In Soviet Unverified Voracity, Otter Eats Crocodile

Submitted by Brian on March 6th, 2014 at 2:20 PM

BASKETBALL. This is Henri The Otter Of Ennui's brother, Hank The Otter Of Swank. He's trying to eat a crocodile.

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He has been watching Michigan basketball and is feeling rather metal. \m/

Don't drink? Grantland's Andrew Sharp profiles Nik Stauskas, and, uh…

Shooter. Shooter shooter shooter shooter shooter shooter. His ballhandling has made him a more complete scorer this year, but let’s not kid ourselves. That Wayne song was all about Stauskas.

This feels like meme backlash. Yes, Stauskas is nasty whenever provided an opportunity to launch, and sometimes even when not provided one.

But he has an almost 50/50 split between twos and threes and Michigan's highest FT rate by a wide margin. Shooter-shooter-shooter shooters have profiles more like Zak Irvin's 1:3 ratio of twos to threes and 21 FTAs on the season. Oh, and they're not top ten in the Big Ten in assists.

So… no, Andrew Sharp. No.

But kinda yeah. HAHAHAHA

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The main problem with this chart is it doesn't seem to give full credit to the shot right before the half, which was launched from Botswana.

Down goes a guy considerably worse than Frazier! Nevermind that business about Michigan's relative immobility as a three. After Duke and Syracuse losses to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, respectively, the door is wide open for Michigan to move up to a 2. Also helping is Nebrasketball, which moved into the top 50 in RPI with a win over Indiana. That provides Michigan a couple extra wins in that overvalued category.

Michigan's still definitively behind three teams (Florida, Wichita, Arizona) but they've got a shot at everyone else. They are behind another five or six outfits and thus can't hit that 1 spot without a miracle, but two is at least a 50/50 proposition with Duke ceding advantage with a horrible loss.

In RPI terms the relative equality in record is because of an easier schedule. Duke is 4-4 against RPI top 50; Michigan is 8-5, 10-5 as long as Nebraska sticks. Duke also has one additional bad loss after tonight and zero road pedigree. Michigan is 7-2 on the road in the Big Ten. Beat an Indiana team that may be without Noah Vonleh and has definitely exited the bubble picture and I'm guessing a semifinal exit in the BTT will be good enough for a two.

Foot… ball? SB Nation takes an in-depth look at what Doug Nussmeier will do differently than Al Borges. This passage reinforces just how bonkers Michigan's approach was last year:

For example, the Michigan offense involved six primary run schemes: power, iso, draw, horn (a tackle lead play), inside zone, and outside zone. It's worth noting here, just for comparison, that NFL run-game guru Alex Gibbs believes that a ground attack should be built almost entirely on just inside and outside zone.

"Horn" was a little-used counter on which Michigan's tackles struggled to execute because of a lack of experience. The tackles struggled to execute. You know, the good, veteran dudes.

HOORAY

The run game will likely be built around inside zone and remain committed to the concept from week to week. Whereas Borges would build a million different constraints and play calls around multiple different run and pass schemes, Nussmeier will run inside zone in multiple ways, from multiple formations, and with different constraints built off of it to counter defensive responses. At Alabama, players would rep inside zone against every single defensive look that might come up, ensuring it could be called against any opponent.

Hooray.

Brutal. Tom Seeberg, father of Lizzie, speaks on his daughter's death. After issues here this is compelling:

"I think the context of revealing his name maybe adds to maybe why we certainly accused Notre Dame of conducting a superficial investigation," Seeberg said Tuesday on WGWG-FM 87.7. "But maybe it adds context to why they might conduct a superficial investigation. In a he-said-she-said matter, you can quickly gather forensic evidence to try to determine what happened there, or you can let it linger like they did. Let evidence spoil."

Please read the whole item; it's a fair piece for one that comes from father of deceased person who may or may not have been assaulted by a Notre Dame football player. It may have taken a while, but at least Michigan took what action was available to it—ex post facto or not—in its situation. Some of the things Seeberg's father states apparently sans emotion are crippling.

This is the point where it's really easy to fall into either THEY ARE TERRIBLE homerism or I AM OUTRAGED signaling; I'm not trying to do either and the Chicago Tribune does a terrific job of not doing so either while still allowing the to-date mysterious story from the Seebergs to come forth.

Walton profiled. Derrick Walton on The Journey, which remains a disappointingly but understandably whitewashed version of life in the Big Ten:

Damn if they don't get some remarkable video, though. That shot through Trey Burke to Beilein against Kansas… damn.

Well then, do something about it. Mark Cuban's NCAA rant has been disassembled various places, and deservedly. Cuban asserts that the one-and-done rule is somehow the NCAA's deal, and things go downhill from there. He also asserts that people would be better off if the D-League was a real alternative, which it won't ever be because the NBA would rather take the marketing bonanza that is the NCAA tournament and apply it instead of trying to make the Fort Wayne Mad Antz relevant nationally.

There is a solution here. It's easy, actually: the NBA moves to an NHL-style draft where any relevant player is automatically inserted at 18. This preserves their eligibility. The NBA then allows teams to sign draftees but forces them to guarantee contracts one year longer than their eligibility would last (IE, signing a guy out of HS: five year contract, freshman 4 years, etc) except in the case of graduating seniors, who are owed nothing.

If there's a five-round draft, say, that

  • increases NCAA popularity as NBA fans check out their prospects,
  • reduces bad NBA contracts for unready or plain overrated prospects,
  • encourages the NBA to sign guys when they're ready and only then,
  • allows LeBron-type prospects to immediately hit the NBA like they deserve to.

That is a vast improvement on the current system and 1000% more fun than anything Mark Cuban's come up with.

Here's an interesting metric. Bill Connelly has a novel stat: solo tackle rate for offenses. The teams at the top of this ranking correspond closely to spreads: Kansas State, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Baylor, Indiana. Michigan was middle of the pack; MSU and ND towards the bottom. Meaningful? No idea.

Etc.: Nebraska is one win over Wisconsin from punching their NCAA dance ticket. Viva Nebrasketball! Everything you need to know about that one incredible Iowa cheerleader. His name is Oz! Jim Delany is just the worst. Football is  faster than ever now, for a given version of "now" that includes 1968.

Michigan is included as part of a scouting report series on "second-tier" contenders; nothing in it you don't already know except that Michigan apparently struggles against teams that push tempo. Um?

Comments

ijohnb

March 6th, 2014 at 2:33 PM ^

"not just a shooter" talk, Stauskas' future at the next level is as a quick release sniper.  He will likely be reasonably effective in transition and capable of driving and shooting over some shorter two guards, but his bread and butter will be shooting dagger 3s into the hearts of opponents.  Think Ray Allen, likely without the multiple-all-star-multiple-all-NBA-likely-hall-of-fame yadayada.

MGoLogan

March 6th, 2014 at 4:13 PM ^

I think Klay Thompson from Golden State is the NBA player that reminds me of Stauskas the most.  Thompson is a better athlete and a little taller than Stauskas but I actually think Nik is a better creator and passer than Klay.

mgobaran

March 6th, 2014 at 4:12 PM ^

He is not just a shooter. But he is sooooo damn good at shooting, he seems like just a shooter. 

If you were to make Nik Stauskas in NBA2k, his attributes would be like this:

Defense:  68
Passing:  83
Dunking:  86
Lay-ups:  92
Inside Shooting:  89
Mid Range: 83
Free Throw: 83
3-point:  ∞

DonAZ

March 6th, 2014 at 2:49 PM ^

From the linked article, referring to Nussmeier's process:

"transforming the elite players that a program like Michigan can recruit into a dominant machine that leverages talent into consistency."

I love that "leverages talent into consistency" phrase.  It gives me hope.  And after 2013 I need some hope.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

March 6th, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

Alligators and such-like big lizard critters are surprisingly edible by other critters.  I would've thought their skin was too tough and their bite too fearsome to make it worth it, but one of the coolest ever nature videos was one a little while back of a jaguar stalking and completely owning a caiman.

villadelrefugio

March 6th, 2014 at 3:00 PM ^

I tweeted at Dylan and Borzello pertaining to that article about running against Michigan. My comment was that basically anytime someone has tried to do that the last two seasons, it hasn't worked out well (for the most part). I didn't get a response of total agreement. Am I way off here?

J.

March 6th, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

I'm convinced that the whole "Michigan can't handle teams that like to run" thing comes from a superficial study of Michigan's tempo numbers.  KenPom has Michigan's adjusted tempo at 63.1, good for 321 of 351 Division I teams.  Wisconsin (Wisconsin!) is at 64.1, cracking the top 300 at #293.  I think the analysis as as follows:

Michigan has slow tempo numbers.  Therefore, Michigan cannot do well against teams with high tempo numbers.  That is all.

There was a good article earlier this season on Grantland -- "[...] Beilein’s offenses are so fluid and effective that they retain their sense of drama. Michigan is slow, but never boring."  Michigan can play in transition, even if a couple of players do sometimes throw the baseball-pass breakout too long.  (Get well soon, Mitch!). You could do a whole GIF of nothing but GRIII transition dunks and it would be mesmerizing.  Sure, Michigan struggles at transition defense -- so do most teams.  But they (usually) don't turn the ball over.  Fast-paced teams tend to generate a lot of opposition turnovers, but the causality gets reversed in the storytelling.  In my mind, the fast tempo is a result of the turnovers, not a cause.  Generating a turnover makes that opponent's possession a short one; generating a transition opportunity makes your possession a short one as well.

The ten fastest teams by AdjT are Northwestern St., VMI, Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, Arkansas, MVSU, BYU, Delaware, Iowa, and Hampton.  This isn't exactly a murderer's row.

Further, the D-I average tempo is 66.6.  So, Michigan comes in 3.5 possessions shy, or approximately 5%. The average possession is about 36 seconds long; the average possession in a Michigan game is about 38 seconds long.

Anyway, bring on the fast-paced teams.  We can always use more transition 3s and highlight-reel dunks. :-)

Go Blue!

jmblue

March 6th, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

I suspect our low possession total is strongly influenced by our low foul and turnover rates.  We don't give up a lot of fastbreaks to our opponents (which are quick possessions) and don't create a lot of extra stoppages with fouls.

getsome

March 6th, 2014 at 4:39 PM ^

theyre not very good overall defensively, its just amplified a bit in transition when no one stops ball and layup lines ensue.  the effort is usually there especially by PGs and morgan/horford but its really tough lacking athletic big guys and shot blocker.  the wings tend to take plays off which only enhanced by um intentially limiting fouls, robinson sticking bigger 4s, they have a lot of issues on D, not just transition.  they can be solid at times too, just far too inconsistent.  its a very good thing theyre so efficient on O and great at not only creating but hammering open looks.  just hope they dont forget to attack the rim this postseason as theyve occasionally done for long stretches, that should always be part of their O

UM Fan in Nashville

March 6th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

The NBA and NCAA are missing a potential goldmine of a situation if they adopt something similar to the baseball/hockey draft.  

This would allow them to build a HUGE fanbase for both 'leagues.'  

Imagine being an NBA fan, say of the Pistons, you'd want to watch nearly all of the games their 'college draft picks' were playing in to see how they're progressing and if they could contribute sooner than later.  

I'd add one small piece to this, allow the players that were drafted by the NBA teams to workout at the NBA facilities during the offseason.  Schedule the NCAA offseason times to go back and forth with when they can workout at the NBA facilities.  

You could have a huge draft special similar to the NFL draft. Then you could even have a special night where the NBA teams 'call up' their players to the NBA.  Make a big production thing about it and show the highlights of the kids playing for the school.  This is Win Win!  

They don't get paid until they are in the NBA jersey, therefore preserving their 'amateur status,' but gives them something to work towards while the university reaps the benefits and the NBA gets their D-League of sorts.

Michigan4Life

March 6th, 2014 at 3:52 PM ^

if a player does not sign and return to school, MLB team lose the right for that player unless they sign by a certain date which is somewhere in July. 

Good example is Mark Appel.

Hot drafted by the Tigers at 15th round, but it was a desperation ploy in hope of signing him instead of him going to Stanford.  In his Junior year, he was projected as a #1 overall pick but fell due to his signing bonus demand to #8 spot to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  However, Appel did not sign with the Pirate as the deadline passed so he returned to Stanford for his Senior year.  The next year, he got selected at #1 overall by the Astros and signed with them.

M-Dog

March 6th, 2014 at 4:12 PM ^

Hey look!  I found it all the way down here:

 

                               

 

The green dot that represents Nik's shot to end the first half against Illinois.

mistersuits

March 6th, 2014 at 4:33 PM ^

Minnesota and Stanford are sitting 47th and 48th in the RPI also. Nebraska is at 50th. If those teams drop even just a little bit Michigan's 10-5 "Top 50" wins suddenly becomes a pedestrian 5-5. That's your difference between a 2-seed and a 3-seed at this point and it's largely out of Michigan's hands.

Although a run to the BTT finals would end all speculation. It's just that Michigan prefers to end up opposite Wichita State or Florida... not Arizona.

Franz Schubert

March 6th, 2014 at 8:44 PM ^

Will actually improve RPI wise, even with a loss to Wisconsin. Just playing a top #10 RPI team will move the needle for a team near #50. I said it before but Michigans road resume is being underestimated by most, Duke is going to be seeded about 2 lines lower than most realize because the commitee really gives road wins a lot of weight. I see Jerry Palm has moved Duke down to a #5 seed.

gwkrlghl

March 6th, 2014 at 5:07 PM ^

No idea he was such a well spoken guy and he's obviously been a key part of doing work here under Beilein. I'm fine with him going elsewhere to coach soon so maybe we can steal him back one day when Beilein retires