Unverified Voracity Finds Oompa Loopa All Stars

Submitted by Brian on February 13th, 2014 at 2:06 PM

ATTN: New Yorkers. Rather large game approaching on the 23rd. If you seek the camaraderie of your fellow Michigan Man, here is a thing you might do: hang out with Zoltan Mesko and two small dogs at Professor Thom's, with proceeds going to a good cause. Details:

Professor Thom's, February 23rd, Noon.

Happy hour drink specials, complimentary appetizers, door prizes & more!
A $10 donation at the door (or online) to benefit the Zoltan Mesko Foundation will be your ticket to the event. If you can't make it, but would still like to donate please do so at zoltanmeskofoundation.org

Here is the facebook page. No word about speedo availability, ladies.

Just the worst. If you follow me on twitter you already know about this, but since many people don't for excellent reasons like "tends to go on rants about Penn State bench players," let me introduce you to John Johnson, a guy getting ten minutes a game for Penn State who drives me completely insane because:

  • His ORTG is 87, which is actually up two points from last night.
  • Despite this he takes 23% of PSU's shots when he's on the court.
  • He has an assist rate of 4.6 and TO rate of 20.
  • His parents named him "John Johnson," which is… wow. Also what happens when he finds out about Major Major Major Major? Exactly.

I have to tell you about this here because BISB stole my platform to lob statistical oddities at you and now I just track Illinois defensive rebounding anomalies in my basement.

Did you know the Big Ten now has TWO guys named Maverick? Or that Purdue has only three guys playing more than half their minutes, and nobody (NOBODY) averaging 30 minutes a game? Or that Northwestern starts a guy, Sanjay Lumpkin, who takes fewer than 10% of available shots? Only me and the basement elves did.

By the way, do we have a Reggie Cleveland All Star team for guys who should be oompa-loompas but are in fact 6'6" half-Indian dudes? Because… well, you see where I'm going with this.

OTHER THING. Rewatching the Ohio State game made one thing clear: Amir Johnson tries to block everything. I mentioned the Morgan basket on a missed Albrecht shot that was functionally equivalent to a pass as Williams came over. That is a canonical example but far from the only one. About ten minutes into the first half it became clear that OSU's defensive rebounding problems were about 80% Williams attempting to swat everything, leaving Michigan bigs all alone on the weakside.

The offensive rebound numbers don't even tell the full story, as there were a number of instances in which Michigan was in position to add to their totals until funny bounces intervened. The numbers back this up, especially if you tick over to the conference only Kenpom stats. Ohio State is 11th in the league at defensive rebounding. And it doesn't even help their defense. In league play OSU is 10th at defending twos.

OTHER OTHER THING. What, you want links to things? Oh fine. Here is your Indiana schadenfreude after they managed to lose to Penn State despite being up 11 with three minutes left.

This is absolutely 100% unacceptable. This team is hot garbage with a bevy of talent. Seriously, I'm not going to talk any crap about youth or inexperience. That had nothing to do with the non-stop disasters that we've witnessed this year. I even want to try and blame this most recent egg on Tom Crean and I can't find where I actually feel he had a problem in this game.

Win chart? Hell yes.


I'd like to thank the Nittany Lions for doing that to someone else this year.

New rules. The NCAA proposes allowing replay booths to not only overturn targeting expulsions but also the targeting penalties, which was always going to happen once it became clear that leaving half of a non-penalty to stand was rage-inducing. So hooray.

But then:

The committee also recommended a rules change that will allow defensive units to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, with the exception of the final two minutes of each half, starting with the 2014 season.

If a team snaps the ball before 29 seconds on the play clock they will be hit with a five yard delay of game penalty.

I know.

I just…

You try to not be a jerk about everything and this is how they repay you.

More offensive yet is the stated reason for these changes:

“This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute,” said Calhoun.

Nobody buys this. A player who is hurt or in trouble can fall over and the game will stop to accommodate them.

Speedy coaches have texted any reporter they know expressing their skepticism/disgust, and some guys have even taken to twitter to express something than bland positivity. "Think of the children" isn't flying in this case. The pushback here exceeds anything I've seen in the last decade or so. Even the hated clock rules that got rolled back after one season didn't get public heated disagreement from coaches.

But… Matt Hinton does point out that very few snaps would have much chance of running afoul of the rule. Oregon averaged 20 seconds per snap, so how many would actually be under ten? Not many.

I went back to the the canonical example of lightspeed, Indiana, to find out. Specifically, I wondered if that play on which Indiana's tempo burned Ray Taylor for a touchdown would have been affected. You know, this one:

That play was snapped exactly eleven seconds after the previous one ended. IE, it would have been legal, probably. Indiana may have had to wait a beat if the play clock took a second to reset.

Ten seconds is not many seconds. It may not even be enough to substitute confidently. If the rule does get passed it's probably not going to have the huge impact people fear it will.

It goes without saying that getting the rule change passed would be good for Michigan, which regards speed as a distasteful attempt to gain advantage.

It sucks you have to say this, but yeah you have to say this. Welp:

Goal No. 1 for Doug Nussmeier at Michigan? 'We're not going to go backwards'

May you succeed in this task, for all of our sanities. I'm encouraged by what this quote implies about Nussmeier's approach to data:

"There's a number of different things, you wish you can pinpoint one thing, but we need to get our players to understand how their success rate decreases with loss yardage plays," he said. "You look at statistical football, it doesn't add up. We've got to stay on schedule, within the sticks. We'll talk about that and it'll be a big part of the spring.

"We'll talk about our goals with down and distance, what we're looking for from each play yardage-wise. And what a negative play does to you as far as your percent chances to score and how our negative plays hurt our chances to score last year."

That sounds like a guy who's willing to look at stats to see if there's anything he can learn from them, which is a change of pace from the fancy-stats-are-for-losers approach of his predecessor.

Spartan health update. Izzo had the "feeling" Keith Appling was out a couple weeks as of February 9th, which would make his return for the Michigan game in some doubt. I mean, no doubt, really. But he might not be full go. Well, of course he won't be full go. No Michigan State player will be. For one, they'll be trying to cope with the emotional havoc associated with having a 14 year old call you names on twitter*.

I've had grown men (my players) in my office in tears because of what's being written.

The things these guys play through are insane. It's Iwo Jima out there.

Meanwhile, the Fist of Stupidity gets its pins removed on the 20th, which makes fist owner Branden Dawson hypothetically but not necessarily available for Michigan. Anyone ever had pins taken out of their hand? Would you be ready to play basketball three days after? Seems unlikely to me, but maybe they're really tiny or something.

*[First sentence of first comment: "Social Media is bringging this Country to its Knees."]

Etc.: Wildcats make preliminary argument to local labor relations board. Induction Burner! (It's not happening, Brian, stop trying to make it happen, Brian.) Andrew Sinelli, suddenly key defenseman. We may not have Oompa Loompa Reggie Cleveland, but we do now have the Basil Smotherman All Stars, which are comprised of the guys who sound the most like peers of the realm.



February 13th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

Are the pins in his finger(s) or in his hand?  If it's the finger(s), I think it's somewhere between unlikely (if the pins can be pulled out, as was the case with one of my fingers) and very unlikely (if the pins have to be removed with a scalpel, as was the case with the other finger).  If it's the hand itself, I assume the pins have to be removed with a scalpel, so I again think it's very unlikely.  Having to dribble with the injured hand would likely mean a turnover. The hand will still be healing three days later.

EDIT: It looks like Dawson hurt his right hand.  He's right-handed IIRC, so I'll be really surprised if he plays.

His Dudeness

February 13th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

"It goes without saying that getting the rule change passed would be good for Michigan, which regards speed as a distasteful attempt to gain advantage."


"May you succeed in this task, for all of our sanities."



marco dane

February 13th, 2014 at 2:59 PM ^

and not Michigan. Ppl were clamoring,why Coach B didn't recurit him being AW from the D...his development has been quite slow and cumbersome. tuos does a great job in developing bigs,therefore you'd think matta could work his magic...appears not so this time.

Methink:he peaked at Detroit Country Day.


February 13th, 2014 at 3:06 PM ^

I'm pretty sure that UM recruited Williams pretty hard. I think if he'd come here he might have gotten better coaching than at OSU, and maybe would have developed better. Not sure how much I agree with the "Matta develops bigs" thing. Most of his good bigs have been one (or two) and done--Oden, BJ Mullens, Sullinger. It's tough to judge because bigs are highly coveted by the NBA and tend to bolt early, but I wouldn't say I'm all that impressed by OSU's ability to develop players. Most seem to be what they are year over year, and that's that.

I don't have numbers or anything, so this is admittedly hand-wavy and based on the always unbiased "eye test."


February 13th, 2014 at 3:11 PM ^

I had three pins in my non-dominant pinky (it was a manly injury). It was a shriveled, painful mess for several weeks. Not only was removal of the pins painful, but there's all sorts of muscles that have been locked into one position for over a month. The tendons contract. Even after extensive rehab I couldn't play basketball for about a month and a half, and even then it was dicey. Dawson aint playing. 


February 13th, 2014 at 3:14 PM ^

sort of is, too. "Negative yardage plays suck" is not really news, dress it up in verbiage or no. An offensive line, now THAT would be news. 

I'm starting a "Keep Tom Crean" website, btw. I need some smart people to help me convinced IU fans it was created by one of them. 


February 13th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

 A player who is hurt or in trouble can fall over and the game will stop to accommodate them.

Because if there's one thing that's ingrained into football players' DNA, it's asking to come out of the game by dropping to the ground.

Players will play until given no choice, and the only way to give them no choice is to give them intense crippling pain or have a coach order them off.  If a guy is hobbling he will try and walk it off rather than soccer-flop in order to stop the game.  He'll insist on playing until told otherwise.  That's how players are.  Players are suing the NFL left and right over concussions and yet guys like Doran Dickerson come flat out and say "I had a concussion and I covered it up."

And furthermore much derision and scorn is heaped from all corners on teams and players who are perceived to be taking advantage of minor, playable injuries in order to slow down a hurry-up offense.  If a guy is hobbling around a little, and suddenly drops to the turf to stop the game, the hurry-up fans who don't want this substitution rule are the same ones who'll be first to scream "Italian soccer player" when a defender hits the deck.


February 13th, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

"Players will play until given no choice, and the only way to give them no choice is to give them intense crippling pain or have a coach order them off."

Michigan's D-linemen rotate regularly. Several are allowed to choose their own rotation, and opt to rotate out after a certain number of snaps. The idea is simple: if your being out there for a given snap would be a detriment to the team, you have the obligation to get off the field. If that means sitting down because you're too hurt to effectively play the next snap, you sit your ass down.


February 13th, 2014 at 3:56 PM ^

Kirschner pins are kinda tiny. They don't really hurt coming out. There are small holes in skin have to heal. But I'm sure a big tough guy like him would have no problem playing basketball. Unless of course Izzo told him the ham it up.

That begs the question, can Izzo get a technical foul for flopping in a press conference?


February 13th, 2014 at 6:13 PM ^

I think the athlete safety argument is plausible because I disagree with two points:

It doesn't matter when the snap happened, it only matters when the offense was lined up to snap. If that's done quickly, the defense has no time to rotate, even if the ball isn't snapped until there are 2 second left on the playclock--giving 10 seconds without the threat of a snap may actually be a significant difference in the amount of time available to rotate players.

I think the relation to player safety is not that injured players can't rotate out, but the idea that overly tired players are more likely to become injured. I'll readily point out that the idea is based solely on athlete comments as far as I'm aware--for a moderately significant rule change I would hope that there is also some data, but I haven't seen any (nor have I looked much).

2012 Canadian

February 13th, 2014 at 5:26 PM ^

By the way Borges was a huge proponent of success based on how many yards there are to go on third down.  Talked a lot about how taking a penalty on third and short or being in a third and long situation would really hurt conversion percentages.  He's said this in multiple press conferences and situations.


February 13th, 2014 at 5:55 PM ^

K-wires are pretty small (.062" or .045") they are strong enough to hold the position of a metacarpal or phalanx fracture but not without external protection from a cast or splint. It is difficult to begin range of motion with the wires in place because they really irritate the soft tissue and can migrate. Usually there is enough healing at 4 weeks or so to pull the pin and begin protected range of motion in a removable splint. The fracture is healed enough for motion but not enough to withstand the stress of contact sports. I don't know the exact nature of his injury (although a metacarpal neck fracture would be the most likely if he punched something or someone), but I bet it will be at least another 3 weeks after pulling the pins before he can play unless he can somehow accomplish this in a splint.


February 13th, 2014 at 7:32 PM ^

Granted, a defensive player who is injured will get a timeout.  But if an offensive player is thoroughly winded, he can go the the sideline and be subbed out, while a defensive player in the same condition has to hope that the offense substitutes.  Defenses shouldn't have to ask the opposing sideline for permission to bring in a sub for an exhausted player, and defensive players shouldn't be tempted to fake injuries when they run out of gas.

In short, I think it's entirely reasonable to give defenses some ability to sub on their own, just like offenses can.  The rule will slow down the game a bit, but goes way short of mandating huddles.

No-huddle offenses can be fun to watch, I'll grant you, but lets give the defenders a fair chance too.

ummmm really

February 13th, 2014 at 9:34 PM ^

Checked to see if Dawson really has pins, or appling really has a bad wrist? I think it's a disingenuous scam by izzo to avoid the humiliation of loss by the Belien juggernaut