There is no Brian (ill) or Sam (out) so you get Ira, Ed, and Craig Ross.
- E-sports are a thing, and not just in Ira’s house. WTKA actually had to talk about whether they’d start covering it as a sport.
- Craig recounts what hoops and hockey games were like in the Middle Ages, when “water boy” meant the kid whose job it was to mop up the puddles from the roof leaks.
- The Orange Bowl: Florida State’s got talent. Ed didn’t trust his numbers. How much of that was losing Peppers at the last minute? Could Peppers have blocked DeMarcus Walker, because our guards sure as hell couldn’t.
- Next year worries: they’re all concerned about the secondary. Best guess at offensive line makeup.
- Quarterback competition? Speight’s injury makes it way too hard to judge his last two games, but Iowa opens the door for a real ninja.
- Time management fail: hopefully we don’t see that again.
- Skill position guys: receivers to take a step back, RB check again later, TE should be okay.
- Throwing out names to replace Fisch: Pep Hamilton?
- Hoops is hard to judge.
You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.
THE USUAL LINKS
- Helpful iTunes subscribe link
- General podcast feed link
- Direct download link
- What's with the theme music?
So, next year’s offensive line/defensive line…any conce…why did you just run under the bed?
Seth: I ask this because I was playing with a depth chart for next year and I'm kind of more worried about DT than OT.
Ace: It’s an understandable concern, especially now that it looks more likely Michigan could whiff on Solomon/Tufele/Reitmaier. While I’m still more worried about the offensive line, the lack of depth after Mo Hurst and Bryan Mone—who hasn’t been able to stay healthy for anywhere close to a full season—is worrisome. A couple freshmen are going to get pressed into service early.
Seth: That's the thing: there aren't a lot of bullets in that chamber.
Ace: With the number of SDE/5-tech types Michigan is bringing in this class (Hudson, Jeter, Irving-Bey), I wouldn’t be surprised if Rashan Gary slides inside to help out with that.
In related news, it’d be really nice if Lawrence Marshall finally broke through.
Seth: I figure the starting four are locked: Gary at SDE (anchor), Hurst at DT, Mone at NT, Winovich at End. For passing downs they go with a 30 front, pulling Mone and having Gary and Hurst slide down. The top DL backup then is your backup anchor: Kemp, Reuben Jones, Marshall, whoever, who comes in for Gary when Gary is in for Hurst who may be in for Mone. But then Mone hasn't stayed healthy for a year yet. And if you lose any of them we're down to....Dwumfour?
Ace: Paea is the least college-ready of the incoming DTs; I still like him more at guard, to be honest. I think Dwumfour and Hudson are the best bets for those backup spots if Michigan can’t land Tufele. Practice reports from the Army Bowl have been pretty positive for Irving-Bey, as well, so perhaps he could get into the rotation.
Mone’s health is paramount, which is rather terrifying.
Seth: Yeah, none of those guys are likely going to be ready to play nose, and that would be a colossal waste of Hurst.
Ace: I don’t see many scenarios in which Hurst doesn’t see a fair amount of time at nose, unfortunately. He should be much better at it next year than he was in 2015, though.
Seth: The playbook has Hurst-style nose tricks, and I agree 305-pound senior Hurst >>> 275-pound sophomore Hurst. But when you put a guy with his skills over the center and leave him to doubles forever those glorious plays when he's in the backfield before the quarterback has pulled up his read buttons disappear.
Ace: You can still slide Gary inside on those snaps, insert one of the young guys at SDE, and have a pretty decent line out there, though.
[After the jump: we scrape the bottom of the snap stats for potential contributors, and then we do the OL.]
Walton's play in transition late sparked M's comeback. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
It wasn't impressive, or encouraging, or—at least for the first 30 minutes or so—fun, but Michigan pulled their proverbial asses out of the fire with a strong finish against Penn State, closing the game with a 30-15 run to erase a 14-point deficit and steal much-needed conference win.
"Their seniors made plays at the end," said PSU coach Pat Chambers.
"They got the stops when they needed," he added. "That's what senior-led teams do."
"Our seniors, who were not on their 'A' game, were nothing short of spectacular in the last four minutes," John Beilein concurred.
You, Michigan fan, may have cocked an eyebrow at those statements. For tonight, at least, they held true. While they struggled for most of the game, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton both came up big down the stretch. Walton nailed a three to pull Michigan within one, then fed DJ Wilson on a fast break for the go-ahead alley-oop. When PSU's Lamar Stevens grabbed the lead back with a jumper, Irvin answered with his pet midrange shot. Walton extended the lead at the free-throw line, Irvin drilled a tough stepback shot, and the two combined to ice the game at the line, going 6/6 in the waning moments to fend off PSU's comeback effort.
|The game proved frustrating at times for both coaches. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]|
The Wolverines didn't open the game nearly as well as they closed it, of course. This was a boring slog for a half-hour of game time. Penn State got into the paint time and again, while Michigan couldn't do the same or hit their outside shots, going 1-for-9 from three-point range in the first half.
"They drove us wherever they wanted to in the first half," said John Beilein. "And we let them."
The second stanza began much the same way; PSU's first two buckets came in the paint before three straight triples extended the lead to 14. The turning point, according to Beilein, came during an emotional huddle at the under-12 media timeout.
"I didn't have to say anything," Beilein said. "It was all, the circle that I was in, they were all extremely charged up and upset at each other. And I'm not meaning pointing fingers [at each other], they were very encouraging, and very strong words that, no, we're not losing this game. We're not starting off in the league 0 and 2. We're going to make this happen."
Duncan Robinson entered the game shortly after that timeout and proceeded to account for a five-point run of his own with two shots to cut the deficit to eight. The Wolverines steadily chipped away at the lead from there, benefiting from some PSU turnovers to get out in transition for easy points. Then the seniors closed it out.
The season can take two forms from here. Michigan can carry the emotion from that huddle over to the rest of the Big Ten schedule and fight their way into the tournament, or they can play the listless brand of basketball we saw for much of this game and settle for an NIT bid. Only time will tell.
By timeless tradition, going all the way back to the very first post-Harbaugh offseason at Michigan, our people recount the story of Jake Rudock’s exodus from Iowa, update the Grand Google Sheet, and see what it can tell us about this year and the future.
Whereas, at the end of the 2014 Iowa football season Kirk Ferentz released an unprecedented post-bowl depth chart just for the sake of putting C.J. Beathard in front of most-of-the-time starter Jake Rudock. This accomplished several things: Beathard’s dad, who’d put some transfer noise in a local Tennessee paper, was placated, and the People of Rudock took the hint to grad transfer the hell out of Egypt. After wandering in the desert, the spiritual, spiritually 40-year-old Rudock was chosen by Harbaugh to lead the people of Ann Arbor to the
promised land Citrus Bowl.
In honor of the old Pharaoh’s great dick move, I present this year’s post-bowl Foe Film diagram, now with 100% more mustache.
[Click to biggen make]
I’ve also updated the great spreadsheet of players going back to the class of 1993, with all that recruiting and attrition and start data.
Use as you like—I’ll keep it updated as the offseason progresses so you can use it for diaries or fact-finding.
[Hit THE JUMP for a chart party.]
#33 Michigan (10-4, 0-1 B1G) vs
#96 Penn State (9-6, 1-1)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||8:36 pm ET, Wednesday|
|LINE||Michigan -9 (KenPom)|
PBP: Cory Provus
Analyst: Shon Morris
Right: Michigan swept the series with PSU last year, including a 23-point blowout at Crisler. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]
While there hasn't been any change to the starting lineup, Duncan Robinson's role continues to expand. Since getting only seven minutes against Marquette and 16 in each of the subsequent two games, Robinson has played 20+ minutes in seven of M's last nine games, including a season-high 36 in the Iowa game. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, meanwhile, played only eight minutes against the Hawkeyes after seeing the floor for at least 20 minutes in every game since the opener. John Beilein may very well continue to use Robinson as a super sub but he's playing the role of a starter again.
Beilein, by the way, has the chance to tally his 200th win at Michigan tonight. He'd be the second M coach to do so, following the legendary Johnny Orr (209).
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||10||Tony Carr||Fr.||6'3, 198||79||22||96||No|
|Fits FR PG profile: TO rate nearly as high as assists, good 3P%, bad 2P%.|
|G||33||Shep Garner||Jr.||6'2, 187||80||21||100||No|
|Secondary ballhandler and 3-point gunner. 35% on 106(!) 3PA.|
|G||23||Josh Reaves||So.||6'4, 210||44||19||98||Yes|
|Slasher/defender is 11th nationally in steal rate. Struggling with outside shot.|
|F||11||Lamar Stevens||Fr.||6'7, 218||65||23||108||Very|
|Only 48% on all two-pointers, but gets to line a lot, makes 88% of FTs.|
|C||24||Mike Watkins||R-Fr.||6'9, 246||58||21||106||Very|
|Excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. 55% from field, gets to line often.|
|F||0||Payton Banks||Jr.||6'6, 223||64||20||109||Not At All|
|Even more extreme gunner than Garner: 41% on 102 3PA in fewer minutes.|
|G||5||Terrence Samuel||Jr.||6'3, 208||45||15||102||Kinda|
|High FT rate is salvaging efficiency; only 43.1 eFG%.|
|C||44||Julian Moore||Jr.||6'10, 235||35||15||75||Very|
|Shooting 40% from field with a 30% TO rate. Woof.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Michigan Tech 2, Michigan 0
MTU 1 UM 0 EV 05:36 Assists: Auk
Auk carries the puck in and shoots, the shot going wide and rimming around the boards to Lavigne’s right. Auk picks it up and fakes to the inside before pulling the puck back to his left. Allen defends this well, getting his stick out and keeping it in the shooting lane throughout the process of Auk’s inside-outside move. He somehow is able to get the shot away.
Birks swings his stick down at precisely the right time, deflecting the puck past Lavigne. De Jong tracks Birks and defends this pretty well; I don’t know what you’d do differently considering he had to skate up the wing and defend Birks’ initial shot (the one that went around the boards). This is a feat of incredible hand-eye coordination.