Unverified Voracity Waits

Unverified Voracity Waits

Submitted by Brian on April 19th, 2018 at 3:34 PM

38835635031_a6693dca70_z

look, if they had a spring game you wouldn't have to keep looking at the same picture [Bryan Fuller]

Shea status. Michigan responded with a letter from Shea Patterson answering the questions posed, and Ole Miss said "whatever," more or less:

In communications this week, Ole Miss told the NCAA it basically had nothing to add.

"There is nothing new here," Bjork told CBS Sports. "We do not oppose the student-athlete competing right away if the decision is based on accurate information, NCAA bylaws, applicable waiver standards and relevant case precedent."

Patterson's attorney, Tom Mars, concluded, "Therefore, the case is ready to be decided. The timing of the NCAA's decision is a matter of the staff's discretion, so there is no timetable for when a decision will be made. I'm confident, however, that the staff will not take any more time than is necessary to come to the right decision."

The NCAA has all the information it's going to get, and it is a lot of information. Mars bombed the idea that Patterson hadn't added anything new in an interview with Sam. Patterson's letter was apparently 9 pages long; Ole Miss's response was a single paragraph.

Either way we'll know soon—but it had better be a thumbs up unless the NCAA wants a ton of awful PR for no reason. It's not like there's going to be a spate of free transfers from schools that get in trouble and lie about it—currently that list of schools stands at just Ole Miss.

Hang on to your butts. Neal Rubin has details on the terrifying but ultimately harmless plane crash before last year's Big Ten tournament:

…according to the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, part of the investigative report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot’s terse “Abort” at 187 mph was met with a historically sensible, procedurally correct and potentially fatal response.

“No. Not above —” the copilot said, referring to takeoff speed. Then: “(Expletive.)”

What the captain felt in his hands, and the copilot had no way of knowing, was that the two-engine jetliner was not going to climb. The yoke “felt heavy, like there was a stack of bricks on the nose,” he told investigators, and so he immediately did exactly what pilots are trained to avoid.

The 881-page report is here if you have a great deal of time.

Tough sell for transfers; transfers a tough sell. Per Josh Henschke, South Dakota transfer Matt Mooney has dropped Michigan from consideration. This is not much of a surprise since he should be able to find 30 MPG somewhere else.

The only other transfer currently associated with Michigan is Robert Morris SG Dachon Burke, but 1) Burke is a sit one, play two kid with 2) a 102 ORTG in the NEC. I don't know what ORTG a sit-one-play-two low-major guy would have to have to be appealing given that Michigan currently has one open 2019 scholarship, but it's not 102. It's probably 130. Anyone talking about Burke seriously hasn't looked at Michigan's roster.

image

Carton's HS has great jerseys that Michigan should try to copy, too

Especially since… In the aftermath of Michigan's Final Four run, Beilein has started hitting up a bunch of top 50 guys. Michigan appears to be recruiting in the expectation they'll have two spots and they would like those to be a combo guard and a wing. With Duke folks still banking on Joe Girard, it's recently-offered IA CG DJ Carton who now seems like the most likely big-time combo addition. Carton's recruitment is nearly an entirely intraconference battle, with Marquette the lone school outside of the Big Ten drawing much mention.

Carton has four CB picks to Wisconsin on his profile but Wisconsin 247 guy Evan Flood seems like he's trying to let the locals down easy, saying that if he had an idea of where to flip his pick he'd flip it away from the Badgers. Guard depth is cited as a problem—a dubious assertion given Wisconsin's guard play and recent recruiting. Meanwhile Henschke seems fairly close to a Michigan crystal ball.

Nunez doesn't hit rim. Some highlights:

Much shorter reel than Castleton's but that form is so pure.

Final CSB. Players of note on the postseason Central Scouting Bureau's list of NA skaters:

  • #6 Quinn Hughes. Actually dropped from #4. Crazy!
  • #7 Oliver Wahlstrom. Wahlstrom decommitted from Harvard and is apparently choosing between BC, Michigan, and maybe a year in Europe. No news since Jeff Cox reported that a week ago.
  • #17 Bode Wilde. Will be a freshman in AA next year, also after decommitting from Harvard. Hopefully he and Wahlstrom are bros.
  • #154 Jack Randl. That makes Randl a late pick if he actually goes.

Michigan's other draft-age commits—Calen Kiefiuk and Jacob Semik—are not listed. That's not a huge surprise for either given their USHL numbers, though Semik has some peripheral stats that look pretty good. (More about that later.)

This class was hurt pretty badly by the uncertainty about Red Berenson; Pearson's tried to fill it in with various overagers as he seeks to bridge the gap between Hughes and Norris to the 2020 group. Flipping Wilde will be a big help there; a one-and-done from Wahlstrom would also be real nice. Also…

Obligatory Jack Hughes mention. Hughes draws a New York Times(!) profile. Most of it is stuff you're already familiar with if you follow Michigan hockey. A section at the end definitively states that he won't accelerate (boo), but then broaches the possibility of the #1 pick in the draft spending a year somewhere other than the NHL:

Hughes is undecided about where he will play after he is done with the National Team Development Program in 2019. He is considering college hockey and the junior ranks in Canada. “We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. He’s just a kid,” said Jim Hughes, who now works for Pat Brisson, the top agent whose clients include Matthews, now a Maple Leafs star, and other N.H.L. players.

One other possibility is a year of pro hockey in Switzerland, where Matthews played, on Brisson’s advice, before being drafted. Going directly to the N.H.L. after the 2019 draft could be a stretch unless Jack Hughes adds plenty of pounds and bulk over the next 18 months.

That's not going to happen, right? When's the last time that happened? I don't even want to think about it. They'd still give the Hobey to Jimmy Vesey.

Exit fun guy. Alas: 2020 hockey recruit Antonio Stranges signed with London. May he have better luck than previous Michigan decommits. Fellow touted 2020 recruit Andrei Bakanov signed a tender with the USHL's Cedar Rapids after not making himself available for the OHL draft and is on track to matriculate. Bakanov has some stats:

Bakanov, a six-foot-two, 192-pound forward, spent the 2017-18 season with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, totaling an impressive 112 points (57G, 55A) in 77 total games between the program's HPHL schedule and U16 AAA schedule.

“Cedar Rapids has a great history of producing tremendous players," Bakanov said. "The plan that Coach Carlson provided my family and me not only for on ice development , but also developing as a student and person, far exceeded our expectations. I was able to see a game on my visit and the support of the fans for the team really excited me."

If he scores at a decent clip in his draft-1 year in the USHL he'll be a first round candidate.

Etc.: Awful Announcing on the Athletic's impressive growth. 2019 wing Jae'lyn Withers lists Michigan as one of four schools he's hearing the most from. Withers jumped 54 spots to 61st in the latest Rivals update. Zach Shaw says goodbye to Wagner. He's probably a second round pick. Ticket packs and prices announced. Baseball is "last five in" per D1baseball Dot Com

Let's Start Again: Small Forward

Let's Start Again: Small Forward

Submitted by Brian on April 13th, 2018 at 1:27 PM

An irregular series about next year's basketball team. Previously: point guard, shooting guard.

39728638255_406a6caa7e_z

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

ROSTER

Charles Matthews (Jr.*): 25% usage and 102 ORTG has to be some sort of somethin' for Beilein-era players. NBA athlete, superior defender. Not currently on NBA radars because of shooting deficiencies.

Ignas Brazdeikis (Fr.): 19 YO Canadian would be top 40 recruit if folks ranked him. Gets buckets.

Adrien Nunez (Fr): Just A Shooter but at 6'5" can plausibly defend the 3.

I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS

How close is Matthews to his ceiling?

The last time Michigan had a starter with an ORTG around Matthews's 101.6, Zak Irvin was scuffling through a 48/30 season; the team trundled to a 23-13 record and a First Four tourney bid. The most recent edition of Michigan did a lot better… but it would be nice if Matthews could turn it around. Irvin added ~8 ORTG points as a senior, for a target. There's good news and bad news here as Matthews attempts to match that.

39069900050_1a663ce7f9_z

1 TO vs Houston and most of the rest of the tourney schedule [JD Scott]

The good news: "Turnover" Matthews may have run steps when redshirting and frustrated fans to no end during his rough stretch in the middle of the season, but… actually, a 16.5 TO rate from a 25% usage guy isn't horrendous. God Himself Donte DiVincenzo had a TO rate of 16.9 on 23% usage. Various Big Ten non-Cs with a worse TO rate than Matthews last year include Jae'Sean Tate, Cassius Winston, Jaren Jackson, Brad Davison, Bryant McIntosh, Trent Frazier—none of whom matched Matthews's usage.

Matthews's problem was that at one point his TO rate was horrendous and his vector was pointing the wrong way:

image

A series of increasingly disastrous games pushed his season TO rate to 19.2 by late February, and it got uglier once you dropped the tomato cans. It was around this time certain bloggers started pleading to move whatever usage was available from Matthews to Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, a man so allergic to turnovers that he explodes if he enters a bakery.

Michigan did this, and things immediately got better. The MAAR Accessories game against Maryland saw Mathews use 21% of Michigan's possessions, his lowest output since early January. Michigan blew the doors off, Matthews turned it over just twice, and the stage was set. The graph above turned into this:

image

And even the five TO blip against Montana came about largely because a desperate Michigan funneled Matthews 31% usage in terrible end-of-clock situations. (Also one of his three TOs against Villanova should been charged to Ibi Watson.)

This looks like a genuinely changed player. 11 games against tourney-ish competition (and Iowa!) is probably the toughest stretch of Michigan's season, and while Matthews's usage did drop into role player territory during the Big Ten Tournament he re-emerged into a >20 player in the Large Dance without ill effect despite Michigan playing Houston, Texas A&M, Loyola-Chicago, and Villanova—all top 20 Ds.

Another year in the same system and with the same relentless attention to detail should only improve Matthews's ability to not boot the ball into the crowd. While his finishing run is optimistic it's closer to what he should do in 2018-19 than his previous output.

[After THE JUMP: (relative) bad news and backups]

Unverified Voracity Punches A Police Horse, Probably

Unverified Voracity Punches A Police Horse, Probably

Submitted by Brian on February 5th, 2018 at 1:11 PM

Sponsor note. Hey, if you happen to be in Philadelphia and punched a police horse last night, you need a lawyer. Please don't call Richard Hoeg, who does not handle that kind of law at all.

hoeglaw_thumb[1]

But if you had the idea for a company that sells football helmets for police horses, then you would call Richard Hoeg, who does do that kind of law: contracts, LLCs, S corps, and the like, for entrepreneurial sorts who can survey the urban chaos our Super Bowl inflicts on local communities and finds a way to make it slightly better. For horses. Or people, I guess. If you have a company that helps people, Hoeg Law will also help you. I've never heard Richard say "we only handle horse companies." And that's the sort of thing that I think you'd bring up. Right?

Brandon Graham Michigan

The Gang Wins The Super Bowl,  thanks to Brandon Graham. Obligatory Philly chaos:

Congratulations to Brandon Graham, who was one of the few bright spots on the whole dang team when he was an upperclassman. I remember doing the UFRs for his senior year and pleading with anyone to listen to me that dude was an All-American. Nobody did except maybe Matt Hinton(?). Graham worked his ass off despite the very Rich Rod carnage all around him and was deservedly drafted in the first round; took him a minute to find his footing but that'll do. Everyone who's met him also thinks he's the best dude ever.

In other Super Bowl takes, this article from SBN was extremely prescient after watching that Big 12-ass game:

Last September, Sonny Dykes sat to watch the NFL’s season-opening game between the Chiefs and Patriots. Dykes, recently the head coach at Cal and then an offensive analyst at TCU, has coached college football since he was a graduate assistant at Kentucky in 1997. He noticed something about the pro game he was watching.

“Watching that game, I remember thinking, ‘This looks like a college football game,’” Dykes tells SB Nation. “They were both playing kind of college offenses, were really diverse in what they were doing, were using a lot of misdirection, were using some quarterback run, both teams. I thought, ‘Wow, this is kind of fun to watch.’”

The Chiefs used a series of misdirection and option plays that have long been common in the college game. They conned New England’s defense all night and scored 42 points in a surprising win. The Chiefs were near the tip of a spear that now includes pretty much the whole league, including the team they beat that night and the Eagles team the Patriots will play in Super Bowl 52.

“Ten years ago or maybe eight years ago, even, everybody in the NFL ran the same offense,” Dykes, now SMU’s head coach, says. “It was all kind of an I-formation, under center, you know; everybody ran the same stuff. All of a sudden, you started seeing a little bit of the college game proliferate a little bit in the NFL.”

New England didn't punt, gained 600 yards, and lost. Oh and there were multiple missed extra points. Big 12? Big 12.

The other thing that jumped out at me as I watched the second of two NFL games I consume annually: holy hell that catch rule. Philly's winning touchdown saw the WR catch the ball, get two feet down, and then take a full step to the endzone before he hit the ground. Both Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were absolutely convinced it was not a catch.

Which is nuts, because... uh, that's nuts. I will repeat my previous assertion: once you get foot #3 down by taking a step you're a runner and have caught the ball. That's a catch, and the Pittsburgh play earlier isn't.

Also, in the fourth quarter of a tight, all offense Super Bowl, Cris Collinsworth marveled that the football game he was watching could possibly live up to the halftime show. This was after several hundred plain old play action passes were dubbed "RPOs," like—just hypothetically—a two year old who had just discovered the word "wine" at Thanksgiving and may have repeated it at maximum volume for the sheer delight several hundred times.

I just dunno man.

Sample size! I have maybe been googling David DeJulius's free throw stats, for no reason, really. This is what I have found.

image

Hooray! Also, here's this from that Orr game when he blew up:

DeJulius continued his strong play in the second half and was extremely efficient, finishing with 49 points on 13-of-19, including 9-of-11 from deep range in the 92-82 victory. He also converted 14-of-15 free throws and had seven assists and three turnovers.

I get nervous when they show him shooting just one free throw in the highlight videos but apparently that's just because free throws are boring. May they again be boring.

Also in high school stat news, Colin Castleton might be able to continue Michigan's stretch five offense...

Miller said he runs a motion offense and moves Castleton around the court to try and make it harder for teams to focus on him. "We let him back screen, we get him on the perimeter and let him flare and curl to the basket," Miller said. "We're perfectly fine with him shooting 3s." In fact, Castleton is his team's best 3-point shooter at 38 percent.

...after a year of eating nothing but meatballs.

Also also:

No word on his free throws though.

Boiled up. Purdue AD Mitch Daniels writes an op-ed for the Washington Post about the one-and-done rule being bad and dumb, and while he's necessarily compromised by being the head of an organization that doesn't actually pay its most important labor, he still brings more heat at the NCAA than I've seen from someone inside the sausage factory:

When the FBI revealed its findings about the corrupt connections among shoe companies, agents, a few big-time college programs and coaches, and the Amateur Athletic Union or AAU (the first “A” increasingly looks like a misnomer), no one near the sport was shocked. The existence of this part of the cesspool has been in plain view for years. Those in a position to stop the scandals spawned by the “one-and-done” era — in which many top-tier players were required to enroll in college for one year before bolting for the NBA — have been either powerless to do so or actively interested in perpetuating the status quo.

When it was discovered that, at what we’ve always considered an academically admirable school, championships had been won by teams loaded with players who took completely phony classes, most of us were sincerely shocked. We were stunned again when, after years of cogitation, the NCAA delivered a penalty of . . . nothing. It was a final confession of futility, confirming the necessity of this special commission, if any meaningful change is going to happen from the collegiate end.

Unfortunately none of his policy solutions—removing freshman eligibility, leaving early entry scholarships filled for four years, or adopting the college baseball zero-or-three model—are, like, good. Or even implementable, in the baseball case. I still fail to see how one-and-done stands up legally since the collective bargaining of the NBAPA is taking away rights from people who aren't members; IANAL but I'm surprised one-and-done hasn't been sued into oblivion by some Lavar Ball sort.

Etc.: ESPN's Paula Lavigne on the OTL investigation of MSU. PSDs no longer tax deductible. Cooper Marody executes some jock jams.

This Week’s Obsession: Hoop Futures

This Week’s Obsession: Hoop Futures

Submitted by Seth on January 11th, 2018 at 2:00 PM

image

[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: You’re a responsible adult who looks long-term instead of getting distracted by every which thing, so talk to Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management.

Our deal is Nick is the guy I go to for financial strategies, and he gets to ask us Michigan questions on your behalf. Anytime it’s a Nick question, we’ll let you know. Anytime you’ve got a financial question, let Nick know. And when you’re ready to figure out how you’re going to plan your retirement and pay for your kids’ college when you just got done paying for your own, don’t wait to do something about that.

-------------------------------

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

--------------------------------

Nick’s Question:

[long gushing thread about Poole’s ceiling]

Nick: And Livers and Teske are still so young. And then the incoming class…

Seth: Yeah in two years this could be Beilein’s best team ever.

Nick: I don’t even know which of these guys to be the most excited about!

Seth: Is that your TWO question?

Nick: Sure.

Seth: Good because we’ve been talking about the same thing in slack all this time.

Ace: Just one? Top three? Top five? I have a hard time containing my enthusiasm with this bunch and the 2018 class.

Seth: Should we try to come up with a consensus rank?

Brian: Top three. Ordered by projected alpha dog on the 2019-2020 team.

Ace: I’m gonna drop this in from the discussion that led to this topic:

Alex: I mean the roster in two years could look like:

PG - Z, Brooks/DeJulius
SG - Poole, Nunez
SF - Iggy, Johns
PF - Livers, Johns
C - Teske, Castleton

I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but that's a group that could do some big things, especially if Z continues to improve

This, of all things, is going to kill me.

Brian: First and second year players on this team and the incoming croots are eligible.

Seth: So Iggy has one spot.

Ace: Does he, though?

Brian: Alpha dog is defense and rebounding inclusive. Everyone has their own list.

Ace: I thought the same thing and then I looked over everything again and this is really damn hard. There’s a legitimate argument for everyone on Alex’s two-deep outside of Brooks and probably Nunez, and those guys aren’t exactly dead weight.

[Hit THE JUMP for very exciting gifs and stuff]

Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck

Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck

Submitted by Brian on December 12th, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Words fail. Holiday greetings from Patrick Kugler, Henry Poggi, and Chris Petzold.

image

If anyone knows what to do with their hands after seeing this please let me know.

Peters transfer: nope. The lingering concern about Shea Patterson's transfer is that it would cause Brandon Peters to transfer out, thus leaving Michigan just as thin at quarterback and reliant on an NCAA waiver for their presumed starter. That does not appear to be happening. Sam Webb talked to Peters's father; you can listen to a WTKA segment on that conversation—helpfully summarized here—or read his take on The Michigan Insider:

“That's good,” Mr. Peters said of Patterson’s transfer. “Iron sharpens iron. Brandon is up for a good fight. Put the gloves on, (get) both fists up, (and) let's go! Brandon said, ‘bring in 30 QBs. I'm going to my job at hand and work.’

“Coach Harbaugh said it’s going to be a competition and we believe him.”

Webb also cleared up the strange yes-no-yes Patterson saga: Michigan was content to go into 2018 with three quarterbacks, but once Speight decided to grad transfer they wanted to add a guy and Patterson wanted to come, so... yeah.

The grad transfer rule might also be helping Michigan keep Peters around, BTW. He will compete for the job this year. If he doesn't get it he will be the backup; if Patterson's one and done then he's in line for the job again in 2018. If he's not, Peters can almost certainly graduate in 3.5 years and have two to play two, a la Alex Malzone. He doesn't lose anything by staying, and he will be a serious candidate for the job. I'd tentatively give him the edge given his familiarity with the offense.

Not quite crootin' visits of note. JaRaymond Hall took a visit to CMU this weekend, which seems like a significant step towards a transfer. Hall is on the fence after receiving his release earlier this month.

Also: potential Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson visited Louisville yesterday. As of Monday, Jefferson was the only one of the three guys who had not told a recruiting reporter that he was at least virtually committed, and it appears that there is a genuine race on for his services. Louisville is closer to home since Shawn Jefferson is the Titans' WR coach. If this is a backup plan because of transcripts thing expect that to get resolved almost immediately—all three guys want to be on someone else's campus for the winter semester.

Doesn't sound great for Newsome. This is reading between the lines, admittedly, but that's all we've got here. And if Grant Newsome isn't cleared for spring it's probably not good news for his career:

Michigan left tackle Grant Newsome still holds the goal of being medically cleared to return to football by the start of the 2018 season.

"Before then hopefully," Newsome said Sunday night. "As soon as possible." ...

"Trying to get back on the field as soon as possible," said Newsome, who was honored with the Pete Schmidt Courage Award at the National Football Foundation/Free Press All-State Dream Team banquet in Dearborn on Sunday. "I want to play right now. But it's up to the doctors when they'll let me go."

Not being cleared more than a year removed from his injury is fairly ominous.

Shooter. Adrien Nunez is the who-dat afterthought in Michigan's 2018 basketball recruiting class, at least if you go by rankings. If you go by the ability to make threes off the dribble, though:

That's one game and thus fairly representative. Nunez ventured inside the three point line once; he makes multiple off the dribble threes; he also catches and shoots. Nunez doesn't look like the kind of athlete who gets the shiny rankings, but he looks like a guy who can get his shot in a variety of ways. That shot is always a three pointer. Beilein kind of kid.

A disastrous nonconference schedule. Michigan isn't the only Big Ten team to suffer through a disappointing basketball stretch here. The conference has imploded:

image

This looks like a four bid league. Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, and Wisconsin have all badly undershot preseason expectations. Michigan really needs this game against Texas tonight and then will have to go... uh... 11-7 in conference play to be on the bubble? Is it that bad? I think it might be.

Etc.: There's an early signing period now. Weird. Jourdan Lewis doing Jourdan Lewis things. Scorekeepers is the most popular Uber destination in Michigan: opposing ridesharing in a college town is tantamount to endorsing drunk driving. Somehow, Michigan—Michigan!—is 335th in FT shooting. FFS.

A reminder that Amani Toomer has a history of yellin' about stuff that seems ridiculous. Mo Hurst, All American.

Hoops Hello: Adrien Nunez

Hoops Hello: Adrien Nunez

Submitted by Ace on October 2nd, 2017 at 7:59 PM

Taylor Currie may have just exited the 2018 class, but is it really a John Beilein recruiting class without an under-the-radar pickup? We won't have to answer that question following this evening's commitment of 6'5" Brooklyn wing Adrien Nunez, who wasted little time announcing his pledge after picking up an offer during last weekend's official visit.

Nunez is the fourth commit in the class, joining Ignas Brazdekis, Brandon Johns, and David DeJulius. With Michigan looking likely to add four-star big man Colin Castleton this week, the 2018 haul could go down as one of the best in recent memory.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
NR SG 3* SF NR 3*, 87, #65 SG,
#287 Ovr
3*, #62 SG,
#268 Ovr

Nunez wasn't on anybody's radar until this summer, so it isn't a surprise that the recruiting services are still largely in the evaluation process; only 247 has given him a numerical ranking. ESPN doesn't even have him in their database.

The three sites with profiles for Nunez all list him at 6'5" and either 175 (Scout, 247) or 195 (Rivals) pounds. He'll be able to play either the two or the three in John Beilein's system. This is likely why Michigan is taking Nunez instead of waiting on Noah Locke, a 6'2" guard who'd play a similar role—perimeter gunner—but would give the team less lineup flexibility.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hoops Recruitin' Doesn't Eat Dirt Sandwiches

Hoops Recruitin' Doesn't Eat Dirt Sandwiches

Submitted by Ace on September 28th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

The State of Things: Pretty Good!

247 changed latest commit Ignas Brazdeikis's composite ranking to reflect that half the services don't bother to rank foreign prospects. He's now the #42 overall player in the class, which would place him as the fifth-highest ranked signee in John Beilein's Michigan tenure, per Orion Sang.

That bump, combined with the scandal that's rocked college basketball (happy trails, Louisville's 2018 class), has Michigan occupying a lofty spot in the 2018 team rankings:


via 247, obviously

It really can't be overstated how nice it is to be one of maybe three or four major college basketball programs that isn't in a full state of panic over the possibility of an FBI raid. We're already seeing the fallout for other programs: Arizona lost a five-star commit; Louisville no longer has a coach, athletic director, or 2018 recruiting class, and they've suspended five-star freshman Brian Bowen. There's surely more to come, as Nike's EYBL, the most prominent AAU league, has been served with a subpoena.

Meanwhile, both recruits and coaches have to figure out how to navigate the post-Feds recruiting landscape, and both sides appear to be acting with great caution. The top overall recruit in the class, RJ Barrett, is no longer visiting Arizona after they were linked to the scandal. He's also no longer visiting Michigan this weekend and has eliminated the Wolverines; given Beilein's sterling reputation, read into that what you will.

It's going to be a long, messy ride for many of college basketball's top programs. Beilein's insistence on sticking to rules almost literally nobody else follows has rankled in the past, even those who want a generally clean program, but he sure looks better for it today. Running a program that isn't in danger of major sanctions or, like, having coaches literally end up imprisoned is going to be a major draw for the foreseeable future.

[Hit THE JUMP for weekend visitors and more.]