...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
There is a special reason to be optimistic about the future of Michigan basketball, and that is that Beilein is unlikely to ever, even after a run of success, routinely pull in NBA caliber recruits, like Oden and Conley, for example. This means, for most Michigan players, that three and four years in the program will be common. Michigan basketball promises to have far more of that continuity that is missing in college basketball since players began entering the NBA earlier and earlier. We will see four years of Novak and Vogrich and Sims and usually three of Harris and Morris, etc. Beilein is going to always have heady seniors on the squad and deep rotations.
I go to Ohio State every week (I know, you pity me) and while they are excited at Motta's sick level of recruiting, they are somewhat discombobulated by players using OSU as a one-year minor league NBA stop. Beilein's style of player is going to generally be a four-year guy. That is going to be a treat to see talented shooters and guys that hustle develop into unique senior talent. Those players, too, will be especially valuable during tournament runs.
This is going to be very fun.
Fellow Michigan fans, remember this feeling. Last year the Michigan men's basketball team lost a school record 22 games. This year they've beaten two then top 5 ranked teams and competed well at a neutral site and on the road. (Side note to Tommy Amaker: yes, games played at neutral sites and on the road DO COUNT) They have done so with the same guys who lost 22 last year.
What does this all mean? It means that good coaches don't become disgraceful idiots over night. It means that even good or great coaches have a hard time winning with a bunch of freshmen who weren't recruited to play their system. It means that good players who weren't recruited for the system they are playing in can succeed if given the time and opportunity.
I'm not saying Michigan football will set the college football world on fire next year. They will likely be led by a true freshman quarterback which is usually not a good thing (unless of course that true freshman quarterback is blessed with 3 NFL caliber receivers and the eventual all time leading rusher at that school). But this is what we can expect moving forward, eventually.
Eventually the Michigan football team will look competent, then good, then great. And when that happens and the Wolverines are back to beating Joe Pa, Senator Sweater Vest, and The Exceedingly Angry Man in East Lansing with regularity, it will be all the more satisfying because of where this journey began.
Remember how you felt when Michigan beat UCLA and Duke this year. Remember how you'll feel when they finally make the Big Dance again. We will all feel that way again about the football team soon enough.
Time to celebrate...
Sorry for the political portion of this video, I couldn't find just the song through a brief YouTube search.
I just got back from watching Tate Forcier's high school playoff game against Oceanside High School tonight in California. It was truly one of the strangest football games I have ever seen. The game was delayed for about 1 1/2 hours because the local power grid went down and every light in the stadium went off right before Tate was ready to snap the ball. They only got half of the lights to work (later all of the lights eventually came back on), so they were only using one end of the field (where the lights were on) and both teams kept using the same side of field, swapping after each change of possession. A few observations:
- Tate throws a great ball. Unfortunately, his offensive line was horrible and never gave him any time to sit in the pocket and throw a deep ball. It would have been nice to see him attempt some down field stuff, but it was not to be. All of his passes looked sharp and accurate though. He also has a really quick release.
- He is a hell of a scrambler, but doesn't seem to have a lot of speed. He is much more nimble than Threet, but doesn't possess another gear to outrun his pursuers. He was able to escape a lot of tackles behind of the line of scrimmage, but he holds onto the ball a lot longer than he should and sometimes gets himself into trouble. I'm sure this will easily be fixed by coaching at the next level.
- Tate does not seem to be much of a leader on his team. During the warm-up drills before the game, every single player on his team was participating in the drills besides him. Tate was just off on the sideline by himself screwing around with the managers and cheerleaders. He also didn't appear to be very vocal. I guess I expect the stud of the team, especially the QB, to be the leader of every drill, to be the first one out of the locker room and onto the field after halftime, etc. and Tate just wasn't that guy. He was extremely fired up when he scored (he ran for two touchdowns), but just doesn't seem like a great leader at this point.
- His team worked out of a shotgun formation virtually every play. Much like our system, Tate would operate from a no huddle, get his line set, look over to the sidelines to get his play, and then take it from there. His team only scored 14 points, but he was able to move the ball up and down the field against probably the best defensive team in all of San Diego.
- Tate was also playing CB, which I hated to see but I understood that his team is trying to win a state title. Forcier was less than good at CB... as a matter of fact, I would say that he was terrible. Thankfully, tonight will be the last night he will ever line up on the defensive side of the ball.
- An additional note, his running back is Brennan Clay who is a junior with an offer from us (I think he's a verbal commit). Clay looked pretty good. He doesn't possess breakaway speed, but he's a hard runner with good hands. I definitely don't see him as a slot guy. He looks to be more in the mold of a Minor. He's young though so time will tell. I was impressed by him though.
- One final note worth mentioning, Forcier is super thin. Barwis will definitely need to work some magic on him to get him to fill out because the kid looks rail skinny.
That's all. I don't have the stats from the game, but Oceanside handled Forcier's team big time in the 2nd half. Although I like the way he throws the ball, I am hoping that Beaver is little more athletic even if he doesn't throw as nice as a ball as Forcier.
My basis of this Diary is to access the potential and rumored coaches that Michigan considered last year. My thought is to play a hypothetical game, where Lloyd Carr stayed another year and then retired and assessing the potential coaches on this year of coaching with hindsight being 20/20. I have listed the coaches in the order of my wish list from last year, starting with the top.
1. John Gruden, Tampa Bay 9-3
This is maybe a pipe dream, but I believe Gruden would make a phenomenal college coach. The NFL pedigree, the Super Bowl rings, the ridiculous will to win, would make him a Pete Carroll like recruiter. He had a SI interview where he quoted he had a life goal to be the Head Coach of Michigan by 40. I would be scared as hell if ND gets Gruden next year. Anyway, he's 9-3, leading the NFC South, with a 40 year old QB cast off from the Lions. He's doing well.
2. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan 3-9
Yes, he was my first real choice. Everyone knows how's he's done, so I offer a quick couple comments of pure conjecture, I am not an insider or Rich's psychologist. In some circles, it was widely assumed that Rodriguez was ticketed for FSU, after Bowden finally retired. However, Fisher was named coach in waiting, and Rodriguez looked around, saw that not many big jobs were going to open up in the next 5 years. He didn't want to be possibly stuck at WVU, so jumped at the chance.
3. Les Miles, LSU 7-5
Wait so Les isn't a miracle worker? Led his damn strong football team to a pedestrian 7-5 with 4 straight losses in conference, and needed a minor miracle to avoid 5 straight with a huge comeback vs Troy at home. Even with his otherwise damn strong team, Miles learned like Rodriguez did that it's hard to win with your 3rd string qb. Failed to live up to the top 15 preseason ranking LSU is in good hands, but really he's not the second coming of BO.
4. Greg Schiano, Rutgers 7-5
When he turned us down, it seemed all is lost in the Michigan coaching search. I never thought that much of him, besides of him being a good solid coach. In this season, he proved me right. Finished 2nd in the conference, however failed to live up to the top 30 Preseason ranking. Started 0-3 with losses to UNC and Fresno State and Navy, so really took some hard hits this year. I still think he is waiting for the PSU job and with more seasons like this and with PSU going the coach by committee and possibly a coach in waiting, he will have to wait a lot longer.
5. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa 8-4
When Brian reported Ferentz was the new coach, I responded with a shrug. My feeling at the time was that it could be worse, but definitely I thought it was status quo move. Now, after his team outperformed all expectations. He pulled off the biggest upset in the Big Ten and without it the fun Texas-Oklahoma debate is moot. His losses with a first year starting sophomore qb were 1 point at Pittsburgh, 5 points vs. NW, 3 points at Little Brother, and 3 points at Illinois. He was a couple plays from getting 10 wins with this pedestrian team. No coach on the list did more with less, and I'm not looking forward to our trip to Iowa City next year.
THE REST (Cronies)
6. Brady Hoke, Ball State 12-1
With the season, Hoke is probably a better option than he was last year. However, Ball State was probably the worst undefeated team in recent memory. Congratulations to them on their season, but I don't think he ever will be a legitimate candidate for this job. He outperformed all expectations and led Ball State to a top 15 BCS ranking before tonight and is probably looking at a possible lower tier Big ten job in the next few years if he can stay some what consistent.
7. Ron English, Louisville, DC 5-7 (1-6)
His star isn't rising so highly now. I don't know why he chose Louisville. Only held two teams under 21 points, Middle Tennessee State, and South Florida. Allowed 63 points to Rutgers and it could have been worse. Didn't see much besides that, but definitely not ready for a big time position yet
8. Mike Deboard, Seattle Seahawks Asst. Line Coach
Perhaps the fact that NO college team he offered him a Offensive Coordinator job is the biggest indictment of them all.
What We Learned
That another year older, doesn't make us another year wiser. The options were mostly marginal, however I would guess some people would be more excited about a Ferentz. Some people would be less excited about Miles. I'm still more excited about Rodriguez bringing us into the 21st century.
I can't personally wait until Brian gets a New T-shirt provider. I have wanted to buy a "In Rod We Trust" shirt since September. I think Brian should have 2008, put on the shirt in a small manner, so that those of us on board now can wear it with a certain pride, when Coach Rodriguez is bashing OSU, and leading us to BCS games. This way we can distinguish the true believers from the bandwagon jumpers.
Look, lets all celebrate a victory in which we finally beat down Rick Comley and his Slapshot form of hockey, made Bryan Lerg finally NOT look like the second coming of Ken Dryden
You're not a goalie, you're a sieve.
You're not a sieve, you're a funnel.
You're not a funnel, you're a vacuum.
You're not a vacuum, you're a black hole.
You're not a black hole,
YOU JUST SUCK
YOU JUST SUCK
YOU JUST SUCK
YOU JUST SUCK
Summers is the key to this team. He has the potential to be the second big scoring threat this team needs if Kampfer can come back as reported allowing Summers to get back to forward. Hogan is starting to assert himself as THE goalie on this team, and Scooter F*n Vaughn finally played a physical game to compliment his skill play. Pateryn was laying out Sparty's like a E Lansing house party.
Dancing Frankenberrys in Maize jerseys, Comley embarassed, student section loud, announcer saying "You're welcome" in the third period, Chris Summers scoring, Burlon scoring on a end to end rush, Chants of "Little Brother"
Especially since they gave up the first goal to State during a 5 min Michigan powerplay and then decided to dominate play the rest of the game, this may have been Michigan's best victory this year.
So...I intern with a certain cable company in their production department and we get to do all kinds of cool local college games from basketball, football, baseball, softball and hockey. I was pulling some footage for a feature we're running during an upcoming CCHA game when, for the first time ever, I saw the Notre Dame home hockey arena. I was stunned.
I have been to Munn for a game, I have seen games at the Joe, the local inline rink, Yost, the Southgate Civic Center, my back yard but never in my life have I witnessed such a horrid horrid display of arenaness.
Notre Dame has a good hockey program, Notre Dame gets a metric shit ton of donations from alums...and they play in this like....room with a curtain they pull back and have more shit going on the other side. It looks like a god damn mall. Its horrifying. I feel so bad for them.
I don't exactly like teh MSU but at least Munn is quality and feels very homey.
Notre Dame plays in the stock room of the South Bend JC Penny, can someone explain this to me?
I have heard they are building a new facility...but wtf man. wtf.