Dear Diary Remembers That Time

Dear Diary Remembers That Time

Submitted by Seth on April 12th, 2013 at 11:35 AM

marlinjackson

Tomorrow is the Spring Game, though we've been completely distracting you from all the football going down this week. If you'll be in town for the game, stop by R.U.B. (on State & Packard) afterwards for a live Q&A with Marlin and some high-contrast bloggers. If you won't, the Q&A part will be liveblogged. Bring questions to save us from Chris Farley'ing. Hey remember when you shut down Reggie Williams in the 2002 opener? That was awesome.

That Was Awesome. Hey remember when we had a basketball team in the championship game? The staff here got a bit lethargic afterwards, and we were saved by the work of bronxblue, Diarist o' da Week, BlockhaMs 2013-Apr04 650pxwho kept a running diary of the entire tournament run. The good: THAT, likeable players, Beilein stories, Burke-Spike-McGary. Bad/Ugly: Refs, injuries, awful announcers, Adidas. Best-worst: expectations:

At the same time, though, the feelings of these past 4 weeks will probably never be there again, or if they are they’ll be tinged with a dread you can’t quite shake.  The cloud over UM basketball has finally lifted; it may just be replaced with a far less oppressive one.

The "it's been awhile" sentiment was repeated in the other DotW by Tom From AA, which recounted a decade of would-be ascensions from Bernard Robinson to the walk-on-led B1G champs. Excerpt from the Not Just a Shooter™ prototype:

Stu Douglass – in addition to sporting a Spock-like haircut as a freshmen – was a prototypical example of what a player can be under John Beilein. Initially only an outside shooter (and a streaky one at times), Douglass turned into one of the teams most reliable ball handlers and its best off-ball defender by the end of his senior season – a compliment to both Douglass’ hard work and Beilein’s staff’s ability to develop players.  Stu Douglass is the all-time leader in games played at the University of Michigan, beating out his partner in crime by two games. Douglass ranks fifth in career 3-pt field goals made and ninth in minutes played.

I learned this with the 2006 Tigers: the team that takes you up the mountain is the one that will always stick with you; every run afterwards the excitement ebbs into fear of falling short. In this the randomness of single-elimination is your friend. Given the nature of March Madness, I have zero fear of not being able to appreciate any future run to the Elite 8 or beyond.

This 20-year rundown of M players with NBA and/or Euro careers by AC1997 is a quick read in the same vein of we've been through that, appreciate this. Speaking of guys who terminate their college careers just to end up playing in some foreign country…

Trouba No! Jacob did the awful thing, leaving a huge hole on Big Blue's blue line so he could play for a team in Manitoba or Saskatchewan or Nunavut or Prince Edward Island or YES I CAN NAME ALL OF YOUR PROVINCES TAKE THAT CANADIAN STEREOTYPES! If you're wondering what comes after the defections of Merrill and Trouba, read. You can tell MGoBlueline is gonna end up on that Mt. Blogmore image one day because he's already getting his bolded subconscious on.

Other Jumps. I bumped from the boards this Drbogue post where he did some of the early legwork for what could be an important study on whether a player should go pro or not. The evidence suggests young players are so likely to burn through that first year's earnings so fast they ruin this advantage for themselves. Just in case here's a look by 1484 of which NBA teams might have interest in early entry Wolverines. Burke to Pistons yes I am biased.

In a comparison of non-random groups of Sparts and Bucks encountered by mgrowold the in-staters were the bigger jerks. Spartanfreude board threads throughout the week (usually of RCMB melting down with envy) attested to the instability of the green psyche, but the smart ones were with us. I watched every round but the last with my Little-Brother little brother, who after MSU went out added all of his vim to my might and main. His reasoning: if M played themselves into four lottery picks they might all go do that, leaving a smoother path for…

dezoo17

HT mikoyan

More in perspective. Remember when we hired Beilein? The final version of this-used-to-be-Games Remaining by mistersuits has a final ranking of 2012-'13 games by difficulty according to Kenpom; the last was the toughest. And lunchboxthegoat penned a personal diary of his one-year MGo-Exile, self-imposed after he reamed out Burke for what we thought was a decision to play the 2012-'13 season with the Heat or whatever. Take notes future trolls of America: this is how you redeem yourself.

Dated tourney blogs you still ought to read: fuzzy247 rewrote Casey at the Bat for Burke, and UMAmaizinBlue did Devil Went Down to Georgia for Pitino. Stopthewnba quantified the Big Eastness of the refs for the Final Four—Louisville was familiar with them, though I can't imagine that translated to Pitino telling his players not to worry about Trey Burke because they're gonna make up a million fouls on him. Official ref venting thread. Save this for when you go to Atlanta. Some jonvalk wallpapers for the Final Four and Final Final. Where wast thee in '93? How to crush oranges. Non-dated shots from the tourney: LSAClassof2000's statistical review. Being a Michigan dad (bonus: when your kid gets a photo with Novak)

[LET'S JUMP TO THE BOARD.]

Exit: Jacob Trouba

Exit: Jacob Trouba

Submitted by Seth on April 2nd, 2013 at 7:01 PM

940-trouba-jacob-8col

Your nightmares. (Keith Srakocic/AP via CBCSports)

NHL reporter EJ Hradek just tweeted an awful thing:

hradek

Daily's Matt Slovin appears to have confirmed. With him and Merrill leaving that's a top line of…? Bennett-Downing? I don't want to think about it. At least when he's next-Pronger (except not the worst person ever) we can beat our chests and such. Good luck to him. I'm gonna go pout or…oh hey look basketball!

Exit Jon Merrill, Trouba Yet To Decide

Exit Jon Merrill, Trouba Yet To Decide

Submitted by Brian on March 27th, 2013 at 11:08 AM

jonmerrill_bigchill-thumb-333x372-64137[1]As expected, John Merrill has signed with the Devils:

Junior defenseman Jon Merrill has signed with the New Jersey Devils, voiding his final year of eligibility, TSN.com's Bob McKenzie is reporting this morning, and rookie blue liner Jacob Trouba might be next, though there is reason to believe he could return to Ann Arbor.

After a Lidstrom-like freshman year, Merrill was beset by personal issues and a broken vertebra this year. He never really recaptured the thrilling—subtly, anyway—puck possession game he displayed in year one, but after shaking off the rust this year he was a major part of Michigan's turnaround. His loss is pretty bad. Not that Michigan expected to get four years out of him anyway. If my apartment was on an Indian burial ground I'd probably be out, too.

Meanwhile, some guy on twitter hears Trouba will follow him. Spath is holding to his 60-40 stay prediction. Red's departure rage level remains at zero; he seems to think either guy is capable of playing in the big leagues next year.

Evan Allen update. Allen is regarded as something of an OHL flight risk after telling some guy on the internet he was keeping his options open earlier in the year. Some twitter chatter suggests he will indeed find his way to Yost:

Wearing #15 at Michigan next year, so excited to start a new chapter in my life in the fall with the maize and blue #GoBlue

Take it FWIW.

If the inevitable WTF departure is not Allen, something comical will befall someone else over the offseason. We should have a pool. I'm taking Zach Hyman, June 18th, vision quest ends with Hyman learning to fly and leaving for Tibet. I'm not good at pools.

Signs of Strife

Signs of Strife

Submitted by Brian on March 5th, 2013 at 3:34 PM

3/1/2013 – Michigan 4, Ferris State 1 – 13-18-2, 10-15-2 CCHA
3/2/2013 – Michigan 1, Ferris State 1 (shootout win), 13-18-3, 10-15-3 CCHA

image

it was messy, like we like it (MGoBlue)

After the Bowling Green meltdown from myself and the hockey team I vowed I was done talking about them. They'd just gotten blown out by BG and topped it off by letting a dangerous knee-to-knee hit slide without so much as a shove. They sucked, which was bad enough. That they did nothing when a guy wearing an A was on the ice after a cheap shot in an already-lost game was the end.

I spent the following two months of the season watching them in a depressed, cynical fugue state, dreading the ticket in my hand that condemned me to watch them get swept by Alaska for the first time since Alaska was a thing, not really caring if we missed half of a first period against Western because the waitress couldn't figure out how to change the channel, content to pick up twitter updates on the Ohio State series. I kept thinking of better things to do with 500 dollars, like use it to set my beard on fire.

Friday, I went to the ticket drawer, pulled out not one but two Ferris State tickets, realized that the home-and-home I expected was a two game home series, and sighed.

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

Friday started off rough with a penalty 30 seconds in; Michigan only killed it off with a couple of fine point blank saves from Steve Racine and then suffered another shift of heavy Ferris pressure. I was just prepping to enter fugue state when Michigan scored; Zach Hyman and young Lynch and Selman cobbled out a goal from some hard work. Guptill won a board battle and Andrew Copp made a cross-ice pass that Deblois buried, and Ferris got chippy.

Jacob Trouba probably got speared at some point, and another opponent knee met a Michigan player dangerously. This time there wasn't even time for me to put the Bowling Green game together with that incident before Copp came over and let that Ferris guy know he was marked. Roughing penalties followed; Trouba took an extra two late with Michigan up four. Michigan had incidentally dominated a 4-1 win, outshooting a decent team by 14. It was fun.

Saturday's ticket felt like an opportunity instead of a burden, and Copp—now ensconced in his role as the #1 center—started screwing with Ferris before the puck even dropped. He assisted on a first period goal, drew two penalties, intercepted stretch passes like he was playing for a Ron Mason Michigan State outfit, and spent large chunks of the game giving anyone who looked at a Michigan player funny the business. A pissed-off Trouba picked up a misconduct. I grew little grudges against Ferris State players, and was incensed by after the whistle business.

Michigan again significantly outshot Ferris. Racine stoned a couple of breakaways and then three straight shootout attempts. The team mobbed him for an unnaturally long time after the last one.

It felt like a team again, and Yost a place to be. It was Michigan hockey: end to end, pissy, ref-baiting, out-shooting, chippy fun. Michigan has always been a team with its heart on its sleeve, prone to dumb penalties of aggression that I used to loathe. They are far superior to the sleepwalk of the last year. By the end of Saturday's tumultuous draw Ferris's goalie was out in overtime and Yost was on its feet, moaning and screeching, full of hate and joy and fear. The new building seemed like the old one for a bit. Finally.

I don't know if Racine is going to keep up this level of performance or if Trouba's going to stick around or if Copp can really be the emotional center of a team as just a sophomore. I do have something to say about them that isn't randomly assorted swear words now. It's hard to see them winning two series and two at the Joe to extend that tourney streak, but at least I'll be pulling for them instead of silently hating everything. At least I've got a reason to renew.

Bullets still mostly about next year

Gongshow forever. I don't actually know if the refereeing in the Big Ten is going to be any better, but it's fitting that the last ten seconds of regular-season CCHA play saw Ferris State get a breakaway thanks to having seven guys on the ice. Here are four:

image

Here are two more:

image

This is okay since the goalie is out. This guy…

image

Not so much. Racine stoned the guy anyway.

Racine, come on baby. I was hoping he'd pop that save percentage over .900 with that weekend but he remains stuck at .892. Nonetheless, he was probably the star of the weekend if it wasn't Copp. Two goals against and many quality saves.

The one goal on Saturday was a little strange—still not sure if that was deflected or just unexpected—and is a bit concerning. Racine has had games like that where he makes a bunch of good stops and then lets some bizarre stuff in; it's a major weakness.

Despite it, the kid looked good… confident post-to-post, able to come out on shooters when it's appropriate, and seemingly technically sound. I was watching Saturday's game with a couple of guys who have played the position as kids and on the beer league level and they also thought he'd come a long way. My amateur impressions are that I see a ton of places where pucks can slide through Rutledge, and Racine provides not only a bigger guy but one with fewer gaps as he moves around.

Michigan should still try to find another goalie next year; I think Racine has a decent chance of developing into a quality guy. If he does, Josh Blackburn for president.

Copp. At the beginning of the year I said I thought he could be more than a fourth-line PK guy like the Swistaks and Fardigs before him who came from the end of the USNTDP bench. I didn't think he'd be centering the top line by the end of the year. I cannot overstate how excellent he looked this weekend: he played smart, made nice passes, took a couple of high-quality shots, and seems to have become the on-ice leader of the team. Not bad for a late add.

I'm guessing the split between football and hockey—he was Skyline's QB—held him back and now that he's finally focusing full time on one he's making a leap. At 7-9-16 he's ten points off the team leaders, but that's with very little PP time and after spending big chunks of the year down the depth chart. He's making a late-year leap and I bet he sees those points go up a lot next year.

Nieves. Another guy who is rounding into form as his freshman season comes to a close. A lot of guys who become stars start out slowly as freshmen and then emerge in the second half of their first year—Palushaj, Pacioretty (though he never came back), and Tambellini spring to mind. He's showing that he may be a guy Michigan can lean on heavily next year.

Next year. This was discussed in a UV last week, but it's all about offseason departures. Michigan loses Sparks, Lynch The Elder, Treais, Moffie, and Rohrkemper. Only three of those guys really play important roles. Sparks and Rohrkemper get scratched a lot. Moffie is the 4/5 defenseman if Clare is healthy. Lynch is okay but eminently replaceable. Only Treais might sting. Most schools are going to lose players more important than one guy with 20-something points, though.

But what with the rampant rumors about dissention in the ranks, an already-bulging roster, and a recruiting class that could have as many as eleven kids in it, defections are all but inevitable. Merrill, Trouba and Bennett will have NHL options; Di Guiseppe, Guptill, and Nieves will also. Other guys may just want to leave.

Michigan is committed to bringing in at least seven of those guys: forwards Evan Allen, Bryson Cianfrone, JT Compher, Alex Kile, and Tyler Motte plus defensemen Michael Downing and Nolan DeJong. Hockey is an equivalency sport so not all of those guys are necessarily on full rides and Michigan lost Daniel Milne midseason, but if they're going to keep the roster at its currently rather packed level they are going to suffer a defection. If they don't, they will carry nine defensemen into next year. If they suffer lots, then Max Shuart, Spencer Hyman, and Kevin Lohan may also join up, and then there's the goalie situation.

Michigan is a team that could go into next year featuring Trouba, Merrill, Bennett, and projected first-rounder Downing as their top four defensemen… or they could lose half of those guys and end up icing Mike Szuma quite a bit.

Meanwhile at forward, Compher is a high-end prospect expected to go in the middle of the first round; Allen and Motte are second and fourth in NTDP scoring. Cianfrone was projected as a first-round OHL pick before his Michigan commitment but has struggled in the USHL with a 3-14-17 line in 39 games. An emergency appendectomy may have something to do with that, he is small (5'8"), and he is young, but it looks like his star has fallen. Kile on the other hand has put up a PPG this year with Green Bay. At least one or two of those guys will probably end up on a big line.

Here it's less precipitous a dropoff if only because none of the forwards are near Merrill or Trouba's level, but Guptill's been playing well of late and it would suck to lose Nieves just as he starts rounding into a player.

In any case, find or grow a goalie and the talent will be there for a major bounce-back year as long as there's a guy to grab folks by the scruff of their neck. Please hockey Jesus, don't let Trouba's only year at Michigan be this floundering one.

Unverified Voracity Reprises Northwestern

Unverified Voracity Reprises Northwestern

Submitted by Brian on December 11th, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Jason Avant, you are Jason Avant. Be Jason Avant for us.

avant[1]

"I liked having him around." –everybody

Biannual obvious thing. PSDs go up 75-100 bucks for everyone, effectively raising ticket prices 10-15 bucks depending on the number of home games in any particular year.

At least as more and more of the ticket money gets shifted to annual donations not dependent on beating up small teams the financial window to bring in real opponents goes up. And Stubhub remains a ruthless final word as to pricing. I'm shining it as fast as I can over here, you guys.

Ominously included in the press release is something about Yost:

With the renovations to Yost Ice Arena, the athletic department has expanded offerings for fans interested in premium seats for ice hockey. In addition to the upper level club, the newest offerings are 14 Champions Boxes on the west side and Ice Level Seating in three of the four corners of the rink. There is no PSD for bleacher seating in Yost.

I have been able to walk in and get seats on the blue line twice in the past five years and Michigan has put their miserable early-season schedule up on deal sites the last two, so I don't think the threat is severe. But you never know.

Meanwhile. Attendance is down somewhat across college football, though the Big Ten remains largely immune. As always, announced numbers are thin fictions anyway. Here is a picture of the Orange Bowl as per contractual agreement.

Miami_Crowd_SunLife[1]

Draft bits. Denard's stock will depend on how well he catches—surprise—and could be a second-rounder, while Lewan is in the same place he's been most of the year:

"It's Eric Fisher or Lewan to be the second tackle off the board," Kiper said. "In the Ohio State game, (Lewan) was beaten that one time, but overall he's been pretty solid this year, got better as the year went along."

Fisher goes to CMU, BTW. Michigan's other prospects are late-round sorts. I'd guess that Kenny Demens has the best shot.

Do it. Er, not that. The seven Big East basketball-only schools have finally had enough with the ever-shifting crap fountain that has been the Big East since expansion got underway seriously and are considering a splinter league with these folks and probably a few others:

The group of 7 schools includes: Marquette, St. John’s, Providence, Georgetown, Villanova, DePaul and Seton Hall. Those schools are concerned about the defection of the core of the Big East basketball conference–Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame as well as the expansion of the conference in football to 12 teams and the inclusion of schools such as Central Florida, Memphis, SMU, Houston and Temple in basketball.

Or, like, all of the others:

The Atlantic 10 has discussed the possibility of a 21-team basketball league in the event that the changing conference landscape makes high-profile Big East schools available, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com Tuesday.

I guess you could play a 20-game round robin and have a real league champion, but that's just weird. Not as weird as 14 team football conferences, but weird. If I was a Catholic School in this window I'd jump at the prospect of being the A-10 part two, adding Xavier and a couple others to form a solid, stable league instead of messing about with Tulane. The attraction of the Big East exited with the latest round of expansion. But money, etc.

Ratings. Here are all of the ratings for college football on networks. Michigan by weekend:

  • Alabama: 4.8, #1 (#2: GT-VT on Monday, 2.8)
  • Air Force: was a split with USC-Syracuse that averaged 3.3, also #1 but that's not quite fair.
  • UMass: N/A
  • Notre Dame: 4.0, #1 (#2: Clemson-FSU drew a 2.9 at the same time on ABC)
  • Purdue: N/A
  • Illinois: Michigan was in a 3-way window that averaged 3.1 on ABC and picked up 0.7 via reverse mirroring. So no idea. LSU-South Carolina did 3.7 and Stanford-ND 3.3.
  • Michigan State: N/A
  • Nebraska: 1.2, an ESPN2 way off ND-Oklahoma on ABC, a 5.2, and also off ESPN games MSU-Alabama (2.1) and OSU-PSU(2.3) despite the latter game being essentially a nonentity.
  • Minnesota: N/A
  • Northwestern: a 1.8 on ESPN in the noon window.
  • Iowa: also a 1.8 on ESPN in the noon window.
  • OSU: 5.8, noon ABC, #5 game of the year. Let's move it to October or make it a meaningless prelude to a rematch. Erosion, baby.

That Nebraska number is shockingly low. The Huskers drew a 2.8 for a game against Oklahoma, a 2.7 for their first game against Wisconsin, and a 3.1 against OSU. I guess ND-Oklahoma sucked everyone away.

Well yeah. GRIII has been playing at the four for Michigan, obviating preseason concerns about a potentially awkward fit between Michigan's personnel and the offense John Beilein has run in the past.

I don't think that preseason meme was a good one. Since arriving at Michigan, Beilein has ditched the 1-3-1 and an entire coaching staff and incorporated a ton of ball screens into an offense previously devoid of them. If it was a good idea, Beilein would probably do it. Playing two posts has not really been a good idea when you've got a 6'6" guy who can get up and shoot threes at the four, so he hasn't done it. Instead it's Izzo trying to shoehorn Nix and Payne into the same lineups before throwing in the towel on it.

Speaking of the 1-3-1. It doesn't really exist. Seth Davis is catching on you guys:

SI.com: Is it me, or are you not using the 1-3-1 zone as much as you used to?

JB: We've done it in spots, but we haven't done it at length for a while. We used it in the NCAA tournament and that was all people wanted to talk about. One of my assistants calls it Big Foot. Everybody talks about it, but nobody sees it anymore.

But conversation about it will not die thanks to quotes like this:

It's either you use it as a gimmick a couple times, or you either learn it," Beilein said. "We're not trying to be a gimmick team.

"We're trying to learn it."

Baumgardner highlights another portion of that presser in re: Caris LeVert:

"(When we saw that [a turnover] on film), we smiled," Beilein said. "It seems (LeVert's) his arms go forever. His quickness just adds to that. ... You remember in the past even when it was effective, mostly ineffective, Stu Douglass would be (out front) but he's not really long. Zack Novak would be out there.

"When Manny (Harris) played the one year he was more comfortable on the wing. (The front spot) is the most important position. We feel between Nik (Stauskas, at 6-foot-6) and Caris, those two guys are long enough and have the energy to do that."

They're not really there yet despite the success against Pitt—the 1-3-1 has resulted in a lot of open looks and dunks despite the addition of the proverbial length. It's been worth a spin to see; the answer is "not yet."

Andy Glockner sees warning signs in Michigan's defense to date:

Defensively, there's some room for concern, though. Michigan currently is living off a totally unsustainable combination of defensive rebounding rate (currently No. 4 in Division I at 77 percent) and not putting opponents on the line (No. 3 in free throw rate). Even with that combo, the Wolverines are "only" 25th in the country in overall adjusted defensive efficiency. In laymen's terms, that means they're not stopping people all that well on initial shot attempts.

Those numbers will come down a bit, sure, but Michigan outrebounded (in a tempo-free sense) OREB powerhouses Pitt (21st) and KState (5th) already this year. A decline to last year's poor conference DREB does not seem to be in the cards. I do agree that a defense without much shot blocking or forced turnovers has a ceiling on it that is considerably below Michigan's lights-out offense.

Batten down the hatches. Michigan gets to play the GLI without Trouba or Merrill. How do you feel about that, Red?

Losing Jacob Trouba for the GLI is a good problem to have says Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson

“We’ve taken a firm stance as a program that we support the World Juniors program,” Berenson said. “On the flipside, we miss them during the GLI. That’s a big hole on our team, but I’m not going to hold a kid back.”

Not the way the headline implied.

Etc.: Consensus: Taylor Lewan adds AP All-American status to those of Walter Camp, Athlon, ESPN, and CBS. Cincinnati's unsuccessful scramble to exit the Big East. Practices are intense man. Jay Bilas says Trey Burke is the top point guard in the country, does not mention anything about how Michigan should have kept Tommy Amaker. Volleyball makes the final four.

Gasaway pumps up Pitt as hugely underrated($). Hard to tell with their schedule to date. A Lion Eye is… happy?

Unverified Voracity Puts Its Head Down

Unverified Voracity Puts Its Head Down

Submitted by Brian on November 9th, 2012 at 2:29 PM

UFR coming fiveish. Sorry for the delay.

Bo + DKR + Keith Jackson. Self-recommending, from before the 2005 Rose Bowl:

RIP, DKR.

HT: MGoVideo

The Trouba hit. Here it is:

Keep your head up. I guess that's a point of emphasis and stuff, but a few years ago that's just a bad spot to put yourself in.

Michigan takes on State this weekend; Yost Built previews. Rutledge gets the start tonight; Trouba and Serville return to the lineup.

Predictorama. Blogs say things!

Talkin' Wildcats. I do the Q&A thing at Lake The Posts

LTP: Finish this sentence. Northwestern wins on Saturday if they prevent __________ from ___________

MGB: Michigan’s linebackers from flowing to the ball. Given the pass offense NW has–Nebraska is NU this year, remember–if Northwestern is going to put up enough points to win it’ll have to be on the ground, and Michigan’s linebackers are flowing clean thanks to a bunch of Mattison slants. Get to them and you’ve got a chance.

…and Sippin' On Purple:

Northwestern is "ranked". Michigan "isn't." Should they be? Do you like the fact that you played two still-undefeated teams in non-con play?

Mgo: No. No Big Ten teams should be ranked, and in fact anyone who votes for a Big Ten team should be put under house arrest. Indiana may go to the Big Ten championship game. QED.

I like playing ND. Check that: love playing ND. I hate those guys. I love going to Notre Dame Stadium, and am immensely depressed the series is coming to an end so ND can play Stanford for some reason. And Purdue! Come on man. They're good this year, but that series is a bedrock of my Michigan fandom.

Playing Alabama in Dallas sounded like a good idea when it was scheduled. By the time the game rolled around it was clear that it was not.

Denard in the NFL. Rotoworld takes an interesting look at the kind of things Denard might be able to do in the NFL:

When I watch Robinson run (and the way Michigan uses him), I can't help but think his best role would be to start out as a returner and as a situational running back. He's listed at just 6'0/197 pounds, but has a thickly built lower body. The Michigan offense has taught him to make the same types of reads NFL runningbacks are taught. He's totaled over 200 carries the last two seasons, and he was the entire foundation of their run game in 2010 - totaling 256 attempts for 1702 yards (6.6 YPC) and 14 touchdowns. He has a tendency to get upright, but he's a tough and patient inside runner who reads and sets his blocks up well, hits cutback lanes with authority, and has the speed to do damage in space. …

drso2

Highlighted in green, the playside linebacker moves Michigan's tight end into the backfield. The strong safety has filled hard off the edge, and the two inside linebackers are scraping hard playside. Instead of allowing the defense to string the play out, Robinson takes advantage of Alabama's pursuit, planting his outside foot, re-directing, and hitting the crease swiftly.

drso3

Denard gets skinny through the trash in the cutback lane. He leans and squares his shoulders through the tackle, which allows him to pick up an additional three yards.

Much more at the link.

More Ferns. Tom Rinaldi is just warming up for this guy:

They're not moving it. Dave Brandon will not let the whole playing at Rentschler Field thing die:

"We continue to have discussions with UConn to see if there isn't a better plan," Brandon told a small group of reporters Friday shortly after speaking at the Michigan Sport Business Conference at the Ross School of Business. "Anything's possible.

"It's totally in their control. We're trying to provide them with as much persuasion as we can, in the form of financial benefits for them to move that game to a bigger stadium."

This is not happening. The Connecticut legislature put a bunch of money into that stadium and it is now losing more money than projected; they will freak out if the Michigan game, a guaranteed sellout, is moved.

Michigan is paying BYU and Colorado 1.3 million to come out, BTW. The gap between that and 900k, 1 million dollar snackycakes is incredibly small.

Wait what? I missed this when it happened, but apparently the Orange Bowl is now going to be a potential destination for Big Ten teams that miss out on the Rose:

The Orange Bowl matchup in the new playoff era has been finalized multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday.

The ACC champion will play the highest-ranked team among Notre Dame and available teams from the SEC and Big Ten beginning after the 2014 season.

This is a problem for the Pac-12 and Big 12, who want access to more than one big bowl but the problem…

"TV doesn't want it," said one official intimately involved in the process.

So whatever.

Etc.: Jeopardy does CFB names. Lloyd Brady profiled by ESPN. "Deal with it Jesus" is amazing. Stubhub wins over season tickets this game; by end of year it will be a better deal, I imagine. A report from an alternate universe. Slippery Rock preview. Delany talks big about Big Ten scheduling, but which he means Ohio State scheduling. And MSU, I guess. Dump these divisions already.

Unverified Voracity Says Obvious Thing

Unverified Voracity Says Obvious Thing

Submitted by Brian on November 6th, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Saginaw Valley exhibition things. Highlights:

The UMHoops recap notes that it was an immensely slow 54 possession game, making Michigan's PPP pretty freaking good: 1.4.

All due caveats apply to the below bullets.

  • Trey Burke is good at basketball.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr continued what looks like a concerted effort to become a more complete player with another half-dozen assists. He's being a lot more judicious with his shots—just five in 26 minutes. If that carries over to the regular season his ORtg will rise considerably and Michigan's offensive efficiency will rise with it. I did catch one of those contested long twos that give me twitches.
  • Glenn Robinson was 3 of 5 from three with the two misses coming off the inside of the rim IIRC. If he can maintain a replacement three-point shooting percentage (33% or so) that clears up any concerns about where Michigan is going to get its rain of threes from. In this game over half of Michigan's shots were from deep and M hit at a 41% clip.
  • Nick Stauskas is now 6 of 11 from three after the two exhibition games and he had an impressive take to the basket. Defense needs work etc.
  • Michigan-vs.-Saginaw-Valley-State-221-399x600[1]Mitch McGary is going to be one of those little things guys from day one: rebounds, hard hedges on screens, moving around on offense to open things up for other guys. He seems selfless out there. Doesn't care he's not starting, doesn't demand the ball, just goes out there and tries to win. Also sometimes he steals the ball and throws it down impressively. When he's healthy == Lebron, except bouncy.
    /fredjackson'd
  • The Caris LeVert redshirt debate seems like it will end with a redshirt. With Albrecht and Stauskas coming off the bench plus compressed minutes at the three with Robinson sliding down there from time to time, LeVert would probably end up getting scant minutes anyway, and he hasn't demanded playing time with his exhibition minutes.

I'm excited about the passing—Stauskas, Robinson, and McGary have all made at least one nice assist in the two exhibitions to go with the Albrecht/Burke/Hardaway shot generation axis. They've got a versatile, large, skilled lineup. They will be good at basketball.

[photo HT: UMHoops/Dustin Johnston]

Horford to return. He should get some minutes Friday against Slippery Rock:

"I think he's full-go," Beilein said after Michigan's 76-48 exhibition win over Saginaw Valley State. "Our expectation is that he'll be in the lineup at some point -- he'll probably be rusty -- but at some point Friday."

I was going to say something negative about scheduling what's effectively another exhibition that somehow counts but then I remembered that if you're going to play a team that can't beat you it's better if they're not D-I because it won't drag down your RPI.

Not on board. Not to skip over what promises to be a thrilling and rewarding season, but Michigan's going to have an interesting time when it comes to the early draft entry window. Trey Burke, presumed gone, is still not any taller and checks in 30th on Jeff Goodman's inaugural 2013 Big Board:

30. TREY BURKE, 6-0, 185, PG, SOPH., MICHIGAN

Burke isn't physically imposing, but he can shoot and also excels in a ball-screen offense.

Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, Hardaway, and Dennis Norfleet do not appear, nor do any of them appear on the most recent edition of NBAdraft.net's 2013 mock. GRIII is currently a lottery pick in 2014, though, so he is obviously a threat to move that timetable up. Hardaway is currently projected to be a second-rounder after a full four years. Chad Ford, meanwhile, has Burke 54th(!), McGary 65th, Hardaway 73rd, and Robinson 91st. I'm guessing that changes radically around midseason.

Michigan actually needs an early departure to fit their three-man 2013 class in. More than that and they could add another guy, but I'm guessing they'd just roll with what they have.

You may see this again. Via The MZone]:

Wreck-It-Ryan MZONE[1]

Looks shopped to me—Ryan's arms are larger than that.

This again, with feeling. Many, many twitter wags piped up that Gardner's performance against Minnesota would start up the Gardner redshirt debate/fretting/confusion again, and lo twitter wags collect your prize:

"I've always been told the process was after the eligibility," Hoke said. "But I don't know if that is completely correct."

Turns out what Hoke had been told is not entirely accurate.

Michigan could have applied for the waiver at any point after Gardner's freshman season and there is no statute of limitations on when the school can file for the waiver.

"Institutions do not have to wait until after a student-athlete's true senior year, but rather, may submit a request as early as the end of the season in which the injury or illness occurs," Big Ten associate director of compliance Kerry Kenny said in an email on Monday. "Although we establish deadlines as to when an institution can submit a waiver request for the purposes of the bi-weekly review schedule, we leave the decision about when during a student-athlete's career to submit a medical hardship waiver up to institutional discretion."

Hoke said Monday that the school has not yet applied for Gardner's waiver.

Apparently it's the conference, not the NCAA, that decides these things. I'd assume Michigan applies for it after this season so they can plan for having him or not in 2014.

OL changes? They have been hinted at:

"Yeah, I am," he said. "I think we had some protection breakdowns that we can't have last week -- that we haven't had, to some degree. I think us moving the line of scrimmage (is an issue).

"We got to do a better job at the point of attack."

Hoke said he has considered making personnel changes to the line, including inserting Joey Burzynski or Jack Miller, but has held off because the current group also has had nice moments.

I know that the coaches have been high on Miller and his nasty disposition for a while now. He's listed at 288; while that's somewhat light it's not like he's 270. He's also been a center for over a year now, which is more than either Barnum or Mealer can say. I'd guess they give him a drive or two the next couple weeks to see if that helps things.

Hatch back on the court. Conditionally, anyway:

Austin Hatch has been conditionally released by his medical team to begin practicing with the Canterbury High School basketball program. The first official practice is today, however, Austin is limited to the types of drills he can participate in at this time. Although everyone is encouraged by the progress he continues to make, Austin and his family ask that you do not approach him for interviews at this time.

He has reclassified to 2014 already. The most likely outcome is that Michigan takes him and puts him on a medical scholarship, but he's got a couple years yet to recover fully.

Angry Michigan Defenseman Hating God progressing towards sated. Michigan had a rough weekend in Marquette, barely squeaking out a tie in game one and losing 4-3 in game two with Jacob Trouba sitting out for what sounds like a devastating hit on Wildcat Reed Seckel. Michigan had to ice Jeff Rohrkemper on D.

Michigan should be getting towards healthy this weekend in a home and home against State. Trouba won't see his suspension extended and Brennan Serville may return after missing the NMU series with a concussion. Emphasis on "may":

Sophomore defenseman Brennan Serville, who suffered what Berenson called a “facial concussion” against Miami (Ohio), should be back for this weekend’s series against Michigan State, according to Berenson.

Berenson said before the defense can live up to its high preseason expectations, there need to be enough healthy bodies.

“We’ve got to get everybody healthy, number one,” Berenson said. “And then start jelling like we thought we would. Hopefully Serville’s back.”

No word yet on John Merrill's potential return.

Lewan quote of the week. It's a goodun:

"I've never focused on scores my whole life," Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said. "In high school we played in a state championship game, we were getting killed and I had no idea. It was the fourth quarter and I was like 'guys, we got this, we got this.'

"Then I look up and it's 38-0, and I'm like 'alright, I guess we don't got this.' I've never been one to watch scores."

Etc.: Everything you ever wanted to know about CHL/NCAA eligibility issues from the Bylaw Blog. A post-jail Greg Skrepenak profiled by LSA Magazine. UMHoops requests your support.

Hockey Bits: RIT

Hockey Bits: RIT

Submitted by Brian on October 17th, 2012 at 9:47 PM

940-trouba-jacob-8col[1]

Trouba intimidates even when putting on hats

Full game stories have to wait for football season to end, but a highly timely selection of things on last weekend's games:

Overall, extremely encouraging. Michigan lost Friday thanks to 3 terrible goals and two savable ones given up by a freshman goalie, and don't just take my word for it:

"I'll have to look at them again but they all looked pretty soft to me," Berenson said. "The kid made some good saves too, but it was a tough night to be a goalie in our net, and we have to do be better than that."

Aside from that and some sloppy early-season play from defenders, Michigan was on. They had twelve goals on the weekend, one of them waved off for a high stick that didn't affect the outcome of the play. They bombed RIT, nearly outshooting them 2-1 both nights. RIT is a respectable outfit that was 20-13-6 last year with nonconference wins over Ferris State and Lake State, so to thoroughly outplay them without Jon Merrill is a good sign.

Most importantly, the power play looked like it had some purpose. Michigan converted three of thirteen opportunities and did not spend entire power plays either failing to acquire the zone or shooting it into a defenders' skates from the point. Trouba is a great help there—he's got a laser shot and the ability to pass and stickhandle from the point. Paired with Treais he's a major upgrade on last year's efforts—now Michigan can rotate down either point man and put the opposing box under stress as they try to hand off players between each other without opening up passing lanes.

Point Racine. Obviously. 21 saves each; five goals let in for Rutledge, two for Racine. Racine is a strange goalie who kind of reminds me of a huge Hunwick—he will come way out of his crease in an attempt to aggressively cut down shooting angles. He's far less agile than Hunwick, though, and this will burn him at some point. After the highly scientific sample size of one game each, he seems better right now.

Rutledge didn't just give up a bunch of atrocious goals, he also looked shaky on a bunch of saves and gave up an ugly goal in the exhibition. Hopefully that's just nerves and youth and Blackburn can get him straightened out—Hunwick was night and day from his initial forays onto the ice once Blackburn had him for a significant period of time.

Trouba ridiculous. Wrap-around goal, killing that guy, a series of tape-to-tape breakout passes, excellent PP QB performance… yow. He'll get a little too aggressive at times, but he's a lot like a calmer Jack Johnson. #JMFT.

Some steps forward from the younger D. Serville didn't do anything to make me go "uhhhh noooo" except maybe once or twice, which is progress. Clare seemed to have taken a step forward towards reliable Jay Vancik defensive defenseman before his injury, as well. The other guys seems to be the other guys.

Nieves bouncing around. He started on the fourth line but had worked his way up to Guptill's outfit by the late stages on Thursday and jumped off the fourth line for the entirety of Friday's game. Big guy, can get the edge on defensemen, wish he would try to ride them to the front of the net a lot more often. I get why the scouts kept talking about him as a perimeter player.

Sparks: deployed. Lindsay Sparks was given a large share of power play time and was placed on a second or third line, depending on your POV. Like last year, he's off to a good start with two points on the weekend. Hopefully he can stay out of the doghouse enough to grab one of those top nine slots.

Elsewhere

Michigan Hockey Net on the top line:

The chemistry on the first line is undeniable, particularly with A.J. and Di Giuseppe.  All night they were a two-tandem terror giving the Tigers fits.  A.J. was all over the ice, he was on top of the RIT defense seemingly at will, punishing their backstop with a barrage of pucks.  His goal was a thing of beauty: PDG corralled the puck, and found AJ wide-open in the slot, who hammered it home, going down on one knee Brett-Hull style for added effect.  PDG’s goal was similar earllier in the game: the Captain found his linemate hovering between the circles, the Maple native zinged a wicked wrister top shelf.  Not to be outdone, Moffatt had an assist, and really seemed to be the stabilizing force on that line, letting the other two do their thing.  What we’re seeing from Luke are flashes of what he displayed before arriving on campus, and he’s finally adjusted it to the college level: the ability to find his way through traffic and get to the net. He split two defenders in his lone SOG.  For the record: AJ finished with 9 SOG, and PDG had 5.  I’m salivating over here about what this line can accomplish, but let’s temper expectations–it’s early, and we haven’t hit conference play yet.

Yost Built on Friday:

The Wolverines put 51 shots on net, including 20 in the third period. Every player who dressed recorded at least one shot on goal this weekend. For the series the power play was 3-for-13 (23%) and generated 27 shots on goal (!!!). The PK was 9-for-9 and added a short-handed goal. Good weekend for the special teams.

Yost Section 25 has some pictures and a take as well. Mike Spath says Clare is "most likely" to miss the Bentley game this weekend with his shoulder injury, which will bring Mike Szuma into the lineup. Sounds like Clare's injury isn't too long term—the important games ramp up quickly, with Miami, Northern, State, and ND the next four weekends after Bentley.

Unverified Voracity Drops The Puck

Unverified Voracity Drops The Puck

Submitted by Brian on October 11th, 2012 at 6:24 PM

RITonight.  Get it? Get it? Puck drops on Michigan's season opener in a couple hours. Yost Built has a preview and a wrapup season preview post. A few comments on Michigan exhibition against Windsor:

  • Trouba is the truth. Three assists, one leveling open-ice hit, and defensive responsibility until everyone got sloppy up a ton in the third. A tape to tape breakout pass machine. Money money money.
  • Andrew Copp is an interesting guy to keep an eye on. Not a big recruit by any stretch of the imagination but Copp stood out as a big dude with some jump; he split time between football and hockey in high school and may develop into something a bit better than Danny Fardig 2.0.
  • Moffatt-Treais-PDG looks to be your top line, at least for now, with the wingers on that line seeming to have good chemistry. Looking for a bustout year from PDG, who was young enough to get drafted after his freshman year and should improve greatly.
  • Brennan Serville is another guy I'll be watching early for signs of improvement, especially with Merrill out six weeks and Serville skating every night as a result. Initial impression was not much different than last year's struggles, unfortunately, but confirmation bias and all that.
  • I miss Hunwick. Rutledge gave up a soft goal in his period and looked like he had holes all over. This may be paranoia.

The mid-tier guys (Moffie, Bennett, Guptill, Old Lynch, Hyman) were scratched, FWIW. Hyman's another guy I'm hoping will start producing more after his freshman hype fizzled.

Jake Ryan, basically. Roh on Ryan:

“He’s like a Tootsie Pop,” Roh said. “No matter how many times you talk to him, you really never know what you’re going to get until you get to the chocolatey center.”

Zach Helfland asks the obvious question:

Meaning what exactly?

Roh:

“I don’t know,” Roh said. “You can’t describe him, really. He’s like, I don’t know, he’s like smart but dumb at the same time, but he’s also just random, just like, ‘Yo,’ randomly.”

YO. Elsewhere in that article, Ryan is an alien. Read it.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JT FLOYD WHYYYY

"I told him right before I cut them, 'Man, 'Lace, I'm going to cut 'em,'" Floyd said. "He's like, 'No you're not, no you're not.'

"He was the first guy I saw. He just looked at me and smiled, 'Man, I can't believe you did it.' We had a little dreadlock bond, I guess. Now I'm trying to persuade him to cut 'em"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

but it's not going to happen. Not going to happen."

Nevermind.

Ticket pricing update. To be fair The M Zone needs to continue their scalping project into next year to see what it's like trying to grab OSU tickets online, but so far so good for the idea we're closing in on the max amount people will pay to go to Michigan games:

Endzone Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $64.72
Illinois - Saved $31.72

Total Endzone StubHub Savings So Far - $96.44

Maize Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $87.38
Illinois - Saved $43.38

Total Maize Section Savings So Far - $130.76

Victors Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $165.24
Illinois - Saved $98.12
Total Victors Section Savings So Far - $263.36

MSU is looking like a win for season ticket holders but that's the only one, and that's with Stubhub's massive cut (15% from the seller plus 20 bucks in "convenience fees" from the buyer) taken into account.

Willis Ward to be honored. Michigan's going to do it, and it's all thanks to an eight year old girl:

"A lot of people like to listen to little kids, and you should speak up and make a difference," said Genna, a Brighton third-grader.

She addressed the university's board of regents in March and lobbied state legislators in June to name a special day after star U-M football player Willis Ward, who was benched for a game against Georgia Tech in 1934 because he was black.

Genna succeeded, and Willis — a friend and teammate of future President Gerald Ford — will be honored by the state and school next week.

…or the guys who made the documentary that's the only reason anyone's talking about Willis Ward in 2012, whatever.

Like flies. Blocking-type Michigan State people continue to get injured at an alarming rate. TE Dion Sims may or may not play against Michigan; if he doesn't they probably won't be throwing his backup many passes:

Andrew Gleichert, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before the opener against Boise State, has a broken wrist and will have to play with a cast the rest of the season.

"We got concerned with him being a point-of-attack blocker," Roushar said. "We feel like he's got to do a better job. He's working on it. With the loss of Dion, you're looking for something stronger at the point of attack."

Meanwhile, former megarecruit Lawrence Thomas went from linebacker to 295-pound fullback and can't move down to tight end this week because he picked up a concussion against Indiana—his second since August. He's expected to play against Iowa because obviously.

[AFTER AN UNUSUAL UV JUMP: THINGS PEOPLE DID TO THE DANNY HOPEDOKEN GIF]

Unverified Voracity Quits English

Unverified Voracity Quits English

Submitted by Brian on October 4th, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Touchdown Billy Taylor. A trailer for Dan Chace's upcoming Billy Taylor documentary:

More Yost pictures. From new M hockey blog Yost Section 25:

2012-09-30_13-05-10_766[1]

The first Sunday matinee game is going to be a trip.

Game: stepped up. OSU just announced a series with TCU starting in 2018, which is somewhat notable since they've already got Cincinnati on the docket. If TCU is notable, this is jaw-dropping:

"We will play two more BCS games that year," [OSU AD Gene] Smith told Yahoo! Sports via email Wednesday, using the parlance for a quality top six-conference opponent.

Even if those are Colorado-style one-off guarantee games, dang. OSU may be done with the Little Sisters of the Poor:

"That year [2018] is a snapshot of future years," Smith said. "As we move forward, from 2018 and out, our goal is BCS only. We are looking at top ranked teams, 1-50 teams."

Here's a thing I never thought I'd say: Gene Smith, I am impressed. If OSU puts together a full slate of BCS opponents in 2018, that will be their first time since 1995 (4-8 BC, 7-4-1 Washington, and 2-9 Pitt) and second time since 1990.

Michigan's last all-power-conference lineup was in 1997, and Dave Brandon has a lot of work to do to keep up with the Joneses what with the Notre Dame series ending*.

*[ : ( ]

Playoff: a motivator. Wetzel points out a key motivator behind the sort of scheduling seen above:

In 1988, before the creation of the Bowl Alliance, the precursor to the BCS, there were 15 non-conference games where both teams were ranked in the AP preseason top 20. This year there were just two featuring AP preseason top 20 teams: Alabama-Michigan and Clemson-South Carolina.

While one of the BCS's oft-repeated talking points was that it protected the regular season, it was, in fact, destroying the non-conference portion.

Now it's back to the future as athletic directors across the country place their faith in a selection committee that will rationally analyze a body of work, not just blindly follow records.

For example, Oregon was ranked fifth in the final BCS standings last season, one spot behind Stanford. The Ducks had two losses, but one was to then top-ranked LSU on a neutral field. Stanford had just one loss, but it was to Oregon, by 23 points at home. The Ducks also won the Pac-12 title.

The BCS didn't care. It claimed Stanford was better. An informed selection committee would never make that decision and thus penalize Oregon for playing a challenging non-conference schedule. Conversely, a weak non-conference schedule might cost you on selection day.

Even Wisconsin says it will seek out "at least" two major opponents in the non-conference schedule. Man, the BCS sucked. Not only did it pick the wrong team about half the time, it also created the worst scheduling practices since things like Iowa Pre-Flight stopped existing.

Money is another factor, of course. With ticket prices rising along with guarantee requirements the money has started coming in on the side of actual games.

Trouba: the devil on skates. Three tweets from the immediate aftermath of Jacob Trouba's first practice at Michigan:

I think we are going to like Mr. Trouba.

Goalie: ack. In less sunny news, Red Berenson revealed that projected starting goalie Jared Rutledge had retina surgery recently and may not be available early in the season. Meanwhile, top backup Steve Racine is also coming back from injury:

Racine underwent an offseason surgery that limited his physical activity, Berenson said.

“He’s just starting to get close to 100 percent, but he looks pretty good,” Berenson said.

Racine is 21 after a long junior career and will be a nice guy to have on the roster—not every 5'6" walkon is going to be the statistically-best goalie in Michigan history.

Ain't got no headset. Hoke on WXYT:

"It is overrated," Hoke said Thursday on an interview with the Stoney and Bill Show on WXYT 97.1-FM. "You ever watch guys on head sets and they don't say a word? This gives me an opportunity to coach kids during a game.

"The game is a mental game, it's a game of motivation and enthusiasm and teaching. Not wearing a headset, I get to teach on the sideline and be a part of it."

As for the question of whether or not he knows what play offensive coordinator Al Borges is sending in, Hoke says he doesn't need a headset to hear that.

"I do know what the calls are, because there's a guy standing right behind me who tells me every call that's going in," Hoke said.

People keep bombing the Vincent Smith call, but when two linemen don't pull that's not really on the playcall.

Also Hoke likes "Smoke on the Water," surprising no one. I would watch a sitcom based around the misadventures of 20-year-old Brady Hoke in Muncie. I would break that thing down.

Oh for the love of God. Two sentences from two PR things I received today:

Heart of Dallas, a newly minted nonprofit, exists to inspire Dallas millennials to become the next generation of influencers and philanthropists by leveraging a consistent calendar of sports and entertainment events. Proceeds from Heart of Dallasactivities will be used to invest in collective impact strategies that make Dallas a better place.

make it stop

Flagstar had an interest in co-branding with our digital properties and we’re excited to have them partner on our website and student loyalty program. We look forward to having Flagstar as a partner in our top-rated digital space on the collegiate level.

if you roll your eyes too hard do you evaporate into a mist of condescension

AAAAAAAAH!!! Do you need to bore someone to death? LITERALLY TO DEATH? DO YOU NEED SOMEONE SO BORED THEY MELT?!?!?! THIS IS WHAT YOU NEEEEEED.

image

I QUIT ENGLISH. EFF THIS LANGUAGE. I'M OUT. HOLA AT YOUR BOY.

Etc.: Ed O'Bannon lawsuit forces ESPN to release a ton of contracts. Go Ed O'Bannon lawsuit. GLI would move back indoors if the Winter Classic is lost to the NHL lockout. Game preview from Hammer and Rails. Guys don't have names like Adolph "Germany" Schulz anymore.