is a finalist for the Hobey Baker award as well,  clearly establishing himself as a potential great.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a dismal record at 25-47 with only 57 points. The next team after them is Edmonton with 71 points. Their top Goalie, Steve Mason, has been sidelined for the remainder of the season. The replacement, Curtis Sanford, got injured in this past Wednesday morning’s skate, letting their 3rd stringer, Allen York,  move up into the starting position. There was no one to back him up so that’s when the Blue Jackets signed Hunwick for an amateur one day contract. This contract was only in effect for Wednesday, March 28th for the Blue Jackets’ game against The Detroit Red Wings. He dressed for the game wearing his Maize Michigan pads and winged helmet, in addition to the Blue Jackets jersey. Shawn was a part of the preseason warm-ups but did not get in any playing time in Wednesday’s game. Allen York started and helped lead to a win over the hometown Detroit Red Wings.

This contract was only for one day and he is now a free agent again. With his talent, he will get signed in the NHL. It is a possibility that he will receive a contract for the remainder of the 2011-12 NHL season. With his inexperience however,  this is unlikely that he will get signed for this season and make an impact on any NHL team.  Teams like Washington, Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh may go for him to backup their shaky goal tending. Nonetheless, this a great story to see Shawn dressing in the NCAA to NHL in a span of five days. It is only a matter of time before he is making a name for himself in the NHL.

NCAA Tournament Predictions

March 14th, 2012 § 35 comments § permalink

UMBB_OhioState_Bench-thumb-590x391-105570

The stage is set. The NCAA has selected its field of 68 for this year’s tournament. Play has already begun as the opening round took place March 13th-14th at Dayton.  This year, like every other year, has been another crazy year for NCAA Basketball. We have seen Kentucky own the SEC, sweeping the regular season with their only blemish being a loss in the SEC Championship game to Vanderbilt. The SEC is wrapped up by Florida, Vanderbilt, and Alabama. The Big East once again flexed its muscles sending 9 out of 16 teams to the tourney, with Syracuse leading the way as the Big East tournament champions. The others include Marquette, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and The University of South Florida. The Big Ten had another great year, sending 5 teams ranked in the top 15 in addition to unranked Purdue. They are highlighted by #1 seed MSU in the West region, who is coming off the Big Tournament win. The Big 12 also sent 6 teams, lead by the Big 12 tournament champion, Missouri, and runner-up, Baylor. The Pac 10 showed that country that they do not deserve to be the “Power 6” conferences by only sending Colorado and Cal, #11 and #12 seeds respectively. The ACC is represented by the typical powerhouses Duke and UNC, wrapped up by Florida State, Virginia, and NC State. This year, the Mid Majors made some pretty big noise; the biggest being Wichita State, Murray State, Creighton.

With this stage, I look forward to another crazy March Madness. Here are some of my thoughts and analysis that explain my bracket down below:

• The Big Ten to be represented well by all 6 team, with MSU and OSU in the Final Four. My biggest concern is Michigan, with inconsistency seen recently with Burke and Hardaway.

• The Big East will once again struggle like last year, sending only Marquette to the Elite Eight, and none to the Final Four.

• Bracket Busters will include #6 UNLV, #10 Harvard, and #6 SDSU.

• First round upsets will include #13 Davidson over #4 Louisville,  #14 Belmont over #3 Georgetown, #14 St. Bonaventure over #3 Florida State.

• Kentucky will be the team to go 5-0 in the tournament and win the Championship.

Another night game at Michigan?

February 16th, 2012 § 111 comments § permalink

Last season’s night game was such a huge success for Michigan. As highlighted by by co-editor, Chris Kudialis, Everything Went Right for Michigan.  The Crowd stayed under control  all day leading up to the game. The game itself was a magical atmosphere with Desmond Howard in the opening ceremonies. The day concluded with a thriller finish and a Michigan victory, as the crowd of 114,803 erupted in fervor. The First ever Night Game at The Big House showed those traditionalist fans that we can stay under control and have a great game. It leaves us students thinking, when will the next night game be?

Dave Brandon pushed for this game as his initiative to break Michigan from some of its traditions.  He has added more pre-game festivities  to every game to create a more fan-friendly experience. When asked about adding a mascot, he claimed “We’re interested in doing a mascot but it has to be something that fans love, that children love and everyone can embrace.” This set off a storm of alumni sending notes of disgust to Brandon.  He probably never was going to get one but when he mentioned thinking about the idea, UM fans freaked out.   In regards to a night game, Brandon wants to make it something special, happening every few years. Looking at next year’s schedule, he did not see an opportunity for a “Big Game” to become a night game. The MSA sees other wise.

The Michigan Student Assembly has created a petition to make the  October 20th game against Little Brother (MSU) a night game.  There is a facebook page titled “Petition to Make 2012 Football Game vs. MSU a Night Game (LINK BELOW)”. They further explain that the Notre Dame was a huge success and how the want to recreate it. The chances of recreating the Notre Dame game are slim in my mind but. Some posts on the Facebook wall include people saying how MSU doesn’t deserve a night game, despite them beating us four years in a row.

“It would be a great way for the city to create money because of the hype around Notre Dame but  it needs to stay special. Maybe not next year but the year after that,” said LSA Junior Rachel Jankowski in response to the idea of a MSU night game.

The event had 355 attending as of Thursday morning.  It will be interesting to see if this works against Brandon’s stance of not having one next year.

The link to the page is here: http://www.facebook.com/events/330665570310414/

Winter Classic at The Big House

February 9th, 2012 § 99 comments § permalink

Classic

It is official, the 2013 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic will be played in the Big House. The Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 1st

Rumors have been swirling the past few months that a game would be played either in Comerica Park or in Michigan Stadium. The Wings began serious talks with Michigan to get the game inside The Big House.  They saw the enormity of the success at the Big Chill back on December 11, 2010 when Michigan hosted Michigan State, setting the record for attendance at a hickey of 104,173.  It only seems fitting that a game be played in the Big House instead of Comerica because of its capacity and historical value.

The University Board of Regents approved $3 million dollar deal for the NHL to lease the stadium.  Brandon also estimates the economic benefit to the area to be around $14 million. More students will most likely stick around New Years for the game in addition to the local Detroit fans coming in.

Another benefit is that alcohol will be served at the game, something not served during Michigan football games.  Michigan state law allows the University to have 12, one day licenses. A license will be used for this game to serve the alcohol.

In addition, the game will include a series of events at Comerica Park the preceding week before the game.  The Detroit News has reports from sources that the schedule would look like this:

Thursday, Dec. 27: AHL game

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29: Great Lakes Invitational games

Sunday, Dec. 30: OHL game

Monday, Dec. 31: Wings-Maple Leafs alumni game

This format would still leave Comerica Park and the City of Detroir in the mix of activities.

So let the countdown begin, less than 11 months until this epic game in the Big House.

Michigan takes care of business against Indiana

February 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

# 22 Michigan basketball won a hug game tonight versus #20 Indiana by a score of 68-56. This game got out of hand early on as Michigan led by 27-8 with just under 8 minutes to go within the first half.  Michigan was shooting about 50% from the field while Indiana had 8 turnovers in the game at this point. The Hoosiers however climbed there way back with a 10-0 run to eventually make it 33-22 at the half. The biggest play of this half however was an alley-oop dunk from Burke to Hardaway that got Crisler bumping.

Indiana kept up their surge into the second half and closed the lead to 41-38 with 12 minutes left. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway however took ownership of the possessions to keep Indiana from taking the lead. This was highlighted by many drives to the hoop from both of these players. Michigan lead was narrow through the rest of the half until about 2 minutes left when they  took complete control. The Wolverines forced turnovers and had back to back 3’s from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Stu Douglass, making it a 58-50 game with 1:51 left. From that point on, Indiana hopelessly tried to come back into it by playing the foul game but ultimately lost by 12 points.

Trey Burke was the leading scorer, finishing with 18 points. Michigan improves to 17-6 (7-3) for the season, tied for second place within the Big Ten. Their next game is at Michigan State this Sunday at 1:00 pm. The Wolverines are attempting their 4th straight win against their rivals.

Indiana falls to 17-6 (5-6) on the season. Their Big ten record is proving costly for their chances to win the Conference

How Michigan lands in the Sugar Bowl

November 30th, 2011 § 73 comments § permalink

SB

Many of the sports analysts are projecting that Michigan will land in the BCS Sugar Bowl. Wouldn’t that be something in Brady Hoke’s first year as head coach?! The seniors also have only gone to one bowl game: last year’s crushing loss at the Gator Bowl by Mississippi State.  The team came into this season with a mission, to be the best team in the Big ten. They fell short of that but defiantly impressed us all and played with a real swagger. A Sugar Bowl bid would definitely cap off this program’s historic season.

Michigan (10-2) currently sits at #16 in the BCS. To be eligible for a BCS Bowl, a team needs to achieve a ranking of #14 or greater in the BCS standings. So with no way to directly influence their standings, they will need to rise indirectly, having teams ahead in the rankings lose.  Ultimately they need to have two teams close ahead of them to lose and  pick up a 3rd loss on the season.  I see five teams ranked ahead of Michigan that could lose and take a tumble behind Michigan: Wisconsin, MSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Houston.  Oklahoma is a tricky situation and I will explain that.

Right in front of UM is #15 Wisconsin; they are playing #13 MSU in the Big Ten Championship game this weekend.  The winner will be headed to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl while the loser will have a 10-3 record and most likely fall in the rankings behind Michigan. To be safe though, it would be best that Wisconsin lose because they are the highest in the rankings already.  MSU is #9 in the Coaches poll which factors into the BCS rankings so a loss for them won’t entirely guarantee that they fall behind Michigan.  It is still a good situation because one team HAS to lose, helping our cause.

The next team on the list is #14 Georgia (10-2). They are matched up against #1 LSU in the SEC Championship Game this weekend.  A Georgia loss will most likely guarantee that they fall behind Michigan given that they are so close to UM in the polls and will have 3 losses.   LSU will remain the clear #1 in the BCS. Given LSU’s talent, I do not see Georgia pulling off the upset.

Another team to watch is #10 Oklahoma. They are matching up with their instate rival #3 Oklahoma State. If Oklahoma loses they too would be 10-3 and could fall behind Michigan but this might be long stretch given they are playing a top in the country. On the other side of the matchup, Oklahoma could win and possibly claim the #2 spot as well as the bid for the BCS Championship Game. This would kick Alabama out and into the Sugar Bowl, leaving Michigan completely out. So this game has its benefits and losses of either team winning. I would argue that is would be best for Oklahoma to win to garuntee that OK State doesn’t claim the #2 ranking.

The last team that could help us is Houston. They currently are undefeated but are playing in the Conference USA championship vs. #24 Southern Miss. With a loss, Houston will definitely take a tumble in the rankings, possibly past Michigan. I do not see this happening however with the stellar QB Case Keenum and the record setting season he is having.

The scenario most likely to get Michigan into the Sugar Bowl would be for Wisconsin, Georgia, and Oklahoma State to lose. If that happens, Michigan will take the #14 ranking, therefore being BCS Bowl eligible. From there it is up to the Sugar Bowl Committee to pick Michigan for their bowl. They have a great reason to seeing all of the media support for Michigan. Many analysts are picking UM to matchup with Houston, seeing the Houston goes undefeated. Remember that the Sugar Bowl Committee is trying to pick the top teams that will create the most buzz as well as a great matchup. The media and analysts love the matchup of a recovering powerhouse (Michigan) vs. an undefeated team from a non-BCS conference (Houston).  Also, Michigan is always a strong bid for these committees because of the expansive alumni and fan base that would attend the game. They  are the prime target for any bowl game committee.

For now all we can do for now is watch how this weekend plays out, hoping the perfect scenario aligns, propelling us to our 2nd ever Sugar Bowl Appearance.

Mitch McGary, No. 2 recruit, commits to UM Basketball

November 3rd, 2011 § 114 comments § permalink

Mitch McGary announced today at 5pm eastern that he will be playing in Ann Arbor next Fall for the Wolverines.  McGary, the No. 2 Recruit for the 2012 class.

Mitch is a 6’10′ power forward from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.  He is however a native of Chesterton, Indiana, the hometown of UM senior Zach Novak. McGary was also a former AAU teammate of Max Biefeldt, a freshman on UM.

More can be found at this espn article.

 

Beilein’s Recruiting and Player Development Key to Michigan’s Turnaround

November 2nd, 2011 § 96 comments § permalink

The year 2007 represented the last season in which the Michigan Basketball program would be down one scholarship player.  It was obvious, however, that the team was hurting from the NCAA penalties it faced from the Fab Five violations.  Coach Tommy Amaker wasn’t getting the job done, despite consistently bringing in top 50 nationally-ranked recruits such as Daniel Horton, Dion Harris, and DeShawn Sims over the course of his tenure at Michigan.  It was time for a change in Ann Arbor and Amaker was fired on March 17, 2007.

On April 3, 2007, John Beilein was hired to take Amaker’s spot. The former West Virginia head coach brought a unique style of play that was previously unheard of in Ann Arbor.  His offense promotes up to four perimeter players, constant motion, and backdoor passes. Most importantly, it revolves around the success of shooting three-pointers.  Defensively, Beilein runs a 1-3-1 zone, consisting of a one player at the point, three near the free throw level, and one down by the basket. The goal of his unique defensive scheme is trapping offensive players and causing turnovers through forced passes.

In Beilein’s first season (2007-08), Michigan went 10-22 while transitioning to pick up their head coach’s new style of play.  The following season, Beilein caused more concern after bringing in two lower ranked recruits in Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, These two players, however, were the beginning of a framework of players that would push the team in the right direction.

Beilein’s recruiting classes continued to improve every year, and his most successful class was this past year’s freshmen, the 2010 class. This stellar group included Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, and Colton Christian.  The first two became starters, making a huge impact, while Christian also contributed at times throughout the season.  After only three years of recruiting his own players at Michigan, John Beilein was able to establish two NCAA Tournament teams- in 2009 and 2011, despite not having any seniors on the roster last year.

As a result of his recruiting success, Beilein and his coaching staff have made a name for themselves as coaches searching for players with developmental potential.  Take Darius Morris for example. The highly-touted point guard struggled as a freshman, but clearly had potential as a playmaker and team leader.  By his sophomore season, Morris became the leading scorer of the Wolverines with an improved confidence in his shot and ability to drive to the basket. Morris was recently drafted as the 41st pick in the NBA after just two seasons with the Wolverines.

In addition to Beilein’s scheme and improvement in recruiting, Crisler Arena also received some improvements of its own. In 2011, Michigan’s basketball arena was renovated with improved lighting, new seats, a remodeled court, and an HD scoreboard.  Michigan’s upcoming exhibition game against Wayne State will mark the Wolverines’ first in the renovated arena.  In addition to the remodeled arena, the athletic department constructed a new Player Development Center attached to Crisler, which includes new practice courts, film-viewing theatres, and strength and conditioning spaces. The coaches also have new administrative offices.

It seems that the combination of proper coaching and administration has finally corrected the slump that plagued the Wolverines from the late 1990’s until 2008, and that Beilein has done just about everything right in to steer Michigan Basketball toward success. The Wolverines enter the season ranked No. 18, and have high expectations for 2011-2012 with both current and future players.  For the 2012 recruiting class, Michigan has already signed 4-star recruits Glenn Robinson III, Nick Stauskas, and has the attention of the #3 ranked nationwide prospect, Mitch McGary.  With the continued improvement of the talent that John Beilein is bringing into Michigan, it might not be long before the Wolverines are again discussed in the Big Ten and National Title picture.