‘Give ’em the works, Cubby! We ain’t got a minute to lose! This ain’t a newspaper story — it’s a career! Why, they’ll be naming streets after you!’
unfortunately I have been having computer issues the past couple of days and have written this Diary entry 2 times in full already without being able to post so todays recap is going to be VERY short. Expect the Preview of this weeks action out around the same time Friday.
Friday January 23 (all rankings are pairwise as of 1/22)
#29 Ohio State 1 @ 4 #41 Michigan State
#27 Northern Michigan 4 @ 5 #22 Penn State
#8 Boston University 4 @ 2 #12 Vermont
#36 New Hampshire 4 @ 6 #49 Maine
#36 Dartmouth 2 @ 2 #16 Colgate
#7 Harvard 2 @ 3 #30 Cornell
#10 Yale 2 @ 3 #23 St. Lawrence
#50 Mass. 4 @ 4 #16 Merrimack
#53 Lake Superior 3 @ 1 #3 Bowling Green
#14 Providence 7 @ 3 #9 UMass-Lowell
#12 Denver 3 @ 1 #6 Miami
#1 Minnesota State 4 @ 2 #19 Minnesota
#15 Michigan 7 @ 4 #54 Wisconsin
Recap of Key Games:
- Penn State fell behind 4-1 15 minutes into 2nd period before pulling Skoff and charging back to win 5-4 in regulation.
- UMass-Lowell gave up the first 3 goals of the game and didn't mount much of a comeback losing on home ice by the score of 7-3 to the team ranked one spot above Michigan.
- Michigan State won 4-1 thanks to 2 goals in the second and 2 in the third (agiainst one Buckeye 3rd oeriod tally)
- Minnesota and Minnesota State exchanged goals in the 1st and again in the first 10 minutes of the second.before Minnesota State pulled away with 2 goals in the second half of the 2nd period. HTe 4-2 Minnesota Loss didn't really hurt them but a win wouldv'e been much more beneficial.
- Michigan opened up horribly but turned it around in the second and poured it on in the 3rd.
First peroiod in Madison just under 3 minutes into the game Joseph LaBate scored a power play goal to take the lead. Justin Selmon scored a power play marker to tie the game up with 6:13 left in the period (assists to Kile and Werenski). just 26 seconds later Grant Besse answered for the Badgers to re-establish the 1 goal home team advantage. With just 1:19 to go in the period Joseph LaBate scored another power play goal. Wsiconsin's total season goals in the 1st heading into this game was 2.
Second Period saw another early Badger goal, on Michigan's 2nd goalie of the night as Nagelvoort replaced Racine after the intermission, Jedd Soleway scored the Badgers 3rd PPG of the game giving the Badgers a 4-1 lead on home ice. 1:11 later Justin Selman scored his 2nd goal of the game (assists to Hyman and Larkin) to pull within 2. With just over 5 minuted to play in the period Captain (and Hockey God) Andrew Copp scored on the Power Play (assists to Downing and Compher) to cut the lead to 4-3 heading into the 3rd (Michigan was 0-6 when trailing after 2). Michigan outshot Wisconsin 13-2 in the middle frame
Third Period started off slow in terms of goal scoring. Zach (HOBEY) Hyman got things started back up again 9:19 into the final regulation period scoring in his 6th straight game (assists to Selman and De Jong). 1:01 later Alex Kile found the back of the net (assists to Shuart and Downing) to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game. 1:02 after the Kile goal Justin Selmon completed the Hat Trick (assists to Larkin and Hyman). That was 3 goals in 2:03 of game time. Andrew Copp added the empty netter with just over a minute to play for his second goal of the game (assist to Motte).
Racine started and gave up 3 goals on 8 shots in the first period
Nagelvoort came in at the start of second and allowed 1 goal on 2 shots in the period before stopping all 10 shots he faced in the 3rd.
Saturday January 24
#27 Northern Michigan 5 @ 5 #22 Penn State
#19 Minnesota 1 vs 2 #5 MInnesota-Duluth
#29 Ohio State 0 @ 2 #41 Michigan State
#9 UMass-Lowell 1 @ 4 #14 Providence
#8 Boston University 2 @ 1 #12 Vermont
#7 Harvard 6 @ 1 #16 Colgate
#12 Denver 1 @ 4 # 6 Miami
#39 Rensselaer 3 @ 8 #33 Union
#15 Michigan 6 @ 0 #54 Wisconsin
Recap of Key Games
- UMass-Lowell is swept by Providence
- RPI is crushed by Union. only positive is the game was on the road.
- Minnesota drops their second game of the weekend to another top team in Minnesota-Dultuh.
- Michigan State completes the sweep of Ohio State with the 2-0 shutout
- Penn State ties Notrthern to go 1-0-1 on the weekend.
- fresh off the 7-4 come-from-behind win Michigan scored early and often in this game that was a rout from the get go.
First Period Dylan Larkin got things going EARLY, 1:12 into the the game to be exact (assists to Selman and Hyman). just 51 seconds later Michigan's top line scored again this time it was Zach Hyman with the goal (assists to Larkin and Selman). Things quieted down on the goal front until there was 4:14 to go in the period when Tony Calderone scored (assists to Copp and Serville). Zach Werenski added a beautiful goal (assists to Sinelli and Copp) with just 1:00 to go in the first.
Second Period saw just 1 goal. Zach Hyman scored 1:16 into the period (unassisted) to make it 5-0 in the first 21:16 of action
Third Period had only one goal as well and it was DMan Zach Werenski getting his second one the game (assists to Motte and Calderone)
Nagelvoort was given the start after his recen t relief efforts and stopped all 17 shots fired his way for the Shutout.
Sunday January 25
#16 Merrimack 1 @ 4 # 50 Mass. (Game was rescheduled from Saturday)
Tuesday January 27
#16 Merrimack @ #34 Connecticut was rescheduled
- Penn State defending home ice. They went 1-0-1 against non conference opponent NMU
- Minnesota going no worse than 1-1. They went 0-2 didn't hurt as much as it couldv'e as they ended up playing the two best teams in the tournament.
- Michigan 6 point sweep. CHECK
Pairwise Update (Top 20 and Non conference opponents(*), BIG in all caps)
1) Minnesota State
2) North Dakota
t3) Boston University*
6) Bowling Green
10) Michigan Tech*
13) Boston College*
t22) PENN STATE
t36) MICHIGAN STATE
38) OHIO STATE
39) Ferris State*
t41) New Hampshire*
58) American International*
1) Michigan 21pts 7-1-0-0
2) Penn State 16pts 5-2-1-0
3) Michigan State 13pts 3-3-2-2
4) Minnesota 8pts 2-2-2-0
5) Ohio State 6pts 2-6-0-0
6) Wisconsin 2pts 0-5-1-1
Individual Stats Update
- Zach Hyman ranks 4th Nationally in points.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 12th Nationally in points (2nd to only Jack Eichel amongst Freshmen).
- Zach Hyman ranks 3rd Nationally in points per game.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 6th Nationally in points per game (2nd to Eichel amongst Freshmen).
- Zach Hyman ranks 5th Nationally 2nd in B1G in Goals.
- Andrew Copp ranks 27th Nationally 3rd in B1G in Goals.
- Alex Kile is 6th ranks B1G in Goals.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 7th Nationally in Assists 1st in B1G
- Zach Hyman ranks 10th Nationally in Assists 3rd in B1G
- Tyler Motte ranks 25th Nationally in Assists 5th in B1G
- Zach Nagelvoort ranks 43rd in GAA 3rd in B1G
Team Stats Update
- Offense leads the nation in Goals per game at 4.36. 2nd place Robert Morris sits at 3.73.
- Defense ranks 44th nationally allowing 3.00 goals per game. Ohio State and Wisconsin are only B1G schools ranked lower
- Michigan's Power Play ranks 2nd in the Nation and Conference behind Minnesota (24.69% and 25.58% respectively)
- Michigan's Penalty Kill ranks 43rd in the nation and only ahead of Ohio State and Wisconsin in conference
I'm planning on starting the preview tonight after i get home from work and will try to get it out around noon on Friday.
and thanks to another Michigan sweep I leave you with one simple statement "1, 2 YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO...."
HALFWAY THROUGH THE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
I thought this might be a good time to review the Four Factors with regards to Michigan basketball now that we’re nine games into the conference schedule. For this diary, we’ll just focus on these nine games – there will likely be a grand analysis of the entire season talking OOC / conference, win / loss, home / away, etc…at the end of the regular season.
First, however, some averages of those factors in the conference schedule to date:
Effective FG% - 46.84%
Off. Rebound % - 26.98%
Free Throw Rate – 26.97%
Turnover Rate – 14.65%
A few other stats to perhaps consider as well – the average A/T ratio for Michigan in these nine games is 1.35 and their average offensive PPP is 1.01 (average number of possessions per game for Michigan is 59, incidentally). That PPP, well not quite as high as in past years for conference play – at least for the Wolverines – does include six performances north of 1.00, games in which we were 5-1 (the sole loss in that subset being Wisconsin, where our PPP was 1.13).
Effective FG% - 46.94%
Off. Rebound % - 30.06%
Free Throw Rate – 32.26%
Turnover Rate – 16.01%
Also for our opponents, they achieve an average A/T ratio of 0.943 and an average offensive PPP of 0.99 (which, of course, is our defensive PPP). Buried in that average PPP are 5 sub-1.00 performances for our opponents, which is part good defense and part playing mostly the lower reaches of the Big Ten conference up to this point.
Looking at the four factors themselves, however, you see a team that is not exactly outshooting anyone, extending a lot of possessions, getting to the line often…and then it makes sense that Michigan’s average margin of victory / loss when it comes to points is actually about 5 points in wins and 13 points in losses (I know, average of three numbers….grumble grumble). The grand average regardless of margin is 0.22 points.
So, here’s what the four factors look like game-by-game (we are, of course, in blue):
Offensive Rebound %:
Free Throw Rate:
For kicks, I looked at Michigan’s four factors split win to loss (so again, average of three numbers….I know):
eFG% in conference wins – 49.25% (1.06 offensive PPP)
eFG% in conference losses – 42.03% (0.92 offernesive PPP)
OREB% in conference wins – 27.68%
OREB% in conference losses – 25.59%
FTR in conference wins – 27.80%
FTR in conference losses – 25.59%
TOV% in conference wins – 14.09%
TOV% in conference losses – 15.77%
Aside from eFG%, there doesn’t seem to be much variance between wins and losses, although take a surface analysis for what it is worth there. The end of season breakdown could very well be more interesting. Right now, the profile of the average conference game has Michigan shooting 20-52 or so including 7-21 from beyond the arc, as well as only 13 FT attempts per game and only 8 offensive rebounds.
Another game, another backbreaking loss. (Source)
Your Weekly B1G Hoops Column
Since the B1G typically doesn’t have conference games on Mondays, might as well move this column to Tuesdays for good.
Table of Contents
Week IV Results
Post-Week IV Standings
Team of the Week: Wisconsin
Player of the Week: D’Angelo Russell
Efficiency Scatterplot From Conference Games
Michigan’s Week That Was
Michigan’s Week Ahead
Week V Schedule
1. Week IV Results
Poor Damn Northwestern.
After jumping out to a 21-10 lead at home against Ohio State, they let the Buckeyes take control of the game – Northwestern was able to tie the game with about four minutes left, but D’Angelo Russell was too much to contain and they eventually lost by two. They led for almost the entire contest against Maryland on the road and squandered an 11-point lead with less than four minutes left in the game. This was the final sequence:
The final sequence of Northwestern' s crushing loss at Maryland. https://t.co/8qNDeRSxnO
— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) January 26, 2015
The loss to Ohio State was brutal; the loss to Maryland was absolutely soul-crushing. Northwestern needs an exorcism or something.
Elsewhere – Wisconsin absolutely murdered Iowa, Indiana beat Maryland at home only to turn around and lose to Ohio State on the road; Wisconsin came away with a tough OT win against Michigan; Nebraska held serve at home with two narrow wins over Minnesota and Michigan State.
2. Post-Week IV Standings
Wisconsin’s still the class of the conference (as evidenced by their excellent efficiency margin), but they haven’t managed to distance themselves after four weeks of conference play because of the unfathomable loss to Rutgers.
Maryland and Indiana are the two lurkers – Indiana’s excellent offense is offset by their permissive defense; Maryland is the inverse. Wisconsin only plays each team once: Maryland on the road, Indiana at home. Whether either are legitimate challengers is certainly up for debate (I personally think Wisconsin’s still the overwhelming favorite), but the conference race has been more entertaining than it was supposed to be, at least.
Ohio State and Michigan State have the best efficiency margins behind Wisconsin – and they’re quite a ways behind the Badgers – though both have already gotten three losses in conference play (along with four other teams at either 5-3 or 4-3 overall). With Wisconsin’s likely dominance (they’re projected to get to 15 conference wins by Ken Pomeroy’s algorithm), those two might be out of the race already.
The race for second place should be a dogfight, and there’s little clarity there, as seven teams are within a game and a half of Maryland. All of them – except for Michigan – have an efficiency margin at or above even; none have an efficiency margin better than +0.07.
3. Team of the Week: Wisconsin
This picture is incredible. (Source)
Wisconsin’s offense is nothing short of amazing. Even without senior point guard Traevon Jackson, the Badgers are a ruthless, efficient machine. Bronson Koenig has aptly stepped into the starting role running the show; Frank Kaminsky is perhaps exceeding the lofty expectations that accompanied him into the season; Sam Dekker is showing off his NBA potential (and efficiently, at that); Nigel Hayes, Josh Gasser, and the rest of the Badgers are all playing well.
Here are the most efficient players in the Big Ten during conference play:
Hayes is the most efficient player in the Big Ten with a significant usage – Aaron White, Yogi Ferrell, Rayvonte Rice follow him – and Kaminsky and Dekker are fifth and sixth respectively. Overall, having 5 players in the top 13 is just absurd, and Wisconsin’s methodical offense is as surgical as ever.
Their win over Iowa – a Top 25 contest, nationally televised on ESPN – was a complete ass-whupping; Wisconsin scored an unbelievable 1.52 points per possession, and, if not for their customarily slow pace, it could have been an even worse blowout. It had the fingerprints of classic Wisconsin basketball (turnover avoidance on offense, foul avoidance on defense – which really hurt Iowa), but it’s hard to remember a time that they played a better game than this against fairly quality competition.
The Badgers averted an upset in Ann Arbor – the game was incredibly slow (which benefits the underdog), but after Wisconsin opened up with a quick run to start overtime, Michigan couldn’t claw back again. It was an underwhelming performance against a much lesser opponent, but credit to Wisconsin for holding on in a tough road environment and defeating the reigning conference champions in their only meeting this season.
Previously: Iowa (Week III), Maryland (Week I), Rutgers (Week II)
[Hit the jump for the rest of the article]
This is my story and how it (figuratively) coincides with Michigan's recent Final Four run. This may be a "MGothreadworthy?" but it's a "cool story bro" nonetheless. So, if you're into the latter quoted, read on...
Have you ever made a decision on a whim? A life-changing, love crazed leap into thin air? It's liberating, it really is. And it's also reckless and irresponsible. It's living life on the edge. Have you ever walked that thin line?
March 29, 2013. It was really cold that morning. A thin layer of frost covered everything, including the road I took on my way to Dayton Airport. Funny thing is, in a mere 8-12 hours I'd be experiencing the other extreme in temperature. I was headed to Los Angeles. I'm 20 years old and I've never even seen a plane up close and in person. And I'm doing it alone.
What a day to pick. Michigan was to play #1 seed Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. And Trey Burke alone would become a real hero in the eyes of Michigan fans across the country in what became to be known as "The Shot"
I'm no real hero, but I sure felt like one, clumsily but confidently finding my way through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. My overlay flight would take off in an hour or so, so I desperately searched for a TV with CBS airing the game. No such luck. I missed the game of my life while talking to a stranger I had met aboard the plane. She was headed to L.A. too. After some aimless chit-chating, the woman gave me her card which I tossed in my pocket and almost immediately forgot about it. I had more important things on my mind.
When the ball left Trey's hand, it spun in what seemed like a wormhole, it happened so fast. Just like that, the Wolverines we're going to take the game. You could FEEL it. That ball could have spun at less than a one degree angle in any other direction and the result would have been that disappointing loss we had but a microsecond to prepare for when Trey put the team on his back. 'Cause that's what he did when he took "The Shot". He put the world on his back when he let that ball go. Man...
That's life on the edge.
LAX is big. Bigger than the cornfields and cow shit of the 50,000 persons population of Mercer County , Ohio. But yet, it's where I found the girl I was in the City of Angels for in the first place. An almost comical clechie of a tale of love that led me to visit her for a few days across the country. And the first thing I said was,
"Where's the nearest sports bar?"
I had missed it, but I watched replay after replay after replay. The athletic motion of off-balance shooting, the alpha male-esque scream that captured the moment after the ball had made an improbable, perfect trajectory.
I had chills that lasted for days.
Before I knew it, it was almost over. My 3rd day there was to be my last. I had such a good time. Palm trees and mountains are a big change of scenery. Of course I was fully invested in my time there, but I also kept Michigan's next game in the back of my mind...
It didn't stay there for long. Turns out, that same night, I would take my own "Shot" and do something insane. I would throw my life in the air and hope for that perfect swish. That night, with the weight of my own world on my back, (a mere bag of clothes and 1000 dollars cash) I would decide to stay. I would decide to leave everything behind. My family, friends, everything, to be have a shot at something better than the dead end life I watch all those around me create for themselves. I would live on the edge.
Those chills would continue for months.
By Michigan's Final Four game against the Orange of Syracuse, I'd have my first job in L.A. Welding, and making more money than I've ever made in Ohio. Credit that to the woman who gave me her card at the airport in Chicago. She was a job recruiter. How perfect?
Only fitting that the Wolverines would make it all the way to the National Championship. Play like Hell, like Victors.
But come short.
Only fitting that I would too. After a year, my improbable run came to an end. And I found myself back in Ohio at square one. Nothing to show for my amazing, however reckless, decisions. Nothing but memories made and a hell of a story to tell.
The Wolverines hadn't brought home the trophy. But came back with a story's weight in gold. One that will be told forever. I guess life is linear like that sometimes. I guess life is hard. But I'm rebuilding. Just like my Wolverines. Strengthening ourselves for another run at something big. However next time, it won't be so improbable.
- changed OL Nolan Ulizio to commit
- added DE Daishon Neal, Nebraska as target
- removed WR Austin Aaron who is staying at Cal
- removed CB Will Lockett who will stay with UCLA
- One more open spot due to Justice Hayes not returning as a 5th year senior
- removed FB Reagan Williams who will stay with Stanford
- removed DE Daishon Neal who will stay with Nebraska
- added RB/CB Titus Cooper, Wisconsin as target
- added WR Van Jefferson, Ole Miss as target
- added WR Deontay Burnett, WSU as target
With 10 or so days to go I will just do a running update to keep this stuff on page 1 of the diary, and with new updates as needed. Here is V1.0.
Aside from the
2 3commits the # of open spots is in question; with scholarships assumed to be offered to both Glasgows and Kerridge there would only be 4 open spots left. (EDIT 1 extra spot with Justice leaving) Howeva.... if there is some attrition that has happened but not yet announced there may be more. Also we don't know Harbaugh's stance on grayshirts. And we *do* seem to be recruiting as if we have more than 4 spots - but maybe that's just Harbaugh covering all bases. So instead of 6-8 7-8 spots I am going to go 6-9 7-9 on our commit board. 9 new commits (inclusive of the 2 Saturday) would give us 15 in the class.
My pulled out of rear end class then falls like this
- TE Chris Clark OR non Clark TE (Matt Snyder?)
RB Mike Weber OR RB/ATH John KellyJake Pickard DE
- CB Damon Arnette
- (Committed) OL Nolan Ulizio
- (Committed) DE/OLB hybrid Reuben Jones
- (Committed) QB Zach Gentry
A second CB - too foggy to tell but not likely Marshall;
Lockett/Adams/Bush most likely
FB Reagan WilliamsIDK at this point - WR Van Jefferson?
RB Mike Weber/ATH John Kelly - edit: Zach Gentry (?)TE/DE Ty Wheatley Jr? LB Roquan Smith?
- 2 commits - QB Gentry and DE Jones
- Jake Pickard is being recruited as a DE not a TE which makes him a much more serious candidate. He also has had UM as his dream school. If anyone else commits this weekend he sounds like the one.
- RB/DB John Kelly committed to TN and it sounds like UM does not have much chance although Harbaugh supposedly will keep recruiting til NSD
- I've soured on RB Mike Weber flip due to him "most likely" not coming to visit and him attenting OSU's NC celebration. Now he is a local guy so he need not visit to commit but tea leaves seem to working against UM.
- (EDIT - Committed) I thought OL Ulizio was a no brainer if we offered but apparently his dad works in Pittsburgh and he has a bevy of former teammates who go to Kentucky. So not a slam dunk.
(EDIT - Staying with Stanford) I thought the same for FB Reagan Williams but again he sounded as if Michigan is more of an exploratory visit at this point. Of course the Harbaugh charm can change that.
Still projecting him.
- We have a new CB Markel Bush who is not rated or offered anywhere, but UM seems interested in.
(EDIT - Sticking with UCLA) CB Will Lockett
sounds open to flippingand he is not going to wait until NSD to decide between UM and UCLA. So we should know his decision early this week I imagine.
- Jay Harbaugh and Drevno visited TE/DE Wheatley so maybe they are viewing him as a TE even at 260 lbs? The recruitment of Pickard/Jones as DEs would seem to support that. Wheatley continues to have a mean poker face.
- The recruitment of CB Chris Williamson seems to be blowing up with a lot of southern schools involved; he will be a very tough pull now.
- In house visit with CB Iman Marshall Monday; still considered a massive USC lean but UM has done all it can do - Iman's dad seems to be very important to "flip".
- LB Roquan Smith has a final 3 of that includes UM. Cross fingers he leaves GA.
Just for kicks section - a 13 man class with Clark, Arnette, Williams, Lockett, Pickard added to our current 8 would vault the class from current #72 to #34ish via 247.
Position by position
- Chris Clark - target #1. NSD decision between UCLA and UM. Gut feel says UM despite recent comments about neck and neck with UCLA. UM offense focuses on TE, UCLA does not. UM coaches have developed NFL TEs. Heart was once with UM.
- Matt Snyder - current NEB commit set to visit this weekend. Followed Riley from Oregon State to Nebraska.
- (sorta) Ty Wheatley - seems to project more to DE but some feel at 260 lbs he can still be a TE as he grows in the coming years. Durkin and Jay Harbaugh visited so maybe UM views as a very large TE down the road.
Projecting - Chris Clark
Reagan Williams. Harbaugh magic works this weekend.
- Mike Weber - former UM commit who could see the competition crowding at OSU. Yes UM will probably get a good back in 2016 as well to provide competition but the entire roster not named Ty Isaac clears out at RB post 2016. Clearer path to playing time here, close to home, etc.T
- Titus Cooper - Wisconsin CB commit seems to be recruited by Michigan as a RB, Lorenz says will be on campus this weekend
Projecting - Looks like tea leaves read none; maybe an unknown emerges next week at the last minute.
- McClane Carter - wasn't much interest in Carter nationally until Jim sniffed around which brought along some other interests. Not sure if this is a scholarship type of guy or someone who you bring in for a year with a chance to earn a scholarship when more open up in year 2.
Projecting - We are done here.
- Ryan Davis - super fun HS QB who might not have top flight speed but ridiculous change of direction and vision. Will know better in the coming days if there is anything real here. Would love this guy for punt returns and as a slot WR.
- Van Jefferson - Detroit native who recently left the state and is a recent Ole Miss commit; will take an official this weekend.
- Deontany Burnett - Washingon State commit from CA who will take an official this weekend.
Projecting - none.
- (EDIT) COMMIT Nolan Ulizio - lightly ranked OL out of OH, committed to UConn getting some love from Michigan, Kentucky. On paper seems like a no brainer to UM. But if higher rated prospects at other positions are in play he might be told there is no room in the closing days of the signing period. If this class was 16+ spots he'd probably be a close to sure yes.
maybe Ulizio - some of this is due to openings and he has reasons to choose Pitt or UK.
- Damon Arnette - SC commit getting the most attention of a host of CB prospects. Was in town this past weekend and was visited by Harbaugh, Durkin, and Mattison at home Wednesday. His HS is a NFL factory so is a key bridge to get into that school.
- Chris Williamson - late riser on recruiting boards out of GA getting interest from UF, UM, NC, Cal and GA. Was at NC last weekend, will be at UM this weekend, then UF the following weekend.
- Jarius Adams - Rutgers commit
- Iman Marshall - obviously a crown jewel but some believe to be a silent commit to USC which of course they deny. Dad did not join him on trip. Sounds like UM did a great job hosting but most likely too little too late and a 2nd/3rd place finish for his services.
- Markel Bush - little is known of this mystery candidate
Projecting - serious chance for 2 CBs even if we only have 6 slots. Guessing Arnette is 1. Hopefully Williamson is impressed this weekend but still has a visit to UF next weekend. Most likely the 2nd spot is Lockett/Adams/Bush.
Jake Pickard - current WIS commit who seems to have UM as his dream school, in town this weekend - seems to be on commit watch.
- Jalen Bates - ASU commit but not much noise here after some initial excitement. No crystal ballz to UM.
- KLS - sort of been a tease from afar thru the Hoke era, but a UCLA commit and it seems solid.
- Ty Wheatley (more likely here than TE) - dude could play a great game of poker.
Projecting - Jake Pickard.
- Roquan Smith - highly ranked GA LB is a major target for UM, who has a chance due to Durkin. Most still think he is headed to GA but this past weekend seemd to do UM a lot of good. The longer his recruiting process goes the better for UM's chances.
Projecting - none.
OFF THE BOARD / UNLIKELY
John Kelly (also a potential DB) - Harbaugh is saying very nice things about him and crystall ballz trending our way but UM was late to this game.
MSU andTN seem to be the major competition. Just committed to TN, UM will continue to pursue to NSD.
- (EDIT) Austin Aaron - Cal commit, some noise early in Harbaugh chase with him ; not hearing much lately. STAYING AT CAL.
- (EDIT) Will Lockett - UCLA commit who will be in town this weekend. STAYING AT UCLA.
- (EDIT) Reagan Williams - Stanford commit visiting this weekend. With Kerridge and Houma both graduating post 2015 and Shallman the only type on roster to fill this roll this position is a need. Looks like he will be visiting for 3 days so serious interest. Can play close to home as he is from Ohio. 50/50 chance perhaps. STAYING AT STANFORD.
- (EDIT) Daishon Neal - NEB commit who dropped Oklahoma and Oregon this weekend; Mattison to visit on Monday. STAYING AT NEBRASKA.
- Marcus Lewis CB - this seemed like a sure commit post summer BBQ. But his final 3 is Kentucky, Miami (YTM), and WSU (?!).
- Nate Dalton CB - visited in home and at school by Harbaugh Tuesday but more interested in Liberty. Or Bret B at Arkansas.
- Arrington Farrar S - a Stanford decommit who sounded like a natural fit but the last 5 crystal ballz have him headed to ND.
- Drew Lock QB - Missouri commit looks like a no.
- Joe Burrow QB - OSU commit apparently told Jim no.
- Cordell Broadus WR - his dad wants him to go to USC, and other than some nice words before Harbaugh was hired about Harbaugh there doesn't seem to be much connection there.
Auden Tate WR - committed to FSU last summer,
not much smoke anymore. [edit: Harbaugh apparently visited 1/22]
- David Moorman OL - exiled WIS commit seems to want to hear from UM; not sure if there is any smoke there.
[edit again] Joshua McMillon - Alabama commit out of TN who was once sort of high on Michigan during the Hoke period
is set to visit. He cancelled his visit.
I'm off work today. Been thinking about this story for awhile. I write quite a bit, but almost never share, but I thought the board might like it.
I was in an upper bunk at my uncle's hunting cabin when he woke me that Saturday. I was a year out of Ann Arbor, starting life, brutally hung over, and Uncle Jim's face was several inches from mine trying to get something through to me too early after the previous night's rolling West Michigan trout camp party.
The cabin didn't have a phone and there were no cells in September of 1989. Turns out my Mother had also had had a long Friday night. A night spent in the hospital as my father unexpectedly died at the age of 50. Uncle Jim's wife drove north to communicate the news. And Uncle Jim told me. I don't remember my immediate reaction, but I remember his face and his breath. He was and is a strong man, but there was only stale beer and softness.
We quietly loaded up and drove for two hours. Somehow it had been translated that my sister, then a freshman at Western, was in East Lansing visiting a high school friend at State. I have no idea how anyone knew where to go or how to get in touch with her, but in hindsight it is clear that many calls had been made and accurate instructions had been transmitted because when we pulled next to a giant non-descript MSU dormitory my sister was there with her friend. I told her the terrible thing through the open window. I just blurted it out without thinking to get out of the minivan to catch her. I just blurted it out because I was out of my head and had no balance, no ability to outline my moment-to-moment actions.
Mrs. Jones was the first person I saw upon our return to our childhood home. Mom was in another room with the door shut. Mrs. Jones caught me the way I should have caught my sister.
We spent the next several days feeling our way through visitations, kind offers of help, casseroles the neighbors brought over, the wake and the funeral. I don't remember much of it very well except being physically uncomfortable during the funeral, having chose a stiff dress shirt that must have been a shade too small. During the wake one of Dad's college buddies noticed and told me to put on a sweatshirt while we drank beer and laughed a little.
About two months later Mom and I went to the stadium for the Purdue game. She resisted a little, but I thought it would be alright. I've said that 90% of my formation occurred during camping trips to the western edge of the UP and in Section 10, Row 70, Seats 21 and 22. We had a nice tailgate at Ann Arbor Golf and Outing where the same crew - our crew - showed up early enough to maintain the same four near-entrance spaces for 20 years. By the time I was eight or nine I could make my way alone from the parking space on the course, across Stadium Boulevard, to our seats without anyone worrying at all.
Mom and I held hands between the tailgate and the stadium entrance. I felt her tension and she told me she was thirsty and was going to buy a Coke and that I should go ahead and sit down. As I walked those last few steps to our seats I realized we were going to have to communicate Dad's passing to our stadium friends. Mom knew. Like the calls that had happened to get me and my sister home that horrible Saturday morning earlier in the Fall, I was being helped along here, by a real adult who kept her shit together. I told our friends in the seats adjacent to ours and after their expressions of sadness, Mom arrived with two Cokes and gracefully received condolences. I've attended most home games between then and now, but she never went back.
Mom passed away in 2003 after an inexplicably courageous battle with the bitch breast cancer. But before she died she watched many Michigan games with my daughter - her new best friend.
I still have the unused tickets Mom and Dad were going to use that Saturday in September of 1989. We beat Maryland that day.