The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
[Ed-M: Bumped to diary.]
I posted this the other day and it was well received. So, in light of TomVH's news, I thought I'd share the update.
I refined the table a little bit. I removed the column that says Michigan offered since that is evident and I added a column showing Scout's current player rank.
|Targets||Ht.||Wt.||40||Scout Rank||Rivals 250||Commit|
|Zeke Pike||6'5"||220||4.7||Dixie Heights HS, Edgewood, KY||4 Star||Yes|
|Gunner Kiel||6'4"||220||East HS, Columbus, IN||4 Star||Yes|
|Bennie Coney||6'2"||205||4.8||Plant City HS, Plant City, FL||3 Star||Yes|
|Maty Mauk||6'2"||185||Kenton HS, Kenton, OH||3 Star||Yes|
|Connor Brewer||6'2"||195||4.7||Chapparal HS, Scottsdale, AZ||4 Star||Yes||Texas|
|Matt Jones||6'2"||200||4.53||Armwood HS, Seffner, FL||4 Star||Yes||FL|
|Keith Marshall||5'11"||190||4.32||Millbrook HS, Raleigh, NC||5 Star||Yes|
|Bri'Onte Dunn||6'2"||215||4.59||Glenn Oak HS, Canton, OH||4 Star||Yes||Ohio St.|
|Latroy Pittman||6'1"||190||4.7||North Marion HS, Citra, FL||Yes||FL|
|Stefon Diggs||6’1"||185||4.4||Our Lady of Good Counsel, Olney, MD||4 Star||Yes|
|Dorial Green-Beckham||6’6″||215||4.4||Hillcrest HS, Springfield, MO||5 Star||Yes|
|Dwayne Stanford||6'4"||200||4.5||Taft HS, Cincinnatti, OH||NR||Yes|
|Aaron Burbridge||6'0"||175||4.35||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||3 Star|
|Derrick Woods||5'11"||180||4.5||Inglewood HS, Inglewood, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|Deontay McManus||6'0"||209||4.5||Dunbar HS, Baltimore, MD||3 Star||Yes|
|Malik Gilmore||6'3"||195||4.67||Lakewood HS, Lakewood, CA||3 Star|
|Jordan Payton||6'2"||199||4.49||Oaks Christian High School, Westlake Village, CA||4 Star||Yes||USC|
|Leonte Carroo||6’1"||205||4.4||Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ||3 Star||Yes|
|Avery Johnson||6'2"||180||4.44||Blanche Ely HS, Pompano Beach, FL||4 Star||Yes||LSU|
|Jody Fuller||6'0"||186||4.52||Sun Valley HS, Monroe, NC||3 Star||Yes|
|Sam Grant||6’6″||230||4.8||St. Edward HS, Lakewood, OH||NR|
|Sean Price||6'4"||206||4.9||North Marion HS, Citra, FL||3 Star|
|Devin Funchess||6'5"||205||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||NR|
|Ron Thompson||6'4"||225||East Detroit HS, Eastpointe, MI||NR|
|Taylor McNamara||6'5"||235||Westview HS, San Diego, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|D.J. Humphries||6’5″||265||4.9||Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte, NC||4 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Diamond||6’6″||289||5.0||Simeon Vocational HS, Chicago, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Zach Banner||6'9||295||Lakes HS, Lakewood, WA||4 Star||Yes|
|Dan Voltz||6’5″||289||5.3||Barrington HS, Barrington, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Andrus Peat||6’6″||270||Corona Del Sol HS, Tempe, AZ||5 Star||Yes|
|Kyle Murphy||6’6″||255||San Clemente HS, San Clemente, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Simmons||6’5″||295||4.9||Crespe HS, Encino, CA||4 Star||Yes|
|Taylor Decker||6’8″||270||5.0||Butler HS, Vandalia, OH||3 Star|
|Mark Harrell||6’5″||260||Charlotte Catholic HS, Charlotte, NC||NR|
|John Theus||6’6″||292||5.2||Bolles HS, Jacksonville, FL||5 Star||Yes|
|Avery Young||6’6″||273||4.9||Palm Beach Gardens HS, Palm Beach Gardens, FL||4 Star||Yes|
|Kyle Dodson||6’6″||315||Cleveland Heights HS, Cleveland, OH||NR|
|Paul Thurston||6’5″||265||5.1||Arvada West HS, Arvada, CO||3 Star||Yes|
|Chris Wormley||6’4″||255||Whitmer HS, Toledo, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Ifeadi Odenigbo||6’4″||210||4.44||Centerville HS, Centerville, OH||NR|
|Pharaoh Brown||6’6″||220||4.7||Brush HS, Lyndhurst, OH||NR|
|Tom Strobel||6'6"||240||4.9||Mentor HS, Concord, OH||3 Star||Yes|
|Mario Ojemudia||6'3"||215||4.65||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||NR|
|Se'Von Pittman||6’5″||235||4.65||McKinley HS Canton, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Adolphus Washington||6’6″||240||4.7||Taft HS, Cincinnatti, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Jenkins||6’3″||225||4.69||Harris County HS, Hamilton, GA||4 Star||Yes|
|Tommy Schutt||6’3″||301||Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Eddie Goldman||6'4"||307||Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, DC||5 Star||Yes|
|Vincent Valentine||6'3"||300||Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Sheldon Day||6'2"||268||Warren Central HS, Indianapolis, IN||3 Star|
|Danny O’Brien||6’4″||255||5.1||Powers Catholic HS, Flint, MI||4 Star||Yes|
|Greg Kuhar||6'3"||265||St. Edward HS, Concord Township, OH||NR|
|Matthew Godin||6'5"||253||5.03||Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, MI||3 Star|
|Deaysean Rippy||6’2″||198||Sto-Rox HS, McKees Rocks, PA||4 Star||Yes|
|James Ross||6’0″||203||Orchard Lake St. Mary’s HS, Orchard Lake, MI||4 Star||Yes|
|Royce Jenkins-Stone||6’2″||215||Cass Tech HS, Detroit, MI||3 Star||Yes|
|Vince Biegel||6'3"||210||4.53||Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln HS, Wisconsin Rapids, WI||3 Star||Yes|
|Kaleb Ringer||6'1"||225||4.45||Northmont HS, Clayton, OH||3 Star|
|Peter Jinkens||6'1"||208||4.45||Skyline HS, Dallas, TX||3 Star||Yes|
|Camren Williams||6'2"||200||4.58||Catholic Memorial HS, West Roxbury, MA||3 Star|
|Jeremiah Tshimanga||6'3"||226||Richland HS, N. Richland Hills, TX||3 Star||Yes|
|Terry Richardson||5'9"||160||4.5||Cass Tech HS, Detroit, MI||3 Star||Yes|
|Armani Reeves||5'11"||185||4.4||Catholic Memorial HS, West Roxbury, MA||4 Star|
|Elijah Shumate||6'1"||205||4.5||Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ||4 Star||Yes|
|D.J. Singleton||6'3"||195||4.5||St. Peters Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ||3 Star|
|Deon Bush||6'1"||177||4.44||Columbus HS, Miami, FL||NR||Yes|
|Jarrod Wilson||6’2″||190||4.5||Buchtel HS, Akron, OH||NR|
We are up to 67 offers.
- 5 QBs
- 3 RBs
- 12 WRs
- 5 TEs
- 13 OL
- 8 DEs
- 7 DTs
- 8 LBs
- 2 CBs
- 4 Ss
BTW - I mentioned this in another thread, Scout currently has ranked 12 5 Stars and only 89 4 Stars. They will end up with 50 5 Stars and 250 4 Stars.
After tonight’s Senior Night heroics by Carl Hagelin (bork bork bork!), Michigan hockey stands 6th in the Pairwise rankings and 2nd place in the CCHA, one point behind Notre Dame.
Quick Pairwise summary for the uninitiated:
Teams are compared to each other in four categories: RPI ranking, record against Teams Under Consideration (TUC), record against common opponents (COp), and head-to-head record. The TUCs are, this year, the teams with an RPI above 0.5, so the top half of college hockey. For the Pairwise, teams earn one point for each of the first three categories won, and one point for each head-to-head victory, and whichever team has more points in its comparison with another wins the comparison (ties are broken by the higher RPI ranking). The Pairwise rankings total up each team’s number of comparison wins against all of the TUCs and ranks them in order of comparisons won. This system is an approximation of how the NCAA decides on the tournament field and has predicted the teams in the NCAA field perfectly for years.
This weekend's results
Friday night saw Michigan get a lot of help:
- MSU lost to Alaska, making it less likely that they’ll climb over the TUC cliff and hurt Michigan’s comparisons.
- Dartmouth and Rensselaer lost in ECAC play, and Wisconsin lost to Minnesota, lessening the chances that they pull ahead of us.
- Elsewhere in the WCHA, Minn.-Duluth lost to Minnesota State (who should absolutely be called the Screaming Eagles, but aren’t), Neb.-Omaha lost to Alaska-Anchorage, and Denver lost to Michigan Tech. The UNO loss isn’t that big, since the big games to decide the comparison are over the next two weeks. The Denver loss is big enough to pull us within reach of their RPI, giving us a couple ways to pull ahead of them. The biggest of these, however, is UMD’s loss to MSU (NTMSU or the other MSU). It basically means that a sweep over Northern next week puts us ahead of them.
- The Friday win over Western (actually, Notre Dame simply playing Ferris) temporarily pulled us ahead of Notre Dame by virtue of a massively improved record against common opponents. Michigan added a 3-0-1 record against Ferris, while ND added a 1-0-1 record against Western, which makes our record a little bit better than theirs. However, this comparison will still come down to whoever wins more games down the stretch, and is basically a tie right now.
In Saturday’s action:
- OSU beat Lake State, bumping them above the TUC cliff and helping Michigan’s comparisons by adding our 3-1-0 record against them. OSU plays Ferris next week, and ideally OSU picks up a couple points and both OSU and Ferris stay above the TUC cliff.
- In Hockey East, BC lost to Northeastern 2-1 after tying them 7-7 (!!) the previous night. Also, New Hampshire tied a pretty bad Vermont team.
What has changed since last week?
- We have flipped our comparison with UNH, as our RPI moved ahead of theirs. We have also flipped our comparison with BC temporarily, as our record against TUCs is now percentage points better than theirs. However, BC plays UNH in two weeks, so one of those teams will almost certainly move back ahead of us after that weekend. The only way that might not happen is if the two teams split their series and Michigan sweeps Northern, but that might still leave our RPI behind UNH’s. Count on losing one of these comparisons (probably the one with BC).
- We have flipped the comparison with Neb.-Omaha as well, moving ahead in TUC record thanks to OSU’s and Bemidji’s move into the TUC field. This is temporary, since their remaining games are all against TUCs. How they finish will probably determine the status of this comparison. However, we should win either this one or Denver, depending on how they do against each other and (believe it or not) whether Bemidji State can stay in the TUC field. Yes, that matters.
Here are the comparisons that we are currently losing, along with whether those comparisons can be flipped by season’s end.
1. Yale: not flippable.
2. North Dakota: not flippable. Well, if they were to end up with no better than a loss and a tie against Michigan Tech in two weeks, and drop a game to Bemidji State next week, maybe. But that’s not going to happen.
3. Merrimack: only flippable if we pass them in RPI and they meet and lose to UNH in the Hockey East tournament, or they get swept at Maine next weekend. Highly unlikely.
4. Denver/Neb.-Omaha: we will probably win one of these and lose one. At the moment we are beating UNO and losing to Denver; before Bemidji State beat Colorado College it was the other way around. Bemidji is 3-0-1 against UNO, and 0-2 against Denver, so Bemidji’s presence as a TUC dramatically affects both teams. The two teams play each other in Denver next weekend. As Bemidji is likely to fall back down, giving us the win over Denver, I’d root for UNO in those games, but it’s anyone’s guess.
5. Minn.-Duluth: we have closed the gap a bit in RPI, but this comparison will be decided by the next two weeks, as they play two at Colorado College and two at home against UNO, and we have two at Northern. These are all common opponents for both teams, and the comparison is pretty close there. Whoever wins that should win the overall comparison. This is the most flippable of all the pairwise comparisons.
1. We have pretty much locked up a spot in the tournament. Getting swept by Northern would be damaging, but we’d still make it without an implosion in our first series of the CCHA tournament.
2. This is about as high as we can get. It’s almost impossible to flip two of these comparisons. The best we are likely to do, if we win out, is a tie for fourth and winning the RPI tiebreaker to get the top seed in a regional. Of course, none of the regionals are particularly close (the closest are St. Louis and Green Bay), but the top seed means not having get by an east coast team on the east coast to get to the Frozen Four. This, however, is about as likely as the basketball team making the NCAAs. The most likely scenario now is a 2-seed. It is very easy for us to lose the Notre Dame comparison, and we will probably also lose at least one of the BC and UNH comparisons.
3. If things ended today, we’d probably either get sent to Green Bay as the 2-seed with North Dakota the 1-seed, or to Manchester, NH as the 2-seed, with Boston College the 1-seed. A lot will change in the next few weeks, though.
Who/what to root for in the next few weeks:
- Michigan, obv.
- Ohio State to at least split with Ferris and make it to the quarterfinals of the CCHA.
- Ferris to also stay a TUC.
- Colorado College to take points from Minn.-Duluth.
- Lake State to steal one against Miami and get up to the TUC field.
- UNH losing other games but beating BC.
- A split between UNO and Denver is probably the best way to pull ahead of both.
- Bemidji to steal points in North Dakota or against Minnesota.
- Michigan State to stay below the TUC cliff by dropping points to Bowling Green or losing quickly in the CCHA tournament.
- Notre Dame to drop at least a point against Western next week. Besides getting us the regular-season CCHA title, it would be great to go into the CCHA tournament knowing we wouldn't have to face both Miami and Notre Dame.
There has been some squirming lately about the potential college choices of some of our top in-state talent in the class of 2012. I, personally, hate the idea of losing out on the best Michigan high schoolers, and some have been predicting doom for the program if we aren't able to secure the likes of Ross, Jenkins-Stone, and Richardson this year. Jon Chait over on Rivals has laid the gauntlet, suggesting that this recruiting cycle will determine the destiny of the program for the foreseeable future (how great is it, by the way, that Jon Chait, a world-class writer and social commentator, contributes to our piddly Rivals site?).
Facts, data, and stuff
In response to the anxiety, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the college-selection fate of Michigan's top H.S. talent over the course of the past ten years. Using Rivals recruiting rankings, I compiled data for all the 4- and 5-star recruits out of the state of Michigan since Rivals launched their rankings in 2002. In the ten recruiting classes between then and now, there have been 76 such recruits out of Michigan high schools. That’s an average of seven or eight top-end athletes per year, and most of these recruits are regional—if not national—targets. Now, Michigan does not pursue every four-star athlete in the state, and there is less regional and national attention for some four-star players versus others. However, Rivals rankings are a close approximation for identifying the top in-state talent in any given year.
What fate befell Quincy Landingham?
The data show that, of the 76 top recruits from 2002-2011, 28 (or 37%) chose to play for U-M. Fewer than half of the top high-school players opted for the Maize and Blue. Our biggest competition, as you may expect, was Michigan State, which reeled in 24 (32%) of all 4- and 5-star players. Another 24 of these players went out of state, with Penn State being the most popular destination (four players), followed by Purdue and Ohio State (three players each). Tennessee and USC are the only other schools to sign more than one top state-of-Michigan recruit during this period (Landingham, out of Bloomfield Hills Lahser in 2007, is the only four-star guy to choose Wisconsin).
There has been some variation from year to year in U-M’s success in securing top in-state talent. Some attribute this variation to the head coach’s recruiting prowess, our on-field success, or the historical relationship between recruits’ high schools and U-M. The table below shows the college destination of top in-state talent by year from 2002 to 2011.
A few things stand out from the data. U-M has typically been able to pull in roughly half of the top in-state recruits in any given year, but got hammered in 2010, 2009, and especially 2007, a year in which the state was loaded with top-end talent. The former two classes were Rodriguez’s first two full classes and the latter 2007 class was Carr’s final full class. The 2010 and 2009 classes followed losing seasons. The 2007 class followed an excellent season, capped by one of the most high-profile games in Michigan football history. Only two of the 13 best in-state players seemed to care.
And your point is?
Few would argue that we don't need to bring in the best in-state recruits in order to achieve a high level of play. However, even during the “stable” years of the program in the early part of the decade, U-M still lost out on roughly half of the top in-state recruits on an annual basis (save 2005, a weak year talent-wise in which U-M pulled in all three 4/5 stars). Another semi-myth that the data dispel is that Ohio State has been making major inroads on state-of-Michigan talent. Ohio State has signed three total Michigan 4/5 stars during the past ten years: Gholston in 2004, Taurian Washington (meh) in 2007, and James Jackson (meh) in 2009. That record hardly constitutes an impending coup.
MichiganState is by far the biggest threat in stealing in-state talent, and one could view the last three recruiting cycles as disturbing in that regard, as MSU has signed 12 of the top recruits to our six. The Ohio States, Penn States, and USCs are much smaller threats.
Of course, U-M recruits nationally, and thus has a distinct advantage over MSU in overall recruiting. But if we want to dominate in-state recruiting, MSU has been our biggest historical obstacle. Not pulling in Ross, Jenkins-Stone, and Richardson this year would be wrenching. Precedent suggests that it may not spell doom for Michigan football, but it sure would feel goddam good.
First off Congrats to the team for making the Quarterfinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championships for the first time in school history. We beat #13 Georgia Tech 4-1, next up #1 Ranked Stanford at 4pm.
I'm curious how they will do against a potent Stanford lineup. They have played their last 4 and 5 of 6 matches (including Stanford) against ranked teams. After seeing them win these matches (#18 USC: W 5-2, #13 ND: W 4-3, #18 Vandy: 4-3, #13 GT: W 4-1) it brings some confidence to the next match. However, if the lineups are the same as they were today for both Stanford and Michigan, we are a heavy underdog.
1D: #3 Standford (who beat #37 8-1) vs #22 Michigan (who beat #70 8-4). Even though the Michigan duo of Muresan/Bolender is 7-0, thats a rough matchup.
2D: Stanford (did not finish, but were up 6-3) vs Michigan (who beat #68). The Michigan duo of Taney/Tatsuno is 3-0 at that spot thus far.
3D: Stanford (8-3) vs MIchigan (did not finish, but were up 7-6). Critser/Nguyen struggled putting away USC after having at least 5 match points, they ended up losing a tough match, but immediately bounced back defeating ND and Vandy since.
For doubles, the continued momentum of today's doubles win to go with the sweeping of doubles against ND and Vandy should make this one a shootout that hopefully we can pull off.
1S: #2 Stanford vs #8 Michigan. This is an interesting matchup since both ladies struggled winning the first set 7-5 and 7-6(1) respectively and neither of them finished their matches. It will be key how well they each bounce back. Denise Muresan has struggled mightily against higher ranked opponents, losing to #3 from USC 0-2 and #9 from ND 0-0, so hopefully she can snap that streak.
2S: #22 Stanford vs #34 Michigan. This was the match that Michigan lost against GT with Sam Crister losing in 3 sets after being down 5-0 in the 3rd she was able to fight back before falling 6-3 to the #61 ranked lady. She should be used to facing higher ranked opponents and doing well against them as she recently beat the #10 USC and #50 Vandy ladies, but also lost to an unranked ND opponent (playing a 10 point tie break for the 3rd set) in between.
3S: #20 Stanford vs #104 Michigan. Brooke Bolender has only lost 1 match in Singles play this season and that was to a #89 ranked player from Vandy in a 3rd set tiebreak. Neither player seemed to have too much difficulty with their 1st round opponents so a hard-hitting match may be on display.
4S: #21 Stanford vs #71 Michigan. This should be a good one with Whitney Taney of Michigan having a 4-0 record in Dual Matches this year; however, she had to win the 2nd set against GT in a tie-break to split sets before her match was abandoned.
5S: #87 Stanford vs #123 Michigan. Stanford had this match abandoned at 7-5, 4-4, while Michigan won it 7-5 7-5. Mimi Nguyen has been up and down recently with a great showing early vs USC before having to fight back and win in 3 sets at 4S then losing at 5S to both ND and Vandy before the bounce back victory over GT.
6S: Stanford vs Michigan. Senior Rika Tatsuno is 5-1 this year (5S: 2-0, 6S: 3-1) with her only loss coming to Vandy. Rika won her match 6-2, 6-2 against GT while Stanford's Carolyn McVeigh was down 6-1, 2-6, 1-3 before her match was abondoned.
It seems to be a long road to climb for the team to make the Semis, but many Stanford players struggled today, which could bode well for the team. Seeing 4 top 22 players and 5 of 6 players ranked in the top 100 is pretty intimidating, but we have 5 ranked players as well who have been rolling as the team is 7-0 for the first time since 2004.
Prediction: If Michigan can win the doubles point they have a shot in this match. The only singles match I see us having the clear advantage in is with Rika Tatsuno at 6S. If we have 2 points under our belt at that point, seeing 2 wins from the rest of the team is feasible. However, 1S Denise Muresan struggles against better competition recently and 2S Sam Crister had to play a full 3 sets yesterday so it is unlikely to get anything there. This likely leaves it up to the 3-5 slots to pull off the win; where 5S seems to be the best matchup for us and that is a coin-flip.
Stanford 4 over Michigan 2 or 3, with several close matches to finish it out.
I like PORPAG. A lot. It's elegant. It's the only time something created by Spartys will ever be called elegant. I'm a sucker for a number that's simple to understand, simple to calculate, and remarkably informative. As you might remember, though, PORPAG ignores defense. It's strictly an offensive metric. I was thinking that I wished it did, so I set out to figure out if there were a good way to incorporate defense. The result is Enhanced PORPAG.
The new number I wanted had to also reflect "points above replacement" in the same way PORPAG does, because this was to be an add-on. No need to recreate the wheel: my goal was to stand on the shoulders of geniuses, to borrow a phrase. The problem, of course, is that there's no defensive rating the same way there's an offensive rating; if there were, someone would already have done this. You can't have a defensive rating the same as an offensive rating, though, because not every defensive possession is ended by the actions of a defensive player.
But some are. I'll spare you the list of discarded ideas and jump right into the equation, with explanations to follow:
EPORPAG = PORPAG * ( ( ( Block% / 2 ) + Steal% ) - 2.45 )
If PORPAG is negative, divide rather than multiply.
Explanation (if this is likely to bore you, just skip to the bottom where the CHART is):
A block or a steal are the two tools a defensive player has at his disposal to actively end a defensive possession. Rebounds are excluded because those aren't under direct control of the defender. That's just grabbing a loose ball - the fact that the shooter missed is almost never the result of the rebounder's actions. There's also the side effect that including rebounds would skew the stat inexorably towards big men. But blocks and steals are about even between the two, and again, that's how the defense can end a possession.
It's reasonable to assume that a steal denies the opposition two points, because the average possession that results in points, results in two. One point and three are about equally common. And a steal always ends a possession, whereas a block ends a possession roughly half the time.
So, add a player's steal percentage to half his block percentage to get the percentage of possessions he ends while he's on the floor. PORPAG multiplies O-rating to account for the amount of time a player is playing; block% and steal% already do that. It's built in. 2.45 is the "replacement level", obtained by:
1) Taking the D-I team average for each; 2) dividing each by five to represent one player; 3) multiplying by 0.87, because that's the proportion of replacement-level O-rating to the national average.
Example calculation: Zack Novak's PORPAG is 2.34.
2.34 * (((0.5 / 2) + 1.0) - 2.45) = 1.19. Novak's defensive numbers are well below replacement-level.
I already did this for the ACC on my own UVA blog, and it sanity-checked very well. There are a couple caveats, of course:
- It's kinda fishy the closer you get to zero PORPAG. A replacement-level offensive player could block literally every shot and still be replacement-level.
- It still doesn't account for unaccountable things like off-ball defense or chemistry.
I'm sure people can think of other things. But enough babbling. IT'S TIME FOR THE CHART.
|Year||Player||Team||PORPAG||Block %||Steal %||EPORPAG|
|Jr.||Ralph Sampson III||Minn.||1.73||8.5||1.2||3.84|
Some interesting, names, yes? Again, though, I think it passes the sanity test. The better teams are also generally the better-represented teams. Guys that contribute mostly only on offense get a bump in favor of more well-rounded players. I know, for example, that I looked at the PORPAG list and knew I'd rather have Draymond Green on my team than most of the bottom half. This quantifies that.
I know you'll want to find out about Michigan's guys, so here you go. Only players included are those with over 30% of minutes played, so guys like Horford and Christian don't make the cut.
|Fr.||Tim Hardaway, Jr.||UM||1.93||0.7||2.1||1.93|
That's actually kind of worse than a lot of the Big Ten, but UM tends to roll flatter but deeper. Novak is better than at least half of other teams' 4th-best guys. I would put up the rest of the league, but this is getting long. Enough people take interest, I will. There you have the data; enjoy.
Edit: One point that needs clarifying - I was challenged on this by an FOV reader. The average team offensive rating is about 101 - therefore the average possession is one point. So if a steal takes away a possession, shouldn't steals take away one point, not two? No, because for the average possession to be worth a point, the successful possession must be worth two. A steal denies a successful possession, not an average possession. It's only appropriate to speak of taking one point off the board by denying a possession if that possession never begins in the first place. Once it's begun, the outcome can be assumed to be binary - either zero or two points. (One or three is possible, but they average each other out to two.) Therefore a steal prevents two points. And a block is half a steal because the offense is assumed to recover the ball half the time.
[Ed: Tim has also started a lax blog covering anything and everything in-state. Hit it up if you're part of the burgeoning lacrosse community.]
Giving the latest on the Michigan Men's Lacrosse Team.
The Wolverines have been pristine in their spring scrimmages over the past couple years, so to see a loss to Division-1 Bellarmine by a big score may be troubling, especially since the Wolverines bested the same squad last season. Howeva, Michigan was not at full strength and Bellarmine is probably a bit stronger than they were last year.
The Wolverines rebounded by knocking of D-3 Wittenberg by a 13-9 score. It may be a product of the competition, but they looked much stronger in this game despite still not being at full strength. I took some photos at the game, so enjoy a gallery:
The above-inked site is a little side project I just started working on, so I encourage you to check it out if you're interested in lacrosse.
In the final scrimmage, Michigan was as close to full strength as they have been all spring - the MCLA's best defensive player, Harrison Freid, had missed the previous two contests. The Wolverines raced out to a big 12-0 lead at halftime before emptying the bench and taking down Kenyon College 15-6. I only caught the second half thanks to the basketball team's win over Indiana, so no real thoughts on the performance.
As for the team on the whole, it's going to be what we expected. They'll struggle on faceoffs like they have at no point during the current run of MCLA dominance ("struggling" here meaning "not winning 60-70% of draws"), but the offense and defense are likely to be among the best we've seen in Ann Arbor. It's even possible that we'll see a more wide-open offense from the Wolverines this fall.
First Two Weeks: A Preview
In a departure from the standard schedule, Michigan opens up at home against Florida before embarking on their annual spring break road trip. The trip is usually their chance to play multiple top-level non-conference opponents over the course of a week, and boost the schedule difficulty.
Since the Gators are up first, I'll spend a little bit more time previewing the game against Florida. The game takes places this Saturday at 7PM in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse.
The Gators made the MCLA National Tournament last year as a 12 seed, bowing out to Minnesota-Duluth 12-6 in the opening round. This year, they've started strong by pasting fellow South East Lacrosse Conference opponents Miami (YTM) and South Florida by a combined 30-13 score. They also had a tuneup against MCLA D-2 squad Palm Beach Atlantic last weekend. This all means that the Gators will be much closer to mid-season form than will the Wolverines, but is that enough to get a road win where Michigan hasn't lost since 2007?
The Gators lost their four leading scorers from last year in Ryan Akin (2nd Team All-American), Alex Cervasio, Kyle Beckman (3rd Team All-American), and David Rule. That quartet combined to average 13.5 points per game in 2010, and the Gators need to replace that production. Junior attack William Buch, senior midfielder Ben Salo, and sophomore midfielder CJ Casselli have stepped up to fill that void, but they are untested against the top teams in the country.
The Gators have impressed on faceoffs early in the season, winning 27/36 (.750), and since that's an area of weakness for Michigan, we'll find out soon if Florida's success is based solely on level of competition. As noted above, Michigan's faceoffs have been inconsistent throughout the preseason.
Josh Hagerman from UMGoBlog previews the game, and talks to former Wolverine captain (now Florida assistant coach) Michael Bartomioli. The whole thing is worth reading, and Barto even gives a couple (homer) predictions:
14-13 Florida in OT or 13-10 Michigan… first one as a Florida coach, second one as a former U of M player.
Josh also talks to Florida's head coach, and makes a couple predictions of his own (including - I shit you not - evoking the "SEC SPEED" meme, which caused a unicorn to die, no doubt).
I would guess that Michigan gets a competitive game, but ultimately a comfortable win. SELC teams have yet to prove themselves on the biggest stage and aside from the MCLA Tournament playing on the road at Michigan is as big as it gets.
Once they hit the road, Michigan will face Oregon at a neutral site in Los Angeles. The two played a neutral-site thriller in Dallas last season as Michigan came away with a 5-4 win in overtime. They made the MCLA Tournament, falling 9-8 to Colorado in the first round. However, the Ducks may not be quite the team they were last year, as they've started their season 0-2, including a 10-2 pasting by Cal.
The Ducks only lost a couple members of their scoring arsenal from last year, so their inability to score goals early in the season is a surprise, especially with Honorable Mention All-American Kevin Clark still in the fold. It's possible they snap out of it once they get into the swing of the season, or they may just be in for a down year.
They have the same goaltending contingent as last year (including 3rd Team All-American Nick Johnston), and have plenty of returning players in their defensive unit (3rd Team All-American Steven Brizie among them), so they are probably going to try to hold it together on the defensive end while they figure out their problems scoring.
The Lions missed the MCLA Tournament last year despite a solid 13-5 record, as they lost to Chapman in their conference tournament. They were a strong defensive team last year with occasional bursts of offensive firepower. So far this season, they've knocked off San Diego State 9-3 and will play three more games before they face Michigan.
2nd-Team All-American Alec Paul was far and away the Lions' leading scorer in 2010, but he's graduated. That leaves the magnificently-named Magnus Karlsson to carry the scoring mantle, along with fellow midfielder Travis Abraham and attack Chase Parlett. Sophomore midfielder Nolan Smith and attack Max Zeff were the big scorers against San Diego State, so we'll see if that production holds up over the course of the season.
LMU is breaking in a pair of new goalies this season, so if a team can break down their defense (especially early in the year), they should be able to beat the netminder as well. That should be no easy task, of course, as the defensive unit is senior-laden, including 3rd Team All-American Marc Napp.
Even those who aren't familiar with lacrosse may have heard of Connor Martin a.k.a. ConBroChill, likely the biggest celebrity among MCLA players all-time. Argue all you want about the negative impact his videos may have on the lacrosse community, but there's no denying Martin was a great player, as only the second MCLA athlete to be drafted by Major League Lacrosse. With him out the door (along with midfielder Blake Whitcomb, a 3rd Team All-American), Chapman's offense takes a big hit.
Andrew Clayton (HM All-American) and William Morrison should be the team's new offensive leaders, but it's the defense that should carry this team. Andrew Salcido and Spencer Halvorsen were 2nd-Team All-Americans last year, and LSM Matt Walrath earned an Honorable Mention.
Thankfully, Chapman lost their faceoff specialist from last year, as Chris Small was a 2nd-Team All-American last year, and Michigan would prboably get destroyed by him if he was still around this year.
After their road trip, Michigan opens up conference play with a healthy drive down to Athens, Ohio to face Ohio University. Since they're a first-year MCLA program, it's hard to know a whole lot about the team at this point in the year. I'll preview that game (and review the spring break trip) when the time approaches.
A third senior leader has been added to Michigan's contingent of captains. LSM Matt Asperheim joins Attack Trevor Yealy and Harrison Freid, and though he doesn't have as many honors (Yealy and Freid are both multiple-year 1st-Team All-Americans), may be just as important to the team's success as a good defensive player who can go forward with the ball in his stick.
The Men's and Women's lacrosse teams joined forced to participate in Wednesday's Mock Rock event, performing a couple dances from Grease: