That’s A Wrap: Guy-Marc Michel

  • 03/29/2011 10:24 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to make some sense of the 2010-11 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. Today: Guy-Marc Michel.

Final Stats: Did not play.

When Indiana recruited a 7-foot center from Martinique by way of North Idaho College, a fair bit of skepticism passed through the fanbase. The Hoosiers had just said goodbye to Tijan Jobe, and would soon part ways with Bawa Muniru, two project centers with impressive physiques and, in the end, relatively little impact.

But everyone around the program insisted: Guy-Marc Michel was different.

From the time he signed through the beginning of practice, players and coaches insisted Michel would be an integral part of the rotation. Tom Crean said when he talked to his players in the summer about their top-eight rotation, Michel’s name always popped up.

And then we got to see Michel in action, first at Hoosier Hysteria and then at Night of the Living Red, we sort of saw what his teammates saw: A deceptively athletic, physical center who had gelled with his teammates and moved well off the ball, in addition to providing an obvious presence in the post offensively and, especially, defensively.

Taking a second look at Michel, it wasn’t hard to see him bothering Ralph Sampson or Dallas Lauderdale.

And then Michel was declared ineligible. We can debate the fairness or merit of that decision until we’re blue in the face, but the fact remains Michel’s was a scholarship sacrificed.

It’s hard not to imagine what this Indiana team might have looked like with a healthier Maurice Creek and a true center. The former might never have come to pass, but the latter nearly did.

Crean has said more than once that he considers Michel an NBA-level prospect. We certainly can’t judge him on talent, but his measurables are intriguing enough. If nothing else, he would have provided a long, physical body in the post for a team that has sorely lacked that kind of presence for three years now.

Shining moment: Is it mean-spirited to give him one? Michel looked good in his team’s open scrimmage at Night of the Living Red, but he obviously never saw the court.

Bottom line: Michel was supposed to provide an interior presence and a true center for a team deficient in both categories. Because of his eligibility issues, he unfortunately never could.

Filed to:

  • ldiu

    I was at the Night of the Living Red and he was indeed impressive. My question is: Why didn’t someone/anyone catch or check this out before it lead to this unfortunate situation?

  • MillaRed

    They did. And that’s why he was available. I’m thinking IU was so desperate for a big they were willing to take the chance that others would not.

  • Anonymous

    This is totally cool that you did a wrap on G-M. It’s about more than stats; he’s still part of the team.

  • I was very excited to see Guy in action, too bad in never unfolded. I don’t know why but JUCO players always excite me. Partly because they’re more mature physically and they usually provide a decent impact. Hope everything works out for Guy, it woulda been so awesome to have him this year on a team that desperately needed inside toughness, rebounding, and defense.

    I’m excited this year about the possibility of another guy to go along with Austin and Cody. The Traylor kid looks intriguing as well as the two JUCO players. I just hope it’s a frontcourt player and not another guard. Go HOOSIERS!

  • Anonymous

    I think IU is an NIT team with Michel eligible. A healthy Creek sure helps too, but Michel even more since he (would have) addressed THE biggest weakness on this team, IMO.

  • Glawton12

    The NCAA rules in regards to foreign players are not up to date with the reality that many players overseas play the game of basketball at a high level, and that we’ve already seen a number of them come to the U.S. for both collegiate and professional play. I believe IU took a chance on Guy because they believed he was more likely than not to be cleared, given their understanding of the rule, an understanding that can and should be debated until it’s clarified to the point of practicality. IU has the resources to discover the same things the NCAA can, so I’m assuming it was their interpretation of the same facts that lead to this disappointing result.

  • Agree with the comment that this was a good thought that just did not work out. In retrospect he was a huge loss. Hopefully J Traylor will commit because what this team needs is a physical athletic presence down low. CZ and later Jurkin will help – but they are talented but thin and it will take two yrs to bulk up. I was hoping that Elston would step up to help Pritch down low but that never worked out. I am hoping Traylor signs on to be the defensive stopper and rebounder and glue guy to go along with the exemplary talent coming to B town in the next 2 yrs…

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a good kid and I’m sorry it didn’t work out. All posts that speculate what we could have been with Guy are untenable. We were only able to see him play once, and it was against powerful interior defenders like Elston, Capo, and Pritch. (Please spare me the “Pritch is a great defender” argument).

    My biggest question: What can we expect from our next physically imposing but raw center, Peter Jurkin? Given the line of Tijan, Bawa, and Guy I’m not really sure what we’re getting. The two biggest question marks of the 2012 class are clearly Jurkin and Perea since we get to see the other three in Indianapolis consistently.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Absolutely. Everyone that considered recruiting him knew about the potential issues. Indiana was desperate for a big and needed to take a chance. I think they knew it was always 50/50 at best.

    In the end, the team took a hit when Guy was ruled ineligible. We have no way of knowing how big of a hit. I truly hope Guy has enjoyed his time in Bloomington, I hope he is getting a degree, I wish he could have contributed on the floor but the program moves on. I don’t think we had to expend a lot of resources to get him and it was a risk worth taking.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I think you are hitting on the biggest issue moving forward. We know Zeller is going to be a rock down low for us for the next few years. I’m not saying he will be an All-American next year but he will be an upgrade. So, who is going to be the second post option? Will Peter be able to contribute early? Will Hanner Perea be able to play consistent down low? I don’t have any concerns about the offensive abilities of our guards (defense is another issue). My concerns moving forward (2011 season and beyond) are with the interior.

    I think Traylor is intriguing and could definitely help next season because of his athleticism and apparent swagger. The questions about Jurkin and Perea will be answered with time.

  • LTTelamon

    I’m sorry… did I just read that TIJAN had “relatively little impact?” What is this blatant falsehood?

  • Thomasalee

    Wit him they would likely have been dancing as IU lost 7 games in the Bigten by less than 10 points. If they had won those games they would have finished forth…. if they had won 6 of them they would have been tied for forth. If they had won the 5 games they lost by 6 points or less they would have been tied for sixth in the bigten….. they were much closer than record shows.

  • Thomasalee

    It wouldn’t have took a lot of impact to make a big difference. IU lost 7 games by less than 10 points in the Bigten….. and that don’t mean he had to score 10….. the defense counts as well….. 5 games were 6 points or less and with just those games IU would have finished in a tie for 6th place in the big ten.

  • MPmike

    Good luck Guy. I hope the best for you in playing professional ball somewhere next year. Yes, I saw Marc-Michel at Night of the Living Red and he would made a difference for IU this past season. After looking at Jobe and Maniru, Guy is Shaq in comparison with the two pathetic centers. Too bad that we will never know. Unlike the quote that Mike Davis said about Josh Smith after declaring for the NBA after his commitment to IU- “He will always be a part of the IU family.” Guy stuck it out and went through a season with the team.

  • Anonymous

    Just read Peter Jurkin’s tweet from last night saying that he and his team will be playing Oak Hill Academy on ESPNU, Thursday night at 8 eastern. Plan on watching to check him out. DVR’d the state title games and still haven’t gotten a chance to watch them yet.