whats the happs sorry sorry i thought this was america [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

HEY FOLKS

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Friday is University of Michigan night at the Pistons game. There's a postgame meet-and-greet with GRIII and five bucks from every ticket ordered through the above link will go to chronic fatigue syndrome research. The hat is no coincidence! It's Ace's hat! Not literally! But if you've listened to our very visual podcast you've no doubt seen his hat.

There are three seating options: corner, baseline, and the 200-level sideline. MGoBlog people are supposed to gather on the 200 level. Consume!

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #6 Michigan (17-0) vs
#17 Wisconsin(11-6)
WHERE Trohl Center
Madison, WI
WHEN Noon Saturday
LINE Michigan –1 (Kenpom)
TV ESPN

THE US

Michigan eased back into the Big Ten schedule with three games at home and just Illinois on the road. Two of those were "B" games to Kenpom, signifying a top-100 opponent when venue is considered. Two didn't make the tiers at all.

Well, buckle up: 11 of Michigan's remaining 14 regular-season games are "A"—top 50—matchups. Those kick off on Saturday with what Kenpom projects is Michigan's second-most difficult game remaining: at Wisconsin. (The finale at Breslin is, unsurprisingly, #1.) Bart Torvik Dot Com is relatively down on Wisconsin and high on Michigan but even so this game checks in #4 amongst remaining tests. Michigan hasn't faced a team the advanced stats like this much since their two game demolition derby against UNC and Purdue back in early December.

It'll probably be fine, but the push for the conference title starts now. 

THE LINEUP CARD

image (16)

Click for big.

Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 0 D'Mitrik Trice So. 6'0, 187 80 22 113 No
Just A Shooter with <10% of attempts at rim. 42/46% shooting, some assists. Ventures inside line for jumpers some.
G 34 Brad Davison So. 6'3, 206 76 18 113 No
Charge takin', nut punchin' son of a gun will get to the rim some but shoots <50% once there. 46/44% splits.
F 21 Khalil Iverson Sr. 6'5, 217 56 13 104 God yes
D-first garbage man is 0/27 from 3 over last 1.5 years. Usage evaporated once other guys came back.
F 35 Nate Reuvers So. 6'11 240 52 19 118 No
Heir apparent at C spends most of his time as stretch 4. Top 50 block rate, 60/39% splits, rock bottom TO rate. Awkward fit on D at 4 but upgrade on Happ for 8 MPG.
C 22 Ethan Happ Sr. 6'10, 237 79 35 110 Yes
Unique point-center has top 50 assist rate, giant usage, good efficiency, and a major achilles heel: 49% on FTs. Not super athletic and can get eaten up by bigger, jumpier Cs.
G 23 Kobe King Fr.* 6'4 203 49 13 116 No
Efficient when called upon with ability to get to rack but attacks rarely.
G 1 Brevin Pritzl Jr. 6'3, 198 48 12 125 No
Even more tilted towards Just A Shooter this year. 75% of his shots from 3, hitting 34%.
F 2 Aleem Ford So. 6'8, 220 29 15 88 Sorta
Just A Shooter hitting 31%. 6 two-point FGAs all season.
F 15 Charles Thomas Sr. 6'8, 250 13 25 106 Maybe
Bit player gets a few minutes here and there.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]

Mazi Smith takes the field for the Under Armour All-America Game
[Mark Weaver/247Sports]

Michigan’s 2019 class is more or less wrapped up with the exception of one position: running back. The Michigan staff has entertained the idea of bringing in one more running back after TN RB Eric Gray decommitted from the class, and the player they’ve set their sights on is similar to Gray in that he’s adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, shifty in the open field, and seems to have good acceleration and balance (though balance through contact, as important a trait for RBs as there is, wasn’t on film); he seems like a good fit for new OC Josh Gattis’ #SpeedInSpace philosophy. Washington DC RB Keilan Robinson should have been somewhat familiar with Michigan if for no other reason because his teammate, S Quinten Johnson, is a 2019 signee. He’ll be even more familiar with the program this week, as 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff was expected to stop in and see him this week after staying in communication with him the past few months. Robinson, a four-star ranked #362 overall and the #20 RB per the 247 composite, is currently committed to Alabama but has yet to sign.

With 2019 recruiting dwindling, attention from recruiting sites has turned to postseason all-star games and the re-ranks they birth. 247’s analysts sat down and re-watched the Under Armour All-America Game, then offered their take on Michigan’s signees. 247’s John Garcia has seen FL LB Anthony Solomon often in camps and wrote that his coverage skills were never in question. He was more interested in seeing what Solomon could do in a game setting. Garcia:

Looking back he actually closed downhill and finished much better than maybe his height and weight would suggest.

Allen Trieu believes that OH OL Nolan Rumler could play either center or guard in college. Trieu on Rumler going from good in practice to great in the game:

I know that on two of the touchdowns they ran right behind him, and on one he flat pancaked the guy. There was one play where he just drove Mazi (Smith) and nobody had done that all week. I though Nolan lived up to his billing, that whenever the lights are on, he is going to be a mauler.

Garcia noted that Rumler played high at times but was able to sustain blocks once he got his hands on a guy even if his pads were up. Rumler’s future linemate Trente Jones drew rave reviews during the week, and Garcia compared the two:

If Rumler is going to flash, it’ll be with power or maybe a pancake. But Trente will flash with running the defensive end way around a pocket and allowing his quarterback to step up. It will be his ability to get to the second level, to reach block, and get over TWO gaps, to lead the way on stretch plays, and things like that. His movement and skill will allow for so many different types of looks.

Garcia’s takes are some of the most interesting in this piece because he hasn’t seen much of the midwest guys until the week of UA practices and the game. For example, on MI DT Mazi Smith:

You know, the few times I was introduced to him came when we were cutting up top ten plays. Allen would send the film and I would ask “who is this guy?” It was always this ridiculous leverage guy. A leverage monster. If he got under you, he was going to be a problem even for the most physically gifted offensive linemen.

I start these posts with “[Insert day here] Recruitin’” and add the rest of the title as I read articles and start pulling things together and I don’t think I’ve ever scrolled up faster to insert the rest of the title. Garcia and Trieu closed their piece with a discussion of DC S Quinten Johnson’s daily improvement, but I wrote about that in the last recruiting roundup and didn’t find a great ARRRG TECHNIQUE GODZILLA RARR-type (sound effects mine) quote.

[After THE JUMP: Rivals' re-rank, reactions to staff additions and departures, and a number of new offers]

The Hosts: MGoHockey Correspondent David Nasternak and Las Vegas Knights fan Anthony Ciatti. .

This Podcast Has a Sponsor: Michigan Law Grad Jonathan Paul is the guy with the C you want skating next to the ref and pleading your case. He's also a good guy to sit next to at the hockey games.

This podcast was recorded right before the news that Michigan's leading goal scorer is out for the year after getting injured at the World Juniors. It was too late to add anything about it, and anyway it would have lost us our precious family rating despite the fact that David is constitutionally incapable of using swear words.

1. On Taking It Outside

starts at 0:50

Welcome back! We don’t really talk about the GLI because it wasn’t on TV!  Anthony does talk about the GLI’s impact on his Michigan fandom growing up and we lament how its reduced significance has affected fans in the area.
We talk about the outdoor game with Notre Dame, some zany goals because of the conditions, and how Michigan was the beneficiary of a rare goalie meltdown.  Outdoor games are hard to watch on TV but a blast in person and a great benefit to those who are able to attend, we discuss this and other nuances of the events.

2. What Happens in Vegas

starts at 20:55

avid sadly talks about the Merrimack loss while Anthony heaps praise on the Vegas Golden Knights in-game experience and how those intertwine.  How can Michigan lose to a team that in the 15-ish percentile when that is sandwiched by two top ten wins? We talk OSU, a series split on the road is great.  Michigan benefits from parity in the conference in this instance, although the pathway to parity has been a net negative but still welcomed considering where the conference was a few years ago.  How does Michigan beat two top-ten teams?  The trap! Anthony talks about this and other clever things the team is doing to get by this season.  What does Michigan have to do to make the tournament?

MUSIC

  • NHL on ESPN Theme
  • NHL 94 Intro Theme
  • Ice Hockey (NES) theme

THE USUAL LINKS

You know how you can't choose your favorite child? I can't choose my favorite Back Street Boy.

Michigan fills its final open coaching spot with a fast-rising BYU alum

Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske, and Charles Matthews

Things get Torvik.

Garrett Van Wyhe skates against Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational

Takeaways from Michigan's split with the nation's fourth-ranked team

Jim Harbaugh is set to delegate. I eat Zavier Simpson hook shot stories like so many crunchberries. Give me more.

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