Stargazing [Patrick Barron]

Here comes my latest attempt to make my spreadsheets into cool interactive charts. If you haven't checked it before, I keep these Google Sheets of Michigan's recruiting and roster data going back to 1990, and those are back to being updated. I've also experimented before with Tableau and other interactive chart software.

The 2019 Class in Context:

/tap tap does it work?

If you see the "Viz" horray. The big yellow bubbles are the current 2019 commits, the blue are former players with available recruiting data in my database, and the maize bubbles are Michigan's current players. You can click on those groups below the chart to see them with more clarity (some players, e.g. Donovan Peoples-Jones, might be covered up otherwise). I've also included some filters so you can pop out certain eras, specific classes, or who had NFL careers.

Also you should be able to mouseover the chart to pull up each player, some career data, and the components that went into his ranking.

Things made apparent:

  • Thanks to those 2016 and 2017 classes some of Michigan's highest-rated recruits at several positions are still on the team.
  • Notably the current players are bit lower than the post-Bo standard distribution at DT, RB, and both safety spots. DT and RB are addressed in the 2019 class but not safety, unless Daxton Hill makes his way back into the class.
  • The NFL draft picks, especially first-day picks, are bunched towards the top of the recruiting rankings. B.J. Askew was the only low 3-star to get drafted as high as the third round, and Frank Clark is the only recent first-day pick who was less than a 4-star. If they NFL wasn't dumb Maurice Hurst would be in there.

Recruiting stars matter, even if the distribution is wide. That said, how does the 2019 class stack up so far?

[Hit THE JUMP if you want more mouseovers]

Jack Becker shoots against Michigan State's Drew DeRidder
The possession numbers and jerseys are throwbacks to the heyday of Red's tenure, but the goal-scoring isn't there yet [James Coller]

Welcome to the first in a three-part series intended to take a closer look at the six most important topics of the hockey season thus far. In case your attention and time were siphoned by football and basketball, this year’s hockey team is in a similar place to last year’s at the same point. That squad limped into the GLI at 7-7-2, then lost in the first round of that tournament to Bowling Green. I remember thinking after that game that the season was more or less over, so of course they went on a Frozen Four run.

This year’s team has a fairly similar record (6-7-4) and has taken a step forward in its execution of Mel Pearson’s possession-oriented system. Though they’ve been adept at hanging onto the puck and generating attempts they haven’t been able to turn those attempts into high-quality scoring chances, and the roster composition is such that the list of candidates for a second-half breakout isn’t as long as it was last season. This team seems to be a more fully formed one, for better and worse. They are one of the nation’s best teams at generating shots at even strength and on the power play, and the first unit power play has to be one of the best puck moving squads in the nation. Michigan’s desperately needed them to be that, too, as they can’t find a way to score five-on-five despite a bevy of shot attempts. Just how good is Michigan’s power play, and what’s going on at even strength? We’ll use some of the shot-tracking data David’s been diligently inputting after the break.

[After THE JUMP: Quantifying the difference one guy makes]

Things discussed

  • Florida's same things are exactly the opposite: mitigated the pass pro problem, up and down season
  • McElwain leaves and Michigan's receiver recruiting ticks up
  • Who's playing? Gary's out. Bush might not but he's the heart of the defense. The corners don't have enough tape. Other guys weighing their options: Metellus, Hudson.
  • Stueber was alright vs OSU, the TEs were not
  • More Florida: they will blitz and get after you up front
  • Caller: Does Saban just enjoy tormenting Harbaugh? Addressing crootin cynicism
    -Malik McDowell's mom was right about Michigan State
    -Craig's theory: Tyrell Pryor strung Michigan along to make it harder for Rodriguez to sign a 2008 QB
    -Aubrey Solomon: Committed to Michigan the day after the "FU" video
    -Daxton Hill committed at the trough of the season. When the dust settles, Sam will lay out the timeline but he isn't going to make things more difficult for Michigan in an ongoing recruitment
  • Don Brown: $2 million. Pay the players. Big XII has interest in him of course. We're paying Pep Hamilton $1.45 million (highest-paid OC?)
  • Sam goes through Michigan's real time playcalling, which is weird and leads to fighting the clock
  • Developing the short game, and the Evans game
  • Promise next time will be basketball

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

I wrote it down while writing about the Lions

WMU's mascot will always be a drugged out horse eating chips at 2 AM. It will not be a mean muscle horse. This is not up for debate. 

Former Michigan commit Daxton Hill

didn't expect Rocky V to play a prominent role in deciphering what exactly is going on but here we are

RIP Versailles of Thighs 

of course Liberty hired Hugh Freeze

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