Sponsor note. Good to see you got out of jail after punching that police horse. Hope you didn't call Richard Hoeg about that. That would be silly to do, use your one phone call on a small business lawyer instead of a criminal defense attorney. But now that you're out, maybe you've got an idea for a small company that doesn't involve any sort of jail time. Maybe a company that sells extremely lifelike horse statues for punching in the aftermath of Super Bowl wins? Think of the wear and tear saved on horse and man.
Well, you're going to need some contract help in there. You're going to need to incorporate. You're going to need a person skilled in areas of the law unrelated to Police Horse Law. Richard Hoeg is that man. And he will discuss Michigan athletics with you.
Stu Douglass on transferring. Douglass says college basketball trade secrets don't really exist, and that Michigan is the way it is not because of how they do things but rather what they do:
Listen, this guy even recorded our practices and broke down our mistakes the following days like it was game-film.
We watched drills! I am not lying when I say he would show us a simple passing drill we did the day before so he could correct guys on their technique. I hadn’t been corrected on my passing technique since I was 10.
It was time-consuming and mentally consuming, but we were definitely better off for this attention to detail. I never felt underprepared for any game, and it was a huge part of any success we had during my college career. Just don’t turn all the lights off during one of those hour-long film sessions, or you’re going to hear snoring coming from those comfortable seats.
Film was always the first thing we turned to when preparing for an opponent. It helped us prepare for all aspects of the next game. We broke down the basic components of their offense and defense, and even a majority of their favorite plays and what they called them.
Overall, we looked deeply at strengths, weaknesses, statistics, and tendencies of each team and player. Then the coaches would combine all of that to set up specific strategies to attack their defense and to halt their players, plays, and overall offensive system.
This would change from game to game depending on who we played. We’d change how we wanted to guard certain screens on and off the ball and other actions away from the ball based on their offensive system and personnel.
We would trap a Talor Battle ball screen until he gave the ball up and then full out deny him to make other players score, but that strategy didn’t happen with Northwestern’s “Princeton offense” under Bill Carmody (one of the most time-consuming scouts we did because of their unique off-ball actions coupled with young players playing major minutes that had never defended them before).
The upshot is: everyone knows what Beilein is trying to do already and it doesn't matter. He does not explain why taking a Michigan grad transfer immediately makes the team in question a thousand times better, though.
Brief hockey bracketology update. Not really enough for its own post, but: Michigan is 10th after this weekend's action. Avoiding a pitfall against Arizona State didn't help much because 1) it was expected and 2) results elsewhere did not go their way. Most notably, Penn State played itself into a two-thirds shot at an at-large with a sweep of Minnesota. Michigan is still 96% in per CHN's Pairwise Predictor, with only a 30% shot of even being on the four line.
Michigan gets Wisconsin this weekend at Yost in a best two-out-of-three series. The worst case scenario featuring a series win (three games and a subsequent loss to OSU) would put them at 12th, give or take some movement around them. It would take a huge number of things going the wrong way to boot them in that case. A three-game series loss is the same situation.
If Michigan gets swept they'll move down to ~14th, which is Danger Zone time. Two stolen bids would boot them, one if someone got hot and moved past them. They'd still be 50/50 to make it; there would be a lot of nervous rooting for favorites in various conference tournaments.
On the more optimistic side of the ledger, Michigan's ceiling is #7. Not that it matters, because here's your regionals setup:
One West regional is in South Dakota. The other is more or less in Philly. You'll love next year's too:
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and the Pittsburgh area provide about a quarter of college hockey's teams. They get nothing for the next two years. 0/10 sites.
The somewhat good news is that the NCAA has not announced sites in 2020 yet. That's unusual and may indicate that the powers that be are finally moving away from the "how empty can we make this building in the middle of nowhere" era. Home sites, please.
Mo Hurst scouted emphatically. NDT Scouting thinks he is very good:
I have a take that was once lukewarm, and is now hot, and should be freezing cold. Michigan’s Maurice Hurst is the best interior defensive line prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, and it is not close. Vita Vea, Derrick Nnadi, Taven Bryan, Da’Ron Payne and others all offer intriguing traits and characteristics, but none of them can make the consistent high-value impact that Hurst can.
In terms of explosiveness, Bryan is the only other top interior defensive lineman who can rival Hurst, and he isn’t nearly as flexible or nuanced in his rush game after that initial burst. Hurst has the ability to quickly capture a guard’s edge, and then either turn a tight corner to the pocket or get back underneath with a counter.
Various videos at the link.
There is another. Yes, this is Mo's younger brother:
Fantastic #AdidasNGT tournament for 6-8 Franz Wagner: 16.5 PPG (25 minutes) on 50-41-85 shooting splits. Also a year younger than the competition. Has real NBA upside to me.
— NBADraftProspects (@draftprosnba) February 11, 2018
He's 16 so could be a 2019 or 2020 if he decides on the same route Mo did. Michigan seems like an excellent fit for him if he does:
Franz Wagner ('01) from Alba Berlin is shooting the lights out at #AdidasNGT a bit low release but quick, repeatable and effortless. Grew, body is filling out. Didn't improve much ball skills but still underdeveloped and worse case scenario will be high level shooter w/ pos size
— Bronek Wawrzynczuk (@Eurospects) February 10, 2018
As a bonus, imagine all the "oh no not another one" takes from opposing fanbases.
Random things about Syracuse. I was curious about how Tyus Battle was doing so I clicked over to Kenpom's Syracuse page and found the strangest team in the country. 'Cuse runs nothing but 2-3 zone, of course, and recruits to that model. This explains some of the things. It doesn't explain all of it:
- Syracuse has thee of the top ten MPG players in the country. Battle, who has been off the floor for a total of eight minutes since December 2nd, is #1. Frank Howard has missed 32 minutes since that same date. That's a span of 23 games.
- Syracuse is the tallest team in the country, has the fewest bench minutes, and gives up the highest A/FGM rate in the country;—74%.
- Other stats that are extremely extreme but not quite that extreme: they're 311th in eFG%, 318th at 3s, and 275t hat giving up steals. Opponents chuck threes 44% of the time, which is 332nd. OTOH they have the #2 block rate in the country, the #15 teal rate, the #12 2P% allowed, and the #44 3P% allowed.
- This adds up to the #129 offense and #9 defense.
It's a weird team man. FWIW, Battle is keeping his head above water despite a 31% shot rate and 49/31 shooting splits by not turning it over much and hitting a bunch of FTs. M filled his spot with Matthews, more or less.
RUTGERS. A valuable addition to the conference!
Congratulations to Rutgers, who for the first time finish the B1G season with >50% of the win total of the 13th place team. pic.twitter.com/ZpabUe09tc
— Abraham A Smothitorn (@Smoothitron) February 26, 2018
Eject them as soon as it is legally possible!