Unverified Voracity Hates Tartar

Submitted by Brian on November 4th, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Black Heart Gold Pod. I guest on the BHGP podcast this week. About a half hour, and if you haven't listened to a BHGP podcast yet you have to listen to the theme music at the very least.

Listen to the rest of it to hear me lose my mind when Patrick suggests we should be grateful we missed out on Ferentz three years ago, plus me talking Jacobi down from his 45-14 Michigan prediction. These are some depressed gentlemen.

Die Wayne State. Basketball tips off tonight with their first of two exhibitions. If you're not local you can check out the stream for free with the code BTDN3FR33. (Anyone know if I can get a replay of the game online? I'm headed to hockey.)

Surprisingly, Horford is slated to start over Morgan. Read into that what you will; I think there's something in there. Possibly "if we play both of them neither will foul out in ten minutes." I'm not reading much into Douglass over Burke until the team goes to Maui.

Meanwhile, the McGary afterglow continues at UMHoops with a look at Michigan's top recruits of the last 20 years. Man, are there some conflicted feelings on that list. I didn't remember Horton being that touted. AnnArbor.com surveys big time recruits as freshmen to see what they managed.

SIDE NOTE: People are talking about maybe getting two years out of McGary if he doesn't blow up upon entry. I've seen some hopes that the NBA mandates a second year in college, as has been rumored, but that would actually hurt Michigan's chances of keeping him around. As a kid who prepped he would probably be eligible anyway, and with a huge swath of talent suddenly off limits he'd be a major attraction in a weak draft. In the long term Michigan should hope for a setup closer to baseball's, where a big chunk of Calipari's recruits don't even get their cup of coffee in the NCAA before heading to the league.

The pump up. Jeff Goodman has moved to CBS and uses his new gray platform to pump up one John Beilein:

McGary is heading to a Michigan program that is dangerous this season -- and could be downright scary in the next couple of years with the addition of a monster in the middle.

Even without Morris, Michigan should still be a factor in the Big Ten race this season.

There's Novak -- one of those guys who every coach regrets passing over when he came out of high school -- and fellow senior Stu Douglass.

Much is expected of Tim Hardaway Jr., the son of the former NBA guard with the same name who is coming off a strong freshman season. The same can be said of skilled forward Evan Smotrycz, who has a year under his belt.

Freshman Trey Burke, who was a teammate of Ohio State star Jared Sullinger in high school, will likely share the point guard duties with Douglass.

And while he isn't overly intimidating from a physical standpoint, Burke is a guy who makes quality decisions -- and can really shoot the ball (something Morris was unable to do).

"He can do it all," Sullinger said of Burke. "He's fast and knows how to get his teammates the ball. There's a lot of pressure having to fill the role of Darius Morris, but he'll be able to do it."

What are we thinking here? Six seed? I think maybe a six seed.

Oversigning Bowl gets some attention. Cribbing from Eleven Warrior's previous post, the WSJ points out this weekend's 1-vs-2 matchup is pretty close to a 1-vs-2 matchup in a more dubious department:

Alabama has signed 137 players over the past five years, for an average of 27.4 per year. It signed 32 in 2008—a class that included nine starters on this year's team, plus Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. This total places Alabama among the top five nationally in oversigning.

LSU has signed 126 players over the same period, which works out to 25.2 per year. That number is considerably lower than Alabama's but higher than many other top teams.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, whose football team has signed just 112 players over five years (25 fewer than Alabama) said oversigning is "certainly an advantage."

LSU says that the Tigers have signed "at the NCAA limit of permitteed enrollees or one or two above," which is reassuring since 25 times 4 is probably less than 85. LSU doesn't know. They're not in the business of knowing.

Molk in the NFL. NFP's Wes Bunting on one of Michigan's NFL candidates this year:

A shorter, compact lineman who looks nearly maxed out physically, despite weighing 288-pounds. Looks a little tight hipped trying to sit into his stance, but has a quick first step, and snaps and steps very quickly. Creates leverage for himself consistently, extends his arms and can easily reach and seal on plays off his frame. Displays a compact, sturdy punch and can stun defenders at the point. Looks really natural when asked to quickly reach block on runs to the perimeter, as he's coordinated getting his feet around and can seal the edge routinely. Displays natural range/balance getting into blocks at the second level as well. Breakdowns well showcasing the ability to routinely seal on contact.

The rest of it is about how he lacks the power to win in-line or create push, with some dings on his pass protection. Generally positive about his ability to be an NFL player in a zone (cough cough) system.

The Merrill situation. Mike Spath has an update on what's going on with Jon Merrill:

"The initial suspension was in concrete - it was a dedicated suspension to so many games and so much time - and in further discussions, we changed that to an indefinite suspension, which means it's going to be longer," head coach Red Berenson said.

"There is no game we can point at and say he'll be back. But what we have done is we've put him back on the ice and he's practicing with the team."

It sounds like he's passed his OHL flirtation and will stick at Michigan unless something untoward happens in the near future. Spath also floats the potential return of Merrill for his junior year—if he's only playing half of this year the usually-patient Devils probably won't be pressing him to sign.

Meanwhile, it seems like Phil Di Giuseppe's recent trade to Windsor isn't something to worry about. Windsor just blew up their team by shipping out Jack Campbell and one of their top scorers for a bucket of picks and speculative assets like the rights to PDG; if Di Giuseppe wanted to bolt he'd be walking into a crappy team after he'd already reached a college campus. When defections like that happen they're usually players struggling with the level of play (Jason Bailey: 0-0-0, –11; Robbie Czarnik: 3-3-6) who want to take it down a notch or people who just hate their coach (Duncan Keith). PDG is obviously not in the first boat and it would be a surprise if he was in the second.

Even the scenario in which Di Giuseppe is drafted by the college-phobic Kings and signs doesn't get him to the OHL—he is AHL eligible already because pro teams don't prohibit college kids from playing in the A before 20. (Why don't they, by the way? Shouldn't College Hockey Inc be all over the NHL about this double standard? Sure could have used Max Pacioretty a second year, no?)

Etc.: The Willis Ward documentary is live and in the wild. Jacob Trouba in a skirt. Meet all the people who won't be filling wherever the Hurricanes are playing in 30 years. Hockey preview from MLive. We are less of a fraud than PSU. A Nebraska zone read wrinkle that gets the QB outside. Would love to see this—have been wanting this for three years, actually.



November 4th, 2011 at 3:34 PM ^

Don't make it seem like Czarnik was having that tough of a time with the college game. He notched just 6 points his sophomore year before leaving, but that was in just 12 games. Maybe that wasn't up to his expectations, but that's not a terrible point total. Let's look back at last season, where maybe we didn't have the most prolific scorers, but were still a very successful team. There were only 7 forwards on last year's team that had more than 0.5 ppg, of those only Chris Brown and A.J. Treais were underclassman. So for Czarnik to be averaging 0.5 ppg as a sophomore is not that underwhelming.


November 4th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

LSU says that the Tigers have signed "at the NCAA limit of permitteed enrollees or one or two above," which is reassuring since 25 times 4 is probably less than 85. LSU doesn't know. They're not in the business of knowing.

Calls to mind the weekly heading of John Brandon's Grantland column...

Simple Math (or if you went to LSU, Advanced Math — or if you went to Mississippi State, Figurin' You'd Just Assume Not Fool With)


November 4th, 2011 at 3:41 PM ^

Is everyone in Iowa City?

I don't blame them for being upset at the Minnesota game, but really, how much better do they think a coach can do in IOWA?  I mean, even when Wisconsin has things rolling they still do things like, well, Wisconsin this year.  And the Badgers are around more talent with Chicago and such closer. I'm not sure how far Iowa is down the Texas totem poll, but it just got a little further down in the Big Ten with Nebraska joining.

I'm not sure which media type substance I read it in, but the Douglas over Burke thing was a starting with veteran leadership thing, and substituting liberally, and by match-ups, and may change after some feet have gotten wet. So, yeah, nothing to see here.


McGary if he doesn't blow up upon entry

That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world....must mean he's playing great, and we're riding him to big things.


November 4th, 2011 at 3:57 PM ^

Our 92, 94, 95 and 99 basketball recruiting classes are much like Kentucky's these past few years. Except most of their guys panned out and stayed out of trouble. Ours on the other hand....yikes. Thankfully, Beilein seems to be recruiting guys that have good heads on their shoulders while being highly ranked at the same time. Bright future ahead!


November 4th, 2011 at 4:01 PM ^

The UMHoops thing on our recruits was interesting - we had some badass recruits come in in the mid-90's. 

Cool thing - both McGary (obvi) and Glenn Robinson III would  make that list.


November 4th, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^

I hear a lot about leverage when it comes to linemen, can someone explain/diagram some examples of "good leverage" versus "bad leverage"?


Is leverage more how low you attack, or is it kind of an upper body thing?  trying to wrap my head around it exactly.


November 4th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

I've always understood leverage to mean getting below the other guy to allow you to move them around.  If you watch drills from practice, linemen try to push their opponents' bodies upwards with a punch as they engage.  The higher you're standing the easier it is to push you around.  If you are leaning forward and driving your legs into someone, it's going to be very hard to move you.


November 4th, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^


So the team limit for football scholarships is 85. Alabama has signed 137 in the past five years which is +67% above the limit. LSU has signed 126 in that same time period which is +48% above the limit. Brian has pounded on the advantage of oversigning point together with Oversigning.com. Today the Wall Street Journal has taken some notice. But in general, the issue is not addressed by main stream sports media. The NCAA has recently looked at this issue but they did not direct action to stop it to my knowledge. I believe they looked at making an athletic scholarship for football as being a four year committed agreement by the school but I’m not sure that was finalized. Why hasn’t the NCAA and the media looked at the advantage these schools gain with oversigning and how it is unfair to the student athletes and non-SEC competition? The Oversigning Bowl is a polite way to put it. What happened to all the kids kicked off the SEC teams because of oversigning? They probably have another name for this practice that isn’t so polite.


November 4th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

A little thing called "running their business". Both companies (who want to make money) show SEC footall. They want to make money, so they ignore the bad things about the product (Oversigning. And, everyone not LSU and Bama this year) and hype the shit out of the good things (depth! Tons of BCS titles! Possible rematches as long as we don't ask Urban!) without talking about how they got so deep. ESPN is ridiculously self serving, but most business are supposed to be. The fact that they're also supposedly a journalism outlet... that's a conflict of interest.


November 4th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

85.  If we assume transfers etc. balance out redshirts most of the time, then we're looking at basically what should be 21+ signings a year.  In other words, 5 years' signings should be 106 recruits, give or take.

Which suggests to me that something went hellaciously wrong in 2010 (where we've got a 'Bama-like signing number).

Um.  Which is all fairly obvious, I suppose, and it's not like the 2010 team didn't have problems which could possibly explain the fact, though I don't know names & numbers off the top of my head.


November 4th, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

Thanks Funkywolve:

I knew we had some heavy years but I did not add it up. Thanks, that means a +42% oversigning for Michigan. We do not look good. We may have an excuse but so do they. Alabama and LSU may oversign as a strategy but until the rules are changed we can only complain about it.



November 4th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

Why are we using 5 years as the term to get 85 scholarships? Yes, some guys redshirt, but not all do. If you totally neglect redshirts, you need to sign 106 guys over 5 years to get a team of 85 players with 4 year eligibility. I think the right answer is somewhere in between, say 95. So if you have 10% attrition, and 1/2 your guys not redshirting, 106 is reasonable. That's about where we've been (see elsewhere in this thread.) 137 is unreasonable.

Also, 52/85 = 61%, not 67%.


November 4th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

If Dominic Raiola can have a 10+ year career in the NFL I think David Molk will be at least a decent center for some team too.  They are pretty much clones of each other size-wise.


November 4th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

The CHL has their own specific contract with the NHL that keeps their 19 y/os out of the AHL, which is a big part of the reason the NCAA considers the CHL a professional league. The NCAA doesn't really care where their players play once they sign, since it's not like they can go back to the NCAA.


November 4th, 2011 at 5:36 PM ^

One thing I don't get in all the oversigning hoopla is the role of the player himself.  He HAS to know that the school oversigns and yet he signs up anyways.  Doesn't he have any culpability in the problem (not exonorating the schools - just asking the question) as well?  

It's sort of like a guy who marries a women who he met when she was cheating on her then husband.  You can't be surprised if in a few years she does it to you too......


November 4th, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

I 100% agree it's wrong and believe that the schools are at fault for the issue.  I'm just saying the players aren't 100% innocent here.  They know those schools oversign and yet they sign with them anyways.  If my son was getting recruited by either school I'd give them both a "thanks but no thanks" because of their history in doing so.

 Let's face it, if a player is good enough to get offered by either LSU or Alabama they probably have offers from literally ever other school in the country too.  Where are the parents of these kids and why aren't they looking out for them?

[email protected]

November 4th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

Horton was a big recruit - ESPN the Magazine had a 2-page spread on him and everything. Amaker was quoted in that feature saying something along the lines of him being the most important recruit in a long time, and a turning point (or something to that effect) for the program. 

(Unfortunately I don't have a link/picture since it was so long ago)


November 5th, 2011 at 8:50 AM ^

LSU says that the Tigers have signed "at the NCAA limit of permitteed enrollees or one or two above," which is reassuring since 25 times 4 is probably less than 85. LSU doesn't know. They're not in the business of knowing.

This is the realization that mathematics are no longer required among administrators. Perhaps the "new math" (do people call it that anymore?) is simply taking the idea that lying with statistics happens to work better when people can't add. Everyone should be forced to become an engineer before they embark on the degree that won't get them a job.