a terrible blight on our fine country
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- Stribling doesn't make the trip, pushing Peppers to #3 CB
- With Peppers at #3 CB, Thomas becomes the dime
- At one point in the game Hill got hurt and had to leave for a few plays.
- Brian Cole, a special teams ace, is hurt.
- David Terrell and Braylon Edwards were the best receivers I've ever seen at Michigan. And yet Chris Calloway and Jason Avant have had far more successful NFL careers despite not having the raw talent or physical attributes.
- Drew Brees and Russel Wilson defy every QB stereotype for NFL quarterbacks with regard to size and probably arm strength why Ryan Leaf and others had all the physical talent needed.
He recruited too many guys that washed out early, either because they struggled with academics or because they weren't committed to the college experience (to put it nicely).
- He did a poor job of recruiting to needs by position. He neglected offensive line severely for one example. His running back recruiting and DB recruiting left a lot to be desired.
- Thank you for clarifying how you're splittling out the 3 and 4....which is as good as any other method I've heard. I always see Dawkins emulating GR3 while Irvin has enough ball skills to dabble even at the 2 if needed. But for defensive purposes, yours makes sense.
- I would love to see the minutes stay around 30 at most except in very critical games where things dictate it. Doubt it happens though.
- As much as I like MAAR, I agree that it will be hard to find minutes for him next year with Walton, Spike, Levert, and Irvin on the roster. I do think he could find 10mpg as a defensive stopper though.
- I love the idea of a crunch-time defensive lineup of Walton, MAAR, Levert, Irvin, Wilson
- Given the enormous depth on the roster (a fun change from recent years) I could see Beilein talking to MAAR, Chatman, and Wagner about taking a redshirt. I could also see Spike sitting out if he isn't ready to play, giving his minutes to MAAR. It is unlikely that anyone other than Wagner maybe would do it, but it would help the team and their careers probably.
- Here's my take on Robinson next year.....even if you assume his DIII school was essentially the equivalent of a prep school - how many 6'8" high schoolers put up those shooting percentages, rebound numbers, and then get to take a redshirt year for Beilein? As the equivalent of an incoming recruit with that pedigree and ideal fit to the offense I have to assume he'll find a role in the rotation. I picture him playing 10-15 minutes off the bench depending on if his shot is falling that night.
- Brandon Graham - I know he's had a long career and did get paid, but considering his dominance as one of our best pass rushers of all time I was expecting a better NFL career.
- Chad Henne - Much like Henson, I figured Henne would have a more stable NFL career. Playing for the Jags probably hurts, but he's been a very poor starter and more of a replacement level back-up. His UM career set all sorts of records and he hasn't looked that good in the NFL.
- Glen Steele - He was one of the best DL of the late-90's Michigan teams and almost didn't get a sniff from the NFL.
- Alan Branch - He's hung around some rosters for a while, but never had an impact.
- Jay Feely - I don't even remember his Michigan career and yet he had a really long and successful NFL career at a highly competitive position.
- Tommy Hendricks - In the same situation as Brown, Mundy, and June is Hendricks. He was a very mediocre strong safety for Michigan and had a decent NFL career as a linebacker.
- Chris Calloway - When he was at Michigan he was often the second guy mentioned after one of my favorites Greg McMurtry (the #1 jersey wearer that is often forgotten despite a good career). He carved out a very long and successful NFL career.
- I'm not sure they're going to sign another player, so I'll avoid jinxing it by saying anything and working off the roster we have now.
- I'm assuming Wagner makes it on the roster and won't redshirt.
- I'm expecting a dog fight between Chatman, Robinson, and Wagner for minutes at the PF spot. I am higher on Robinson because of his height, shot, and year on the roster...but for now I'll assume it is even.
- Rahk will move down the bench but will get 10 minutes per game going all-out defensively.
- Walton and Levert shouldn't be playing 35 minutes per game.
- Donnal and Wilson will both play at back-up center, but there are tons of minutes to be had there that they will fight for.
- Point Guard - Walton (20), Spike (20)
- Shooting Guard - Levert (25), Walton (5), Rahk (10)
- Small Forward - Irvin (25), Levert (5), Dawkins (10)
- Power Forward - Dawkins (5), Irvin (5), Robinson (10), Chatman (10), Wagner (10)
- Center - Doyle (20), Wilson (15), Donnal (5)
My theory, without any evidence, is that Irvin struggled with thinking too much this year when on the court and that affected his shot and confidence for a while since he was trying to be "more than a shooter". But more than that I think he felt the struggles of the entire team. The PF spot was a black hole until Dawkins played well late. The C position was highly variable and even at its best wasn't a ball-screen-machine like we've seen. Michigan was clunky on offense and easy to defend. The threes weren't wide open like last year as a result.
- I would LOVE to see a stat or a shot-chart from Irvin that focuses only on his finishing at the rim. I was keeping an unofficial count during the first half of the B10 season and I honestly think he missed or was blocked on a staggering 12 layups. He improved late in the year as he added a pump-fake to his game and was getting better looks within the flow of the offense, but for most of the season he was horrific at the rim. If you take that 0-for-12 I mentioned and change it to a 9-of-12 that would be more realistic for those specific shots imagine how his efficiency goes up (not to mention his confidence or Michigan's 3-7 record in close finishes).
- Caris Levert (if he returns)
- Zak Irvin (big leap forward late this season, will get help from the rest of the roster)
- Ricky Doyle (much further ahead than any other post)
- Derrick Walton (only this low because he has a great back-up)
- Spike Albrecht (luxury)
- Aubry Dawkins (could start at PF or be spark off the bench)
- DJ Wilson (predicting he is the zone D force in the middle at center)
- MAAR (moves up if Levert leaves, Beilein now trusts him at PG/SG)
- Robinson (there's always room for a shooter off the bench)
- Chatman (still a chance he could start at PF with a big leap, has a long way to go)
- Donnal (more competition with Wilson/Doyle and role is less clear, could move up)
|1 day 18 hours ago||Kinnel||
Here's why Kinnel played:
The only real question is what is wrong with Wayne Lyons to the point that he can't fill one of these roles. But I suspect that the loss of Stribling and briefly Hill combined with Cole meant they needed another athlete on special teams. LIkewise you had Isaac in the doghouse for punt teams.
|6 days 19 hours ago||Slight recalibration||
My expectations were right around the 7.5 wins since I couldn't decide between 7 and 8. After four weeks I think my expectations have lowered on most of our opponents and the BYU game raised my expectations for Michigan. I feel confident with 8-4 and I see a path to 9-3.
I'm not ready to jump into the 10-2 band-wagon yet, however. Just a few days ago we were fretting about Rudock and the inconsistencies against UNLV. I think there are enough good defenses on this schedule that we could end up with a Utah-like experience where some turnovers are able to off-set the strength of our defense. We also have to see how many tricks Harbaugh has up his sleeve in year one with an offense that still is proving itself at most positions.
|1 week 4 days ago||What he should have said....||
"We don't regret the decision, however, we need to work with Rutgers to overcome some of these on and off field issues to meet the high standards of the conference. Issues come up everywhere but it is how you respond to the issues that defines your character."
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Not a fan...||
I think they can look good at some places, but I was excited when Carr got rid of them and never cared to have them back.
The helmet is our signature and the most recognized piece of equipment in any sport. Now we are going to slap stickers all over them like preschoolers getting gold stars? No thanks...
At least our offensive linemen won't have cluttered helmets again this year....zing! (Just kidding, I hope they each get ten pancake blocks today...even if Utah State seemed to have success running the ball on Utah.)
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Good fit with Rahk also||
I've seen a lot of these types of posts mention how he'll get to study a year with Walton before taking over, which is obviously the ideal transition at such a critical position.
But the other thing I thought about which hasn't been mentioned is how he fits with Rahk in the back-court. Rahk is a combo guard who could fill in a PG against bigger and more physical teams where Simpson's size might be a disadvantage. He also would be able to pair up with Simpson to have an excellent pressure D back-court.
While I don't love the way the Winston saga unfolded and would have loved having him in the class (and will dread seeing him play for MSU if that happens), this is an excellent pick-up for the team. He's roughly ranked about where Walton and Morris were as recruits and ahead of Burke. Let's see if his stock goes up like most Beilein recruits and maybe he won't be far off from Winston's ranking by the time he signs his LOI. (Though no recruits should actually sign an LOI......)
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Coaching Issues||
I haven't read the book, so forgive me if this is a stupid question.
My big question for both of the last two regimes has been the dynamic among the coaching staff and in this case with Brandon's involvement. While I don't think Hoke and his coaches were among the best in their profession, they have been around a long time and had at least some individual success. How did thier interaction, strategy, and relationships evolve during the Brandon/Hoke era as things went from amazing (2011) to disaster (2014)?
Was Hoke an active participant in offensive strategy meetings?
How much was this totally on Borges?
What was Brandon's role in strategy and personnel decisions?
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I don't get the game theory bit either...||
Maybe I'm just dense on a day-after-late-game Friday, but I don't get the game theory bit either. MIchigan was down 10-3, 17-3, 17-10, 24-10, and 24-17. When would going for two have helped them in any way?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Mix of brains and skill||
In just about every position there is a delicate balance between intelligence and skill. You can argue how much of the physical skill is learned or God-given I suppose, but it takes the right mix of both to be a star at the highest level. That ratio varies by position, but I suspect there would be some obvious trends out there if you had the right data to compile it. Here are some examples:
I think some positions like RB or DE emphasize physical skill more than perhaps OL or Safety, but all of them take the right amount of balance.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Scott Dreisbach?||
How about Scott Dreisbach for a Michigan comparison. I don't remember his recruiting hype, but he was a pretty athletic player (for a pocket passer) who had some good raw tools. He was only 6'4" or so, but he got some run very early in his career before being passed by other people. Despite that, he was a fixture on NFL practice squads for a number of years.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Expectations||
For starters, I don't think even the most optimistic of us fans is expecting Robinson to be a star. I think we're expecting him to be a rotation player either this year or next and exceed normal expectations for a DIII transfer.
The reason I fall on the optimistic side is because his skill (elite shooting ability) translates to all levels of basketball and he combines that with height. This isn't Robby Ried who was 6-foot tall and a good shooter but struggled at the D1 level. This is a 6'8" guy who can flat out shoot. If he were dominating DIII with his cross-over move and ball handling then I'd be skeptical. But I am confident that Beilein can find a role for a 6'8" guy that can shoot, even if it is limited.
I also believe that dominating DIII is more impressive than dominating a random high school, though clearly there were flaws in his game or his recruitment that limited his offers. The other significant advantage that I think he has is that he's walking in as an upper classmen already, despite the amount of eligibility he has left. He spent a year at DIII dominating, then he spent a year practicing in Beilein's system and with a weight training program, and now he walks in understanding the system and already physically more prepared that any high school player.
My prediction is that there will be a total dog fight for minutes at PF between Dawkins, Robinson, Chatman, and Wagner that will vary game to game all year. If anything, Robinson has a clear path to playing time because he has a clearly defined skill/role and far more experience. Wagner is skinny and still raw as a prospect. Chatman's struggles were well documented. Dawkins is clearly a rotation player, but not an ideal fit at PF.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Not unheard of||
I was in the MMB in mid 1999s and we consistently had over 350 people. In 1997 I think the number was almost 420.
Prior to that the auditions were a formality and 99% of people made it since Michigan auditions weekly to determine who marches during the pregame and halftime performances. But with over 400 members they started to actually have cuts because the number exceeded the space and equipment available. That only happened for a couple years, however, as enrollment is somewhat dependent on the team's success.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Venue or experience?||
The worst venue I have ever been to was Purdue's stadium about 15 years ago. It was like a bad high school stadium. Embarrassing to the conference.
My worst experience was at the Horseshoe in 1994. I was in the MMB and the state troopers told us to hide our uniform colors and go in groups to the bathroom and said they couldn't ensure our safety in the parking lot. We got hit with batteries from the upperdeck.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Why Syracuse???||
What frustrates me about this whole situation is the choice of Syracuse. When we lose a kid to Duke or UK in basketball or Alabama/Ole Miss in football we roll our eyes and move on. But in this situation the kid picked a school on sanctions with a coach who's leaving and at a school with middling recent success over a program with everything opposite of that going for it. Is that proximity to his Dad really that important? Usually when parents meddle it is because of having a pocket full of cash or with some delusion of the NBA on their mind. I'm not sure either applies in this case. (Would there be powerful boosters at Syracuse in the current environment willing to shell out for Battle?)
With that being said, something that always makes me nervous with recruits is when they constantly bounce around. This kid has changed high schools, AAU teams, college choices, apparel brands, etc. more times than you can count. I realize that he's a 17 year old kid, but that type of situation screams of someone who is still trying to figure out what they want and needs to be catered to or will leave. I wish him the best......and while I wish we had him or better yet Langford on the roster of the future, Michigan will be fine.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Another angle.....||
Does our current roster management situation warrant any discussion here? What I mean was that no one has discussed the fact that we didn't have enough scholarships to allow both players to committ or for us to at least continue pursuing Langford once Battle "committed". Prior to this taking place there was discussion on the board about taking another project at center in the same class (probably) as Teske. Would having another scholarship have mattered in how Beilein played this?
My opinion remains that these two guys were not signing with the same school no matter what so the benefit of being able to continue to recruit Langford was minimal at best. And I still would rather have a roster full of solid prospects who want to be at Michigan than tenuous stars who may bolt at any minute.
I do think Langford was close to selecting Michigan and I almost wonder if one small factor in picking MSU was to stick it to us and Battle. For the record, I don't think Izzo recruits dirty and I don't think he played any role in how this all played out.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Class size||
Given the strategy of the coaching staff, I highly expect more churn throughout the cycle. Harbaugh is casting a VERY wide net and allows recruits to shop around. I almost feel like some of these "commitments" are not really full offers at this point. It is almost like an early signing period that Brian prefers - these guys may stick around if they want, but if they want to look around Michigan will also.
I'm not too worried about the low star ratings of some of our recruits for a variety of reasons. But I also think it comes with a situation that they may not all stick around through the cycle.
|17 weeks 7 hours ago||Recruiting rankings||
In the last couple of days there were multiple posts about the low ranked recruits. One comment was thrown out about this being like the Richrod days. Without getting into that debate, I found that interesting. While I agree that poor recruiting was part of his downfall, I don't think it had much to do with the star rankings of his recruits. He had two bigger problems:
On top of that, we have another recent example of how rankings have limited value - Brady Hoke. He was an excellent recruiter and filled the roster with good recruits.....and now he's out of a job for poor on-field performance and player development.
I'm not worried about recruiting yet.
(I do agree that Michigan's offense might not be any different than Iowa.)
|21 weeks 4 days ago||Robinson||
I think he is going to play and will have a few games where he is hot and will play solid minutes.
Here is my reasoning....
Even if you assume his D3 year was a glorified high school prep year, his stats were very, very good. Besides that fact, his D3 year was in a similar system, he is 6'8", and he got to learn a year on the bench.
I think he is closer to a freshman Irvin than he is bench warmer Vogrich.
|21 weeks 5 days ago||Lots of thoughts.....||
Great piece, even if I don't completely agree. Here are some thoughts I have on the original piece and some of the comments:
|22 weeks 5 days ago||Great topic....||
I like most of the names mentioned. Here are some others I thought of:
Surprised in a bad way:
Surprised in a good way:
|23 weeks 4 days ago||Insane...||
I just realized how insane that depth chart is and how hard it will be for Beilein to manage both the minutes and the egos.....especially if another recruit signs.
Here's a new thought I had. Unlike Hoke, who probably didn't even know what a red-shirt was, Beilein showed us last year that he was going to red-shirt Dakich so that he'd have an extra year of eligibility at the end of his career (until we needed another guard).
For that reason, I think you'll see Beilein tell Rahk, Wagner, and Chatman that they will get every chance this summer/fall to prove themselves but that he wants them to consider a redshirt year so that they can take charge the following year. (Wilson, Donnal, and Robinson already redshirted). They could play 5 minutes at the end of the bench or they could take the year off and come back to take the minutes vacated by Spike, Levert, and maybe Irvin.
I also think that they're going to play it smart with Spike's injury. They saw what happened with Levert and Walton last year when they struggled to come back fully healthy. I think they'll keep an eye on Spike and consider giving him a redshirt if he's not ready to play. That would suck for next year's team since Spike proved he could be a starting PG in the B10, but it would be better to have another year of him than have him limp around half the season. They could give Walton 30-35 minutes and Rahk the rest at PG, with Levert playing some point also.
|23 weeks 4 days ago||Basketball thoughts....||
Lots of basketball chatter on this podcast, which I love commenting about. So let me throw out some predictions:
Clearly we aren't going to play a 12 man rotation like I just showed....though it is fun to think about. I think Donnal, Chatman, Wagner, and Rahk are the most likely guys to lose PT as the bench shortens.
|24 weeks 17 hours ago||Hatch as walk - on?||
I thought the NCAA had rules in place to prevent an athlete on scholarship from becoming a walk-on. Would Michigan have to apply for a waiver? Then again, I also remember (not that) Chris Rock walking on at OSU after leaving Michigan.
|24 weeks 5 days ago||Mixed feelings...||
In the end we will have to wait and see what happens with the roster, though I am scratching my head like the rest of you.
I suspect that some of what we may be seeing is an over correction by Beilein. When he recruited all of the recent NBA players (not including Mitch) he was not planning for them to leave. Then after the recent success he went after big names and struck out. Those two events left him scrambling to even field a team this year. Maybe he is now trying to secure good up and coming players when he can rather than waiting on the superstars to make up their mind.
I do believe that Rahk can be a solid backup PG on this team.....but we need the next starter. My wild ass guess is that they hit a snag with Wagner getting eligible and will medical Hatch.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||Former players for basketball....||
Obviously the answer to the "former player you want on the team next year is any all-time great of the past like Webber, Howard, Rice, Cazzie, Rudy T, etc. But the player I bet always wishes he got to play for Beilein is Laval Blanchard. The idea of having a PF who can shoot threes, rebound, and defend multiple positions makes me drool compared to the giant "?" that is branded on the team next year. I like the idea of Robinson, Chatman, Wagner, and Dawkins filling that spot and one of them having a break out year......but Blanchard would be awesome.
|25 weeks 6 days ago||Two more thoughts on Zak....||
Excellent piece. At first I thought I was going to read a repeat of the player reports that UMHoops and MnB are doing (which are perfectly good reading), but you put in a ton of detail that made this even more interesting.
I had two thoughts on your summary:
I feel pretty confident that he can get his 3pt% back up in the 37-42% range next year based on his track record. I also now see visual evidence that he can not just play the 3 in this system, but even hold his own at the 2 for stretches if needed. The leap to 'not just a shooter' will be next year, not this past year.
|26 weeks 17 hours ago||For one year only....||
Let's assume that both players will leave after next year so this is a one year decision and not a situation where Brown says for 2-3 years. Does that change your pick? For one year I pick Levert.
I will admit that I haven't watched enough of Brown to judge his potential fairly. If he were to stay for 2-3 years then maybe you pick him. Either way, next year will be decided by how well the six guys taller than 6'6" play, not the guards and wings.
|26 weeks 6 days ago||Competition....and red shirts||
I fully expect the QB position to remain a battle royale next season and may the best man win. That may mean that Jake Ruddock isn't our starter if someone else takes control. While that would be bad for Ruddock, it might be good for Michigan. That being said, we now have a wonderful safety net no matter what.
What I do think this opens up is the possibility of future flexibility. If Ruddock claims the starting job and is in line to play well enough that he takes 90% of the snaps, I would love to see Speight as the first back-up off the bench for those few plays where one is needed. If there was a chance to get Morris a 5th year and/or get Malzone a redshirt then they should try for that.
|27 weeks 17 hours ago||TE University||
I think there's a potential for Jake Butt to be one of the stars of this team. I realize that's hard for a TE to do, even the best ones, but I think if he pairs with whatever young/unproven QB wins the job and starts catching some TDs that there is potential there.
I love Lewis and think he's going to be a star.
Finally, I think the stage will be set for a RB to make a name for himself. I am less optimistic than the other two guys, but I do think the strategy, coaching, experience, and OL improvements will set the stage for someone to step forward if they really are as talented as their recruiting ratings once suggested.
|27 weeks 4 days ago||If Levert leaves.....||
Here's my list for that scenario:
I might be too optimistic on Wilson (he was awful in his cameo this year) and too pessimistic on Donnal (he was still a young freshman).
|27 weeks 4 days ago||Player rankings....||
Something that might be interesting to do this off-season is a piece like Brian does for football where he picks 27 tickets for the next season. If I had to rank the basketball players mostly likely to be a significant contributor next season, here's my list:
This team's success will be determined by the progress everyone taller than 6'7" makes this offseason. Robinson, Chatman, Wilson, Doyle, and Donnal are the key to next year. Any of those guys could end up starting and playing 20+ minutes and any of those guys (except Doyle) could fade into the end of the bench.
What Michigan probably would most want is for one of Robinson/Chatman to establish themseles as a solid contributor at forward while one of WIlson/Donnal pushes Doyle for playing time and isn't just a foul magnet. I would like to see a 9 man rotation with a couple of guys told to play their butts off for 10 minutes per game on D (MAAR, Wilson) or O (Robinson). I love the idea of how flexible this team is, the defensive lineup we could throw out there, or even being more willing to play physical since fouls won't kill us at any position.