Unverified Voracity Forebodes Comment Count

Brian March 11th, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Post game celebration. Confetti ho.

Morgan's singing voice is not the strong point of his game, but we'll forgive him.

All of the (most of the) awards. John Beilein is coach of the year to the media while Tim Miles wins the coaches' vote. This is justice. Meanwhile, John Beilein remains John Beilein:

Beilein said he will give away the coach of the year award as a trivia door prize at the radio show.

The first words out his mouth when asked about the award were about Tim Miles; he seemed almost annoyed he'd been handed a plague.

Meanwhile, Nik Stauskas is your Big Ten player of the year, Caris LeVert is second-team All Big Ten, and Derrick Walton is on your all-freshman team. On the snub side of things, Jordan Morgan is passed over for all-defense and Irvin for all-freshman.

It was probably tough for anyone to look at Michigan's defense and provide an all-D nod to them, even if most of the things going on weren't Morgan's deal. Irvin losing out to Purdue's Kendall Stephens is hard to defend since they were the exact same player and Stephens hit 37% of his threes to Irvin's 41%. But whatever, man.

Mmm, foreboding. John Gasaway puts together a list of the top players in college basketball($) that includes one Nik Stauskas, and sums him up from the opponent's point of view well:

At the moment, I'm not sure there's anything else in Division I ball quite like the deep foreboding experienced by opposing fans when the first 3 falls for Stauskas.

He's an Illinois fan, so he may be extrapolating from his most recent Stauskas experience.

Major blow to a contender. Kansas's Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his back and is a "longshot" for the first weekend of the NCAA tourney. He's just plain out for the Big 12 tourney. If Kansas maintains their spot on the two line the toughest seed they can face before the Sweet 16 is a 7, but they just got beat by WVU in a game that would have been a blowout if WVU could handle a press.

For Michigan, a Kansas loss in the Big 12 tourney helps them in their quest to scoot into a Nova/Wichita region, and possibly Indianapolis. It would at least take a Villanova loss before anyone starts talking about a potential one seed for Michigan.


It's desperation time for hockey. [Bill Rapai]

The other bracket. Michigan is just about hanging on to a spot in the hockey tournament despite their inability to beat some of the worst teams in the country. They are 14th in the Pairwise at this moment; current hockey bracketology has them matched up against Union in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

At 14th, Michigan could withstand one bid thief but not two. There is an extra conference this year, and thus an extra tournament to worry about. At 14th, there's probably a 50-50 shot at a bid. Ferris State is the only WCHA team in the top 16; St. Cloud and North Dakota are the only NCHC teams in the top 16. The ECAC has three teams slated for the tournament, as does the Big Ten. Bid thieves are everywhere.

That's if Michigan maintains its current position. The bad news: this weekend's opponent is an excellent Minnesota team. The good news: a split will be massively helpful thanks to the new quality win bonus. Get swept, though, and Michigan will be either right on the bubble or right outside it.

These are the wages of going 5-4 against Penn State and Michigan State. If Michigan ends up on the outside looking in again, that is 85% of the reason why.

Worst best mascot ever. I see shots of old mascots that seem designed to engender years of nightmares and pine for their return. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has my back.


His name is Grubby. Seriously. If Dave Brandon could guarantee that hypothetical Michigan mascot would be a homeless Wolverine named "Diseasy" I would support a mascot for M. Alas, it will just be a wolverine in a bread bowl.

Well that's (partially) random then. If you were wondering if student sections could affect free throw shooting, the answer is probably no since Northwestern crushed all comers in this department while MSU finished last.


While most of this looks like random variation, those gaps down to Nebraska and Northwestern are pretty wild. I wonder if that's repeatable. 148 attempts is kind of a lot for that to be totally random.

Next year's schedule. Michigan's preseason tourney next year will take them back to Brooklyn. They'll play a couple of warmup tomato cans at Crisler before taking on one of Villanova, VCU, or Oregon at the Jay Z Center in the "Legends Classic"*. I'd imagine they'll split Michigan and Villanova with the hope the two meet in the final.

*[Which sounds like a fictional tournament hosting Generic State, East University, Ivy Tech, and COLLEGE COLLEGE.]

Well, yeah. By FOIAing the Ann Arbor Police Department, MLive discovers that Michigan's Office Of Institutional Equity asked them for the Gibbons police report in October, which doesn't clarify anything as to when the athletic department knew about what was going down. The most interesting bit of the story is actually a comment from an MLive person:

For context, the Ann Arbor News has been requesting several documents and communications via FOIA from U-M, but they have declined all of our requests citing sections of the Freedom of Information Act that allows U-M "to refrain from disclosing information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual's privacy." We continue to file FOIAs with U-M, but it appears in this case our best bet for information is requesting it from other sources that U-M has communicated with in regards to this case, including the AAPD.

Other FOIA-covered organizations offer up their data. Michigan has a culture of secrecy that has nothing to do with the privacy of individuals, but rather seems to be focused on covering for people who may or may not have screwed up, whether that's in taking four years to act on the Gibbons information or as part of the massive PR debacle that ensued after actually acting.

Etc.: Scouting Jeremy Gallon. McGary and Robinson on list of folks whose draft stock has slipped. Kam Chatman named to one of those basketball all star type things. Lax getting competitive this year. Sloan Sports Analytics conference suffers fate of all things. Jordan Morgan's top moments.

Some detail on the ongoing title IX investigations at M and MSU. Iowa's defensive collapse under the microscope. Yogi and Troy Williams dissecting M.



March 11th, 2014 at 1:00 PM ^

And adding to possible corrections: should Grubby be the "Best Worst Mascot" and not the "Worst Best Mascot."  The latter sounds more like someone named him to a best mascot list but all the other such lists had better mascots on it.  The former sounds more like what Brian was going for: a mascot so horrible that it becomes awesome.

swan flu

March 11th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

Regarding Northwestern's opponent free throw %... I just did a quick Binomial Distribution calculation using a cumulative average for FT% across the conference as the P(success)...


and computed the cumulative probability of opponents shooting less than or equal to 60.14% given the overall FT average of 71.7%.  P(x<=60.14)=0.0016


I can do a more thorough Hypothesis test, but Im pretty sure the difference is statistically significant.


March 11th, 2014 at 2:03 PM ^

I think you'd need to eliminate some variables -- control for opponent (or possibly even for the player fouled), first half vs. second half, and opponent vs. home shooting.  (First half vs. second half on the assumption that the student section is seated behind one basket but not the other one).  It's possible that (Flint?) Northwestern High School and The Bank just have difficult shooting backgrounds or something.  It's also possible that Sparty's home games featured better-shooting free throw teams, or Sparty is worse when it comes to choosing dudes to foul, etc.


March 11th, 2014 at 4:22 PM ^

Northwestern's oppenent freethrow percentage is indeed significantly lower than the pack and definately lower than Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan State. So concluding that there is a Home Court Advantage there is supported by the data. What is actaully causing the advantage is a totally different question.

The 95% Confidence Intervals for all other teams overlap so, Northwestern seems to have the only gym worth investigation with the question being: what about that environment makes opponents shoot poorly? Compare and Contrast vs Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan State might lead to interesting ideas. Sippin' on Purple: do something, or something.


March 11th, 2014 at 12:28 PM ^

I would think Northwestern's high school gym might have something to do with its low opponent FT%. All the while the Izzone gives opponents a nice contrasting white background while screaming, "YES" to encourage the enemy to shoot 77%.


March 11th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

The total number of FT attempts is also interesting.  We know Michigan does not commit a lot of fouls, but OSU opponents shooting only 118 FTs at Value City Arena is . . . interesting.



March 11th, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

It seems a bit unfair to use the relatively free release of info by AAPD as compared to UM to state that "Michigan has a culture of secrecy that has nothing to do with the privacy of individuals, but rather seems to be focused on covering for people...".

AAPD is not subject to FERPA or Title IX. UM is. AAPD can release things that UM cannot. UM may well be acting out of its constraints under FERPA, and that would be a reason that AAPD could disclose the information but UM couldn't.



March 11th, 2014 at 12:58 PM ^

I'm not sure about the details of the law, but I thought FERPA covered the release of educational records, regardless of who had those records.  So the AAPD would be covered.  However, UM has much more experience with FERPA and may have a different interpretation of it than the AAPD beyond just a conspiracy of silence.

Which isn't to say that I think Brian is wrong in his criticism but, like you, I'm not sure how strongly we should consider the AAPD's response to a FOIA as evidence.


March 11th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Only certain entities are included within the scope of the statute. As I understand it, it's any educational institution (not sure if it has to receive governmental funds or not). Individuals and other, non-educational, entities are not covered by FERPA.

If it covered everyone, then you couldn't take your child's report card to work to show it off around the office.

AAPD would not be covered. UM is.


March 11th, 2014 at 5:24 PM ^

Thanks for the info.  I only know FERPA from the educator side and was under the impression it attached to the records, not the school, but ti makes sense if it's the latter.  The school I work at takes a very expansive view of FERPA: for instance, we're told we can't even acknowledge if a student is registered for our class.  This makes me somewhat sympathetic to UM's FOIA denials.

On other hand, even under my mistaken belief about FERPA, a parent could show if their child's report card all they want so long as the kid was under 18 and it wasn't a college report card.  (I will say, being a college instructor, FERPA is the greatest thing ever: helicopter parents can be shooed away so easily.  Makes my friends who teach high school extraordinarily jealous.)

El Jeffe

March 11th, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

Isn't it likely in an Occam's Razor-y kind of way that the variability in opponents' FT% is due neither to random chance nor to crowd looniness, but rather to some other factors, like shooting background? I mean, it might still have something to do with the gym, but not the crowd.

Send out the Mathlete Bat Signal!


March 11th, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

Yeah, there are a lot of variables at play.  The Kohl Center is said to have a weird shooting backdrop, which may help to explain Wisconsin's success there (it's not necessarily the loudest arena).  

Also, the home team can use its own brand of basketball, and while they're all pretty similar, some have a slightly different feel.  I think we're the only school to use The Rock, which may be an advantage, whereas I think all the Nike schools use the same type of ball (and I notice that the six lowest ones on the chart are all Nike schools).  


March 11th, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

What is up with Brandon cutting the nets down two years ago like Brian and Ace mentioned in the podcast? I didn't see that anywhere and since Michigan clinched a share by watching a game that happened after our regular season concluded, I don't know when they even would have had the opportunity to do this. At least not in public.

Details would be appreciated.

French West Indian

March 11th, 2014 at 1:19 PM ^

These reporters and citizen nitwits need to stop asking questions.   The truth is far too explosive.  Gibbons was an operative from the planet Nibaru with a mission to protect U of M's cover as a secret Nazis alien UFO landing pad and that is why he can't be exposed.

The simple facts are that an alien spaceport is buried under Michigan Stadium and that Burton Tower serves as an interstellar space antenna. (Yeah, Space bitchez on that !)

Zoltans approve of this message.


March 11th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

I can vouch for the SD School of Mines having some crazy mascots.  I grew up in western SD and at every Hardrocker game they would roll out a new rock-themed cheer too.  A few of my teachers in high school were alums of SDSMNT and they all said the school prided itself on essentially copying UM's "M" and colors right down to the letterman's jacket styles.  Fun school though, lots of crazy kids.


March 11th, 2014 at 8:26 PM ^

Luckily for U-M, the "massive PR debacle" was confined to a few naval-gazers in Ann Arbor and a couch-burner or two in East Landfill.  Not one person I have discussed the Gibbons case with out here in Virginia sees the slightest thing wrong with the way the University handled it.  Same for State College last weekend.  I am sure it is good for a few MLive clicks, but you guys really need to get a life.  No one else cares.