"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez did not address the possible position switch in his pre-practice meeting with the media, and it’s unclear where Woolfolk will play Saturday against Iowa.
I'm not sure if I like that or not. Woolfolk might allow the corners to press up more, but can Williams play deep centerfield?
The Ill-Fated Punt.MVictors has an excellent clip from Rodriguez's press conference in which he explains what happened on that punt. It is as suggested: Michigan has a rugby call, which they made, that always has a read element, which Mesko botched. A couple emailers suggested that Rodriguez's honesty about the call constituted throwing Zoltan under the bus, but if you listen to the clip it's clear that he's doing nothing of the sort. He does sound pretty baffled by the whole thing, as was everyone.
According to co-founders of the group, juniors Jamie Fogel and Chuck Boyer, organized trips to games in East Lansing, Madison, Sault Ste. Marie and Toledo are in the works. The group also plans to have buses available for the Great Lakes Invitational tournament at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Dec. 29.
"Some of this will obviously depend on how involved people get and whether or not people want to take the initiative," Fogel said. "But this is also something that will eventually grow, because it’s only the first year."
The Madison game is the outdoor one. I'm all for Michigan becoming a team that travels to reasonably nearby places and takes over. Munn should be deliciously empty this year, ripe for someone to come in and make any noise whatsoever, shocking all in attendance.
It will always be in Florida. It will always be against the SEC. When the bowl realignments were tentatively announced in late August, the Gator Bowl entered our lives. The Big Ten #4 was supposed to get the ACC #3, and everyone kind of shrugged. Everyone above .500 in the conference plays on New Year's Day, the Big Ten plays up, annoyingly, everything's the same lalala.
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl is on the verge of announcing a deal that will bring a Southeastern Conference team vs. a Big Ten team to the New Year's Day bowl game at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, from 2010-2013.
Out goes the ACC. In comes the SEC, and everyone groans at Yet Another Big Ten-SEC New Year's Day In Florida matchup. One twist: the Gator still gets the Big Ten #4, but it's stooping all the way to the SEC #6(!), which means that for the first time the Big Ten is playing down in a bowl game instead of up. So there's that. Last year Northwestern would have taken on Vanderbilt, which sounds like a horrendous New Year's game but a fantastic opportunity to buff up the ol' bowl record.
Breakin' ankles. Via UMHoops, some tantalizing highlights of Darius Morris:
He is now Angerererererererery. Starting Iowa linebacker and obviously fake person who only exists in a movie script Pat Angerer has torn ligaments in his thumb and will wear a cast on Saturday. This (very) marginally increases Michigan's chances of victory. If Tate Forcier throws a ball at Angerer or Robinson darts into him, the folk in question may escape with their lives. But really I'm just mentioning it for this:
"You don't need thumbs,'' he said. "My best friend is my brother's dog. He doesn't have any thumbs and he's doing fine.''
That is all.
Something between advertisin' note and horror. There are Michigan-themed Snuggies at the M-Den now. Get one for the Michigan-biased Big Ten ref you love best today!
Diiirty. Remember that Rick Nash goal that Lucas Lessio reportedly scored in an OPJHL game? Yeah, UMGoBlog found it:
"Watch out, Sydney Crosby" is a bit much but daaaang.
Rodriguez gave his all-american senior punter a chance to read a punt on fourth and inches and the punter made the wrong decision. Rodriguez explicitly states that it is on the coaches to make sure he understands what the parameters are for a run instead of punt. Zoltan made a mistake. People asked him a direct question. He dolled out blame both ways and then immediately says that Zoltan has read it perfectly in the past and that he is one of the best punters in the nation. I don't understand what more you can want.
The E:60 piece is unbelievable. I'm obviously familiar with the story (as is any UM fan), but really, really well done (and incredibly sad).
On the lighter note - if RichRod threw Zoltan under the bus (or anything of that nature), it's fair to say, then, that no coach can ever suggest a player made a mistake. I mean, really, RichRod is essentially asked if he called for a fake, he explains what he called and notes that Mesko (obviously) made a bad read. I suppose he could say, "My fault for giving him the read"... but that's not very sincere, right? I mean, Mesko is given the read a lot and has earned the staff's trust in the past making it, no?
To be clear - I'm fine criticizing RR for giving Mesko the option. But to criticize him for saying he gave Mesko the option and that Mesko made the wrong read doesn't make sense.... Mesko obviously made the wrong read. If Tate throws a pick on the previous third down on a read option with the bubble option, you can criticize RR for allowing Tate to even throw the ball there, but can you criticize him on top of that for saying "he had two reads - the DE, and the CB covering the bubble... obviously he made the wrong read on the CB" when it would be obvious anyway (INT)?
If the Mealer piece doesn't at least bring a tear to your eye, then put out an ad for your lost soul. It just goes to show that football isn't just X's and O's, and can be a medium for healing as it has been for Mealer and his family. Well done. I hope to see this kid get more playing time in the future, and the best to him and his family and loved ones.
"Blame no one. Expect nothing. Do something. That is attitude." -Bo
Yup. As Brian said, the NCAA made games in Alaska exempt from the limit as a way to encourage teams to make the trip out there. Usually teams turn the extra two games they get into a non-conference series at home, which is additional revenue. The Michigan vs Wisconsin game is exempt from the limit because it's the US Hockey Hall of Fame game, though I have no idea why they decided to give that game each year an exemption.
...I've now watched that hockey video about a dozen times -- and the ending probably twice that -- and still have no idea what happened. I think I'm going to have to take it on faith that it was an awesome play
I'll try to describe it.... when the puck bounced off the end boards and came to Lessio, he was basically standing on the goal line, right next to the net, and facing said end boards. The average player is going to try to take the puck, spin to his left, and get a shot off that way. But that takes time and space to do. Lessio (and Nash before him) took a short cut. He let the puck come to him and then go between his feet and behind him. At the same time, he essentially took his stick, turned it completely around (while keeping his hands in position), and stuck the blade between his legs in order to shoot the puck. The shot came from behind his body with the stick between his legs. This is much harder to do, but it takes less time and ice to execute, assuming you can actually do it.
"...play 12 plus a bowl plus two extra weeks to determine a playoff champion?"
Also: the difference in the number of games played between football and any other sport occurs at every level, so I don't see how it's a valid playoff argument. Michigan high school football teams play a maximum of 14 games including playoffs, while high school hockey teams will play 30+. Pro football teams may play 20 games, while pro hockey teams can play upwards of 100. This isn't anything new.
I have watched it three times now and it just tears at your heart. My wife was crying when I watched it with her. Even my moron Sparty friend shed a tear when I made him watch it. This story got a lot of press in NW Ohio and SE Michigan when it happened. Such a terrible tragedy and such wonderful families, including the Mealer's new Michigan family.
Happy are those who dream dreams and pay the price for them to come true
the MVictors citation Brian offers for the audio draws the opposite conclusion -- that is, that RichRod asked Zoltan to go out and decide whether to punt or run, and, when it went bad, promptly said "Gee, normally he's really good at it." This is not the first time Rodriguez has tried to shift blame. See, for example, Departure from WVa (specious fraud lawsuit); Overpracticing allegations (speaks about his "respect for Steve Barwis" and implicit outrage that Steve Barwis would be accused of violating NCAA regulations when no one is alleging that Steve Barwis is responsible for compliance).
I am surprised at the equivocal response on this from the fan base. Zoltan has been literally the only world class thing about Michigan football over the last 17 games. He has punted us into a chance many times. To send him out there on a rainy, blustery day and say "if you see a seam, go for it" and then burn him when it doesn't go well is totally outrageous. I'm still a supporter overall, but I moved Rodriguez down a big click in my book after this happened. You never burn your own guys. Heck, even if Zoltan was totally at fault, the coach's job is to go out there and say "That's on me -- I wasn't clear with Zoltan. He's a gamer and tried to do something to get us started and I should have been clearer with him that this was a punt only situation. It was a bad play on my part." I don't even get the debate on this.
I get that some people think there should not have been an option to run, but I don't have any problem giving your all-american senior punter the option. Zoltan made a mistake. I see no reason for Rodriguez to hide that fact. In no way do I think he tried to shift blame. In fact, Rodriguez did take some of the blame saying that he and the other coaches need to make sure the players know what the parameters of a read are.
And I think you are absolutely wrong that he tried to shift blame in previous situations. And by the way his name is Mike Barwis. WTF. Are you a troll, or what?
We are throwing some good support to Brabbs? There are no 57 jerseys? What about a 57 tshirt? Get something setup for him to get a Brick at the stadium or something for his loved ones. We have some smart people here, thoughts?
I know I got $20-$25 for one... It's a step up for this blog agreed but it would be nice to do something for someone joining our family...