Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
First we have to remember that this is a good year to be in the Big Ten as it is an extremely deep and talented conference, and would be considered a power conference this year. This makes it possible to make the NCAA Tourney with 19 wins and a Big Ten tourny win, but 20 or 21 and add a BTT win would lock up a birth for them.
Secondly, their out of conference schedule this year is on par with last years. Last year they played UCLA, Duke (2), UCONN, and Maryland. This year they have played Creighton, Marquette, Alabama, Boston College, and Utah (4 of them away from home), and still play UCONN and Kansas. That is 7 quality opponents, now granted they are currently 1-4 in those games, but win 1 against either UCONN or Kansas and all of a sudden you have a 2nd quality OOC win. This would be the same as (corrected! sorry apparently counting to 2 was tougher today that I thought) last year. The tough schedule will help them with their RPI, and as dumb as the RPI is, it matters to the selection committee.
Last year after the Big Ten Tournament Michigan was 20-13 and drew a 9 seed.
So what would they have to do to make the tournament. Here is a scenario for you. # of wins in ( )
- First you must win the two cupcake games left: Detroit (5), Coppin St. (6)
- Beat UCONN (7) at home: They could have won on the road last year
- Take care of business against the Big Ten basement dwellers: Indiana (8&9), Iowa (10&11), Northwestern (12&13)
- Go 5-5 against Penn State (14) Michigan State (15), Wisconsin (16), Ohio State (17), and Minnesota (18)
- Beat either Purdue or Illinois (19)
- Win 1 BTT game (20)
Is 11 Big Ten wins tough? Sure. They could have accomplished it last year though had they beat Penn State and Iowa on the road. The toughest, and probably most important, thing to do is to sweep Indiana, Iowa and Northwestern. Every game you lose to those teams is another you have to win against the powers of the conference.
So when will we know if they have realistic tournament hopes? The 6 games between January 14th and January 30th. Home games against Indiana and Iowa bookend games vs. UCONN, at Wisky, at Purdue, and vs. MSU. They go 4-2 or 5-1 they could be on their way. Less than that and they could have a lot of work left to do come Big Ten Tournament time.
Perhaps many of you already know where I'm going with this. Jennings, high school PG phenom, jilts college b-ball for Italy. Makes some cash money, plays against old Italian dudes, then gets drafted first round by the Bucks. Proceeds to get off to a fast start in the NBA (see 55 pt. game), starting premature rookie of the year talkin'.
Anyway, I think that if this is the beginning of a trend - high school phenoms going to EU as opposed to college - it helps Michigan. Beilein's system doesn't attract these types who might otherwise go to the OSU's of the world (see Greg Oden). Thus, Michigan dominates all of college b-ball with slow white kids. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Here's a few notes about the 'Rage meeting from tonight, if anyone's interested:
Darius Morris was a surprise guest this week; he had a few legitimate ideas and the rest of the meeting wasn't awkward at all.
Some ideas passed around/details:
- One idea pushed around was to create an alternate sound track for when the opposing team is warming up on court and our players are in the locker room, which is usually about a five to ten minute period before the game. The sound track would include inspirational tunes like "Party in the USA" and "It's Raining Men".
- Morris said he really liked what Indiana does when the opposing team shoots free throws (their fans had dozens of huge signs with random people's faces on them, not sure on specific details)
- There's a drive for more stunt ideas for the student section, so if you have ideas, share if you want.
- Crisler ranks as the 14th hardest place to play in the country this year and the goal is to be #1, which has been a repeated point so far.
- Morris also said something along the lines of: "Beilein loves you guys, he's always excited to know you'll be there and we really appreciate it"
P.S. If anyone who lives in the A2 area has a copy of the HBO Michigan-Ohio State documentary, Markley Hall needs a copy to do a mass showing to all the freshmen who don't really "get it."
These just came across my twitter feed about an hour ago at exactly the same time. Were DeShawn and Manny driving around campus together and someone got plowed over?
MGoTwitterStalk in full effect...
313fresh: why do ppl in ann aarbor think they can walk in front of a moving car
Peedi3416: No more texting and driving for me. I just learned my lesson
The headline is self explanatory.
Kansas is #1, MSU #2.
Others of note: