Unverified Voracity Breaks Comma Usage Portion Of Brain Comment Count

Brian June 21st, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Scouting Charles Matthews. Scout's Xavier site put together an uncommonly useful reel from Matthews's freshman year at Kentucky:

They don't cover some of the downsides, which comprise almost everything that can go in a Kenpom profile. Matthews had vanishingly small usage, turned the ball over a lot—although low usage will magnify TORate on a small number of TOs—and shot just 42% from the free throw line. All of these numbers have a low sample size, but it's clear Beilein has his work cut out for him developing the offensive side of Matthews's game.

Hudson destroys all comers. Pennsylvania's Big 33 game against Maryland was a few days ago*. Pennsylvania featuring an array of D-I talent. Most of the top guys from PA were there, including five-star PSU RB Miles Sanders, USC TE Cary Angeline, a half-dozen Pitt commits, and Slippery Rock DT Clark Wilford. Hudson blew these dudes out of the water. Hudson was the game MVP per the announcers (the organizers gave it to Sanders) and his coach raved about him to Chris Balas:

“He is an absolute freak,” Pennsylvania head coach Mike Matta of Downingtown East High said. “I didn’t look in advance to see if he’s a three-star, four-star, five-star or what, but I saw the film before the game, and when he got here … I can’t believe he got out of the state. Actually, I can’t believe everybody in the world didn’t make this kid a priority. There’s nothing he can’t do … and what he can do is just outrageous.”

Pitt partisans can only sigh and put weird commas everywhere at his escape:

Doing us all a favor, I'll get the Khaleke Hudson portion out of the way, first. If you watched the game, you undoubtedly understand the reference.  "There's that number 21, again…" … seemed to be the only player on the field, tonight.

Various reporters we like… dang:

Hudson had a ridiculous punt return that was wiped out by penalty and thus not included in the clips VSN TV posted to YouTube.

*[Ohio dumped their traditional matchup in the Big 33 game because they kept getting housed, then tried playing Michigan, got housed a couple times, and has now given up entirely.]

Hawkins wobble: stand down? Brad Hawkins was recently the subject of a bunch of internet rumormongering based on the fact that he scrubbed his twitter page of any Michigan mentions and was not yet in the student directory—everyone else is accounted for. Ominous, but unless something drastic happened in the last few days it seems like it's a false alarm. Philly.com just named him their South Jersey player of the year, and the article to accompany the honor is pretty explicit about Hawkins's near future:

Hawkins has signed to attend the University of Michigan on a football scholarship. He plans to depart Friday for Ann Arbor to begin summer workouts.

Hawkins, who also is a strong student, stood outside the fence at Camden's football field at Farnham Park the other day and marveled at the speed with which his high school career had passed.

If he's not on campus by this weekend then you can start running in circles.

Man did I biff this one. The Swiss national team had a jersey blowout reminiscent of the various issues Michigan had a couple years back, and one of the infinite Swiss soccer players with an X in his name seriously outperformed yours truly when trying to snap back at the clothing company:

The shortage of action in France and Switzerland’s dull 0-0 draw in Lille on Sunday night prompted increased attention on deficient equipment, with Swiss kits tearing easier than paper and the winger Xherdan Shaqiri telling Blick: “I hope Puma does not produce condoms.”

Can't win 'em all. /kicks dirt

While the company in question here is Puma, the Only Incompetent Germans couldn't let a fiasco like this go by without getting involved:

Adidas were also left red-faced when one of their Beau Jeu footballs burst when Antoine Griezmann was challenged by Valon Behrami. One of Griezmann’s studs appeared to put a hole in the ball. The balls retail at £105.

Nike stuff will be available at Moe's in just under two months, everybody.

A minor fan revolt in Nebraska. Via GTP, the Cornhuskers made some news a few weeks ago when some Nebraska season tickets actually went on sale to the public. The local paper took the opportunity to interview some discontents in Lincoln. Nebraska has a get-in-the-door fee of 2500 that is causing a lot of people to balk:

Aaron says: “How many people out there are able to pony up a $2,500 donation per seat — or even $2,000 for seats in the east balcony? Drop that down to something people are more comfortable with and they’ll go in a heartbeat. The desire of fans to see NU play is still there, but the price of attendance has to be rationalized. (Shawn) Eichorst is no dummy, he’ll get it figured out.”

The rub is, these donations have been factored into the NU athletic budget for years. Take them out, or reduce them, and what fills the void? Scott has a thought:

“I can’t believe that the donations that would go away couldn’t be replaced by a $40 million Big Ten annual check.”

Scott also reminded: “In a previous century, considering the fact that 1) we were winning national championships, and 2) every game was not on TV, you could charge a donation to get tickets.”

This guy nails one of the worst feelings the Brandon regime imposed on Michigan fans:

“What really makes me hate the streak are those signs at the stadium: ‘Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football.’ It’s a guilt trip from the A.D.’s office. ... Don’t tell me I don’t love my team just because I won’t fall for what amounts to ‘emotional extortion’ in an attempt to separate me from my cash in the name of preserving this farce of a streak. Like any relationship, it works both ways."

It's a harsh world when supporting the team that you love simultaneously makes you feel like a rube. College football is trending away from that somewhat with better nonconference schedules, but seemingly only because they have to. If Nebraska's having trouble selling out you know there's something afoot in the wider college football world.

ESPN holds on. The other half of the Big Ten package goes for some dollars as well:

ESPN will pay an average of $190 million per year over six years for essentially half the conference’s media rights package, according to several sources close to the talks. Two months ago, Fox Sports agreed to take the other half of the package for an average of $240 million per year. CBS Sports also has told the conference that it will renew its basketball-only package for $10 million per year.

This is stoking Nebraska fans' ire when they see that windfall and compare it to their pocketbooks. For the league itself it clearly separates the SEC and the Big Ten from the rest of the Power 5, for as much as that actually helps them compete. Survey says… not much. NCAA rules induce a lot of inefficient substitutions that can't overcome proximity.

I wonder if the Big Ten will sit on a big chunk of this money in case the landscape isn't as friendly in six years when these deals expire. At that point it'll be more clear what shape the new media landscape is taking and how much money they can spend without overcommitting to a model that could come apart.

The FOX deal gives them first choice of games, so expect a lot of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt over the next few years. OSU/Michigan is headed to FOX.

2017 athletic budget items. Michigan is back to break even after some big deficits at the end of the Brandon tenure. The new Nike contract and the return of the International Champions' Cup are aids:

Budgeted corporate sponsorship revenues are projected to increase by $1.49 million due to a new apparel agreement.

• Budgeted facility revenues are projected to increase by $1.4 million due to a special event in Michigan Stadium following a fiscal year with no such events.

Manuel's approach to his budget is slightly different than his predecessor's:

"It's not my mindset to say we're going to use Michigan Stadium to make money," he said Thursday following his budget presentation to the Regents. "We want to look at opportunities where they exist, but I don't step in with a philosophy of, I want to use Michigan Stadium to drive more revenue."

It's fine to use Michigan Stadium to drive more revenue as long as that revenue isn't 1) bankrupting student organizations or 2) flooding commercial breaks at Michigan Stadium with ads for weddings. Extra events are a good thing.

Etc.: Michigan's top newcomer will be a HUGE SURPRISE TO YOU if you just arrived from space from 50 years in the past because of time dilation. NCAA might cut satellite camp window to ten days. That's a more reasonable restriction than zero. Satellite camps cost 0.02 percent of Michigan's athletic department budget. Pride comes before the fall.



June 21st, 2016 at 12:39 PM ^

is so down on the basketball team.  This guy looks like pretty much everything that this team has been missing for two years.  He can defend, he is very athletic, he looks to be explosive in the paint.  It is a really good get at a really good time and everybody is just like "meh, he sucked last year."  He was a freshman last year at Kentucky, so he did not set any records, OK, but come on?!  This is a good thing.


June 21st, 2016 at 12:56 PM ^

I think it's the general malaise and need to pick holes that is doing this, an athletic wing who can play D seems to fill a lot of holes.  That said, I can see how people feel like a guy who was arguably run out of Kentucky isn't a huge get.  I disagree but I see the argument.  


June 21st, 2016 at 1:10 PM ^

see it more as a sign that Beilein understands that he is not going to be able to mirco-manage every aspect of the game.  Sometimes you just need "dudes," energy guys who can fight for loose balls and come up with tap-ins or big stops.  Not every player needs to be part of a master formula.  Sometimes you just need dudes.  This is JB going out and getting a dude and I think it is an encouraging sign.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:05 PM ^

To some people, everything Beilein does is wrong.   They have decided that he has to go and criticize anything he does.  Spend time at Mott's hospital?  Why isn't he out recruiting.  Shows up to watch a 5 star at a camp?  What's the point, he won't sign him anyway.   Accept a transfer?  Why didn't he save the spot for a better kid.   The only right thing he could do for those people would be to resign, and it has completely turned me off from any dscussion of the bball team.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:17 PM ^

It's a result of recent performance.  When the team went to the elite 8 most people were entirely unconcerned about the disaster of the 2014 recruiting class was.  The argument went "look on the bright side:  Spike!  Caris!  Novak! Douglass! -- Beilein wins with low ranked recruits."

Now Michigan is recruiting top 100 guys like Simpson (better ranked than Morris or Burke) guards like Poole and Watson (similar to Hardaway/Stauskas) and talented wings like Matthews (Glenn Robinson comp goes here) but everyone wants to talk about how awful Beilein recruiting is.

It's not hard to imagine that without all the injuries and attrition Michigan being a sweet 16 team over the last 2 years and everyone singing a very different tune.

I suspect that after Michigan builds on last years performance this upcoming season people will be a little more optimistic.  On the bright side of the expectations issue is that very few are expecting much out of Watson or Teske this year, so they may well make people a little more happy when they end up being meaningful contributors.  Watson especially is getting underrated IMO.


June 21st, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

it looks like he'll open up equal sized holes on offense.  You need good two-way players to be a great team. I think this is a nice get, don't get me wrong.  He could be a nice role player, but as Brian mentions, long way to go on offense to be a major asset.


June 21st, 2016 at 3:55 PM ^

reasonable, with the first guy saying 8-4/9-3.  But they organized the list to increase the hilarity with each subsequent prediction. 14-0 to get to the nat'l title game?! LOL.

In all seriousness, what didn't get mentioned a single time in the whole article, but what will be their biggest problem, IMO, is replacing Allen, Clark, and Conklin on the OL.


June 21st, 2016 at 4:43 PM ^

We are mentioned in every single "season highlight" section. Every one. Even the one that says "it won't be the highlight because it will be so routine" or whatever, he has to point out the Michigan win.

That article about obsessed fanbases that was posted on the board a day or two ago? Dead on. 

I don't think there's a Michigan fan here who won't think the season will be a DISAPPOINTMENT if our best highlight is a win over Michigan State. We have far higher expectations.

Lou MacAdoo

June 21st, 2016 at 12:45 PM ^

They really are completely unaware of what's going to happen to them. There is no way Michigan loses that game again this year. These guys are delusional. Their nice little run is over. Now quit drinking and go to bed.

M Gulo Gulo

June 21st, 2016 at 12:52 PM ^

Shocking all the msu round table people pick Michigan to loose...they didnt have the lead until the clock hit 0 and one of  the most flukish things ever to happen in football had to happen. That was with there multi year starters...I wear one of the thickest pairs of maize and blue goggles on but even so come on msu 

Trader Jack

June 21st, 2016 at 12:56 PM ^

If everyone else is accounted for, does that mean Nick Eubanks is enrolled now? I seem to recall some discussion pretty recently about how he wasn't in the student directory yet.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:01 PM ^

Last guy (12-0!) showing off his Sparty education referencing last year's College Football Playoff "birth". 

He clearly means "berth", but getting whupped by Bama that bad was probably as painful as giving birth.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:05 PM ^

I'd love some clarification on the thought that Ohio dropped out of the Big 33 game because they were getting beat.  Prior to dropping out of the game they'd won three in a row and six of the last nine.  I always thought it was the Big 33 organizers that "dropped" Ohio.  The results don't show that Ohio was getting it handed to them by the Pennsylvania kids.  

I do know that Michigan beat Ohio in the only two "Border Classic" games between the two.  Never heard an "official" explanation as to why Ohio dropped out of that one, other than musings that the college coaches didn't like their recruits playing in the game and the "best" players weren't really participating anymore.  That, and Ohio has umpteen All-Star games and just couldn't drum up interest to fill so many rosters with quality players.  


June 21st, 2016 at 1:32 PM ^

USA Today article mentioned that Ohio was dropping out due to the cost of the event, which the Michigan coaches thought ironic due to Pennsylvania supposedly dropping out of the Big 33 with Ohio due to "financial reasons," which was of course spun as Pennsylvania running away from a lost fight.



June 21st, 2016 at 1:07 PM ^

So what's the word on Hudson's position in the winged helmet? Thought I'd heard safety, but I don't follow this stuff all that closely. Clearly they can't go wrong keeping him at RB...

Gentleman Squirrels

June 21st, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

He's supposed to be Jabrill lite. Long-term position is probably safety or SAM. Probably will get scout team snaps or random snaps on offense. Hopefully thats not even necessary because our RBs and O-line is dominating already and Hudson can become extremely comfortable at his defensive position.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:08 PM ^

The vast majority of Beilein recruits have significant flaws.  Why harp on them with athletic guys like Matthews and Glenn Robinson and downplay them with shooters like Duncan Robinson and Spike Albrecht? 

Michigan played with 4 guys this year who could all hit 40% from 3 -- none of them could consistently create high percentage shots for teammates.  Dawkins hit almost 50% of his 3s in Big Ten play yet was barely playable. Clearly shooting isn't the only thing that matters. Our two best players (Walton and Irvin) can look great in KenPom but can't consistently get to the hole against quality defenders. Duncan Robinson is disaster at anything that isn't shooting and Rahkman is still working on being able to do something besides creating shots for himself. 

Matthews offers exactly what the '16-17 team needs. It's a shame he isn't eligible immediately.  For '17 he offerrs more talent than anybody on the roster with the possible exception of Simpson (who is limited by being very very short) and Wagner (whose turnover rate was also horrendous).

It's just strange to me to frame this addition as Beilein having his work cut out for him.  It's true, but far less so than before Matthews committed. 

Beilein has proven he can not only succeed with players who can't hit 3s consistently (e.g., Glenn Robinson), he's actually run his offense through them (Harris and Morris).


June 21st, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

address this a little bit above.  I really have never seen a fan base turn so completely on a beloved coach so quickly without any real explanation.  We missed the tournament one year and lost in the first round the next, with injuries being very heavy contributors both seasons.  After seeing this reaction to Matthews I think there is a large portion of the "fanbase" that wants to lose so Beilein will get fired.  I don't get it at all.  The only conclusion that I can come to is that because Beilein is such a different kind of personality than Harbaugh that he is simply not accepted by a good portion of fans any longer.


June 21st, 2016 at 1:40 PM ^


  • Beilein's meteoric rise led to unreasonable expectations. 
  • The '14 and '15 classes were massive recruiting failures that inexplicably coincide with the program's rise in success.
  • No consensus on what the program is 'supposed to be'. [The Ellerbe era turned a lot of people off and the rise under Amaker and early Beilein made people feel like Michigan was a mid-major with resources.  Older fans know Michigan can be an elite program and expect them to recruit like it.  Younger fans who've only seen the Beilein era have no patience and view the last 2 years as abject disasters that warrant firing.]  Contrast with the football program, where there is no disagreement on identity.
  • The fanbase has a lot of people who would rather watch CFL, NHL, or EPL than a regular season NBA game and are generally clueless about college basketball beyond march madness.
  • Massive attrition.  None of the Fresh 5 made it through 4 years.  Spike was the only one who even made it through 3, and that was a massive grind. Losing Morgan, Horford, and McGary at once was an insurmountable blow for a staff without much track record for getting immediate production from its bigs.
  • General "what have you done for me lately" attitude towards coaches that goes for all sports.


June 21st, 2016 at 3:33 PM ^

...because I'm often tagged as someone who is anti-JB (which I'm not).  You mention:

I really have never seen a fan base turn so completely on a beloved coach so quickly without any real explanation"

Well, I have never seen a coach who so completely wasted momemtum and opportunity after our run of success 5 years ago.  Only a few lucky programs get that type of opportunity, and great to elite coaches don't squander it.  We didn't even tread water - we regressed as a program.  This is what gauls me the most.

We talked of recruiting bump - that never really happened.  

We talked of continued success against out rivals - it has gone the opposite way.  

We talked of big ten titles and success in the post season - not happening and probably won't for a couple years. 

All of this simply can't be explained away with "injuries" or "attrition".  And to be clear as I have said this in the past plenty of times: I DO NOT want JB fired.  I DO want him to get better and take this program to where it can be.  We have a long way to go to get there.



June 21st, 2016 at 5:28 PM ^

It can be entirely explained by attrition and injuries.  The '14 class was a disaster but besides that Beilein has coached his tail off. It's not easy to lose your only seniors, your only NBA talent, and rely on freshman centers after losing the 3 veteran Cs you had in one offseason.

Beilein can do better than the last 2 years.  There's little reason to think he won't.  The program is not far off, at all.



June 21st, 2016 at 7:06 PM ^

You say it can be entirely explained by attrition and injuries, but then you bring up the disater that is the '14 class as an explanation.  So I'm not clear what you are saying.

Also, you say "it's not easy to lose your only seniors, your only NBA talent, and rely on freshman centers after losing the 3 veteran Cs you had in one offseason"  What off season was this?  Did this all happen in one off-season or over the course of a couple?

I guess how far off we are compared to where we should be is all subjective.  I suspect I have higher expectations than you.   Next year will more of less be a par JB team.  Middling big ten talent on average, perhaps one star role player, consistently dominated by our rivals, finish at best 4th or 3rd in the big ten and a meh tournament (if we get in).  That's an average JB team.  We can do better than that, much better.  And we need to expect that.


June 21st, 2016 at 7:53 PM ^

'14 wouldn't have been such a problem had the attrition not occured.  If Dawkins and Rahkman are at the end of the bench and combining to play the minutes that Irvin or Levert got as freshman, that's a lot different than being starters. If Doyle and Chatman are red-shirted instead of sinking in the sink-or-swim approach, maybe they're more confident players with a logical development arc (coming off red-shirt freshman seasons rather than buying time with a transfer for their final 2 years of eligibility). There's a huge difference between Spike Albrecht being your backup PG and your most important starter. 

If the guys you recruit to be role players can be role players that works.  If they are thrust into starting roles as freshman that's a problem.

The attrition happened over the last 2 years. The 3 Cs and NBA departures all 2 years ago.  The injuries (Levert x 2, Walton, Albrecht, Irvin) over 2.

If you get say Robinson and Horford back for '14-15, that's another tournament team.  If you have Spike or Caris (or really any serviceable rotation player) you can beat ND in the second half and probably run through to the sweet 16.


I expect next year's team to contend for a Big Ten title and make the sweet 16 (assuming a reasonable draw)  I don't know who you define as our rivals but I expect us to split (give or take a game) against MSU, OSU, and Indiana.

Long-term, I expect top 25 results more often than not.  I expect top 25 recruiting classes in most years and occassional dips into top 10 range.  Over a 10 year span I would expect 2 or 3 big ten titles and a couple final fours.

I think Beilein has taken the program to where it's supposed to be over time. The collosal failure in the '14 recruiting class  set the program back, but the '13 and '14 teams exceeding expectations and showed that Beilein put together a couple elite teams much faster than anticipated. It's worth remembering where we were with Amaker. The '14 class is inexcusable and inexplicable but also overcomeable.

The last 2 seasons are attrition-induced anomolies. Judge Beilein when he has a healthy team. In '16-17 he will - I damn well hope.  It won't be his best team but if they aren't in the upper half of the big ten, making the tournament, and he's sitting there with an unused scholarship, then we can start talking about Michigan looking for a new coach.


June 21st, 2016 at 8:37 PM ^

...I'll give you that.  But I don't think JB has it in him to get us there.  I would be happy if he did, but I doubt it. 

And unfortunately, the majority of excuses you give JB are really his fault.  You give a lot of therotical "if" "then this" scenarios in the past, but ignore the reality of our program now.


June 22nd, 2016 at 11:52 AM ^

-The '14 class

-Not convincing Jon Horford to stay


What is not: 

-McGary and other NBA departures (in so far as those are bad)



Beilein has already won a big ten title and he made the great 8 twice. He's just about there. I think last year's team was disappointing in many respects (kenpom ranks put them in the 50s) but by the end of the year they were beating Indiana in the BTT and came very dang close to making the sweet 16. 

Considering we return the top 6 players from that team, I think the "reality of our program" is pretty solid right now.  No question they need to add some talent in the '17 class, but that's college basketball reality these days.  You have to recruit every year.