[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #6 Michigan (23-3) vs
#46 Minnesota (17-9)
WHERE Williams Arena
Minneapolis, MN
WHEN 7 PM Thursday
LINE Michigan –5, 69% to win (Kenpom)
Michigan –5, 71% to win (Torvik)
TV ESPN

THE US

Uh so the Penn State loss looks less bad now? The Nittany Lions eviscerated Nebraska at home and now that loss Michigan suffered is a top 50 road loss, which… eh? Not too bad? Although maybe it's not the best to start with that event when Michigan is going on the road against an opponent that's ranked almost exactly where Penn State is?

Maybe some hats?

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Is that better?

THE LINEUP CARD

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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 Dupree McBrayer Sr. 6'5, 195 73 18 102 Sort of
Vaguely PG-ish now with a 21 A/15 TO rate in B10 play. Shooting ugly: 45/28 in conference. Chucks up some ugly ones.
G 34 Gabe Kalscheur Fr. 6'4, 200 74 16 114 No
Composite #198 FR has expanded his game a little but is still mostly Just A Shooter hitting 40% from deep.
F 21 Amir Coffey Jr. 6'8, 210 84 24 106 Sort of
Wiry swingman being forced into a lot of tough shots, shooting 49/32, gets to the line a lot.
F 35 Jordan Murphy Sr. 6'6 250 76 27 111 Yes
Bull of a PF grabs all the rebounds but can't really shoot and lack of size makes him meh (59%) at rim. Assist rate has doubled in final year. Drawing a ton of fouls.
C 22 Daniel Oturu Fr. 6'10, 225 55 23 110 Yes
Composite #50 FR is already an excellent defensive C. 13% OREB rate, 7% block rate, almost all his shots at the rim. Black hole you can and should double. 5.5 fouls per 40.
G 23 Isaiah Washington So. 6'1 195 40 23 86 God Yes
Disaster unicorn questionable with tailbone injury.
F 1 Eric Curry Jr. 6'9, 240 22 15 96 Yes
Generic backup C except he doesn't really rebound.
G 2 Brock Stull So. 6'4, 210 22 10 95 No
Getting Washington's minutes in last 3; in those minutes he sits in corner and hopes to get a 3 off.
C 15 Matz Stockman Sr. 7'0, 245 13 25 106 Yes
Louisville transfer is a much better player than Curry, especially on D.

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

Chris Hinton was elite, then he wasn't, now he's back [via Rivals]

Recruiting rankings are contextual, and sometimes you can learn a lot more about a player by the movement of their ratings than the actual score they got. Quick reminder of how things go:

  1. Players will always slowly drop as more get scouted. Moving from the #30 DE to the #35 DE over a few months means nothing.
  2. I usually grabbed a first ranking when a guy committed so historical ranks might only include 247's history
  3. Which sites' camps a kid goes to matters for that site, and the sites have regional holes (for example ESPN overrates southerners because they're contractually obligated to pretend the SEC isn't just a bloated, corrupt, second-rate conference of third-rate schools.
  4. A quick table of what the scores mean:
Site 5-star High 4* Solid 4* Low 4* High 3* Decent 3* 3* Pile Meh/?
247Sports 98-104 94-97 90-93 88-89 86-87 81-85 70-80 67-69
Rivals 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.5 4.9-5.4
ESPN 91-100 86-89 81-85 80 79 77-78 70-76 59-71
Composite 0.99+ 0.97-0.98 0.90-0.93 0.88-0.89 0.86-0.87 0.81-0.85 0.7-0.8 <

I first did one of these last summer, and then I covered the offense last week; here's the defense.

NOTE: On reader request I switched the timeline to go from left to right.

NT Mazi Smith

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #214 OVR 91 (#14 DT) #224 OVR 91 (#14 DT) #225 OVR 91 (#17 DT) #240 OVR 93 (#12 DT) #170 OVR
Rivals   5.8 (#9 142) #160 OVR 5.8 (#9 DT) #160 OVR 5.8 (#8 DT) #174 OVR 5.9 (#9 DT) #142 OVR
ESPN   86 (#2 DT) #29 OVR 86 (#2 DT) #29 OVR, #4 MW 86 (#2 DT) #38 OVR #4 MW 86 (#4 DT) #4 MW #45 OVR
Composite #133 OVR 0.9457 (#7 DT)#122 OVR 0.9456 (#7 DT)#119 OVR 0.9407 (#9 DT)#137 OVR 0.9536 (#11 DT)#105 OVR

ESPN believed Mazi Smith was the kind of guy who'd end up in their Top 50 from the very start, and ultimately remained higher on Mazi than the other two sites. Rivals and 247 both had Mazi in their early Top 150s—as you would expect for a nearly 300-pound DT with athleticism. Rivals kept him there while 247Sports slowly dropped Mazi closer to the edge of their Top247 rankings. A big All-Star showing however caused a late re-rank, with Rivals moving Smith up 32 spots and into the 5.9 range. 247Sports had further to go and ultimately placed Mazi the lowest of the services, but still in relatively close range.

What's the delta say? I tend to believe the Rivals and 247 view here: he looked like a 4-star DT that was hard to tell from the other 4-star DTs but bodily tossing interior OL prospects in his all star appearances necessitated a bump to wherever was just under the DTs they think are truly elite. ESPN held their ground impressively, but they're also the site that does the least amount of re-review.

DT Chris Hinton

Service Aug 2017 Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports 96 (#2 SDE) #14 Ovr 96 (#2 SDE) #13 OVR 96 (#3 SDE) #26 OVR 96 (#3 SDE) #36 OVR 94 (#7 DT) #104 OVR 96 (#4 DT) #47 OVR
Rivals 6.1 (#1 SDE), #3 OVR 6.1 (#1 SDE) #13 OVR 6.1 (#2 SDE) #18 OVR 6.1 (#2 SDE) #18 OVR 6.1 (#5 SDE) #15 OVR 6.1 (#2 DT) #15 OVR
ESPN Not rated 83 (#9 DE) #97 OVR 84 (#7 DE) #65 OVR, , #17 SE 86 (#4 DE #38 OVR #21 SE 86 (#4 DT) #21 SE #42 OVR 85 (#5 DT) #25 SE #48 OVR
Scout 5*, #1 SDE, #3 OVR Merged with 247   - -   -   -
247Comp .9983 (#1 SDE) #9 OVR 0.9897 (#1 SDE)#15 OVR 0.9903 (#2 SDE)#22 OVR 0.9889 (#2 SDE)#22 OVR 0.976 (#5 DT)#49 OVR 0.9867 (#4 DT)#31 OVR

This is a more interesting one because I grabbed his rankings at the time of his commitment way back in August 2017. Not much of the 2019 class had been ranked then but Hinton was one of the big names emerging early. Those never stick, and Hinton dropped out of the top 10 (and even top 100) as the rest of his class filled in. He also was re-rated as an end until last summer.

There was also a lot of disagreement over time. Rivals kept Hinton just over the five-star line the whole time, though they were the last to move him into their DT rankings (Rivals tends to call most DEs strongside ends FYI). ESPN initially put Hinton in the bottom of the top 100 but then moved him twice last summer, only bumping his final score down one point in their final ratings. That conflicts with what 247 saw—they had him a bit lower to start with and the slide after that was within the margin of a guy they hadn't changed their opinions on, but after the season there was a big slip out of the top 100 and down two rating points. Then that all returned in their final ratings/rankings, the result being basically where ESPN wound up.

What's the delta say? There's a type of kid who develops way ahead of his peers (see: Ricardo Miller, Marvin Robinson), bursts into the top group of early rankings, and then slowly falls as he grows out of the position he looked like as a 16-year-old. It's a good sign then that Hinton more or less ended up where he began, ratings-wise (the rankings are just standard rankings gravity). Since he's a top Georgia prospect, ESPN even paid attention, and the steady rise from #97 overall to near 5-star range after camp season is either a good sign, or a sign that they just moved up top Georgia prospects who went to camps. I don't like that 247Sports moved Hinton down after the season—that suggests they didn't quite see what they wanted to on the field this year. The return bump at the end mitigates it, but still leaves a whiff of camp setting vs. game setting to the final ratings.

[After THE JUMP: Categories]

fire up chips [CMUChippewas.com]

Michigan did indeed pick up a transfer on the DL like Amauri Pesek-Hickson foretold:

Danna is coming off a 9.5 sack, 15 TFL junior season and while four of those sacks and 5 of those TFLs were against Maine his season-long numbers were dominant enough to land him on the PFF All America team:

EDGE DEFENDER – MIKE DANNA, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Danna may not be as flashy as others on this list, or even in his conference, but he constantly changed games for the Chippewas this season. He recorded 54 total QB pressures and 53 total tackles while missing only four attempts this year.

PFF put him 69th on their list of the top college football players in America as he checked in with a 91.3 grade. As a sophomore he had an 85 by their system, which wasn't far off Chase Winovich's performance that year (89.5) He's listed at 6'2", 253; he'll no doubt slot into Winovich's vacated WDE spot. The one caveat about those PFF numbers is that sometimes it's tough to grade football players in a vacuum. His outing against MSU was only okay:

"It's worth noting that while he posted 3 hurries against MSU last year, his pass rush grade of 58.4 in that game was his lowest of the season."

Danna wasn't high on NFL radars, either. The Jaaron Simmons thing could happen here. But Danna is definitely worth the swing.

Of note: CMU's coaches got fired after the season so this isn't quite a heartless up-transfer, and Danna is transferring away from new CMU head coach Jim McElwain. If this was all a long con to grab a WDE rental, well played.

Big Ten baseball should object to everything, like it's a law and order episode 

Contra, if you don't use the Konami code, is really stressful

HOOK ALL THE THINGS

Here's not looking at you, kid.

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