Iowa State Items Comment Count

Brian December 5th, 2011 at 2:24 PM

When UV bullets keep expanding you must post them as posts.



I hit up Crisler for the first time this season to take in Michigan's 76-66 win over Iowa State; it wasn't that close. Michigan led by 20 for a good chunk of the second half before getting sloppy and letting ISU whittle the lead down to 8 or so; I got frustrated. KenPom is always watching.

Anyway, items. First, Eric Upchurch's photoset. (Thanks to the Ann Arbor Observer.)

Photos are Creative Commons licensed.

If you want it large, there is a link that takes you there.

THJ Face Pantheon addition. This is an all-timer.



McLimans is pretty good, too.

Speaking of the Bird. McLimans and Akunne put up ten points in the midst of a game-opening run that took Michigan from down two to a comfortable lead and we were all like "WTF." Via UMHoop's five key plays:

McLimans came in with a rep as a big who could shoot threes but has struggled to do so; with no other discernible skills that means bench. Akunne spells Burke at "point guard," though when he's in the offense doesn't run through him. Doesn't really run through anyone. They're making shots, though, especially Akunne.

The downside of Akunne's time is that it means someone else is struggling. That would be Vogrich, who's started the year off one of ten from three. When shooters can't shoot they can't play.

Novak's addition. Novak's added a pump fake and step-in midrange jumper to his arsenal this year that he's knocking down with excellent consistency. He has some awesome shooting numbers thus far: 12 of 19 from two, 13 of 28 from three.

Not to be outdone. Jordan Morgan is 20 of 25 on the season. Hit up the Five Key Plays to see his 12 points in the second half and note that only one bucket was the undefended throwdowns that seemed to be most of his points last year. He hit a jumper from the elbow, had a couple of baby hooks in the lane, and seems like a guy who can maybe generate some of his own offense from the post.

We'll have to see if he can continue this against quality competition. I mentioned this before but he seems to be tracking like DeShawn Sims, where he can blow up crappy defensive teams (with a lot of help from the pick and roll) but doesn't have the height or athleticism to deal with guys like those at UVA. This is maybe not good news against MSU later this year—Adreian Payne is approaching the top 100 in block rate. OTOH, he did have an efficient 12 against Duke's diverse Plumlees.

Burke and Morris. Holdin' The Rope on the divergent point guards:

I miss Morris's ability to get into the lane at will using his size but Burke's outside shooting and distribution is getting to be just as fun to watch. He will surely hit a rough patch or two at some point this season, but he seems to have the perfect demeanor to weather those storms. While Morris thrived on a sort of expletive-based verve, Burke is a cool customer. Both work, but the latter is particularly surprising for a freshman. The minutes he has been logging thus far is somewhat worrisome, however. I guess I'd have to go back and see what kinds of minutes Morris was getting last year (I'd imagine they were similar if not higher), but you'd imagine that Morris's body would be more capable of handling a long season, including a TOUGH Big Ten schedule. I actually didn't realize this until looking at the box score just now but apparently he went 3/11 from three, which: a) is not good and b) only in a Beilein offense can you shoot 11 threes and be okay.

Burke was 3 of 4 at one point before finishing on an 0-for-7 skid, which does lend some credence to the idea that he might be losing his legs. Nick Baumgardner:

Entering Saturday's home game against Iowa State (noon, BTN), Burke is averaging 31.6 minutes per game, third-most on the team. However, in Michigan's last six games, its freshman point guard is averaging nearly 34 minutes.

The problem Beilein is faced with is simple: Outside of Burke, who is averaging 11 points and 4.1 assists this season, the Wolverines have no other true viable point guard option. …

"If we had a true other point guard, we wouldn't be concerned," Beilein said. "When he's on the floor, he's one of our best guys to just run our offense. But he does need to get two to three minutes of rest every half. At least that's our plan."

Or it might mean nothing. We're early enough in the season that sample sizes are laughable. Burke went from a 42% three point shooter to 31% in those seven shots. Ask again later.

Q: where does the backup point come from? Next year's recruiting class is a post and a couple of 6'6" guys. Akunne is never going to get penetration; Michigan really needs Carlton Brundidge to develop into a viable option over the next year or so.

The truly important thing. Our long local annoyance is over: no longer does Crisler have "souvenir" and "large" options for soft drinks in which "large" is the smaller size. "Large" is now "regular" and I don't have to tell the teenager behind the counter that when I say large I want the large one, not the small one, who's on first. VICTORY

Half of the new Crisler. It is a massive improvement and I'm happy to report that rumors the seats were reminiscent of flying coach turns out not to be true. Room was sufficient. The place looks a lot better, which is step one. Step two is not being able to look around and think "the empty seats do look a lot better."

This week in terrible fan-spurning ideas. Crisler is going to be re-seated next year based on priority points. Are you really going to tell the guy in the third row who's been buying tickets for a decade that because he hasn't coughed up enough dough he gets booted to crappier seats?

This is man who has endured. He deserves our respect and admiration. Instead Dave Brandon puts his hand out. His drive to undermine fan loyalty is relentless.

Why always the terrible teams? I'm looking at the schedule. Michigan's small conference opponents by Kenpom rank: #117 Oakland, #217 Bradley, #289 WIU, #316 Arkansas Pine Bluff, #327 Alabama A&M, #331 Towson.

I know they're going to fill their schedule with some creampuffs but I wonder what the impact of having so many awful opponents has on the RPI. Towson is 0-7 and projected to go 3-27. Alabama A&M just lost to South Alabama but 23; they're in the SWAC and should go 9-9 in conference because the best team in the league is ranked #292. I'd rather see more Bradleys and Oaklands on the schedule, for both entertainment and RPI-jiggering purposes.



December 5th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

Burke has caused a lot of excitement so far, and deservedly so, but I hope that people remember that Trey Burke the freshman is not nearly the player that Darius Morris the sophomore was.  Michigan is going to struggle to replicate last year's success because of that. 


December 5th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

does Brandon think these ticket policies are beneficial to the fan? Seems out of touch with the economy, loyalty and reality. Shouldn't there be a grandfathered in type of system?


December 5th, 2011 at 11:44 PM ^

Maryland really screwed up its reseating when it moved from Cole to Comcast. Existing seat holders didn't know how many points they needed to keep a seat (any seat) after the adjustment. The marketers solicited new people and long time seat holders got left out of the building completely. major ruckus. In subsequent reseats the formula was changed to give more credit to past ticket purchases and to tell current holders that if they had a minimum threshold of points they would not be left out. Now the arena doesn't sellout anymore and many past ticket holders who lost their tickets in the move refuse to buy or donate anything.


December 6th, 2011 at 7:02 AM ^

But I do have a counter point.  My father and I have had season tickets since 1995, and we are just now in the lower bowl (and the only reason we are in the lower bowl is because I have been coughing up $2500 for football tickets).  I am one that is extremely frustrated.  I remember going to games during the Amaker and Ellerble era's and being able to count the number of people in the lower section between the base lines.  Any re-seating policy should NOT include a "loyalty" clause just for buying tickets and then not using them.  As stated before any "loyalty" clause as far as re-seating goes should be based on a couple factors:  a) how many consecutive years of season tickets have you purchased b) what is your attendance record.  So for example, I have had season tickets for 17 years now, and I would bet our attendance record is right around 95%.  If your attendance record is less than 80%, you get the boot.  If your attendance record is higher than 80%, you can keep your current seats.  Even this year, I know the people in front of us renewed their tickets and they haven't been to one game.  And I don't want to hear excuses, because I have a 7 month old son, and if we can't go we make damn sure that someone gets the tickets.  I will now get off my soap box, and get off my lawn while we're at it!

Kilgore Trout

December 5th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

Reseating on points really would be a shame.  I've had season tickets for 20+ years and it's been rough, but we've stuck it through.  They need to do a serious loyalty check and factor that in.  The same people have been there through it all and even though they take a bunch of crap for not being rowdy enough, they have supported this team through all the crap.  They should be rewarded and at minimum not cast aside.


December 5th, 2011 at 3:09 PM ^

I would think you probably have a bunch of points having been a ticketholder for so long, no?  Regardless, the way they apportion points for pay is going to kill people that have had tickets for years but only contributed the minimum to ensure continued tickets.  Brandon keeps showing his true colors in these decisions/rumors.  Corporate America has a place in college athletics, but not to the extent that he believes. 

The problem with all corporate CEOs is that they are all graded on percentage of increase in revenue/profits.  In other words, quantity over quality.  (Example:  See all the risky loans banks entered into in the 2000s that eventually went bust - senior executives made money in bonuses based on the increased loans, not in their performance.)  You can take the CEO out of the corporation but you can't take the corporate mentality out of the CEO.  Brandon needs to learn that gradual growth (read: gradual increase in AD revenue) >>>>> exponential risky growth.  He's not getting bonused based on increases in AD revenue, or I sure as hell hope he's not!  Has anyone seen his employment contract?


Bando Calrissian

December 5th, 2011 at 3:23 PM ^

Not necessarily.  Priority points are Victors Club points, meaning priority points across all Athletic Department giving (and to a smaller proportion, historical University giving) are factored in.  Basketball season tickets are just one part of it, and the amount of points you get for being a ticketholder is miniscule compared to your general Victors Club giving points, especially if you have a bunch of points from football-related giving, as that's been the focus and glut of points-denoted giving since the beginning of the Victors Club in the late 70s.

What it all boils down to is random person who has had Michigan Basketball season tickets for eons (we've had them since like 1983 or 4) may get shoved aside when Joe Suiteholder with about 50 times the Victors Club points from everything else decides "Hey, basketball is good again!  We should buy tickets for the first time ever."

How long until they do the same thing at Yost?  

Section 1

December 5th, 2011 at 7:40 PM ^

I know someone who is (1) a former Captain of the basketball team and (2) was his class President, and (3) who has had basketball tickets since Crisler opened, along with (4) a season football ticket subscription that dates back to about 1960.  He is (5) M Club, (6) Victors Club and (7) Presidents Club.  And he goes to all the games, and he supports the team.  He is already in what must be a top donor group based on those things. 

But they might move him out based on points.

I don't think very many teams in any realm -- not the Yankees, not the Red Sox, not the Canadiens, not the Maple Leafs, not the Lakers, not The Masters Tournament -- would treat a 40-year ticket subscriber that way.

I have no desire to feud with Dave Brandon.  I'm a Brandon fan, mostly.  And it is his job to do everything he can to generate revenue.

But one thing that I think you and I can agree on, Bando, is that institutional memory and atmosphere is important.  When the boxes went up in Michigan Stadium and the Athletic Deapratment trapped themselves into supplying luxury parking (numbered spots, actually) I thought that it would change much of the Blue Lot from tailgate central, into a large, dead, silent Lexus lot.  It might not be as bad as I feared, but compared to what it was and what could be, I think I was mostly right.

Bando Calrissian

December 5th, 2011 at 9:29 PM ^


And if the rumblings are correct, what is today the Blue Lot will be almost entirely numbered suite/Champions Club parking before next season, and after the next two-year giving cycle before points recalculation, will be completely numbered.  Never mind that at least 40% of the numbered parking this season in what used to be normal Blue Lot parking was NEVER full.  Someone parked in our former tailgating spot exactly twice this season, for WMU and ND.  And never after that.  

Welcome to the new world order.  Please give generously.  See everyone in the Gray Lot next year.


December 5th, 2011 at 2:49 PM ^


>> It is a massive improvement and I'm happy to report that rumors the

>> seats were reminiscent of flying coach turns out not to be

>> true. Room was sufficient.

Unfortunately that wasn't the case for me.  Legroom was pretty bad and I'm only 6 feet tall.  I was in the lower bowl to the right of the student section.

turd ferguson

December 5th, 2011 at 2:55 PM ^

It's time for the AD to hand over small conference scheduling to the statistics or economics department.  That's just a maximization problem (with some uncertainty), and we'd might as well get it right.  Why not reap the benefits of being a smarty pants school?


December 5th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

The advantage of scheduling a total RPI cupcake (300+) vs. a semi-cupcake (100th or so) is a decreased chance of randomly dropping a game to the cupcake. Michigan may be only like 75% to beat Oakland, while their odds vs. Alabama A&M are in the 99% range. Whatever benefit there is to the SOS advantage in RPI from scheduling more Oaklands is balanced with an almost proportional loss in that they're more likely to actually lose one of those games.

I doubt there is a significant RPI effect from an expected value standpoint. After the fact, when Michigan has locked in those wins vs. Oakland they look fine, but I bet you Tenessee fans are wishing they'd scheduled a true cupcake rather than Oakland this season (or last for that matter).

turd ferguson

December 5th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

I don't know that I agree. Let's say that you're Duke and there's a 95% chance that you beat Oakland and a 99% chance that you beat a true cupcake. In that case, they should probably schedule more Oaklands. The RPI can't be perfectly calibrated across teams - you have to think about what makes sense for you. (Your argument seems like it would require that this happens to be perfectly calibrated for Michigan.)


December 6th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

You would think that after the RPI formula was changed a few years ago so that a road win counts as 1.4 wins and a road loss as 0.6 losses (and the converse for home wins and losses), that teams would schedule a 1 or 2 road games at Cupcake State.  You not only get the (hopefully) guaranteed win, but it counts more than double what a home win would get you in the RPI.  Especially for a school like Michigan that is not selling out its home games for the cupcakes, the revenue loss can't be that great.

Blue boy johnson

December 5th, 2011 at 4:02 PM ^

I think Brundidge's head is probably spinning. He will be fine and will play more as the year continues. Think about Denard learning a whole new offense and struggling for much of the year and you probably have a good proximity of where Brundidge is now. Once he can go out and play without over thinking, he will get minutes. Belien has the luxury of going slow with Carlton and letting him get acclimated with what Belien expects from him. Patience.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

plus with Douglass, Novak, THJ and Vogrich taking time away from PG and SG for CB.  JB's system is widely known as a very complicated system for players to learn.  Some pick up quick, some pick up slow.  JB's best player at WVU, Mike Gansey, didn't pick up the system completely until a year into the system.  It takes time but I expect CB to flourish once he figures it out.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:53 PM ^

Good to hear this and the above comment.  I was worried that something might be wrong with CB (or that he wasn't living up to the hype).  I guess my concern arose when Akune (he of the Anthony Wright chunk-and-pray system of shot selection) was taking minutes that could've gone to CB.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

For the record, Akunne hasn't missed a shot all season, and he's taken only 5 shots in 32 minutes of action. That hardly merits your slam of him.

His shot selection may have been questionable in previous seasons, but he's been much more selective this season, and Beilein has said that he's really worked on his shooting--and it shows (5 for 5!).

On future point guards, as I've mentioned before, Beilein has said that despite Stauskas being 6-foot-6, he may get a chance at point guard, so he may be another option there. I believe Brundidge is destined to spend most of his career at shooting guard (and there aren't many minutes available at that position this year).


December 5th, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

I think Staukas has the handle to split minutes at the 1 and 2 guard spot next year.

And if he does play some point, we have the luxury of playing a smaller 2 guard like Brundidge without getting burned on defense ( Stauskas guards the opposing 2, brundidge guards the opposing PG)

My name ... is Tim

December 5th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

That's incredible regarding the tickets thing. Anyone who has kept season tickets throughout the Amaker era - part of which I spent my four years at Michigan - should not only be allowed to keep their seats, but should be given a couch if requested. It's one thing to reward donating in football, where support has never waned even during the darkest hours, but good God should you be thanking the people that stuck with this basketball program from Ellerbee to Amaker.


December 5th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

Burke may lose his legs later in the season with a heavy workload, but to even wonder if he already has hit the wall after only 8 games is a joke. 

Blue boy johnson

December 5th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

Royce White will probably be the most talented big man Jordan Morgan faces this season. White is really really talented and he is a really big dude. He made Morgan look small. Morgan is 20-25 this season and M has already faced; Memphis, Duke, UCLA, Virginia, and a very talented Iowa State team. I'm convinced Morgan has legit scoring ability.