chance of bowl: 13.6%
27 tickets to team 156. Naw just joshin'…
Read this. Meinke on Heck's cancer-stricken wife:
Roy Roundtree hauled in a 16-yard touchdown pass to cap an improbable fourth-quarter comeback last season against Notre Dame. It came in the first night game in Big House history, gave Brady Hoke his first signature win at the school and set off a wild on-field celebration.
Players and coaches raced around looking for someone -- anyone -- to hug.
Not Jeff Hecklinski.
The Michigan receivers coach paced around trying to find cell service. Moments after the biggest win of his career, he wanted to call his wife. But not to celebrate -- to see if she was OK.
Thursday Thursday Thursday. I'll be Washington DC talking about stuff. Ask questions in that thread, sign up at the UM Club of DC's site, and etc. I will be audible since it's at a law firm! Excited about that bit.
college hockey in St. Louis: what could go wrong?
"Our current setup provides a lot of challenges,” said Tom Nevala, chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and senior associate athletics director at Notre Dame. “You need to find buildings that are neutral sites, have NHL ice and ideally are within close proximity to the host school’s fan base. Right now for the most part, we really need the host to qualify if we are going to have good attendance and atmosphere at our regionals. In an effort to increase attendance, the NCAA has been working with the hosts to try and make tickets more affordable but the nature of neutral sites and non-traditional game times works against us a bit.”
Translated from guy-who-wants-to-keep-his-job to raging bloggerese that is a slavering attack on the current format. I like you, Tom Nevala. You're all right.
“Personally, I would like to see us move to an on-campus best-of-three series format for the first round,” Nevala said. “The top seeds would host regardless of size of its building. Right now we do it at the conference level and it works very well. There are upsets even with the home ice advantage and the atmosphere for everyone involved would be better. We have such great campus facilities that are such a part of the fabric of college hockey, it’s a shame that the national tourney isn’t played in them.”
Massive improvement, though it does leave you with eight teams and no suggestion as to what to do with them. I've seen other people propose a "super regional" featuring just the two games, but that runs into the same issues. May as well just extend the season a week and do best two-of-three again, then have a Frozen Four.
Unfortunately, Nevala then goes on to say "the coaching body" is "set on having the regional games at neutral sites," which means we must fire every single D-I coach and replace them with people who aren't CHL sleeper agents.
Gambling in this establishment. WHL hammers Portland for benefits over and above the ones they're allowed to give.
Schedule strength so far. Michigan fares well in Luke Winn's latest power rankings:
Michigan's about to fade in this department as they take on an array of low-major teams and struggling Arkansas and West Virginia outfits, but right now you can take Michigan's stats as seriously as any compiled six games into a season. Duke, meanwhile, has basically locked down a one-seed at this point with wins over Kentucky, Louisville, OSU, VCU, and Minnesota. I be like dang.
As for Michigan itself, they're third. Winn points out the decreasing reliance and increased effectiveness of the pick and roll:
1. Overall, their percentage of P&R possessions has dropped from 18.0 to 14.5, according to Synergy.
2. P&Rs still make up a big portion of Burke's game, but when he does them, he's passing 55.6 percent of the time, as compared to 44.9 last year. His pass/shoot ratio out of P&Rs is the opposite of what it was in '11-12.
3. His derived offense from all P&R possessions is 1.127 PPP -- way up from 0.978 PPP last season. He has to force fewer shots, and he has better passing options on the perimeter.
I'm surprised the pick and roll was only 18% of Michigan's shot generation last year. I wonder what it was in year two of Darius Morris.
Stealing Ace's thunder a bit. Gareon Conley visits OSU this Thursday and Michigan on the 14th($) for what is shaping up to be a very large recruiting weekend; newly re-offered David Dawson will also be in after an OSU visit.
A note on the Dawson stuff: I'm surprised that opinion is divided on whether re-extending an offer to the kid is a good idea. The guy has had a rough go of it this year with his father dying unexpectedly and if Michigan is back in the picture it's because he manned up, went to Michigan, and laid it out. Weigh the twitter blasts against swallowing your pride and doing that as a 17-year-old. If Hoke thinks he's good, he's good. Michigan has been meticulous about getting quality kids after The Process forced them to take a couple fliers on kids they didn't really know.
Meanwhile, the increasingly-infamous Policy about committed recruits visiting other places is way overblown. Dawson got his offer pulled because he was not upfront; Michigan is still recruiting Conley after he decommited. All the policy means is "don't think you're saving a spot in Michigan's class if you're visiting other schools."
Michigan has two states of recruiting:
- COMMITTED: Keep out of trouble and keep your grades up and you will be in the class. We will stand by you if you have a bad year or get injured. You do not take visits to other schools. If you do, they automatically move you into the other category.
- UNCOMMITTED: If you have an offer they'll continue to recruit you but they can revoke that offer at any time until they move you into the other category by mutual agreement. If your leg explodes tough cookies.
Notably absent is "COMMITTED, BUT…" Committed-but is an extremely annoying recruiting state that recently-offered AZ OL Kenny Lacy provides an excellent example of:
Lacy is a UCLA commitment that was also offered by Michigan this week. His consideration of other schools, however, is not a new development. From the moment he committed to the Bruins back in September he mentioned his plan to still take trips to other campuses. …
"I am committed (to UCLA) and I originally did it because I felt strongly that is where I want to go. But I was upfront with (UCLA assistant) Coach (Adrian) Klemm from the beginning that I would still take trips, and he was OK with that. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing and making the right decision."
This is an offense against the English language, and that's probably why Hoke doesn't go for it. Also it's a fiction: Lacy is one-way committed to UCLA. He expects UCLA to be committed to him—he would be pissed if the Bruins took some other OL and were like "sorry full up." He reserves the right to flit off to somewhere else late.
Michigan isn't playing that game, and that is the extent of The Policy. You get two categories. Pick one. None of this half-in half-out stuff.
Prognosticator hat. One man's impression of how things will work out:
- Conley: MICHIGAN by a nose. Last visit, Oregon doesn't appear to be going for him hard or at all at this point, parents pushing for M. OSU visit just a one-off Thursday instead of a full official.
- Dawson: MICHIGAN. Really seemed to regret how things worked out now; doubt Michigan would re-offer without a good idea of how the story ends.
- Derrick Green: MICHIGAN. Options: fired coach, fired coach, Ole Miss, place that will be nuked by NCAA in near future. Early enrollment make it very hard for fired coach places to catch up. With the dead period, a guy who gets hired today would have about two weeks to build a relationship. Ole Miss or Michigan? Since the kid isn't from Mississippi that has to be no contest. If it is Ole Miss, I swear to never set foot in that state because I won't be able to leave.
- Leon McQuay: Vanderbilt, but if James Franklin gets snapped up by someone else that would probably tip the scales to Michigan.
- LaQuon Treadwell: Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. Seems like if he was going to drop to Michigan he already would have. Maybe he's just indecisive.
- Michigan adds wildcard or two. That would put them at 25 give or take the status of the longsnapper, who I know I know they said would be getting a full ride but we heard the same thing with Morales; dollars to donuts the deal is he is at the top of the walk-on board permanently. They're at 25 now pending Mike Jones not getting a fifth year and Lewan entering the draft, so even if the LS is on full scholarship it would only take one extra piece of attrition for Michigan to have extra room. That's almost inevitable. You can see that they've offered a half-dozen players lately, mostly OL and LBs. I'd guess they add one or the other, with Cal OL commit Cameron Hunt the random guess I'm making. More likely they will pull someone out of nowhere a la Willie Henry.
It would be weird to have two decommitted guys recommit—in my recollection only one decommit has ever re-upped with Michigan: Will Campbell. But that's the way my wind is blowing to day you guys.
FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL
It's almost as if athletic directors cannot consider the consequences of their actions. UNLV's AD after participating in a mock playoff assemblage:
"Wow, is this committee going to have pressure," Livengood said. "The thing that jumps out at me is that there are just four teams, it's not enough of a sample. I was not a proponent of going larger than four, and this changed my mind totally."
Sure you weren't, UNLV dude.
Meanwhile, this committee assembled to prevent mistakes like Stanford getting picked over Oregon last year because Oregon played and lost to LSU while Stanford did not made the exact same mistake in reverse by selecting Oregon over Stanford because Stanford played ND and lost (in overtime on a terrible call) while Oregon played Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech in their nonconference schedule and Stanford has to beat a good UCLA team again to win the Pac-12. Way to reward scheduling, guys.
As always, people in charge of stuff are just in charge of stuff and may or may not deserve to be.
Etc.: Zak Irvin off to a hot start as the man on his HS team post Gary Harris. Nebraska and OU agree to a series in 2021 and 2022. Yost Built previews this weekend's hockey series against Ferris. Hockey has a lot of talent coming in next year. Orson interviews the populace at The Game.
|WHAT||Michigan at Bradley|
|WHERE||Carver Arena, Peoria, Illinois|
|WHEN||4 PM Eastern, Saturday|
|LINE||Michigan –15 (Kenpom)|
Bradley is, shall we say, a step down in competition from NC State; the Braves finished 7-25 last year, their 2-16 conference record good for last in the Missouri Valley Conference. Returning four starters this season, they should be improved. They should also lose to Michigan, but I probably didn't need to tell you that.
While the talent level isn't tournament-quality (pick a tournament, really), Bradley posts a pretty stellar roster of names. To wit:
- Starting point guard and leading scorer Walt Lemon Jr.
- Starting guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards
- Starting forwards Tyshon Pickett and Will Egolf
- Freshman guard Ka'Darryl Bell
- And the kicker, sophomore forward Shayok Shayok
Shayok Shayok, yo. He's no Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, but I'll take it.
While Lemon leads Bradley in scoring, his shooting numbers (51.0 2P%, 18.8 3P%) are down significantly from last season (52.1 2P%, 34.5 3P%) as he's having difficulty honing in from the outside. He's also the team's top distributor, but has had problems with turnovers both last year (24.8% TO rate) and this year (22.3%).
Simms-Edwards is a bit undersized for a 2/3 at 6'3", 200, but Michigan's wings will have to be careful on the drive—Simms-Edwards has 17 steals in just six games. Bradley started a third guard, Jalen Crawford, in their most recent game against Central Michigan; he's just 6'2", 195, so both Tim Hardaway and Nik Stauskas will enjoy a significant size advantage when the Braves go man-to-man. Crawford's played a hair less than half of the available minutes this season, though, so we'll see how often coach Geno Ford goes to this lineup—probably not often considering Michigan's size.
If Ford doesn't start Crawford, he'll put 6'5" senior Jake Eastman at the three; he's shooting a torrid 65.6% inside the arc last year but that's well out of line from his 44.4% mark last year. Otherwise, nothing he does really jumps off the stats page.
The team's best player is probably junior forward Tyshon Pickett, one of only two players on the team to take more than 40% of his shots at the rim; he converts his two-pointers at a 54.5% clip and is solid on the boards, especially on the offensive end. 6'9" center Will Egolf is very good on the defensive glass (22.2 DR%) but nearly invisible as an offensive rebounder (4.7%) due to the fact that he's mostly a spot-up shooter—over 75% of his shots are jumpers.
In fact, much of this game will take place on the perimeter on both ends of the floor. Bradley takes only 30% of their shots at the rim, while opponents are also staying mostly on the outside—probably because the Braves are currently ceding a 37.6 3P% while holding opponents to just 39.8% inside the arc. Michigan should be able to fare better from two than Bradley's previous opponents; this also could be a game where they're content to make it rain.
Bradley is 5-1 on the year, but they've only played one game against a top-200 team by KenPom standards: #101 South Florida, which beat them by 19. They do share a common opponent with Michigan: the Braves defeated IUPUI, a team the Wolverines pounded by 37 at Crisler, by seven points, albeit on the road. Their other wins came against such luminaries as Central, Tennessee Martin, Texas Pan American, and Eastern Illinois.
Here are the four factors numbers from both last and this year:
|Off. 11-12||Off. 12-13||Def. 11-12||Def. 12-13|
|eFG%||44.4 (321)||50.3 (112)||51.4 (265)||46.0 (109)|
|Turnover %||20.3 (174)||16.6 (24)||19.2 (224)||23.3 (85)|
|Off. Reb %||26.1 (318)||34.0 (124)||30.3 (140)||32.0 (166)|
|FTA/FGA||36.3 (171)||35.4 (173)||32.3 (75)||33.3 (131)|
This year's numbers are likely inflated by the soft schedule. Last year's numbers are bad, mmmkay? If a spot-up shooting squad can't really shoot, that's a problem.
Stop Pickett. Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary both had trouble with NC State's bigs around the basket; while Pickett isn't an NBA talent like C.J. Leslie, he's a competent offensive player and the biggest threat on this Bradley team. If GRIII and McGary can't slow him down, it's time to be concerned about Michigan's interior defense moving forward. More likely, they had a rough outing against a very talented team, and a power forward who's three inches shorter than Leslie and not a freak athlete should pose less of a problem.
Don't settle. Given Bradley's generosity in ceding the three this year, Michigan could become content to launch bombs without really attacking the basket. While Pickett and Egolf are both good shot-blockers, however, they're 6'6" and 6'9"—not the most intimidating front line that the Wolverines have come across. Hardaway, especially, needs to continue to go at the tin instead of settling for long jumpers, which he can get whenever he wants against an undersized backcourt anyway.
Keep doing what you've been doing. I mean, yeah.
Shayok Shayok! Likely won't contribute much. Just wanted to take the chance to type his name again. Though he has hit all three of his shots this year, so... Shayok Shayok!
THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES
Michigan by 15
What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE + fullback.
OH YOU BETTER BELIEVE I DID THIS WOO
Previously: Team 134
PACK YOUR BAGS
Players who will be starting unless injury derails them. Early entry possibilities are not taken into account because they're too unpredictable this far out.
By 2014, Jake Ryan's hair will reach the small of his back and his terror will reach former Yugoslav republics, spawning an incomprehensible evil only he can defeat.
Joe Bolden will spot him frequently but extremely hard to see anyone displacing him once he moves to a more natural MLB spot. May or may not be Demens++.
I mean surely this will be the year he breaks Jim Mandich's record, if it isn't slap me and call me Tressel what's that I couldn't read your very clear email detailing NCAA malfeasance
At this point has learned what a zone is and drops into it impeccably. Still large, probably playing field corner, does not have to be covered up as much deep. I call this guy RAYMON because that's his name.
In retrospect ranked too low in the last piece since like dude is kind of on pace to be #1 in passer rating if given enough sample size and competition is true freshman. Quality fifth-year option not starting lol you crazy.
Road-grading tackle will have competition from only then-redshirt-freshmen Chris Fox and Logan Tuley-Tillman; LTT is a project who will be at least a year from ready and Fox may be more of a left tackle type.
Should be fully healthy in 2014 and in the starting lineup no problem. Ligament stuff should be fully healed, and Countess is still the guy who locked down a starting job as a freshman and was headed on a stardom track before cruel fate intervened.
Would have to bust spectacularly to not ease into the starting lineup; only other competition is Willie Henry and maybe Maurice Hurst, and Pipkins is clearly ahead of Henry now.
If Kalis isn't starting at guard by his sophomore year, some very strange things will have happened, or an injury, which is not strange. But really I call this guy TIGER TESTICLES because Brady Hoke is searching for him on the black market to acquire his toughness via sympathetic magic.
UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS
Multi-purpose kicker has proven himself an adequate or better punter and displayed a big leg on kickoffs and certain long field goals. May lose one job to an as-yet-undetermined freshman specialist but should start at one spot or the other.
In 2014 James Ross sees the playcall in his head, Terminator-HUD style, and ruthlessly exterminates any living thing that gets in his way. His one weakness is Lou Holtz. In the distance, a wolf cries. Ross feels the same kinship he always does, scratching behind his ear.
Hopkins will be out the door and Houma is always going to be smaller than Kerridge. When Michigan needs a linebacker plowed, Kerridge will get the call first. Fullback is a veteran's position.
With Marvin Robinson and Thomas Gordon out the door, Wilson will be the most experienced safety on the roster; as a four-star he's got the cred and probably a year of starting under his belt. Does not know Aaron Paul; Still 'shopped, rookie.
Presumably at this point he will be a sixth offensive lineman or on the bench behind year two Jake Butt; both will get playing time; Williams figures to get more. Fish fear still reading zero. Or thereabouts, fear may increase if blocking technique does not.
FAIRLY SAFE BET
Touted Californian a better fit at left tackle than Braden and has a clear path to start. Name reminds Hoke of wearing a polo shirt on his trip to the North Pole, which will give him the edge on the redshirt freshmen.
Dileo, Gallon, and Jackson graduate, leaving Jerald Robinson, Darboh, and Chesson plus whoever ends up in the incoming recruiting class. Darboh did not redshirt and is the most likely guy to be a starter on the outside.
A rare downgrade from a projected starting job on 134, Miller's competition gets fierce in 2014 with Bars and Kugler both pressing from behind. He should hold onto the job but if he's smaller than the other guys and that's just not changing…
Smith is currently the best bet to see a majority of the carries in 2014. Rawls may be a fullback, and Smith fits the MANBALL paradigm better than Hayes or Norfleet. Derrick Green may supplant him here.
Furman and Gordon exit, leaving Thomas fending off Jeremy Clark and Allen Gant. Thomas is the most-hyped safety Michigan's brought in for a long while and has the athleticism to bump Wilson (back?) down to strong safety. The job is his to lose
IN A BATTLE
Time will not thin out the WDE battle here; in fact it may make it murkier with 6'6" pass rusher Taco Charlton presumably coming off a redshirt this year. Whoever wins the job will have earned it.
By 2014 the Cass Tech alum should be less tiny and prepping for a shot at a starting job in 2015; more likely he ends up in the Avery role for the duration as Michigan seeks out bigger guys on the outside.
Competition will be fierce at this point with Blake Bars and Kyle Bosch pressing; Bryant retains a size and experience edge but if Bosch is what he's supposed to be this will be a tight tight battle.
By this point his career, Strobel should pass the smaller Heitzman for the starting job, but candidates will be thick on the ground in 2014. Has a better recruiting pedigree, as well.
I've heard from multiple folks that Wormley was going to play extensively this year before his ACL injury. In 2014 he will be fully healthy and huge and coached up and should fend off Matt Godin and others. May be at SDE.
The second starting wide receiver slot is anyone's guess. Chesson has the experience edge and an endorsement from the near-flawless MGoBlog Sleeper of the Year award. Fast, lanky leaper will hopefully be Braylon to Darboh's Avant.
Potentially 404 FILE NOT FOUND here due to MANBALL. If they do have a smallish receiver who specializes in screens and end arounds, they'll have converted Hayes or it'll be an incoming freshman.
PUSHING FROM BEHIND
QB Shane Morris—raring to go after hopeful redshirt
RB Dennis Norfleet—make this man make plays
RB Thomas Rawls—Kevin Grady 2.0
WR Jaron Dukes—Junior Hemingway 2.0?
WR Pick An Apostroph'd Michigan Sleeper—one of Csont'e York or Da'Mario Jones will play
TE Jake Butt—strapping lad will be a matchup problem
C Blake Bars—could also play G if needed
C Patrick Kugler—son of Steelers OL coach should be ready to go early.
G Kyle Bosch—reportedly the most ready of the 2013 class to compete right away
T Chris Fox—will have to wait on LTT so should be the third tackle
DE Keith Heitzman—in the rotation for sure
NT Willie Henry—late add from Glenville will be a major wild card
DT Matt Godin—run stuffer sort
WDE Frank Clark—will rotate with Beyer.
WDE Mario Ojemudia—will either be an impact rusher or off the radar by now
MLB Joe Bolden—probably a quasi-starter by this point.
ILB Royce Jenkins-Stone—Ross backup probably.
ILB Ben Gedeon—hanging around
CB Jourdan Lewis—Cass guy but bigger than most.
CB Delonte Holowell—will push at nickel. Has stopped tweeting : (
S Jeremy Clark—prospect of a 6'4" free safety entices
Zoltan ponders how the gradient potential of his latest punt lines up exactly with that of collateralized debt obligation investment products in the 2008 bubble, and if they are correlated, could this end prostate cancer and teach cats to play ping-pong?
Somewhere in the Pisces-Cetus Supercluster complex, about a Yottameter from the Great Attractor, on a wet, rocky satellite of a smallish yellow star on the belt of a medium-sized Virgo Complex galaxy, there was a football game. In the first half, despite the best efforts of their opponents, Michigan's offense gained enough yards to traverse the Hoover Dam; in the second half they barely made it the length of a 747.
Millions who witnessed a representation of this occurring on stacked LCD pixels went online to find the similarly sized (and metaphorical) grain of salt, or compare the offensive coordinator's brain to the like-massed Paramecium. They tore out hair follicles, pounded their couches to release thousands of silt and skin particles which had settled there, and angrily flicked the transistor gates deep within their electronic devices to exclaim how this loss hurt to their very DNA.
In the abstract, a loss to Ohio State, even if largely expected, was too horrible to countenance. And so the Diarists burned glucose deep into the night while attempting to make sense of what was essentially the movement of a whole lot of atoms but to us a whole lot of matter. Zoom far enough in or out and you no longer have to see it.
The Micro. For the real quantum foam of the events in question, again I quote bronxblue…
The whole gang was back, to give the OSU faithful one more opportunity to cheer on a myth, a delusion about its history that seems painfully obvious to everyone not wearing crimson and grey.
So between the first and second quarters of the final game the 2012 Buckeyes will play, a premature finale caused by Mr. Tressel’s behavior during his years in Columbus, the fans in attendance gave him a standing ovation, one of the biggest cheers of the day. … The narrative went, at least in some circles, that most schools would have done the same, that fans love to cheer on winners and that most of those players were completely above board and played fairly, won every game that season, and, let’s be honest, Miami was no saint either. The thinking went that this was a team that the school should be proud of, or at least should be able to recognize publicly.
…who is going to keep winning Diarist of the Week until such point as BlueSeoul comes back to game wrap (with pics). I sat high up in the student section where freshmen who were probably 7 years old for 2002 cheered louder than the alumni. One kid in a black longcoat who spent most of first half with cheap nacho cheese on his chin yelled "Fuck Michigan!" at us through it all. This is Ohio State in a nutshell: cartoon bad guys oblivious to how stupid they look.
ST3 boiled Inside the Box Score down to Borges quotes. On the boards, Profwoot narrowed it to the script. And caup took it to the O-Line coach. Hypothesis: the more you know about football the deeper down the coaching ranks you can find blame. Theory: the 2003 team would have been national champs if it wasn't for (student mgr) Jeff Levine. Damn you, Levine!
Shane Morris puts the game in perspective.
[After the JUMP, we zoom out far enough to see the Space Emperor's Mustache]
As Michigan rises in the rankings, so does Burke, an adept ball handler who reads defenses well and excels in ball-screen situations, an NBA bread-and-butter play. Burke continues to be a little sloppy at times, but he is boosting his draft stock significantly in his second season. Burke's field-goal percentage (48.1) and three-point percentage (37) are up from last season.
ESPN's Chad Ford doesn't seem to have updated since the season started.
Not spotted: Tim Hardaway Jr, which is a bit of a surprise given his lights-out start to the season. Hardaway is still languishing in the second round of DX's 2014 mock behind luminaries like Josh Smith and Adriean Payne. Apparently he'll have to continue turning heads through the Big Ten season to break through in draft analysts's minds. Given his start, I think we're expecting that.
(Side note: GRIII has dropped to 25th in 2014 on DX. Meanwhile, both Pitt starting forwards feature on that 2014 mock draft with Stephen Adams 15th and Talib Zanna a second-rounder. Michigan outrebounded those guys badly. NC State meanwhile has the #7 and #8 guys in 2014 and the #20 guy this year. Michigan has already beaten some talented teams.)
Early unreliable tempo free numbers. I hereby take the Kenpom Small Sample Size Oath I understand that player stats are based on extremely limited information in mid-November. A quick check of Kenpom reveals four early trends that leap off the page:
- Unstoppable Throw-Ball-In-Hoop-God Nik Stauskas. Stauskas is currently 4th in ORtg, a composite measure that weights various offensive stats together, 5th in effective field goal percentage, first in true shooting percentage (eFG adjusted for frequency of FT attempts and FT shooting), near the top 50 in TO rate, and is drawing free throws more frequently than anyone on the team. That is all nuts. He'll come down to earth… maybe. His usage is about where Novak was last year; so far he is an offensive upgrade on a guy who shot 85/56/41 from FT/2/3 last year.
- GRIII OReb upgrade. GRIII is the second-best offensive rebounder on the team and is grabbing more than double the opportunities Novak did last year. Not that I'm picking on Novak. It enrages me when people say "John Beilein finally has a lights-out shooter" when Novak shot 41% last year. Novak was awesome. What I am saying is that between Stauskas and GRIII, Michigan has upgraded its shooting and rebounding by splitting Novak into two different people, both of whom are bigger than him.
- THJ complete game watch. After six games, Hardaway is the team's second-best defensive rebounder at 19% and has drastically increased his shooting inside and outside the arc; his TO rate has hardly budged from his extremely good freshman number. Assists are actually down so far.
- Big Puppy sucks up all the rebounds. If Mitch McGary had played 40% of his team's minutes instead of 36% he would rank 8th in offensive rebound percentage and 29th in defensive rebound percentage. He is of course blowing everyone out of the water in this regard so far.
Obviously there's a long way to go before we get much of an idea how legit any of these things are; I remember Michigan being an outstanding defensive rebounding team in the nonconference schedule last year, but click that conference-only box on Kenpom and 2012 Michigan drops from 99th—good—to 9th in conference—not good. This year Michigan's defensive rebounding is 4th nationally, but how will it hold up in the Big Ten? Probably better, but how much? Etc.
Speaking of Novak. UMHoops interviews him:
As for Glenn playing an undersized four, he is built like an upperclassman already so I don’t think he’s going to be getting pushed around by very many people. I think as he gains experience and gets a feel for what players can do at that level, he’ll have no problem guarding guys down low. I think a lot of players underestimate how effective just playing “solid” down low can be. Many guys in college basketball struggle to score through a strong chest. Figure out how to hold your ground and you have won half of the battle. When he stays between his man and the basket, he can be more effective than I was because of his great length. There were times I could guard a guy perfectly, but he’d just shoot it right over me. That shouldn’t happen to him as much.
He doesn't bite on the "potential undoing" question; I will: foul trouble for Robinson would force Michigan into the rickety two-post offense for extended periods and could bring things down. There isn't really a guy who can spell him and shoot unless it's Bielfeldt.
The enduring legacy of DJ Jazzy Jeff. Athlon surveys college basketball players anonymously:
Have you ever received benefits from a booster?
Have you ever had a grade changed because you were an athlete?
Those seem like high numbers, but not as high as these:
What is your favorite TV show?
Family Guy (9.6%)
Fresh Prince (6.8%)
Everybody Hates Chris (5.5%)
Fresh Prince of Bel Air went off the air in 1996, and Martin in 1997, which means these kids were like two or three. [HT: Daily Gopher]
More alumni points. Michigan's changed the priority points system to further prioritize alumni and former letterwinners, but the thing I found fascinating was the chart MLaw06 attached to his diary:
Climbing halfway up the points list costs about 2000 bucks; getting to 90 costs as much as a new car. (A new car!) The change deflates point values slightly but on a 1-1 ratio that's like giving alums an extra $1,500 head start on other folk. Opinions on this will be split down the middle between alums and non-alums.
Ah yup. Via Maize and Blue Nation, correlation:
The strength of that correlation may change if Michigan gets aggressive about throwing under Borges. Right now, pretty stark, especially those two years under 40 rushing yards.
Protip: don't do this. Former ND hockey player Riley Sheahan arrested wearing a teletubby costume (Tinky Winky, if you're interested). Arrest is for being drunk and driving; drunkenly stated he had not finished high school when asked if there was anything that might prevent him from properly answering the questions. Was carrying a teammate's license on him. None of this is good. Except the costume.
BONUS: Apparently "superdrunk" is a term of law in this state?
JongShow. Hockey commit Nolan DeJong is profiled by the Hockey News:
“I like to be offensive,” he said. “But I take pride in my defense. I’d say my stability, my size and reach are my strengths. I like to be as active as possible, but I want to work on my positioning.”
De Jong would also admit he’s not the most physical out there, but has a pretty good role model right now in locked-out Colorado Avalanche rearguard Ryan O’Byrne, who is a volunteer coach for his hometown Victoria squad while the NHL is on ice. De Jong also worked out with O’Byrne and Jeff Compton, whose clients include several NHL and Western League franchises, in the off-season.
Etc.: Four Michigan guys make the BTN All-Freshman team. I look forward to a day when that number is zero, or one or something. Next year probably won't be that year since redshirts are included and Michigan figures to start at least two freshman OL.
Big Ten title game not a hot seller. With how spread out the conference is going to be it might be wise to just make it a home game for the team with the better conference record, with record of your conference opponents breaking ties.
Leftover Big Ten/ACC thoughts from Brennan. Minnesota is kind of good this year; mentally swap those guys with Wisconsin. College hockey features on Grantland. This post about the athletics bubble may overreach a bit but the general outline is right. People who decided to add Maryland say adding Maryland is a good idea. NC State/Michigan key plays. Barking Carnival interviews Texas F Girl.
ahhhhhh berlerve ir can fler (Upchurch)
Michigan sits at the end of the regular season with a lot better idea of what they'll do without Denard Robinson than they did before he got injured at Nebraska. This is what they call a silver lining. Yeah, the Cornspiracy is playing a 7-5 team they already beat to go to the Rose Bowl, but what are they doing at quarterback next year?
It seems they are still playing Taylor Martinez. Screw them!
Anyway, Michigan's offense before and after the Gardner injury was vastly different, so let's take a look at some rough outlines.
Gardner played games against Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, and Ohio State. These were the 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defenses in the Big Ten in terms of yardage. In terms of pass efficiency D they were 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 10th. (Oddly, Minnesota is the top team in both those categories.) This is a slightly worse sample than a random one, but if we're projecting overall stats to next year that's fair-ish since Michigan will play three non-BCS teams in their four nonconference games. It's ballpark, but the ballpark should be in the ballpark.
Obviously this is all very rough. We're projecting season to date, so aiming for 12 games.
Hypothetical Individual Stats
171 completions on 270 attempts, 63% completions, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 3015 yards, 11.1 YPA(!). This would place him first in the Big Ten in passer efficiency by a mile and would in fact be #1 nationally. That's not happening, but if he can be in the top 20 that would be awesome.
Also he would have 105 rushes for 231 yards, which is depressed by sack yardage and Michigan avoiding called runs with him since the alternative seemed to be Jack Kennedy.
- Gallon: 66 catches for 1098 yards(!)
- Roundtree: 45 catches for 1134 yards(!)
- Drew Dileo: remains criminally underused
- Devin Funchess: 9 catches for 132 yards. Hmm, bad.
That seems swell. Except…
- Fitzgerald Toussaint: 34 carries for 191 yards, 5.6 YPC
- Thomas Rawls: 32 carries for 68 yards, 2.1 YPC.
- Vincent Smith: 8 carries for 21 yards, 2.6 YPC
- TOTAL: 3.8 YPC.
Denard is of course the wildcard, as he averaged 8.2 yards a carry in conference and 7.6(!) overall, which is the best YPC season at Michigan since at least 1949 (minimum 100 carries). I mean:
I left sacks on both QBs in, FWIW. Not that it matters. Denard averaged 9.3 YPC on 23 carries against Iowa and OSU but we don't really need to extrapolate with him, we have all the data. He was four yards per carry better than any other option available. Stupid elbow.
Hypothetical Team Stats
These are difficult to parse out because of the Denard complication. But, yeah, #1 in passer efficiency. In yards, an even 400, which would be 64th. Rush offense slides to 148 a game, which puts them below Michigan state, well into the 70s. Pass offense goes from 95th to 49th.
Michigan going so slow all the time hurts them in these raw stats, of course. The efficiency is extremely promising as long as they can run block at all. Which, maybe?