John Beilein announced that Ben Cronin will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season and likely never play basketball again for Michigan. Cronin had hip surgery last year. “Unfortunately, there have been complications with this particular injury which have prevented him from progressing like we had hoped” said Beilein. “Consequently, Ben will not play the rest of this season, and more than likely for the remainder of his career. This is a very difficult decision that has everything to do with the quality of Ben’s life after basketball. “Obviously this was not an easy decision to make, but we agree with our doctor’s assessment that Ben’s chances for a full recovery and to play a full time college basketball schedule are slim. He will remain on scholarship and we will continue to support his rehabilitation and pursuits of becoming a teacher and coach.”
Cronin a talented 7-footer out of New York said, “This has been a long process for my family and me, however, after meeting with our doctors I feel it is best for my long term health to focus on my hip rehabilitation and stop playing college basketball”. “I really appreciated basketball and I will miss it like crazy, but my faith will help me get through this. I continue to have wonderful experiences here at the University of Michigan and I am truly grateful for all the guidance and opportunities given to me. I am looking forward to continuing my rehab, having the opportunity to finish my degree and helping this program in any way that I can.”
What does this mean for Michigan? It likely will free up another scholarship as Cronin will remain on scholarship but it won’t be of the athletic variety. DeShawn Sims and Zack Gibson will graduate this year and leave Michigan really thin in the front court. The Wolverines are targeting 6-foot9 Jon Horford out of Grand Ledge. A rising prospect, Horford is the brother of Al and has stated that Michigan is his leader.
Michigan has already received a letter of intent from Evan Smotrycz (6-8, 205) and Tim Hardaway Jr (6-5, 190). Beilein would certainly like to add Horford to the 2010 class. The Wolverines are also still in the hunt for Trey Zeigler (6-5, 185). Zeigler is ranked as the 26th overall prospect in the country by ESPNU and rivals.