“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He’s making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He’s got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."
Conference play has come, and Big Ten teams can safely retreat to their thunderdomes to clobber each other in peace, insulated from the braying mockery of the national media. There is still upheaval. Michigan has fallen apart. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke have been confined to the Touliers Palace.
Beilein knows talent. This is a meme that's been gone over before in this space and Trey Burke is an obvious addition to Beilein's list of who-dat finds. But do you remember Kevin Pangos? Michigan was after the Ontario point guard and possible marsupial early($) despite his low recruiting profile; other offerees at that time were UNLV, Temple, and Portland.
Pangos ended up at Gonzaga, where he's been statistically better than Trey Burke, albeit against considerably weaker competition. He's shooting 40% from 3 on 105 attempts, 51% from two, has excellent assist and turnover rates, gets to the line, and has pretty good usage. It all adds up to the #47 player in O-rating as a freshman point guard.
Pangos is another of Beilein's many low-rated targets that ended up tearing it up wherever they ended up. See also: Joe Trapani, Kyle Kuric (low usage but a 45% three point shooter a year ago), Klay Thompson (who shot a ludicrous third of WSU's attemps last year and still managed to hit 40% from 3), and Robin Benzing, not to mention the players he's actually recruited like Burke, Hardaway, Novak, etc. Add in the increased profiles of Stauskas and Robinson and it seems like mid-majors should be following Beilein around to see who he doesn't end up with. This will be a tough task since Michigan's 2013 class is already full.
FWIW, Casey Prather is a rare Beilein evaluation miss. He's struggling to get on the floor at Florida and is just 8 of 33 from two this year.
Youth is wasted on the green. John Niyo has a column on the Michigan-Michigan State game that repeats a few of Izzo's hangdog assertions in the aftermath of the M win, most prominently in the headline (which Niyo, of course, did not write):
Michigan State hurt by lack of experience
…Lost in their surprising 15-game winning streak and run to a top-10 national ranking was the fact the Spartans' depth and chemistry -- both vastly improved over last year's dysfunctional bunch -- still are reliant on what Izzo not-so-affectionately calls his "three-and-a-half freshmen."
That'd be first-year players Travis Trice, Branden Dawson and Brandan Kearney, as well as senior transfer Brandon Wood. And with the exception of Kearney's cameo, none of them looked the slightest bit comfortable as they stepped into the fray Tuesday against a Michigan squad that's no longer afraid of its in-state sibling.
Wood had the most disastrous showing, starting with some wild 3-point attempts early and ending with a crucial defensive breakdown late. But he was hardly alone.
"I thought our young guys really looked young," said Izzo, who wasn't in the mood to say much about the young guy for Michigan (freshman guard Trey Burke) who really looked great. "The inexperience hurt us."
Niyo does nod to Michigan's general lack of Grizzly Adams beards, but just to clarify, Michigan is actually younger than Michigan State this year. Kenpom ranks M 222nd in average age*; Michigan State is 198. The difference is negligible. If you want to argue Brandon Wood is "half a freshman" that still doesn't make him younger or more likely to have eligibility next year, when Michigan loses Novak and Douglass versus State losing Green, Wood, and Thornton. The age thing isn't going to be much different next year.
*[This is adjusted for minutes, so Brundidge's existence doesn't count for much since his minutes are few. Burke, on the other hand…]
The balm of Payne. A guy named Chris Mackinder does defensive box scores that are pretty interesting, if difficult to interpret. His output for the MSU game:
And explanation of his numbers can be found at the Audacity of Hoops. The numbers don't make total sense to me. Novak was largely tasked with Draymond Green. Green takes 27% of MSU shots when he's on the floor; in this game he managed only 17%, scoring seven points on eight shots with five turnovers to three assists. Even if those turnovers were largely forced by other players it doesn't make much sense that the numbers claim he was the worst Michigan defender. Apparently he got blamed for over-helping. Meanwhile Hardaway makes out okay because he guarded Thornton for half the game. We'll see what Ace says.
Even so, it's interesting to look at 1) the abject cluelessness of Payne, who was charged with 3.5 baskets against a fifth of a stop (that a missed FTA—another way in which this system is pretty weird) in just 14 minutes, and 2) Keith Appling losing his matchup with Burke. Also, the extremely low defensive usage applied to Douglass would seem to confirm everyone's eyes in re: Douglass's perimeter defense. The good shots are elsewhere.
Brick city. UMHoops looks at Michigan's three point issues both for and against. Prepare for an ugly chart covering Michigan's three-point shooting in conference:
Tim Hardaway Jr
Yuck. That Hardaway leads the team in attempts and is making 19% of them should mean he is no longer given a green light unless someone else creates the shot for him.
This is the opposite trend from last year, when Hardaway went nuts from deep during the Big Ten season. Shot quality is a big part of this—not many of Michigan's looks in the Big Ten have been clean. Hopefully a larger part is just a random slump. Michigan's not going to win many games from here on out without making their share of threes.
Inroad. Cato June is apparently the new head coach at Anacostia in DC. It would be nice for Michigan to get an in somewhere in that city, which pumps out prospects yearly.
After ESPN ($5/month) and BTN (I'll be generous and do $2/month) pretty much everything else I watch is available free OTA. I know this has come up before and cable/satellite companies go on and on about how it would increase the costs - that's quite obviously total BS.
How much does Comcast/U-Verse/Dish/DirecTV pay ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, PBS (all the OTA stuff) to redistribute their programming? I'm 1000% certain that if I paid those companies directly I could not only pay them 25% more than they get from my provider but it would also cut my cable/TV bill at least 30% if not 50%.
EDIT: Is there even the slightest chance that Apple could pull this off? Obviously none of the carriers want to lose their cash cow and no one else has the market weight to be able to pull off something like this.
What percentage of Cable/Satelite/etc. users wouldn't pay for ESPN? While ESPN is the most expensive network, there are still tons of people that don't watch it, or wouldn't watch it enough to justify paying for it on a monthly basis. Maybe even a significant majority of cable subscribers.
So while you might be willing to pay $5/month for ESPN, would you feel differently if you were suddenly paying $15/month to account for all the lost revenue from people that wouldn't pay for ESPN in a piecemeal system? What if ESPN2 cost an extra $5-$10/month. Add in your local channels. Add in anything else you realize you might like, and it's not hard to see your cable bill quickly approaching current costs, but with less options.
Edit: Not saying that piecemeal pricing wouldn't benefit you, especially if you watch as few channels as you claim. Just pointing out the fallacy of using current per subscriber fees as a basis for how much you would pay in such a pricing scheme.
How much do you think the cable company is charging you if they are paying ESPN just under $5? Chance are it's at least $10 to cover all their costs of having customer service, HR, etc etc. ESPN already has a customer service dept since they started doing all the ESPN3.com stuff and now that they have deals to allow certain customers to watch all their stuff online for free with a cable subscription.
Really it just comes down to this - it's almost impossible to argue that you'd pay more without the middle man. Why not let me deal directly with the content provider instead of having to go through a company that is going to make profit on top of the profit that ESPN is already going to make.
Obviously you lose the middle-man profits, but you're going to pay for all those costs that you mentioned in the mark-up, whether it comes from ESPN having to staff up in those areas, or still through a middle-man. Really, I don't see how the middle-man is cut out. All the networks still need a transmission method from their studios to your TV (you mention Apple, you think they don't figure out a way to charge you for the "service").
Obviously this is a very simplified view of the cable industry, but the point remains: On a piecemeal approach to cable TV, you would be paying much more for every individual channel than is the current per subscriber fee charged by the network to the cable company. Just factor that in to any discussion.
But I don't think there's a single person on this planet who watches every channel they are forced to pay for because they want, say, ESPN.
This is really just cable welfare for crappy channels - a ton of people would be willing to pay for stuff they care about but there are tons of channels that only survive because they got lucky enough to get on a subscription level with a channel that a lot of people actually want. (Longhorn network anyone?)
Listen, I'm not really supporting the current format. I too find it annoying that I have to pay for E!, Bravo, etc. But that doesn't change the fact that ESPN is in 100 million homes at $5/month/subscriber and if only 1/3 of those homes would buy ESPN, then ESPN is going to have to come up with a way of making up $333M a month in revenues. They're going to do that by charging you, the person who truly wants ESPN, a lot more per month. Every channel would have to make those same calculations, and this is why you can't use your original reasoning: I'd pay $5 to ESPN, $2 to BTN and buy the OTA channels, thus saving tons of money. It just wouldn't be the same cost structure.
And again, piecemeal cable packages still require a delivery method. Lets say Apple figures out some way of doing it through itunes (which they'll charge you for). You still need some way of playing the content on your TV, meaning you still need your internet provider, that'll cost you.
That's why I didn't take the internet out of the equation - you'd obviously still need that. Also, if iTunes is any indicator, Apple's margins on the media they sell is minimal - they are in it for the hardware.
I still don't think it would cost 3 times as much and the majority of people's bills would go down simply because you would actually prioritize what channels matter to you. But, no, that'll never happen because there are too many people at the cable companies and satellite companies who make millions of dollars off these deals to allow it to happen. Also, they'd be forced to actually come up with good content a la the premium channels. People don't buy HBO unless they think there is something worthwhile on it and they don't even have commercials and only charge $15 a month for it.
I agree that rates for most channels will increase as consumers are allowed to customize their programming (although the reverse will occasionally happen, too). Bundling, however, is only sustainable if consumers want the vast majority of what they are paying for, and I'm not so sure that's currently the case with TV. The most damning thing, in my estimation, is the fact that all the media behemoths are actively fighting against a-la-carte; It indicates they recognize the likelihood for consumer savings/lost revenue.
If the people who are making money hand over fist with things they way they are are opposing a change it's almost always because it will cause them to lose money.
Also, Hulu Plus disagrees with the assertion that it would cost tons of money to get all your channels. They have a ton of channels on there with limited commercials and it's only $8/month last time I checked. Also, on top of that, a lot of the OTA stuff is available 100% free on their website so apparently OTA channels really aren't concerned with revenue from distribution - they are in it for the advertising $.
Michigan's average is pulled down by sophomores. MSU's is pulled down by freshmen. So there is a difference there, given the jump in efficiency normally experienced between the first second years of a player's career.
That Saban apologist is priceless. Even if Saban holds up his end of the bargain and signs him in 2013, where exactly is the sixth free year of education (for a Masters!!!) coming from for Justin Taylor? I fail to see how he can go to college this year at all without burning a year of eligibility, let alone go to Alabama on scholarship.
Presumably he cut off contact with coaches, likely some pretty high profile ones, after he committed early to bama. The fact that saban can pull in any player he wants should not excuse him from returning the decency that this player gave him after he committed. If he would have committed and gone on visits I doubt saban would have held his spot, but he didn't and now he is getting jacked. Who do you think has a better shot at rehabbing his injury - a kid in a major division I football program with a million trainers and interns and facilities galore, or some guy with a job? But since he honored his commitment other similar programs have filled up and have no relationship with this kid. It's probably not technically illegal, but it is the reason why the entire country thinks saban is a douche of galactic proportions.
Beilein is underrated as a defensive coach. One common thread in our 3-game winning streak over MSU is that Green has been held in check, despite having a huge size advantage over Novak. Izzo can't seem to solve Beilein's defense on Green.
Unfortunately, the high school Cato June is coaching at is more known for being in a really bad neighborhood than being good at footballs.
Michigan isn't in that dire of straights with regards to recruiting in DC, though. Michigan has a strong recruiting presence at Good Counsel, the powerhouse that produced Blake Countess and Stefon Diggs. Good Counsel is in Maryland but is basically DC. I have not heard of Michigan recuriting much at GC's arch rival, DeMatha, for some reaosn.
And who could forget Double D Doug Dutch who went to school just blocks away from the Capitol Building at Gonzaga HS!