alternate headline: man does job
- Member for
- 7 years 21 weeks
- View recent blog entries
- QB = Plenty of depth, youth, talent.
- RB = Still a question mark, but depth. Target a big recruit in 2017 class to help.
- OL = Depth is a concern, but we have 4 recruits this year that we need to pan out. The Texas transfer would be nice for depth, though I hope he follows Ruddock and not Lyons with his trajectory.
- WR = Tons of recruits and talent in this class....almost too many guys.
- TE = Not proven, but lots of depth. Would like a blue-chip ideally, but should be ok.
- DL = Gary is critical here, though there are lots of bodies over the last two classes. A dynamic WDE would be nice to have also.
- LB = HUGE concern. Lack talent and depth right now for the next couple of years.
- CB = Depth is a little dicey, but I think Long/Hill and others should be ready to step in.
- S = Pretty big concern here.
- Stribling is no slouch as the #3 corner when you have a 6'1" dude that has extensive playing time and can handle press-man pretty well. We're insulated from injury a little, give the coaches flexibility, and can roll against even spread-pass offenses......that we wouldn't ever see in this conference.
- Remember all the hype around the DL after those 3 shutouts? Now take that rotation and swap Ojemudia/RJS for Mone & Gary (not to mention one of the RS-Fr or Marshall). Yeah....we should be good.
- Look at the progress so many of these defenders made in one year under this coaching staff. Now give them another year.
- I'm surprised other names besides Liesman/Furbush/Bush weren't mentioned. McCray? Winovich? Jones? I think if we can keep Peppers on the field in a 4-2-5 we should be able to find one guy from that list of players. If we can't, then I suggest a move to the 5-1-5 defense with Peppers the only LB. (I'm only mostly kidding.)
- WR - Crawford seems like a lock, other names still floating around on the fringes.
- TE - Really feels like the coaches want another one (Asiasi, Nauta, etc.) though none of the names suggest we lead for anyone else.
- DT - We are the leader for Gary
- LB - We are a strong contender for Jones.
- DE - You listed names of three guys that we're still pushing for and/or lead for
- CB - We are in strong position with Hill & Long
- OL - Up until last week they were pushing to take another OL....probably not anymore
- K - I still hear Nordin's name come up here and there as a strong candidate
|1 day 23 hours ago||Spike vs. Wins/Losses||
I wanted to respond to some of the thoughts in the comments. While my conclusions and theories suggest that we greatly miss Spike (and Caris), it is hard to translate that to win/loss results. Michigan has had a weird year in that they've won every game against teams ranked below them but lost every game (but Maryland/Texas) against better teams. Yet all of those losses were slaughters. We aren't MSU with a few close losses or OT games that would have been swung with a few possessions with Spike.
Perhaps my bigger concern is that we seem to be regressing somewhat on defense and experiencing long stretches of bad offense at critical times (even in games we win or lose by a lot). With the minutes that Walton/Rahk are being forced to play, this trend may get worse.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Missing Max?||
Interesting thought about Max, who would have been the third senior on this team. He has had a surprisingly productive year for Indiana. Purely based on his results and those of our bigs not named Donnal.....seems like we miss him greatly. This is a tough one to consider as you would have traded four years of Wagner for one year of Max.
Perhaps the bigger concern is that we continue to strike out on big-men. Donnal is showing promise, but Doyle has a long way to go even to mimic the worst of Jordan Morgan. Wilson should be a PF but thinks he's a SF. Chatman is struggling greatly. Wagner is too young to judge and realistically should have redshirted if Doyle, Donnal, Wilson, and Chatman had progressed. Even scarier is to think about the 5 guys on the roster over 6'8" right now and the two being added next year.....will any of them be able to be above average for us? That is a lot of scholarships to give to the performance we've seen for two straight years.
|2 days 20 hours ago||Fascinating.....||
Lots to digest here, very interesting.
First off, something is wrong with this stat. How are Purdue and Iowa, with two of the best front-courts in the conference, so low in that stat? Their front lines are constantly scoring in the paint, getting offensive boards, etc. Maybe this stat should be changed from "at the rim" to "in the paint." Not sure what's wrong with it.
Secondly, I think there's no coincidence that Rahk has had some of his best games against our best opponents. When you play against a talented team who is good at defense, they can shut down a lot of the offense we like to run. Walton and Irvin especially have had trouble in those games and Robinson this year too. Yet Rahk has had great games. Why? Because he can take his man 1-on-1 and doesn't need to score within the flow of the offense. Caris is like that too and thus I agree with your conclusion.
However, as much as we need what Caris has to offer, let's be realistic about what he will/won't help with. He's not a good on-ball defender, even if people think he should be. Rahk and Walton are both better....which isn't saying much. However, Levert is great in a zone defense. I would love to see him at the top of a 1-3-1 with Irvin/Robinson on the wings and Rahk at the bottom. On offense, he's a great iso player who can kill a drought by getting his own shot (hence this post). But he's never been a good ball-screen player and tends to shoot 90% of the time he drives rather than pass.
The BIGGEST help Caris can provide is depth. We're down to 7 men in the rotation and only two ball-handlers. Maybe Rahk and Walton are struggling on D because they have to play the whole game! (This is also where Spike's absence hurts....not to mention that he is the emotional leader.)
|5 days 17 hours ago||Expectations||
I have heart all of the ranting about recruiting and I do think Beilein had a rough post NCAA stretch. But enough people bitched about that.
For me it is about something different. When Beilein arrived we had just lived through more than a decade of irrelevance. Many on this board are too young to remember that. The Beilein that I grew to love is the one that took a team with two walk-on PGs to the NCAA and won a game. The JB who took a team with Darius Morris, some slow white guys, and no true center to the NCAA. Those teams had one NBA player on them and it is being generous to call Morris much of an NBA player.
When we had those teams, my expectation for the program was Wisconsin. Consistently in the dance, once every few years break thru for a final four run. They run a similar system with similar recruits.
So what has happened?? Good luck robbed us of the upper classmen that WI thrives on and bad luck robbed us of the two that stuck around. There is no alpha dog on this team, just the role players. Combine that with Chatman being a bust at the 4 and all the centers being shaky.
What I can't figure out, however, is that WI always plays tough D. Why are we so bad??
|5 days 17 hours ago||How do you figure?||
Simpson will join the rotation right away for sure and help fill the Spike void. But the two bigs are projects and we have four of those already on the roster. Teske has height we could use, but he isn't ready to contribute.
Watson is a wildcard, but given his skillset and ranking I don't see how he gets meaningful minutes with Irvin, Rahk, Dawkins, and Robinson essentially playing his spot and Beilein desperate to play a real stretch-4 if anyone can earn the job.
|1 week 3 days ago||My method...||
I love the graph....excellent way to quickly compare classes.
When I "rank" a recruiting class in detail, I like to break it into position groups and then give them a report card with a grade for star power, depth, and versatility.
So a Hoke WR class might get an A for depth if they took a typical 3 guys, a mediocre grade for star power, and a bad grade for versatility.
This year the OL would probably be a B for star power, a C for depth (low numbers), and a C- for versatility (no LT, no C).
|1 week 5 days ago||Valid question....||
This is something I've wondered about as well. I honestly think that the staff expected Donnal to flame out this year (hence why they reclassified him as a Junior) and wanted insurance. I also think that Wagner was a total wild card that they weren't expecting to pan out when they signed the two centers in the 2017 class.
More importantly, however, I think Beilein really wants to have a stretch-4 on the floor rather than playing four wings. I think he's praying that Wilson or Chatman could be that guy, possibly even Wagner. Then he can pair them with some combination of Donnal/Doyle/Teske/Davis. Also, big men (especially the ones who aren't athletic freaks) take time to develop. The plan was to redshirt Doyle last year until McGary and Horford left.
-- One player transfers for playing time
-- Teske redshirts
-- Davis is in wait-and-see mode for prep school depending on scholarships
-- Wilson becomes a full-time PF and not a C.
-- Wagner tries his hand at PF and C next year.
What is so interesting about the team at the current moment (7-2 in the conference with the hard stuff remaining) is that we're seeing next year's team play. Without Spike and Caris, all these guys should be back. Xavier Simpson will slide into the backup PG role so that Rahk can stay at the 2 and Dakich can stay on the bench....but otherwise that's it. Watson might get minutes, but probably not many.
|1 week 5 days ago||GSW||
I hope Beilein leverages the success of the Warriors when he recruits. I heard that the negative recruiting strategy against us is that we play "white boy basketball.". GSW is basically running our offensr now! Let's use that to our advantage!
|1 week 5 days ago||General thoughts...||
1-- Rahk has greatly exceeded expectations. Many thought he would redshirt given the depth of this team, and instead he is playing 30 mpg at the 1 and 2 while improving his outside shot. Without him this team is on the wrong side of the bubble since Spike and Caris were hurt.
2-- It would be interesting to project the rest of the season if we keep doing exactly what is expected. Probably a comfortable selection Sunday but multiple games off the title hunt in the conference.
3-- I would love to go 1-1 this week. I don't like Sparty having the week off to scout and heal. It really feels like both games will turn into three point contests.
4-- I really wish we could recruit an athletic tall guy who rebounds, defends the hoop, and doesn't screw up the ball screen opportunities he gets. How does Maryland and Purdue each have three of those guys?? Teske is intriguing, but a project. Meanwhile we continue to play 6'6" wings at PF as Chatman and Wilson are a long way from helping.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I know who it is!||
I think I've hit my saturation limit on recruiting news. I want to wake up on NSD and just bask in the glory of whatever Harbaugh provides. No more crazy rumors until then, okay guys?
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Levert||
I think if Levert doesn't get any time in the big games next week we need to officially worry. I have no doubt that Michigan is being extra careful after getting burned last year with so many injuries that they may not have been as cautious with as warranted, but this is going on a month now. I was hoping he would be able to play a few minutes against PSU to shake off the rust. Now I'm to the point where I hope he can provide a 10 minute spark against Indiana and maybe a little more agianst MSU.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Wilson & Chatman||
I have to disagree a little with your thoughts on Wilson. I think what they actually need for him is to play more to the mid-range and athletic guy he is. Sometimes he acts like he's Duncan Robinson out there and that's not where he is as a player. They need him to be more like GR3 was - a mid-range and baseline guy who limited his outside jumpers.
Also, he's vanished from the rotation the last couple of games after getting early minutes. I think they've been trying to move him to the 4 spot as they have three other guys at the 5 and want to be prepared for match-ups that will strain Irvin/Dawkins/Robinson at the F spots. But why hasn't he played lately?
Also, why HAS Chatman played? Hopefully they're rewarding him for good practices, but he's been so bad on the court that they have to quickly pull him again. It's clear Beilein wants a true PF option to emerge so they're not constantly playing a 6'6" shooter in that spot......but I haven't seen anything from either player except maybe 5 minutes of Wilson that suggests they're ready. We're going to need them.....
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Argh!!! Class size gripe!||
I apologize in advance if I someone confirms me to be incorrect here.....but can we please get the class size situation straight?!?!
The Big Ten rule is a max of 28 players. Period. The only way around that is grayshirt. It sounds like we have one grayshirt pending, so 29 is the expectation. You can't say 30 + grayshirt.
My theory on why Webb and others went from 27 to 30 is that the number 30 was counting the one grayshirt and the grad transfer Raulerson (who isn't actually counting against recruiting limits).
Furthermore, if they wanted more grayshirt people, wouldn't that be the offer they made to Swenson and/or Weaver? Instead they offered PWO...meaning they are full or don't want them at all.
Finally, I suspect someone is going to reply that the B10 will waive the 28 rule and allow more back dated players if you can prove you have a scholarship for them. The issue there is that Michigan is way over the 85 limit right now so it wouldn't apply even if such an exception exists (which has never been done before that I know of).
So the number I predict is 28-29.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Don't issue offers.....||
All of those goals were probably met, but they didn't have to come with immediate offers from the coaches. Even if the coaches thought of them as conditional, it is clear that the recruits did not. The coaches should have exited those camps by saying "we'll stay in touch, here's a list of things to do, offer is dependent on those and the rest of the class, etc."
My eyebrows raised right after the camps and those offers/commits happened. Now we find ourself in a bad publicity storm. I suspect that Harbaugh offered these guys because they impressed him in person and are his kind of player. Hell, it is probably the type of player that he built his Stanford teams on. But he underestimated his ability to attract better players and the extend of the spots he had available for people. Hopefully this gets addressed next year.
Another reason that OSU or Bama don't face this type of backlash is because they aren't issueing offers to 2-star or low 3-star kids with 9 months left in a recruiting cycle. They know they can get whoever they want and hold those offers until the very end. Michigan should learn.
Likewise, Harbaugh needs to address this soon in public. The right statement at the right time can make this go away. Simple, to the point, showing that they learned something, etc.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Scheme is overrated||
Yes, the scheme was part of the story yesterday. But the bigger story is the talent issues (exaggerated by injury) on the Patriots.
I have never seen an NFL OL look as bad in the playoffs as the Patriots did. Looked like a MAC line out there.
On top of that, the Pats have no running game at all and haven't had an outside WR to stretch the field since Randy Moss.
Brady and Bellicheck have papered over a lot of weak links. It would be nice for them to throw some money around so Brady has talent around him as his career winds down.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Incorrect - 28 is max per year in the B10||
Once again, let's clear this up for everyone. The NCAA rule for maximum signees is irrelevant because the B10 rule trumps it. Thus you won't see any B10 schools pulling an Ole Miss and signing 32 players in one year.
The B10 rule states that 25 is the maximum and you can add up to 3 if they enroll early and your previous class had <25 players. There were rumors of this being a gentlemen's agreement with the schools that they could go higher than 28 if they could show where those scholarships would come from. I don't actually think that's ever happened and even if it is an option, Michigan is currently way over their 85 limit pending Spring Practice injuries or 5th year players not coming back.
I think we end up at 27-28 players.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I will eat a ______||
If this recruiting class exceeds 28 players I am going to eat an apple on the internet! (I've learned from this blog that eating lemons or hats is a bad idea).
I just don't see how this class is going to find 2 grayshirts in it. The type of player who would agree to a grayshirt is the same type of player Michigan is currently encouraging to take other visits. I have a hard time seeing Harbaugh take a kid that isn't good enough to make the 28 players but is good enough to hold a roster spot the following 4 years.
The most common suggestion is that Quinn Nordin fits into this category. I can see why a kicker would be a good candidate since Kenny Allen and Andrew David are already on the roster and kickers are at the bottom of the recruting food chain. But Nordin is the #1 kicker, he has multiple power-five offers, and he seems to really enjoy the recruiting process and think highly of himself. I don't see how they will tell him to pay his own way and not practice wit the team in the fall rather than go to PSU, USC, etc.
The class is going to max out at 28 players.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||How do we come up with 13 spots???||
Is it just me or is the math a little funny on those 13 spots that Brian listed. According to the 2016 Recruiting board we have 19 "strong commits". Even if you drop a WR or swap one for McDoom you're still looking around 19 just in that column without Swenson, Enis, Weaver, or Johnson. Thus I get the class to 9 more, not 13 if you follow the 28 person rule.
I also don't see how you go past 28 since I really dno't see any grayshirts on the list as they weed out some of the lower-ranked recruits or non-qualifiers. Clearly we're still in store for more chaos, but I don't see them going higher than 28....
So if you draw the line there, what does that mean? Per Brian's list it means we don't get another LB or OT (bad), we miss on Hill (sounding more ominous), and we "settle" for 5 WR instead of the 7 (!!!) on Brian's list.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||Is "neither" an option?||
Personally, I don't understand why we are looking at Stewart, Young, and Johnson at the same time when we already have Crawford, Mitchell, Hawkins, and Evans already locked up with McDoom close behind. I think 5 WR is plenty given our glaring needs in this class at LB/OT while also holding spots for top recruits at other positions. We need to restock at WR for the future, but the fact is that Harbaugh typically only plays 2.5 WR anyway. I'd lock up McDoom and tell the others that they're competing for one spot....and I probably would have used that spot before I dumped Swenson without a replacement.
I like getting more athletes and being able to use them at WR/DB.....but we have a lot already and more on the way. Target positions of bigger need or players with higher ceilings.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Embrace underhand!||
These guys are so afraid of looking stupid trying underhand but if they brought in the all time FT leader to teach them it would work.
My thought is that you tell them to embrace it. Assuming it gets you up to 60%, you would be on all the highlight shows, everyone would talk about you, suddenly you're scoring 8-10 more points and are an MVP candidate. Your popularity goes up, your salary goes up.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Good question.....||
This is a good question, if a little premature. Looking that far into the future with an eye toward tihs recruiting class.....
I think I would rank the concerns:
|4 weeks 3 days ago||3/4 star, not Diamond Stone||
Re-read my post and it sounds like I'm hoping for one of these 5-star lottery pick players to show up on campus. That's not what I'm suggesting. What I'm suggesting is that there has to be 3/4 star guy who can't shoot but can do the other things that would have a role on this team. Partering a finesse player like Wagner with a physical athlete would be an ideal center rotation.
With that being said.....Michigan has had very few of those in my entire lifetime so maybe it is our White Whale.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||The 4 & 5 spots of the future||
(Preface upcoming comment with the joy I've had watching Zombie Donnal come back from the dead to be a useful player.)
I think what Beilein would ideally want is for Wilson, Chatman, or a player like that to play PF for this team. That gives them another guy who is 6'8" or 6'9" to help rebound and defend without giving up too much in the way the offense works. Obviously neither of those guys are ready to contribute much at all and certainly not in a way that doesn't affect the offense. I think his ideal player would be Glenn Robinson but at 6'8"+ where he can better defend and rebound.
Likewise, I can't figure out why Michigan hasn't been able to find some monster center who can play defense, rebound, and kick ass on the ball screen game. No offense to any of the guys we have this year or coming next year, but they're not athletic.....at all. Maybe Wilson will be, but he plays like a wing and not a post (I cringe with every three pointer he throws up). Mitch McGary is a unique player who you find once in a generation. But I wish we could find a 6'11" physical specimen who could defend, rebound, and roll to the hoop on the screen game. I'm hoping Teske can turn into that, but I suspect he is a 3-year project.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Chaos year....||
This season is already off to a choatic start, so it will be hard to predict. Purdue stomps us and then gets beat by lowly Illinois. Maryland keeps playing close games. MSU looks pretty bad when Valentine is out. Heck, last night alone there were three major upsets.
With that being said, I think your prediction is about right, something around 13-5. That's a comfortable night on selection Sunday and a chance to make it to the second weekend.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Rahk on Trimble?||
With how critical Trimble is for their team, why not put Rahk on him as much as possible?
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Walton Defense||
I was always nervous about the optimism you and Brian had toward Walton since I had never seen him be a great playmaker and more of a glue guy. He was always shaky in the ball screen game, he was a great finisher on the break but not in the half court, and he didn't get to the line. Injury was the simple justification.....which hasn't proven to be the case. His issues have been magnified without Spike to offer an alternative at times.
But here's my question for you - Do you have examples of his "terrible defense" that you could share? This is the second time you've offered that as a fact. I don't think he's been great (no one on this team has) but I don't think he's been particularly terrible. I actually think he's a victim of the Centers also since their ability to defend the ball screen affects how Walton has to fight through or around them.
I just wondered if you could offer specifics. Also, if the team continues the trend of winning the games they should, how do you see the season finish?
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Easy now....||
While seeing opponents struggle can be fun, let's remember that their last three QBs were all in the playoffs and will be NFL regulars next year. We have barely anyone from recent years succeeding in the NFL right now.
The hope is that the QB situation starts to turn next year finally.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||General thoughts....||
Lots of great stuff here:
And finally, no one mentioned TURNOVER LUCK. For as good as this defense was last year, we were horrible at getting the ball back for the offense. Part of that is the lack of a true WDE terror, part is steady but unspectacular LB, and part of it is playing a lot of trail technique with a PBU the goal instead of zone with a potential INT.
Despite that, a return even close to the mean would put our defense in even more rarified air because we were just so bad at getting turnovers this year.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Why so many WR/Ath/DB?||
What surprises me a little about this class is that they have so many guys on the outside in this class. If you make the optimistic assumption that Hill, Long, and Crawford join the class you've got 5 WR/ATH guys and 5 DBs. I understand the DBs I guess, but others suggest that one of the many in the WR group could move to DB.
Meanwhile, we're desperately thin at LB and WDE on the roster and didn't really recruit those heavily despite more rotation at those spots than at WR on the current roster in 2015.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||So many questions.....||
This class is not like any that I can remember. We already have a highly ranked class of 23 guys and yet by my count there are as many as NINE more that I've heard we would either take or we lead for:
If you knew nothing about the current guys who have "committed" to the class, you'd assume that Michigan wanted to take a WR, TE, DT, LB, DE, 2-CB and maybe an OL - or 8 more players.
Even if you just went by guys we seem to have a good shot with, you'd get Gary, Crawford, Hill, Long, a LB and a DE. That's six....and we have either 4-5 spots left.
It is going to be a very interesting finish.