The state of Michigan basketball often can be summed up by how coach John Beilein addresses Corperryale L'Adorable Harris, the given name of All--Big Ten junior guard Manny Harris. "If Coach is liking me, he calls me Fresh," says Harris. "If it's just a regular day, it's Manny. And if I'm in the doghouse, it's Corperryale."

Everything seems fresh in Ann Arbor these days. The Wolverines, who upset Duke and UCLA last season and then made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998, have their top six scorers back, plus promising freshman guards Darius Morris and Matt Vogrich. Expectations for the program have soared. "I don't think we're at the level of the Michigan States, North Carolinas and Dukes," says Beilein, who engineered an 11-win turnaround after a 10--22 debut season in 2007--08. "The goal is to get to the NCAAs every year, because anything can happen there."

The Wolverines' success will hinge on Harris, an explosive slasher who led the team last season in scoring, rebounding and steals. While his 185-pound frame won't resemble Blake Griffin's anytime soon, Harris increased the maximum on his bench press from 215 pounds to 250 this summer. He also briefly flirted with the NBA draft, but came to the realization that "I have a lot of work to do."

Beilein's biggest concern is point guard, where he will have to choose a starter from among three unproven players—Morris and sophomores Laval Lucas-Perry and Stu Douglass. The Wolverines also lack frontcourt size, unless 7-foot redshirt freshman Ben Cronin and 6'10" freshman Blake McLimans perform beyond expectations. "Our plan is to play small ball," Beilein says.

Harris, whose father started calling him Manny after a character in the movie Scarface, hopes the coach's plan also includes fewer references to Corperryale (a combination of relatives' names that is pronounced CORE-pre-AL). Says Beilein, "I'm looking forward to a lot of Fresh this season."

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE

Coach

John Beilein (3rd season)

2008--09 record

21--14

Big Ten

9--9 (T-7th)

NCAA tournament

Second round

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POS. PLAYER HT. CLASS KEY STATS
G Laval Lucas-Perry 6'3" Soph. 6.5 ppg 1.2 apg
G Manny Harris 6'5" Jr. 16.9 ppg 4.4 apg
G Stu Douglass 6'3" Soph. 6.1 ppg 2.1 apg
G Zack Novak 6'5" Soph. 6.7 ppg 3.5 rpg
F DeShawn Sims 6'8" Sr. 15.4 ppg 6.8 rpg
KEY RESERVE
G Darius Morris* 6'4" Fr. 21.7 ppg 5.8 apg

Returning starter

*High school stats

SCHEDULE

Nov. 14 Northern Michigan

Nov. 20 Houston Baptist

Nov. 26 Creighton*

Nov. 27 Marquette or Xavier*

Dec. 2 Boston College

Dec. 5 Ark.--Pine Bluff

Dec. 9 at Utah

Dec. 13 Detroit

Dec. 19 at Kansas

Dec. 22 Coppin State

Dec. 31 at Indiana

Jan. 3 Ohio State

Jan. 7 at Penn State

Jan. 10 Northwestern

Jan. 14 Indiana

Jan. 17 Connecticut

Jan. 20 at Wisconsin

Jan. 23 at Purdue

Jan. 26 Michigan State

Jan. 30 Iowa

Feb. 2 at Northwestern

Feb. 6 Wisconsin

Feb. 11 at Minnesota

Feb. 16 at Iowa

Feb. 20 Penn State

Feb. 23 Illinois

Feb. 27 at Ohio State

March 3 Minnesota

March 6 at Michigan State

*Old Spice Classic in Orlando (championship game on Nov. 29)

KEY GAME

The Wolverines have tough out-of-conference tests at Kansas and against Connecticut, but Michigan State has owned in-state bragging rights after 16 of their last 19 meetings. A home victory over the Spartans could give Michigan the confidence to make a run at the league title.

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PHOTOJOHN F. GRIESHOP/SCHWARTZMAN SPORTSMANNY HARRIS A linchpin by any name, the explosive guard has added muscle to his already dominant all-around game. PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
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