The NBA draft and all the trades surrounding it got me thinking about some "what-if" questions. If Beilein could draft a starting five to play in his system, who would be pick? I was trying to figure out which Michigan players he would take from the last ten years, which all-time Michigan players he would take, and which players he would take given his choice of any player ever.
Over the last ten years, I was thinking DeShawn Sims, LaVell Blanchard, Manny Harris, Daniel Horton, and Dion Harris. That team might be a bit small, but it can shoot. I had trouble thinking of a big man from recent Michigan history who could shoot at all. I am not in love with these picks, but it hasn't been a spectacular last ten years, either. I feel like we should be able to find a better shooting point guard, but none came to mind. I feel like Beilein would love someone versatile like Bernard Robinson, Jr., too, but I think LaVell was a better outside shooter and I didn't want to bump a guard for him because you need some ball-handling.
Picking the all-time, all-Beilein Michigan squad was fairly tough. I came up with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Glen Rice, Louis Bullock, and Rumeal Robinson. I figure Beilein would love the versatility of Webber and Rose. Rice seemed like a no-brainer. I had trouble picking the guards, to be honest, and had to go back to some stats on Bullock and Robinson. Any thoughts/upgrades here would be appreciated, particularly given my dearth of knowledge about some of the older players. I thought about Cazzie Russell, but have never seen footage of him actually playing and don't really know his style. He played before they implemented the 3 point line, too, so that makes things tough to project just from the numbers. I had trouble coming up with the best Michigan big man, too. I think Rudy Tomjanovich warrants a mention, but I don't know if he was really a shooter. Juwan Howard's ability to play multiple positions might pique the Coach's interest, but I don't know if he is a good enough shooter to crack the top five.
The all-time squad is what really intrigued me. I certainly have a bias towards more recent players, but there are a lot of stellar options here. I was thinking Steve Nash at the point, Kobe at the 2, Bird at the 3, and Nowitzki at the 4. I think there are plenty of sweet-shooting options at the point, but Nash has to be amongst the best. I am a Bulls fan and love MJ, but I think Kobe might be a little better shooter. You can certainly make a case for Reggie Miller or Ray Allen as pure shooters, too, but I think Kobe gives you a better defender. Bird and Nowitzki seem like perfect players for a Beilein system. The center was a tough call. I think you could definitely move Nowitzki to the 5 and add Jordan, Ray Allen, or Reggie Miller to the mix. Of course Magic Johnson has famously filled in at center before, but I don't know if he is the pure outside shooter you want. When thinking about the best all-time shooting big men, Arvydas Sabonis came to mind. You obviously couldn't go wrong with an all-time great here like Wilt, Russell, Hakeem, Kareem, or Shaq, but I am hard-pressed to come up with a better outside shooter at the 5 than Sabonis.
So, this summer, the local paper (Cincinnati Enquirer) will be following the recruitment of several local high school football players including 2010 DE Jibreel Black who, as Brian noted this week, has M in his current top 5.
Anyway, the writer kicks things off by writing an article touching on the impact of the hour to hour and sometimes minute to minute changes in a recruit's ranking by internet recruiting sites.
Interestingly, the article quotes a variety of sources including O$U/PSU patsy Bill Kurelic, the HS coach of 2010 QB Andrew Hendrix who just committed to ND over O$U this week, and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. I thought Kelly's comments at the end of the article were particularly interesting as I would guess they would mirror RR's sentiments on recruiting, at least to a certain degree, since a) Kelly also runs a run-heavy spread option and b) probably looks to fill roles rather than recruiting only 4 stars and higher.
I realize that, being Michigan, we are a little more used to getting our fair share of high profile, 4* or greater recruits, but maybe sometimes the staff sees something these "gurus" don't. Andy Staples at CNN/SI published an article a few months ago looking at the correlation of HS Rivals rankings and the 32 picks in Don Banks' mock NFL draft and found that the average Rivals ranking for those 32 players was 3.59 stars.
Well anyway, let's hope that all of this is crap, RR finds the right mix of role players and superstars so that in a couple of years the Wolverine Angel of Deathbacker descends upon a small cowtown in central Ohio and takes all of Columbus' firstborn leaving only plague and pestilence. Oh wait, they already have those. Have a good weekend.
Terrible time of year for sports so I felt like making some predictions about the big ten programs for the next five years.
Ohio State- Pryor never develops as a true passer; overall talent will make them average 9-10 wins a year. They will also lose two more bcs games. Come 2013 they will have become stale, just as we did towards the end of Lloyds career.
Penn State- they will remain Penn State, a big ten title 2 disappointing season, 2 good seasons.
Michigan state- I think they finally got someone who wants to stay in EL and can make them legit in dantonio. He’s really surprised me with recruiting, but until they can land players from across the country they are between 7-6 and 9-4 every year.
Illinois- Ron Zook will keep them loaded with talent and disappointment on the field. Great recruiter, not a great coach.
Wisconsin- Bielema is gone after this season when they go 5-7. If he’s able to make it to next season they’ll go 3-9. Hopefully they get it right with the next coach and can rebound.
Iowa- Ferentz is the best coach in the country. Nobody develops talent like he can, if he was at a major program it would be scary. They’ll make it to a bcs game in the next 5 years.
Northwestern – they should be pretty good under Fitzgerald. Averaging 8 wins a year.
Minnesota- why did they ever fire glen mason, he had them ranked regularly. Won’t be the case under Brewster, I don’t like him changing his offense after they had success with it last year. 2 bowls over the next 5 years
Purdue- they’ll really miss Joe tiller, could be a long time till they play in another bowl game.
Indiana- kicked their best player since randel el off the team. Should be a mid-tear MAC school for the foreseeable future.
Notre Dame- I don’t care what anyone thinks about how good they should be this year. Shamu will be gone after this season and Urban Meyer will take his “dream job”. Having the two pioneers of the spread offense coaching will make this a game that will affect the national title race every year.
Michigan- had to save the best for last; we shock the world and finish 11-2 this year. A national title, two rose bowls and two Jan. 1st bowl games over the next 5 years.
There is a pretty in depth breakdown of the UM team by position by Pete Fiutak on CFN. http://cfn.scout.com/2/872378.html
For whatever reason he seems to have tremendous confidence in our safeties, as he deems them the strength of our defense. he speaks of vlad emilien like hes already an all-american and brandon smith like he is about 27 minutes from becoming one. he also completely forgets about justin turner, and claims that there is zero depth behind booboo and warren.
other than those huge errors, the remainder of his analysis is relatively decent, and overall pretty positive. A lot of it is stuff we already know (Tate Forcier is the "player to watch" in 2009.) But he also makes an interesting point that Mark Ortmann is the key to Michigans success in 2009. and while that is a bit of an exageration, it is somewhat true. ortmann, or dorrestein depending on who wins the position at LT, could be either the achilles heal or the finishing piece to an otherwise solid o-line.
in case you dont actually feel like going through the article (it is somewhat long), here is the rating (1-10) that he assigns each position group:
qb - 6.5
rb - 8
wr - 7
OL - 7.5
DL - 6.5
LB - 7
DB - 7
Special Teams - 7
I personally think he was a bit generous with the QBs. I want to say that hes underrating our LBs and DBs, but... our DBs did really underperform last yr (Warren in particular) and there are a lot of question marks, in my mind, at safety. and as for our LBs, i think stevie brown will be pretty solid, but who knows for sure. and ezeh could revert back to his freshman yr glory, or he could continue down his road to bust. i think everyone is expecting good things from mouton though
Every conference home contest to be televised for third straight season
Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference office today released the game times and television plans for every home non-conference contest during the first three weeks of the 2009 football season along with some additional games later in the year. The 2009 pre-conference schedule will feature 25 home matchups televised by ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network.
The 2009 Big Ten home football schedule begins with Indiana hosting a Thursday night contest against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3 on the Big Ten Network. The other 10 conference teams will begin their seasons on Saturday, Sept. 5.
In addition to the television schedule for the first three weeks, the conference also announced that the Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern game Oct. 10 will be played at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. In addition, a pair of Illinois games were finalized as the Illini will host Michigan on Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC and conclude the regular season at home against Fresno State with an 11:30 a.m. CT kickoff on the Big Ten Network.
Remaining television selections beginning Sept. 26 and continuing through the end of the season will be made six or 12 days in advance of the game.
The Big Ten will hold the 2009 Football Media Days and 38th annual Kickoff Luncheon on Monday and Tuesday, July 27-28, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featuring all 11 head coaches and some of the conference’s top returning players. The 114th season of Big Ten football kicks off beginning with every team in action on Sept. 3 or 5.
The complete list of television games already announced appears below.
Thursday, Sept. 3
Eastern Kentucky at Indiana, Big Ten Network, 8:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 5
Missouri vs. ILLINOIS, ESPN, 2:40 p.m. CT
Northern Iowa at Iowa, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Western Michigan at MICHIGAN, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Montana State at MICHIGAN STATE, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Towson at Northwestern, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Navy at Ohio State, ESPN, Noon ET
Akron at Penn State, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Toledo at Purdue, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Northern Illinois at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 12
Illinois State at Illinois, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Western Michigan at INDIANA, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Notre Dame at Michigan, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Central Michigan at Michigan State, ESPN/ESPN2, Noon ET
Air Force at MINNESOTA, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Eastern Michigan at NORTHWESTERN, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Southern California at Ohio State, ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
Syracuse at Penn State, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Fresno State at Wisconsin, ESPN/ESPN2, 11:00 a.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 19
Arizona at Iowa, ABC, 2:30 p.m. CDT
Eastern Michigan at MICHIGAN, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
California at Minnesota, ESPN/ESPN2, 11:00 a.m. CT
Temple at PENN STATE, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Northern Illinois at Purdue, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Wofford at WISCONSIN, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Saturday, Oct. 10
Miami (Ohio) at NORTHWESTERN, ESPN/ESPN2/Big Ten Network, 11 a.m. CT
Saturday, Oct. 31
MICHIGAN at ILLINOIS, ABC, 2:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Dec. 5
Fresno State at ILLINOIS, Big Ten Network, 11:30 a.m. CT
I have seen a lot of things written about what to call the new hybrid defensive position that is being implemented this year. I have heard the term spinner used but this one just doesn't sound correct and reminds me of a small Filipino woman so it will never do. I have heard the term Deathbacker used which sounds kind of cool but it made me think of Darth Backer who was the probably the first apprentice of the Sith Lord but didn't work out so well and never made it into the movies. I wasn't sure what to call it but sitting down the other day to watch the '69 Michigan-OSU game I heard them using a term that I remembered. They had a similar type postion that was a "Rover" player that could pretty much line up where he chose to in order to gain an edge on pass coverage or what not. At Michigan they called him the Wolve-back or Wolve-man. I thought to myself that sounds much better to me and it also makes it more specific to Michigan. It brings a historical element back into play and makes sure it is unique to Michigan so I think this sounds cool.
Ok now what do the rest of you think, here is where I get mocked and my idea gets shot down., but have at it.