"It's a lot easier being a drug dealer than an AAU coach" - this guy. Tell me something I don't know. I mean, don't think but have never tried either.
I thought it might be interesting to look at who contributed the most along certain metrics to the success of Wolverines basketball this past season.
Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what people might like to see, so I dumped the season stats for the team into Excel and looked at things such as field goals made, three point shots made, rebounds, assists and a few other metrics to get a feel for relative total contributions. The results probably would not shock many here, but they are interesting to see in this form all the same.
I shall apologize in advance for the pie charts (out of style, I know), but it seemed like the most convenient way to display something like “relative contribution” for various statistics in this particular instance.
FIELD GOALS MADE:
Below is the chart showing relative contributions, but you’re probably not shocked at all by this one. Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert combined for 56% of all of Michigan’s made field goals.
THREE POINTERS MADE:
This is also something that you might have guessed too – Zak Irvin, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III were far and away the most prolific contributors to Michigan’s three-point game, combining for 67% of all that were made.
Here is the contribution of total points – if you look back at field goals made, you will see a similarity, of course. Those 56% of field goals among those same three players accounts for about 58% of all of Michigan’s points this past season.
Total rebounds probably is not as interesting as relative percentages adjusted for minutes, but below you can see the raw data. Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford were about a third of all of Michigan’s rebounds regardless of whether they were offensive or defensive.
If we talk about this in terms of percentages and adjust it as we normally would for minutes played, we see an interesting shift. The best rebounder on the team – both offensive and defensive – becomes Mitch McGary, then Morgan and Horford.
Nearly two-thirds of Michigan’s assists came from a slightly different trio – Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr.
ASSIST / TURNOVER RATIO:
I didn’t adjust this one, but it doesn’t tell us anything much different that the chart of total assists for those who played major minutes. It does say, however, that when Albrecht was in, he was definitely in and very sure-handed indeed.
SOME MUSIC FROM MY COLLECTION... ...to enjoy (or not) as you read (SFW).
This is the point where the order of the standings gets even more blurry. With Michigan losing all of their players and Ohio State getting every transfer in college basketball, it is hard to predict. Because I am a homer I am gonna put Iowa here. Now Iowa was a team last year that could have finished first or 10th depending on the night. Towards the end of the season Iowa completely faded and went on a losing streak. Iowa loses Zack Novak esque Zach McCabe, Roy Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe, Darius Stokes, and Kyle Meyer. This means losing:
That is quite a lot to replace, here is what they bring back:
# Name HT WT YR POS
30 Aaron White 6-9 220 SR. PF
Probably Iowa's best player to be, he is their starting Power Forward. He is surprisingly athletic and if he can fix his shot, second team all B1G is not out of the question. This will be his team.
23 Okey Utah 6-6 210 SR. SF
May play in ten plus games this year, but will not be needed at the 2 or 3 unless foul trouble or injuries happens.
0 Gabriel Olaseni 6-10 225 SR. C
The 6th man, came on towards the end of last year. Will probably get 20 plus minutes this year.
2 Josh Oglesby 6-5 208 SR. SG
The sharpshooting Shooting Guard, Oglesby picked up well after getting injured early last year. He will take quite a bit of their shots this year.
13 Kyle Denning 6-1 160 SR. PG
If he plays in every game this year I will be shocked.
34 Adam Woodbury 7-1 245 JR. C
The starting Center, will play the other half of what Olaseni does not take. There are not many players in the frontcourt, he has a chance to emerge.
20 Jarrod Uthoff 6-9 208 JR. SF
The starting Small Forward, is probably their third best three point shooter. Will do some things good and most things ok.
10 Mike Gesell 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard, will most likely make a pretty large jump since he has been starting for 2 years.
5 Anthony Clemmons 6-1 190 JR. PG
The back-up one and two, disappointed some last year. Could make a jump and jump into the starting line-up, bumping Uthoff out.
3 Peter Jok 6-6 200 SO. SF
The back-up Small Forward, only played 3% of their minutes last year and I do not see a huge bump.
1 Trey Dickerson 6-2 180 SO. PG
Will be the third string Point guard and maybe the third string Shooting Guard. He is from Juco.
25 Dominique Uhl 6-7 185 FR. PF
A three star, the number 52 Power Forward in the country, not impressive for a player that needs to come in and give 10 minutes a game.
22 Brady Ellington 6-3 170 FR. SG
A two star, the number 98 Shooting Guard in the country, that is not good for Iowa. They need him for about 5 to 10 minutes a game and he does not look to be polished.
Here is the projected starting line-up:
Point Guard: Mike Gesell
Shooting Guard: Josh Oglesby
Small Forward: Jarrod Uthoff
Power Forward: Aaron White
Center: Adam Woodbury
Michigan plays Iowa at home next year. It could be a relatively easy game as Iowa can play amazing or horrible on any given night.
This is a pretty experienced team that does not have much depth. I have them this high because a seven man rotation can still actually do some damage. I think Iowa will go 10-8 in the B1G Ten next year which is good enough for 6th place.
Next up... Michigan
Lacrosse: An Analysis of Growth (and Contraction) - Former Div. 1 Programs
For the lacrosse nerds on the board…Many in the lacrosse world believe Michigan’s decision to field a varsity team will be monumental for the future growth of the game. With Michigan in its 3rd season of varsity play and other new programs coming on strong, I thought it would be interesting to analyze the sport’s former geographic footprint.
Lacrosse fans like to speculate on the next big athletic program to add the sport. Interestingly enough, lacrosse has been an NCAA-sanctioned varsity sport at a number of big-time athletic schools that no longer field a varsity team. I have a theory that schools that formerly fielded varsity teams may be in the best position to bring it back. In some cases, the sport died when the coaches who brought it there retired. In others, football-focused ADs were reluctant to continue the sport in the 70s and 80s, largely due to budgetary constraints. Title IX also leveled serious blows to programs. So lets look at a few of those schools and examine the pros and cons of re-instituting their programs. (***Keep in mind, money and Title IX compliance are the primary factors holding back lacrosse. Last year, Inside Lacrosse sent a survey to dozens of athletic departments about possibly adding the sport at the men’s level. Only a handful responded and none of them said they were considering it.***)
FBS Schools with a history of lacrosse
The obvious choice for the next big shoe to drop in D-1 expansion is Michigan State. State had a varsity program for a long time with decent success, making the tournament a few times as the designated ‘western team’ only to be stomped by the likes of Syracuse. In ‘95, officials from the athletic department informed the team to pack uptheir shit and get out - they were all cut. They couldn’t even keep their jerseys. The decision was a shame; Sparty was good and today would probably be on par with ND, Ohio and PSU.
Bring it Back:
- Past success and decent success at the club level.
- Growing talent base in its own backyard.
- Rivals ND, Ohio, and Big Brother will be powers soon so why not Sparty?
Why It Won’t happen:
- They dropped it for a reason - $ and Title IX.
- Michigan’s rough transition so far.
VT had a program back in the day with a serious schedule and a certain degree of success. VT was granted “associate status” by the NCAA in the early 1970s which was meant to foster the growth of the sport. While fellow associates Duke and UNC moved forward, VT abruptly dropped lacrosse in the 1970s and it has successfully continued as a club squad. VT is a big public university with lots of resources. Plus, there is probably a ton of talent on campus already, which could make for a smooth transition if they ever decide to make the move.
Bring it Back:
- The state is an incredibly fertile recruiting ground.
- Can offer in-state tuition to non-scholarship kids from Northern Va.
- ACC lacrosse would love to have them, giving the conference an AQ (like it matters).
- $ & Title IX.
- UVA’s problems with lacrosse image could make the Hokies reluctant. - Its in the middle of butt-f***ing nowhere, making traveling a pain.
- After Syracuse joined the ACC in 2011, VTs AD Jim Weaver said the school had no plans to add the sport. “We have a club program, that’s fine”.
The Wolfpack only had a squad for 10 years but in that short timeframe they went to the then-8-team NCAA tournament, had a few top-15 finishes and boasted one of the most prolific scorers of all time (Stan Cockerton who is still up there in NCAA record books). Not only did they have Cockerton, but Tim Nelson transferred to ‘Cuse and became one of their all time greats after NC State dropped the program. The university hit some budget troubles in the early 80s and shuttered the team, citing travel costs, expenses and lack of interest. Here’s a great history of the program.
Bring it Back:
- Not only were they good back in the day, they were legit.
- They’re the missing piece in the Duke-UNC-NC State Triangle of Hatred.
- Another addition to the ACC.
- Relatively warm weather climate. Night spring games vs Duke, UNC, UVA.
-With more teams down South now, travel should be cheaper than it was in the 80s.
- $. While travel is cheaper it still costs a lot to transport 40+ dudes around the east coast and midwest.
- Is there sufficient interest today?
- Rivals Duke & UVA’s lacrosse scandals.
I understand why BC dropped its program in 2002 but for the life of me, could never figure out why they weren’t good. New England is full of solid public school programs and powerful prep academies and BC attracts tons of kids from New Jersey and Long Island so finding talent shouldn’t have been a problem. UMass is good and Harvard is no slouch - so why couldn’t BC get its shit together? For whatever reason, they couldn’t recruit and they sucked. BC lacrosse was a casualty of Title IX and an easy decision for the athletic department.
Bring it Back:
- Academic reputation should attract recruits.
-Private school with lots of $ and rich alums.
- Archrival BU has a team now. ACC membership.
- With dozens of teams within a 6 hour bus ride, travel costs should be minimal.
-Only cut it 12 years ago for Title IX. Is there enough money and interest to bring it back now?
-Frigid. February & March lacrosse in Boston sounds miserable.
LIke NC State, BGSU had a team for only a few years but it was badass. In the 60s and 70s, Bowling Green won over 75% of its games (including an undefeated season), produced several All-Americans and had a bunch of top-20 finishes. Mickey Cochrane, the program’s legendary coach ranks among the winningest coaches in NCAA history in any division. The program was unceremoniously dropped in the 70s and I haven’t been able to find out why.
Bring it Back:
- Lacrosse is growing in Ohio and the Buckeye State is producing good talent.
- Can possibly check Ohio State’s lacrosse hegemony in the state.
- The usual: $ & Title IX. BG is your quintessential mid-major so most of its limited athletic resources will go to football and women’s sports.
- While interest is growing, is there enough to field a team?
Arizona. Yes, Arizona had a varsity Division 1 lacrosse team in the 1960s and 70s, largely due to a strong Long Island influence. The LaxCats (yuck), still with a distinctive LI flavor, were one of Michigan’s big club rivals.
Georgia Tech. The Ramblin’ Wreck’s varsity program was sidelined by...the Great Depression.
Butler. The Bulldogs were a pleasant surprise when they added lacrosse in the 90s, a time when more schools were dropping the sport than adding it. But, it was an unpleasant surprise when they dropped it in 2007.
Morgan State. Morgan State, the historically black college in Baltimore has an awesome lacrosse history. College lacrosse needs a Morgan State pretty bad. Plus, its literally down the block from Hopkins and Loyola. But, the hurdles to NCAA status are the same that shut it down in the first place - department support and resources.
Personally, I think the NCAA should reform its competition structure to help expand regional, non-revenue sports, like lacrosse, volleyball, wrestling, etc. I would love to see them revive “associate” status and offer it to club teams like Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Colorado. But, as far as we can tell, none of the above teams are planning to add lacrosse and the NCAA will not be changing anything soon. In my lifetime I hope to witness the spread of the game so one day Michigan will be in the Final 4 with Oklahoma State, Gonzaga and Miami, but for now I’ll just have to dream...
The Terrapins are a hard team to predict next year as they have a lot of experience along with youth. However, they did not finish all that well this year. I did not watch a whole lot of Maryland last year so I really do not know how they play. Maryland loses John Auslander to graduation. They also lose Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Roddy Peters, Dez Wells, and A.J. Metz who are transferring. This means losing:
When you bring in a top 10 recruiting class, which the Terps did, it is not all that hard to replace this production. Here is their senior laden roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
1 Evan Smotrycz 6-9 230 RS.SR. SF
OH Lobstrycz Smotrycz, I think we are all familiar enough with Evan. In his first year off the transfer Smotrycz started and averaged 11 points per game. His stellar handle and amazing defense will be tough to match this year. He is like Larry Bird but way better.
24 Jacob Susskind 6-5 200 SR. SF
The back-up Small Forward, will hold that role until Nickens takes it over. He only played in 5 games last year. This means he will be the back-up for like a game.
11 Varun Ram 5-9 150 SR. PG
The back-up Point Guard, a towering man. Just kidding, he is short. He only played in 16 games last year so a freshman passing him up is not a bad bet.
25 Jonathan Graham 6-8 220 SR. PF
The back-up Power Forward, played a limited role last year. Will most likely maintain that role.
15 Spencer Barks 6-9 225 SR. PF
Played in four games last year, will not get much more time this year.
0 Charles Mitchell 6-8 260 JR. C
A mountain of a man, the starting Center. He averaged six points and six rebounds per game last year. If he lost 10 pounds, he may be a real force.
12 Conner Lipinski 5-10 155 JR. PG
Only played in 3 games last year. Will be the third string Point Guard if it falls to that.
10 Jake Layman 6-8 205 JR. PF
The starting Power Forward, averaged 11.7 poins per game last year along with decent rebounding numbers.
4 Seth Allen 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard with a 13.4 points per game average last year. Will be their second go-to-guy.
35 Damonte Dodd 6-9 240 SO. C
The back-up Center for the beginning of the season. Will likely be moved down due to incoming freshman.
Jared Nickens 6-6 185 FR. SF
Their highest touted recruit, a four star that will no doubt play right away. He will eventually end up passing Susskind for his spot.
Trayvon Reed 7-1 215 FR. C
Needs to add weight but will no doubt play. Will pass up Dodd for his spot. He is a four star.
Romelo Trimble 6-3 180 FR. SG
The starting Shooting Guard with pretty polished skills. A four star.
Dion Wiley 6-4 200 FR. SG
The second string Shooting Guard, could play the two with Trimble at the one. Yet another four star.
Michal Cekovsky 7-0 220 FR. C
I say he is going to redshirt. He is an okay weight, but passing up a higher ranked center and a Sophomore is not that likely. When you can redshirt four stars you are doing okay for yourself.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Seth Allen
Shooting Guard: Romelo Trimble
Small Forward: Evan Smotrycz
Power Forward: Jake Layman
Center: Charles Mitchell
Michigan plays them at Maryland which will be a tough game. They are good at home, along with every other college basketball team.
This will be an experienced and talented team that may have a hard time winning on the road in the Big Ten. However, I think they will have some growing pains with the new officiating and finish 9-9 in the B1G which is good enough for 7th place.
Next up... Iowa
Illinois was a confusing team last year. They were ranked at some point in January and somehow they failed to make the tournament. A defensive team that laid bricks, they could not score consistently enough to be any good. Towards the end of the season Illinois held a couple of really good teams, including Michigan State, to under fifty points. Illinois was a hard to project for this year as they do not lose a whole lot but they do not bring any thing special in either. They lose Jon Ekey and Joseph Bertrand to graduation. This means losing:
This really is not that bad as they return 3 starters and the rest of their bench players. Here is their projected rosters:
# Name HT WT YR POS
24 Rayvonte Rice 6-4 235 RS. SR SF
A bulldog of a player, had some trouble with his shot last year. Undersized for the three but makes up for it with his weight. The starting Small Forward, averaged 15.9 points per game.
32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 250 SR. C
A very tall man with a very smalll rebounding rate. Uses his jump shot WAY to much. Scored 6.9 points per game last year. The starting Center, could make a huge jump this year.
13 Tracy Abrams 6-2 190 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, averaged 11 points per game and 3 assists per game last year.
11 Aaron Cosby 6-3 195 SR. SG
The third guy off the bench, played at Seton Hall and had to sit out a year.
3 Ahmad Starks 5-9 170 RS. SR PG
A transfer from Oregon State, will get this year after sitting out last year. Back-up point guard. Probably good for 10 minutes a game.
35 Darius Paul 6-8 220 JR. PF
A good stretch four, a transfer from Western Michigan. Many of you will recognize him as Brandon Paul's brother. The back-up Power Forward.
10 Mike LaTulip 6-1 170 JR. PG
A walk-on that may get minutes in the beginning of the season. The 3rd string Shooting Guard.
31 Austin Colbert 6-9 210 SO. PF
The 3rd Power Forward, could player Center as well. More of a traditional Power Forward.
25 Kendrick Nunn 6-3 180 SO. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, started to really blossom at the end of last year. May be Dakich's new favorite player.
22 Maverick Morgan 6-10 250 SO. C
The back-up Center, will get about 10 minutes a game this year.
21 Malcolm Hill 6-6 210 SO. PF
A smaller type of Power Forward, may get passed up by a freshman later on in the season.
1 Jaylon Tate 6-3 160 SO. PG
The starting Point Guard, will not get many minutes.
Leron Black 6-7 215 FR. SF
A four star that will back up Rice, could start eventually.
Michael Finke 6-9 200 FR. PF
Once he adds weight he could be pretty good. A three star. With all the transfers they have that will be able to play right now, Finke may redshirt.
Projected Starting Lineup
Point Guard: Tracy Abrams
Shooting guard: Kendrick Nunn
Small Forward: Rayvonte RIce
Power Forward: Malcolm Hill
Center: Nnanna Egwu
Michigan plays them at home and away next year.
This Illini team will be very experienced and tough to beat anywhere. If they are shooting well, they will be very tought to beat. I project them to finish 8th in the conference with a record of 9-9 in the conference. The fact that this team will finish like this shows the depth of the B1G next year.
Next up... Maryland
Marlin Jackson [all photos by Upchurch until the end]
Eric shot the inaugural Go Blue Bowl, a charity event for Marlin Jackson's foundation, to which we led a proud assist. I gave him crap in Dear Diary for not posting his photos, but they were just not on Flickr. So here's the ones you might be interested in.
At left is Marlin's partner Earl, who runs one of the schools that will be picking up and hosting Marlin's programs in town. Even among all these football players Earl is a singularly impressive guy for the work he's done in education and his singular focus on making sure kids get good ones.
I wasn't sure it would be appropriate to post pics of the kids but we figured the "coaches" (ie former players) would be of interest. Lots of them showed up, and a lot of that is thanks to…
my friend and Go Blue Then and Now founder Brandon Williams, better known as "B-Will." His organization brings the charities of former players together so they can all help each other. If you're wondering why the list of players we tend to know begins with a lot of 2000-2003 defensive backs, well, that's because B-Will played with some really really good ones, like…
Marlin, and, between them, Zia Combs, who opened up about his career-ending injury and what it was like to have to start over from that when football was the thing he spent his whole life focused on. And…
Marcus Ray—okay Marcus pre-dates all of these guys but he has been one of the most active in supporting this. Ray's team came out in a well-organized spread formation and started kicking butt; afterward he knew the name of every one of his players. To the right of him is the coach of the championship team, Ernest Shazor, who is HUGE, and goofy, and was out there when a kid lobbed a duck over the middle and for a second there Ernest went from big goofy guy to a defensive back in a stance that made me fear a kid was about to get liquefied. Also big in person:
Cato June: who's pictured here arm in arm with Jason Avant. I just didn't get around to talking to Cato this time, but I owe him an apology since a few weeks earlier we were half-way to organizing an event before we both realized I was organizing a thing in Indianapolis and he lives in D.C. Not my best moment. So now I also owe the D.C. alumni association a call. As you should know and I should have remembered, he's a successful high school coach, so his team was another that played like they'd had years to practice their stuff rather than an hour.
The award for guy who most looks and sounds like a football coach goes to…
Andy Mignery. He sounds exactly as awesome in real life as on the radio. It is very hard not to ask him to recite epic quotes/movie trailers.
Right of course is Jason Avant. After the game the kids all went inside and the players gave speeches, and the two above had the most impressive. Also those hands. Those hands are ridiculous. They have to be since he was the only guy who could ever catch something from…
John Navarre, who was in fact chucking bullets, though Avant said Henne threw harder. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to compare his arm strength with the guy on the right, whose apparent coldness probably led Jason Whitlock to write a columnb about leadership. Gardner couldn't stick around long, and Navarre had to take off early as well. That's him saying goodbye to…
…Michael Schofield (on the top-left) and Jordan Kovacs (on the bottom-left). The two are together at right. Both incredibly nice guys. I asked Kovacs, after his experience on our liveblog, which was crazier: you people, or an NFL locker room. He had to think about it.
Back row from left: Ernest Shazor, Zia Combs, Marlin Jackson, Earl, Jason Avant. Front row: B-Will.
Eric didn't get photos of everyone. Here's Avant talking with Jeremy Gallon from my phone:
Gallon's another guy I didn't get to talk to much, since he was surrounded by kids the whole time. It was Mignery who pointed out to me, when it was obvious that Gallon was the guy the kids were most impressed with, that they probably don't remember most of these other players, but Gallon is a star from their football memories.
Thank you to all of our readers who sponsored or supported this in some way. Next year I think we're going to do it in Newsterbaan.