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

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

Submitted by Seth on March 9th, 2018 at 6:46 AM

WTKA cover 2018-03-08

Things discussed:

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

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

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

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

WTKA Roundtable 10/26/2017: You Can’t Get What You Want ‘Till You Know What You Want

WTKA Roundtable 10/26/2017: You Can’t Get What You Want ‘Till You Know What You Want

Submitted by Seth on October 27th, 2017 at 8:20 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Things discussed:

  • Penn State played a very good game; Michigan played an uncharacteristically bad one.
  • Michigan was expecting the Barkley at QB thing; Gary just got too far upfield.
  • Playing safeties at 15 yards is asking for run-pass-options in your face
  • PSU hit their bombs; why can’t we chuck it to the 6’8” guy?
  • Trace McSorley has been lucky previously; he was flat-out good in this one.
  • Don’t put McCray on Dudes. Guys? Fine. Not dudes.
  • Cornerbacks not tested after Long’s pick; played entire game in slots.
  • Uncharacteristically Michigan lost one-on-one battles on the DL in this one
  • Brian calls Craig Ed. Ed-Craig likens running quarterbacks to guerilla warfare. Ed-Craig listens to punk rock and opera. Joe Jackson narrowly edges out the 5th century BCE’s Caíndelbáin al Óengusa of the Cholmain clan of the southern Ui Niall as the greatest musician in Ed-Craig’s 3,001 years on this planet.
  • Devin Bush had a bad game.
  • Brian is taller than Grant Perry.
  • Can’t live without a passing game—safeties are 8 yards off the line of scrimmage.
  • Peters won’t start but this is the game to get him on the field
  • Jose says the defense has performed poorly in 10 of their 7 games.
  • Personnel issues, not coaching issues.
  • McCaffrey vs. Peters: Brandon has the golden arm, McCaffrey has to grow physically but has an edge as a runner and natural swagger.
  • One-minute hoops takes.

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

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

    WTKA Roundtable 3/9/2017: Working Class Heroes

    WTKA Roundtable 3/9/2017: Working Class Heroes

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    By giving you no time instead of it all. [Paul Sherman]

    Things discussed:

    • Ed Feng has a book that’s guaranteed to win your bracket or no money back.
    • The plane crash, and Delaney unsurprisingly made the minimal accommodations.
    • College basketball players are not 3,000 year old druids like Craig Ross, which is the most open yet unremarked secret since Ed Martin’s connections with Michigan State.
    • Getting up at 4am, flying to the East Coast, then being dressed and on the floor by noon with a crazy airline story is actually very white collar. Posting someone up is very un-Beilein.
    • Walton vs. Mason: nobody has any idea.
    • Burning questions for 2017 football: Dwumfour, safeties, cornerbacks, of course offensive tackle.
    • Don Brown is a regular guy.
    • Kenpom as a tourney factor

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

    Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

    THE USUAL LINKS

    WTKA Roundtable 3/2/2017: The Scars of ’73

    WTKA Roundtable 3/2/2017: The Scars of ’73

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    It’s a long season [Joseph Dressler]

    Bruce Madej and Ira Weintraub are on hand as Sam is out.

    Things discussed:

    • Has any announcer ever had a worse half than Stephen Bardo?
    • End-of-game second-guessing.
    • Bruce weighs in on soccer, Happy Gilmore, musicals
    • Things happen—do they happen more often to Michigan?
    • Did Julia Louis-Dreyfus rushing the court?
    • Is Michigan still bubble-proof?
    • Two of the best bigs in the Big Ten this year are _____.
    • Next year: Alpha dog? X? What to do with the 13th spot

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

    Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

    THE USUAL LINKS

    WTKA Roundtable 12/1/2016: In Defense of Tony Boles

    WTKA Roundtable 12/1/2016: In Defense of Tony Boles

    48 minutes

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    [Eric Upchurch]

    Things discussed:

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

    Segment two is here, Segment three is here.

    THE USUAL LINKS

    • Speight still hurt in this game
    • The officiating, with a lot of examples.
    • Harbaugh’s other reason for saying something.
    • “Why didn’t we have a 2-point play?” is a terrible take says not happy Brian.
    • The NFL will say what you need to know about M’s offensive line.
    • Speight’s improvisation was what this offense was living on.
    • Craig names the greatest running back of his 3,000 years on this earth
    • Leatherwood, Filiaga or Wilson: which does Sam think could start at LT next year?

    This Week's Obsession: How Hard Hath This Floor Been Rocked?

    This Week's Obsession: How Hard Hath This Floor Been Rocked?

    Submitted by Seth on January 15th, 2016 at 2:12 PM

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    The Question:

    That was enjoyable. In fact it was probably the biggest win in Crisler since…

    Wait this is a history question? We should get Craig Ross to answer!

    Oh good call.

    You should introduce him though in case people don't recognize the name.

    Um they should, but yeah, Craig is a Michigan fan who can probably claim to be the world's biggest Michigan fan by nature of the fact that he's been going to games so long that nobody younger than him remembers half as much, and nobody older than him remembers half as well.

    You should plug his books.

    I'm pretty sure he'd rather I make old jokes at his expense; a determined soul knows enough to Amazon from here.

    Fair enough. The Responses:

    David: All right. I sorted through game-by-game schedules and found out the last time Michigan defeated a higher ranked opponent than #3 - like Maryland was on Tuesday- at Crisler Arena was...December 13, 1997. They defeated #1 Duke.

    Here is my chart of the top home wins of the Beilein Era. I started going back further...but it got REALLY scary, really quickly.

    Year Opponent Score
    15-16 #3 Maryland 70-67
    14-15 #24 OSU 65-57
    13-14 #10 Iowa 75-67
    13-14 #13 MSU 79-70
    12/13 #9 MSU 58-57
    11/12 #9 MSU 60-59
    11/12 #6 OSU 56-51
    8/9 #4 Duke 81-73

    Here is a list of 'Almosts'

    Year Opponent Score
    13/14 #1 Arizona 72-70
    12/13 #2 Indiana 72-71
    10/11 #3 Kansas 67-60 (OT)
    10/11 #2 OSU 68-64
    9/10 #5 MSU 57-56

    Michigan also had a couple of wins over #3s in Madison and East Lansing in the 13-14 season. I did not go through neutral site games.

    So, technically, Tuesday's win was probably Michigan's biggest at home since 1997. I will say that the Duke win in 2008 might have been bigger than Tuesday, regardless of rankings. I was still in grad school and had Maize Rage tickets for the previous couple of years. That Duke win really injected some life and belief into the program.  Michigan went on to make the NCAA Tournament that year for the first time in 11 years and that was the game where I remember thinking that perhaps we will be very good again at some point. Plus, we drove to East Lansing right after and beat Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena for the first time in 4 years. It was a good day.

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

    [After the Jump: Craig Ross answers the question, but only after 6 paragraphs of not answering the question]

    Dear Diary Orbits Around Brisco Kid

    Dear Diary Orbits Around Brisco Kid

    Submitted by Seth on June 12th, 2015 at 6:19 PM

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    Satellites are any object in orbit around a large body. Or in this case, a dad body. The Summer Swarm turned what would have been a week overwhelmed with "omigosh which clothing manufacturer is going to give us money to wear their clothing?" into a week of "omigod Harbaugh is in Alabama and not wearing any clothing!"

    Reader CoachW reported back from the Dallas camp with an example of the goings on:

    They broke the kids out into position groups and did some warm ups and then had races until they declared a winner in each group. After that, they did rotating agility drills all over the field. From there it was Indy for a good hour. After that, they broke the kids out into freshman and sophomores on one end and the upperclassmen on the other. Here they did basically a one-on-one, make the other guy miss drill with offense vs defense. It was 30 yards long and from the sideline to the hash and all the defender had to do was touch the offensive guy. The young kids really struggled with this as the defense won pretty much every time.

    Amir_6 also put together a bunch of resulting recruiting bits that came up on Twitter. As I type this Harbaugh's speaking at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. Let me say that again: Jim Harbaugh is speaking at the Sound Mind…

    4663753c14cb2e059788e6e587f127679jim-harbaugh-d1388f11c4ea1f1649ers-head-coach-Jim-Harbaugho-JIM-HARBAUGH-PUSH-UP-WALRUS-facebook

    Sound Body

    Camp. Ironic coachspeak name aside, SMSB is turning out to be quite the showcase of the suddenly richer Midwest coaching talent: James Franklin, Jerry Kill, and Brian Kelly were also around, and defensive linemen present get to tell tales the rest of their lives of being coached by both Larry Johnson Sr. and Greg Mattison at the same time! The conference still has Hazell and Beckman, but what a difference the names at the top of Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan makes.

    /remembers we just added Flood and Edsall

    /punches thing.

    Players come from places. While I fix what used to be a computer speaker, head over to Lanknows's diary on in-state recruiting success, as measured by the percent of top-five Michigan players who went to Michigan. That's not a very good way of doing it since there are years when Michigan looked at that pool and said "we'll take Brandon Graham" and moved on. Also there are recruitments like Chris Norman (whose total Michigan recruitment was a conversation about Barwis he didn't understand), in the same box as Edwin Baker, whom RR overlooked while chasing rabbit chasers out of Pahokee, and RoJo, who seemed like a Michigan lock until a deity told him to go to USC. I'd love to see this expanded to really dive into each recruiting season in the state.

    The other "here's how recruiting turned out" diary was Erik_in_Dayton went through all of the 2007 and 2008 Stanford recruits, arming us with information to combat the three-star mafioso. Conclusion: hits and misses, but way more hits than you should expect from that lot; he really did build the basis of that program from 2- and 3-star material. And Andrew Luck.

    Other diaries: M baseball draftees and potential draftees. The records softball broke this year. LSA found no patterns in what round players are drafted in, though I bet he would find some shifts for OL and against RBs if he did it by actual draft number instead of round. Alum96 poked around offensive stats and found Michigan and Indiana falling off offensive cliffs later in the season maybe overrated opponent defenses.

    [Jump for comments on Kelly's call for help]

    Run Field Throw Hit Pitch: Softball vs Florida, and Baseball vs the Future

    Run Field Throw Hit Pitch: Softball vs Florida, and Baseball vs the Future

    Submitted by Seth on June 1st, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    pizzasoftball

    What: Softball in Game 1 of the Championship (best of 3) Series
    When: Tonight, 8 ET
    Where to watch: ESPN2 or WatchESPN
    Line: There are two, one down each foul line. What?

    Preview: Florida is good at softball. They won the national championship last year, beat Michigan 2-1 at the start of this season when Michigan was mercy-ing everyone else, and rolled through the rest. They were the #1 seed with gusto, and beat Tennessee and LSU by a combined 11-2 before having some difficulty dispatching rival-like-thing Auburn 3-2 in extra innings. Like Michigan they are mentally tough as nails.

    Lauren Haeger is their pitcher and if you put her on any team they might be where Florida is. She beat out the greatest player in Michigan softball history for the player of the year award and might have deserved to. If Sierra Romero is Miguel Cabrera: softball edition, Haeger is Babe Ruth if Ruth pitched every day. She had a .678 slugging and a 1.24 ERA, averaging a strikeout per inning. I don't have to show you a photo; if you tune in your lizard instincts will immediately recognize the threat.

    Ringing the Bell

    We also say adieu to baseball. I have two fandoms that predate memory: Tigers and Michigan football. I got on the Red Wings bandwagon about the time Cheveldae was the hot backup we all wanted to start, and Michigan basketball with the '89 run, trading that in for hockey when I got to college because 1998-2002 duh. Pistons were and remain a team I'm into when they're good—other than that I keep myself conversant on Steph Curry etc. because America cares. I keep a peripheral knowledge of other things in case something beeps.

    Last month Michigan Baseball beeped.

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    An average team in a suddenly average league this year, Michigan was out of the bubble unless it could sweep its way into an auto-bid through the Big Ten tourney. This they did, taking out then #4 Illinois in the third of a four-game tournament.

    If the alarm made an intelligible sound it was "Carmen Benedetti", Michigan's own Ruth-like object, though he only pitched 14 innings (and tallied 23 strikeouts in them). Benedetti hit .352 and led the team in power numbers from 1st base.

    I'd like it if someone else wrote the epitaph on this team because I missed most of the fun; this week I watched the two Louisville games and missed the two against Bradley. L'ville was the host team so I got to see Michigan lose while getting boo'ed. They looked likely to steal the first one until the last inning when right fielder Johnny Slater dove to catch a foul ball with less than two outs and the game-winer ready to tag from 3rd. The second game was a blowout.

    Bakich has them headed in the right direction and this year was certainly a step that way. It may have been the tourney taste that basketball got when they surprised Clemson then ran at Blake Griffin until Blake Griffin was like "you are Zak Novak!" If you look at the Wikipedia entry for Beilein's first team it's short and mentions Manny Harris. If you look at the second one there are individual game recaps and memes like "Queme los Barcos!" This team felt like that team.

    Softball recap: You were alive for this.

    I didn't get into Michigan softball until it was nearly too late—the summer after graduation while I was still hanging around Ann Arbor and umpiring the IM level of it. That was the Marissa Young team, with a young Jessica Merchant and Nicole Motycka on it. Young was the draw; you knew when watching her that you were seeing one of the greats. She'd do things like pitch a no-hitter in the first frame of a double-header, then hit two home runs in the second game.

    It was so much fun. Unless you were around for the 19-teens or shortly thereafter (i.e you are Craig Ross) you have no idea how much of a blast it is to go to a ballpark and defy every somber convention baseball's built up since. They would sing at bat music for each other. They would hurl insults at the other bench. They had pepper cheers and everyone came out to greet home runs. Nobody knew what the limit could be so everyone showed up for the Big Ten championship game with MSU; they lost it.

    Two years ago they adopted a kid. Not legal-adopted—they just had a little girl they adored so they put her on the team. That was the team with Wagner and Driesenga, and the more raw versions of this team's stars. It wasn't like they went away in the interim—Michigan softball has been an elite program for longer than I've followed it; Hutchins was an heir apparent assistant here when Harbaugh was the quarterback. But again you got that otherworldly talent vibe, especially from Wagner. Megan Betsa's commitment was a huge deal.

    The Year of the Pizza

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    Fuller

    Like before, this team has been building over years and picked up fans in its swell. It has the pizza theme and Sierra Romero (and she has another year!) already puts Denard out of the conversation for greatest Michigan athlete of the decade. It marches to the beat, literally—she starts a beat and they all dance to it—of Lauren Sweet, the most catcher catcher in the history of the tools of ignorance.

    I dunno do you really need to know how they beat up on UCLA (the Duke of the sport) and a bunch of SEC powerhouses, how this 'Ship series was ordained movie-style when Michigan opened the season against all-business, defending champion Florida and got thoroughly beat despite the closeness of the score? Do you really need a narrative, or unbelievable statistics, or any of the other accoutrements we pump into sports to keep them lively when they're not? Here's the softball update: they play incredible softball with incredible irreverence. Enjoy the game.

    This Week's Obsession: The Going Got Weird

    This Week's Obsession: The Going Got Weird

    Submitted by Seth on May 28th, 2015 at 10:40 AM

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    "I just forgot we're allowed to pitch it because that happens so rarely, you know?"

    This week we have a guest responder, Craig Ross, author of The Obscene Diaries of a Michigan Fan, and The Search for the Unified Theory (Football Version), neither of which he would actually encourage you to buy—as if that's going to stop us.

    Craig also has an article about the weird as hell 1925 season in this year's HTTV, now available for pre-order in the MGoStore, and which we do encourage you to buy. Because his fan memory goes back to pre-Bump I thought he'd have a unique response from history that none of us young 'uns would have remembered, then he answered with a play we'd just as soon forget.

    Special thanks to Wolverine Historian for making most of these replies possible. Prepare thineself for some youtubes!

    The Question:

    Describe the weirdest play/sequence you can remember as a Michigan fan?

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

    The Responses:

    BiSB: Personally, I find weirdness in the mundane. It's the draw play on 2nd and long, or the corner who allows a receiver a free inside release on 3rd and 2. Like snowflakes, even the most typical, nondescript plays demonstrates the chaos of our very existence. Each is unique, and each is OH MY GOD PITCH THE BALL TO BREASTON YOU ARE TYLER ECKER AND HE IS BLACK JESUS WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS HOLY DO YOU STILL HAVE THE FOOTBALL HE'S RIIIIIIGHT THEEEEEEEEERE.

    Honorable mention for the Brandon Minor touchdown catch against Michigan State in 2008, when 100,000 people we all like,"uh, I'm pretty sure that's not how a pylon works, champ..."

    [Hit the jump for two blocked punts in a row and people making top fives]

    Dear Diary Demands You Watch More Trey

    Dear Diary Demands You Watch More Trey

    Submitted by Seth on March 20th, 2015 at 3:09 PM

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    Five Star Characters. Vincent Smith's event happened. In a Q&A Smith shared his favorite block ever was getting concussed by J.J. Watt, and led us to believe for about a minute he was going to make comparisons between Rodriguez and Hoke. Sometime after Brian left to catch a bunch of highly padded MSU students stand lazily in front of a net and get a hundred pucks shot at them, a bunch of former and current players showed up: Willie Henry, Thomas Rawls, Justice Hayes, Al Backey, Christian Bryant, and Floyd Simmons, with whom I shared the Never Forget banner. Campbell was a hit. The shot above is Big Will making a show of excitement over Thomas "Jimmy" Rawls. Then he acquired a newborn, because every iphone collection needs a giant teddy bear in a casquette holding a baby.

    More importantly Vince and Will and the rest helped raise several thousand to go toward a new community garden in Flint.

    You Might Remind Us Of Such Former Players as…From the diarist who brought you "I wonder if Ole Miss is doing something different" and "20 years without good basketball" comes the latest in postseason player analysis approach technology, as AC1997 reviews the 2014-'15 cagers by which former Michigan guy they ought to watch on YouTube. Sample for the biggest X factor next year:

    Derrick Walton

    • FMPHSWOYT:  Trey Burke
    • Clips: 2012-2013 Highlights, 2011-2012 Highlights
    • Explanation: Again with the all-time great, but there’s a specific reason.  As much as Burke was our best player in ages, he actually struggled at times as a freshman with running the ball screen offense in part due to his size.  I think that was what we hoped to see Walton adjust to as a sophomore but he struggled in some of the similar ways that Burke did (height, explosiveness, inconsistent big men, etc.).  Watching how Burke adapted and ran a masterful offense as he became a sophomore is what Walton should look at – with realistic expectations obviously being far short of POY results.  
    • Also Considered: Daniel Horton, Gary Grant, Demetrius Calip

    It's kinda like "YMRMFSPA" in the recruit previews. The usefulness is limited since we're restricted to a small sample size of Michigan players people other than Craig Ross remembers. Burke comparisons for Walton are bountiful, and still unfair. Trey came in a scorer who liked going to the rim, and became an excellent distributor (and Kobe Assist-er) as a natural extension of his ability to attack the basket more so than mastery of the two-guard offense. Watch where these assists come from:

    Also the subs we had. That was so crazy you guys.

    Walton came in better at distribution and I think with a leap forward from his scoring game that'll really shine. His handle is fantastic but that toe kept him from being able to attack the lane; the same second he would have to stop and make a pass is when the shooting pain would hit.

    A penny for a shot at a twenty. The other diary this week was Lanknows arguing with me about burned redshirts. After much discussion I declare points 1, 2, 3, 8, and 11 ancillary considerations that shouldn't affect the decision except in extreme situations, and all the other points wholly incorrect, and he conceded that it's okay to redshirt quarterbacks and offensive linemen if you don't need them. There's no need to go in there if you're planning to call his stupid points stupid—MaizeandBlueWahoo has the official fisk in the thread—but I'm all for attempts to pick holes in my arguments.

    Best of the Board

    MGOMEMES

    Offseason threads are a good opportunity to catch up the newcomers and remind ourselves of things like Fck Lyons and Tacopants and the pain Alan Branch leaves in his wake.

    Still needs a lot of filling in.

    RULES FOR WEARING A JERSEY

    Same guy who started the above thread also asked whether adults should be wearing team jerseys, which, and when. I have given this a lot of thought over years of mainstream sports fandom and have come up with a few personal tastes.

    Everyone likes the kid who wears team gear, at least until high school demands a higher level of sophistication. For adults however I have created this handy formula: Take the number of times you thought the player is awesome while he's playing for your team, plus the number of times you expect you'll think the player is awesome in the future while playing for your team times 0.5. For college player also do this again for his pro career divided by 30. Divide the result by the number of people you will ever encounter who own that jersey. Then multiply by the percentage of people you expect to be around that day who are fans of that team, and subtract from this a percentage point for every year you've lived past 14. Add and subtract circumstantial percentage points as you choose.

    The highest score on the Seth-o-Meter ever achieved was a guy who wore a Brookens jersey (and accompanying handlebar mustache) to Comerica Park before Tommy was re-hired by the Tigers. The lowest score ever was a 400-pound dude wearing a Yankees A-Rod jersey to a Mets game. The highest score at a Michigan game is:

    tacopants-jersey_thumb

    Your Moment of Zen:

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