“What’s happening today? Anything good? Who’s got a good question?”
/Siri goes off on someone’s phone; “I’m not sure what you said there.”
“Obviously Siri does not have a good question.”
MGoQuestion: You guys threw a fullback wheel route to Sione Houma, and it looked like it had some similar elements to the one Michigan State ran against you earlier this year. How often do you guys look at something an opponent ran, take similar elements, tweak it, and put it in the playbook?
“Well, I think that you are constantly looking at what other teams do. You’re looking at what defenses you’re going to see and how they compare to the defense that either you play or other teams play. Sometimes there’s just times where you’re gonna go look and you’re gonna say, ‘Hey, are they in this coverage during this time?’ or ‘Is this a team that runs similar type looks?’ Ball plays are stolen all the time from everybody and everywhere.
“You’ll see very often you can turn on plenty of games and say, ‘Boy, didn’t they just run this?’ or ‘Didn’t Michigan just run that?’ or ‘Didn’t Seattle just run that?’ or whoever it might be. It’s just constantly- you’re always looking and watching film and when good ideas or things that look like we could use, you always try to use them.”
Is Jake [Rudock] getting more freedom from you guys to make decisions in terms of plays than he had earlier in the year?
“No, I think he’s really just getting more aware of the entire system rather than half of it or three-quarters of it, so the more he’s aware of what we’re trying to do, the more he can get to certain guys faster or maybe where he can get rid of the ball quicker. He can hold the ball longer knowing that something’s picked up where maybe early on in the season he might have thought the protection scheme might not have known that it was picked up, so checked it down quick.
“There’s, I think, more just knowledge base, and as knowledge base grows you become more comfortable, and when you become more comfortable maybe it feels like you’re getting to different things but you’re really just going through and maybe early in your career as a rookie quarterback or first year in our system quarterback you can go 1-2-checkdown. Now maybe he feels good enough to 1-2-3-checkdown or 1-2-3-4-checkdown. I think you see it in the NFL with rookies to their second year. I think you [also] see it with guys throughout the season.”
Jim credited you with the screen game. Can you talk about how that’s coming along and how pleased you are with it?
“Everybody gets credit for that. It’s really- the whole screen game, I believe that you can get a lot of yards in the screen game, and if everybody is on the same page with it we can get different ways of doing it, different formations, different guys catching screens. I think you go get some gimmee yards at times, but then there’s also times when screens are called and they don’t look good [and] it’s just a ball thrown right at the dirt, so you gotta be careful about that with screens. But, nah, I mean, I know he said that but it’s everybody has everything to do with our screen game and it’s just one of those deals that we ran a lot of them at different places where I’ve been and have really enjoyed the different aspects of it. You know, you can be real creative in the screen game. It’s not always just a straight drop-back deal.”
[After THE JUMP: Jake Rudock might be 53 years old, no one really knows]
This was a good idea. Also omigod #23 is Carlton Brundidge; I totally forgot that. [Fuller]
Nothing we can do about Michigan basketball's crappy nonconference schedule, but I asked the MGoCrew who they'd play in a home and home.
|*Cuse plays Charlotte (261st) in the first round.|
Ace: Michigan's non-conference schedule outside of Xavier and the Battle for Atlantis tournament—admittedly some strong competition—is woefully bad. Xavier is the only non-conference home opponent ranked within the top 240(!) teams on KenPom. While you want to schedule some easy wins, that's taking the concept to an extreme while sacrificing both RPI standing and fan interest; games against Houston Baptist and Delaware State aren't exactly big draws.
I'd love to see the Wolverines rekindle a local series against a team that's still quite beatable but at least has a pulse: Oakland. The Grizzlies tend to be ranked in the 150 range on KenPom—they're 160th this preseason—and John Beilein went 4-0 against them from 2008-2012, playing those games either at Crisler or The Palace. They're seemingly the perfect level of opponent; they hung within 20 points of Michigan in each of those games but never came closer than ten points in the final score. Their coach, Greg Kampe, still very much wants to play the series. They're local. They play MSU on a near-annual basis. It makes almost too much sense from both a resumé and fan interest standpoint—I'd so much rather watch Michigan take on Oakland or Detroit than some bottom-feeder from outside the Midwest, and I'm sure I'm not alone there.
[After the JUMP: if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.]
Back by popular demand, welcome to our gimmicky "Best Players of the Big Ten" #content where we draft teams out of the conference's top athletes and you either learn things about Michigan and its opponents or complain about how you don't care about someone else's fantasy draft.
Last time: Ace complained about going first, then got Nigel Hayes, Derrick Walton, and Denzel Valentine, while I tried to get 40 minutes out of two 20-minute bigs. As we resume, Alex is on the clock.
ALEX: Round 3, Pick 2: Malcolm Hill, Illinois
|Malcolm Hill was apparently in the building that day we were all staring at Jim Harbaugh and going "Man is this really happening?" [Eric Upchurch]|
TEAM: Bronson Koenig (PG, UW), Caris LeVert (SG, M), Malcolm Hill (PF, IL)
After going with backcourt players with my first two picks, I'll turn to a relatively shallow position group in the Big Ten: the stretch forward. As a sophomore at Illinois, Malcolm Hill was arguably the team's most valuable player*—playing most of his minutes at the four (though some at the three), Hill scored 14.4 points per game and posted a nice offensive rebounding rate (6.9) for his size (6'6).
But most importantly, he was very efficient—39% on three point attempts and 65% in the restricted area. For this season, he's expected to be Illinois's best player and its first option on offense. Those are responsibilities that might cut into his overall efficiency, seeing as how the Illini's next-best option is Kendrick Nunn.
But Hill would fit ideally next to Koenig and LeVert as a shooting specialist, above-average defender, and one of those invaluable 3/4 wings that can stretch the floor and create for themselves without sacrificing size or physicality inside on the other end of the floor. Additionally, he's still just a junior and could develop into something even better.
*Rayvonte Rice, who was a senior, was better, but missed over a month of conference play with an injury.
[Hit the JUMP to read about Big Ten basketball players in a kind of ranked order that tells you more about their value than "here's this list I made," or hit THE COMMENTS to complain that your mouse wheel had to scroll five entire clicks to skip this article.]
Are there three more angles of this play after the jump? I guess you'll just have to click and find out.
1 hour 57 minutes
A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and company have been on board here from almost the beginning. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Check out 100years.moe for the rich history of Michigan's oldest apparel store.
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Not much of a game, which is a nice change of pace. A lot of callers this week so this segment has less podcast overlap than normal.
Gimmicky Top Five: Celebrities On The Sideline
Kevin Woodard of the Alumni Association joins us for this segment. We talk the folks who we would be the most delighted to see randomly appear on the sideline of Michigan Stadium. Despite this being an incredibly open gimmicky top five, Ace and I have the exact same person at #3. Kevin wins with his #1.
Kevin sticks around to talk about the Alumni Association's Bowl Tour, which will happen this year since Michigan will go to a bowl (high five), and wants you to know about Giving Blue Day, which is December 1st. This is an especially good year to give to signal your approval with the general direction of things.
Steve Lorenz of 247
New commit CO DE Carlo Kemp discussed; Steve believe his ranking is held down by his location. TX DT Chris Daniels was the lone official visitor for the Rutgers game and Michigan is very much in the mix for him. A colleague of Lorenz crystal ballzd FL LB Devin Bush to FSU; so did a couple of Oregon guys in re: Dylan Crawford. Steve ain't scurred.
We also talk Michigan's new focus on a serious preferred walk-on program as another way for Harbaugh to acquire any edge he can. In the segment I refer to a PWO offer who impressed me on HUDL; I can't remember his name. He is Tyler Lamica, a LB/RB out of Grand Rapids, and he seems like a Harbaugh type of guy on film.
Exhibition Basketball Chatter
Stock up: Walton, Robinson, Wagner. Stock maybe not so much: Donnal, MAAR (through no fault of his own).
Catch us Mondays 5-7 on 1050 WTKA.
THE USUAL LINKS
Earlier this year I asked coach Harbaugh about running Power, and he said the goal is to make the guard invisible. From your perspective, what are you looking for when you’re running Power?
“They tell us the guard is invisible. The guard is invisible, don’t pay attention to him. Stay on your landmark and if you see it, if you see the hole, it should be there but if anything pick up the guard. [/laughs] That guard’s invisible, but at the same time you can pick up the guard.”
One thing I was wondering is let’s say somebody shoots a gap or the hole collapses. What’s your next move? What do you do from there?
“I’m picking up the guard around, because he’s pulling around and I’m picking him up and he’s blocking for me.”
So you bounce it out?
How about Trap blocking? What are you looking for when you know it’s a Trap?
“Hmm, I don’t know. Just get to my landmark. Just get to my landmark and hit the hole is all I can think of.”
As far as landmarks go, is that different every play?
“Yeah, landmarks are different every play. It goes from- it just depends what we’re going to run.”
And that’s just the first thing you look for?
“Right. The first thing you look for is your landmark and staying on your track.”
[After THE JUMP: Blitz pickups, and the time Jim almost killed John Harbaugh]