Wouldn't it be nice. Rivals already published a slightly altered version of an email we received from an established insider, but hell we got it too: per Someone Who Would Know, Shea Patterson is planning on returning for his senior year. He's likely to submit his name to the draft committee for an evaluation, get a mid-round grade, and return.
As this space mentioned a couple weeks back, he's in the heart of the distribution of guys for whom a return makes sense even when the criteria are strictly financial bottom line stuff: draftable but with first round upside if he can just refine his reads.
If that does come to pass Michigan's offense will return every major contributor except Karan Higdon, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, and Grant Perry. A senior Patterson throwing to Collins, DPJ, Martin, Black, and Gentry could be something.
The road to 800. Andrew Kahn goes back in the Beilein archive:
Beilein coaching during a Le Moyne game (Photo: Le Moyne College Athletics)
Beilein started his coaching career at Newfane (New York) High School before moving on to Erie Community College, where he won 75 games over four seasons, and Nazareth College (one season, 20 wins). Staying in Western New York, Beilein was hired at Le Moyne College before the 1983-84 season. On Dec. 3, the Dolphins earned their fifth win of that season and Beilein's 100th, beating visiting Bloomsburg State 66-58.
Though the arena was only half full, the 1,000 fans who witnessed win No. 100 were "boisterous" according to the Le Moyne student newspaper. Bloomsburg's star player, Barry "Slam" Francisco, missed a dunk late in the first half, "the crowd got on his case, and he played poorly the rest of the game."
Various other milestones are detailed. Beilein goes for win #800 against Norfolk State.
Which is tonight! Basketball season tips off for real against a MEAC team. Here is a one sentence summary of the MEAC from UMHoops:
Norfolk State didn’t win a Division I game until December 30th, but went on to finish 11-5 in the MEAC.
8:30 on BTN.
[After THE JUMP: around the league]
Basketball: tippin' off. Views from around the Big Ten:
At Illinois, near-total roster turnover meets touted recruit Ayo Dosunmu. The Champaign Room would like the team to "make [them] feel alive again," which uh good luck. Their optimistic projection is 9th. At least their nonconference schedule will help the league's SOS.
At Indiana, patience is running short in [checks notes] Archie Miller's second year:
Then, thanks to rampant rules violations at the University of Louisville, Miller landed the highest-touted recruit since Damon Bailey donned the cream and crimson. The best part about landing Romeo Langford for most Indiana fans? He’s an Indiana kid.
In fact, seven players on the 2018-19 roster are from Indiana.
You’ve got your coach. You’ve got your Indiana kids. What’s left to do but win?
The window could be short, though, as Romeo Langford is a one-and-done and Juwan Morgan’s eligibility lapses at the end of this season. Sure, Keion Brooks and Trayce Jackson-Davis might commit to wearing candystripes, but there’s no guarantee. What Indiana basketball has in front of it as the 2018-19 campaign is set to begin is a single opportunity to prove the fans right or wrong.
It’s been 20 years since Indiana fans had all that they wanted — a top-notch coach and a roster full of Indiana kids. You’ve got it now. If they don’t win, you should shut up.
At Michigan State, the Big Ten title runs through… Matt
A repeat Big Ten title could run through…Matt McQuaid. There, I said it. And you know what else? I BELIEVE IT.
And sure, if he can be consistent with his shooting that would be nice. More so, I’m talking about his defense. McQuaid is the best defender on this team, and he’ll be tasked with stopping the likes of Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Indiana’s Romeo Langford and Michigan’s Charles Matthews to name a few.
McQuaid putting the clamps on his guy in those big games could be the difference in raising another banner or not.
I find predictions of a MSU regular season title entirely baffling!
At Northwestern, a new building. Maybe it can play point guard.
At Penn State… wait what now
Like Jay-Z, I’ve officially come back from retirement* to marvel at Penn State’s meaningless** exhibition game against the preseason No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers. The Nittany Lions started out strong, commanding a 12-point halftime lead, then answering every Mountaineer run in the second half with one of their own. The game ended on a Josh Reaves tipped shot to close out an exciting, back and forth affair that did not feel like an exhibition.
I had no idea you could play a D-I team in an exhibition. I further had no idea that Penn State could not get laughed off the court by the rootin' tootin' Huggin-est team in all the land. Someone named MYLES DREAD scored 23 points! Is everyone in the conference suddenly regretting this was an exhibition? Yes. Could Penn State be good even without Tony Carr? Maybe!
At Purdue, Ryan Cline is going to be this year's really annoying Purdue sharpshooter. Expectations seem modest for the Boilers, with most Hammer and Rail folks predicting a bid and a seed between 6 and 10.
Related item about my skepticism in re: MSU basketball this season. I was poking around various teams on Bart Torvik's site to familiarize myself with the league, and there's something ominous lurking for MSU fans: production from their projected stars against high-quality opponents. Winston and Ward went off a cliff last year when MSU played a top-50-quality team.
When Winston and Ward got put in tougher situations against better defenses their efficiency plummeted. This doesn't happen to all players. Michigan's stars were pretty consistent, as was Josh Langford. Winston's assist rate stayed high; his three-point shooting, which is almost all assisted (84%) went off a cliff.
If Winston's unable to get off threes by himself, who's creating those shots for him? Langford? Ward? Probably not. Goins and McQuaid, who had 10% and 13% usage last year? I'm skeptical Winston's going to be able to touch his 50% three point shooting from last year.
Ohio State ditches RPOs? That's apparently what happened against Nebraska:
If the RPO, the run-pass option, has actually been banished from the Buckeyes offense after this 36-31 win over Nebraska, Prince and his fellow offensive linemen kicked it out the door, threw its suitcase in the gutter, called it a name and wished it good riddance.
And the Ohio State running backs stood on the porch and nodded in agreement.
"Honestly," running back Mike Weber said, "we didn't have any reads today. I think it was just give the ball to the running back and let him make a play."
This is being credited for the OSU run game's breakout against Nebraska, the #92 rush D in S&P+. There might be a little something to that as OSU struggled to run against Purdue and Minnesota, but I'd rather have OSU try to man up and run it down Michigan's throat than run a bunch of RPOs.
Draft items. Matt Miller has Gary and Winovich in his latest first round. Gary at #9:
Gary is a top-tier athlete at 6'5" and 280 pounds with the agility and coordination to often play on the edge of the Michigan defense. He's versatile and powerful, and he has room to still improve once in the pros while having enough Day 1 ability to see the field immediately.
Winovich at #31:
Chase Winovich is impossible to miss on the field with his long hair and relentless motor. He's a thick rusher who most likely projects best standing up at the next level, where his athleticism and instincts can beat offenses. For the Rams, he's an excellent fit playing outside the monsters in the middle.
No Devin Bush.
Kentucky exists now. Mark Stoops has been hitting Ohio heavily and it's paid off with the most functional Kentucky football team in a generation:
As to Stoops’ plan, Kentucky’s roster features 27 players from Ohio.
That includes stars such as running back Benny Snell Jr. (Westerville), linebackers Jordan Jones (Youngstown) and Chris Oats (Cincinnati), tight end C.J. Conrad (LaGrange), wide receivers Lynn Bowden Jr. (Youngstown) and Dorian Baker (Cleveland Heights), safeties Darius West (Lima) and Mike Edwards (Cincinnati) and offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei (West Chester).
“When you think about the players on that roster from that state,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart marveled this week, “it’s amazing.” …
After all, if not for him, those Ohio Wildcats would, more likely than not, be Ohio Spartans or Ohio Hawkeyes or Ohio Boilermakers.
That's not good news for the Big Ten's middle class.
Etc.: Mark Richt going the Bowden route. Ohio State basketball loses their #2 big on the eve of the season. Duncan Robinson might be back in the NBA pretty soon. Chengelis. Rodger Sherman on the Durkin fiasco. There is an 0.1% chance a 5-7 Northwestern team is in the Big Ten title game.