national champs baby
As we're getting closer to spring ball we will start to see more visits being scheduled and more lists being narrowed down. Michigan is firing up visits. Here's a look at some of those trips that have been scheduled and what a few recruits have to say about the Wolverines. As always, you can follow me on twitter for more updates, and feel free to email me at TomVH@MGoBlog.com with any tips or questions.
5'11", 185 lbs.
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts athlete and teammate of LB Camren Williams has a Michigan offer and plans on taking a visit this month.
I have 12 offers right now, so I'm kind of taking everything in. Michigan is definitely a school I want to see, I think we're going there either March 26th or the 19th. Coach Mallory is the one recruiting me, and they're telling me I could play cornerback. It doesn't matter to me, wherever I can play the fastest.
Reeves is currently playing basketball for his high school, so he hasn't focused too much on the process. He does know what his timeline will look like.
My final decision will probably be no later than December or January, I'm not going to drag it out. I'll visit all the schools that have offered first, then narrow it down. I'm really looking for a school with good academics, good coaching staff, and what the campus around it is like.
So far Armani has been to Rutgers, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Maryland. Reeves will be visiting Michigan with his teammate Camren Williams, who is also being recruited by Michigan.
Me and Camren are just enjoying the process together. We've been friends since 4th grade so he's like my brother. We don't base everything on going to school together, it's just a blessing to go through it together. Hopefully we can pick the same school.
This upcoming trip to Ann Arbor should make things more clear for the pair. Williams is looking to make his decision in June, so the visit will be crucial for him.
6'2", 277 lbs.
Johnson does not have an offer from Michigan yet, but they have been in constant communication. He has definite interest.
I do think they'll offer me soon, and I know I want to get up there for a visit. I just have to put some dates in order and check my schedule to see when I have off. I think it will be during spring, since I have that time off, either way I will visit [Michigan]. I don't have a top list yet, but they're definitely a school that sticks out to me.
Defensive tackle is going to be a major focus for Michigan. Despite the fact that Johnson doesn't have an offer from Michigan yet, I believe that he could eventually get one. As other DT prospects make their decisions Michigan will have to look to kids like Johnson to try to shore up that hole on the depth chart.
These visit dates seem to be changing every day, so I will update them as I confirm what they are. Some of the recruits weren't positive on the dates, which tells me it might change. Here's a list of visitors that I have confirmed so far in the next coming weeks.
Michigan DT Matt Godin (6'5", 260 lbs) was in Ann Arbor this past weekend for the Michigan vs. MSU basketball game.
Illinois OL Dan Voltz (6'5", 289 lbs) visiting Michigan this weekend. He'll be making his final decision in the next couple months, so this is a big visit. I think Michigan is a little behind right now.
Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (6'3", 210 lbs) also visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. This date could change, but as of yesterday it was still the right day. Vince has Michigan in his top three with BYU, and Wisconsin. The coaching changes at Wisconsin made him take a step back, so he'll visit Michigan and BYU next, then likely make his decision.
Michigan LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs) said he thinks he'll be up to Ann Arbor on March 12th, but it sounded like it wasn't set in stone. This one might change.
Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs) has a trip planned for March 19th.
Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 220 lbs) also coming up on March 19th.
As mentioned, Mass LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) wasn't sure of the exact date, but it's either March 19th or the 25th. I'll confirm with him in the future.
Mass ATH Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs) teammate of Camren Williams, and will be visiting the same time as Williams.
New York DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) will be visiting on March 25th. Morgan plays quarterback, corner, and free safety for his high school team now. Very versatile, very good athlete.
Indiana TE/DE Pierre Aka (6'4", 250 lbs) is planning a trip on the 25th as well. He thinks Michigan may offer on the visit. If Michigan offered they could hear his decision shortly after.
This is who I've confirmed so far. I'll be spending time this week trying to confirm more, so this list is going to go up from here.
- Mass LB Camren Williams says Michigan is in his top five, and grew up a Michigan fan. Visiting this month.
- The Good Counsel prospects have interest in Michigan, and vice versa.
- Ohio DE Ifeadi Odenigbo will visit Michigan in June, and says that Michigan is not in his top five yet. A visit may change that, but I believe Ohio State and Stanford are the teams to beat.
- Texas LB Jeremiah Tshimanga didn't make it up to Ann Arbor this weekend, but is hoping to make it up soon.
- Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs) told me that he plans on visiting Michigan sometime this spring. He doesn't have an exact date yet, but he will make it up. Remember that 2011 Michigan signee TE Chris Barnett is friends with Pike, and has been trying to convince him to pick the Wolverines.
FlyRy4 - This was such a good post that I hope you don't mind I copy/pasted it for you.....Great nuggets below....Enjoy
I know this is different than the title, however, I do not have enough points for my own post. Maybe someone else can start a new post and copy/paste.
I thought this was great stuff.
[Ed: bump. I won't reinvent such a clear, informative wheel.]
Even though Michigan did not play, there were some interesting developments in the Pairwise rankings this weekend. For a more detailed breakdown on how the Pairwise works, see here. Michigan currently sits 4th in the Pairwise, just ahead of Denver, just like they were last week.
Major events that occurred this weekend:
- Denver lost to St. Cloud St. on Friday, dropping their RPI enough that we are still ahead of them. More importantly, we also own the TUC comparison with them. If they win out, they might pass us in RPI, but they can’t pass us in TUC by winning out (as I explain below). So if we win out, we own this comparison.
- Nebraska-Omaha is currently winning their comparison with us, by virtue of a dramatically improved TUC record (a result of Bemidji State dropping out of the TUC field). They sit tied for sixth in the Pairwise
- BC swept UNH, solidifying their comparison win against us and taking away virtually any possibility of a comparison win against a team currently above us. (The path to beating BC in our comparison is so byzantine as to be irrelevant. It is also meaningless, because it wouldn’t change which region the teams are sent to.)
- Michigan State and Ohio State were both swept. Yay! The OSU sweep cost Michigan a little bit, but it was probably worth it.
- EDIT: upsets in the ECAC tournament mean that Union plays Colgate in the quarterfinals of the ECAC playoffs. Had Union drawn 8th seed Quinnipiac, they would have had a chance at getting as many as four wins over TUCs, but now they can only get two. Since the difference in TUC record between the two teams is half a game (same ties and losses, Michigan has one more win), this means that if Michigan wins out, they can't be passed, since any team they play after this weekend would be a TUC (except, maybe, for LSSU, if they somehow get past Notre Dame). Yes, it's weird that this matters, but the important thing is that it was good for Michigan.
This weekend’s important games:
- Michigan hosts either BG or LSSU (EDIT: BG beat Northern, so we play BG). Neither are a TUC, so it would be nice to draw BG, since they are really bad, but either way, a sweep is a must.
- Denver hosts Minnesota State. Other than the Michigan series, this is the series of the weekend for Michigan fans, and your rooting interest is a little strange. Weirdly enough, you are rooting for a Denver sweep. The reason is that Minnesota State is currently just above the TUC cliff, and Denver has a 3-0-1 record against them. Also, Neb.-Omaha is 2-0 against Minnesota State. So dropping them out of the TUC field would actually help us in both comparisons. A sweep would do that; I don’t think Denver winning 2 out of 3 is enough. The improvement in RPI that Denver gets from a sweep is more than offset by the resulting precipitous drop in their TUC record, and virtually eliminates the chance that they could pass us if we win out. If Denver does lose a game, root for them to lose a second one as well.
- Neb.-Omaha hosts Bemidji State. This one is a little awkward as well. A Bemidji win makes them a TUC and really hurts UNO, but helps Denver a bit. Still, as long as we beat Denver in RPI we’re ok there, so go ahead and root for Bemidji State to get at least one win.
- Union hosts an as-yet unknown (and probably bad) ECAC team. EDIT: due to upsets in the ECAC tournament, Union plays Colgate, who is the Bowling Green of the ECAC. It also means that Union only has, at most, two more TUC games left, so if Michigan wins out, it is virtually impossible for Union to pass us. In any event root against Union in case Michigan doesn't win out. You are hoping that someone (probably Yale) eventually takes them out in the ECAC tournament.
- Merrimack hosts Maine, who just crushed them last weekend. Any wins by Maine this weekend will prevent Merrimack from passing us until at least next weekend, so root hard for Maine. This comparison is very close, and will swing Merrimack’s way if they get a sweep.
- Finally, Miami hosts either Northern or Alaska. Any Miami loss will help keep us ahead of them; those two head-to-head losses mean we have to win every comparison, so root against Miami.
Even a Michigan sweep could see them dropping down to 5th or 6th in the Pairwise. Remember that the Pairwise is very fluid, and there is still another very consequential weekend to go after this one. Go Blue!
Tales from Last Night
Last night went much better for Michigan than did Monday. The relevant results for the Wolverines:
- Harvard beat Penn 79-64. The Crimson are a past opponent, so we want them to do very well.
- Princeton beat Dartmouth 77-55. We wanted Princeton to lose because they're Harvard's competition for the Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament bid.
It was a small schedule last night, and everything went as expected.
Looks like The Matrix isn't going to update before tonight's relevant games start, so the table below comes from yesterday's update.
Per the Bracket Matrix:
|Bids||Bubble In||Bubble Out||Change|
|Big East||11||Marq (10)|
|SEC||5||Tenn (9), UGa (10),||Bama||Bama out.|
|Big Ten||6||Mich (12), MSU (10), Ill (9)||Minn, PSU|
|ACC||5||Clemson (12), BC (12), VT (11), FSU (9)||Mary|
|Big 12||5||Neb, Bay, Colo, OkSt|
|Pac-10||3||Wash (9), UCLA (8)||USC, Washington St.|
|Atlantic 10||3||Richmond (11)|
|Mountain West||3||UNLV (8)||Colo St|
|West Coast||2||Zaga (12), St Mary's (11)|
|Colonial||2||George Mason (8), Old Domin (8)||VCU|
|CUSA||2||Memphis (12), UAB (11)||USM, UTEP, Marsh, UCF|
|WAC||1||Utah State (9)|
|Horizon||1||Butler (12)||Cleve St, UW-Mil|
|Summit||1||1-bid Oakland (13)|
|Ivy||1||1-bid Princeton (13)||Harvard|
Chart doesn't include last night's results.
Big day. General rule: cheer against bubble teams, and for past Michigan opponents.
- Kansas @ Missouri (Noon, CBS). The Jayhawks are a past Michigan opponent, so you want them to win.
- Virginia Tech @ Clemson (Noon, ESPN2). These are both bubble teams, but Virginia Tech has a stronger resume right now and Clemson is also a past Michigan opponent. Pull HARD for the Tigers.
- Indiana @ Illinois (Noon, BTN). You want Indiana to stay above the 200 RPI threshold, so Michigan's loss to them isn't as bad. Plus, the Wolverines own a win over Indiana but not Illinois. This game could also hurt the Illini's psyche before a possible first-round BTT matchup with Michigan. HOWEVA, Indiana ain't gon' win, so don't worry about it.
- Duquesne @ Richmond (Noon). The Spiders are a bubble team, and you want the Dukes to do everything in their power to change that.
- Georgia @ Alabama (1:30, ESPN3). Both are bubble teams, but the Bulldogs are slightly stronger right now, and you want Alabama to knock them down to their level - especially since the Tide probably lost their main at-large chance against Florida the other night.
- Iowa State @ Kansas State (1:30, ESPN3). Iowa State has no shot at an at-large bid, so you want them to do as much damage as possible to Kansas State.
- Oregon @ Arizona (2:00, CBS). Haha, most of you have to watch this instead of a game that more than 8 people care about. CBS hates you.
- Virginia @ Maryland (2:00, ESPN3). Root for the Hoos to end Maryland's chances to get an at-large.
- UTEP @ SMU (3:00). Though UTEP is a fellow bubble team, they're a past Michigan opponent so you want them to do well. If the MSU game isn't going so hot, switch allegiances to SMU, I guess.
- Purdue @ Iowa (4:00, ESPN). You want Iowa to spring the upset and stay in the RPI top 200 (not gonna happen).
- Tulane @ Memphis (4:00). The Green wave can end Memphis's hopes to pick up an at-large bid by saddling them with a bad loss.
- Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (4:00, ESPN3). Oklahoma State is on the bubble fringe, but the Sooners can end that on their senior day.
- UNLV @ Utah (4:00). The Runnin' Rebels are solidly in the tournament, but Utah is a past Michigan opponent.
- UCLA @ Washington State (5:30). The Bruins are solidly in the tournament, and can knock off Washington State's run.
- Marquette @ Seton Hall (6:00, ESPN3). Marquette is sliding after Wednesday's loss to Cincinnati, and this could finish them.
- Princeton @ Harvard (7:00, ESPN3). The Ivy League's website breaks down title scenarios. You are a HUGE Harvard fan in this one (see top section of this post).
- Southern Utah v. Oakland (7:00). Past Michigan opponent Grizzlies kick off their conference tournament.
- UCF @ Marshall (7:00). Both teams are on the bubble, so root for UCF because they're a little further behind.
- East Carolina @ UAB (8:00). UAB is on the bubble, and you want East Carolina to knock them off it.
- Southern Miss @ Tulsa (8:00). Same goes for this game.
- Texas @ Baylor (9:00, ESPN). You want Texas to permanently knock Baylor out of the running for a bubble spot.
- Nebraska @ Colorado (9:00). Both bubble teams, root for the weaker one.
- Colorado State @ San Diego State (10:00). The Aztecs can knock Colorado State off the bubble.
- Canisius v. Rider (10:00, ESPN3). Least important game on the docket, since both schools are highly unlikely to get anything other than an autobid. Get good karma by rooting on John Beilein's old team, though.
- USC @ Washington (10:30). Since USC lost Thursday night, they're going to miss the tournament. Root for them to weaken Washington on their way out.
- Buffalo @ Bowling Green. The Falcons are a past Michigan opponent, and you want them to end up as respectable as possible.
Tons of games today, but remember that most of them mean nothing unless the maize-and-blue can emerge victorious over MSU.
Go Blue Wear Maize Beat State.
Catholic Memorial High School in Massachusetts is the home to linebacker Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) and his teammate athlete Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs). The defensive pair are best friends and have both received an offer from Michigan. I'll have more from Armani on Monday, but I caught up with Camren to talk about Michigan and his recruitment overall. Here's some film from Camren at a U Conn camp, and you can see his full highlights here.
TOM: Your teammate Armani [Reeves] said you both were coming up on March 26th, is that date set?
CAMREN: Yeah, I think it's the 26th. It's either that or the 19th.
TOM: When it comes to your recruitment, with both you and Armani, I know you're really good friends but are you guys trying to pick the same school? Are you trying to be a package deal?
CAMREN: We're trying to be separate in our decision, because not all schools would be good for both of us. We're totally different kids with different majors and different positions. My favorite school might not be the best for Armani, and the other way around so we would like to, but it may not happen.
TOM: Where are you at right now with the process? Do you have a top list yet?
CAMREN: It's really down to five schools, Michigan, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Penn State, and Maryland in no order.
TOM: Is that a final list, or could that change?
CAMREN: It may change, but I want to make my decision by June so those are probably the schools that I'll focus on here on out. Depending on maybe some other schools that offer, that's my top five.
TOM: With that being said, since you want to decide so soon where does Michigan stack up in that top list?
CAMREN: I really like Michigan. That's where my dad is originally from, and that's the school I've always been rooting for since I was born because my dad is such a huge fan. It's a great school with big time Big Ten football so I'm extremely interested.
TOM: With this upcoming visit to Michigan, I'm assuming that you're going to be trying to get to know the coaches better, but what else?
CAMREN: Yeah, I hope to do that on my visit. I talk to Coach Mallory sometimes, but other than that I haven't really talked to any other [Michigan] coaches. I want to go to a high academic school that fits my major well, with a position coach that I relate really well with, and a head coach with a good vision on where he wants to bring his program in the future. I also want a school with a big time program where I have the ability to play early.
TOM: Do you already know what you want to major in? With all that being said, do you think that Michigan has a good chance at landing you?
CAMREN: I want to major in kinesiology, and Michigan has a good chance. Academics are huge for me, which Michigan obviously has. They also play big time football and that's the school I've always watched growing up. It all depends on how I like the campus and the people and all that, but I'm definitely interested.
Okay, so, somebody is going to broach it eventually. I may as well be the one.
First of all, man does he look like his dad. Second of all, man, does he have the potential to be BETTER. Yes yes... taller. No, that's not what I mean. I mean better. Don't believe me? Lets look at the- CHART?
Well, we have a table, that's almost a chart.
Those numbers represent four years of Tim Hardaway Sr. at UTEP and the season to date for Jr. at Michigan. Lets look at some comparison numbers. First off, minutes.
Right now, Tim Jr. is averaging 29.9 minutes per game, trending upward. Figure he ends up at about 30 even or slightly over. This falls in line with his father's Jr year, most closely, where he averaged 32 minutes. As such, I think it's prudent to use that as a baseline for comparing performance in a season.
You can easily see that as Sr.'s minutes and usage rose, Freshman to Jr season, his shooting percentage fell, hitting its lowest point in his Jr. year. This coincided with a rise in his overal points and PPG as he attempted many more shots per game.
Tim Jr. is shooting at an overall lower percentage than his father ever did, but is averaging more than a full PPG higher than his father did during his most similar usage year. This is because Jr. as a freshman, is shooting almost a full percentage point higher than his father ever did on threes, and is attempting many more of them. As of right now, if we see a similar leap in shooting ability aas his career progresses, and he ends up with a similar shooting percentage as a senior (not a given, due to his height, but possible), Jr. could easily average over 20 PPG.
Dishing it out, Jr. understandably lags compared to his Father's performance in a similar minutes year. This is mostly due to his height (your tall guys aren't usually your ball handlers), and the fact that D-Mo is the floor captain. However, he is very, very close to his Father's freshman numbers, and even though his minutes are starter minutes, we should see his Assist ratio increase as he gains expeience. Relatedly, in TO ratio, Hardaway has his similar minutes father beaten by one per game, but again, as he dishes it more, he'll turn it over more.
Rebounding, I think, is no contest, Jr is going to have his father beat. As a Freshman, he's basically hit his father's Sr. mark in less minutes, and has eclipsed his father's similar minutes Jr. mark by 1 per game. Also on the defensive game, steals are a push right now. He's well below his Father's similar minutes numbers, but has the freshman numbers beat, and should see them increase as he develops. His father might have the slight edge when all is said and done.
So, lets add it up with a- Table? Table.
|Player||Overall Shoting||3 Point||Rebounding||Assists||Turn-Overs||Steals||PPG|
Now, I'm not claiming that Jr. is a better player than his father yet. But I see four plusses for Jr and only three for Sr. Ask Freshman Sr. to play Freshman Jr.'s minutes, and I think the percentages go way down. Give Jr. four years of experience, some bigs to distribute it to inside, and a little more help, and look out.
Now all we need is for Jr. to develop one of these: