The D-League as petri dish for weird basketball concepts.
2010 basketball season
....in his 5th tier of prospects and estimates that he will go between picks 21 and 35. This is an insider article where Chad Ford of ESPN ranks the NBA draft prospects into tiers based on their long term potential. This year he has zero players in Tier 1 (reserved for franchise players like Blake Griffen or Jon Wall).
Here's what he says about Tier 5:
Note: These players look like locks for the first round but most likely won't make the lottery. A few teams had Brooks, Harris, Markieff Morris and Vucevic in Tier 4 but not quite enough for them to make the cut; they were very close, though. Bertans, Honeycutt, Jackson, Mirotic and Darius Morris were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team's draft board.
I still wish Morris had stayed another year given the likelihood of a lockout since he could have moved himself into a lottery pick next year. But at least he seems like he'll get the guaranteed first round spot he was hoping for and I wish him the best.
(edit - fixed some clunky wording)
Woulda been nice to pull in McCallum last year huh?
Bodes well for our future.
After winning today against Minnesota we hold on to our NCAA Tournament hopes (despite what ESPN might think). As we’ve known for a while, beating MSU is a must for this discussion to matter. If that happens, we need to win 1-2 games in the conference tournament to get into serious tournament conversations.
There’s already a thread about whether we could get in with just one win in the BTT, but that thread is lacking a critical piece of information – WHO would we play? I started to investigate this and it revealed a very interesting scenario.
Right now we know who the top three teams are (OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin). We also know who the bottom four teams are (Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana). At this point those seven spots aren’t really likely to change barring some upsets in the final week. But the middle four spots are totally up for grabs among Michigan, MSU, Illinois, and Penn State.
Here’s the remaining schedules and a prediction to go with them for the four bubble teams:
Michigan State (16-11, 8-7)
- Purdue (Loss)
- Iowa (Win)
- @ Michigan (Loss)
- FINAL RECORD = 17-13, 9-9
Penn State (15-12, 8-8)
- OSU (Loss)
- @ Minnesota (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 16-13, 9-9
Illinois (18-11, 8-8)
- @ Purdue (Loss)
- Indiana (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9
Michigan (18-12, 8-9)
- MSU (Win)
- FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9
Those results, with all favored teams winning, conclude in a 4-way tie for fourth place. Now let’s examine what this would mean for the tournament seeding, since the top five teams get a bye.
According to the tournament’s website, in the event of a multi-team tie you have to look at the teams’ records against the other teams that are tied. So let’s look at that list again, with the head-to-head record of the four teams:
- MSU: 2-4
- PSU: 2-4
- Illinois: 3-2
- Michigan: 4-1
This would mean that Michigan and Illinois would get the byes while MSU and PSU would have to play on the first day. This is a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand it gives Michigan a better chance to make a run with one fewer game to play. It also gives Michigan the chance to play a better team in their first game to improve their resume, in this case Illinois.
On the other hand, Michigan doesn’t get to play one of the bottom feeders in the opening round to get their 20thwin. In some ways I think I would prefer to end up in the #6-7 spot to get another game against Iowa or Indiana. I’m curious what everyone thinks about this.
In the end what matters is beating MSU and winning at least the first game in the tournament, likely against Illinois. In the scenario described here that would put us in the semi-finals with 20 wins, a 9-9 fourth place conference finish, a 5-1 record against the other conference bubble teams, and a top-ten strength of schedule. Even with just that one BTT win it would be pretty hard to keep us out of the tournament with that resume.
Go Blue – Beat MSU!
I'm not an expert on bracketology, but I think we should be rooting against Illinois and Penn State in every game while we actually (*gulp*) root for MSU to win both of their other games. They would end up ahead of us in the standings, but we'd get a bigger resume boost for beating them.
The game against Minnesota tips off in about 45 minutes. Here's to hoping we end our 5-game skid with a win at home.
In the meantime, here are some pregame notes from USAToday:
--The Wolverines shot just 28 percent from outside the arc (6-21) in their 14-point loss at Northwestern, a defeat that dropped Michigan to 1-5 in the Big Ten.
--Michigan continued its meticulous care of the basketball despite coming up on the losing end on the road at Northwestern. The Wolverines committed just seven turnovers. The Wolverines had only six turnovers in a recent road loss to Indiana.
--In Big Ten play, Michigan was on a tear through games played Jan. 15, shooting an impressive 89 percent from the foul line (33-of-37, and is at 73 percent overall on the season).
--Michigan's lack of a potent post presence was very evident in the Big Ten loss at Indiana as the Wolverines had a season-low of just 18 rebounds, and did not block a single shot. It marked the second Big Ten game this season where the Wolverines went without a block.
--Michigan has started a lineup of three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior in the majority of its games this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 73 -- With 11 freshmen and sophomores, Michigan has 73 percent of its roster made up of underclassmen. The Wolverines have four juniors and no seniors.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It is part of playing on the road. It's a tough game on the road. When you get in to these situations and things don't go your way, it can just roll on you so quick and get you down by eight, 10, 12. I feel, we'll go in, we'll practice, and we have another road game on Tuesday. We will be as ready as we can be, given the travel, etc." -- Michigan coach John Beilein on the rigors of playing on the road in the Big Ten
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAME:
--vs. Minnesota, Jan. 22
KEY MATCHUPS: Minnesota has the size, strength and athleticism to go head-to-head with many of the Big Ten's best, but when senior G Blake Hoffarber lights it up, the scales tip significantly in the Golden Gophers' favor. Hoffarber scored 26 points in a recent win over No. 8 Purdue, hitting 10-of-15 from the field. Michigan's junior G/F Zack Novak will likely be matched up with Hoffarber for periods of this game, and the Wolverines will need every bit of defense they can get from Novak to keep Hoffarber from deciding the outcome.
FUTURES MARKET: The growing pains would be many on this, the Big Ten's youngest team, but Michigan has been surprisingly mature in some aspects of the game, thanks in large part to the steady hand of sophomore PG Darius Morris. The Los Angeles product has been one of the Big Ten's leaders in assists, and has helped Michigan to be one of the leaders nationally in protecting the ball. The Wolverines average just 11 turnovers per game through Jan. 16. With Morris running the show for the next two-and-a-half seasons, things are looking much brighter, and sooner than expected, for Michigan.
--Junior G/F Zack Novak had 16 points in the narrow loss to No. 2 Ohio State, hitting double figures for the ninth time this season. Novak went 4-of-5 from outside the 3-point arc.
--Junior G Stu Douglass has played in every game in his Michigan career (85), and set a personal-best with 10 rebounds in the recent loss to Kansas.
--Sophomore PG Darius Morris is tied for the Big Ten lead with 7.3 assists per game, and is fourth nationally in assists. He had seven assists in the overtime loss to No. 3 Kansas, playing 43 minutes.
AP article that just came out. Didn't see it on the board:
Like the potential.
Syracuse soph. C/PF Dashonte Riley will have surgery and most likely be done for the season.