"The amount of professionalism that he has ... there's probably not another guy in the country that would have handled it the same way," Durkin said. "He's not only one of the best coaches in the country, he's one of the best people. He absolutely has the respect of everyone -- coaches and players, alike."
"I don’t care if Jim Harbaugh is medically insane (he is), if you run the coach out of town who took your team from absolute embarrassing garbage-pail irrelevance to conference-dominating powerhouse in ZERO YEARS, you are not only stupid, you don’t care about winning."
College Cup! Congratulations to the men's soccer team, which upset #2 seed Maryland 3-2 with their second golden goal of the NCAA tournament to advance to their first-ever College Cup. That's amazingly-named freshman Fabio Pereira Villas Boas about to slot home the winner above. He is from Brazil. Of course he his. Michigan survived a 33-18 shot deficit, surging from 1-0 down to 2-1 ahead before conceding a late equalizer and setting up the above moment. I wish I could have seen it.
Television beckons, albeit at odd hours: Michigan takes on Akron at 11 PM Friday*. The other semi is #1 Louisville vs #4 North Carolina and is at 8:30. All the information you could possibly need about watching or attending has been compiled by I Blue Myself.
It will be tough for Michigan. They're the only lower-seeded team to make the final four in a chalky tournament and are taking on the team that destroyed them 7-1 earlier this year. I'm not sure if these guys are still around but last year the US took a youth international team to the Milk Cup and literally every Akron starting defender made the team and I think three of them started. The Zips survived penalty kicks to advance against Cal in a 3-3 game but have lost just once this year and are 20-1-2.
*(This is the correct day this time. I did not check my email and found out the soccer game was Saturday literally as I sat down at Crisler.)
Jimmy Johnson approves, and if you get this reference you watch too much television at odd hours and have no excuse about not watching the soccer game. Amongst the many events of the weekend was the Attack Of The Futile Contract Extensions at Stanford and—for some reason this keeps getting brought up on Michigan boards—San Diego State. SDSU's Brady Hoke signed a five year extension after turning the Aztecs into an okay Mountain West program. Jim Harbaugh has had the moon and stars put on a plate by the Stanford AD.
These are for show, conveniently timed so that no one can FOIA the contracts and find out the buyout provisions that really establish how much of a commitment is being made both ways. Stanford's a private institution and isn't vulnerable to the FOIA either but still, if Harbaugh sticks around it's not going to be because of anything the Stanford AD can offer but chooses not to. FWIW, the Stanford AD said this:
Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has made a pre-emptive offer to sweeten Jim Harbaugh's contract before the coach even gets offered other jobs.
"We have a proposal in front of Jim and he's indicated he plans to accept it," Bowlsby said Sunday. "He's got this year and four more on his contract. I expect that he will be our coach in the foreseeable future."
It is Harbaugh or bust for people hoping to replace Rodriguez this offseason—Michigan's playing the other hot coaching name of the offseason in the bowl game, and past Dan Mullen the pickings are slim as long as the guys at mid-major powers are hanging onto their jobs with a death grip.
Speaking of the bit about being at Crisler. Aside from the ten minute stretch where Michigan literally did not score for two commercial breaks and watched Harvard go on a 17-3 run, that was fun. Unfortunately, ten minutes is a quarter of a basketball game. Various small items:
Michigan spent the entire game in man to man and never offered help to the guy checking Harvard's elbow-happy but extremely effective center, even when that guy was Evan Smotrycz. He blew up. I was a little peeved by the lack of adjustment there. I may have to take back my thing about how Morgan is a really good defender. He got worked multiple times; now I'm guessing that Clemson's big guys aren't very good and Morgan will have a more conventional baptism by fire as a freshman. McLimans did have a sweet block.
Vogrich makes me cringe every time he puts the ball on the floor but at least he nailed both of his wide open looks.
The offense stood in contrast to the post defense, as they struggled mightily through the first half and then found a barrage of backdoor cuts and sweet assists in the second half. It seemed like Beilein knew what Harvard was doing and how to attack it but couldn't get the team to respond until he had 15 minutes to explain it to his young team. Michigan responded with an eFG of 69% in the second half and that could have been better if Michigan hadn't missed about four layups.
The short/homely referees are always the bad ones. They got into refereeing because the quickest way to get revenge on the universe is to annoy thousands of people packed in one place. It's always the ugly guys.
The game did not set a record for most missed wide open corner threes, but it sure seemed headed that way after ten minutes.
I do not miss Manny Harris at all. He was great and all that but watching him play was frustrating. His junior year reminded me of Al Montoya's. Both were supremely talented but checked out mentally because they wanted to play for dollars and made a mistake by returning. Montoya was a mess; Harris got suspended for something or other in practice and never met a lazy three pointer he didn't like en route to another year with impressive numbers as long as you don't look at the eFG%.
This team is probably going to be as good as last year's—let that sink in.
Also, let me express my special frustration at Tommy Amaker, who waited until he left Michigan to become a controversial but effective recruiter (for the Ivy League, anyway) and tactical wizard. Beilein:
“Tommy (Amaker) just took us out of everything,” Beilein said. “We had to put in a lot of specials. I watched the film, painfully, from three years ago when we played them and they had a similar attack defensively. So we had to do some different things.
“Not that all of it worked.”
Rest assured that if Rodriguez does get let go he'll go to Clemson and wreck fools.
UMHoops also has a new post type featuring key plays. Here's one that demonstrates the difference between Morris 2009 and Morris 2010:
As he continues to develop he should start asserting more authority over the offense. With Amaker's tactical wizardry stalling out the offense for big chunks of the first half he should have taken more control.
Higher than him on the list are Some Person You've Never Heard Of and various Penn State Players Who Never Played In The Big Ten, but whatever.
It makes sense. The Big Ten announced it is not going to put together a silly 14 or 16 team super conference and is set at 12. Hurray. For one last bout of madness: a theory. The WAC and Mountain West should be one conference with two divisions that uses promotion and relegation in the hopes the top conference can get a BCS bid.
Etc.: You can cease your theories about January first being a magic day that saves the U a million and a half hypothetical Rodriguez buyout dollars. Michigan has to provide "30 days written notice" if they make a move. I'm with MVictors anyway: that's chump change in the scheme of things. Michigan learned the hard way last time that doing the usual legal settlement dance causes local columnists to freak out unless John Beilein is involved.
is almost a bit absurd because he's their best player and he produces across the board. He would have had a higher assist numbers if his teammates can just knock down wide open shots.
Part of the reason why he seems to shoot the ball a lot is he has to do it if Michigan needs to win a game. Beside DeShawn Sims, there's no one who can take a consistent scoring load off both Manny's back. Both of the duo did lead Michigan back to the NCAA tournament appearance.
As you can see when Manny see time on the floor with the Cavs, he's not taking stupid shots. You know why? He doesn't need to because there are other players who can score for the Cavs. As a result, Manny is scoring in a more efficiently than he did at Michigan. IMO, his FG% and shot selection were a result of not having an consistent scorer beside Manny and Sims.
I respect your opinion and you certainly are not alone,
but I agree with Brian on this one. I was a Manny fan, but at times he became a black hole on the court and others just stood around waiting for him to try to drive through a double team or jack up a long off-balance shot (which had less chance of going in than a Stu or Zack shot) IMHO.
are better off without Manny last year? Michigan would be lucky to win 15 games last year. Without him, they're at best a 10 win team.
Manny has been dishing out passes to wide open players only to see them miss it. That has to be discourging for Manny because he has to do more than he is capable of. If Michigan were able to knock down open shots, Manny wouldn't have to feel the need to shoot the ball so much.
Well they are a better team. They aren't just 1.5 players (either Manny or Sims were only 1/2 awake at any time) with 3.5 players standing in the way. This is a team. They might not have NBA type talent but 1-10 they are a better unit that last year and that's much more important. Look at the difference between 08-09 and 09-10. Our 08-09 success was due to players like C.J. Lee who had little talent (compared to someone like Harris) but had heart and were team players.
I know this cliche is way over used but sometimes teams are better because of subtraction. This team is better.
And nobody said that last year's team would have been better without Manny. We think that this year's team is better than last year's with included MH.
I am 44 years old, have played or coached football the majority of my adult life and have NEVER uttered the following words.
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
Maybe I am a bit foggy in my memory, but I always remember him being a guy who could coach defense well. I remember thinking early in his tenure "Well, he gets these young guys to play defense, now if only they can get better as they mature and develop on the offensive side we'll have a good team."
Four years later the same guys were standing around for 30 seconds before chucking up an ill advised shot. Amaker always struck me as a guy who was a solid recruiter and defensive coach but who had no plan when it came to putting points on the board.
Anecdotal evidence for sure, but something that always impressed me with Amaker's teams (and is in general a sign of good coaching) is coming out of time outs. Michigan almost always (that i remember) scored after a TO from Tommy. He'd coach them up, draw up a successful play, and it would work.
FWIW, I think JB does this well also
"Over? Did you say, over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
I invited Coach Harbaugh to my wedding. He did not attend.
Maybe I was thinking "we should be good out of time outs" and we weren't. You're probably right. As a Bulls fan I've had enough awful coaching over the last few years that it all kind of blends together
"Over? Did you say, over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
I invited Coach Harbaugh to my wedding. He did not attend.
Yeah, he was a pretty decent defensive coach. He was particularly good at teaching on-the-ball defense on the perimeter. His offense was the problem. There would be movement, but no apparent purpose to it. Guys would make cuts 25 feet from the basket, but there was never a backdoor to punish teams from overpursuit. We'd always commit a ton of turnovers. I never understood what we were trying to accomplish offensively.
The turnovers during the Amaker era used to drive me crazy. It was not unusual for the team to have 20 turnovers or more in a game. As bad as Michigan played at times against Harvard, they still had only 14 turnovers for the game. They're averaging 12.6 per game this year, which is pretty good for such a young team, and one that is often criticized for its lack of ball-handlers. One thing I like about Beilein is that his teams typically do not turn the ball over at a high rate and usually have a good assist-to-turnover ratio.
I thought Amaker's goal on offense was to make the defense dizzy watching constant cycling outside the 3 point line. It's the equivalent of the Red Wings deciding to cycle constantly at center ice with no interest of moving into the offensive zone.
Either that or Amaker tried to bore the defense (and fans) into a deep sleep and then make a move. Sadly for him the shot clock goes off every other minute waking everyone up.
I agree. And what about Anthony Carter, 3 time All-American.
What was he, something like # 38? I did not see the introduction to this series. Did they ever explain how the icons were selected or who did the selecting? I often wonder about these list (like when ESPN or the Sporting News does one) naming the 20 Greatest, or the all time 50 Best, etc. It is just someones opinion and a reason for selling more magazines or air time.
honestly I'm not sure Carter has a place on the list. With 8 schools going back 110 years, OSU almost 100, and MSU "only" a little under 60 (if Penn State has anyone on the list, it should probably be Russ Rose), it's hard to argue more than 3 or 4 per school, and even if all of Michigan's choices came from football, I don't think A.C. would be one of them. He's just a really good player that's easier to recall than, say, Mark Harmon's dad.
And was the second paragraph on the coaches contracts worded confusingly?
And I don't know that Harvard is really wrecking any fools, but whatever on that analogy. (I mean, wouldn't it be more like if Rich took over ....the San Diego State job?)
Etc: Obviously Brian didn't pay any attention to the thread on the 30 day notice here on MGoBlog, where it was pretty clearly pointed out that you could give 30 day notice January 2, and have him doing any necessary mowing of the Field Turf at Michigan Stadium as his job, and hire someone else. All's it means is he gets paid for 30 more days, not that they can't fire him.
soccer game, and just want to say to anyone who lives in southern california, you need to go see this team play on friday. it was the most fun ive had at a non-football, michigan sporting event (ie hockey, basketball). we had a great showing, probably about 1/4-1/3 of the stadium, and we were definitely not your "typical down in front crowd"
anyways, maryland dominated the shots, but soccer is about being opportunistic. the bottom line is, we finished and they didnt. sure this team looks outmatched at paper, but i wouldnt be so quick to count them out. watching the game saturday, you'd think that 'someone' was looking out for this team, though i guess we'll see how long their luck can keep going. either way, i can all but guarantee the game will be much closer than the 7-1 beatdown earlier in the year.
I was reading that basketball segment thinking, a. I'm pissed I forgot to watch the game Saturday and b. I'm pissed we lost because it sure sounds like it. So I went over to espn.com and saw that we won.
Brian's critique doesn't take into account the possibility that Harvard might actually have a pretty good basketball team. Last year, Amaker led them to the most wins in school history--21. Before the game, the Harvard players were quoted as gunning to get a victory for their coach against the school from which he was fired.
FWIW, IIRC Stu was the best player with the most hustle when I saw them in Belgium, so I'm not surprised he did well vs Harvard. Great to see Morris is developing, too. His folks said they'd changed his shot mechanics and he was still getting used to it over the summer--maybe now he's gotten there.
He is Missisippi State's head coach though. So he does have experience. He took over Miss St last year and has since gone 13-11 in two years. He doesn't have much HC experience but he does have some.
Maybe you're thinking of Auburn's OC Gus Malzahn who is being mentioned as an up and coming coach. I understand the HC experience sentiment but all good HC didn't start as HC and got their start somewhere. Malzahn will be the real deal and I'd hate to just ignore him because he's only a coordinator. If JH or Mullen is the better option so be it, just don't overlook someone because they don't meet a secondary requirement.