Hoops Preview: Rutgers

Hoops Preview: Rutgers

Submitted by Seth on January 20th, 2018 at 5:30 PM


WHAT #28 Michigan (16-5, 5-3) vs
#116 Rutgers (12-9, 2-5)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN noon EST, Sunday
LINE Michigan –11 (KenPom)
Michigan -13 (Vegas)

Right: Look at ye, all nearly respectable-looking, I ‘ardly recognized ye. [Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]


This is the fourth and final basketball game the Big Ten decided to pack into eight days in the middle of January. Kindly enough, they made the final boss a relatively straightforward tank-and-spank on Sunday at noon, giving the Wolverines a welcomingly refreshing whole Saturday to wake up in their own beds and practice whatever the plan is to beat the screen-switching malfunction Nebraska exposed.

An off night in Lincoln after a mentally exhausting week is forgivable if it’s a one-time occurrence. On the other hand, Michigan’s only had about 20 minutes of good basketball in the 80 they’ve played since beating State by 10 in the Stand Behind Lou Anna Simon Center. Nick Ward’s ankles breaking dot gif can only be replayed so many times.*

Rutgers fortunately represents another step down in competition. However this year’s Knights are more like the decent WAC teams we’d like Beilein to schedule than the bottom-of-the-SWAC drags they’ve been historically. This Rutgers team also thrives on the kind of sloppiness that defined those awful halves. Also we have a running podcast joke about taking away your conference membership if you lose to the 14th who will always be the 14th member of it. It’d be nice to see that cleaned up early and some starters get their rest.



Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 3 Corey Sanders Jr. 6'2, 176 81 26 96 Yes
Distributor/ballhandler who’ll drive the lane but can’t shoot.
G 0 Geo Baker Fr. 64, 180 80 20 105 Sort of
Pesky defender and main scoring threat who can also distribute—the biggest reason Rutgers has moved up to meh from utter crap.
F 35 Issa Thiam So. 6'10, 190 70 11 118 Not at all
If Duncan Robinson was two inches taller (and was still hitting 44% from three)
F 33 Deshawn Freeman Sr. 6'7, 227 65 27 93 Very
Physical defensive specialist with Ben Wallace-level hair game, Ben Wallace-like offensive game.
C 11 Eugene Omoruyi So. 6'7, 234 52 23 97 Extremely
First among heavy rotation at C. Crashes the boards, gets a lot of blocks, gets to the line and makes half of them.
C 21 Mamadou Doucoure Fr. 6'9, 243 35 16 91 Extremely
A guy. Can’t shoot.
C 2 Shaquille Doorson Jr. 7’0, 275 22 12 108 Extremely
True C averaged 20 mpg vs OSU-MSU-Purdue, DNP vs Iowa-Wis. Will see him against Teske or not at all
C 1 Candido Sa Sr. 6'9, 235 27 12 85 Yes
5/20 career on 3PA (1/1 this year), 40% from two. Very good shot blocker.
G 44 Souf Mensah Jr. 6’2, 220 15 11 39 Yes
JC transfer who looks like he’s 40. Only non-C on bench with Mike Williams out, may be a marginal improvement over playing with just 4 guys.

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

MGoPodcast 9.15: Not This Down

MGoPodcast 9.15: Not This Down

Submitted by Seth on January 3rd, 2018 at 6:01 PM

1 hour and 54 minutes

mgopodcast 9.15

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, which has nine or ten conference rooms depending on if we count Wisconsin’s loss to Rutgers in basketball.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be sighing to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. The Bowl Game Happened, and Hey, a Basketball Game!

starts at 1:00

Hit Kenpom Time at 7 minutes, positive step forward for the program despite getting almost nothing from Mo and Matthews. Very different to want Z taking shots. Getting Robinson back to the bench, where he can be on the floor with Teske, is the best part of starting Livers. Typical Beilein team coming together, Teske earning equal time. Best shot at a tourney win is beat Purdue at home—RPI hell going to put a good team on the 10 line. RPI should please adopt hockey’s adjustment where if a win would lower your RPI they drop it. Does Poole need a Xanax or roll with it?

2. The Bowl Game Happened, We’ll Talk About It

starts at 32:14

Every quarterback who played this year regressed. Losing the mash brothers lost the running game. Standard crazy good D with a big safety crack on a slot fade. Not upset with the direction of the program; upset with the takes this year invited. No excuse for pass protection to be THIS bad.

3. Next Year

starts at 46:17

Defense returns Don Brown and 10-ish starters, with some backups in line for breakouts. One guy they lose is the best DT in program history but deeper team could murder a la 2016. Bring back two elite LBs with a lot of good backup options, and possibly the two best CBs in the country plus Ambry Thomas.

Offense seems pretty bad. Looks like another staff shakeup coming. RB should be fine, Ben Mason is fine at fullback, Gentry/McKeon will improve, get more from Eubanks and Wheatley. WRs won’t be all freshmen anymore. Interior OL has to get better at pass pro. Bredeson needs a jump next year since he doesn’t fit with the mash-you unit. Gotta find two tackles, can probably find at least one?

Special teams: Gotta find a punter, Nordin good.

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi wsg Richard Hoeg of HoegLaw

starts at 1:13:28

One of our advertisers wrote a viral Star Wars take so we invited him on. Brian loathed The Force Awakens for making a 2016 remake of IV. Agree there was a Marvel-ish iconoclasm to it—this bothers Richard and Brian thinks this series badly needed it. Ryan Johnson got a crap sandwich and figured out a way to make the third movie not Return of the Jedi. Do you want Windsurfing Skywalker? Casino planet too ham-handed—important for plot because it sets up a bigger galaxy that hates the First Order.


  • “X”—Xzibit
  • “Fiery Crash”—Andrew Bird
  • “Star Wars Theme Kazoo Cover”—Morpeef
  • “Across 110th Street”


Kylo-Ren. Kylo-Rey is like they’re now dating. You’re shipping them.

Dear Diary Awakens

Dear Diary Awakens

Submitted by Seth on January 23rd, 2016 at 11:33 AM


Sorry this is late. I've been really busy. Actually no I've been kind of busy and wasting time following recruiting and watching the Citrus Bowl again and again.

/watches Citrus Bowl again.

Ahhhh. Man having that game recorded is like when my family got a VCR and they put the whole original Star Wars trilogy on TV like right after. That was followed by weeks of the most beautiful weather in Michigan history that I didn't go outside for, by the end of which I could pull everything about Star Wars from memory for the rest of my life, and I STILL wasn't sick of it.

Bronx made the obvious analogy:

To say Dave Brandon is reminiscent of George Lucas is not fair to either man, but the worst characteristics of both mirror each other quite well; both Lucas and Brandon truly loved the worlds they held dominion over, but were so tone-deaf, so blind to the realities of how those worlds were perceived under their stewardships that they threatened to irreparably sully their images.

I'd extend the analogy to say Hackett was the J.J. Abrams we brought in to rescue the franchise, and 2015 was his Force Awakens. IE a lot of it was simply a renunciation of the crap that immediately preceded it, and banging the audience over the head with the things we loved about the originals.

But in light of where we were, that was refreshing. Yes I did see (SPOILER) Jim Harbaugh pilot an X-wing down a trench to destroy a planet-sized world-destroying base of faceless bad guys again. The thing is that hasn't gotten old. We needed a reset, and got one, and should be totally satisfied. As for whoever follows JJ and JH, yeah man, take it in your own direction.

The next movie has a lot to live up to. Expectations are high, but so is that schedule. Alum96 went through the thing and decided that Michigan doesn't have a Big Two-Little Eight schedule anymore, but it's a standard Power 5 trip. How MSU and OSU rebuild will matter much.

Crutin needs updating. Incredibly useful Alum96 also is due for another 2016 class projection since this series has been fairly accurate at predicting things so far. He got Terrance Davis wrong, but had Dylan Crawford and David Long in the highest category of guys who as of last December seemed to favor someone else.

Squinting at his info and that provided by the board in the weeks hence you can kind of piece together a class that would take Gary, LaVert, Raulerson, Hudson and Nordin as long as they are amenable, plus a tight end (Allen or Asiasi), one or two DTs (Elliott, Tagaloa, Dwumfour, …?), another LB (Mbem-Bosse?) and 2-3 WRs (McDoom/N. Johnson/Donald Stewart/Pie). Call a guy not taking officials and a guy who is taking officials to Temple gone and Metellus a Jeremy Clark* grayshirt and that's what: 28? WRITE ANOTHER ONE ALUM WE HAVE TO KNOW!

Did you miss these gifs? Red_Lee is Michiganfreek. IE he makes awesome gifs like LSUfreek does for college football in general. For example:

Opponents Watch needs updating. Now more than a week old, Hail_Yes wrote about the teams M basketball has played, and what they've been up to this year since we formed opinions on them on the court. I'd like to see objects in the future, e.g. Michigan State. What's been going on with MSU hoops lately? They're just pounding everybody because Valentine's back now right? I haven't looked.

Etc. This is OT but it's a wonderful story about MLK visiting Grosse Pointe in 1968. The Maizer followed up on my bowl eligibility proposal with his own, which is a ranking system. M baseball preview. No, Dakich=/=Spike, they're not even like-sized. This month in MGoBlog 10 years ago history was all about Lloyd shuffling coordinators to set up his retirement.


Best of the Board

OMIGOD NCAA FOOTBALL 2025 for the 2017 season with 2013 rosters?

The night of the Nat Championship EA put an EKG on NCAA2014's Facebook page. The world took this to mean that we might…just might finally go back to having new covers every year for the NCAA game. I guess it would mean a playoff is finally possible. I also probably shouldn't rip on them since I'm on year 2041 of a four-player dynasty* I have thoroughly enjoyed. Please leave Denard on the cover and tweak the game.

*We all got to pick each others' starting teams and one guy turned UMass into a national power that's still ripping off our recruits.


Ladies and gentlemen, the trophy you've all been waiting for, the Michigan vs Michigan State in Joe Louis Arena game that used to replace the best home game of your ticket package and now does that and isn't much of a rivalry anymore to be honest, the one, the only, here it is…


It is an iron d.


People listed some classic films—Wet Hot and A League of Their Own are consensus good—but this one…oh man this one:


It wasn't hated Sockface. While it was indeed "ambitious" (read: up its own ass) it also gave off a very George Lucas "I don't have to listen to anyone anymore because I made the Dark Knight" vibe. Not a bad movie, and at times it was stunning, but if it's the start of a Nolan trajectory into Jar Jar, well, this is our concern man.

Also put me among the Titanic crowd; the ship looks great.

ETC. Guy on board taking photoshop requests. Someone told me last night that Heiko got one of the top placements in the country for his field and I am zero surprised because that guy is a genius for whom "I got Michigan's cranky offensive coordinator to like me" has already been shoved to a footnote on his resume. Tom Harmon vs. porn? Jim Hackett is awesome.


Dear Diary Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Dear Diary Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Submitted by Seth on November 6th, 2015 at 5:18 PM


Before this season, some betting site was looking for someone in Michigan media to take/write-up the under on 7.5 wins, and got me to bite. I figured falling short of 4-3 versus @Utah, BYU, MSU, OSU, @PSU, @Maryland and @Minnesota was foreseeable, since bad things do happen, and whatever deity was in charge of whom they happen to was the George Lucas of gods.

The George Lucas God of Football creates an amazing thing that you will buy into, then turns it on you because he misunderstands what made his original, authentic creation so awesome, and he is immune to being told otherwise.

The George Lucas God is gone, his opus now in the hands of one of its earliest and geekiest fans. You know this geek has been quite successful—like he turned Stanford Trek into a good movie, before turning around the Mission Impossible franchise. You know he was left plenty to work with. You see trailers that confirm this could not suck. When do you believe again?


There's just a 2.1% chance my 7-win prediction comes true. There's a much higher chance this one could be as good as 1969's A New Hope. I still can't get myself to believe, but the numbers are there. There's even a scenario where


No—let's just be happy if there's a cohesive plot and no Jar-Jar crap. But the extended universe could rock.

Etc. EBV tackled one of the Peppers plays, came to the same conclusions I did. Opponent Stock. Inside the Box Score.

[After the JUMP: a thing Rutgers is good at]

Dear Diary Instantly Misses Glendening

Dear Diary Instantly Misses Glendening

Submitted by Seth on April 24th, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Ten nanoseconds after Saban and Swinney cried that high schoolers might get exposed to football programs that actually care what happens to their kids after it, Emmert moved to quickly fix the loophole that allows a football coach from Michigan to ply his trade across state lines.

Harbaugh is already one step ahead:

World: Wait, you can't create a national college football trade fair at your school.

Harbaugh: Just did.

Jim Harbaugh is legend.


Luke Glendening blocked a shot into the neutral zone to seal his own spin-o-rama shorthanded goal as a game-winner to steal Game 1. Red_Lee was so inspired that he created this:


Last night Glendening's Red Wings were cruising to a 2-0 victory (that should have been 4-0 given the play) and a 3-1 series lead when Luke ill-advisedly decided to check a guy near enough to the boards to trip the sensitivities of hockey players towards that sort of thing. While everyone else scrummed about them some Lightning players were able to mess up Luke's hand (Aside: amputating a guy's hand when you're trying to recruit him is some seriously Urban Meyer sh--, Darth).

Without Glendening shadowing one of the top-scoring lines in the country, that line put up two quick goals and a third in overtime. Detroit didn't backcheck properly, and just looked, I don't know, unfocused. The parallels to Star Wars are there, but the parallels to Michigan since Luke graduated are eerie.


Via Spath, Michigan's been having a hard time getting sexy programs to come to Yost unless they're small schools with Utah football-quality hockey programs. Of these, next year's schedule will host Mercyhurst, Robert Morris and Niagara. I bet you two petty Notre Dame administrators that the Domers were one of the "of note"s here:

Michigan wants to schedule top-tier programs but they couldn't get anyone to come to Ann Arbor this year. Everyone of note wanted U-M to come to their venue. And Michigan couldn't do that or it would have ended up with two non-conference home games. They agreed to Union and BU so that they could get those two teams in 2016-17 at home but then they HAD to have home games, and so some of these teams were more willing.

The sooner somebody puts this intra-state round robin thing together the better.


It's offseason alright, evidenced by the feely threads (and one diary) popping up to define words that already mean specific things. To wit:

  • A fan is someone who roots for that team. To date there is only one remotely worthwhile adjective that's ever been applied to "fan" to distinguish levels of fanhood: "Loud."
  • An alumnus is someone who attended that school; graduation is not required.
  • A graduate is someone who graduated from that school.

Last word for today: if you are a graduate or alum who thinks this distinction makes you more of fan, you are an "asshole."


Good ideas for Michigan-themed WiFi names? thread is how I learned about the Linden Street Flamingo Heist of 2011:


Shout out to the guy with "HARBAUGH" in a Columbus complex.

Etc. The Royals are the new Sparties of Major League Baseball.

Your Moment of Zen:





Dear Diary Trusts There's Gold in Them Thar Hills

Dear Diary Trusts There's Gold in Them Thar Hills

Submitted by Seth on April 17th, 2015 at 2:00 PM


Boom: chart! by LSA on how long an NFL draftee is expected to last.


The blip is explainable by what's been going on with NFL rookie contracts. The maximum contract for a  rookie used to be seven years (hence the peak), but since 2011 every rookie contract has been four years with a team option for a fifth on 1st rounders.

Click for big

That CBA made rookie contracts way less complicated and appreciably more team-friendly. An unintended side effect of this has been teams trying to rid themselves of those pre-2011 agreements while holding onto more recent draftees longer than they would otherwise.

Since the rough years in Ann Arbor have now stretched longer than what's typical for any NFL career, the Michigan guys still playing are particularly old. I remember making all-Michigan teams in early Playstation versions of Madden. Try that now and you can squeeze together a one-deep plus Henne, Fitz, Will Campbell, and Cam Gordon on the bench (I 'm using Mundy for now but if you figure Stevie Brown will sign somewhere you can swap them out).


It's scheme month on the Solid Verbal Podcast so Smart Football (Chris Brown) has been on. This already is relevant to your interests. But this week's show was on Harbaugh so…

Go to the 47 minute mark to get to the Harbaugh. Dnak at the link provided the bullets for "Bo Schembechler football with Jon Gruden's playbook." Dnak also questioned the suggestion that Fisch is going to be running the offense, a prospect Chris is down on. I do think Jedd's "passing game coordinator" title is legit but Drevno is calling plays, as he did well enough in San Diego, and it's still Harbaugh's scheme and Harbaugh's plans, and Harbaugh's metaphorical nose in the huddle.

Earlier they're talking about Mariota vs. Winston and Chris is asked "In 2015 what's a Pro Style offense and what's a Spread?" and he just rips apart the labels, before using them anyway because we still don't have better to describe two slider setting extremities.

Speaking to what you do with a quarterback, until you've got a Tom Brady/Peyton Manning who in Chris's words is "seeing the Matrix", you design a passing game you can teach and your quarterback can operate. Dials include footwork (shotgun, 3-, 5- and 7-step drops), pre-snap reads, post-snap decision trees, and of course whether his feet are going to be part of the offense. Start with the knobs he's good at, and slowly turn up others as the QB adjusts.

The biggest point is "it all works" as long as your offense puts stress on the defense. The classic example of exactly what you shouldn't do then hangs in the air like a wet Borges fart. It is annoying that Brown excitedly brings up our two chief rivals as examples of cutting edge while the commentary on Michigan's offense is "this stuff may be old but it still works." May it kick ass so the smart coach-y people have to explain why.

[After jump: Austin Davis, night games and the Freekbass Quotient of invitees, why we're all A's fans now]