further adventures in Jed York being unsuited for his position
I mentioned in the D. Morris thread that Darius Morris with his six assists against Duke had passed Rumeal Robinson (233 in 1988-89) and Gary Grant (234 in 1987-88) to become the all-time single-season leader in assists at Michigan with 235 (as Rothstein reported in an annarbor.com article). His 6.7 assist average for the season is second only to Grant's 6.9 average for 1987-88 (Grant played in one fewer game that season than Morris did this season--34 vs. 35).
It's also worth noting that Morris accomplished this as a sophomore, whereas Grant was a senior in 87-88 and Robinson was a junior in 88-89. Also, in that other thread, enlightenedbum made a good point about Morris besting Grant and Robinson in total season assists:
That's super crazy because of the pace we played at in the late 80s compared to now.
The numbers bear this out: Michigan had 847 made field goals this season, compared to 1,197 in 87-88 and 1,325 in 88-89.
This brings up a related way to assess Morris's season: percentage of team field goals a player either assists or scores--a measure I first saw used in a Wall Street Journal article from February. His 201 field goals and 235 assists mean Morris was involved in 436 of the team's field goals--or 51.5% of the 847 total.
- Robinson in 88-89 was involved in 432 of his team's field goals (199 FGs + 233 assists), or 32.6% of the team total
- Grant in 87-88 was involved in 503 of his team's field goals (269 FGs + 234 assists), or 42% of the team total
Note that when the WSJ did their analysis of this statistic to determine what they called "backcourt MVPs," Morris came out on top among players from the top 10 conferences in the country.
Morris set another Michigan record this year: most 10-plus assist games in a season. He had seven of those, which topped the six each that Grant and Robinson totaled in the same seasons noted above.
As I mentioned in the other thread, if Morris can manage to put together another season like this one next year, he'll have to be considered one of the top point guards in Michigan history.
This past weekend had a few visitors to take in the first spring practice. Moving forward, this coming weekend will be even bigger as Michigan is expecting double digit visitors. Here's a look at how those visits went and who's planning on making it in next weekend. As always you can follow me on Twitter for more updates @TomVH, and email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'6", 220 lbs.
This was Brown's first time up to Ann Arbor so this was a big visit for him to get to know the coaches and environment.
We got up there and went straight to the academic center, we watched practice, and then we got to see the facilities and the Big House. I watched some film and talked about how I would fit in to the defense.
Outside of the facilities, meeting the coaches is usually the biggest part of a first visit and that was the case for Pharaoh.
Coach Mattison was talking about the Ravens and the scheme. He said I would be a rush defensive end, or I could be rushing and dropping back some too. Coach Hoke talked more about academics and the overview of the whole thing. He and my uncle were talking about college life and how to help people transition. I think they're pretty good guys, I feel comfortable with all of them now seeing them in person.
It's still early in the process but this visit did a lot to help Michigan with their recruitment of Brown.
I think I could fit in perfectly with what they were telling me, it was good. I'll probably make my decision in the middle of my season and I might take a few official visits. This visit moved them up on my list though; my interest level went up tremendously. They are at the top of my list for now.
Pharaoh might make it back up to Michigan for the spring game or a game during the season. His top list may end up changing, but this helped move Michigan forward with Brown.
6'6", 315 lbs.
[ed: epic shirt.]
This was also the first time seeing the Michigan facilities up close for Kyle Dodson. Michigan has been making up ground with Kyle for some time, and he was excited to make this trip.
I saw the football facilities and the Big House. We talked with basically all the coaches, and we really got a feel for the place and the surroundings. Coach Funk talked to me about how I would fit in and that they only really have one left tackle right now. They were saying there's a good chance I could play early depending on my work ethic.
Dodson also got a chance to talk to Coach Hoke, but the Big House was what stuck out most to the big lineman.
Coach Hoke is a really nice guy. He talked to me about the tradition and about all the players he coached. But the Big House was the most impressive. I walked in there and it was just amazing. I stood on the M and was thinking I could definitely see myself playing there. When I walked out onto the field I had some hype music that I was singing in my head and it felt good, it was magical.
A lot of what Kyle is looking for comes with comfortability and feeling like he fits in.
This visit really made me know that all those coaches are there for my well being, and they're definitely going to be on my side through my time there. I know for a fact that they all care for me. I kind of want to decide before my season so it won't be a distraction. I'll probably come out with my top list soon, but Michigan is definitely in heavy consideration. They definitely moved up in my mind.
Dodson also said that he will only consider schools that have offered him, and doesn't want to wait for schools to come through past a certain point. Michigan is in really good position with Kyle and he's an outstanding prospect for Michigan's needs.
6'2", 215 lbs
This wasn't the first trip for Royce Jenkins-Stone, but it was an important one. He came up with his friends LB James Ross and DB Terry Richardson. All three were hoping to see more from the new coaches and saw just that.
This visit helped me see how they coach and how the environment changes. I talked to some of the players and asked them what these coaches were like. They said that there's not much yelling and they really treat you like their sons. They help you with your personal stuff more than just football. I think I feel comfortable with them, and I know my mom likes it a lot. She thinks it's a great place for me.
Royce has seen his offer list blow up and has become a national recruit. He plans on taking his time with everything, but this visit definitely helped Michigan.
Yeah, this visit helped Michigan a lot. I didn't think it was that family centered up there. Everyone felt like they were at home, and I know for a fact that none of those coaches are leaving. If I go there none of them are leaving for the three or four years I'm there. I know Terry [Richardson] and James [Ross] felt the same way. I don't know where they're at with everything, but I know they liked it.
Those three recruits, Jenkins-Stone, Ross, and Richardson have seemed to become an area of focus for these coaches and they expressed that on this visit.
Coach Mattison went over film with us and what positions we would be playing. He said they see Biggs [James Ross] as a WILL and they see me at MIKE. They said we're the dream team, me, Terry, and James, and that they really want us.
Like I said Royce has offers from almost everywhere and he plans on checking those schools out. He'll most likely use official visits for the schools that aren't within driving distance and unofficials for the closer schools. He plans on coming out with a top ten before the season, a top five mid season, and then a top three before he decides towards the end of the season. He was also nominated for the US Army All American game, so he may decide then if he gets chosen.
March 24-26th Visitors
These are the names that I have confirmed so far. This list will change as the date gets closer and I confirm more people.
- Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs): Pike told me he's visiting Michigan this week and will probably be up on Thursday. It's not set in stone yet.
- OL Sid Anvoots (6'4", 285 lbs) Indiana: Visiting this weekend
- OL Chase Deback (6'8", 308 lbs) Michigan: Hoping for an offer from Michigan.
- LB Joe Bolden (6'2", 225 lbs) Ohio: Recently offered by Michigan
- OL Jonah Pirsig (6'9", 300 lbs) Minnesota: Also has a Michigan offer
- TE Pierre Aka (6'4", 250 lbs) Indiana: If Michigan offers he might make his decision on the spot. He's very high on Michigan.
- WR Aloyis Gray (6'3", 165 lbs) Indiana: Teammates with Pierre Aka, he's hoping to get an offer.
- OL DeAndre Herron (6'6", 300 lbs) Indiana: Has offers from Louisville and Toledo, will probably have more soon.
- OL Daron Brown (6'5", 312 lbs) Michigan: Has been up to Michigan before, and is hoping for an offer.
- DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) New York: Rutgers leads because he's familiar with their program. This visit could be big for Michigan.
- DB Allen Gant (6'1", 182 lbs) Ohio: Recently took a trip up to Ann Arbor and plans on camping this summer.
- DE Mario Ojemudia (6'3", 215 lbs) Michigan: Plans on taking his time with his recruitment, has a Michigan offer.
- TE Devin Funchess (6'5", 205 lbs) MIchigan: Teammates with Ojemudia.
- TE Ron Thompson (6'4", 210 lbs) MIchigan: Very high on Michigan, plans on waiting a little while longer to make his decision.
- TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs) Ohio: He'll be up either Tuesday or Friday, he isn't sure of the date yet.
- LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs) Michigan: Said he wants to get back up to see them practice in pads.
- DE Alex Pace (6'2", 255 lbs) Glenville
- MAYBE DT Greg Kuhar (6'3", 265 lbs) Ohio: Talking to his parents about making the trip.
- MAYBE ATH David Perkins (6'2", 209 lbs) Indiana: Not 100% sure if he's coming, but he's leaning towards it.
- MAYBE LB Vin Ascolese (6'2", 205 lbs) New Jersey: Not sure if he'll make it.
- MAYBE RB Auctavius Bennett (5'7", 180 lbs) Maryland
- MAYBE WR Monty Madaris (6'2", 175 lbs) Ohio: Not sure of his ride situation, but is trying to make it up.
Massachusetts LB Camren Williams and Armani Reeves both took in Michigan this weekend. Williams had excellent things to say about the trip.
Ohio OL Caleb Stacey was offered while visiting Michigan. Stacey thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and it probably vaulted Michigan to the top. We'll see if he decides to make a decision soon.
Massachusetts LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) is on his way home from a visit to Ann Arbor this weekend. He took in the visit with his teammate ATH Armani Reeves and his father who happens to be a Michigan fan. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: I know you got to Ann Arbor on Friday, so can you take me through what you guys got to see the first day?
CAMREN: First we got right in to the academic meetings, and it was probably one of the best academic meetings I've ever been to. They covered everything, they have internships for the players they can help you with, and they're also starting to give all athletes iPads instead of books which is pretty cool.
TOM: After the academic side did you get a chance to meet with the coaches?
CAMREN: Yeah, we met with my position coach Mark Smith, Coach Hoke, and Coach Mattison. Coach Mattison said he thinks that I would probably grow into a SAM. They kind of run a 5-2 look, so he said I might be able to play WILL too. Coach Hoke talked about where he wants to bring the program. He wants the old Michigan back, and he wants to bring in the type of players that they used to bring in. He wants the excitement from the fans back and he basically just wants Michigan to be back where it was.
TOM: What did you do after meeting with the coaches?
CAMREN: We got a tour of the facilities and the whole campus. The Big House was huge, obviously. It was amazing though, you could tell the fans are right on top of you and it's one of the loudest and the biggest stadiums.
TOM: You did all of that on Friday, so what did you guys do today [Saturday]?
CAMREN: We checked out the opening practice. It was cool, there was a lot of media and alumni there. You could tell they were excited to see how Coach Hoke was going to handle everything. Even though it was the first practice you could tell they were trying to get the tempo high. The defense had to pick up the ball and take it into the endzone every time like they were picking up a fumble.
TOM: You went on this visit with your teammate Armani and your dad, what did they think of the trip?
CAMREN: My dad was amazed. That was the school that has been in my ear since I was born, and I've always worn those colors. He was amazed with everything. Armani, Michigan is one of the few places that you can see the history of the school. You can't really compare a lot of things at Michigan to other places. Like the locker room was incredible, and it was cool to be able to share that with my best friend. He said he definitely wants to see the school again and get back up for another visit. He's going to make his decision in December, but they're definitely up there for him.
TOM: Armani's not deciding until December, but you're deciding in June so what did this visit do for Michigan and how would you rank it from 1-10?
CAMREN: This visit was probably a 10. The visit was huge, it's definitely up there in my favorite schools. I want to make my decision in June, so I definitely want to get back up here for another visit. I really like Coach Hoke, Coach Smith, and Coach Mattison a lot. It's going to be a great place and I'm really interested in looking into Michigan more.
TOM: Wow, was there anything that stuck out to you to make the trip ranked that high?
CAMREN: It was really the little things that added up to one big positive. A lot of the little things that Michigan has and not a lot of other places do are what made me like it. The access some of the players have to certain things, the attention they get, and Coach Mattison being one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in college football is big. He coached all those great players with the Ravens and now he's at Michigan. All of that just made it great.
TOM: So what's next since you're going to be making your decision relatively soon?
CAMREN: I'm really down to Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. This was the first visit and then I'm going to Penn State next week, North Carolina on the 9th, and then Wake Forest that same weekend. I also know that I'm going to be back up to Michigan for another visit too.
Note: this diary has changed quite a bit since it was originally posted. The Michigan win over Notre Dame made a huge difference in their final position, as did the WCHA, CCHA, and Hockey East championships.
Saturday's important results
Michigan 4, Notre Dame 2
BC 5, Merrimack 3
Miami 5, Western 2
North Dakota 3, Denver 2 in OT
Air Force won their conference tournament, so they get the autobid and 16th spot.
UNH has dropped to a #4 seed. Since they stay in Manchester as the host school, and the committee does not want intraconference first round matchups, BC would probably be the #1 in St. Louis. Here is how the brackets should look:
16. Air Force
11. Notre Dame
2. North Dakota
10. Western Michigan
3. Boston College
14. Colorado College
This bracket has no intraconference matchups in the first round. It also limits travel as much as possible, and at least gets a team or two that might draw fans in St. Louis. Merrimack gets placed in Manchester to at least have a team other than UNH that will fill those seats. The original location would have been Michigan and Miami in Manchester, with BC and Merrimack in St. Louis. That seems stupid.
The most likely way for this bracket to change is if the committee decides not to put both Denver and North Dakota in the same region. The Michigan-UNO pairing would get switched with the Denver-Western pairing in that case. I don't think they'll do that, however, because it might absolutely kill the attendance in St. Louis. At least Michigan has the fan base to bring people to St. Louis, and Nebraska-Omaha is within driving distance. Denver and Western probably don't draw people to St. Louis. They could also switch Denver and Merrimack, but that would mean a regional in New Hampshire with three "western" teams, and you could have a lot of empty arenas, which the NCAA abhors. Also, there is more bracket integrity with the above setup.
The only way that this bracket could see substantial change is if the committee bumps UNH up to a 3 seed, switching them with UNO. This would be way against their stated principles, but it would allow them to put BC and UNH in the Manchester regional without playing each other, and have Miami host in St. Louis. Michigan would probably get sent to Manchester in that unlikely scenario.
Selection Sunday is tomorrow at 11:30 am on ESPN2, when we'll find out for real. Go Blue!
Ohio offensive lineman Caleb Stacey (6'4", 275 lbs) made a trip up to Ann Arbor on Thursday with his head coach Kurry Commins. The guard was hoping for a Michigan offer and came away with just that. This was the first time for both he and his coach to take a tour of Michigan's facilities, and both were impressed with what they saw. "It was an outstanding trip. First class all the way, first class facilities, and the people I came in contact with were overwhelmingly amazing," said Coach Commins.
The Oak Hills coach wasn't familiar with Ann Arbor, but there were some familiar faces inside Schembechler hall. "I have a really good relationship with Coach Hoke and Coach Smith, and some members of his staff," Coach Commins said. "I had talked to them about Caleb back when they were at San Diego State. When they moved to Michigan we got them Caleb's film immediately and have been in contact ever since."
That relationship that has already been formed between the coaches will definitely help with Michigan's pursuit of Caleb Stacey. "It's definitely going to play into it. We develop relationships with our players the same way Coach Hoke does. The fact that I think so highly of Coach Hoke helps with how Caleb sees him, too," he said. That won't be the only factor into Caleb's recruitment, but it definitely helps to speed up the relationship forming process.
Caleb reflected those sentiments of his coach and saw what his head coach had told him of the Michigan staff. "[Coach Commins] speaks very highly of Coach Hoke. They both preach the same thing about becoming a better person, and being better in the classroom," said Caleb. "I took Coach Commins word on who they were up there and it was exactly that."
Since it was their first time on campus, Stacey and his coach made sure to check out all aspects of Ann Arbor. "We drove around campus and got a feel for it. It was a good day to go up since it's St. Patrick's day, all the students were outside hanging out," said Stacey. "I got to see the strength coach and basically learn about the tradition at Michigan."
As it usually is, the Big House was a main feature of the visit and it was something that stuck out for Caleb from his trip. "The stadium speaks for itself. I got to go in to the biggest stadium in the country. It's breathtaking to imagine yourself playing in there in front of that many people," he said.
Outside of the stadium it was the people and coaches that made the biggest impact on Caleb. "The tradition up there is great. I definitely felt the tradition from the coaches. They all preach Michigan and that was something that I was really looking for," said Caleb. "The way they have produced offensive linemen and now they're going to let the linemen up front go after it, it really gives you goose bumps."
The visit was described as a great trip by both Caleb and his coach, but he's not ready to name any leaders. Their was also no clear top school going into this process, but Caleb did say this was a big offer for him. "I talked to my coach a few days ago and he asked me what would be an offer that I would really want and I said Michigan so this was pretty big," said Caleb. Stacey plans on taking a trip to West Virginia next and then potentially will come up with a top school list to narrow things down from there. This visit definitely helped Michigan move themselves into position with Stacey.
Though Michigan opened the season at home with a resounding win over Florida, the true home season starts this weekend, as the Wolverines start a string of seven consecutive home games over four weeks. Before getting into those details, let's pick up where last we left the team.
Going undefeated over Spring Break is more the norm than the exception for the Michigan Lacrosse team, but that doesn't mean this year's trip out West was without drama.
Road Trip Recap
Though the University of Oregon has started the season a very disappointing 2-5, they managed to give Michigan a run for their money in Los Angeles a couple weeks back. The Wolverines trailed throughout most of regulation, but managed to stage a comeback to force overtime. In the second OT session, senior Chad Carroll scored the golden goal for Michigan to wrap up a 9-8 win.
The Wolverines atoned for the close call against UO by easily dispatching an overmatched Loyola Marymount squad 12-2 in a true road game. In a low-scoring game, there weren't many offensive standouts, but sophomore Thomas Paras finished with two goals and an assist. This game could have been a much bigger blowout, but the teams were playing slowly on a beaten-up field.
Michigan closed out their spring break trip with a visit to Chapman, one of their biggest rivals in recent years. Though Michigan struggled mightily on faceoffs (which had been a strength through the previous three years of dominance), they were able to make up for it by playing mistake-free ball. The Panthers couldn't reciprocate, and the Wolverines emerged with an 11-8 victory.
After a week back in school, the team traveled to Athens, Ohio on Saturday to open up conference play against Ohio University. The Bobcats are new to the MCLA, but sloppy play from the Wolverines prevented them from getting a blowout victory. Trevor Yealy did manage to score 6 goals in the 15-5 win.
Michigan's home slate gets off to a very tough start as traditional rival BYU will try their luck in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse (Friday at 7PM). The Cougars have started the season 7-0, including an impressive 11-7 win over #6 Colorado this weekend.
Many of the familiar faces from BYU over the past couple years are no longer around. Midfielder Elliott Grow and LSM Britton Cone (1st-Team All-Americans last year) have graduated, leaving junior midfielder Andrew Harding (3rd-Team) to be the face of the Cougars.
A much more in-depth preview of BYU can be found here.
The Panthers started their season by playing several non-MCLA-D1 teams, but have started getting into a more traditional schedule. They kicked off the conference slate with an 11-1 victory over fellow CCLA East squad Toledo to take the early lead for the Division title (Michigan caught up with the victory over Ohio). They traveled to Florida a couple weekends ago, falling 9-22 to Central Florida before rebounding with a 10-8 victory over South Florida.
Pitt is led offensively by sophomore attack Tyler Novotny, who is averaging 4 points per game (almost exclusively with goals, not assists). Pitt's Matthew Pham has fared well on faceoffs, winning nearly 66% of them so far this season, so it could be interesting to see how Michigan's relatively-inexperienced players fare against him.
Again, a more detailed preview can be found here.