chance of bowl: 13.6%
As some of you know, I’m joining MGoBlog to provide various types of basketball coverage, now that we’re a #basketballschool and all that. A brief introduction: I’m an Honors LSA Senior majoring in English (hopefully with a creative writing sub-concentration), I grew up making weekly pilgrimages from the Grand Rapids area to Ann Arbor on Fall Saturdays with my parents—both of whom graduated from the B School before Ross slapped his name on it—and younger brother—an Honors LSA sophomore (who is also named Brian Cook). I am not related to the proprietor of this site, as far as he and I know. We were a football family, but I fell in love with Michigan Hoops in 2009-2010 with Manny, Peedi, Coach B, and the gang. I’ve learned to love the NBA recently as well, but regret that I missed the glory years of my Detroit Pistons. I’m a Lions masochist, I complain about the Tigers’ managing and bullpen all summer, and I recently committed to Everton as my new EPL team (because Tim Howard’s a national hero). It’s a little up in the air as of right now, but Ace and I will sort out who covers what during hoops season. As for non-sports things: I’m a proud native Michigander and spend my summers living on Barlow Lake—Heaven on Earth, as far as I’m considered—I run as quickly as Terrance Taylor and am addicted to Bruegger’s on North U (these things may be related), and if anybody wants to hire me to a full-time job after school, PLEASE DO. If you see me on campus, say hi. I’ll be the tall, skinny-fat guy with curly black hair and light blue headphones.
Follow me on Twitter ( @alexcook616 )
(Freshmen and incoming transfers are not included. They’re very difficult to accurately contextualize with returning players and they’ll be covered next week.)
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For the Big Ten Player Comparisons, I created an algorithm that spits out the most similar statistical profiles for a given player’s. There are 20 unweighted categories—most of which are advanced metrics—but shooting and rebounding are well-accounted for. The database consists of 750 players from the 2008-2014 seasons. This post is already absurdly long, so I’ll have to explain it further at some other time. This system will probably be used pretty extensively.
Considering that the Hoosiers had Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh—the latter was drafted in the lottery of a deep draft—their struggles were perplexing. A stable of uninspiring role players did little to augment the talents of their two stars and their offense was often stagnant and extremely turnover prone. Indiana didn’t shoot the ball well from the field, but the inability to hold onto the ball was crippling—IU finished 330th nationally in turnover rate, easily the last in the Big Ten. Ferrell can be best categorized as a scoring point guard: he’s ball-dominant and often probes the defense with his quickness rather than driving right to the rim, he’s one of the better shooters in the league (40% on a ridiculous 220 attempts, mostly from above the break), and he gets to the free throw line and shoots better than 80% from the stripe over his career. There were a few games that Yogi took over with his scoring ability: 30 points (on just 15 FGA) at Illinois, 27 (including 7 made threes) against Michigan and at Purdue, and 25 and 24 in two games against Wisconsin. With Indiana’s turnover issues and Ferrell’s role as its offensive catalyst, his turnover rate—18.0%—wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t exactly anomalous amongst analogous point guards.
Yogi didn’t have the ball-security of a Jordan Taylor or Drew Neitzel, but it wasn’t bad. Turning the ball over was a collective effort: the entire rotation (aside from Ferrell) had turnover rates of at least 20%. Adding five-star combo guard James Blackmon, Jr. should help out immensely in regard to that issue and it should enable Ferrell to play off-the-ball and distribute a little more this season. Ferrell will likely be the best point guard in the Big Ten and there’s a chance that he could lead the league in scoring.
[After THE JUMP: Caris checks in, others.]
PSA: If you have Directv and live in Indiana, check to make sure you still have NBC. Due to a dispute between the NBC provider and Directv, NBC is not available for viewing to some of us lucky fans who want to see the game on Saturday or watch shows on a network that hasn't been relevant since Friends.
Maybe I've been living with my head up my ass, but I had no idea about this until the TV ratings thread earlier today and I figured that it deserved its own thread.
The easiest way to get around this is to buy a cheap HD antenna and use it for Saturday. I found one pretty cheap on Amazon for only $10.
Good luck and may the corn be with you.
H/T to DMill2427 and MaizeNBlueInDC
Oh how fun this will be. Indiana loses NINE of thier players. A whole NINE!!! that is crazy. Evan Gordon, Jeff Howard, Taylor Wayer, and WIll Sheehey are graduating. Austin Etherington, Jonny Marlin, Jeremy Hollowell and Luke Fischer are transferring. And Noah Vonleh is leaving early for the NBA. Losing these players means losing:
That is a lot to replace. The way to replace attrition like that is to bring in a really big recruiting class. Indiana did not do that. They are bringing in three solid Freshman, and only have a chance for two more. Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
42 Peter Jurkin 7-0 230 JR. C
Only played eight games last year after getting injured. May play some valuable minutes off the bench.
12 Hanner Mosquera-Perea 6-9 225 JR PF
The starting Center, pretty much forced into the lineup. Averaged 2.8 points per game last year.
11 Kevin Ferrell 6-0 178 JR. PG
Uggggghhhh Yogi Ferrell A.K.A. Michigan killer, will probably take all of their shots next year. He took 23% of their shots last year on a team with a future pro. Will most likely be B1G all conference next year. Averaged 17.3 points per game last year. Starting Point Guard.
30 Collin Hartman 6-6 210 SO. SF
Collin tore his ACL on the 15th of March, so he probably won't do anything next year. As hard as ACL tears are for football players, they are even harder on basketball players. Was not really a contributor before the injury.
22 Stanford Robinson 6-4 193 SO. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, started to blossom late in the year. Will take the third most amount of shots this year. Averaged 6.4 points per game last year.
21 Joe Fagan 6-4 195 SO. SG
Walk-on, may get playing time you never know.
15 Devin Davis 6-7 221 SO. PF
The starting Power Forward, only averaged 2.4 points per game, will play a little center.
5 Troy Williams 6-7 206 SO. SF
Personally my least favorite player on the Hoosiers. After his two dunks against us he decided to stare down our players. To which told him to enjoy the N.I.T errrrr..... Anyways, he averaged 7.3 points per game, and will be a tough matchup for teams.
2 Andrew Calomeris 6-4 183 SO. SG
James Blackmon 6-4 180 FR. SG
Many of you know of Blackmon from when we recruited him. He is a five star and will be the 6th man and eventually a starter. When he starts, Robinson will play the 3, Williams the 4 and Davis the 5.
Robert Johnson 6-3 180 FR. SG
A four star who will play, but not a "20 minute a game" guy
Max Hoetzel 6-7 210 FR. SF
A three star, he will probably get 10 minutes a game.
Projected Starting line-up
Point guard: Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
Shooting guard: Stanford Robinson
Small Forward: Troy Williams
Power Forward: Devin Davis
Center: Hanner Mosquera-Perea
Michigan plays Indiana on the road next year, which is quite a disadvantage for Michigan. Assembly Hall is a Michigan's enemy and the refs are big equalizer when the game is played there.
This team will not be very good, they will however finish better than teams like Purdue and Rutgers. They will continue to get home cooking and Ferrell will get hot in a couple of games. However, I do not see them finishing any better then 6-12 in the conference. It is too hard to replace nine players.
Next up... Penn State.
Holy Offensive Extravaganza Batman! In the interest of time, I'm going to break format again, skip the introductory paragraph and get right to the numbers. Michigan gained 1237 yards on 98 plays, accruing 73 first downs in the process. Devin Gardner led the way with 712 yards passing. Jeremy Gallon's 26 receptions accounted for 560 of those yards. The rushing game returned in grand style, with Fitz Toussaint running for 234 yards and 8 touchdowns, behind a line featuring a fourth string left guard and three high school seniors. Michigan won the time of possession battle, 52:12 to 7:48. Michigan punted negative three times, and finished seven for four on third down conversions. Raymon Taylor led the defense with 37 tackles and 16 pass breakups. Yes, these numbers are completely made up. They are ridiculous, but so are these numbers:
Burst of Impetus
* Early in the game, it was obvious that Indiana was throwing to the receiver guarded by Raymon Taylor. Taylor got beat deep, giving up a 59 yard TD to IU. On the next drive, they went back at Taylor, hitting Latimer for a 14 yard gain. After an incomplete pass and a five yard run, Sudfeld went back towards Taylor. Taylor absolutely lit up the TE, Bolser, forcing an incompletion. Later in the first quarter, on another third down, Indiana went back at Taylor down the sideline. He just barely turned his head around and got another deflection. Later in the game he got another PBU on third down and forced a field goal. The boxscore lists him with 4 of Michigan's 5 pass breakups. He did make 9 tackles, so it's obvious Indiana was targeting him and giving him opportunities. He wasn't perfect, BUT HE MADE PLAYS. In a back and forth game, the key to winning was who was going to be able to break serve. Indiana was 8 of 14 on third down. Half of those stops are directly attributable to Taylor. The other defensive player who MADE PLAYS (2 of them, in fact) was Thomas Gordon. He did not record a tackle, but he did make two huge interceptions that gave the Impetus back to Michigan both times.
* Devin Gardner was 21 for 29 with ZERO INTERCEPTIONS! (That's not difficult to do when IU's DBs were rarely in the same time zone as our WRs, and the line provided good protection for the most part.)
* He threw for 503 yards, 2 TDs, and a long of 70 yards (thanks to Gallon.)
* His bad habit of flinging wild throws to avoid sacks returned, but fortunately, did not result in any INTs.
* Al Borges is the QB coach. Is Al the one responsible for teaching Devin how to pitch the ball to Fitz? I'm, of course, referring to the fumble. It was attributed to Fitz, but the pitch was the problem. I have a hard time picturing in my mind, Al out on the field giving Gardner instructions on the proper way to pitch the ball back to the RB.
* After suffering through the 27 for 27 documentary, Fitz ran 32 times for 151 yards net. The longest run was only 27 yards, so this is not one of those cases where a guy's stats are inflated by a 60 or 70 yard TD run. He scored 4 TDs.
* Derrick Green pitched in 21 yards on 6 carries.
V. Sinha Legends Jersey
* Jeremy Gallons actual stats were 14 receptions for 369 yards and 2 TDs. He caught 2/3 of Gardner's completions.
* Devin Funchess was the second option, catching 4 balls for 84 yards. Towards the end of the game UofM was trying to run out the clock. They faced a 3rd and 6. Instead of running on third down, Al called for a pass. 38 yards later, Funchess had given UofM another first down, and three more opportunities to run clock. I think that is the go-for-the-win attitude that we became accustomed to under Brady Hoke, that was sadly missing last week against PSU.
* Jeremy Jackson returned to the field, catching 2 balls for 23 yards.
* I love Dileo and if I were in charge of the offense, I'd involve him more, so what I'm going to say next may amount to heresy. Is it possible that he's not getting open on the other ~60 plays, or that he's not great at blocking? I also wonder if he got hurt, because he wasn't back there fielding punts. Maybe Borges just wanted to give Devin a slightly bigger target in Jackson.
* Midway through the first quarter, Joey Burzynski got hurt. So let's review our situation at Left Guard this year. Glasgow started the season there, only to move to center in an attempt to shore up the middle. Chris Bryant was the next man in. He's either injured or not as effective as the staff would like, so he was replaced by Burzynski. When he got hurt, Kyle Bosch entered the lineup. Yep, our 4th string left guard. Indiana did get 2 sacks and 7 TFLs, but I can honestly say, I didn't notice Bosch out there, and that's a compliment for a lineman. He may have made a mistake or two, or missed an assignment, but I didn't notice.
* A bruised and bloodied Taylor Lewan returned to the lineup. I was a little worried before the game started, as Lewan showed very little enthusiasm jumping up to touch the M Club banner. To think he could be making millions of dollars today, all I can say is thank you, we appreciate your effort and loyalty to our shared University.
* I would be remiss not to mention Graham Glasgow's hustle. At the end of Gallon's 70 yard run after the catch, Glasgow was right there. There were several other long plays where I noticed Glasgow hustling down the field looking for another block. The guy can move for someone his size.
Norf and Souf
* Norfleet returned 6 kicks for 121 yards. He made a couple poor decisions, but on average, the results were fine.
* So is this blocked FG thing something I'm going to have to worry about for the rest of the season?
* Five of Wile's 10 kickoffs were touchbacks. IU didn't do much with 4 of the 5 they returned.
* On one kickoff, we kicked from the 50 due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on IU. Doesn't game theory demand an onside-kick there? Or at least a high, short, coverage kick where you can pin them back inside the 20? If they recover the onside kick, they get the ball at their own 35. Instead, we kicked it out of the endzone and they got the ball at the 25. For 10 yards, I'd take that chance at getting the ball back. This was not a field position game. This was a ball possession game, as in, if you had possession of the ball you were likely going to score.
I'm an international umpire
* The refs let them play. IU had 3 penalties for 20 yards and Michigan had 4 for 15 yards. I noticed some holding and maybe some DBs getting to the WR a little early, but nothing outrageous, and the officials didn't get nitpicky. I'd rather they call a foul a foul, but it kept the flow of the game going nicely, and they were consistent, which is all you can ask for.
* I covered the important stuff in the Impetus section. We got some stops.
* Help me out, Alannis Morrissette, is it ironic that we ended the game by sacking IU's QB? I say yes.
* Besides Taylor's 9 tackles, JR3 had 8, Jourdan Lewis and Morgan had 5, and Wilson had 4. That's a lot of DBs, but that's to be expected in a game like this.
* It seemed like neither defense could stop the opposing offense. In fact, it seemed like neither team faced many difficult third downs. So I decided to review the play-by-play and see how the two teams did on first and second down. My numbers aren't quite adding up, but they are close to being accurate. In the all-important second down conversion stat, Michigan dominated Indiana going 14 for 26, to Indiana's 10 for 24. On first down, Michigan was 14 for 41 to Indiana's 10 for 35. That's right, we had 35 first downs, and gained 28 of them, 80%, on either first or second down. Indiana's defense is horrible.
* I mentioned in the Game 1 diary that my dad passed away from cancer this summer. Michigan broke out the pink accoutrements to raise awareness. I think most people are "aware" of the major cancers - breast, lung, prostrate, etc. In fact, my dad was a five year survivor of prostate cancer. Spending our limited resources attacking the most common cancers makes sense (Spock would agree, the needs of the many, etc.) but let's also spend some time raising awareness of the less common cancers, because these are often the ones that aren't diagnosed in a timely manner. A year and a half ago, dad was diagnosed with urothelial cancer. The problem was mis-diagnosed for a good 3-4 months, during which time the cancer may have doubled in size and changed from something that could be dealt with, to something that was fatal. I'm all for raising awareness, but I also think we need to be doing more in terms of improving diagnosis and treatment options.
My dad took my brother to the Anthony Carter/IU game. I suppose I should be jealous of my brother for that, but I was the one who got to hear Bob Ufer call the play. So who was the lucky one? HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!!!
This recent tweet by Land-Grant Holy Land purports to show a new IU football helmet. Could this be real? If so, wow.
As helmets go, those are outrageous. As candycanes go, those look delicious.
Since Indiana just lost to OSU tonight, I was wondering what the Big Ten Tournament seedings could be. This is the schedule for the remaining Big Ten conference games and the winners of each game in my completely subjective opinion:
Michigan @ Purdue
Minnesota @ Nebraska
Wisconsin @ Michigan State
Penn State @ Northwestern
Minnesota @ Purdue
Nebraska @ Iowa
Indiana @ Michigan
Northwestern @ Michigan State
Illinois @ Ohio State
Wisconsin @ Penn State
This would result in a 4-way tie atop the conference between Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. According to the tiebreaking procedures from last year's tournament, the seeding would work out as follows:
|1. Indiana||7. Iowa|
|2. OSU||8. Illinois|
|3. Michigan||9. Purdue|
|4. MSU||10. Northwestern|
|5. Wisconsin||11. Nebraska|
|6. Minnesota||12. Penn State|
Here is the 2013 Big Ten Tournament bracket. In the scenario I described, Michigan would be playing the winner of Minnesota vs Nebraska. If I made a mistake, please correct me.
EDIT: Fixed. I think UM would be the 3 seed by virtue of losing the comparison to OSU against Wisconsin.