Unverified Voracity Is Local Craig James

Submitted by Brian on March 7th, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Adult Swim does not like OSU. This is not the first shot they've taken in Columbus's direction in the past year:


See also here and here, though that second was more optimistic on OSU's 2012 postseason destination—projected to be the "Goat Trauma Awareness Bowl"—than reality.

Now you can experience the Hoke yourself.  Here's 54 minutes of Hoke talking to the Ohio High School Football Coaches' Association:

Haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet but it was recommended to me by one of the guys in the room as a great example of why Michigan's having the success they are on the recruiting trail. If it's anything like the Glazier clinic I was at, I agree.

Senior night festivities. If you missed them:

Defending Aaron Craft's defense. I'm a big stats guy and everything but man, Aaron Craft is coming in for a beating after picking up the Big Ten's defensive player of the year award and when people try to justify this they are reaching for any blunt object in the vicinity. Here's Big Ten Geeks:

Aaron Craft is a very good defensive player. Let’s get that out of the way. Whatever you think of the next few paragraphs, remember that we all agree that Craft’s defense would improve just about any collegiate basketball team.

But the sophomore guard just earned some hardware that bestowed loftier praise than just being “very good.” Indeed, it is the opinion of Big Ten coaches that Craft is the conference’s best defensive player. At the risk of dismissing the opinions of 12 men who know a lot about basketball, I think they got this one wrong.

Measuring defense is not easy. Dean Oliver came up with the Stops metric which has some appeal in that it shows correlation with defensive efficiency year-over-year. The more Stops a team keeps, the better the defense holds up. If a bunch of Stops are lost to graduation or early-entry, the defense slides. That doesn’t make it the be-all, but it’s something.

And according to Stops, Aaron Craft isn’t in the conversation of the Big Ten’s best defensive player.

Stops == defensive rebounds plus blocked shots plus steals. Stops is a very, very rough metric, like all defensive stats. Defensive stats are useless on an individual level.

So you can argue with Craft, but most arguments boil down to "he's short." I don't think that should disqualify him. Ohio State finished #1 in overall defense at Kenpom and was top 30 in forcing turnovers. Craft's steal percentage was 15th nationally. It's not like giving him the award is crazy out there, especially since they weren't going to give both the POY and DPOY to the same guy.

The real complaint here is about the guy who won the conference without any all-conference players, with one top 100 recruit, and after being picked to finish outside the top three at the start of the year. That would be John Beilein, who is not your B10 coach of the year.

Braylon kerfuffle. Braylon being Braylon (tweets have been mildly de-tweeted for readability):

"I don't understand how my brother has the 8th (fastest) time in the country in the 60m, ran for 1800 yards last year and 20 and U of M won't call," Edwards tweeted around 8 p.m.

"Love my school and I played for coach (Hoke) but call my brother before its too late and you guys miss out like Lloyd would have if not for Soup."

At least… uh… Braylon Edwards always doesn't get how media works instead of only not getting it because he doesn't like the head coach? That's the ticket.

Obviously this would have been better suggested directly to Hoke, or not at all. For one, it is March. I know we have a slightly accelerated timetable these days, but it's March. Braylon didn't get his offer until midway through his high school season, IIRC. For two, it's still March. Camp, play your senior season, see what happens, don't throw a hissy because you expect better.

I'm guessing the Edwards clan is going to have to stew most of the year, if not all of it. Michigan's not going to have a lot of wildcard spots; those that exist look like they'll be ticketed for big time players.. They've already recruited Wyatt Shallman as a tailback, and are hot after Ty Isaac and DeVeon Smith. They've taken two third-down scatback types (Justice Hayes and Dennis Norfleet) the past two years. There is not a spot on the roster for a 5'8" tailback that does not knock out a four star player at a position of greater need.

If it was looking grim before, now Hoke has to consider the possibility that Braylon is going to go Craig James on him if he does end up offering Berkeley. Not a good move.

Building relationships, one coach at a time. Sounds like Trotwood's coach is a little peeved at OSU:

Trotwood-Madison High School football coach Maurice Douglass didn’t exactly say Ohio State fumbled the ball, but he didn’t have to.

“One man’s lump of coal is another man’s diamond,” Douglass said. “And Michigan got a diamond.” …

“They sent him a letter last Thursday telling him to hold on, that they were still evaluating linebackers,” Douglass said.

May this work out like Anthony Gonzalez did. Except backwards, obviously. Also, that last bit should assuage any concerns McCray would flip when the Great Meyer comes down from the mountain with a temporary, conditional, non-committable offer-ish non-offer (unless you want to take it). He was asked to cool his heels and flipped the bird instead.

As a result, it is time to RELEASE THE MCCRAYKEN


Someone photoshop some wings on to that thing.

Asshats. Roy Roundtree commits a meaningless secondary violation by mentioning the twitter handle of the McCrayken; Chatsports points this out because they are clickwhores who don't care if they're damaging people or programs. If you ever see James T Yoder in a public place please let him know that he's a bad person. 

Etc.: ESPN the Magazine chronicles Rumeal Robinson's descent into madness. Does pointing at stuff make you seem smarter? Obviously. Going in depth on Michigan's offensive line present and future. Five Key Plays from PSU.


Blue boy johnson

March 7th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

I have no problem with Craft getting the award, mostly because I can't think of a better defender in the BIG. I do think Stu is right up there with him, but Stu was never going to win it.

I will offer up my opinion for worst defensive guard in the league and that will go to # 11, Jordan Hulls on Indiana. When M jumped to that big lead on IU, it was mostly built on Stu and Trey abusing # 11. They were going by him like he was on rollerskates.


March 7th, 2012 at 4:57 PM ^

That's not a rethorical question, but I can't think of anyone.  Craft was the best defensive player I saw all year, though I rarely watched any non-Michigan games. 


March 7th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

the video on Hoke for a few minutes and you can see the magnetism when he talks. Everyone there seemed raptured and you could hear a pin drop in the room.  Also, I would like to see him talk about some of the bad times when he was living in a van, down by the river.


March 7th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

The Urban Meyer video is also up. You can see the difference between his and Hoke's coaching styles, and also the similarities. B1G football is going to be more fun for the next few years - until Meyer leaves for somewhere else.

Anyone want to explain "now Hoke has to consider the possibility that Braylon is going to go Craig James on him if he does end up offering Berkeley." to me?


March 7th, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

I believe Brian is suggesting that, based on Braylon's behavior wrt his brother before he even gets to college, that Braylon would be the type to publicly call out the head coach of his little brother if he feels he isn't being treated properly. 

It's a little different, because in the Craig James case, TTU wasn't also his alma mater, so once it was clear Adam wasn't going to be a part of the team it was easy to throw the program under the bus.  I don't think Braylon would go that far, but he could very possibly just be publicly annoying about PT or something.


March 7th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

I don't foresee it rising to the level of the Craig James fiasco, but man Braylon and his family just need to be quiet about all of this.  For a guy with a reputation of being an overrated diva and a knucklehead (I still can't get over his drunk driving while a Jet), he sure doesn't dissuade people with his online rants.

I totally agree that the Edwards clan would not be quiet if Berkley was passed on the roster by other recruits.


March 7th, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

Braylon is such an idiot. Rather than going about it the correct way, by getting his brothers film together and sending it to the coaching staff - he does it this way. This is just a microcosm of why he's been a bum in the NFL. Lloyd, Soup and Debord could manage him properly - if the right staff could get him on their team they could at least make him productive.


March 7th, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

well, Roundtree went to the same high school as McCray, right? didn't they make an exception after Michael Floyd had some supposedly out-of-bounds interaction with Seantrel Henderson, since they were high school teammates?


March 7th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^


In his own words as far as I can transcribe them:

"There is one thing we have to do is remeber the responsibility we have as a coach. And I can't tell you how important that is... but to be called coach and understand what that is to me means everything. And how we mentor and grow young men and that's what we want to do at Michigan. And guys on this staff I won't hire em until they don't say why they coach and if it doesn't have to do with the influence and impact that we get to have on 18 and 23 years olds they will not coach at the University of Michigan." 

The only word that comes to mind is greatness. At every turn he is focused on the right things, in the right way, with total integrity. I know that he has only one season under his belt here as head coach, but I am convinced that he is exactly the man that this program needs at exactly this point in its history. 

It is a hour long, but well worth watching. 

Bless you Brady. You make our future bright!

Go Blue


March 7th, 2012 at 6:04 PM ^

For the past several OSU games that I have watched, I have focused mostly on Craft when OSU has been on D.  My very non-expert analysis tells me that:

a) Craft is amazing at slapping the ball away as people gather to shoot

b) Spends a lot of energy fighting over screens (often getting lost on the re-screen as his man goes back through the screen)

c) Takes A LOT of risks, leaving his man open for a lot of almost contested shots.

Burke, Appling, Hulls, and Taylor all scored over their season average against OSU (I only looked at those 4...these aren't selective players to prove a point.) .  If Craft was the best defensive player in the B10, and "the best on-ball defender in the country", as most announcers like to say, that stat seems pretty unlikely.  That doesn't even include Brandon Paul's 13 for 15, 43 point game (Craft did come back and force a 2 for 9, 9 point game in the rematch)

To answer everyone else's question, Oladipo is better.

El Jeffe

March 8th, 2012 at 8:48 AM ^

I tend to agree with this. In an admittedly very small sample size, I found Craft to be more pesky and irritating, though very good at being pesky and irritating. Oladipo, on the other hand, was truly a glove. He made Timmah look like he wanted nothing better than to crawl to the bench for a while there during the game at IU. Now, THJ is susceptible to needing help to create shots, but this was of a whole different magnitude.

Not sure about stats, but Oladipo was the best defender I saw with mine own eyes this year.


March 7th, 2012 at 6:06 PM ^

People who are unable to notice Craft's defensive abilities are stubborn crumudgeons who are unable to give credit where credit is due. The guy is the peskiest defender I've seen in a long time. 

The only thing worse than Izzo getting COY is the fact he was unanimous COY. I mean, yea whatever.


March 7th, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

Very good, no doubt.  My point is that he is pesky and is 'noticeable' in his d, even fun to watch, but ultimately, he often ends up one step out of position, going for steal, giving up the open shot.  

He is also great at slapping the ball away as people gather to shoot, which is the short guy's equivalent of a blocked shot.  

Also without a doubt is that Beilein (or maybe Crean) deserved the COY, while Izzo should have won most improved after last year's disaster.


March 7th, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

I agree Craft is a very good defender, but does anyone else think he gets away with murder sometimes?  It seems to me (homer glasses, etc.) that he gets away with bumping and reaching more than other guards when someone is trying to drive on him.


March 7th, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

How Beilein was snubbed for COY despite winning a share of the title with the roster they trotted out there is silly, but then again UM seems to be making a practice of shattering expectations.  I'll let Izzo enjoy his COY record and hopefully this team will go deep in the tourney.  The difference is that I doubt Beilein loses any sleep over stuff like this.


March 8th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

At least Izzo knows he shouldn't have gotten COY or was surprised by it at least.

The Hoke video is great stuff make sure to watch it if you haven't yet.


March 8th, 2012 at 8:06 PM ^

in Yost. Wow. Back when I was a little snot, my mom was in AnnArbor for something or another, and when she came home she had a surprize for me. Seems she spotted Cazzie on State Street and got his autograph. I was impressed. What memories.