this week's obsession
We really have to stop forgetting about Kemp. [Bryan Fuller]
The annual question:
Player who made the biggest move this spring?
The annual responses:
Adam: I'd argue that a guy who looks like he could be a contributor yet doesn't have a headshot on the official site made a big move, so I'm going with Nate Schoenle. Prior to the game I knew of him because I glanced at the roster and figured he too must be familiar with people butchering his last name despite its relative simplicity. After the game I knew of him because he can do like, wide receiver things.
He's more of a downfield threat than a wiggly slot bug; he presents a matchup issue for safeties nevertheless. He lined up against legitimate competition and showed good speed as well as adequate hands and route-running. Schoenle may not see the field this fall--Michigan's bringing the Monstars of WR recruiting classes--but we now know that there's substantive competition in the slot.
David: I liked Keith Washington. He was always an intriguing prospect at 6'2" but came in very raw. After an obvious redshirt, he got onto the field a bit last year, covering kicks and grabbing a couple of tackles. With all of Michigan's 2016 starting secondary gone and most of the replacements being very young, Washington looks like he could make a run at some playing time. He had a fantastic PBU on a fade route down the sideline. He seemed to stay step-for-step with wunderkind DPJ and brought him down after limited gains a few times. Washington also flashed some solid run defense, coming off the edge to make a couple of nice tackles (one specifically on Higdon after Karan bounced it outside). From what I could tell, Keith has made strides in all areas and with that lengthy frame, he could work his way onto the field for more meaningful snaps, this Fall.
Plus, how can you doubt a guy who will offer to spontaneously backup his 40 time in a parking lot?
[After the JUMP: How long will we wait for Ace to take Peters?]
3 sports things you'd change if you could go back in time. (Non-death division.)
— Please Grab a Sprite (@eric_time) April 6, 2017
Brian: nope nope nope!
Seth: Got a better one?
Brian: this is me participating
Ace: This Week’s Obsession Reveals Intra-Office Dynamics
Seth: That's every TWO
We should probably just get the Shawn Crable incident out of the way. After thinking for a moment, I’m actually terrified at how much competition that has for this top three.
Adam: JT Barrett and a certain spot come to mind as well. There's solid competition even if this was limited to solely The Game.
Brian: /giphy nope octopus
Okay. Points for obscurity. No Crable, no spot, no Horror, no 2-point conversion. Weird little things.
[We don’t hate you, dear readers, so it’s all after THE JUMP]
An onlooker or two literally fainting at something Gary does
this spring would be nice. [Bryan Fuller]
Our annual rite. The Question:
What do you want to hear out of spring practice?
Adam: There's depth on the D-line. Not "there are humans and they are large and they have played football before so yes, they are football players" depth. I'm looking for reports gushing about how much the backups have developed.
We've seen this a bit with Michael Dwumfour in last season's bowl practices. That assuages fears about NT depth a bit; Mone still has to stay healthy for a full season, but at least five-star Aubrey Solomon is available and, if his high-school highlights are any indication, ready to enter the rotation.
Every other spot on the line, though, is returning a starter with a fair bit of on-field experience and really unproven backups. Rashan Gary will start at SDE/Anchor, but he'll need Carlo Kemp or Donovan Jeter to spell him. Mo Hurst is the best 3Tech in the conference; positional nomad Lawrence Marshall or true freshmen James Hudson and Deron Irving-Bey are ostensibly his backups. Chase Winovich got to live out his dream and actually chase things down last fall, and if Don Brown's effusive practice reports are any indication then he should continue to do so this fall. There's a veritable stable of options behind him in Reuben Jones, Ron Johnson, Corey Malone-Hatcher, Luiji Vilain, and Kwity Paye; this group has a combined four games of collegiate playing experience. There's a ton of talent along the line, but it still has to be cultivated if Greg Mattison is going to have the eight-man rotation he prefers.
|Kemp has been around long enough now that we have a photo of him in the old jerseys. It’s time for one of those guys to emerge. [Fuller]|
Ace: Charles Matthews is hitting his jump shots. Wait. Shit.
/reaches over to Acebot
Ace: Okay, Cesar Ruiz is on track. With the depth at tackle in its current state, Michigan needs interior linemen to step up so there’s at least the option of shifting someone (probably Mason Cole) to tackle to get their best five out there. While there are a couple other bullets in the chamber in Jon Runyan Jr. and Stephen Spanellis, freshman Cesar Ruiz seems like the best bet to crack the starting lineup, whether at center or guard. He’s far from your average true freshman interior lineman: he played center, not tackle like most D-I OL prospects, at IMG Academy, so he’s already acclimated to playing on the interior. He was consistently talked up as the best interior lineman at the Under Armour All-American game. He’s got the build at 6’3, 320. Michigan doesn’t need him to be the star this year that he should become; it’ll be encouraging to hear that he’s on track.
[After THE JUMP: can you play tackle? No asking seriously do you have eligibility and really quick feet for your 6’7/310 frame?]
Suddenly it’s happening [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
Best/favorite/memorable senior-year breakout?
Brian: I surmise this is in honor of Derrick Walton?
Brian: We should point out that Walton's breakout is not merely a senior year breakout but the ultra-rare midseason senior-year breakout. After being called softbatch.
Ace: Yeah, I don’t really remember anything quite like what Walton has done over the last month, at least with Michigan basketball players.
Brian: I could kiss Maverick Morgan.
Ace: The senior-year breakout that comes to mind for me hopefully won’t have too many parallels to Walton. When I was a senior in high school, my parents got me a ten-game ticket package for Michigan basketball that covered the conference portion of the schedule. This was 2005-06, when it looked like this could finally be the year that Tommy Amaker’s squad snapped the tourney drought.
Senior Horton nearly got an Amaker team to the Dance. [MGoBlue.com via Holdin the Rope]
Up to that point in his career, Daniel Horton had been an enigmatic player: obviously talented, usually the best player on some mediocre teams, but clearly hamstrung by the system and surrounding talent. His ORating never cracked 100 in his first three years at Michigan, and after a junior season cut short when he pled guilty to domestic violence, it looked like his promising freshman year may stand as his peak.
It all clicked in his senior year. Horton took a Walton-esque leap with his finishing around the rim, hit 39% of his threes, and played remarkably efficient ball for someone shouldering such a huge load (111.4 ORtg on a 28% usage rage). He had several notable performances, most of which came down the stretch: 32 points in a win at Minnesota, 23 and five assists in a win over MSU at Crisler, 21 and five in the home rematch against the Gophers, and a masterful 39-point game to beat Illinois and get Michigan to 8-6 in the Big Ten and on the precipice of a tourney bid. (Someone, please, get that game on YouTube. That was as loud as I’d ever heard Crisler until the Final Four squad.)
Horton’s heroics weren’t quite enough to propel Michigan into the tournament. The Wolverines went 2-7 down the stretch, with Dion Harris’ ankle injury against Ohio State wiping out much of Horton’s scoring support; Horton’s 34-point game against Indiana still wasn’t enough to get M the final win they would’ve needed to get a bid. They instead had to settle for a run to the NIT final. Horton’s magnificent play to close out his career, however, remains one of my fondest memories from a relatively dreadful era in Michigan hoops.
[Hit THE JUMP for Seth just rocketing off answers before anybody else can]
[ED (Seth): This was published early yesterday afternoon, and then the site had to be reset, so we're republishing now.]
We almost needed an "other than Solomon" caveat. [Tony Morano/247]
SIGNING DAY ROUNDTABLE 2017
Brian: uh... so do we have an "other than Gary?" caveat this year?
Ace: I don’t think so. multiple ridiculous croots.
Brian: All right then
Ace: I’m as high on Donovan Peoples-Jones as anyone after following him at Cass Tech for years. That said, Aubrey Solomon’s highlight tape is on another level. He’s going to be a monster.
David: DPJ. Highest ranked. Fills a massive need. And from a local pipeline.
BiSB: Recency bias, but did you see the things Aubrey Solomon did to those poor damn high schoolers? Such a quick first step, and he arrives with a level of violence we probably shouldn't condone as a society. He's also a big symbolic get, being a 5-star from Georgia with offers from every SEC school. Satellite camps FTW.
Brian: While Solomon and Peoples-Jones are both correct answers, I think Cesar Ruiz is also correct. I can't remember the last time a center recruit ended up so high in the rankings; multiple services raved about him at both the Opening and the Army game, where he took on and defeated the best the country has to offer. At least two of them said he was the best center prospect in a decade. He might be a sure thing in a spot where not even Patrick Kugler is a sure thing.
David: I refused to watch the Solomon tape, as I heeded the Harris warning. But...now I can!
Seth: I haven't watched the Solomon tape yet because I already watched the Harris tape this year and my therapist says not to put myself at risk...dammit David.
Brian: The Solomon tape is ridiculous. I was trying to add some variety to the answers but it's Solomon. He is Malik McDowell after the Wizard of Oz gives him a heart.
Ace: And we should note that DPJ is ridiculous, too. Solomon is just on a different level of ridiculous.
[Hit THE JUMP for Most Important, NOTY, Sleepers, and much more.]
Best food in Ann Arbor (by category)
----------------BEST DRUNK FOOD------------------
Seth: Genesis of this topic is I just finally had BTB and oh my Gawwd..
BisB: I was there when BTB went in. So many drunk decisions.
Seth: In my day there was an Italian restaurant there that we thought was a front for the mafia. If you actually went in you got wet noodles and ketchup. I think I am the only person I know who was dumb enough to go in there.
Brian: BTB is good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't strike me as an Oh My God kind of place.
|The strip with Coach & Four and Spots and Pizza Bob’s etc. was missing its best part when I was in school.|
BiSB: Imagine yourself as 21 and HAMMERED
Seth: They do everything that a burrito should do, and it doesn't fall apart on you or have any bad bits of chicken like you get at Chipotle etc.
Brian: I'm impressed that their cheese tastes like something.
Adam: Their cheese is honestly the reason I keep going back. a steak quesadilla is steak that tastes like steak and like a pound of cheese. so dang good.
Ace: BTB is wildly overrated. I stopped going in college because 1/3 of the time they’d somehow manage to serve you a room-temp burrito. It’s good when you get the timing right, though.
BiSB: I suppose things may have changed since I stopped going to BTB, which was...
/checks watch...twelve years ago.
Ace: My perception may also be affected by BTB opening when I was in high school and we had open campus lunch. Long-term ODing may have been a factor.
Seth: So if not BTB where should one go for drunk food?
Ace: NYPD was a go-to for me. Right area, pizza by the slice.
Seth: That's not even drunk food. That's good pizza.
Ace: What is good pizza if not drunk food?
Seth: Surviving thirty-six hours straight at the Daily food.
Adam: Most of my drunk food came from the place I was already at. Ashley's stilton fries were an undergrad highlight.
Brian: Tomukun. It's right next to campus and purveys enormous bowls of electrolyte-laden broth. It appears everyone already knows this because whenever I walk by it late at night it's packed to the gills.
Ace: That opened after I graduated. We’d do Blimpy Burger as hangover food because of the absurdly high grease content.
Brian: We're so out of our depth here.
Brian: All livin' in their North Quad watching four televisions at the same time.
Anyway, moving on and changing some of the categories:
[after the JUMP: dinner, bbq, lunch, Asian, alcohol, overrated deli, hipster Big Ten trophies]