this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Nate Silver has come down from his stat geek heaven to grace us with his own tourney projections.
Based on uber-stat-geek, Louisville has the best chance to win the tourney, followed by Florida and Arizona.
Michigan has one of the best chances to getting to Sweet 16, but it gets progressively tough from there with 3% chance to win it all (I believe that is better than what we had last year).
If you are looking to fill out your bracket and need help, this is probably good as any.
I was a senior at Michigan that semester. My friend and I found a large black lab mix wandering around South Forest on our way back to my apartment to watch the Thursday night games. He (the dog) seemed friendly but stupid. The two of us couldn't get him to come inside, but when my roommate appeared at the front door, the dog followed him like an old friend. After placing several calls and leaving messages, we learned that the dog's owner was a fraternity brother who was in Milwaukee as a member of the UM cheer squad. We had a fun evening with the dog, who enjoyed the cooked meat we fed him and liked lounging on the couch with my roommate, until we were finally able to reach someone at the frat who sent a few pledges over to retrieve him.
But I digress. Michigan, the 7 seed, lost the opening game on Friday night to 10 Texas, this year's 7 seed and a possible opponent in our second game.
Maceo Baston had a busy night: 9-12 from the field and 5-7 from the line, 23 points, 15 rebounds (7 off, 8 def) but also six turnovers. We outrebounded Texas 46-33, both teams shot the ball poorly, we lost 80-76. That must have been a frustrating team for Fisher to coach, with Maurice Taylor, Albert White, and Willie Mitchell on the roster.
Other notable coaches in that region in 1996:
Rick Pitino (coached eventual champ Kentucky)
Rick Majerus (Utah)
Tim Floyd (Iowa State)
Denny Crum (Louisville)
Tom Penders (Texas)
Todd Bozeman (Cal)
Dave Odom (at the zenith of his Wake Forest career)
John Beilein (Canisus)
I know we've got some creative minds out there so what are your Michigan-related or not bracket / pool names going to be?
Personally my bracket is going to be King in the North (for obvious reasons).
I tried very hard to connect South Park Candians and Stauskas but I drew a blank.
The Wall Street Journal has done their blindfold brackets feature again this year. For the uninitiated, it's an interesting interactive bracket where you pick each game based on a description of each team and its strengths and weaknesses, theoretically removing biases that you may have about the school or conference.
For what it's worth, I got a Final Four of Florida, Arizona, Iowa State, and Louisville, with Florida beating Louisville in the title game. It's not hard to figure out who Michigan is from the description; I had them losing to Louisville in the Elite 8.
I know there is a St. Patrick's Day pos-bang thread right below this, but because St. Patrick's Day stopped registering with me like 10 years ago, and because "Hmm, I forgot about North Carolina, they worked State over pretty good earlier this year" or "UMass has to be pretty good to get a 6 seed, I wonder if they can give Duke a game" do not warrant their own thread, perhaps this can be the one size fits all tourney talk open thread. Partake if you please.
**Please don't crucify for any redundancy or prematurity of speaking about our 2014/2015 basketball lineup.
Adam Silver is attempting to get rid of the "One and Done" and force players to play at least 2 years of pre-NBA basketball starting next season. This means that all incoming 2014 freshman will not be able to make the jump after one year and theoretically freeze the 2015 draft projections after the 2014 declarations are made. This could be big for us. Why hop into this loaded draft when next year you stand the strong possibility of doubling or in some cases tripling your stock?
Stauskas is a 15-20 range player in 2014. Solidly in the first round but could slide if he gets showed up in the Draft workouts...which could happen. Stauskas would likely be a top 10 pick or better next season with all of the over-hyped players coming out this year. Stauskas could use another year of strength and conditioning and add some more tools to his game. ( He was beat up a bit today) I would like to see him put more effort into the defensive side of the game. More strength and explosion would assist in that area. His year 3 leap could be scary good! Stauskas could be the next Reggie Miller/Chris Mullin with some more refinement. I think his confidence level in a 3rd year of College basketball would make him nearly unguardable and a sure fire impact prospect in the 2015 NBA season.
Verdict: Good enough to go....and probably will....but if he stayed.....he could be simply off the charts in 2015.
GR3 is a puzzling talent. He is silky smooth and crazy athletic. He has solid range shooting the basketball and is a willing defender. On the hoof...he has serious NBA potential. You just never know what your going to get from Glen. He is very unpredictable and doesn't always seem thoroughly engaged. I think Glen could vault himself from his current 2nd round grade into the top 10 with a MoNsTeR off-season. He could genuinely make himself millions by coming back to Ann Arbor and working his tail off this next season. I really hope that he gets genuine advice and makes the right decision. Glen has as much potential as anyone in the entire B1G conference but he needs another year and particular attention to basketball IQ details.
Verdict: Skilled enough to get drafted on potential. Simply needs more time and refinement and a year of being a #1 scoring option.
McGary is my favorite Wolverine since Webber. He is an absolute worker with tremendous talent. McGary is currently not projected to be drafted. McGary could be a Top 5 pick in 2015. He is simply that good when healthy. After re-watching our 2013 Tourney Run....I was floored by McGary above all else. He has an unparalled motor and excellent mid-range shooting ability. McGary plays very physical and is exactly the type of player that Michigan needs and could flourish with. McGary is a legitimate 6ft10 and 250lbs. McGary has deceptive athleticism and appears to be a cross of Tyler Handsborough and Kevin Love (minus the 3pt range). I'm not sure if there is a ceiling on this kid to be honest. He is a big time talent that works his ass off on the court. If healthy he will be a pre-season All-American next year again. Mitch simply stands too much to lose in leaving early this season when a potentially watered down 2015 Draft could score him literally millions more than this 2014 Draft. Definitely think he should and will stay one more year.
Verdict: Mitch is a beast and simply needs to get his health in order before making the leap. He risks too much financially by sacrificing his Top 5/10 draft stock next Season to leave this season as a possible second rounder.
Levert is a year away from NBA consideration but might also round into a 1st rounder with another year of improvement.
Verdict: Caris might make Thad Matta the biggest dumb dumb in coaching before he leaves Michigan. Next year might be his last if he adds weight and strength. Still not physical enough for the league.
Could Michigan dominate the 2015 NBA draft with 3 or 4 First Rounders? Abso-effin'-Lutely!