also duty-free guys falling over and grabbing their shins
Michigan Men's Lacrosse advanced to the quarterfinals of the MCLA National Championship Tournament with a 19-3 victory over Texas State yesterday afternoon. They had to wait until today to find out who their second-round opponent would be, as last night's Michigan State/BYU game was delayed due to inclement weather.
Michigan, as expected, dominated Texas State for a 19-3 victory. Every healthy player got some game action, with ten of them scoring (the official site recap says eleven, but I don't think that's right). Here's the goal breakdown:
- Josh Ein: 3
- Svet Tintchev: 3
- Thomas Paras: 3
- Trevor Yealy: 2
- Jamison Goldberg: 2
- Clark McIntyre: 2
- Michael Bartomioli: 1
- Harrison Freid: 1
- Brent Kirshner: 1
- Willie Steenland: 1
Michigan dominated every category, with double the numbers of shots and groundballs of Texas State, a 76.9% success rate on faceoffs, and a nearly-perfect 23 of 24 on clears, while holding the Bobcats to an abysmal 13 of 32.
In goal, Andrew Fowler got the start, leaving me still confused as to which goalie is actually Michigan's #1, despite Mark Stone starting most of the year. Coach John Paul had the following to say:
“We go through his week with two great goalies and we just want to have the right goalie in at the right time to give us the best opportunity to win that game. We’re focused on the quarters and there are some things that BYU and Michigan State do that might result in Fowler doing a little bit better of a job for us, but after that it’s wide open again. Regardless, we’ve been in this situation for two years now and we have total confidence in both goalies.”
Fowler replaced Stone at halftime in the most recent contest against Michigan State, and fared much better (57% saves on 7 chances to Stone's 38% on 13 chances). Fowler was the team's #1 goalie through most of last year, a foot injury aside, but hasn't played nearly as much this season. From the sounds of it, he'll get the start regardless of tomorrow's opponent.
Their game was rained out last night, but Michigan State and BYU resumed play today, and BYU came away with a 13-8 victory. The teams traded opening goals, but then BYU went on a run to build a substantial lead in the first half. Michigan State clawed back, but was unable to get within legitimate striking distance.
Of note coming out of that game is the fact that one of BYU's team leaders, senior midfielder (1st-Team All-Conference) Elliott Grow, sustained a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return to the game. Though it's likely his absence was just precautionary, it would be a major boon to the Wolverines if BYU's leading goal-scorer AND assist man missed the game tomorrow.
In addition to Grow, the Cougars are led in scoring by a trio of sophomores in attacks Kent Mann and Corey Gunderson, and (1st-Team All-Conference) midfielder Andrew Harding. All have a good balance between scoring and assisting, which has benefitted their classmate Jared Houghton, a midfielder with 25 goals and only 5 assists. In goal, senior Will Hilton has been the man, saving exactly 50% of shots faced, and allowing opponents just under eight goals per game. Junior middie Daniel Cole leads the team in ground balls with 103, followed by (1st-Team All-Conference) LSM Britton Cone with 99. Cole is also the team's faceoff specialist, earning second-team all-conference honors.
Last time these two teams played, Michigan was without several key players, who were serving a one-game suspension. Still, the Wolverines prevailed on the road, with a 13-9 victory in Provo. BYU built an early 3-0 lead, but Michigan stormed back with six consecutive goals going into halftime. The Cougars managed to tie it up early in the third, but Michigan ended the game on a 7-3 run to secure the victory. Kent Mann, Jared Houghton, and Corey Gunderson all scored a pair of goals for BYU, and Elliot Grow added one, to go along with five assists. The Wolverines were led by Trevor Yealy and Thomas Paras with four goals apiece. Paras also added three assists. Mark Stone went the distance n the cage.
Michigan will have a couple big advantages in this game based on the delay of the Michigan State/BYU contest. First, the Wolverines have an extra day of rest to recuperate after yesterday's wun over Texas State. With a crowded schedule over the weekend, that rest day will help them stay fresh for this important contest, a luxury the opponent doesn't have. Secondly, the Wolverines had a chance to see the opponent in person one last time, against top competition, for an extra scouting opportunity.
I have a hard time picking against Michigan in this game, given the extra day of rest and the fact that BYU's best player might not be 100%. It should be a hard-fought battle, but I see a 14-8 Wolverines victory.
In my tournament preview, I selected winners for every game of the tournament. Some of the games that I thought of as "gimmies" for the top seeds weren't the expected blowouts, as Arizona State only beat Cal Poly 10-5 and Colorado State put in a couple late goals to edge Boston College 10-7, but those still all turned out the way I thought they would.
As I predicted, Simon Fraser did indeed upset #7 seed Florida State, and Duluth did get a comfortable victory over the Florida Gators on Tuesday. Michigan State's comeback bid against BYU fell short, leaving me perfect until the last result of the day. Oregon and Colorado battled to the end, requiring overtime to settle the 11-v-6 game. Colorado scored the sudden-death goal, keeping my predictions perfect.
No reason to change now, and I'll keep my second-round predictions steady. That's Michigan over BYU, Chapman over Duluth, Arizona State over Colorado, and Colorado State over Simon Fraser.
I hear a few people calling the BigTen behind the times, even Sean and Terp on 96.1 made a few sarcastic jokes at the start of the day about the BigTen not being progressive and how this move is so shocking for this conference. I don't know what these people could possibly be thinking. There isn't anything further from reality.
The BigTen is at the forefront more so than any other conference out there. Case in point:
1) The BigTen was the first NCAA conference to initiate Instant Replay for football games. Now all conferences have copied the success of the BigTen and implemented it to the point where it is an NCAA wideregulation.
2) The BigTen was the first conference to start its own TV network and force its way into the market. The financial success has set up the conference nicely in the future and other conferences are now once again set up to play copy cat as they try to create their own network.
3) The BigTen from top to bottom has the best academics in the FBS (Div1A). The BigTen is the only FBS conference to have all of its members ranked in Newsweek's Top 100 Universities and the CIC is a powerhouse of Research on the Global scale. This conference + the University of Chicago have always put academics and research as a strong priority within the schools. The BigTen is at the forefront of academic research there is no dispute about that.
4) Canham is the first AD to act like a modern AD....$$$ Once again, the BigTen at the forefront of the modern era.
5) The BigTen has the three largest college football stadiums...#1, #2, and #3 in capacity...always pushing to new heights.
6) The BigTen has the strongest history and one of the most progressive revenue sharing programs of any conference. Other conferences are changing over to the BigTen style of having a strong revenue sharing program. In terms of money in a conference, no one is more progressive.
7) Now apparently the BigTen is making the push in creating super conferences if you believe the rumors of a 14 or 16 school conference. If so...other conferences will most definately follow suit and once again the BigTen will be on the cutting edge of the trends in football.
I wrote into the show and made these points, I don't know if they read it, because I had other appointments and couldn't listen any more. However, we have a very proud conference history of being the leaders that bring about change nationwide. Even the 3 yards and a cloud of dust still existing today is a bunch of tripe...the BigTen has many unique offenses like Purdue's 'basketball on turf' and Northwestern's spread. Heck even, 'conservative' Carr had some spectacular years of passing offensive stats and games.
The obvious headline: Charlie Davies has missed the World Cup squad, which is unfortunate for both him and the team because it means the looming presence of Conor Casey and Eddie Johnson hit the 30-man provisional squad. An off the cuff assessment of the roster. Locks in bold, panic relative to the scale of "can we get out of the group"?
Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan
This is the opposite of Thunderdome: three men enter, three men leave. Howard will start every US game unless he gets a Tourette's-induced red.
Projected starter: Howard.
Panic level: Minimal.
Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce, Chad Marshall
The Nats will probably choose at least two of the non-locks. One, sadly, will be a dedicated left back. This means the Hero of Honduras, Jonathan Bornstein, is a lock. I didn't put him in bold because I don't want him to play, but he's basically in bold. With Spector and Bocanegra carrying tons of experience at left back in high-level leagues, it probably won't matter. If it's Bocanegra there the US isn't going to get much offense out of that spot, but that should free Spector up to be a cross-bombing winger type of defender.
Non-locks on the plane: Bornstein, Goodson. Marshall's been injured and the Nats will be looking for a central defender with some recent playing time as a backup.
Projected starters: Bocanegra, Onyewu, DeMerit, Spector. No matter who goes out with injury or card accumulation, Cherundolo draws into the lineup next; Spector flips to the left and Bocanegra draws inside.
Panic level: Call it a three. Onyewu's travelling with Milan and is fully healthy but has got to be rusty after his injury layoff. And DeMerit is a fine one-on-one defender but a guy who gives up possession really easily; I'd be more comfortable with the more composed Bocanegra in the middle and someone functional at left back. You could see Spector/Bocanegra/Onyewu/DeMerit against high-pressure teams without threatening forwards.
Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Stuart Holden, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Francisco Torres, Alejandro Bedoya, DaMarcus Beasley, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers
Holden has resumed playing for Bolton and is healthy after the unnecessary Nigel De Jong tackle that broke a bone in his foot. He's the only right-sided midfielder other than Dempsey who's seen meaningful caps and will be an obvious late sub if and when the Nats replicate the late Dempsey-to-striker move that was so successful at the Confederations Cup.
The rest of the locks are obvious: Donovan and Dempsey are the highest-profile players the US has, Bradley has been locked into the starting lineup when not on card accumulation suspensions, and Clark and Edu are flexible ball-winners who play in either impressive Euro leagues (Clark, who just got a three-year extension from his Bundesliga team) or impressive teams (Edu, at Rangers).
From there you've got a (slightly? mostly?) rejuvenated Beasley, a couple of attacking midfielders who might help the US hold the ball if they could ever win it if they play without double destroyers, and fringe wingers.
Non-locks on the plane: Beasley, Feilhaber, Bedoya. Beasley can be a late defensive sub for Donovan if the US is trying to kill a lead and they need some speed. Feilhaber is the best and most trusted of the AM types; Bedoya is a winger playing well and the US has virtually none on the roster.
Projected starters: Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu. The fourth guy could be anyone, and if the US goes with five midfielders or sucks Dempsey up to forward Holden will almost certainly get the nod on the right.
Panic level: Also a three. Dempsey and Donovan are on fire, and Edu's re-emergence should create an athletic, reasonably proficient midfield.
Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Edson Buddle, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez
With Davies out, you have your choice between lumbering old hands with target forward reps (Ching, Casey), guys with no national team track record but crazy recent success (Buddle, Gomez), and Eddie Johnson. Yes, they have to pick three more of these guys.
Non-locks on the plane: Ching, Gomez, Casey. Ching and Casey are Bradley favorites and Ching has always had great chemistry with Donovan. Since Donovan's the most important guy on the team, anything that makes him more effective takes priority. Gomez just finished lighting up a much better league than MLS, which Buddle is lighting up. But the again Buddle is playing with Donovan. I'd rather see Buddle; Bradley will probably go with Casey.
Projected Starters: Altidore, Ching.
Panic level: does this thing go up to 11?
Notes: 191-96-2 All Time, Last year was a 1-2 series loss, Michigan
taking the last game. Game has been rained out and will not be made up.
Wednesday 6:35pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
|Stats||Audio (MGo)||BTN.com ($)|
Notes: The first of 4 games streamed this week, and a 5th to start next week .
My guess is Miller with the start.
Due to the limited 8 week conference schedule in the Big Ten, every year, one team is dropped off the conference schedule. There they stay for a two year conference hiatus, before returning for the next 18 years or otherwise depending on things working out in your hypothetical expansion rumor of the week.
This year, it's Michigan State's turn to rotate off the conference regular season slate. To keep the rivalry fresh, the two teams will tango in a mid-week home-and-home series opening Tuesday in East Lansing.
The Spartans had quite high hopes coming out of the first two seasons, even being a fringe ranked team, but they have suffered a near humiliating collapse over the last two weeks, falling from first place in conference to last. They're still a dangerous team, especially if Michigan were to face them on the weekend, but like any other team in the mid-week, nothing is a sure bet.
This series is absolutely meaningless from a conference tournament point of view, but no game against the Spartans will ever be taken lightly in these parts. So with that, we'll move to the slightly abbreviated team preview after the jump.
Why was I so feared, and you so loved? What was it? I was no less honorable. I wanted to do good. What betrayed me? My mind? My heart? Why do I condemn myself so? I swear, on the lives of my children: Give me a chance to redeem myself, and I will sin, no more.
If you have followed this series, you are now familiar with the message: light but focused recruiting plus really bad attrition equaled a defense with some really great players and some suicidal kittens.
Here's a question: based on recruiting and retention from 2006 to the present, how good will Michigan's defense be this year?
This diary will look at the talent on Michigan's roster in 2010 versus that of 2009, plus that of two rivals in that time, to try to get an idea of what kind of team we will be looking at this coming season.
In the first, we met the family.
In the second, we saw that family destroyed.
Today, I bring you Part III.
You know, the one that's chronologically incompatible with the other two, with the substantially lower production values, that rehashes old characters and plotlines from the previous flicks in order to squeeze more cachet out of the franchise.
In the third (and final?) installment of the Decimated Defense Trilogy, I will look to the future, comparing Michigan's 2010 defensive roster and attrition numbers against those of last year, and also against 2009 and 2010 for two relevant rivals: Ohio State and Michigan State.
Still interested? [ED: YES YOU ARE.]
Here's a few updates on the recruiting trail within the past couple days.
5'11, 185 lbs.
Evans and Aiken are higher on Michigan than Randall, at this point, but all three plan to trip to Michigan eventually. I spoke with Jonathan recently about Michigan, and here's what he had to say.
"Me and Spiffy were both excited about Michigan. I watch Michigan all the time on TV, and I think it would be great to play in that maize and blue. I'm probably going to wait until signing day, just to make sure everything's right. Curt and I want to go to the same school, too, so that's a good opportunity for us."
Jonathan actually brought up MGoBlog, and our very own Magnus.
"I read MGoBlog all the time, actually. You can relay the message, someone had thought I was related to Kumar Aiken, and I'm not. I read the post about my strengths and weaknesses, too. That was pretty cool."
The post he was referring to was on the front page, but originally here. Michigan has a really good shot at both Evans and Aiken. We might have to wait it out, but there is definitely high interest on both sides.
6'4, 260 lbs.
Ogemaw Heights, Michigan
Anthony has narrowed down his list to a top six, which consists of Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, UCLA, Cincinnati, and Penn State.
As I've said before, Anthony has told me he will commit when he feels it's right. He's similar to Brennen Beyer, that he is a Michigan fan, but just wants to make sure everything is right. I would be shocked if Anthony doesn't end up picking Michigan. There isn't a set timetable on his decision, so presumably it could happen at any time. He will be in Ann Arbor on May 21st, for the Big House BBQ. I don't think it will happen then, but you never know.
6'5, 220 lbs.
Michigan's recently promoted coach, Adam Braithwaite was in school last week to evaluate Deion. Barnes received his offer at the spring game with the Stokes' and Top Prospects family. I outlined Deion in my defensive line post, and it seems like Michigan will be recruiting Barnes heavily.
He already has great size for only being a junior, with a frame that will be able to put on a good amount of weight. Barnes seems to play things quiet, but he has real interest in Michigan as well. It sounds like he's still waiting for more schools to offer before really narrowing things down. He currently has offers from Michigan, Louisville, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Virginia Tech Nike Camp
There were some big names at the Virginia Tech Nike Camp this past weekend. Among the most relevant for Michigan fans was Kris Frost. His teammate, QB Christian Lemay, also gets high praise in the article. Lemay recently committed to Georgia, so the answer to the question you were about to ask is no. Frost recently told me that Michigan is still his favorite, and that he would love to don the Maize and Blue. That remains true.
Demetrius Hart - No introduction, or picture needed here. I think everyone is well aware who he is. The Orlando Sentinel has an article up that quotes Demetrius saying Michigan is his leader, surprise! You'll notice in the article he says he wants to commit on the 22nd, but it might not work out. He and his family are still trying to work out a schedule to get his Dad up to Ann Arbor as well. If they can't make it work, the trip up to Michigan won't happen. Panic not, because this doesn't mean he won't still commit any time soon, or at a different venue. We'll see how it goes.
If you recall, I spoke with both Demetrius, and his mom about everything. Michigan will get his commitment, but he still plans on taking all of his visits. This sounds about right for the roller coaster of emotions that Michigan fans have been on so far.
Plant High School - ESPN will broadcast the Plant opener against Bradenton Manatee on August 27th. What this means for you? James Wilder is an animal, and you'll get to see him play, if nothing else. Also, his teammate OL Tony Posada holds a Michigan offer, and has mutual interest.