Freshmen impressed with Michel

Indiana’s basketball newcomers all met with the media for the first time as Hoosiers Friday afternoon, but one of the three players who sat on the dais in the Assembly Hall media room still carried more of an air of mystery than the other two.

Neither Will Sheehey (Florida) nor Victor Oladipo (D.C. suburbs) played high school ball anywhere near Indiana, so they aren’t as familiar to the Indiana fan base as say, Jordan Hulls. However, both played at premier prep schools and teamed with Top 30 recruits. Video on them is readily available online, and the fans that were able to drive to Louisville in April got to watch the springy legged Oladipo at the Derby Classic

Guy-Marc Michel, however, spent his last two years in basketball hinterland at North Idaho Community College.  He lived in Martinique until he was 16 before moving to France for three years. IU didn’t even start recruiting him until after assistant coach Steve McClain, who had been recruiting Michel as an assistant at Colorado, joined the staff in April.

Fans have been wondering if the 7-foot-1, 278-pounder has a chance to make an immediate impact or if he will be another project in the frame of the graduated Tijan Jobe or the departed Bawa Muniru. Michel’s game hasn’t been displayed to the public yet, but his fellow newcomers think he’s ready to play.

“He’s getting better every day,” Oladipo said. “From turnaround hooks to turnaround jumpers off the backboard, and catching oops that are uncatchable, he’s just improving every day. I know he’s going to help us in the fall, and I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

Sheehey is blown away by the sheer size of the man. Michel said he has a 7-foot-8 wingspan.

“I don’t know if it’s 100 percent true, but I think Guy can stand on the ground,” Sheehey said, “and put his hands straight up … and he pretty much touches the rim without jumping. If you guys can imagine that, standing up under the basket. Next time you look, look straight up and try touching the rim without jumping and that’s what you got with Guy.”

Michel admits he’s in for a major transition. He said he’s never seen anything like he’s going to see in Big Ten play.

“I think I have to be more aggressive,” Michel said in a heavy French accent, “and play harder. Those are the two biggest aspects of my game I have to work on.”

Those aren’t the only ones, but he thinks he is improving.

“I think I’ve gotten better since I’ve been here on my hook shot,” he said. “My footwork is getting better. And I think defensively is going to be something I need to work on.”

14 comments

  1. A “7-foot-8 wingspan”? Footwork? Hook shot?

    Can we finally stop 4guards from playing that damn Zeller tune and have a toga!!!!!!!

  2. Had to chuckle at Michel’s response to the reporter who essentially asked him if he enjoys blocking shots and shutting down opposing players.

    Oladipo seems like a natural leader. He’ll be one of those guys that does all the little things to make this team better.

    Sheehy’s got a great attitude and a solid game.

    Some people lament this class for its lack of high profile players, but I see these guys doing some real good for the team and program.

  3. I agree Casey. These guys seem to be a solid role player class. And I mean that in the best way possible. Depth at this point for IU is a must. It will make the practices better and hopefully the product on the floor during the season better.

    Almost would equate it to Hoeppner then Lynch dealing with the IU football scholarship situation. Early on especially with Hoeppner, the team was so thin with depth. It took a few years but finally when the team was deep enough with scholarship players, they made it to the 2007 Insight.com bowl.

    I’m hoping this is the turnaround year where the hype equates to a consistent product on the court.

    Saw that Korman is leaving for the Baltimore Sun.

    Best of luck Chris the Scoop has grown exponentially with your leadership! I’m confident that Dustin and Hugh will carry on your legacy. Remember when you were paired with Doug on the IU sports Q & A chat? My analysis of DJ White on Team USA was my first foray into the IU blogoshere.

    Best,
    The now espoused PB

  4. one of Michels self admitted biggest impact of his game to work on is work harder? Is he lazy as well as not talented?

  5. 4guards……..do you work for Fox or MSNBC, that was pretty good spin…..

    + You have to be lazy to gain 18-20 pounds of muscle in about 6 weeks
    + My hook shot is getting better…sounds lazy to me
    + Speak three language….yep lazy and illiterate
    + Ofcourse, never heard ANY other athlete in history say they need to work harder. In fact I am sure your boss at Burger King thinks your work ethic is at its correct level….

  6. Region,
    I would like to add one more to your list,
    +GMM has quickly identified B10 BB is
    not JC…a terribly slow learner

    …and again we here the unmatched wisdom from the world famous evaluator of BB talent, 4tickturds…

  7. First off, good stuff Region, he also said that he thought he had not faced anybody thus far in his bball career as good as what he was going to see in the B10. Could this kid, that speaks 3 different languages be any more stupid.

    The first time 4cells hears Guy say ” Luke I am your father ” or ” this is CNN ” in that James Earl Jones sounding voice he will, for the first time ever, decide it might be best to keep certain comments to himself. If we get nothing else from Guy while he is at IU, that in itself, made it the right decision to bring him to IU.

    DISCLAIMER: Stole that one for the most part from a comment by CutterinChicago over at ITH.

  8. IUMIKE1 just happy someone appreciated my idea. he could also say “People will come Ray…” or “Moonlight Graham”

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