somehow we're only 124th
Dilemma: The HTTV proofs were delivered at the same time as the game.
First a confession: the last time I bought EA's college football game was 10 (the 2009 season) for PS2. I used to get it every year from the Woodson cover to the Desmond cover and play until it was taking more time than I could excuse because an exercise bike was involved. The exception was '05, which I played for four days before going back to 2004, still the gold standard of the series.
The versions I had were all great for power runs to set up bombs but in the summer of 2009 I was mostly interested in wrecking offensive rushing records with Rich Rod's offense. Like anybody with a touch of ASD, I cannot play until I've filled in and fiddled around with Michigan's rosters. Tate Forcier was like an 80 overall when I was done. Denard was probably set to move to cornerback—remember this was the 2009 offseason, when old men in conference hotels were dancing to Weapon of Choice:
Then I started playing and videogame Forcier would throw 8 interceptions per game because linebackers could leap 100 feet in the air. There was no such thing as an incomplete pass; you threw screens or you threw interceptions. It took just three games for my frustration to turn me off from the series and turn me into one of those people who delights in The Consumerist ripping on EA. Other than goofing around on my 2004 dynasty NCAA the game was dead to me.
Then they put Denard on the cover (and the wife let me get a PS3 once I proved how awesome it is at Netflix). And since I'd moved on from guy at convention hotels to guy who works for a college football blog, it turned out I could get an advance copy of the thing with Denard on the cover in return for telling people how I felt about it. A part of me finds it ridiculous that I can get away with this. Since I've been out of things for awhile (and Misopogal has grown skeptical over all this "work" I've been putting in) I'm gonna deliver the game to Ace after I post this, and next week you'll get a review from someone with a frame of reference within the current console generation. Here's the things you should know now:
1. IT HAS DENARD ON THE COVER. Truly it is the most beautiful thing to grace a cover since...NCAA 06? NCAA 99? A baby swimming toward a dollar on the album where music got its balls back? If Denard was smiling maybe.
I adore all of you!
He is actually the most appropriate cover athlete for a version of this game since they put Ricky Williams on the one with unstoppable running backs because…
2. OPTION OFFENSE is awesome. They completely redid that and now read options work the way they're supposed to. EA also gave the defense its option-crushing corner blitzes and scrape exchanges.
I keep forgetting to sub Green in at FB
However the counter to the counter sucks. They put bubble and PA split end screens in the playbook, but the defense reads these way too quickly on any difficulty worth playing. Also I've found my skill position guys tire so fast that when I go to it I keep getting Jeremy Jackson. Anyway the option stuff is the most fun, specifically the read and triple options. Too bad Michigan went back to the future on offense since...
[after the jump]
Previously: CB Reon Dawson, CB Channing Stribling, S Delano Hill, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Ross Douglas, CB Jourdan Lewis, LB Ben Gedeon, LB Mike McCray, DE Taco Charlton,DT Maurice Hurst Jr., DT Henry Poggi, OL Patrick Kugler, OL David Dawson, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, OL Kyle Bosch, OL Chris Fox.
|Plymouth, IN – 6'5", 290|
4*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
3*, NR overall
Nebraska, Pitt, Minnesota, Illinois
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post.|
Decommitted from Pitt for Nebraska, then decommitted from Nebraska. Also, 'murica.
Nothing embeddable. Does have a hudl page.
Wait… what is… three stars? Is that how you say? What? Yes, it's true: some recruiting services think a 2013 Michigan offensive line commit is a middling prospect. We cannot use the well-established script this time out. Panic!
Even so, Samuelson was decently well regarded for… uh… three stars. He got a fourth from Scout and was the first guy with three at 247. In our hybrid eyeballin' star system he'd get 3.5. This would qualify as a lot of Big Ten teams' highest-rated lineman. Here he's sixth. Viva Brady Hoke.
Samuelson watchwords include "blue-collar," "tough," etc. Trieu:
“Absolutely he could bring with him toughness and a blue-collar work ethic. He really has the mental makeup of an offensive lineman. He’s a hard worker and a tough kid. He is a grind it out and get the job done kind of player.
“Samuelson is not going to go to any combines and put up ridiculous numbers. He’s not going to have that stellar 40-time or shuttle time, but he’s the kind of player that you win with especially in the Big Ten."
It does say something that the primary teams on him before Hoke swooped in were Pitt, now in possession of the Wisconsin offensive braintrust, and Nebraska. Scout liked those grinding aspects enough to bump him to four stars, again emphasizing he is a "tough, hard-nosed lineman" and his "blue collar" nature.
ESPN's evaluation is pretty positive relative to their "meh" rankings:
Is quick out of his stance when releasing up on linebackers or pulling to trap; flashes the ability to reach on offset down linemen and get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. Can get tossed at times needing to improve his agility and balance when playing in space. This guy is a tough customer who finishes with the effort we like to see when evaluating offensive linemen. His long arms should be and asset in pass protection.
They have a lot of technique questions and think he's a little bit stiff, FWIW. That evaluation conflicts with some others, which—get this—actually say a high school lineman has good pad level. Josh Helmholdt:
"He's an above average athlete for the position. He really moves his feet well. He plays with great leverage. I think that something that really stands out in his film is that he's always up underneath the pads of the defensive lineman. He just does a lot of things well. I wouldn't say there's any one thing that makes you say 'wow', he's just a well-rounded offensive line prospect."
I think a high school lineman underneath dudes pads is a wow experience but like okay. Clint Brewster also praised his "well above average technique" and mean ol' block finishing—another pattern. A negative: Samuelson's team barely passed, so protection is an unknown. Another from Allen Trieu:
"He plays at a small school that is a little bit in the middle of nowhere. It took some schools some time to find out about him. I think that one of the major areas of concern that was holding schools back from offering was level of competition."
As the scouts say, this is the kind of guy Wisconsin and Nebraska have plucked out of the Midwest for years. His weird recruitment—a quick commit to Pitt followed by a decommit to Nebraska and a decommit to Michigan, no camps at all—is of the variety that holds down reported offers and scouting interest.
At Michigan, Samuelson will play… somewhere. ESPN's profile contains a first:
Samuelson plays effectively at the guard position showing the upper body playing strength needed to control defenders when single blocking. However his size and athleticism appears better suited for the offensive tackle position.
His coach agrees.
"We run the football a lot, but Dan is really long and his arms are long. If you look at him you'd say he was a tackle, but he plays guard for us. So he could play anywhere. I think the sky's the limit for Dan. I think that he could be a real special player on the next level."
Scout projects him at guard, FWIW. The point is Samuelson also comes off the 6'5" swing guy assembly line and could play anywhere on the line according to Funk. Given the recruiting rankings and the odd fact that his high school used him on the inside—almost never the case for high-level D-I prospects—he's probably going to end up at guard, technically. Michigan seems to go with a next-guy-in setup that has sixth and seventh linemen that will pull into the lineup no matter who goes out. Samuelson will train at guard and tackle.
It does seem like Samuelson will stick around even if the depth chart looks brutal for much of his career. Staying close to his family was a major reason he decommitted from the Huskers and he knew what he was signing up for when he made that decision. His coach:
"The thing that separates Dan from a lot of the other kids is he wants to be good. Sometimes you get a big kid that's a superior athlete at the high school level, they're 17 or 18 years old, and they don't have a real strong work ethic. Dan wants to be good, he wants to prove himself. I think that's something that's going to carry him over when he gets into that program and into that strength training program, I think he's going to do really well."
Even if he doesn't start for a while, having a kid like that in your back pocket is a huge asset.
Etc.: The pattern from his coach:
He has been a multiple sport athlete in high school, and he is a great kid. He has never been in trouble, he is a really good student and he has got all of the intangibles. He looks the part… I can tell you that.”
Why Rueben Riley? Riley was a G/T swing guy who probably should have been a guard but was forced into action as a not-very-good right tackle, where his pass protection was exposed. His athleticism was pretty meh, his recruiting rankings in the generic three-star range.
Samuelson has an inch or two on Riley and could have higher upside on the outside with his long arms. I'm just looking for a run-oriented swing guy with middling recruiting rankings. OL YMRMFSPAs are hard.
Guru Reliability: Low. Relatively large swing in opinions, zero camps, not a highly scouted area.
Variance: High. Poor competition in Indiana, never really pass blocked.
Ceiling: Moderate. Punt!
General Excitement Level: Sorry sorry sorry: low. OL are weird and all that but I'm finding it hard to see a situation where Samuelson sees the field early given the strenuous competition. See below. Not that Samuelson cares what I think:
"I'm not scared at all (of the competition)," the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Samuelson said by phone this week. "I knew who's there, and that they're great, but it never scared me. I never looked at it that way.
"I looked at it like two years down the road, this school could be like Alabama, where no one can stop us because of our line."
Projection: Is OL, redshirt.
Then he's in the melee. Seems to be a heavy underdog to start as a redshirt freshman, and if that doesn't happen he's got a wait in front of him. The 2014 line projects to be a junior (Miller), three sophomores (Braden, Magnuson, Kalis), and a freshman (no idea but Bosch or Dawson if you put a gun to my head). If those projections are wrong the net effect will be to make the line younger, not older, unless Chris Bryant comes out of nowhere.
So… Samuelson is probably hanging around as the seventh or eighth lineman for a long time, with injury and washout his best shot at starting until he's a fifth year player. But OL are weird, you know the drill.
Jordan with Bluiett, via UMHoops
Well, nuts. Brad Stevens has shockingly bolted Butler for the head job with the Boston Celtics, throwing over lifelong employment at a place that loves him for an awful lot of money right now and getting fired in like three years because he's an NBA coach not named Gregg Popovich.
This would be pretty dang good for Michigan's pursuit of IN SF Trevon Bluiett, who is basically down to Butler and Michigan, except for…
“He asked us personally, ‘What do you think (would make) an ideal coach for this program?” Butler forward Khyle Marshall said. “We told him a couple of things. We told him we want someone who is familiar with Butler basketball and knows our identity.”
Butler has long hired from within. Possible candidates to succeed Stevens include former players LaVall Jordan, now an assistant at Michigan, and Brandon Miller, a current assistant with the Bulldogs.
“(Collier) told us, ‘Don’t be surprised if we get a new guy this Friday,’” Marshall added.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports that Jordan is the frontrunner in a group of candidates that are all Butler alums or former coaches. Unfortunately for Michigan, slam-dunk candidate Matt Graves, a longtime Stevens assistant, just finished his first year at South Alabama and has taken his name out of the running. If Jordan goes that would break up Beilein's new-look staff that turned his program around; Bacari Alexander and Jeff Meyer would still be around, but the guy coaching Trey Burke and THJ would be in Indy.
Jordan getting the Butler job would give Michigan an obvious option to turn to when Beilein retires… or at least it would have if Butler wasn't joining the new Big East this fall. The only thing that pirated Stevens away was a 6 year, 22 million dollar contract from an NBA team.
If Jordan does go, everyone and their aunt will clamor for Jalen Rose to become an assistant… which is not happening. Rose has not coached and has a cushy job with ESPN. It'll be a current Midwestern assistant.
UPDATE: Jordan is interviewing today, and Miller interviewed yesterday. They're the only two candidates, it seems.
The 2013 rosters were updated yesterday afternoon with the freshmen added little tiny bits of else. Could have used this two weeks ago for HTTV. Anyhoo, this kind of thing is what passes for a holiday around these parts. The weights weren't changed so Brian will have to wait until the football media guide comes out (usually early August) to do his WEIGHT GAIN 2000 thing but no amount of "take the day off" is going to stop me from obsessive attention to rosters. Obsessive attention! To rosters!
People from the Spring Roster Now Missing
Nobody. Wait: not nobody. Dan Gibbs is gone but he wasn't on the spring roster despite participating.
Just some stuff on the defensive line. Most intriguing is Brennan Beyer's move to SAM isn't reflected; he remains listed as a DE. Wormley was a DE on the spring roster, is now the nebulous "DL" which I am taking to mean could be either 3T or 5T. Preferred walk-on Ryan Glasgow got "DL" as well, changed from DT. Tom Strobel is a DE instead of DT; since I took it as a bad sign when he seemed to be listed as a DT, going back to the SDE depth chart must be seen as a good sign. These signs are huge overreactions.
We have some!
|Ross Douglas||DB||Fr||7||29||Everybody else wanted to be 7.|
|Drake Johnson||RB||Fr*||29||20||Ann Arborite and program kid knows his Michigan RB numbers.|
|Dennis Norfleet||RB||So||26||23||Jourdan Lewis wanted 26 I guess--still think his DB days are done.|
|Bobby Henderson||RB||Fr*||51||37||More appropriate.|
|Anthony Capatina||DB||Jr*||95||41||95 was a weird number anyway.|
|Jonathan Keizer||WR||So*||27||89||Not the last object Derrick Green will shove out of his way.|
The Freshmen Have Numbers!
A lot of these were already reported. Here you go anyway.
|Name||No.||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||EE?||Hometown (High School)|
|Kyle Bosch||65||OL||6'5||307||✔||St. Charles, Ill. (St. Francis)|
|Jake Butt||88||TE||6'6||231||✔||Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North)|
|Taco Charlton||33||DE||6'6||265||✔||Pickerington, Ohio (Central)|
|Reon Dawson||20||DB||6'2||175||Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)|
|David Dawson||55||OL||6'4||282||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Ross Douglas||29||DB||5'10||176||✔||Avon, Ohio (Avon)|
|Jaron Dukes||83||WR||6'4||197||Columbus, Ohio (Marion Franklin)|
|Chris Fox||73||OL||6'6||297||Parker, Colo. (Ponderosa)|
|Ben Gedeon||42||LB||6'3||215||Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)|
|Derrick Green||27||RB||5'11||220||Richmond, Va. (Hermitage)|
|Delano Hill||44||DB||6'0||198||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Khalid Hill||80||TE||6'2||230||Detroit, Mich. (Crockett)|
|Maurice Hurst Jr.||73||DT||6'2||305||Westwood, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)|
|Da'Mario Jones||14||WR||6'2||185||Westland, Mich. (John Glenn)|
|Patrick Kugler||57||OL||6'5||280||Wexford, Penn. (North Allegheny)|
|Jourdan Lewis||26||DB||5'10||159||Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)|
|Mike McCray||9||LB||6'4||230||Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)|
|Shane Morris||7||QB||6'3||183||Warren, Mich. (De La Salle)|
|Henry Poggi||7||DT||6'4||260||Baltimore, Md. (Gilman School)|
|Dan Samuelson||74||OL||6'5||275||Plymouth, Mich. (Plymouth)|
|Wyatt Shallman||33||RB||6'3||245||Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)|
|De'Veon Smith||4||RB||5'11||218||Warren, Ohio (Howland)|
|Channing Stribling||8||DB||6'2||170||Matthews, N.C. (Butler)|
|Scott Sypniewski||43||LS||6'1||230||Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette)|
|Dymonte Thomas||25||DB||6'2||187||✔||Alliance, Ohio (Marlington)|
|Logan Tuley-Tillman||72||OL||6'7||285||✔||Peoria, Ill. (Manual)|
|Csont'e York||81||WR||6'3||185||Harper Woods, Mich. (Chandler Park Academy)|
The freshman heights and weights were almost certainly taken from Rivals, or perhaps the same book that Rivals uses. Other than the early enrollees, the only height or weight difference is they put Derrick Green at 5'11 instead of 6'0. The big disagreement seems to be on Shane Morris (pre-/post- mono?), who's 183 to Rivals/MGoBlue but 202 to Scout and 201 to 247Sports; ESPN split the difference at 190. Other weight disagreements I'm keeping an eye on: Scout had Gedeon, Delano Hill, Chris Fox, and Mike McCray 10-15 lbs heavier, David Dawson 8 lbs lighter.
The new walk-ons. Preferred guys I know of are quarterback Garrett Moores, receivers Blaise Stearns and (EDIT) Jack Wangler, guard
s Dan Gibbs and (left team) Greg Froelich, and kicker J.J. McGrath. DeAnthony Hardison, the nifty running back wearing 18 in the Spring Game who wasn't on the listed roster is still not on the listed roster. Wait for the media guide I guess. Happy 4th.
This Week in the Twitterverse takes a look at the social media happenings of the previous week, or whatever else I feel like talking about. Mostly I make fun of people who are better at things than I am. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if this column lasts more than four hours. If you come across anything you think should be in next week's column, send it to @Bry_Mac.
I should be down as “@Bry_Mac plus 148,000”
Yesterday saw quite the interesting Twitter event. Michigan football's official Twitter account, @umichfootball, went private. Like a bouncer at the club, @umichfootball clicked the velvet rope tight, and they only allowed you in if you were on the uber-exclusive list of 148,600 followers of the account.
Seventeen minutes later, things were going pretty well.
And 13 minutes after that?
C’mon Twitter, you know I don’t speak Spanish
Talk about a failure. Something called #TUMHAYRANGRUPLARISALITAKIBI was trending ahead of #GoBlueVIP (Michigan football's chosen hashtag of the day). I Googled that phrase, and all it returned was, "the fingers you are using to type are too fat. Did you mean to search Special typing wand?" STEP UP YOUR GAME, super special @umichfootball follower people.
Still, for a college team to be trending worldwide on a Tuesday morning is pretty impressive, so you're probably wondering what they did to generate that kind of interest. Fear not, intrepid reader, for I have chosen to break all manner of local ordinance, state and federal law, Twitter mandate, and mattress tag proscription to bring you a minute by minute accounting of this private event. I may have to go Snowden for sharing this information, but that’s how I roll. Among the high points:
10:05 AM: Peewee Pipkins did his Hoke impression.
10:07 AM: Peewee Pipkins ran the stadium stairs for the remainder of the event
10:20 AM: A question-and-non-committal-answer session with Brady Hoke. A short sampling:
Q: What are the strengths of the team you have coming back?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had several areas in which we executed pretty well, so we need to build on those. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: What does the team need to do to improve over last season?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had some areas in which we didn't execute, so we need to shore those up. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: Coach, how's the team's health?
HOKE: We've got some boo-boos, a couple of ouchies, two recurring walk-it-offs, and a particularly nasty rub-some-dirt-on-it. We'll be fine. Next man up. Chick dig scars
Q: Can you give us an idea of how the depth chart will pan out?
HOKE: We've got a few guys, so we'll really know once we get the pads on in August. It's an open competition. The best player will play, regardless of age or experience.
Q: But surely you know a few positions already. Quarterback?
HOKE: Wait until fall. Open competition. Best man.
Q: C'mon, man. Left Tackle?
HOKE: Did I stutter? WAIT UNTIL FALL OPEN COMPETITION BEST MAN.
Q: Any update on Will Hagerup?
/Twitter shuts down
10:45 AM: Roy Manning posted a series of Instagram photos of Brady Hoke pointing at stuff.
11:20 AM: Greg Mattison gave a podcast lecture on the finer points of defending 4-verts out of a 4-3 under set. Don't even pretend you understood what he was saying. The takeaway seemed to be "to defend 4-verts out of a 4-3 under, be Greg Mattison or hire someone who is Greg Mattison."
12:00 PM: One randomly selected person won the chance to hold Brady Hoke's headset cord during an upcoming game (granted, this probably would have been a cooler giveaway under prior regimes)
1:20 PM: We saw a series of Vines of Taylor Lewan battling assorted animals. He took it to the black bear, but the moose fought him to a stalemate. Needless to say the donkey reps were pretty one-sided.
2:30 PM: We heard the debut performance by the OMG Shirtless Michigan Bell Choir. They played Carol of the Bells by Leontovych and Keep Their Heads Ringin' by Dre.
3:15 PM: Coach Hecklinski crank called Mark Dantonio pretending to be an elite recruit interested in committing to Michigan State, but only if Dantonio would sing The Victors while hopping on one foot. Sure it was mean, but Dantonio should have seen through this ruse. After all... elite recruit.
Good times, man. Goooooood times.
Dan Dakich has been known to be a little headstrong on Twitter, and this week was no exception. If you follow Dakich, you probably know that he enjoys a role as something of a media-critic-in-media, which is pretty fertile ground these days (if you don’t believe me, do a news search for ‘Aaron Hernandez and Urban Meyer’ or ‘Aaron Hernandez and Bill Belichick’). However, a recent Indiana University Sports Communication grad named Tony Adragna noticed the somewhat odd dichotomy that Dakich attacked “the Media” while being very much a part of “the Media,” and made a rather innocuous comment to that effect.
Notice the guy didn’t use Dakich’s Twitter handle, so he wasn’t actively trying to engage him in a fight. However, being a noted own-name-searcher, Dakich found the comment and responded on air. Awful Announcing has a nice summary of how things escalated, but the bottom line is that Dakich sorta threatened to blackball this poor kid from IU broadcast media:
And in fact, if you do something stupid enough I know the head of NBC, I know the head of ESPN, I know the head of CBS Sports. You want to get into that, all I gotta do is make one phone call and you're done.
And then, for some unknown reason, Dakich invited Adragna to co-host a radio show with him on his Indianapolis-based radio show. The kid accepted the offer and co-hosted yesterday, and Dakich gave him high marks:
I’ll let everyone draw his or her own conclusion about who acted well and who acted dickishly in this whole ordeal, but I think we can agree that if Dakich’s intention was really to discourage Twitter sniping of his character, holly hell did he do a terrible job of it. In fact, if you’re an IU grad looking to get into broadcasting, the best advice I can give you right now is to try to tweak Dakich. It seems to have given one kid’s career a nice little bump.
Honor among thieves
Not much is sacred in the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State. The schools don't even refer to each other by their actual names. But some things have always been over the line, such as this guy, who has been retweeting stuff from Steve Lorenz that Steve obviously never said. Like this:
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Artavis Scott was arrested for dealing drugs yesterday, which is the reason Michigan pulled his offer"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) July 3, 2013
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Hoke cooled and actually pulled Jones' scholarship offer due to off the field/academic concerns"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) June 27, 2013
There's trolling, then there's libel. This, folks, is the latter. I encourage thee to report this gentleman for spam. I also congratulate him, @AthletesInSpace, on being named the TWITTER CREEPER OF THE YEAR OF THE WEEK. May your account be suspended, may your dog poop in your shoes, and may you mistake the salt for the sugar the next time you bake a pie.
Nothing to see here folks. Also, don’t look over there.
For those who aren’t regular readers of this column, (a) WHY, and (b) you might not be familiar with the saga of Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. Long story short, back in February he challenged people accusing his program of impropriety to provide evidence or shut their yaps. Predictably, people emailed alleged proof, and a reporter FOIAed those emails. Yesterday Ole Miss told the Clarion-Ledger (a Mississippi paper) that they had concluded their review of those emails, and had concluded that none of them pointed to any NCAA violations.
The only problem with this self-congratulatory declaration of victory: Ole Miss only disclosed about two thirds of the emails they received. One of the reasons they gave was that “the NCAA requires institutions to keep information confidential while the matters are being examined.” In other words, they found no NCAA violations in these things, but they are still being examined by the NCAA or the school for potential violations. Ooooookay.
They also refused to disclose the emails because doing so would have a “chilling effect on future sources of information, thus frustrating our compliance and enforcement efforts.” I’m a lawyer with a pretty solid handle on typical FOIA-type laws, and I have no idea what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing. They’re refusing to disclose emails that were sent to you by someone who intended to expose behavior on the grounds that by making that information public they would disincentivize future whistleblowing? Looks like someone needs to retake Gordon Gee’s Claim Everything Is Covered By FERPA 101.
The derp will be televised
Storming the field is a dumbass idea. You WILL be caught, you WILL be arrested, and there’s a non-zero chance that you will get absolutely owned. But with that said, if you’re going to be stupid, at least be creative. For example, the three girls who so annoyingly rushed the field in the 8th inning of a College World Series game at least had the decency to create a (since deleted) Vine of the incident. All that remain in the public record are a couple of stills from their escapade:
Like that machine in Twister, perhaps we need data from INSIDE the field-storm to understand why people do this stupid crap. And only by learning can we hope to prevent. Also, you might get proof that you were tackled by one of the cops from Reno 911.
Decided wardrobe advantage
Charlie Weis sent out this Vine of the Jayhawks’ new uniforms for next season:
But it’s Kansas, so does it really matter? It’s just a question of what these guys are going to look like on Sportscenter trying unsuccessfully to chase down players from other, more talented teams.
Hello gents. I've been out the last few days enjoying the natural beauty of and extreme numbers of mosquitoes on North Manitou Island:
Your move, Ohio
Protips: stay away from the areas of the island in the lee of the wind—surprisingly, the west side—and punch anyone who tells you bug bands work in the face. Then do it again, and ask them if they're wearing their getting-punched-in-the-face bands. They probably are.
Anyway, exodus was half pretty great, half a nine-mile Mosquito Death March and I kind of feel like I need a vacation from the ol' vacation. But here is a computer and here are open tabs so…
Annual bit on camp commits. It's that time in July when an under-the-radar prospect or two has committed after showing up at Michigan's camp and impressing, causing various message board folks to say that was a dumb move when Player X is out there. With the commitments of Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, Player X is Artavis Scott and/or Montae Nicholson, Parrker Westphal, Adoree Jackson, etc.
Leaving aside the fact that people complaining on message boards haven't seen these players do things, I think it's healthy to have a couple of camp commits a year. It shows that the coaching staff doing so is paying attention to that camp, that there's a reason for people to show out, and that the staff can evaluate guys on their own.
Amongst the Michigan fanbase camp commits have gotten a bit of a bad rap because late in the Carr regime they started leaning way too heavily on it and had erratic (at best) results. The camp guys from 2005 to 2008:
Rocko Khoury: Miss.
Mike Cox: Miss, though he did get drafted after transferring to UMass.
David Molk. Major hit.
Steve Watson. Miss.
James Rogers. Miss.
Troy Woolfolk. You could give him an injury INC, I guess. Lean towards miss there.
David Cone. Miss. Coner.
Quintin Patilla. Miss.
Mister Simpson. Miss.
Christ McLaurin. Miss.
Zoltan Mesko. Hit, but, like, a punter.
Mesko was the #1 punter in the country that year and can't be declared a camp find. Also, he's a punter. Leaving aside him, the record of camp commits is one indisputably great player in Molk, one contributor in Woolfolk, seven guys who flamed out—a few of whom had no business in D-I, let alone Michigan—and the special case of James Rogers, who did start on the worst Michigan secondary of all time. He managed to do that and suggest that he was also a miss.
- That's a symptom of imperial decline, but it shouldn't necessarily reflect on the coaching acumen of Hoke and his staff. If it helps, the vast majority of the above guys had zero other decent offers. Most had zero other BCS offers, period. Watson and Canteen both had offers from Tennessee and Rutgers. Little different situation.
Dumars. Dead to me. While I actually like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as a selection at #8, the mere fact that Detroit's pick was between 7th and 9th for the fourth straight year is all you need to know about Joe Dumars, post-Rasheed trade. Dumars hasn't been able to put together a team that made the playoffs, but neither has he properly tanked. He signed Ben Gordon to a contract so bad Dumars had to dump a first round pick to get rid of him, he still has No Eyebrows on his bench, he traded Chauncey Billups for the corpse of Allen Iverson while offering Prince and Hamilton extensions, and he is now pursuing Andre Iguodala and Josh Smith in free agency for reasons known only to him, all so the Pistons can end up on the fringe of the lottery or exiting in the first round next year.
So, yeah, I do feel like I can say that passing on Trey Burke is a prime example of why the Pistons suck. This is just offensive:
Dumars said that in discussing the possibility of this decision as the draft progressed, he was reminded of when Indiana Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh drafted Reggie Miller ahead of Indiana University favorite Steve Alford in 1987.
Steve Alford went 15 picks later; Burke was off the board on the very next pick, taken by a team that trade up to get him. If Burke takes off in Utah… argh. Seriously considering attending the Palace for the Pistons-Utah game and rooting my ass off for the Jazz.
Pretty much the GRIII thing. One graph on Glenn Robinson's scoring says it all:
Couple that with his 13% usage and you have a guy who is… okay… bear with me… Brent Petway with a three point stroke. Robinson clearly has buckets more potential, but that is the profile of a garbageman exclusively. That the NBA would take that guy in the middle of the first round, well, see above on Dumars.
I agree with folks who say if Robinson was looking to maximize his stock he should have left this year. There are lots of reasons other than draft position to do things in your life, obviously, but if his numbers stay like that in year two his stock will drop precipitously. If he gets a lot better at creating his own offense, it'll rise—and Michigan will destroy. Yes please, sir:
I feel like people have only seen one side of my game, cant wait to see the shock on peoples faces when the see the real GRIII.
Backup plan. Dave Telep on Derrick Walton's game:
I went back and reread my notes from last summer. Some of the buzzwords included “winner,” “set-up man,” “reads defenses” and “thinks pass first.”
Walton is a point guard’s point guard. He’s a player who has a craving to win and will be an extension of his coach. Next year, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary will need the basketball. Walton, if he’s the player I believe him to be, will not only recognize that, but will allow them to be better scorers for the Wolverines.
Walton assist rate will be a stat to watch early in the season.
Hockey guys incoming. A couple of scouting reports on hockey's upcoming, much-needed infusion of talent and desire. JT Compher sounds like the right prescription, and how:
1. JT Compher – F – US NTDP – Michigan Commit
Compher has one of the highest compete levels I’ve ever seen, and while he’s listed between 5-10 to 6’0, we can all agree that Compher plays far bigger than his size. He slams into the tough areas of the ice with abandon and has an excess of offensive prowess not typically found in a player as willing to get his hands dirty. The Team Illinois product is a potential first rounder.
I'd seen Compher take on Michigan with the NTDP and started muttering on WTKA about how he might have to take on a lot of leadership tasks even in year one, and that's why: he goes and gets it every shift, something Michigan seemed to lack. The emergence of Andrew Copp mitigates that need. Still, there aren't a lot of options for second-line center period, let alone guys who bring a two-way energy. I bet he ends up slotting right behind Copp and playing a lot like him.
Meanwhile Tyler Motte is more in the little devious bastard mold:
…he has always been a very strong, agile skater. Motte also added quite a bit of grit to his game this year, showing a great compete level and making up for his lack of size by using his quickness and tenacity to win puck battles. He's also still got some pretty good offensive abilities, finishing second on the U18 team with 26 goals scored on the season.
The other impressive thing about Motte's season is that he seemed to turn in some of his best performances against the toughest competition he faced. He was arguably his team's best skater in a 3-3 tie against Minnesota early in the year, scored a pair of goals in an upset win over his future team, the University of Michigan. He also led the US in scoring at the World U18 championships, with eight points in seven games.
That's very encouraging. TJ Hensick types who are awesome college players without projecting too well to the pros (Hensick never made it in the NHL and just signed in Sweden) are the best guys to have in your recruiting class, and if Motte goes in the third-to-fifth round range he's projected and remains a guy who gets it done at the college level, thumbs up.
Wheeeee. A look at LSU's finances gives some indication as to where athletic departments are stuffing all of the money in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to hide it all:
The major reasons for the ticket price increases are to offset skyrocketing tuition, salary and employee benefit costs, Alleva said.
The athletic department must reimburse the university’s academic side for each scholarship it hands out — even paying the higher, out-of-state rate for non-Louisiana student-athletes. Alleva said tuition costs have been rising about 10 percent per year the past several years.
In addition to ever-rising coach and employee salaries, Alleva said the fringe benefit rate has gone up from about 22 percent five years ago to 39 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
“If someone makes $100,000, we had to pay an additional $22,000 to the university for sick leave, vacation, holidays and their pension,” Alleva said. “Now that rate is going up to 39 percent.”
LSU's budget has gone up about 150% in a decade, but only because skyrocketing costs have forced it blah blah blah. The money just makes your suit look lumpy and there's a 20 hanging off your sock, LSU.
Etc.: UF assistant Brian White: if you walk into a room and Urban Meyer is going "ding" in a wheelchair, run. 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard was the main attraction at Michigan's team camp. Elite 11 now overrun by men who write business books. The NCAA title belt, a history. Nebraska has a place to play if it wants to add hockey. Endowing the #1 jersey killed it.