WTKA Roundtable 1/10/2019: Ramming Jupiter

WTKA Roundtable 1/10/2019: Ramming Jupiter Comment Count

Seth January 11th, 2019 at 7:23 AM

Things discussed:

  • Craig can beat Joe Simon one-on-one.
  • Greg Mattison is off to make his money, takes his integrity with him. Michigan absolutely would have had him; this was an Urban Meyer move.
  • Dispelling the Mattison myths: No he didn't underrecruit Zach Harrison. No, Big Foot isn't buried under this studio.
  • The Game is a business: how much do the fans care?
  • Hoops: Developing the bench. Johns! Still skittish as an offensive player, but boards and athleticism and blocks, oh my!
  • Poole now the 3rd dragon. Iggy isn't a black hole anymore.
  • Is this a national championship team? They're beating very high expectations.
  • Big Ten basketball: It's Michigan-Michigan State. No awful teams in the league; Rutgers is 100ish and beat Ohio State. McQuaid shut down Carsen Edwards.
  • Sam: "X has no hope against Cassius Winston-*wink*"

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

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Michigan's lost 99/100 to Ohio State we're all insane; can we please talk some basketball?


MGoPodcast 10.17: The Squidmarks Game

MGoPodcast 10.17: The Squidmarks Game Comment Count

Seth January 7th, 2019 at 6:21 PM

This show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan nobody would get our jokes. 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, and Lantana Hummus


1. The Brandon Johns Game: Indiana

starts at 1:00

Hey there Brandon Johns. Do we like him better than Davis? M offense devolved to a lot of heroball when he was in. Poole showing off his 19- and 20-foot game, and the thing he did to McBob.

2. The Jordan Poole Game: Penn State

starts at 1:00

Turnover fest was always going to be Michigan’s once they could get a run, and they did it with transition and a lot more help defense. Zavier Simpson kept their efficient PG to 44(!) ORtg.

3. Seth's Ace's Hockey Podcast

starts at 1:00

It was a long goal. A very long goal.

4. Around the Big Ten with Alex Cook

starts at 1:00

State spent the week without Langford, proved they’re right with Michigan on top of the league, plausible one seed. Minnesota-Wisconsin out-Big Ten’d Michigan-Penn State. Happ taken out of the game. Wisconsin doesn’t have the role players to complement Trice and Happ. Iowa plays you up to them, still can’t play defense, won an urgent game vs. Nebraska, who was just as desperate. Illinois is terrible, but are they really Rutgers-terrible?


  • "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)"—Snoop Dogg et al.
  • "Squid Song"—Rathergood
  • "Fear of Heights"—Apollo Sunshine
  • “Across 110th Street”


I like the fact that I'm not the guy who sounds like a cynical dick anymore


The Unstructured Gentleman

The Unstructured Gentleman Comment Count

Brian January 7th, 2019 at 1:18 PM

1/6/2019 – Michigan 74, Indiana 63 – 15-0, 4-0 Big Ten

Midway through the Penn State game Jordan Poole poked a pass into the PSU backcourt, corralled the ball before it got out of bounds, and attacked PSU's center with a nasty step-through that drew an appreciative "aouww" from play-by-play guy Jason Benetti. Poole got fouled, giving Dan Dakich the opportunity to neatly define Poole's ineffable Poole-ness:

"I guarantee you that he played so much basketball without a coach, or without a ref, or without a scoreboard. Just playing. Where out of bounds is the grass, or out of bounds is the street … there's such a difference between guys who just play and guys who are manufactured by a trainer."

Nobody will ever accuse Jordan Poole of being manufactured. His newly-activated driving game doesn't go in straight lines. It wanders all over the neighborhood like a Family Circus comic, leaving the befuddled in his wake. Watch question marks sprout from the heads of Indiana defenders:

Watch four different Indiana defenders form an honor guard for him as he swoops to the rim:

Watch this guy's best Nick Ward impression:

In one buttoned-down Bob Knight sense that last clip is not the right play. The right play is the kickout to an open 40% three point shooter in the corner. The off the dribble semi-contested jumper is a worse shot. The laws of math say pass. The laws of coaches with slicked-back hair and anger issues say pass.

The laws of basketball demand otherwise, and Jordan Poole is ruled by those and those alone. To not complete the highlight would be the gravest sin. To not take the heat check is unthinkable, because the heat check might go down. And then! And then, well, I mean. You know. The entire arena collapses, overdosed on swag.

This, I think, is what John Beilein meant last year when he said that Poole was a strange player for him to coach. His career has been built by taking limited athletes and drilling them on the basics until they're the kind of regimented outfit that never finishes outside the top 10 in turnover rate. There's a certain mechanical aspect to what Michigan does. This is completely, obviously fine. But with limited exceptions its the system that makes the players go. These days NBA evaluations of Michigan players come with Beilein-is-too-good-at-systems disclaimers.

Poole does stuff that makes your palms itch. Then the shot goes in and you have to pretend that you were on board with the departmental reorganization all along. Yes sir, promoting a technical superstar who's worn the same silvery sweatpants for four years to management is a good idea. Yes sir, that contested NBA three with 20 seconds on the shot clock was within the bounds of the gameplan. Carry on.

You can't yell at a guy for shot selection when he's hitting 60%/47%. Half of those threes are from NBA range. In four Big Ten games Poole is 17/21(!) from two. As the season moves along here his usage is ticking upwards and his efficiency is holding steady.

The swag is approaching uncontained levels. So Poole's a weird guy to coach when you've spent your career being the best fundamentals coach in basketball. But you can't tamp down the swag and expect Poole to remain Poole. A tame unicorn is just a horse.

[After THE JUMP: Brandon Johns reporting for duty]


Hoops Preview: 2018-19 Indiana #1

Hoops Preview: 2018-19 Indiana #1 Comment Count

Brian January 4th, 2019 at 4:27 PM


WHAT #5 Michigan (14-0, 3-0 Big Ten) vs
#28 Indiana (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 4:30 PM Sunday
LINE Michigan –8 (Kenpom)


Michigan ground out a rough and tumble win against Penn State yesterday that was more or less what the computers expected, except slightly uglier. That propelled their defense up to second nationally again, and their offense back down into the mid-20s range that they've been in for much of the season not immediately after one of their irregular three point outbursts.

Indiana comes to Crisler now in a matchup that will pit two of the league's early leaders. Michigan's defense got back to their lockdown ways against Penn State, but Indiana poses an entirely different challenge: can you either force their stars into inefficiency or devolve their usage to Surrounding Jabronis?

Injuries will impact: starting IU PG Rob Phinisee is out with a concussion and Michigan all-purpose sixth man Isaiah Livers is trying to recover from back spasms that held him out against PSU.


We're experimenting with FFFF style lineup pages. Click for big.

image (12)

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 13 Devonte Green Jr. 6'3, 185 85* 24 92 Meh
Backup PG has played heavy minutes without Phinisee. 26 TO rate is horrible for PG, career 41/37% shooter. Run off line.
G 2 Aljami Durham So. 6'4, 181 58 17 104 No
Not Just A Shooter who splits attempts 50/50 between 2 and 3. 21 TO rate; 50/41 split.
G 44 Romeo Langford Fr. 6'6, 215 83 26 112 Yes
#7 composite FR headed for lottery. Exceptional inside line, hitting  72% at rim and 51% on other twos and creates vast majority of those shots. Three point shooting awful so far.
F 11 Justin Smith So. 6'7 227 57 21 99 Yes
Super-bouncy 4 is a dunk-on-assists guy who can't shoot. 5 A rate, 25 TO rate. OREB threat.
C 24 Juwan Morgan Sr. 6'7, 232 72 24 126 No
Skilled big shooting 74/45(!!!) and while that'll come down he was at 63 and 65 from two last two years. Much better block rate than you'd think. FT% has dropped every year, weird.
C 21 Evan Fitzner Sr. 6'10, 225 36 13 110 No
St. Mary's grad transfer is strictly a jump shooter, 58/44 on year but minutes have dropped lately.
C 5 De'Ron Davis Jr. 6'10 255 26 21 101 Yes
True C is a beast when he can get a shot at the rim, but PT limited of late.
G 0 Damezi Anderson Fr. 6'7, 215 24 14 91 Meh
Composite #125 FR was briefly of interest to M. Just A Shooter so far; 3 shots at rim on season and one FT.
F 35 Zach McRoberts Sr. 6'6 210 27 5 115 No?
Nearly invisible when on floor; tryhard walk-on type. Can shoot a little. 5% usage!

*Green played 36 and 33 minutes in the two games Phinisee has missed.

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