spoiler alert: i linked this
Nuss went from sense-bringing savior to Brandon crony really in one trip to South Bend. And he didn’t even make our list. [Fuller]
The assistant you changed your opinion on the fastest, negative or positive? Note: this was inspired by a conversation about Durkin, whom nobody took. In fact we probably left a lot of answers on the table in trying to avoid the obvious.
Adam: I was on the fence when Jedd Fisch was hired; he hadn't spent more than two seasons anywhere since his time as an assistant QB/WR coach with the Ravens from 2004-2007, and his stints as an offensive coordinator in college and the NFL yielded uninspiring results. One need only look as far as his Hello post to see that advanced stats weren't kind to his tenure as a college or pro OC outside of one shiny FEI number in 2011.
You shouldn't judge based on a limited data set, and Fisch's work is a reminder why. Jake Rudock, already a pretty good quarterback when he got to Ann Arbor, saw his completion percentage rise 2.1% and his yards per attempt rise 0.7 yards to 7.8 from 2014 to 2015. The Harbaugh caveat applies, but the receivers also made big year-to-year improvements.
[After the jump: another thinks—we had them coming]
BREAKING: Grant Mullins has committed to Cal as his transfer destination per his Instagram https://t.co/203han7GQ1
— Mike McAllister (@McAllisterScout) April 27, 2016
Shortly after wrapping up a visit to Michigan, Columbia grad transfer Grant Mullins announced his commitment to Cal for his senior season. The combo guard was also considering Syracuse.
This leaves Michigan with an open scholarship for next season, and unless another grad transfer candidate emerges out of the blue, it's likely John Beilein will use it on a late-rising 2016 prospect—or, like he did last year, leave the scholarship open, which seems like the least-desirable route.
Sam Webb reported last week that Michigan was showing interest in four-star WI F Kostas Antetokuonmpo, but there hasn't been any word on him since then. The coaches checked in on IMG Academy three-star F Aleem Ford last week; he committed to Wisconsin shortly thereafter. Unless the coaches can get Antetokuonmpo to campus, they might be scrambling for other options.
Those other options almost certainly won't include Spike Albrecht, who's already visited Purdue and plans to see Wichita State and Syracuse. Even if Michigan decides they're willing to sacrifice some early development for Xavier Simpson to bring Albrecht back, the Wolverines won't represent Spike's best opportunity to play the most minutes.
You Down With JKP?
Four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell has been a steady presence on campus throughout his recruitment. Last week, Kelly-Powell had his most in-depth visit to Michigan yet, and his father summed it up for Sam Webb:
“It was more informative. It was probably by far the best time and best (visit) he had since he’s been (going) up there. It was very detailed and very to the point (when it came to) what they see him as, what they want him to do, and how much of a priority he is. It was what we needed to hear.”
While some schools are recruiting JKP as a corner, Michigan made it clear they'll give him a chance to see the field early at safety, and Don Brown went over how he could be utilized in the hybrid SAM role currently occupied by Jabrill Peppers.
Kelly-Powell it taking a trip out west to see a few schools the week of Memorial Day; his father indicated a decision could come soon afterwards. Michigan looks like the team to beat, and landing him could help them out with JKP's cousin, four-star Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas.
Meanwhile, Kelly-Powell's Cass Tech teammate, three-star 2017 OG Jordan Reid, is expected to visit campus today with his father and uncle, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Reid recently listed Michigan as the number two team in his top five, behind Florida.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Each of these statistical profiles are some of John Beilein’s best #shooters at Michigan:
You’d probably agree that player “A” has the best numbers – though, all things considered, the profiles are very, very close. They don’t take everything into account and it’s hard to quantify many things that help basketball teams win. But based on these blind profiles (all of which are very similar), player “A” is arguably the best of the four.
A: Duncan Robinson (So., 2016)
B: Zack Novak (Sr., 2012)
C: Nik Stauskas (Fr., 2013)
D: Aubrey Dawkins (Fr., 2015)
As a senior, Novak was a far better defender than Robinson (despite his size) and a key role player on a Big Ten championship team. Stauskas blew up as a sophomore after playing a complementary role as a freshman. Dawkins had a pretty strict shooter’s profile but was a good one after becoming a freshman starter in Big Ten play. Those three player-seasons are some of Robinson’s very closest statistical comparables.
For a player in his first season at the high-major level, Duncan played well as a starter – even though his three-point percentage dropped off considerably from early-season highs, he was a tremendous floor-spacing asset. He was Michigan’s most efficient player. He finished the season with 95 made threes, third-best in Michigan history (and the best for a player under Beilein). A knockdown shooter in a well-spaced offense is invaluable, and Robinson is slotted into that role for the next two seasons.
[Hit the JUMP for the rest of the review]
That Time Wheatley Donkey’d Peppers
I’ve been so enamored with Brown’s defense lately that we haven’t discussed Harbaugh’s run games, which is a shame because they’re brilliant. He kept the fancy stuff in the barn of course but the Spring Game did show a neat thing and got a big chunk out of it.
For completion’s sake here’s who’s on the field. Those likely to see extensive action in 2016 are in bold, and non-Kovacsian walk-ons have hashtags:
Only a few of those matchups can be at all enlightening, but I’d count the highlighted one among them.
1. THE PLAY: POWER WITHOUT THE PULLING
The defense is in a 71 (base over with the NT covering the center) front with the SAM (Peppers) up on the line to counteract that extra TE. The offense starts by motioning that TE.
The defense shows it’s in man, with the boundary CB (Washington) rolling with the motioning H-back (Butt). When Butt stops between the LT and LG, the WLB (Bush) comes up like he’s going to blitz that gap. That’s a good thing too because the called run goes right over his ass:
Absent Harbaugh’s playbook I don’t know how to name it, but we saw a fancier version last year against BYU, and Space Coyote drew it up as “Power Lead.” That time it was run to the C gap, with the receiver coming in to crack a linebacker. This is the more vanilla version.
If you can picture it, the same blocks are happening as if it’s Power, but the fullback is doing the kickout block, and the H-back is the “puller” leading through the intended hole. The running back then picks a hole through the carnage, typically to whichever side of the H-back’s block that a defender isn’t in.
[After the jump: The defense solves this the Don Brown way, then breaks down]
Brian is out for the day, so I've moved the next region of the tournament up a day, in part because one more day of voting isn't going to change the results from the Good Times region. Those results:
#1 Harbaugh As Grinch: 5,190 (93%)
#8 Harbaugh Clapping: 375 (7%)
#4 Harbaugh/Drevno Awkward Celebration: 2,374 (56%)
#5 Harbaugh/Drevno Successful Fist Bump: 1,902 (44%)
#3 "You're Really Good": 2,236 (57%)
#6 Rudock Hug-Like Substance: 1,696 (43%)
#2 Spring Game Grin: 3,249 (76%)
#7 Fist Pump: 1,046 (24%)
Those were relatively easy selections; even the dueling Harbaugh/Drevno celebrations had a gap of nearly 500 votes between them. This region should be more competitive; I've seeded (and reseeded, and reseeded) Harbaugh's various sideline blowups for the Bad Times region, and it should come as no surprise that this is the strongest group.
As always, click the stills to open each GIF in a lightbox. Righteous anger, ahoy.
THE BAD TIMES REGION
(1) Rage Stripping vs. (8) Hat Antics
It's great enough that Harbaugh gets so hot under the collar he has to start stripping. I'd like to also draw attention to Kori the Cord Guy, who has to be in the running for most skilled student equipment manager in the country.
It speaks to the brutality of this region that this is only an eight-seed. The GIF begins with Harbaugh already incensed enough that he's removed his hat; I'm pretty sure he momentarily forgot this, as that weird head-rub thing—as you'll see in a few GIFs—is how he angrily takes it off. Otherwise this is a pretty standard Harbaugh-ref interaction until he snaps his hat back onto his head, which takes this from entertaining to mesmerizing. Again, this is the eight-seed.
(2) Slow-Motion Meltdown vs. (7) Intent To Deceive
Magnificent. Every TV outlet needs a dedicated Harbaugh super-slow-mo camera.
To top off Harbaugh's dismissive-turned-rageful reaction to the infamous "intent to deceive" penalty, we catch a glimpse of a very amused Jay Harbaugh in the background right at the end. Yeah, he's seen this before.
(3) WELL OKAY vs. (6) Plea To The Football Gods
After a Florida defender committed an obvious facemask on Amara Darboh, Harbaugh sprinted down the sideline screaming for a call, gesticulating the whole way.
You may note a brave player—by the arm sleeve, I believe it's Jabrill Peppers—tried to get Harbaugh's attention when he reached the offical. Harbaugh, too deep into rage mode to notice, proceeded to scream "HEY, THEN CALL IT. YOU CALLED IT? YOU CALLED IT? WELL, OKAY."
The best moment from a spectacular Harbaugh performance in the Citrus Bowl. There's a little more context provided in the comments of that post; the reason Harbaugh was so upset is the official closest to the play missed the obvious facemask call and had to be bailed out by another official who was standing well clear of the play. In the GIF itself, though, all we see is Harbaugh screaming for a flag that's already been thrown, and that's peak Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh is a living reaction GIF. This is one of the finer examples.
(4) Sheet Throw vs. (5) Rage On The Run
Harbaugh showing off his Maravichian arsenal of rage moves.
If there's a GIF I underseeded, it's probably this one. The technique stands out here. With one deft movement, he removes his headset; with another—the aforementioned back-to-front motion—his hat is in his hand. The rest of the sideline stands back to watch the show. Did I mention Harbaugh had a magnificent Citrus Bowl performance? I did? It's worth saying again.
Voting will stay open until the next region posts, which should be Wednesday or Thursday.