i find this extremely interesting
I thought I'd respond to a couple comments in a non-confrontational way. (Seriously, I appreciate any and all comments you guys post.)
An anonymous poster said, to paraphrase, that Lloyd should open up with the media more and that many of the questions he posed are exactly the kind of things Michigan fans would like to know. And that much is true. I do take issue with the idea (more Carty's and not the commenter's) that Lloyd is somehow unusual amongst coaches with his vague, meandering, meaningless answers. He's a bit chippier than most, but he's by no means unique with the "to win the ball game we have to play 60 minutes, protect the ball, and don't beat ourselves" blah blah blah. Every coach in America does that. And Carty's asking for specifics about why the defense failed that no coach in America would talk to the media about. I mean, seriously, should Carr detail his master plan to stop Stanton this year months and months before the game?
The whole thing smacks of sour grapes because Carr has better things to do than talk to Carty.
"Maize" posted something on the Jerret Smith thread about me being a little harsh on him. I know he wasn't brought in to be a shooter. I was hoping to see (well, hear about) an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio, hard nosed defense, and a great mind for the game. This doesn't appear to be going on. Smith plays well occasionally, all right frequently, and poorly too often. He's been wildly inconsistent. He hasn't been playing defense. He made a number of apparently Horton-esque turnovers in his most recent game. I just don't feel confident in any way that he'll become an above-average Big Ten player. I'm rooting for it, of course, but my expectations are low.
It sounds like Sheperd was a find, though. I'm excited about him and Price. I'm putting together a State of the Program post on basketball. I'll talk more about these things in that.
ESPN Insider is pretty hit and miss, but they've recently added NBA stat wonk John Hollinger to their lineup and he's been churning out fantastic stat-wonky columns regularly.
But not satisified with merely being dorkily interesting, Hollinger even busted out a line I wish I thought of in his most recent article on Carlos Boozer and his Cavs replacement, Dwight Gooden: "One year later, the only award Boozer contends for is the Santana Award (given annually to the biggest sellout named Carlos)."
That's quality comedy, folks. And that's not all! He's helpfully pointed out CarlosLoozer.com, which is flipping awesome.
Anyway, the article is here($) if you have Insider. If you don't, just go to CarlosLoozer.com. It's better than work.
Michigan signee Jerret Smith and Michigan target Deshawn Sims faced off last night in a regional playoff game with Smith's Romulus team winning 82 to 68.
A couple of good threads with first hand observations on the game have popped up on the Wolverine message board. In conclusion: Smith's better than Dani Wohl. But only just. Erratic shooting, lax defense, and seven turnovers are all mentioned. There are good sides to his game, too... but Smith is not going to be a program savior. Or even a starter, probably.
So says Mike Spath on the Wolverine. He bruised a calf and picked up some awesome internal bleeding. Also, Charlie Henderson is dinged up so he may not be able to replace him, which could mean that Rohlfs will yo-yo back to forward at least temporarily. Oy vey.
The Super Six starts tomorrow, but I'm hearing rumblings that some other tournament is going on that may overshadow it. Curling? Polo?
Jim Carty, the Ann Arbor News's beat writer, wrote a pretty incendiary article today asking pointed questions of Lloyd. I'm sure he won't answer them, nor should he: most of the questions are of the "when did you stop beating your wife?" variety. But I'm not married, so I'll answer for him.
Why did a defense that allowed an average of 18 points per game in its first eight games give up 33 points per game in its final four contests?
Well, because Jim Herrmann has never figured out how to defend mobile quarterbacks. No doy.
What changed? Did opponents, starting with Michigan State, figure something out? Did the players lose focus? Or was it something else?
Then there's the mobile quarterback issue.
What mobile quarterback issue? I have no idea what you're talking about.
Having been shredded by shifty Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith for 8.1 yards per rush in their final game of the regular season, what adjustments did Michigan make going into the Rose Bowl to stop another running quarterback?
Jesus, Carty, if you knew the answer already, why didn't you say so? Anyway, the answer to your current question is "hid head under blanket and pretended boogieman would go away."
Why did Michigan struggle to tackle against Ohio State and Texas?
MOBILE QUARTERBACKS. Jesus!
Why did All-American safety Ernest Shazor disappear down the stretch?
Why wouldn't he? The rest of the D did.
Why did linebacker Pierre Woods have little impact all season?
He beats up puppies and steals from the poor. I mean, he allegedly does so. I heard it on the interweb!
Was linebacker Lawrence Reid - who's subsequently retired due to a neck injury - playing hurt? If yes, did his injury affect his play?
Let me think... uh, yes? Obviously? A degenerative neck injury that causes you to retire from football after the season... yeah, that's probably bad.
Why wasn't linebacker Joe Sarantos, one of your best special teams players, asked back for a fifth season?
Because Joey Sarantos is not good enough at football to warrant it (sorry, Joey). This is not unusual, Carty... don't try to make a common occurence that all players know is a possibility into some sort of scandal. Punk.
After leading the nation in turnovers earlier in the year, why did the Wolverine defense recover only one fumble and make only one interception over its final four games?
Turnovers are mostly luck, and you know it you sot. What's a sot? I dunno. But it's not good. Also, MOBILE... well, you get the picture.
Herrmann's defense allowed more points during the regular season than every Big Ten team except Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana (none of which went to a bowl game). Since he's blessed with highly rated recruits at just about every position, how much of the blame for that kind of performance falls on Herrmann's tactics?
All of it.
How, in Carr's evaluation, is the defensive coordinator held responsible?
What? Does this make any sense to anyone? I think this sentence sucks.
Finally, how is Carr going to fix what went wrong?
Ah. This is an actual question. I don't know. I don't know if Carr knows. But I'm willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt. When the offense was a problem, Carr addressed it. When the special teams was a problem, Carr addressed it. Now the defense is a problem. Carr will address it.
Ok, ok. I realize that this post was mostly snotty and not substantive in anyway whatsoever. There are issues there. But pointing them out in such an "ah-ha!" way is grandstanding. Dishonestly implying that there was something shady behind Sarantos' departure from the team or anything surrounding Lawrence Reid's unfortunate situation is sensationalist garbage. Congratulations, Carty. You got everyone's attention. You get to be the star, asking tough questions and DEMANDING ANSWERS(!!!). Now you have your revenge on all the mean boys who used to beat you up.
The verdict? Carty ackered up here.
VOB went to see the U18s versus the Soo Indians and filed this report. The only Michigan players mentioned are the two defensemen. I'll excerpt here:
Jack Johnson - easily the best player on the ice last night and its not hard to see why he ranked only behind Crosby for this year's draft. An absolute rock in terms of strength and physical play. Threw thunderous body checks with reckless abandon causing many Indian turn overs in both ends. His physical play alone will get him into the NHL but coupled with a good skating stride and an ability to handle the puck on the rush and the PP will make him a number 1 Dman and a potential franchise player. The only problem may be that he is too aggressive and while this may be a problem in the NCAA next year, it won't in the NHL.
Mark Mitera - man oh man is Michigan going to have quite the D men with both Johnson and Mitera suiting up next year. A solid Dman who did not make a mistake the whole night. He must have grew 3 inches and added 20 pounds from the time I saw him last and he uses his size quite well. Does not have the vision or offensive upside as Johnson but is steady and dependable as they come. Has a good low shot and good skating abilities. Was used on both the pp and pk. A sure fire top 4 NHL Dman and a first round pick in the 06 entry draft.
We already knew that about Johnson, but such a glowing report on Mitera is very encouraging. I like what I saw from him a lot in the UM-U18 game, and the general rumble is that he has taken a quantum leap forward in the past year or so.
VOB is a guy with some connections in the OHL. I think he's directly affiliated with some team or another. He and I have frequently sparred on the HF message boards about NCAA hockey vs. CHL hockey (I, of course, have demolished him each time, leaving him to wonder what the point of this whole world is, anyway), but he knows what he's talking about. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the guys who have a clue from the 14 year old 31337 kids but VOB is one of the former.