I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
MGoBlue.com continues its Leaders and Best in 50 States [plus DC and PR] with the selections that represent the states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Illinois is represented by the great Cazzie Russell who led the Wolverines to three Big Ten men's basketball titles and two Final Four appearances during his storied career at Michigan. In his senior season, he was named the AP, UPI and Sporting News Player of the Year. He was the number one draft pick in the 1966 draft, won an NBA championship with the 1970 Knicks and was an All-Star in 1972.
Russell rewrote the Wolverine scoring record book. He finished his career with 2,163 points, breaking Bill Buntin's mark by 439 points. He set a new single season scoring record in each of his three seasons. His career 27.1 points per game average is still the top in Michigan history, as is his 30.8 season average in 1966, and his 48 point effort against Northwestern to clinch the 1966 conference title has been equaled only by Rudy Tomjanovich. Cazzie was picked No. 1 in the NBA by the New York Knicks and played twelve seasons with Knicks, San Francisco Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
When Russell came to Michigan the Wolverines played their home games on a removable raised floor in Yost Field House. The enthusiasm and fan support generated by Russell led to the construction of Crisler Area - often referred to as "The House That Cazzie Built." Fittingly, Cazzie's fabled No. 33 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters in Crisler in 1989.
To the humble Russell, he was only a part of the establishment of Michigan's winning basketball tradition and his teammates share equally in creating the momentum for the building of the arena.
Russell followed up his playing career with coaching stints in the CBA, NBA and in college. He was the head coach at the Savannah College of Art and Design for 12 years before the school disestablished the team and is now retired in Savannah.
The Wisconsin honoree is swimmer Talor Bendel who beat out (among others) T-Wolf's dad, the great Michigan running back Butch Woolfolk. Look at Bendel's accomplishments and you'll agree her career was nothing short of incredible. The most All-American honors of any swimmer in Michigan history, she was part of the first and only NCAA championship earned by a Michigan women's relay team.
The late Eric Namesnik is the Pennsylvania honoree. Namesnik was another of the incredibly successful Wolverines swimmers who found success at the conference and Olympic levels. Namesnik was tragically killed in 2006 in an auto accident when his car slid on black ice into oncoming traffic.
|ILLINOIS: Cazzie Russell|
Cazzie Russell (Chicago)
• Cazzie Russell (1964-66) is considered one of the top basketball players of all-time at U-M and in NCAA history. Playing only three seasons (80 games), he scored 2,164 points, won three Big Ten titles, had three NCAA Tournament trips, including a national runner-up finish in 1965. He was the 1966 NCAA Player of the Year, a three-time NCAA All-America and All-Big Ten first team, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and his No. 33 jersey is the only number to be retired. He was the first overall selection in the 1966 NBA Draft by New York and helped the Knicks to the NBA Title in 1970.
#2) Traci Conrad, Softball
|WISCONSIN: Talor Bendel|
Talor Bendel (Green Bay)
Women's Swimming and Diving
• Talor Bendel was a 20-time NCAA All-America selection, the single-most honors for any swimmer in school history. She won a 1995 NCAA championship as part of the 400-yard medley relay to go along with 13 Big Ten championships.
#2) Molly McClimon, Women's Cross Country
|PENNSYLVANIA: Eric Namesnik|
Eric Namesnik (Butler)
Men's Swimming and Diving
• Eric Namesnik (1989-91, 1993) earned All-America honors in all four seasons and won the 1991 Big Ten 400-yard individual medley title. He won back-to-back silver medals in the 400-meter IM at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.
#2) April Fronzoni, Field Hockey
Now go vote for the best Michigan Wolverine from the state of Ohio: » Vote for the best Wolverine from Ohio.
Your candidates are:
- Ryan Bertin (2 time NCAA wrestling champion)
- Dan Dierdorf (Pro Football HoF)
- Benny Friedman (Pro Football HoF)
- Desmond Howard (Heisman, general awesomeness)
- Dan Ketchum (Olympic gold medal winning swimmer)
- Barry Larkin (Baseball HoF)
- Katie McGregor (Big Ten, NCAA and US champion in various distance running events)
- George Sisler (Baseball HoF)
- Charles Woodson (Heisman, Pro Football HoF caliber career)
- Beth Wymer (3 time NCAA gymnastics event champion)
Damn, how about we choose them all?
- June 28: Delaware and New Jersey
- June 29: Georgia and Connecticut
- June 30: A Bunch of BS Edition (Massachusetts and Maryland)
- July 1: Virginia, New Hampshire and South Carolina
- July 6: North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont
- July 7: A-Train Edition (Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana)
- July 8: Learn About a Wolverine T&F Giant Edition (Mississippi and Alabama)
- July 9: Point a Minute Editions (Maine, Missouri and Arkansas)
- July 13: Leaders and Best in 50 States: Moving to the Diaries Edition (Oregon, Kansas, Texas, Iowa)
- July 23: Leaders and Best in 50 States: Back From a Hiatus Edition (DC, Puerto Rico and 14 states)
- July 26: Leaders and Best in 50 States: Michigan Football Giants Edition
- July 27: Leaders and Best in 50 States: Number 1 Jersey Edition
--- Congratulations to all of the honorees! ---
My first diary post. Right to it...
We all know RichRod's UM teams haven't exactly been the picture of poise in the second halves in 2008 and 2009. Young teams, and all that.
But if you want to know just what caused the seven-game losing streak to end last year (*ignoring DelSt), don't look at how the games started. Look at how they ended.
To wit, first 2008 as a sucknitude baseline of sorts, then 2009 by comparison:
-- UM was outscored in the 2nd half by a combined 190-67 (-123).
-- UM outscored only Utah (13-3), MiamiO (6-3), Wisconsin (27-6) and Minnesota (13-6) in the 2nd half.
-- Conversely, UM was outscored only a combined 167-157 in the 1st half all year. Indeed, UM was in most games at halftime. Only exceptions: Utah (comeback came up short) and Wisconsin (comeback succeeded).
-- UM was outscored in the 2nd half by a combined 163-111 (-52).
-- UM outscored only ND (21-14), EMU (21-0), Indiana (15-10) and Iowa (14-10) in the 2nd half. OSU was a sawoff (7-7).
-- But, after the Deleware State game, the team fell apart -- in large part because of awful 2nd-half performances. [WARNING: Read these 2nd-half stats to end the year with only one eye open]:
OPPONENT............ OUTSCORED.... OUTGAINED.... TURNOVERS: M/opp
PSU...........................16-0.................. 181-100........... 3/0
@ Illinois..................31-0................... 406-221........... 2/0
Purdue.....................28-12................. 249-171........... 1/0
@ Wisconsin............24-7.................. 286-106........... 1/0
Ohio State................ 7-7.................. 155-143............. 3/1
TOTALS................ 106-26............. 1,277-741........... 10/1
That last line is what we call ugly-ass s--t. Northwestern '80s-ish. Couldn't keep the other guys off the field. Couldn't get the ball back. And when we got the ball back, we gave it back.
And that's how you go from 4-0 to 5-7.
-- On the season, UM was outgained 2,344 to 1,806 (-538) in the 2nd half, and was -8 in turnovers in the second half (17/9) and that excludes the brutal fake punt vs MSU.
-- UM was even outgained in the 1st half on the season, 2,160 to 2,081 (-52). But the turnover ratio was much closer, -3 (10/7).
-- After the MSU game, UM forced ONE second-half turnover the rest of the year, excluding DelSt. That was Pryor's pick. One.
-- After the Indiana game, when UM was 4-0,UM's turnover margin was +3 (3/6). The rest of the year? -14!!! Yes, minus-14. (24/10).
Reason for all the second-half collapses the past two years? Freshman QBs, plain-bad defenses, bumbling kick returners, and scholarship caverns. That'll just about cover it. Poor halftime adjustments has to factor in somehow, but could perfect adjustments have offset those four factors?
I need to go back to my Denard HD video from the spring game to get refired up for 2010. This was a bloody depressing endeavor.
Much has been made about the incoming freshman and who will contribute. While there is speculation that freshmen may fill in certain depth gaps/play special teams, there is only one freshman guarantee on this team: Will Hagerup will be your starting punter on September 4, 2010 (I mean, if we need to punt....). This was made completely crystal clear during the spring game, when the various walk-on punters varied between punting the football 20 yards to the right sideline and 20 yards to the left sideline. Our only feasible punter during the spring game was Tate Forcier, and while the fake punt opportunities would be delicious, it's not gonna happen, nor should it.
So with Hagerup fresh out of high school, I wanted to do some investigating to see how prolific true freshman punters were in the NCAA, and how they generally fared. Below, you will find the breakdown from 2006 through 2009, the active years of Zoltan. In fact, at the bottom of each year is Zoltan's stats from that particular year for comparison. His numbers have NO BEARING on the averages for each year. It's just so you can get an idea of what a good punter's stats look like.
Caveat: I only used punting average. There are many metrics to look at for punters, but average is probably the most basic without driving me completely insane digging around. So take this with a grain of salt, in that the numbers don't reflect the special teams tacklers surrounding these fine young men. RR indicates Rivals Rankings...I used this because I subscribe to Rivals and not Scout.
|Kyle Loomis||42||Oregon State||41.26||2||5.4|
|Alonso Rojas||99||Bowling Green||35.64||2||5|
|Aaron Bates||75||Michigan State||39.74||2||5|
|Kyle Hughes||22||New Mexico State||42.67||NR||NR|
|Matt Rinehart||64||Kent State||39.98||2||5.1|
|Ryan Quigley||71||Boston College||39.56||2||5.3|
|Brian Stahovich||73||San Diego St.||39.54||2||5.4|
|Tyler Campbell||12||Ole Miss||43.95||2||5.5|
|Ryan Erxleben||56||Texas Tech||40.84||NR||NR|
|Will Atterberry||82||N. Texas||38.96||2||5.2|
|Peter Boehme||88||So. Miss||38.48||NR||NR|
What to make of all of this:
Well, generally it seems that freshman punters are getting better. From 2006 to 2009, true freshman punters were kicking the ball almost an extra 3 yards per kick, which isn't bad (think an extra 18-20 yards of field position per game. That's more than enough to take a team out of FG range). The increase in ranking averages seems to back this up. I would imagine this has to do with several factors (some of them being completely chaos related). High school programs are getting more sophisticated with special teams, punters may actually punt their whole high school career, advances in strength training and conditioning, and the shift to rugby punting in many programs all probably play into these numbers.
There also seems to be a general reluctance (duh) towards using true freshman punters:
- In 2006 there were 100 total punters with at least 3.6 punts per game, and only 8 were true freshman (8% of punters in FBS).
- In 2007 that number was 8 again (8% of punters in FBS).
- In 2008 there were 98 punters, and 11 were true freshman (11% of punters in FBS...a bumper crop!).
- In 2009 there were 98 punters, and 6 were true freshman (6% of punters in FBS).
The total averages for all of the years:
- Average Rank: 73.42
- Average Punting Average: 39.30 yards (editors note: yecch)
- Average Rivals Rating (for those who were actually rated): 5.21
Zoltan is awesome. More awesome than the numbers truly reflect. But he was super awesome last year. I mean...seriously.
What About Will?
Here is what Rivals has to say about young master Hagerup:
- 3 stars
- 5.5 rating
- #3 kicker in the nation (their #1 true punter)
- 215 lbs
The only two players who come close to this level of guru love are Wisconsin's Brad Nortman (who fared quite well in 2008) and, well, Zoltan. This isn't enough brick and mortar to build a castle, but it isn't bad.
Hagerup also averaged 44.5 yards per punt during his senior year, which would place him smack dab at the top of each of the lists above, and above Zoltan in certain years. Now this certainly does not factor in the added level of competition in the form of better blockers/returners, but again, it's a good place to be.
This number also completely blows the averages for true freshman punters out of the water, but if Hagerup doesn't come in and start tearing through those averages that were being dragged down by the likes of the walk on punters from North Texas, Buffalo, and Wyoming...we're in some trouble.
Hagerup is going to be a fine punter during his freshman year. Unless he forgets which foot he uses to punt or what a football looks like, he will be fine. Reports have already been leaking out of Newsterbaan about him booming punts during off-season workouts that looked very Zoltanish.
His physicality is more than promising, his guru hype matches that of the best true freshman punter of the past 4 seasons, and his high school averages put him at the top of any of the past 4 classes.
So while we may lose something by not having Zoltan, a complete landslide this will not be. His supporting cast will generally be the same, and they proved themselves quite efficient at long snapping, blocking, and punt coverage duties last year. Nerves or other intangibles may cause him to butterfinger a snap into oblivion, or shank a punt into the blades of a Big Fogg fan, but I don't think there's any reason to expect a poor, or even "average" season for our new true freshman punter. In fact, he'd have to drop 5.2 yards per kick average between his senior year in HS and his freshman year in college to approach average for a freshman punter. That's astronomical, and I don't see it happening. "Above average" to "All Glory to Zoltan Acolyte Hagerup!" should be your expectations this coming year.
Now we just need to figure out how to get the student section to make H's with their hands on 4th downs...
I just talked to Michigan's 9th commit of the year, LB Kellen Jones, and he was as excited as can be. We talked about his decision, his visit, and what happened in Rich Rodriguez' office when he told the coaches. Here's some one line quotes for you:
- "Michigan is a family, and just seeing that really reinforced everything for me. It was really everything I was looking for. I prayed about my decision, and God told me Michigan was where I was supposed to be. I wanted to take this visit to clarify that, and it did."
- "I actually made my decision about 2 or 3 weeks ago, but like I said I just wanted the visit to make sure. We got to see the summer workouts, see the Big House, and all the players. It was so exciting. I can't wait to play in the Big House, I mean it's the Big House. We got to go to the top and look into the stadium, and my whole family was just excited."
- "My family was there with me, and I had told my Dad that I would be committing, but I hadn't told the coaches yet. He wanted me to tell them because Michigan was his dream school, so he was as excited as I was. I actually think he was even more excited than me, he was going crazy."
- "We were in Coach Rodriguez' office, and my family was in there with me. I told Coach that I was committing, and my whole family broke into the Michigan fight song. My Dad, Uncle, me, everybody was singing the fight song. Coach Rodriguez laughed and said he had never seen that before. He was shocked."
Rittenberg previews next week's Big Ten Media Days and provides some food for thought on major story lines. They include:
- Divisional alignment
- Championship game, to be or not to be and its location(s)
- Next round of expansion
- The return of JoePa
- Michigan's QB decision along with the standard fare about program turmoil
- Can Iowa and Wisconsin keep the momentum up and emerge as long term conference powers?
He also provides a handy schedule of events:
DAY 1 (Monday, Aug. 2): All 11 head coaches plus commissioner Jim Delany will address the media at the dais from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET. I'll be blogging throughout this session, so be sure to check in often here as well as on Twitter.
Here's the rundown (all times Eastern):
- 11:00 a.m. Bret Bielema (Wisconsin)
- 11:15 a.m. Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
- 11:30 a.m. Ron Zook (Illinois)
- 11:45 a.m. Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)
- 12:15 p.m. Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
- 12:30 p.m. Bill Lynch (Indiana)
- 12:45 p.m. Danny Hope (Purdue)
- 1:15 p.m. Joe Paterno (Penn State)
- 1:30 p.m. Tim Brewster (Minnesota)
- 1:45 p.m. Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
- 2:00 p.m. Jim Tressel (Ohio State)
- 2:30 p.m. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany
DAY 2 (Tuesday, Aug. 3): All 11 coaches as well as three players from each team will meet with the media from 9-11 a.m. ET in more informal, roundtable settings. Here's the roster of players who will attend.
As a reminder, this diary outlines the Big Ten release that details the BTN and ESPN coverage of the event.
We are very fortunate that our own Tim will be there to report on the event.
Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the next installment of:
SIX QUESTIONS WITH WOLVINLA
Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog. Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.
Isn’t it strange how we spend so much time together, here at MGoBlog—and yet we really have no idea who each other truly are? For all we know, any of us very well might have bumped into a fellow MGoBlog reader in the city, or perhaps spoken to someone in a business call… or maybe even ruffled each other’s feathers on a Friday night at the local pub. It’s a bit strange to think that friendships can be and are formed here with no regards at all to who these people actually are offline.
For me, I’ve been bumping into people here for over two years, and some more than others. And if you call them that, I’ve certainly made a few friends. I’d like to think that WolvinLA has been one of them, so let’s get to this exclusive interview:
1. You’re not the only one, but you are one of a select few that sport a nifty little 2 or (2) at the end of your name. What happened? Wrath of Brian? Wrath of Interwebs?
Somewhat wrath of the interwebs I guess, but a smarter person probably would have figured the problem out. I started as WolvinLA, but at some point I was having technical difficulties, and since some people on this board have grandparents as tech-savvy as I am I couldn't figure it out. After not too long I gave up and started my current account under my work email. I wish the story was more exciting, like my account was hijacked by pirates or ninjas or something, but no such luck.
Either way, you have amassed quite a slew of MGoPoints despite never creating any blogs in either of your incarnations. In your own words, what makes a good response on someone else’s blog?
That's not really true, I've started two different blogs but neither of them lasted more than 2 posts. I only stay excited about that stuff for about 10 minutes, but it makes me appreciate those who can make it work.
When posting on someone else's blog, you need to either say something substantive or something funny. If you can say something substantive and funny, that's where the magic happens. I also try to disagree with Magnus a lot, that's usually good for a 10 spot of MGoPuntos (my fiancee is Latin, sorry for the MGoSpanglish).
2. You’ve also been posting at MGoBlog for a long, long time. What’s changed since you first arrived on the scene? Who do you miss? What do you find interesting about the blog that wasn’t around two or three years ago?
Honestly, I miss ChrisGoComment. Where did he go? I literally think about that every day (not literally). The blog has changed a good bit since I started reading, mostly for the better. The addition of the VB guys and TomVH was huge, especially since the recruiting stuff is a big, big draw to the blog. I thought MGoProfile was super lame until you asked me, now I think it's totally sweet.
3. Tell us, what is the perception of the University of Michigan on the West Coast? What do all those shiny California types think of the winged helmet, and the Big House, and all of the things we hold dear?
I think most people would be surprised how many Michigan fans there are in California, or at least Los Angeles. I see people wearing M gear all over, UM stickers and plate frames are everywhere, it's awesome. I actually have a client who just told me the other day how it's her son's dream to go to Michigan (he's in high school) and he didn't have any special connection to the school.
Obviously there is a big Pac Ten influence out here, but most people I talk to have a lot of respect for Michigan - both athletically and academically. Well, except most USC fans. I find them to be obnoxious as all hell. I'm down with UCLA though.
Gotta love that word, RESPECT. What do you miss most about Michigan and/or the Midwest? I'm from Michigan, and that will always be home. There's no perfect place, there are things about LA that are great - the weather, predominantly, but Midwesterners are the best people in America, no doubt about it. You don't realize how nice and down to Earth people are there until you move to a place like LA. On the rare occurrence that someone holds a door or an elevator for me out here, I ask them if they're from CA, and although I usually get a strange look, the response is always "No."
4. You are an alum, if I do correctly recall. In your journeys westward, what has your alumni status meant to you and to those you have met? How has it affected the life you’ve created?
Being a UM alum has helped me in two main ways. The first is that I have so many classmates out here. As a Michigan alum, you can head to any major city and you'll be surrounded by your old classmates. When living in a far away city, that's invaluable. The second is the reputation. A UM degree gives instant credibility. You can hate UM sports all you want, but to most people, a UM degree means your a pretty sharp individual. If you don't know Michigan, you aren't worth knowing. I just made that up.
5. Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living? And, what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
I work in medical sales, so I drive around all day trying to convince hospitals to purchase overpriced equipment. One day I will crash and/or run off the road because I'm MGoBlogging behind the wheel. Lucky for me, traffic never goes more than about 15 miles an hour in LA.
My free time is filled up by one thing lately - on June 28th I entered MGoFatherhood, and little Charlie (like the Heisman guy) takes up all of my free time, 24 hours a day. I'm sure any fellow dads on here can relate.
For the record, I’ve seen pictures-- the kid was literally rockin’ a Block M beanie cap in the maternity ward-- nicely done, my friend. Let’s move on… describe the perfect meal.
Mmmm, I eat too much. This is kind of a depressing question since I just got blood work done and apparently I don't eat as healthy as I should. But my perfect meal is anything with lots of red meat and potatoes.
6. Meat, good. Let’s wrap it up with the old standards-- can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
I grew up, no joke, in a family full of ND fans. My mother's family were Irish Catholics from South Bend. Sure, they didn't have to be ND fans. But they were, in a big way. My cousin even has that little leprechaun tattooed on his leg - I didn't say they were classy. About the time I was in elementary school when you start liking sports teams, 5 guys, all freshmen, started for the University of Michigan's basketball team. They were awesome. About the same time, a receiver from Michigan won the Heisman. I came home from school one day and told my mom I wanted to be a Michigan fan. She, along with many of my relatives tried for years to turn me into a Notre Dame fan, but something inside my little brain told me they would fall short of expectations for at least the next 2 decades. Ultimately, I went to UM for college and that had pretty much sewn things up.
Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
My fiancee has accused me a number of times (and it's hard to tell if she's joking) of being gay for Tom Brady, so she'd probably say him. This is a hard question. It usually depends on whose highlight video I just watched. But saying "it's a tie with everybody" is the equivalent to the people who say "I like everything, really" when you ask their favorite music (and I hate it when people do that), so I'll go with Desmond, combining how good he was on the field for us with how awesome he's been to the program since, with a Super Bowl MVP thrown in for good measure. Runner-up honors to C-Webb - albeit a controversial pick, he was dominant and jump-started my fandom. I still wear my #4 Jersey with pride.
With a network of over 460,000 graduates, the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association is a veritable brotherhood that spans the globe. It goes without saying that the block M opens doors and makes business happen, and our own blog alone features everyone from government military contractors to lawyers, doctors to Fortune 500 businessmen. As the song goes, the “Leaders and Best" -- I'd love to know how much business goes down every year in America simply because it's one
Michigan Man shaking the hand of another.
It’s comforting to know that whatever city you might find yourself in, there’s probably a fairly good chance that someone else there will share your love for the maize and blue. WolvinLA is proof that even in the surreal world of California, Michigan is a recognized national brand that stands for something. As we move closer to the season, we all can have hope of what that something will be. Thanks and I’ll see you
all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!