With Spike's retirement, Andrew Dakich has unsurprisingly, once again, dropped his redshirt. Initially, I really didn't think much of Dakich's potential to contribute significantly and consistently to the team. Other than energy, he doesn't seem to bring much to the floor. And is energy really the key trait that this team needs right now? Probably not. But, after watching Dakich play a little bit last year and, more specifically, a little bit today, I've come to the conclusion that there are four main reasons why he has the potential to maintain the legacy that Spike has created. Do I think Dakich can or will play up to the level that Spike played? Absolutely not. But, I think he can at the very least perform up to par and make consistent and potentially significant contributions to the team.
First, Spike serving as a mentor to Dakich is crucial to Dakich's success on the court. Spike is one of the best leaders on that team. His playing abilities are matched by his leadership skills. Like he noted at his press conference, he was not afraid to hold players accountable for their actions. At the same time, he lead by example. He was an incredibly smart basketball player, rarely turning the ball over. He was a playmaker, and, when he needed to be, he was a scorer. His basketball knowledge and leadership skills make him the perfect mentor, and, assuming he works with Dakich, Dakich should be able to develop quite well under his guidance.
Second, Dakich's enthusiasm is vital for his development. While Spike is the ideal mentor for Dakich, his advice means nothing if Dakich doesn't accept the advice. However, Dakich's enthusiasm assures me that he is more than willing to take some advice. Additionally, his enthusiasm likely has a positive effect on his teammates, much like Spike's enthusiasm. In big games against tough opponents, someone needs to be the source of energy for the team, and I think Dakich will be that source. Whether he's performing one of his trademark celebrations on the bench, or getting fired up on the court (after he scored his first basket today, he could be seen/heard shouting either "FUCK YEA!" or "FUCK YOU!"), there's no doubt in my mind that his Spike-like enthusiasm can have a very positive impact on his teammates.
Third, Dakich's style of play is almost identical to Spike's, with the exception being that Spike is just a better basketball player. The way I'd describe the style of Spike is that it is the intersection of unorthodox street ball and strategic basketball. Spike was obviously not one of the most athletic players in the country, but his creativity enabled him to be one of the most versatile. While many players struggle at Spike's height, he had few problems driving to the rim and performing some of the most creative lay ups, or making some virtually impossible passes to set up teammates. He was unpredictable, and his creativity made him a nightmare for defenders. I see a lot of similarities in Dakich's style. Obviously Dakich is not even close to the level that Spike was at, but he plays with a similar street ball/strategic basketball style. Much like Spike, he spends a lot of time moving the ball, whether it be with passes or on his own (preferably the former). I noticed a lot of that today against Delaware State, where he had 4 pts, 3 ast, and even 2 rebounds. The aspect of his game that probably needs the most work is his care for the ball, as he had 2 of the teams 7 turnovers. Regardless, as his skills develop, I think he could have an impact that mirrors, though not at the same level, Spike's impact.
Finally, Dakich has a LOT of support from fans, students and non-students alike. Much like fans loved Spike, fans, at least, based on enthusiasm at today's game, love Dakich. They erupted when he scored today and when he missed, there were on the edge of their seats waiting to explode again. Having the support of thousands of people can be a major confidence booster for players, and with his personality, I think Dakich will be using that support to propel his game to the next level.
Ultimately, I do not think Spike is a replaceable player. As I said before, his style is unique and organic, and I feel that replicating that could be difficult. However, Spike is leaving behind a legacy. He went from lurking in the shadows to a national household name quickly, and had he not been plagued with unfortunate injuries, his potential was limitless. I certainly think that Spike would love to vicariously live out the rest of his season through Dakich. Perhaps I'm being way too optimistic about the situation. But, with all the petty injuries we have right now, and of course, with Spike's retirement, I think it's important to find the positives in the situation. Though Spike's legacy may be over, I think that Dakich has the potential to establish his own legacy. It probably would not be as impressive as Spike's, but I think that it would be great to see the legacy that Spike was trying to cap off with a stellar senior year be maintained by Dakich, under the Spike's guidance.
December 1 - Thursday
A guest post from Jon Chait about the state of the defense. TL;DR The Carr/Herrmann plan to play a defense that just limits big plays has failed and will continue to fail.
Unverified Voracity Yay University College with speculation on bowl games and lamentations about hockey players recruiting others, but never playing with them (Cammalleri to Tambellini to Cogliano). Also, I never realized that Brian was a big Pistons fan.
December 2 – Friday
A look at what the football team would lose on offense because of graduation. The biggest concern is from losing Avant and Stenavich, but overall, there shouldn’t be a lot of damage going into 2006.
December 4 – Sunday
The bowl game has been announced. ‘M’ will face perennial Big XII power Nebraska (that already looks weird) in the Alamo Bowl.
December 5 – Monday
Michigan basketball beats Notre Dame. Graham Brown is very important to this team.
Unverified Voracity Red Raider on the Black Sea with a spectacularly terrible rendering of Lloyd Carr in wood. Also, Mike Leach likes pirates.
Football Recruiting Board update. Demarco Murray drops ‘M’. Ricky Stanzi added to the board. Perry Dorrestein commits.
December 6 – Tuesday
A look at how graduation will damage the defense. Conclusion? Not much. Cornerback depth was a concern. Maybe Johnny Sears and Chris Richards will be the answer! (Also, Brian went to Sunday School for 10 years. Who knew?)
Unverified Voracity Sarcastic Hurray discusses hockey players being pulled away during the GLI, and Nick Mangold and A.J. Hawk having normal, everyday college student stuff stolen from their apartment.
UFR: Offense vs. Ohio St. Yikes, up 21-12 with 8 minutes left in the 4th. Poor interior play and a desire to punt doomed this game.
December 7 – Wednesday
December 8 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity No Rebounds for You (!) recounting bad plays on Courtney Sims name. I guess that’s something that happens when you have a good game against Delaware St. Also, Louie Caporusso commits.
UFR: Defense vs. Ohio St. This is an interesting take going into a very good 2006:
What does it mean for next year?
I don't know. Watson is the only player who we'll miss, but if Michigan doesn't take advantage of an experienced secondary with two fast corners by playing a more aggressive brand of defense it won't matter. Other than the outside linebackers, everyone on the team executed what they were supposed to do.
The caveat: their tasks were designed to minimize their shortcomings instead of take advantage of their talents. It's obvious that the Michigan coaches did not trust their team to play both aggressively and responsibly, so they went with the responsible, cut off the big plays, and superficially improved the defense by slowing the game down. The truth is somewhat murkier (and something I hope to explore in the offseason).
The good news is that Michigan does seem to swing towards more aggressive play when they have veterans at their disposal, something which will be true of both the offense and defense next year.
December 10 – Saturday
MGoBlog turns 1. What have we learned?
The colon and its bastard cousin the semicolon are useful for breaking up the monotony of "clause, yay more sentence, but what if not sentence?"
When you're down on your luck, kitten idolatry is a pick-me-up and how. Especially when one of 'em's got a rifle.
Brian accurately predicts where the next 10 years would lead…
In short, hurray football! Hurray blog! I hope you thought this enterprise was worthwhile and useful... at least parts of it, anyway. The future holds many things, probably tables and ALL CAPS EXCLAMATIONS!!! and zone-bemoaning. I hope you'll, you know, read it and stuff.
December 12 – Monday
Unverified Voracity: I Feel Much Better. The basketball team beat South Florida, and it’s possible they might have a good year. Can they muster the defense they need?
December 13 – Tuesday
Brian rants about the problems with analyzing NCAA football data.
An update on how the hockey team has progressed thus far.
And for whatever reason, a picture of Tim Tebow, slightly shirtless.
December 14 – Wednesday
Recruiting update. ‘M’ might have a great shot with Ryan Mallet in the ’07 class. Also of interest is that Brandon Minor was listed as the #1 Fullback in the country.
December 15 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity: Stop Being Nice To Us. National optimism continues to grow about the basketball team’s 7-0 start.
December 16 – Friday
A Pistons post about how much they changed since Larry Brown left. Not sure what it has to do with Clinton Portis in the title; I think there is a picture that has been lost that would help explain it.
Unverified Voracity: Disappointment is Tennessee. The title comes from a Pierre Woods quote referring to Tennessee missing the playoffs for the first time in many, many years. If only everyone knew what was to come in three short years… Also, Lloyd Carr advocates for a 16 team playoff.
December 19 – Monday
Ha, Brian didn’t check the tip time of the Michigan-UCLA basketball game and missed it. He didn’t miss much though.
Brian continues his work on an analysis of every play from the college football season. Unfortunately, the pictures are not available, so there’s not much relevant info left.
Unverified Voracity: THEY ARE FIRE NOW!!!! talks about how ‘M’ wouldn’t be playing Minnesota or Northwestern in 2009 and 2010, and how because of that, those two would probably be the worst teams in the conference. Again, little did anyone know what was to come.
To the surprise of everyone, “uber-recruit” Carlos Brown commits.
Recruiting board update. What will Jonas Mouton do? Will Aaron Gant commit? (spoiler, he goes to OSU) If he does, it will likely mean Dionte Allen is coming in ’07.
December 21 – Wednesday
Unverified Voracity: Madness, Baby. What do to without college football? Also, bowl game gift allotments are bumped up to $500.
College football as characters from South Park. I can’t say I’ve ever watched the show, so I leave it here without comment.
December 22 – Thursday
Game preview, Alamo Bowl vs. Nebraska. NU came in ranked 110th in rushing yards, but…
Michigan is not exactly Ohio State in the rush defense department, however, finishing the year a thoroughly meh 43rd nationally. Undoubtedly you've heard this before: Massey, weak tackling secondary, outside linebackers who think outside the box but run inside of it, etc, etc.
December 25 – Sunday
December 30 – Friday
The Alamo Bowl did not go well. The refs were a big reason why:
I'm at a loss as to why the Alamo Bowl couldn't have found some illegal immigrants from Botswana who thought they were watching a bizarre form of rugby to officiate. Or a pack of ravenous hyenas prone to consuming wounded participants. Or people who enjoy "Everybody Loves Raymond." I don't want to go too far: none of these three groups of totally incompetent, unqualified people would have been an improvement. But they wouldn't have been any worse, and they would have come cheaper.
The bigger deal here though is just how awful 2005 was, but in comparison to what 2008 would bring, it seems pretty ok. Now it just looks like an off-year, a reset. We have come through so much since then that when I read the following, I partly feel like scoffing at it, but I also want to go back and plead with 2005 ‘M’ fans to not take it for granted. Mostly I want to curl up in a ball and not think about what was soon to follow.
Here's your UFR: screw 2005
So: here lies 2005, killed by its own incompetence and that of others. Its gift to future generations is the phrase "well, at least it wasn't 2005." Try it: "well, we may have lost to MSU, but at least it wasn't 2005." "Well, I may have inoperable pancreatic cancer, but at least it isn't 2005." "Well, that rapture thing happened, my bet on Hinduism came up craps, and now I'm faced with hell on earth during Armageddon, but at least it isn't 2005."
December 31 – Saturday
After that, it seems the appropriate way to end the year is a post about possible nicknames for a Tulsa player named Germany.
Any hockey fans out there? I am a massive Michigan hockey fan and have often thought to myself "I wonder where, if a all, (insert player name from 3 years ago) is playing now and how are they performing?"
Well I've dug around and have found out that a few guys I thought had retired are sill kicking around. We will start off with the guys that you should know are still out there. Remember that all stats are as of Dec. 9, 2015 at noon. Players are listed in alphabetical order by highest level reached this year.
Chris Brown (09-12) Has been called up to the Capitals but has yet to play this season
Washington 0 GP 0G 0A 0PTS
Hershey (AHL) 5 GP 1G 1A 2PTS
Mike Brown (03-05)
San Jose 25GP 1G 0A 1PTS
Mike Cammalleri (99-02) Cammalleri is lighting it up early this season with the Devils.
New Jersey 28GP 11G 19A 30PTS
Andrew Cogliano (05-07)
Anaheim 28GP 3G 6A 9PTS
Andrew Copp (12-15) Is cracking the lineup but is getting 4th line minutes.
Winnipeg 24GP 1G 3A 4PTS
Phil Di Giuseppe (11-14) Was jus called up and scored his 1st Career goal on Tuesday.
Carolina 3GP 1G 0A 1PTS
Charlotte (AHL) 20GP 6G 8A 14PTS
Luke Glendening (08-12) Killing penalties and playing on the 4th line.
Detroit 28GP 1G 4A 5PTS
Carl Hagelin (07-11) little dssapointed with his play out in Anaheim. Had hoped for more.
Anaheim 28GP 2G 5A 7PTS
Matt Hunwick (03-07) Playing a lot with the Leafs.
Toronto 28GP 0G 1A 1PTS
Jack Johnson (05-07)
Columbus 29GP 3G 5A 8PTS
Steven Kampfer (06-10) recently back from injury.
Florida 12GP 0G 2A 2PTS
Dylan Larkin (14-15) LIGHTING it up in his rookie season.
Detroit 28GP 11G 11A 22PTS
Jon Merrill (10-13) not scoring but is a regular on the blue ne for the Devils
New Jersey 23GP 0G 0A 0PTS
Eric Nystrom (01-05) STILL playing at the highest level.
Nashville 20GP 4G 0A 4PTS
Max Pacioretty (07-08) The new Captain for Montreal is doing exactly what is expected.
Montreal 28GP 13G 12A 25PTS
Greg Pateryn (08-12) was called up and is getting playing time with Montreal
Montreal 7GP 0G 0A 0PTS
St. John's (AHL) 3GP 0G 0A 0PTS
Kevin Porter (04-08) started the season up but was demoted to the AHL.
Pitsburgh 8GP 0G 1A 1PTS
Jacob Trouba (12-13)
Winnipeg 28GP 2G 5A 7PTS
Mac Bennett (10-14)
St. John's 19GP 1G 2A 3PTS
Brandon Burlon (08-11)
Albany 19GP 1G 9A 10PTS
Derek Deblois (10-14)
Lake Erie 10GP 2G 0A 2PTS
South Carolina (ECHL) 9GP 3G 3A 6PTS
Alex Guptill (11-14)
Binghampton 3GP 0G 1A 1PTS
Evansville 12GP 5G 1A 6PTS
T.J. Hensick (03-07) Hensick has played all over but is back in the A and is producing
Charlotte 12GP 1G 6A 7PTS
Zach Hyman (11-15) Seems to be playing well and I am waiting for his promotion
Toronto 22GP 3G 8A 11PTS
Kevin Lynch (09-13)
Manitoba 5GP 0G 0A 0PTS
Florida 16GP 4G 7A 11PTS
Aaron Palushaj (07-09)
Lehigh Valley 20GP 6G 4A 10PTS
Brennan Serville (11-15)
Manitoba 3GP 0G 0A 0PTS
Tulsa 7GP 0G 1A 1PTS
Chris Summers (06-10)
Hartford 24GP 0G 3A 3PTS
Jeff Tambellini (02-05) I CANNOT believe he is still playing. Has been in Sweden and Switzerland the last few years.
Syracuse 21GP 8G 5A 13PTS
Scooter Vaughn (07-11)
Chicago 16GP 1G 1A 2PTS
David Wohlberg (08-12)
Charlotte 22GP2G 5A 7PTS
ECHL (One step below the AHL and full of awesome team names)
Kevin Clare (10-14)
Elmira 21GP 1G 3A 4PTS
Robert Czarnik (08-10)
Reading 20GP 9G 9A 18PTS
Kevin Quick (07-08)
Indy 21GP 0G 10A 10PTS
Lindsay Sparks (09-13)
Orlando 19GP 4G 8A 12PTS
Louie Caporusso (07-11)
Iserlohn 23GP 7G 15A 22PTS
Brian Lebler (06-10)
Ingolstadt 23GP 2G 4A 6PTS
Danny Richmond (02-03)
Manheim 26GP 5G 12A 17PTS
Travis Turnbull (05-09)
Duesseldorf 24GP 3G 8A 11PTS
DEL-2 (one level lower than DEL)
Tim Miller (05-09)
Bremerhaven 21GP 9G 9A 18PTS
Bern 10GP 3G 6A 9PTS
Chad Kolarik (04-08)
Kloten 26GP 11G 11A 22PTS
Luke Moffat (10-14)
Val Gardena 21GP 14G 23A 37PTS
yeah I know fomating sucks but I've stopped trying as I kept scewing up last year.
Updating projections as we go along and get material new info and changes. This will be version 3; future updates will happen on an as needed basis.
- Lorenz indicated Michigan has now signaled they have 27 spots (not 28 as we all assumed)
- 21 current commits.
- Various peeps with premium access say we will grayshirt here or there, so I made some projections with that in mind. I grayshirted 1 player. That knocked down class to 20* (*grayshirt is still part of class but doesnt count against scholarship until January).
- We will have attrition from our current recruits, so I took best guesses and knocked out 3 not named Viramontes. That knocked current class down to 17.
Changes since last update
- DT Jordan Elliott went from "projected in class" to "committment".
- ATH Victor Viramontes (sigh) went from "committment" to "projected out of class".
- CB Lavert Hill decommitted from Penn State.
- DL Keyshon Camp hates Michigan weather so went from "projected in class" to "he gone".
- Moved ATH Chris Evans from "likely decommit" back to "committment".
- Moved DL Rashad Weaver from "committment" to "likely decommit".
Section 1 deals with current commits - who is staying and who is going. And who is going to open a spot by grayshirting. I listed us with 17 immediate scholarships and 1 grayshirt - with 3 decommits. Will discuss below chart.
|Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk|
|OL||Ben Bredeson||37||Most Likely|
|QB||Brandon Peters||78||LB||David Reese||553|
|WR||Ahmir Mitchell||127||ATH||Kiante Enis||634|
|OL||Devery Hamilton||234||DT||Rashad Weaver||>1000|
|CB||Sir Patrick Scott||663|
|S / LB||Devin Gil||993|
- I took an educated guess with 3 decommits based on how many spots still seem in play.
- As for the 3 decommits, one seems clear unless UM misses on just about all other LB targets: David Reese. He wants early entry, crystal ballz have all changed for him, and we are recruiting a ton of LBs still. Hence he is "most likely".
- The other 2 decommits could come from just about any players ranked below 328, so I picked 2. I had Chris Evans as one as he visited Purdue a while back but basically he was just a guess. I've added him back this time around into the class and replaced him with Rashad Weaver who is sniffing around Temple so I assume this is the staff telling him to check out other options. I've kept Kiante Enis as a decommit solely based on Ace's story that UM was only contacting him once a month; that "feels" like what Harbaugh did to commits at Stanford as a way to push them in another direction. It's guesswork.
- Antwaine Richardon impressed coaches in a camp setting on a bum knee so I have him staying in the class; however maybe someone like he or Sir Patrick Scott could be bumped out of class if David Long, Lavert Hill and Chris Brown all want in as they all corners. But I have them both in the class at this point.
- Guessing on a grayshirt is hard to do. Half a year at UM for an out of state is still $12K or whatnot so I don't know how many kids families - esp in economically challenged spots - can afford this. Maybe they can financial aid. But a full ride elsewhere could always be the easier route. So I didn't want to put 2-3 grayshirts like some assume, so I am simply going with Josh Metellus as a guess.
Section 2 is who we will land and who we will miss on. This is based on trying to reverse engineer - obviously these things can change on a dime. I cheated here a bit by saying Quinn Nordin will be part of the class and decommit from PSU and go to UM despite having to pay out of pocket for a semester. Maybe a stretch but he is a Michigan kid and hey Harbaugh or Franklin for 4-5 years? So I have 11 commits which takes us to 29 total... 2 grayshirts.
|FUTURE YES||FUTURE NO|
|Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Projected||Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Projected|
|Most Likely||A Reasonable Shot?|
|DL||Rashan Gary||1||UM||TE||Isaac Nauta||9||GA|
|RB||Kareem Walker||34||UM||CB||David Long (Stanford)||66||Stanford|
|OL||Terrance Davis||62||UM||OL||Jean Delance||92||Texas?|
|CB||Lavert Hill||136||UM||LB||Dontavious Jackson||119||Texas?|
|WR||π Young||388||UM||ATH||Victor Viramontes||428|
|PK||Quinn Nordin* (PSU)||>1000||UM||Less Likely?|
|ATH||Mecole Hardman Jr||21||GA|
|Less Certainty||LB||Caleb Kelly||23||OK|
|LB||Devin Bush Jr||230||UM||LB||Jeffrey McCulloch||73||Texas?|
|DB||Chris Brown||710||UM||DT||Boss Tagaloa||82||UCLA|
|OPEN SPOT||WR||Dylan Crawford||94||Oregon|
|OPEN SPOT||WR||Donnie Corley||118||MSU|
|.||WR||Velus Jones (USC)||420||TN? Ore|
Comments on Projected "YES"
- 2 less sure names than in V2.0 as Camp is off the board entirely, and Elliott converted from yes to committment. So with the decommittment of Viramontes this still leaves 2 open slots in a world we get 3 more decommittments and grayshirt Metellus and Nordin. That "problem" can be easily solved by giving them both full scholarships and then that would be the class. I am hoping 1 of those "OPEN" spots gets refilled by Vicious Vic. I don't see any clear candidates from the projected "NO" column to fill into this area at this time so I've just left them as open slots.
- I've split the "YES" into 2 categories - one UM feels like a clear leader or flip candidate and then more foggy.
- Gary visits in January and this battle goes down to the wire due to SEC teams invovled but at this point he really seems like UM's to lose.
- Walker had an "excellent visit" to Auburn last weekend, per Webb which sucks but thus far no crystal ballz seemed to have flipped. But Webb seems to indicate its a bit less of a slam dunk than it was 5 days ago. If we start hearing about new offers to running backs in coming weeks, it's time to worry. Until then, keeping him firm.
- Davis comments post official to OSU were less than giddy - sounded like he did not get the attention he wanted and he seems less "all in on UM" vs what he once was. But at this point I still have him in the class. A few weeks ago Lorenz said UM would prefer a tackle (Delance) over a guard (Davis) but he changed that to either would work last week. Not sure if that means there is room for both or first come first serve. Maybe he should be in "less certainty" bucket after last visit.
- Hill decommitted from PSU since last update; he and Corley announce together on Dec 16 - most assume UM for Hill and MSU for Corley.
- Still have Young in class but wr recruiting seems very in flux. Lorenz expected him to commit during OSU weekend - main competition Bama and FSU but UM is only 1 of 3 that would accept a commitment today. Lorenz says maybe hhe wants to hear more from Miami with new coach now. UM is trying to juggle Corley, Crawford, McDoom, Jones, Young.
- Jones has had UM as a favorite seemingly as long as Davis; it appears to be down to UM vs ND and UM is putting a hard core press on him with multiple visits the past few weeks.
- I have Nordin as a grayshirt - he seems destined in the class as he has now removed PSU commit from twitter and seemingly lives in Ann Arbor on weekends.
- Bush Jr. seems 50/50 FSU v UM. Webb says UM staff feels very comfortable he is headed to Ann Arbor and he has also gotten a lot of attention by staff these past few weeks. We'll know mid December.
- Brown seems down to UM v Texas. Brown's dad seems to like UM.
[this photo has nothing to do with the piece but it needed more photos and Jessica would definitely tell me "no"]
Comments on Projected "No"
- I put the "no's" who at this time could maybe be a yes down the road at the top; then I put the rest of the masses lower. Will focus on guys at top in this section.
- To me Nauta wants to go to Georgia short of an ebola breakout hitting Athens. Every comment he makes leaves the door wide open to go to Georgia so I am quite pensive on any chance for UM here. We seem a clear second.
- UM is putting a full court press on flipping Long from Stanford; still seems 50/50.
- Delance visits this weekend, so we'll see if any crystal ballz - especially of the Wiltfong / Lorenz type budge. If not, he probably drops to not really interested category.
- Jackson seems like the LB UM likes most who has a legit chance of liking us back but seemed to be heavy with Durkin so that is not great. Also him tweeting stuff about Durkin being with him then getting egg on face a few days later may be a negative. A lot of big players are still involved here.
- Vicious Vic apparently got some snake oil sold to him as a lot of shade was thrown towards UM. Sounds like UM will try to get his mind changed so I'll put him in this category for now.
Of the rest of the "No"s
- Hardman visited, said some "generic" nice things per Brian but we seem in 3rd behind GA / TN. He loves Pruitt.
- No movement on Kelly since last update - for a high profile recruitment we supposedly have a decent chance on you don't hear much in UM's favor other than "under the table" stuff - all the ballz to OK.
- McCullouch seems more like a dream at this point.
- Crawford is really quiet so impossible to read - the longer he does not commit to Oregon which is his dream school, I suppose better for UM. UM was out to visit in past week.
- With Camp off the board due to weather, UM pressing on Daniels again but apparently he loves Oklahoma, and now says "distance matters" so seems like we are outside looking in there.
- Onwuzurike has been a mystery - starting to see some crystal ballz to Washington on him.
- Maybe Mathis is a backup plan for Nauta but his other main choice is UF which runs a very TE heavy offense too.
- McDoom seems to be getting Oregon attention as well. Webb says he likes that UM is interested but doesn't know much about the program other than its a historic program (that's what sucking for many of these kids lifetimes will do). Needs to schedule a visit to make this anything more than a distant fling.
- Jones was here for OSU game - seems to be in a category with Young.
- Hudson may be a backup plan if Bush / Jones fall through?
Periodically on this site and others like it someone will post with an update about how former Michigan players are doing in the NFL – such as the weekly feature over at Maize n Brew (LINK). For the most part, that NFL coverage has centered around the two GOAT guys from the 1990’s and a bunch of other players who are having modest seasons at this point…..plus Thomas Rawls (still shaking my head on that one).
Now that the football season is complete for our Wolverines, I wanted to take a look at the former Michigan players who are playing professional basketball instead. I’ve seen a post or two about this on MGoBlog in the past, but I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to highlight not just the guys playing in the NBA, but elsewhere as well.
Below is a breakdown of all the former Michigan players (even those who transferred) that are still making their living by playing basketball. For more details, hit this LINK. Where I had something interesting to say I put a few bullet points. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and memories in the comments. (Stats shown for each player are PPG/RPG/APG.)
NBA – "The Beilein bunch plus one"
- Trey Burke (PG, 2011-2012) – Still playing as the backup PG for the Jazz, which seems to be a role he will continue throughout what should be a solid if unspectacular career. The predictions about his size and athleticism seem to have been accurate, which means he needs to excel in other areas. Unfortunately his outside shot wasn’t very good his first two years and that limited his effectiveness. Things are looking up this year in his bench role as he’s shooting better than ever before at 42% from downtown so far through 18 games. [10.8/2.2/2.6]
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG, 2010-2012) – The trade to Atlanta did not go well for him it seems. After being a significant contributor on some bad Knicks teams he’s buried on the bench in Atlanta, playing in just a handful of games this season. [2.5/1.3/0.5]
- Nik Stauskas (SG, 2012-2013) – Has the fate of playing on a horrific Sixers team, but is showing more upside this year than his limited time with the Kings. [8.4/2.4/1.9]
- Glenn Robinson III (SF, 2012-2013) – Has made a solid living with some guaranteed contracts despite very limited minutes played thus far in his career. He is with the Pacers now and seems to be earning about ten minutes per game as a back-up, which is a huge improvement for him. [5.0/1.5/0.3]
- Mitch McGary (C, 2012-2013) – Had hoped to parlay a strong summer season into more of a role this year, but continues to struggle with injuries and is buried in a deep front court. [1.5/1.5/0.3]
- Jamal Crawford (SG, 1999) – Often forgotten due to his short stint with Michigan, but has been the most successful NBA player to wear the Maize & Blue in decades outside of the Fab Five and the ’89 Champs. As his career is winding down he is still contributing as a sixth man for the Clippers. [13.3/1.9/2.3]
NBDL – "Waiting for their chance"
- Manny Harris (SG, 2007-2009) – Manny had a brief attempt at a European career but otherwise continues to give it a shot in the D-League with hopes of getting another chance to show he can be a Jamal Crawford type of spark off the bench. He can definitely fill a stat sheet. [23.4/6.8/4.1]
Foreign Leagues – "He’s still playing??"
- Graham Brown (C, 2002-2005) – Ricky Doyle’s doppelganger continues to play a meaningful role as an undersized center overseas. He’s currently playing in France and has put together a solid career. [4.5/3.5/0.6]
- Stu Douglas (SG, 2008-2011) – He has found his way to Israel and seems to be a regular contributor. [6.9/1.0/1.2]
- Jordan Morgan (PF, 2010-2013) – Morgan had enough valuable skills that he was going to make some money playing professionally if he was willing to travel. He’s having a solid season for a team in France’s B division. [8.0/6.1/1.1]
- Brent Petway (SF, 2003-2006) – Air Georgia never really translated his raw talent into success on the floor at Michigan, but he was always exciting. He seems to have grown as a player over the last decade as he’s currently playing in the Italian A-league…..and probably winning a dunk contest somewhere. [4.6/3.8/0.7]
- Courtney Sims (C, 2003-2006) – The frustrating but talented big man has taken his talents to Asia in the last few years and played well. He’s currently in Korea’s KBL. [15.3/10.0/0.6]
- Jevohn Shepherd (SF, 2005-2008) – He is without a doubt the most unlikely former player I found to have carved out a long pro career. He barely contributed while on some bad Michigan teams and yet here he is, all this time later, still playing professionally. He’s also in the A-league for Italy. This is a guy who averaged 2.5ppg in his four year Michigan career and attempted just 16 three point shots in that time. [5.0/2.7/1.1]
- Jordan Dumars (SF, 2009-2010) – The forgotten man when it comes to Michigan’s NBA offspring outreach program. Dumars was a walk-on briefly at UM before moving on elsewhere. He’s fmade a brief appearance in one professional game in Germany so far this season. [2.0/0.0/0.0]
Transfers – "We played there too!"
- Evan Smotrycz (PF, 2010-2011) – He spent two years at Michigan before leaving for Maryland. Things went south for him when he was forced to play out of position at center due to injuries. Things never worked out despite the fact that he seemed to be an ideal fit as a stretch4 for Beilein’s offense. He has played just one game overseas so far. [10/10/2]
- Ekpe Udoh (C, 2006-2007) – He lasted just one year after Beilein was hired before transferring to Baylor. I always wondered what the team would have been like had he stayed and provided a defensive presence in the middle. His stock took off while at Baylor, resulting in a solid draft pick. After a couple years in the league, he’s now in Turkey. [10.7/3.8/1.5]
Unknown - "Missing in Action?"
- Darius Morris (2009-2010) – He has played four years in the NBA but was cut during training camp this season and has yet to land somewhere that I could find. Other than his recent Twitter incident with Byron Scott there wasn’t much out there to be found. I suspect he’s waiting for a call from an NBA team for a 10-day contract to see if he can stick as a back-up PG.
- Deshawn Sims (2006-2009) – There was no information for him in the link at the top of this page, which implied that he wasn’t currently playing professionally. According to Wikipedia, however, he’s been playing in Lebanon on various teams for the past couple of years after a brief stint in the NBDL.
Is there anyone else you think I missed in my search? Let me know in the comments. If you would like to check out these players stats from their time at Michigan, use this LINK.
Finally, I would love for someone to do this for Hockey as well. That was beyond the scope of what I wanted to tackle here.
PS - Quick aside, I believe there are currently four former Michigan players in the MLB: Rich Hill (P), Ryan LaMarre (OF), Zach Putnam (P), and Clayton Richard (P).
With Barry Odom off the board, it's a good time to look at the other somewhat similar candidate. A bit older, quite a bit more experienced, and more East coast oriented we take a look at Todd Orlando.
Won't rehash the evaluation process but here is the post; won't rehash how Mattison and Durkin compare - go check it out on the Odom post if you missed it.
Todd is a bit off the radar in that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page yet. He was born in Pittsburgh, and went to college at Wisconsin where he played ILB. However since then he has been off to other parts of the U.S. mostly on the East Coast. He is approx 45 (gradauted college in 94) After 2 years coaching at the HS level, he coached at Penn University then was a LB coach at UConn with sir Randy Edsall. Then he jumped to DC in 2006 and has held that job since at various places.
- UConn 2006-2010
- Florida Intl 2011-2012
- Utah State 2013-2014
- Houston 2015
Interesting to note that Utah State is starting to become a "cradle of coaches" the past 7-8 years - both HCs and coordinators. His precedessor at DC at Utah State was one Dave Aranda now at Wisconsin.
Current salary is a staggering $500K which for a non P5 coordinator is amazing; I think a few MAC HC make less. Houston is really funnelling serious money into their football program with the reported $3M they want to pay Herman if he stays. To put that in perspective I believe Durkin was being paid $530K at Florida.
Chart? (channeling Brian)
Well before the chart - same caveats for Odom.
Now keep in mind you have to grade these people on a curve. The type of talent Florida and Michigan get is different from Wisconsin Minnesota Missouri which is also different then Utah State or Memphis. If you watch EPL it is like judging Manchester United vs Newcastle. If Newcastle finishes 7th its considered a near championship year since slots 1-5 in EPL are basically the same 5 teams annually. If Man U finishes 7th its a disaster. If you don't watch soccer that just made no sense but trust me, you have to grade on a curve. Also ACC and Big 10 defenses have it easier in general than the other 3 conferences due to quality of QBs and lack of spread offenses that put up big points.
Now chart. (Italics are years bracketed around his stay)
Notes - FEI didn't start until 2007, and I got tired of researching so didn't do his NCAA stats at UConn all the way back to 2006.... only went to 2009.
So what do we see above? Remember the more data you have the more bullet holes one can find. It is a lot like a backup QB - he is pretty sexy until you actually see him on the field most of the time. Likewise coordinators with 3-4 years of data have less holes than guys with 10. So keep that in mind.
For a Big East team UConn had excellent defenes in 2007-2008; his 2nd and 3rd year there. This was before the P5 conferences but the Big East was the ugly stepchild conference so it was partially a power conference and partially a basketball conference. So high rankings in advanced stats are pretty impressive considering this was the "6th best conference" and in today's terms was probably more like the AAC x 1.20. There was some pullback in 2009-2010 but still for UConn level talent this is not bad. UM had #s like this with way more talent in Mattison's 3rd year as DC. So 2 excellent years, 2 good years and his 1st year was meh.
Again, caveat it's FIU. If I see a MAC level school which is basically FIU with a defense ranked near 50 that is again like Everton finishing in the top 6 in EPL. He inherited a pretty solid defense (for that level of program)... and it remained steady at that solid level. Year after he left (2013) it turned into Indiana D.
During his two years at FIU, Orlando mentored five players who earned various all-Sun Belt Conference honors a total of seven times, including safety Jonathan Cyprien and defensive lineman Tourek Williams who both earned first-team all-league honors. Cyprien was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 33rd pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.
During his first year at Florida International in 2011, the Panthers' defense ranked 13th nationally in pass efficiency defense (111.98), 14th in scoring defense (19.46 ppg), tied for 15th in sacks (2.69 pg), 22nd in rushing defense (118.08 ypg) and 30th in total defense (344.69 ypg). In 2012, FIU ranked 36th nationally in rushing defense (140.83 ypg).
Utah State (2013-2014)
The state of Utah has some good defenses excluding BYU. Utah State had Andersen as HC in 2012 and Aranda as DC - both defensive guys and they had an elite defense for that sort of conference. Orlando came in under a new regime once Andersen left for Wisconsin and the defense remained elite in 2013. It fell a bit but within the context of Mountain West was still "quite good" in 2014. After he left (2015) Utah State remained "quite good"
Looking at 2014 Utah State the defense contained just about everyone except Boise State (50 pts) and Tennessee (38 pts). When facing peer group in MWC they generally gave up 7-14 pts with a few games of 20-21 pts.
His attacking defense was fourth nationally with 49 sacks on the year and second nationally with 114 tackles for loss as Utah State advanced to back-to-to-back bowl games during Orlando’s stay in Logan, Utah. In his two-year span with USU, Orlando’s defense ranked eighth nationally with 59 turnovers, ranking 10th nationally in 2014 with 30 turnovers including 19 interceptions, a number that ranked eighth-best nationally.
Orlando’s 2014 defense ranked 17th nationally and second in the Mountain West with a pass efficiency defense of 111.42 while its rushing defense led the league with an average of 130.7 yards per game. His total defense was second in the league with 356.1 yards per game, bolstered by a defensive group that led the conference with four First Team All-MWC selections, representing all three levels of the defense - defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.
2013 Utah State was similar in a lot of games with 14 or less given up, incl only 14 to USC. Exceptions were 30 to Utah, 31 to BYU, 34 to Boise State. Again, Utah State is not getting the talent those team do.
During his first season at Utah State, Orlando's Aggie defense ranked first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation in scoring allowing just 17.1 points per game, the second-fewest allowed by an Aggie defense since 1971. USU also ranked first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation in rushing defense (106.7 ypg), its fewest allowed since 1968, first in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in total defense (330.9 ypg), and first in the Mountain West and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (113.2).
Utah State's 2013 defense also ranked sixth in the nation in the red zone, allowing opponents to score just 68.9 percent of the time, including just 19 touchdowns, to rank second nationally. Furthermore, USU's defense ranked seventh in the nation in forcing three-and-outs with 5.6 per game, while its 7.6 tackles per loss per game ranked 10th nationally.
USU's defense also ranked 11th nationally in third-down conversions at 32.6 percent.Utah State was also the only team in the nation not to allow a touchdown run of 10 or more yards in 2013, and allowed just two 100-yard rushers, while limiting its opponents to just 13 points following 16 turnovers.
Utah State is actually a pretty good MWC program at this point.
The 1 year at Houston shows very wonky data. The FEI data showed a huge improvement; I tend to lean to FEI myself. (Michigan 2015 was #19 in FEI). The S&P+ data showed no improvement (Michigan 2015 was #2 in S&P+). The NCAA data which is nothing more than yards given up per game showed a regression. Now that could be due to the Houston offense scoring so much vs 2014 and the defense being on the field much more and thus giving up more drives, and more yards. I havent' done the homework of Houston 2014 O vs Houston 2015 O but let's just say the Houston 2014 coach (Levine) was fired and the 2015 coach was Herman. A quick look shows Houston scored 35+ in 11 of its 12 games. So it's a safe assumption the offense was much better and the D was on the field more. So only looking at advanced stats it was either a great improvement (FEI) or flattish (S&P+).
In terms of P5 opponents Houston won 34-31 vs a meh Louisville, and won 34-0 vs a bad offensive team in Vandy. In terms of solid teams they beat Memphis 35-34 and Navy 52-31. So they gave up points but again, it's Houston.
So what are you telling me?
He doesn't have a wikipedia page yet, someone really should start that up for him.
Yes besides that though.
Good question. His #s are generally good - honestly it's hard to go into a situation in 1 year and turn it around, especially if you are not sitting around on a pile of under coached 4* talent like Mattison walked into.
We were a bit giddy about Odom but Odom's 1st year at Memphis was very meh - worse than any year Orlando had in 10 years. But he was taking over a crap defense at Memphis. Odon's 2nd year at Memphis showed improvement was about equal with some of Orlando's lower end years. His 3rd year was similar to a lot of Orlando's good year. So what I am saying is Orlando has had a lot of years better than Odom.
Why am I comparing the 2? Because Odom had a small sample size and again it's easy to look at just the 2 good years of Odom, 1 at a P5 with an established NFL pipeline of defensive players @ Missouri. Orlando has never had such a luxury. The closest thing he had was UConn (!) where excluding year 1 (again this was 10 years ago and he knows a lot more now than he did then) he had 2 excellent years and 2 good years. At Utah State he continued the fine tradition of Aranda. (and don't discount that - sometimes a new coach comes in and torpedos a hell of a good situation) So he "feels" like he could give you a very good Aranda type progression at a P5 blueblood.
And Tom Herman likes him.
Stick around factor?
He is likely to stick around a while. By a while I mean more than 2 years. But without a lot of info out on him, difficult to tell his eventual aspirations. I imagine if he is not plucked up by a P5 team soon he would just follow Herman around for a while as Herman progresses up the food chain into a P5 conference.
Knows the midwest as a kid and as a young adult; knows the Big 10 as a player. Doesn't have that knowledge as a coach (HS coach relations) - he would be mostly an East coast guy who could help in that New Jersey area and maybe help you get a Polynesian or two out of Utah.
Various reference articles and snippets (not many on this guy):
With Oregon apparently hiring from within, Cal seems to have the inside track to hiring the best available defensive coordinator candidate out here. One of the potential candidates that's been floated out there is Utah State defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who is attracting a bit of attention after an impressive season.
You can see pretty consistent production in all facets for Orlando's units. They were strong against either the run or the pass and sometimes both. They were solid in pushing offenses behind the line of scrimmage, which is particularly impressive in the MWC. What's most impressive is how Orlando kept opposing offenses out of the end zone--almost every year he would produce a top 50 scoring defense.
For those not happy about the 4-3, Orlando generally manages to find success with his own 4-3.
Orlando stepped into a pretty ideal situation in Utah State. Dave Aranda left for Wisconsin along with Gary Andersen, but left Orlando with a lot of impressive talent, particularly four of the team's five leading tacklers and three top linebackers (who were the top three tacklers this season). Seven of Utah State's eleven top tacklers were seniors.
The anomalous data point is his final year at Florida International in 2012, where Orlando returned most of his defense but saw the team regress defensively, costing the Panthers several chances at victories and another return bowl berth. It's a bit concerning, but then you realize it's Florida International and winning seasons don't come around all that often (two in 12 years).
What's most concerning is the level of competition. Mid-decade Big East wasn't exactly a cauldron of college football seismic activity. His record against the best teams wasn't exactly sterling.
The nice news is that Utah State did provide Orlando with a set of decent to impressive offenses to work against in the Mountain West.
He sounds like a football coach.... who would "relate to the kids.