chris evans [eric upchurch]

Unverified Voracity Departs, Notably Comment Count

Brian June 1st, 2018 at 12:41 PM

HOEGLAW. Richard Hoeg has many interests. None of them include criminal law or horses, which I have been asked to make explicitly clear for SEO purposes. One of them is talkin' about stuff, including video games and Star Wars; he's put together a Youtube channel for his various and sundry podcast appearances.


When not having hobbies, Richard Hoeg is a small business lawyer who will help you incorporate and write contracts that don't bite you in the butt later like an ornery horse like something entirely unlike an ornery horse. Call him if you have small business related inquiries.

[photo above: Eric Upchurch]

The quotes keep rolling in. Chris Evans was at Jourdan Lewis's camp and answered some questions about pass protection. They are characteristically bombastic, as all Michigan players are when they talk about the Drevno-Warriner transition:

“Coach Warinner, as running backs, we look at him like a god,” Evans said during the Jourdan Lewis WR vs. DB Skills Camp at the Detroit Police Athletic League headquarters Sunday. “Because he (won a) national championship, all the stuff that we heard he did. Just the way he carries himself. He’s simplifying everything. …

“How it was last year, it’s like, no matter what, if he comes, you gotta block him,” Evans explained. “Now Cesar’s in there and he can adjust it and you can go at it like that.

“It’s not that (the running back is) not blocking as much. It’s just we simplified our bag of tools with Coach Drevno being gone. A lot of O-linemen couldn’t catch on to the stuff that we were doing. It’s a lot more simplified stuff.”

Thousands of years in the future scientists will be able to mark the DW transition by the line of finely powdered, aerosolized quarterback that settled in rock strata worldwide after the 2017 season.

It's happening! CUSA is executing a version of the Scottish Premiere League scheduling that I've advocated for the Big Ten. It's a bit of a half-measure:

The most radical difference will be that when the conference schedule is released, built in will be dates for games, but with opponents to be determined. Those dates will be filled with league opponents after the conference seeds the teams following the first 14 games.

"We're going to play 13 games and your travel partner twice, which would be Western Kentucky for us," said D'Antoni. "Then they are going to seed the schools. If you finish in the top five, No. 1 through No. 5 will play each other for the next four games to get 18 games.

"Like, if you're No. 1 you will play No. 4. And you'll play, I think, No. 4 and No. 3 at home and then travel to No. 2. ... There are four games in that five-team slot. No. 1 will play No. 5 and No. 4, I think. And No. 2 and No. 3 will come to No. 1.

"Then, if you're No. 2 you will play No. 4. It just reverses all the way down until you get everybody in that top group playing each other once. That will give you 18 games."

CUSA is doing this because they have potential at-large teams in the same conference as Rice; this will help prevent the top teams from getting a second boat-anchor game and possibly boost them sufficiently to get a second CUSA team in the tournament.

The Big Ten isn't facing the same issue, and the cut line falls inconveniently close to the league's bubble teams in any particular season. I still think the net outcomes there are neutral as far as bids and the brawl-for-all stretch run would be really really fun. YMMV.

Hello Heels. Michigan draws a big name in the challenge:

With heavy hitters like UNC and Villanova speckling the schedule, Michigan's extremely lame tournament (GW and then Providence or South Carolina) isn't as much of an issue. Also the Big Ten schedule expands to 20 games this year.

Everyone's back except ginger ninjas. And one other guy. The Big Ten got most of their fence-sitting draft testers back, with the lone exception of Maryland's Kevin Huerter. Huerter has now fulfilled his destiny as the most Beilein player not to play for Beilein by being a surprising two-and-done.

Everyone else—Matthews, Nick Ward oops what's that picture doing here…





oblig [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

…Carsen Edwards, Ethan Happ, Juwan Morgan, and James Palmer Jr—is headed back for what should be a bounce-back season from the league at large.

Additionally relevant for Michigan next year is Nova's status. In addition to the already-announced departures of Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges, both Donte DiVincenzo (cursed be his name forever) and Omari Spellman have decided to head to the pros. That leaves the Wildcats with just Phil Booth and Eric Paschall amongst major contributors who return; they also add Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo. They'll be an entirely different outfit when Michigan sees them.

How far do you want to push it? With Jalen Wilson in the boat, basketball is technically full for 2019. They're still recruiting, and they should be: next year feels like Charles Matthews's swan song no matter what happens. The question is whether Michigan will take three guys in 2019 in anticipation of another NBA blowup or playing time transfer. It sort of looks like the answer there is a tentative yes. Here's fast-rising WA combo forward Jaden McDaniel talking to Rivals:

CE: The last time we talked, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma were the three that stood out. Anyone else becoming more involved?

JM: San Diego State, Oregon and Michigan. …

CE: Michigan hasn’t offered yet, but with its recent string of success, what are your feelings with the Wolverines?

JM: It is just exciting because my cousin (Juwan Howard) used to player there and they just say that you had family they had come through here and teasing me, so they are definitely an option.

McDaniel has nice things to say about a lot of programs and a brother at SDSU so that's far from a Wilson situation where suddenly all the crystal balls are coming in; still implies that Michigan is going after more wing types in addition to DJ Carton. FWIW, McDaniel says he's taking it slow, so hopefully by the time he makes a decision Michigan has a clear picture of what their roster situation is like.

Yaklich was a good hire, part zilly. Jalen Wilson's AAU coach on Michigan's ability to get him:

"Yaklich had the biggest role (in winning Wilson’s commitment),” said Thomas. “That's who got it done. Yaklich and I go back to when he was at Illinois State. When he first got the Michigan job his very first call was Jalen Wilson. They've been building that relationship since last July. They've been talking a lot and have always been in contact with each other. Originally they didn’t think there was even a chance they could get Jalen, But he stayed consistent, built a really good relationship with Jalen and his parents, and Coach Beilein got very involved. (Jalen) got very comfortable with Michigan and everything that has to do with the university."

Probably just a matter of time before he's a head coach somewhere but let's get while the gettin's good.

5 MPG, but 23 of those against Syracuse were indeed notable. A new fleet of college basketball rankings for next year happen in the aftermath of draft decisions annually. This year's edition is drawing heat from Michigan fans because they generally have Michigan towards the tail end while inexplicably inserting MSU—which lost two lottery picks, suffered two double-digit defeats to Michigan, has a less immediately impactful recruiting class, and exited the NCAA tournament against a play-in team despite playing in Detroit—ten slots higher.

You could focus on that, sure. What I like about them is that they are now bound to list a particular someone as a Notable Player Who Is Gone:

Notable players definitely gone: Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson, Gavin Schilling, Tum Tum Nairn, Ben Carter


Who’s gone: Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson, Ben Carter, Gavin Schilling, Tum Tum Nairn

I want a shirt that says NOTABLE DEPATURE BEN CARTER.

Evidently staying. I failed to mention this when it happened, but Joe Cecconi was named captain for next year. He is evidently not signing with the Stars:

“I think that’s huge the the coaches decided to do this this early, so everyone knows who our leaders are,” Cecconi said on WTKA’s Inside the Huddle, noting that the announcement was also his commitment to return for his senior season over joining the NHL. “We still have leaders who don’t have letters, but to know that our group of leaders are coming back to lead this team hopefully to a national championship is big.”

That will make for a crowded blueline, one that's set to have ten players on it next year give or take a walk-on like Christian Meike heading for the club team. Luke Martin and (please no) Quinn Hughes are also potential departure threats. Martin will probably be back since guys who sign usually do so fairly quickly so they can get in the tail end of the professional season; with Hughes it'll depend on who drafts him.

Not that Hughes, but not bad. Michigan recently grabbed a commitment from the youngest of the Hughes clan:

Hughes is the third '03 Michigan has recruited along with Dylan Duke and Tyler Haskins, and sounds a lot like Quinn.

Michigan also picked up a commit from Steve Holtz(!), which I assume is a preferred walk-on thing given his current profile—slender—and the shape of the roster.  

Etc.: Quinn Hughes 7th, Bode Wilde 23rd in ISS's latest NHL draft rankings. Kirk Ferentz is not a bad coach, just a massively frustrating one. Especially if you're a Michigan fan. Football will not be returning to eight-game conference schedules, false alarm. Hughes draft profile. How Michigan adopted maize and blue. Ian Boyd previews M-ND. Shea Patterson did a business decision.



June 1st, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

"We're going to play 13 games and your travel partner twice, which would be Western Kentucky for us," said D'Antoni. "Then they are going to seed the schools. If you finish in the top five, No. 1 through No. 5 will play each other for the next four games to get 18 games.


Since when is MSU's football coach involved with CUSA basketball schedules?


June 1st, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

don't understand how somebody could look at Michigan State, what they were, and what they have coming back and put them in the Top 25, let alone #11.  It doesn't really bother me, it isn't like that, I just really don't understand how somebody could come to that conclusion. 

When Anthon ranked Michigan football #5, I thought it was high, but I at least understood why somebody could speculate that Michigan is going to be very good.  Their defense already is, they have very good returning running backs, wide recievers that will mature and will likely have a breakout year, Patterson prospectively turn the biggest weakness on the team to the biggest strength.  There is reason to error on the side of overrating Michigan, there is reason to go there.

How could somebody look at the position Michigan State is in right now simply from a personnel perspective and rank them at #11?  How is that possible?  Frankly, Michigan State sucked last year and they lost their best players from that team.  Does the writer of that CBS poll not understand....... like, really anything about stuff?

yossarians tree

June 1st, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

Preseason rankings are highly subjective and virtually meaningless. That being said it is impossible for me to not be highly subjective toward that institution which whored out every last shred of integrity to protect their rape culture athletics department and especially that smug motherfucker of a football coach. This will not even be solved if we blow them off their own field by 30 points. But it would help.


June 1st, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

I can see MSU a top-25 team; they have Winston is a very good offensive PG, and maybe Langford figures it out and becomes the 4.5* kid he was out of HS.  Ward is a beast inside, and you can run an offense with him that makes life difficult for most teams in the conference.  Their class was solid, and while Izzo is mediocre a player development he seems competent at playing good players a lot (hence Ben Carter getting all those minutes).

My bigger issue is Michigan being at #21.  If you had a ranking where Michigan is #15 and MSU #16, or flipped, that would be more reasonable.  But we saw what MSU looks like with a bunch of young players and limited experience; it was 2 seasons ago.  It's not a bad team, but it isn't a top-10-ish team.  



June 1st, 2018 at 4:14 PM ^

they were the 6th ranked kenpom team last year and were 30-4 in the regular season.  Their metrics were excellent even if they lost to M handily twice (hahahhahahaha). 

Outside of those two M games and a really unlucky Syracuse game (8-37 from 3, mostly wide open) which are the three games that stick in all of our minds, they were actually a very, very good team last year.

With Winston, Langford, Ward, Tillman, McQuaid coming back and some good freshmen coming in, they deserve to be top 25 and I'd bet a good chunk of change they'll be a top 25 kenpom team.

That said, M should probably be closer to top 10 and MSU down around 20 know, M was better last year, isn't losing two lottery picks and has a better incoming class. Oh, also a better coach too.


June 1st, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

247 says his name is Jaden McDaniels, but in this post and other places on this site his name is McDaniel. Can someone please set the record straight?


June 1st, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Has anyone seen where the 'Nova game will be played?  I've seen both the Pavillion and also the Wells Fargo Center.  The first one has a better atmosphere, but visiting fans would actually have a chance at tickets if it's at the big arena. 


June 1st, 2018 at 2:10 PM ^

Nova has been doing a major renovation of the Pavillion that will be complete for this coming season.  I wouldn't be surprised if they want to get a marquee game in their shiney new facility.

That being said, nearly every big game for the last 25+ years has happened at the Spectrum/ CoreStates Arena/First Union Center/Wachovia Center/Wells Fargo Center (that's what happens when you name a place after a small regional bank!).


June 1st, 2018 at 1:31 PM ^

"It’s not that (the running back is) not blocking as much. It’s just we simplified our bag of tools with Coach Drevno being gone. A lot of O-linemen couldn’t catch on to the stuff that we were doing. It’s a lot more simplified stuff."

The message conforms to what everyone else is saying, but that's a surprisingly raw choice of words that made it out of Ft. Schembechler.


June 1st, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

There's been a slew of such words - it's almost like in this social media era they've stopped even trying to muzzle the kids?!

And I say, in this instance at least, GOOD!

IF Warriner's changes have HALF the impact we're all hoping, I'll drive that Damn bus!!! 

Of course I'll be fighting Rudock, Speight, Peters and any other QB that had his neck near (or even ACTUALLY) broken for the wheel!


June 1st, 2018 at 1:59 PM ^

I guess my question is why the last couple of lines didn't seem to complain too much about line calls.  There were definitely misses, but certainly not to the degree we saw last year.  And the running game got significantly better as the blocking improved, which seems to contradict the idea that the guys didn't catch onto the stuff.  I guess unless the issue was just pass blocking.

To me, this almost felt like more of an indictment of the offensive line itself last year, but with Drevno being the easier reference point to touch on.  I think Warriner will be an upgrade, but laying all, even most, of last year's struggles on Drevno seems a bit premature.


June 1st, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

but there was a quote from Kalis (I think) early in Harbaugh's tenure where he said he wished he would have had Drevno as oline coach his entire career at UM.  I'm guessing that Deveno was an upgrade in the oline's eyes compared to who was coaching them in '14 (and possibly '13).  The improvement Drevno brought (whether it was technique, attitude, football IQ, etc) might have overshadowed the complicated nature of what he was asking of them.

I know it's fun to pick on Borges but the offense under Nuss in 2014 was a disaster, much worse then anything Borges put on the field.  The oline might have been willing in 2015 to embrace any change after having endured the 2014 season.


June 1st, 2018 at 8:01 PM ^

I know I'm not the only one that remembers the same type of glowing comments when Drevno was hired. With the data to back it up. I think Drevno was a good line coach who put himself in a bad situation. And the Frey/Drevno cocktail was a flat failure.


June 1st, 2018 at 1:49 PM ^

"Thousands of years in the future scientists will be able to mark the [Drevno-Warriner] transition by the line of finely powdered, aerosolized quarterback that settled in rock strata worldwide after the 2017 season."


June 1st, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

of the ridiculously convoluted, complex, impossible-to-grasp Drevno system and the magically and powerfully-simplified invincible Warriner system. For the time being I'm gonna take all this Warriner-is-God stuff with a metric crapton of salt.


June 1st, 2018 at 3:11 PM ^

is always "changing the culture", "simplifying the offense/defense", "putting us in position to succeed", etc.

It's natural. The players, in this case the OL, doesn't want to, nor will, blame themselves for the issues that they had last year.

I've never heard, at least in the college game, "Coach X was great. The problem was I didn't study my playbook, take enough mental reps, and do what I was coached to do. It's really on me."

My uneducated guess is that the OL calls probably were more complicated than they needed to be and caused the OL to play slow at times. My other guess is that there was a schematic justification for this. There's a fine line between having too much offense / protections and not having enough. And it changes yearly, even monthly, based on what you have with regards to experience.