Chad Ford has Darius Morris....

Chad Ford has Darius Morris....

Submitted by AC1997 on June 16th, 2011 at 11:57 PM

....in his 5th tier of prospects and estimates that he will go between picks 21 and 35.  This is an insider article where Chad Ford of ESPN ranks the NBA draft prospects into tiers based on their long term potential.  This year he has zero players in Tier 1 (reserved for franchise players like Blake Griffen or Jon Wall). 

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2011/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=Tiers-110616

Here's what he says about Tier 5:

Note: These players look like locks for the first round but most likely won't make the lottery. A few teams had Brooks, Harris, Markieff Morris and Vucevic in Tier 4 but not quite enough for them to make the cut; they were very close, though. Bertans, Honeycutt, Jackson, Mirotic and Darius Morris were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team's draft board.

I still wish Morris had stayed another year given the likelihood of a lockout since he could have moved himself into a lottery pick next year.  But at least he seems like he'll get the guaranteed first round spot he was hoping for and I wish him the best. 

(edit - fixed some clunky wording)

Big Ten Tournament Scenarios

Big Ten Tournament Scenarios

Submitted by AC1997 on February 26th, 2011 at 10:43 PM

After winning today against Minnesota we hold on to our NCAA Tournament hopes (despite what ESPN might think).  As we’ve known for a while, beating MSU is a must for this discussion to matter.  If that happens, we need to win 1-2 games in the conference tournament to get into serious tournament conversations. 

There’s already a thread about whether we could get in with just one win in the BTT, but that thread is lacking a critical piece of information – WHO would we play?  I started to investigate this and it revealed a very interesting scenario. 

Right now we know who the top three teams are (OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin).  We also know who the bottom four teams are (Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana).  At this point those seven spots aren’t really likely to change barring some upsets in the final week.  But the middle four spots are totally up for grabs among Michigan, MSU, Illinois, and Penn State. 

Here’s the remaining schedules and a prediction to go with them for the four bubble teams:

  • Michigan State (16-11, 8-7)

    • Purdue (Loss)
    • Iowa (Win)
    • @ Michigan (Loss)
    • FINAL RECORD = 17-13, 9-9
  • Penn State (15-12, 8-8)

    • OSU (Loss)
    • @ Minnesota (Win)
    • FINAL RECORD = 16-13, 9-9
  • Illinois (18-11, 8-8)

    • @ Purdue (Loss)
    • Indiana (Win)
    • FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9
  • Michigan (18-12, 8-9)

    • MSU (Win)
    • FINAL RECORD = 19-12, 9-9

Those results, with all favored teams winning, conclude in a 4-way tie for fourth place.  Now let’s examine what this would mean for the tournament seeding, since the top five teams get a bye. 

According to the tournament’s website, in the event of a multi-team tie you have to look at the teams’ records against the other teams that are tied.  So let’s look at that list again, with the head-to-head record of the four teams:

  • MSU:  2-4
  • PSU: 2-4
  • Illinois: 3-2
  • Michigan:  4-1

This would mean that Michigan and Illinois would get the byes while MSU and PSU would have to play on the first day.  This is a good thing and a bad thing.  On the one hand it gives Michigan a better chance to make a run with one fewer game to play.  It also gives Michigan the chance to play a better team in their first game to improve their resume, in this case Illinois. 

On the other hand, Michigan doesn’t get to play one of the bottom feeders in the opening round to get their 20thwin.  In some ways I think I would prefer to end up in the #6-7 spot to get another game against Iowa or Indiana.  I’m curious what everyone thinks about this. 

In the end what matters is beating MSU and winning at least the first game in the tournament, likely against Illinois.  In the scenario described here that would put us in the semi-finals with 20 wins, a 9-9 fourth place conference finish, a 5-1 record against the other conference bubble teams, and a top-ten strength of schedule.  Even with just that one BTT win it would be pretty hard to keep us out of the tournament with that resume. 

Go Blue – Beat MSU! 

UPDATE:

I'm not an expert on bracketology, but I think we should be rooting against Illinois and Penn State in every game while we actually (*gulp*) root for MSU to win both of their other games.  They would end up ahead of us in the standings, but we'd get a bigger resume boost for beating them.

MBB vs. Minnesota Open Thread

MBB vs. Minnesota Open Thread

Submitted by mgokev on January 22nd, 2011 at 6:15 PM

The game against Minnesota tips off in about 45 minutes.  Here's to hoping we end our 5-game skid with a win at home.

In the meantime, here are some pregame notes from USAToday:

 

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Wolverines shot just 28 percent from outside the arc (6-21) in their 14-point loss at Northwestern, a defeat that dropped Michigan to 1-5 in the Big Ten.

--Michigan continued its meticulous care of the basketball despite coming up on the losing end on the road at Northwestern. The Wolverines committed just seven turnovers. The Wolverines had only six turnovers in a recent road loss to Indiana.

--In Big Ten play, Michigan was on a tear through games played Jan. 15, shooting an impressive 89 percent from the foul line (33-of-37, and is at 73 percent overall on the season).

--Michigan's lack of a potent post presence was very evident in the Big Ten loss at Indiana as the Wolverines had a season-low of just 18 rebounds, and did not block a single shot. It marked the second Big Ten game this season where the Wolverines went without a block.

--Michigan has started a lineup of three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior in the majority of its games this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 73 -- With 11 freshmen and sophomores, Michigan has 73 percent of its roster made up of underclassmen. The Wolverines have four juniors and no seniors.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It is part of playing on the road. It's a tough game on the road. When you get in to these situations and things don't go your way, it can just roll on you so quick and get you down by eight, 10, 12. I feel, we'll go in, we'll practice, and we have another road game on Tuesday. We will be as ready as we can be, given the travel, etc." -- Michigan coach John Beilein on the rigors of playing on the road in the Big Ten

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME:

--vs. Minnesota, Jan. 22

KEY MATCHUPS: Minnesota has the size, strength and athleticism to go head-to-head with many of the Big Ten's best, but when senior G Blake Hoffarber lights it up, the scales tip significantly in the Golden Gophers' favor. Hoffarber scored 26 points in a recent win over No. 8 Purdue, hitting 10-of-15 from the field. Michigan's junior G/F Zack Novak will likely be matched up with Hoffarber for periods of this game, and the Wolverines will need every bit of defense they can get from Novak to keep Hoffarber from deciding the outcome.

FUTURES MARKET: The growing pains would be many on this, the Big Ten's youngest team, but Michigan has been surprisingly mature in some aspects of the game, thanks in large part to the steady hand of sophomore PG Darius Morris. The Los Angeles product has been one of the Big Ten's leaders in assists, and has helped Michigan to be one of the leaders nationally in protecting the ball. The Wolverines average just 11 turnovers per game through Jan. 16. With Morris running the show for the next two-and-a-half seasons, things are looking much brighter, and sooner than expected, for Michigan.

PLAYER NOTES

--Junior G/F Zack Novak had 16 points in the narrow loss to No. 2 Ohio State, hitting double figures for the ninth time this season. Novak went 4-of-5 from outside the 3-point arc.

--Junior G Stu Douglass has played in every game in his Michigan career (85), and set a personal-best with 10 rebounds in the recent loss to Kansas.

--Sophomore PG Darius Morris is tied for the Big Ten lead with 7.3 assists per game, and is fourth nationally in assists. He had seven assists in the overtime loss to No. 3 Kansas, playing 43 minutes.

UM Basketball Team's Greatest Strength?

UM Basketball Team's Greatest Strength?

Submitted by kaykaybroke on December 4th, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Now I realize that our Basketball Team's had it's up's and down's even this soon into the season, but I think for the most part, we've all been pleasantly surprised with the way things are looking. This got me thinking, what are we doing differently this year than last year, especially considering we lost Manny and Sims to the pros. 

I realized that on any given game, one player can be completely on his game to lift us to a win. Today that player happened to be Stu Douglass (19 pts, 5-7 3ptrs), but in the past players like Tim Hardaway Jr, Darius Morris, and Zack Novak have all had big games to help our team.

Beliens done a great job coaching, and this team looks forward and backwards better than last year.

Any thoughts, comments?

Anyone else think Brian Gregory could be our basketball Bo?

Anyone else think Brian Gregory could be our basketball Bo?

Submitted by cp4three2 on August 25th, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Yes, I know football season is just around the corner.  However, I couldn't help thinking about this as I looked at the box scores from our basketball trip to Europe.  We're not going to be that good at basketball...again.  

 

I like Beilein, I really do, but it's pretty apparent that we're not going to make the tournament again and that, unless some freshmen step up big, we're looking at being in the basement of the Big Ten. For the 4th time in 4 years we're probably going to finish 7th or worse in the Big Ten.  If Brandon cans JB, am I the only one to see the similarity between Brian Gregory and Bo Schembechler?  

 

Like Bo, Gregory was one of the trusted assistants at our biggest rival.  If something happened to Woody while Bo was at Miami, there's no doubt that Bo would have been the guy to replace him.  The same goes with Gregory, during the Izzo-to-the-Cavs-or-maybe-not period a few months ago Gregory was the only guy really mentioned that could step in at MSU.

 

However, just like Woody was never leaving OSU, it's clear that Izzo is going to be staying at MSU for a long time.  Gregory understands the MSU-UM rivalry just like Bo understood the OSU-UM one.  He's connected to the Midwest, just like Bo, and is in a stepping stone job, just like Bo.  I'm proposing that if the season goes the way it looks like it's going to go, that we start a new Ten Year War, only this time it's on the hardwood.  

 

Edit: I understand the European teams we're playing are A. professionals and B. good at basketball.  As I mentioned, the box scores got me thinking about basketball a week before football season.  It's not why I think he might be gone.

Kevin Coble Not Returning to NU for Sr Season

Kevin Coble Not Returning to NU for Sr Season

Submitted by MGoShoe on July 27th, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Northwestern's 2010-11 season took a major hit with the announcement that senior Kevin Coble, who missed last year with a broken foot has decided to forego his senior season and will graduate in December 2010.

"We wish Kevin nothing but the best in his future endeavors," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said in a statement. "We want to thank him for his contributions to the program over the past four years." 

Coble ranks 14th in NU history with 1,203 career points and led the Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding in each of his three seasons.

Some reaction:

mikerothstein To me, what makes Coble's decision to stop playing at NW more surprising is he clearly had a post-NW future with basketball.

umhoops Kevin Coble to forgo senior season. Huh?

[Edit: Indiana Wolverine points out in a post below that Coble's decision is likely related to his mother's fight against breast cancer.]