Unverified Voracity Fires Traditional Money Cannon

Unverified Voracity Fires Traditional Money Cannon Comment Count

Brian 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.

twos_vs_threes

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.

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CFS/ME Fundraiser Update: Tattoo Designs, Please

CFS/ME Fundraiser Update: Tattoo Designs, Please Comment Count

Ace January 16th, 2018 at 3:57 PM


not getting this inked on my body but it's how I feel about the fundraiser [Campredon]

I should never underestimate the money cannon.

It's been five days since the post announcing the CFS/ME fundraiser went up. In that time, over 500 donors have raised over $30,000 dollars, and I'm honestly running out of words to describe how incredible it's been to see this. We've hit every stretch goal, including the tattoo, and I'm left scrambling to figure out what to do next, because I very much want to keep this going—it hasn't even been a week and this is just starting to spread to new corners. (On that note, a hearty fist bump to Eleven Warriors. Y'all got me to say Go Bucks and I'm not even mad.)

I'm learning to not apologize for doing this: here's the widget again. We're kicking around some cool ideas for ways to keep this conversation going. In the meantime, many of you have asked about what you can do to help, and my answer is this: share this far and wide, along with the documentary that inspired it, Unrest, which is now on Netflix.

Happy 33rd Anniversary, Mom & Dad. Let's Find A Cure For CFS. on Crowdrise

I'm going to post the details of the tattoo design contest. First, however, I want to discuss a couple things that have come to mind during this past week; this is an incredibly important time for CFS/ME awareness and I don't want to miss the opportunity to hopefully help educate while it's at the forefront of a lot of people's minds.

[More CFS/ME discussion and TATTOO DESIGN CONTEST DETAILS after THE JUMP.]

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Same Chair, New Day, Let's Fire The Money Cannon

Same Chair, New Day, Let's Fire The Money Cannon Comment Count

Ace January 11th, 2018 at 10:40 AM

I’m sitting in the same chair right now, but I'm in a different place. Since publishing the post about my experience with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on Tuesday, I’ve received hundreds of messages of encouragement, heard from many others who shared their stories of success and struggle as a patient or caregiver, and connected with some remarkable people. I’ve tried to get back to as many as I can. The response has been overwhelming and uplifting and freeing. I’ve cried a dozen times since Tuesday and will cry a dozen more by tomorrow; each tear feels like letting go of a secret that had to be told.

I did something last night that I’ve never done before, though now I wish I had thought to do so. Before going to sleep, I sat on my bed, closed my eyes, and pictured the people who support me, so many of whom I only know through their Twitter or mgoblog avatars, filling a room around me. I was taken aback by the mental image I drew, the size of the crowd, and especially the way I found myself lifted off my feet and carried through waves of friends looking at me with love in their eyes. The last time I daydreamed so vividly I was listening to Giant Steps in a bus with no air conditioning on a 100-degree afternoon. I was 17, on a class trip, an ocean away.

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

Tuesday’s post was about my struggle, but it goes so far beyond me. As anyone with CFS can attest, it takes a village to get through this, or at least an incredibly tight-knit and tireless support system.

There are so many people I’ve befriended through work or Twitter, many of whom I’ve never met face-to-face yet I consider some of my closest confidantes. I started listing them all and realized sometime around the second Craig that I had too many people to thank in one space. Staying connected through social media helped me maintain my sanity(!) through some lonely, difficult times. I got needed distraction, helpful advice, delightful companionship, and a broader view of the world and the people in it than I ever thought imaginable from one’s own room.

I’ve mentioned this before and embarrassed my coworkers at MGoBlog but I cannot say it enough: not only is there nowhere else I’d rather work, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else I could work, certainly not all the way through these last six-plus years. The photographers have adapted when I’ve missed games on little to no notice, making sure we had a suitable setup for each recap. David drove me around the state to high school games for two seasons, and drove even more to film games for me to analyze at home when I wasn’t up to going out.

The other writers have never hesitated to cover for me, whether it’s Seth taking the time-consuming opponent film posts off my hands, Adam writing the special teams UFR early to fill a time slot, or Alex filling in for a hoops recap when I could no longer keep my eyes open. Brian had no idea what he was in for when he hired me, yet he’s never wavered in his support, and instead has gone above and beyond to make sure I have a comfortable present and future.

While I mostly keep my childhood and college friends out of it, because it’s nice to be related to as just another person, I keep a tight circle of people I cannot imagine being without. They provide a sense of normalcy in a life that often lacks it. I’ve had a friend drop everything on a weekday afternoon to drive over to my house when I felt potentially suicidal. It was nothing, he said, but in that moment it was everything. You all know who you are. Please forward this to the sane ones.

My girlfriend of over a year had no idea what she signed up for when we started dating, but she’s not only stayed by my side, she has a genuine curiosity in learning how my illness works and what she can do to help. On Tuesday, she came over just to sit with me while I worked and made a long-overdue grocery run for me. Again, it was a little thing, but for me it was like she’d moved a mountain out of my path.

I mentioned my housemates in Tuesday’s post and how they’ve kept the place livable while I’ve moved from bed to couch to chair and back. I’m much less effusive in person than in my writing, so I don’t thank them enough for what they do. That especially goes for my younger brother, who’s one of my closest friends and so much more generous than even he realizes. He’s cooked for me, picked up medication, driven me around; more importantly, he’s the only person I know with an innate sense of when I need to sit with someone in silence, having some companionship while I deal with whatever it is. He’s gone from my goofy little brother to someone I look to for advice and inspiration.

Finally, there are my parents. As I’ve mentioned, my dad suffered from CFS for nearly three decades, and over the last year he’s finally back to a point where he’s living a normal life. I cannot imagine going through this without him mapping out how to live with an illness so few, including doctors, know much about. As a child, I watched him build a business and support a family while seriously ill and fighting a protracted workman’s compensation battle because the legitimacy of his illness was in question. As an adult, I’ve learned from him how to take every twist and turn of CFS without losing hope, and he’s led the way in finding the doctors who can make me well again.

The significant others of those with serious illnesses so often get overlooked even though their battle is every bit as difficult, in no small part because it’d be so much easier, and so understandable, to walk away. My mom took care of everything in the house, and I mean everything. She shouldered the burden of raising two children while her husband couldn’t even get behind the wheel of the car. She put a home-cooked dinner on the table every night. She made it look so effortless I thought it was normal.

It’s not easy to live with someone with CFS; we don’t go out, we’re often hyper-sensitive, we’re definitely not helpful around the house, and there’s usually frustration and depression and even rage bubbling just below the surface. My mom moved heaven and earth to make it work, then tapped into something even deeper to care for two sick adults when twice, after college, CFS forced me back home.

I’m tremendously blessed. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. If there’s someone with more love in their life, they are truly rich. I learned long ago that one can live a fulfilling life while limited by illness.

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

Several of you have asked what you can do to help. Research and awareness for CFS lags far, far behind other illnesses with a comparable (or even much smaller) number of patients. So many people who deal with it aren’t as fortunate to have the resources at my disposal; believe it or not, I’m healthier than most CFS patients, part of a relatively small number able to work at all. I have access to world-class doctors and a community whose generosity seemingly knows no bounds.

I’d like to test that. Brian has given me the go-ahead to set up a Crowdrise fund for the Solve ME/CFS Initiative. I’m hoping we can raise $5,000, in honor of my parents, to support CFS research and push for a cure. I haven’t told my dad about this; I told my mom it was just in honor of my dad when running the idea by her. I’d love to surprise them. The link is here. Here's a widget:

In Honor Of The Anbenders, Let's Find A Cure For CFS on Crowdrise

If you have the time, I’d also appreciate if you watched the documentary that inspired me this week, Unrest. It’s airing on PBS (check your local listings) and free to stream for the next couple weeks. It’s a remarkable, raw, unfiltered look into the lives of those with CFS and those closest to them, made by a woman with CFS who created the film largely while working from bed.

Thank you all for being a community I’d even consider asking to do this. This has been a powerful and reaffirming couple of days. Let’s keep the good going.

UPDATE: Since we're already 60% of the way to the goal in the last two hours—thank you all so, so much—I figured I'd provide some incentive to keep going. If we hit $10K, I'll get the Wild Thing haircut when I return from Alabama next week. Quinn Nordin didn't get the chance to make it happen but perhaps your generosity will.

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Unverified Voracity Commemorates Brady Hoke

Unverified Voracity Commemorates Brady Hoke Comment Count

Brian April 19th, 2016 at 1:20 PM

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last year we made Spencer get a Brady Hoke tattoo

I feel superfluous. EDSBS's annual charity drive is going on and this is the moment in time when I point the money cannon…

…who pointed the money cannon already? I was all set to point the thing, maybe give it a burnish, polish sort of thing, calibrate it, stencil a shirtless Harbaugh on it, you know, prep it. I see someone has already done all of that. Well… fine. I'm going to point it anyway: you can give here to further increase Michigan's dominance in this event. Meanwhile at the bottom:

Trump University $10.02
Michigan State     $10.00

Didn't even commemorate the… bad thing. Donate now. Continue donating. No mercy.

No nevermind no. We've been mentioning it obliquely more or less since Harbaugh was hired, and now seems like the time to just say it since they've once again caused a panic about a potential transfer: The Wolverine is utterly unreliable at this point. Their most recent "Inside The Fort" asserted that an unnamed quarterback easily deduced to be Brandon Peters was homesick and a transfer candidate. This contradicts both information that 247's Isaiah Hole got from Peters's dad at the spring game, and this morning on WTKA Sam Webb shot that down emphatically:

This is more or less our agreed-upon breaking point as a staff. They're putting out supposedly insider stuff that is balderdash way too frequently. Earlier this spring Rivals asserted that Michigan was going to straight-up cut returning starter and fifth year senior Kyle Kalis, which was and remains ludicrous for a dozen reasons. They claimed that Ian Bunting was doing terribly in practice and was headed towards being a bust; they backtracked on that immediately since various coaching staff members started effusing about him. That in fact directly contradicted what we were hearing from other reporters, who were talking to Michigan coaches.

Tim and Brandon are of course MGoBlog alums and do yeoman work holding things together over there but this is happening way too often to let is pass without mention. I know who Scout and 247 talk to: football coaches, players, and the families of the latter. I don't know who Rivals talks to but it's not them. I'm not saying that they're wrong all the time, but I wouldn't take anything bizarre that they say at face value until confirmed by someone else.

What does it take to get booted from a Dantonio team? MSU has lost DE Montez Sweat and DT Craig Evans to "personal issues." Those must be weighty indeed for the two to depart from a team that has repeatedly driven guys from jail to practice, especially since Evans looked very good last year as a rotation player. If MSU doesn't get a sixth year for Damon Knox their defensive line could be a lot weaker than it's been recently.

Why MSU thinks they'll get sixth years for Knox, LB Ed Davis, and OL Brandon Clemons is unknown. The article above says they haven't even applied yet…

Knox is one of three MSU players who has yet to submit his appeal to the NCAA to gain another year of eligibility via medical waiver. Knox, along with offensive lineman Brandon Clemons and linebacker Ed Davis, is still gathering the information to send in.

…but that almost has to be incorrect, right? These things shouldn't take that long, and if there's doubt—and there is serious doubt—MSU is doing those players a disservice by preventing them from entering the draft.

About that doubt: the NCAA is very strict with sixth years* and it certainly appears that all of those players took voluntary redshirts. Knox's bio notes that he was scout team player of the week before the OSU and Iowa games in 2011; those were the 5th and 10th games of the season so it beggars belief that he wasn't healthy enough to play. Ditto Davis, who got the same honor before the 4th and 9th games the same year. Clemons doesn't have sufficient evidence to disqualify him from a sixth year literally in his MSU bio but is an OL who redshirted because all OL redshirt.

*[If you are healthy enough to play for a few games that counts as a voluntary redshirt. The NCAA shoots down a ton of kids. A fifth year is way easier.]

Do it. Do it now. Sorry, A Lion Eye, but you gotta do it now:

How to repeal the camp ban posthaste. NCAA executive Oliver Luck says that the membership will "revisit" the satellite camp ban. Tom Van Haaren details what needs to happen:

One of the options Harbaugh and Manuel have is trying to get a 66.7 percent of the majority of 128 FBS programs to request that the ruling be rescinded within a 60-day override period. Since the original vote only received 66.6 percent approval, well below the required 85 percent, the programs that disagree with the ruling can still get the ban relinquished.

The original vote to ban the camps was done by conference representatives, whereas a reversal would require individual votes from programs. Getting roughly 85 programs to request the repeal might be difficult, but there are a growing number of coaches speaking out against the ban.

I'm not sure it will be that difficult if reports from the Pac-12 and the Sun Belt are accurate. Reports from both conferences hold that the coaches are almost unanimously opposed to the ban. The Sun Belt thing is wild. They sent Texas State's AD to vote in favor of the ban. Here's Texas State's football coach:

The Sun Belt is of course the conference whose commissioner answered questions about why on earth the Sun Belt would shoot themselves in the foot with his best Perd Hapley impression. Nobody knows why this dude voted the way he did.

Except one man. One pirate man. Mike Leach continues on the path of the righteous:

"I can't help but wonder if there was some manipulation with this thing, because that doesn't make any sense," Leach said. "I don't know what ivory tower or what cliff these people flew to vote, but this is something out of 'James Bond,' where they got together and voted and plotted taking control of the world. Wherever it was, some lair in the mountains with ice and machinery, a cold Dr. Evil environment where these guys voted on this thing then, at the end, they all put their hands together and did a really weird laugh, because soon they'll be conquering the world."

I love Mike Leach and hope nothing but good things happen to him forever. Mike Leach may have no connection at all to the university, but he is the best thing about Penn State.

You keep using that word. Rutgers got a commitment from NJ RB/slot Bo Melton a few days ago. Melton had a Michigan offer of some variety and of course you know all about New Jersey and Michigan recruiting, so it's unsurprising that Harbaugh is living rent-free in the collective Rutgers head:

CgQSPgiUIAAsuU-

Just one problem with "I don't follow, I lead": Melton is a Rutgers legacy. How you doin'? (Also whoever put this together left out the A in "garden.")

Clemson Dan. Sooooooo Sam Webb played me this voice mail a few months back, and it is creepy as hell:

“If you’re coming down here, you gotta do just like the KKK and be serious about your football. Clemson and the KKK, the two things we love the most,” the caller said.

The target of the voice mail, which came at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 28, was Paramus Catholic star Rashan Gary. It was made the day before the defensive lineman took an official visit to Clemson.

The man who left the message identified himself twice during the 58-second voice mail only as “Clemson Dan.”

Clemson fans and apparently coaches claimed this was a false flag operation, and they might be right. But what if it's a DOUBLE false flag? Did you think about that? Yeah. Anyway, all Clemson fans are in the KKK. That's my takeaway.

Etc.: No, Penn State. No. NCAA will now pay for parents to attend official visits. Graham Glasgow projected as a third-rounder. Cardale Jones was not at OSU to play school, but mostly because he (correctly) didn't care about it. Man talking about Harbaugh sick of people talking about Harbaugh.

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Unverified Voracity Throws Coins At Heiko

Unverified Voracity Throws Coins At Heiko Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2015 at 11:46 AM

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Heiko sings the hits! Remember Heiko? Used to badger Al Borges about bubble screens, was Adam before Adam was Adam. Currently turning in his Punt/Counterpunt column about sixty seconds before I want to post it. Draftageddon chaos agent. That guy. Doctor guy.

Well, if you'd like to see him sing(?), that is now a thing you can do. The med students have this charity, you see:

Every winter, Galens members don red ponchos, grab metal buckets, and take to the streets of greater Ann Arbor to collect monetary donations for the children of Washtenaw County. Held on the first weekend of December since 1927, Tag Days has become an important Ann Arbor tradition and occupies a central role in Galens' mission to support local children's charities. Galens members annually raise tens of thousands of dollars, with 100% of the collected money donated directly to local organizations and charities.

Last year they raised over 75k via various methods including people throwing coins at med students for singing*, and you can do this by THROWING COINS at HEIKO in front of Gratzi from about FOUR O'CLOCK TODAY to MIDNIGHT.

Or you could just donate here if you don't want to throw quarters at Heiko for some reason. Weirdo.

*[This is an assumption, but I'm sure you'll agree it is a good one.]

Things that happened. Ross Fulton breaks down events that transpired on Saturday.

Meyer and Warinner borrowed a page from Utah and Indiana. Both offenses had success outside against Michigan's cover 1-man defense by forcing Wolverine defenders with contain responsibilities to cover receivers while the offense runs outside, and by using spread read principles to outnumber a Michigan defense with a deep safety.

Meyer's staff used a similar strategy. Frequently using two tight ends - with one aligned as a blocking slot receiver - the Buckeyes' success began with power read. On power read the offensive line blocks power, but - rather than kicking out the defensive end - the quarterback reads the end. If he crashes, the quarterback gives on the sweep. If the end stays wide the quarterback runs power following the pulling guard.

With Michigan using a common opponent tactic - slanting towards Ezekiel Elliott to limit tight zone - Ohio State ran outside opposite the slant, providing Elliott a running lane beyond the crashing end.

 

When Michigan prevented this from happening again it opened up JT Barrett on the inverted veer, because Michigan took a basic and completely predictable approach to dealing with the OSU run game. Michigan changed nothing except occasionally running a 3-3-5. It was incredibly frustrating to see inverted veer gash Michigan over and over again as if the Wolverines had no idea it would be coming. On the above play they have not one but two 100% irrelevant players, as the backside corner and safety aren't blocked but can't do anything about the gain.

Durkin spent the entire year running the same defense predicated on decisively winning DL matchups, and when that was not true his answers were miserably bad. The final drive of regulation for Indiana saw Michigan passively eat run after run without reacting; this game was as if the last 15 years of football had never happened.

Let's not change anything. Iowa is 12-0, which is not something even Kirk Ferentz's family saw coming. Spencer on the power of doing nothing at all:

Iowa football never changed, and needed to badly, at least from the perspective of someone looking at the long decline of the program into a 7-6 stasis interrupted by bumps into 11-2 and drops into 4-8 territory. The Hawkeyes had become an EKG of a drunk man falling into a deep and dreamless sleep. This drunk man was also hypothermic and sleeping under a bridge.

Then in 2015, that drunk man woke up, found a flawlessly tailored suit under a concrete overhang beneath that bridge, downed a bottle of Steel Reserve, and walked into the nearest investment bank and become a confident, beaming tycoon overnight.

Iowa should have changed everything, and didn't. They're undefeated despite doing few things they haven't done for years. You didn't think they could do it, but they did. Iowa, the laziest hard-working team in America, wore the same shirt until it came back into style.

So if DJ Durkin runs that defense against OSU for the next 12 years it might work the 12th time. That's the ticket.

Veni, vici, Harbaugh. Jim Hackett is stepping down as Michigan's athletic director. He never did get the Notre Dame series back, but other than that probably impossible thing he hit 1.000 in a brief tenure as Michigan's athletic director.

Hackett decided he should hire Jim Harbaugh. Also he got Harbaugh. This seems like a rather obvious thing to do. But as we saw with the previous athletic director, sometimes people in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason. Hackett, above all, was a solid dude acting sensibly.

I have heard that Hackett was close to exclusively focused on the big-ticket items, which was the right move for him and Michigan. Unfortunately that did mean that the department's Brandon-imparted momentum continued in various ways. The hockey schedule, accepting the worst possible basketball tournament for fans, and lingering Special K issues, particularly at Yost, irked me over the past 12 months. Hackett also paid virtually no attention to non-revenue sports. This is again fine for someone who is trying to get a few big-picture things right, but none of it is great for the long term.

Baumgardner wrote a column with a pithy headline:

Jim Hackett steadied Michigan's ship, but next AD must be able to steer it

Precisely.

Steering the ship. Michigan should be properly chagrined by their decision to pass on the actual athletic directors their department had spawned last time. Anyone other than the four sitting ADs that came from the pre-Brandon department would be an enormous upset. Those gentlemen:

  • Warde Manuel, AD, UConn. Previously the AD at Buffalo, where he hired Turner Gill for those two years where Buffalo was not terrible. At UConn hired Kevin Ollie, which was a given after a national title, and Bob Diaco after taking a swing at Pat Narduzzi.
  • Jeff Long, AD, Arkansas. Hired Bert out from under Wisconsin, which is pretty impressive. Also hired Bobby Petrino away from the Falcons, which was a good idea until it really really wasn't. Cofopoff chair.
  • Brad Bates, AD, Boston College. Is, uh, at Boston College? Before he was at Miami and helped acquire Enrico Blasi and a new arena for the Redhawks. BC Interruption take here if you're inclined.
  • Joe Parker, AD, Colorado State. The favorite candidate of many people who worked in the department when he was around. Recommended by most of the Brandon-initiated Michigan Athletic Department Diaspora. Only one year as an AD but has held posts just below that level for a decade.

Former Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011 and resigned from his post in 2015. While Hackett brought him on as a consultant that probably doesn't indicate he's a serious candidate for the job.

Oh, and Tom Lewand's free! Anybody? Anybody other than Mark Snyder? Nobody? That appears to be nobody signing up for a guy with zero AD experience, but plenty of hiring Jim Caldwell experience. (Other staffers say he's the Lions' coach, and that the Lions are a local professional football franchise with a star-crossed reputation.)

I haven't heard much buzz on the search yet but a few months ago I did get a note that Manuel was probably the favorite.

Linebackers to be coached. Chris Partridge will pick up linebacker duties for the bowl game. This allows him to go on the road in the absence of Durkin, which is a good thing.

Given the way the release is phrased it doesn't seem like he's getting a position coaching slot permanently—or at least that's not the plan right now. Keeping Partridge for another year or two before he does move onward and upward is a good thing, especially with Michigan having most of New Jersey on lock.

Stats to be goggled at. Michigan features twice in a PFF column on crazy stats, and this is the craziest:

Even though [Jake] Rudock has had an underwhelming season, he has one thing going for him. He leads the country in accuracy under pressure at 71.4 percent. That’s especially surprising considering he was ranked 40th last year in the same category at 56.8 percent. It’s not a small sample size either. Only nine quarterbacks have had more snaps under pressure than Rudock.

I guess "underwhelming" is a thing you could say about Rudock's 2015 if you are not a Michigan fan. If you are a Michigan fan he's the guy holding onto your hand as you reach for the Holy Grail in a crevasse. Also, his first half was indeed very underwhelming. His finish not so much.

Related: I thought Michigan's pass protection was more or less good this year, what's the deal with all the pressures?

Meanwhile:

Chris Wormley (DT, Michigan) is having the best pass-rushing season by a defensive tackle in the last two years.

Wormley is the definition of a pass rushing specialist. On every one of the 269 plays that he has lined up as a defensive tackle the opposing offense has passed the ball. On every pass play, Wormley has rushed the passer. … Wormley currently leads the country in PFF’s signature stat, pressure percentage (PRP) at 12.3. … The senior from Ohio has improved tremendously from last season. His current grade of +35.8 is over 25 points higher than is 2014 grade. He has graded positively in every game except last week’s game against Ohio State where he struggled with his run defense.

When I saw that I thought to myself "he's a defensive end, not a DT," but they cover that in the paragraph on him.

I think the way PFF is crediting rushes here is generous to Wormley. He benefited from the pile of stunts Michigan ran—without question the best thing Durkin did this year is base his pass rush on constant stunting—and in UFR I've started splitting credit between the guy who drives the lane open and guy who loops around for the glory. Wormley did have a major breakout season, don't get me wrong, but Michigan's ability to pressure was a team thing in which all three DT/DE types contributed about equally.

Etc.: NC State highlights. Holdin' The Rope on the game. Texas key plays. UT take on that game. Walton's issue a "slight ankle sprain"; exhale. Kansas still has a student athletics fee. Love Moritz McGary. The Big Ten has a big rights package coming up.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Inflicts Tattoo

Unverified Voracity Inflicts Tattoo Comment Count

Brian April 27th, 2015 at 12:19 PM

90d4d935dd0b643d1a60bb5d701fb00b_crop_north[1]

our very own MarktheNomad leads the way

Well done. The EDSBS charity challenge has completed, with Michigan once again lapping the field several times over:

image

By collectively cracking 30k, the commentariat has forced Spencer into getting a Michigan-themed tattoo. He reports being interested in some sort of wolverine-in-profile wearing a top hat. I am taking submissions, both good and bad. Load up the photoshop and do your best. Or worst! Either way.

Jeff Goodman's on the bandwagon. Hopefully this edition of the Big Ten can be as entertainingly proficient as the 2012-13 version that Indiana won (and Michigan did not win by a micron) with their Zeller/Oladipo outfit:

Not sure I'm seeing it with Purdue but otherwise, yeah. How Wisconsin transitions away from the Dekker/Kaminsky teams is uncertain—they have Hayes and Koenig back but lose the kPOY, a lottery pick, Josh f-ing Gasser, and Traevon Jackson. That latter might be their secret weapon.

I assume they'll be good, because when have they not been good under Bo Ryan, but they should be taking a significant step back. I don't know who their 6'10" guy who shoots threes and looks like the perfect player for Beilein is going to be.

I am mildly surprised at this. Max Bielfeldt is transferring and getting interest from schools that are a bit bigger than hometown Bradley:

Bielfeldt confirmed to MLive on Saturday that he made his first visit on Friday, traveling to Ames, Iowa to tour Iowa State and that he's in the process of setting up more visits.

The current list of schools that have contacted Bielfeldt and are under consideration includes Boston College, Kansas State, Iowa State, Bradley, Stanford and DePaul.

Obviously Iowa State's Hoiberg Home For Lost Big Ten Boys was going to get involved here. Due to a bizarre footnote in NCAA regulations the city of Ames will be expelled from the surface of the earth if they do not have a basketball player who used to call a Big Ten school home.

The half-dozen other power conference schools are more than I thought would knock on Bielfeldt's door. He must fit better on teams that aren't averse to running out two posts at the same time—he's a lot more plausible as an old-timey power forward than a center.

And it is possible we are doing Johnny Dawkins a solid for keeping his kid stashed in witness protection long enough for Michigan to swoop in on him.

Could this be related to last year's injuries? Michigan is looking for a new basketball athletic trainer. People move on to new jobs all the time, etc., but the timing there suggests that maybe Beilein wasn't particularly pleased with the way Walton's injury was handled. Add Spike's hips, LeVert's twice-broken foot, and Mitch McGary's general unavailability and that's a lot of injuries for a basketball team comprised of 18-20 year olds.

Your parents must be very interesting. Remember Equanimeous St. Brown, the California wide receiver who speaks several languages and ended up at Notre Dame? There is another.

image

There is apparently a third St. Brown pass-catching brother who goes unnamed in that article. The possibilities are endless. Sahara? Odin? Vladivostok? Benzene? The mind boggles.

I'm just here on name patrol but FWIW, St. Brown says he's headed to Sound Mind, Sound Body and will visit Michigan as part of that trip.

UPDATE: Ace points out the younger brother is Amon-Ra!

Scouting Austin Davis. Scout's Brian Snow took a look at Michigan's latest commitment and came back reporting something in line($) with what everyone else is saying:

When on the floor in terms of actual skill, Davis is very good on the low block. He has pretty good footwork around the rim, soft hands, and a nice touch. Most of his damage comes close to the bucket, and he is able to overwhelm opponents with size and has the skill to go with it.

He's not a jumping jack of an athlete and has to compete at the 5 with Teske since neither has the ability to guard anyone on the perimeter. There's been some chatter that Davis might take a prep year and come in in 2017 if that is mutually agreeable, FWIW. That would somewhat ease the coming logjam at center and give a developmental big some more time to develop.

Rutgers: the team that gravity remembers constantly. Land-Grand Holy Land checks in with Rutgers first season of Big Ten competition. How'd they do? Fourth in women's soccer. Not so good in almost everything else:

So to recap, not only did Rutgers fail to capture a single league title in their first season,they haven't even come close, only cracking the top four in two sports. Rutgers finished (or is currently ranked) last or second to last in an astonishing eight sports. Their football program was their best male team sport, and they didn't crack the top six of the conference. Rutgers has been uniformly terrible at nearly every level.

Plus, not only has Rutgers been awful on the field, those mid-week flights from places like Nebraska and Iowa to New Jersey are probably just awesome for student athletes, right Delany?

But hey, TV sets. Location. National brand. Enjoy those hypothetical Nielsen ratings the next time you have to watch a terrible Rutgers sporting event in the near future.

Maryland is vaguely defensible. Rutgers is just an anchor.

Sounds good. Freshmen ineligibility isn't going anywhere. There are a thousand reasons for that. Here's one: even the NCAA's president, our nation's most skilled double-talk practitioner, is pretty much like nah.

"It's a really interesting notion that's worthy of debate," Emmert said. "It has all kinds of problems. It is highly controversial."

"It has all kinds of problems." This is a person who publicly states that the NCAA itself has no problems. DOA.

They're all over on satellite camps, BTW. They'll be banned by next year.

Etc.: Lax misses Big Ten tourney. Many Big Ten fanbases have no life balance. Robert Washington's weekend commitment was… interesting. Sling TV reviewed. Brian Kelly is "the worst coach Notre Dame has ever allowed to oversee its football team for at least 65 games." Nebraska adds satellite camp. Gasaway on early entries.

Jim Harbaugh is Jim Harbaugh and will remain being Jim Harbaugh. The parable of the donut shop.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Calls Nine Times

Unverified Voracity Calls Nine Times Comment Count

Brian April 23rd, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Support this cause. A bunch of alumni are getting together to help raise money:

On December 26, 2014 Evelyn Grace Spytek - daughter of former Wolverine John Spytek - passed away due to complications following a CMV (Cytomegalovirus) related surgery. In her memory and in support of the National CMV Foundation, a team of eleven former Michigan Football student athletes - John Spytek, Dave Pearson, John Navarre, Grant Bowman, Andy Mignery, Tony Pape, Phil Brackins, Brent Cummings, Jeff Rich, Steve Baker and Eric Rosel - will be running the Columbus, Ohio Capital City Half Marathon on May 2, 2015 to raise money for the cause.

As causes go this is one of the best. Hit it up here to help out.

Har-bonus. Additional items that didn't make the cut for the Real Sports thing:

And khakis:

As for the piece itself, I thought it was fine. Alex Boone's statements were self-contradictory, which made me feel like maybe the full conversation would help reconcile that into something where context makes the first bits less harsh.

Harbaugh himself came off as a guy who is aware that his personality is to the best of his ability but had no plans on changing it; the moment where Visser asks him about the "wear out his welcome" thing and he just says "that must be true" given the evidence was charmingly without artifice or defensiveness. There was some regret in there, but nothing to the point where Harbaugh would consider changing. Even if it meant he spent his childhood playing baseball with himself in the strip mall nearest to my home.

(Does he still do this? Can I buy tickets if that is the case?)

Gumbel's bit at the end was predictably smug, but whatever.

Hilarious aside. Remember when NFL reporters were swearing up and down that Harbaugh would never leave the NFL because he hates recruiting? Nobody asked his wife.

THE LAST BASTION OF zzzz. Don't care, is football coach, must have mandatory football coach opinions unless he's Lloyd Carr. The position is self-selecting gentlemen who value toughness above just about everything else and can't find that value elsewhere.

oh good it's on Limbaugh

no I don't want to talk about it

the problem with politics from the perspective of a sports fan is that there is no difference between the two activities

The Houston Nutt of satellite camps. Michigan's camp schedule in June, via Sam Webb:

June 4th - Midwest stop
June 5th - Prattville, Alabama
June 6th - Tampa, Fla.
June 7th - Pennsylvania
June 8th - Houston, Tex
June 9th - Dallas, Tex
June 10th - California
June 11th -12th - Sound Mind / Sound Body (Michigan)

This is the satellite camp equivalent of Houston Nutt signing 37 guys one year at Arkansas: the thing that gets people up in arms enough to bring down the NCAA hammer. SEC coaches are complaining, the commissioner is bringing it up to the rules committee, even Urban Meyer's against it, another avenue in the arms race threatens to open up, and soon there will be a bylaw saying NOPE. Because when it comes down to it, NCAA laws are for the coaches, not the players.

False alarm? ESPN's Paul Biancardi momentarily had hearts a-flutter yesterday when he asserted, citing sources "close to his family," that national #1 player Jaylen Brown had a top two of Cal and Michigan. That's Cal the school, not Cal the coach who thinks shot clock violations are the way to go in the late stages of a Final Four game.

No offense to Cal the school, but competing against them versus the blue-bloods of college basketball seems like a highly tractable position—no doubt Cal was thinking the same thing.

Alas, Brown shot that down:

Jaylen Brown has not cut his list, he told SNY.tv by text on Wednesday.

“No,” he said when asked if he was down to Cal and Michigan.

Now, that is not quite a response to what Biancardi said. He made no assertion that Brown had dropped anyone—they in fact also mention Kansas and Kentucky in the segment—just that those two schools were the names they were hearing. Biancardi can be correct and Brown can answer that question like he did. And that would be very nice.

Cal, now the home of bizarrely-deposed former Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin, does have a commit from top-ten Ivan Rabb. Despite going 7-9 in the Pac-12 last year they will have some surrounding pieces to entice with.

Brown's recruitment is currently very mysterious, but as we were talking about this on the WTKA roundtable today Sam re-iterated that he was confident that Michigan was in Brown's top two and that the other school seems to keep changing—always a good sign for the constant. I'm still in believe-it-when-I-see-it mode when Michigan goes head to head for the big dogs, but they did get Mitch.

In other big boy news. 2016 SF Tyus Battle is coming off a visit to Louisville that his father rather gushed over($) to Louisville's Scout site…

The elder Battle said all of the pre-visit information with the day and a half spent with the staff on the official visit made for an "awesome" time in Louisville.

"We got a lot out of it," he said. "A whole lot."

The father said the campus tour and atmosphere around the program led him to believe he would be turning his son over to "someone who really cared about him," if Tyus Battle were to pick Louisville down the road.

…and is winding down his recruitment. A lot of people are talking about Duke, which is natural. Though he and Derryck Thornton are not a package since Thornton reclassified to 2015, they are friends. Unless Thornton's going to become the equivalent of a none-and-done, that could be a factor.

But Michigan does have another shot:

"He's probably just going to go through the process and just pick a school," the father said. "It's not that we don't like the recruiting process, but there are some other things that he needs to get along with.

"He will visit Michigan on May 8 and after that we will see."

Michigan will have openings after the departures of LeVert and DEFINITELY JAYLEN BROWN*.

*[Unless Brown sticks to his statements he might stay two years.]

This is not your job. FSU's trustees are complaining that Florida State, which was bombed by Oregon in the CoFoPoff, was disrespected so thoroughly as to be placed third in the final rankings:

"I think the perceived bias of the ACC in general, [with] Florida State falling to No. 4 in the rankings and still being undefeated and being [No.] 3 at the end of the season … a one-loss ACC team or two-loss ACC team is going to have a hard time breaking that top four," Gruters said. "I think the top ACC team over the next four or five years, we're going to be in that [No.] 5 to 8 category. And we're going to be on the outside looking in."

You are. And it will be justified. Florida State's season was a series of high-wire escapes indicating that it was nowhere near the team that steamrolled to a national title the previous year. Voters and the committee reacted appropriately. In a sport like college football there is not enough data to just exclaim "just win baby"; FSU drop was not about bias but performance.

I did not know that #talkinboutthenoles extended to the trustee level. In retrospect I'm not surprised, though.

All right. Michigan gets a home game with Xavier in the new Gavitt Tipoff, which is basically a Big East/Big Ten challenge with less overall oomph since the Big East is short on teams. Unfortunately, the Stain Train is out of eligibility. Michigan does get to match up against Trevon Bluiett, who was quite good as a freshman.

Xavier was a six-seed this year, reaching the Sweet 16 before losing to Arizona in a tight game. They lose two starters but return a large group of experienced players; they appear to have an excellent replacement for Stainbrook in junior-to-be Jalen Reynolds, who had a virtually identical shooting percentage (62%) on a similar number of shots.

Hope you like night games. Minnesota joins Maryland and Utah as night games on the road—though Utah was always going to be at night since it is on Thursday. Add in rumors that PSU could be at night and Michigan searching for one at home and noon kicks are dead, man.

image

As per usual. Michigan is again murdering the field in the EDSBS charity challenge. You can go here to increase the damage.

Etc.: Don't get your hopes up that Bielfeldt might stick around.  The Daily profiles LaVall Jordan. Cassius Winston has a top five with M and MSU in it.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Explores Base 36

Unverified Voracity Explores Base 36 Comment Count

Brian April 20th, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Harbaugh on Real Sports. Sounds like it's going to be interesting:

In HBO's upcoming episode of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," reporter Andrea Kremer asks Harbaugh if it's true that he has a problem working with others at various jobs.

"It must be true," Harbaugh says. "Because I'd wear out my welcome.

"People just don't want to be around you after a while."

Harbaugh may be polarizing personally, but people one or more steps removed from him get to observe the chaos from safe distance. This would never have happened during the previous regime for a thousand reasons:

The program also shows glimpses of a mic'd up Harbaugh at practice, at one point taking a player (whose number is blurred out) aside and delivering him a stern and somewhat profane message: "I'm just telling you the right way to do it. If you want to look at me like with that look, then go (expletive) somewhere else."

I hope Michael Rosenberg hasn't suddenly come down with the vapors. Ten PM tomorrow if you've got the HBOs.

How do you give M0.0N dollars though? The annual EDSBS charity bash is on. It's been won by Michigan every year since its inception and has resulted in things like Spencer comes to the Penn State game and writes about it. This is your prize in 2015:

OKAY WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?

We will outfit the site in the colors of the school. We will devote an entire Hatin' Ass Spurrier to ripping on the rivals of the winner. We have random celebrity guest calls to big donors. For instance, last year we might have had a Heisman Trophy winner call a particularly generous donor. That might could be you! You'll never know until you give, and then give again, and then wisely take out a second mortgage all in the name of getting a sports parody site's highest honor. (Oh, and you'll be giving to a great, great charity, too.)

Also 30k overall equals tattoo. You can give here. Money goes to support refugee resettlement.

Figuring out what we've got in Moritz Wagner. Nobody really knows how big of a deal Wagner is because he's spent his career on the U18 Alba Berlin team with only occasional forays onto the big squad.

The occasional NBA scout has weighed in. Rivals's Eric Bossi flagged one down who said he was in the 20-40 range, which would be terrific. Scout talked to another gentleman who was more conservative, saying top 100—still not bad.

The Daily adds to our currently thin pile of Wagner material by talking to Alba Berlin's coach:

“I predict two years for him, to achieve even a good position in the NBA draft,” said Alba Berlin coach Saša Obradović following his team’s 78-74 win over the Phoenix Hagen on April 15. …“

He thinks he’s not ready for the professional life,” Obradović said. “He (could have) played here. I expect that he could be a good prospect and good player for our future. So I think (Michigan has acquired) a very good talent, and you will see this very, very fast.” …

“He is a versatile player. Just don’t put him on the ‘5,’ ” Obradović said. “He has good, soft hands, good first step. He still (has) to learn a lot, but (he’s) already on a certain level of skill.”

Mission accomplished as far as not putting him at center goes. It'll be interesting how quickly Wagner proves himself. A lot of people are speculating that he might redshirt given the roster's current state—packed—and his current physique—skinny. A two-and-done doesn't redshirt, though.

A day as king of media. Richard Detsch asked a bunch of sports media people what they'd change if they could wave a magic wand. Some of the responses are inane—"pay more attention to baseball"—says one guy. Others are interesting, although not necessarily on purpose. Amy Trask:

Amy Trask, CBS Sports NFL analyst

I would abolish coverage of and commentary on ephemeral matters.  Coverage of and commentary on matters that are transitory, fleeting and momentary is wasteful at best, and may be harmful, as it emphasizes the trivial instead of the important.

Amy Trask would ban sports media entirely.

Fran Frascilla wins:

In NBA and college basketball games, nothing slows a game down more than the incessant number of timeouts, TV And otherwise. Well-coached teams don't need to rely on all the in-games stoppages. That's what practices are supposed to be for.

I got a dollar for Fran.

image

Blake O'Neill pensively considering the third and long his team faces

Attention, ladies. If you would like more information on our new punter's modeling career, his profile can be found here. I foresee trouble if he keeps taking his shirt off during games.

HARBAUGH: O'Neill! In this country we play football without our shimmering torsos catching the afternoon sun in just that particular way that makes women weep.
O'NEILL: Sorry. It is the way of my people to frolic in the sun when the whim catches us.
HARBAUGH: Weber State sounds like damned weird place.

NHL on Werenski. He won't last past the first ten picks in all likelihood:

"He's such a cool, calm and collected player," NHL Central Scouting's Greg Rajanen said of Werenski. "He's the type of player you have to watch a little closely to realize how good he is. He's smart, always in the right spot, moves the puck and makes all the plays. But not in a 'wow' sort of way like Hanifin does. At the next level Werenski will be a really a good player who will produce points and be solid defensively."

Werenski started coming into his own with the puck on his stick about halfway through the year but still struggled with the physicality of the college game. That's not much of a surprise since a lot of the guys he was going up against were five, six, or even seven years older than him. He should take a major leap forward. If they got a Trouba-level year out of him that would paper over a lot of problems.

Another horse for the goalie mill. Michigan goes back to the NAHL well for a goalie:

Catt put up a flashy .937 in 2013-14 and had a .918 this year, splitting time between Aberdeen and the Soo. He's old: already 21. He is also an in-state player who was headed to D-III, so I'm guessing he's not getting a lot of scholarship money. (Hockey can split scholarships.) He'll give Michigan another option next year.

Etc.: I think I've figured out what Kentucky promised Devin Booker to get his commitment. Via user Karpodiem, the latest shot in the unbundling wars.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Threatens You About Jenga

Unverified Voracity Threatens You About Jenga Comment Count

Brian March 24th, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Stuff for a good cause. The UM Alumni Club of DC has an annual auction to raise money for the scholarships they endow. It's going on now, and includes things like signed Jake Long and Denard Robinson NFL jerseys, tickets to various games next year, and Michigan jenga. 100% of proceeds help kids go to M. Bid on everything.

Except the jenga. I will cut you if you try to take it from me.

9698357482_87a42f84d2_z

[Bryan Fuller]

Exit the one thing I liked. I liked the "Legends" jerseys for the most part. Having a QB wearing 98 was unique, and Michigan does not have much recognition of the guys who have had jerseys retired. While yanking numbers around annually was a bit much, I thought it was a nice reminder of those who had gone before. No more?

I understand that we are going to discard many Brady Hoke staples with prejudice. Incessant second and eleven: seeya. Touching your armpits after observing another sack: GTFO. Allowing 400 passing yards to Rutgers: toodleoo. But in this one case I feel we may be throwing the staple out with the staplewater.

Also heavily rumored. Michigan may be rejoining the ranks of the bestickered helmets.

boandjim[1]

I'm in the middle here. I like throwback stuff; I like clean, simple stuff. I would prefer helmet stickers made occasional re-appearances for uniformz games, but that's not really how helmet stickers work.

Swat swat swat swat swat. If you follow me on twitter you know the existence of the UC Irvine Anteaters was killing me as they pushed Louisville to the limit in their first-round tourney outing. Irvine has a 6'8" guy… and two 6'10" guys… and a 7'2" guy… and a 7'6" guy. As someone who has pined for a rim protector ever since it became clear Michigan basketball was going to have a really good offense even if their center's game is limited to finishing around the hoop, I was having tiny little conniption fit about a tiny school that had never been to the tournament grabbing enormous people left and right.

Anyway, long story short Jon Teske is tall and alters shots:

Michigan pledge Jon Teske scored 12 points and blocked six shots in the loss, but had a much greater impact than the numbers might indicate.
Though he was credited for only six blocks, the seven-footer (Rivals.com's No. 96 junion nationally) altered at least a dozen shots near the rim with his ridiculous wingspan and was whistled for two fouls on which it appeared he had all ball.

The first two of those were against Esa Ahmad, a WVU-bound forward who Michigan recruited for a minute several months ago. Teske's currently enduring the usual crazy zone defenses that high school teams deploy when facing someone of his size, and he is a young guy who's still growing. Whatever he's going to be is still a long way off—hopefully that includes college-level rim protection duties.

If it isn't broke but could use some improvement, add gradually. Doesn't have the ring of "if it isn't broke, break it" but has the salutary benefit of applying to Michigan football instead of disruptive "sharing economy" Silicon Valley startups. And it's what DJ Durkin is doing to the defense:

"I wouldn't say we're doing 'most' of either (scheme), if there's a defense that fits a scheme and it exposes something with the offense, we'll play it," senior linebacker Joe Bolden said earlier this spring. "Some plays we'll be in 3-4, another we'll be in 4-3. Just depends on personnel, what the other team runs. The scouting reports in the fall will determine what we play. And, if we're playing a 3-4 better, why would we do a 4-3? And just the same the other way.

"I really don't think it's that hard to grasp, personally."

Michigan's defense won't be exactly the same next season, but it won't be drastically different either. More importantly for Durkin, though, the experience level is high.

And again it's what Michigan is going to try to do with that alignment that matters.

Neither option is good here. Funchess revealed that he had a boo-boo last year:

So either that happened when he was inexplicably playing in garbage time or had already happened by the time he was inexplicably playing in garbage time.

I mean, come on. I'd like to see the NCAA burn as much as the next guy but this is laying it on a little thick:

Khari Harding transferred from Auburn to Tulsa to be closer to his ailing father and maximize his dad’s chances to watch him play live next fall.

Under a new NCAA amendment ratified this week, the latter apparently won’t be possible. The NCAA eliminated immediate eligibility hardship waivers for Football Bowl Subdivision transfers.

The rule change is effective immediately, so it doesn’t matter that Harding — whose father Corie is battling cancer for a second time — has been taking classes at Tulsa for two months before the amendment was ratified.

Surely the ability to go to school for free in immediate proximity to your dad so you can see him all the time is the important thing here, not the fact that your football career is going to be delayed by a year. You could argue that the redshirt is actually a benefit.

Andy Staples disagrees with the above paragraph and proposes one weird trick for transfer rules that would handle cases like this by devolving the responsibility to people a bit less bureaucratic. In bullets:

1. Schools may not prevent athletes from transferring to another school and receiving financial aid.
2. The player must sit out the following season. (With only one possible exception.)
3. The athletic director at the previous school signs a form allowing the transferring player to play immediately.
 

I'd be fine with that. The NCAA couldn't do anything to prevent conference rules from kicking in further restrictions (IIRC the SEC does not allow grad transfers between its institutions; the Big Ten has some restrictions that may or may not apply to Jake Rudock), so if you are concerned about the dread specter of Smotrycz proliferation don't be.

Big Puppy, NBA edition. Just a matter of time before he has his own t-shirts and line of dog food and possibly several different breeds of dog all competing to be renamed McGary:

3. Mitch McGary Running

It’s like the Kramer painting: You can’t look away.

Look at all that churning effort, the weirdly stiff arms and hands, the eager glance backward that says, “Please pass me the ball, I’m open, I’m running really fast, so fast, like the wind, am I going to get the ball?” He’s like a dog looking for a Frisbee.

Jokes aside, big men who run the floor suck in defenders and open up shots for teammates. Good on the rookie for playing out the ball.

Yes, he's a purebred McGary. He generates possessions and feels at an elite level.

NO I WILL NEVER GET OVER IT STOP ASKING. Why has Al Borges never recruited a quarterback who could be considered successful*? Well, it may have something to do with his long-time association with Steve Clarkson, who seems to have fobbed off all his lower-level prospects on mister gullible. This Steve Clarkson as portrayed in Bruce Feldman's "The QB" and reviewed by Spencer Hall:

3. Dilfer's just one of the QB whisperers profiled, a group of guys who all come across with drastically different results. George Whitfield, the man on ESPN chasing guys around with a broom, comes off as half-cracked, but still seemingly legit. The guy who pronounced Tim Tebow's throwing motion to be fixed after three months or so of work, Tom House, might be the biggest beneficiary here: a flaky ex-pitcher with piles of data, a messy office to match, and a stellar roster of clients who quietly swear by him. In contrast, Steve Clarkson, the man who brought Jimmy Clausen to the world, comes off as a money-hoovering huckster prone to announcing any client as "the next [STAR QB GOES HERE]" if given enough cash. Feldman doesn't even have to try, really. You just write down Clarkson's quotes and they do their own work.

Clausen was actually pretty good, if not at all deserving of his hype level. The other guys…

*["successful" is here short for "was the clear starter for his team as an upperclassman."

I only kind of hate Wisconsin basketball. I apologize to that one guy whose entire question to me was a statement about said hatred, but Wisconsin is so fascinated by the NCAA stenographer that Nigel Hayes is answering questions like this:

ncb_hayestranscript_ms_400x600[1]

I didn't know you had to capitalize xylophone. But that's why I'm not a stenographer.

Anyway, I still hate that they get away with the Wisconsin Chest Bump all the dang time but I have always coveted their bigs and I find them relatively tolerable when Michigan is not playing them. This has been a difficult confession. Share yours in the comments!

Etc.: Yes, please. Stopping taxpayer money from being spent on stadiums should be a bipartisan thing right? Jim Boeheim is just kind of this dude who doesn't like NCAA rules. Gasaway on the SCORING CRISIS. Relevant to our current situation: the rise of the vagabond QB. Congrats to Carol Hutchins on her 1400th win, a 20-0(!) bombing of OSU.

When I weep on national television I only get scorn.

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Unverified Voracity Was Bonkers Yesterday

Unverified Voracity Was Bonkers Yesterday Comment Count

Brian May 19th, 2014 at 12:29 PM

HELLO LADIES (not like that). If you took in yesterday's softball double-header you got 14 innings of tension, home runs, and dugout gibbering capped by what has to be the nuttiest final inning I've seen in the sport: Michigan, down one, clubs back-to-back first-pitch homers off one of the best pitchers in the country to go up one, then puts someone on base for the final batter, who hits a rocket that

Bn97RPFIQAAJ3ke[1]

NOPE

NOPE. Michigan had just blasted a ball over the centerfield fence that none of the outfielders bothered to move on, and this particular ball seemed harder-hit than that. It must have been on more of a line or really temporarily heavy or something. CF Lindsay Doyle was given an opportunity for the walk-off rob of a potential walk-off homer, which she took.

Even Carol Hutchins, an outpost of Red-like reserve in a sport that has a lot of jumping up and down, was momentarily baffled into GIF-worthiness.

ijd29sephicki55biv5m[1]

You and me both. The catch was Sportcenter's #1 play, which is pretty remarkable on a day that had plenty of baseball and NBA action.

Michigan advances to their ninth super regional in ten years of the current format; they'll travel to Tallahassee to take on the #8 overall seed Florida State. FSU is hosting their first super ever at an impressive 53-6. The best two of three series kicks off Thursday at 7 on ESPN.

Victory. The Michigan money cannon remains undefeated:

EDSBS Bowl 2K14 closed at midnight last night, and the total for the week's fundraising is staggering and very much awesome: $33,250.85 raised for Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta, all from your contributions. …

University of Michigan $10,183.68

University of Georgia $4,024.20

Notre Dame $2,249.32

University of Alabama $1,977.55

Georgia Institute of Technology $1,969.72

Auburn University $1,716.40

Well done, gentlemen. I have excellent news: in honor of the cannon, RRISA is naming their conference room something Michigan themed. Orson has asked us for suggestions, so I throw it open to the MGoPeanutGallery. Please keep in mind that we are trying to retain people's goodwill, so something like "Leaders and Best (unlike all non grads)" would not be good.

Also,

[11:27 AM] Spencer Hall: If there's a huge Michigan painting, they'll put it up there
[11:27 AM] Spencer Hall: seriously

Anyone that wants to provide a candidate shoot me an email.

Stauskas time. Nik Stauskas didn't shoot at the NBA combine but that's not to say he didn't shoot at all in the past week. A few gents put on a workout beforehand, and Stauskas proved that he is the unstoppable workout freak($) that you may have seen on youtube:

None of them disappointed Monday. During early shooting drills, Stauskas had the lead early, hitting 47 of his first 50 attempts. At the end of the workout, it was McDermott who couldn't miss, beating everyone with 13 3-pointers in 35 seconds. … Each player takes roughly 100 3-point attempts during a workout. On most days, Stauskas and McDermott are shooting about 85 percent. That's really remarkable.

That is nuts.

Chad Ford also notes that Stauskas looked "terrific" in the various ballhandling drills at this workout and is… wait for it… also grab a beer… "making a play to be more than just a shooter." While Stauskas isn't likely to be an NBA PG unless his team wants him to gently escort opposing points to the basket, his ability to get his own shot and excellent P&R skills will see him be more than just a shooter. Ford has Stauskas #12 now and thought he was upwardly mobile even before he put up impressive combine numbers:

Michigan's Nik Stauskas and Creighton's Doug McDermott really shined, as well. Stauskas was especially impressive. He measured with a 35.5-inch max vert, a 10.79 lane agility score, a 2.92 shuttle run and a 3.27 sprint. Those were all very good numbers and should boost his draft stock.

I know you are thinking about what I am thinking: what about the Pistons? Detroit needs shooting, and they need someone who can run a pick and roll with Andre Drummond without resorting to miserable off-balance jumpers. DX's latest mock has them taking McDermott. While that makes sense, as currently constituted Detroit could use a guy who can play 1-3 with bad defense a lot more than a guy who can play 3-4 with bad defense. Also, McDermott seems constitutionally incapable of being an okay defender because he's such a tweener; a hypothetical NBA Stauskas coached by Stan Van Gundy could be all right down the road, especially if Caldwell-Pope can be the 3-and-D guy.

If Detroit stays at eight I'd say there's a pretty good chance Stauskas ends up being the player who makes the most sense. Other than McDermott, guards/wings available at eight are likely to include Tyler Ennis, James Young, Rodney Hood, Gary Harris, and Zach LaVine. Only Hood and McDermott are in Stauskas's universe as a shooter, and Gary Harris being more 6'2" than 6'4" probably eliminates him.

Also in Michigan draftee news, DX's post-combine mock has Robinson and McGary as the last two picks of the first round.

All right, all right. Eighty-seven people have emailed or tweeted me about the latest indicator that things aren't going well on the season ticket front, so I am compelled to reproduce it:

addedvalue

The existence of such a thing isn't much of a surprise… except you'd think they'd translate "Added Value Opportunities" into English before releasing it to the world. The outstanding quality of the athletic department is how remarkably ham-handed they are at being marketers. This is supposedly Brandon's expertise and he's throwing powerpoint slides at the public.

The lord's work. Deadspin continues its excellent series demolishing bad arguments the NCAA tries to muster in its favor. The latest to meet the guillotine: competitive balance.

…my own research in 2011 showed that of the 1,000 top recruited athletes over a decade, 99.3 percent went to power conference schools. … the truth is that the current rules seem to lock in imbalance, and prevent would-be upstarts from building recruiting momentum.

That makes intuitive sense. A team can't put its money where its mouth is if it really really wants a guy that another school wants. When compensation is fixed* all choices are about things other than compensation.

And since it's currently impossible to make the system more unbalanced…

*[I guess it does technically move based on the value of a degree from school X. That is not going to be a huge consideration for many football players. See: every player ever citing academics as a reason he went to school Y, no matter what that school is. "I have chosen Wyoming School Of Finger Twiddling for its excellent academics," etc.]

Pyrrhic press conferences for 1000. When the press gets the temerity to ask a question that leads to this answer…

"No buyer's remorse at all," Delany said Wednesday after the Big Ten administrators' meetings. "When I go to Jersey, I go to New York, I go to support, not to judge."

…things are not going well in the PR realm. Jim Delany just described visiting his sister in rehab.

No surrender. O'Bannon plaintiffs have asked the court to ditch the individual damages in their lawsuit and, as a side effect, ditch the jury.

The plaintiffs' lead attorney, Michael Hausfeld, told ESPN that forgoing the effort to seek damages for the individuals who are named in the lawsuit streamlines the case, making it all about stopping the NCAA from continuing to prevent athletes from sharing in the media revenues they help generate. …

The filing by the plaintiffs aims to focus all of the attention on whether the NCAA's economic model should be changed. It's an attempt to avoid the messiness of sorting out who may have been harmed for past wrongs, and to what degree.

That would be the NCAA's worst nightmare, as judge Claudia Wilken is the person issuing statements like "I don't think amateurism is going to be a useful word here." It seems like the NCAA's best shot is to bamboozle a jury with the arguments Deadspin is currently blowing up.

As with any story about the O'Bannon lawsuit, we have a new opportunity to point and laugh at the NCAA's beleaguered lawyers.

The NCAA objected to the new move by Hausfeld to drop the damages claim. The association's lawyers wrote Wednesday night that they were "surprised and troubled by the Plaintiffs' last minute and abrupt decision to attempt to avoid having a jury decide" the case, calling it a "last ditch effort to change course in this litigation."

…Hausfeld dismissed the NCAA's argument.

"There's always been a damages claim and an injunctive claim," he said. "If they haven't been paying attention to the injunctive claim, it's inexplicable."

Well, they are very busy these days.

It'll be a while. Brian Kelly said something about playing Michigan, so everyone gets asked about it again. Dave Brandon has had "zero talks" with Notre Dame about resuming the series. It would take a lot of pride-swallowing for Brandon to do such a thing. The chances of that seem… low.

The earliest Michigan and ND will talk about playing again will be after both places have new athletic directors, and even then they'll be scheduling ten years out. This year's game is the last for probably 20 years. Well done, college football.

Old mascots are always the best. If you could guarantee me that Michigan's hypothetical mascot would look like it was put together at the local insane asylum's arts and crafts night, I would be on board. Hellmascot part 4,210 is MSU, 1966:

msu-mascot

No, no money for athletes. Somehow all of this manages to get sucked up despite MSU not adding sports:

"I think it was about 2000, our budget was right around $25 million and today it's $94 million," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. "And it's real easy to take a quick look on where the allocation of those funds have gone, and so much of it — there is the coaching salary component that kind of stands out."

Wait, save that!

"But there's a much larger chunk that has gone to escalation of scholarships and services provided."

All right. What might these things be?

"It used to be a coach and a trainer kind of handled everything. Well now there's somebody to teach you how to cook, there's somebody on some campuses that do the cooking, that show you how to shop."

They have to invent ways to burn this money. That is the situation. They are so far up their own butts that they think they should be taught to cook and shop like they're in finishing school with Betty Draper. How about you give them the money and they decide whether they should spend it on a guy teaching them how to shop* or, like, anything else.

Meanwhile, Michigan made a profit of 90 million dollars from 2007-08 to 12-13, an average profit of $15 million per year. That's going to be great when I get my dividend check.

*["So this green stuff I have… I hand it to the man behind the counter. You don't get any green stuff. But if you had some green stuff, you could give it to the man behind the counter"]

Etc.: I still can't believe Gordon F. Gee was paid like 12 times what an average university president makes. GRIII did well at the combine. No beer at Michigan, because I would do anything for money but I won't do that. Good on Mark Schissel for making Michigan's compensation structure more transparent. Maryland previewed. TJ Leaf has a top four and is visiting soon.

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