Unverified Voracity Fires Traditional Money Cannon

Unverified Voracity Fires Traditional Money Cannon

Submitted by Brian on April 9th, 2018 at 1:32 PM

Sponsor note. Police horses assembled on South U were the only people happy with the result of the Villanova game. And those riding them, I guess. Police-horse related business probably took a hit.

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If you have one of those and have a contract you now regret, you probably should have hired Hoeg Law to execute it. Now you're stuck, and probably going bankrupt. Hopefully you shielded your personal assets, which Hoeg Law could have helped you with. But there's always next time. Maybe you could start a company that persuades advertisers to drop their weird months-long police horse saga in favor of something else. You should call Hoeg Law, then: he can be your lawyer and your client.

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Amara Darboh becomes a citizen

Charity Bowl time. The original money cannon target returns:

HOW LONG IS THIS GOING? Through the week and into the weekend. We’ll give daily updates about how big a lead Michigan has.

ARE YOU GOING TO GET A TATTOO AGAIN? No, but as always, if we reach, say, $40,000 in total donations, Ours Truly here will do something dramatic in honor of the winning school. Don’t doubt us on this point. We have a tattoo of a Michigan block M with the character Totoro over it as proof of our seriousness here.

Also we sometimes have famous people from your school call you to thank you personally. Heisman Trophy winners, actually. No big deal, just a little thank you from us to you for being a great American.

Since, uh, the great victories of yesteryear were less great than anticipated, this year's donation is in honor of Darboh and Jehu Chesson.

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For the more rivalry inclined there are various basketball scores available. Please don't use the score of the Syracuse-Michigan State game, though. We're trying to raise money here, people.

The big lawsuit. Amateurism may end by brute force in the near future, as the other big NCAA antitrust lawsuit comes in front of the same judge that ruled against the NCAA in O'Bannon:

n a 36-page opinion, Wilken did not give either side total victory. However, she rejected several of the NCAA’s critical contentions and set the stage for the plaintiffs to seek a new system that would apply to Division I men’s and women’s basketball players and to football players at Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

The plaintiffs have proposed that limits on athletes’ compensation be set on a conference-by-conference basis, a change that could open the door to athletes being able to capitalize on their names, images and likeness if a conference's schools chose to go that way.

The plaintiffs also have suggested that athletes be allowed to receive all manner of benefits above the cost of attendance that are related to education and/or are incidental to their participation in their sports.

“We’d call this ruling a home run,” said Steve Berman, one of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys. “We couldn’t have plotted it out better for us, frankly. … I absolutely think we are going to win this trial.”

Kevin Trahan goes a little more in depth in a post on Above The Law:

Here lies the NCAA’s problem: Its two most persuasive justifications — and explanations for why no less-restrictive alternatives would work — are premised on the fact that fans wouldn’t watch and athletes wouldn’t be students if they weren’t paid. But the more the FBI shows that athletes were getting paid, while athletic departments continued to rake in money and those players still showed up for class, the more the NCAA will struggle to argue that such strict rules are necessary to preserve college sports.

Before the FBI investigation, and during the O’Bannon trial, the plaintiffs relied on showing that athletes weren’t primarily students in a lot of cases. The academic scandal at the University of North Carolina, in which athletes were getting degrees for taking fake classes and weren’t allowed to pursue their desired coursework, was an instructive example. The plaintiffs will certainly bring up that point again — especially after the NCAA arguably failed to substantially punish UNC for its widespread academic fraud — but in O’Bannon, Wilken clearly saw the potential for payments to hurt the academic experience of athletes. Specifically, she worried that if athletes made too much money, they “might also be inclined to separate themselves from the broader campus community by living and socializing off campus.”

Not only can the plaintiffs now show that schools themselves separate athletes from the rest of campus, they can also show that the system didn’t come crumbling down when players did get paid. For instance, Marvin Bagley, whose family went from bankruptcy to a pristine house due to allegedly “illicit” payments, made the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Academic team while starring at Duke.

The NCAA is trying to prove a bunch of things that aren't true and have lots of evidence suggesting they aren't true, in front of a judge that's already ruled against them in a near identical case. The only difference is that this case is asking for the moon instead of crumbs.

Pendulum swings back ever so slightly. Basketball has rejected two point jumpers wholesale over the past ten years.

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We may be reaching the maximum extent of that trend. Spurred on by Trey Burke's sudden NBA emergence and all those clanged free throw line jumpers the 2-3 zones of the NCAA tournament induced, I've been wondering when a midrange jumper is actually good. The answer in the NBA appears to be "when it's the only open shot you can get":

The NBA Stats API provides some aggregate data on shooting performance based on both the distance of the shot, and the distance of the closest defender at the time of the shot, which shows that yes, usually a 3-point attempt has a higher expected value than a long-range 2. But if the 3-pointer is tightly guarded and the long-range 2 is wide-open, then the 2-pointer can be better. For example, a wide-open 2-point shot from 20 feet on average results in 0.84 points, while a tightly-guarded 3-point attempt from 25 feet only averages 0.71 points.

Neither of those numbers is good, obviously. Michigan's crushing tourney D was holding teams to around 0.84 PPP in their best possessions. But if the clock's running out and someone's closing out, that long two after a dribble is… eh… fine.

Speaking of Trey. His re-emergence into an NBA player is one of the more remarkable stories of the year:

Burke in New York has the statistical profile of a star. He's shooting well from everywhere: 39 percent from deep, Nowitzkian levels from midrange on colossal volume, and even 73 percent at the rim -- once a no-fly zone for an undersized guy with average athleticism.

Burke isn't just hunting points. He has assisted on almost 40 percent of New York's baskets while on the floor, a borderline top-five number. He has developed a nice pick-and-roll chemistry with Michael Beasley, captain of last year's Waltons; New York has scored 1.28 points per possession on any trip featuring a Burke-Beasley pick-and-roll, the fourth-best (!) mark among almost 300 duos that have run at least 150 such plays, per Second Spectrum.

Only six players over the past two seasons have commandeered such a large share of possessions with shots and assists: LeBron, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, James Harden, Dennis Schroder, and D'Angelo Russell.

He's probably going to come back to earth somewhat, but he's still gone from the G League to a guy who's going to get paid.

A denominator! The Detroit News provides a percentage for a basketball recruit:

David DeJulius, 6-0, Sr., G, Detroit East English

DeJulius had the ability to step up and carry his team to victories. He scored 17 fourth-quarter points to rally East English from an 18-point halftime deficit in an 80-71 victory over two-time Class A state champion Clarkston, then scored 49 two weeks later in a win over Illinois state champion Chicago Orr, making nine 3-pointers. He averaged 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. “He was always trying to get better, always listened and was very coachable,” Coach Juan Rickman said. “He could score the ball, his ball-handling got better and he was able to read defenses, leading him to take the ball to the basket, find an open teammate or make the 3-pointer.” DeJulius, a Mr. Basketball finalist, will play at Michigan.

42% on huge usage pull-up threes is pretty pretty good. He should be pretty plug and play as a backup PG. Enough of that will translate even against better defenses.

Girard profiled. Joe Girard III is the all-time New York HS scoring leader with a year left in his career, and a major 2019 target for John Beilein. He likes basketball:

Wiping sweat from his eyes, Girard starts one of Dagostino’s finishing drills. Instructed to take two “slide dribbles” on the right wing before finishing at the rim with his left hand, Girard starts with three straight misses.

On the fourth miss, which he air balls, Girard slaps the baseline wall in frustration.

Dagostino gathers Girard’s miss, lays the ball up and in the bucket before passing it back to Girard and says, “try throwing (the ball) in.”

“My biggest thing was always if you could see the ball go through the hoop,” Dagostino said, “no matter if you make it or your teammate makes it, then you are going to have a better chance of finding your rhythm by seeing it go in.”

Girard adjusts by “throwing” the ball in an overhand motion rather than the scooping technique prior. Dagostino’s suggestion results in five straight makes and Girard ends the drill with a round of free throws, a staple of any Dagostino circuit.

Sounds like he'll be off the board in the near future:

“I am getting kind of closer to a decision,” Girard said on Thursday. “I am getting older and time is becoming less and less. So it is about things getting more serious that (my dad and I) talk about, and what I need to do in order to play at the next (college) I will be attending.”

Girard's dad played for Beilein, but Duke looms. As of a week ago the Duke 247 site was very confident.

Etc.: Northwestern picks up Evansville transfer Ryan Taylor, who took 41% Evansville shots(!) last year. Midfielder Marc Ybarra will play for AFC Ann Arbor this summer. The Hughes family is good at doing hockey. Beilein after the loss. "All or Nothing" reviewed. Morris and Genuinely Sarcastic bid this basketball team goodbye. Arizona State saying the quiet parts loud.

Let's Start Again: Point Guard

Let's Start Again: Point Guard

Submitted by Brian on April 4th, 2018 at 1:12 PM

an irregular series about next year's basketball team

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[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

ROSTER

Zavier Simpson (Jr): Defensive maestro was head of the spear for #3 defense in the country. 105 ORTG isn't bad considering FT/3P issues, but 56% from two feels like a ceiling for a guy his size.

Eli Brooks (So): Started 12 games early in the year before receding. First season not real promising: 15% usage, A:TO ratio of 1:1, 41/25 shooting.

David DeJulius (Fr): Smallish sniper has mad Steph-alike game. Badly underrated by scouting services. Probably, anyway.

I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS

Can Simpson learn to shoot some?

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[Campredon]

Simpson's tour of destruction over the last third of the season culminated in a hamblasting of Naismith winner Jalen Brunson (9 points on 13 shot attempts, 2 A, 2 TO, 80 ORTG). He is a plus player and will be a starter for the rest of his career unless something crazy happens. That's good—see the TO-riddled bodies he left strewn in his wake—and bad—imagine a free throw.

Michigan's offensive ceiling is capped unless Simpson can ratchet up his shooting from the line and from three. There is precedent for this sort of thing under John Beilein. Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman hit 29% of his 41 threes as a freshman; the next year he hit 36% and stuck there for the duration of his career. However, the quantity of those shots kept increasing. MAAR went from 41 to 83 to 111 to 191 threes over the course of his career.

Simpson's already taken step one by going from a nonexistent three point shooter to an extant one, but the trend here isn't super encouraging. Simpson started the year hitting nearly half his shots; he finished it at 29%. His well-documented free throw struggles imply that his true shooting talent is real bad. The glimmer of hope here is that Simpson's new form at the end of the year saw him finish 24/42—57%—after starting 23/49—47%. That's pretty thin.

Does Eli Brooks take a sophomore Beilein point guard leap?

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[JD Scott]

Few things are as consistent as a second-year Beilein point guard taking a quantum leap forward. Darius Morris, Trey Burke, and Zavier Simpson all improved radically as sophomores; the only reason Derrick Walton did not is that foot injury that first hampered him and then knocked him out midseason.

All those guys had a clear path to playing time, though. Brooks does not. He got only about 8 minutes a game last year, with the majority of those early in the season when the PG spot was still unsettled. Brooks could emerge into a solid rotation option… or flounder and get passed.

Jay Wright did confirm, apropos of nothing, that Villanova was after him hard and thought he was in the boat. So he's got that going for him. But if it doesn't happen now it's late early, because of the next guy.

How well, and how quickly, does David DeJulius translate?

Before Zavier Simpson's tour of destruction kicked off, most of the mutterings about Michigan's future at point guard were about DeJulius. This was because of Simpson's clear limitations and the crazy string of single-game highlight videos that DeJulius was pumping out:

DeJulius is a different kind of cat than Simpson. He evidently took the vast majority of his threes off the bounce as a senior, and while nobody covering high school basketball ever gives you a denominator, he is at least a large upgrade on Simpson from the free throw line.

I'm not saying he's Trey Burke, but… uh, the pattern here is pretty similar. Burke got dumped in the three star bin because of AAU struggles on a poor team and then torched Ohio as a senior. Nobody noticed and his ranking diverged from his talent. DDJ shot poorly for a version of The Family that was pretty short on talent before torching the state of Michigan. Nobody with a ranking wand has noticed. The main difference thus far is that Michigan voters are willing to overlook DDJ's head to head torching of Foster Loyer while Ohio takes its Mr. Basketball award seriously.

DeJulius isn't going to push Simpson out of a starting spot unless he actually is Trey Burke. It still seems likely that he's got a role to play. Maybe that's ten minutes, maybe that's 20.

OUTLOOK

Michigan's worst case scenario here is a static version of Simpson playing 35 minutes a game because his backups can't hack it. That's still pretty good—obligatory mention of Michigan's ranking on Torvik after he emerged as the starter—but if Wagner ends up entering the draft Michigan faces the prospect of starting three tenuous shooters in Simpson, Matthews, and Teske. That could make Michigan's offense tough to watch.

Excellent Scenario 1 is that Simpson inches up his shooting numbers to 60% from the line and 35% from three. Those are relatively modest gains that would make hack-an-X unprofitable and punish switching defenses more effectively.

Excellent Scenario 2 is that one of Brooks or DDJ is able to dent Simpson's minutes by being enough of an offensive upgrade to sustain the defensive downgrade. That would give Michigan options if they're down and need some offense or the opposition point guard isn't much of a threat or X is just having an off game. A Simpson that stays static but only has to play 20-25 minutes because Michigan has a second quality player would be fine.

Your author's guess is that Scenario 2 is the likely outcome, with DeJulius immediately demanding minutes.

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.

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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.

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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.

Unverified Voracity Is Now Just A Series Of David DeJulius Embeds

Unverified Voracity Is Now Just A Series Of David DeJulius Embeds

Submitted by Brian on January 17th, 2018 at 1:49 PM


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Keith Jackson remembered by several people. At SBN:

That training meant calling everything ABC threw at him, but college football was different. One of Jackson’s gifts that made him so, so good at college football games was to make the viewer feel at home wherever the game might be. Ann Arbor became the Big House, Nebraska became the friendliest town in the world, and even beneath “the broad shoulders of the San Gabriel Mountains” you could feel at home, because ... well Keith did, didn’t he? Nowhere wasn’t home on a Saturday if Keith was calling it, because he had a map with a single line connecting everything.

This was all part of a whole to him. The things with names had definite pronunciations only Keith could nail; the things without names would be given them in time. The language of this sport — right down to the love for the great, the ugly, the undersized, the local, and the brutal — is his.

By Bob Griese:

"That big smiling face, and just the thrill and the love he had for doing college football," Bob Griese told SportsCenter when asked what he'd remember about Jackson, his longtime broadcast partner whom he started working with in 1985.

"He did it for a long, long time. ... He never intruded on the game. It was always about the kids on the field. Never, never shining the light on himself. And that was one of the things that I most admired about him."

By Andy Staples:

It was probably on some lazy Saturday afternoon or evening in 1990 when the sound burned itself into my memory. I was in seventh grade, and a Notre Dame linebacker with a previously checkered career was in the midst of an All-America season. He must have been playing on the road, because if he’d been in South Bend, Brent Musburger would have been the one saying his name. Instead, Keith Jackson was calling the game, and when that linebacker made a tackle, Jackson said…

Miiichael Stooooonebreaker.

And there it was.

From that point forward, the quintessence of college football in my mind was Keith Jackson saying the name Michael Stonebreaker as a drumline pounds out a beat between plays. I can’t think of the sport without hearing those two words uttered by that voice. I cover college football for a living, so I think about college football a lot. Consequently, my brain frequently serves up the memory of Keith Jackson identifying a 225-pound middle linebacker from Louisiana playing for a Catholic university in Indiana.

"I can't get them any more open than that." You may have had some similar frustrations midway through the Maryland game:

Bi-weekly David DeJulius hamblasting video. This one features nine(!) threes in a 49-point performance against Chicago Orr:

Sounds like fun. Next year's schedule is kind of a doozy:

@ ND, @ OSU, @ MSU plus crossover games against a couple ten win teams in Wisconsin and Northwestern will do that.

Priority one: don't pay anyone. This would be an insane way to defuse the increasing media heat on the NCAA for restricting player mobility:

The grad transfer rule already sucks out loud for lower-level schools. Creating open season on every all-conference football and basketball player turns the MAC into a collection of JUCOs, essentially. It's far worse for competitive balance than paying kids would be, because you get to swoop in on anyone you missed and yoink them. You're also inviting kids to leave whatever degree program they're in for sports, damaging your hoary claims to academic integrity.

But it would eliminate a set of arguments against amateurism, so full speed ahead. Because keeping the money is all they care about.

Frank Ragnow on Ben Herbert. Strong, detailed praise for Michigan's new S&C guy:

"He's probably one of the most detail-oriented people I've ever met," Ragnow said. He then paused. "Actually, he is the most detail-oriented person I've ever been around. The first thing he's going to do with his players is a thorough individual evaluation of them. He'll learn their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses and try to get a feel for how their body reacts to different movements and different processes. Nutrition-wise, I'm guessing the Michigan players are going to learn a lot. Coach Herb is always finding new ways to gain an edge on the nutrition side of things and it was probably the one part of how he did things that I learned and took the most out of."

In addition to being good at S&C stuff, Ragnow "wouldn't let" Steve Lorenz hang up until he'd expressed what an excellent dude he was as well.

Exit various Irish. In addition to a few NFL departures, Brian Kelly booted four dudes. Three are offensive skill guys and will be relevant for Michigan's upcoming series against the Irish:

Stepherson was arguably Notre Dame’s most explosive receiver last season, finishing with 19 catches for 359 yards and five touchdowns. However, he was held out of the season’s first four games for a suspension that Notre Dame never publicly acknowledged.

The departures of McIntosh and Holmes come after a single public rules violation and seriously dent Notre Dame’s running back depth chart. With Josh Adams off to the NFL Draft, the Irish will likely open spring ball with just three scholarship running backs in Dexter Williams, Tony Jones Jr. and early enrollee Jahmir Smith.

The fourth is a DL who wasn't going to be in the rotation anyway.

Etc.: Andrew Ebbett and Chad Kolarik make the Canadian and American Olympic hockey teams, respectively. Francis Atuahene set to go high in the MLS Superdraft. Trey Burke reunited with THJ. Minnesota reporter suggests that there should be a Red Berenson trophy. I'm in.

Arby's Ouroboros

Arby's Ouroboros

Submitted by Brian on January 16th, 2018 at 1:21 PM

1/15/2018 – Michigan 68, Maryland 67 – 16-4, 5-2 Big Ten

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[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Michigan won the game you lose because it's almost too weird to call basketball. At several different points in last night's game I cried "what is going ON?!" to the world at large, usually because a Michigan player had missed a point blank shot or dribbled it off his own face. Crisler's halftime highlight montage had literally every single first-half Michigan bucket in it. It was that kind of game.

This happens from time to time, especially when you're on short rest and the opponent isn't. A virtual lid descends on the basket; things look more or less fine except in the period between the shot going up and the shot entering the basket, because it never actually enters the basket. It was miserable.

Naturally, Michigan followed this up with a period in the second half where you could have blindfolded Jordan Poole and friends and it wouldn't have mattered. By the time Maryland called its second befuddled timeout of the half, Michigan was 8/11 from three. This slightly contrasted with their first half shooting performance, which qualified the entire roster to join COBRA or enlist as a stormtrooper.

A gob-smacked Mark Turgeon afterwards:

Michigan scored barely over a point per possession in this game, and also sent the opposing coach into a tailspin of recriminations and purges. Basketball!

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

So it wasn't a surprise when Michigan decided 59 points was sufficient to win and reverted to pew pew laser shooting. It wasn't a surprise when Maryland trundled back into the game despite having 80% free throw shooters brick front ends. It wasn't a surprise that Michigan's attempt to get it inbounds after Maryland cut it to two travelled from Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, a 91% free throw shooter, to Zavier Simpson, a 50% free throw shooter.

Simpson clanging both shots was a little weird. Because it's kind of what I expected. Also weird: Michigan choosing three seconds left in the game to give up the first wide open three Kevin Huerter had seen all night despite Huerter's evident willingness to shoot from half court.

Then there are three seconds left, and the play you run with three seconds left—which never ever works for a dozen reasons—works so spectacularly well you end up with Abdur-Rahkman, who has damned and redeemed and damned himself already in this game, charging at the basket for a potential layup when a flat-topped moose thunks him from the side. Tweet tweet. Foul. Two shots.

This is what Abdur-Rahkman looks like as he shoots the ensuing free throws:

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These men are nihilists, dude. MAAR looks like a Michigan football fan during the fourth quarter of the bowl game. He sinks both free throws and Michigan wins.

And I want you to know this, reader: Crisler literally has a promotion where a ticket stub from a Michigan win during which they score 70 points nets you a free slider at Arby's. Yes. Nihilist Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman sends Michigan to victory with 68 points. Eat At Arby's. Don't Eat At Arby's. If ever a basketball game deserved to end on a Nihilist Arby's infinite regression paradox loop, it was this one.

BULLETS

WOOF? Uh... analysis almost seems beside the point. Michigan's offense bogged down a little bit early and had far too much of the late-clock stuff they haven't been good at, but probably a majority of their misses were at the rim. Maryland did a decent job challenging shots; they did not do enough to hold Michigan to 0.7 PPP while forcing one (ONE!) turnover.

Bad luck? Something goofy because they'd played on Saturday? I don't know. I think it's just one of those things. Michigan's insane three point shooting gallery in the second half was probably the same thing in the other direction: abnormal luck.

Anthony Cowan is the Steph Curry generation. Dude is a dude, and every time Maryland got in a late clock situation I thought about his Hoop Math page and its 50% unassisted 3 column. He was 4/6 from deep and maybe all of those were jacks? Two were heavily-contested buzzer-beaters off the dribble in the first half that were really, really painful given what was going on at the other end.

Anyway: Cowan's ability to rise up over anyone at any time is where basketball is going. I compared David DeJulius to Derrick Walton the last time a highlight video of his hit this here site, but immediately after this game I think Cowan is a closer fit.

This is a nice thing to think about your fourth-most-hyped incoming recruit.

Jordan Poole! Poole was a major catalyst for Michigan's second half comeback, and revealed afterwards that he named his NBA 2k character The Microwave in honor of Vinnie Johnson. My dude. He had his typical defensive issues and one over-eager turnover, but in a game where Michigan seemed afraid to take a shot his second half minutes were a breath of fresh air. All the potential in the world.

Wagner: back. Second straight game he leads Michigan in points, and 11 rebounds give him a rare-for-Mo double-double. Turgeon's right: Wagner adds an aspect to Michigan's offense that could take it from okay to excellent. We saw it against MSU, and in this game his 4/6 from deep was critical.

Unverified Voracity Is Pretty Disgusted With Minnesota

Unverified Voracity Is Pretty Disgusted With Minnesota

Submitted by Brian on January 8th, 2018 at 12:23 PM

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rick pa knew [Patrick Barron]

Smearing the Pitinos' good name. Minnesota suddenly suspended center Reggie Lynch a few days ago because he was ruled "responsible" for a sexual assault by Minnesota's Title IX office. He is banned from Minnesota's campus until 2020, pending a potential appeal.

The best-case scenario here is that Minnesota pulled a Brendan Gibbons: they played a guy who they had to know was very likely to be booted off campus, telling no one and hoping that they could sweep it under the rug. That does not appear to be the case:

There are a lot of extremely pissed off locals on Twitter talking about how Lynch's behavior was widely known and nothing was done about it. Honold did have that meeting:

Honold said Friday that she told Coyle months ago that she knew of “multiple other victims” of sexual misconduct involving Lynch.

“This is a pattern,” she told Coyle and urged him to investigate further.

“But it did not really fall on open ears,” Honold said. “The only person who really responded told me, ‘Well, this sounds awfully personal, how would you even know all of this?’ And, ‘This is irrelevant because they didn’t report to police.’

Minnesota's athletic director pleads incomprehensible corporate nothing-speak:

That is a bald-faced lie in an attempt to cover his own ass and dude should get fired like Minnesota's previous sexual assault idiot AD. And their former associate athletic director. Or a gymnastics coach. Burn the whole department to the ground.

This sounds educated, so that's good. The Daily transcribed a bit of new S&C guy Ben Herbert's philosophy:

“From a weight room development standpoint, the most important thing right out of the gate for our young guys when they come in is developing their lower body and developing their back,” Herbert said. “A lot of guys spend a lot of time (bench) pressing in high school. They don’t spend a lot of time pulling and they don’t spend a lot of time training their lower body. That’s where we see our biggest gains.

“Teach guys how to eat well, teach them how to hydrate properly, teach them how to train the right way, focusing on lower body and back development, and we set them up for a great result.”

One of Herbert’s biggest success stories at Arkansas, former tight end Hunter Henry, tweeted out support of the hiring on Dec. 30.

“One of the best hires in the country!” Henry, a second-round NFL Draft pick, wrote. “This guy is legit. Might have to make a trip up to Ann Arbor now.”

I'm looking forward to the inevitable war between Herbertites and Anti-Herbertites that erupts the first time anyone has a ligament injury.

I did not know this. Apparently when Kirby Smart was hired at Georgia the first guy he wanted to call was Dan Enos, but Jeff Long had created a contract that prevented him from making a move:

“Kirby called me early (Monday), asked me for permission to talk to Dan," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema revealed. " (I) just basically said … ‘I understand if you’ve got to talk to Dan if that’s something you want to do, but he’s got a non-compete clause in the SEC. So that kind of null and voids those things from really becoming real within our conference.”

It's tough to judge Enos's ability in a vacuum since he's going up against Alabama with a shooter and only one bean, but he appears to be well-respected in the SEC.

TV Teddy has a sad. Embarrassing toolbox Ted Valentine may have finally gone too far with his on-court antics after this flatly disrespectful action in the aftermath of a call he obviously missed:

Valentine was yanked from a couple of Big Ten games this weekend, including OSU's surprising mud-stomping of MSU, and now THREATENS TO RETIRE as a result.

"I'm thinking about retiring," Valentine told The Athletic's Seth Davis. "I've had enough of people blowing up stuff. I think I've had a stellar career, and I think it's time to get ready to walk away."

At least he thinks he's making a threat. The rest of the world sick of his histrionics looks at that as a promise. Valentine might not be the worst ref in the world, but he is the most annoying. It's long past time for that dude to hit the bricks. Hopefully his Big Ten ban is permanent. Something ain't right with that man.

So much for that defensive logjam. Michigan Hockey Winter strikes twice, with 2019 D Mike Vukojevic defecting to the OHL in the middle of a USHL season—bizarre—and 2018 D Mattias Samuelsson apparently decommitting so he can join his brother at... Western Michigan?

FWIW, Lukas Samuelsson was a Michigan commit but is now a WMU freshman... with zero games played. He's got to be a walk-on. Tremendous, tremendous screw-up on Michigan's part to let Lukas walk for another program where he wasn't going to play. Since Samuelsson dropped off Michigan's commit list more than a year prior to his enrollment at WMU this is more of a Red thing than a Mel thing.

Michigan does still have a top-ten-ish pick coming in in Bode Wilde, so it's not a crisis or anything. But the mega-D does not appear to be happening.

David DeJulius gets after it. He took on Clarkston, which features MSU-bound PG Foster Loyer, and went to work:

Very much a Walton vibe there. He's comfortable pulling up from three and the midrange and attacks downhill like Walton did early in his career. Dunno how well that aspect of his game will translate to college—Zavier Simpson was a huge scorer in HS and that went away—but the shooting and all-around dawg-ness should stick.

Etc.: Vital stuff. Equanimeous St Brown leaves ND, enters draft, avoids getting worked by Lavert Hill and David Long next year. Ditto ND RB Josh Adams. Greg Roman staying in NFL. Season summary of Wolverines in the NFL. Isaiah Livers is comin'.

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Submitted by Ace on May 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Busy Month Ahead?

We've covered the distinct possibility of Michigan adding quarterbacks Joe Milton and Tyler Shough to the 2018 class this month. 247's Steve Lorenz went over a few more potential additions in his post on May's top recruiting storylines:

There are a handful of heavy Michigan leans out there who could decide at any time, with Traverse City (MI) West four-star offensive lineman Ryan Hayes being among them. Grand Rapids (MI) four-star Jalen Mayfield is also sitting out there and still appears to be a heavy, heavy Michigan lean. Jersey City four-star Shayne Simon has mentioned shutting things down early, although that could easily change.

Hayes and Mayfield both appear to be near-locks to end up in the class sooner or later. Simon, a S/OLB prospect who'd probably be a VIPER at Michigan, has several top programs in the mix; he ran down his extensive spring visit tour—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Stanford—for 247's Steve Wiltfong. He had high praise for all of them, but his crystal ball reads 100% for Michigan, and that includes picks from both Steves. He maintained he has no current timeline for a decision, however.

Another top target whose recruitment may come to a close in the near future is four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who has named four finalists—Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin—and is eyeing a summer decision, likely in July, per Scout's Brian Dohn. Ruckert's choice is expected to come down to Michigan or OSU; the Buckeyes currently have all nine picks on his crystal ball.

Four-star PA WR Jahan Dotson is also nearing a decision after narrowing his options to Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, per Wiltfong. The Nittany Lions currently hold the edge after a recent visit but Michigan will get a visit this month to make an impression. They have a potential edge; Dotson is originally from New Jersey:

When Dotson returns to Michigan it will be his first time in Ann Arbor since last year.

“Michigan they have a big New Jersey connection and Coach Partridge he’s been close to me so that’s been a good connection for me. Big stadium, there’s a lot of people and the campus is in town and that’s cool.”

It should be a busy month.

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

Hoops Hello: David DeJulius

Hoops Hello: David DeJulius

Submitted by Ace on December 23rd, 2016 at 1:59 PM

The basketball program apparently wanted in on Commitmas, too. Michigan picked up their first hoops commit for 2018 yesterday when three-star Detroit East English Village Prep point guard David DeJulius chose the Wolverines mere days after getting the offer, which came on the heels of DeJulius pouring in 46 points in front of John Beilein.

While a Michigan offer didn't materialize until this week, Beilein had his eye on DeJulius for a long time, per TMI's Brice Marich:

“They have always been recruiting me, but just offered me a week ago,” DeJulius told The Michigan Insider. “I always grew up wanting to go to Michigan and I wanted to commit then when they offered, but I wanted to think and make sure it wasn’t just from my emotions. I wanted to think it through and make sure I was making the right decision. There is no better decision than this because it is such a great environment, great education and great program. 

DeJulius said Beilein has watched him play "like 20 times" dating back to his freshman year, and assistant coach Saddi Washington was recruiting him back when Washington was at Oakland.

DeJulius is the first commit in the 2018 class. There's room for two more as the scholarship count currently stands; it's near-inevitable that one or two more spots will open up. He's the third point guard Michigan has taken in three classes, following freshman Xavier Simpson and 2017 commit Eli Brooks.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
2* PG NR PG,
#145 Ovr
4*, 83, #22 PG 3*, 89, #22 PG,
#147 Ovr
3*, #32 PG,
#172 Ovr

Rankings for the 2018 class are all over the place as the various services catch up on scouting prospects. ESPN is the highest on DeJulius but has nothing in the way of a scouting report; Scout gave him a cursory two stars; Rivals and 247 split the difference.

DeJulius is listed between 6'0" (Scout, 247) and 6'2" (ESPN) and 188-190 pounds. While he's probably a point guard, at least primarily, he could slide over to the two in Beilein's system as well.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]

Hoops Hello: David DeJulius

Hoops Hello: David DeJulius

Submitted by Brian on December 22nd, 2016 at 6:27 PM

Michigan's picked up their first 2018 commit, in-state PG David DeJulius. This is an old-school Beilein commit: early and somewhat unheralded, though he is a four-star on ESPN. Most other places have him a three star around #150. This courtship was a quick one, as he was just offered three days ago after Beilein saw him blow the doors off:

Following Saturday’s 98-49 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore, Michigan coach John Beilein would’ve been hard-pressed to witness a better offensive performance.

But hours later, Beilein watched Detroit East English Village junior point guard David DeJulius put on a show with 46 points on 13-for-17 shooting, including 9-for-11 on 3-pointers, in a 79-63 win over Macomb Dakota at Southfield A&T High’s “Battle of the Best” holiday tournament.

That got him his offer and he wasn't long in accepting it.

Ace will have a fuller post tomorrow, when the impending announcement of FL LB Jordan Anthony doesn't overlap.