Circulating on Twitter
I wrote off Michigan’s struggles against NJIT as an aberration – after all, it’s unlikely that a team that shoots 34% (outside of their game against Michigan) hits 11-17 threes in a game – but at this point, it’s somewhat of a crisis: Michigan’s now 6-3, has two bad home losses, and is ranked 49th in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings and 98th in Jeff Sagarin’s. With Arizona on deck this afternoon, Michigan’s staring at a 6-4 overall record (really 5-4, as the game against D-II Hillsdale doesn’t count towards their resume) and a three-game losing streak.
Not to be too alarmist, but Michigan – projected by Pomeroy to finish 9-9 in the Big Ten – could find itself on the bubble and those two losses could be an incredible anchor dragging on the Wolverines’ resume. After the surprise run into the tournament in 2011, it’s been a given that Michigan participates in March Madness – two 4-seeds and a 2-seed over the last three years have been evidence of that – but as of right now, it’s hard to guarantee much. Pomeroy’s metrics gave Michigan a 97.5% chance of beating NJIT and an 86.8% chance of beating Eastern. U of M lost both: the chances of that were over 1 in 300.
At this point, Michigan is a complete unknown. Very solid (but not great) results against Oregon, Villanova – yes, it was a positive indicator of Michigan’s strength that they played the Wildcats close – and Syracuse contrast starkly with the embarrassing upsets at the hands of NJIT and EMU. Michigan was supposed to be a quality, fringe-Top 25 outfit and the first part of the young season certainly suggested that, but expectations need to be calibrated after losing a very bad and a solidly mediocre team at best.
Right now, NJIT is ranked 271st nationally and Eastern is 116th (via Pomeroy). In the last ten years, of Big Ten teams that made the tournament, there are only three roughly comparable home non-conference losses: Penn State lost to Maine (#209) and finished with an 10-seed in 2011; Purdue lost to Wofford (#197) as well as a sub-100 Iowa State team at a neutral site and finished with a 6-seed in 2008; Wisconsin lost to North Dakota State (#182) and finished with a 9-seed in 2006. NJIT is almost definitely worse than those Maine, Wofford, and North Dakota State teams. In and of itself, the Eastern loss isn’t that bad, but paired with the NJIT loss, Michigan’s almost certain to finish with a bad non-conference resume. Fortunately conference play should provide tons of opportunities for quality wins.
[AFTER THE BREAK: Panic! Or don’t. Whatever.]
There are slew of coaching change information flying around. The volume is so high it is deafening, and you can’t make sense of one rumor to the next. Who should you believe? What rumors can you trust? What exactly is happening?
Having a working understanding of how coaching changes work may bring you some level of clarity and ability to weed out chaff from the seeds. For those of you who actually have a life and have no clue how these things usually work, here is a short synopsis of how a new coach is hired by a major program.
Stage 1: Highlander
The battles are coming and the players are getting themselves ready.
This is when the search committee is making a list and checking it twice. The list is large (20+) since anyone who with any reasonable qualifications will be reviewed. The goal is to reduce this number to a manageable number where the vetting can begin. No candidates have been contacted officially, but feelers for obvious top candidates (HARBAUGH!!!) have been sent out via tertiary parties.
You will know when you are in this stage: This is also when you have the most noise, since any agent worth a damn is “leaking” information on how his candidate is a target for the job. Whenever you hear talking heads talk about “I heard from this agent” or “information from my trusted source” not related to the university, you can safely assume that it is coming from the agent who is trying to get his client added to the list (aka. “Michigan reached out to Jay Gruden”).
Harbaugh Deviation: You know you are the top candidate. Everyone you know who is related in anyway with Michigan is telling you, you are the top candidate. You talk about the job with your friends and family, but you are in the middle of a playoff charge, you do not have time to focus on something else.
Stage 2: The Quickening
The bodies of non-contenders are piling up and we start to see who is in it to win it.
The initial list of candidates are whittled down to a manageable size (Hackett is saying this is 14 for Michigan) so that actual vetting can begin. The possible candidates/agents are contacted to see if they are available. If they are, resumes are reviewed, backgrounds are checked, and discussions are held. You will leave enough room so that the candidate can honestly refute that he is looking at another job.
You will know when you are in this stage: You don’t hear a pip from real candidates since the search committee wants to keep this process private and will not look favorably to leaks coming from the candidate’s camp. You will hear from people who were contacted but responded with no interest (aka Cutcliff). There will still be residue noise coming from those who were not contacted, but really wants to be considered (GO AWAY JAY!!!)
Harbaugh Deviation: Your already slim playoff hopes are getting slimmer still. You know you are not coming back with the Niners and start thinking about what comes next. Everybody you know from Michigan are hounding you about taking the job.
Stage 3: Final Dimension
The final scene is set with our hero and his nemesis, and the final fight is coming.
The number of final candidates are set and stack ranked based on desirability. If the candidate is currently employed, the current employer is contacted for permission to interview. High-level negotiations are held to find out exactly what is going to be required to lock down the candidate and whether or not the candidate will accept the offer if given. Interviews are held in secret. Only thing left is the formal offer.
You will know when you are in this stage: There are a torrent of leaks from the target coach’s administration. The real candidates stop denying that they are looking for another job. Various rumors about salary numbers and other perks are leaked. Reports about a random dude claiming that he is a candidate disappears. There are various leaks about candidates turning down the offer (this is when this news would be legitimate).
Harbaugh Deviation: You ask for the world and you are somewhat surprised to find out that Michigan is more than happy to bend over backward to fulfill it (like Carr announcing publicly that Harbaugh is his choice). The season is over now and you are getting Facebook friend requests from various NFL owners. Do you stay in NFL or go back to college?
Stage 4: End Game
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!
You have gone one by one down the stack ranking, and FINALLY one of the candidate says yes. You draft a formal agreement and send it for signature. When it is signed, you announce to the world that a coach has been hired. You deny anyone who suggest that you did not get your top choice and proclaim that only one offer was made and the candidate accepted it (which is technically true).
You will know when you are in this stage: You have a new coach.
Harbaugh Deviation: WHY WON’T YOU TAKE THE JOB????!!!! JUST TAKE THE JOB ALREADY!!!!!
From my point of view, we have just entered the stage 2. I suspect we will get to the stage 3 next week when Niners are officially out of the playoff picture. Hold on to your hat, it is going to be a bumpy one.
This is what NJIT’s gym looks like. Really. (Source)
YOUR WEEKLY B1G HOOPS COLUMN
*It’s the last week of class before finals and I’m really busy – Alex
Table of Contents
Our new least-favorite acronym
Is it time to panic?
The Big Ten defeats the ACC
Iowa wins in Chapel Hill
Remember: Michigan did beat Syracuse
Wisconsin, Ohio St., and Michigan St. lose
Michigan didn’t have the only awful loss
Early returns: individual player scatterplots
Early returns: efficiency margins
EARLY POWER RANKINGS
1. Our new least-favorite acronym
The elephant in the room is that–despite beating Syracuse in a key ACC/Big Ten Challenge clash–Michigan notched the most surprising result of the week (and maybe the most surprising result in all of college basketball so far this season) with a shocking home loss to NJIT, the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
After holding the Highlanders to just five points in the first ten minutes of the game, Michigan conceded 67 points over the next 30, and the Wolverine defense conceded the upset. To put it in context, NJIT’s outstanding eFG% of 70.7 was better than all but one of Michigan’s shooting performances last season (at Illinois – 72.5). While NJIT’s impressive 2-point percentage (55%) was a problem in and of itself, their eleven made three-pointers were the reason for the upset. To allow an opponent that had been shooting 33% from three to hit 11-17 is some extraordinarily bad luck. From Ken Pomeroy:
If you shot 45% in the first half of the 2011 conference season, you’d be expected to shoot about 35% in the second half. If you shot 25% in the first half, you’d be expected to shoot 33% in the second half. A difference you couldn’t notice with your eyes. I don’t know exactly what implications this has on strategy, but when evenly-matched teams get together, action happening beyond the 3-point line is like a lottery. You take a shot and a third of the time you have success.
Pomeroy’s analogy of the three-point line being a lottery – the amount of threes a team makes amounts to little more than a weighted random number generator and Michigan was absolutely torched by a team that, quite frankly, doesn’t shoot that well. This result is at the very far end of the bell-curve.
[AFTER THE JUMP: Panic? More on everybody else]
Sorry if this is too far away from the coaching threads, but I wanted to compare the success of each teams NBA player. I came away from this with these thoughts:
Michigan State as of now has the best current NBA players. However, in 5 years the likes of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Mitch McGary, and Nik Stauskas are going to out pace Draymond Green, Gary Harris, and Adreian Payne. Here is what I came up with:
PG: Kalin Lucas (Memphis Grizzlies)
Has only played one game for the Grizzlies, not the best representative of MSU's talent.
SG: Jason Richardson (Philadelphia 76ers)
He has averaged 17.3 points per game over his career which is very solid. He led the NBA in 2007 for three pointers made. Has not played in two years.
Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets)
Has not really played this year, he has averaged 4 points per game so far. He played well in the summer league, and needs to break through into the lineup.
SF: Alan Anderson (Brooklyn Nets)
A decent role player in his career averaging 7.8 points per game.
Shannon Brown (Miami Heat)
Averaging 7.6 points per game he has been a good role player.
PF: Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
He has averaged 5.5 points per game with a recent spike. He is starting on one of the best teams in the NBA and is playing really well. He is the best out of these young players.
C: Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)
The best active MSU player in the NBA. He has averaged 17.1 points per game in his career. He has been an all star two times.
Adreian Payne (Atlanta Hawks)
Brief D-League stint. Behind lots of talent in Atlanta.
PG: Trey Burke (Utah Jazz)
A solid young player, needs to shoot a lot better. He should end up being a Jameer Nelson type player.
Darius Morris (Free Agent)
Recently waived by the Portland Trail Blazers. If he had developed a shot he would have been a really good pro.
SG: Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers)
A very solid NBA player, he has averaged 15.6 points per game over his 14 year career.
Nik Stauskas (Sacramento Kings)
Very similar to Gary Harris so far. Just played his best game last night where he scored fifteen points with eight rebounds.
SF: Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks)
He has averaged 9.9 points per game in his short career. He has surprised many so far. He jacks up a lot of shots and does not play the best defense, but he is among the upper tier of these players.
Manny Harris (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
D-League. Averaged 6.4 points in 89 games in the NBA. Averages 26.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.6 APG in the D-League.
PF: Glenn Robinson III (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Signed to a guarantee contract but has played sparingly. He has averaged 1.7 points in 7 games. Has had trouble breaking into a really bad Minnesota lineup.
C: Mitch McGary (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Broke his foot early on and is just now attempting a comeback. Mitch played pretty well in the D-League games he played.
Overall MSU wins for right now. But give Beilein a couple of years and this will change.
over the last several days, the amount of speculation and confusion regarding who Michigan will hire as the next
head football coach on these very pages has been great
all of this is misinformation and incorrect assumption
the smart folks have appealed to THE KNOWLEDGE to reveal the future and deliver them from this uncertainty
it is well known that THE KNOWLEDGE is the best source when it comes to coaching search, inasmuch as THE KNOWLEDGE
introduced himself to this blog during the 2007 coach search
there is a reason THE KNOWLEDGE has remained relatively silent during the current search for reasons that will
become obvious upon a thorough reading of this post
many is the number of fools who misunderstood what THE KNOWLEDGE had said in his previous post
thus, THE KNOWLEDGE can clearly reveal that these assumptions are wrong
in 2015, Michigan's AD will be David Brandon
in 2015, Michigan's football HC will be Brady Hoke
somehow, people (except a smart few) misinterpreted this as THE KNOWLEDGE saying that Brandon and Hoke will remain
at Michigan in 2015
this level of stupidity is truly mindboggling
now, onto the question of the new coach
if the question where who the best coach for Michigan will be, the answer is obvious
it is THE KNOWLEDGE
THE KNOWLEDGE will know what the opposition will do on every play even before they know it. thus, every offensive
snap for Michigan will result in a touchdown for the Wolverines, and every offensive play for the opposition will
result in a loss or interception
however, THE KNOWLEDGE does more important things to the universe that coach a football team; hence the next best
available coach must be found
the people that are laughing at Florida and Nebraska do not understand that those newly hired coaches will, in
fact, create dominant programs at those schools
can the same be said for Michigan?
will Michigan hire Harbaugh?
will Michigan hire Miles?
will Michigan hire Mullen?
will Michigan fans be unhappy with the hire?
will the unhappiness turn into happiness eventually?
In the national playoff discussions now, we hear so much about WL records and large scoring margins. Yet, as every chess enthusiast, baseball player and 10-year old video gamer knows, it does not mean much to win games--or even win big-- unless you consider the quality of the opponents.
This post will mainly discuss Ohio's SOS, since it is the one now most at issue nationally. As Wojo recently pointed out strength of schedule matters a lot… and Ohio State doesn't measure up” this year. In fact, the graph below shows that it hasn't measured up for a long time---throughout the Urban Meyer years from 2012-4.
Based on the standardized Sagarin ratings (stdzSOS) for 3 yrs (one for RTG and MD)
Ohio has had the second worst SOS WITHIN the B1G and is nearly tied for last with PSU, far lower than all the other teams.Due to their low SOS within the B1G itself, it is clear that Ohio cannot simply blame their SOS on a poor conference.
Just how bad has Ohio’s schedule been? It’s about three orders of magnitude (standard deviations) worse than the team with the top SOS in the B1G---which will be briefly noted later.. More concretely, Ohio’s average SOS during the past 3 years was actually 12 spots worse than the rank of the best top FCS division team, ND State (#52 vs. #40).
It shouldn’t be so surprising. This year, Ohio faced but one team in Sagarin’s current top 15. They faced only two in the top 30---which is tied with Neb and Lville for the least among all top 30 Sagarin teams. By contrast, Ala faced 10 top 30 teams. Ohio even lost at Home to a team that finished tied for last in the Coastal Division and r #12 overall in the ACC—the only conference with a lower Sagarin rank than the big ten.
In addition. last year, Ohio beat no one in the top 15 and the two teams they played in the top 15 were both losses. OOC that year, they played Buffalo, San Diego State, and Florida A&M at home and the supposedly toughest was to be Cal—which went 1-11 that year, 0-9 in the Pac 12. The year before (when UM played away games vs. the two national title participants), Ohio did not play anybody in the top 19 all year. They did not play in a bowl or B1G title game. Rather, they played all their OOC games at home against powerful foes like Miami of Ohio, UCF, UAB and yes, you guessed it---they beat a 3-9 Cal team by only one score at home.
BTW: UM had the toughest SOS in the B1G for the entire past 3 years. The SOS gap between Ohio/PSU and UM is, in fact, staggering. This discrepancy may be worth discussing, even though it clearly does not explain all that's happened to UM.. It is worth discussing because the media---eager to prop up some teams and pound on others-- have entirely ignored this issue.