Preface: this is the view of one football fan, without the level of intricate knowledge of a Space Coyote nor someone who has broken down game film play by play. Also these are early views and player X who looks "ok" today may turn into star in 2015 - we never know. So downvote accordingly. ;)
Thought it would be interesting to take a look back at UM's 2012 recruiting class now that we are 2 years into it. To refresh this was the 7th ranked class in the country per Rivals; here is the list of players. While early to judge some of these guys as many redshirted, some are already going to be juniors in 2014 and this class will go a long way in determining on field success in the 2014-2016 seasons.
I've broken down the class in position groups and am giving one person's view on "early returns" in light of expected production, "starzzz", and what type of schools were in competition. Hence a player who Alabama, Florida, USC, OSU were after has a higher bar than Illinois, Vanderbilt, Boston College. Of course those who have played 2 years have more of a body of work than those who were redshirted. Also players on both the DL and OL were generally given more leeway due to their typically slower development.
Early view is based on production if applicable (RS players have less to work with), behind the scenes buzz (i.e. Darboh looked to be a front line starter last year), and eye test.
Will break this down into 2 diaries - this one for offense; defense is here.
OFFENSIVE LINE - this is by far the hardest group to judge because it is the one position group where if there is a failure anywhere in the line, everyone can look bad. Secondary to a degree is the same but nowhere does a misstep by your teammates stand out more than the OL unit. Again caveat is we rushed these guys to play rather than waiting until RS sophomore year.
 Kyle Kalis
Background: 5 Star all Everything, spurned OSU for UM. Other offers incl Bama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, etc.
Comment: Most highly touted OL recruit in this 2 class OL haul; many had dreams of Hutchinson 2.0. After redshirt year was expected to come in and be competent, and be the 3rd best player on a line book ended by 2 potential NFL tackles. Instead major struggles, a benching, and never stood out.
Early View: Too early to tell but will judge him a bit more harsh than the other OL due to (a) hype / expectation / pedigree. and (b) MSU threw in a "no star" at left tackle named Jack Conklin from the same 2012 class who was named freshman All American at a more prominent position on the line. That reflects poorly on Kalis and/or coaching at UM. Still has 3 years ahead of him and can live up to potential.
 Erik Magnuson
Background: High 4 star with offers from high end schools such as Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Stanford, USC.
Comment: Natural tackle was pushed into guard role due to need despite being undersized. Of the Kalis, Bosch (true freshman), Magnuson trio - he seemed to do the best job of the three... of course that bar is very low. Despite injury he has been slated to start at most important OL position this year, so coaching staff showing trust. Coming in at or near 300 lbs this fall would be a plus.
Early View: On track with potential out of HS. In a normal environment a RS sophomore pushing for a starting gig would be tracking at Lewan level. In this environment it is difficult to tell as lack of alternatives / upperclassmen smudges outlook.
 Ben Braden
Background: 3 star local giant with offers from regional upper end schools ala Wiscy/MSU.
Comment: Natural tackle but slated to play guard 12 months ago to fill need, but was not a good fit at this position so had nowhere to go as there were 2 established starters. Magnuson seemed to be primary backup in coaches views if there had been an injury to starting tackles. Lauded for physical makeup.
Early View: Too soon to tell. No one has seen him yet in a real game; coaching staff has him as a starter at RT. If he turns into a 3 year RT starter, he will have played above his potential / offer.
 Blake Bars
Background: Interesting mixed views out of HS, some places 3 stars, some places 4 stars but offer sheet would lean towards 4 with LSU, Florida, PSU, South Carolina among suitors.
Comment: Seems to be lost in the depth chart. Rarely discussed as a player challenging for a starting spot. Find that troubling in light of how desperate we were last year for any OL player, and this year... hear names like Dawson ahead of his.
Early View: Too soon to tell but lack of discussion about him seems to bode poorly. Seems to be tracking as career backup unless something changes.
OFFENSIVE SKILL PLAYERS - generally these guys can play early if they have high upside.
 Devin Funchess
Background: 3/4 star with offers from upper end Midwest programs such as Nebraska, MSU, Missouri.
Comment: One dimensional TE who suffered in blocking schemes, even through mid sophomore year. Pushed out to WR latter half of last year, where physical prowess and dimension he excels at (receiving) could be utilized. Had some Braylon Edwards moments both good and bad last year with highlight reel catches and dropsies. Should have massive year, esp if can reduce drops.
Early View: While not a great TE due to lack of blocking, has exceeded expectations in production as 2nd most dangerous non QB threat after Gallon last year and top target this year. Some already worrying he might leave early for NFL - because we are UM fans and that's what we do.
 Jehu Chesson
Background: 3 star with offers from Iowa, Northwestern, Missouri, etc
Comment: Was deemed to be the 3rd/4th type WR behind Gallon, Darboh, Dileo out of camp last year. Injury to Darboh pushed him higher up food chain. Did not do much in receiving area esp in first half of year but picked up some late in year; ended with 15 catches for 221 yards. Amazing ability to wipe out 3 defensive players at once with blocking skill in bowling ball fashion. Special teams monster...already.
Early View: On track with potential out of HS/offer sheet. Will have lots of competition coming his way, but worst case looks to be one of the best blocking WRs in past 10 years. Would like to his 'speedster' label applied with some gashes downfield - started to happen a bit late last year.
 Amara Darboh
Background: 3/4 star with offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Wiscy, Iowa, etc.
Comment: One of the most buzzed about players during spring last year until injury broke the hearts of fandom. So for now a mystery. A healthy Darboh with 30+ catches this year would have him tracking well.
Early View: Until we see him on Saturdays impossible to speculate but last year's buzz seemed promising.
 A.J. Williams
Background: 3 star tight end with mid range BCS offers such as Arkansas, MSU, West Virginia, NC State.
Comment: Much like Funchess extremely one dimensional at this point but his dimension is blocking. Caught 1 pass for 2 yards in 11 games. Reviews are mixed on his blocking skills. Jake Butt took playing time as year passed, Heitzman has been moved over this year - facing a lot of competition with Bunting on the horizon as well.
Early View: A bit below projection due to one sided nature of skill set... which is more akin to a small tackle rather than a TE. Ability to grab 1-2 passes a game would help but emergence of Butt looks to put him in backup role.
 Sione Houma
Background: 2/3 star fullback with offers from Utah, Utah State, Washington
Comment: I will leave comments for those more well versed in analyzing a fullback. Devin/Denard type offenses don't allow for much FB type play; maybe this changes in the Morris/Speight era. Right now mostly a special teams player.
Early View: In line with projection out of HS.
 Drake Johnson
Background: 3 star local whose only other offer was Eastern Michigan.
Comment: Won backup RB role ahead of highly rated freshman last year - some question if that was more a reflection of the freshman RBs or Hoke sending a message. Was able to generate all of 2 carries before evilness hit him.
Early view: Too soon to tell but any production would be a bonus versus offer sheet. Depending on 2015 RB recruiting could be facing a logjam on depth chart.
 Dennis Norfleet
Comment: Surprise 3/4 star committment on signing day; taken from Cincinnati
Background: Gets most of playing time as a kick returner. His forays into punt returns have been... challenging. Often said to be "so close to breaking one" on kick returns. Limited role on offense thus far - a bit of a scat back type, with 4 rushes and 6 receptions. Coaches looking to convert him into a slot WR role this year.
Early view: In line with college offers but more production on offense would help reach full potential, esp for the services that gave him 4 stars. Or becoming a poor man's Breaston on kick returns.
OVERALL TAKE: Again it is early ....especially for those who redshirted. 3 of the 4 lineman are in line for projected starting roles on 2014 squad - if they all catch on and become 3 year starters this will be a fantastic haul for the OL even if Bars never plays a minute. If even 2 become 3 year starters it will be a very good thing. Need at least 1 to be "elite" to help take this team up the food chain. Next 12 months should tell us a lot on what to expect in 2015 and 2016 from this group.
Funchess has been the biggest win thus far in the skill players versus expectation. Darboh and Chesson still have potential to be major contributors and seem on track versus expectation as best as we can tell. Other skill players at this moment seem more like niche / backup players but that fits in relatively in line with expectations for them out of HS.
Penn State surprised some people finishing 11th place in the B1G Ten when many people thought they would be much worse. They are going to surprise some people again this year as they do not lose much. They lose Tim Frazier, Allen Roberts, Alan Wisniewski, and Zach Cooper who are all graduating. Losing these players means losing:
This really is not all that much to replace. This team is experienced but very thin. Here is their roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
2 D.J. Newbill 6-4 205 RS. SR. SG
One of the biggest heroballers in basketball, he is the reason why Penn State does not assist on many of their baskets. He is their best player by far, averaged 17.8 points per game last season. Starting Shooting Guard.
43 Ross Travis 6-6 225 SR. SF
Starting Small Forward, played quite a bit last year, averaged 8.4 points per game last year. Will get even more attention this year.
14 Kevin Montminy 6-3 185 SR. SG
Will be the 5th guy off the bench this year, likely to be passed up by Banks and eventually Garner.
1 John Johnson 6-1 175 SR. PG
The starting point guard, averaged 6.7 points and .6 assists last year, not impressive for a point guard.
32 Jordan Dickerson 7-0 240 JR. C
The first forward off the bench, will provide good size for 20 minutes a game.
10 Brandon Taylor 6-7 235 JR. PF
The starting Power Forward, seoncd leading scorer returning.
5 Donovon Jack 6-9 210 JR. C
The starting Center, averaged 6.2 points last year.
44 Julian Moore 6-10 215 SO. C
Only played in 7 games last year, will be the 4th guy off the bench.
13 Geno Thorpe 6-3 180 SO. SG
The third guy off the bench, only averaged 3.2 points per game.
3 Graham Woodward 6-0 170 SO. PG
The first guard off the bench, only averaged 2.8 points per game last year.
0 Payton Banks 6-6 220 RS FR. SF
Redshirted last year, will be the 6th man off the bench, he will prbably earn more minutes as the season progresses.
33 Shep Garner 6-2 170 FR. SG
A three star, who will eventually earn some minutes.
9 Isaiah Washington 6-3 175 FR. SG
Point Guard: John Johnson
Shooting Guard: D.J. Newbill
Small Forward: Ross Travis
Power Forward: Brandon Taylor
Center: Donovon Jack
Michigan plays at Penn State next year for their only matchup. Not a huge deal.
Penn State will be decent next year, but in the B1G, decent is not good enough. I say they will finish 7-11 next year with a few key upsets. However, there is some variance here, If Newbill has a bad year, they could be as bad as 4-14. On the flip side, if Taylor and Travis have a really good year, we could see something similar to Nebraska.
Next up... Minnesota
so, one of the most useful times for the mini-program is at whatever this things is that happens in the spring. let me know if there are any changes to be made. the 2 deep roster comes from Touch the Banner. so, here you go:
Izzo inherited a ridiculously loaded MSU team in 1995. Quinton Brooks is largely hailed as one of the best small forwards to lace 'em up for MSU. Power forward Jamie Feick went on to play for the 76'ers. Ray Weathers went on to play for the Suns. Jon Garavaglia was a McDonalds All American and Mr. Basketball. In his first year, he also brought in Morris Peterson of the Toronto Raptors and Antonio Smith. Izzo took that team all the way to the second round of the NIT.
Then on Feb.17, 1996 There was a rollover accident on M-14 involving U-M player Maurice Taylor’s Ford Explorer. Teammates Robert Traylor, Louis Bullock, Willie Mitchell, Ron Oliver and recruit Mateen Cleaves were all in the vehicle.
Izzo capitalized, adding Mateen Cleaves(Pistons) and David Thomas(founder of Wendy's) who helped MSU all the way back to the second round of the NIT. The parade of blue chips continued with Charlie Bell(Suns) and Andre Hutson(Beat up Chuck Norris when Matt Trannon was but a twinkle in his father's eye). This ushered in the Golden Age of MSU basketball('98,'99, 00) when MSU would bookend a National Championship with two additional Final 4's. Loaded as those teams were, this Golden Age led to the great Tom Izzo “More with Less” fallacy. Because MSU does not recruit on the level of Kentucky, Kansas and Duke(them and 342 other schools) Izzo somehow gained the “Beilein” reputation, the coach who advances in the tournament despite his (Perceived) lack of talent.
Izzo has led the Spartans for 19 long years. Impressively, he has had them in the NCAA Tournament for the last 17 of them(One or two of those came with a wink and a nod from the selection committee, but we'll come back to that). That's not quite the 34 year bowl streak Michigan enjoyed under Bo-Mo-Carr, but that kind of consistency is rare in college basketball. Under Izzo's reign, MSU has been to 6 Final Fours and won a National Championship. They've also been bounced in the first round 4 times and lost in the Sweet 16 4 times. Until recently, MSU just dominated Michigan in terms of head to head as well as the post-season. Beilein has obviously turned that around in the last 4 years, winning 6 of the last 9. But that is a local issue. You don't come up with an OP title like that simply because there's a new sheriff in town. No, what leads me to believe that the end is near for Izzo is something much more sinister. Recruiting.
Despite what the media would have you believe, Izzo has simply never HAD to do more with less. He has always been a good recruiter, and he has always had more. I went back and looked at some recruiting numbers and outcomes. There are a number of caveats here. Trey Burke and Caris Lavert were 3* recruits. But to some extent you can look at it as a numbers game(like fantasy football). There's something like a 60% chance that Fantasypros(or Rivals) is going to have each player ranked correctly, a 20% chance they'll be significantly better, and a 20% chance they're going to be worse(Unless you're John Beilein). But if you look at MSU's elite recruit Rivals numbers as far as they go back adding a star for each year of experience(assuming that a sophomore 4* is equal to a freshman 5* and that a 3* player encompasses too great a range to even consider) you find:
2002: 5* Elite 8
2003: 4* 5* First Round
2004: 4* 5* Final 4
2005: bupkis(Roster score of 32) First Round
2006: 4* 4*(RS 28) Second Round
2007: 4* 4* 4*(RS 37) Sweet 16
2008: 4* 5* (RS 36) Runner Up
2009: 4* 4*(RS 51!) Final 4
2010: 4* 5 *(RS 53) First Round
2011: 5*(RS 43) Sweet 16
2012: 5*(Harris) 4* 4*(RS 46) Sweet 16
2013: bupkis(RS 38) Elite 8
2014: 4*(RS 24)
That's a score of 24 for next year. The next lowest would be the 28 from 2006, the year where MSU scraped into the tournament(wink, nod) .500 in conference and got bounced the first weekend. That team was a 4* player better than next year's roster. The next lowest was the 2005 team(two 4* players better) that also went .500 in conference and lost in the first round. For reference, 2009's Final 4 team was rated 51. For those keeping score at home, in the measurable past that's a Roster Average of 40 points(the equivalent of 8 5* freshmen). More with more.
Assuming that Dawson stays and Harris leaves, on paper this coming year's State team will be the worst (from a rivals ratings and experience standpoint) since the modern era of recruiting sites(turn of the century). With Izzo reaching for 3* recruits these days, and the NCAA taking steps to weed out thug ball, I don't see much help on the horizon for them either. You're looking at Dawson as a 5* senior, Valentine and Costello as 4* juniors, and that 4* freshman point guard who can't shoot coming in. That's it.
So what happened to Izzo's recruiting? Several things.
Somewhere in the early 2000's, the NBA stopped playing defense. You see that 5* all the way up there next to 2003? That's Shannon Brown. That's the last one of the guys represented here that went on to the NBA. You're looking at a decade of player development failure. Obviously, the NBA is the dream for a lot of recruits, and Izzo just plain isn't getting it done. Draymond Green(3* recruit not included) should also be mentioned. Not only is he getting 20 minutes per game in the NBA despite playing for MSU, but he is doing it as an undersized defensive specialist. In a league where the regular season has become the all star game.
The Breslin Center was state of the art in 1989, but it has barely been touched since then. I'm no interior decorator, but moldy concrete is generally not the way to go.
Style: Michigan State's defensive mandate is clear: If your man gains an advantage on you, push him, grab him, do what you've got to do. It works great if you can get away with it, but this year MSU is collecting personal fouls like Pokemon cards
I can understand Izzo's feelings of entitlement, as he has benefitted from lazy Big Ten officiating for his entire career, but if you make contact with your hand, arm or elbow away from your body, it is a foul. It has always been a foul. He made jokes after the UConn game about his players not being allowed to "touch anybody" and I can totally see where he's coming from. Who would have ever thought they'd make him play by the rules?
(Related)Results: Call it Karma. Call it correlation without causation. But MSU has badly underperformed their talent level against Michigan(JMo foul trouble aside) or more importantly in the post-season since the Wonders Hall incident. It sounds great, they made it to the Sweet 16 three times. But before the Virginia upset their post season scalps were pretty weak. St. Louis, Long Island, Valpo, Memphis, Delaware, Harvard. Sixth Seed Memphis is the only one that even moves the needle. 2010 stands out as Izzo's most glaring failure, as their most talented team(RS 53) lost out in the first round. With a 4-6 year window to grab the attention of high school kids, Izzo's time is running out.
(Related) Disillusionment. Izzo seems generally unhappy, and his interaction with the press has lost an air of...sanity.
If you're keeping score at home, he comes into the press conference near tears. He rips his own recruiting, whining that he has to play guys he hasn't played in a month. Then he cries about the officiating. Then he cries at the officiating again. Then he complains about poor Keith Appling's wrist.
I don't know if many recruits want to play for a sniveling whining excuse machine.
Then you've got the UConn press conference. His team was just upset by a team that by most accounts has no business in the Final 4, and Izzo seems...Relieved
I dont know of many coaches who would seem that happy that their season was over, that they wouldn't have to coach that particular group of players again. With this group though, he probably wasn't alone.
This is the most concerning if I am a Michigan State fan. The man calls attention to the Federal Rape Investigation that has been kept out of the media...For no other reason than that he is addicted to making excuses. Then he calls it “ridiculous” and says that he's “sick of it”. Now, whatever you think of the Wonder's Hall incident...Put yourself in the shoes of the victim. Then look at what the mouthpiece of your school is saying about the event that changed your life. Even if that's what you're thinking...What kind of human being is so self-absorbed and stupid that they can spout off PUBLICLY about such a terrible allegation as a personal annoyance? And then when they asked him to elaborate, he told members of the press, “Don't mess with me right now”. You brought it up sir. The MSU student newspaper just broke the story that Federal Authorities are investigating the victim's claim that the University "engaged in activities to malign her character" in retaliation for her reporting the assault. I am sure the victim is quite sorry for inconveniencing a man of Izzo's stature. http://statenews.com/article/2014/04/student-claimed-msu-retaliated-against-her-for-reported-assault
Most players dont like being trashed in the media and getting the full Bobby Knight treatment in front of their friends and family. Even the biased MSU media admits that he goes too far http://www.freep.com/article/20140113/BLOG05/301130041/hey-joe-michigan-state-spartans-tom-izzo But Izzo seems unable to coach any other way, and his talent level is shifting accordingly.
They say that you want to leave a program “Better than you found it”, and the guy won a Championship and went to a bunch of Final 4's, but if he bailed for the NBA or even retired with the roster in its current state...What would that do to his legacy? Everyone has an instinct for self-preservation,but the words “cowardly” and “selfish” might come up. Not in the media of course, they write what he tells them to write. I mean in living rooms and around water coolers.
With all of this said, Izzo could pull through this in two or three years. For MSU, that simple metric does seem to predict season outcome pretty well, but if you look at it, Beilein won a Big Ten Championship with a roster score of 5. Beilein made it to the NCAA Championship game with a roster score of 13. But Tom Izzo is no John Beilein. Can you imagine what Beilein would do with the 40's Izzo has averaged over his career? I very much look forward to finding out.
In March, I posted Part 1, looking at the recruiting make-up of the last ten BCS Champion football teams. For those of you lost in the three week basketball coma, the key takeaways were:
- Defensive line is the position with the highest average rating (5th) of any position
- Offense (7th) and Defense (5th) are both important but defenses feature more highly rated recruits for national champions.
- No national champion has been crowned with a roster profile (Ratings + Age) outside of the top ten, a group Michigan will likely sit on the fringes of next year.
For Part 2, we’ll move to the on field performance. Looking at conversion rates and big play potential on both offense and defense as well as field position.
Some quick notes on methodology.
Conversion rate = [1st Downs gained]/[1st Down plays (including first play of drive)]. A three and out is 0/1. A one play touchdown is 1/1. Two first downs and then a stop is 2/3, etc.
Bonus Yards = [Yards gained beyond the first down line]/[Total plays from scrimmage]
This is an adjustment to how I have previously calculated, to account for the plays a team runs.
Field Position = The expected point difference per game for where a team’s offense starts and where a team’s defense starts. Each drive is given an expected value based on the start of scrimmage, all of the drives for the offense and defense are totaled and compared. This accounts for all elements of field position: turnovers, special teams, drive penetration etc.
I am only looking at teams from the BCS conferences since those are the only reasonably eligible team for the championship. To account for yearly rule changes and variations, I will use annual ranks for each season.
Median Rank: 5.5th, 76.0% conversion
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Texas 2005 (2), Auburn 2010 (3), Florida St 2013 (3)
Bottom 3: Florida 2006 (26), Alabama 2009 (23), Alabama 2011 (23)
2013 Michigan: 36th, 69.9%
Best Michigan Team: 2003, 3rd, 75.2%
Median Rank: 8th, 2.95 Bonus Yards per play
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Texas 2005 (1), Auburn 2010 (1), USC 2004 (3)
Bottom 3: LSU 2007 (26), Alabama 2011 (26), Florida 2006 (17)
2013 Michigan: 33rd, 2.35
Best Michigan Team: 2010, 3rd, 3.20
On the offensive side, there is a strong correlation between conversion rate and bonus yards among national champions. 6 of the 10 champions were in the top 8 in both categories while the other four champions where 13th or higher in both.
Median Rank: 10th, 59.9% conversion allowed
Average Rank: 12th
Top 3: Alabama 2009, Alabama 2011, Alabama 2012, Florida St 2013 (1)
Bottom 3: Auburn 2010 (52), Florida 2006 (18), LSU 2007 (13)
2013 Michigan: 24th, 68.9%
Best Michigan Team: 2006, 7th, 58.7%
Median Rank: 7.5, 1.75 Bonus Yards per play allowed
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Alabama 2011, Florida St 2013 (1), Alabama 2012 (3)
Bottom 3: Auburn 2010 (39), LSU 2007 (20), Alabama 2009 (12)
2013 Michigan: 12th, 1.98
Best Michigan Team: 2013
The last three champions have all been dominant on defense. Only 2012 Alabama wasn’t ranked first in both categories and they were first in conversion rate and third in bonus yards. Prior to that, the last seven champions have been ranked 10th or worse in at least one of the two categories.
Median Rank: 6th, +3.9 points per game
Average Rank: 8th
Runner-Up Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Florida St 2013 (1), USC 2004, Texas 2005, Florida 2008 (2)
Bottom 3: Florida 2006 (21), Auburn 2010 (20), LSU 2007 (12)
2013 Michigan: 43rd, –0.9
Best Michigan Team: 2006, 4th, +4.5
Six of the top ten finished in the top 7 of field position. Field position is a pretty good approximation for offense, defense and special teams, with turnovers factored in. Other than a surprising 2006 Florida team and the 2010 offense-heavy Auburn teams haven’t been at the top end in overall field position.
While the last five Alabama driven years have pushed the needle toward the defensive side, the ten years as a whole are fairly balanced between offense and defense. One thing is clear, you have to be really good at least one side. Eight of the ten champions ranked in the top 2 in at least one of the five categories.
Five teams won the national championship with a higher rated defense than offense, three with a better offense than defense and two with units evenly matched. Overall the averages are roughly the same, largely thanks to the mediocre to bad Auburn defense from 2010 dragging down the averages.
Half of the teams that went on to win national championships were good at everything. 2004 USC, 2005 Texas, 2008 Florida, 2012 Alabama and 2013 Florida St all ranked in the top 10 in all five categories. 2009-2011 saw champions that were very strong on one side of the ball and 2006-2007 just saw a strange collection of champions. Since 2004 the only team to rank in the top 10 across the board and not win the championship was 2008 USC.
For Michigan, the roster look from Part 1 is a much more compelling case for Michigan’s readiness for the national elites than the on-field one. Only in defensive big play prevention was Michigan remotely at a national elite level last year. The other four categories are all several tiers away from the top teams. This is year probably won’t be a make or break year for the staff, that’s probably two years away barring a major disaster this season, but big strides will have to be made this season. The roster is there on the fringes of elite, 2014 will be the year the results should be ready to come into line, as well.
Oh how fun this will be. Indiana loses NINE of thier players. A whole NINE!!! that is crazy. Evan Gordon, Jeff Howard, Taylor Wayer, and WIll Sheehey are graduating. Austin Etherington, Jonny Marlin, Jeremy Hollowell and Luke Fischer are transferring. And Noah Vonleh is leaving early for the NBA. Losing these players means losing:
That is a lot to replace. The way to replace attrition like that is to bring in a really big recruiting class. Indiana did not do that. They are bringing in three solid Freshman, and only have a chance for two more. Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
42 Peter Jurkin 7-0 230 JR. C
Only played eight games last year after getting injured. May play some valuable minutes off the bench.
12 Hanner Mosquera-Perea 6-9 225 JR PF
The starting Center, pretty much forced into the lineup. Averaged 2.8 points per game last year.
11 Kevin Ferrell 6-0 178 JR. PG
Uggggghhhh Yogi Ferrell A.K.A. Michigan killer, will probably take all of their shots next year. He took 23% of their shots last year on a team with a future pro. Will most likely be B1G all conference next year. Averaged 17.3 points per game last year. Starting Point Guard.
30 Collin Hartman 6-6 210 SO. SF
Collin tore his ACL on the 15th of March, so he probably won't do anything next year. As hard as ACL tears are for football players, they are even harder on basketball players. Was not really a contributor before the injury.
22 Stanford Robinson 6-4 193 SO. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, started to blossom late in the year. Will take the third most amount of shots this year. Averaged 6.4 points per game last year.
21 Joe Fagan 6-4 195 SO. SG
Walk-on, may get playing time you never know.
15 Devin Davis 6-7 221 SO. PF
The starting Power Forward, only averaged 2.4 points per game, will play a little center.
5 Troy Williams 6-7 206 SO. SF
Personally my least favorite player on the Hoosiers. After his two dunks against us he decided to stare down our players. To which told him to enjoy the N.I.T errrrr..... Anyways, he averaged 7.3 points per game, and will be a tough matchup for teams.
2 Andrew Calomeris 6-4 183 SO. SG
James Blackmon 6-4 180 FR. SG
Many of you know of Blackmon from when we recruited him. He is a five star and will be the 6th man and eventually a starter. When he starts, Robinson will play the 3, Williams the 4 and Davis the 5.
Robert Johnson 6-3 180 FR. SG
A four star who will play, but not a "20 minute a game" guy
Max Hoetzel 6-7 210 FR. SF
A three star, he will probably get 10 minutes a game.
Projected Starting line-up
Point guard: Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
Shooting guard: Stanford Robinson
Small Forward: Troy Williams
Power Forward: Devin Davis
Center: Hanner Mosquera-Perea
Michigan plays Indiana on the road next year, which is quite a disadvantage for Michigan. Assembly Hall is a Michigan's enemy and the refs are big equalizer when the game is played there.
This team will not be very good, they will however finish better than teams like Purdue and Rutgers. They will continue to get home cooking and Ferrell will get hot in a couple of games. However, I do not see them finishing any better then 6-12 in the conference. It is too hard to replace nine players.
Next up... Penn State.