"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
Today we are going to breakdown the Powerplay goals from the Michigan win over Notre Dame on Saturday night. (Ignore the mouse burnouts)
Here we start out with our basic cycle, Notre Dame is in a normal 2-2 box penalty kill. Notice how far the forward is playing up, he will not be able to get back fast enough for and lose puck or rebound.
Like stated before, the ND forward could not get back in time so anything that gets through to the right is a goal. Quick shot from the wing goes wide left and around the back boards, Wohlberg gathers and starts the cycle again.
Once again the forward is playing Pateryn high, streching the box out. Guptil is screening and no one in gold is paying attention. Pateryn cranks it and gets super lucky, the shot just misses hitting the forward because his hips are swinging to the right.
After a faceoff win and a good keep in, Treais brings the puck down to face a pretty normal rush situation.
Treais uses a great shot fake to freeze the defensemen, who loses position going down to block the shot.
The move was great, the defender is beat, but the angle is bad. The only way Treais scores is if the goalie guesses wrong.
Summerhayes takes away right post and 5 hole. He is wrong, and the bent knee gives A.J. just enough space to fit it in left side.
Cass Tech linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone was just the fourth player to commit to Brady Hoke's class of 2012, doing so last April. The consensus four-star recruit has since won a state championship with the Technicians and played in the Army All-American Game, and he's looking to continue that run of success at Michigan. I got the chance to chat with Royce over the weekend—via text, hence the short-ish answers—and we discussed his goals for his freshman year and career along with a few other topics:
ACE: How was the Army Game for you? It had to be fun being there with James [Ross, Royce's childhood friend] and your future teammates.
ROYCE: Yeah, it was a great experience. Everyone competed and had fun.
ACE: What are your goals for your freshman year?
ROYCE: Get my weight to 235 [Royce is currently listed at 215 on Rivals, though he looked bigger in person this fall], learn the defense, and see if I can at least get in the rotation.
ACE: You and the whole 2012 class come in with some big expectations. Do you ever feel pressure from that, or more just excitement?
ROYCE: Just excitement because everyone in this class is all about getting better and getting on that field.
ACE: What's it like to know you'll be playing for Greg Mattison as your defensive coordinator next year?
ROYCE: It's good to know you have a coach that knows what he's doing and not leaving when you get there.
ACE: When your Michigan career is over, what do you want to look back on and say you've accomplished.
ROYCE: [I want to say I've been an] All-American and All-Big Ten in my sophomore, junior, and senior year.
ACE: Do you expect to go out on top at Michigan like you did at Cass Tech?
ROYCE: Yeah. I plan on getting a national championship when I get there and before I leave.
The recruiting rankings are front-paged this week as we have a change at the top. Unfortunately, you probably know the change, and you're almost certainly not going to like it: Ohio State jumps Michigan after picking up four recruits (and the Wolverines losing Caleb Stacey, though that wouldn't have mattered in terms of the standings). Otherwise, the team rankings hold steady as we near signing day. Action since last rankings:
1-15-12: Taylor Decker changes commitment from Notre Dame to Ohio State. Illinois picks up T.J. Neal.
1-16-12: Penn State picks up Jordan Lucas.
1-17-12: Ohio State picks up Joey O'Connor. Gunner Kiel changes commitment from LSU to Notre Dame. Minnesota picks up Roland Johnson.
1-18-12: Ohio State picks up David Perkins. Minnesota picks up K.J. Maye.
1-20-12: Camren Williams changes commitment from Penn State to Ohio State.
1-21-12: Caleb Stacey changes commitment from Michigan to Cincinnati. Nebraska picks up LeRoy Alexander. Zach Jackson changes commitment from Illinois to TCU. Illinois picks up Justin Hardee. Minnesota picks up Ben Lauer.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg||Avg Avg^|
*ESPN doesn't rate JuCos, so they are counted as unranked recruits for the sake of consistency (trust me, it makes sense when you look at the spreadsheet).
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (aka the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
On to the full data, after the jump.
Of course I'm biased in my desire here but I'd sure like to see the San Francisco 49ers versus the New England Patriots in the upcoming Super Bowl. Just imagine the positive impact this may have on recruiting high school athletes around the country as they tune in to the constant buildup of sports talk high-lighting the obvious common bond between Tom Brady and Jim Harbaugh. If this comes to pass I envision a bombardment of discussion contrasting the two former Michigan quarterbacks - their records and accomplishments at Michigan, life styles, personal ambitions, and NFL careers. Wow! This could be a cavalcade of prime time publicity for Michigan football. This is why I'm pulling for second place finishes for the Giants and Ravens today.
It's no secret that Trey Burke is having a rather special freshman season. I got to wondering how special after reading the following in an annarbor.com article from about a week ago:
[John Beilein] says he's never had a freshman point guard quite like this one.
"I look at (ex-Michigan point guard Darius Morris') year-long stats from his freshman year," Beilein said. "Here's Darius, who was playing with Kobe the other night, and Trey already has more assists in this season than Darius had his whole freshman year.
"And Darius was a heck of a player. It's not normal. I can't recall (a freshman point guard) having this type (of year). It's been very rare that we've had ([to] play a freshman this much). It's rare, but it's been very good."
Burke's Year in Historical Context
So how does Burke's freshman year to date stack up against the freshman seasons of other point guards in Michigan history? To measure this, I borrowed a tool the Wall Street Journal used last year to identify MVP guards (with Darius Morris coming out on top). I like this metric because it's simple, easy to understand, but also quite telling. As the WSJ explained, it calculates "which players are involved in the highest percentage of their team's field goals, either via assists or by making shots themselves." The formula is simple: field goals made (FGM) + assists/team FGM.
Using the Men's Basketball Statistic Archive, here are the results for the freshman years of Michigan's leaders in assists (not all of whom were point guards):
|Player||Year||FGM||Assists||Team FGM||% Team FGM|
So Trey Burke is right there among the leaders for this metric. (Note that two of U-M's top assists men didn't have freshman years at the school: Rickey Greene was a junior college transfer, while Rumeal Robinson was ineligible his freshman season.) For comparison's sake, Darius Morris finished his sophomore season with 201 FGM and 235 assists, which meant he was involved in a remarkable 51.5 percent of the team's 847 FGM.
Burke among Cousy Award Finalists
How does Burke's season compare with that of his contemporaries? Quite well, when you use the same metric to compare this year's finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation's top point guard.
|Player||School||FGM||Assists||Team FGM||% Team FGM|
|Damian Lillard||Weber St.||130||66||470||41.7%|
|D. J. Cooper||Ohio U.||82||105||469||39.9%|
|Kendall Marshall||North Carolina||41||181||598||37.1%|
|Dee Bost||Mississippi St.||94||84||508||35.0%|
|Caspar Ware||Long Beach St.||102||59||479||33.6%|
Burke comes in 5th place overall and 2nd only to UConn's Shabazz Napier among the finalists from major conferences. This provides some further proof of just how good a season he's having—and how valuable he is to his team. I think it also shows why he should remain among the Cousy finalists when the list is narrowed down from 20 to 10 in early February.
Michigan Hockey: ND preview
#10 Michigan (14-8-4) at #7 Notre Dame (13-8-3)
1/20/12 7:35pm NBC Sports Network
1/21/12 7:35pm CBS Sports Network
There is one thing that makes Notre Dame different then every team we have played so far. They have a lot of highlight videos and they weren't shot with a camera someone borrowed from their mom.
|Billy Maday||Right Wing||6-12-18||35||-1||16||6|
|Austin Wuthrich||Right Wing||5-7-12||38||+3||26||10|
|Bryan Rust||Right Wing||5-4-9||46||+3||12||9|
|Jeff Costello||Left Wing||3-6-9||34||-5||39||4|
|Michael Voran||Right Wing||4-3-7||38||-3||6||6|
Notre Dame comes into the series with the nations 27th best scoring attack, but nothing really stands out out from the offense of the Fighting Irish on paper except the center domination. On film is a different story, the set offense is really bad but the breakout is outstanding.
The other thing they are really good at is taking advantage of opponents mistakes, cutting down neutral ice turnovers is a must for the game. This is how they win games, the offense is average, the defense is terrible but they still win because of the ability to turn a mistake into a goal.
Key matchup for this game is getting simple, get back fast and pay attention. It sounds simple but it's something we struggled with most of the season, so we might see Red scale back the forecheck if Notre Dame is cracking it early.
Led by robbie Russo and Sam Calabrese, Notre Dame enters this weekend showdown with the nations 27th ranked defense. To put it into perspective as to how bad that is, Michigan's defense at the worst point in the season never got lower then 15th. Stephen Johns is the only ND blueliner who has a positive +/- but he spends too much time in the box to really do anything, the rest of the guys just look lost.
Key matchup for this game: Just shoot the puck, with major alignment issues and a goalie who gives up rebounds the scoring chances will be there. The Northeastern team who took us down 4-1 at Yost went to Compton and smoked the Irish 9-2 the next game.
Why not hug the post?
After posting great numbers his sophomore season Mike Johnson was supposed to be among the nations elite goaltenders, what happened? You could blame the defense but this isn't all on them, its not their fault when the goalie aligns improperly. Neither netminder is playing great hockey, but there is a good chance we could see both Johnson and Summerhays this weekend.
The key matchup is the same as for defense, just shoot the puck. Good things will happen if the puck is getting to the net, but this is a streaky team so getting on them early is important.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||8-7-15||73||+12||12||12|
Red has worked his magic again, he has managed to get quality defense out of a group who couldn't play a lick of it for half a season. The re-emergence of Kevin Lynch helped and Andrew Sinelli
has been a nice addition, but was the answer benching Lindsay Sparks? Maybe not but it definitely helped, and with him getting less time others have made their presence on the ice felt.
It also looks like the lines are settled which is a major plus. Coming into the year this team had so many freshman that they didn't know who would be best on which line, but it seems like it has been figured out.
Four games later we are still talking about how important the addition of Jon Merrill is and its still amazing how much one player changes things.
The forechecking has been ridiculous and the biggest key to our success, and when the Buckeyes did gain the zone most of the shots they took came from the side boards or other low percentage areas.
One thing that has been overshadowed by the recent events is how great Lee Moffie has been playing. He has been a solid performer all season, but when the team needed someone to elevate their game he stepped up in a major way.
It's been so long since we saw what Hunwick could do with a functional defense, yeah it's awesome. When he's on his game like that we aren't going to lose very many times. Stop hitting forwards after the whistle, other than that there isn't much else to say.
Although Michigan is red hot right now, at some point we have to cool down, and Notre Dame is a team whos playing style gives them an edge over us. It's weird how a team with such average stats wins so many games, but I feel like the Irish will take game one before Michigan bounces back saturday at Compton for the split.