Unverified Voracity Announces Decisions Comment Count

Brian April 15th, 2014 at 12:08 PM


Maize and Blue Nation

The day has (mostly) come. Expect a post at about 3:35 today, as Michigan has called a press conference featuring Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III at 3:30 wherein they will either announce their NBA draft futures or talk about their favorite things to put on hamburgers. Here's hoping it's the latter.

I don't think there's a huge amount of suspense with either of those two guys. Michigan is bringing in Muhammed Ali Abdur-Rahkman for an official this weekend, and now there are multiple reports that Robinson has signed with an agent or hasn't signed but is entering the draft anyway.

The suspense is with Mitch McGary, who is not announcing:

McGary's father, Tim McGary, told MLive on Monday night that his son has no intentions to partake in the press conference and is still undecided on whether he return to U-M or not.

"He's still back and forth on it," Tim McGary said.

So he's not gone; neither is he necessarily back. He has until the 27th to make that decision; the NCAA's deadline is an entirely artificial one.

The fact that he's still debating things is obviously good. It is not as good as McGary being ready to announce a return would be; it is still good. Scout's Brian Snow has reported a shift of opinion($) in the Indiana recruiting circles he pings regularly that is positive for Michigan, so there's that. Sam Webb confirmed, insofar as it is possible to confirm an opinion on a decision that clearly hasn't been made yet.


Abdur-Rahkman, 40 in white
ha no but man wouldn't that be something
he's the guy with the ball
not that I had to tell you that

Meanwhile, MAAR. If Michigan does settle on Abdur-Rahkman as a spring take I'll be satisfied; Beilein and company have proved they can ID a diamond in the rough and, like… MAAR for four years. Misspelled Smiths tie in acronym: yes please.

MAAR currently has a slate of mid-major offers after a senior season in which he averaged nearly 24 points a game for Central Catholic. Joe Stapleton's article linked above indicates the seriousness of Michigan's interest—Beilein calls him "at least three times a week"*—despite the fact that he is not just a shooter because he's not, in fact, a shooter:

Abdur-Rahkman would be a slight departure from the prototypical Michigan recruit in that he isn’t known for his shooting. In fact, the graduating senior said that while his shot has improved, he made his living getting to the rim and playing great man-to-man defense.

A defensive stopper type would be welcome, and shooting can develop. If Michigan was to offer it doesn't seem like it'll take a whole lot of thought from MAAR:

“(Michigan is) definitely the top school.”

Abdur-Rahkman also deviates from the Beilein model in that he's old for his class. In fact, he is literally as old as you can be and still play high school basketball in Pennsylvania:

Abdur-Rahkman turned 16 on Sept. 1 at the start of his freshman year, which means, of course, he turned 19 on Sept. 1 of this past year. The cutoff date for meeting the PIAA's age requirement is Sept. 1, meaning that had Muhammad been born on Aug. 31, he would have had to be part of the 2013 graduating class.

He'll be 20 by the time he arrives on campus. Good for immediate readiness, bad for upside. Kind of like grabbing a hockey player after a couple years of JUCO.

*[They deregulated phone calls in men's basketball, if that sounds like a violation to you. Kelvin Sampson sighs heavily at home about this.]

WELP. Here's this draft evaluation of Taylor Lewan from SBNation that discusses Taylor Lewan, who is of interest to us as a Michigan alum who is likely to go in the top half of the first round of the draft.

What a shitty offense

Uh… what?

So I wanted to focus this breakdown on Taylor Lewan, not the severe annoyance I had with the way Michigan used him. But since it was the one thing that stood out to me the most while watching Lewan play, I am going to go ahead and address it right off the bat.


Now look, I don't profess to be some kind of expert on offenses, but some things about football I just feel like should be common sense. For instance, if you have a superior blocker at left tackle, most of your help from tight ends and running backs, whether it be run blocking or pass blocking, should go to the other four guys. It should also allow you to design plays built around his athleticism to help get your skill position players free out in space. Stuff like smoke screens (WR takes one step forward then one step back to catch the ball while his blockers lead up in front of him) or really any kind of screens, counter plays (where you pull the offensive guard and tackle from one side of the center to the other side of the center) and any number of sweep plays (runs designed to get wide outside of the offensive tackle).

I didn't see much of that in the five games that I watched. Furthermore, why in the HELL did Michigan keep a tight end to Lewan's side so damn much? He obviously didn't need the help. The quarterback was right handed anyway (with bootlegs you like for the tight end to be lined up to the side of the quarterback's throwing hand), and they could have potentially had a wide receiver there instead of a tight end. It would've increased the chances of success on passing downs as well as run downs if you get the opposing defenses spread themselves out. But is that what Michigan did?


This very long blockquote is not the end of former NFL DE Stephen White's evisceration of last year's Michigan offense, despite it being a very long blockquote. I expect that White will be getting some very stern comments from the folks around here who fought the rearguard action for Team Borges with such heroic ferocity last season when I made statements like "this is stupid," "this makes no sense," and "it is bad when your tailbacks run 27 times for 27 yards."

Michigan protected Taylor Lewan with a tight end so often that it made it hard for this draft evaluator to, you know, evaluate Taylor Lewan. Meanwhile, the interior of the line was a highway to Devin Gardner's ribs. And the kicker is: the tight ends couldn't even block. Michigan was tossing away its main advantage on the line—dang good tackles—because of their philosophy about manballin' it. That's alarming, because that seems like it comes from the top. It's all well and good to be Stanford or Alabama if you can be that, but when you're on your way to dead last TFLs… probably not.

We'll see. Rubber hits the road in September.

Oh, good. Putting Chad Lindsay on 27 tickets turns out to be premature, as the Alabama transfer is getting his woo on. After his visit to Michigan he hit up Louisville and Oklahoma; this week he's headed to Cal and… Ohio State. Oh goody.

OSU lost four seniors off last year's line and can pitch Lindsay playing time, and you know there's nothing in the world Urban would like more than grabbing Lindsay away from Michigan even if he ends up sitting on the bench the whole year. Especially if he ends up sitting on the bench the whole year.


Get out of there while you still can, Chad.

This will help you feel better about the previous section. Someone's really into Amir Williams saying coach be all over his di—


For pants sake, lady, can you see a camera without reflexively extending your tongue and squinting? I submit that you cannot.

Mascot of the week. The El Paso Chihuahuas' Chico has been hanging with Eight Ball the Tiger:


Mascots should be as frightening as possible. I approve.

YUP. It's almost like arguments against a college football playoff weren't particularly good ones.

Our worthless suit overlords think so little of us they kept the guy who was issuing these proclamations around to issue the exact opposite proclamations.

The Michigan Difference. Michigan PhD grad makes joke about Darren Rovell on twitter.

Darren Rovell, being Darren Rovell, reports this comment to some guy at Michigan. Michigan's "informal response":

1) "Wait, so who is this guy? Is @darrenrovell actually famous?"

2) "What did he think we were going to do? Take away your diploma?"

/sings fight song, waves tiny block M flag

I am always very careful about how I mis-state the word rapper. Ace informs me that this gentleman with Devin Gardner is noted rappist "Two Chains," but I say balderdash, I say!


COUNT THE CHAINS, "TWO CHAINS." His real name is Excessive Watches IV. He goes home and takes off all of that, sits down with a Forbes, and looks exactly like Carlton. Fact. E-fact. Also his rap song just cannot compete with the Charleston.

This has been Brian pretends he's more out of touch than he is to forestall accusations of being out of touch theater. Thank you.

Thanks, bro. Horford opens up about his decision to leave to MLive; it turns out his zen does not extend to the rest of his family:

"(Transferring) is something that my family has been trying to persuade me to do for four years," Horford said. "So I guess naturally it's always been inevitable -- when people are telling you something all the time."

I get the feeling that Horford's support system regards Horford's abilities with… uh… enthusiasm not necessarily in line with reality. The reason his playing time dropped late in the season is that he wasn't playing well. I mean… when Morgan went out I was always like WHEN CAN WE GET MORGAN BACK IN. Play better and you get more time. Or wait for Morgan to graduate and go get it like he did.

Please please please let me get what I want (fewer timeouts) this time. Timeouts are a scourge upon basketball, not only turning 60 seconds of clock time into a writhing eternity of nothingness but also reducing the chaos factor that a trailing team attempts to insert into the game late. On four seconds trying to inbound the ball? Timeout. Trapped in the corner? Timeout. Want to get your defense set? Timeout. Timeouts are used to prevent turnovers, keep the leading team in the lead, and let over-coaching guys in suits maintain as much control as possible. They result in two and a half hour  games that mean you have to stream the first ten minutes of  your game on ESPN3. They are miserable and should be almost entirely removed.

They won't be, but at least the misery of them is a thing that has reached the people who can do something about it:

Everyone agreed that one of the biggest detractions of the current game is the eternity it takes to end a close one. That is largely due to the number of timeouts granted to each team, both officially (five per team per game) and unofficially (coaches are given a minute to substitute when a player fouls out). Replay reviews are viewed as a necessary evil in the quest for the right calls, but they also add to the length of an endgame situation. Coaches cherish their control of the game and thus will be loath to surrender timeouts, but fans everywhere would embrace fewer stoppages in play – especially late in a game. The NCAA said it will begin tracking the length of games next year, as it does in football.

"Length is becoming a concern," said David Worlock, NCAA associate director of men's basketball.

You're going to begin tracking games? And you don't think there's anything wrong with the current replay setup? Argh. But yes, please, shoot timeouts into the sun. One per team per game.


An elimination of live-ball timeouts, or at least limiting those calls to players instead of coaches. This would be a move toward FIBA international rules, which allow no live-ball timeouts.


But no:

Reducing the shot clock to either 30 or 24 seconds. Brey said he is in favor, and there seems to be fairly wide support for a reduction of some kind – although there also is a concern about college hoops becoming an NBA copycat league. (Interestingly, Byrd said his Belmont team occasionally uses a 12-second shot clock in practice to force tempo and enhance conditioning.)

With zone defenses viable and the skill level generally reduced, shortening the shot clock just results in more ugly shots. 45 to 35 was necessary, but in college 35 is fine.

Etc.: Sam Mikulak in repose. PSU-M is at 7 PM on ESPN or ESPN 2. Frighentingly quick MAAR scouting video from UMHoops.



April 15th, 2014 at 12:30 PM ^

I expect that White will be getting some very stern comments from the folks around here who fought the rearguard action for Team Borges with such heroic ferocity last season


turd ferguson

April 15th, 2014 at 1:09 PM ^

I wasn't a fan of that blocking scheme either (and I love the OC switch), but since when does a post from some former defensive end no one has heard of who has no coaching experience or demonstrable knowledge about Michigan personnel or offensive football strategy enough to warrant a front page self-pat on the back?  

turd ferguson

April 15th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

So the logic here is that when someone who has no idea what he's talking about says something consistent with what you're talking about, it shows how right you are, since even that uninformed guy could see it?

In that case, I'll scour the internet for uninformed, unqualified, or dumb people making similar points to mine as evidence that I'm totally right about everything.


April 15th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

Man, I can't wait to hear SpaceCoyote's hot take on this one. 

Also, you can't be more right about Horford's family. I didn't want to comment on this because I didn't want to trash the guy, but him moving for non-academic reasons just seems crazy. He's either going to go to another contender and get the same treatment he got last year at Michigan (sub off the bench for sub-optimal minutes in his family's mind) or an inferior team and play more but enjoy the pleasures of a mediocre season. Mama doesn't always know what's best. 


April 15th, 2014 at 5:15 PM ^

Of course you know the game of basketball better than some D-I coach. Of course your son deserves to be a starter right away. Of course you have every right to whine and complain for four years when you don't get your way and destroy your son's satisfaction with the great opportunities he has already earned. And the most important life lesson of all: if you don't get your way, pick up your ball and go home.


April 15th, 2014 at 12:46 PM ^

I find it a bit ironic that on the day our basketball team will (probably) lose two prominent starters (40% of the line-up) to the NBA I am filled with nothing but confidence for the future because I believe we have the single best coach in the NCAA on our sidelines.  I have supreme faith in his abilitiies to find and recruit the right players, to get the very most out of them he can through his coaching and put a system in place that maximizes the talents of the players he has - not a system he's comfortable in running.  Lose two star players?  No big deal - next man up!

Contrast that with the football team where I have almost zero confidence in the HC to do any of those things other than recruit.  When I read that article by White I was laughing to myself thinking "I sure hope all the Borges apologists see this" cause he nailed it.  And the question that I kept asking is how in the hell did Hoke allow this to happen?  I guess in some ways it's validating to know you arent the only one who thought our offense last year was run by a crazy person but it sure doesnt make me feel any bettter about what's coming this fall.


April 15th, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

Exactly how I feel - sad we stand to lose about 70% of the NC game bball team in 12 months and I feel more confident about what remains of that team and new guys ....than a football team returning 80% of its players from  6 months ago.

We'll take a dip in record next year with bball but I am confident we will maximize talent which is all you can ask any coach.


April 15th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Yes I agree. I'd put our starters up there with (almost) anyone if Mitch comes back - potential All Americans at center and SG; both juniors, offensively gifted stretch 4, a PG ready to make the freshman to soph jump, and a sick outside shooter SF who is ready to take the "not just a shooter" reign.   The bench is not great with that squad but the starters would have the potential to be pretty fantastic.


April 15th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

6th man:  Chatman - may be raw, but this is a kid offered by UCLA, Arizona, UConn.  He should do some good things as a backup wing or 4.  At the very least, a long athletic defender.  He should bring a mix of what GR3 and Irvin did as freshman.

7th man:  Spike - pretty awesome as a backup guard / shooter/ sparkplug

8th man:  Bielfeldt - will bang bang at least. capable of developing a nice mid range shot too.

9th man:  imminent '14 recruit - a when-there's-foul-trouble role is available for a wing that can play some defense

10th man:  Doyle or Wilson - whoever doesn't redshirt can be the 4th big (probably Doyle) and maybe compete with Bielfeldt for more

Considering the borderline elite starting group with McGary, I'd call that a very nice bench, with some excellent change of pace potential.  Not many teams in the Big 10 will be able to bring that blend of know-your-role seasoned contributors (Spike/Max) with talent (Chatman).

marco dane

April 15th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

can't help to think they're one of the greatest recuriting classes ever to step foot in A2. 

If Glen and Nik are the only ones entering draft...M done one helluva job placing ballers into the league,these last 5 years.



April 15th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

Timeouts not going away.

Everyone knows that the end of a basketball game is when everyone tunes in and that's when the commercials are loaded up.


April 15th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

Please NCAA change the rules to 30 sec shot clock, eliminate live ball T.O.s, and raise the foul limit to 6 fouls. It is not that hard.

matty blue

April 15th, 2014 at 2:34 PM ^

two things:  first, i seem to recall the big east doing that for a few years a while back, possibly during the dark days of big east thuggery.  i don't think it lasted too long, though. and second, 6 fouls makes more sense in the nba at least partially due to game length - 6 fouls per 48 minutes exactly equals 5 fouls per 40.


April 15th, 2014 at 2:51 PM ^

Moreover, there are more possessions per 40 minutes in the NBA anyway, because of the 24-second clock.

I think giving college players 6 personals would just lead to more fouling in general and make the game bog down more.

El Jeffe

April 15th, 2014 at 1:02 PM ^

Even though it's a good idea I can't figure out why there isn't more support for fewer timeouts oh wait a lot of money is made okay then carry on.


April 15th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

Players have been doing that for a good generation now.  I don't know if you can put the genie back in the bottle at this point.  Having a lot of timeouts is annoying but at least avoids that awful way to end a game (I think teams have more available now than they did in '93, but may be wrong).