Unverified Voracity Converts Speed To Power

Unverified Voracity Converts Speed To Power

Submitted by Brian on July 13th, 2017 at 1:32 PM


Sponsor note! If you're headed down to Dallas for the Florida game, the alumni association has packages that may be of interest. The star: an air-conditioned, open bar tailgate with adjacent parking. They've got various packages available, including a ticket + tailgate combo ($300 for adults) and a travel package with two nights at the Omni Forth Worth, transportation, tickets, and the tailgate for $799. The deadline for that is the end of the month. 

Hit up the Alumni Association website for more details.

Bill Connelly preview time. That defensive radar though:


That's from Connelly's comprehensive preview of this year's edition of Michigan. It's good, read it. S&P+ projects Michigan 10th nationally but has them just on the wrong side of 10-2 versus 9-3.

I have but one semi-quibble: as he runs down the many departures from last year's team he notes that three all-conference OL are gone. This is somehow true—both Kyle Kalis and Ben Braden made the second team—but that's an artifact of the All Big Ten coach's selections being the SID's selections and their long tenure as senior starters on a good team. A more accurate measure of the departed players' prowess is that none of them got drafted, or even invited to the combine. I think most Michigan fans are expecting a step forward on the OL despite the departures. (As long as right tackle isn't a disaster.)

Speaking of that offensive line. This is a bit of a frustrating thing to hear in re: last year.

"This year has been a lot more serious," Kugler said. "We've been getting out there and putting in the work. We'll hit the sleds occasionally but that's more for fall camp. It's about getting the technique down properly and just running through blitz cards and stuff like that, getting ready to for what we'll see against Florida."

The level of seriousness is not dependent on Jim Harbaugh, that's for sure. In the offseason it's up to the players to do it themselves, and apparently this is another level from the guys who were more Hoke holdovers than not.

Here's an excellent definition of "speed to power." From Jon Runyan Jr:

"Rashan's going to be one of the best players in the country, going up against him in practice every day is only going to help everyone -- he's the measuring stick for everyone here," offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. says. "He'll do this thing off the edge, they call it speed-to-power. You think he's just speed rushing you and then he comes through with a bull rush and he blows you back five yards."

Also, Rashan Gary is good.

Still a good decision. DJ Wilson is impressing in the NBA summer league:

Through three NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas, Wilson is averaging 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game. Draining 5 of 13 3-pointers, throwing down dunks and guarding multiple positions, the 6-foot-10 forward has made a strong first impression with his new franchise.

"He's a specimen," said Milwaukee guard and 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year winner Malcolm Brogdon. "He's big, he's athletic. Very skilled. I really like him, I think he's going to be really, really good for us."

He also signed a contract worth six million dollars, so he's got that going for him.

In other Michigan-to-the-NBA news, Derrick Walton might stick with the Orlando Magic. The Magic just waived their backup PG before his contract became guaranteed. The current roster situation:

C.J. Watson is a candidate to be cut soon (his contract becomes guaranteed on July 10) and the Magic are likely shopping D.J. Augustin’s contract, so it is possible there will be an opportunity for Walton, although the recent acquisition of point guard Shelvin Mack complicates the logistics.

If the Magic indeed move Watson and Augustin, Walton would conceivably have a chance at a job as the third point guard on the Magic behind Shelvin Mack and starter Elfrid Payton (although Kalin Lucas of the Erie Bayhawks, the Magic’s G-League affiliate, might have something to say about that).

Walton isn't an NBA athlete unless he's going for a defensive rebound, but efficient pull-up three maestros can find a spot in the league despite other deficiencies. Hopefully he sticks. If not he can be a star in Europe.

More on Josh Norris. NHL gent scouting Josh Norris after his participation at the San Jose Sharks summer camp:

"One of those guys when they're first skating around, the first five minutes, you go, 'He can move,' " Sommer said. "And a lot of guys are like that, and then you put a puck on their stick and they slow down, but he skates the same way with a puck that he does without a puck. You can just tell he's like kind of above everyone else with his skill level."

Fun fact: he spent seven years in Germany growing up because his dad was playing and then acting as general manager for a German team. He's fluent in German.

There's no way this is what it seems like. I find this hilarious since Detroit City's motto is nigh literally "fuck you", but if you think about it for a half second it's probably not what it seems like:

Gores' Palace Sports files federal trademark for 'Detroit City Soccer Club'

I am not a lawyer but it beggars belief that DCSC would not be found to violate DCFC's trademarks. Same city, same undertaking, same name save one word that is a synonym. If it means anything—and it probably doesn't—it means Gilbert and Gores are covering their bases in case they buy DCFC. Or they're just trolling the supremely trollable DCFC fanbase.

Meanwhile in Detroit's MLS bid. Dan Gilbert has submitted a final proposal to the city for the fail jail swap. Key bits:

  • Gilbert pledges to build a 520 million dollar jail plus a bunch of other related stuff on East Forest avenue. Cost to the city: 380 million, with Rock responsible for any overruns.
  • There is a competing bid to complete the fail jail for 320 million, with no cost overrun assurances. It also appears to be a more modest project that only completes the jail without the various other stuff.
  • Gilbert makes up the 140 million dollar gap by getting the current fail jail site, where he and Gores want to build a billion-dollar stadium and mixed used blah blah blah.
  • Gilbert also gets "credits" for the savings that the city forecasts as a result of combining all the criminal justice things into one campus.

The jail was suspended after a whopping 91 million dollars of overruns on a project supposed to cost 220 million total. Meanwhile the city has been spending over a million dollars a month to maintain the existing construction site.

This is a very weird stadium deal and that makes it difficult to evaluate whether or not this qualifies as a public subsidy. The 520 million number may be largely fictional, in which case the Rock deal is the city paying 60 million + whatever the land is worth. It may be real, in which case it looks fairly even. The pledge to pay for overruns could be worth nothing, or it could be worth a hundred million dollars. These "credits" are loosely defined but appear to be a way for Rock to get back some of the gap between what the county will pay up front and their projected cost for the complex. They're kind of like property tax reductions cities will offer brownfield developments.

Shifting the downside away from the city is an attractive proposition after the previous debacle. And while stadium economic impact studies are without fail overblown hoo-haw, "jail plus nothing" is worse than "jail plus soccer stadium and condos and whatnot."

If Gilbert and Gores do get the deal done, Detroit will become a highly attractive target for MLS. The ownership group consists of billionaires. The market is large and there are many nearby rivals. Detroit has a lot of immigrants to appeal to and is generally an excellent pro sports town—people still go to Lions games! And one by one other cities are finding it difficult to bring together bids without public support that is not forthcoming. Previous heavy favorites St. Louis and San Diego are all but out of the running after votes failed. Ditto Charlotte and Indianapolis. Remaining realistic locations other than Detroit are Sacramento (the one bid that is shovel ready right now), Phoenix, Tampa, Cincinnati, Nashville, and San Antonio.  Four bids will get approved; all bids other than Sacramento have hurdles to clear.

Etc.: MSU hockey loses Mason "Larry" Appleton to the NHL. He had 31 points in 35 games for a struggling MSU team and qualifies as a big loss indeed, even if no one expects much out of Danton Cole in year one. Or year two. Michigan as autonomous driving hub. Shutdown Fullcast on the Big Ten East. Freeze lawsuits. David DeJulius profiled.

Let's Look At Some Big Ten Running Back Stats

Let's Look At Some Big Ten Running Back Stats

Submitted by Brian on April 27th, 2017 at 2:07 PM


Chris Evans acquiring highlight yards [Bryan Fuller]

Football Study Hall published an array of stats on running backs nationwide, so let's drill a little bit deeper to see what they might tell us about the state of Big Ten running games in 2017. There are a ton of caveats involving offensive lines and sample sizes, so let's just take those as read. These are rough metrics.

Bill Connelly has two main RB-related stats above and beyond plain old YPC: "opportunity rate," which is the number of rushes that get you five yards and presumably allow you to flash your skills instead of grind into the line, and "highlight yards per opportunity," which is the number of yards you gain after the 5 yard benchmark is cleared. Here are a couple tables of these stats for returning Big Ten players with at least 40 rushes to their name. There are 28 of these gents in the league. I left in De'Veon Smith for comparison's sake. Also I did not realize that Ke'Shawn Vaughn had transferred to Vandy, so ignore him.

First, opportunity rate:

RK Player Offense OppRate
1 John Moten IV Northwestern 50.9%
2 Chris Evans Michigan 47.2%
3 Ty Johnson Maryland 45.5%
4 Lorenzo Harrison Maryland 45.5%
5 Brian Lankford-Johnson Purdue 43.8%
6 Akrum Wadley Iowa 43.5%
7 Bradrick Shaw Wisconsin 43.2%
8 Ty Isaac Michigan 43.2%
9 Karan Higdon Michigan 43.1%
10 Mike Weber Ohio State 42.9%
11 Devine Ozigbo Nebraska 41.2%
12 LJ Scott Michigan State 40.8%
13 Demario McCall Ohio State 40.8%
14 Reggie Corbin Illinois 40.7%
15 Rodney Smith Minnesota 38.8%
16 Robert Martin Rutgers 38.8%
17 Kendrick Foster Illinois 37.3%
18 Devine Redding Indiana 35.8%
19 Markell Jones Purdue 35.7%
20 Shannon Brooks Minnesota 35.5%
21 Saquon Barkley Penn State 35.3%
22 Josh Hicks Rutgers 33.3%
23 De'Veon Smith Michigan 33.1%
24 Gerald Holmes Michigan State 33.0%
25 Justin Jackson Northwestern 32.2%
26 Tre Bryant Nebraska 31.8%
27 Devonte Williams Indiana 31.3%
28 Ke'Shawn Vaughn Illinois 26.7%
29 Tyler Natee Indiana 26.2%

This is not entirely fair to Smith because his heavy usage means he was light on carries against the Rutgerses of the world. There's a distinct tendency towards workhorses at the bottom of this list: Devine Redding, Saquon Barkley, and Justin Jackson got more touches than anyone else in the league and they're 18, 21, and 25 here.

Highlight yards:

RK Player Offense Hlt/Opp
1 Ty Johnson Maryland 12.39
2 Ke'Shawn Vaughn Illinois 10.33
3 Saquon Barkley Penn State 8.24
4 Lorenzo Harrison Maryland 8.17
5 Brian Lankford-Johnson Purdue 7.46
6 Kendrick Foster Illinois 7.29
7 Reggie Corbin Illinois 7.25
8 Chris Evans Michigan 7.11
9 Justin Jackson Northwestern 7.03
10 Akrum Wadley Iowa 6.31
11 Gerald Holmes Michigan State 6.31
12 Karan Higdon Michigan 6.2
13 Mike Weber Ohio State 5.59
14 De'Veon Smith Michigan 5.54
15 LJ Scott Michigan State 5.3
16 Bradrick Shaw Wisconsin 4.98
17 John Moten IV Northwestern 4.87
18 Robert Martin Rutgers 4.79
19 Ty Isaac Michigan 4.68
20 Rodney Smith Minnesota 4.56
21 Devine Redding Indiana 4.42
22 Shannon Brooks Minnesota 4.41
23 Demario McCall Ohio State 4.18
24 Tyler Natee Indiana 3.6
25 Tre Bryant Nebraska 3.24
26 Devonte Williams Indiana 3.21
27 Markell Jones Purdue 3.02
28 Josh Hicks Rutgers 2.88
29 Devine Ozigbo Nebraska 2.81

It should be noted that Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Lankford-Johnson are working with very small sample sizes here. That's about 16 Vaughn attempts and 20 Lankford-Johnson attempts.

This is more evidence in Chris Evans's favor here: he, Isaac, and Higdon all got about the same ratio of legit carries to second-half-against-Rutgers carries, and Evans grades out better in both metrics than his other competitors. Isaac is well behind Smith in highlight yards, which is a bad place to be when you're competing with two guys significantly above him. Evans's combination of many successful runs and not-quite top-tier explosiveness is highly encouraging. Multiply these two items together to get a "highlight yards per run" (as opposed to opportunity) and he's third in the league behind only the two little Maryland lightning bolts. This metric is essentially a measure of your ability to get chunk runs, and the high rankings of Barkley and Akrum Wadley are a good sanity check for the measure:

Player Offense Hlt/Att
1 Ty Johnson Maryland 5.6
2 Lorenzo Harrison Maryland 3.7
3 Chris Evans Michigan 3.4
4 Brian Lankford-Johnson Purdue 3.3
5 Reggie Corbin Illinois 3.0
6 Saquon Barkley Penn State 2.9
7 Ke'Shawn Vaughn Illinois 2.8
8 Akrum Wadley Iowa 2.7
9 Kendrick Foster Illinois 2.7
10 Karan Higdon Michigan 2.7
11 John Moten IV Northwestern 2.5
12 Mike Weber Ohio State 2.4
13 Justin Jackson Northwestern 2.3
14 LJ Scott Michigan State 2.2
15 Bradrick Shaw Wisconsin 2.2
16 Gerald Holmes Michigan State 2.1
17 Ty Isaac Michigan 2.0
18 Robert Martin Rutgers 1.9
19 De'Veon Smith Michigan 1.8
20 Rodney Smith Minnesota 1.8
21 Demario McCall Ohio State 1.7
22 Devine Redding Indiana 1.6
23 Shannon Brooks Minnesota 1.6
24 Devine Ozigbo Nebraska 1.2
25 Markell Jones Purdue 1.1
26 Tre Bryant Nebraska 1.0
27 Devonte Williams Indiana 1.0
28 Josh Hicks Rutgers 1.0
29 Tyler Natee Indiana 0.9

Takeaways: Maryland's running game is majorly underrated because they split carries so heavily, OSU is going to miss Curtis Samuel immensely unless Damario McCall steps up big (survey says: he probably will), and we should be optimistic about Chris Evans and Karan Higdon going into 2017. Also, Justin Jackson is back?! How many PhDs they gonna give that guy before his eligibility expires?