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|1 day 22 hours ago||Nice Mailbag Ace||
Agree with just about everything you had to say.
One thing which doesn't get discussed is that Irvin has not let his offensive issue dictate his defense. He's turned into a plus on-ball defender and can cover 3 different positions. He struggled a bit in the Minnie game, but that wasn't what cost them.
I'll go one further with the second question; I think they'll be a significantly better defensive team next year. Coaching transitions take at least a year to sink in, and this is no exception. The team will have had a full year and two offseasons to incorporate Donlon's scheme. Matthews and Simpson are plus defenders and I believe Wagner and Wilson will take the next step (Wagner already has the make-up of an excellent defensive player, just needs to get a bit stronger).
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Dude||
Northwestern hoops has not been remotely as bad as Rutgers over the last 15 years. They've had some solid teams under Carmody, some of which were close to making the tournament. They struggled a bit the last couple of years due to some injury issues, but they have always been fairly competitive.
|8 weeks 1 hour ago||Really solid article Adam||
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Delano Hill||
Other than the horse crap retaliation call for being punched, he had a damn good game. He saved their bacon on at least two plays where the defense completely broke down and was one of the few in the back 7 to tackle well all afternoon. Coverage was solid as well.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Um...||
Why would "Hill's loping through the secondary after a trap, several times" make me cackle with knowing glee? I'm missing something here.
|16 weeks 6 days ago||That looks||
Freakin' awesome; going to try it this weekend. Had a similar dish at a resort on the north shore (Turtle Bay?) and it was to die for.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||The question is:||
What will evil genius Harbaugh's constraint play(s) be for the offset draw; you know it's in the playbook.
|17 weeks 2 days ago||Unless he has the frame||
to add a ton of weight, given his propensity to rush the pass (and the other DE's in the class) have to believe he's being recruited as a SAM. Good pickup IMO.
|17 weeks 5 days ago||Agree||
The Ed Muransky segment deserves in the MGoBlog HOF.
|18 weeks 1 day ago||Excellent Interview||
|18 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, but||
Xavier isn't coming off double hip surgeries; I'm looking for wood to knock on, but losing him would be an unlikely occurence. Simpson was comfortably in the concensus top 100; consistent outside shooting and size were concerns, but game management and defense are strengths. No knock on Andrew Dakich, but do you really think he's going to perform better than X?
Without Caris et al, UM made the tourney. Injured players not factored into the analysis. JB has a very good track record of player development; odds are that this will be a better team this year.
|18 weeks 6 days ago||I'll try to put this diplomatically||
For someone who covers the team, the analysis is a bit thin, and while this site loves them some analytics (lies, damn lies, and statistics), I expected a bit deeper dive than their stats from last year. You have 5 starters returning, one of whom was playing coming off an injury and three being first year starters. At the very least, you figure there will be incremental improvement.
They lose basically all their 3 depth, but so what? That's more than compensated by actually having a backup point guard who also has a reputation as a tenacious defender. This is a HUGE differentiator; UM overplayed Walton to the point of exhaustion last year, and when he got into foul trouble, UM had a walk-on to back him up. JB's already hinted that we'll likely see some 2 PG sets, so in spite of his hand wringing about the freshman learning curve, I have to believe he likes what he's seeing from the X-man. At least a 1 game conference swing IMO.
Moe Wagner is IMO the X-factor for the season and was hardly mentioned. Kid has a big upside and if he can learn better defensive technique, he'll give the team some serious juice in post playmaking ability as well as defensive/offensive rebounding. His development IMO is a 2-3 game conference swing. We'll see you it plays out.
They also have 2 new assistants, one with a well earned reputation for teaching defense; like you, I'm in wait and see mode here. Generally, those cultural changes take a year or two to sink in.
You don't fight new wars with the last war's tactics, but generally that's what most preseason predictions are based on. I get that. I think this team has more ceiling than you're giving them credit for. (FWIW - I think Illinois will be much better as well.)
Bottom line: conference is weaker (or at least less experienced) than last year and I expect UM to have a minimum of 2 and up to 4 game swing in their record from last year. That should give them a fighter's chance for the conference title and put them comfortably in the tourney. In 4 months, I may be getting hit by a lot of rotten tomatoes, but that's how I see it.
|23 weeks 6 days ago||On last defensive scheme||
|28 weeks 5 days ago||Dr Mantis||
MCL was my guess as well; they generally don't require surgery, just rest and rehab.
|31 weeks 5 days ago||Brian's thoughts||
pretty much mirror mine. Very good size, quickness, vision, balance and speed. Lot of upside.
The only thing I saw which was somewhat worrisome: he has a slight case of Derrick Green disease; he goes down too easily when getting tackled low in space. Don't think it's a balance issue, but getting bigger/stronger in the legs/lower body will be a priority; coaching will help there as well.
As far as the UA game; not sure any RB would have performed that well against team Highlight's front 7; they were flat out beasts.
I like the Zeke Elliot comparison; a less beefy Clarett works as well (there's a reason the OSU faithful were a bit salty; he would have been a great fit in their spread power run attack). I'll be suprised if he's not a productive back for UM.
|31 weeks 6 days ago||I loved Floyd as a player||
but he didn't have the vision of Davis; BJ Askew is probably a better comparison, though BJ had better wheels. BJ was a tailback forced to play FB; don't think that will be the case with Kingston.
|38 weeks 1 day ago||Interesting on Lund||
Perhaps insurance in case he's not accepted at Stanford?
|44 weeks 2 days ago||Poole||
Has a chance to be special.
|50 weeks 1 day ago||Highly recommend||
You break the post game analysis players of the game into two parts:
1) Offense: Friend and trusted agent; and
2) Defense: Dude
|1 year 1 week ago||Clear to me||
That JB has put a bug in RAAK's ear to be more agressive, not only in getting to the rim, but firing an open shot. No surprise, they need him to do that.
What's a bit surprising is he is starting to deliver on a consistent basis. He's always been a great finisher; now that he's knocking down open shots, he'll have a lot of opportunity to keep driving.
Next step is finding open post ups and cutters.
|1 year 2 weeks ago||MSU's ball screen offense||
sounds eerily familiar.
|1 year 3 weeks ago||With all respect to Zach Novak and GRIII||
Agree that Irvin is the best 4 he's had. Guy has evolved into a 5 tool player to coin a baseball term.
|1 year 4 weeks ago||The Willie Henry comparison||
Is spot on; same physical attributes and abilities, same deficiencies in technique. Hopefully he works out as well for the good guys and himself.
|1 year 5 weeks ago||Uthoff a power forward?||
More of a stretch 4 or point forward IMO.
Going to be tough sledding. Guards have to stay out of foul trouble.
|1 year 7 weeks ago||I was just considering whether to smoke||
a Brisket or Prime Rib this morning and voila!!
|1 year 11 weeks ago||If Durkin's gone||
Then the buck position may be a non-factor. The two skinny DE's in this year's class may end up as strong side linebackers.
|1 year 14 weeks ago||Good to hear you're feeling better Ace||
It's a journey, not a race.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||Good stuff Adam||
Interesting how he couldn't tell who was in the backfield.
|1 year 16 weeks ago||I'm guessing||
There's a fit (and a desire) somewhere for a Grantland type site, something on a more grand scale than regional Blogs, but Disney, Fox etc. isn't it. They simply don't get the genre, the culture or the customer.
It wouldn't require a lot of capital investment either. Will be interesting to see how this metamorphs over the next few years.
|1 year 17 weeks ago||Dudes||
Need to get you better seats at the hoop games. MAAR finished better at the rim than anyone on the roster last year. And other than Burke, I can't think of a true freshman that finished as well at the rim than he did.
He was a bit of a bull in a china shop, but when he went to the front of the rim, more often than not, he put it up softly and finished with contact. That is something that is not remotely easy to do and really sets him apart from other kids on the roster from the last couple of years.