WTKA Roundtable 3/8/2018: It Wasn’t a Switch

WTKA Roundtable 3/8/2018: It Wasn’t a Switch Comment Count

Seth March 9th, 2018 at 6:46 AM

WTKA cover 2018-03-08

Things discussed:

  • Hit some threes with some weird guys. Michigan’s matchups vs MSU are all too good. Can’t cover up Winston’s defensive deficiencies the way Michigan spaces you.
  • Michigan’s coaching is so good
  • Won Nebraska with defense; didn’t like that we kept going at Roby and he was awesome. Wagner’s best game other than 27 points at Breslin?
  • Michigan starts the 2nd half vs Purdue with a 10-2 run after missing great shots in the first half. Purdue was one step behind Beilein all night. Painter is a great coach too.
  • Bridges turns into a jump shooter because Yaklich put Z on him. It’s not a switch! He wasn’t able to stick in the post despite MSU trying to run their offense through him.
  • State came into the game trying to punk Michigan, turned out they were the softer team.
  • What do we not want to face: zone teams. Good zone attack plan but not enough rise up shooters. Every time they face it they need time to adjust. Good draws: West Virginia (see: the VCU game in 2013), Virginia, teams that have a traditional post. Bad draws: Duke, UNC, Nova. Don’t want a Michigan-ish team.
  • There’s no favorite in this tournament. If Virginia didn’t have a history of flaming out at least.
  • Yaklich effect: 43rd percentile in P&R defense to 92nd!!
  • Craig: Zavier Simpson, best defensive point guard at Michigan since Alfred Ethelwulfsson, maybe the best ever.
  • Free throwin’: Z is up to 60% since his new routine, Matthews 65% in his last 30.
  • Can we play in Detroit? It’s possible.

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

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


They’ve got a permanent chip on their shoulder and its name is Zavier Simpson


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 13th, 2018 at 11:36 AM


[Bill Rapai]

Friday, February 9, 2018

Michigan State 1, #19 Michigan 1 (T, SO W)

1st period

No scoring


2nd period


MSU 0 UM 1 EV 5:06 Assists: Porikos & N. Pastujov

Nick Pastujov does a really nice job getting to the puck just before it goes out of the zone. He smacks the puck backwards in an effort to get it deep.

mich state fri 1-1

Pastujov’s hack ends up being a perfect pass, as the puck lands perfectly on Quinn Hughes’ blade.

mich state fri 1-2

Hughes turns on the puck and, upon seeing Ghafari’s stick in his shooting lane, pulls it back and decides to dangle.

mich state fri 1-3

Hughes pulls the puck back and shows one of the more intuitive responses I’ve see in the last few seasons. He has a defender in front of him and feels the pressure of the one encroaching from behind, so he counters the pressure by sliding the puck on a diagonal behind himself.

mich state fri 1-4

Hughes is able to spin on his right foot and get the back of his blade on the puck with just barely enough of an upward flick to lift the puck over Lethemon’s extended stick.

Hughes pulls off a spin in a phone booth with unreal puck skills, and Lethemon does a good job to even get a stick near the shot.

mich state fri 1-5

[After THE JUMP: Quinn Hughes is now illegal in four states]


MGoPodcast 9.16: Another Bounty of Memories

MGoPodcast 9.16: Another Bounty of Memories Comment Count

Seth January 15th, 2018 at 8:00 AM

mgopodcast 9.16

(via Madej)

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, where the conference rooms are fortunately soundproof enough that passers-by can’t hear you crying when you’re trying to eulogize the voice of great football.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be sighing to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. Keith Jackson Remembered

starts at 1:00

The man is remembered, with some of our favorite clips. Everywhere Keith Jackson went was the Rose Bowl. Mastery of self-effacing understatement. Interaction with Brian Griese and Bob Griese gave the 1997 season that much more gravitas.

2. Hoops: Inferior Coaching is a Good Excuse

starts at 18:02

Michigan State: A TV Teddy special can’t ruin an all-timer. Izzo eating his own liver on national television was fun. Wagner made Ward sit a few times in this game. Zavier Simpson could not be checked by Winston. Livers and the fact that Michigan can play five out is why this wasn’t the death matchup for Michigan we thought it would be pre-season. A complete defensive performance, took away the three-pointer from a scary shooting team. Beilein’s best defensive team? It could have been an incredible basketball game without Teddy—this crew is such an utter disaster and needs to be removed from the game.

Purdue: Respect to Purdue, gah the end. Zavier Simpson creates efficient and his assists are very efficient: 99th percentile? Transition defense is excellent—no more MSU running off Michigan makes, M 1st in the country in transition D. Absent something else gaudy this Michigan team is a 6th or 7th seed that nobody wants to play.

Ace talks a bit about CFS and what the community has done. CDC has historically failed those who suffer from it, stigmatized, most doctors don’t know it.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Things That Were Supposed to Get Better But Didn’t

starts at 1:01:43

In honor players coached by Tom Izzo, we thought we’d talk about things we’re surprised haven’t improved. This was supposed to be wicked burns but they’re self-owns. Lots of self-owns. Ad reads that are self-owns. Bourbon’s fine but it’s kiddie whiskey. Let’s talk toughness, Miles Bridges. Also lots of talk of nads.

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 1:18:48

Quinn Hughes is going to break somebody’s ankles. Michigan is 15th in the pairwise, ironically tied with Minnesota whom they beat three times. Big Ten is a lot better: OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, ND, Minnesota all playoff teams, Clarkston is good. M defense getting better. Special teams suffering, probably spending more time on 5-on-5. Will take a hard schedule .500 team on the bubble in Mel’s first year.



they’re not quibbles they’re great throbbing anger touchstones.


Michigan 82, Michigan State 72

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72 Comment Count

Ace January 13th, 2018 at 3:33 PM

I'm going to try to write through the very real tears streaming down my face. I'm also cackling with glee.

I know Brian already posted it. Moe Wagner giving Nick Ward a crippling case of the jelly-ankles cannot be posted enough.

Teddy Valentine and Co. may have done their best to muck up an classic rivalry row, but between the endless whistles (51 combined fouls!) was some fantastic basketball. Michigan and Michigan State played a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to break the other. The lead changed hands 13 times and was knotted up 11 more; the margin didn't crack double digits either way until a Wagner free throw with 1:10 to go.

Wagner's ankle may not be at full health, but you'd never know it based on today's performance. Despite only playing 27 minutes before fouling out in the game's waning moments, he poured in a career-high 27 points, roasting whichever Spartan big man tried to defend him with a dizzying array of off-the-dribble moves for layups and pops out to the perimeter for three-point bombs.

Ward couldn't keep up, nor could he come close to matching Wagner's impact on offense, scoring just four points in 14 minutes. Jaren Jackson Jr. (and a host of others on both sides) also battled serious foul trouble, and MSU's vaunted defense could be driven on as a result. The Wolverines nearly matched the Spartans in points in the paint, 32-34, and more than made up that ground by hitting three more three-pointers. Remarkably, they also outrebounded MSU on the offensive end 11 to 8.

Wagner had plenty of help, too. Zavier Simpson dominated his matchup with fellow sophomore point guard Cassius Winston, outscoring him 16-to-11, dishing out five assists to Winston's two, and recording zero turnovers against his counterpart's four. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews made up for poor performances from the field by combining to make 11-of-13 free throws. Isaiah Livers, who got his first career start, added six points in 25 energetic minutes. The man he replaced, Duncan Robinson, sunk his only triple from the corner and fought hard against brutally tough matchups.

Most importantly, the whole team gave a defensive performance that, given the context, is among the best single-game efforts in Beilein's tenure. Little came easy for the Spartans, who couldn't get anything going on the perimeter, making 3-of-12 threes, and instead had to rely on brute force. Michigan held up remarkably well against MSU's front line and forced 18 turnovers with an aggressive, varied approach.

In fact, if Michigan had made a few more layups in the first half or more free throws down the stretch, this could've been a downright comfortable win. Holding the Spartans at bay for a double-digit win will more than suffice, however.

By the end, Jordan Poole wanted to know where all the Spartans had gone.

The Stauskas is strong with this team.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]


Hoops Preview: Michigan State

Hoops Preview: Michigan State Comment Count

Ace January 12th, 2018 at 5:17 PM


WHAT #28 Michigan (14-4, 3-2 B1G) at
#3 Michigan State (16-2, 4-1)
WHERE Breslin Center
East Lansing, Michigan
WHEN Noon ET, Saturday
LINE MSU -9 (KenPom)
MSU -10.3 (Torvik)
MSU -9.5 (Vegas)
PBP: Gus Johnson
Analyst: Jim Jackson

Right: A formidable front duo, and this doesn't even picture another lottery prospect. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]


The response to the CFS fundraiser has been nothing short of incredible. You've raised over $14,000 in a little over a day. MGoCommenter Gordon had the idea to tie the fundraiser into this game; he's generously pledging a dollar per point Michigan scores tomorrow. The outpouring of support here has been incredible. A special thank you to Matt Demorest of HomeSure Lending, who donated a thousand freakin' dollars. Real ones! Every time I think this community can't blow me away, y'all find a way to do so.

I feel guilty asking for more, but this is a remarkable time for the CFS/ME community and this wave of newfound awareness can make a huge difference in researching a cure. You've already blown past the $10,000 stretch goal, which means I'll be getting the Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn haircut. I want to add a couple more.

So, if this hits $20,000, I'll dye that Wild Thing haircut blue. If we hit $25,000, I'll make it half blue and half maize. (My hairline, unfortunately, precludes a winged helmet pattern.) If we somehow get all the way to $30,000, I'll open up a contest to the people to draw a Michigan-related tattoo I'll get to commemmorate this whole thing. Something along these lines, perhaps.

I'm learning not to apologize for repeatedly putting this out there. Here's the widget again. Every little bit helps.

Happy 33rd Anniversary, Mom & Dad. Let's Find A Cure For CFS. on Crowdrise

Let's get me some ink.


Uh, meanwhile, this doesn't sound great, especially given Moe Wagner's paramount importance to Michigan's chances of beating the Spartans:

Wagner has struggled to get back on track since rolling his ankle against Texas in mid-December. It's a concern that the effects are lingering a month later. Michigan is going to have a very difficult time scoring against MSU if Wagner isn't able to stretch the floor. He's almost certainly going to play unless he reaggraves the issue; we'll have to wait and see how close he is to 100%.

Sliding down a spot, John Beilein finally said Isaiah Livers could step into Duncan Robinson's spot in the lineup. The upside: from a purely basketball standpoint, this is absolutely the game to do so, as Robinson simply doesn't have a workable matchup against MSU's starting lineup. The downside: a freshman making his first career start at Breslin without freaking out is kind of a big ask.

Prediction: Robinson starts and gets pulled by the first TV timeout, hopefully before Michigan is in too big a hole.


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 5 Cassius Winston So. 6'0, 185 67 23 133 Not At All
Welp. Fourth nationally in assist rate, 13th in three-point shooting.
G 1 Josh Langford So. 6'5, 210 65 22 114 Not At All
Sharpshooter, raised efficiency while taking on bigger role. Late-clock scorer.
F 22 Miles Bridges So. 6'7, 230 69 25 120 No
Lottery prospect #1. Powerful, skilled all-around force.
F 2 Jaren Jackson Jr. Fr. 6'11, 242 65 22 114 Not At All
Lottery prospect #2. Unicorn. Great shot-blocker, good rebounder, hits threes.
C 44 Nick Ward So. 6'8, 250 50 28 125 Yes
Tremendous post scorer. Great rebounder and shot-blocker. Drives Izzo nuts.
G 11 Tum Tum Nairn Sr. 5'10, 175 52 9 124 Yes
Out there for defense/leadership. All but ignored on offense.
G 20 Matt McQuaid Jr. 6'4, 200 50 16 118 No
Just A Shooter™ type making 37% of his triples, right on career mark.
F 34 Gavin Schilling Sr. 6'9, 240 25 18 109 Very
Great rebounder, offense mostly confined to putbacks. Turnover-prone.

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


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State (Great Lakes Invitational)

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State (Great Lakes Invitational) Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 4th, 2018 at 1:45 PM



Tuesday, January 2, 2017

Michigan 6, Michigan State 4

Great Lakes Invitational consolation game

1st period

Hirose goal

UM 0 MSU 1 EV 00:26 Assists: Lewandowski

Luce tries to handle a pass to him at the blue line and bobbles it, trips, and ends up staring at a nearly stationary puck between himself and a charging MSU skater. He flails around in an effort to bat the puck anywhere but where it is. This fails, and Lewandowski flips the puck over Luce’s stick. He plays it to himself off the boards.

gli msu 1-1 edit

Lewandowski cuts inside and glides back outside to retrieve the puck off the wall. Luce gets up and tries to chase him down, but Lewandowski ends up with an uncontested zone entry. Luce starts to close the gap as Lewandowski carries down the wing. Cecconi is at the point where he’s realized he’s no longer needed to come across and cover, so he starts to turn. He’s still looking at the puck carrier, though.

gli msu 1-2

Or, more accurately, the guy who used to be the puck carrier. Lewandowski somehow sees Hirose trailing and flings the puck his way. You can see from the shadowy image of a guy with one skate on the ice that Hirose has to body the puck to contain it.

gli msu 1-3

I mean, come on. That is not even remotely on Lavigne. You’d like to see Cecconi pick up on the fact that there’s a trailer earlier so that he isn’t caught flat-footed and can gap up, but the shot itself is an immediate and perfect backhander off a puck that rolled down a guy’s body. Weird.

gli msu 1-4

[After THE JUMP: hat trick and a butt goal]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 12th, 2017 at 10:16 AM


[Schnepp (yeah, seriously)]

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Michigan 4, Michigan State 0

1st period

No scoring

2nd period

UM 1 MSU 0 PPG 7:38 Norris from Cecconi & Slaker

Slaker tries to take away the pass down low but the State skater hangs on and hands on and hangs on and eventually forces the pass low. Cecconi reads this and steps in front to pick it off. He proceeds to flip the puck out of the zone and to Becker, who’s waiting for it at the edge of the neutral zone.

m msu thurs 1-1

Becker carries in and avoids a cursory stick sweep, which he counters by dropping the puck back for Norris to retrieve upon entering the offensive zone.

m msu thurs 1-2

Norris reads the depth of the defensemen and sees that there might be a stick in his passing lane, but there’s a good chance a saucer pass would get the puck to a very open Slaker. He lifts it, but Slaker loses the puck and has to reset. It takes a fraction of a second; the shot is now a writer instead of a one-timer, and the fraction of a second is enough time for Lethemon to read it and safely steer the shot to the corner.

m msu thurs 1-3

The puck-side defenseman turns to block the shot and then steps in to clear the rebound. He has Slaker in his face and can’t afford to turn and try to carry it out without taking a gamble; there’s a good chance Slaker strips the puck from him if he does anything but fling it out of the zone. The pressure results in a weak clear, and the puck bounces off the boards about halfway up the zone.

m msu thurs 1-4

Becker comes over to get the puck and thinks twice, instead pointing at it for Cecconi to take it. Allowing a defenseman an unimpeded slap shot from the blue line is, at the very least, a good way to get the puck into traffic and maybe deflected. That’s not needed here, though, as Cecconi shoots a top-corner laser over Lethemon’s glove.

m msu thurs 1-5

[After THE JUMP: one night Calderone’s putting up a hat trick, the next night the offense stalls and the defense forgets what a backside skater is]