"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
Wheat, wheat, chaff. The last couple days have been very good for Michigan's tourney chances:
South Florida 70, Cinci 59 St. John's 59, Georgetown 56 Wake Forest 65, Maryland 63 North Carolina 86, Va Tech 78 Georgia 90, Kentucky 85 Mississippi State 80, Florida 71 Georgia Tech 78, Miami 68
The only bubble results to have gone against Michigan were in their own conference, with Ohio State narrowly escaping a late barrage of Iowa three attempts, Northwestern getting back on the bubble by winning at Purdue, and Minnesota possibly solidifying a bid by taking down Wisconsin. (New Mexico beating Utah is also Not Good, I guess.)
Some of those losses are horrible and those teams have basically eliminated themselves. Kentucky now has the #78 RPI and the #68 SOS; Miami is 6-9 in the ACC and 17-11 overall. This probably doesn't change the do-or-die nature of the Minnesota game, but it does significantly smooth the rails should Michigan pull off the mild upset.
Pendulum reverse. I don't know what's with Jay Bilas. Maybe he's been bludgeoned into saying nice things about Michigan by ESPN higher-ups. Maybe he values a win over Duke more than everyone else in the universe. Or maybe he's on a manic swing right now, because now whenever you get him on TV talking about the bubble he brings up Michigan as obviously in no matter what happens against Minnesota.
The only problem with this: it is almost certainly wrong.
Allow myself to introduce myself. Leon Hall, now of the Cincinnati Bengals, got a painting commissioned. Naturally, it's dedicated to how awesome Leon Hall is. The painter put up a time-lapse video of its construction and decided to set it to the least appropriate music ever (it's SFW, just all about how awesome Ohio is*):
Um, well, okay. Varsity Blue's odd new series profiling each of the Michigan commits who didn't end up signing provides a jumping-off point for a final review of how Michigan's class was impacted.
The dastardly defectors are at right. There is one obvious push: Will Campbell's quasi-defection. McNeal and Stokes are also about equal in the eyes of the recruiting services. At quarterback, Newsome, Beaver, Forcier, and Robinson all exist outside of top 100 lists but in that 100-250 range; pick your preferences there. Some people don't think Robinson is a quarterback, but that goes for Newsome, too. That's basically a push.
Then you have the strange cases of DeWayne Peace and Jordan Barnes. Neither is anything more than a replacement-level recruit for Michigan, so the loss there is not so much in the talent of the player lost but the scholarship that will go to waste this year. That's a small cost, but one that it appeared Michigan was willing to take when it dropped out of contact with Barnes, who eventually ended up at Oklahoma State, and told Peace they wanted him to play corner—something Peace had told the coaches he didn't want to do. That VB article highlights one of the blunter quotes I've heard from a coach on signing day: "sometimes a kid does you a favor when he decommits." Barnes and Peace would fit into that category.
Kicker Anthony Fera was replaced by Brendan Gibbons, and that's likely to be a small downgrade. Fera was rated higher by the recruiting services and was Michigan's first choice. Gibbons is a few slots lower. Given how erratic kicker rankings are—which says more about kickers than the rankings—it's not a big deal.
So we've dismissed or replaced everyone on the list until we get to the last two: defensive tackles DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves, signing-day decommits Michigan did not have time to replace. Signing just one defensive tackle this year is a major bummer, and there had been rumors swirling around the two for months before they finally pulled the trigger. Michigan was caught with its pants down there. (Larry Harrison jokes in the comments will be downgraded for low SOS.)
Hockey at the Big House: Michigan State is in; the Wings are out.
ho do we know that defensive tackles DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves, signing-day decommits Michigan did not have time to replace.
I find it hard to believe that Rod thought those two would end up at Michigan and was caugth with his pants down.
Who else could he have gotten to "replace" them.
Given their shaky status and visiting other schools (something Rod has stated in the past leads him to believe a kid is not actually committed) if there were other targets out there, Rod would have been recruiting them.
So, while those decommits really hurt our depth, they do not necessary suggest to me that they caught Rod by surprise.
Rod did not stop recruiting qbs when Newsome and Beaver first committed and I am sure he did not do so (unless there really was no viable target) when Graves and Jones were technically "committed."
That Simmons column really made it all seem real. For those of us that haven't lost our house, been laid off or really "felt" the magnitude of the current situation personally it really makes you think about what lies ahead. It is sad.
or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.