|2 weeks 5 days ago||Burke?||
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Small story....||
A close family member of mine got to attend an event with a few of the parents of the players last year. Gant's dad was there, who is a former player himself, and said that there were some bad influences in the locker room that he was looking forward to being gone this year. That's all he said and obviously it is unconfirmed third-hand information, but it adds to this speculation. I also believe that Leadership-vs-Winning is a Chicken-vs-Egg debate that is impossible to figure out. Winning teams supposedly have great leaders and losing teams don't, but which comes first?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||The mystery of the 2013 DL||
What confuses me as much as anything (and I wish we had Heiko-like access to Mattison) is the strategy of the DL for 2013. When we had a dynamic duo of Martin and RVB on the DL it made sense to let them slash into the backfield while the LB cleaned up. But we seemed to have success in 2012 when Washington and Campbell ate double-teams and allowed the talent at LB to make the plays. But what happened in 2013? It seemed like we played a small DL with players somewhat out of position and put more of a burden on the LB than any season preview predicted. Washington barely played, Black and Beyer played at positions where they were undersized, there was a ton of rotation from play to play unlike the steady usage of guys like Campbell, Roh, RVB, and Martin in previous seasons..... It doesn't add up. So maybe the coaches realized this but also realized that they don't have two space eating monsters at DT right now and thus feel the 4-3 Over is the best way to free up the LB to make plays. Just one random and mostly uneducated opinion on the topic. I would love to hear what Mattison had to say about the 2013 DL rotation.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Ross....||
What people often neglect in this type of discussion is James Ross. Last year we had hoped he would be the dynamic and elusive tackle machine his profile suggested. Yet we saw almost zero in the way of big play from him. It wasn't that he was bad, but he wasn't dynamic. Now we have two big burly linebackers in the middle and the smaller/quicker Ross will deal with TEs and Slot types on the edge while occassionally blitzing and using his athleticism and quickness. I admit to being totally naive with regard to the details of this defense, but it seems to suit Ross more than people mention.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Optimism is good, but there's more to the story....||
I generally like this post because Beilein has earned trust and optimism no matter who's on the court. With a stunning FIVE players leaving for next year it is natural to be worried. It would also be wise to set proper expectations, but look forward to improvement and good offense no matter what.
But I think we should emphasize the best attribute of next year's roster - depth and versatility. What limited the Novak team was that we only had two viable guys off the bench and Vogrich added little. Next year we have 12 scholarship players and go 2+ deep at every position. If one of the freshman isn't quite ready or has an off night - there's someone waiting to step up. That's going to be a fun new wrinkle to Beilein's story - what does he do with 12 scholarship players and a full 2-deep roster after years of playing a short bench?
With all of that being said, let's not sell the 2011-2012 team too short. Two of those players are successful in the NBA, two others had success in Europe, and Smotrycz is a solid starter for a good program. While lacking depth and forcing two guys to play out of position, this was a good team with experience and talent. Quick comparison:
If you assume natural improvement from Walton/Irvin and a star season from Levert it really comes down to finding 2 of the 6 freshman who can hold their own as starters. Seems like pretty good odds that some combination of them will be just fine.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Basketball minutes||
Those minutes are almost exactly what I expect. I don't think Donnal plays the 4 spot this year and probably not next year either. I think he's a 5 until/unless Doyle or someone else shows they can play it. And with Chatman/Wilson both being 6'8" I don't see a strong need to move him either. At this point the spots up for grabs are MAAR/Dawkins for the back-up wing and Doyle/redshirt depending on how well Donnal and Bielfeldt play. I doubt we can afford to redshirt Doyle given the foul trouble and height issues.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Uh...there are a few puzzlers out there....||
Most of the ones I've seen are pretty good. But Sean Higgins, Rumeal Robinson, Jamal Crawford, and Zack Novak can't appear on this list in any way. They were very, very good players but if you're picking 5 guys they're far down the list. You're really picking from the best of the best of all time and I"m sure we're missing some old guys. Grant, Burke, Cazzie, Rice, Webber, and a short list of others are where you start.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||My minute breakdown||
I was just working on this last night and thinking of posting something similar. Thanks for starting this thread - fun for rampant speculation. First, you have to think about a few circumstances that will affect next season:
So here's my best guess at minutes:
Redshirt - MAAR, Hatch.
I think they are more likely to need size and shooting (Dawkins) than they are ball handling and creation (MAAR) so that's why I picked what I did. However I could easily see that reversed and Levert playing more minutes at SF so MAAR can play SG.
Chatman will join the returning wing players in playing roughly 25-30mpg. All of the bigger guys (Wilson, Doyle, Donnal, Max) will be thrown in a blender and play anywhere from 5-20mpg.
Considering that Chatman has the second highest Rivals ranking of any Beilein recruit I think that team will be able to score and ride some ups and downs (and horrific defense) into the tournament but won't contend for the conference title. Wisconsin seems to have that locked up with Kaminski inexplicably staying another year.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Height||
While McGary is critical for the potential of next year's team, the height comment isn't quite as dire as you suggest. This season we only had two players 6'8" or taller and next year the number is three without Mitch.
Also, while this doesn't help the center position, Michigan will have 8 players on scholarship who are 6'6" or taller if none of the three NBA prospects return. That creates some flexibility and matchup advantages at most other positions.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||In JB we trust....but.....||
I see this roster as a "right side of the bubble team" that starts poorly and makes a run late in the year to get in as a middling seed. Walton/Levert/Irvin could be a nice trio, but the massive holes everywhere else are going to be an issue. I don't think anyone red-shirts in this scenario as I suspect Williams has to play a lot of PF and Doyle has to play 10+ minutes backing up the 5. Asking four freshmen and Bielfeldt to replace Morgan/Horford/McGary/GR3/Stauskas is just too tall of a task. It will be a streaky team that hopefully is well coached enough and hits enough threes to get into the tournament and then anything can happen. Ideally McGary returns and we can consider redshirts for Williams and/or Doyle.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Thoughts....||
Donnal sounds great at the PF position if McGary returns and Doyle or Bielfeldt can play a back-up role. If McGary leaves, there is no way Donnal plays the PF spot. Also keep in mind that other than a cameo by Smotrycz a few years ago we have had all of this success with under-sized PF like Novak and GR3. A stretch PF is a nice to have, but isn't mandatory if we need help at center. ALso, I'm still curious about the shot-blocker comment that was taken from a Beilein quote. I'm sure he'd like a better back-line defensive presence, but I don't think he'd trade that for being someone who can manage the ball-screen offense. Try to picture Amir Williams in our offense when he wanders around lost on offense and tries to block every shot and gives up easy plays on the back side.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Prediction....||
As of right now there's a roster spot for him next year so he doesn't have to take a medical hardship scholarship. My feeling is that he'll get in a game or two during garbage time, hit a couple of threes as the crowd explodes. As he enters his sophomore year they'll take a look at his physical capabilities and the status of the roster. Most likely, he takes the medical at that point and becomes a student staff assistant like Ben Cronin.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||OL.....||
I still can't figure out how we got to where we are on this OL. There isn't a single position.....not ONE of the five that is settled. The only one with some experience that has even decent performance to go with it is Glasgow and he's suspended and without a true position. He should be a guard, but that's the one spot we have the most depth. Kalis has seen his star fade, Bosch and Magnuson have some promise still but are both coming off injury, Braden has yet to crack the two-deep going into his third season, and the rest are raw. Scary. Who cares about the RB and QB depth charts if the OL isn't able to be competent.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||DL||
Why is it odd that Taco is moved to SDE? That position has provided nothing of significant impact since RVB left - just bodies. With Clark and Mario at WDE and Beyer someone who can rotate between the two positions based on situation, why not put the large and athletic Taco at SDE? I love the move. He is big enough to be decent against the run and athletic enough to maybe provide the pass rush that no one else has. Also, I would love for Pipkins or Mone to develop enough to play a fair amount of NT with Henry playing DT. I think Henry is a monster against single team blocking but will be a non-factor against double teams. Right now we need someone on the line to demand a double team so we get good match-ups elsewhere.
|16 weeks 23 hours ago||Observations:||
|16 weeks 2 days ago||Last Shot||
Hard to complain about that shot. Bad look from a bad shooter with a hand in his face. Only twice this year did we really desperately need McGary....today and the last MSU game.
Thanks for everything JMo, Nik, and GR3. I hope McGary says since we could be a killer team next year with him.
|18 weeks 4 days ago||Expectations||
I knew we'd get a far better game from Illinois as they were fighting for their life and weren't going to let us go bonkers from 3 point land. However, it was concerning that we struggled so much against the 2-3 zone and settled for long and contested threes.
|18 weeks 5 days ago||MMB Travels||
While I respect your thoughts on not sending the band somewhere they may get booed off the field, it is hard to say that and the OSU comment in the same paragraph. The OSU environment got slightly better when former instructors from the MMB went to OSU, but having been there with the MMB three times I can say that it is borderline unsafe. I still want them there and at as many games as possible, but don't assume that OSU's respect for old-timey traditions means that the MMB gets treated as anything other than lousy. I have many, many colorful stories from my three trips there and don't have any interest in ever going back.
|19 weeks 39 min ago||WHY isn't Michigan good at defense?||
What we haven't discussed is why this team with very good players, very good coaches, and an elite offense can't perform better on D. I have a couple of theories to throw out there in an 'educated guess' type of manner. But first picture this - in most games, especially on the road, there's a stretch where Michigan's opponent is overplaying everything and right up in the face of their man constantly. The crowd goes nuts, the team has trouble even initiating their offense, passes are contested, etc. Now can you ever remember a Michigan defense doing that? Morgan works his butt off in the post, Stu Douglas used to play great off-ball defense, and we will get a few steals now and then - but you never get that moment when Michigan is playing hyper-aggressive on D. Why? I think part of it is the not-fouling edict. Teams like MSU, OSU, or even the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks clutch and grab constantly knowing that they'll get called for a few fouls but will trade those for finding out just how far they can go. Michigan rarely does that, which sadly penalizes them with the way refs call the game. It may also have the side-effect of letting shooters get more confidence knowing they aren't going to get mugged consistently. If MGoBlog had a Heiko-like relationship with Beilein I would love to hear his take on this. The other thing hurting Michigan is likely their line-up. Having a bunch of 6'6" offensive players is great, but none of them have the lateral quickness to stay in front of most athletic guards. This isn't likely to change in the near future looking at the roster and incoming recruits either.
|19 weeks 2 days ago||Early season, not mid-season||
I think we first need to establish that the change happened earlier than "mid season" since we went from 6-4 to have a 15-3 run in a tough conference. I honestly think that the McGary thing played a big role. I suspect that the lip service Beilein payed in the fall to making McGary a 4 and GR3 a 3 was fairly accurate and that they were planning to go into the season running a lot of offense through McGary and have LeVert come off the bench. Once McGary's back flared up to the point where they realized he was an unknown, I think Beilein went back to his roots. He starting running the offense mostly through Stauskas, LeVert stepped up and became the secondary scorer, GR3's role gradually went back to being what it was last year, and the centers went back to what they did with the Morris offense. I think it took a while to work out the kinks with everyone's role and once McGary wasn't an option it focused their efforts.
|19 weeks 5 days ago||Several Names.....||
|19 weeks 6 days ago||Rooting interest....||
I realize that we have not rooting interest in the B10 that isn't based on love or hate of other teams, but what about the non-conference teams? Namely, we want Stanford/FSU to win everything, we don't care about Arizona, we're probably indifferent to ISU now that we're clearly ahead of them, and we want Dook to lose to help our seeding and because they're Dook.
|20 weeks 1 day ago||Critical.||
This is CRITICAL for next year. With McGary's future uncertain we need to know that Horford will be back to provide a consistent presence in the middle. Bielfeldt will probably get more play, but he's woefully undersized for the center position. The only other option is incoming freshman Ricky Doyle, who will be forced to play if McGary leaves. The only other option I could see the coaches trying is to play Bielfeldt alongside Mark Donnal. On D they could switch roles with Donnal guarding the other team's center and on O they can let Bielfeldt set the perimeter screens while Donnal operates as the stretch four.
|21 weeks 23 hours ago||Fixing the symptom and not the problem?||
It seems like the coaches are throwing everything they have at maximizing the production of the LB crew both with the coaching changes and the position changes. But the reality is that the true problems were with the DL. We couldn't consistently get pressure and we couldn't keep the LB free. So now we're tinkering with the deepest and most talented position on the field to cover up for the weakest? Seems.....odd. Maybe they see the writing on the wall that help is NOT on the way at DL and they need to try more exotic options. Let's face it - unless we see a huge improvement from someone unexpected on the DL we're treading water there. The other option is that Ross will end up being a dynamic player on the edge where his speed and quickness are more effective and Ryan can blow up releasing guards and still make the tackle. Let's hope......
|21 weeks 2 days ago||That was pretty great....||
I actually loved that exchange and wish the announcers would have talked about it. The call on Morgan was crap and Izzo telling Beilein "you got it, you got it, we're even" while laughing was pretty great.
|21 weeks 6 days ago||Disagree....||
I don't agree with Ferns at all. He is behind a full two-deep at his position right now and I can't see them blowing his redshirt.
In his place I would have used Lawrence Marshal. This staff has a history of playing WDE guys who are raw in situational pass rushing roles (Mario, Taco). In addition, we're lacking for pass rush and they announced that Taco is moving to SDE. I think Marshal gets a chance at some snaps and maybe a bigger role if he steps up. That seems far more likely than Ferns offering anything more than a cameo.
I'm not sold on Bunting either, but I didn't realize his weight was over 230 now. Last I heard he was a rail thin 220 and still trying to adapt from WR to TE. My guess is that the new OC puts more proven WR on the field and only uses TE when he needs blocking. Between Funchess part-time, Williams, Paskorz, Hill, and maybe even Shallman I think we can survive without asking a position-switch, undersized, true freshman to play. We'll see how long Butt takes to heal I guess....
|21 weeks 6 days ago||Offense & the missing link||
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.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||Ace - different take on the issues....||
Late in your recap you highlighted how Michigan wasn't able to get the easy looks and settled for long jumpers - indicating that this was part of the issue. Yet what we all talked about from the first meeting was that Wisconsin plays the pick and roll soft and thus allows you to take those long twos. I think the issue was that Michigan's D got carved up early with allowing so many open threes and uncontested shots from the paint (many on OReb). During that same time, which has happened often lately, it took the offense a while to figure out what they wanted to do. I thought Michigan shored up their 3pt defense later in the game, but it was dreadful early against a team that makes you pay. Meanwhile I can't remember the last open three from Stauskas or dunk by GR3. It seems that everything is a chore for Michigan on offense right now and that bodes unwell when their D is clearly struggling.
|22 weeks 6 days ago||Other players stepping up....||
While I agree that having other players step up is the optimum solution, I think the issue you're seeing is that none of our other players are great creators. Walton is getting better, but still struggles to get others involved or use the ball screen. LeVert rarely looks to set anyone else up when he drives and gets lost in traffic. GR3 and Irvin need no explanation. I think that explains why the back-cuts aren't getting the ball to Stauskas because the other guards aren't confident in making that pass.
|23 weeks 4 days ago||I approve this message||
I was wondering if this would happen. It may even allow Beyer to play both DE positions depending on situations.
|24 weeks 21 hours ago||Randomness & basketball||
My big frustration with basketball is that the "randomness" is so tied to officiating. I understand that it is impossible to be good at basketball officiating. But it changes games perhaps more than any other sport's officials do. Making matters worse, at this point you now see officials in football and baseball being held accountable via replay and slow motion. In basketball they rarely show bad calls or even discuss the impact of lousy officiating on the outcome of the game. I think it has forced improvement in the other sports but remains awful in basketball.
|24 weeks 21 hours ago||Safety depth vs. corner depth||
Which of the corners is going to move to safety to improve depth there? That's what I want to know. Stribling has the size, but I know the coaches want big corners so a future of Stribling/Peppers sounds appealing. Any thoughts on those options?
|24 weeks 2 days ago||Strategy?||
Against MSU it seemed we fought to get Stauskas the ball. Against IU and Duke it seemed that we tried to win a 4-on-4 game. Why?
I asked this after the Duke game - why not have Stauskas bring the ball up the floor and initiate the ball screen offense from there?
|26 weeks 5 days ago||The good news is that it doesn't matter....||
I think Beilein has played this one perfect. He can rotate them so interchangeably right now depending on match-ups, fouls, style of play, and hot-hand that it really doesn't matter. Horford plays miserably in one game and Jordan Morgan sets some season highs. Then in the next game it is vice versa. Much like we've seen with PG, the minutes will shake out over time depending on how it goes - but so far they have both stepped up. People forget in all the McGary hype that this team has won a lot of games with the Morgan/Horford center position and McGary struggled for much of the regular season and was mostly an energy guy off the bench rather than a focal point of the team. I love the guy, but having these two experienced guys who know their role is not the weakness the casual fan assumed when McGary got hurt.
|26 weeks 6 days ago||"Modern" attributes||
I think another poster asked about it, but how much did you see an adjustment at the line based on the defense, either from the coach or QB? While I suspect Saban is not the type to allow a QB to change plays on his own, if you aren't going to let a 3-year starting senior with national titles and some Heisman votes change plays - then we probably won't see much of that at Michigan. Thoughts Ace? Also, how would you compare the amount and effectiveness of their tempo offense to that rare situation when Michigan tried it?
|27 weeks 23 hours ago||Speight = confusing||
So are they basing the huge fall for Speight on his SIX pass attempts in an all-star game? The fact that he played well enough in practice to start and be named a captain doesn't count for anything? I agree that he didn't do enough to jump significantly, but fall that far? I don't see it. His WR falls down instead of possibly making a good TD catch and things change totally on perception? Seems odd.
|27 weeks 6 days ago||Positive thoughts||
I can in no way judge how "nice of a guy" Borges was so I'll leave that out of this. What I will say as a farewell is that despite the rough patches these past three years, he was also responsible for some amazing offensive games and set records that may live for a while. The OSU game, the IU game, the various ND games. He also helped get Jeremy Gallon the receiving record, turned Funchess into a very productive receiver, and help guide an awkward hybrid offense in 2011 to product two 1000-yard rushers. Unlike the common comparison to the Gerg/RichRod defensive struggles, there were several extremely amazing offensive performances under Borges that shouldn't be ignored as we move into a new era. Good luck Al - may your next stop include a mature offensive line and QB and a fan base that doesn't know why throwing bubble screens is a productive offensive play.
|28 weeks 5 days ago||Right Tackle.....||
One of the benefits of the depth chart besides just bodies is versatility on the interior. That is good because it allows us to see whether Kugler/Miller can claim the center spot and move Glasgow back where he belongs or whether we have to give him another season at center due to the guards being more talented. I think something that wasn't mentioned enough is that Glasgow was our best pulling lineman and we lost that when he moved to center. (and we also got one bad snap per game out of him it seemed) But the issue is tackle. I think what is far more important than your comments about Kugler and Bryant is that Braden needs to pown the RT spot and make us forget he vanished this season. If he locks down the tackle spot we can then put Kalis, Bosch, Glasgow, Miller, Bryant, Kugler, and Dawson into the meat grinder and see who comes out.
|28 weeks 5 days ago||Looking back at 2013......||
I think the biggest issue this year was that Mattison had ZERO playmakers on defense and almost no one that could win a 1-on-1 match-up. One example was one of the TDs in the bowl game - he dialed up an A-gap blitz and got a guy right in the QB's face. If that guy gets there a half second earlier or the corner could cover for a half second longer it is a FG attempt. Neither could, despite a perfect play-call.
In 2011 the playmakers were Martin and RVB with solid guys around them. Kovacs was a playmaker too.
In 2012 the playmaker was Jake Ryan with the DL eating blocks to free him and the other LB up. In fact, Kovacs had to do little at all since the DL ate blocks, the LB made tackles, Ryan made big plays, Kovacs just cleaned up anything else.
In 2013 it was.....it was.....no one. I actually think some of the explanation for Black and Henry playing so much more than Washington was the search for a playmaker. I think they futzed with the safeties for the same reason - looking for a big play.
As for 2014, here are my thoughts:
I still think this is a good enough D to keep us in games all season - but can it win any for us? It all comes down to that DL.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||My thoughts.....||
I do think we tend to blame the coaches a bit too much on this blog since ultimately execution matters a ton. But unlike the NFL, in college the players are young and the coaches have to put them in a position to succeed. We also need to stop giving the defensive coaches a pass. BUT......the fact is that we have very few playmakers on this team. On defense the only person close to being a playmaker is Jake Ryan, just a few months removing from a major injury. On offense we have Gallon, Funchess, and Gardner but too much dysfunction on the OL and scheme to utilize them effectively. We don't have a difference maker in the backfield and our scheme seems to make everything seem so hard. Nothing about this team makes sense any more - offense looks great against ND/OSU/IN and awful for long stretches. Defense looks solid for much of the year but collapses late several times and can't do anything against OSU/KSU/IN. I think you have to hold someone accountable on the coaching staff and can't just tell Brandon it was all "poor execution by the players", but it is probably lower-level assistants. I also think that Hoke only gets his fifth year if we see progress next season. We lose just two semi-productive players on D and have an easier schedule.
|30 weeks 5 days ago||Interesting||
Over at MnB they do a weekly feature on former UM players in the NFL. Every week they report that he played a fair amount of snaps bit has almost no stats. I guess it is good that he is apparently doing the little things.
|30 weeks 5 days ago||More info please....||
I realize this is being picky, but please try to provide some more information with a post like this. I'm sure many visitors to the blog know who he is, but for all we know he's a water polo recruit based on your post. Maybe stating his sport, year, and position would be a simple addition to an update like this - especially when there isn't a link provided.
|31 weeks 21 hours ago||League quality||
Yeah, thanks for the input. TOC post I saw last season went into detail with their players on the quality of the league they were playing in. Amazingly, MSU had fewer active players overseas than Michigan I think so it was a little easier. I gave up after just finding their information without researching the quality of their league, the performance of their team, etc. As for Asselin, I always liked him as a player. I think he's one of the guys from the "dead ball era" of Michigan basketball that would have most benefited from having Beilein as a coach. The guy who would have been perfect is Blanchard. He was a 6'7" undersized power-forward who could shoot the lights out and rebound well and would have thrived playing the Novak/GR3 role.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||Nice updates!||
Thanks for all of the updates! I didn't go back far enough to grab the guys who are former coaches. I know Juwan is an assistant on the Heat and obviously Webber and Rose are working as analysts. I wonder if guys like Rice, Vaught, etc. landed anywhere. I can't believe I forgot about Blake! Hopefully everything is okay with his family even if he doesn't resume his career.
|31 weeks 6 days ago||Taco.....||
I struggled with how to categorize this one. Playing Taco out of the blue late in the season surprised me and given his limited impact I can see why some people think he should have redshirted. Maybe that's one I should have changed in the table. I put "good" since he was clearly part of the rotation late in the year.
But looking at some of the comments, I now start to wonder why the coaches did decide to play him. Mario lost some snaps, Clark was doing pretty well, Beyer was available to play multiple positions, and the Wormley/Godin/Glasgow trifecta existed. I'm not quite sure why the coaches decided that Taco needed to start playing so late in the year. I have a theory though.
When the team started flailing about in November I think you started to see Hoke and Mattison start tinkering on defense in an attempt to compensate for the offensive issues. This is what Hoke knows, right? So maybe Hoke and Mattison got together and started trying to find levers to pull and buttons to push on defense. Considering that Taco probably looks awesome in practice against our woeful offensively line, that may have helped. Look at the somewhat odd changes you saw late in the year:
Anyway, it is just a theory. The concern with Taco is that Clark, Mario, and Beyer still exist on the depth chart and now without Deshawn Hand coming next year we could have used some separation in eligibility.
|31 weeks 6 days ago||Redshirt versus travel roster||
To clarify, there is no rule whatsoever about declaring a redshirt for a player until after the season. Let's use David Dawson as an example. He can dress for every game and the coaches can choose to bring him to away games if they feel there is room for him on the limited travel squad. He can take second team reps in practice. If he just happens to make it through the entire season without seeing a snap, then he can have his redshirt. At this point if they decided to play him in the bowl game for some crazy reason, he can certainly do that but he will have lost his redshirt.
What I think hurt both Shane and Dymonte was that they played against WMU because I'm sure the coaches expected to use/need them throughout the season. These are the guys who were probably most hurt by the narrow wins/losses throughout the rest of the schedule. I expect that the coaches were going to play them more significant minutes against Akron and UConn. But once they played a fair amount against WMU, their redshirts were burned. The only alternative would have been to sit them the rest of the year and fabricate an injury for them and hope the NCAA gives them a medical redshirt - that's very shady business and really only makes even a little sense with the benefit of hindsight.
|32 weeks 20 hours ago||Interesting...||
This is all wonderful data. Is there any way you can put some of it into context to help understand how our D compares to either other teams, past Michigan teams, etc.?
|32 weeks 6 days ago||My thoughts - SAFETY||
I don't want to come across as knocking Schofield, but it is hard for me to defend anyone on this OL for their dismal play - including Lewan. I thought both tackles were good, but far from great. And communication issues are a HUGE part of OL play. We'll miss Schofield for sure, but I think his performance was overstated by most of you guys. On the other hand, I'm terrified of our safety play. Wilson SEEMS good, but yet he couldn't claim a consistent starting job with the coaches. Now he's the guy we're counting on and we're going to pair him with.....with......who? Either Furman, last seen picking up his jock on the field or someone that's NEVER PLAYED before. At least this year we knew that Wilson had some experience and Avery, for all his faults, was a senior with lots of PT. Asking Clark, Thomas, Furman, or Hill to be a major improvement is scary. As much as I fear this idea, I wouldn't be shocked if one of the corners (Countess/Taylor/Stribling) moves to that spot given their experience and Peppers being able to step in at a deeper position.
|33 weeks 3 hours ago||What do you WANT to happen versus what do you THINK will happen||
I think the best scenario would be an ugly game that OSU wins on a controversial call and then the voters put Auburn ahead of them in the NC game thus screwing both teams in the process. That would be the best case scenario as a fan without involving natural disasters that swallow the stadium whole. As for what WILL happen? I don't think MSU's offense can score enough and as great as their D is I think they'll still give up 25+ points. OSU in an ugly close game.
|33 weeks 2 days ago||Brian v annoying posters||
Without question I support Brian and the way he runs the site. Without his emotions as a real fan or his detailed analysis this site would never have become the awesome thing that it is today.
However, I was also disappointed in how Brian handled the last week or so. His "Fickle" piece was great, but otherwise he basically seemed to throw up his hands and say "there is no hope for this offense - spread or nothing.".
I know that wasn't what he really meant, but his comments lacked the substance that makes him great - showing us WHY this offense isn't working and how other teams have been able to make it work (Stanford, LSU, Wisconsin, etc). Without the supporting data he came across more like that punk Rosenberg....a big fan who didn't like the way the coaches ran their system and thus just trashed them.
I hope Brian takes some time to relax and rediscover his passion for this so he can give us his great content despite what Borges and some posters have done to his mental health.
|33 weeks 2 days ago||Wilson||
While I echo your feelings about Avery and Furman getting so much time and contributing to so many big plays, you should point out that Wilson had a cast on his arm and likely wasn't available. There really isn't anyone else left who isn't a freshman.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Thanks for all that you do!||
You have created a site here that has grown perhaps beyond anyone's initial expectations. There are many reasons for this, but two of them come immediately to mind. The first - your emotion. You've maintained your status as a fan, not a media member, and that makes your take on all thing Michigan so much more genuine and powerful. There will be times when your emotions rub people the wrong way, but that's going to happen now that your site has so many followers. Hell, OSU fans were ripping Herbie today because he shook the hand of a wounded warrier wearing Michigan clothing. As your fan base has grown, there are no doubt a few Michigan equivalents to those idiots - don't let them affect who you are or the product you produce!
The second thing that I think makes your site great is the analysis. We don't get puff pieces about what a great guy the third string fullback is or how Michigan is working on their execution this week. You illustrate to us why things work, why they don't, and what could happen in the future. Don't lose sight of that as you deal with stubborn fans or coaches who bring you down. Show us why the offense isn't working, how it could work if run correctly, and how other teams are succesful with it.
We need you Brian! Help see us through this painful time in Michigan football!!! Don't give up on us just because some morons are giving you crap!
Thanks again for all your hard work.
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Corrections....||
Minor corrections, but you said Butt had 60 yards when he had over 80.
While the phantom Clark call was huge (I still wonder if the cameras missed something or the refs said the wrong number)....I was STUNNED that they upheld the Gardner fumble.
As for coaching changes....I just don't know. Does 41 points in your 5th loss to your big rival really gloss over the rest of the season?
|33 weeks 3 days ago||Same play....||
You can't line up in the same formation that you showed before they took a time out. That was my problem with the call.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Man down!||
Our leader has fallen! Try to find us reasons for hope next year Brian!
I don't necessarily agree with the lack of firing Borges/Funk/Jackson. Someone needs yo be accountable and I look at the improvement at places like USC and even Texas and think a change brings hope.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Chant?||
Instead of booing, how does the board feel about a "fire Borges" chant?
|34 weeks 3 days ago||Scarier than you think...||
What worries me is just how much closer to Florida we are than a title contender. Think about it.....
A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the fluke loss to PSU that could have been a win so many times. Now think about how easily we could have lost to Akron, UConn, Northwestern, and Indiana. We have a stunning three "comfortable" wins all season. Our performance is closer to that of a 5-7 team than 7-5.
Oh, and next year we play OSU, MSU, and ND on the road and all three feel like sure losses right now.
|34 weeks 5 days ago||2014 DL||
I think Henry's size gives them some positional flexibility, as we've seen with Black the last two seasons. If Pipkins is healthy, you have two big guys in the middle. If he's not, you play undersized with Henry at the nose and whoever does well of the new guys like Poggi/Strobel. I doubt Mone will be ready as a true freshman at that position. But given Henry's performance this year, maybe Hurst is going to be a vaible rotation player.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Funk apologist....||
While I agree that the ability of a casual though educated fan to judge OL coaching is nearly impossible and that Funk may be hung out to dry by Borges or Hoke.....I still can't understand why he escapes more scrutiny from you. Here are the facts that concern me:
You say that you want to see Funk perform with returning players.....but who? Mags will have to move outside to tackle and it is entirely possible that Glasgow moves to guard or tackle as well. So you're left with Bosch as the only guy likely to return in his current position.
If Borges is 95% to stay, I think Jackson & Funk are the most likely fall guys this offseason if the next two games play out like Vegas thinks they will - whether fair or unfair.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||The future.....better? Same?||
Perhaps what worries me most about this analysis is the near future. I'm sure the coaches hoped Funchess and Williams would be better at blocking by now, but they aren't. They are both pretty terrible. It seems like the best case scenario for next year is minimal improvement. Butt is the most likely to show significant improvement as he gains size and experience, but he will always be a receiver first. Compounding matters, Delio graduates and for some unknown reason his logical back-up (Norfleet) has yet to see the field. On top of that, we are redshirting an H-back in Khalid Hill that is an unknown commodity but not really an in-line blocking TE. We also have an incoming freshman in Ian Bunting who is a converted and skinny WR coming off an injury plagued (and unproductive) season. We seem light years away from the day when we can be like Stanford and trot out three TE and destroy people even when they know what's coming. Our only hope seems to be that Borges/Hoke realize this and we see a healthy dose of Norfleet/Jones/Canteen in the slot next year along with Funchess/Chesson/Darboh on the outside.
|35 weeks 1 day ago||Philosophy....||
I like what you've tried to summarize here. It would be interesting to know what the YPC and YPA are with Delio on the field versus Williams/Kerrige/etc. I think the data will be skewed for YPP in general since we pass more with him out there and generally suck at running. But do we actually get more yards per carry with him on the field? Now THAT would be interesting to ask of Borges in a press conference.
|35 weeks 2 days ago||Questions for Mattison....||
As expected and warranted, this thread has focused on Borges. Let's throw some legit questions out there for Mattison:
I remain perplexed by the fact that neither our offense or defense seem to make play-call changes based on what they see in front of them nearly as often as our opponents do.
|35 weeks 2 days ago||Questions for Borges....||
As much as I would love to hear Heiko ask some of the pointed, abusive, or negative questions of Borges - it won't happen, and it shouldn't. Heiko gets to ask one legitimate question each week amid all of the inane "talk about _____ " questions from the MSM and we don't want to lose that opportunity.
So here are some more normal questions that would still be informative:
And I loved the idea of trying to come up with an intelligent way to ask about the parallel between Auburn and Michigan without sounding like a dick and getting the press pass revoked. Here's one attempt:
|35 weeks 4 days ago||OSU line.....||
Is there a sports book somewhere that posts a betting line for Michigan Rushing Yards against OSU? If so, that line will be -50 and I'll take the under.
I can't believe I'm more apathetic in Year #3 of Brady Hoke than I have been since Year #2 of RichRod. Even in RR's final season I kept hoping for that big victory late in the year to see if it was worth caring.....
|36 weeks 15 hours ago||two post||
I don't understand why the OP and Ace talked about the two post lineup. It is already dead without McGary. They didn't use it for a single minute Friday and I can't remember more than a token appearance tonight.
His injury, assuming he returns healthy soon, may have been a blessing in disguise since it revealed that having Walton, Levert, Stauskas, and GR3 on the floor together is our best lineup.
|36 weeks 1 day ago||Further problems....||
I'd love a more educated take on this, but I think Borges complicates all of the issues above in an additional way - his playbook puts MORE stress on the OL as compared to alternates. Here's what I mean:
Am I wrong? Seth or Space Coyote or Magnus?
I don't know man....while the interior is a mess the poster who said we have Lewan, Schofield, Gardner, Fitz, Funchess, and Gallon yet can't field a functioning offense sure paints a bleak picture. This isn't the 2008 offense that lacked functioning warm bodies to run it. If nothing else, maybe a change just for the sake of change is needed on the staff.
|36 weeks 2 days ago||Stanford....||
The issue is that the offense we stive to be (aka Stanford) doesn't really care if you know what's coming. Did you watch them against Oregon? They lined up with 8+ guys in the box and said "here it comes" and were still able to dominate Oregon. The issue we have is that we know certain plays won't work, yet we continue to use them not just occassionally, but as the focal point of our offense.
|36 weeks 5 days ago||I agree, Space Coyote||
I am far from educated at all things RPS, but I was confused at the paragraph talking about how we didn't have a PA for when Devin is in the shotgun....and then there's a clip of a token (somewhat crappy) PA from the shotgun. It is obvious that our offense lacks an obvious "plan" or "this is what we do well" . I also hate watching MSU exploit most of our plays and play their safeties 8 yards deep like a one-armed Denard is at QB. So clearly there are problems. But when your OL gets destroyed, that has to be the #1 issue (both for coaches and players). At this point the RPS completely confuses me - I know we stink, but the RPS doesn't align with my understanding of the metric.
|36 weeks 6 days ago||The worst part is.....2014 might not be better?||
Honestly what worries me most is that 2014 might not be better. I predicted/expected 9-3 this year and while that is not a certainty, there's a decent chance we finish with that record (even if it includes blowouts to our two biggest rivals).
What worries me more is that next year might not be better. Don't believe me? Here's why:
The O frightens me except at WR. The D should get better, but isn't going to be elite since the DL is stiil going to lack playmakers. Combine those things with the scary road schedule and what do you have?
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Funk can't take credit for Molk||
Sorry Mgoagogo, you can't give Funk credit for Molk since he was a senior upon their arrival. Certainly he didn't hurt Molk's career trajectory, but you can't really use that as an example of success.
If you do, then you have to look at the rest of the guys he inherited too. A common refrain is that we only had 8 scholarship linemen when Hoke arrived. That is totally the fault of RichRod and continues to plague our OL today - I would not disagree with that. However, let's look at what Funk & Co. (nice band name, right?) have done with those 8 guys.
Here was the roster in 2011 upon Hoke's arrival.
So Funk inherited 8 linemen, only one of whom (Lewan) has actually shown significant improvement in the last three years. Perhaps the rest were just not as talented and combined with another coaching change were never able to improve. But it is hard to give Funk/Borges/Hoke credit for any of those guys aside from maybe Lewan.
On top of that, Hoke brought in Miller and Bryant that year and those two guys have only known this coaching staff. Both have been unable to help the team at a glaring position of weakness now in their third year with the program. So in the first 10 linemen they've had, it is hard to use any of them to defend the coaches. That's concerning.
I'm not saying Funk should be fired, especially since the OP pointed out some obvious signs of success that he should get credit with at BSU and SDSU. But I am saying that we have no evidence at Michigan in his favor and we're left to hope we see massive improvement from the last two recruiting classes in order to fix the OL problems.
My prediction is that Funk and Borges are tied to the next four games. If we finish 3-1, they're both fine. If we finish 2-2 or 1-3 with a humiliating defeat to OSU at home then something will have to change. Maybe it is a simple demotion of Funk to co-OL coach like what happened at BSU. Or maybe they clean house. But something would have to change.......right?
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Scary thoughts.....||
I didn't realize how bad the season is next year for road games. We're looking at 2015 before we compete it seems. I say that also because it is clear that our problem on both sides of the ball is in the trenches. While experience and new faces will certainly bring the promise of hope, young players rarely contribute on either line early in their career.
So tell me how to be optimistic next year in the trenches when this is happening:
As for coaching changes, I think we have 4 games to determine whether changes will be made or not. If we finish 3-1 and thus 9-3 then nothing changes. If we go 1-3 and finish 7-5 again? I think SOMETHING would have to change. I don't think Brandon is a patient person and the fan discomfort is going to grow to a point where someone will need to be the fall guy.
But regardless, we're looking at 2015 (with a nice schedule to lower the degree of difficulty) to be the year the OL/DL mature and we hope Shane Morris or someone else is a capable gun slinger.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Where can we draw confidence from?||
I honestly believe that Michigan is a better team than MSU top to bottom. But I think thanks to veteran experience, consistent coaching, a plan that fits their personnel, and a burning desire to build their season around this one game that I think MSU has the edge.
I struggle with finding a reason to be confident in Michigan in this game. What is our strength? I suppose it is our talented WR corp and maybe if you squint it is our secondary considering the number of interceptions and near interceptions. You used to say that we are a big-play offense with defense that never gives them up, but after PSU & IU I'm not sure we can say either anymore.
What worries me most is that MSU's strengths are designed to attack our weaknesses:
Our best chance seems to be to create some turnovers with our defense and have Gardner drop back on nearly every play, with plenty of scrambles and big passes mixed in. I worry about a game like 2011 where we could have scored a bunch of times but had critical mistakes at critical times.
|37 weeks 5 days ago||Engineering||
This engineering thing seems like an easy "fix" for Michigan. Obviously the only reason Hand likes Alabama's engineering program is because it is easy to get into and easier to balance with football. Kudos to Bama for highlighting that fact. Now Michigan calls him up and says "we know you like engineering and it just so happens that Alabama engineers aren't qualified to clean toilets on our engineering campus.....let us introduce you to some of our esteemed professors and they can talk about the proram. We can help you with tutors too and can talk to you about Omameh or Hugye or even Jordan Morgan - all of whom have pulled off the engineering+athlete combination."
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Observations from that 2001 Iowa video....||
Thank goodness Wolverine Historian got his content back. How else was I going to entertain myself for 10 minutes over lunch today?
|37 weeks 6 days ago||Della Valle||
I'm pretty sure he played last year and is thus not a redshirt freshman but a true sophomore. I'm still thrilled to have Levert and Spike instead of him.
|38 weeks 1 hour ago||Behind expectations =/= behind schedule||
I agree with most of the names here but I think there's a difference in expectations and just being on/behind schedule. RJS and Richardson had lower expectations coming into the program and thus it is hard to say when you combine that with the competition at their position whether they're behind schedule or just less likely to ever contribute in a meaningful way.
In my opinion, the two freshmen that have been the most surprisingly below expectations (which says more about our expectations than their future trendline) are Thomas and Braden. Thomas was a major recruit who saw a ton of action in the spring and now can't sniff the field on D and apparently is poor in coverage to the point where several other freshmen are seeing more time than he is. Considering he was expected to start next year, he has to be considered behind expectations.
Braden was also getting a lot of playing time and hype as Brian mentioned and now hasn't even been one of the TEN offensive linemen to get a start this season, which includes two walk-ons, two other redshirt freshmen, and a true freshman. He's also in line to start next year and that is concerning as he hasn't been able to get meaningful playing time.
The other player I had hoped to see more is Deveon Smith. Honestly I am surprised we haven't heard about a "mysterious back injury" ala Devin Gardner considering he hasn't played since very early this season. It makes sense for him to get an injury red-shirt like Gardner did since he's unlikely to play any more this season.
Finally, I think the biggest negative impact of the Akron and UConn games was our inability to give the younger players meaningful snaps. I suspect the coaches would have played Thomas, Smith, Gedeon, and a host of WR/DB players a lot had those games been the blowouts they were intended to be. Even Shane Morris could have used significant playing time in those games.
|38 weeks 4 days ago||DB Scoring confusion?||
I'm confused about your DB scoring a little, which centers around Stribling phasing out I guess. Each of four DBs gave up a big completion and here's how they were scored:
It seems that the -4 is pretty harsh compared to the others, despite result-based charting.
|38 weeks 6 days ago||Nice luxury to have....||
Isn't it wonderful that our basketball team has reached the point where we are arguing whether our starting forward (6'6" NBA legacy, records for jumping, projected lottery pick, etc.) is the best player on the team or just a valuable role player? My guess is that GR3 is going to improve quite a bit this year but won't be the dominant scorer the NBA thinks he can become.
|39 weeks 1 day ago||Let's hope the coaches realize this....||
Excellent point by "evenyoubrutus". Whatever full-time assistant coach is assigned to scout Michigan 365 days per year will have now seen their D get gashed by PSU and IU. When Dantonio is running trick plays to score on offense against Purdue and other lowly B10 teams you can only imagine what he'll pull out of the closet for us. Tempo is definitely on the agenda with how frequent Michigan subs and how they still like to flip their DL.
|39 weeks 2 days ago||Legend's Jerseys||
My buddy and I were talking about how this game is the perfect one to illustrate the glaring flaw in the legend jersey program. The Big Ten's record holder for single game receiving will never have his number noted for anything. UM's single game passing record is now held by someone without a number you'd recognize off the top of your head since he's had so many. I realize that a single great performance against woeful Indiana doesn't make you a legend, but at the end of their careers we will look back on Gallon and Gardner as people.....who borrowed someone else's shirt? I was fine with the concept of the #1 jersey. Now that we hand out legend jerseys like sale flyers I think it has lost its meaning. The best proposal I have is to trot them out for homecoming - not seasons or careers.
|39 weeks 3 days ago||Thomas||
My biggest fear with that list is SS. Thomas is like 3rd string right now.
The same could be said of RT since Braden hasn't played yet even though a whopping NINE other guys have played.
|39 weeks 6 days ago||I'm serious...||
The more I think about it, since they never pass to Williams, why not give Magnuson or Braden a number in the 80's and have them take his job? They can run one pass play for that converted OL against Indiana to keep the defense honest and actually have a guy out there who can block.
Someone tell me why this is a bad idea?
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Breaking down the OL Blame||
So I kept seeing Kalis' name up there and felt sad for how poorly he has played compared to expectations. I thought I would break down OL portion a little more by player. I also then separated their negatives into two categories:
I went through Brian's text and assigned a point for each time someone's name was brought up and then put it in one of the two categories above. the format of the list below is as follows:
Name - (# of S/S), (# of S-U)
And now on with the list:
Kalis did awful, but it was almost always because he couldn't move guys, not that he couldn't determine which one to move. It is annoying for this to be the case, but we can blame that on youth (or pine for Mike Barwis to return).
What stood out to me is that the TE/FB group was so alarmingly horrific. WOW. I get that they're young, but if anything illustrates the failure of coaching it is this metric. These guys are being asked to do too much and clearly aren't capable of doing it. Get them off the field. I would rather that they give Magnuson a TE jersey number than trot these guys out there in a blocking role.
|39 weeks 6 days ago||Logic....is there any?||
From plays 15-20 we had three successful runs (at least one of which was against an 8-man front) and two other plays that were 0% on the playcall. Is this what Borges looks at when he continues to call these same runs? Does he see some positive yards on some plays and pure screw-ups by the OL and then thinks he can continue calling the plays? To me, the most frustrating part is the lack of counter at the LOS. It would seem that an OCs goal is to force the defense to react to what you're doing - which we have successfully done. They are stacking the box and playing a strange 5-2 D that's full of DTs. Now you've gotten them to overplay their hand......EXPLOIT IT! Maybe that's with long handoffs, maybe it is with misdirection, maybe it is a reverse or double-pass - I don't know......but you have now gotten your opponent to react in an extreme way.....so kill them for it! The fact that Borges isn't doing that or worse, he isn't allowing Gardner to do it at the line is what infuriates me the most.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||Recruiting impact of FF||
I too am disappointed by the outcome. I know that recruiting starts early, but we've been pursuing some of these kids for a long time and then topped it off with the title game appearance? And yet we have to start developing relationships with new guys when the Plan A guys aren't working out? I like some of the names on this list and I actually prefer a world where we sign a 3+ year player that our coaches like instead of a 1-and-done class, but still......hard not to have hoped for some sort of new since the title game. Literally nothing has happened in recruiting since Burke became a star and Michigan was cool again. Not in the 2014 class or the 2015 class.
|44 weeks 1 day ago||Chart? Chart....||
I think what this post needs, even though it is already excellent, is a chart. It would be good to know how many snaps each guy saw, how many blockers were kept in each play, how many rushers Michigan sent, etc. You cite one bad Pipkins play but I thought he had some good ones in limited time. I'm curious how Henry did or how Washington did when he was in there.
|44 weeks 4 days ago||Remember when....||
Wasn't it just a couple years ago when we were applauding Texas because they were hiring the best coordinators and setting up an actual coching tree? They had Muschamp, Diaz, etc. and looked to be on their way to a nice future after Mack Brown. Now Diaz has flamed out, Muschamp stopped waiting for Brown to retire, and the program is Michigan-2007.
|49 weeks 2 days ago||Demens||
I know he wasn't a skull crusher at Michigan, but I've always liked Demens and thought he was a reliable MLB. Those highlights of his tackles were pretty impressive and give me hope that he could find a roster spot. Then again, unlike the offensive players you can't judge a defender only by the plays he makes. Who else is in camp that we haven't seen yet?
|51 weeks 1 day ago||Talent vs. Development||
Interesting comments French West Indian. I agree with you. Someone like Avant couldn't rely on his physical talents to dominate - he had to work on his routes, hands, footwork, etc. Meanwhile Terrell could dominate with his physical gifts and never really had to work at the little things - only to find out that his gifts wouldn't set him apart in the NFL.
|51 weeks 1 day ago||Getting ahead of ourselves....||
I tried to make the comment in the OP that this is insanely early to celebrate the potential of high school kids, but since it is a boring summer day without much to discuss I threw it out there anyway. The intent was to focus more on the duos of the past than the future.
Frankly, I hope we can add Darboh-Chesson to that list before Campbell steps on the field. And what is more impressive than just the Harris-Campbell situation is the depth that we're bringing in at so many positions. Even if someone doesn't pan out there are 4-star recruits waiting in the wings to take their place. That was a weakness in even Carr's later years - lack of quality depth.
Getting back to the past duos, here's what I find interesting - some of the lesser known players on that list ended up having the best NFL careers:
Compare that to the relative disappointment of Terrell, Braylon, McMurtry, and Howard.
|1 year 34 min ago||Excellent roster addition||
Guys like him are excellent to have on the roster. He's a good kid who could play a number of positions pretty well and allows you both flexibility and insurance in the future. It is possible that he gets lost in the shuffle during his career, but even if that's the case I'm not worried. At worst this guy has the makings of a special teams demon who can block kicks, break up returns, and be used on fakes. Darnell Hood came to Michigan as a solid RB recruit who never found a home and yet he ended his career as a very solid special teams player that was always in the mix.
|1 year 1 week ago||Amazing!||
I turned on the last 20 minutes.....and it was glorious!!!!
|1 year 2 weeks ago||Juwan?||
I don't like the idea if losing Jordan, but it would be nice to have a coaching tree....something that we have surprisingly been missing in both basketball and football.
I agree that Rose is not an option, but Juwan Howard might be. He has expressed an interest in coaching and probably wouldn't miss his role of warming folding chairs or waving towels.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||He doesn't have to be Paul to be successful||
So I love the piece from Ace and many of the comments. And while I agree that Burke likely lacks some of Paul's elite traits, I think he's closer to him than he is to Jameer Nelson. More importantly, even if he isn't Chris Paul he can still be successful. Here are my points:
There's a great tool at statsheet where you can compare players and if you pull up Burke versus just about anyone he compares very well. http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/compare
Everyone is worried about Burke's height. Yet here are some starting PGs in the league:
So half of the league's starting point guards are Burke's size and people are worried about it? Even if he isn't Paul or Parker, you're telling me the national player of the year couldn't be better than Mike Conley? Ty Lawson? Brandon Jennings?
As Bill Simmons says in the piece, Burke is the safest bet in this draft. He may not be a regular all-star, but he'll be a solid PG in the league for 10 years.
|1 year 4 weeks ago||What's the end-game?||
So it is obviou that something is broken with the system when the TV deals, bowl game payouts, new facilities, and coaching salaries are considered. That even neglects the money changing hands with merchandise and other forms of player 'exploitation'. But what's the end game for this? I'm not familiar with what O'Bannon is hoping to achieve here.
Given how dire the situation looks for the NCAA, you almost wonder if they should start working on some proposals to settle this. Here are some ideas that I like:
In the end the money may end up being modest relatively speaking, but these guys would head out into the world with some amount of money waiting for them based on the time and effort they put in during college. Any sport that generates revenue can participate in this program.
Another potential solution would be to adopt an NHL style draft policy in other sports. Let kids get drafted and possibly even receive a stipend (fixed rate) from the team that drafted them while they retain their eligibility. In other words, turn college sports into a really kick ass minor league system....which it sort of already is.
|1 year 4 weeks ago||Pro & Con||
I have two thoughts on this topic, one positive and the other negative.
First, the positive.....
Now the negative....
The good news is that we still have a foundation with guys like Spike, LeVert, Donnall, etc. that should fit in well. But unlike football I won't be upset if Beilein chooses to sign a couple of 3-4 star players now and then rather than holding his breath for only 5-star guys.
|1 year 4 weeks ago||Post idea...||
Here's an idea for a post on the blog that maybe one of the panel would like to tackle.... Has any other school ever had the combined recruiting success on both basketball and football that Michigan is enjoying right now? Maybe OSU or Florida?
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Can someone explain Stanford's dominance?||
I've never bothered to investigate this myself, so I'll ask the board - can someone explain Stanford's total dominance in this? Is it just that they are so very good at the non-revenue sports? Do they offer significantly more sports? (I can't imagine that they do.)
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Took my names!||
I was going to suggest Goodwin or Denson too!!! Goodwin has had a fantastic NFL career so that might be a stretch. But Denson was a pretty highly rated guy that took a while to get going at Michigan and then was a fringe NFL prospect who stuck around for 3 years. He's now a minister: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_Denson
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Well said Seth....||
I agree with a lot of the things said here. The only reason you should be worried about the depth next season is if you thought Gant would/could contribute to the 2-deep. If you thought he'd be a practice stud and special teams contributor then nothing changes. I'm not worried about it. Dymonte will move to safety with Wilson and Peppers will start at nickel. Clark will be the swing safety back-up.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||True....||
Thanks again Ty for "intentionally" dropping that pass against Virginia so Mercury Hayes had time to make the winning reception in the endzone. That was awesome.....did you get in on any other plays? I don't remember.
I did always wonder, even before the practice of celebrating jersey numbers started, how Butterfield got the #1 jersey after AC, McMurtry, and Alexander all had it previously. I guess it was before Terrell and Braylon, but still.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Other topic idea.....||
Here is the question I would ask the panel for a future post:
What position on each side of the ball will determine the success of that unit this season?
For example, here's my answer on defense:
|1 year 5 weeks ago||WR Thoughts....||
I am cautiously optimistic that we're going to see an exciting year from Gallon and Gardner. But at the same time I'm trying to keep that optimism in check given that Hoke really wants to run the ball, our OL is still unproven in the middle, and beyond Gallon we don't have any proven WR.
I had two thoughts on this post: First, I think more time should have been spent talking about Funchess (and the other TE). I think that the end result of the #2 WR will be determined by how involved the TE are in the passing game. It could be that those missing yards end up with Funchess & Butt just as much as the #2 WR.....and that could be a good thing.
Secondly, as much as I'd like to see Gallon challenge some WR records and wear the #1 jersey, it would be a very good thing for the offense if Darboh or Chesson stepped up into a solid role and offered Gardner more options. I worry a little about Gardner staring down Gallon on every play if he loses faith in the other guys.
Finally - it would be nice for Gallon to get the #1 and then we can erase the memory of the other short guy to wear that jersey (Tyrone Butterfield).
|1 year 6 weeks ago||Burke v MCW||
Don't forget that most NBA offenses rely heavily on the pick and roll, which Burke perfected this season and can punish with his jump shot. Teams will just sag off MCW.
Also, does it matter that MCW has never played man to man defense?
I would like to hear an NBA expert tell me why MCW is not just Darius Morris. I love Morris, but he can't crack the rotation of a team starved for a PG and that wants to push tempo.
|1 year 6 weeks ago||The open questions.....||
I think the competition on the B1G or lack-there-of will allow us to be highly competitive for championships in the years when schedule, injuries, and luck align. There are two major questions in my mind that will determine exactly what the Hoke era becomes over the next several years:
For future topics, perhaps we can speculate on some of the biggest questions facing the team next year. I also like asking the question, "If you were Hoke, what three changes would you make for 2013?" You can also ask that with Brandon's job instead of Hoke's.
As a topic for "Hoke Points" I'd like to see the best all-time ranked recruits at Michigan for each position. What would a team of those recruits look like? Boom, bust, excitement, etc. Maybe doing the same thing for the entire B1G would be interesting.
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Mandatory MGoQuestions....||
Aren't there some boiler-plate MGoQuestions that you're required to ask as a member of this boad?
In all seriousness, here's a potential question for you:
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Intro needed....||
I love the feature and glad to have it here, especially during the slower summer months for football. I like similar stuff over at UMHoops and it is nice to have the cross-over here. However, since basketball recruiting is a lot different than football I think you need to add an intro to this feature.
I would like to see you walk people through the depth-chart by class (noting possible chaos due to early departures) and then summarize the expected needs for each class by position - much like you'll do for football.
I think it helps to explain the recruiting in basketball a lot better if you are clear about the position the players are expected to play at the college level and how the roster is expected to fill out in the coming years.
|1 year 12 weeks ago||Lewan||
So based on how last night played out, where would have Lewan gone? I'm horribly biased and not well educated on some of the guys, but as good as Fisher is I would have to think that Lewan matches him skill for skill and played a much more difficult schedule during his career.
Would Lewan have gone #1? It seems like he would have been top 7 for sure. The Lions probably draft an OT instead of yet another DE (and one who started 9 games for a mediocre BYU team his entire career).
|1 year 12 weeks ago||The answer is in your post - high usage||
GR3 was a low-usage player this year, which means we can be excited about his potential but nervous about how he's going to create his own shots. Stauskas has shown he can 'be more than a shooter' already and will be called on to be the second ball-handler. I think you're going to see them run more plays for Stauskas to help replace Burke than you're going to see them run plays for GR3.
I think we HOPE that GR3 is the most dynamic and important player, but Stauskas is the known fit into the plans next year.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Roster make-up||
I agree with some of the comments that we have 5 true post players that could find more time in a 2-big line-up.
However, Beilein has always been about finding ways to get the best 5 guys on the floor at the same time. Hence why GR3 or Novak play the 4 while guys like Bielfeldt or Smotrycz get reduced minutes. So the question you need to ask is who the best guys on the roster are.
Off the top of my head, if I had to rank the 11 guys in terms of impact/importance/talent it would be something like this:
In a 2-post lineup you're stealing the most minutes from the 4, 5, 7, 8 guys in favor of the 6, 9, 10, 11 guys. While I think you'll see more of it, I would tell McGary that he can do all that he needs/wants to do at the 5 position without having a 2-big lineup.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Responses||
I think you're far more likely to see GR3 play more at the 3 than you are to see McGary at the 4. I can see a scenario where Irvin comes in for the Beilein development plan for athletic tall guys who can shoot and plays more of the 4. In that role he'll be more of a spot up shooter, low usage player, and guy who gets open on cuts to the basket. They can then have GR3 start creating more of his offense and move around more like THJ now that he's more familiar with the offense. I think the 4 spot in a Beilein offense is easier to learn early.
But moving McGary to the 4 spot totally changes the way Beilein's offense work and creates some poor match-ups against most of college basketball teams that only have one true big guy on the floor. I think you'll see it from time to time and more often than this year, but it still seems like an inefficient offense and defense. Besides, in today's NBA I think McGary can play a fair amount of center anyway.
What I would like to see Michigan improve on defense more than running a press and while lacking a true defensive stopper is having a zone defense that they can deploy more confidently. I think being able to switch to a zone for 10-15 minutes per game to confuse an opponent, hide someone with foul trouble, or utilize skill sets different is something that was missing this past year. I also think it fits better with the roster that lacks a lock-down guy or the parts to run an effective press.
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Excellent work||
What I love about this article is that he uses statistics to back up his defense of Burke. But it does so much more than that as well. It also shows why guys like GR3 and McGary should stay in school and shows why GM's are so foolish with their picks sometimes.
What would have been a great addition to his column (if possible) would be to point out how the short guys who didn't get drafted as high were passed over for tall guys that failed. Look at some of the athletic tall guys with potential that didn't turn into stars.
At the PG position this year Michael Carter-Williams versus Burke will be an interesting test case. Will a GM fall in love with the long skinny arms and 6'6" frame of MCW even though he has never played man-to-man defense and can't shoot? Maybe he'll learn those things and do great, becoming a mismatch for other PGs. Burke's "potential" may be more limited because he's probably closer to his ceiling both in height and performance.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||corner backs||
I think there is a 0% chance that we redshirt all of the freshmen corners. Our starters (Countess, Taylor, Avery) are solid, but it is a steep slope beyond them. It didn't sound like Richardson or Holowell did anything today so I think they'll pick the best of the freshmen and work them into the rotation.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Thoughts....||
This is a great post and I love the final summary of minutes played. Here are my thoughts:
Final thought - Burke's loss (and Hardaway too) will be enormous. But we went to the title game with three freshmen starting and six of our ten regular players being freshmen. I'd like to think that we can take three new freshmen (two if Donnal redshirts) who are highly ranked and fit them into the team without a huge dropoff.
OSU will probably be the league favorite along with whoever loses fewer players between MSU and MIchigan. I like our chances - especially with such a great coach. We have size, experience now (despite their young age) and depth. Oh, and NBA quality talent. Go Blue.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Decoder ring....||
Can you put together a simple decoder ring for all of the leagues associated with hockey to help those of us who are interested but uneducated understand what it means? NTDP, NAHL, OHL, USHL, AHL, NHL.....the list goes on. Maybe something simple in the useful stuff that you can link to in hockey posts that compares the leagues.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Greyshirt vs. Preferred Walk-on||
I don't understand why he can't practice with the team. Is that to maintain eligibility? Why not call him a preferred walk-on so he can work out with the team and red-shirt, thus making him a red-shirt freshmen in 2014-2015?
The only reason I can think of is that the greyshirt gives him one extra year of eligibility, but as a non-scholarship player anyway there's no guarantee of a 5th year being awared....let alone what would amount to his sixth year in school.
I see no incentive in this plan - just make him a walk-on, get him started in the program, and don't worry about a possible contribution in his sixth year.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||My list.....||
Your list is pretty similar to mine. The type of screw up that really pisses me off is the blatant mistake. You can't get too upset about a charge/block because that's an impossible coin flip. But not assigning a foul to the correct player? A missed kick ball that millions of people saw live? Burke's block when there are only two players involved and everyone is staring at them?
The ones that bugged me the most, in order, were as follows:
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Biting tongue.....||
I have been trying really hard since Monday night to ignore the role inept officiating played in the game. Basketball, especially at a high level, is impossible to officiate. I also thought that the flow of the game was great and thus the officials didn't have a strong impact in how the game was played. So when I see threads like this I try to bite my tongue.
But I feel the need to comment on this, so I'll preface it by saying that Louisville made more plays and did a great job in the second half of attacking our defense and rebounding. We had ample opportunity to make a play or grab a rebound that would have had a more significant impact than any one call.
Now, here are my thoughts:
Chances are that the officials were just bad at their job that night and not favoring one team over the other. I don't think there was a conspiracy or bias more than other game. MIchigan would have benefitted from a more correctly officiated game obviously, but what can you do? We still didn't make enough plays to win.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||My full roster....||
For that last spot there are countless good candidates. Impossible to pick:
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Actually.....||
Michigan remained at #4, they didn't move up to #4. As stated in a previous post, they were #4 at the last update and remained there this week.
But the next update would be the one that includes both Basketball teams and the Mens Swimming National Title. That is where we'd see our biggest jump and challenge Stanford.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||Expected||
I thought this was the expected outcome from day one anyway, so it doesn't bother me much. Hardaway has nothing left to gain staying another year and Burke nearly left last year before he was the consensus best player in the country. About the only thing that would have changed my opinion would have been if they didn't fulfill the team goals. With the Final Four now the incentive to stay is minimal at best.
The only question for me has been GR3. For any of us that watched him closely we know how far he has to grow as a player and what his limitations are, despite how good he has been. I can't figure out why he projects so high on draft boards and want to see him stay. But when you DO project that high, two of your teammates are leaving, and you will go out having played in the final four I can see the motivation. Let's hope he stays.
As sad as I will be to see Hardaway and Burke leave, I'm really excited for Irvin and Walton - both of whom are ranked far higher as high school kids and seem perfect fits for the system.
|1 year 15 weeks ago||More please!||
The more journalists who keep digging, the better. I obviously want the cheaters brought to justice, but for those who want the entire NCAA amateur status reevaluated this helps too.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||No - save it for the following year||
THis season we have a 9 man rotation, with Max Bielfeldt as the 10th guy who plays now and then in an emergency (a nice luxury). We lose the 11th and 12th guys on the bench who never play. Let's assume we lose two players to the NBA from our rotation. We already have three top-100 recruits coming in to fill rotation roles. Frankly, I'm not even sure how Donnal gets into the rotation next year despite being a good fit at the PF spot.
I think another recruit next season, especially one still available at this point in the process, would be a bench warmer. I would rather save the scholarship for the following year and target some high-profile recruits.
We have plenty of talent next season with Walton (PG), Irvin (SG/SF), and Donnal (PF/C) coming in even with some early departures.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Some thoughts....||
I'm taking a slightly different perspective on the Morgan situation. While I do think he's been benched because of his recent issues (be they mental, physical, or both) I think not playing against VCU allowed the coaches to play the injury card and give him time off.
I also disagree that he won't play much against Kansas, not because I disagree with Brian's take - but because of their PF. They basically have two post guys on the floor and I don't think GR3 is going to be able to exploit his match-up like he did in the first two games. I think Michigan is going to need to play more post players to handle both of the Kansas bigs, so you'll probably see Morgan and maybe even Bielfeldt get some minutes.
As for the NBA draft, which I hate for the insane amount of emphasis on "potential" and that they haven't adopted the NHL or MLB policy yet, here are my probabilities:
It is at this point that I'm thrilled we have the best player in Michigan and Indiana headed our way and that they play the positions of the guys we might lose early.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||What's wrong with the NBA....||
When I see lists like this I can't figure out why the NBA isn't beating down the NCAA door begging to adopt with the NHL or MLB draft policy instead of this stupid 1-and-done rule.
Let's see, the first pick is a guy who can block shots and dunk and......and.....uh....is coming off major knee surgery.
And the 16th pick is a guy who disappeared for over a month during the middle of the conference season, going weeks without hitting a jump shot, looked lost on defense, and struggled to defend moderately athletic PF's in the Big Ten?
I love GR3 and I think he'll end up being a solid pro some day, but the fact that NBA teams are so interested in what they THINK a guy can be that they would hurry to draft them this high is mind boggling.
Now imagine a scenario where GR3 had already been drafted by a team but was free to stay in college another year or two while he honed his game until his NBA team had a place for them on their bench.
For the record, I think Burke and Hardaway are leaving but McGary (obviously) and GR3 are staying. GR3 probably leaves next year and then both Stauskas and McGary the year after. I also love that our rotation includes a bunch of guys who will be here for their entire careers like LeVert, Spike, Morgan, Horford, Bielfeldt, etc.
|1 year 18 weeks ago||Bench.....||
I think the coaches absolutely would bench a shooter for a defensive player who rebounds.....but we don't have them. In this post you saw Robinson and Stauskas make major mistakes and Hardaway make a few himself. Those are your three wing players. Who do you replace them with?
On the bench you have two tiny freshmen (Spike & Caris), a senior who never plays and isn't known for either defense or rebounding (Vogrich), and a big freshman who isn't athletic enough to play the wing (Max).
They are really missing an athletic PF who can come off the bench for D and rebounding. As much as I like Max Bielfeldt, I sort of wish they would have signed Larry Nance Jr. for that role. He'd be a 6'7" athlete who could play some D and rebound. By playing him at the 4 off the bench you could rotate your wings more and give GR3 some minutes at the SF spot where he might have an advantage physically.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Michigan Pro-Day||
I was pretty disappointed that only Denard got invited to the combine. Here are some thoughts on our other seniors:
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Player Buzz||
I like hearing this sort of thing from actual players. But even still, you have to run their words through a translator to figure out how much to believe:
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Look at schedule....||
A large part of Michigan's road record is schedule. We didnt get to play Iowa or Nebraska on the road. Still.....a half court shot away from a title lead and big road win.....grr.....
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Height||
Is it really possible that Miller is 6'4"? I thought the biggest knock on him was that he was Molk-like in his size. I thought he was 6'2" or something similar. If he's really 6'4" adn 288 then I'm even more perplexed as to why he couldn't challenge Mealer/Barnum last year.
|1 year 19 weeks ago||Depth, not performance....||
As we know from being burned in the past by things like "Cam Gordon is an awesome safety" there is only so much you can learn. I don't expect to see the OL maul people or our DL get tons of sacks. In fact, if you do see too much success in one area then something might be wrong on the other side of the ball or one of the coaches may be calling a simple play book.
So rather than look for performance metrics, I'm looking to hear that some players are pushing to get in the rotation at several key positions. With that in mind, I want to see the following:
I would like to see Gardner have a good spring and find out if Bellamy is still a viable back-up or not.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Some responses.....||
Here are some responses to other comments:
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Over-reacting||
It was great to see LeVert contribute yesterday and I think he earned some extra minutes as a defensive spark off the bench. But perspective is required here - we didn't even score 60 points and it took some lucky breaks and heroic play from Burke to win this one.
I also don't think you mess with the starting lineup at this point in the season with a team laden with freshmen who are probably physically and menally spent. (Though the injury may force a lineup change).
What I think you should see is a quicker hook from people who are struggling. LeVert's play and Morgan's health and play in a two-post lineup suggest that Stauskas and GR3 should be on a short leash. And maybe you keep their minutes about the same but you pull them and have a talk on the bench sooner if they struggle on either end of the court.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Substitution strategy||
I agree that neither Spike, Max, or Caris can play extended minutes. We're not going to win by giving them a ton of GR3 or Stauskas minutes. But what about these thoughts:
As for the commenter Bluefantn who blamed Beilein for not recruiting B10 players......really? REALLY? Wow. I guess top-ten recruiting classes with NBA players isn't the right strategy. We should recruit slow, unathletic bruisers I guess. I'm not sure what a B10 player is, but I'd rather have exciting players that are fun to watch and will grow under good coaching.
With that being said, I would concede that for some reason our team seems to get pushed around a lot and gets no help from the refs. Part of that is youth and style of play. But I do wonder if we need to knock someone on their butt now and then or if Beilein needs to take a T or get harder on the refs. I feel like Izzo, Ryan, Creen, and Matta go absolutely nuts on the refs and get a lot more calls. Maybe that's correlation and not causation.....
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Vogrich is not the answer||
I had hoped that Vogrich would add value this year since he had small contributions in the past, but he's been awful in his limited minutes this year, not even hitting 3s consistently. He's not the answer.
I also think the coaches need to be careful to avoid desperation moves like totally shaking up the starting lineup and risking losing the focus of one of these freshmen even more than they already have.
The things you might see are as follows:
If you think about it, 6 of our 10 rotation players are freshmen. So even with changes to the rotation you're still dealing with kids who are probably fatigued both physically and mentally. They are also more easily rattled when things go poorly.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Stauskas not fouling||
Of all the problems I have with our defense and rebounding lately, Stauskas not fouling on a breakway isn't one of them. I HATE that play in basketball because I think when you're in a 1-on-1 fast break here are the typical outcomes:
Just give some token pressure if you can't get in front of him or have help coming.
Also, I think I'd coach my players in the Big Ten to try and avoid being in the charge/block situation on defense in any road game. The Big Ten refs give that 50-50 call to the home team about 95% of the time, not worth the risk.
I like the idea of switching to a zone for a few possessions to confuse PSU, but I think what we've realized is that our young players aren't good mentally on defense so asking them to play in a zone probably isn't going to help much at all. I do wonder about coaching the second unit (Horford-LaVertt-Spike-Bielfeldt) to specialize in zone defense and whether that could help. Let your bench guys focus on it more in practice and when you need it you can bring them in.
In the end, Stauskas has cooled off from three, GR3 is afraid to take them, and Hardaway is in a cold patch. The poster who said the outcome represented a 21-point swing in 3pt numbers from our team averages has a point.
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Burke = Not quick?||
Alex - I don't follow the NBA well enough to debate this point, but I found your comment interesting. Do you really think Paul and Lawson are that much quicker than Burke? Are there any other 6-foot PG's we could compare him to in the NBA?
|1 year 20 weeks ago||Prospect status....||
Earlier today I posted a question on one of the latest stories on UMHoops about Burke. My question was what people thought of his NBA potential given his awesome season. It seems that he's climbed some draft boards but remains a mid-round prospect based on his height.
I found a website that lets you compare college players so I put in Burke and compared him to Paul, Westbrook, Lawson, and Rose. Paul and Lawson are both very good comparisons both physically and statistically. Based on their NBA careers you'd think Burke has a good chance to be a starter, or at least major contributor.
One depressing part of the comparison is FT-attempts. The other players blow Burke out of the water in that stat (shakes fist at B10 refs).
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Some response to Brian....||
Brian - I think some things need to be clarified in your summary:
I think besides the film catching up with our freshmen we're also seeing a lot of fatigue on the defensive end. With most of the bench playing just a handful of minutes per game the top 6 guys end up gassed after the stretch of games we just had: 5 games in 16 days, two OT games, three road games, four best teams in the conference.
More specifically, I think our wing players are gassed (Burke, THJ, Stauskas) and they're getting beat off the dribble, leading to our less experienced bigs (Horford, GR3, McGary) to try and help.
I think this fatigue is also seen in the ghastly number of missed layups by our big guys. If there was a stat for layup percentage versus player height we'd have some of the worst players in the country - our bigs cannot make layups in traffic.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||I hate bashing the refs....||
I was in the Basketball Band from 1995-1997 and during that time loathed the refs as if they were Satan himself - specifically Ted Valentine and Ed Hightower. Who would have thought that 17 years later we're still using the same referees and asking these old men to run up and down the court and try to officiate the impossible?
I hate bashing the refs and even partially blaming them for the outcome of a game because I feel like that's one of the stereotypes about Michigan fans that our rivals point to about why we're so annoying. But in this case it is hard not to be frustrated.....especially when EVERYONE realizes what's going on.
Even if you ignore the block/charge calls that are impossible to make and usually favor the home team 75% of the time (I thought Burke's was a blocking foul but others weren't), the blatant incompetence astounds me. The ball that bounced off the WI player's face while he was lying on the ground went to them and the other refs didn't even discuss it. The Craft flagrant and the OSU goal-tend. Mind-boggling obvious calls that were blown.
The stat that tells the story is the 28 2-point shots from Hardaway and Burke (someone can probably find the actual number from inside the paint) with only two free throw attempts. The consensus POY candidate and the best back-court in the country can't buy a call.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Refs = Suck, but we lost for other reasons....||
The refs were awful. The slaps, the shoves, the contact, etc. I like calling an open game where few fouls were called, but if you don't call ANYTHING around the rim then it totally favors the unathletic team like WIsconsin who shoots jump shots and cripples an athletic team like MIchigan.
The killer for me was the ball that hit the Wisconsin player in the head who was lying on the ground and they gave them the ball. That is pure incompetence. Fouls are tough to call....and thus prone to wild swings in performance by the ref. Missing blatantly obvious things is just incompetence. Much like the Craft three and the OSU goal-tend.
All of that bitching (and more) aside, our fricking big men need to learn to finish. I am so sick of them missing bunnies at the rim. Heck, the shortest and least athletic big we have (Bielfeldt) did better making a tough layup at the rim than the others. Between that, lousy defense late, and the lack of fouling we lost the game.
Stauskas and GR3 look like they've hit a wall. Both playing pretty poorly even if it is against tough competition. GR3 has been no where near the rim the last three games on either end.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||My response....||
First off, I'm in no way offended by your response Diary and appreciate how you handled it. This is the type of discussion I wanted to generate. Your response took the approach of "why isn't it caught" as opposed to "are they cheating" but I think that's a topic worth discussing too.
With regard to what you had to say, I agree with many of your points. The problem with catching people is a lack of whistle blowers, a lack of cops on the ground, and a lack of enforcement power. Unless there's a reason to engage the government, the NCAA is pretty impotent in these matters.
To clear up one thing, you mentioned USC as a casual example. That didn't jump out to me because they have obvious things to offer potential recruits and thus there is a logical explanation you can go to for their success......whether they are cheating or not. Ole Miss lacks that obvious reason on the surface. (The connection some of the 5-stars had with existing players may be the hidden answer.)
Getting back to the OP, I still think there are other potential sources of the story that I'm surprised we haven't seen more of:
Better yet, let's say your recruit Phil decided to attend FU for clean reasons but LU really wanted him and kept offering him illegal bribes to attend (girls, money, cars, etc.). Why wouldn't someone like Phil talk and throw LU under the bus? He has the chance to destroy a rival school in the process of showing how honest he was during his recruitment. Maybe he even does this after he graduates college.
To me the better source would be a credible author who follows around a few recruits during this process and gets all of the information first hand as soon as they get back. It would take the right recruit who was willing to talk about it without risking his own eligibility.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Omameh||
I am a little surprises that a long tenured starter like Omameh didn't get an invite. I actually think he would test well in a combine environment.
|1 year 23 weeks ago||Treadwell tweet....||
Here's my take on the Treadwell photo - don't tell me there's $305 there. That is a stack of money in that picture. And those are crisp bills. How many of us have ever had a stack of crisp bills lying around? If it is for a job, then he took his paycheck to the bank, asked them to give him cash back, and carried cash around. Possible? Sure. Probable? No.
Maybe he got lucky at a casino (assuming he's old enough to gamble). If that's the case, why would he take the picture down instead of bragging about it? Maybe he cleaned out some gutters or had a rich uncle die - possible, but then why not talk about it? Instead you get the suspicious timing combined with no comments and an immediate removal. If you do suspicious stuff we have a right to be suspicious.
That being said, his picture also illustrates the flaw with this conspiracy theory argument. Most of these recruits are not smart enough to avoid doing and saying stupid things. Even if you assume all of this is with untraceable cash, how can hundreds of recruits over the years all keep this a secret? Wouldn't there be a pissed off girlfriend somewhere that would blab to someone about how her football boyfriend wasn't the same once he got $10,000 on his recruiting trip?
|1 year 23 weeks ago||How much "evidence" is there in the chart?||
As one of the posters said, i was expecting the chart to be more damning than it looks now too. In fact, the first version I put together did not include the class rank column. If you ignore that and focus on the number of 4-5 star players (12 in 2013, 15 in the previous three years combined) it starts to look a little concerning.
Besides that and the Treadwell tweet the other thing that bugs me is the lack of an obvious innocent reason. USC can offer California and Hollywood. Alabama can offer championships and a pipeline to the NFL. Oregon can offer flashy uniforms and flashy offense. Miami can offer babes and beaches. I'm sure the campus and girls are both pretty, but going to a land-locked rural campus to play for an inexperienced coach at a mediocre school is not the recipe for recruiting success.
I did like the comment about how some of the 5-star guys knew people there and that may have been a draw, but I'm not sure that's enough. As with steroids, I want to trust these schools and hope they're doing it the right way......but they are making it difficult.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||When is the MGoBlog interview?||
I thought Brandon was somewhat stand-off-ish toward what he deemed the blog community so to see him do this interview with an OSU blog is interesting. I wonder if he or members of the AD would be willing to do one with MGoBlog.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Prepare for the refs....||
At this point I have prepared myself to see some combination of Ted Valentine and Ed Hightower show-boating on Saturday with every call influenced by the home crowd. I suspect Indiana will shoot a ton of free throws, some key player for Michigan will find themselves saddled with critical fouls, and we'll be in for a really tough game playing 5-on-8.
Yes, that is pessimistic and shows how jaded I've become since I was in college during the mid 1990s and watched Ted Valentine threaten to eject the entire basketball band because they were so angry at his awful calls.
But if you prepare for the worst, you'll be able to cope when it actually happens....right?
As for the OP, Jordan Hulls is the weak link and will have to guard someone - that's where we should try to exploit them.
|1 year 24 weeks ago||Some comments....||
First of all, excellent work Ace. I do have a couple of comments:
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Burke performance against ILL||
Brian, I agree with you about Burke's performance last night. I actually thought this was his second worst game behind OSU. In fact, I thought he played a lot like he did against OSU where he went more 1-on-1 and took a lot of long jump shots (refer to UMHoops for the shot chart). Since he was still the leading scorer and they won comfortably no one really noticed, but I thought it was a mediocre game for him.
Perhaps that just underscores how impressive this team is though. Your POY candidate plays a shaky game on the road AND your starting center misses the game with an injury....but no one really notices because the team still put together such a good performance.
I'm glad Horford and Beilfeldt were able to contribute - they're going to be needed in coming games against IU, MSU, and Wisconsin. I can't even fathom the front-court depth next year when you replace McLimans with Donnal and have five legit post players who can contribute....oh, and Zach Irvin also stands 6'7" and could probably play the PF position in this offense. Wow.....
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Epke!||
DOH! I forgot about him. I wished he would have stuck it out with Beilein because I liked him as a player and he could have helped in those early Beilein year.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||McGary and shot blocking||
I'm glad that McGary gives us our first semblance of a shot-blocking presence since.....Courtney Sims? Maceo Baston? But at the same time I don't like how he "swats" at every shot. I feel like he could be nearly as effective just trying to "block" the ball rather than swinging his arm so much. I think we've already seen it result in a few foul calls and I think it gets him even more out of position to rebound.
I'll let those of you who know more about basketball comment - is his technique flawed or is that what all good shot-blockers do and I just haven't seen one wearing maize-and-blue for so long that I forgot?
|1 year 25 weeks ago||My thoughts....||
GR3 is projected high by NBA scouts because they see his NBA size and athleticism. WIth that combined with his shooting ability and the NBA worrying more about potential than accomplishment you can see why he's ranked high. But the fact remains that he doesn't have a great handle and is a mediocre defender right now. He can't beat his man off the dribble and they never run any plays for him. He's the perfect fit for this team right now and should explode with another year in college.....but he's a benchwarmer at best in the NBA right now when you consider who else plays small forward in the league. So I'm really hoping he stays another year.
Burke is gone for sure. I think THJ still has flaws in his game and probably is an end-of-the-bench guy on an NBA roster, but I think he'll leave early. Because the NBA loves "potential" they are biased against seniors. This is probably his best chance to get a good draft spot.
Walton will start, though I think you'll see Spike play a larger role early in the season as Walton learns the offense.
The PF spot is going to be interesting. I like Bielfeldt and think he's the one big that fits on the floor at that spot, but is he ready? I don't think you'll see the two-big starting lineup otherwise because Horford/Morgan/McGary are too similar for this offense.
I think Donnal is an interesting case. I left him out here because I think they'd like to redshirt him given how deep they are with big guys (a statement I've NEVER said before about UM Bball). But he could end up playing a major role like Lavert this year. He fits at PF better than most of the other big guys for sure.
|1 year 25 weeks ago||Thanks!||
Thanks for the comment - was feeling a little lonely around here. Maybe I should have made a RichRod comment or accused Denard of being a closet Buckeye supporter or something.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Options available||
I think one thing working in our favor for 2013 is the total number of candidates we have competing for the open spots.
In 2012 we basically knew who the starters would be once Bryant got hurt because there were so few options besides true freshmen.
In 2013 we have three spots to fill and have seven guys who are not true freshmen to compete. They are all young, which Seth has shown is less likely to result in immediate success, but if one guy struggles we can turn to several others and see if they can cut it.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||General Thoughts not covered by Brian....||
Here are some things that I thought about while watching the game:
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Disagree.....||
I need to disagree with you on your depth comment. You're right that we replaced 3 graduating players with 4 redshirt freshmen......but we also added 5 (and possibly 6) true freshmen. Look at it this way.....
In 2012 if someone on the OL got hurt they would bring in a walk-on in Burzynski and then be forced to shift all of the positions around to make sure he played guard. If a second injury happened we would be forced to play a true freshman.
In 2013 if someone on the OL gets hurt we still have Burzynski but we also have THREE back-ups who have been in the program for at least a year and can play multiple positions. (Braden, Bars, Magnuson if you assume Kalis and Bryant start). Before we even have to consider playing a true freshman just about the entire starting OL would have to go down with an injury. And even then, you could pick the most college-ready of the numerous freshmen.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Kugler||
I would also expect that Kugler rockets up the depth chart faster than any other freshmen based on his position, his talent, his physical development, and his background. I think as such he'll probably burn his red-shirt next year.
He could even get in the mix at RG if he's as good as we think. However, I would expect that Miller gets every chance to succeed before they turn to Kugler. Miller has a good reputation and is a true-center who's been in the system for two years already. The only knock against him is size, which we'll now have at every other position on the line.
I have high hopes for Miller.....but I do wonder why he didn't get any playing time at center this year given that Mealer wasn't having a stellar year.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Darius Morris vs. Taylor Lewan||
In the case of Lewan I expect most fans WANT him to stay but will support him if/when he leaves early for the NFL. He's clearly ready and will be a top 10-15 pick.
This shouldn't be the situation like with Darius Morris, who most fans WANTED to stay but were UPSET when he left. In that case they felt that it wasn't in his best interest to leave and felt that it was going to severely set the program back by doing so. Still not a reason to hate on the guy, but some fans did since they felt like it was a mistake. As it turned out, the program was just fine and his decision to leave didn't entirely blow up in his face given that he got a second contract with his home-town Lakers.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Darius Morris vs. Taylor Lewan||
In the case of Lewan I expect most fans WANT him to stay but will support him if/when he leaves early for the NFL. He's clearly ready and will be a top 10-15 pick.
This shouldn't be the situation like with Darius Morris, who most fans WANTED to stay but were UPSET when he left. In that case they felt that it wasn't in his best interest to leave and felt that it was going to severely set the program back by doing so. Still not a reason to hate on the guy, but some fans did since they felt like it was a mistake. As it turned out, the program was just fine and his decision to leave didn't entirely blow up in his face given that he got a second contract with his home-town Lakers.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Wish we had Nance....||
I did a little digging and as you'd expect, Dylan's site has a bunch of info on Nance:
His name popped up about the same time as Bielfeldt, which the OP correctly points out. I remember at the time really wanting to get Nance for a few reasons (even though I like Max and think he'll be a solid 4-year contributor)
Even now I still like the idea of signing the sons of NBA players and wish we had Nance and Glen Rice Jr.
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Hunt timeline||
I thought I remember hearing that Hunt still had other visits set up next week. If that's the case I wonder when his decision will be made as compared to Samuelson. Has the ship sailed on the Tennessee commit who is 6'10" too?
|1 year 27 weeks ago||Conspiracy Theory||
I like your theory and there could be some merit to it based on results.....but I see a major flaw. Why would the coaches move Gardner to WR if they knew something was amiss with Denard's elbow? Even if they thought it was just a nagging injury, they went all-in on Gardner as a WR even as late in the year as Nebraska (hence the Bellomy-experience of that game).
The only thing you might be able to sell me on is that the nerve was a minor annoyance to Denard that didn't warrant attention from a trainer or doctor but did affect his mechanics.
Another theory I've had about the running game this year was whether defenses designed their entire gameplan around stopping the run based on having seen Denard throw in 2011. If that were the case, maybe Gardner's passing open things up more next year. Some evidence of this could be seen in the bowl game since Denard got his runs while playing as a RB and running conventional 10-on-11 football. Sure, he's Denard and generally awesome at running, but it gave me some hope that we could grind out yards with a semi-competent back next year like Green or a healthy Fitz.
(The counter to this argument would be that Fitz rushed for 1000 yards the year before in the same offense and why wouldn't have defenses game planned against the run that year too?)
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Director's Cup - let's challenge Stanford!||
It would be nice, though unlikely, to challenge Stanford for the Director's Cup this year. We finished the fall season ranked #1 (Stanford was #3). With how well both basketball teams are doing that should help maintain our standing toward the top of the rankings. If only hockey could turn things around.....
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Question for the educated - opposing defenses||
I'm not smart enough to know how much this played into our struggles with the running game, so I'll throw it out to more educated readers.
I felt like opposing defenses designed their scheme to stop Denard. In a true spread this would have burned them with WR running open down the hash or bubble screens churning out 7 yards repeatedly. But with Borges' design and Denard's accuracy we were never able to victimize defenses for over-playing the run.
Could this defensive game plan be partially responsible for our inability to run the ball? Did we see against USC what is possible when a defense has to play you straight up and keep safeties deep since Denard got his yards playing 10-man football?
I guess what I'm hoping is that Fitz+freshmen will have more opportunity to get to the second level when the defense has to respect Gardner's arm rather than Denard's legs.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||OL Comparison||
Here are my thoughts on the 2012 vs. 2013 OL:
In my opinion the biggest POTENTIAL advantage for next year besides the system fitting the personnel is depth. Maybe all of our depth is young, but at least there are options. In 2012 we didn't make any changes on the line because there weren't options (though this could be a possible indictment to Miller).
In 2013 we have four solid players/recruits that could play tackle (Schofield, Braden, Magnussen, Fox). We have two viable centers (Miller, Kugler). And we have three viable players at guard (Kalis, Bryant, Bars). That also doesn't even take into account that we could move someone from tackle to guard or vice versa if we needed to get the five best guys on the field.
Maybe they start out shaky, but by the end of the year I expect them to be good.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||Fun question for Ace.....||
Are you wiling to tell us how many "Hello Posts" you have already written in preparation of NSD? I would have to assume you've put work in on:
Do you ever worry about a jinx by writing up one ahead of time? ;)
|1 year 30 weeks ago||WR Diversity||
I've seen this mentioned elsewhere, including on TouchTheBanner today, but I wish we had a little more diversity in our WR corps. Maybe we're going for the NFL model of having everyone that takes the field stand at least 6'2", but it seems that we've had the most success when our WR are a mix of different styles:
You would think that the coaches look at guys like Dileo and Gallon and see potential for people who catch everything and go over the middle. I suppose it is possible that they see those guys and say "I wish they were taller, let's find a 6'2" Drew Dileo!". It is also possible that they look at the Patriots model of using two TE instead of slot WR.....though I would clarify to anyone thinking along those lines that the Patriots have only had one elite outside WR during their entire playoff run - Randy Moss. Otherwise it was guys like Welker and Troy Brown making the tough catches.
Someone else also mentioned the perception of Borges among the recruits. I do wonder about that since it is hard for him to point to something on the field as a reference for potential recruits. But you would think that Shane Morris takes care of that unknown. Who knows....WR are always tougher to figure out.
|1 year 30 weeks ago||77-55||
Michigan 77, EMU 59
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Small caveat.....||
I love the stat and the nerdy nature that prompted this detailed post. However, there's one obvious caveat that you sort of glossed over given that you used THJ as an example here.
Currently THJ is the team's second leading rebounder and his rebounding rates are also very impressive. So every time a Burke shot goes up, chances are that Hardaway is chasing the rebound. Every time a THJ shot goes up, Burke is headed the other direction to stifle a potential fast break for the other team.
I guess what I'm saying is that THJ is hurt in this stat as much by the fact that he will be less likely to rebound his own miss as he is hurt by his shot selection. It is still a valuable shot and does a good job of emphasizing "shot quality", but this is something to keep in mind when looking at detailed comparisons of players.
(I'm sure with enough time and effort you could calculate these metrics for Burke with and without Hardaway on the floor to see the true benefit he adds on Burke's misses.)
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Pace explanations....||
I wonder how much of the "pace" is dictated by the fact that Michigan has so few turnovers and also creates few turnovers. Most of the possessions on either end of the court end up the product of an actual play and not a broken one.
I wonder how many more plays per game you'd need to move from the #324 rank into something more mediocre.....
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Other stars....||
While I gree that Jake Long was amazing and perhaps the best ever at Michigan, I think that is thrown around a bit too easily considering the long legacy of great OL that played here. We all remember Long, he had a great career, and data/info is so much easier to collect now that it makes him seem all-worldly.
So let's take a minute to discuss other great OL from past years:
Here's a list I found randomly on the web, most of the guys I know little about:
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Patience with Stauskas||
Okay, let's face it, Stauskas has exceeded all of our early-season expectations. He's been great in all aspects of his game and the fact that we're comparing him to some great players should put a smile on our faces. But let me temper expectations slightly:
We all know how that turned out. It seems unlikely that Stauskas would suffer a major drop in performance like that, but as more film is out on him, as the schedule gets tougher, and if an injury forced him to play as the focal point of the offense I could see a bump in the road.
|1 year 32 weeks ago||Comparable Rosters||
I respect the MSU program and the way Izzo has built/maintained it a great deal. I'm thrilled that we're even talking about being near their status at this point. While player-for-player you might not pick that many Spartans right now, I think the comparisons at each position are very similar and interesting:
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Has to be Morris||
If you look at 2008-2010 the only recruit with any sort of profile was Morris. If he was a bust imagine what would have happened going forward....
|1 year 33 weeks ago||LeVert redshirt||
Well, initially I was shocked at LeVert burning his redshirt, but you can't deny that he's probably a better player in most areas than Vogrich or Akunne. So why not play him? You can't plan for what will happen in the next four years, so play your best players when you need them. With his length I think he'll help the zone defenses a lot and we don't need him to score.
I also like that Bielfeldt has worked his way into the rotation because I think he is the one post player who can share the court with the other bigs without the offense and defense taking a big step back. I wish Horford would be more consistent because I think he has a lot of upside, but it is nice to see Beilein play the guys who earn it in practice.
The fact that the only debates we're really having about this team is the 9-11 spots on the bench is amazing.
|1 year 33 weeks ago||What about tanking??||
A couple of years ago there were several teams who started tanking games late in the year to get better draft picks. Not only did Stern do nothing, but he didn't even acknowledge it was an issue.
Now because it happens with his marquee franchise he has to act like a diva. Long live college sports.....
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Rotation||
Maybe the depth isn't utilized like we expected necessarily, but it is there. Stauskas has played so many minutes because he's earned them. If he has an off night or gets some fouls you can put Vogrich out there for a few hustle plays. Spike is getting consistent, though limited, minutes giving Burke or Hardaway a rest from time.
I think the difference you're seeing is the timing of those minutes. Last year if Burke and Morgan got into foul trouble early like they did against K-State you'd be treated to prolonged minutes with a Douglas-Novak-Hardaway-Vogrich-Smotrycz lineup and have to wear sunglasses. This year you'll see Spike and one of the two extra post players come off the bench while they let Hardaway/Sauskas/GR3 create the offense. In a tight game like last night those minutes will be more limited, but they don't have to be.
Sorry, but when Bielfeldt is getting the occassional minutes and not looking out of place as the 10th man you have to compliment the depth, not criticize it. (Unless you're talking about Akunne feeling the need to shoot as soon as he gets the ball during his 2mpg appearances.)
Heck, our SCOUT TEAM has three scholarship players on it!
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Michigan 88-61||
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Clark was the starter before his suspension, right?||
As good as this D was this year there were two things it lacked compared to an elite unit - a strong pass rusher and a lock down corner.
Maybe Countess is the lock down guy, but Better definitely is NOT the pass rusher. Clark should get better against the run and is the only pass rush threat unless Mario puts on weight. I think Clark should be in the top 27.
|1 year 33 weeks ago||Series of questions....||
|1 year 39 weeks ago||Thoughts - field rush & play action||
I am someone who thinks that rushing the field should be reserved for once-in-a-generation type of moments, which is why I supported it in 1997. Last year against OSU was on the fringe of being tolerable since it had been so long. But if you want to think of yourself as an elite program, rushing the field should be reserved for elite moments - and beating a solid but not great MSU team does not qualify.
As for play action, I saw two great calls by Borges during the first half of the game. One was the pass to the walk-on TE down the sideline that worked great and the other was a perfect screen to Fitz where he had three blockers - which was defeated thanks to an excellent effort by the MSU safety and a shaky pass by Denard that held up Fitz too long. I think we should have seen more of it throughout the game, but there were moments.
What I am perhaps more bothered by is the lack of play changing before the snap. I realize that this is the way Borges does things, that Denard might not be great at it, and that the WR are supposed to adjust their routes as needed.....but it sucks seeing MSU shift their defense or the OL call out blitzes only to run a play right into it anyway. When a corner tips blitz too early you need to make him pay. When the LB shift to the side of the formation you're planning to run a sweep, change the play!!
|1 year 40 weeks ago||Nervous about MSU||
I couldn't agree more with Brian that until we see our players and coaches match the preparation and execution of MSU I will be nervous. We've teased the MSU faithful over the years for how much of an emphasis they put on this game. They installed a countdown clock, they promised victories, they paint their tackling dummies maize, etc. But that's what we've been doing for the OSU game - which is what we need to realize.
This game is the SEASON for the MSU team and they plan around it. Maybe this year to a lesser extent, but it is still the measuring stick they use to judge success. We need to think like that and make sure that our attention on OSU is matched with our attention on MSU. Unless we can treat them like any other opponent because of superior talent we need to think of them as the team we're chasing. Four straight losses will do that.
My slight fear is that this mentality prompts Borges to get too cute (see Alabama/ND game plans) without a back-up plan. Or it prompts Mattison to lean too heavily on a scouting report and not have a reaction to MSU opening their bag of tricks. Against OSU last year they changed their plan against us and Mattison struggled to adjust. We need to be ready for MSU to open the entire playbook. And it sure would be nice to feel like we out-coached the MSU defense instead of the other way around.
|1 year 40 weeks ago||The #1 Jersey||
I really want to see the #1 jersey bestowed upon someone else, but if you're going to make it a legend it needs to be generic. Yes, Braylon and AC were the best to wear it but the other people who wore it held their own very well.
I think if you were to make that jersey into a legend, you would go all out and tie it all together. Incorporate the Braylon scholarship, bring the families of all these players out for the game, talk about how this jersey more than any other has spanned two generations of Michigan football because so many great players have worn it.
Also, to a lesser extent it bugs me when people associate Jake Long as the only elite OT to wear #77. Jon Jansen was a great college lineman and then went on to have a great NFL career. (As a sideline reporter the jury is stil out.) I think it is a slight to his legacy (also a leader on the national championship team) to focus on Jake Long only. Lewan may have something to say before he's done too.
Finally, I wonder if before these jerseys are handed out whether the player is given the option of accepting it.
|1 year 41 weeks ago||A different view-point.....||
I think we all know Burke is the key to how far we go and the amount of time we see the hot THJ versus the cold THJ will dictate if we're good or great......but I have some alternate thoughts:
-- I think GR3 is going to be exciting, perhaps not because of how he creates his own points but because of how Burke gets him the ball and how he creates points off turnovers and athleticism. I don't think we've had someone who can play above the rim in a long time and he's going to be fun to watch.
-- I am setting my expectations low for McGary as a freshman. I think the depth in the front court is going to diminish his opportunities and I think his offensive game is limited. As a hustle/rebounding guy with size he'll play a solid role, but I don't see him being an above average player......THIS year.
-- I think the most important player on the team this year is Stauskas believe it or not. They need somone who can handle the ball when teams press Burke, they need someone to hit open shots, and they need him to be competent on defense. Unless THJ makes a huge leap this year and can play the 2-guard spot most of the time (instead of at the 3) then I think Stauskas is critical for their success.
-- I think Lavert red-shirts but Spike plays 5 minutes per game backing up Burke.
-- I'm curious to see if Horford, the biggest and most athletic center on the team, forces his way into minutes.
|1 year 41 weeks ago||Post thoughts....||
The most interesting thing about this season will be how the post-players are sorted out as the season goes on.
I'm excited for the front-court depth this season since it has been ages since we've had that around this team. But I feel a little nervous that it will be like having Borges coach a spread-option QB in that Beilein normally doesn't have a bunch of post players in his system and is really going to miss having someone like Smotrycz around.
With that being said, my prediction for rotation:
PG - Burke
SG - Hardaway
SF - Vogrich early in the season, GR3 or Stauskas by B10 season
PF - GR3 gets the most minutes, post guys rotate in
C - Morgan starts and plays 20 minutes, Horford/McGary split back-up time at PF/C
|1 year 43 weeks ago||Spread punt block rates||
I'm not sure how to collect data on blocked punts as compared to style of coverage used, but I don't think the spread gets blocked more.....it just looks a little scarier because guys are getting closer to the punter. I thought I remember someone trotting out a stat when Rodriguez switched to it that they were actually very hard to block.
I think the onus is on just those three protectors to know their job really well. You usually pick bigger guys that won't get blown over but also are somewhat athletic.
|1 year 43 weeks ago||Press conference strategy....||
I realize this subject will go over about as well in a press conference as a bubble screen, but I'm wondering if some added data would help to allow the question to be asked in a way that Hoke would be inclined to answer it. Perhaps the following:
I'm concerned that Hoke looks at the special teams coverage and thinks "our gunners aren't good enough, let's put a starting CB on that unit to make them better" rather than "this configuration isn't good enough and exposes our gunners to big returns or injury".
|1 year 46 weeks ago||Short term||
Can I ask about more of a short-term version of this question?
Does anyone know if the Air Force and/or UMass games will be streamed somehow so I can watch them during my business trip to China? I have tried Justin.tv but it has been unreliable. I heard there are some websites the sort of piggy back on the Armed Forces website that streams any and all sports, but I haven't confirmed that.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Marcus Ray||
Marcus Ray is one I forgot and not a bad comparison. But he played a little more like a SS if I remember correctly and not a ball-hawking FS. (But I could be wrong.) I remember Ray being very solid, but don't remember him being as good as his reputation and the accllaim he got for that one hit against OSU.
I compared their stats (G-Tackles-INT-PBU) and they are very similar:
Ray does look pretty good in that regard.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Thomas YMRMFSPA||
I think the best Michigan safety in my lifetime was Tripp Welbourne. I was little at the time, but I have vague memories of his athleticism and NFL prospect status before injuring his knee. Maybe some commenters who watched him play can comment, but he's the best safety I can come up with from Michigan past.
|1 year 48 weeks ago||Pape? Backus?||
I don't remember Tony Pape being as good as one of the commenters desribed, though I don't remember him being a liability either. Maybe that's a good comparison.
I've always thought of him like Backus though. He'll never be the best player on the OL, but he'll never be a liability either. And despite Backus' long NFL career, he's always been thought of as someone who wasn't an elite LT but maybe more of a RT or G. Seems similar.
And think of the comparison from the Hutchinson-Backus pairing to Magnuson-Kalis.... now THAT is something to get excited about!
2000 (one of the best ever):
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Question on aggressiveness....||
One of the key points of the UFR comparison was the ding that Demens got for not being as aggressive as the MSU/ND linebackers. Yet I distinctly remember Brian also ripping those same linebackers for over-pursuit. Teo, as one example, could be exploited because he was so hyper aggressive.
For those of you who are smarter football minds, I'm sure there is a balance between "responsible" and "aggressive", is there any way to explain that better to the rest of us?
My take is that Demens is less likely to make a jaw dropping play like Teo but he's also far less likely to be caught running the wrong direction on a play. When comparing him to an all-time great like Harris that probably means his ceiling is lower but he's still got the potential to be very good.
The fact that we're even having a debate about whether our senior MLB is going to be "pretty good" or "pretty great" is a fun thing to experience.
|2 years 1 week ago||Where is mine???||
We leave tomorrow for a family road trip and I REALLY hope mine makes it. Getting frustrated.
|2 years 1 week ago||Some flaws....||
First off, you missed Caris LeVert at the guard spot.....for what that's worth.
Beilein has always played a short bench and Izzo always plays a deep bench. Perhaps that will change as our depth improves, but it remains to be seen. Michigan will play Burke and Hardaway a ton. Morgan will be given every chance to play a lot unless Horford and/or McGary demand playing time. All three should play a fair amount of minutes. GR3 and Staukas should play a lot too. That's 7 guys right there and Vogrich will get his minutes. Playing an 8 man rotation is about on par with past seasons and then you figure Bielfeldt may get a chance too.
MSU will be very good (especially if Dawson returns to form). But I think Burke is the trump card.
PG - Edge to Michigan
SG - Push. Hardaway has limitless potential, but MSU has depth and talent.
SF - MSU? If GR3 lives up to his potential this go be closer, but Dawson/Kearney could be very good.
PF/C - MSU. These two positions are lumpted together for both. Michigan has four guys that could play solid minutes with height, youth, defense, and rebounding. The Nix/Payne combo is proven and Payne has the potential to be very good.
Losing Smotrycz hurts most here since he had the potential to lock down the PF position and give us an advantage.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||GR3 is not 6'7"||
I was hoping that he was as tall as some had said so he could potentially be a dominant PF in Beilein's offense right away (and he probably still will) but he looks close to 6'5"....or Levert and Stauskas are taller than advertised.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||Exactly...||
What did Falk do and what didn't he? I'd RR ignore him? did it just slip through the cracks during spring practice? Obviously Falk had a new boss so maybe he didn't want to push too strongly. Then again, in his book it is story after story about how he was the problem solver and the guy who knew everything. It seems unlikely that assigning jersey numbers to random 3-star recruits for spring practice is something that RR and his staff would have insisted upon....but who knows?
My point was only that I would like to know his side of the story. I could have phrased that better to avoid implying what happened.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||The #1 jersey||
The one story that I really want to hear from him is how he allowed the #1 jersey fiasco to happen when RichRod arrived. He really needed the alumni to support him and right away he pissed off one of the most vocal members thanks to a jersey issue that I think Falk should have prevented.
So what really happened?
|2 years 6 weeks ago||The gnome....||
I was given the weird second gnome as a gift for Christmas one year even though what I had wanted was an Anthony Carter bobble head. I stared at it in disbelief for a while and shoved it on a shelf with some other random Michigan stuff not exactly sure what to do with it.
|2 years 6 weeks ago||My autographed #1 football....||
I have a football that was autographed by both Braylon Edwards and Anthony Carter that my brother got me a few years ago when he was working a fundraiser with the two of them.
My dream is to find a way to get Greg McMurtry, Derrick Alexander, and David Terrell to add their autographs to it. (I suppose if I bumped into Tyrone Butterfield in the grocery store I might be inclined to have him autograph it too.....in very small print.)
|2 years 7 weeks ago||Size||
My memory of Leon Hall's size is different than yours. I remember him being a shade under 6' tall and the smallest of these post-Woodson CB's on your list. I decided to confirm that by checking NFL.com for the player sizes, which should have some accuracy based on the combine:
When they played at Michigan I used to think Jackson was about 6'1" and Warren was about 6'2" for some reason. But I always remember Hall being below 6'.