You can definitely see the year by year improvement under Beilein and the generally terrible Ellerbe years. Amaker is missing from the charts though.
Hokepoints and the Bouncing Bandwagon
Left: Leon Jones doing a thing that kind of resembles defense while a teammate goes in search of somebody to foul. Right: Dani Wohl when fully assembled.
So let's get a thing straight: I'm not the basketball guy around here.
When I was a wee little freshman on the Daily the seniors were busy exposing the Ed Martin scandal and Michigan was busy carousing and hacking their way through an unwatchable season. For those reasons I didn't go to my first game as a student until Christmas Break of sophomore year ('99-'00), when LaVell Blanchard, Jamal Crawford, Kevin Gaines and Leon Jones dropped 98 on Towson in a student-less Crisler. They didn't play defense then either—unless fouling counts as such—but they were young, and fast (when Ellerbe didn't make them play Bo Ryan ball), and most importantly they were winning.
Winning makes everything likeable. Recruiting red flags were full-page Chris Duprey personality features on overcoming adversity. Rumors of goonish behavior (e.g. Jamal Crawford fighting one of the assistant coaches in November) were evidence of personality and competitiveness (or that coach's fault). Michigan could face anybody except Duke and expect to win, and Duke we made close.
When the students got back Michigan went on a brutal losing streak, ending the regular season with a 114-63 curb-stomp courtesy of Cleaves et al. in EL. Gaines got into a fistfight on the side of
US-23 [EDIT: M-39], Crawford had to leave for the NBA, and we were off to mediocrity.
The first sign of post-Fisher life proved to be just the first of several high-water marks in a long and terrible ice age. In this one I learned to make references to Leon Jones and complain intelligently about Crawford's de facto forced departure. In another I got some stories about Horton as a freshman and Amaker-era student traditions. In another it was Dion Harris and Courtney Sims. Then suddenly it's a different Harris and Sims and I have to ask someone "whatever happened to that big guy we were excited about—Ekpe Udoh or something. Oh he did transfer after all? I missed that." Then I learned this Harris's name was actually Corperryale L'Adorable. Then he argued with Beilein and here we go again. A chart of that:
SRS is sports-reference.com's "Simple Rating System" and is meant to represent that team's expected points differential versus an average team.
There's a small segment of the fanbase who stuck it out even when Michigan's backcourt was down to the heart of Dani Wohl plus a few other functioning body parts of Dani Wohl. Dani today would tell you that was a good investment that's now paying off with a high return, but that's because he doesn't understand why anyone should be afraid of a little pain.
There were entire stretches of Ellerbe and Amaker when this team basically dropped off my plane of interest. Like many others squishing into a crowded bandwagon since Beilein's ceiling started to look an awful lot like the sky, I've had to play a little catch-up. I got about 75% through putting together an all-drought team, but then I stumbled onto the same thing by AC1997 in 2009. So…yeah…an article on this. Well I made a database and some charts to visualize the stats to help me put "Back" in perspective, so have those I guess.
The Family Measuring Shtick
We've yet to face MSU in the Big Ten Tournament so the head-to-heads since '89 are all regular season matchups. Here's what that looks like:
Click for bigger. The blowout in East Lansing this year was the worst of the series except for the three-year span that began with the afore mentioned 2000 thing.
I tried but couldn't find historic league averages (the above was calculated from Bentley's stats) and compiling them myself would have taken too much time, but you should know that non-Wisconsin teams in the Big Ten averaged 71 to 85 points a game in 1989, and this year that spread is 59 to 82.
EDIT: I forgot to post the 3's chart. Treys chart. Trips chart.
They're not going in any more often, but there's more of 'em. That's a good thing. The 3-point line was moved back a foot for the 2008-'09 season, so that may have depressed the numbers after Beilein's first year and made that 46.8% in 1989 seem even further from possible.
On the Road:
This makes me feel a little better: it's really hard to win NCAA basketball games on the road. Wait until after Indiana to declare anything about how well we fare at Crisler. By the way I forgot to label: the Y-axis is # of games.
Details for home (left), neutral (right) and road (below) sites:
It's just hard to win on the road.
Have at it:
The database is here if you'd like to piddle around and find more things.
DERP. lemme fix.
Pretty much the only time I bother commenting on this site is when someone takes unneccessary shots at Manny Harris.
Can we please stop with the Manny and Coach hate each other crap? So, right, Manny got benched once or twice by Beilein. Other people on that list:
Zack Novak (kind of, was suspended by league)
If nothing else, Beilein has proven time and again that he loves benching his team's star player.
Manny has been back to watch a game, and made his love for Michigan clear with his comments on the day he declared.
FURTHER(!), all the talk about lack of leadership in 2010 is the most overblown thing in existence. People who got angry with Manny's step back 3s need to go look and see what Zack (.306) and Stu (.329) shot from 3 that year. In 2010 there was a talent issue much more than a leadership issue. Bless Stu and Zack I love those guys, but they were pretty crappy basketball players as sophomores. Peedi had a slow start to the year, and Manny was hurt a lot of the year.
When Manny was given team MVP, he insisted he share the award with Peedi. He always seemed like a pretty good kid to me.
I didn't mean to say he's a bad kid. I do think he had his spats with Beilein (which is understandable since he wasn't recruited by him) and probably went pro earlier than he should have because of it.
Crawford footnote to the body. I never knew the precise nature of the souldong punching we received there, and I'll bet others will find it worth two-three more lines of read time.
You look back on it and you see that the train could have arrived at this junction/juncture sooner.
That was my freshman year and you can't overstate how much that hurt. Crawford quickly became the most popular player on the team. The suspension came on the heels of rumors that he wanted to transfer to Washington, those were put to rest IIRC, and then the suspension. Which by the way was the day before the home game against MSU that year.
One last thing, the Crawford suspension was a definite reaction to the Ed Martin scandal. Michigan was hypersensitive about committing a violation and so they investigated when Crawford registered his used Mercedes. That led to the investigation which led to the living arrangement Set discussed being discovered.
If a player was getting into a fight with Ellerbe, I'm not sure I WOULDN'T blame in on the coaches. Ellerbe had a confrontational, I'm coach at Michigan who are you to question even though I lucked into the job with horrible credentials, kind of prickily nature, that I'm guessing he didn't just shut off with players.
At least his tenure looks like a block ][V][.
With Josh Moore and Avery Queen and various MIP charges was on M39 (Southfield Fwy), not US-23.
I was all set to argue with you then I looked it up. Yup, Southfield. Nice catch. This is one of those things I could have gotten away with before internet.
Not that the location matters, but I looked this up too. (I lived in California at the time and have no recollection of any of this.)
Two news reports at the time place the event on Telephgraph (M-24) in Taylor.
I live just off Telegraph (closer to pontiac). Nobody calls it M-24. I found a Daily article that says M-39. Either way it's by the airport.
No one calls the Southfield M-39 either (or at least they didn't use to when I lived in metro Detroit).
No biggie. The event, however, is crazy. I had forgotten (or maybe never appreciated) how out of control the program had gotten.
I used to live in Southfield. People from Southfield call it M-39. We also call Lahser "Lasher" -- and the 'a' in that word is so flat you can make paaaaaaancakes with it. This probably comes from trying to block Gabe Watson in high school.
I looked up dani wohl to refresh my memory and was reminded how talented the 03-04 team seemed. BRJ, Horton, pre injurys Lester Abram, Graham Brown, Courtney Sims, Chris Hunter, young Dion Harris and Petway. Man, I remember that team like yesterday, sophmore year of HS, I just started driving, going to the UCLA game Christmas break, fun run through the NIT championship, high hopes for Michigan's return the years to come. Then Horton gets suspended Abrams gets injured and never comes back the same, Sims never really reaches his potential, Ron Colemen recruiting class and we struggle through mediocrity for 4 or 5 years more.
Thanks Seth, this is great.
I remember when I was a student (Amaker was fired when I was a senior) I watched and (obviously) rooted for the bball team, but everyone just had this down energy and expectations of failure. As Eric in Dayton recently pointed out, you can go too far in the other direction, but boy-o-boy have I enjoyed these successful years.
I guess I'm lucky, I stopped paying attention to basketball when Louis Bullock was still around and didnt start paying attention again until the beginning of last year. Just didn't have cable and watching on the internet didnt become a thing (at least as far as I knew) until recently.
State beat us by over 50 points in 2000?!? I'm glad I have no memory of this.
It was awful.
State was throwing alley-oops and cherry-picking for long outlet passes to push it to 50. It was obnoxious and infuriating, and the worst part is that we were every bit as awful as the score looked. Crawford had already been declared ineligible, and the wheels had long since come off the bus.
But your database has the 2012 Big Ten Tournament games marked as home games. I was wondering why your graph showed us with more than one home loss last year...
Wow. Good stuff. I remember watching all 'that' through late middle school and high school. Except I kind of don't. I had to Google Image Avery Queen and Lester Abrams to remember what they looked like (Jamal Crawford too, just because I wanted to see how he looked compared to now, an NBA guy, him).
I have no clue who Dani Wohl is. I thought it was McGary at first (reverse-stereotyping?).
Way too conceptual, again.
Is this still a funny joke or has it been too long?