to play football, not to play trumpet
Floating away [photo: Eric Upchurch|MGoBlog]
— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) January 28, 2016
We had heard persistent rumors all season that Cole was on thin ice after mounting violations of a thing that probably wouldn't have been a thing if it happened just once. Or twice. Insiders last summer thought he was already on the rails but around bowl practices it seemed he'd finally put that behind him. Apparently it happened again after/during the bowl trip, and Cole got the Kelly Baraka boot sometime before last week.
Cole saw a little bit of action early on as a special teamer, and some snaps at slot receiver after Grant Perry had a bad first outing. After that he was either injured (Scout, 247) or deep in the doghouse (Rivals) depending on what service you subscribed to. Then around bowl season it seemed he was in the clear and practicing at safety according to comments by Royce Jenkins-Stone. It seems Rivals (and maybe all of them) got this one right.
Damage: The move to safety made plenty of sense; his elite athleticism was badly needed given Michigan's depth chart after next year reads Tyree Kinnel and whatever they get out of this year's haul. Plan on seeing at least one and probably two of the freshmen on the field as everyone tries out for the post-Dymonte/Hill era. And unless some players emerge there I wouldn't be surprised if the coaches were shopping the grad transfer ranks once they've seen the position shake out next spring.
Michigan now has 23 scholarships available. With three special teamers/former walk-ons they don't have to count until fall and seven in the 2016 class enrolled and back-dateable they're not going to have any trouble signing all the guys they want on Wednesday. Expected and the usual unexpected losses should make that a whopping 31(!) available spots for new guys before you have to worry if guys are going to be cut.
[UPDATE: Michigan has 24 spots right now with two to four fifth years who might go through spring trying to earn a spot. We expect 2-4 additional departures if Michigan does go to the 30 number that's been tossed around. -BC]
Announced announcements organized
ma'am may i have this hat dance
Your who-is-announcing-when primer:
- Sometime Friday: MO TE Chase Allen. Michigan, Nebraska, ISU.
- 7 PM, February 1st: NJ CB Jordan Fuller. Michigan, OSU, ND.
- 11 AM, NSD: MI K Quinn Nordin. Michigan, USC.
- Noon, NSD: CA TE Devin Asiasi. Michigan, USC, UCLA, UW.
- Noon, NSD: CA DT Boss Tagaloa. Michigan, USC, UCLA, UW.
- 1 PM, NSD: NJ DE Rashan Gary. Michigan, Ole Miss, USC.
- 2 PM, NSD: AZ DE Connor Murphy. Michigan, USC, Oregon, ASU.
- Unknown, NSD: MI CB Lavert Hill. Michigan, PSU, MSU.
- Unknown, NSD: FL WR Pie Young. Michigan, Louisville, FSU.
- Unknown, NSD: TN WR Nate Johnson. Michigan, Miami.
Murphy's mom in Michigan's corner
AZ DE Connor Murphy got home and gave a couple interviews. He told Brice Marich that his mom was all about Murphy committing right then and there.
“My mom loved the visit,” said Murphy. “My mom wished I would have committed right then and there!”
Brandon Justice also got in touch. Murphy said Ann Arbor impressed:
"Since my brother played in the Pac-12 and I live on the west coast, I've pretty much seen all of the schools I've visited before, but Michigan I was clueless about," he said. "I know it was rated the best college town, and it lived up to the hype."
This is a situation where everything looks good but there's no certainty. He did talk to an Oregon site recently for an article that was vaguely positive. Murphy will announce on Signing Day. He cancelled a planned visit to Alabama this weekend. USC appears to be the main competition.
Fuller tea leaves
NJ CB Jordan Fuller announced he would announce at 7 PM on February 1st. In-homes with his three finalists were completed yesterday, so word could leak out in the near future. Most say it's Michigan or OSU, with OSU a tentative but universal favorite. Fuller's recruitment is the inverse of Murphy's: expected to not end happily for fuzzy reasons.
In those circumstances a recent OSU offer is interesting. The Buckeyes, along with a couple other Power 5 schools, recently threw their hat in the ring for two-star Cinci commit K'Von Wallace. OSU is tight on numbers and was expected to take one more defensive back recruit. If that's related (and it is not necessarily so) that doesn't mean that OSU thinks they'll lose Fuller; it might mean they want to cover their bases.
Movin' on up with Bossiasi
Ace informs be that I should have made this BAWSEiasi because of rappists
Let's make a sportsmanteau out of CA TE Devin Asiasi and CA DT Boss Tagaloa because this is one package deal that seems likely to come to fruition. Yeah.
Anyway you'll never guess who the Washington 247 mods believe leads for them. Yep: Washington, and they will fight you if you believe otherwise. Interestingly enough, they're under the impression that Michigan is the competition here, and that was before the duo's official to Ann Arbor.
After that official Michigan appears to be picking up steam. Webb posted a slice of promising information late last night:
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 28, 2016
A poster on the 247 board has information very similar to Sam's*: word around De La Salle is that Bossiasi is telling people Michigan is the pick. DOTMAN, a mod there, also suggested Asiasi is trending to Michigan. Circumstantial evidence: Tagaloa cancelled a midweek visit to Cal, and Asiasi is not going to Alabama.
But even if Michigan is the favorite of both guys the trick is convincing Tagaloa's family to let him go across the country. A USC visit this weekend also stands in the way. Lotta ins, lotta outs here.
*[He was put under suspicion since he said something right after that Webb article, but he pointed out a week-old post in which he said something similar. Credible? I think so.]
[After THE JUMP: radical reshift of Michigan's WR/TE board, a few visits, best guess list.]
What was your worst breakup? Answer may include a breakup song.
Take her down to a river.
Seth: I haven't had enough long term relationships to collect the associated bad break. There was a never-was that ended with me taking a very long walk in the wee hours in winter and learning a thing or two about whiskey, but I can't really share it. And my longest relationship before my wife was a most-of-high-school thing that ended amicably.
My best breakup story then is more of an airline story. When my brother met his wife she had a best friend in the same grad program at Michigan whom I dated for a time. The problem was I had this whirlwind trip coming up: Vegas for a trade show-->Paris for 10 days with my parents-->home. The Vegas-Paris leg, because I was a master at flying in my trade show-attending youth, had a 19-hour "layover" in Detroit.
Well you can't really invite a girl you've been dating 6 weeks to Paris (with your folks!)unless you're already of a mind to keep doing so 'till death do you part. On the other hand she was really smart, and had Michigan hockey tickets. But it fell on her "spring" break, so I was really put to a decision here. I did the only thing I could to not end the relationship prematurely without committing fully: nothing.
With no Paris offer forthcoming she committed to flying back home--North Carolina--and got me to commit to driving her. Like an idiot I'm all: okay, I'll get back from this Vegas thing, we'll spend the "layover" together, take a car to the airport at the same time, then have a week apart to figure out our feels.
Here's where this plan went sour: she booked a 3pm flight to NC, and my Paris flight wasn't until 9 (and I wasn't about to leave a car there that whole time). So my glorious layover is now drive home from the airport after getting home on a red-eye, get a few hours of sleep, take the girl to airport, drive home again, then go back to the airport for Paris.
I got home from Las Vegas at about 7am, passed out for five hours, and woke up to find her already dropped off at my place. We hung out a little, I gave her a (very nice) Valentine's Day gift, jumped in the shower at the right time to be ready for the airport run, and when I got out she dumped me.
So you tell me: would you still take her?
[After the jump: more crutin]
Oh right, we should report this. In least surprising decommitments not involving Penn State recruits whom Michigan leads for:
— Jason Higdon (@Jason_Higdon) January 28, 2016
Decommit = exit post but this one's been heading that way for several weeks. It does make that weird exchange with a Texas247 guy who wouldn't believe his Michigan commitment even weirder.
FWIW this one is more Antwaine Richardson than Rashad Weaver: the coaches wanted him in the class, as evidenced by Harbaugh flying in for an in-home visit a week ago. Elliott is expected to visit and commit to Texas this weekend, the fourth (and presumably last) school he has committed to during the process.
Take as further evidence that "commitment" can mean vastly different things to different people, and that it is foolish to presume another party has the same meaning as you. This is also the flipside to continuing to recruit a nominally filled position in the class; Elliott made comments to Sam Webb ($) in November that made it seem like he was certain to stick. With no 2015 NT and just Mone and Pallante left after Glasgow graduates, Michigan badly needed at least one and hopefully two nose tackles in this class. If they'd stopped with Elliott they'd be in a bad spot right now.
The Michigan coaches moved on last week, securing a commitment from former PSU commit Michael Dwumfour; they remain in pursuit of another NT type in Californian Boss Tagaloa.
Video: Rutgers player doesn't realize it's a one-and-one, throws live ball out of bounds for a turnover: pic.twitter.com/RZpFzUNr6n
— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) January 28, 2016
You need to know four things about this game:
1. Michigan couldn't hit a shot. They dug an early hole after starting 0/5 from the field and finished the first half 6/18 from three. The outside shots started falling in the second half, but the Wolverines still finished only 20/49 from the field—not for lack of open looks, but much like the Minnesota game, they missed a lot of shots they'd normally make.
2. Mark Donnal sparked the run Michigan needed. With Michigan losing by three with 5:30 left in the first half, Donnal stuffed a shot by Jonathan Laurent, assisted Aubrey Dawkins for a three on the other end, took a charge, drew a foul and hit both free throws, then took another charge. After that sequence, Zak Irvin hit a three, and Michigan suddenly had an eight-point lead. Rutgers couldn't pull closer than five points for the duration.
3. With 1:30 left in a ten-point game, Rutgers committed a shot-clock violation. That is not ideal.
4. On the next Michigan possession, Irvin missed the front end of a one-and-one, Rutgers center Greg Lewis rebounded the miss... and passed the ball to the official standing out of bounds. It took a while, but we hit peak Rutgers.
Duncan Robinson (18 points, 4/9 3P) and Aubrey Dawkins (11 points, 3/4 3P, one spectacular missed dunk) were the two players who found any consistency with their shot. Zak Irvin went 2/8 from the field but hauled in 12 boards and dished out eight assists.
This was Minnesota 2.0: Michigan proved fortunate to play a bad team when they had an off night. Because that team was Rutgers, they won by double-digits anyway.
Michigan (15-5, 5-2 B1G) vs
Rutgers (6-14, 0-7)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||7 pm ET, Wednesday|
|LINE||Michigan -22 (KenPom)|
PBP: Joe Davis
Analyst: Jon Crispin
Right: Sadly, this was still less mean than including a picture of actual Rutgers basketball.
Caris LeVert still won't be in the lineup tonight, but John Beilein told the media yesterday that there's a timeline—one he won't reveal—for his return:
"Caris has had more testing," he said. "Things continue to go in the right direction, but he is not ready yet. We hope it is very soon, but he is moving in the right direction."
LeVert has not met with local reporters since sustaining the injury. Beilein has repeatedly declined to expand on the specifics, other than to say the program is being "overly cautious" and that it's a "lower left leg injury."
Of the aforementioned timeline, Beilein would only say, "For the first time we met and said, 'OK, let's start looking at this date.'"
Michigan plays Penn State at Madison Square Garden on Saturday; ideally, he could work his way back in that game and return to his normal role for next week's home games against Indiana and Michigan State, but that would be a best-case scenario at this point.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.
|G||3||Corey Sanders||Fr.||6'2, 175||80||26||Not Really|
|High usage, high turnover rate, decent outside shot, poor finisher.|
|G||5||Mike Williams||So.||6'2, 190||68||23||Yes|
|Takes most threes on the team, hits... 28% of them.|
|G||2||Bishop Daniels||Sr.||6'3, 185||64||24||Kinda|
|44/30/70 shooting splits, most attempts from two. Turnover-prone.|
|F||1||DJ Foreman||So.||6'8, 230||65||19||Yes|
|Only 47% shooter, draws a ton of fouls but only makes 58% of FTs.|
|C||35||Greg Lewis||Sr.||6'9, 245||52||17||Very|
|Decent rebounder and shot-blocker shooting woeful 37% FG, 45% FT.|
|G||31||Omari Greer||Gr.||6'4, 180||46||18||No|
|A legit shooter! 44% from beyond the arc.|
|G||10||Justin Goode||Fr.||6'2, 185||37||8||Yes|
|Tiny usage, pretty much only shoots threes, has made 6/26 on the year.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]