"It's a lot easier being a drug dealer than an AAU coach" - this guy. Tell me something I don't know. I mean, don't think but have never tried either.
At least according to this Rocky Mountain News article. About 70% of NBA players are against moving the minimum age to 20. 10% are undecided, and 20% are in favor. I don't think a straight limit is the way to go, though. Having Lebron in college would be pretty farcical. My solution? Glad you asked.
I think the correct idea is to let anyone 18+ enter the draft but to only allow them to be drafted by a certain point. If you're 18 you have to go in the top 5. If you're 19 you have to go in the lottery. If you're 20 you have to be a first rounder. Past that it's open season. This would require the NCAA to alter its eligibility rules a little bit, but they already allow high schoolers who are passsed over in the draft to retain eligibility, so it wouldn't be a huge philosophical leap.
Another thing I think would help would be revamping the draft status to something similar to what hockey has. Almost every forward on Michigan's hockey team has been drafted by the NHL but since they haven't employed agents or signed contracts, they retain their eligiblity. If you're drafted by the NBA you can't play college basketball any more, even if you didn't retain an agent. The NCAA used to justify this by claiming that hockey players were automatically entered in the draft when they hit a certain age and weren't opting in. This caused most NCAA hockey players to be drafted a year later than their CHL and European counterparts. Recently, however the NCAA allowed college players to opt-in early and retain their eligibility, so the NCAA's rationale for not applying a similar scheme to basketball has disappeared.
Though the NBA players seem opposed to it, since it doesn't really affect anyone already in the league, if the owners dangle a carrot, any carrot, in front of the players in exchange for some age concession, look for them to abandon their principles faster than Bill Self at a Luther Head court hearing.
None of this helps the Pistons with Darko, but they're NBA Champions, so shut up, Bill Simmons.
Well, Michigan lost ground in the RPI race after sweeping ND. With a 3-2-1 bonus system, Michigan is now approximately .006 behind Minnesota's RPI. The PWR effect? Negligible.
With a 3-2-1 bonus, Michigan is in a three-way tie for fourth place with Cornell and Minnesota. Minnesota wins both the comparisons against Cornell and Michigan, so they would be the recipient of the final #1 seed. Michigan wouldn't get to Grand Rapids without some serious seed-flipping by the committee.
What's settled? Almost nothing. Michigan's TUC component is going to be very volatile over the last few weeks of the season: Michigan Tech, Bowling Green, Miami, Saint Lawrence, and Western Michigan are all perilously close to that .500 magic number. RPI, of course, wanders all over based not only on your performances but the performances of everyone you've played.
Who do you root for? That depends on what you're hoping for. Highest possible seeding and most favorable draw are not necessarily identical here. Grand Rapids is a faint possibility at this point, probably requiring Michigan dropping to sixth or seventh and getting slotted where the NCAA can guarantee a sell out at Van Andel. So then your answer is probably "Bowling Green," but that's no fun.
For Michigan to move up in the PWR rankings, you want to root for teams Michigan has played (if two face each other, root for the team that faced Michigan most often). Root for teams that Michigan has a good record against to become TUCs. Root for teams Michigan has a poor record against to not be TUCs.
So, your rooting guide for this weekend:
NMU vs. Ferris: don't care.
Lake State vs. WMU: WMU, as they have a chance to be a TUC.
MSU vs. BG: BG. MSU has played UM 5 times but BG will play UM in two weeks and even out the RPI distinction. Keeping BG's wins in the TUC category is more important.
UAF vs. UNO: UNO. They're pretty safe as a TUC, but let's not make it close, Mavs, huh?
pay extra attention to these non-CCHA series:
Cornell vs. St. Lawrence: SLU. Potential Cornell losses here also count as COPs for us. Could swing the comparison all by itself.
UNH vs. BC: Ditto. Extra COP importance here.
And, of course, root for all teams around us in the standing to lose.
Leapin' lizards! Either Brandon Graham is really damn good, he was misquoted, he misunderstood Lloyd, or we're going to have a problem next year.
Three goals on fourteen shots. Three goals. On fourteen shots. Second period: two goals on four shots.
Do you believe in statistics? It's a simple question. Either you're the kind of person who believes that discrete game events are meaningful or you aren't. Do you believe that "momentum" is a meaningful concept? Do you think that hundreds of events can be significantly different from hundreds of other similar events? If you are, stop reading now.
This year, Al Montoya's save percentage of .891 ranks 71st of 75 goaltenders who have played at least a third of their team's minutes. Last year his .917 ranked 22nd. To put this in better perspective, last year if you took a shot at Montoya you had an 8.3 percent chance of scoring. This year you would have a 10.9 percent chance of scoring. That's a 31 percent increase!
Is Michigan a worse defensive team? Are the quality of shots he faces significantly better? Last year two skaters departed, C Dwight Helminen and D Andy Burnes. Michigan returned six defensemen who saw significant playing time last year. Burnes, while a steady performer, was no All-American. There were no additions to the defensive corps but players, especially young ones, generally improve from year to year. How about shots against? Shots against are usually an indicator of defensive quality. Last year, Montoya faced 960 shots over the course of 40 games, or 24 a game. This year he's faced 694 shots in 32 games, or 21.7 a game. He's facing fewer shots!
Montoya is playing behind essentially the same team, except it's a year older. He's playing in a down CCHA. He's facing fewer shots. He's letting in more of them, often in absolutely ridiculous fashion--witness his duck-waddle out of the goal against Notre Dame on Friday.
It's too late now to make the goalie job subject to real competition, but Montoya has failed, failed, failed this year. The only thing that has bailed him out is TJ Hensick and the nation's top scoring offense. I hate to criticize Berenson, but I think that his handling of the situation--staunch backing of Montoya and blame on the defense--has exacerbated the situation. Montoya is clearly lacking focus, perhaps because of the bright lights of NYC, but his job has not been threatened. He's sleepwalking through the season, and we're relying on him to wake up at the right time.
He's 71st in save percentage. He has been absolutely substandard. To dispute this is to abandon common sense and your own lying eyes. If you're a Michigan fan, you've seen the gaping five hole, the inappropriate wandering out of the crease, the unneccessary chippiness that was cute when Montoya was a freshman but is no longer, the positioning that is unquestionably sloppy and wrong. You may have seen his fantastic saves in-between, sure. But you know and I know that Montoya's had almost 700 opportunities to prove himself this year. The only thing he's proven?
Al Montoya is one of the worst goalies in the country. Period.
He can perform at an extremely high level. He has the kind of ceiling that made him a top-ten NHL draft pick. He's shown that he excels in pressure packed situations, and believe me, he's going to be going into one. But let's put away the tired charade that Montoya has played well and that his defense is to blame. He has been awful. If he does not improve Michigan will flame out in this year's NCAA tournament.
Link is above.
Update 2/20: Tabled the rest of the charts. Added schools and notes for many prospects; still working on completing that. Added speculative M lead for Justin Boren based on NDNation poster claiming to be classmate (thanks to reader Jon Chavez for the tip).
Since stuff scrolls off NDNation I'll provide a cut and paste job:
"I tell him everyday that he'd look great at Notre Dame and he just hits me (which hurts like hell). In my honest opinion I think he'll go to Michigan because his dad went there. Also, all he wears are Michigan football shirts and has had season tickets to all their games since he was born."
He's got a mean streak!
I wouldn't expect Horton back this year. Smoke abounds. I guess they're sending a message or whatever... and I really don't have anywhere near enough information to declare whether this is the correct thing or not. I didn't want to link to it but elsewhere on the internet there was confident speculation that Horton, uh, needs to get his crap together in a major way.
The net impact will probably be nil, since this season was going nowhere fast. The main thing here is for Horton to straighten out his life and come back as a senior and give himself a degree and a career. Also, playing good basketball would be nice.
Update: DOTMAN confirms.
No big deal, but Michigan was recruiting Matt Waldron as a preferred walk-on. He's walking on at PSU instead. The weird thing is that PSU already recruited a scholarship kicker this year. Fo gigure.
File under no big deal, since Rivas will be around for another two years. Now Michigan will pursue the nation's top kickers this year with greyshirt offers and promises that they won't have to kickoff because of ZTI.