Unverified Voracity Inspires Spain Comment Count

Brian June 14th, 2018 at 2:04 PM

Campeónes de baloncesto. Where does the Spanish national team draw inspiration from in the aftermath of their coach getting canned just two days before the World Cup?

Glen Rice isn't walking through that—oh. I see. Several Glen Rices are already in residence. Well, fine. You just go out there and win one for Bo Schembechler. I'll be over here in the corner weeping and inventing new swear words. As one does on the opening day of the World Cup.


A good summary of football in two minutes. Kyle Shanahan is asked whether NFL teams have "figured out" the zone read. This is of course a dorfy question about whether that gimmick college stuff can last in The Shield. Shanahan doesn't take the bait and instead provides a concise summary of football strategy:

So there's at least one career NFL guy who wouldn't cause me to break out in hives if Michigan hired him. (Also per PFF zone reads averaged a half-yard more than other runs a year ago.)

[After THE JUMP: mo wagners mo problems for the opposition]

Tru Detective season three. Tru Wilson is doubled down upon:

I'm not sure if anyone other than Evans and Higdon is going to get more than scattered touches—and also I bet a healthy O'Maury Samuels zips by in fall. But Wilson is now a walk-on of interest.

Mo' Wagners? Franz Wagner was just invited to the NBPA camp, a rare privilege for an international player. Despite being just 16 he is impressing

It didn't take Wagner, a native of Germany, long to prove he belonged, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and playing with energy in his opening camp game.

A 6-foot-6 wing prospect, Wagner landed on the international radar last summer playing Germany's u16 team European Championships. Since then he’s grown at least an inch and added more than 16 pounds of muscle to his lean frame.

Following his opening round camp game, Wagner said his shot, which he showcased, and his overall energy are two of his best assets.

…and facing a decision like his brother's. Wagner could be a 2018(!) player since he's already through high school, but with no timetable for a decision it seems likely he will continue to develop at Alba Berlin for at least the coming year. It'll be a tight fit scholarship-wise for Michigan, which already has a wing in a 2019 class that is likely to max out at three. Michigan and LaVall Jordan's Butler are the two schools mentioned by name, FWIW.

Could be worse. Basketball schedules a one-off game with Air Force on December 22nd. Air Force is not a SWAC team so I'll take it. They've finished between 252 and 204 in Kenpom the last five years as a bad Mountain West team, and their RPI has been in the same range. This makes it a very winnable game that is not an 300+ RPI anchor, so good for Michigan.

What the what? If you watched that USA-vs-the-world All Star game that Iggy Brazdeikis was in you may have noticed Charles Bassey, a Nigerian kid who moved to the States at 14. He was really good, and as a 2019 in a game with a bunch of 2018s. And now he's going to Kentucky. But not that Kentucky

Top-five prospect Charles Bassey has committed to Western Kentucky and will reclassify to the 2018 class, the school announced Wednesday.

…Bowling Green, Kentucky. Interestingly enough, Stansbury was one of the few coaches who was blunt in his reaction to the FBI thing:

“I don’t think it’s surprising to most coaches who understand the AAUs, the shoe companies and all that," Stansbury said. "Everybody acts like it must have just started. Well, nah, I guess they just found out. I mean, this ain’t nothing new in college basketball. Probably you could figure out when and how, but I don’t think it took anybody by surprise.”

And is supposedly infamous for being a guy who's putting money on the table for croots, to the point where high-major coaches are doing the S –> $ message board thing. Stansbury also got a commitment from a five-star center last year, but the kind of five-star center who is so so so ineligible that he's actually ineligible. This is a different thing. Bassey could have gone a lot of places.

I'm sure dude is getting what he can get, but that still leaves an unresolved question on the table: do we really think the Hilltoppers can outbid people? Anyway this is super weird and I appreciate anyone taking one and dones off Kentucky's plate.

MLS in his future. MLive offers various reasons AFC Ann Arbor is killing it in the NPSL despite plenty of roster turnover, and here's my #1:

The most impactful addition this season has been defender Stanley Okumu, who Saeed said is regularly the best player on the field.

Okumu joins AFC Ann Arbor from the Kenyan U-23 National Team.

"He has been fantastic," Rudland said. "We don't necessarily believe in singling out guys for our success, but anybody who has watched us play knows that he is a big part of our defensive strength. He brings a level of composure and athleticism. When you look at defenders across the league, he is obviously one of the top guys."

Okumu said he hopes to sign a professional contract after this summer. Cawley, who also has been one of the team's top defenders, believes he will.

It takes a lot for a central defender to jump out at you; Okumu certainly does. He will get that pro contract; one dollar says he's the first AFC alum to be an MLS regular. AFC's ability to pull in guys from all over the world is astounding and fairly inexplicable. Okumu has a highlight reel that largely features his long-range passing, and some of his games in the South African league appear to be attended by 10-20k.

AFC is undefeated in league play despite losing their top two goalies and having three guys leave the club to participate in the CONFIFA World Cup, which is a tournament of made up political entities like Cascadia. Those three guys return for a home game a Skyline this Friday at 7.

There's a new AFC Ann Arbor/Michigan/Liverpool blog apparently created specifically for my friend Marc, but it may be of interest to you as well.

Writing was on the wall. Nominal Michigan hockey commit Cole Perfetti is apparently going to sign with Saginaw, which took him fifth overall in the OHL draft. When guys go that high it's usually a sign that their commitment is just a placeholder and that the OHL team in question is calling the player's bluff. Now it is official.

Michigan still has two five-star types in the class in Andrei Bakanov and Owen Power plus a number of A- prospects in 2020, but the dream of the Death Star class is now kaput.

This is a thing but probably not one worth worrying about. The state of Michigan football fandom is such that former Illinois QB Jeff George Jr announcing he'll walk-on for his final two years of eligibility has apparently made some people fret? George doesn't change the dynamics of the QB room one bit; he's probably on the Nick Sheridan path where his college career is more like a coaching internship.

Etc.: Portuguese soccer club in a bit of trouble after fans broke into their practice complex and beat players with belts and such. I'm "abibos." Warde "Uncle Phil" Manuel worked to keep his coach. Michigan State is the worst. Even more Quinn Hughes scouting.



June 14th, 2018 at 2:43 PM ^

So, even though the US shat the bed for the World Cup this cycle, I'm really missing the every 4 years WC coverage that usually is in this blog.  Any chance you can dry your tears and give some coverage?  Or if the apathy is just too much, any chance for a post-WC US preview for the coming cycle after our nightmare is in the rear view and US Soccer tries not to utterly implode over the next few years?


June 14th, 2018 at 3:26 PM ^

Is there anyone on the staff (or affiliated with) that really pays much attention to US Soccer? I know Ace is huge into the NBA, and with the dearth of other Michigan sportsball going on, coverage of the NBA playoffs kind of made sense. But given that the USMNT has little relevance to a Michigan blog, and the general lack of soccer aptitude here since I've been reading it, I wouldn't imagine seeing one. Does Brian pay a lot of attention to the national/international landscape?


June 14th, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

"Jim Harbaugh doubled down on Tru Wilson as Michigan's No. 3 running back this week on his podcast. "He's going to play a lot this year."

This is simultaneously encouraging on Wilson's behalf and depressing as hell with respect to our RB recruiting in general. Whether it's just bad luck or bad identification of talent, something's off.


June 14th, 2018 at 3:06 PM ^

If Wilson is good it's not a knock on recruiting but rather a notch in the walk-on program belt. If he gets passed it doesn't say much at all. If he's still No. 3 in the fall and he's bad then maybe something's up; until then getting depressed over it is just speculative disappointment. 

I'm filing this one under ask again later.


June 14th, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Alternative take:  Somewhere on a message board 3 years ago, there was someone just like you giving the exact same take about the state of WR recruiting at Clemson due to the emergence of some walk on named Hunter Renfrow.

Tru Wilson had some legit service academy offers.  He appears to be a legit player and a few guys have been injured on top of that. 


June 14th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

You're not wrong that RB recruiting hasn't worked out in quite some time.  I just don't think that Tru Wilson being the #3 back coming out of spring is too big of a concern.  3 more guys coming on campus in a few days as well to compete.


June 14th, 2018 at 4:42 PM ^

People are going way overboard on the RB roster problems.  In the 2017 class, Michigan was pretty sure they were getting Najee Harris, who was a day 1 player along with Samuels who needed a couple years to be college ready.  Once they were blindsided by his Alabama commitment they didn't have much time to fill the spot.  In the very next class, they addressed the lack of depth by going after 3 guys they really like in Turner, Haskins and Barrett.

None of those guys have practiced yet so they can't be on the depth chart.  Come September, there will be 7 RBs on the roster, only 1 of whom will be out of eligibility after this year. 


June 14th, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

Unless he's bad, it just means Michigan maybe found a diamond in the rough.  Or it's an attempt to motivate other people on the roster.  I don't know, but possibly having another RB who is better than some guys who look pretty good as well is a win in my book.

S.G. Rice

June 14th, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

Did Warde Manuel learn NOTHING from the Dave Brandon era?





Oh, you say it's basketball not football?  Carry on then.


June 14th, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

Re: Etc.


That article about cronyism in academia, and particularly at MSU, is worrisome. While I'd like to sit here and bask in my superiority in having a diploma from Michigan and not MSU, I won't kid myself - public institutions, particularly those who depend on their public image and patronage from wealthy alumni and other benefactors, are all inclined to deal in underhanded and sleazy ways to protect themselves. UM's practices surrounding FOIA compliance is already a good example of the sort of warning signs you might expect surrounding a culture of institutionalized misconduct, and I'd be remiss if I didn't say it worries me.


June 14th, 2018 at 7:48 PM ^

There's a bit of a difference between...

a) being really shitty at FOIA requests , and...

b) being blatantly hired to try to avoid penalties from a horrific series of crimes, then using the institution which hired you as a bank account for cronyism.

MSU is awful, but their students don't deserve their leadership.

Bask away in your Michigan diploma. You earned it, and Michigan has the moral high ground by fucking miles in this area.


June 15th, 2018 at 4:30 AM ^

I had to go through Brian's post again, because I completely missed the mention and link to a story about MSU (at the very end of the post) https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2018/06/11/essay-emerging-culture-patronage-michigan-state#.Wx6NVPl9Xw0.twitter

The sad thing is that there are so many things wrong with leadership at MSU that most people are in the "not this shit again" mode and move on.  For the taxpayers in Michigan, the students, faculty, and staff at MSU, though, they are potentially saddled with these crony appointments, high salaries and benefits for years to come. 


June 15th, 2018 at 9:45 AM ^

I know a fair amount of people who are so wedded to their identity with Spartan nation, and so vituperative in their thoughts of UM,  that they won't recognize, at all, any of the issues MSU is facing. 

These folks, combined with the 'Not this shit again' folks, I think combine to provide enough of a mass of people that the board of trustees and the other MSU leadership feel they can weather the storm. I mean... Joel Ferguson is comically bad. Engler is just terrible in this position and seems to regularly put his foot in his mouth WRT his relations with the survivors. But... they feel they can weather this. They probably will. 

I have close relatives who went to MSU. I spent many nights in Case Hall. The campus is beautiful. I know many people who have done well with an MSU degree. There are alot of things to like. But, IMHO, it's all severely tarnished by what has come to light, and the administrations response to those events. 

I wish Spartan Nation would wake up and demand some changes. 

Trader Jack

June 14th, 2018 at 3:29 PM ^

I grew up around Eric Rudland, Ann Arbor FC's Manager, and played for his father, Ron, in High School. I'm not surprised at all that he's been able to recruit players from all over the world to Ann Arbor FC; he's been able to do that everywhere he's coached. When Eric was in charge of the men's soccer program at Spring Arbor University, for instance, he was successful in recruiting international players to the school that were a higher caliber than what you normally see at the NAIA level.

MMB 82

June 14th, 2018 at 7:09 PM ^

I remember years ago "SPAIN" was "on notice" permanently, and no reason was ever given by Brian. Now UV is inspiring Spain? You got some 'splainin' to do, Lucy!