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, who 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…
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.]
Best of the Board
FIRST HE PUSHED ROY ROUNDTREE INTO THE DUGOUT
To be fair that was still a better pitch than half of those thrown this year by Tigers reliever Bryan Villareal. My HTTV article opens with a similar scene. In so many ways it was the moment the 2012 season died. I still wonder at the Freek's genius, even when it stabs my soul again and again and again and again and…ARGH TAKE MY MIND OFF IT! CARE BEARS! FLOWERS! GARDENING! SMURFS!
both by Upchurch
So remember when Odoms came on the site for Hope for Pahokee/#EATING? This week Vincent Smith jumped on Tae's account to say hi. I've tried to contact him about getting a box of their bracelets at the spring scrimmage and our event afterwards, and also using the liveblog software later this year for the AMA thing he suggested so we can filter out the 6,000 "How did it feel to have your spleen attacked by Clowney?" questions.
How do you say "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY DO NOT LAY A FINGER ON THIS MAN OR BRIAN CLEARY IS YOUR STARTING QUARTERBACK!" Like so:
Via Devin Gardner's Twitter. Devin is now dg1two, for those of you following the ever-changing Devin twitter handle. I tried to get some video of DG and the football players dancing at center-court during the Crisler viewing on Monday but they got show'd up by a 9-year old.
ISN'T IT OBVIOUS?
This is from mGrowOld:
This coming May 14th my company is getting something known as the "Manny Award" here in Northern Ohio. I have been asked to accept the award for my firm and because of that I will be sitting at the podium for the dinner and award ceremony next to the Keynote speaker Jim Tressel. My question is if you had the opportunity to sit next to him for the evening what would you ask him?
Hey Jim. Pleasure to meet you. Are you at all embarrassed that Ohio State continues to shower you with honors when they had to pull off the world's best lawyer job since O.J. just to keep the program from a LOIC? Maybe phrase it as "When they were putting you on their shoulders with one half left to play in a season in which you got them banned from a bowl game…" or "Is it weird that after the national embarrassment you made of that school and our conference…" or "Hey, now that there's a show-cause against you for blatantly lying to the NCAA and presiding over some of the dirtiest 10 years at any program in recent memory, what's it like when they trot you out for…" okay I'm bad at this. Just steal his napkin and spit on his plate, and if he calls you out for it politely explain that the NCAA couldn't find any proof, therefore it didn't happen.
If you're srsly about being polite, read this again. With all due respect to some Ohio State people who deserve a program that doesn't make you a marginally worse person for rooting for it, Ohio State is absolutely on the short list of fandoms that applies to, and more than anybody else it's that guy's fault.
SOME GOOD NEWS FOR YOUR PSU BUDDY
We're expanding the HTTV concept to Penn State. With the empire of Maple Street fallen, we're trying to build a NATO of great blogs to share publishing efforts and knowledge, and keep the business-y folk out of it. Their kickstarter's at a third of ours 'cause BlackShoeDiaries has a third of our readership. Brian's writing the Michigan preview, I'm doing the publishing, the profits mostly stay with the editors. Only things we're planning to double up editorially are the team previews by Ace of teams we both play. Mike Pettigano, godfather of PSU blogging, is writing HTTV's Penn State preview.
As to our kickstarter, an update: though it doesn't say it on there we WILL ship to Canada, and figure something out if you're further abroad. Guys in space are screwed; any other school this wouldn't be a problem.
FORGOT TO SMILE
That's State's Gary Harris, presumably after losing a bet (to former teammate Zak Irvin?). HT artds.
This was found on THE BOARD:
Yes this maybe already got posted under Brian's links post or Ace's recruiting roundup, or BiSB's twitter follow-a-thon, but since everyone first saw it on the board it is clearly within the Dear Diary content domain. Let's put 20 seconds on the clock and see how much the MGoCommunity can ring this bell:
WolverSwede: "Nice. I like my LBs to know their calculus."
Crime Reporter: "At least it was not written in crayon."
ND Sux: "Maybe it was written/sent by one of the coeds after a recruiting visit? …or maybe DURING a visit, which would explain the messy handwriting.
Don: "Maybe 'baller' is Mississippian for "grad student in engineering."
clarkiefromcanada: "Now Ole Miss on the other hand...the inside of the card would look like this:
M-Wolverine: Judging from the writing, Mississippi State would do this too. They'd
just fax it.
evenyoubrutus: "Am I the only one who is suspicious that the card may have originally read "your a baller" but was corrected by a proof reader before it went in the mail? I mean, the "e" looks like different hand writing than the rest of it."
triangle_M: "Not to mention it doesn't match the E in Baller"
MaizeAndBlueWahoo: "Well, Baller is written in all caps while You're is not. But I
think what they're really trying to get across is that Ferns is nine ballers all in one,
they just forgot the s at the end.
jmdblue: "(Miss St. U.) computer is linked to an Etch-a-Sketch with which…
Your Moment of Zen:
I believe that I shall never see, a thing quite like a dancing 'tree. HT Michigan248