The 2005-6 Michigan Basketball season came to an end tonight in Madison Square Garden in front of a pro-Blue New York crowd. South Carolina put the Wolverines away early, a Wolverine team that put its post season in the hands of its seniors. The Michigan's seniors represented Tommy Ammaker's first recruiting class, and ended their disappointing careers with yet another disappointment. South Carolina defeated Michigan 76-64, and it wasn't nearly that close on the court. The win makes the Gamecocks only the second team ever (St. John's) to win back-to-back NIT championships.
A frustrated Brent Petway, a big man in Chris Hunter that continues to play as if he were a slow crappy guard, and an inept Courtney Sims were not enough of a supporting cast for Daniel Horton's 18 points. Horton ends his career with a doughnut in the assist column, and along with his fellow classmates, zero NCAA Tournament appearances. The players themselves are not nearly as much of a problem as was their lack of development over the last 4 years. The difference between Sophomore Daniel Horton and Senior Daniel Horton is negligible, and you can make the same case for most, if not all, of the remaining players that participated in their final game in the Maize and Blue.
It makes one question if the leader we have is the leader that will take Michigan to that next level. No doubt Tommy has endured more than most, but that chapter has ended, and it's time for a new chapter to begin. Tonight's game wasn't going to change that.
Maybe DeShawn Sims will.
So it's finally time to turn the page. Basketball is over. Hockey is over. Football is starting. Just two weeks until the Spring Game. Then 4 ½ short months until we face off against the Commodores. I CAN'T WAIT.
Just a reminder...the tournament page will not be updated until Sunday as a skeleton crew of UMTailgaters will be heading to Indy for the Final Four. Look for updates when I return. And as always...