Peppers at 10, which seems low.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
#20 Minnesota 2, #6 Michigan 6
KILE GOAL, MICHIGAN
MINN 0 MICH 1 EV 11:19 Assists: Unassisted
Cecconi picks up a loose puck in Michigan’s defensive zone and passes to Motte near center ice. Motte flips the puck to the opposite corner while Michigan changes. Collins picks it up and skates to the faceoff circle when he sees two Michigan forecheckers on their way. He puts on the brakes, takes a step back, and looks to make the outlet pass. He accomplishes the looking part but not so much the passing part; much like my golf swing, he picks his head up early and swings over it.
Kile picks up the loose puck and pulls it to his backhand. This forces the goaltender to hit the ice, and he does a nice job squaring to a backhander, should that be what Kile does (and, to be fair, it certainly looks like that’s what he’s going to do). Kile, though, somehow pulls the puck on a string back to his forehand, which leaves the goaltender flopping.
Kile’s able to slide the puck around Schierhorn’s pad, but it requires a deflection off of Collins’ stick to hit the net instead of going wide.
[After THE JUMP: a newfound appreciation for the overhead goal cam, and your weekly dose of mind-boggling CCM things]
Michigan went 0-for-2 on these shots. [Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]
For the first 30 minutes or so, Michigan engaged in a back-and-forth battle against Wisconsin. When all-too-familiar issues plagued the Wolverines late, however, the Badgers pulled away, and Michigan's NCAA Tournament fate remains in serious question.
Zak Irvin tallied 14 points and eight rebounds to lead Michigan in both categories. He did the bulk of his damage in the first half, however, and his missed transition layup—on the heels of Derrick Walton leaving a fast break lay-in achingly short—was a lowlight among a series of backbreaking errors by the Wolverines down the stretch.
Irvin also got bullied by Nigel Hayes down the stretch, but he was far from alone in his struggles on that end. Duncan Robinson and Aubrey Dawkins were each victimized way too easily off the dribble. Mark Donnal couldn't avoid foul trouble for the second straight game. Half-hearted doubling in the post opened up the perimeter for a parade of threes by Bronson Koenig (19 points, 3/6 3P) and Vitto Brown (14, 4/6) and didn't do much to slow Wisconsin's bigs; Hayes and Ethan Happ combined for 28 points and made 10/18 two-pointers.
When Michigan's defensive shortcomings caught up to them, the offense faded, too. Irvin had just four points and two turnovers in the second half. Walton went 3/13 from the field, 0/6 in the second half. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, the team's most reliable player of late, had only two points on 1/5 shooting. Robinson and Dawkins made 3/6 three-pointers but struggled to find open looks. Only Ricky Doyle, who made all five of his field goal attempts for ten points, had a notably good offensive performance.
The Wolverines played like a bubble team facing a clear-cut tourney team. They've got a week to practice before welcoming an Iowa squad to the Crisler Center on Saturday that's lost four of their last five and must face Indiana on Tuesday. With a victory, Michigan can still feel confident about their tourney chances. A loss would make for a stressful Big Ten Tournament.
Title Reference. Kinda miss Bo Ryan, kinda think I won't after Sunday.
So I keep having this problem where I run a guess the score and Michigan gets crushed, and of course nobody guessed that Michigan would get pulverized AND lose to the hockey version of the Rigelian bug people.
Since that totally happened, TiqIQ felt bad and wanted to try it again, this time with free tickets to the Iowa game, i.e., Michigan's last home game of the season, provided by TiqIQ.
TiqIQ who, by the way, wants you to try their mobile app which they just revamped.
SO: this time if you guess the score, you win the tickets. If nobody gets it, we'll pick randomly again from WHOEVER DOWNLOADED THE APP (including if you did it last time) and give them the tickets.
By the way the app is at http://tiqiq.us/MGoTiqIQ. Winner will be contacted Monday, or Tuesday if I am running behind on Monday. But surely by Wednesday.
How this works again:
- Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-0" or "35-0 Michigan", or "28-0 Go Blue", or "42-0 Harbaugh!" etc.
- The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
- First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
- If nobody got it right or I don't hear from the winner(s) we randomly draw from whoever downloaded the TiqIQ app.
About Last Time:
Nope. Nope nuh uh not talking about it.
This Week's Game:
Michigan at the Trohl Center.
And on the Line
You're going to the game next week.
So to recap:
- Guess a basketball score.
- Download the TiqIQ app in case nobody guesses the basketball score.
One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and Moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm owns Jersey. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm thinks of the children! The algorithm doesn't steal lollipops or spring breaks from the children. This is not the algorithm. But it has a visit set.
On the roundtable this week:
- Basketball stuff: tourney seeding, bubble stuff, MAAR is good.
- Man that IMG trip is just free content, isn't it?
- That dude in New Mexico advocating Gentry transfer.
THE USUAL LINKS
Michigan (20-9, 10-6 B1G) at
Wisconsin (18-10, 10-5)
|WHEN||6 pm ET, Sunday|
|LINE||Wisconsin -6 (KenPom)|
PBP: Jeff Levering
Analyst: Jon Crispin
Right: Nigel Hayes is a big presence for the Badgers. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
Caris LeVert is doubtful for Sunday's game and even that might be optimistic; John Beilein said this afternoon he doesn't expect LeVert to practice the next two days. LeVert's availability for the rest of the season is in serious doubt. Beilein insinuated he could be shut down completely if he's not ready to play next week. This is depressing as hell.
Covered in exacting detail yesterday. A win would all but lock up a spot in the NCAA Tournament. A loss would keep Michigan on the bubble; they'd have one more shot at a bid-clinching victory in the regular season next Saturday against Iowa. If Michigan loses both, they'd need to win at least one game—and quite possibly two—in the Big Ten Tournament to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday.
This game also affects BTT seeding. Michigan sits a half-game behind Wisconsin in the conference standings. A victory would keep the Wolverines in contention for the #4 or #5 seed; a loss and they're more likely to be somewhere in the 6-8 range depending on the Iowa outcome.
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||Zak Showalter||Jr.||6'2, 184||77||13||No|
|Good role player. Low usage, leads B1G in eFG%, solid defender.|
|G||24||Bronson Koenig||Jr.||6'4, 193||86||20||No|
|Excellent outside shooter, takes care of ball, struggling inside the arc.|
|F||30||Vitto Brown||Jr.||6'8, 230||61||21||Kinda|
|Decent offensive rebounder, great midrange game, hits occasional three.|
|F||10||Nigel Hayes||Jr.||6'8, 240||90||27||Kinda|
|Not shooting well from field, but gets tons of FTs. Good post passer.|
|F||22||Ethan Happ||R-Fr.||6'9, 235||61||23||Very|
|Good rebounder, leads B1G in steal rate, draws lots of fouls, okay finisher.|
|G||21||Khalil Iverson||Fr.||6'5, 205||33||15||Yes|
|Minutes vary wildly from game-to-game. Coming off solid showing vs. Iowa.|
|G||11||Jordan Hill||R-So.||6'3, 178||31||13||No|
|Low-usage shooter hits 37% of threes, doesn't do much else.|
|F||25||Alex Illikainen||Fr.||6'9, 220||25||14||No|
|Stretch four makes 50% of twos, 38% of threes. Not a rebounder.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Random midweek instate visits, okay
Kelly-Powell plans multiple return visits
A bunch of instate folks showed up for the Northwestern game: Cass S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, and OL Jordan Reid all stopped in. They brought King CB Ambry Thomas along with them. OL commit JaRaymond Hall, OL offeree Phillip Paea, and the top recruit in the 2018 MI class, Marquan McCall, also stopped by.
You're going to have to get used to Peoples-Jones articles in which he says positive things about an assortment of schools without tipping his hand at all. We can probably fast forward to February with him. On Signing Day Michigan will be a hat on the table and we will feel either good but nervous or not so much and still nervous.
Kelly-Powell endorsed the spring break trip…
"It's an awesome idea," he said of the camp. "It's an amazing opportunity for the team to bond and enjoy some nice weather on their spring break. I don't really understand why people don't like the idea. It's really going to be something that helps the team this season."
…and announced tentative plans for two further unofficials over the next two months, one next month and one for the spring game, that he "should be able to make." There's been some chatter about MSU and OSU in his recruitment; if Kelly-Powell does end up on campus three times in little over a month that would bode well. As of a week ago MSU was "making up ground," FWIW.
Thomas is tough to read. He may be the longest shot of any of those visitors if he follows through with his desire to GTFO:
“I think I want to get away, go far (for college) and create my own path,” Thomas said this week.
He's got a visit to Auburn scheduled and is trying to see Oklahoma; he is still talking to M, MSU, and OSU. On the other hand, Wiltfong thinks Michigan is the eventual choice for Thomas and he was positive about Brown:
"This visit was different and went really well," Thomas said. "It was a good chance for me to just kick it and get to know the coaching staff a lot more. I met Coach Brown for the first time, and he was a really laid back guy."
He told Scout that he was going to be on campus again next month to "lock up some of their top guys, you know." Michigan still has to hire a replacement for Greg Jackson, and that will be a big part of where Thomas eventually ends up.
Paea (left) is a new name
"The coaching staff and facilities were just amazing. The moment you were on campus you just get this really great feeling."
Paea's transitioning from being a linebacker and running back(!) to being a two-way lineman as he fills out, and he's got a lot of promise on either side of the ball:
“They really like his hips,” Scaccia said of college coaches. “He has that innate ability to unlock his hips and play with leverage. He’s still learning but they definitely see the potential there. They like the change of direction for a kid his size. He’s pretty straight-line fast. He can run a little bit.”
Paea joins MI LB Antjuan Simmons as guys who have gone from unheralded to fielding national offers (Simmons has a zillion; Paea added Oregon and Miami), emphasizing what a good year it is for in-state talent. The state has a dozen guys who have or will likely acquire high level out of region offers.
Probably not named after Brian Eno but you never know
TX RB Eno Benjamin seems at least mildly serious about exiting the state. He's not naming favorites but he's got a couple favorites, as one does:
"I am not naming really any favorites, but Iowa they kind of grabbed my attention, Michigan as well," Benjamin reported.
Benjamin is taking trips to Texas and A&M so don't rule out the locals; he plans a spring break trip to various northern schools highlighted by Michigan and OSU and inexplicably including Kansas.
New Jersey… I have heard of this place
Steve Lorenz mentioned in a VIP note a week or so back that Michigan was going to go after NJ ATH Markquese Bell a major priority and now he reports that Bell will visit in the spring. Bell then confirms that Michigan is pushing hard for him:
"Michigan was my first really big offer," he said. Rutgers and Temple were Bell's first two scholarships. "They saw something in me early and I appreciate that."
He's an ATH; at 6'3" 190 he's most likely a WR or safety. He plans a summer decision.
Wisconsin is still steamed about Ben Bredeson
A couple of Wisconsin offerees, WI OLs Alex Fenton and Logan Bruss went off the board to the Badgers. Don't know how high up on Michigan's board either guy was, but I did learn that Wisconsin fans are livid that Ben Bredeson escaped their clutches last year. They assume every instate lineman is theirs. Not without good reason, but sheesh one guy with a bunch of M connections exit and all the voodoo dolls in the state are repurposed.
Michigan hopes to give a further boost to the Cheese State's witchcraft industries by snatching WI OL Tyler Beach. Beach moved around a bit as a kid and isn't born and bred, which means Michigan should have a shot. He's scheduled a visit to M and various other places:
"I'm going to go out to Northwestern, Oregon State and most likely Arizona," Beach noted. "I may try to visit Notre Dame as well, and I'm trying to set something up there as we speak. I've been to Wisconsin a couple times already, and then the Michigan visit."
That visit will be March 11th. He plans a commitment before football season. At 6'8" he is definitely a tackle, and seems on his way to being a consensus four star.
More Rivals ranking updates
Michigan's top two center prospects moved up about 100 slots each in the most recent Rivals 250 revamp, with CA OL Brett Neilon landing at #113 and FL OL Cesar Ruiz at #106. WI OL Tyler Beach also snuck into the tail end of the top 250.
- MI WR KJ Hamler says he hasn't heard from Michigan in a while, displeasing Ace. Says he's still very interested and that he's not going to end his recruitment any time soon.
- CA CB Deommodre "Clamp Clampington" Lenoir will visit for the spring game; his list of schools standing out is entirely out-of-state, with M, Oregon, ND, Washington, and Texas A&M amongst the main contender.
- CA WR Joseph Lewis is one of those LA kids everyone thinks will go to USC; while they're usually right he is listing Michigan and Florida along with the Trojans.
- Michigan and USC are also competing for CA RB Stephen Carr, a soft USC commit, and CA CB Jaylon Redd. 247's Ryan Bartow really does not think Carr's "soft" USC commit is in fact soft, FWIW. Redd is a guy who Michigan has a legit shot at; Redd is a two way athlete who likes the idea of being Jabrill Peppers. Surprise. He "definitely" wants to visit.
- MS RB Cam Akers tells Lorenz that Michigan is going after him despite his Alabama commit. He's buds with MS LB Willie Gay, who we mentioned on Tuesday as a guy who is a candidate to break Michigan's long dry streak in Mississippi. Lorenz mentions that "many are skeptical" that either Akers or fellow Bama RB commit Najee Harris actually signs with the Crimson Tide, FWIW. Michigan is pursuing both.
- Michigan offered IN LB Pete Werner, joining a parade of regional powers in doing so. He "definitely" wants to visit as well, and has been to a game already.
- FL DE Robert Porcher IV is indeed the son of the former Lion and is interested in M; no offer yet.