"It's a lot easier being a drug dealer than an AAU coach" - this guy. Tell me something I don't know. I mean, don't think but have never tried either.
This is a bit old but I hadn't mentioned it here: Sims and Udoh dispel the transfer rumors surrounding them, at least for now.
I'm a sucker for old Michigan highlights, and when they feature Keith Jackson I'm doubly so. Anthony Carter versus ND, 1981:
Meanwhile, prolific YouTube clip assembler dynoguy has a set of ND highlights from years past:
And... uh... there's this from the era when Jim McMahon spawned a wave of football teams wearing sunglasses and "rapping":
The tenuous Michigan relevance herein is Husky quarterback Wilbur Odom, who spent two years on the bench at Michigan in the late 80s before transferring to "Angelo State," a school that seems to be desperately lacking a "San".
Coaching stuffs. The search continues apace; with everyone mentioned as a possible candidate currently done with their season except John Beilein, who has West Virginia in the NIT Final Four -- cue jokes from State fans about how he's a perfect fit. Michigan Sports Center has a comprehensive recap of recent developments. Villanova's Jay Wright and Memphis' John Calipari are two names getting more play recently. IMO, both are pipe dreams. I don't know what to make of Calipari's name getting mentioned, as I always had him associated with Shady Doings in my mind for what appears to be little cause. There was some trouble with Marcus Camby during Calipari's final season at UMass, but as I understand it the issue was more a Marcus Ray/Curtis Enis thing where Camby had impermissible contact with an agent. Everything else he's charged with is the usual mud flung at any improbably successful recruiter and basketball coach. See: Donovan, Matta, et al.
But it does bring up the question all basketball programs have to ask themselves in the AAU era: just how corrupt to we want to be? Frankly, after six years of being a 1 on the Huggins Scale* I'm a little tired of watching everyone with a dodgy hanger-on get redirected to other programs. The resulting Michigan fanbase is constantly lamenting the unpure state of college basketball mostly because our refusal to dip our toe into anything unpleasant -- not even inpermissible -- is the only thing we can cling to after a decade of futility.
*(an MGoBlog created measuring stick for coaching corruption. Not actually headed by Huggins:
11: Dave Bliss (yes, this one goes to 11)
10: Tarkanian -- full on cheaty cheaty all the time
9: Jim Harrick -- a consistent pattern of malfeasance that includes academic fraud
8: Clem Haskins -- Harrick except not slimy enough to get away with it for quite as long
7: Huggins -- as skeezy as you can be and still have a job
6: Steve Fisher -- classic don't ask, don't tell
5: Billy Donovan -- you just KNOW there's something fishy but can't actually prove it.
4: Kelvin Sampson -- persistent minor flouting of NCAA regulations to harrass recruits for personal aggrandizement
3: Rick Majerus -- persistent minor flouting of NCAA regulations because he thinks they're stupid
2: Izzo -- basically squeaky clean, will occasionally take flyers on dodgy characters
1: Amaker -- ick
0: Whoever the current sacrificial lamb at Northwestern is.)
Jalen! Fascinating article from last month's DIME magazine penned by Jalen Rose his ownself:
It ended up being bigger than we ever thought. You have to remember, this was the early '90s. Not only were five freshmen starting, but all five freshmen were also black. How many college programs in the entire country back then had five starting black kids, let alone five freshmen? We were making a statement on so many levels. Social, cultural, hip-hop - we repped the street, flavor, fashion and the love of the game. We were coming after teams like the UNLV Runnin' Rebels squad of the previous few years and John Thompson's classic G'Town teams that were right in the thick of Prop 48 debates - he had to walk off the court a few times with his teams because the environment was so bad. So it was important to us, maybe above all, for the Fab 5 to be strong black men.
We were extremely aware of what was going on. Yes, we were brash and talking trash and we created a distinct style and played with flair, but we also went to class. We never got credit for that. We should have.
I am totally onboard with the idea of bringing in Jalen as an assistant coach whenever he retires from the NBA, especially if we hire someone like Beilein.
Tea leaves. The media got their annual peek inside a Michigan spring practice; the Ann Arbor News reports back:
Given those considerations, here's what the first-team University of Michigan offense looked like across the front: Mark Ortmann at left tackle, Jeremy Ciulla at left guard, Justin Boren at center, Alex Mitchell at right guard and Cory Zirbel at right tackle.
Brandon Minor was the tailback, Chad Henne quarterbacked the offense, and Greg Mathews and LaTerryal Savoy were the wide receivers.
With Schilling still out after surgery -- he should be back in a week or two, that's not particularly enlightening. It does seem that Ciulla will be the first interior lineman off the bench in the case of an injury. Adam Kraus will probably slide over to center in that event, allowing Ciulla to play at guard. Should Jake Long miss any time (please, Angry Michigan Everything Hating God, let's not get any ideas), Ortmann is likely to be his replacement. The defense:
In its package with five defensive backs, the first team featured Tim Jamison and Shawn Crable at end, Brandon Graham and Will Johnson at tackle, Chris Graham and John Thompson at linebacker and Morgan Trent, Johnny Sears, Charles Stewart, Stevie Brown and Brandon Harrison in the secondary.
Adams and Taylor sat out, nursing injuries. Now, this is interesting. Brandon Graham is playing inside, at least in the nickel package inside. Graham saw a lot of time as a zero-technique* pass rusher in the 3-3-5 last year and may maintain that role into the fall. This look could either be a true 4-2-5 with Crable as a speed-rushing end or it could morph into the 3-3-5 is Crable drops back and Graham slides over. Stevie Brown and Stewart are going to battle for the starting spot opposite Adams; current projections have Brown with the lead but Stewart is reportedly doing well at his new, less speed-intensive position.
*( == lined up directly over the center)
Etc.: Hawkeye State > takes an entertaining, in-depth look at the Iowa coaching search; I find this article on SI.com with blogger Alex Belth interviewing new blogger Curt Schilling extremely interesting; Section Six has an update on the NCAA's actions against diploma-mill high schools.
Thanks to a helpful commenter I got an IE6 test setup up and running and got the ugliness there fixed... mostly. For reasons I can't determine, the end of posts often get cut off in IE6. The text is still there -- if you highlight the area it pops up like any other selected text -- and if you scroll up and down a bit it'll reappear... sometimes. It's really weird and doesn't appear to be a markup issue. If anyone knows what's going on there, please drop me a line. In the absence of help, I don't know if I can fix that. Anyone experiencing it is advised to try the selection workaround.
The other thing: there is Adsense on the right sidebar. Blame Orson, who convinced me the revenue was worth the bother. (Initial returns imply otherwise, perhaps because the ad I saw constantly until yesterday was querying me whether I had a gay-friendly auto that "expressed my pride," which seems to miss this blog's demographic quite badly. I mean, we haven't won anything since when? Try the Florida blogs, buddy. Rival fans are invited to use this nugget in sophomoric attempts to make fun of Michigan.) I'm trying to strike a balance between irritating and invisible. Anyone who is seriously pissed is advised to get Firefox and download the AdBlock Plus and AdBlock Filterset Updater, which work so well that I thought AdSense was broken until I remembered to turn it off.
Anyway: with the gruntwork of moving to the new blogger completed I have a lot more capability at my fingertips. If there's anything you'd like to see let me know and I'll take it under consideration.
And while I'm site-bulletin-ing: Obviously the MGoBlog banner has to change in the near future, as Steve Breaston is off to return kicks in the NFL. Equally obvious: I am not a graphic designer. Would there be interest in a contest to design next year's banner? Free shirt? I'll play Scrabble with you? Interest will be gauged and then perhaps we will proceed.
I've got two good sources on this and wouldn't even classify the following as a rumor. I need some sort of official news font that gets all Cronkite on you.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Forcier can read the writing on the wall -- it says "Jesus Christ, that kid can throw eighty yards" -- and is transferring to Stanford effective at the end of the semester. Lloyd is not happy about it.
Editorial Opinion: Not entirely unexpected once Mallett rode into town, but a blow if Henne goes down early in the year. The hypothetical Mallett redshirt I wanted but wasn't going to get is now completely out of the question unless David Cone gets real good real quick. Even more problematic for next year, when Mallett is the presumptive starter and his backups are Cone and a three-star-ish freshman. A scholarship opens up, but will Michigan now feel compelled to use it on another quarterback? At least now Michigan can offer prospective candidates two years of separation between themselves and Mallett.
He's officially gone:
Johnson confirmed his departure in an exclusive interview with The Michigan Daily this afternoon.
"I thought I was ready for a new challenge," Johnson said. "With all my close friends, the seniors, gone now and everything, I thought it was time for me to pretty much go for a new challenge."
Goodnight, sweet prince.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr announced today that three players â€” tight end Carson Butler, cornerback Chris Richards and defensive end Eugene Germany â€” are no longer part of the program.
Brief impact breakdown...
Richards. Someone else has to join the kick coverage team.
Germany. Flashed considerable talent at defensive end a year ago and may have been a contributor. Probably not a huge impact, as I chalk Carr's bizarre claim that Adam Patterson and Brandon Graham were likely to "move inside" to excessive grumpiness. Was likely to be Tim Jamison to Jamison's Rondell Biggs this year. Hurts depth but with a couple guys with good potential behind the projected starters it shouldn't be a huge deal.
Butler. At least we know now why he couldn't get a snap count right last year: he's miraculously dumb. Two days after the contentious spring kickoff press conference in which he was one of the guys Carr said was "possible... maybe not probable" to return, he gets hammered on St. Patrick's Day and beats the hell out of some student. From the Daily:
One resident said that before the incident, he heard the victim ask someone in the hall if he could use an iron. The resident then didn't see the victim for less than seven minutes.
When the victim returned, blood covered the side of his face and he was having difficulty talking, the resident said.
Why did this happen? Because Chris Richards thought the student was a different guy who was "talking crap" in class:
The student, Walter Myers, told The News on Wednesday that he went to a friend's room to borrow an iron when another person in the room - whom he later identified as Richards - accused him of "talking crap'' in a class.
"I don't know who you are,'' Myers said he told Richards. "I don't know why you're bothering me.''
Richards then punched him, Myers said, before another person in the room joined the beating.
(I'll further note here that the Ann Arbor News had the most comprehensive and interesting article on the galaxy-spanning stupidity going on here, which makes them 2/2 in major UM stories over the past couple weeks after they blew up everyone except Rosenberg about the basketball coaching situation.)
So, yeah, you're gone, and for such a good reason. You don't come into the WQ lookin' for no iron! I'm about to get in an elevator, wait for five minutes when I could have easily taken the stairs, and then furiously swipe my MCard in the door for another five minutes to get into that stuff!
Ah. Anyway. Butler's loss is a definite blow as opposed to Richards (who?) and Germany (possible blow). Though Mike Massey was nominally #1 on the depth chart in the absence of Tyler Ecker -- what is with Michigan and remarkably dumb tight ends? PITCH IT TO BREASTON aaaaargh -- it was Butler who looked a future star. Last year Michigan's new zone running game featured a ton of two-tight end sets that seem infeasible now that the choices past Massey are Chris McLaurin, a guy who moved to tight end because a shoulder injury made OLB unfeasible, Andre Criswell*, a last-second two-star recruit who was a fullback until this spring, and two freshmen, one of whom is currently a 215 pound wide receiver. Will we see more fullback sets? Michigan has one fullback on the roster with the early departure of Will Paul and the move of Criswell, and that's true freshman Vince Helmuth. Michigan's critically short of guys for jumbo sets.
I will note that Ohio State's offense managed to scrape by this year with something called a Rory Nichol at tight end after they lost their own dunderheaded TE, Marcel Frost. With a plethora of receiving targets available -- come on, Arrington, let's get it together -- the actual negative effect on the offense is yet to be seen. I am leery about the possibility that our third-and-short conversions get even worse next year.
*(It's deeply ironic that Michigan picked up Criswell mostly because they had an extra scholarship slot available and gave it to a program guy with impeccable work ethic and character who they had discovered because he was a high school teammate of Butler. The irony reaches mindblowing levels if Criswell takes Butler's job because of it; should he end up an All-American, thousands of reformed Gen-X slackers will have their heads retroactively explode in 1992.)
What about Adrian Arrington?
Still hanging on. Apparently attended this week's press conference. Not in the habit of kicking the shit out of random civilians.
I wonder if this will result in an offensive lineman moving out to TE. A few classes ago Michigan brought in two tight ends with the intention of moving them to the offensive line. Mark Ortmann has established himself as a contender for the right tackle spot and is likely to valuable to move, but Tim MacAvoy seems buried in the interior. If we need a guy to come in on third and one to plow someone he might be our best option, though he's likely to be too clunky for regular deployment.
Comments were broken this morning but are fixed now. Lo siento.
- Top 9 games in Michigan history: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- Deadspin-style regional previews: West | Northeast | East | Midwest
One of the unfortunate parts of college hockey fandom is that I have virtually no knowledge of anyone outside our league since it's impossible to get either CSTV or ESPNU on cable. So I can't tell you all that much about the Fighting Sioux except that Ryan Duncan shouldn't get the Hobey over Hensick. One thing I think may be in our favor: North Dakota's Toews-Oshie-Duncan line -- popularly referred to as "the DOT line" even though calling it the "TOD" line opens up all sorts of Flanders jokes, I mean seriously North Dakota let's get on the ball here -- is close to the be-all and end-all of their scoring. The Flanderses all score more than a PPG, but one other forward does more than 0.6 -- Brad Miller with 10-13-23 -- and he's an outlier. NoDak's fifth forward has 15 points on the season.
I'm generally not hockey-savvy enough to pick up on matchup issues, but this one will be glaring: watch who we put on the ice against the Flanderses. Since we have last change we have the luxury of putting Jack on the ice whenever Christianity threatens. Unfortunately, if the rest of the year is any indication this also means sending Matt Hunwick and his turnover machine onto the ice. If I was Red Berenson I'd break my pairings and send Mitera and Jack out there versus the DOT line, though both have played RD this year. I'm sure Jack can handle LD. This would be the world's most perfect situation to have Dwight Helminen around, too, but alas there is no equivalent shutdown center available. It'll be fascinating to see whether or not Red matches Hensick up against them or not. I think I'd rather see another line blend to get Cogs on the ice with Porter and Rohlfs, who are our most defensively responsible forwards. Cogs' backchecking is far superior to Hensick's just because he's Helminen fast and I don't want to see any Flanderses on an odd-man rush. I kind of doubt we'll see these changes, but there it is: my strategic plan for tomorrow. Shut down the Flanderses, try to get Kolarik and Hensick to hook up for a couple goals, and get the hell out of dodge.
And thus... hope. The cycle begins anew. Unlike last year's identical matchup, in which every reasonable Michigan fan expected a brief burst of pain and then a soothing white light, Michigan has a reasonable chance of beating North Dakota tomorrow. It's a shame that this team has played whack-a-mole with its fans' hopes, losing to Bowling Green or Lake State or Ohio State just when they seemed to be rounding the corner and pushing towards the Michigan hockey of old where no team would have prompted an insane burst of profanity just because Michigan had drawn them in the regional.
In my effort to make all Michigan sporting events as melodramatic as possible, I pondered some sort of hockey post about this team that was alternately titled "Hope Exists Only To Be Crushed" or "Hope Is A Thing That Flutters" as my manic-depressive fandom swung wildly from one pole to the other. A goalpost or two fewer against Notre Dame and we're in Rochester or Grand Rapids against some ECAC teams or Maine or something and hope is fluttering its ass to St. Louis to make hotel reservations right now. But just as our heads started poking its way out into the neon sunshine of the arcade, down came the hammer. And it's Denver and the absolute best team in the country and then a hotly debatable second and, uh, Air Force, and hope is a distant country with extremely strict entry visas and customs guys with submachine guns and a dictatorial type with a limp and a cigar and a 300,000 person rally, all of them screaming "Death to Michigan" with inflamed fervor. What a shame it seems that the JMFJ era and the TMFJ era will end with their respective figgins on gibbets a mile high, sending out a warning for any CCHA teams who dare venture west of Chicago.
But if TJ can just stickhandle through a couple guys and JMFJ can make the Flanderses ghosts and Sauer can just hold it together... so I'll watch. With a brick posed over a butterfly, I'll watch. Hockey's weird.