Unverified Voracity, Machine Gun Style Comment Count

Brian April 5th, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Hi. This is just going to be a Final Four linkdump. Otherwise it will be 3000 words.

Well, yeah. Burke won the Wooden award.

AN OPEN LETTER TO CHRIS WEBBER. You are the last person I want to think about right now. Literally the very last person.

Brian Cook

[why I thought I should mention this.]

Practice. They had it.

Burke. Kind of good. His top seven moments. Here's #6:

No. 6 -- 75 assists vs. 12 turnovers in 11 games
From Nov. 27 to Jan. 9, Trey Burke was as close to perfect as a point guard can get.

Burke put up a staggering 75 assists vs. 12 turnovers during an 11-game stretch, guiding Michigan to victories in every one of those contests.

During that run, Burke averaged 18.1 points, 6.8 assists and 1.09 turnovers per game.

Staggering numbers from a remarkably consistent player.


Subj: Recommended strategy. TO: THAT BOEHEIM GUY. TOP SECKRIT. Penn State provides its guide to beating Michigan:

Step 6: Be down by a ton of points in the second half. Trust me.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but this is all about the element of surprise. PSU was down 66-51 with around ten minutes to go and came back to win by six. This is probably the only way to beat Michigan, and since your team is a heck of a lot better than Penn State, you could probably get away with a 30-35 point deficit late in the game. At worst, your team loses all hope, doesn't make a comeback and is super motivated for next year. A win/win, really.

So good luck, coach. Just know that should you fail to heed my advice and fall to Michigan, we'll have transitive bragging rights over you for quite some time.

Spike arrives. Can't… cope… with… infinite… Beilein… quotes… SPOCK

Beilein wanted to thank the fans for their support, for waiting in the cold, for acknowledging again that Michigan wasn't just a football school.

He also wanted to acknowledge the team, though, rattling off the players' names, class by class. And when he got to his fabulous freshmen, he started with the one name he knew would get the biggest cheer.

"How about this?" Beilein yelled, as his face broke into a big grin. "The most eligible bachelor on campus right now: Spike Albrecht!"



"Not only is Spike a rock star," roommate Nik Stauskas divulged, "Spike is a lady's man."

Wojo on shake. And such:

Yes, John Beilein did the "Harlem Shake," sort of. This is Michigan's first Final Four dance in 20 years and Beilein's first, and to appreciate how the Wolverines ended up here, you have to appreciate how the mild-mannered 60-year-old coach connected with one of the youngest teams in the country.

This is a tale that only happens in college, where players are talented enough to pull off great things, but raw enough to recognize the need for guidance. Beilein is meticulous, nearly to a fault, he admits. But this season, and especially during this NCAA Tournament run, the strangest thing happened. Just when the Wolverines could have tightened up, their coach loosened up, and this is how they ride.

Dear NBA draft speculation, please wait like four days. Goofy haircut guys trading off of Forbes's name—barrier to entry: email us and be willing to write for free—NBA draft Burke Hardaway whatever don't care let's talk next week. Right?

Do I think Burke will be back next season? What about Glenn Robinson III? Is Tim Hardaway Jr. ready to play in the NBA? Has Mitch McGary’s rise made him a legit pro prospect?

Will this team’s run help recruiting? Will the team have enough talent left to do this again next season? Has Michigan surpassed Michigan State on the hardwood?

In other words: “What’s next?”

Well, to be frank, what’s next is what’s right in front of you.


YEAH OKAY. Wrong Lil don't care:

"This has been crazy," Burke's father, Benji described. "People tweeting, Facebooking and talking about him -- Jalen Rose, Charles Barkley, Bob Knight, Kenny Smith, Greg Anthony.

"Lil Wayne."

Wait, what? Lil Wayne?

"It's been like 'wow,' " Benji added with a laugh. "He's known all over."

Scouting Michigan. Eamonn Brennan talks to an OSU assistant about how to deal with Michigan's offense. This is what I am saying about horrible one-dribble-inside-the-line jumpers:

[Hardaway] is excellent on catch-and-shoots (1.227 PPP), but his efficiency drops precipitously once he is forced to put the ball on the floor. Once Hardaway takes a dribble, his points per trip drop to just 0.711. Fly by on closeouts if that's what it takes, but make Hardaway do more than stand with his finger in the wind on the perimeter -- especially in the open floor.

(You guys who use Synergy numbers need to learn about significant digits man. 1.2 and 0.7.) Boals goes on to talk threes and Michigan's defense and the like; highly recommended even if he thinks it's "weird" Michigan emphasizes limiting opponent transition opportunities, which I think the entire universe does.

Meanwhile, Syracuse:

The Orange weren't exactly the fastest team in the country this season -- they ranked No. 244 in Pomeroy's adjusted tempo -- but you really do not want to see them on the break. According to Synergy scouting data, Syracuse averaged 1.12 points per trip in transition this season, disproportionately more than in the half court.

I like the idea of transition-dependent offenses against Michigan.

You are a nut. Bacari Alexander:

So here it came, just as Alexander was wrapping up. A can of Pringles? Morgan guessed it immediately — "I knew exactly what he was doing," he said — but most of his teammates were stumped. Alexander said he'd put on the glove "just for effect." ("You know, 'What is he about to do? Is he about to smack somebody?' " he joked.) As for the chips, he'd spotted one of the team managers eating them earlier in the day, "and I just had an 'A-ha!' moment."


Ask Alexander about Mitch McGary's breakfast habits and he'll tell you he "has benefited from his enthusiasm and his consistency and really his unwavering pursuit of excellence."

Etc.: Rothstein details how Beilein got here and Tim Hardaway's lost friends. Card Chronicle asks Jay Bilas why he is so hood. Burke slideshow. Beard on Burke. Aw dang I missed one of the Syracuse zone posts. Beilein still in disbelief. Zones. Beilein was in Saving Private Ryan. Close enough!



April 5th, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

I am a structural engineer, I pointed out the flexural hinge on the shirt with Lewan's twosie, and I HATE it when people use too many decima points just because thats what excel spits out. Now Brian, I must say that 1.2 and 0.7 isnt correct. Correct use of significant figures in that case would be 1.2 and 0.71.

Nonetheless, I appreciate  you bringing this overlooked part of data analysis to the forefront of Mgoblog.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:29 PM ^

I'm not a fan of this idea that Michigan plays slow on offense. I mean yeah, they're 200 in number of possessions, but they don't foul, they don't draw fouls, they don't turn the ball over, and they don't force turnovers. Bump all those factors up to average and I bet their pace ends up above average. "Pace" isn't a perfect way to characterize number of possessions.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

Completely agree on your open letter to Webber.

And here's a bit of wishful thinking from Syracuse:


April 5th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

But he didn't say "added pressure," he said "all the pressure is on Trey Burke." There's kind of a big difference between the two.

I'm not worried about Burke. But the Syracuse players sound awfully overconfident, which is fine with me but something Syracuse fans should be worried about.


April 5th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

I disagree. Obviously there's a lot more to this discussion, but denying the symbolizism of this team making it to the final four 20 years after the fab five is ignoring the historical significance.  I don't want it to dominate the discussion - and I don't think it has - but it's a part of the story.  

Willis Ward

April 5th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

I don't want to start a war about this because I don't think we should be focusing on this right now either...this is a moment for the 2012/13 team.  But it is also a moment for everyone that has ever played at Michigan.  That is one of the things that makes Michigan great...there is a real pride from former players in what the current players are doing.  And I think Webber deserves to be a part of that if he wants to be.

The Webber situation is more complicated than those of you that never want to see him again want to make it.  I thought the Professor's open letter was touching.  And I don't see how mentioning his name in the same sentence as this team cheapens this team at all.  The Fab Five are part of Michigan's history.  Ignoring it is pointless and does a disservice.  Webber was a 19/20 year old kid that took money.  Webber's moral wrongdoing is questionable since he was forced (not really forced, but you know what I mean) to make money for a University (that then redistributes that money to kids in non-revenue sports) and not see any of it (except for his own scholarship which is borderline meaningless when pushed toward a general studies degree).

I'm almost as sick of the Webber bashing around here as I am of the Lloyd bashing.  I know this blog skews young so people remember App State and not '97 and remember painful sanctions but not the early 90s in hoops.  I get it...but it is annoying.

Willis Ward

April 5th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

he already has come back and even visited with this team already this year.  Plus, the open letter by the Professor was necessary because so many people love to trash Webber...as proven not only by Brian's post but that anyone who disagrees with it gets labeled as having tossed out flamebait.  Which this will no doubt be labeled as well.


April 5th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

In November, if it was just about Webber coming back and healing.  But oh, no, let's wait till they make the Final Four.  At which point a guy like Glen Rice deserves to be there as much as Webber.  If it's about supporting THIS team, and not drawing attention away from them.  

And did the letter by the professor do anything to keep people from trashing Webber?  If people didn't keep bringing him up and asking him to do stuff he's apparently not ready to do, no one would have to point out he's not ready to do it. And it's not all about him.  But at least in this case it's not Webber to blame, but a horribly misguided professor.

Willis Ward

April 5th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

A guy like Glen Rice deserves to be there as much as Webber.  The difference is that no one is sitting behind their computer and telling Glen Rice he shouldn't be there or that they don't want to hear from him.  Your question was why not an open letter to Glen Rice...the answer is because Glen isn't trashed by some Michigan fans.  There are many of us, especially those that were around when the FabFive were at Michigan, that are ready and willing to forgive.  I'm glad someone said that in a forum that might reach him (the open letter).  This is a complicated issue wrapped in an even more complicated subject (amateruism in college athletics).  I'm going to stop posting about it here because I do agree that this is not the time to have a war about Webber.  I just responded because I wanted to make it clear that some of us don't hate him.  But that opinion doesn't seem welcome here.

True Blue Grit

April 5th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

The Fab 5 never won anything - no titles Big Ten or otherwise. And that letter to Webber is nauseating.  Who gives a rats ass what he feels and thinks he is entitled to after all these years.  He's never shown a shred of remorse or taken a bit of responsibility for his part in bringing down our basketball program. 


April 5th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

Putting aside all the NCAA issues and such, the idea that they "didn't win anything" is dumb.  Using that same logic, this year's team hasn't won anything.  If you make the Final Four, that's a huge accomplishment.  Every school in the country raises banners for that.



April 5th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

According to Urban Meyer the Big Ten needs to improve it's game, so he shouldn't be helping the opposition break down fellow conference teams. Or is that just football?

(No, I don't think they need the help.  But it's just funny considering what athletic department he works at.)


April 5th, 2013 at 8:22 PM ^

We went to the MI/Alabama game in Dallas and my boys got some pics with Jalen and Juwan by the pool at the W. That was fun, and it was cool to see them out supporting the team. They were getting lots of love and props.  One of the best things about being a Wolverine is the rich history we all share. This years team has already replaced the Fab 5 in my heart as favorite M hoops squad, but there is still room in there for the Fab 5... just not this weekend. Going to the football game is one thing... different sport. But trying to organize a reunion (dumb, Ray) or begging C-Webb to come out to the Final Four misses the point. ENJOY THIS MOMENT!


April 6th, 2013 at 10:33 AM ^

Wouldn't you expect a team that doesn't run a lot to be especially effective, statistically, when they do? Especially a team that forces a higher than average number of turnovers. It's a llitle bit like the heavy-usage penalty that falls to the guy that has to hoist at the end of the shot clock, but in reverse.

There are a certain number of plays where you force a turnover, somebody's ahead of the pack, he dunks. Your efficiency on those transition opportunities is 2.0. (OK, maybe once every couple of years he clanks the dunk or dribbles the ball off his foot on the way to the hoop, but those don't hit you in the significant digits.)

If you make a habit of pulling the ball out whenever you don't have the uncontested dunk, your transition efficiency's going to be really high. Syracuse isn't going that far, obviously--their efficiency is 1.2, not 2.0--but the big gap between transition and half-court efficiency seems to be saying that they're probably leaving baskets on the floor by breaking off the break more than would be ideal. I wouldn't call that a transition-dependent offense at all.