- Member for
- 8 years 27 weeks
- View recent blog entries
- Wilson is a good help defener, but he's not a good 1-on-1 defender yet.
- Matthews might be a good wing defender and do a potentially good job of locking down some opposing scorers....but who fills in for Irvin's versatility being able to defend 4-5 positions on the floor?
- What happens at the 4 when Wilson sits on the bench? Matthews? Livers?
- Simpson's offense is going to determine how much he plays and even though he's a pest on defense, he's not even 6' tall. So there's a ceiling for him right now.
- Teske has a long way to go.
- Poole and/or Brooks is going to have to play back-up minutes at guard - freshmen usually suck at defense.
- 2017 = 10
- 2016 = 9
- 2017 = 8
- 2016 = 14
- Kalis has been more bad than good for four years and has no positional flexibility. I'm not shocked that he didn't get an invite. He would have had to blow people away at the post-season bowl games to get one.
- Braden getting an invite over Magnuson is interesting. Mags was better this past season, but nothing to write home about. I suspect that Braden interests people because he's played G/T and is a giant human being. Still not sure if any of the three OL actually get drafted though.
- As much as I like Thomas, I'm not shocked he didn't make the cut either. He really only started for one year and didn't do much that jumped off the page to NFL scouts. He's a coverage safety who isn't very big and doesn't have a lot of stats to back him up.
- No one should be surprised that Godin didn't make it. Or Kenny Allen.
- Peppers (dropping on boards, but will dominate at combine)
- Butt (hate that he got hurt in the bowl game)
---- that's the for sure list for me, the rest are wildcards ----
---- this is where I think the drafting likelihood ends ----
$$$$$ None of the leadership in college athletics or the B10 specifically will do anything unless it makes them money. Show them how to make a ton of money off of this idea and they might listen. The three games at the end are a good start.
While your method uses data and attempts to create a balanced schedule, is there a v1.0 of this method that at least makes the scheduling more flexible? Maybe there are two flex weeks per season that are based on records or something?
- I think the simple approach of killing meaningless divisions and setting up 1-3 relevant games on championship weekend is a good start.
- Soloman is their #11 recruit, which is higher than anyone Michigan has in their cass right now (DPJ = #22). Getting him would certainly boost us further.
- Willie Gay is their #51 recruit, which would be our highest ranked recruit besides DPJ or Soloman in the class. (Ambry Thomas = #56)
- Isaih Wilson is #42. I do think the Michigan coaches thought they had him up until the end when he surprised with the Georgia pick. For us he'd be one of our top 3 recruits. For Georgia he is also their 3rd as they hold the #25 and #28 guys also.
- Tedarell Slaton is #31 somewhat to my surprised. I never really thought he was ranked high enough to be one of our best recruits.
- Austin Jackson, who I wish we had a chance at, is #30.
- Jay Tufele is also way up there at #36.
- Depth chart at safety
- These days you essentially play 5-6 DBs at all times with Viper and slot-corner
- Don Brown likes him
- No one thought much of Jeremy Clark....he did pretty darn ok.
- No one thought much of Josh Metellus....he was Peppers back-up as a freshman
- Guys with a chip on their shoulder (especially with the family pedigree of his) are the type of guys you want to fill out your depth chart and to help on special teams.
- Peppers - 1st round
- Taco - 1st round
- Wormley - early rounds
- Lewis - early rounds
- Butt - early rounds
- Glasgow - late rounds
- Stribling - late rounds
- Darboh - late rounds
- Mags - late rounds
- Smith - late rounds
- Chesson - has a shot
- Gedeon - has a shot
- Kalis - has a shot
- Thomas - has a shot
- Hill - has a shot
- Braden - unllikely, not impossibe
- Clark - unlikely, not impossible
- Allen - highly unlikely
|1 day 8 hours ago||Talent version depth||
My point, which may indeed be flawed, is that Izzo has a deep rotation and until the last season plus one game has had a great run of success and been able to rotate guys through at a regular rate.
Michigan often has a short bench and takes longer before guys see the floor in a way they can contribute. Ace did a good job of addressing that with his response.
I would still contend that Izzo playing more guys allows them to be more immune to attrition or injury, even if he isn't getting the maximum potential out of any one player.
|1 week 1 day ago||Recruiting Translation....||
The next step in the evolution of this program is recruiting. We clearly don't need (nor do I want) the 1-and-done players that dot the landscape of the blue-blood programs. Even Izzo experienced the challenges of that this year. I lived through the Fisher era and saw it too.
But with that being said, we do need to have that player who comes in with a solid floor to their game and has the high ceiling for Beilein to push them toward. We've lost a lot of those recruiting battles and I often struggle to figure out why. If you're a point guard, a shooter, or a versatile stretch big guy wouldn't you be beating down Beilein's door for an opportunity?
Not only have we produced a ton of NBA players in recent years who didn't show up on campus as 5-stars, but nearly every player that stuck with the program has exceeded their expectations. MAAR probably won't play in the NBA, but he's far exceeded his expectations as an old 2-star recruit and will have a long career in Europe if he wants one. Levert and Spike were no-name recruits. Wilson and Wagner were projects. Maybe you can argue that Doyle and Chatman were failures of the Beilein development model, but they didn't stick around long enough to find out. Even everyone's favorite punching bag Mark Donnal started for a year and has a couple of 20-point games to his name.
Mo Bamba - if you want to be a 1-and-done guy who jumps out of the gym and blocks shots, hoping the Knicks or 76ers draft you, then go to a blue blood program and work on your dunks. If you want to develop a mid-range shot and well rounded game, sign with us and give Beilein 2 years to work with you.
|1 week 2 days ago||Player Comparisons||
It is clear that Beilein has been trying to build a strong recruiting plan around the PF position for his system. As we've seen this year, having someone in that role who has the necessary size and versatility can really open things up. We survived with Novak and GR3 playing slightly out of position, but when he recruited Chatman and Wilson (among others) it was clear he's looking for that versatile guy.
My question is, how does he compare to other players we'd recognize? WIlson and Chatman immediately come to mind, but would be nice to frame his game and potential around other names. The hope obviously is that he can back-up Wilson next year and has time to grow rather being thrown into the fire and forced to play 20+ minutes.
|1 week 2 days ago||Calipari & K||
Calipari is at the top of my list and I can't wait for him to lose. Guy is as dirty as they come and smug along with it.
As for Coach K, he is hard to figure out. He comes across as respectable and has the career to match that. But there are a lot of stories out there about him being a huge A-hole. Every now and then you see that shine through - like when he chewed out that kid last year and when he only suspended Grayson Allen for one game when they started losing. Remember, he is a Bob Knight disciple. He also has won so much and has his own kingdom, which can lead to him thinking rules don't apply to him.
|2 weeks 7 hours ago||Actually - there is something worse.||
I just want to point out something that's worse than being in the NIT. Being Ohio State Basketball.
Seven Big-10 teams made the NCAA tournament, including perennial doormat Northwestern. Three more teams made the NIT, including such titans of basketball excellence the Fighting Illini. Hell, nearby "rival" Toledo even made it to the CBI tournament.
Yet with all of that, our rivals to the south find themselves sitting on their couches during March Madness this year. It must suck to know that ten teams from the Big Ten are playing in the post-season and you aren't one of them.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Beilein = Carr?||
I've always respected the hell out of Beilein. His offense is beautiful, he develops players, he doesn't cheat, he's well spoken, and he's not afraid to admit when he needs to make a change - which he's now done twice in his career. I started going to Michigan games right after Jalen/Juwan left and have been a die-hard fan ever since - slogging through the Fisher/Ellerbe/Amaker eras. Beilein is not perfect and has limitations, but I respect the heck out of him.
I think of him a little like Lloyd Carr. He's never going to be the best coach or most talked about coach in the sport - but he's going to keep you competitive and you're going to respect him while he's doing it. Carr's weakness was being too old-school conservative. Beilein's is his recruiting.
It still amazes me that high school kids aren't flocking to play in Beilein's system. He essentially is doing what the Warriors started doing a couple years ago. He's sent eight kids to the NBA in his 10 years at Michigan (counting Manny, McGary, and Morris there but not Udoh). Instead you get all of these recruits bashing him for playing "white boy basketball". Doesn't make sense....but then again I'm not an 18-year old hoops star.
|4 weeks 20 hours ago||Mo Bamba factor....||
Over on UMHoops they did a mailbag today and there was a discussion about the fictional universe next season where Michigan signs Mo Bamba and how he would fit with Wilson/Wagner. Dylan (who I highly respect) thinks that Bamba would add a whole new dimension to the defense and has to play, perhaps forcing them to play a trio-towers lineup with Wilson at the 3.
I argued against that for a few reasons, but Ace's summary makes the best case. Right now the versatility of the bigs allows Michigan to wreck havoc with defenses. Unless Bamba (or an improved Teske) is able to contribute something on offense, I think he is a situational player as a freshman.
(My thought is that you'd have Bamba be the back-up "big" and when Wilson or Wagner need a rest you bring in Bamba.)
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Crew chief is probably irrelevant||
In my opinion, the crew chief factor is largely irrelevant. Unless the refs talk before the game or at halftime about how they plan to call the game and that falls on the chielf, then I think most calls are heat-of-the-moment judgments that anyone on the crew makes.
I do like your comment about how Steratore seems to be more collabrative than Valentine and agree that is probably accurate. I do think that's a better approach on tough calls and wish more refs did it.
Where I will disagree is about Valentine being a bad ref. I think he knows the game and generally is probably pretty accurate with his calls overall. But I think he falls into the trap that Bill Simmons has pointed out as the true "conspiracy" behind NBA refs - Valentine is very easily sucked into the emotions of the game. The big home crowd, the coach that's getting on his nerves, the dramatic responses from players, the momentum of the way the game is going - he gets wrapped up in it and wants to be part of it....and that affects his performance.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Crews & data||
Your point about "crews" is of course accurate. I was using the term more to identify who was on each crew for that game and reference the one recognizable name from each crew. Valentine, despite his 30 years of terrorizing fans, wasn't even the lead official for that game. The fact that they mix up refs so much is another interesting point of discussion. I know if football games there are concerns when they break up "crews" for the playoff games in favor of an "all star team" of refs that aren't used to each other.
As for data, I agree that a comprehensive analysis of every play would be ideal...if impossible. Not ony would you have to rate each call they made (fouls, travels, out of bounds, etc.) but you'd have to rate every non-call. While there are highly complex tools/sites/techniques used for baseball that track events, doing it for refs seems nearly impossible. If such data exists, it would be nice at least to share some summary of it for transparency - but I agree it won't happen.
Instead, I do think there are things that could be compiled based on the game stats. The link I shared looked at fouls for home/road teams. You could also look at trends for the two teams in question looking for outliers. You could track things like game time, total fouls, fouls versus margin of score, etc. I suspect you could also whether the foul differential changed throughout the game as one of the refs lookedat the scoreboard and was getting yelled at by the coach to make up the difference.
|5 weeks 19 hours ago||Close games||
I arbitrariy used a 5 point spread or OT as a "close game" definition. You could argue that @WI and @MSU were close games that we lost as well. Regardless of your definition, Wisconsin has a crazy-good (lucky?) run this year and we've lost far more than we've won.
If I'm Beilein I think I show Wagner a bunch of film of how Frank Kaminsky kept getting better, had a blast in college, became the POY, made a run toward the title, and still got drafted high in the NBA. Wagner isn't quite as big as he is yet, but probably far more skilled at this stage of his career.
|5 weeks 22 hours ago||Luck vs. Skill||
Great points TrueBlue2003. I always struggle with how to feel about the "luck" factor. Wisconsin is 5-0 in close games and we're about 2-5. You'd expect most teams to settle in about .500 in coin flip games so that's a big swing right there. Michigan lost their only two OT games, both were on the road with Michigan a huge underdog with FTA in both games.
Then again, is there something to be said for truly good teams winning close games? How much of those results are luck and how much are Michigan choking it away? Imagine if Michigan wins the VTech, Iowa, and MN games alone - games that they had a legit chance to win. Now they're a conference title contender almost and a lock for a decent seed.
Michigan has to hold serve against the bad teams and I'd like to see them split the NU/PU games. That would be a great situation heading into the conference tourny.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Defense next year....||
Ace - do you think Donlon sticks around for next year or will he be looking for a mid-major to take over?
As for the roster, I think there's hope. I'm not worried about Simpson's fouls because I think he goes into the game right now trying to make a difference on D and knowing he's only playing about 8-10 minutes no matter what. Next year he'll pick his spots for those steal attempts.
My concerns, however, would be as follows:
Overall there's hope for mediocrity, which is all we can ask. There will be a ton of pressure on Simpson to make a sophomore leap and get decent support from Brooks and/or Poole.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Officiating accountability||
Are there any blogs or website that track the performance of refs using even basic statistics? It seems we're never going to get them to speak to the media and take responsibility for what they did on the court. They have to realize that their performance in that game was a 10 year outlier for fouls called - regardless of what type of basketall Michigan plays. And the next time Wagner does a fancy move and gets called for traveling because the 65 year old ref THOUGHT he saw him shuffle his feet I am going to puke.
I was in basketball band sitting on the floor of Crisler from 1994-1997 and TV Teddy threatened to have us ejected from the arena for yelling at him. It is 20+ years later and that guy is somehow still considered a top official for this league. WTF?
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Exactly!||
I realize there's always the risk of getting called for an intentional foul, which refs never call at the end of games when that's exactly what is happening. But I have always wondered why teams don't just start grabbing blatantly before the pass - no time off the clock and pick your shooter.
|6 weeks 3 hours ago||Misleading Indiana stats||
I love the piece and the data you're using. I even like the proposal of giving DJ some minutes on Happ, as much for the reasons you mention as well as the fact that Happ isn't going to blow past DJ from the perimeter like everyone else does.
However, your Indiana stats are very misleading. Michigan double-teamed Bryant every time he had the ball and he went 3-8. They did *NOT* double team Davis until his last possession, which happened to be the one on which he committed a turnover. I remember multiple times when Davis was scoring at will in the post that the announcers suggested Michigan should copy their defensive approach from Bryant to limit Davis.....and then they did with good results.
The difference with using a double with Wisconsin is that I think they are overall more dangerous from the outside across the board. But Northwestern often mixed in double teams on Happ as well and clearly it worked for the most part.
The real key to the game is keeping Wilson/Wagner out of the dumb fouls most Big Ten refs calll at times - including when we lost by 4 in the Troll Center.
|6 weeks 4 hours ago||Highly unlikely....||
It would be very difficult for any college to sustain that level of success over a prolonged period of time. But if any schools were going to come close, it would be Alabama and Ohio State. Checking their data for just the past two years....
So they are close. You have to figure that Michigan won't come close to 14 next year if nothing else just because we have a small senior class and are about to see the transitional period between Hoke and Harbaugh pass through. Optimistically you're looking at Hurst, McCray, Cole, and Isaac. Anyone else would have to come out of no where and/or be an early entry canddidate.
|6 weeks 4 hours ago||Interesting notes.....||
With all that being said, remember that Rudock and Wilson weren't on the invite list for 2016 (link) and still made it into the league. Same for Fitz a couple years ago.
Michigan's record for most draft picks in a single year was 10 (a long time ago). They look to shatter that record if even most of these guys get picked.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Don't forget another ref call....||
I will agree that it was the most "balanced" (notice I did say good) game of officiating I've seen on the road for Michigan in a while. Michigan got a few calls their way and the bone-headed stupiid calls on Wagner happened late enough that it didn't force him to the bench.
But the one that I didn't see mentioned yet was when he was guarding Bryant on the elbow, Bryant rolls his ankle while shuffling his feet, and they somehow call Wagner for a foul without touching him. Between that, the Wagner moving screen (while holding the ball), and DJ getting elbowed in the face.....it just about evens out the bounce off the foot and possible goaltend.
Why didn't they review the ball off the foot since it seems like they review everything these days?
|6 weeks 1 day ago||All Star games =/= Combine||
As much as I'd like to see all 17 of those guys at the combine (and what about Kenny Allen?!?1), I don't think those four you listed will get the invite. Being in those all-star games means that they're trying to decide if you're worthy of an invite or being drafted.
Here's who I think will get invited/drafted:
Remember that Michigan's record is having 10 guys drafted in a single year, done twice in the 1970s.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||No - the run comes to an end.....||
The NBA is now a PG league and is dominated by dynamic scoring PGs. As many have said, Trey Burke is clinging to a role as a back-up and Yogi just got his first ever NBA contract - both were far better than Walton. Darius Morris flamed out quickly. Michael Carter Williams is barely clinging to a bench role.
I'm sure that Walton could play overseas for a few years because of his shooting, ball handling, and rebounding. But this year will end Beilein's run of putting guys in the NBA after getting 7 guys drafted over the past few years. I think we'll have to see if Wagner and/or Wilson get the call in another year or two. Or if you're really an optimist then you're hoping that our Kentucky transfer is so good next year that he leads us to glory and goes pro.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Why not in with 5-stars in 2018?||
Is there an explanation for why Michigan isn't at least in contention for more 5 stars this early in the cycle? It seems like we'd at least appear on their top lists or would have hosted a couple for a visit. It is pretty difficult to get engaged with a highly ranked player later in the cycle, so I'm surprised there aren't at least a few names out there.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Good idea.....tough sell||
I love the idea behind this and I sincerely hope there is some smart, young intern at the B10 offices who is trying to figure out how to pitch this up the food chain. But you have to remember that old conservative rich guys run things and they tend to be resistant to change and prefer gradual things. So here are some ideas for you to think about:
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Irvin & Walton.....not a dynamic duo||
It is very frustrating that we can probably count on one hand the number of times that both Walton and Irvin were on a hot streak at the same time.....over a four year career for both. I like both players a lot and I do think they could have been parts of great teams. But it is clear that they can't be the #1-2 options for great teams. They are better as support pieces with an alpha dog in the mix that has been missing with the early departures and Caris being hurt.
I've defended them and Beilein for the past three years, but my support is definitely waning after so many close losses this year. Just think of how many games they were in late that would have made this season a success. Ouch.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||QB style||
I don't think you'll ever see Harbaugh recruit a true running QB like Denard that he has to teach how to throw. But I do think he'd love to have a QB like Gardner who can run and throw. I also think he likes the idea of taking one every couple of classes to mix into the competition with pocket passers. Since "throwing QB who can run" is such a rare thing, I doubt you see it much.
Let's take a moment to step back again and pour one out for Devin again. Had he been born a couple years earlier he would have played for spread-guru RichRod. Had he been born a couple years later he could have played for QB guru Harbaugh. Instead he got sucked into the Hoke offensive awkwardness.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Individuals not class rankings||
I am not even worried about the class rank because it is hard to get in the top 10 with a small class. I'm mildly curious at the lack of star power listed by Brian, but it is far too early to fret much. The one thing to keep an eye on is the on-field result of the season.
On the one hand, Harbaugh can brag about putting an all-time record for Michigan into the NFL draft this year (current most is 10 and there are easily 12-15 names that might get called this season). On the other hand, all of those depatures means that Michigan might go 9-3 or 8-4 and be a non-factor in the league or nation. That hurts recruiting at times, especially when you want to compete with OSU/Bama.
I'm not worried because the last two classes and the coaching should off-set any concern, but it is good to prepare ourselves for a modest 2018 class.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||2 TE only||
As much as TE will be a need (especially if Asiasi leaves), I just can't see them taking 3 spots out of 16-20 for that position. They still have Bunting, Wheatley, hopefully Asiasi, McKeon, Eubanks, and Gentry (if you count him as a TE).
You have to take QB, RB, WR, 4xOL, and 2xTE. That's 9. Then you take a kid you like at RB, WR, TE, or ATH and see what you get. That gets you to 10 spots with about 10 more for D. We'll see when the D post goes up how many needs there are, but you probablly need 3 DL, 2 LB, and 3 DB.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||David Terrell||
I realize that your first bullet really means "DPJ is our highest ranked WR since 2002" based on your data. But Terrell in 2001 was probably higher than DPJ.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Scout rankings||
To put in perspective how things could have or would have played out with Scout.....
While it does feel like a crawl to the finish at times, we still have a chance to get two recruits this week that would be our #1 and #3 ranked players in the class according to Scout. And as for catching some of the other big-boy classes, you can see with that list how close we came to being right there with them.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Ifeatu Melifonwu||
The reason to not be excited by this guy is that his recruiting rankings are modest and he plays in an area that isn't known for a high level talent pool.
The reasons to be excited for him are:
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Will this draft set a record for Michigan?||
Back in the 1970s Michigan had 10 players drafted twice (link). It will be interesting to see what the number is this year with all of this draft hype building:
Let's face it, we're not going to see that many guys drafted. But there are probably 8 guys sure to get picked and another handful that have a decent chance.