From Portage Northern.
When you lose by 29 to an 0-6 Big Ten team with an RPI ranking of 198, it's over. When you get outrebounded for the fifth time in six games... by 12, it's over. When your half court offense possesses slightly less coordination than a flock of beheaded chickens, it's over. It's just over.
Fine, fine, injuries and all that, but this team still has way more talent than Purdue. Michigan is just painful to watch in a way that no other Big Ten team is, because they consistently do amazingly stupid things. I sort of enjoy watching overmatched, talentless teams play a smart game and lose narrowly. Northwestern is a fine example. I can't stand watching Michigan get horribly outrebounded, average ten billion turnovers a game, and take bad shot after bad shot. I don't know what else to say. Posting on basketball will remain infrequent until I can watch a game without shaking my head constantly.
Some dude named Andre Criswell from Renaissance has committed to Michigan. He wasn't in the Scout or Rivals databases until quite recently, as you can see from the previous link.
What it does NOT explain is where in the sam hell his scholarship is coming from, as I believe he was offered one. There was some reasonable speculation that he was offered as a preferred walk-on, but titles and headers from various recruiting articles make this clear that this is not the case. The writing is on the wall for a fifth-year senior or two already, and that was with an assumed Harris-McKinney-Germany finish. This extra player almost definitely means that someone else has been lost to some form of attrition.
Criswell is entering as a fullback, which is odd since I thought we already had one in the class in Mister Simpson, and moving Simpson to RB doesn't make a whole lot of sense with the Martin-Hart-Grady monster in front of him. A linebacker I could understand... but a fullback?
All signs point to weird here, captain.
GBW has Richards still listed as a UM commit.
Also, this GBW article is free, at least for now. It's basically a rundown of all our remaining recruits... with the Richards news, plus all the stuff that anyone who's observant already knows and some baseless rah-rah about our CB recruits. Ok, ok, there's some base for it. Picky, picky.
Last night against NMU in a 4-1 loss. The first two goals were on Montoya being way, way too aggressive.
The game was entirely frustrating, as Michigan dominated the first ten minutes of the game but couldn't get much in the way of pucks on goal, and then a fortitous bounce changes everything. The puck was coming into the Michigan zone and Monotya charged out to get it... he didn't. And just like that Northern had a 1-0 lead with all of two shots on net. They finished the first up 2-1 with four shots on goal after Montoya made a poke-check attempt that left his five-hole wide, wide open.
Michigan almost doubled NMU's shots on goal and still lost badly. Can you really put this on the skaters? There were some turnovers, some poor plays, particularly Werner's screw-up that led to the fourth NMU goal, but overall, I mean... 14 shots against. I'd say it's bad luck, but I don't believe it bad luck when it comes to goaltenders. The sample size for save percentage is large enough that this far into the season you should have a good idea who's playing well and who isn't. The problem isn't with one goal that may have been soft or may not have been soft, the problem is that after every game there are one or two of those iffy goals. After every game.
Northern is a pretty good team. They plays a tight-checking game and blocks a ton of shots. I would take Oystrick and Waugh over any Michigan defenders. They're big, mobile, and unpleasantly dispositioned. Tarrki was very solid last night, making all the saves he had to and a couple that were really impressive--I am thinking in particular of a deceptive Kolark shot that was wired for the top corner that Tarrki managed to get with his shoulder. If they had a couple more guys who could score they'd be a serious contender for the CCHA.
Refereeing... didn't really notice it. Piotrowski has apparently abandoned the idea of calling those minor off-the-puck interference penalties, which is disappointing but expected. This always, always happens.
The penalty cheer and the riot that was going to break out? Uh, not so much. I think exactly two kids got booted, and one of them got booted for screaming at Tarrki... I would note that he screamed nothing profane (nor particularly witty), though, so that gets an official "what's up with that?"
At least a little good news. Thirty-one points for Smith against a previously undefeated Bellville team, although at this point I don't really care if he can score. If he can get dribble penetration and set others up for open looks without turning the ball over I'll be ecstatic.
Badgermaniacs sports an interesting thread on UW 2005. Consensus seems to be somewhere from 5-7 to 9-3. Call it 7-5. Wisconsin has a lot of holes to fill... the D-line, secondary, and backfield all look shaky.