The View from Row 42

The View from Row 42

Submitted by Blazefire on February 23rd, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Backs to the wall, stood row 42.

Up in back to support the Maize and Blue.

We'll stand, no one behind us to block.

We'll stand, the cheer of the fans is a rock,

on which the team can build, and so can rise anew.

 

Backs to the wall, battled the Maize and Blue.

Though they may fall, they fought to find their way through.

They'll stand, and fight those who stand in their way.

They'll stand, and with all their hearts they will play.

It's not always enough, but that doesn't stop row 42.

 

Hail to the Victors, leaders and best.

They can wear a loss proudly, like a win on their chests.

And we will support them, the wins and the rest,

sing the fans in row 42.

 

The team didn't win tonight, against Wisconsin. I was at the very top, section 8, row 42. But even from that far away, I could see clearly how hard they were trying, how much getting somewhere big this season means to the team, and hoiw they played their guts out. I saw them dive for so many loose balls. I saw Zack Novak stretching farther than I knew he could to pull down critical rebounds against a great reboudning team. I saw Darius Morris working as hard as he could to create shots in one of the best defenses out there.

They didn't win, but I've never been more proud to stand up and cheer for a team, and I've never been more proud to sing the Victors. It was obvious they deserved it from all the way up.

Bracketology currently has us as 10th out

Bracketology currently has us as 10th out

Submitted by REDvsBLUE on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Lunardi's Espn S-curve currently has us sitting at #78 which puts us 10 out for the tournie.  Minnesota's loss last night put them at #71 (3rd out).  It is behind the espn paywall but I will post the story here.

 

 

The Full S-curve

* conference leader (teams)

1-Ohio State 2-Pittsburgh 3-Duke 4-Texas
8-Purdue 7-San Diego State 6-Brigham Young 5-Kansas
9-Notre Dame 10-Georgetown 11-Wisconsin 12-Florida
16-Syracuse 15-Louisville 14-North Carolina 13-Connecticut
17-Vanderbilt 18-Villanova 19-Arizona 20-St. John's
24-Missouri 23-Texas A&M 22-West Virginia 21-Kentucky
25-Xavier 26-George Mason 27-Temple 28-Tennessee
32-Florida State 31-Cincinnati 30-UNLV 29-Washington
33-Utah State 34-UCLA 35-Kansas State 36-Illinois
40-Alabama 39-Michigan State 38-Old Dominion 37-St. Mary's
41-Georgia 42-Marquette 43-Virginia Tech 44-Memphis
48-Colorado State 47-Gonzaga 46-Boston College 45-Butler
49-Richmond 50-Belmont* 51-Cleveland State 52-Missouri State
56-Coastal Carolina* 55-Harvard 54-Charleston* 53-Oakland*
57-Fairfield* 58-Bucknell* 59-Vermont* 60-Long Island*
64-Morehead State* 63-Montana 62-Long Beach 61-Kent State
65-Florida Atlantic 66-McNeese State 67-Texas Southern 68-Bethune Cookman
72-Virginia Commonwealth 71-Minnesota 70-Baylor 69-UAB

 

 

TODAY'S MATH

Take our "solid" at-large candidates (current Tournament Odds at 75 percent or better) and you have exactly 38 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers and that's another 20 spots. All told we have 58 of the 68 spots accounted for, with only 10 up for grabs among current "Bubble" teams.

 

 

"BUBBLE" (21 teams for 10 spots)

 

 

IN (10, in S-Curve order): 39-Michigan St, 40-Alabama, 41-Georgia, 42-Marquette, 43-Virginia Tech, 45-Butler, 46-Boston College, 47-Gonzaga, 48-Colorado State, 49-Richmond

 

 

OUT (11, in S-Curve order): 69-UAB, 70-Baylor, 71-Minnesota, 72-VCU, 73-Wichita State, 74-Nebraska, 75-Clemson, 76-Maryland, 77-Southern Miss, 78-Michigan, 79-Penn State

 

 

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (11), Big 12 (6), SEC (6), ACC (5), Big Ten (5), Mountain West (4), Atlantic 10 (3), Pac-10 (3), Colonial (2), Horizon League (2).

 

Link for those with insider access:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog?name=ncbexperts&id=6150750

Headlines from the Future

Headlines from the Future

Submitted by Blazefire on February 8th, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I went ahead to the morning of March 5th and returned with this nugget for you all:

March 5th, Ann Arbor, MI –

There is no such thing as a play-in game in conference basketball, though there is a first time for everything. As Michigan prepares to host MSU tonight at Crisler arena, both teams know what’s at stake and both will be playing, essentially, for their tournament lives.

The Michigan wolverines, sitting at 19-11, 9-8 conference, have really taken control of their season, winning six of their last seven, dropping only a home game against conference No. 2, Wisconsin. They have put themselves squarely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament.

The MSU Spartans, meanwhile, have also found a bit of themselves over the past few weeks, finishing the homestretch 4-2, leaving them at 17-12, also with a 9-8 conference record, but with a tougher NC schedule and a better national perspective. This also places them squarely on the NCAA bubble.

Now, the problem. The Big Ten has OSU, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota and Illinois ticketed for the dance already. The conference almost certainly will not get seven berths. And so, with also-rans Northwestern and Penn State on the outside looking in, the picture becomes clear. One of these teams, but not both, is going dancing. Tonight for our viewing pleasure, right here in Ann Arbor, these young men are going to play their guts out to find out which one.

- The Season So Far:

Michigan: For a team that was supposed to be too young to accomplish much, early season non-conference success brought whispers of an NCAA Tourney bid in the making. Then, close losses to No. 2 Kansas and No. 1 OSU in back-to-back games seemed to take it out of the wolverines, and they followed up with clunkers and aimless fluttering through several ugly Big Ten losses. It was not until this young team rallied to beat MSU at the Breslin center, something that had not happened in better than a decade, that they really began to figure out what they were.

Led by veterans Zack Novak and Darius Morris and supported by a talented freshman class including Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan, this team has found a method and a special type of leadership to rise above their youth. Expect a lot of threes from Novak if he can get open, some solid passing from Morris, and some interesting sets devised by head coach John Beilein.

MSU: Michigan State basketball is a program all but synonymous with top flight talent and perpetuated success. Though not lacking in the first, the second has been hard to come by this season. Early season losses were brushed aside as MSU faced some of the best teams in the nation. However, entering conference play, things got no easier for the Spartans. A lack of chemistry has left head coach Tom Izzo scratching his head, and meant the dismissal of one Korie Lucious and a bevy of tough losses.

Still, all that talent has come through when dearly needed, and has given MSU a chance to continue their impressive tournament streak. With no clear leader, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Spartans on any given night, but it’s likely that Tom Izzo will have some clever schemes to continue the minor winning streak that has rescued MSU from utter failure to the least chance of earning a berth.

One of these teams will make the tournament. For the other, it’ll be Big Ten tourney champions or bust. There is enough talent and skill to send the game either way. All that’s left is to play one of the most important games ever in this series. In Ann Arbor, you can cut the tension with a knife.

MBB can beat OSU tomorrow!

MBB can beat OSU tomorrow!

Submitted by Blazefire on February 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 PM

You know how I know? Because Brady Hoke is rubbing off on John Beilein:

"We've played so many of those good teams so far, that I don't know if (it matters if) you're playing a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5," U-M coach John Beilein said. "It depends on the kids. I know I don't look at it any differently. I know they're a tremendous team. The rankings are the perception of their team. They certainly are worthy of a No. 1 ranking."

GO BLUE! BEAT OSU!

MBB vs. Indiana Open Thread

MBB vs. Indiana Open Thread

Submitted by MGoShoe on January 15th, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Go Blue, beat IU!

Storylines:

  • Michigan attempts to end its three game losing streak
  • Novak and Douglass return to their home state

Live Stats  |  Live Audio  

• Radio: Michigan Sports Marketing (IMG)
• Detroit: WWJ (950 AM) | Ann Arbor: WWWW (102.9 FM) | WOMC 104.3 FM
• Internet: MGoBlue.com | Sirius: 90 (U-M broadcast) | XM: 143 (IU broadcast)
• U-M Radio: Matt Shepard (p-by-p) & David Merritt (analyst)
• Television Broadcast: Big Ten Network | Eric Collins (p-by-p) & Quinn Buckner (analyst)


After beginning the season 9-2, Tom Crean’s Indiana squad has since hit a slide, dropping its last six contests. After two tough losses at the Las Vegas Classic to Northern Iowa (67-61) and Colorado (78-69), the Hoosiers have lost each of their fi rst four Big Ten contests to Penn State (69-60), Ohio State (85-67), Minnesota (67-63) and Northwestern (93-81). Indiana holds a 9-8 overall record (0-4 Big Ten).

Under John Beilein, the Wolverines are 2-2 against the Hoosiers, with the teams splitting their matchups last season. In 2009-10, Michigan fell at Assembly Hall in their Big Ten opener, 71-65 (Dec. 31), but came away victorious in Ann Arbor, 69-45 (Jan. 14). This season, the Hoosiers are led by sophomore Christian Watford, who leads Indiana with 16.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.


  • Michigan will play three of its next four games, and expanding further fi ve of its next seven, on the road, starting with a game at Indiana (Jan. 15). Michigan had played 10 of its last 11 games in Crisler Arena, going 7-3 at home in that stretch.
  • Three of Michigan's six losses this season have come against three of top-fi ve ranked programs in the nation. U-M lost by just three to No. 4 Syracuse (53-50), lost by seven in overtime to No. 3 Kansas (67-60) and by just four to No. 2 Ohio State (68-64).
  • In conference play, Michigan is shooting a league-best 89.2 percent (33-of-37) from the free throw line in Big Ten games and is 47-of-54 (87 percent) over the last five games.
  • Overall, Michigan is second in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage (73.1 percent) and has two players in the top-10 in the conference in free-throw percentage. Tim Hardaway Jr. is eighth in the conference (81.5 percent) while Darius Morris ranks 10th in the league (76.8 percent).
  • U-M coach John Beilein needs to coach 15 more games to reach 1,000 total contests in his 33-year career. At the current pace, the 1,000th game will be the Wolverines' opening game at the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
  • With 131 three-point fi eld goals, Stu Douglass is eighth all-time at U-M. Douglass needs four to move into seventh (Glen Rice, 135).

Morris/Hardaway B1G Honors and Bacari Alexander Feature

Morris/Hardaway B1G Honors and Bacari Alexander Feature

Submitted by MGoShoe on December 27th, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Darius Morris was named B1G Player of The Week and Tim Hardaway, Jr was named co-B1G  Freshman of the Week.

Michigan's Darius Morris earns the first Player of the Week honor of his career after recording his fourth points and assists double-double of the season with 26 points and 12 assists in the Wolverines' 87-71 victory against Bryant.

Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. earns the Wolverines' first Freshman of the Week award after recording a career-best 20 points in the Wolverines' 87-71 victory against Bryant.

Morris is the first Michigan Conference POTW since DeShawn Sims was honored on Jan 11, 2010. Hardaway is the first ever Michigan player named Conference Freshman of the Week.


Meanwhile, MGoBlue.com has a nice feature on Michigan MBB Asst Coach, Bacari Alexander.  Love the impact he's had on the program and love his enthusiasm.  Michigan will be fortunate if he stays in Ann Arbor for more than two seasons.

Basketball PDC Virtual Tour

Basketball PDC Virtual Tour

Submitted by MGoShoe on December 20th, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Just posted at UMHoops.com, but since many of you don't visit that site, check out this virtual tour of the Basketball Player Development Center.  Yes, the PDC will be quite the boon to the MBB and WBB programs. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOH7DZ_hymo

As a reminder:

 

The facility... will provide approximately 57,000 gross square feet, including two basketball practice courts, team locker rooms for players and coaches, athletic medicine and hydrotherapy.

The second floor will accommodate men's and women's coaching staff and administrative support functions, as well as film-viewing rooms and strength and conditioning space.

The proposed design calls for a new entrance to Crisler Arena for players and coaches at the playing floor level and a new, dramatic Hall of Fame in the entry lobby.

Is it the rest of the staff (Basketball vs. Football) ?

Is it the rest of the staff (Basketball vs. Football) ?

Submitted by Blazefire on December 20th, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Alright, legitimate post time.

Brian's post on the front page regarding the progress of the basketball team since the essential reformatting of the squad, namely the axing of the entire coaching staff by Beilien and the willingness to let two experienced guys walk has gotten me thinking. The basketball team has clearly benefited via addition through subtraction. They are playing better with less experience, and, one could argue, no substantial addition in talent. (Yes, we've got some exellent young guys, but the guys that are gone weren't too shabby).

So the question becomes, was it the changeover in staff that has created the bulk of the positive change this season? Is it Bacari Alexander and the rest that are to be most credited with this solid success?

If so, I want to know what you all think that means for the football team. We've already tried changing D-Coordinators. Didn't work. However, there is some consensus that the initial change was simply because fans, alumni and everyone else needed a sacrificial lamb after that attrocious 2008 season. I'm not sure if we can count the inditial D-Coordinator change when we try to decide if replacing more staff will help the team this time.

The other factor to consider is that, as opposed to the Basketball team, we're not looking at a fresh bevy of talented but inexperienced faces for next season. For the first time in a while, we're going to finally return an experienced, established squad that is familiar with their position coaches and scheme and so on.

Keep in mind that this is not just defensive either. Though the offense was clearly killer this past season, it also had its share of problems. Most notably, turnovers (fumbles) and, in the later season, substantial red zone issues (kicking game withstanding, because I don't even want to get into that).

Obviously, some changes in the coaching staff need to be made. I guess at the heart of the matter is this question:

In light of the basketball team's early season success after a wholesale staff changeover, assuming Rodriguez remains as coach for the 2011 season, and considering both the returning experience of the team AND the problems that plagued a variety of position groups this past season, exactly how much of the staff do you think Rodriguez should replace? Is D-Coordinator enough? Should he gut the defensive side of the ball and bring up position coaches from all over? Do any offensive guys get it?

I don't care so much WHO you want to see brought in as who you think, ideally, needs to be replaced to see the squad perform at a much higher level next season.

MBB: Oakland looks legit

MBB: Oakland looks legit

Submitted by Huntington Wolverine on December 15th, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Looks like we shouldn't read too much into Oakland's near upset of MSU: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recap?gid=201012140580

They're legit.  Played Illinois and Purdue tough, near upset of MSU, and successfully knocked off UTenn.  I exxpect them to be a tough opponent for us on the 18th.

 

Edit: never mind, already posted and missed it

Carlton Brundidge Signs MBB LOI

Carlton Brundidge Signs MBB LOI

Submitted by MGoShoe on November 16th, 2010 at 4:24 PM

According to the Freep (via UMHoops.com), Carlton Brundidge, Michigan's first commitment of the 2011 class ("Hello" post here) has now signed and faxed his letter of intent to the Michigan basketball offices.  Brundidge joins Trey Burke who signed his LOI last week. 

Brundidge faxed his letter of intent to the Michigan basketball offices this morning, making his commitment official. Here’s Brundidge’s statement on his signing and explanation of the delay (per Detroit Free Press):

“It means a lot,” Brundidge told the Free Press. “My sister went to the school, and I like going to a program that’s improving. I want to build up Michigan. I want to be the person who helps build it up.”

He said when his father got home during the weekend, they discussed the letter, made certain it was the right decision and moved forward. “He said, ‘Carlton, are you ready to do this?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I was waiting for you,’” Brundidge recalled.

“Carlton is a physically strong, attacking combo guard that will add toughness and offensive punch to our lineup,” said [Michigan Coach John] Beilein. “He is a leader and a winner that loves to compete. We love the fact that we have added another outstanding in-state player to our program, and value the loyalty Carlton has demonstrated throughout his recruiting process. We are thrilled with his decision to become a Michigan Wolverine.”

Welcome, Carlton and thanks for making this official so this guy doesn't have to "feel like a neurotic girlfriend" anymore.  Also, excellent Facebook stalking to this guy.  Well done to all concerned.

Much speculation that since Michigan lost the Amir Williams sweepstakes, they'll bank one scholarship for use in the 2012 class.  UMHoops.com's 2012 recruiting hotboard resides here and its very useful Scholarship Breakdown page is here.

[Edited to make it clear that the Amir Williams decision is firm. H/T Raoul.]