Unverified Voracity Is The Only Dolphin In Upstate New York Comment Count

Brian March 20th, 2018 at 1:02 PM

Sponsor note. Well now you've gone and done it. You hugged a police horse after Jordan Poole's shot. The police horse enjoyed it. And now you have to extricate yourself from an uncomfortably long hug while a fairly upset policeman glares down upon you. We have all been there. (We have not. Just you, the guy who gets in situations with police horses.) On the bright side, now you have an idea for a company that sells a watch that periodically reminds you that you have been barred from approaching within 50 feet of any police horse in the state.

Well, have I got a lawyer for you.


Richard Hoeg will help you incorporate, and get your contracts right, and get that small business up and running. He will also allow you to write ad copy that becomes a long-running saga of a man who just can't quit police horses. This latter probably won't come up if you engage him, but if it does you are going to be super happy that you picked Richard.

First weekend slice of life. The university has an extensive photo gallery with a lot of behind the scenes stuff from the first week of the tourney. They've apparently decided the David Turnley model is a good one to extend. Jaaron Simmons eats a potato!


Moe Wagner temporarily grows to extraordinary size!


And so forth and so on.

Spring game. It's at 7 PM again on April 14th. The time is unfortunate since there's a 50/50 chance that takes the weather from fine to Not Great, but at least its not on April 1st like a couple of Hoke spring games. Also it will be an actual competition, insofar as that is possible, and not a punting exhibition. It'll still draw a ton of people if Shea Patterson is declared eligible in the next few weeks here.

Various videos. While it's unfortunate that the replay feature is gone from MMOD, there is a small compensation from the NCAA's youtube page, which has various items of note, like oh I don't know, the last 90 seconds of the Houston game.

We'd be talking about that tip-in miss and MAAR going up with his right hand for a while if not for Poole's shot. There's also an every-make video from the Houston game…

…but not MSU-Syracuse, because that would require someone to make a basket. Also some Montana stuff if you've completely forgotten that game.

Some A&M scouting from the same source. If you'd like to get an idea of what a couple of A&M's prominent players are like, here's PF/C Tyler Davis:

And PG TJ Starks:

They left out eight turnovers between the two, because it's a highlight video. I've watched a couple of A&M games from earlier in the year and they are heavily dependent on Starks to create shots, thus explaining his usage and sky-high TO rate.

Beat all the A&Ms. LeMoyne, coached by one Patrick Beilein, takes on Mini A&M today in the D-II Elite Eight:

Almost cruel to nickname a college in upstate New York the "Dolphins."

Syracuse.com has a long profile on Patrick, who is likely to move up to D-1 after the season even if he's being a bit wishy-washy about it at the moment. He evidently takes after dad:

"For me, it was really simple," said Bassett, the athletic director at Le Moyne. "When you get into the process and you have to get into some details about salary range and things like that, Pat was interested in talking about other things. His comment at that point was he knew Le Moyne would be fair with what they could do, and he wasn't overly concerned with that.

"You never hear an answer like that."

If he succeeds at his (presumed) next stop he'll be in the conversation when Beilein decides to hang it up.

Slow vs fast. In the wake of That Upset, a lot of folks are wondering about whether slow teams like Virginia—and Michigan—are more vulnerable to upsets.

Torvik then suggests that Virginia's glacial place is a way to conserve energy so they can go all out on defense. That's perfectly reasonable, and maybe that does help Virginia compete against better athletes.

Personally, though, I think the tempo thing is pretty overblown. The difference between Michigan's tempo and that of FSU, the fastest team left in the tournament, is 65 possessions versus 72. A ten percent increase in possessions doesn't seem like it's going to swing more games to the hypothetically better team. And Michigan fans are no doubt aware of what slow tempo implies: open shots and scanty turnovers on offense and a lack of transition on defense. 

Virginia might be enough of an outlier that they are more vulnerable to upsets because of their tempo. They are dead last in the country at 60 possessions per game, three fewer than the next-slowest team. The difference between #330 Michigan and Virginia is the same as the difference between #121 Morehead State and M.

Starting to notice. Tom Izzo's brand of on-court football isn't helping anyone's draft prospects. ESPN's draft experts on Miles Bridges:

Bridges certainly hasn't made the jump scouts would have hoped when he elected to return for his sophomore season. …hasn't done much this season to convince teams that he belongs firmly ahead of positional peers Mikal Bridges and Kevin Knox.

And Jaren Jackson:

Plenty of questions have been raised about the decisions Izzo made down the stretch, as this is the third straight season in which the Hall of Famer has been unable to advance out of the first weekend of the tournament. From an NBA standpoint, most of those questions revolve around the outdated lineup configurations and overall style of basketball the Spartans played all season. Izzo's insistence on having six different centers on the roster and playing all of them (two at a time) in virtually every contest -- despite the obvious toll that took on the team's spacing, ball movement, shooting and aesthetic appeal -- makes it difficult to draw too many conclusions on Jackson's NBA outlook.

At 6-11 and 240 pounds, with a 7-5 wingspan, it is unlikely that Jackson will see much time at the power forward spot in the NBA like he did all season, certainly not next to a non-shooting center who lacks relative athleticism. How much better would Jackson have looked playing in a more up-tempo system at his natural position when surrounded by more skilled teammates? NBA decision-makers will have to decipher that on their own.

Looking forward: It is important to remember that Jackson is the youngest prospect in this class and was clearly not being utilized to his full potential.

Bridges dropped from a guy projected 6th last year to one projected 12th in ESPN's most recent mock draft. Ain't enough bag in the world to justify that.

FWIW, A&M C Robert Williams is also in the lottery:

Williams reminded everyone why he was such a highly touted prospect entering the season with a tremendous opening weekend in the NCAA tournament, helping Texas A&M reach the Sweet 16.

Despite playing out of position all season, he has shown that his game is tailor-made for the NBA as a rim-running, pick-and-roll-finishing, shot-blocker/offensive rebounder in the Clint Capela mold. With DeAndre Jordan in the final year of his contract, the Clippers could certainly look to Williams as a potential successor.

Wagner checks in at 49th, FWIW.

ENDORSE. 40 of these 42 ways to fix the NHL—and hockey in general—are excellent suggestions. I was standing and applauding by the end of this bravura section:

5) Leaving your feet to block a shot is a penalty. I hate when sports reward no-talent try-hards, and hockey rewards them more than any other sport. It boggles my mind when people get pumped about a fourth-line penalty killer sliding to block an Alex Ovechkin bomb from the face-off circle. Seriously? You don't want to see where that slapper was headed?

This would increase goals and reduce injuries. You can dive to take away the puck if you're in chase mode, but no more squaring up a shooter and sliding in front of the shot. Remember when John Tortorella took over the Canucks and people were excited about the Sedins blocking shots? The Sedins! Get out of here with this nonsense.

6) Bigger nets. Let's go three inches vertically and horizontally and see what happens. I've heard the argument against this idea because goalies would eat more blasts in the mask but whenever that happens, it's always by accident and it's always with the goalie on his knees well below the crossbar. If anything, creating more room around the goalie's skull would reduce those instances but really, shots to the mask are always accidental and wouldn't go anywhere either way. More goals, though. Let's get more goals.

7) Puck off the netting is in play. If there's one general thing I'd change about the NHL, I'd reduce the number of whistles during games. Hockey sells itself on flow and speed, but man can there be a lot of whistles. I don't understand why shots that hit the protective netting above the glass can't be played when they bounce back onto the ice. Everyone has had time to adjust to the netting over the years and everyone knows when a puck leaves a stick if it's headed toward the netting. When it bounces behind the goal line, go get it. Keep playing.

For the sake of fairness, anything off the netting and into the net off the goalie doesn't count.

8) No more offside. This also means no more offside reviews. Everyone is happy. Why do we even have offside? If I could go back in time, I'm killing Hitler and kidnapping the guy in 1898 or whenever who was so passionate about an offside line. It's not like the offside line makes the game safer; it's there to give the defense an advantage against oncoming opponents. Why?

Removing offside is another way to get some whistles out of the game and help with flow.

Yes. All of that. Beyonce picture dot gif.

Etc.: EMU drops four sports. Sean McDonough back! Lecturer salaries at Michigan currently 1) embarrassing, 2) being negotiated. Radio call of the buzzer-beater.



March 20th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

I totally agree with Roy Williams.  But I agree with it more on the football field than the basketball court.

With basketball, each team has numerous possessions anyway, so extending to a few more by playing at a faster pace has limited benefits.

Contrast that to football where each team normally gets, what, a dozen possessions a game? 

I would love to see UM football run more fast-paced offenses against much lower or slightly lower competition for this reason.  I would also love to see UM football run many more trick plays with high risk/reward components.  When trick plays fail, you lose a down or at worst an occasional turnover.  When they work, they work spectacularly.  But I digress.  Maybe a diary for another day.

So, yeah, more plays as the superior opponent = better.  But more so for football.

But hey, that's just a theory.... a GAME theory.  And cut.




March 20th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

Another Beilein-Michigan connection in the D2 elite eight (though a bit tenuous): if both win, LeMoyne would play number 1 seed Ferris State in the final 4. 

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 1:28 PM ^

I like those suggestions. A couple more that I think would help:

- Once per period, you can send a 6th skater onto the ice for no longer than 2 minutes, but instead of a stick he gets two tennis rackets.

- Anyone is able to slash the goalie whenever they want. I mean, they're wearing all of those pads!

- Overtime games should be determined by a burlap sack race.

- What if we ditch the puck and play with a football?

- Make players use their sticks upside-down and see if they can stickhandle with the butt end. (LOLz)


I think we're on the right track, guys. 




March 20th, 2018 at 4:20 PM ^

- At all times, teams must field two defensemen on the ice and those two defensemen must at all times dual wield two hockey sticks, one held in each hand.


- Defensemen are allowed to use their two hockey sticks like swords, but they cannot two-hand their sticks together.  They must always be swung independently of each other.


- If a defenseman drops one of their sticks, they get a 2 minute penalty.


- Defensemen are encouraged to swordfight with other defensemen to disarm them, triggering the penalty.


March 20th, 2018 at 1:34 PM ^

I disagree with a few more points of that hockey fix article than Brian does, but man does it ever hit the spot in a bunch of ways.

Some of this stuff should be tried in the minor leagues. Like next year.

The thing about diving to stop pucks: It is a great effort play. It's a sign of dedication and sacrifice, and I can think of games where my team has had players diving in front of pucks that have filled me with pride over their heroism.

But it is indeed quite dangerous and it restricts offense. If it's actually against the rules, there won't be an option on the table, more shots will get through to goal, and there will be more offense. We all want to see more offense. 

I hadn't thought about the netting issue. That's a great idea. I'm less sure about offside, and it will never happen, but it seems like a great thing to test for a year in the ECHL or something. I would be interested to see what wider blue lines would do to the game.


March 20th, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

I don't know. Seems to me that the prone shot blocking attempts don't happen often enough to be objectionable, and some are spectacular displays of effort and selflessness. I'd prefer to keep them.

The "more offense" thing is another where I'm not sure I agree. I have no problem with a 2-1 game. I really don't like watching a 7-4 game any more than I like watching a 63-54 football game. I like defense at least as much as offense.

If the netting was in play, players would use it to bank clearing shots out of the zone, way over the heads of the attacking team. Seems like a "cheap" way to clear the puck out of the zone, probably without icing it due to the higher "lob" angle of the puck.

And eliminating offsides seems likely to increase cherry picking which I've never liked.

Negative Nancy, signing out.


March 20th, 2018 at 6:30 PM ^

The bigger effect of no offsides is on defensive play. Now, you get the puck out, even by an inch and the entire offense has to tag up. Change it and the offense can just blast it back in. I get everyone wants more goals, but it's a fundamental change to how the sport is played and be a huge shift for the offense and result in a lot of play stuck in one end or the other.

Hardware Sushi

March 20th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

WTF...man those are some terrible hockey suggestions. Normally we're generally on the same page about hockey but if you implement those rules, that's not hockey anymore.

If your entire motive is to create more goals at any cost, you might as well remove checking, make the puck smaller, go totally crazy on goalie equipment (get rid of goalie glovehands, make their blocker the size of the back of their hand, give them a smaller version of football goalpost pads as leg pads), outlaw butterfly-style goaltending by making it a penalty to be on their knees longer than a second, make it a goal if only part of the puck crosses the goalline...

At that point, what sport are we playing again?

yossarians tree

March 20th, 2018 at 3:18 PM ^

I agree with you mostly, but I do like the idea of making the goal a little bigger. These goalies are getting huge and with all the equipment they just have to stand there and they take up 3/4 of the net. I prefer the old days when goalies were way more athletic like Bernie Parent, Ken Dryden, or even Dominic Hasek.


March 20th, 2018 at 2:28 PM ^

That, and the edifice complex. There have been several years when there were more construction cranes in AA than in Detroit. Continuous building, and acquisition of properties bordering campus, yet enrollment remains level.

Bando Calrissian

March 20th, 2018 at 2:28 PM ^

As has been pointed out, to administration, and very likely, all of the renovation and building projects over the past decade or so. Campus looks markedly different now than the 14-year period Thompson cites, and that isn't cheap. 

I'll also add that it's disappointing that Thompson misses a pretty obvious point--it's not just that lecturers aren't paid well, it's that Michigan is part of the much larger trend across the academy to rely on contingent labor instead of full-time faculty. It's cheaper to string along lecturers than it is to invest in their careers, even if the money's there.

Think about all the instructors you had at Michigan, then consider that a good portion of them (maybe more than you realize!) were actually contingent facutly. They got paid pennies, had little job security, likely had fewer/no benefits, and were expected to do much of the same work as their full-professor colleagues. The Michigan Difference indeed.


March 20th, 2018 at 4:41 PM ^

Administrators.  For example, the new "Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion" Schlissel installed in 2015 makes $400k a year.  His 8-person department costs the university $1.1M per year in salary costs alone.




Meanwhile, the average lecturer makes $65,685 per year.

Lou MacAdoo

March 20th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

I don’t know Brian, scoring seems to be up to me. I have no stats to back this up. Also, if you’re against offsides in hockey does that mean you’re against it in soccer as well?


March 20th, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

Is there anything worse in sports than a soccer offsides, that is except for soccer players diving.  

Hockey offsides is there keep players from cherry picking.  Changing to the touch up offsides was great.  Getting rid of it as a whole would be bad.  What's the average number of offsides calls in a game? Maybe, maybe, try a method where once the puck crosses the red line you can enter the zone.


March 20th, 2018 at 2:13 PM ^

I was scrolling down the comments looking to see if anyone would challenge the soccer-hugger about offsides in that game. Far worse to me than in hockey! 

As HHW pointed out, between whistling offsides virtually every time something that looks like it might be exciting happens, and all the damn flopping, can't stand the game.

And don't get me started on the vuvuzuelas! Went to the WBC at AT&T Park and I nearly went mad from those damn things!

Lou MacAdoo

March 20th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

Yeah I posted my basic question, that probably won’t get an answer, while you were about halfway through your much better post. Great points. I couldn't have written it any better that’s for sure. The breakouts and neutral zone transitions would change. As well as defensive coverages would be thrown off. The head high full length stretch passes would increase. It would completely change the game and coaching strategies. No thank you.

I also don’t like the idea of having a live puck after it hits the netting. Those things can fly back in crazy directions which could lead to things such as somebody get in their clocks cleaned, or an undeserved breakaway.