Uh, Michigan has always switched that much. They play what I call (and Bo Ryan has admitted as much since Michigan runs a similar style defensively) man to man with zone principles. The goal is to make the opponent take contested twos. The problem is that they often haven't switched in time, and without last years players they simply aren't as athletic. I wonder if practice time has been spent largely on defense, because their offense was a machine for that 10 game stretch and now it seems just ok.
This Week's Obsession: Smells Like Somebody Needs a Change
It was a hot mess.
GRIII got Kaminsky'd, transition D was bad again, 3-pointers are raining on us...what was the most terrifying part about thing that was'ed at Crisler on Sunday?
Secondary question (optional): diaper bags. Is it true you need to buy a bag specifically for diapers? Is it important that it have a cooler? Why not a backpack? Why not my Jansport backpack from college? What's so damn important about Diaper bags that you need to shell out $150 at Buy Buy Baby for a satchel with lots of compartments?
Mathlete: I have so many answers for you about diaper bags and so few as to what happened at Crisler Sunday.
We've run the gamut. Started with a giant piece of luggage. Ditched that for a second piece of luggage and since have gradually gone smaller and smaller. We finally settled on the smallest possible container that can hold about 3 diapers, a package of wipes and a thing or two of baby food/snacks/apple sauce. I don't know if you could go straight to this, you have to go through The Process of using a big bag to truly appreciate how little you need.
|The Skip Hop Versa transition bag clings to your stroller and prevents the little one from escaping when your back is turned.|
As to basketball, this is a young finesse team. A game like Sunday was bound to happen. They can't consistently lock down on defense enough to stop the big runs. They are 89th in kenpom defense, the worst of the top 25. Only Duke and Creighton are above 45 and both of those teams are head and shoulders the best two offensive teams in the country. When you get in a hole and don't have a high likelihood of getting consistent stops in the future, that puts a lot of pressure on a team without a Trey Burke. Last year Burke was the singular talent who could impose his will regardless of setting. Michigan doesn't have that this year. Stauskas had his run but has been brought down to earth (nothing another year or two in college won't help!).
With all that said, this team hasn't rolled over. They cut the lead on Sunday to 3, won at Breslin in a game that never felt like theirs until the very end. The team is definitely incomplete and the Iowa and the Wisconsin games were as bad as they've looked in Big Ten play. With that said, better to have the vulnerabilities identified now as opposed to a month from now. With the make-up of this team, anything will be possible come March. Their offensive prowess and the Beilein touch could push them into another Final Four or their youth and lax defense could be a formula for an early exit. As frustrating as the recent losses have been, the Big Ten title can be all but clinched a week from today.
[a Wisconsin player is now standing beneath you.]
Ace: I just bought a couple pairs of remarkably comfortable fleece-lined sweatpants, a zip-up hoodie, and the autobiography of Dr. J because I could do so and had nothing more imperative/useful to spend my disposable income on. It cost less than your poop satchels. Nobody got mad at me. Just wanted to remind y'all that being 26 with no kids is pretty great.
ANYWAY, the part that concerned me most about Sunday's game is that it exposed another weakness in Michigan's defense: specifically, defending bigs that can stretch the floor. (I'll refrain from reposting the Kaminsky video.) The list of things this team doesn't do well defensively continues to grow:
|Scouts love the potential of the Jeep Perfect Pockets Back Pack, but it's never going to be big enough.|
- Rebound (9th in B1G)
- Steal the ball (11th)
- Block shots (12th)
- Defend two-pointers (12th)
- Get back in transition
- Identify assignments and execute switches/rotations on time
- Play zone (the 2-3 is a desperation ploy that usually fails, the 1-3-1 rarely used and quite unreliable)
This team is fourth in the conference in three-point defense (both by 3PA/FGA and 3P%), yet they're still prone to giving up wide open looks and occasionally getting torched—while Yogi Ferrell and Roy Devyn Marble both shot far better than their averages suggest they should've, Michigan's perimeter defense had a hand (or, well, didn't) in that.
It all adds up to a defense that's markedly worse than last year's—over five points worse per 100 possessions in B1G play, per KenPom—and it's not like the 2012-13 squad was stellar on that end. It'd be one thing if the team had one glaring issue in need of correction; instead, every time they adjust for one deficiency, or face a team with a markedly different style from the previous opponent, another appears.
This team can still get by on their offensive firepower, but only for so long. I went through the KenPom archives yesterday and looked at the success of every NCAA Tournament team with a defensive efficiency ranked 75th or worse. (Michigan is currently 89th.) Of the 250 teams to fit that criteria since 2003, only 20 advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, with no more than three making it that far in any given year. Seven of those made it to the Elite Eight, three to the national semifinals, and none to the title game.
While the vast majority of the sample were low-seeded mid-majors, 18 of the teams had a top-four seed. Ten of the 18 failed to make it to the second weekend of the tourney, including four that suffered huge upsets in the round of 64 (2003 Dayton, 2008 Vanderbilt, 2012 Duke, 2012 Mizzou). Michigan has a great shot at securing a Big Ten title; at the same time, they're ripe for an early exit come tournament time.
BiSB: I'm not sure if Kaminsky exposed a new weakness so much as he exploited a weakness most people would presume Michigan had. For all of Jordan Morgan's progress, and for as good as he can be as a hedge-and-get-back defender, he is still very much a duck in tapioca pudding when it comes to on-ball defense outside of about 10 feet. Michigan isn't great against traditional bigs, but they at least demonstrated an ability to mitigate those types of players. Fortunately, the Frank Kaminskys of the world are rare.
|For twice the price, the Diaper Dude Convertible Messenger/Backpack can hang back or come up to the rim.|
Most of the remainder of Michigan's regular season schedule is filled with the AJ Hammons/Noah Vonleh/Generic Black Minnesota Center/Generic White Minnesota Center-type players. Nnanaa Egwu is technically a "stretch big", but Nnanna won't make anyone say "uhhh." Now, about that Adreian Payne fella...
I'm more concerned about the continuing trouble with transition defense and defensive rotation. Part of it is probably youth, but these kids aren't going to get much older between now and April. Ace is right that this team has some remarkably bad defensive numbers, and at this point they are who they are. If they aren't going to shoot well from outside, they aren't going anywhere exciting. Granted. these were the same concerns Michigan fans were writhing about last year about this time (DAMN YOU AGAIN BEN BRUST), and that worked out okay. But without a unifying Burkian force stabilizing the offense, I'm not as confident.
Seth: There's still one defensive metric where Michigan's elite: they're 4th in the country in giving up free throw attempts. The three ahead are UNLV, Wisconsin, and Presbyterian. Texas Southern, Ohio State, Clemson, and Iowa State trail not far behind.
Let's examine those. Presbyterian and Texas So are tiny and just awful; they don't bother to contest anything because that might be construed as attempting to play basketball. UNLV, Clemson and Wisconsin are similar in that they focus on forcing bad shots. UNLV is 5th in D-eFG%, Clemson is 4th. Wisconsin is 69th--they're not as lengthy as they used to be in the backcourt--but make up for it by preventing offensive boards.
Ohio State is a freak of defensive efficiency and you know why, but it's well to notice that every other of those schools mentioned except OSU are terrible at creating defensive turnovers. Like they're in the 300s. Wisconsin is 309th. UNLV is 305th. Iowa State is 282nd. Clemson is 202nd. Michigan: 263rd. I scatter the last 4 years:
(click for bigger)
Weak correlation in general but it's an inverse correlation: if some teams were just plain good at defense and others not this line should trend the other way. This has been a hallmark of Beilein teams for so long we now take it for granted: Michigan plays their defense on the floor.
|The Sam Dekker Doodie Bag comes with all you see here, including long straps that can hang on your shoulders without attracting notice. Order now and we'll send you another defender to undercut your shot!|
To do this and be successful means getting enough steals here and there to stay on the trend line, and they're a couple of steals a game short in that department. The Burke difference is real, as is the McGary difference.
Wisconsin did what most teams probably can't: put two bigs out there who can score. Kaminsky minus Dekker minus insane Wisconsin officiating can be handled by Michigan's bigs, but add Dekker to the mix and you see the downside of having your 4 be a winger-type like Robinson. Adreian Payne can stretch the floor like Kaminsky and complement him with Costello and their own Kaminski (no relation), another big you can't ignore. Both of those guys went off against Nebraska but that was hidden by State's terrible 3-point day.
Typically if that's happening to you, you defeat it with two bigs of your own, and Michigan was planning on doing that this year with a McGary/Morgan lineup. Now do you put McGary and Horford out there together for a long stretch? Considering how Robinson's been lately that may be a solution. The other solution is if the refs are allowing a lot of physical play, get more physical. They've got plenty of fouls to give.
Brian: While you guys are all concerned about the defense, and rightfully, the other scary thing is that Nik Stauskas is officially in a funk. Opponents have adjusted to the things he was doing during his period being a ridiculously efficient shooter and basically the best point guard in the Big Ten. Stauskas has not figured anything out individually; aside from Derrick Walton going off against Ohio State and Amir Williams trying to block everything, the team has not figured much of anything out. Michigan's solution appears to be having Stauskas take bad shots in the name of aggression, which bleah.
|The good news is some of the remaining opponents are quite charitable.|
The results have not been exactly terrible. Michigan's only dropped under 1 PPP against Indiana, and that was barely. But with the defensive problems mentioned that kind of output, if consistent, is not going to get Michigan very far in March.
Maybe having a seven-day stretch between games here will allow Michigan to adapt to the league's adaptation, but it kind of feels like if they could fix it and go back to nuts efficiency they already would have. Point guards might just be Stauskas kryptonite, and then you're just an okay team instead of one looking pretty damn good. I know Michigan doesn't post anyone, but it might be worth trying. Also, I'd consider running ball screens amongst the wing players just to see if the opposition will switch 'em. But Beilein's a bit smarter about this stuff than I am and a solution has not presented itself, so those are stabs in the dark.
This is important people, very important, and someday it will likely come into play for you too!
You are not laying your precious little future Wolverine down on the nasty Koala Kare plastic changy thing without a pad underneath! All diaper bags come with them. Even Coach. Also, many pockets for Binkys, toys, Baby's iphone and the like.
This ^^^ times 1000. Get a good pad and a little kids backpack. It's small, carries everything you need, can be slung over a shoulder, and is cheaper. The best part, because you have not invested part of your kids tuition into it, you will not be upset when the snack/water/milk/juice/dirty boogie wipe/whatever is making the mess of the day gets all over the inside and outside of it.
All the little compartments in an expensive bag are nice the first day and never get used again. Why? Because you have a kid and you don't thave the time or the will power to consistently stay organized.
but I'm thinking the requirement for an actual diaper bag is to avoid the disapproving looks from those who are parents when you use a plain bag. Or a paper bag, which I'd be tempted to use.
That bag on the stroller looks great, but the weight unbalances everything. As soon as you take your kid out it will topple over. Other parents will look at you like you don't know what you're doing, and you will want the ability to hold hot lava in your hand so that you may throw it in their face.
Unless you have a counterweight in the storage underneath the stroller. Ah ha!
you seem to have deleted the section on which diaper bags fit in which strollers. i'm just a few weeks away from a stroller shop. can you please put up a chart?
Best stroller advice I got was from my sister: don't get a combination stroller (the kind that snaps in a car seat and then works as a regular stroller when the kid is bigger). Those things are unbelievably heavy and unwieldy, plus expensive. It's far better to start with a much cheaper Snap N Go stroller (or if you've got a Chicco carseat like we do, get the Chicco equivalent). When the kid is bigger, switch to an light umbrella stroller.
At all times, it is much easier to work with the lighter strollers, plus you'll save money, unless you get an expensive umbrella stroller. As a bonus, there's a long period of time where you can use either stroller, which gives a lot more flexibility (nice to just leave the snap in one in the car, and not have to get it out after every short trip, and it reduces the possibility of wanting to go for a walk and realizing that the stroller is in the back of a car that's not at home).
The key thing here is to get a bag with a separate waterproof and wipeable compartment for dirty diapers. Don't be that parent who walks up to the trash can at any venue (or trash can outside a house) and tosses their dirty diaper for all to smell until the trash is removed. Put it in a plastic bag, put that bag in your diaper bag, and dispose of it at home.
The rest is a matter of taste, but this is a matter of manners and is really not optional.
But when I do, it's from a guy who calls himself "Everyone Murduers".
I'm just going to go ahead and favorite this page though for near-term future reference.
But separate plastic bags for all occasions is wasteful. Dump the diaper in your co-worker's office that's cleanded once a week? No (but YESS!!!). Dump the diaper in a public bathroom, where both daily cleaning and the smell of shit are assumed? Yes.
Are there really random parents walking around your neighborhood dropping baby deuce diapers in trash cans? I would like to visit this neighborhood.
I live on a street that is blocked in once a year by a multi-day art festival with 100K plus folks walking about, in warm weather. And yes, I've had parents walk 30 feet off the street, next to my porch, and toss a dirty diaper in my trash. (Oh yeah, and once in my recycle bin.) And when I've asked them to remove it, they've gotten self-righteous because "what else am I supposed to do with it?" and other whinging. Never underestimate the potential rudeness of a sleep-deprived parent.
And you really would like to visit the n'hood. It's nice (older houses, tree-lined, etc.), including during the festival. Just don't toss your dirty diaper in my trash can, and we'll get along just fine.
I've also been to concerts and games where folks toss their deuce-laden diaper in the trash in the food concourse or wherever. We are all accustomed to our own kids' crappy diapers, but nobody really wants to be confronted with other folks kids' diapers.
I agree re: separate bags for all occasions being wasteful, especially if your kid has just peed. But dumping the diaper in the trash of a rest room? To me, that's almost akin to taking a dump in a trash can in the bathroom.* And we're not Buckeyes here, people. We're better than that!
*Grudging exception for when you can neatly fold the diaper and contain it so it's not leaking all over - or, as we used to call it, diaper oragami.
Public restrooms are fair game for throwing away diapers in my opinion. It's not going to make the room smell any worse than it already does.
Frequently emptied trash cans are also usually fair game. These include most trash cans in most parking lots. I agree that food courts should probably be off limits, but that is because there is a restroom near by.
So did your conflict with these parents who use your trash end in................murder?
1. Find a BATHROOM.
2. change kid's diaper
3. leave diaper in BATHROOM receptacle.
Do not walk around with diaper in bag or change your kid in the outdoors.
As for bball: Nik S make more shots!!
I have changed my daughter outside in public areas on many occasions. The thing is you must be discrete about it. In the middle of a crowded park is off limits, but behind a tree where there aren't people that are close enough to care is fine.
My best diaper changing moment was on the floor of one of the London Tube stations in a corner.
Is fine. Kaminski had a great game, hit some tough shots and was aided by at least 3-4 calls/non-calls. I still believe doubling the post when possible is a good idea and I really believe Michigan is a better team when Irvin is on the floor. GR3 might be a better defender, but he is average at best and the increased energy and shooting Irvin brings is worth the trade off.
BUT DAMMIT, PEOPLE....THIS IS A SPORTS BLOG!
What the heck are we doing???
Here's to being an uncle. No pressure from parents to have my own, I have a test subject to learn "parenting" on, and I can still go to the bar all the time. 26 is great!
And like the issues with the basketball team, it all comes down to youth and the ability to deal with shit that unexpectedly arises.
Early on, you'll need a larger bag because the moment-to-moment needs are greater. you'll need diapers, wipes, full sets of spare clothes (because babies SHIT SO HARD IT DEFEATS DIAPERS, and will occasionally just urp all over the place for no reason), changing pad, toy to distract the baby from rolling in its own shit, bottles/formula, etc. It's also more convenient to have a ready-to-go mobile poop station, as getting out of the house with an infant is remarkably difficult as is.
As they get older, you can pare down to a few diapers, some wipes, and maybe a spare pair of pants and a snack. That should get you through most shorter trips. You'll also get to the point where you don't need to always be prepared for EPIC SHIT STORM OF SHIT at any moment, so if you're running to the store with the kid you can just take, you know, the kid.
You will also want a system to deal with poop on clothing. We had a sink dedicated as the poop sink, complete with OxyClean, shit scrubber, and shit scraper.
Did I mention the shit?
Yeah I was wondering about that. First you're like "is the diaper stuff gonna be included" and I was like "yeah I hadn't thought to but okay I will" and then I got a response that was completely devoid of diaper.
I second the massive epic shit babies are capable of. I can't remember exact times, but I think its somewhere around 4-6 months, babies will out poop the diaper on regular occasions. My son was s a crazy up the back shitter. Had to cut him out of a least a dozen shirts because they weren't worth saving. Daugher preferred to shit out the sides of the diaper. No matter how tight that elastic is or how tight you tape it down, it will escape.
Thats why you need the huge bag. You are a damn mobile clothing store, desanitzer station and mobile play station. Even if gone for an hour, you need 1/2 dozen diapers and changes of clothing when they are real little. And make sure to check on the spare clothes in your bag periodically. Nothing worse that getting an up-the-backer and realizing the clothes you have are way too small that you son has to wear a belly shirt and shorts in the middle of winter.
Don't be afraid to move up a diaper size. That was our #1 cause of blowouts, trying to get extra mileage out of the Size 1, 2 or 3 diapers.
oh my god the burning rage with which i fucking hate our diaper bag is palpable i can never find anything why did you do this why does my wife keep a pair of her panties in the diaper bag why aren't the diapers just on top where the fuck are the wipes why did you do this
If I weren't unbelievably lazy, I guess I would already own a dedicated backpack to use as a diaper bag when I've got the kid. Maybe I'll get around to that today...
The feeling of "WHY IS THERE SO MUCH STUFF IN THIS BAG... CRAP WE NEED ALL OF THIS STUFF DON'T WE"
... you can't dispose of it right away - ziploc bags are pretty good for that - clean set of clothes for kid, distraction toy for kid, and spare shirts for you and spouse. (Because you know all that stuff that gets everywhere? It gets on you too sometimes, particularly when you don't have a spare T-shirt for yourself.) Purel/hand sanitizer comes in handy too.
The pad must be durable and machine washable; you'll only really need it for a year or so per kid, but something you tend to toss into the laundry every time gets beat up a lot.
Now, any bag that holds all of that and has a strap will work. Real diaper bags come with the pad and separate compartments to make it easy to find things, which it turns out is handy when you're trying to change a screaming wiggly kid who only knows that they're incredibly uncomfortable and need it fixed NOWNOWNOW ...
The best bags have a separate compartment with external lid for the wipes, so you can pull one out without opening the bag.
As for Michigan's defense, they're going to live and die with how well they're shooting on a given night. They put in the effort but they're undersized up front and not quick enough to generate the steals to keep up.
You turn around one day, and your kids are 13, 11, and 8. It goes by too fast. Your diaper bag days will be over before you know it. Unless you have a bunch of kids. In which case, sorry, pal.
I turned around one day and my kids were 11 and 8.
...it didn't go by fast enough.
My thoughts on diaper bags:
I love the Timbuk2 Stork bag. All the compartments you want, two bottle holders, removable changing platform, plus super-strong and doesn't "look" like a diaper bag. Also, adjustable straps for mom and dad, which is great for couples like ours where I'm a solid 8"+ taller than my wife. Also, if you've got a small laptop or tablet you can slip it in there with no issues.
As for stinky diapers, just carry along some dog poop bags. Wrap the diaper in it and you are good to go until you find a trash can.
My thoughts on Michigan basketball:
Poopy now, but they're another hot streak away from the FF. I'll take that.
Stauskas. Beilein has been pushing him to be more aggressive but if he can't step up, there are other scorers on the floor. Maybe making defenses focus elsewhere is the best strategy. Let Stauskas get his shots off that action.
The one thing that I rarely see mentioned, which may explain the defensive regression is the rule changes regarding hand checks and charging. I know during the off season we scoffed and guffawed about how this would impact Wisconsin and MSU. But I think we are seeing that Michigan is actually the one who has trouble adjusting.
If you have watched the team over the past 4-5 seasons, one staple of Beilein's defense is drawing charges. He wants his players to be cerebral, move their feet, and beat the dribbler to the spot before the offense gets there. He does NOT teach shot blocking, going up in the air for any reason, etc.
I don't know if there are metrics to support this, but it sure seems to me this year we are not getting nearly as many charges as we did in the past two years. Those charges are critical because they 1) create defensive "stops 2) create a turnover statistically 3)give the other team a foul which can reduce usage rates of the opposition.
We lost Burke and Hardaway, great players but hardly lockdown. The returnees should be a year older, stronger and faster. So what else changed? The rules and how they are enforced.
Actually the opposite. Early in the season they were calling hand checks more and this was helping Michigan, but they were also not calling charges anymore and since we were rolling mostly with charge magnet Jordan Morgan that was bad.
Now they're not calling them anymore, and that has shifted the benefit back to the teams that hand check a ton, e.g. Wisconsin.
Blaming officials is a cheap thing to do in college basketball because the officiating is always bad, but it would be an outright lie to pretend the way Wisconsin games are officiated isn't an outrage.
Burke and Hardaway were good defenders. I'm not sure why people seem reluctant to give them credit. Our perimeter defense last year was generally solid; it was interior D that was our Achilles' heel (until the tournament, when McGary stepped up bigtime in that deparment).
A couple weeks ago UM lost @Iowa, and MSU lost on a neutral court to a mediocre Georgetown. The result was MSU staying at #9 and UM dropping 5 spots from #10 to #15.
This last week, Michigan had a very impressive win @OSU and a home loss to top 25 Wisconsin. MSU won at home against NW and lost at home to Nebraska. So UM had a far superior win, and a far better loss than MSU and yet UM fell further in the polls again!?
[a Wisconsin player is now standing beneath you.]
How can you not list a change of baby clothes as one of the necessities?!? There is an 89.1% chance your baby will have a POOPEXPLOSION while you're away from home if you forget to bring backup clothes.
As a result, this is my diaper bag:
I kind of feel like the changing pad should be ohio state colored, though.
Just get a large bag and deal with it. Yes, it's annoying when it's overkill for a short, quick trip, but you're going to need it for other trips. But if you also get a smaller bag that isn't overkill on short trips, then you have to keep two bags stocked or constantly switch stuff from one bag to the other. And even that half the time you take the smaller bag you're going to wish you had something you left out. We started with a small bag on kid #1 (it even matched the stroller and car seat!), quickly bought a bigger bag, and almost instantly that small bag started collecting dust. That hasn't changed now with kid #2 as well.
With one bag, it also stays stocked better. A second bag ups the chances that you forgot to put in more diapers after running short when you last used it, because that was two weeks ago.
The wipes also dry out since they end up in that second bag for a long time, since it's not used much--that's probably just because we use a wipes container that's easier to have open/use with one hand rather than the kind that re-seals better.
Hearing you guys talk about diaper bags actually got me to quit bitching about have pre-teen and teen age daughters for five minutes.
Ok, times up. WTF is going on with the data usages on her damn phone????
kept popping in poopy diapers until someone on the subway or bus made us get rid of it or we were getting too slimed. Conform NOT--save the money for the kid's prepaid tuition account.
Our defensive rankings are not strong, but we should note that for most of the season, we haven't been all that bad. We recently have struggled and it's caused our defensive PPP to plummet, but that could be a function of the tough schedule (our SOS is now in the top 10 nationally). I would expect our defensive ranking to improve somewhat by the end of the regular season.
I think Brian's post is the most telling. What's the best way to improve transition defense? Make shots so the other team can't run. We've missed too many long jumpers lately and that often leads to a fast-break the other way. Fixing the offense may have just as much improvement on our defense as anything else we could do. The other issues are very much to do with the loss of McGary. We're back to lacking flexibility in our front-court lineup and having to play undersized. We miss McGary's steals, out-let passes, and general disruption - even if his overall impact isn't what his surprising all-american credentials would imply. There's zero chance you'll ever see Horford and Morgan on the floor together as that is the antithesis of what Beilein wants for his offense or his risk-averse mentality when it comes to fouls. As much as I like the kid, i still wish we had an athletic PF buried on the bench who could play D and rebound - Max Bielfeldt just isn't the right fit. Larry Nance Jr. would have been a great fit and even having a guy like Evan Smotrycz around at PF would help a lot. We can usually get away with playing an undersized PF, but sometimes it will blow up in your face - especially when GR3 is in a funk.
Ace, if you wait too long you're going to be 60 before they graduate. Get your MGobreeding on!
Is there an Ann Arbor bar that opens early enough on Sundays for pre-game drinks? Sunday's game starts at noon and all bars I look into open at noon. Please help. Thanks