this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Interesting read on postgrad basketball academies. As you would expect, there is not much education at some of them. Food either.
Side-note: The author refers to one of the players in the story, Jamal Poplar, as a onetime Michigan recruit. A little bit of a stretch as Michigan never offered and barely made much noise on the radar based on his recruit profile page on UMHoops. The author used the only picture captured of Poplar at Michigan from UMHoops in the article. 2 of the players in the story played AAU ball for the Michigan Mustangs (Derrick Walton's former team).
Well, its been a heckuva a season, and i know that i have eaten up more than my fair share of bandwidth here. in my opinion, MGoBlog really picked up the basketball coverage this year. Ace provided pre-game analysis, post-game analysis, mid-game tweeting, and post-game giffing. Brian and Seth set the mood with poignant thought pieces, Mathlete hung around and did his thing. All the while, Brandon Brown kept that sweet sweet recruiting juice flowing and the mods kept tight reins on the whole thing.
the great thing about MGoBlog, for me at least, is that it is its own thing, its not part of a yahoo network or bleacher report or anything else. one benefit of this is that it can be whatever the editorial board, and to a lesser extent the users, want it to be. it can be a place where stats and narrative and memory and analysis and tidbits live without all the name calling, emoticons and childish behaviour of the rest of the sports internet. and all of this is given to us for free, no memberships required, nothing.
so, i have a challenge for you, fellow MGoBloggers, the first MGoBlog MGoPoints Beveled Guilt Pledge Drive. here's how it works: for the next 24 hours, you up-vote this post and i donate $0.50 for every up-vote. and just so it doesn't seem like i am hunting only for MGoPoints, a down vote will also get a $.50 donation. now, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors to the site every day and many of them are more computer savvy (aka capable of hacking voting system) than me, so i am going to cap my donation this first time around at an amount i have predetermined. based on what this number is, future donations may not be capped.
i encourage others to make the same pledge below, as well. maybe if we raise enough, we can talk a certain someone out of leaving medical school to rejoin the MGoStaff...
best sportswriting out there
what he said
Here are some qoutes just updated after the Kentucky Game. Interesting qoutes from all 3!
We have 3 B1G decisions on our hands at the moment about a week sooner then we all would have liked. Stauskas, McGary and Robinson all have large and looming decisions to make. Regardless of what they decide the past two years have been an absolute treat and they have represented the University well both on and off the court.
Stauskas- He is ranging anywhere from 11-18 in the 1st round.
Nik has a polished overall offensive game and a deceptive ability to get to his spots on the floor. He is an exceptional shooter and does not shy away from the big moment. He is not an uber-elite athlete or defender. If he stays he might vault into the top 10 and round out his athleticism and defense with another year with Sanderson. I'm not sure that he has much left to prove on this level and it would be a fairly self-less decision to come back. He has the talent to play in the league now and the tools to be a solid starter in the future. Verdict: Likely Gone.
McGary- Mitch is a 6ft10 263lb beast with quickness and great hands. He possesses the ability to score from out to 17 feet and plays with a V12 motor. The problem is that his back injury cost him a chance to showcase more of what we saw last season and is the type of injury that a cutthroat NBA will not excuse. Mitch has an opportunity to really inflate his draft stock by returning and performing next season. He could go 2nd round this season or maybe even late 1st if he had an amazing recovery off his injury and showed scouts he was back to normal. Those are a couple of "ifs' that I can't see any logical comfort in. McGary would be the Premiere Big in the B1G next season and would likely garnish gobs of attention. He would need to perform under this microscope but I have no doubt that he would.
Mitch is a transcending player that is loved by the University of Michigan and all of it's fans. We lost today because he could not go...lets just be real. He watched us get "beat up" down low and could do nothing to help. I just don't see it in the stars that his last experience at Michigan is helplessly watching a Final Four berth be just missed knowing he could have made all the difference. It feels proper for Stauskas to make the jump but I can't say the same for McGary. #Unfinishedbusiness. That is the fan in me and all of us talking lol. I think that next season Beilein could allow Mitch to play the 4 and grow with the position. I think both the University and Mitch win. There are too many ?s about him jumping into the cutthroat business of the NBA to logically make that choice. We don't know what he is being told but everything I've seen has him as a composite pick in the mid second round. Thats a monster risk. The undertone of him returning last year for "one more" year is undercut by his injury. Verdict: Returning.
GRIII- Oh man. Has there ever been a more puzzling "Star" then GRIII @ Michigan? He has great basketball skills and flashes of brilliance. Athletically he is the real deal. His jumper is smooth and he has range. Defensively he is solid and electrifying as a Finisher. The questions have seemingly always been his drive and motivation which seems to fluctuate. Sometimes GRIII doesn't seem interested to be honest. He doesn't show consistent ability to get HIS OWN SHOT which leaves a lot of his production in the hustle, transition and wide open jumper categories. His basketball skill would suggest that he could pretty much do what he wants on the court and he does AT TIMES. I find it truly fascinating. Has there ever been a kid that made you jump out of your seat and holler out of awe inspired joy like Glenn? On the flip side there have been many bad on court basketball decisions and sort of lack luster halves turned in by Glenn. I think Glenn deserves a PASS on all of this because he was truly playing out of positon all year and this genuinely displeased him. Today for example, we asked him to give up 3 inches and 60 pounds to Julius Randle on the block. Glenn is a 3 forced to play the 4 due to McGary's injury and Donnal's redshirt along with Smotrycz's transfer. This hasn't been fair to Glenn particularly when he returned under the assumption that he was going to be able to blossom as a 3 under Beilein. Life isn't fair and Glenn ended up contributing to a B1G Championship team in admireable fashion despite these circumstances.
I feel like Glenn will be doing himself a disservice by foregoing his junior year because he has only scratched the surface and is nearly a Lottery Lock next year as a 3 man under Beilein. In that last sentence lies the key. Can Beilein honestly promise him the 3 next year? It depends on if Mitch stays and forcing Zak Irvin and Kam Chatman to come off of the bench....which is pretty wild. GRIII with one more year is a danger to the B1G and will likely render him a top 5-10 pick with year one NBA potential. He is simply not there right now despite showing flashes of the ability. Glenn and Mitch are very close and one's decision will likely sway the other's. Glenn is a Composite pick in the 40's currently. There is room to move up but why forego a strong potential lottery spot next year for 2nd round money? I have genuine concerns that GRIII will be lost in the shuffle of NBA "athletes" if he jumps this season. I would love to be proven wrong ala THJ but I don't think Glenn has Timmy's fire yet.
Verdict: Reluctantly Stays
2015 Roster Outlook! Cheer up and Damn all things Royal Blue.
Ideally Reasonable Roster
Walton (so) - Spike (jr)
Levert (jr)- Irvin (so)
GRIII (jr)- Chatman(fr)/ Wilson (fr)
McGary (jr)- Donnal (fr)/ Beifeldt (jr)
Horford (Sr)- Doyle (fr)
or....with 3 departing sophomores...the following... ..
. Walton (so)- Spike (jr)
Levert (jr)- Transfer????
Irvin (so)- Chatman (fr) / Wilson (fr)
Donnal (fr)- Beifeldt (jr)
Horford (sr)- Doyle (fr)
P.S. I'm still confident that Beilein would make this a 20 win Sweet 16 team.
This team will need a transfer though. Massive hole at the 2 guard spot.
Missing on Blackmon and Booker becomes increasingly painful in this scenario.
If we are going to continue this trend of 2 and Throughs....we will not be able to miss on the recruiting trail at select postions without a step back in perfomance....just the nature of the beast. Obviously the Austin Hatch situation was unforeseen and altered things. Brunson and Coleman are becoming must haves for the 2015 class.
Final Thoughts: I think the return of McGary and Robinson would vault Michigan into Top 5 status next season and make us the favorite to win a lot more than just the B1G. The team atmosphere that Beilein has created is truly infectious and evidenced by the prevailing interest maintained by guys like Trey Burke and THJ even as they embark on their NBA careers I don't think any of these decisions is a no-brainer like a Parker of Wiggins but Stauskas is solidly in the first round before the Draft Combine. Nik is not a top 5 lock due to the Draft Combine generally favoring upside and athleticism which favors some of the other prospects at the wing position. I do think that given the right system, Nik could be a really good Pro relatively soon. He probably will and should go. GRIII and Mitch seem like a package deal to me and this could go 1 of 2 ways. I don't see one staying without the other. My brain says both will stay because I think they need the development and in Mitch's case the recovery time. My heart has this hopeless feeling that they might both set sail for the NBA......that may just be the morbid snake-biten fan in me. Either way all 3 of these kids put a smile on my face for 2 years and couldn't be happier to have cheered my heart of for them!
Edit: Too many of you think I'm talking about the "uniformz" worn during the tournaments. I'm not talking about the "Wolverines" uniformz with the same design that everyone adidas wore. I understand those. Just like Nike had a select few that wore the throwback uniforms. Ohio State and MSU both wore them against us.
I'm talking about our STANDARD uniforms. It's the Adidas stock uniform and it is the same design as NC State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Tennessee and a bunch of others...
Michigan needs to be like most major schools and have a design that is ONE OF A KIND!
Now that the season is over...I wanted to speak up on something that's been bothering me all tournament.
Can we PLEASE cause an uproar of some kind to make UM, or Adidas, or whomever, work on getting Michigan Basketball it's OWN jersey style? I'm not talking about the "Wolverines" tournament jersey that all Adidas schools wear - I'm not a fan, but whatever...another battle for another time.
I'm talking about our standard white, maize, blue jerseys that come in the same style as almost every other Adidas school. We've been to the National Championship and the Elite 8. Why do we have to wear the same design (in our colors) as the majority of Adidas schools in the country (during the regular season)?
It's so frustrating watching Duke, UNC, MSU, Arizona, UCLA, Kentucky, UConn, Kansas, Texas, Florida, OSU, and so many other schools have THEIR OWN jersey. Some Nike, some Adidas. Sure they conform and wear whatever thing Nike or Adidas comes out with that year - again, not trying to change that - but the most of the year they wear THEIR uniform and it doesn't look like anyone else.
Nike even has a "stock uniform" that many schools wear...A LOT of mid-majors do, they just put in in their colors. It looks like this... (both schools, Liberty and Radford, have it on in this picture)
Why does Michigan have to wear the Adidas "stock" uniform? We deserve to have our own uniform even if we have to get pimped out once or twice a year and do what everyone else does.
Maybe you all don't mind it - but I wanted to see if anyone notice/it bugged you all too.
I'm not hear to design it, I'm not hear to say "go back to (insert) year"...I just think we should have something of our own. Just like football. We shouldn't have the maize, white and blue version of NC State or Nebraska or a bunch of other schools.
Sorry if I wasted your time.
For a moment I wondered if I was alone in feeling pride above all else in the wake of that heartbreaking loss. I should have known better. From Ace's post-game to hundreds of comments on the board, the blog has shown a fantastic display of sportsmanship in fandom. No moping, a shockingly minimal amount of attempted Sparty trolling, and an overflow of love and support for the team we put on the floor this season.
I've never visited RCMB (won't troll the squad but I'll troll the trolls), but I have a sneaking suspicion its not a pretty place right now. Pat yourselves on the back MGoBlog, for living up to the inflated ideals of the "Michigan Man," if only for a day. I enjoyed reading all of your input. This is what makes the platform so unique and meaningful for all of us.