he grew a beard
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.]
Per the Baltimore Sun, Maryland has settled its suit over exit fees for $31.3 million of the $52 million the ACC was asking.
The University of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference ended their legal dispute Friday with an agreement under which the school will pay $31.3 million of the original $52 million exit fee the conference was demanding.
The settlement figure is the amount that the ACC already collected by withholding shared conference revenues as a sort of down payment on the larger fee.
That means that each side now can walk away.
The 1984 game is a great, treasured piece of college football history.
And it has as much to do with the history of the Big Ten as the Wars of the Roses have to do with the history of the United States. Pity, too--I would have loved studying 15th-Century Plantagenet feuds in AP US History in high school. No beef with Maryland, but this seems a bit hard to adjust to.
Fearless Leader starts the column from SI's Stuart Mendel. He looks at population growth and says that B1G expansion isn't (only) about TV dollars, but about population trends too:
EDITED TITLE for easy visibility of Brian getting the article lead.
The Terrapins are a hard team to predict next year as they have a lot of experience along with youth. However, they did not finish all that well this year. I did not watch a whole lot of Maryland last year so I really do not know how they play. Maryland loses John Auslander to graduation. They also lose Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Roddy Peters, Dez Wells, and A.J. Metz who are transferring. This means losing:
When you bring in a top 10 recruiting class, which the Terps did, it is not all that hard to replace this production. Here is their senior laden roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
1 Evan Smotrycz 6-9 230 RS.SR. SF
OH Lobstrycz Smotrycz, I think we are all familiar enough with Evan. In his first year off the transfer Smotrycz started and averaged 11 points per game. His stellar handle and amazing defense will be tough to match this year. He is like Larry Bird but way better.
24 Jacob Susskind 6-5 200 SR. SF
The back-up Small Forward, will hold that role until Nickens takes it over. He only played in 5 games last year. This means he will be the back-up for like a game.
11 Varun Ram 5-9 150 SR. PG
The back-up Point Guard, a towering man. Just kidding, he is short. He only played in 16 games last year so a freshman passing him up is not a bad bet.
25 Jonathan Graham 6-8 220 SR. PF
The back-up Power Forward, played a limited role last year. Will most likely maintain that role.
15 Spencer Barks 6-9 225 SR. PF
Played in four games last year, will not get much more time this year.
0 Charles Mitchell 6-8 260 JR. C
A mountain of a man, the starting Center. He averaged six points and six rebounds per game last year. If he lost 10 pounds, he may be a real force.
12 Conner Lipinski 5-10 155 JR. PG
Only played in 3 games last year. Will be the third string Point Guard if it falls to that.
10 Jake Layman 6-8 205 JR. PF
The starting Power Forward, averaged 11.7 poins per game last year along with decent rebounding numbers.
4 Seth Allen 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard with a 13.4 points per game average last year. Will be their second go-to-guy.
35 Damonte Dodd 6-9 240 SO. C
The back-up Center for the beginning of the season. Will likely be moved down due to incoming freshman.
Jared Nickens 6-6 185 FR. SF
Their highest touted recruit, a four star that will no doubt play right away. He will eventually end up passing Susskind for his spot.
Trayvon Reed 7-1 215 FR. C
Needs to add weight but will no doubt play. Will pass up Dodd for his spot. He is a four star.
Romelo Trimble 6-3 180 FR. SG
The starting Shooting Guard with pretty polished skills. A four star.
Dion Wiley 6-4 200 FR. SG
The second string Shooting Guard, could play the two with Trimble at the one. Yet another four star.
Michal Cekovsky 7-0 220 FR. C
I say he is going to redshirt. He is an okay weight, but passing up a higher ranked center and a Sophomore is not that likely. When you can redshirt four stars you are doing okay for yourself.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Seth Allen
Shooting Guard: Romelo Trimble
Small Forward: Evan Smotrycz
Power Forward: Jake Layman
Center: Charles Mitchell
Michigan plays them at Maryland which will be a tough game. They are good at home, along with every other college basketball team.
This will be an experienced and talented team that may have a hard time winning on the road in the Big Ten. However, I think they will have some growing pains with the new officiating and finish 9-9 in the B1G which is good enough for 7th place.
Next up... Iowa
B1G released their scheduling guidelines for basketball moving forward with expansion to 14 teams next year: 5 double plays and 8 single plays with no protected rivals or geography in a true rotation. The regular season conference championship could be significantly impacted by schedule fortune.