John Beilein doesn't know fear. He is taking a team with 6 freshman out there and taking on one of the toughest - if not the toughest - non conf schedules in the country. Then you throw on a Big 10 schedule on top of it, in a sport our conference is actually legit and whoa nellie.
I was struck by how many ranked treams we have on our schedule and could not remember a season like this. So I thought I'd compare it to the top 8 teams in the country and then threw OSU and MSU out there for comparison. I was aware but not fully aware of how difficult this schedule is until you compare it to peers.
Number of ranked teams played non conf
|UM||4||Syracuse, AZ, SMU, VCU/Villanova|
|UK||4||Kansas, Texas NC, Louisville|
|Duke||3||MSU, Wiscy, UConn|
|Kansas||3||UK, UF, Utah,|
Please note this is taken via ESPN and might not account for some tournaments although as best as I can tell only UM, MSU, and Kansas are involved in tournaments. (could be wrong) We have 4 ranked teams only matched by UK's NBA team. So that's where we are at - rolling out a team with 6 freshmen (not of the UK kind) with 3 players just sent to the NBA.
He had subs. He just don't care.
There are few things more embarrassing than being victimized by a ferocious alley-oop. Last night, Brandon Knight tried to one-up that by blowing a woud-be game-winning, unopposed layup as time expired.
The NBA teams on TV last night and tonight included 4 former UM players who should still be in school. Would they have stayed if not for the NCAA prohibitions on student pay? What would have happened with McGary if the NCAA hadn’t pushed him out the door while unable to perform but positive for a non-PED which is now legal or decriminalized in at least 14 states?
Whatever the answers, UM’s early NBA departures do seriously question the NCAA’s stated intent to promote equity. While UM now misses 4 otherwise eligible NBA departures, the B1G favorite, Wisconsin, misses none. It keeps 80% of its 4th or 5th year starters---including the B1G POY favorite, Frank Kaminsky. Similarly, MSU loses only one otherwise eligible player.
Of course, UM's early departures are an indication of the program's greater strength.. But I can’t help wondering what the roster would be if all the eligible UM players stayed. In addition to the current players (assuming no attrition and the same recruiting classes, my roster would include:
Trey Burke (Sr) NCAA national POY, B1G POY, NBA lottery pick, NBA fresh-so All star
Nick Stauskas (Jr) B1G POY, NBA lottery pick
Mitch McGary (Jr) NBA first rounder
Glenn Robinson III (Jr) NBA draftee
And Caris Levert (Jr) current B1G POY/Wooden award candidate.
FOOTNOTE: My reserves would include
Zak Irvin (So) five star recruit, Parade All American, Indiana’s Mr BB
Derrick Walton (So) Parade All American, most first place votes for Michigan’s Mr BB.
Kam Chatman, five star Scout, US national under-18 training camp roster
Spike Albrecht (Jr), who scored 17pts in an NCAA championship game and tweeted Kate Upton.
and Max Bielfeldt (Sr).
I include Max over others not because he buries 3 pointers. Admittedly, he looks less coordinated than Donnal, is small for a 5, and—in other ways also-- has a lower ceiling. Nonetheless, I include Max because he is, literally, an inspiration.
After careful research (?) >/sarcasm, rolling eyes, (-: I have concluded that he inspired the creation of Max at Bielfeld University (?sp). Max is an artificially intelligent machine with human communication abilities. He "understands" what we want him to do and can take on the role of a social partner. Ok, as you’ll see from the link, he’s not exactly a party animal. He looks a bit stiff. He blinks a lot, which could impair his long range shooting. But should the real Max be injured, it would be easy to change his digital purple color into maize and blue. And if we did insert him into the lineup, he demonstrates an admirable degree of self-control, which would help him resist taunting about size from other bigs.
Another blowout win for Michigan. Biefeldt had the best game of his career with 18 points and 3 rebounds in only 16 min of play. 2-0 on the season with the Titans coming to Ann Arbor next. Enjoy. GO BLUE!!!
Today marks the anniversary of a watershed moment in Detroit sports history, and given that many that follow this blog also follow Detroit professional sports, I'm putting it up here for discussion.
10 years ago today, following an on-the-court altercation between Ben Wallace and Ron Artest, Artest thought it would be nice to take a nap on the scoring table. Indiana and Detroit were dominant forces in the East at the time, and the Pacers were just about done administering a beatdown on the scoreboard, so the mood was negative even before the Wallace-Artest incident. Artest's act of defiance really set off the crowd - he was just as unlikeable then as he is now, name changes notwithstanding.
A fan not only called Artest's level of douche, but raised it by tossing a half-empty beer toward Artest, and then the melee ensued. Artest went into the stands seeking retribution. Unfortunately, Artest went after a guy still holding his beer - the wrong guy! (If only Artest had with him a then-popular blue dog to help him decipher the clue that someone usually does not simultaneously  throw their beer and  still have it.)
10 years later, it seems like something very similar could still go down. Fans still have very close proximity to the players, and while there is more security, it looks insufficient to anyone who has sat courtside. The problem of fan involvement has been around for years (e.g., Monica Seles), and I'm not sure what can be done without gutting the fan experience. Certainly an increased investment in security would make sense.
In any event,
happy unhappy anniversary.
Not much else to say. Should be some good basketball played tonight (well, maybe not good as it's early season, but entertaining). Not that we should root for them but seeing Duke annhilate Sparty tonight would make for an enjoyable evening...amirite?!
The better of the two games in my opinion will be the KU-UK game; two very talented rosters (Duke is loaded as well).