Unverified Voracity Grows Evil Beard

Submitted by Brian on March 5th, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Basketball

The only reasonable explanation. Michigan State lost the outright title, still won a share, and collectively reacted like this…

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…the likely explanation is that they were more focused on denying Michigan than their own team. That game meant very little in the grand scheme of things to MSU. It mattered to OSU and Michigan.

No, it wasn't hard to root for Ohio State yesterday. I didn't even notice.

Irrational optimism getting less irrational. Michigan has two five-star sorts in its upcoming recruiting class and the guy I'm most excited about may be the other dude. That is 6'6" shooting guard/potential Burke backup Nik Stauskas, who just outdueled Nerlens Noel, a 6'10" center who recently reclassified to 2012 and instantly became a top five player after doing so, for tournament MVP at the NEPSAC championships. He is not just a shooter($):

Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark’s)
2012, SF, 6-6, 205
College: Michigan

Stauskas finished with 19 points but his impact on the game far exceeded that total, as he not only scored the ball in different ways but also facilitated for others in both pick and roll as well as drive-and-kick action. While the complete versatility of Stauskas’ offensive repertoire was on full display, the most impressive part of his performance was that innate star quality that allowed him to make big play after big play at the most pivotal moments of the game.

The main thing keeping him from being another five-star type recruit is his athleticism. That shouldn't prevent him from being a shot generator at the college level—he'll enter with far more skill than Stu Douglass had, for one. I mean, look at his evil beard:

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IF that does not fill you with confidence, nothing will.

Stauskas also drew raves from NERR. Meanwhile, Mitch McGary's Brewster team suffered an upset while Glenn Robinson III helped his team win their first sectional title since '97. All that and more at UMHoops.

Football

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McCray/Gedeon/Levenberry: Linebacker is the new offensive line

A brief comment on the linebacker crunch. My trapper keeper with Michigan's projected recruiting class surrounded by hearts has at least two slots for linebackers, but if the third guy is going to be O'Daniel/Levenberry/Gedeon it probably has three. Sam Webb first thought this was not the case, but recently reversed course.

It should be clear why after a quick glance at the depth chart by class. With announced positional rearrangements taking Beyer and Paskorz away from the SAM spot, that is now the sparsest position on the depth chart. Insert First World Problems GIF here. Michigan has three more years of Jake Ryan, two of Cam Gordon, and nothing else. Even if you figure one of the 2012 recruits is destined to move down—something the coaches denied on Signing Day—that would seem to make a third linebacker a reasonable acquisition.

Even if that's the case now, if O'Daniel and Levenberry hew to their current plans and take their decisions to Signing Day there's a pretty good chance room opens up for one of them. The current assumption on this site is 22, but that assumes Michigan only loses two players to attrition*.

That's an extremely conservative estimate. If Michigan gets up to 24, they can take…

  • Another RB
  • Two more WRs
  • A third TE
  • Another CB
  • Two DL

…and still have a couple spare scholarships. You may have spotted the assumption here: Michigan will only take one three-tech/SDE type in this class. I think that's reasonable after taking four (Wormley, Godin, Strobel, Henry) last year, especially with two 2011 recruits coming off redshirts and the possibility/likelihood that Wyatt Shallman ends up weighing 280 by his sophomore year.

When all is said and done the bet here is Michigan has a couple scholarships to play with in January and SLB is an excellent candidate to use one of those spares even if Michigan already has a couple linebackers committed. It sounds like McCray and Gedeon are about to drop; if Levenberry changes his mind and attempts to commit on his Spring Game visit he's not getting turned down.

BONUS HYPOTHETICAL EXTRA SCHOLARSHIP DISTRIBUTION DESIRE: Cornerback. Michigan… uh… has fewer blue chip guys there than anywhere else in the last two classes.

/runs around laughing maniacally
//falls in trough
/continues laughing maniacally

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We do it better than Todd Graham.

*[Two more players are assumed to not be getting fifth years.]

A rule to live by. Orson just tossed this off and I'm thinking of embroidering it on a sampler or something:

Never have anything to do with a recruit who wants to sign after Signing Day.

This may be sour grapes.

June building stuff. The Washington Post highlights Cato June, new head coach at Anacostia High School in DC. He's filling his staff out with a familiar name:

June quickly turned to [retired HC Willie] Stewart, asking him to help coach the Indians next fall. He also named his close friend and Michigan roommate Walter Cross, the 1997 All-Met Offensive Player of the Year from Oxon Hill, as his offensive coordinator — the same position Cross held at Potomac (Md.) this fall.

Apparently anyone in DC can transfer without a reason, so if June gets things off the ground Anacostia could be a fertile ground for recruiting—not that Brady Hoke needs another one.

Hockey

Bye-week hockey events. Michigan pulled the worst possible opponent in the second round thanks to Northern Michigan going down in flames against Bowling Green and all other higher seeds holding. They go against Notre Dame, who gave them a very tough weekend about a month ago. The Irish are 19th in the Pairwise and entering a do-or-die weekend for tourney hopes.

The key for Michigan will be watching Notre Dame's goalies play as poorly as they have in all games not against Michigan. Steven Summerhays put up a .945 in the M-ND series; for the year he's at .908.

Pairwise. Michigan's off weekend saw them move up thanks to a one-point weekend from Minnesota-Duluth that cost them the regular-season WCHA title and put their one-seed in flux. Michigan still doesn't win that comparison—I told you it would be tough—and still wont even if they sweep next weekend despite UMD drawing 12-22-2 Minnesota State. Michigan can win the comparison by sweeping ND and doing better than UMD at the conferences' respective finals… as long as UMD doesn't lose this weekend.

Weird system: you are rooting for UMD to win this weekend and get annihilated at the Final Five.

BONUS CCHA BIDS ODDITY: remember that period in the season when seven CCHA teams were destined for the tournament? That's been whittled down to four as of today. Five of the first six teams out of the tourney are CCHA teams. Western, Lake Superior, and ND can still play themselves in.

It's March, so it's time for huge Daily profiles. Luke Glendening is first up:

It was late April 2008, and the Michigan hockey assistant coach had just extended a one-year tryout offer to Luke Glendening, a forward recruit from The Hotchkiss School, a prep institution in Lakeville, Conn.

“You’re on a one-year tryout,” Powers told Glendening. “If you’re good in practice, you’ll stay.”

Powers left him with one last word of warning.

“If you have somewhere else to go, you should probably do it.”

We're living in the golden age of angles, I'm telling you.

A fantastic idea. Mike Spath proposes a new format for the NCAA tournament:

To start, the NCAA should collaborate with the NHL to form six permanent sites, rotating among the six for the four yearly locations: Boston, New York, Detroit, Minneapolis, Denver and Toronto. The Frozen Four would also rotate among those six cities instead of taking us to Tampa Bay or Washington D.C.

That would be excellent. You might want to add a Philadelphia or Pittsburgh but that's fine. No more Green Bay, St. Louis, Tampa, etc. Take the money the NHL is giving you and use it to lower ticket prices so you get a local crowd—part of the horrendous attendance in Fort Wayne was the $90 session passes—and try to fill those buildings as much as you can. If you want to "grow the sport" you can promise a local regional/FF to areas considering the addition of hockey programs.

In response to this idea, the NCAA announced the next six Frozen Fours would take place in New Zealand.

Miscellaneous

Retconned history. The New York Times has a look at how the Big East fell apart featuring this tactical error back in the day:

Tranghese tried to tell the Big East’s university presidents and athletic directors as much as early as 1989 when he was Gavitt’s assistant. Gavitt thought the conference needed to bring Penn State into the fold. Penn State was an independent at the time, looking for the security of a conference.

The membership voted no, with St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown leading the resistance. At the end of the meeting, Gavitt asked Tranghese what he thought about the decision. “I said, ‘We will all rue the day about this decision,’ ” Tranghese said. “I understood how big football was. I didn’t understand how big it was going to become.

“At that point, the Big East had so much success in the ’80s, everybody sort of forgot about it.  But I felt looking back on the history of the Big East, that was probably the biggest mistake we made.”

The conference has been regularly pillaged since and will be a nationwide amalgam of mid-major football schools minus flagship Syracuse as a result. I wonder if the Big Ten would still be ten teams today if the Big East hadn't screwed it all up in the late 80s.

Etc.: Wojo on Sunday's events. I bet a dollar Burke and Cody Zeller end up splitting the freshman of the year award. From Old Virginia takes a look at where lacrosse is headed, speculating that Michigan will eventually end up in a "Western" conference with OSU, PSU, Detroit, Air Force, and Denver. BSD recaps the PSU-M game from their perspective. Michigan engineers elect Bender to school board.

Comments

Blue boy johnson

March 5th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

It is true: Stauskas is entering with more skill level than what Novak and Douglass did. However, Stauskas is not nearly as athletic as Stu and Zack are now. Stauskas could very well struggle early on. I could see Stauskas' learning curve being simialr to Smot or Brundidge. We need to give Stauskas time to adapt to the speed and physicality of the BIG.

PurpleStuff

March 5th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

Stu is listed at 6'3" (which I think is a lot taller than people realize he is) and is a really good perimeter defender.  Novak has won dunk contests and spent much of his career guarding (often successfully) guys 5+ inches taller than him while also playing on the perimeter and putting the ball on the floor. 

Power of the white-guy stereotype aside, they wouldn't be nearly as effective as they are and have been through their careers without being really gifted physically.

Blue boy johnson

March 5th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

Stauskas is clearly a good athlete, but taking the ball to the basket in the BIG is an entirely different undertaking, than doing the same in a New England prep league. Just look at Smot, he soared up the rankings when he showed an ability, at 6'9'',  to take kids of the dribble and finish at the rim.

As far as Stu and Zack, 4 years of S&C have done wonders for their ability to compete favorably in the BIG. I expect the same for Smot, Morgan, Brundidge, Stauskas, and Vogrich, to name a few. I think Stauskas will be good, but I'm pretty sure he is going to be closer to freshman Darius Morris or freshman Stu Douglass, as opposed to freshman Trey Burke.

Young John Beilein

March 5th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

Meh, I disagree.  He will be needed at the 2 next year and I think we got the guy we need.  I think you might underestimate his length as a factor.  He wont be capable of guarding bigger stronger players in the post by himself as Novak does, but he's pretty much prototypical size already at 6'6" and ~205.  He eats, sleeps, and breathes basketball (see Trey Burke), and I know he's going to be working towards the start of next season right when his high school career ends (see Trey Burke again).  Unless his shot goes inexplicably cold sometime before next season, I see no reason he wont give us (at least) close to what (good) Stu gave us this year on the offensive end. I'm very excited for this kid and hope he plays defense.

MH20

March 5th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

I distinctly remember reading about Stauskas' ability to take it to the rack as being an addition to his game that showed he was not just a spot-up shooter.  Now, I don't think he is a Burke-like slasher, but accounts that he is just a shooter are inaccurate. 

Of course we'll all just find out soon enough.  Some time with the S&C crew over this summer can't hurt.

ypsituckyboy

March 5th, 2012 at 3:56 PM ^

On the one hand, Stauskas is playing by far the toughest competition in the country by playing in the NEPSAC (basically every team is chock full of high level DI talent). Even then, he's doing quite well.

On the other hand, if you watch his tape, he does appear to lack in the athleticism department. That shows up, in particular, on the defensive side of the ball.

I'm still a little bit hesitant to be too bullish on Stauskus after watching his ESPN game and seeing him play defense. Luckily, bad defense can usually be cured by increased effort and good coaching, but I'll still wait to get my hopes up. 

I'd bet he doesn't see more than 10 minutes a game as a freshman.

Vivz

March 5th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

The depth Chart by class lists 83 players for 85 spots.

So for next year we have 2+ 16 graduating seniors+ 2 walkons (kerridge, brink)=20 open spots

Current expected attrition is 2, and that is how we are getting to 22? (What i'm unsure of is the walkons not being counted)

And then any additional attrition/unrenewed 5th years would take us higher than 22?

Thanks for the help.

Oost

March 5th, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

We'll get to 20 because of 16 seniors, 2 unused scholarships, and 2 unrenewed 5th year players like Mike Jones and Isaiah Bell (probably), who haven't seen the light of day in a couple years. 

After that, it's not stretch to think we'll lose 2 or 3 players from the remaining 65 scholarship players.

Vivz

March 5th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

but that takes us to 24.

Also it seems clear the staff wants a 3rd te in this class more so than a 3rd wr.

Seems that we are only taking 1 DT, 1 more WR and 2 LB at this point. 

The additional saftey spot might not be filled either, which would allow for another WR or LB.If we go above 22 it seems that first we would add another LB and then another WR.

Mr. Yost

March 5th, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

1 - RB - Ty Issac

2 - WR -  Laquon Treadwell & Kevin Gladney

2 - DT - Henry Poggi & Eddie Vanderdoes

3 - LB - Ben Gedeon, Mike McCray & E.J. Levenberry

1 - CB - Gareon Conley

1 - S - Late Offer Prospect

1 - Best Available - (DE - Jason Hatcher, LB - Dorian O'Daniel, TE - Jacob Matuska, OT - Ethan Pocic, OT - Laremy Tunsil)

TrppWlbrnID

March 5th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

"little brother, very kind of you to share your title with Michigan. p.s., I didn't go to University of Michigan, i just really really like them."

 

this is what the internet is for

kehnonymous

March 5th, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

As glad as I am that we get to hang a banner from Crisler Center, I'm equally happy for MSU that they also got to hang a conference championship banner in the Breslin rafters.  Because if MSU hasn't won the conference, than they'd have to hang up their next most prized possession  - their teams' acceptance letters to Michigan.  Those things are pretty small; no one would ever see them from the stands.

Tauro

March 5th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Frozen Four in Toronto?  At first, I thought that was not a good idea, but it would certainly help with recruiting to have that kind of exposure north of the border.

Yostnut

March 6th, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

To what end does U.S. college hockey need exposure in Canada?  Maybe for recruiting, sure, but it's not like Canadians are going to start up their own teams to compete for the U.S. national championship.

Also, U.S. citizens need a passport to travel to Canada these days.  So you would fill a rink with a lot of neutral fans, but shut out most of the fans of the teams competing, just for "exposure?"  Sorry, but I'm not ready to cede our national championship to Canada.  The Frozen Four is for the players and the teams, but it's also for the fans, for us, not for Canadians.  They have their own teams.

If you want exposure that's going to actually "grow the sport," then instead of Toronto, how about having the NCAA tournament in Chicago?  Instead of encouraging a bunch of Canadians to fill a rink, how about exposing people from other Big Ten schools like Illinois and Northwestern to the sport?  That's the way to grow the sport, by having more teams in the U.S., not by filling rinks in other countries.

NYWolverine

March 5th, 2012 at 6:40 PM ^

I'm pumped to see how Stauskas, McGary and GR3 meld with Burke and Hardaway Jr. in the offense next year. Those five have the feel of an imposing starting group, albeit young and unproven.

I'm looking forward to see, while those guys develop, who will step up with the grittiness of Douglass and Novak among Smot, Vogrich, Morgan, Horford, McClimans. Who's going to bleed tiger blood? Somebody is going to have to.

macdaddy

March 5th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

the article about the hack of the D.C. electronic voting system do yourself a favor and click on the link. It is epic. God, I love this school.

Yostnut

March 6th, 2012 at 12:13 AM ^

As I noted in my comments on Michael Spath's article, while Toronto is a fine city, the problem with having the NCAA tournament there is that a passport is required for most U.S. citizens to travel to Canada.  This would be a significant burden for many college hockey fans, especially students, wishing to follow their teams.  It’s one thing to hop in the car and road trip to St. Paul, or even Tampa, on a whim; it’s another to go to a whole different country.  If you can't legally travel there on short notice to follow your team, then Toronto is really no better than New Zealand.

It's true that some fans would plan ahead to obtain passports for the Frozen Four, but a lot of tickets get bought and sold right before the event when the teams are set, since lots of fans are more willing to travel at the last minute for a chance to see their team win a championship. Would fans of RIT have been able to see their team make an unexpected appearance in the 2010 Frozen Four if it had been held in Toronto?

Wanting to "grow the sport" is fine, but unless Canadian teams are going to somehow compete for the U.S. national championship in college hockey, there's not really much point in growing this particular sport north of the border.  They already have hockey there, or so I've heard.

I submit that Toronto be replaced with Chicago in this scenario.  Chicago is a great Original Six hockey city as well, and it seems to me that a more useful way to grow the sport of U.S. college hockey, in a way that's meaningful to Michigan, would be by encouraging other Big Ten schools like Illinois and Northwestern to start hockey teams than by encouraging Canadians to do... well, I'm not exactly sure what.

And you don't need a passport to visit Chicago.

Yostnut

March 7th, 2012 at 1:29 AM ^

Well, I don't have a passport.  Most college students don't.  For that matter, the majority of Americans, and even Michigan residents, don't have passports.  Most estimates put passport owernship among U.S. citizens at about 30 percent.  Being an illegal alien or not has nothing to do with it.

At any rate, why impose an extra burden on American fans to go to the playoffs so that Canadians can fill up the rink?