Unverified Voracity Runs With The Big Dogs Shirt

Unverified Voracity Runs With The Big Dogs Shirt

Submitted by Brian on June 21st, 2018 at 1:13 PM

HOEG. Richard Hoeg does small business law. Need to incorporate? Need some contracts? Need to talk about Star Control? Richard will do all three, and only charge you for the first two.

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Anyway, Star Control. Star Control was a mindblowing video game because stuff happened in it and if you took too long you could lose the game as your allies fell to the great galactic menace. Losing is fun.

Having a bad contract and either getting sued or having to settle on unfavorable terms is not fun, and Richard Hoeg can help craft contracts for you that will avoid this eventuality. Police horses!

Tiller-era in more ways than one. This twitter bomb(!) from one of Purdue's recruiting yokels is frankly baffling:

Why pick a fight with a program that held you to 15 yards in the second half last year? Why get mad about Michigan getting recruits? You're at Purdue! With limited exceptions for legacies and locals the number of bonafide recruiting battles you're winning against Michigan—against, hell, most of the Big Ten, is zero. Also Purdue's leading receiver averaged 3.6 catches a game.

I feel like this guy bought a Big Dogs shirt for the first time and was overwhelmed by it while near his phone, and he'll return to a mild-mannered citizen tomorrow when he puts his Ron Jon back on. It happens. It's good, really. It's fun when Purdue has a bunch of ornery passing maniacs who talk shit and bend rules.

[After THE JUMP: a bunch of stuff! And porpoises!]

Unverified Voracity Inspires Spain

Unverified Voracity Inspires Spain

Submitted by Brian on June 14th, 2018 at 2:04 PM

Campeónes de baloncesto. Where does the Spanish national team draw inspiration from in the aftermath of their coach getting canned just two days before the World Cup?

Glen Rice isn't walking through that—oh. I see. Several Glen Rices are already in residence. Well, fine. You just go out there and win one for Bo Schembechler. I'll be over here in the corner weeping and inventing new swear words. As one does on the opening day of the World Cup.

 

A good summary of football in two minutes. Kyle Shanahan is asked whether NFL teams have "figured out" the zone read. This is of course a dorfy question about whether that gimmick college stuff can last in The Shield. Shanahan doesn't take the bait and instead provides a concise summary of football strategy:

So there's at least one career NFL guy who wouldn't cause me to break out in hives if Michigan hired him. (Also per PFF zone reads averaged a half-yard more than other runs a year ago.)

[After THE JUMP: mo wagners mo problems for the opposition]

Unverified Voracity Departs, Notably

Unverified Voracity Departs, Notably

Submitted by Brian on June 1st, 2018 at 12:41 PM

HOEGLAW. Richard Hoeg has many interests. None of them include criminal law or horses, which I have been asked to make explicitly clear for SEO purposes. One of them is talkin' about stuff, including video games and Star Wars; he's put together a Youtube channel for his various and sundry podcast appearances.

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Unverified Voracity Cut Half The Team!

Unverified Voracity Cut Half The Team!

Submitted by Brian on April 25th, 2018 at 2:31 PM

download (1)

yes, i am available to give your Blue Ribbon Committee a sheen of respectability

I mean it wasn't going to be any different. The NCAA's Look We Hired Condi Rice Again commission has delivered their deliverable, a 52-page report about "putting the 'college' back in college basketball." As with all these things it's more of a CYA activity than a genuine attempt to address the problems inherent in a system that prohibits compensation for people who other folks would really like to compensate. Some major takeaways include "end one and done"—which the NCAA has no control over—and "enforce rules better"—good luck.

But! Even in this document there are some grudging concessions:

Rice expressed tacit approval for providing athletes with a cut of the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses, which is currently before courts.

“Most commissioners believe that the rules on name, image and likeness should be taken up as soon as the legal framework is established,” she said. “It is hard for the public, and frankly for me, to understand what can be allowed with the college model — for the life of me I don’t understand the difference between Olympic payments and participation in ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — and what can’t be allowed without opening the door to professionalizing college basketball.”

Unfortunately, the "professionalizing college basketball" has already happened in every meaningful way. TV now dictates game times. Revenue is ruthlessly maximized. Players get more or less cut annually. The only way in which college basketball has not professionalized is in the literal paying of their workers, so we get all the downsides of it without even the compensation of thinking "well, at least it's sort of fair now."

The NCAA will not meaningfully change in the near future unless Jeffrey Kessler's lawsuit is an end-of-Cretaceous event.

"These are great, and no one is holding a gun to my head." The National Association of Basketball Coaches has issued walking orders for the rank and file:

Under the heading “A Message to NCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches," the document signed by NABC executive director Jim Haney and deputy director Reggie Minton declares, “In short, it is imperative that the Commission’s recommendations be met with unequivocal support from each of us.”

The NABC even listed a series of “Key Talking Points” for members to follow.

— “Change was necessary, and we knew that change was coming. As coaches on the front lines, we are uniquely positioned to offer valuable insight as the Commission’s recommendations progress through the legislative process.”
— “As coaches, we are committed to working with the NCAA in evaluating the recommendations and will provide appropriate input as legislation is drafted.”
— “We are appreciative of the Commission’s efforts to address necessary change, and for welcoming the input of the NABC.

The commission doesn't actually advocate any meaningful change. Coaches are currently the main beneficiaries of amateurism and must support a document that waves hands at everyone around the sport without actually affecting their bottom lines. But they have to make it look like they are supporting Change, Which Is Good.

The stick and ball games are doing fairly well. Softball is currently on a 14-game winning streak, which isn't that unusual. Freshman pitcher Meghan Beaubien is crushing the competition:

Beaubien, who leads the nation in wins, improved to 27-2 and lowered her ERA to 0.74, which is sixth in the NCAA. She threw a one-hitter against Maryland on Friday, striking out seven in seven innings in a 6-0 win.

One thing that is unusual: there's a Big Ten team within shouting distance. Softball takes on Indiana in a critical three game series this weekend; the Hoosiers are just a half-game back.

Another thing that's unusual: that's not the longest winning streak on south campus in late April. Baseball is up to 20 straight, largely because Eric Bakich pulled off an unprecedented recruiting class:

ANN ARBOR -- The 2017 recruiting class for Michigan's baseball team was the highest ranked ever for a Big Ten team.

Its 10th overall ranking by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper created high expectations for the 13 incoming freshmen and two junior college transfers.

With the Wolverines coming off a 42-win season, their first 40-win season since 2008, many of the newcomers would be counted on to fill key roles after the team lost 15 players from last season, including a program-record 11 MLB Draft picks.

Although some of them struggled to start the season when the team lost 11 of its first 15 games, the freshmen, most notably pitchers Ben Dragani, Jeff Criswell and Angelo Smith, along with first baseman Jesse Franklin and outfielder Jordan Nwogu, have been key contributors during the Wolverines' 20-game win streak, the program's longest since 1987.

The pressure is still on because of that rough start. Baseball bracketologists usually have Michigan in the field but as one of the last four teams.

Another transfer pass. Sophomore SG Austin Reaves is leaving Wichita State and has mentioned Michigan amongst 22 schools in contact, leading to the usual "!?!??" articles and message board threads about the possibility of adding him. Folks, Reaves is Just A Shooter who must sit a year before playing two.

Does Michigan need a 6'5" JAS shooting guard? Not really. Would he be better than Adrien Nunez? Maybe, maybe not. Would Reaves occupy a 2019 scholarship in a class that's looking like 2 or 3 tops? Yes.

This one is better than the sit-one-play-two guy with a 102 ORTG in the NEC, at least. Reaves is still not a fit unless Michigan wants to stop swinging at the top 50 guys in the 2019 class they seem to have a lot of traction with.

Quite a disconnect. Most Michigan fans high fived themselves when they saw next year's single plays

MICHIGAN
Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue
Away: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers
Home/Away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin

…and so did the MGoSlack. Skipping road games against two of the four tourney teams from last year and one of the two NIT teams seems pretty good. But not so much, says Bart Torvik:

Best guess at the discrepancy: Michigan misses three of the easiest games in league play. From a tourney resume perspective that's good; from a league title perspective not so much. At least this year the 20 game schedule means the schedule gap is significantly smaller than it was a year ago, when MSU was handed a dubious banner.

Again, small hockey schools can pound sand. Niagara fired its hockey coach and replaced him. His first act? Cutting eight guys. Eight! Niagara says they'll honor scholarship commitments, largely because they have to say that, but chances are these guys are headed elsewhere. It's one thing to have to squeeze out another year of junior for a player because of college hockey's crazy recruiting environment. Cutting eight guys is entirely another. This only happens in college hockey because you can import a bunch of 21-year-old freshman-type substances, another small-school innovation.

This is not an isolated incident. When UMass-Amherst cut ~nine guys last year. When you hear people complaining about Michigan flipping recruits, tell 'em to get stuffed! Get stuffed, I say!

Etc.: Don't click here. Intact coaching staff? Wagner scouted. Economist makes the case that the sports EMU is cutting are actually profitable for the school because it is not full on students. Maybe it's okay the USMNT didn't make the World Cup! /sits weeping in corner

Unverified Voracity Explores Zero And Uh... Nero? Hero?

Unverified Voracity Explores Zero And Uh... Nero? Hero?

Submitted by Brian on March 7th, 2018 at 12:45 PM

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[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

If it keeps going like this I'll learn to spell "renaissance" correctly on the first try. Rob Dauster on Michigan's elite... defense? That is what the card says. Defense.

As surprising as that decision was, the dots connected. Yaklich, like Beilein, spent his life as a teacher and a high school coach before breaking into the college ranks. Unlike Beilein, however, Yaklich has prided himself in his ability to get the most out of a team on the defensive end of the floor.

“As a high school coach, I focused entirely on defense,” Yaklich said. At the high school level, coaching offense is more about skill development, about making your players better shooters, better ball-handlers, better scorers. Figure out a handful of things that you can have success with and trust your players to make plays. “My high school coaches instilled that in me. When I went to Illinois State, I naturally grew into that role. We didn’t have a defensive coordinator, but my voice, that’s what I took pride in.”

At Michigan, that is, quite literally, Yaklich’s role. He was hired to coach Michigan’s defense, to be their defensive coordinator, and the success that the Wolverines have had on that end cannot be overlooked. Prior to this season, Beilein never had a team finish higher than 37th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. In the last four seasons, the Wolverines never finished higher than 69th.

“The smartest thing is I stopped coaching it so much,” Beilein said of his team’s defensive improvement. “I let other people become the voice of it. I wanted one guy, that’s all he thinks about all day long.”

I'm not taking credit for suggesting that Beilein needs a defensive coordinator. But I'm not not taking credit. I will be ambiguously pleased.

Similar resumes. I should have posted this a couple days ago when it was slightly different, with the Stauskas Elite Eight team at the top of the list. But anyway here's Bart Torvik's list of resumes most similar to Michigan's in recent committee history:

image

Nik and company are still #3. These are all at least three seeds and 40% of them are twos. I haven't seen anything else suggesting Michigan can get to a two, but hopefully that indicates Jerry Palm's (and 30% of the matrix's) 4-seed is off.

There is exactly one bracket that puts Michigan on the five line, but it's KPI. For some reason KPI is on the teamsheets, so hooray for that.

One of many maximum Beilein moments. A man who recognizes his own limitations.

Unbalanced schedule FTL. This year was an excellent example of how the Big Ten's schedule cheapens the regular season title. A gent calling himself "Wicked_UMD"—must be a St. Cloud State fan—analyzed how the schedule rotation affected expected wins in league play:

Team Exp Win Delta
Michigan State 1.09
Northwestern 0.66
Purdue 0.65
Nebraska 0.51
Ohio State 0.46
Iowa 0.18
Indiana 0.16
Minnesota 0.02
Wisconsin -0.08
Illinois -0.10
Penn State -0.43
Rutgers -0.77
Michigan -0.81
Maryland -1.27

That half-win edge over Purdue had a fairly good shot at costing the Boilers a share of the title, and Michigan is almost two wins back of MSU—flip that first Purdue game and that is also a title-altering schedule gap.

The net result is a cheapening of the regular season title. Adding two conference games will help somewhat, but only somewhat: each team still misses almost half the conference for a second game annually. There is a way to create a maximally meaningful and fair conference race with just one extra game:

Alternative: 19 game conference schedule.

PHASE 1: round robin.
PHASE 2: line is drawn between 7th and 8th teams in the league. Mini-leagues subsequently play round-robin. Rutgers is relegated to the Big East every year.

PROS: Absolutely fair. Winner is undisputed. Makes Big Ten title a huge important deal. Final six games for teams that make upper half would be knock-down drag out brutal free-for-all for league title. Would give top teams impregnable schedule strength. You could televise the schedule draw with Ronaldo and Messi in suits.

CONS: May cost league NCAA bids if the best team in the bottom half can't get any marquee wins in the last six games or the worst team in the top half just gets blitzed. Bottom half is just kind of sadly playing out the string. Uncertainty about final three home games may impact ticket sales negatively. Extremely distant possibility that the 8th best team 13 games in can climb all the way to the top.

This will never happen because the folks in charge are more interested in milking as much money out of college basketball than making a drastic and potentially awesome change. But seriously you guys.

Mo draft stock. The Draft Express gents on Michigan's center:

Despite his limitations, and the diminishing market for players his size, there's still a role in today's NBA for a highly skilled big man who can space the floor and plays with a competitive spirit. Wagner is young for a junior, not turning 21 until the end of April, so he has time to continue to improve considering he was already a late bloomer to begin with. He'd likely get picked somewhere in the second round if he decided to keep his name in the draft but also could benefit from coming back for his senior year and continuing to work on his weaknesses, namely his defense, passing and overall feel for the game.

They rank him 55th, so not even towards the top of the second round. SI has an extensive Big Ten Tournament scouting article that comes to a similar conclusion:

Draft Projection: Second Round

After testing and staying in school last year, Wagner has definitely improved, although he’s still a bit of an acquired taste among scouts. It depends on what you value in your bigs, and his considerable offensive skills will be worth the risk to some teams despite his lackluster defense and physical limitations in that area. Wagner excels as a screener and post-up option and has a good feel for finding pockets in the defense. He’s heavy-footed and looks a bit clumsy at times, but his skill level facing up, attacking closeouts and keeping defenders honest gets the job done in college. He gets some credit for helping lift Michigan to the title (and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player) but the Wolverines won more by playing great team basketball than relying on Wagner to carry them.

It'll be up to Wagner's whim. He's not in the range where he's going to get a guaranteed contract and may end up in the G-League. The money there isn't great so he might decide he'd rather play under the bright lights of the NCAA than for the Fort Wayne Mad Antz even if he delays his earnings a year. If the consensus is that he'll stick on a roster that's a totally different matter.

FWIW, SI on Matthews:

Draft Projection: 2019

The former Kentucky transfer has been plagued by consistency issues throughout his career but has an outside chance at the league depending on how much he can improve over the course of the next year. “I can’t put my finger on what he does well,” says one scout, the sentiment being that Matthews is best suited as a 3-and-D wing given the heavy demand for such players. He has the right type of body to fit in the league, but struggles to create his own offense and has to simplify his approach. He did hit a pair of threes against Michigan State, but must improve his shot selection and become a consistently impactful defender to succeed in the NBA.

Silver lining from his collapse midseason is that Michigan doesn't have to worry about his departure after just one year.

The hopes are dangerously up. George Sipple of the Free Press checks in with Quinn and Jack Hughes, who's currently the projected #1 pick in the 2019 draft. In addition to various items about how he is a generational hockey player is this tantalizing possibility:

Two Hughes at U-M in 2019?
There’s a chance Jack could join his older brother at Michigan next season. The middle Hughes has not committed anywhere, and Ellen and Jim acknowledge U-M is one possibility.

Michigan has had players accelerate to play college hockey early. Jack is currently in his junior year of high school, but, through online courses, he could go on an accelerated academic track, and graduate early to be able to play collegiality next year.

Jack sought exceptional status to play in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old, but was denied. Among the short list of players who have been granted that status to play a year early are John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid, who are now in the NHL. …

“It could be a perfect scenario,” Jim said of Jack going to U-M. “But they’re not there yet. The beauty is Jack is in a really great spot right now. He values the development he’s getting with Seth and Wrobo.”

For perspective, Hughes is playing up with the U18s as a U17:

Adding Hughes—and presumably keeping Quinn—would radically change next year's outlook.

Brandon Johns highlights. He is up for Mr. Basketball and looks like a perfect fit as a Beilein 4:

His main competition is David DeJulius, it appears.

One and done done? The NBA's one and done rule was always more about the NBA than college basketball, and now that they've got Lebron and a former president criticizing it publicly it may not be long for this world. The proposal is wrought with frippery that attempts to make it seem like one-and-done wasn't a selfish act from the drop:

Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several of his top advisers have been engaged in listening tours and information-gathering missions with an array of stakeholders for months. That has included formal meetings with the National Basketball Players Association about adjusting the so-called "one-and-done" age-limit rule. But Silver's aim is much more comprehensive than simply re-opening the door for 18-year-olds to play in the NBA, sources said.

A plan is expected to include the NBA starting relationships with elite teenagers while they are in high school, providing skills to help them develop both on and off the court. It would ultimately open an alternate path to the NBA besides playing in college and a way 18-year-olds could earn a meaningful salary either from NBA teams or as part of an enhanced option in the developmental G League, sources said.

The NCAA is either going to work with the NBA to keep a healthy number of future stars in college basketball or lose them all because of their archaic rules. Survey says it'll be the former because the people in charge care about money.

Etc.: I summon the Bracket Leak Hero from his home in Valhalla. Daily on Lavigne. Also Boka. Amateurism under attack, repeatedly, FBI investigation is good.

Unverified Voracity Insults Philadelphia's Mayor

Unverified Voracity Insults Philadelphia's Mayor

Submitted by Brian on October 17th, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Sponsor note. Are you sick of working for a website that makes everyone think your name is Chad? Have aspirations larger than reposting dank memes while people assert that you're just another talentless Chad? Want to break away from a media conglomerate that subsists on 80% bro-yellin'?

Well, Hoeg Law can help you with that.

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Richard Hoeg left his big-law job to hang out his own shingle as a small-business lawyer, so he brings personal attention and experience to your new business venture. He's got the combination of in-depth knowledge and small-business savvy that only guys named Richard have. Be a Richard, Chad.

Oh. Barstool. Barstool is trash and it's no surprise that it's Barstool that has again found the trashiest sign on Penn State's campus and been like "oh sick burn, bro," because Barstool just hires whatever local Chad they can find and Chad does Chad things. The latest:

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Set aside the potential odiousness of the joke. It's not even a good joke. The University of Michigan did not decide to change the source of Flint's water, or attempt to cover up the humanitarian disaster that was unfolding. This is equivalent to burning PSU for the actions of Philadelphia's mayor. Nobody does this, because nobody has to when trying to burn Penn State.

Anyway, Barstool's second-biggest problem is that they think "edgy" is funny by itself. Andrew-Dice-Clay-ass website. 

The decline of home court advantage. Home court means less these days:

NCAA_home_court_advantage_margin

This validates Craig Ross's frequently-expressed opinion that in the dingy arenas of the 1970s refs would bone you without repercussion. A couple other items from that piece:

  • home court is a stronger effect the farther you travel
  • it's a stronger effect in bigger conferences, probably because of crowd size
  • all your conspiracy theories about referees are correct

All of 'em. Pick one. Yes, you're correct.

Half the defense. It was a good day for Michigan's defense:

Kinnel kind of surprises me, if only because I'm having a hard time thinking much of anything either way about the safeties. They are off screen for the large majority of this game, and Indiana's offense prohibits replays.

Mike Onwenu and Karan Higdon both made the offensive team. Also in "what were you doing with your offensive line recruiting two years ago": Maryland sophomore OG Terrance Davis makes the team. IIRC Michigan straight up passed on that guy.

20 games. Big Ten basketball head coaches have voted in favor of a 20-game conference schedule. Jon Rothstein reports that the change will happen next year. That'll take the schedule to 7 teams you play twice and 6 you play once, and a that point you might as well implement the Scottish Premiere League approach, which only takes 19 games and is awesome.

Harbaugh interacts with son. Via Outsports:

It’s only been in the last year that he came out to his dad. Dismayed by election results last November, he told his father that he was scared for himself and other people like him. When dad wrote back a vague message of support, James went all in.

“I just it blurted out –– and told him for the first time verbatim –– 'Dad, I'm gay. Do you know that? And because of that, this is why X,Y, Z. I'm scared because of this, that and the other.'

“And he just said something else back, it was an encouraging and uplifting response about how you just need to keep your head up. 'As long as you do what you feel is right in your mind, you live your truth. Everything will end up being OK.'"

James does not like his dad's sartorial choices, which makes him like every son in the history of the universe.

Even more hockey recruiting. Michigan continues to pick guys up at a rapid pace. They recently flipped USHL defenseman Jack Summers from Brown. Chris Dilks's take from a couple years ago:

Jack Summers-Victory Honda U16-Summers is a bit undersized and not a huge offensive threat yet, but he has incredible footwork and skating that makes him an effective defender and gives him the upside to potentially be a very dynamic player.

Summers played under Bill Muckalt last year, so he's a guy the coaching staff knows very well. Heisenberg has him listed as a 2019 kid. Michigan's also added 2019 F Cassidy Bowes, who's a bit of an odd duck. He spent last year playing in a western Canadian prep school league, putting up 49 points in 30 games. He's joined the BCHL and has 6 points in nine games in the early going.

Both Summers and Bowes will arrive in 2019 as 20-year-olds, so they're fleshing out the class. They're the 12th and 13th kids across four different recruiting classes Pearson has recruited since he was hired four months ago. He's added four guys to an already five-strong 2017 class, six 2019 kids to Mike Vukojevic, two 2020 kids to a Little Caesar's trio, and 2021 Dylan Duke.

I'm not sure all these guys are getting to campus or guaranteed full rides, particularly the older gents. This is a more aggressive style of recruiting than Michigan is used to; Pearson seems dead set on not having big roster holes from the inevitable departures.

Etc.: M settles FOIA lawsuit and must reform their terrible, terrible FOIA department. Hooray. Scooter Vaughn is a 28-year-old AHL veteran now, and he's also a cool skateboarder. Hurst still drives for Uber. How Bryce Love is... doing all that. Holding The Rope on IU. Urban Meyer's wife: thinks whatever has a hypen, can't spell, kinda racist. Harmon intercepts Kinnick.

Basketbullets: 2017-18 Schedule Unveiled

Basketbullets: 2017-18 Schedule Unveiled

Submitted by Ace on August 18th, 2017 at 12:04 PM


We'll see this matchup once in the regular season. Thanks, Delany. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

The Big Ten finalized its basketball schedule on Monday, so we now know Michigan's entire hoops slate for the 2017-18 season. The most notable changes from previous years stem from Jim Delany's brilliant decision to host the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden one week earlier than usual, condensing the Big Ten schedule and leaving an awkward off-week before the NCAA Tournament as a result. Here's the full schedule with true home games in bold:

DAY DATE OPPONENT LOCATION
Friday Nov. 3 Grand Valley St. (Exh.) Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Saturday Nov. 11 North Florida Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Monday Nov. 13 Central Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Thursday Nov. 16 Southern Miss Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Monday Nov. 20 vs. LSU Lahaina, Hawai'i (Lahaina Civic Center)
Tuesday Nov. 21 vs. Notre Dame or Chaminade Lahaina, Hawai'i (Lahaina Civic Center)
Wednesday Nov. 22 vs. TBD Lahaina, Hawai'i (Lahaina Civic Center)
Sunday Nov. 26 UC Riverside Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Wednesday Nov. 29 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. (Dean Smith Center)
Saturday Dec. 2 vs. Indiana Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Monday Dec. 4 at Ohio State Columbus, Ohio
Saturday Dec. 9 UCLA Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Tuesday Dec. 12 at Texas Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Saturday Dec. 16 vs. University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, Mich. (Little Caesars Arena)
Thursday Dec. 21 Alabama A&M Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Saturday Dec. 30 Jacksonville Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Tuesday Jan. 2 at Iowa Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)
Saturday Jan. 6 Illinois Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Tuesday Jan. 9 Purdue Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Saturday Jan. 13 at Michigan State East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)
Monday Jan. 15 Maryland Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Thursday Jan. 18 at Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. (Pinnacle Bank Arena)
Sunday Jan. 21 Rutgers Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Thursday Jan. 25 at Purdue West Lafayette, Ind. (Mackey Arena)
Monday Jan. 29 Northwestern Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Saturday Feb. 3 Minnesota Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Tuesday Feb. 6 at Northwestern Rosemont, Ill. (Allstate Arena)
Sunday Feb. 11 at Wisconsin Madison, Wis. (Kohl Center)
Wednesday Feb. 14 Iowa Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Sunday Feb. 18 Ohio State Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Wednesday Feb. 21 at Penn State State College, Pa. (Bryce Jordan Center)
Saturday Feb. 24 at Maryland College Park, Md. (Xfinity Arena)

You'll note another scheduling tic because of the condensed schedule: Michigan plays Indiana and Ohio State in early December before finishing out their nonconference slate, then resumes conference play after the new year. Some more thoughts on the schedule after the jump.

[JUMP]

Unverified Voracity Is Just Trolling Me Now

Unverified Voracity Is Just Trolling Me Now

Submitted by Brian on July 18th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

AFC wins! Congratulations to AFC Ann Arbor, the NPSL Great Lakes conference champions. Also a cow!

milk-cup-championsjpg-ef098f09e5faa969

This is actually the Milk Cup, a trophy for the best Michigan team in the NPSL that is somehow not sponsored by Jim Harbaugh. AFC went 12-1-1 to capture the top seed in the Midwest playoffs and will attempt to make the NPSL Final Four next weekend.

Crootin, 1980. Via Dr. Sap:

Spielman sues! Chris Spielman saw this banner and was like aw hell no:

image

He's suing and trying to get a class of OSU athletes certified to take this wider. The mindblowing thing is that this only comes after eight months of negotiations broke down:

Spielman told Dispatch reporter Bill Rabinowitz that it pains him to sue Ohio State, but “players have a right. If somebody wanted to endorse you, don’t you think you have a right to say yes or no, or to negotiate?”

Yes, I do. Apparently, so does Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy winner and former president and CEO of the OSU Alumni Association who supports Spielman’s efforts to gain recompense from universities and corporations that benefit from the use of players’ names and likenesses.

Ohio State takes a different tack, which explains why negotiations between Spielman’s attorney, Brian K. Duncan, and the university dragged over the past eight months without any compensatory agreement being reached.

Never forget that Gene Smith is the dim bulb who chose to go to the Gator Bowl instead of not taking a bowl ban for Urban Meyer's first year. OSU's athletic department sounds like a very Brandon place:

“It’s not the money part of it so much, but (Ohio State’s) attitude toward how they run their operation — with an iron fist, and they smash anyone they can,” Stillwagon said. “But then when you come at them, they say it’s all about giving scholarships. I’ve had dealings with that (OSU) marketing group and they’re abusive.”

Stillwagon loves Ohio State. He and his Buckeyes brethren simply want OSU to love them back by spreading the wealth.

“This (licensing compensation) is just a correction that needs to be done. This is the way it is now,” Stillwagon said. “Coaching is about money. Where you get to sit in the stadium is all about money. But they don’t want to talk about that. Funny, it’s against the mother nation, you know?”

You'd think this should be a slam dunk given the outcome of the Ed O'Bannon case. SI legal guy Michael McCann points out that this is in a different circuit—6th instead of 9th—and that an outcome that conflicts with the O'Bannon precedent would give the Supreme Court a much better chance of reviewing the case.

What Michigan should do. Michigan Licensing, Inc. Avoid these lawsuits and give everyone graduating from the program a healthy chunk of change. It's like bagmen, except explicitly endorsed by the US government?

Rutger can be good. Not that Rutger, Rutger Reitmaier. Michigan pursued Reitmaier pretty hard late in last year's recruiting cycle but he decided to stick it out with Oregon despite a coaching change. That did not last:

Michigan was expected to be his pick for a minute there because his family was gung-ho about Harbaugh; Sam Webb says Michigan will kick the tires but a longstanding relationship with Brady Hoke will probably point him to Tennessee. Michigan does have the room after Corey Malone-Hatcher's retirement, and the DL they brought in are flexible enough to make it work.

Basketball scheduling items. Michigan draws LSU in the first round of the Maui Invitational. LSU was horrendous last year, going 10-21 and finishing 172nd in Kenpom. They should be better since they'll return everyone they don't run off and add a decent recruiting class featuring top-50 PG Tremont Waters; Michigan should still expect to beat them easily. LSU was 327th in eFG defense a year ago. Beilein will carve them up.

It would greatly behoove Michigan not to lose that game because Chaminade almost certainly awaits the LSU-Michigan loser. Notre Dame, a 26-10 ACC team that got a 5 seed last year and potential good win, is the alternative. Other than Maui, games against UNC, UCLA, and Texas round out the meaningful bits of the schedule.

The rest of the nonconference schedule is the usual:

  • North Florida (#255 Kenpom, #221 RPI last year), CMU (#229/218), and Southern Miss (#325/331) are the first three games after the D-II exhibition against Grant Valley.
  • No similar excuses for UC Riverside (#311/330), Alabama A&M (#351/351), and Jacksonville (#275/305).  Alabama A&M was 2-27 last year and dead last in Kenpom.
  • A game against Detroit (#302/289) at New Joe Louis that is vaguely more acceptable than the other six because it's a local thing.

When you're looking at some other Big Ten team's resume and wondering how in the hell they got a better seed than Michigan, those seven games against awful, awful competition are going to be why. This nonconference schedule has a lot of games that are going to be very hard to win and zero easy wins against decent lower level teams except maybe CMU, which is losing their entire O. I give up.

Meanwhile in Big Ten scheduling, this is one of those years when Michigan plays MSU and Wisconsin just once because Rutgers exists. Thanks, Jim Delany.

Okay then. Andrew Dakich is transferring to Ohio State because they have nine scholarship players, just three of them guards. I do not think this one is likely to lead to a Big Ten championship, as the Max Bielfeldt and Spike Albrecht transfers did for Indiana and Purdue.

Etc.: NCAA basketball to emphasize road wins more. Gary and Hurst show up on NFL.com's list of DL to watch this season. Everything's coming up Milhouse! Toys R Us is struggling. Man says thing. Man soccers with Soccer Stars. Basketball gets a PWO.

Unverified Voracity Sticks Around

Unverified Voracity Sticks Around

Submitted by Brian on June 15th, 2017 at 12:28 PM

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Harbaugh goes to Washington. I would have enjoyed the look on his face if a senator asked him to stick to sports:

"Many of you are probably wondering why a football coach is speaking at an event like this. I may be a football coach, but I am an American first and foremost -- and all Americans should care about equal access to justice," Harbaugh said. "To me, it's not just about Michigan -- go blue -- it's about 'go red, white and blue.'

"The issue is about fairness, fundamental fairness. As I see it, if you have money, you have access to justice. If you don't have money, you have less access to justice. That's not the way it should work."

Harbaugh, who says he's always been a fan of lawyers -- from several of his personal friends to the famous "Judge Judy" -- said he became involved with LSC after attending a forum that showed him how many Americans are "left out" of the justice system due to their inability to afford proper legal representation.

Jim Harbaugh has to be the only guy on the planet who can say "I've always been a fan of lawyers" with seeming sincerity.

Bakich stays. Erik Bakich led Michigan to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years and got 11 Wolverines drafted this offseason, a program record. This got him an interview at South Carolina and a job offer from Stanford. He turned the latter down:

I'm not a baseball guy but the impression I get is that this is somewhere between a surprise and a shock. Zach Shaw has a post at 24/7 with some details:

1) This can be considered a huge win for Michigan: As blunt as it sounds, I liken Michigan baseball to a BYU or Minnesota football. It has some history to it, but generally a fringe top-25 finish and semi-regular postseason play is probably the highest realistic expectation thanks to geography, scholarships and other factors. Anything above that should be seen as truly special.

In baseball, out-of-state recruiting is extremely tough at Michigan; thanks to the low scholarship limit (12.5 scholarships for a 33-man roster, per the NCAA) teams often use a half-scholarship option. But if a player from, for example, Georgia is offered a half-scholarship to Michigan (cost of attending would be about $23,000), it would much cheaper for him to walk-on at Georgia (about $12,000). ….

Factor in the fact that few elite players come from the state of Michigan, and the Wolverines are at a huge disadvantage. Somehow, Bakich bucked that trend, pulling in top-25 classes every year (depending on the site, of course, but even being in the ballpark is unprecedented territory) and consequently a top-25 team this past year. The team went from 22 wins pre-Bakich to 29, 32, 39, 36, 42 in his first five seasons.

Simply put, if you luck into a coach like that — let alone one that isn't even 40 years old — keeping him away from more established programs with more baseball success (and money) is an exception, not a rule.

The general reaction to the Kendall Rogers tweet asserting that Bakich turned down Stanford is "WTF?!" Suffice it to say that this is a weird one. But a good one. (Also Big Ten baseball should leave the NCAA and play through the summer with full rides for all, but I say that every time baseball comes up.)

Bombs away. Oh look, Don Brown:

The other teams on that list are desperately undermanned outfits blitzing out of desperation. Michigan is the only team that is actually good at D.

Prelude to an 18-team conference. The Big Ten is thinking about extending the conference schedule to 20 games. That barely dents the huge imbalanced schedule issues going to 14 imposed: you'd still play half the league once annually instead of twice. That might create enough room to protect rivalries like Indiana-Purdue and Michigan State-Common Human Decency, and therefore slightly juice TV revenues. There might be other reasons to do it but none that the front office gives a good goddang about.

The real solution is to add one game, not two, and play it Scottish Premiere League style:

Alternative: 19 game conference schedule.

PHASE 1: round robin.
PHASE 2: line is drawn between 7th and 8th teams in the league. Mini-leagues subsequently play round-robin. Rutgers is relegated to the Big East every year.

PROS: Absolutely fair. Winner is undisputed. Makes Big Ten title a huge important deal. Final six games for teams that make upper half would be knock-down drag out brutal free-for-all for league title. Would give top teams impregnable schedule strength. You could televise the schedule draw with Ronaldo and Messi in suits.

CONS: May cost league NCAA bids if the best team in the bottom half can't get any marquee wins in the last six games or the worst team in the top half just gets blitzed. Bottom half is just kind of sadly playing out the string. Uncertainty about final three home games may impact ticket sales negatively. Extremely distant possibility that the 8th best team 13 games in can climb all the way to the top.

In conclusion, anything that amps up the value of the regular season is good. Play For Stuff.

Or you could fix 2/9ths of the problem.

Rome costs. To the university, zero. To the anonymous donor, 800k. Manuel did a good job pre-empting complaints that this was a waste of money:

“It will be about $5,000 to $6,000 a person, so it was a great investment. It was just terrific. We pay them through an educational experience like Michigan does all the time. I don’t think about it in terms of paying our athletes but if people want to say we should give something to our students of value, I can’t think of a better way to invest in them for their lifetime and their experience.”

Manuel said the donor still does not want to be identified. Donors often make large contributions to athletics, and the donor can specify where the money should go or it’s used at the discretion of the department.

“We utilized the money he gave us,” Manuel said. “It was an unrestricted donation.”

Big time athletic programs spend a lot of money on diamond waterfalls and the like; this was much more educational and directly beneficial to players. Michigan shouldn't apologize for offering them whatever they can. They're not.

The loophole. You can't hire a football coach associated with a prospect, at least not if you want to recruit that high school for four years. (Two prior to the hire, two after.) But you can hire a dude's dad. I'm not trying to imply MSU did anything shady here because the dude in question is clearly qualified, but they signed Cody White this year; the year before they hired his dad as a staffer. Sheldon, the elder White, is coming off two decades for the Lions and is thus 100% qualified to join a trainwreck. It did jump out at me when MSU shook up its staff.

So. Actual football coaches cannot get entry level jobs because it might taint recruiting. But stuff like Ole Miss hiring Shea Patterson's brother or Tennessee hiring Trey Smith's sister(!) is still fine and dandy per NCAA rules. I'm not surprised, but I feel like I should be.

Etc.: Jordan Morgan back in the area after a 3-year Euroleague stint. This quiz is absurd but it only wants you to get five right. I got 9.5, because this is my job. I am angry at myself for knowing where Pop Evil hails from.

Harbaugh still not a fan of playing on Friday. VICE on amateurism. Spoiler: still a scam. Ian Boyd ranks college DCs; Don Brown comes in second to Brent Venables.

An Open Letter To Larry, The Dude Scheduling Michigan Basketball

An Open Letter To Larry, The Dude Scheduling Michigan Basketball

Submitted by Brian on June 14th, 2017 at 12:56 PM

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never again please

Dude. Larry. We have to talk:

Coming off a 2-27 season, the Bulldogs will play at Michigan at Crisler Center on Thursday, Dec. 21, according to a contract for the game obtained by MLive. U-M will pay Alabama A&M a guarantee of $95,000 for making the trip.

Coach Willie Hayes' team finished No. 351 out of 351 teams in both the RPI and Kenpom's efficiency ranking in 2016-17.

Its lone wins came over Mississippi Valley State (344) and Prairie View A&M (313). The Bulldogs finished last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

This is literally the worst possible game Michigan can schedule. Not only is it an offensive blowout in the making the likes of the Delaware State football game, it is poison to Michigan's RPI. Any SWAC team is an anchor; the worst SWAC team is even more so. A win against a team like Alabama A&M hurts your RPI. It would be better to simply not play that game.

Compounding matters:

John Beilein has previously indicated that there's a chance Michigan will not play a 31-game slate. He told reporters at the NBA Draft Combine that due to a condensed schedule -- the result of two Big Ten games being moved to early December and the conference tournament being moved a week earlier to Feb. 28-March 4 -- he will not shoehorn in an ill-advised game simply to get to 31.

You're not even going to play a full schedule because of Jim Delany! If you've opened the door to not playing games, this is the game you do not play. Nobody buying a season ticket is going to miss it. You are actively harming your RPI by playing it. An intrasquad scrimmage would be better preparation for the rest of the season. There is literally no reason to do this. And yet. Here we are.

I wrote about how to make your schedule pretty five years ago. (Not coincidentally, Alabama A&M was on the schedule that year as well.) Find high-win teams from lower leagues who you have a 98% chance of beating instead of a 99% chance. This has a material impact on your NCAA seedings, as this year's tournament amply demonstrated. A patently undeserving Minnesota got a five-seed this year because they paid attention to the RPI's flaws:

That and that alone was why Minnesota got a 5 seed and Wisconsin, which had a superior resume by any measure that was not an archaic and barely-tuned formula, got an 8. This matters, and every year Michigan plays two to four of the worst teams in the country. You're killing your father, Larry.