well that's just, like, your opinion, man
Kevin Williams is a junior defensive tackle from Springfield High School, in Ohio. Williams is one of the best prospects in Ohio’s 2011 class, and is looking to end his recruitment early. I caught up with Kevin, and his coach, and here’s what they had to say.
COACH VINCE MARROW: As a sophomore, he was the best defensive player for this team. I was thinking about taking a job at Syracuse, and I ended up coming here to Springfield. Kevin’s parents transferred him here to play for me, which was exciting.
In high school, it's either the athletes are going to have to pick up weights, or put on weight. Kevin is 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, and only 16 years old. He's ready for D1, and hasn't even hit his full potential. I think he’ll probably grow one or two more inches. He honestly could probably start at Toledo this year, as a junior. His speed, strength, and explosiveness are very good.
I've coached some NFL, and played in the NFL for 9 years. I played for Buffalo, the Bears, Carolina, and the 49ers. I really think he's the best defensive tackle in the state of Ohio. He had 17 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 151 total tackles this year, as a junior.
[ed: to Kevin now.]
TOM: Who do you currently have offers from?
KEVIN: I have offers from Boston College, Michigan, Nebraska, Bowling Green, and Indiana so far.
TOM: Who are you hearing from, and expect offers from?
KEVIN: I’m expecting one from Florida State, too.
TOM: Were you a fan of any team growing up?
KEVIN: I’m a big fan of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Florida. I went to a Michigan basketball game when I was younger. We got to go out on the field and play around in the Big House. It was so overwhelming; I’ll never forget that.
TOM: Have you made it up to Michigan for a visit, or camp? When will you be up there?
KEVIN: No, not yet. I’m going on the 20th to their junior day.
TOM: What are your strengths, and what are you trying to work on?
KEVIN: My explosiveness off the ball is one of my biggest strengths. I’d like to work on my hands a little bit, and getting my handwork down.
TOM: How has it helped you having a coach like Coach Marrow, being an NFL guy?
KEVIN: Yes, it’s helped a lot. We go through drills every day. When I was at Central, I was basically just potential. He’s helped me bring that potential out, and turned it into ability. He gives me the whole ins and outs of the recruiting process. He’s been there, and gone through it, so he’s helped me a lot. His son went through it last year, and is at Alabama now, so he knows what to do.
TOM: Is there a certain scheme that you would like to play in, in college, or do you think you’re versatile enough to play anywhere?
KEVIN: I think I can play in any scheme. I can play interior, or I can bump out and play defensive end. That won’t really matter to me.
TOM: How do you see your recruitment panning out? What is the timeline for you?
KEVIN: I plan on making a decision by spring, definitely before summer. I plan on graduating early, so I want to make sure I just have the decision out of the way.
TOM: Do you think distance will play a factor in your decision?
KEVIN: It really won’t play a factor. I have family in Florida, around here, so distance won’t matter too much. I would like to experience new things. Michigan is close, though, so that would be nice to have my family be able to come see me play.
TOM: How are you going to make your decision. What are the biggest factors that will play into your decision?
KEVIN: Just where ever I feel comfortable. I’m looking for the place that gives me the feeling of comfort. I want to have that home away from home.
TOM: What about Michigan stands out to you?
KEVIN: I love their tradition. Like I said, when I went to that basketball game when I was younger, it was just a crazy feeling. To know that much history is there, it’s overwhelming.
Michigan 11-12 (4-7 Big Ten). And the FAIL train chugs along.
In the first half of Saturday's game Michigan's offense was out of sync, but it seemed like the defense was playing pretty darn well. Michigan forced a couple shot clock violations by the Badgers, and mostly prevented them from getting very good looks at the hoop.
Of course, despite the decent defense, Wisconsin managed to shoot 69% from three-point range and 68% overall from the field. Sometimes, it's just not your day. Sometimes, the opposition nails a half-court shot at the buzzer, and it doesn't even surprise you. On days like that, there's no way to win.
Once Wisconsin gets a lead, they're masters at choking the life out of the game, slowing it down enough that it looks like everyone is trudging through mud. Michigan's offense was completely lost in the second half. Stu Douglass and Zack Novak were too tentative to take shots, DeShawn Sims was getting double- and triple-teamed every time he got the ball, and Manny Harris couldn't to get a good look at the basket—not that it prevented him from shooting.
As much as it looked like this Michigan team had turned a corner around the time of the UConn game or during the near-miss against Michigan State, these last two games are the final word: this is a lost season. All that's left is to salvage a bit of respectability by finishing with a winning record and scraping into the NIT. Even that looks like a difficult task at this point.
- Seriously, Stu Douglass, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Dishing it to Manny when you have a clear shot in the lane is something a point guard really shouldn't do. A "point guard mentality" is not about dishing to teammates all the time, but giving the team the best opportunity to score on a given play.
- Darius Morris continues to impress. 3/4 shooting with 3 assists and only 1 turnover is very good, and his defense was good as well. Once he gets some off-season work on his shot, he could become a star over the next couple years.
- The Wolverines had five players go more than 30 minutes, and six others less than 10. Quality bench depth :(.
- This Michigan team isn't good, that much is obvious. I still wonder how different things would be if a couple of the close calls had gone the other way. Confidence has become a huge issue at this point.
Michigan travels to Minnesota for a game that looked winnable a few days ago, but not so much anymore. The Thursday (7PM/6PM Central) contest is now looking more like a cripplefight, with Michigan reeling and Minnesota coping with the loss of Royce White.
John Beilein is one of the better coaches in gameplanning with a long layoff between games, and Michigan's bench situation means a bit of rest could be helpful as well .
Sylvia, go to the dry cleaners and get me my indignation pants. Fire up the typewriters, stentorian columnists of America, because FL DE and Auburn signee Corey Lemonier has got a gun!
Don't forget that he probably has scurvy.
Even more Dorsey still. The WLA has a guest post up from a person with "extensive real-life experience dealing with juvenile offenders." His has some numbers on how likely an average juvenile offender is to re-offend…
My research indicates that after two years, generally speaking, a youth has a four percent chance of re-offending. To put it another way, a youth has a 96% chance of not re-offending. Mr. Dorsey, having been free of criminal activity for two years would seem to fall into this category. Even Jamie Mac would take those odds.
…and perspective on the "risk" we're talking about here:
There are a whole bunch of people out there that are wailing because Mr. Dorsey might besmirch the good name of the U of M.
Mr. Dorsey is coming into a highly structured, overwhelmingly positive environment. His cousin and positive peer will be there. He’ll have tutors and advisors and Barwis. He’ll live in a supervised residence in a city that almost forgets crime even exists. He’ll be pursuing an education that could set him for life just as likely as an NFL contract might. And the downside is that he might, might give the U of M a black eye? Wow. Life really is getting cheap nowadays.
Rodriguez's discipline track record should be judged as a whole, and with few significant incidents in the last five years it's a good one. Demar Dorsey isn't going to change that by himself, and the focus should Michigan doing whatever it can to extract him from the negative environment he was in previously. It doesn't always work—Pacman Jones—but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
Wojo, meanwhile, has a take on the matter that meets his usual standards of sanity. Wojo has other positive aspects, as well, but it's the not being totally insane that stands out these days.
War of the Roses. There are a ton of positions on defense where a half-dozen kids will go head-to-head for starting jobs this spring but only one spot with real uncertainty on the other side of the ball. That's tailback. Fred Jackson on his group:
“I got five or six guys here that I got to make a decision on at the end of spring to see how we’re going to shape up for camp,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what to expect from of a lot of them, but I think we have enough talent to have an excellent group. It’s just a fact that I have not had a chance to put them all on an equal playing field yet, and once I do I’ll know a lot more.”
I'm slightly worried that Jackson isn't comparing any of his guys to Adrian Peterson crossed with a killer whale, which in his language means "barely functional Big Ten player," but we'll probably get some quotes like that after spring practice.
Hello: goodbye: hello: goodbye: hello. Goodbye. Jim Harbaugh is at Stanford, as you well know, and hauled in a pretty decent recruiting class despite a whopping 19 decommitments. That makes Michigan's 2009 class look downright peaceful, and comes with Stanford coming off an excellent (for Stanford) 8-5 year in which their moose tailback almost won the Heisman.
Jim Stefani on what might be going on:
This begs an answer to the question as to why Harbaugh and staff are accepting so many verbals from prospects who are not yet admitted. Perhaps it is in hope that will eventually qualify. Perhaps it is to build recruiting momentum by putting together a class that looks great on paper and would attract additional prospects. Maybe if Harbaugh goes through a couple of difficult seasons he could in part justify the poor performance to the Stanford administration by arguing that his limited success is due to the limited recruiting universe that he can avail himself of. He could pull out a list of all the kids that he received commitments from and tell his boss that if these kids had been accepted into Stanford the team would have performed much better.
I think Harbaugh has little choice but to recruit a bunch of guys he thinks might get in to Stanford and hope the admissions committee admits them. His alternative is to give conditional offers that kids can't commit to pending admission and watch them head elsewhere. It'll be interesting to see how long Harbaugh is willing to put up with those meddling adults before heading to greener pastures.
Strange days. So what's Bill Frieder up to these days?
The Sacramento Kings owners are Joe and Gavin Maloof and long story short, they got me into skateboarding and I run a huge skateboarding event called the Maloof Money Cup. This is competition skateboarding. We’ve got it on national television and it’s the world’s greatest skateboarding event with the richest purse. We have a half-million purse at each place.
That is… unexpected.
Minus ten million for cheese. I noticed this too when throwing together a Sporting Blog post on disappointing recruiting classes. Three Big Ten teams ended up in the top five, but one of them was not Wisconsin despite the Badgers ending up a bizarre 86th in their team rankings. This is why:
Take a look at who the Badgers signed; it’s not USC, but pretty decent group, right? Scout has it ranked at 33rd. Rivals? No lie, it’s #86. Now, I’ll just use one example here to keep this brief. Ken State is ranked 5 spots higher than Wisconsin on Rivals. They have fewer commits, and a much smaller average star rating. It’s incoherent to suggest that most, if not all Kent State commits would immediately flip to Wisconsin if they received an offer from the Badgers.
It's not that Rivals hates all of Wisconsin's recruits relative to Scout, because the Badgers finished behind a don't of teams with way worse star ratings and fewer commits. Wisconsin's 51st in star average, and would obliterate say… UTEP. Or Vanderbilt. Or Toledo. Or a couple dozen other teams they somehow finished behind. Bret Bielema's criticism of the guru industry seems well-founded, at least in his specific case.
Now I get it. Tim Brewster's "extension" does not have a raise except for some incentive clauses and reduces Coach TRY FIGHT WIN's buyout to 200k per year left. He's probably safe for this year and next, but then it's axing time.
So I think he's going to try to knock down all the pins. During the couple years I was doing standup comedy at half-ass open mics around town, one of my compatriots had a funny bit about how he couldn't really consider bowling a sport because analysis always boils down to "…so I think he's going to try to knock down all the pins."
What this reading consists of, then, is a mystery indeed:
“Bowling was probably the hardest class I had last semester,” [Austin] White said at the National Signing Day press conference. “You know, if I had like 20 pages of reading for Meteorology, I would have 40 for Bowling. And then there was a bunch of terminology and phrases that I had never heard before.”
Like… strike? Spare? Turkey? I bowl about as well as Barack Obama but I bet it's not too hard to pick up on the lingo. What does page 40 say? What about page 4?
Etc.: Even more podcast can be had at "The Michigan Man Podcast." I do my best Mel Kiper impression with Michigan's defensive recruits. Interested in rap about Demar Dorsey that slams Certain People in the media? Of course you are. Don't get super excited about Manny coming back yet.
"My only hope is that the big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my dick off."
2/6/2010 – Michigan 2, Wisconsin 3 – 16-13-1
When I first started following Michigan hockey, Michigan had this unbelievable streak of not giving up third period leads. It stretched back and back and back and was some ridiculous number that may have been in the triple digits and the last team to actually overcome a Michigan lead in the third period was Illinois-Chicago, a team that didn't even exist anymore.
That record fell by the wayside some time ago and now seems as distant of a memory as UIC hockey itself.
It's not like it's a surprise at this point but I'd really prefer a straight-up stomping to taking the lead in the third, thinking about a manageable stretch run if the team takes care of Bowling Green on Tuesday, dreaming about extending Michigan's record run of tourney appearances to 20, and then giving up two power play goals to the same guy in the same spot within a few minutes of each other.
If they'd just get run out of the building you can get over it and move on. The basketball team has had the decency to do so of late, releasing me from the obligations to care about Wisconsin's unconscious three-point shooting aside from instant reactions like "Jesus," "oh come on," "you cannot possibly be serious," and "did someone slip me LSD?" (Have you ever seen a guy launch a half-court shot and thought to yourself "oh God, that's going in too"? At one point in the second half I complained that Wisconsin was shooting 70 percent from three and thought I was wildly exaggerating to make a point; they were actually 11/15 at that point: 73 percent.)
I digress. The hockey team has made a specialty of this sort of thing. A late penalty doomed them against Ferris State. They managed to blow a one-goal lead against a dire Bowling Green team by conceding bang-bang third period goals. Bryan Hogan wandered out of his net to blow a tie with BU with 2:30 left. Hogan got pulled and his backup conceded what I hear was an unbelievably soft goal at the GLI. You've got an Alaska tie and the 5-4 win over State on the other hand, but the State win almost doesn't count since they blew a 3-0 lead to get themselves in the predicament they overcome. Michigan has lost ground late in games.
It's not really a surprise given the way the team has played. They're wildly variable, sloppy, penalty-prone, etc. But when the names get called on Hockey's selection show and Michigan is, in all likelihood, absent, it will be the last ten minutes of the third that did them in.
Michigan's dropped to 19th in RPI and 20th in the Pairwise. They have to win six of seven down the stretch to give themselves a chance, I think. They might be able to win five and then lose in the CCHA final, but that will be touch and go. Probably. The PWR has so much jitter that any prognostication more than a week or two from the end of the season is vague. It comes down to the TUCs.
- Apparently the Michigan coaching staff was very unhappy with the late penalties on Summers. MVictors tweeted Mel Pearson's response: "You won't see that call 9 out of 10 times." I don't know about that. Like Greg, I assumed Pearson was talking about the second call, when Summers was penalized for a routine defensive play when he was in good position. I thought the tripping call was legit.
- My main ref bitch is that Wisconsin should have had at least one guy gone for dangerous plays along the boards: the hit on Hagelin that was called a cross check should definitely been five and a game and the elbowing call Scooter took was borderline at best.
- No Lee Moffie? If you're going to put in Llewellyn, I guess that's fine, but Moffie's been playing really well and I'd think an error-prone Greg Pateryn would be the guy to get the gate. Maybe he got injured against BG.
- At this point how Louie Caporusso ever scored 24 goals is the mystery, not his season-long slump. His dangles don't work and he tries them all the time. He did have some nice forechecking moments against Wisconsin, but that's kind of the point, isn't it? Even if TJ Hensick had some crazy forechecks in a game no one would remember them because he would have done a bunch of other crazy stuff.
- Good for Scooter to get that goal; he's deserved it the way he's played this year. Might be playing himself into an A for his senior year.
- Torrent is here if you're a masochist or Wisconsin fan.
STANLEY CUP BABY PEERS INTO YOUR SOUL
STANELY CUP BABY: Hey.
TOM HAMMOND: Hey.
|WHAT||Michigan v. Wisconsin|
|WHERE||Ann Arbor, MI|
February 6th, 2010
|THE LINE||Michigan -1*(!?!?!)|
*Line provided by online sports betting site Sportsbetting.com.
When Last We Met
The Wolverines led for much of the game, despite the traditionally... difficult... officiating atmosphere in the Kohl Center. Wisconsin was throwing up 3-pointers with little success, and shot very poorly in the game overall. However, the Wolverines fell apart down the stretch, allowing the Badgers to claw back into the lead, and emerge with a 54-48 victory.
DeShawn Sims starred for the Wolverines, scoring 23 points on just 14 shots from the field, while collecting 13 rebounds. Manny Harris scored 11 points in 36 minutes, and Zack Novak also played for 36 minutes, though he had a poor shooting day, missing all six of his attempts from the field.
Since Last We Met
Michigan has been the ultimate tease, showing improvement against Purdue and Michigan State, though they emerged winless. That tease was brought to a new level with a blowout victory against Iowa, but the charade was exposed in a thorough beating in Evanston against the Wildcats.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, is adjusting to life without Jon Leuer, struggling against Penn State (an overtime win) and Purdue (a three-point loss), but laying the hammer down on Michigan State by shooting lights-out and turning over the Spartans 13 times.
If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy.
|Michigan v. Wisconsin: National Ranks|
|Category||Michigan Rank||Wisconsin Rank||Advantage|
|Mich eFG% v. Wisc Def eFG%||225||39||WW|
|Mich Def eFG% v. Wisc eFG%||172||72||WW|
|Mich TO% v. Wisc Def TO%||20||221||MMM|
|Mich Def TO% v. Wisc TO%||63||3||W|
|Mich OReb% v. Wisc DReb%||257||3||WWW|
|Mich DReb% v. Wisc OReb%||207||290||M|
|Mich FTR v. Wisc Opp FTR||333||116||WWW|
|Mich Opp FTR v. Wisc FTR||12||227||MMM|
|Mich AdjO v. Wisc AdjD||100||6||W|
|Mich AdjD v. Wisc AdjO||38||23||W|
Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc.
Thinking at the most facile level, a 6-point road loss could easily become a home win, but that hasn't been how it goes with the Michigan-Wisconsin series in the John Beilein era. In all three road games, Michigan has hung tough, and in both home contests, they've been blown out.
The Four Factors clearly favor the Badgers here, and I think the trend of Michigan playing close in the Kohl Center and getting blown out in Crisler is unfortunately going to continue. KenPom only likes Wisconsin by 5 (and Vegas actually favors Michigan, for some reason I don't know - free money, that), but I think a double-digit beatdown of sorts is in order.
Now that signing day for the 2010 class is over, focus shifts to 2011. With just one player in the 2010 class on the offensive line, OL will be a major focus. Anthony Zettel is a junior offensive lineman from West Branch, MI who was recently offered by Michigan. I caught up with Anthony, and here’s what he had to say.
TOM: It’s obviously early in the process, but what offers do you have so far?
ANTHONY: I have an offer from CMU, Michigan State, and I just got my offer from Michigan. Notre Dame actually called, and invited me to their junior day, too.
TOM: What position are you being recruited for?
ANTHONY: I play offensive tackle now, so they’re recruiting me for the offensive line, but also for the defensive line. I play defensive end, but I think I would be better in college at the tackle spot. I can plug holes better, and my speed would be better for that position. CMU, MSU, and Michigan are all recruiting me for both sides of the ball. They’re not sure where they want me to play yet.
TOM: Tell me about you as a player. What are your strengths, and what are you working on?
ANTHONY: I’m on the Michigan summer workout plan right now, so I’m trying to get stronger and faster. Our team did the workout plan this summer, but I’m doing it by myself right now. I want to increase my size, but keep my athleticism. So far, I’ve increased most of my maxes, but I’ve really helped my speed and vertical. I should be up to 265 by the end of the summer. Some coaches have told me that I play a little high, so I need to work on that, too. But, I think I have pretty good technique, and my footwork really helps me a lot.
TOM: Being from Michigan, who were you a fan of growing up?
ANTHONY: I’ve been a Michigan fan my whole life, and I still am. I have to put that aside for recruiting, though. I want to look at other schools, too, and see other places. I want to see what everyone has to offer.
TOM: What did the coaches say when they offered you?
ANTHONY: Well, they’ve been saying they were going to offer, and they said it would be around signing day. It came, and my coach pulled me out of class, and told me had some news for me. We called the coaches back, and coach Frey told me they were offering.
TOM: You’ve been in Ann Arbor quite a bit already; do you plan on being back for another visit anytime soon?
ANTHONY: Their junior day is February 20th, so I might be going back up for that. If I don’t make it up then, I know I’ll be back up there some other time. I’ll be there often over the summer, and the school year.
TOM: Do you have a schedule for your recruitment?
ANTHONY: No, I just want to see what everyone has to offer, and when I feel comfortable, I’ll make my decision. I’m not sure when I’ll decide.
TOM: Since you are a fan of Michigan, does this offer put them in the lead?
ANTHONY: Yeah, Michigan has always been there with me, but I would put them first. I did really like Michigan State when I went on a visit, but it just seems like Michigan was a little better. I really like how high level of facilities they have. I’ve liked all the coaches I’ve met at every school, but it just seems like Michigan has always been a little