Friday, July 30, 2010

Michel Could Be A Big Answer To IU's Inside Questions

So how good is Guy-Marc Michel, the giant of a center who comes to Indiana via the Martinique-France-Idaho trail.

That’s impossible to say because we haven’t seen him play or practice. But we have SEEN him and he is big, 7-1 and 278 pounds and says he possesses a 7-foot-8 wingspan.

We believe him.

You hope, if you’re an Indiana fan, that Michel is not a project in the manner of seldom-used Tijan Jobe and Bawa Muniru. Surely, Michel can at least rebound and play defense. If so, he can be a significant contributor. And if he has some kind of offensive game, well, maybe the turnaround season Hoosiers hope for is just a few months away.

Anyway, here is what newcomers Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey think of Michel after working out with him this summer.

“I don’t know if it’s 100 percent true,” Sheehey said, “but I think Guy can stand on the ground, put his hands straight up and pretty much touch the rim without jumping. Try touching the rim without jumping and that’s what you got with Guy.”

Actually, Oladipo said, you’ve got more than that.

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

Michel is at IU because assistant coach Steve McClain is at IU. McClain recruited him while he was at Colorado and Michel was at Northern Idaho Community College. When McClain came to Bloomington, Michel followed him.

Nobody expects Michel to be the Big Ten’s most dominant big man this season. He understands the challenge that he faces. He says he’s never faced the kind of competition he’ll see in the Big Ten.

“I have to be more aggressive and play harder. Those are the two biggest aspects of my game I need to work on.

“I think I’ve gotten better since I’ve been here on my hook shot. My footwork is getting better. I think defensively is going to be a huge part to work on.”

Every player needs to work, but not every player is 7-1 and 285. If Michel can put that size to good use, look out.

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