Braden invited; Magnuson not invited [Patrick Barron]
All the combine folks. 14 Michigan players will participate and even so there are a couple surprising omissions:
— Scott Bell (@sbell021) February 15, 2017
Braden but no Kalis or Magnuson is odd, and I thought Dymonte Thomas would be the kind of guy who could improve his stock significantly with impressive testing numbers.
That's a hell of a lot either way. Michigan's total is just four fewer than the entire Big 12. On the one hand, Michigan did not capitalize on that talent (by an inch, or a negative inch). On the other, Michigan's recruiting edits are going to be straight fire emoji in the immediate aftermath of the draft.
Speaking of the Big 12, Chris Vannini has an interesting article about the long term talent decline in the league. The state of Texas is getting raided hardcore:
The last factor is recruiting, and it doesn’t look better for the future. Only one Big 12 team signed a top-25 class in 247Sports’ rankings earlier this month: Oklahoma at No. 8. The next-closest Power 5 league was the ACC with four top-25 classes.
The league relies on the state of Texas, but Ohio State signed three of the top six players in the state. It was the first time since 2005 that an in-state school didn’t sign a majority share of the top 10 players in the state, as noted by the Dallas Morning News — and the third time since 2000 (the other two were Oklahoma). Only two of the top-10 players stayed in-state, and one of those left the Big 12 by going to Texas A&M.
Tom Herman should start turning that around—recruiting concerns about his finish at Texas should be mitigated by the fact that he landed Ed Oliver and a smattering of other four stars at Houston. It probably won't be enough to get back to parity.
"Offer" versus OFFER, part billion. I'm all for dumping on Nick Saban but this seems like a big bowl of nothing:
"LSU's welcome in my school anytime," Feaster said. "The only school that can't come to Parkway is Alabama. And there's a long story behind that, but it had to do with not being ethical in their recruiting.
"They can't come. Everyone else is 100 percent welcome."
There is a difference between an offer and a committable offer, something he found out the hard way in the recruitment of former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris.
Alabama "offers" Harris, his coach gets persnickety about it, and then Alabama says he has an OFFER, only for that offer to be back to scare-quotes status by june:
"Napier calls me the next day and says, 'Coach, I have some good news for you. Tell Brandon to call me on this phone during this period and I'll put Nick Saban on the phone,"' Feaster said. "We do that and Saban says, 'You have a scholarship at the University of Alabama.' So, they gave him a scholarship offer. It was a committable offer.
"By the time he gets to campus in June -- and I'm not saying Brandon was going to commit to Alabama -- it wasn't an option. Basically what they told him is that we got other guys that are going to come through here, and I promised them a shot. So we have to wait and see then."
As far as malfeasance on the recruiting trail goes, this is small potatoes. Whether or not a kid is a "take" changes constantly for every school, including Michigan. Getting upset because Alabama changed their mind about a kid before he even committed is some special snowflake stuff. (Also that guy lost his job to a Purdue transfer, sooooo...)
MSU update. The gymnastics coach was forcibly retired and now faces three allegations that she downplayed sexual assault reports from Larry Nassar:
The allegation — the third made specifically against Klages — was first made in a court document filed Jan. 27 seeking to add the athlete to the federal lawsuit against Michigan State University, Nassar, USA Gymnastics and Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.
Those documents, filed by attorney Jamie White, didn't identify Klages, but said it was "a member of MSU’s coaching staff."
White, the attorney for the gymnast who says Nassar sexually assaulted her during medical appointments, confirmed on Tuesday that it was Klages who spoke to his client's mother.
He also confirmed that it was Klages who told his client's mother that "Nassar’s digital penetrations of (the athlete's) vagina was a proven medical treatment."
If you believe the reports sufficiently to "retire" her you should be firing her for cause.
Michigan State has suspended Curtis Blackwell, a recruiting staffer. They won't say why, but it's not too hard to draw a line between that and this:
Blackwell's suspension comes as a criminal investigation into three Michigan State football players is ongoing. Michigan State announced last week that a member of the football staff also had been suspended pending the completion of that investigation.
The police have requested warrants for the three players in question.
Also Demetrius Cooper was charged with spitting on a parking enforcement officer. Oh and Malik McDowell fell out of Mel Kiper's first round for reasons other than his talent. In a normal year this would be part of the rivalry pointing and laughing. This year not so much. That whole athletic department looks to be in total chaos.
Stop with the video, fergodsakes. Interesting piece on the demise of Scout media, which was accelerated by a push towards making everything a video, even the things that should definitely not be videos:
Advertisers might also have been skittish because of where most of Scout’s traffic came from. Despite a costly thrust into video, part of a massive, costly overhaul of Scout’s CMS, nearly 80 percent of Scout’s traffic comes from visits to its message boards, which are reserved for subscribers. Though the developers team claimed the addition of video in 2015 drove tens of millions of views within six months of its launch, Scout’s traffic was relatively flat or declining year-over-year from 2014 to 2015, according to comScore data.
Almost all of those videos were worthless. They're still doing it. I can't tell you how many Scout tabs I open and then disgustedly close because they're a hundred words trying to induce me to watch a recruit get interviewed for five minutes—a video that would already be autoplaying if I hadn't sought out a Chrome extension to disable said feature. ("Disable HTML 5 Autoplay," FWIW.)
Autoplay video is a scam. Person opens page, video plays, person does not watch video, counts as a hit anyway, publisher tries to leverage those numbers into high CPM video ads that no one will ever watch.
Etc.: Here's a video with athletic directors, including Warde Manuel, discussing a potential student protest. I did not watch it despite having interest in the subject matter, because it is a video.
Bracket Watch: Safely In For Now
Get pumped up for a tourney run? [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
While they still have work to do to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament, Michigan made their way back into the vast majority of projected fields after their back-to-back wins over Michigan State and Indiana. The Wolverines are on 92 of the 110 brackets comprising the current Bracket Matrix (updated yesterday evening), putting them as an 11-seed and, critically, avoiding the First Four for now.
The projection for the remainder of the season has also improved. Following the Indiana win and Wisconsin's home loss to Northwestern (yes, that's a thing that really happened), KenPom's algorithm bumped Michigan from a slight underdog to a slight favorite in tomorrow night's game against the Badgers. With games at Rutgers and Nebraska still on the schedule, Michigan is the outright favorite in three of their last six games, and I'm still not sold on Minnesota being as tough an opponent as the numbers suggest.
Friendly neighborhood bracketologist CrislerSpidey ran the win probability numbers for the rest of the season a couple days ago. At that point, Michigan was more likely to finish with a winning conference record than a losing one, and the projections have become slightly more favorable since then:
Tomorrow night's game is, of course, a huge one for M's tourney chances. Wisconsin's offense has been in a statistical nosedive for the last five games, almost exactly coinciding with Michigan's (relative) defensive renaissance. They're vulnerable; Michigan played them close at the Kohl Center; it'd be a much-needed quality win.
[Hit THE JUMP for the bubble rooting guide, how to slow Ethan Happ, and more.]
Walton's game resembles that of a former IU star and Wolverine-killer. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
With 25 games played so far this hoops season, the statistical profiles of teams and players are pretty representative of the quality of those teams and players; by mid-February, the sample size of relevant information is definitely large enough. With that in mind, I took a look at the advanced stat profiles for Michigan’s four players who average double digit points: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Moritz Wagner, and DJ Wilson.
A few years ago, I came up with a way to compare a player’s statistical output to a database of former Big Ten players: by now, there are over 1,000 players that can be compared to a given player’s unique performance in various tempo-free numbers. A little more in-depth background can be found here. Basically the algorithm finds a player’s comparable precedents – over the course of the project (which spans players from 2008-2016, the Beilein Era), the outputs of the system have mostly passed the sanity test and frequently the group of similar players tells us something more about the style of a given player than their statistics would in and of themselves.
Usually these similarity score posts feature plenty of charts and graphs and this one is no different.
Derrick Walton: Close to a Legit Star
X-Axis: Usage Rate. Y-Axis: Offensive Rating. Bubble size: Minutes.
X-Axis: Usage Rate. Y-Axis: Offensive Rating.
[After the JUMP: Walton's comp, plus Wagner, Wilson, and Irvin]
Friday, February 10, 2017
Michigan State 4, Michigan 4 (Michigan wins SO)
MSU 1 UM 0 EV 00:36 Assists: Appleton & Cox
It’s worth noting that this starts after the second shot on goal, so we’re picking things up in the middle of play. Cecconi tries to hit the second shot-taker in front of the crease and immediately comes off of him to track the State player behind the net who gets the loose puck. Considering the number of other defenders behind the net, it’s surprising that Cecconi didn’t move laterally and stay in front of the net.
Appleton, who now has the puck in the corner, is defended by Slaker. Appleton drifts backward and loses Slaker by quickly changing directions and pushing toward the net. Cecconi peels off his circular path back to the front of the net and strides toward Appleton.
Switching defenders momentarily opens up a passing lane, which Appleton utilizes to pass to Hirose. Hirose one-times it and hits the near-side top corner, just a touch over the height to which Lavigne can shrug his shoulder. Warren sees that Hirose is going to get the puck (because he’s watching it in the corner), but that delay means he can’t get his stick into the shooting lane before the shot it away.
[After THE JUMP: Bill takes great photos]
An Actual Piece Of News
flex TE Brevin Jordan
Brice Marich reports that 4.5* NV TE Brevin Jordan and 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson are in the process of scheduling an official in early April. Those gents are teammates at Bishop Gorman; Thompson-Robinson is of course Michigan's top QB target, and Jordan is actually a bigger deal than he is in early rankings. DTR said UCLA was the team to beat after they poached Jedd Fisch a few weeks ago; this unofficial will be Michigan's best shot to change that opinion.
Well Played, Purple Stuff
Happy trails to MI CB Kalon Gervin, who committed to Notre Dame a few days ago. That continues a bizarre trend: 4-8 Notre Dame and their coach on the hot seat snatching up various propsects of interest to Michigan. They've got eight early commitments and fully five of those are mutual targets: Gervin, IN RB Markese Stepp, NJ twins Jayson and Justin Ademilola, and MI LB Ovie Oghoufo.
This is quite a turnaround for ND, which had a bit of an MSU-like scramble to fill some spots at the tail end of the last cycle. (It was not nearly as bad as MSU's, because obviously.) Whether these guys will stick with Purple Stuff if Notre Dame spirals towards 4-8 again is currently an open question—I left Stepp off the recruiting overview but Michigan is pushing pretty hard for him.
Paramus braces for influx of Rutgers magnets
4* NJ DE Dorian Hardy has transferred from St Joseph-Montvale to Paramus Catholic. This is good for Michigan's chances, though the Montvale coach wasn't one of those who was super cheesed off by Harbaugh during SATELLITE CAMP DEATHMATCH last year. HC Augie Hoffman:
St. Joseph Regional High coach Augie Hoffmann said he has no issue with the invitation.
“Not at all,” he said. “I got to meet Jim. He is a dynamic person. You can tell he’s passionate about football, and his love for the game and love for the team and work ethic is really at the top of the list.”
Hoffmann himself spoke at Michigan’s camp last month.
So this isn't getting a Bosco kid to transfer to Paramus or anything. Still, Michigan's long-standing relationship with the school means Michigan will get to make its best pitch. Hardy is currently fielding many crystal balls to Alabama, FWIW.
The Big List Of Guys Expressing Vague Interest
It's the beginning of a new cycle so there are a billion articles out there about kids with Michigan somewhere on their list of five to twenty schools; in these articles players express an interest in scheduling a visit and say everyone is even. Maybe a third of these kids will actually end up on campus, but here is the nebulous list of possibilities yet unearthed:
- 3.5* NJ RB Iverson Clement will be on campus Thursday, per Lorenz. Michigan's in an early top six.
- 4* CA WR Andre Hunt wants to visit, etc.
- 4* OH WR L'Christian Smith told Land of 10 that he will visit in the near future.
- 4* TX TE Malcolm Epps decommitted from Bama and listed Michigan in a top three with the Tide and Texas A&M. Says he doesn't like cold weather.
- 4* FL TE Will Mallory says Michigan has 'kind of been in his blood' and is 'kind of his dream school' but maintains no public leaders.
- 4* IMG OL Verdis Brown is originally from Chicago. He tells Scout's Jeremy Werner that Michigan is in his early top five, that he misses the cold, and that he's likely to return to the Midwest for school. OSU, UF, Miami, and Illinois are the rest of his early contenders.
- 4.5* VA OL Nana Asiedu put Michigan in his top ten. Clemson is a heavy favorite.
- 4* GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a Michigan commit before backing off, is making a swing through Michigan and OSU this weekend.
- 4.5* MO DT Michael Thompson says he's interested in Michigan, vaguely plans unofficial.
- 4* TX DT Keondre Coburn is high on Michigan's board per Lorenz; Michigan intends to pursue him heavily. Naturally the instate schools are currently favored. Coburn did tell Scout that he likes Michigan "a lot" and "really want[s] to go see them."
- Michigan offered 3.5* OH DT Aeneas Hawkins. Hawkins is out of Cincinnati and this is a Greg Frey area, so it'll be interesting to see how that develops.
- 4* OH DE Tyreke Smith fielded an offer, now has the full set from the Midwest, says he will visit.
- 4* OH LB Dallas Gant has his Michigan offer at long last and Michigan "will be a factor" per Lorenz.
- Unranked OH LB Brian Asamoah has scheduled an unofficial for March 18th per Lorenz. Asamoah is unlikely to be unranked for long since he's got M, PSU, and UCLA offers already.
- 5* VA LB Teradja Mitchell tells Land of 10 that he "loves" Harbaugh because he's "one of a kind" and will visit Michigan, along with a bunch of other schools, during the spring.
- 5* TX S BJ Foster named Michigan and Ohio State as offers that stick out early, following that with a number of local schools.
This has been your list of guys saying things about stuff.
2019 stuff? I guess
So you've probably heard about CA QB Michael Johnson Jr by now: he is the son of new Michigan employee Michael Johnson and 247's #1 dual threat QB in the 2019 class. If Michigan does get Thompson-Robinson and Johnson that'll be an interesting, Kaepernick-esque shift in Michigan's QB recruiting. I'm so down to see what a Harbaugh-coached Devin Gardner looks like, so bring 'em on.
Also of note is early five-ish star KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, who visited Ann Arbor last weekend. The quotes he offered Steve Wiltfong are highly encouraging:
"The family factor, today I felt like I've been there hundreds of times before when it was only my first. ...
"They were down to earth you don't get to see that side of coaches very often and today it was amazing," Herron said. "Michigan showed me a lot of things other schools haven't and it really stuck out."
Too early to tell whether Herron is like Jay "Everything Is Awesome" Tufele in the last cycle; looks like that will be a recruitment to monitor.
BONUS: Trieu's article on Herron has another interesting quote:
"The entire place stood out," he said. "The coaches welcomed me and all the players did as well. The academics and the fact that the team goes to study abroad every year."
I bet they're hammering that.
Slight connection between CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stewart and Jay Harbaugh: Harbaugh's alma mater is Taylor-Stewart's high school. In "not even saying he'll take a visit" news, Michigan offered LA DT Dare Rosenthal, who's 6'7" and therefore makes me think of Pat Massey.
There are usually two or three plays in a given Michigan game in which DJ Wilson makes his NBA potential strikingly apparent. This was one such play, and there were more than a couple others as the Wolverines finished an authoritative season sweep of Indiana.
Yes, the Crean GIF is after the jump.
[Hit THE JUMP for Wagner trucking Crean, lots of Walton and Wilson, and more.]