Unverified Voracity Puts It Through

Unverified Voracity Puts It Through

Submitted by Brian on July 26th, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The ghost of Lloyd Carr haunts everything. Oh yes.

Life advice, or just Lloyd Carr musing darkly on a life he perceives as a slate-gray expanse of clouds? Does Lloyd Carr show up at orientation, pick a bright-eyed pre-med student, and tell them "this doesn't make you an adult"? I hope so. It would be very Michigan if one of their former coaches became the Dark Oracle Of Ann Arbor.

Nine minutes of game winning field goals. Right here:

Glenn Robinson III throwing various things down. Also right here:

Kate. I wish you to see this picture. I think the basketball team has gotten their Final Four rings.

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A handsome man, now handsomer.

Piling on Emmert. Mark Emmert is getting hammered from all sides these days, with the latest hits a unified front from the Big 5 conferences against the NCAA status quo and an extensive OTL article detailing the chaos inside the organization:

One source said that at least one major conference has gone so far as to send a directive to its representative on the NCAA Executive Committee -- which, among other duties, hires and fires the association's president -- to make it "crystal clear that they were not at all happy with the direction of the entire enterprise under Emmert."

He picked up the dread vote of confidence a while ago.

Meanwhile, with an obviously coordinated assault on the current state of the NCAA launched by the commissioners of the top five conferences, change is coming, and soon. Emmert himself is joining the chorus:

Emmert said he expects significant changes to how the NCAA operates to be adopted within the next year.

At issue is the ability of the richest athletic programs --- which attract the massive television rights fees --- to set policy without the smaller D-I programs stopping them because of financial concerns.

“There’s one thing that virtually everybody in Division I has in common right now, and that is they don’t like the governance model,” Emmert said. “Now, there’s not agreement on what the new model should be. But there’s very little support for continuing things in the governing process the way they are today.”

Emmert actually may have been at the forefront of this, but don't tell anyone that. He may gone about everything in the most ham-handed way possible, but given what he's been trying to do he's likely on board with Division Zero or whatever.

I am too, of course. The gap between programs that are net spenders and those that have to figure out what to do with their buckets of money is untenable, and the players should get some more of the money coming in. If this is the way to do it, great:

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday he wants lifetime scholarships for athletes to finish their educations and a non-athletic year for “at-risk” students followed by four years of eligibility.

“There’s no one talking about this being some incremental change,” Emmert said. “I think there’s an interest in some pretty fundamental change in the way decisions are made, both to accomodate those (financial) differences but also to deal with concerns people have about representation ... in the policy debates.”

Etc.: Ace points out that OSU has the best record against the spread in conference games over the past ten years, nationally. Michigan is barely below .500. Baseball brings in 16 kids, including the co-Mr. Baseballs in the state. They are 11 guys over their roster limit, though. That's just how baseball works, I guess?

Charlie Weis has an epiphany. Jordan Kovacs gets hazed. The randomness of turnovers is pretty much why Darrell Hazell got to Purdue. Bill Connolly previews State. Think he's way underrating LeVeon Bell and thus overrating MSU's line, FWIW. Connolly also does Iowa. Targeting is going to be a fiasco.

Unverified Voracity Swats Mosquitoes

Unverified Voracity Swats Mosquitoes

Submitted by Brian on July 3rd, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Hello gents. I've been out the last few days enjoying the natural beauty of and extreme numbers of mosquitoes on North Manitou Island:

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Your move, Ohio

Protips: stay away from the areas of the island in the lee of the wind—surprisingly, the west side—and punch anyone who tells you bug bands work in the face. Then do it again, and ask them if they're wearing their getting-punched-in-the-face bands. They probably are.

Anyway, exodus was half pretty great, half a nine-mile Mosquito Death March and I kind of feel like I need a vacation from the ol' vacation. But here is a computer and here are open tabs so…

Annual bit on camp commits. It's that time in July when an under-the-radar prospect or two has committed after showing up at Michigan's camp and impressing, causing various message board folks to say that was a dumb move when Player X is out there. With the commitments of Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, Player X is Artavis Scott and/or Montae Nicholson, Parrker Westphal, Adoree Jackson, etc.

Leaving aside the fact that people complaining on message boards haven't seen these players do things, I think it's healthy to have a couple of camp commits a year. It shows that the coaching staff doing so is paying attention to that camp, that there's a reason for people to show out, and that the staff can evaluate guys on their own.

Amongst the Michigan fanbase  camp commits have gotten a bit of a bad rap because late in the Carr regime they started leaning way too heavily on it and had erratic (at best) results. The camp guys from 2005 to 2008:

  • Rocko Khoury: Miss.
  • Mike Cox: Miss, though he did get drafted after transferring to UMass.
  • David Molk. Major hit.
  • Steve Watson. Miss.
  • James Rogers. Miss.
  • Troy Woolfolk. You could give him an injury INC, I guess. Lean towards miss there.
  • David Cone. Miss. Coner.
  • Quintin Patilla. Miss.
  • Mister Simpson. Miss.
  • Christ McLaurin. Miss.
  • Zoltan Mesko. Hit, but, like, a punter.
  • Mesko was the #1 punter in the country that year and can't be declared a camp find. Also, he's a punter. Leaving aside him, the record of camp commits is one indisputably great player in Molk, one contributor in Woolfolk, seven guys who flamed out—a few of whom had no business in D-I, let alone Michigan—and the special case of James Rogers, who did start on the worst Michigan secondary of all time. He managed to do that and suggest that he was also a miss.

    That's a symptom of imperial decline, but it shouldn't necessarily reflect on the coaching acumen of Hoke and his staff. If it helps, the vast majority of the above guys had zero other decent offers. Most had zero other BCS offers, period. Watson and Canteen both had offers from Tennessee and Rutgers. Little different situation.

Dumars. Dead to me. While I actually like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as a selection at #8, the mere fact that Detroit's pick was between 7th and 9th for the fourth straight year is all you need to know about Joe Dumars, post-Rasheed trade. Dumars hasn't been able to put together a team that made the playoffs, but neither has he properly tanked. He signed Ben Gordon to a contract so bad Dumars had to dump a first round pick to get rid of him, he still has No Eyebrows on his bench, he traded Chauncey Billups for the corpse of Allen Iverson while offering Prince and Hamilton extensions, and he is now pursuing Andre Iguodala and Josh Smith in free agency for reasons known only to him, all so the Pistons can end up on the fringe of the lottery or exiting in the first round next year.

So, yeah, I do feel like I can say that passing on Trey Burke is a prime example of why the Pistons suck. This is just offensive:

Dumars said that in discussing the possibility of this decision as the draft progressed, he was reminded of when Indiana Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh drafted Reggie Miller ahead of Indiana University favorite Steve Alford in 1987.

Steve Alford went 15 picks later; Burke was off the board on the very next pick, taken by a team that trade up to get him. If Burke takes off in Utah… argh. Seriously considering attending the Palace for the Pistons-Utah game and rooting my ass off for the Jazz.

Pretty much the GRIII thing. One graph on Glenn Robinson's scoring says it all:

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Couple that with his 13% usage and you have a guy who is… okay… bear with me… Brent Petway with a three point stroke. Robinson clearly has buckets more potential, but that is the profile of a garbageman exclusively. That the NBA would take that guy in the middle of the first round, well, see above on Dumars.

I agree with folks who say if Robinson was looking to maximize his stock he should have left this year. There are lots of reasons other than draft position to do things in your life, obviously, but if his numbers stay like that in year two his stock will drop precipitously. If he gets a lot better at creating his own offense, it'll rise—and Michigan will destroy. Yes please, sir:

I feel like people have only seen one side of my game, cant wait to see the shock on peoples faces when the see the real GRIII. #Excited

Backup plan. Dave Telep on Derrick Walton's game:

I went back and reread my notes from last summer. Some of the buzzwords included “winner,” “set-up man,” “reads defenses” and “thinks pass first.”

Walton is a point guard’s point guard. He’s a player who has a craving to win and will be an extension of his coach. Next year, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary will need the basketball. Walton, if he’s the player I believe him to be, will not only recognize that, but will allow them to be better scorers for the Wolverines.

Walton assist rate will be a stat to watch early in the season.

Hockey guys incoming. A couple of scouting reports on hockey's upcoming, much-needed infusion of talent and desire. JT Compher sounds like the right prescription, and how:

1. JT Compher – F – US NTDP – Michigan Commit

Compher has one of the highest compete levels I’ve ever seen, and while he’s listed between 5-10 to 6’0, we can all agree that Compher plays far bigger than his size. He slams into the tough areas of the ice with abandon and has an excess of offensive prowess not typically found in a player as willing to get his hands dirty. The Team Illinois product is a potential first rounder.

I'd seen Compher take on Michigan with the NTDP and started muttering on WTKA about how he might have to take on a lot of leadership tasks even in year one, and that's why: he goes and gets it every shift, something Michigan seemed to lack. The emergence of Andrew Copp mitigates that need. Still, there aren't a lot of options for second-line center period, let alone guys who bring a two-way energy. I bet he ends up slotting right behind Copp and playing a lot like him.

Meanwhile Tyler Motte is more in the little devious bastard mold:

…he has always been a very strong, agile skater. Motte also added quite a bit of grit to his game this year, showing a great compete level and making up for his lack of size by using his quickness and tenacity to win puck battles. He's also still got some pretty good offensive abilities, finishing second on the U18 team with 26 goals scored on the season.

The other impressive thing about Motte's season is that he seemed to turn in some of his best performances against the toughest competition he faced. He was arguably his team's best skater in a 3-3 tie against Minnesota early in the year, scored a pair of goals in an upset win over his future team, the University of Michigan. He also led the US in scoring at the World U18 championships, with eight points in seven games.

That's very encouraging. TJ Hensick types who are awesome college players without projecting too well to the pros (Hensick never made it in the NHL and just signed in Sweden) are the best guys to have in your recruiting class, and if Motte goes in the third-to-fifth round range he's projected and remains a guy who gets it done at the college level, thumbs up.

Wheeeee. A look at LSU's finances gives some indication as to where athletic departments are stuffing all of the money in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to hide it all:

The major reasons for the ticket price increases are to offset skyrocketing tuition, salary and employee benefit costs, Alleva said.

The athletic department must reimburse the university’s academic side for each scholarship it hands out — even paying the higher, out-of-state rate for non-Louisiana student-athletes. Alleva said tuition costs have been rising about 10 percent per year the past several years.

In addition to ever-rising coach and employee salaries, Alleva said the fringe benefit rate has gone up from about 22 percent five years ago to 39 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

“If someone makes $100,000, we had to pay an additional $22,000 to the university for sick leave, vacation, holidays and their pension,” Alleva said. “Now that rate is going up to 39 percent.”

LSU's budget has gone up about 150% in a decade, but only because skyrocketing costs have forced it blah blah blah. The money  just makes your suit look lumpy and there's a 20 hanging off your sock, LSU.

Etc.: UF assistant Brian White: if you walk into a room and Urban Meyer is going "ding" in a wheelchair, run. 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard was the main attraction at Michigan's team camp. Elite 11 now overrun by men who write business books. The NCAA title belt, a history. Nebraska has a place to play if it wants to add hockey. Endowing the #1 jersey killed it.

Unverified Voracity Gets Huge

Unverified Voracity Gets Huge

Submitted by Brian on June 24th, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Bulking up. Glenn Robinson III posts his offseason workout results to the internet. He is a cyborg:

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Not bad for under two months. Now, about creating those shots…

In similar news for the ladies, boy does Michigan like taking pictures of itself without a shirt on. Dennis Norfleet may have an eight-pack.

But he has eyebrows and can play basketball. NBADraft.net has joined Chad Ford in projecting Trey Burke to the Pistons; Hardaway also slips into the first round at #29.

There's another interesting name right after Hardaway's: Glen Rice Jr. You may remember Michigan passing over Rice when he was a recruit despite their apparent desire to lock down any NBA kids, Michigan alum or no, they can find. Despite Rice rounding into a potential first-rounder, that seems to have been the right call since for whatever mildly unsavory reason, Rice spent last year tearing up the D-League instead of helping Georgia Tech not be horrible.

Anyway: that rumor out there about how the Pistons would rather grab Cody Zeller than Trey Burke when they've got Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond is so insane that it must be a smokescreen, but Joe Dumars is both the guy who put together the most unlikely championship team in… almost ever, I bet and the one who thought spending most of his cap space on a six-foot shooting guard and a guy without eyebrows was a good idea, traded Chauncey Billups for the ghost of Iverson and then couldn't even tank properly. I'm about fed up with Dumars at this point, and passing on Trey Burke (at eight!) is dead-to-me time.

What would happen if Trey Burke went up against NBA-level defenses? If only there was some way to tell… some way to tell… some way to tell…

5/10 from 2, 4/11 from 3, 10 assists versus Kansas

Dumars is eyeing this kid from Uzbekistan I bet.

Cry me a river of blood and transfers. Your unpaid student-athletes are leaving for better opportunities elsewhere in spite of the fact that you give them no money. You have done the same time and again to arrive where you are, the head coach of a basketball program. This is your hot take on that:

“It’s a bad rule,” Self says.

“It’s totally unfair to programs where they’ve worked with kids for four years,” Weber says.

Yes, that is the Bill Self at Kansas who just took grad transfer Tarik Black from Memphis, and Bruce Weber, the Kansas State coach who took Sam Maniscalco from Bradley. I'd like to say this is a surprising lack of self-awareness, but it's more required than surprised these days.

Elsewhere in the article, 16 players transferring up is an epidemic, with a transfer from Tulsa to Missouri highlighted as a negative ("I felt terrible for Danny [Manning]" says  SIU coach Barry Hinson) after Tulsa fired its head coach. These days new head coaches feel free to cut loose anyone who doesn't fit their systems and these guys still have the gall to complain when players go where they know they're actually wanted. The article does, to its credit, suggest that actually offering those now-legal four-year scholarships would go a ways towards making the complaints something other than laughable.

Until then, lol. How many transfers of the 400+ this year were by choice of the coach, not the player? When that number is less than 16, call me.

Hello California. The Big Ten has called a press conference today with reps from the Holiday and Hunger bowls, which undoubtedly means they'll be affiliating with those folks. The Holiday is slated to get the third pick of teams left over from the big bowls (ie, 4th or 5th, mostly 5th); Hunger will be deposited into the Congrats On Going 6-6 range.

The Holiday is slated to be another one of those annoying play-up blows where the Pac-12 will send its second pick to the thing, not the third. That plus road game is not a good recipe for bowl success even if you aren't an epic pile of ever-growing suck. Remember that one time an Iowa team that went 2-6 in the Big Ten played Texas in Texas? Yeah. That's somewhat mitigated by the Big Ten having a stupid number of teams soon. Silver linings woo.

One hundred and forty two. Beilein talks retirement?

The soon-to-be seventh-year Michigan coach said Thursday he's got an idea of how many more years he'd like to coach before retiring, but isn't ready to announce those numbers publicly just yet.

"I have some numbers out there in my mind," said Beilein, who will turn 61 in February.

Prior to last season, Beilein said he still hadn't given retirement much thought, explaining how he'd just know when it was time to step away from the game. The 2013 season will be his 36th year as a head college basketball coach.

I suppose this is an inevitable thing. Guy will do so at Michigan, that's for sure, and hopefully not for another six or seven years.

Inflation. Lawyers Guns and Money takes a look at inflation-adjusted Michigan ticket prices over time, finding that things bounced around in a narrow range from 27 dollars (2012) to 47 for an entire century before the recent explosion to approximately 130 dollars, depending on how much of your PSL you're writing off.

Also included: why amateurism was basically fine in 1981 and is ludicrous now.

(3) Salary of Michigan’s head football coach, in 2012 dollars:

1969: $131,000

1981: $168,000

2012: $3.25 million

That is all you need to know. Related: 16 million of projects for field hockey, softball, and baseball approved.

Etc.: Michigan gets another walk-on QB. An interview with Shemy Schembechler. Happy Algeria anniversary (yesterday). Denard sees Denard on NCAA Football. Bret Bielema is a sweary meathead.

This Week's Obsession: Beilein's Boom and the Sustainability of Shakalaka

This Week's Obsession: Beilein's Boom and the Sustainability of Shakalaka

Submitted by Seth on June 19th, 2013 at 6:27 PM

WARNING: This post contains graphic depictions of Glenn Robinson III committing violent acts upon basketball rims for no apparent reason. If you suffer from jam-related heart problems, please high-five your nearest cardiologist before viewing.

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Accompanying Soundtrack.

It's the weekly, roundtabley feature where we ask MGoStaff things that MGoReaders are asking. This week's recruits:

Brian Cook, 5-star, Center, 6'4/190. Finds gifs very exciting.

Seth Fisher, 4-star, Wing/guard, 6'0/238. Pure shooter.

Ace Anbender, 5-star, PG, 6'0/180, Mr. Basketball in Michigan

Mathlete, 4-star, SG, 5'10/185, Kansas offer

Blue in South Bend, 5-star,  PF, 6'0/190, McDonald's All-American, #2 player in Indiana

And the query:

We have no doubts that John Beilein can unearth diamonds, and now there's mounting evidence he can jump into Top 10 battles as well. Do you think basketball crutin' can maintain these trends long-term, or that once the glow of a Finals run wears off and other teams catch on to his tricks that Michigan is in danger of falling back to the pack?

BiSB: A couple of things happened that might give this Time of Peace and Good Harvests some staying power. The first is the recent set of facility upgrades. The practice facility is clearly a big thing, and Crisler has gone from a near-crippling liability to, at worst, a neutral factor. Second, and probably more important, is that Beilein showed the ability to coach a team filled with elite talent, and to use thoroughbreds properly. The knock on Beilein is always that he's a "system guy" who uses faux-Euro tweeners to run top-of-the-key weaves and launch 30 3's a game. Michigan was getting out and running, throwing 'oops all over the place, and generally looking like an athletic killing machine. They even used a big man effectively. As much as the Aneurysm of Leadership was the turning point in this whole thing, blue chip talent doesn't want to be Zack Novak.  They want to be GRIII, and to play for a coach who can utilize them properly. That Michigan made the final was obviously huge, but the fact that Michigan got to show their high-flying wares on a national stage was equally important. Also, Trey Burke was Trey Burke, which Trey Burke.

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(…except when Trey Burke was Spike Albrecht doing his Trey Burke impression.)

Seth: As long as we're not expecting them all to be Trey Burke I agree the tournament run and the GR3-ness of the current roster should see Michigan settle somewhere among the top of the conference. Basketball recruiting isn't like football: there are a few teams who compete for the one-and-dones, and a few teams like MSU and Duke who remain consistently competitive from a steady stream of future NBA benchmen who want college degrees, pocked by an annual five-star or two who want part of the winning that entails. The thing that makes Beilein's niche sustainable, I think, is that it plays to Michigan's strengths as a program. It's still system ball (just with better side attributes). The difference now is he has access to those All-Americans who would be perfect candidates for his system and Michigan's academics, but who were scared off by the appearance that it couldn't compete at the top levels.

Mathlete: I actually think the current cycles will be the most critical. Beilein built the program to where it is today without guys who were elite prospects when committing (aside from Mitch McGary's one season on the books) and he knows who he is. He is going to keep building with the guys he needs and knows how to piece together. Today his scouting can include players inside the Top 100 lists, which is nice. The current danger is can he successfully do what he has always done while managing a roster of early departures. In basketball losing one player early can really alter the make-up of a team. This year Michigan will be replacing two and possibly two or five next year if Chad Ford has his say. This is what you call a good kind of problem but it is a new one. I have no doubt Beilein has put a lot more thought into this than we have, but he hasn't been around this on an annual basis like a Calipari has. The next two or three seasons on the court and in the recruiting cycles will determine if Michigan is elite to stay or whether last season was the high point and the program returns to where they were 2-3 years ago, consistent tournament team but not consistently elite.

Ace: I think the staff can maintain or even improve on this level of recruiting for a number of reasons, first and foremost because John Beilein and Co. are so good at identifying talent early. It's easier to get five-stars when you identify them when they're three-stars (GRIII) or start recruiting them heavily before the basketball blue-bloods (a big factor in Michigan's standing with Devin Booker).

The last couple years have also provided the perfect storm for Beilein to recruit at a level above his prior standard. Bryan mentioned the facilities and probably undersold them—having poked around the practice facility, I'd say Crisler Center is a critical recruiting tool. The Fab Five documentary came out, giving recruits reason to think Michigan basketball is cool for the first time since, well, before Tommy Amaker, anyway. Oh, and the basketball team made the title game on the strength of a three-star point guard developing into Trey MFing Burke, turning the supporting cast of talented freshmen into household names (even Spike!) and giving Beilein the ability to pitch national championship potential and have it really mean something.

We've already seen the interest from blue-chip prospects start to seriously pick up; look no further for evidence than 2015 five-star center Stephen Zimmerman, who hails from Las Vegas and appears to be showing the most interest in Michigan and Kentucky. That shows the momentum this program has right now. The key will be keeping Michigan at a level where they're competing for Big Ten titles and hitting the second weekend of the NCAA tournament (at least) with regularity. If they do that, these kind of players will keep poking around the program, and enough will sign to give the Wolverines more than enough talent when combined with Beilein's diamonds in the rough.

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Gratuitous GR360 dunk. /high fives Brahmajee

Brian: Basketball recruiting is far more volatile than football just because of the numbers involved. Take a look at Michigan State's current recruiting class: a couple of random three-stars they picked up late after Jabari Parker decided on Duke, along with everyone else they were recruiting. Or envision a world in which Mitch McGary goes to a more traditional power. So it's hard to judge when Michigan's barely been in a big-timer recruiting battle yet. 

Instead they've made their hay on identifying prospects quickly and getting them to pull the trigger immediately, as GRIII and Walton and Irvin did. These days I don't think John Beilein can walk into a gym without the rest of the country perking their ears up. Since Beilein's going to wait to offer them and other schools aren't, we're in for a number of Devin Booker recruitments where Michigan has been laying groundwork for years but has to fend off guys who got wise a bit later.

The 2014 and 2015 classes will be the acid test. Lock down Booker and grab an elite 2015 big to go with some top 100 wings and it's on at the top of the league; settle for plan Bs and Michigan likely levels off as a contender a half-step behind Indiana, State, OSU, etc.

I think they will get enough of their top targets. Michigan's got stability, facilities, a sexy run to the title game, a fun offense, a reputation for talent development, a burgeoning list of NBA alumni, and a hell of a staff. They don't even start recruiting guys who might need a little help to qualify or want a little something on the side. What's missing? A couple more years of being in the national consciousness, and that's coming.

BiSB: I also think that, to an extent, football and basketball are feeding off each other. Lets not forget that the Commit-a-palooza last year happened during the Michigan/OSU basketball weekend, and IIRC most of the top basketball commits have been spotted at football games. Michigan has some very public swag these days (praise to the Swag Mattison), and there doesn't appear to be a slowdown in the near future.

Forest view, though: Michigan has brought in, what, six ESPN 100 guys in the last two classes? With a couple of five stars? And they are in the hunt for some even bigger names going forward? Beilein Über Ham on Wheat with Mayo.

Unverified Voracity Recommends Ruffage

Unverified Voracity Recommends Ruffage

Submitted by Brian on April 19th, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I'm ignoring this Boston business. Should I have to mention this? Probably not. Rest assured that when the zombie apocalypse comes I'll be here speculating about how it affects Michigan's roster when the starting quarterback bites his center.

Anyway: stuff.

Fritz Crisler's advice to Walter. Eat plenty of ruffage, young man.

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This is apparently a new find from user Messenger Puppet. The message board sleuths have identified "Walter" as a missing Brown student Walter Freihofer, who had quite a life. The timing fits: he graduated high school in 1940 and died about a year ago; the letter was probably uncovered as someone was going through his things.

Yes, Wilton. Wilton Speight provides MLive with a picture of him hellaciously stiffarming a hapless fool who dares approach Speight's aura:

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That's in an article about Speight's high ranking on ESPN. I was not aware that he'd reclassified after a serious collarbone injury in the first game of his junior season. In general that's a good thing—experience is everything for quarterbacks, who don't approach their ceilings until they're 35.

I should mention that I missed MO LB Kyron Watson in my rundown of Michigan targets in the ESPN 150. He's 100th.

Hated Chad Ford, man, you just don't get it. Hated Chad Ford is mostly a joke about how Chad Ford is all like taking my peoples from me, but come on man:

"His decision to return, considering his age (he turns 21 before the draft) and high draft stock at the moment, is a puzzling one -- I'm not sure his draft stock will ever be higher. A potential first-round pick in 2014."

There are things other than draft stock in life, like being the man on a very good college basketball team.

2014 looms. It appears that Michigan's got a one-year reprieve here from GRIII and McGary. Paste these two items together

"We're like brothers," McGary said. "Coach says we're joined at the hip, I don't think it's that serious. But (part of my decision relied on) what he was doing.

"We just kind of wanted to come back together, make a run at it and play the way we play."

"It was 50-50," McGary said. "I might have been leaning a little bit toward (leaving at first), but I talked it over with my family, and I thought this was what was best.

"I kind of want to be a kid for one more year."

...and you get both guys planning on leaving after next year. This is fine. It gives Michigan time to replace them. It does mean that the 2014 recruiting class will burgeon to at least 5 players, more if there is a transfer or Stauskas blows up into a lottery pick. Or Spike, I guess.

In any case, Michigan's next basketball recruiting class is huge for the continued program upswing. It currently consists of Florida big man Ricky Doyle and Indiana wing Austin Hatch, if Hatch can get back on the court. That's kind of a big if; it seems likely Michigan signs the guy and puts him on a medical scholarship. They'll probably add four additional players: another post-ish guy who will be around (Michigan will have just Doyle, Donnal, and Bielfeldt in 2015), a couple wings, and then a wild card.

Michigan's caught the eye of Milwaukee five-star Kevon Looney:

In an interview with ChicagoHoops.com earlier this week, Looney listed Michigan as one of a handful of schools firmly on his radar.

Looney, who said his recruitment was still "pretty wide open," also listed Michigan State, Tennessee, Florida, Duke, Georgetown and Wisconsin as schools he's hearing the most from.

At 6'9", Looney is a Kevin Durant-style wing with range.

Putting him at the four in Beilein's system would be almost unfair. Let's hope that "Michigan" coming out of his mouth first means something down the road. One and done? Uh… probably. Don't tell Beilein.

Meanwhile, Sam Webb told his WTKA audience this morning that if Trevon Bluiett and Vincent Edwards were to pick today, they would both be headed elsewhere. (I'd guess those destinations would be Butler and Purdue.) That wasn't a lock or anything, but just a feeling from a connected guy. They seem to be leading for Devin Booker despite heavy attention from powers, but Booker isn't rushing towards a decision.

Michigan's going to see their options expand; this AAU circuit will see a half-dozen new prospects on the radar. The three guys mentioned in the previous paragraph are their only current offerees right now. That'll change in the next few months. UMHoops has some additional information on who they might offer.

While Beilein wasn't gung-ho about the possibility after Trey's departure…

"I don’t think we’re in a position where we have to use (Trey’s scholarship)," Beilein said. "But if there’s the right situation – last year Caris was more of a redshirt, was going to be."

…they could take a swing at a 2013 kid if one they like pops up. They've got two scholarships available. Assuming GRIII and McGary are gone after this year, if you can get a guy who you think you can be a four-year contributor more along the lines of Caris LeVert than Colton Christian that's a move you may want to make. There's a shaky rumor about Michigan reaching out to former Hofstra commitment Gabe Levin, so they're poking around a bit.

Okay, not just me. I was wondering if what I saw from Delonte Hollowell in the spring game was a hallucination or wishful thinking. Apparently not:

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison indicated there's more to it than that -- that Hollowell had a terrific spring, and could force his way into the rotation come fall.

“I think you probably thought it was rhetoric when we first got here and you heard me say it before -- you’re evaluated every day in practice," Mattison said when asked about Hollowell's start. "The thing that Brady (Hoke) does such a good job of is that we have competitions in practice. Competition means it’s a game.

"How you react in that competition is going to decide who’s going to earn the right to play the next day and be where they are the next day in the depth chart. So that depth chart can change day to day."

Hollowell played in 11 games last season, but mostly on special teams. He played in three games as a reserve defensive back, recording one tackle.

I brought this up on 'TKA yesterday tentatively and got the same vibe from Sam. While Hollowell isn't going to start over Taylor or Countess, hopefully they'll be comfortable enough to put a third cornerback on the field this fall if someone goes down. Now someone get him tweeting again.

Amara to the rescue. Another guy pushing his way up the depth chart is a key one for Michigan's next couple years, what with the receiver depth looking shaky. He's Amara Darboh:

"I knew Darboh was going to catch the ball," Gardner said. "We knew what was going to happen. We were planning to call that play (the day before the game), and Coach Borges just said get it up and give him a chance.

"That's what I did. He performed." …

"He can do everything well," Gardner said. "He can shake guys in the short-range game, and he can go deep."

That bomb was quality: Darboh got a release that gave him space to the outside and adjusted to a less than perfect ball comfortably. That takes skill.

We're Texas. That means our administrators specialize in sounding like twits. Multi-year scholarships are now legal, but the baton is being picked up slowly despite those press conferences in the immediate aftermath of that rule's passage where every coach in the country said they would offer four-year rides. Full numbers are hidden behind a paywall, but the Chronicle of Higher Ed reports that multi-year deals are rare:

Nearly two-thirds of the 56 most powerful Division I public universities now offer multiyear awards, according to a Chronicle review of public records. Yet few of those institutions do so for more than a handful of athletes.

Among the holdouts are some of the wealthiest programs, including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Oregon, and Texas A&M. At the University of Arizona, Georgia Tech, and the University of Louisville, this year's NCAA men's basketball champions, you can count the multiyear beneficiaries on one hand.

Here's the bit where someone from Texas sounds like a twit:

"Who gets a four-year, $120K deal guaranteed at age 17?" Christine A. Plonsky, women's athletic director at the University of Texas, wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. "The last thing young people need right now is more entitlement."

This is an athletic department that has an entirely separate athletic director for their womens' teams talking about how young people are entitled. I wish I had a magic poverty wand I could wave at people.

SPANG

Christine A. Plonsky finds herself in the kitchen of Taco Bell. She somehow knows her car is now a 1979 Yugo, her home a double-wide, her husband a machinist. She still makes more than 30k a damn year.

PLONSKY

Sing to me, o fate, a tale of entitlement—

FATE

Shut up and make me 12 soft tacos.

/scene

Anyway. John Infante argues that this sort of inconsistent application of the new multi-year rule is actually a good thing. First, a few numbers he pulled out:

But even colleges that have moved toward the longer agreements have done so modestly. Six institutions signed at least two dozen multiyear agreements this academic year. They include the University of Florida (60), Ohio State University (47), North Carolina State University (40), Michigan State University (30), Arizona State University (27), and Auburn University (27).

But multiyear awards still account for less than one-tenth of all athletic scholarships at most of those institutions.

IIRC OSU and MSU were amongst the schools that promised all of their football folks would be on multi-year scholarships, which clearly isn't happening. Meanwhile, Michigan doesn't even appear on this list of moderate adopters. On the other hand, Infante mentions that Illinois is giving out multi-year deals to virtually everybody.

Infante's argument:

Recruits are beginning to understand their power in the negotiation as well as the tools they can use to get the best deal. Hopefully as the market in recruiting and athletic scholarships continues to mature, more recruits and schools will understand their bargaining positions. This encourages the best situation for athletes: when the agreement they sign is the same one that both they and their coach intend and understand.

Contrast this with setting scholarships at any one length. Under the old one-year maximum, coaches were flat out lying to prospects and their families. They would say that a one-year agreement was really for four years, and that as long as the athlete stayed eligible and out of trouble, the scholarship would be renewed. Then when the athlete was injured or did not live up to expectations, the grant-in-aid would be nonrenewed.

Requiring four- or five-year scholarships creates a similar situation. The coach assures the athlete that they have a four-year agreement, because look, there it is in a written contract. Then when the athlete does not pan out, the coach begins looking for ways to get out from under the commitment. That leads to deliberately confusing scholarship agreements and team/department rules which are inconsistently enforced.

As long as the guarantee remains in place—and the roster spot occupied—even when a guy is booted, that's about all they can do. But it'll be interesting to see if recruiting reporters start asking kids about the details of their "offers." Is Illinois explicitly using a longer-term promise as an incentive? Is, say, Western Michigan guaranteeing four-star commit Chance Stewart four years, and is that why he's headed for the MAC instead of the Illini? Shouldn't Da'Shawn Hand demand any school he signs with guarantee him four years?

It feels like a lot of stakeholders in the recruiting game are trying to downplay the existence of the multi-year rule. That can't last, and then things get interesting.

Etc.: Sap on Russell Davis. Baseball still cruising. Desmond Howard counter-sues photographer guy. Burke #1? With Marcus Smart out, maybe? Probably not. Rothstein on Gardner.

GRIII, McGary Announcing Decisions At 4:30

GRIII, McGary Announcing Decisions At 4:30

Submitted by Brian on April 18th, 2013 at 1:17 PM

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Michigan's called a 4:30 presser at which GRIII and McGary will announce whether they're returning for year two or entering the NBA draft. Three quick items:

  • M had pressers for Burke and Lewan; could easily return.
  • Joint presser means decisions are probably the same, and seems like a good sign to this super-biased mind.
  • There were leaks hours before the Burke and Hardaway pressers, likely from agents who didn't get Burke and Hardaway's business. If we get to 4:30 without someone saying they're in, I bet they're out.

Cross all available digits.

UPDATE NOT FIVE SECONDS AFTER I POST THIS: A man named Dan Hasty says they're back. He's apparently on 97.1 and WWJ, so not a random. But also no track record. FWIW.

Mini-OFAAT: Louisville

Mini-OFAAT: Louisville

Submitted by Ace on April 11th, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I haven't had the chance to go through the full tape yet, but here are a few of the more memorable moments (from a Michigan standpoint) from Monday's title game. Above, obviously, is Spike Albrecht Bonanza. Hit the jump for a couple of high-flying Wolverines and some great shots from the CBS intro.

[JUMP]

Unverified Voracity Reads Draft Tea Leaves

Unverified Voracity Reads Draft Tea Leaves

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Inside the locker room. Grantland's Shane Ryan has a great article about Michigan in the locker room after the game:

This is clearly one of the most painful losses of your career. When it's over, you have a few minutes to talk to each other, to be alone, and then it's an onslaught of media. Your pain is still fresh. You can't get mad, you can't get annoyed, you can't refuse, and it lasts a long time. What's that like?

Tim Hardaway Jr.: [laughing] "I mean, it's not — I don't want to say it's brutal, but it is … it's a job. It's their job, it's your job to get stuff, so … I mean, I'm not worried about it, I'm not afraid to talk about it, so … that is the nice answer, but it's honest, I'm honest about it. It's part of what they do. It's part of what everybody does, so I mean, I'm not worried about it at all."

Hardaway's laughter was satisfying, in a way, because it cracked his shell for a moment. It broke through the training, and it showed, for an instant, the real difficulty it presented. The laugh was part sarcastic, part "how could I possibly explain this to you?" and part "it's miserable and depressing, but I know better than to say that on the record." It was also the prelude to shutting down again. I even interrupted him halfway through: "That's the nice answer" — but he was careful not to take the bait a second time. Still, I got that one laugh.

Reason #3,509 I have no interest in having a press pass.

Everyone's main question. McGary backed off the definitely back talk and is now in Hated Chad Ford's top 20. Let's seize on this quote and cuddle it for warmth:

"This will be a great team next year, with great guys coming in and a great group of guys leaving, you can't replace those five seniors," he said. "We'll see."

"There's some unfinished business. ... We'll see next year."

In the immediate aftermath, the News picked up this quote from Robinson:

"Right now, I'll be back. We'll talk about that whenever I need to but you know this isn't the time to talk about that right now," Robinson said. "It's about all these guys in the locker room that played their hearts out tonight."

Burke, of course, seems gone. Hardaway is 50/50 with tea leaves suggesting he leaves. Someone ask Tim Hardaway's hat.

In other news, NBA scouts are kind of jerks.

"I think it was obvious that he was the reason that Michigan got that far. He will be drafted higher than he should be," the scout said. "He wants to be (Allen) Iverson but I'm not sure any organization will just hand him the ball. I question his speed and size. Definitely (at least) an NBA backup point guard."

I question your face, buddy. And your basketball acumen if you think that Burke's an inefficient volume shooter and ball-hog.

Slate on the whatnot. Guhhhh.

After Albrecht’s sadly non-superheroic jaunt to the basket, Louisville’s Chane Behanan plucks the ball off the backboard and throws an outlet pass to Peyton Siva. The Cardinals guard is in the open court with only Burke between him and the basket. On the subject of irrational confidence: Just a minute before, the 6-foot Siva had gone backdoor, leaped high into the air, and stuffed in an alley-oop. Now, Siva jumps from the same spot on the court. Burke, who’s slowed down to time his steps, jumps with him. Their hands meet above the rim, cresting at the midpoint of the backboard square. It’s a beautiful play, proof that you can achieve athletic grace by canceling out your opponent’s best effort.

And then the stupid ref ruins it by calling a stupid foul.

Levin eventually concludes that he's not sure what you could do to make basketball less dependent on the random guesses of [redacted] men in stripes. I wish I could be as benevolent about the lessons to take from the outcome.

Why it took so long to foul. Beilein screwed up:

"I thought we were in the 1-and-1, so it's a coaching error on my part" Beilein said. "We were trying to foul the right guy (Dieng). I was happy (Dieng) was going to the foul line, and I didn't realize we weren't in the 1-and-1. That falls right on me as a coach."

Fire this clown! HOT TAKES

Lawrence Frank disagrees. He got a little hot when the idea of questioning Beilein for sitting Burke as long as he did came up:

"Let's say he (Beilein) puts him (Burke) back, when, I don't know, two-minute mark, three-minute mark, and he picks up his third foul, up 12," Frank said.  "What are people going to say then?  'Well, what the hell, you had a 12-point cushion, why would you put him back in the game?'

"Look, what it took was a guy that was a transfer walk-on (Hancock) to make four threes.  Everyone's entitled to their opinion but trust me, John Beilein knows that Trey Burke's the national college player of the year.  It's not a surprise to him.  He knows how good the kid is.  He also knows how the ebb and flow of the game goes."

Frank said he was stunned that Beilein's decisions were so scrutinized after a well-played game.

"Here's a guy, he's got the youngest team in the tournament, they're in the final game, and yet a story line is coaching.  Are you kidding me?" Frank said.  "Not that he's infallible or didn't make mistakes.  He got the youngest team in the tournament to the finals."

Odes. Michigan blog tribute outbursts come in waves:

Horford zen. Jon Horford on the post-game locker room:

"It was beautiful," sophomore forward Jon Horford said. "Everyone was so calm. No one was crying, no one was complaining, no one was throwing things. Everyone was just so calm. Coach (John) Beilein just got up and he started to speak and he just set the tone. He stressed the importance of valuing everything we’ve accomplished.

"He just started thanking everyone, from the players and coaches to the support staff, and he just had this air of gratitude. Having great respect for the moment, and understanding the bonds we’ve made as a team are much more important than winning a basketball game, even if it is the national championship."

Spencer Brinton, come on down. Michigan says they'll look for potential JUCO or fifth-year QBs to address the whole "two scholarship QBs on the roster" thing. Projected impact: none. Even if they find a guy to come in, he'd be a JUCO who didn't get picked up already or a fifth-year guy knowingly walking into a situation where he won't start. That guy won't be better than Shane Morris, and if Michigan is going to try to get that redshirt on him they'll probably be riding with Brian Cleary late in games.

It's all about not quite paying the kids enough money to meet federal standards for financial aid. Everyone hates Mark Emmert. Some of us have good reasons. Others are Indiana State, and this creates a problem for that whole "stipend" thing which is really just bringing the athletic scholarship closer to how much it actually costs to attend various colleges:

In some ways, the issue has become a referendum on Mr. Emmert, whose attempts to get things done quickly have alienated certain factions.

“There are some people who will oppose anything he supports, and that’s unfair,” says Sidney A. McPhee, president of Middle Tennessee State University. As head of the NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group, Mr. McPhee has become chief arbiter of the stipend debate. …

The climate has frustrated Mr. McPhee, who believes that even the less-wealthy programs have an obligation to make a priority of players and their unmet financial needs. “If you want to compete [in Division I],” he says, “you’ve got to step up."

They've had an almost unanimous straw poll with various stakeholders in favor; they believe anything they do would just get overridden.

Okay, no counsel. How about standing around them with passive menace? Taylor Lewan isn't going to give various Michigan basketball players noogies until they agree to come back next year:

"That's not my place at all," the senior said Tuesday after practice at Glick Field House. "What Trey Burke, Tim does -- I know Tim, have had class with him and he's a great guy -- whatever decision they make, you have to make the best decision for yourself.

"I think if they choose to leave, they'll have my support. I don't even know Trey Burke, but he has my support. Those guys have done a great job and earned everything they get."

NOT EVEN ONE INDIAN BURN TAYLOR GAWD I DON'T EVEN

Tremendous sighting. In the welcome-home pep rally yesterday:

With his team in folding chairs around him on the floor, Wolverines coach John Beilein took to the microphone and thanked the fans for coming out. He said he had heard about the Monday night gathering at Crisler when the arena was nearly filled to capacity, and called it “tremendous.”

Etc.: Wojo on if these guys are going to hang around yo. SBN on Trey Burke. Of course it's the Detroit Free Press with the commemorative national title book. Twit factory, that place. Northwestern fans have discovered the work of the Michigan wikipedia club. They are not best pleased.

MLive is terrible at pulling out interesting tweets. This article on Burke's possible NBA departure sets new records for commenter stupidity. We are not going anywhere. Also not going anywhere.