at least it's not just us?
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- Walton has not been outplayed by Albrecht this season. Defense is half the game and Spike is terrrrrrrrrrible at it.
- Ferrel was a bigger catch than Walton as a recruit. His passing is NBA caliber. If we get even 80% of that from Walton - great.
- The unsettled roles of veterans (sophomores) is a really astute point by Ace. It's hard enough to acclimate when you know what you want to do.
- The freshman will be fine
- We're going to be a very dangerous 7 seed
- The Lions don't actually have that much talent. Beyond Johnson and Suh, who are fantastic, there are very few above-average NFL starters. Stafford is badly overrated due to his perceived talent, big numbers, arm strength, and draft position. But his performance is not there - he is inefficient, inconsistent, and his QB rating is less than Cutler's 4 of the last 5 years. The Bears have more offensive talent, the Packers have more offensive talent, and the secondary personnel has not been addressed for many years.
- Schwartz started with 0 win team that is now a consistent playoff contender. People forget how quickly it is to go back to Morheinwig, Marinelli, Mariucci types.
- Schwartz has had 1 year out of 5 where he did not increase the Lions win total.
- Barring an 0-3 collapse to end the year, he deserves another season.
|8 hours 31 min ago||pistons||
Regarding Knight - I don't think Burke would have submarined his value, since his best fit is as a combo guard anyway. He's a solid spot-up shooter and defender (at least compared to Jennings). The bigger problem was Stuckey who pretty much plays the same role despite a very different skillset and, to a lesser extent, Bynum. The whole backcourt situation was and is incoherent, and Burke wasn't going to fix that.
KCP seems like the best defender of the group. Shooting and defense is what the Pistons need.
Regarding Drummond - I don't give Dumars too much credit for making the obvious pick. Yes, other GMs messed this up ahead of him, but in general Knight, Monroe, Drummond where no-brainers where they were taken. He was lucky to have them fall. Along the same lines: OKC's GM doesn't deserve credit for taking Durant when the Blazers took that tall bum from Ohio.
I would have viewed Burke the same way, but Dumars took KCP instead. That's the sort of decision that you really deserve credit/blame for. Agree it's too early to judge KCP/Burke decision.
My big problem with Dumars is giving up a '14 pick to pay Smith instead of Gordon for one year. This team isn't a title contender, but next years team, with a pick from the loaded '14 draft helping out might be.
|1 day 4 hours ago||Ignore Defense||
I think some to many people prefer to ignore defense entirely. When Steve Nash can be an MVP...
I think a big difference between football and basketball analysis is that you can pretty much wave your hand at football defenses and still evaluate offensive players fairly. The 2-way thing makes it much harder in basketball. (see: the Spike needs to play more arguments).
I would have preferred Burke, but I agree that KCP's defense is important. Jennings D is pretty awful though - he's a big reason the Pistons are sub 500.
Burke's success in the NBA is dependant on him functioning as a game-manager. His low TO rate is a great sign that he can do it. Defense and shot selection are the two big things he needs to improve and both are manageable. I think he's exceeded expectations so far and is on the path to being a solid NBA starter.
|1 day 8 hours ago||defense||
why do so many people want to ignore defense?
I think you're right that they don't need a scorer at PG this year - but they do need someone who can makeup for the mediocre to awful defense from Levert and Stauskas. Or at least not make it worse.
|1 day 9 hours ago||The one-off neutral site game doesn't bother me||
but playing in Dallas again at that stupid stadium is terrrible.
Still - good news overall to have a real opponent.
|2 days 22 min ago||My thoughts||
|2 days 4 hours ago||Walton should start for defensive reasons||
To me it seems fairly obvious that the main problem with this team is defense. The defensive stats posted on UMhoops say Albrecht is the worst defender in the rotation and Stauskas not far behind. The eye test supports the numbers - these guys are liabilities. Playing Stauskas and Albrecht at the same time makes this team very easy to score on, because the other guys aren't good enough defensively to make up for it. Playing your worst defender more, won't fix this team's problems.
|3 days 6 hours ago||Agree||
We need to keep feeding the OL machine until the position has stable talent and depth. We all hope the '12 and '13 classes will work out, but we aren't there yet.
Plus, some of these kids could flip to DL down the road.
|3 days 6 hours ago||The key here is the||
The key here is the presumption that they'll be solid players down the road. I don't think the position has been stabilized just because the numbers are there. I don't think this program can risk having a struggling OL again. Our offense is reliant on solid OL play, more than most. So, I'll sacrifice a scholarship at FB in favor of a walk-on FB, take one less RB that might be desired, and go under the optimal number of WR to ensure that arguably the most important position on the offense is addressed.
I think when you take 9 or 10 guys in 2 classes there is inevitably going to be some unhappiness and attrition. We should anticipate that and keep adding bodies until we have the position stabilized. Each recruit increases the probability that the OL is a strength. We aren't there yet.
|3 days 8 hours ago||I'm not an optimist exactly||
But I guess I enjoyed this year a lot more than others. That national championship run, especially the Kansas and Florida games were pure bliss for me. The first half of the Louisville game and Spike's WTF half. To lose at the end stung, but didn't offset the great run. Michigan had an amazing basketball season that we'll probably never be able to repeat. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Trey dominate, THJ develop into an excellent all-around college player, and the 4 freshman do their respective things. What a year.
Football was a bigger disappointment, but coming at it from expecting an 8-4 season I think really mitigates the grumpiness. The Nebraska-Iowa-Penn State-MSU stretch was pretty rough. But ND was fun, we had several exciting endings, and the OSU game was thrilling too. Other than the offense grinding to a total halt in the middle of the season there was some dramatic football to watch.
Detroit Sports (for those that care):
Pistons have made debatable moves but lets not get lost in details. Andre Drummond is a potential franchise center and his continuing development is far more important than anything else going on. As a Michigan fan, I'd rather have Burke than KCP but c'mon - that's not making or breaking the Pistons. We have one of the 5 best under 25 players in the league and that's a great position to be in. Doubts about Dumars don't erase that.
Lions - disheartening season, but Mayhew knocked the 2013 draft out of the park and that should yield huge dividends over the next few seasons.
Tigers - they made the playoffs and had one of the best pitching staffs of all time and Miguel Cabrera had another amazing season. Enjoyable team to follow.
Even with the heartbreaks, it's more fun to watch winning/contending teams that lose than middling teams with no title shot. It would be nice to win a damn title though.
|3 days 21 hours ago||Enjoyable read. I think it's a little negative, but fair||
I think your grade is influenced by the team's W-L record. The team could be 10-1 with a slightly better offense, in which case I think you'd have given them an A- for doing the exact same stuff. The OL's F grade doesn't need to spillover. I'd give the DL a B+.
I'd bet QWash gets drafted. It's strange to say he had injury issues and then dismiss his NFL stock entirely. They draft on potential production, not senior year performance, and he remains a large athletic dude with good potential and no character issues. People like him will always get a shot.
Beyer and Clark should make a nice DE duo next year. I think too much is made out of the SDE/WDE differences at times.WDE is probably closer to SLB and SDE to DT, but ultimately it's about football players and beyer has seen the field wherever he lines up. Charlton and Ojemudia will be better as backups too. Heitzman can eat some snaps as well.
Inside is a little harder to project, but let's assume a worst case scenario of Pipkins being not ready. Does anyone think we can't find a solid 4-man rotation out of Henry, Mone, Ash, Glasgow, Wormley, Hurst, Godin, Strobel? with this coaching staff? Add in McDowell and Pipkins if you want to be optimistic, but even if you don't - we'll be fine to very good.
|4 days 30 min ago||I think you do||
They won't reach 17 because guys will leave the program. But even if they do - so what? If it takes 20 to field 5 good starters you find 20 and make due at other positions. Lets take the pessimistic view and assume only 3 of the 9 in the last 2 classes pan out into viable starters due to attrition and recruiting misses. The program can't have that for long, because the OL is so critical.
I agree that 15 is a nice target number in an ideal world but until Michigan has some stability the position should be prioritized.
My comment wasn't about Ward per se, but we do have a strong need for a protypical tackle. Right now, we have a lot of swing guys who project as better guards than tackles.
|4 days 35 min ago||Right - It's about 2016 and Beyond||
We have strong numbers from the '12 and '13 classes, but those guys need to show they can play. Until then, you're just crossing your fingers and hoping these kids pan out. Given that our offense emphasizes OL performance and values OL experience (compared to other programs), I think it would be wise to invest more scholarships at the position.
Many assumed Kalis would be a good starter this year but he struggled and was benched. None of the 9 recruits were able to start and be effective this year. Doesn't mean they won't be a great OL in the future but we just don't know. Those are the kind of assumptions we can't make. OL is a very uncertain position to project into the future. There will be busts, there will be attrition.
It's not about Ward per se as it is about getting more bodies (meat) at this critical position.
|4 days 49 min ago||GR3 and McGary are first round locks.||
GR3 for athleticism, D, shooting. A 3&D guy with plus upside. McGary for hands, strength, all-around game. McGary can be a poor man's Chris Webber. I was not knocking those guys as NBA prospects.
Korver is taller than Stauskas and a better shooter (check the college FT% as evidence). He's also a far better defender. Korver is an obvious role model for Nik, but he has a loooong way to get there. Also...Korver was a 2nd round pick. This is like comparing Trey to Chris Paul instead of Jameer Nelson. If everything goes right, he might come close.
It is not too early to start to evaluate basketball players' draft potential, since most kids at the top of the draft will be freshman. Walton could be an NBA player but without elite shooting, size, or quicks, he'll need to really develop his game over a few years to get into NBA draft conversation. He could do it though.
|4 days 57 min ago||Stauskas' role||
Would be as a 3&D guy. But you need the D part.
The comparison at the NBA level is Jon Diebler, another 6'6 shooter. Stauskas dribbles better than Jon Diebler and is a better college player, but is not good enough to create shots for himself (or others) at the NBA level. So you have to wonder what else he's bringing to the table. Right now, from the NBA perspective, he IS just a shooter.
|4 days 1 hour ago||We need more linemen||
Until we prove we don't.
Right now, your most proven returning linemen is a walk-on that is probably not at his natural position (Glasgow). Your next best guy has less than a season under his belt and will probably change positions.
The numbers are not too high to take more.
|4 days 3 hours ago||1 more win is all it should take||
|4 days 5 hours ago||Stauskas is not a viable NBA player right now||
Not without dramtically improving his defense. He could get there, but he is very far away from it and will have to show it at the college level before getting drafted in the first round.
In other words, while the NBA does draft on potential, you need a baseline of athleticism to be able to defend NBA SGs and Stauskas hasn't shown it. He is tall and very skilled but not athletic enough for the NBA. If college SFs are blowing by you consistently...
If there is a 4th NBA player it's unclear who that is. Horford is probably as realistic as anyone else (defense and rebounding are very good) and I don't think that's real likely. LeVert, while developing a well-rounded game at the college level, does not have a single NBA-skill.
Michigan has 2 NBA 1 first rounders, 1 other NBA prospect (who likely won't be a first rounder) and then some guys who are fringe prospects (possible 2nd rounders/D-league candidates, depending on how they develop.)
This team is young but also has less talent than last year's.
|4 days 6 hours ago||The problem is not offense||
Spike is clearly a better offensive player right now, but they need to improve defensively more than anything else. They can score without Spike, but they can not defend with him and Stauskas out there at the same time.
There is no real way around it - Walton has to play for this team to contend for anything.
|1 week 7 hours ago||Another side of it||
Greyshirts. If you're offering scholarships that could go to a 5th year to a kid who is willing to grayshirt, then there's no benefit to the program not to redshirt someone.
Drop my 5% down to 4% if that's going to be a regular thing.
|1 week 7 hours ago||Because they contribute||
First off, I always appreciate your consideration of nuanced arguments. That said...
If a guy helps you as a freshman, even for only a handful of plays or special teams the equation swings in their favor when you consider the costs of the 5th year alongside the benefits.
If I understand your argument here it's that we won't repeat the recruiting success, therefore the fringe guys are less likely to be successful. I don't buy that argument because a) I think Michigan CAN repeat that level of recruiting classes it's had and b) the fringe guys being 4-stars vs 3-stars doesn't dramatically alter the point (see: Frank Clark, Jake Ryan in Michigan's worst recruiting classes)
The better argument is we can let a marginal 5th year walk, which is true. However, it often doesn't playout that way in reality. Guys typically stay with the program if they want to. (Ash, Furman, Avery types that fill out a useful position on the depth chart aren't typically let go when the alternative is holding a 3-star lotto ticket). In other words, Jeremy Jackson probably returns next year if the option is on the table, but it's probably better for the program that it's not.
The extreme case on one side is 20% fewer scholarships (everyone getting 5 years vs 4 years) but in reality attrition and unrenewed 5th years make the percentage difference closer to 5%.
My point is that 5% is still significant. Significant enough that I don't get as upset by folks who view a burned red-shirt as a lost 5th year senior. It does bother me at position where experience is at a premium (QB, Safety) AND the guy does nothing significant, but sometimes you just have to get a guy ready for next year (Wilson) or if he's going to be relied upon if an injury strikes (Bosch, Stribling, Morris). Hindsight is 20-20, but I don't think the coaches regret the risk-mitigation types too badly.
|1 week 8 hours ago||The downside of red-shirting||
Yes, it would be great to have Denard, Smith, Roh, etc. but it means no scholarships for taking Dawson, Samulson, and Hill, etc.
The value of fringe 2013 recruits is hard to gauge, but take the exercise back a little further and you start seeing the costs. Lower regraded kids taken later in the process (Plan B types) might not have been in the class if it was smaller. Possible examples:
2012: Norfleet, Henry, Johnson, Houma
2011: Clark, Barnett, Poole, Taylor
2010: Black, Ryan, Vinopal
Put another way - sometimes the last guys in the class (e.g., Norfleet and Henry) end up being some of the best. Having 5th year guys can have great benefits, but there is a cost to getting fewer players cycling through your program as well.
Obviously the math is not one to one here (5 scholarship-years for one recruit = 5 5th-year senior years) but you get the point. Norfleet was clearly the last guy in for '12 and would be at Cincinnati if Michigan had just one more 5th year senior.
That's why I'm not sweating the 'burning' of York's red-shirt and the like. It means we get another guy sooner once the machine is back up and running (hopefully) smoothly in a couple years.
|1 week 1 day ago||Gotcha||
Let's hope Malik sees the downside to long-distance travel during his flurry of visits and chooses to stay home.
Agree he's far from a lock.
|1 week 1 day ago||Regarding McDowell and expectations||
Was there an expectation that he wouldn't take all his visits? It seemed like that was always the plan, and nothing has really changed.
I agree that Michigan can still be considered the favorite, but there's a high degree of uncertainty for a kid that doesn't say much and is taking visits late in the process.
|1 week 1 day ago||Bosch gained experience||
I have no problem with the decision to play him, because we'll almost certainly need him to start next year and one less 'fresh meat' guy is a good thing.
He contributed and he got better for having played. 4 years from now our OL depth should be such that we should have adequate depth to replace him. Next year - we need imediate help and will be playing kids who aren't ready. Any bit that helps is a good thing.
|1 week 1 day ago||Strongly Agree||
Coaches are almost never going to come out and say "I couldn't convince the kid to do what's in his best interest."
RJS is one recent example, where his comments as a recruit made it clear he didn't want to red-shirt, but probably should have.
|1 week 6 days ago||If I make through 0-6||
I would have seen losses to App State, NTMiami, and Rutgers. I'd probably stomach Penn State and Michigan State games too.
Can't promise i'll watch every down, but I'll still be a fan and support the team, and call for Dave Brandon to be fired, just like I do now.
|1 week 6 days ago||It took 10 sentences||
for one to actually be indisputably true: "We have an abundance of 4star defensive backs to choose from to fill the other safety spot" though even there 'abundance' is probably an exageration.
That seems like an unusually high number. The first 9 were all debatable, wrong, half-true or hyperbole.
To answer your question: Nothing. I will accept whatever comes and still be a Michigan football fan, even if they go 0-11.
As for expectations: 8-9 wins. Senior QB, but the OL gets younger and Gallon is impossible to replace. The D should be improved though, with all the returning players, but NT and Safety are key positions that need to be filled.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Certainly true||
The coaches may try to sell him on that, but I guess I'm saying Countess may not buy it.
The willingness of the player to do something the coaches want is underrated, IMO. Plays a big role in red-shirt decision and position changes too. Cato June is one notorious example of a player who didn't want to do what the coaches asked him, even though he ended up playing the position in the NFL.
For all we know, the coaches already asked Countess and Taylor, but Avery had to do it instead.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Dominant Receiver||
Is certainly great but a) that receiver can come from the TE position. The chargers offense did this with Antonio Gates for years and no matter who was outside of him, their offense hummed along quite nicely.
More importantly, while Funchess is indeed very good, I'm not sure he's on the heismen-contending level as a WR. That remains to be seen. Bad bad drops the last couple weeks and he's played a lot better against inferior competition and been held in check by better clubs mostly - and that's WITH Jeremy Gallon on the other side. Next year that luxury is gone and defenses can focus a lot more attention on him.
I think we'd benefit a great deal from having 2 guys that are both 2-way TEs. Like you said - putting Butt, Funchess, and Chesson out there with a 4th threat (be it Bunting, Harris, Canteen, Darboh, etc.) is a great way for our defense to become dangerous. Certainly more so than Paskorz/Williams being there. And clearly, the run game can be more effective with two TEs if the pass threat is equivalent (i.e., if the safeties can't cheat).
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Size is one thing||
Desire is another. I think Countess will be playing for draft position and his NFL future is probably stricktly at CB. He may not want to move for that reason.
Same goes for Taylor, I suppose, but he's got less leverage because he could reasonably be benched if he doesn't, while Countess knows that won't happen to him.
I think Taylor to safety is a real possibility, but they'll give Clark, Furman, and Hill first crack.
Peppers is another option - hate to put a freshman there, but he's played it as much as Thomas has and the CB depth we have may make it the best move for the team. Athleticism like his can make up for some mistakes.
I think the coaches would like to keep using Countess as a flex player between nickel and CB.