...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
There is a nice article at "The Wolverine" on the win and the seniors last day, entitled "Here and now trumps the way we were."
(Edit: Bad link fixed.)
It must be very hard for Denard, Kovacs, Demens, and all the seniors to say goodbye to the Stadium for the last time as football players at Michigan. The last 5 years have been the most tumultuous of my tenure as a Michigan fan. I'm very glad to see the team where they are now, and I look forward to many good years to come. And I can't thank the seniors enough for all they've done. Bravo!
Here are the departing seniors as listed on the depth charts posted at the official Michigan State and Michigan websites:
SAM 50 Steve Gardiner (6-1, 224, Sr.-5)
FC 32 Mitchell White (5-11, 185, Sr.-5)
BC 5 JOHNNY ADAMS (5-11, 177, Sr.-5)
WR 21 Roy Roundtree (6-0, 180, 5th Sr.)
LG 52 Ricky Barnum (6-3, 296, 5th Sr.)
C 57 Elliott Mealer (6-5, 308, 5th Sr.)
RG 65 Patrick Omameh (6-4, 305, 5th Sr.)
TE 87 Brandon Moore (6-5, 268, 5th Sr.)
TE 81 Mike Kwiatkowski (6-5, 262, 5th Sr.)
QB 16 Denard Robinson (6-0, 197, Sr./Sr.)
FB 31 Paul Gyarmati (6-1, 234, 5th Sr.)
RB 2 Vincent Smith (5-6, 175, Sr./Sr.)
DT 73 Will Campbell (6-5, 308, Sr./Sr.)
DE 88 Craig Roh (6-5, 281, Sr./Sr.)
MLB 25 Kenny Demens (6-1, 242, 5th Sr.)
WLB 7 Brandin Hawthorne (6-0, 220, Sr./Sr.)
SS 32 Jordan Kovacs (6-0, 202, Sr./Jr.) [Should be listed as "5th Sr."]
SS 23 Floyd Simmons (6-0, 200, 5th Sr.)
RCB 8 J.T. Floyd (6-0, 183, 5th Sr.)
I just wanted to take this opportunity on Senior night to thank the seniors for what they have done for Michigan Basketball. It wasn't always pretty, or flashy, but these young men gave their everything for 4 years to help restore Michigan Basketball to its once proud state. It's a shame that their last home game was a loss, but they should know they will ALWAYS be appreciated and loved by Michigan fans. They are true Michigan Men.
Now let's win this thing with house money.
There have been numerous excellent diaries on the subject of recruiting prior to Rodriguez. I am not trying to replicate that work. However, I read a couple comments to the effect that, to paraphrase, "this is Rodriguez's team now, its year three and the Carr years should have little or no part in the discussion about how the team performs this year".
I agree that Rodriguez has to do the most with what he has. Also, I will stipulate that there have been some seriously questionable recruiting moves, like pursuing Demar Dorsey, that look terrible in hind sight.
That being said, I fear the reason we will go 7-5 this year is because of the defense. I was predicting 9-3 in the spring but I had Emelien, Woolfolk, Turner and Dorsey as our starting defensive backfield. Hell, last fall I expected us to be 10-2 or 11-1 in 2010 because I thought our starting backfied would be Turner, Woolfolk, Warren and Cissoko.
But I digress. The stat I wanted to highlight is starting 4th and 5th year players. The majority of excellent teams in the country are heavily weighted toward older starters. On defense, Michigan has four-Ezeh or Moundros, Mouton, VanBergen and Banks. (I expect Rogers to get beat out.). You can't blame the loss of Woolfolk or Warren on either Carr or Rodriguez, but I do blame Carr a little for not having any other 4th and 5th year guys to replace them.
Want to know what our competition looks like? On defense, 4th and 5th year players
We are still at a competative disadvantage on defense due to a lot of things that are out of Rodriguez's control. As Brian has argued in the past, a coach should probably get 4 years at least to get his program together so you can see what his seniors can do. Also, don't forget that Rodriguez's 3rd year players are mostly Carr's. So far only Martin has proven to be an impact player from that class on defense.