fair point that
Hey basketball's on tonight. Like, real basketball that counts. Our draft also counts: whoever wins gets to be the MGoBlogger who feels smarter than the rest of us. Because Brian and Alex squabbled over point guards in the first round, Denzel Valentine slipped to Ace. Because we had a run on power forwards in the 3rd/4th rounds, Zak Irvin and James Blackmon fell to Ace.
Can he deliver the coup de grace, or does that require, you know, forwards? Also: who are the best/most overlooked basketball players Michigan will have to face in conference this year? Find out in the thrilling penultimate 'geddon of this year's basketball season.
As things stand:
Alex is on the clock.
ALEX: Round 5, Pick 2: Jarrod Uthoff, Wing, Iowa
TEAM: PG: Bronson Koenig (UW), SG: Caris LeVert (UM), SF: Jarrod Uthoff (IA), PF: Malcolm Hill (IL), C: Thomas Bryant (Ind)
A year ago, Iowa won 22 games, finished tied for third in the conference, and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Aaron White, the underrated and versatile 3 /4 wing, has graduated; almost everyone else is back (save for Gabe Olaseni)—Adam Woodbury, Mike Gesell, and Anthony Clemmons.
The best of the group is senior wing Jarrod Uthoff. He's 6'9 (and with that size, posts a nice block rate of 6.2) and had a shooting split of 47% / 37% / 74% last season. He might not be able to transition to being the leading scorer because of a possible lack of 2nd scoring options on offense. Still, he'd be a good fit as part of my drafteggedon team -- Uthoff can space the floor and score enough to carry a team for prolonged stretches.
[Hit the JUMP if you dare. Or care]
: ( [Bryan Fuller]
On the roundtable this week:
- Sam enjoyed the "shot yourself in the leg" tweet I sent to Plaxico Burress. I defend Burress a little because I have respect for anyone who cares enough to go on an unhinged twitter rant.
- Craig Ross told us all about the O'Neill crew and we listened but had no power to do anything about it.
- Rutgers! Not good at football.
- Indiana! Not good at defense.
THE USUAL LINKS
Don’t Sweat the Technique
#26 Jourdan Lewis, CB (Detroit, MI)
I needed an excuse to talk about Jourdan Lewis, the first genuine superstar of the Harbaugh era at Michigan. In the gloom after the Michigan State loss, it was evident that Lewis had blossomed into one of college football’s Elite players – he more than held his own against the high-powered tandem of Cook and Burbridge; he set the U-M record for pass breakups in a season after just eight games + one possession against Rutgers; PFF says he’s the best corner in the country.
I have two assumptions moving forward: a) Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan will have its share of memorable and / or dominant football players and b) I’ll probably want to write about those guys. So I’ll create a hypothetical “Known Friends and Trusted Agents” canon with my own arbitrary criteria – the HARBAUGH HALL OF HEROISM. Yes, this does seem like more of an offseason exercise for #content that looks at things after they’ve already happened, but we can all agree that Jourdan Lewis is extremely good and will eventually be remembered fondly for his exploits in a winged helmet.
Anyways, without further ado: Lewis is the first to be enshrined into the HHH.
* * *
1. Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, it’s clear that the 2015 Michigan defense will have been one of the country’s best: currently, S&P and PFF (in the post linked above) rate it as the best in college football; FEI rates it fifth. Through nine games, the Wolverines have allowed opponents to score 107 points (11.9 ppg, the fewest in college football) – remove the kick return touchdown from Rutgers and the Bounce of Satan against Michigan State (as plays that should count against the special teams unit) and the defense itself has conceded just 93 (10.3 ppg). The 2006 Michigan defense was dominant through most of the season and – even though they got lit up by OSU and USC to end their season, U-M still had one of the top-tier defenses that year. Even though we still have four (or, God willing, five) games left on the schedule, Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison’s grimy goons up front and the No Fly Zone secondary that migrated east on 96 and south on 23 are anchoring an Elite defense. Somewhere, somebody smart will promote D.J. Durkin to his first head coaching job and it will be richly deserved.
[After the jump: Cass Tech, the OMG Pick-6 vs. NU, Burbridge vs. Lewis]
Football’s what you make of it. If you want to watch for the big hit or the big pass, you can. If you want to watch because you’re hoping to get a glimpse of how pattern matching works on switch routes, you can. It’s a game of nuance that can be enjoyed without; you can guess which direction I lean considering this is a column predicated on the usual stats not providing enough information. Rarely, though, you see the same thing no matter what you intended to look for; sometimes watching a team get punched in the face is also a statistical drubbing regardless of the set of stats you use.
The Mathlete’s Four Factors:
Once again, a quick reminder of what the factors mean:
Conversion rate = [1st Downs gained]/[1st Down plays (including first play of drive)]. A three and out is 0/1. A one play touchdown is 1/1. Two first downs and then a stop is 2/3, etc.
Bonus Yards = [Yards gained beyond the first down line]/[Total plays from scrimmage]
This is an adjustment to how I have previously calculated, to account for the plays a team runs.
Field Position = Expected team points based on starting field position. This accounts for all elements of field position: turnovers, special teams, drive penetration etc.
Red Zone: Points per red zone trip (TD’s counted as 7 regardless of PAT)
|Field Pos.||Conv. Rate||Bonus YPP||Red Zone|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||84 (12)||54 (6)||43 (6)||30 (5)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||91 (14)||30 (4)||31 (3)||27 (4)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||59 (10)||54 (3)||39 (3)||20 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||41 (4)||39 (1)||25 (2)||21 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||36 (4)||61 (5)||36 (3)||31 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||45 (6)||51 (3)||44 (6)||3 (1)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||46 (6)||35 (2)||43 (5)||4 (1)|
|Field Pos.||Conv. Rate||Bonus YPP||Red Zone|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||35 (4)||38 (6)||9 (3)||100 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||29 (5)||17 (4)||4 (1)||110 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||32 (4)||7 (2)||1 (1)||115 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||21 (4)||6 (1)||1 (1)||115 (12)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||20 (3)||6 (1)||1 (1)||124 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||17 (3)||7 (2)||6 (2)||42 (6)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||22 (4)||6 (1)||5 (2)||13 (2)|
[After the JUMP: tables, attempted explanations, and scout-by-number]
How this works again:
- Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-0" or "35-0 Michigan", or "28-0 Go Blue", or "42-0 Harbaugh!" etc.
- The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
- First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
- If nobody got it right or I don't hear from the winner(s) we push it to next week or let it go.
About Last Time:
Nobody was right, AGAIN!!! The closest score was 49-13. Like nobody even went with 49-14. Embarrassing. Disappointed.
This Week's Game:
Michigan at Indiana. Probably not a shutout.
And on the Line:
We were asked 20 times to make this shirt. So we made this shirt.
One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm consistently runs power. The algorithm is from Jersey, but is looking at schools out of state.
Previously: Indiana Offense
oh c'mon it's already hard enough to take this seriously
Indiana is last in the B1G in scoring defense, 13th in yards per play allowed, 13th in yards per pass allowed, 13th in yards per carry allowed, 13th in defensive S&P+, last in opponent first downs per game, last in opponent 3rd down conversion rate, and last in opponent scrimmage plays of >20 yards, >30 yards, >40 yards, >50 yards, >60 yards, >70 yards, and >80 yards.
Let's get this over with.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
The Hoosiers rotate quite a bit up front; you'll see plenty of Ralph Green and Robert McCray on the interior. Tyler Green, a true freshman corner listed third on the depth chart, also got a lot of run against Iowa.
Base Set? Multiple. They're something of a 3-4 team, but in the way Michigan is—there are usually four nominal down linemen, and IU actually played a lot of over fronts in this game.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. Hey man the feds are going to raid your meth lab. Or raise rates. I'm not sure which agency we're talking about. Unless they're the same one, which would be weird but again we are talking about an entity that thinks alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are pretty much the same thing. I disagree, feds.
What was I talking about again?
Oh, right: low rates won't be quite as low in the near future if you're on the fence.
FORMATION NOTES: Nothing weird in this one. This will be a pattern, as Michigan put the toys away for the most part. The screens were not anything super clever; other than the fullback wheel this was almost all things already put on film.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Exceptions from the usual routine were few and far between in this one. Smith and Johnson were the main tailbacks; Houma got a couple carries that must have induced déjà vu in Rudock. Green and Shallman got in some in garbage time.
Tight end was mostly Butt and Williams; Hill got a few snaps. Bunting may have gotten in once or twice, his playing time has dipped significantly. Wouldn't read too much into that since Williams is doing well.
WR was Darboh, Chesson, and Perry. I don't think Ways played. Newsome got a half-dozen snaps as an extra OL.
[After THE JUMP: accurate Iowa Rudock is a good thing.]
About Last Week:
Drake… yo, Drake… MOM MADE PIZZA ROLLS
The Road Ahead:
Indiana (4-5, 0-5 B1G)
Last week: Lost to Iowa, 35-27
Recap: All in all, not a bad performance by Indiana. The Hoosiers gave up a 65 yard touchdown run on the second play of the game, but they managed to cut Iowa’s lead to 21-20 in the fourth quarter before the Hawkeyes pulled away and Indiana was unable to recover a late onside kick.
Still, Indiana had a rough parity in yards (they were outgained 467-407), and at no point did Iowa look like they one would expect from the #5 team in the CFP rankings when taking on a team that is winless in conference play. The Hoosiers have now played Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa close… and lost to Rutgers and played very tight games with Wake Forest, WKU, and Florida International, and SIU.
Can a team still be #CHAOSTEAM if they win the games they are supposed to win and lose the games they are supposed to lose, but they do each in chaotic fashion?
This team is as frightening as: Eh. Fear Level = 3.5
Michigan should worry about: Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging over 6.0 yards per carry, and has exceeded 20 carries and 145 yards in every game he’s played in which he has been remotely healthy. He shows really good balance, patience, and burst, and can find the holes that open up in front of him. That last fact is somewhat important, ya know?
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Indiana is last in the B1G in scoring defense, 13th in yards per play allowed, 13th in yards per pass allowed, 13th in yards per carry allowed, 13th in defensive S&P+, last in opponent first downs per game, last in opponent 3rd down conversion rate, and last in opponent scrimmage plays of >20 yards, >30 yards, >40 yards, >50 yards, >60 yards, >70 yards, and >80 yards.
When they play Michigan: This is what the Hoosiers are facing:
Some would see this as a reason to fire Kevin Wilson. I see it as the best argument for why they should keep Kevin Wilson, at least for another year. Right now, the Big Ten East is a group of haves and a group of have-nots. Selling Indiana to an up-and-coming coach at this point would be extremely difficult. Dino Babers and PJ Fleck aren’t going to jump at an opportunity that will put them in the same division as Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, and Mark Dantonio, especially in a year with this many job openings. Kevin Wilson’s program hasn’t been fantastic, but by Indiana standards it hasn’t been bad.
This week: vs. Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
[After THE JUMP, nobody like Indiana]
Talk about what Ryan Glasgow’s meant to you, and any update on his status?
“Ryan’s a tough, hard-nosed player and he epitomizes what we stand for. Blue-collar, tough guy, so he’s been doing a great job for us all year long.”
He was in a sling today. Is that an indication of his status for Saturday?
“Ryan, like a lot of guys, are working through things. It’s that time of year. It’s that part of the season where guys get a little banged up, especially as physical as he plays. He’s just- he’s working through some things.”
Talk about that time of year for a minute. Everybody’s banged up some, you’ve been at it for a while; is it easier to coach because you’re in a conference race at this time of year?
“I just think when you’re coaching the right group of guys, which I believe we have- I mean, they love what they’re doing. Obviously it makes it a little better when you’re in the thick of things, but it’s part of the game. We have an experienced group that’ve been through seasons before and when you get to November your guys’re banged up a little bit; there’s been a lot of football played, but this is when you’ve got to play your best, so we’ve just got to fight through it and keep going.”
If Ryan can’t go, you’ve already lost Mone at that position. Is there any concern about being a little bit thin at the nose tackle spot?
“I mean, that’s…at every spot on the field you could say if someone wasn’t there- that’s part of the game. You know, you’re never going to be three or four deep at any spot, I don’t think. We have a lot of guys that have played well for us, especially at the defensive line, and we just keep rolling guys in.”
After Hurst, who else would be at nose? Where would that position go after Ryan and Maurice?
“Um, I mean, we’ve played a lot of guys along the defensive front at multiple positions. You know, Wormley’s played both inside and outside, Willie Henry’s played both inside and outside, so I think those guys. We’ve doing it all year long anyways in the rotation, so no matter what’s going on, that’s always how we’re going to play. Whoever’s healthy up front, we’re pretty deep up there, we’re going to play them all.”
[After THE JUMP: The Jabrill Formula]
[ED-Seth: Good morning. We had some server problems this morning. I’m sure Brian will have a different diagnosis but my guess is once we uploaded the photos of these pork bellies the server took a meat nap. We’ve all been there, which is why Stubbs had the idea to have Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ (yes, new name, fewer M’s) send us recipes. Good plan?]
I know this will come as a huge shock to everyone, but I love bacon. I think we all love bacon, right? This smoked pork belly is one step shy of becoming a giant slab of bacon. I have been on a pork belly kick for the last few weeks (Not Dr. Recommended) and have loved every minute of it. This is not only tasty and tender, its also easy to prepare. I was shocked when I first made this a few weeks back. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end.
- 5 LB Pork Belly
- Apple Cider
- Stubbs Pork Rub
- Stubbs Sticky Sweet BBQ Sauce
[Hit THE JUMP to see how you can win a free Thermapen]