stay away plz [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Unverified Voracity Is Perfectly Calm Comment Count

Brian December 6th, 2018 at 1:24 PM

The prayer forced. Michigan's communication and Jon Teske's unexpected switch and quick hands forced Northwestern into a chuck:

Anonymous quotes about basketball's defense. Right this way, via Jeff Borzello:

"They're so much further ahead of everyone right now, it's not even funny," one opposing Big Ten coach said, referencing their experience. "What they were doing at the end of the year has carried over." …

"They have an alpha male at the point in Simpson," a Big Ten assistant said. "He holds those guys to what I would call a gold standard. He doesn't allow them to slip. When they don't do something correctly, he makes sure they know about it."

"Zavier just plays his ass off," another opposing coach said. "He may be smaller, but he's dialed in every possession, and they put a lot of length around him. He's a junkyard dog."

Michigan's 23-1 run stretching back to last year would be the #1 efficiency D in the history of Kenpom if it was a single season. And it seems like the bit from last year is the "bad" part.

Beilein's greatest enemy returns. NBA draftniks have started talking up Ignas Brazdeikis, who slides in at the end of the first round in SI's latest mock draft:


Height: 6’7” | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: NR

As has been widely noted, Brazdeikis turns 20 in January and is only technically a freshman, after doing a prep year in Canada. The good news is, it doesn’t really matter. Brazdeikis has been Michigan’s most consistent scorer and impressed with his ability to hunt shots off the ball. He can shoot it from outside or face up and attack the basket, and profiles as a useful offensive-minded role guy in the pros. His competitiveness and feel stand out, The big question with him is perimeter defense, as he will probably need to be parked on fours in the NBA. Regardless, if the Wolverines continue to play this well, Brazdeikis won’t have to stick around long.

Matthews (#38) and Poole (#51) also show up in their top 60, though Poole is in the you-should-return range and the author admits even that is "speculative." 

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie is more skeptical of Iggy as a one and done, placing him 50th in his latest top 100 and causing a blizzard of HEY WHAT ABOUT IGGY comments that he responded to at length. A portion:

Here's where I'm worried: Athleticism here is still a pretty real NBA concern on defense. Iggy is smart on that end and has taken to what Yaklich/Beilein want him to do well. But it also says something, IMO, that Michigan has been better on defense with him off the floor as opposed to when he's been on it -- especially in their games against high-major competition (vs. Nova, PC, UNC, Purdue, NW, Michigan had a 74 DRTG with him off the floor, and an 88 DRTG with him on it). That's a bit noisy, and the overall number is still good at 88. But I think Michigan has done more to insulate him rather than him being a true difference maker on that end, too.

On offense, over 75% of his offense has come from spot-ups, transition opportunities, back-cuts, and O-Rebs. The spot-up stuff is useful obviously, as he's a terrific shooter who can put the ball on the deck and attack a closeout.

Brazdeikis has done good work as a college four checking guys like Paschall and Maye but might not have the lateral agility to keep up with NBA wings. The stat about his offense seems… wrong, though? That's probably from Synergy and is therefore meticulously charted but it certainly feels like Iggy's creating a lot of his own shots. He dug Michigan out of some trouble against Northwestern by getting to the rim with frequency.

Vecenie says that if Iggy can maintain his effectiveness once he's 1) scouted and 2) the primary focus of opponent defenses he'll shoot up his board. One thing that hurts his stock—his age, which is a year older than most freshmen—is the kind of thing that makes you leave instead of makes you stay.

Let us resolve to enjoy the rest of this season.

[After the JUMP: potentially better NFL draft news?]

Shea advised to return. Todd McShay:

“He has the physical tools,” McShay said. “The best thing that Shea Patterson could do is to go back to school and continue to learn pro-style offense and continue to develop. He has the potential to develop into an NFL quarterback. If I were advising Shea, I would say it’s mandatory to go back to school for another year, because he has a great opportunity that not many quarterbacks in the country have, to work under multiple coaches -- not just the head coach -- that have spent many years in the NFL. There’s experience there."

This was not the Pattersons' thinking at the beginning of the year. That may have changed.

These are certainly decisions you can make. Central Michigan took Jim McElwain off of Michigan's hands a few days ago, opening up a slot for a WR coach who will almost certainly be a recruiting upgrade. The actual position coaching quality he brought is unknowable in just a year's time—Michigan's WRs improved but they were going from freshmen to sophomores and were going to improve a lot with any minimally competent WR coach.

In similar news, Maryland hired Mike Locksley, a guy who went 2-26 at New Mexico and was axed midseason after an "altercation" with one of his assistants. Three years as Alabama's offensive coordinator apparently re-habbed him enough to get a head coaching job. Okay.

Finally, Scot Loeffler got hired at BGSU despite not having a statistically good offense in a decade. Loeffler then hired Terry Malone, Erik Campbell, and Kevin Tolbert. He's got two slots left, and…

The Panthers also fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura. The moves were announced after Rivera met with new owner David Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney on Monday morning.

…I mean, you know?

Hockey commits. Many. Of most immediate relevance is NTDP defenseman Cam York flipping from Boston College. York is likely to be a first round pick…

…and will be on campus next year. York is ranked 7th overall by Scott Wheeler:

7. Cam York: LHD, USDP, 5-foot-11

The more I watch York, the less worried I grow about his lack of a shot (it’s a real issue) because of how dynamic he is in virtually every other facet of the game. Does it help to have a point shot that’s a real scoring threat in today’s NHL game? Absolutely. Does not having one prevent players from becoming dangerous offensive threats? Absolutely not. As much as I like Bowen Byram and Anttoni Honka, York has established himself as the top defenceman in the class for me by virtue of the way he skates, breaks the puck in as a handler and breaks the puck out as a passer. He’s unfazed by pressure, the perfect playmaker on the power play and a constantly-improving defender who rarely gets burned despite lacking the size and strength typical of most other high-end D prospects. has him 22nd; Dobber Prospects has him 11th. That is obviously a massive pickup late in the day as Michigan takes advantage of some turmoil on the Heights. York will slot right in as a top-pairing PP defenseman, filling Quinn Hughes's shoes nicely. The Daily caught up with him:

“With (Boston College) losing their defensive head coach, that was a big reason why I went there in the first place, so it was disappointing to me,” York said. “I decommitted from there and looked at other options and Michigan was the place for me. I think with their coaching staff and their facilities and what they have to offer, I knew that Michigan was the right choice.”

While he was leaning toward Michigan, York was still uncommitted when the NTDP played at Yost in October.

But it didn’t take too long during that game for the crowd to show him what Michigan hockey is all about.

“I think that was kind of the cherry on top,” York said. “That’s what kind of sold me, for sure. Just the atmosphere of that place and just the way that Michigan fans support their team. It’s a special place.”

The other guys are further down the road. Eric Ciccolini decommitted from Colgate when it became clear he had a higher ceiling and recently joined Michigan's 2020 class:

Ciccolini is draft eligible this year and got a C ranking in the early CSB list, which means he's tracking as a mid to late round pick. D Ethan Edwards and F Seamus Casey are both highly touted but down the road a bit. Casey's an '04 birthdate. 

Seriously, BC. Something's wrong with BC hockey. They haven't won a nonconference game since two years ago and that commit list is getting raided up and down:


They lost that assistant to the NHL but that seems bad.

Etc.: No FBI investigation penalties for involved schools this year. Brazdeikis impressed Chris Collins. Jordan Poole is calmer than you are. Beilein on Michigan's two 2019 recruits. Titus on this basketball team.


S.G. Rice

December 6th, 2018 at 3:22 PM ^

I really have no idea how you rate or rank a 1 year position coach with regard to recruiting.  If someone like McElwain doesn't have any kind of previous relationship with the kids he's recruiting, if Michigan isn't recruiting kids that he was recruiting at Florida, if he was tasked to guys who were longshots, does that mean he's a bad recruiter or that he did a bad job if he doesn't get commits?  Not easy for him to sell the idea that he's going to be around for a while, either, since everyone would have expected him to leave for a head coaching or coordinator job.


December 6th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

I think it's that last point that's really the deal here.  Most likely he came here with knowledge on all sides that he'd be looking for something else.  You don't coach at Florida and settle for position coach long-term.  Harbaugh would've been stupid to have him out being a primary recruiter when it was probably well-known among the staff that he'd be trying to get back to the HC or OC ranks.

Mr Miggle

December 6th, 2018 at 4:09 PM ^

Depends on the position coach.

While we'd all love for Ed Warinner to be a great recruiter, it's far more important that he's good at coaching his position group.

Most coaches look to have a mix on their staffs. Youth and experience, great teachers and great recruiters. Even among recruiters, there are different types of roles. As long as an assistant coach isn't losing commits for you, there's room for some that are excellent at the rest of their job. It's no coincidence that Warinner and McElwain were hired after Sherrone Moore and Al Washington.


December 6th, 2018 at 4:06 PM ^

A good job here vs a bad hire aren’t necessarily the same. A bad hire is a decision by harbaugh to take a spot in his staff with someone who clearly wasn’t going to stay for a while and wasn’t plugged in as a lead recruiter for some time given he was an HC. Regardless of his coaching capabilities, why waste a place at the table on someone who is likely going to set you back in recruiting at the position for at least one year. My issue isn’t with the wide receiver coach, it’s with the head coaches decision to hire him. 


December 6th, 2018 at 4:13 PM ^

I don't think he's saying it's a bad hire, as much as it gives Michigan the opportunity to make a very good hire. Florida was an abysmal recruiting school given what they should be doing during his tenure, and it led to them taking a lot of red flag guys that other schools shied off of. Hence the reason they had so many suspensions. 

Alabama really started taking off in terms of their offensive recruits when he left, it's really hard to draw any serious upticks in performance whether it be on field or recruiting when McElwain is hired. I don't think he's a bad coach, but I think he's probably an average coach that had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time with Alabama and inheriting an NFL WR and an NFL QB at CSU.


December 7th, 2018 at 2:54 AM ^

Is there anything to be said other than 1) It probably makes one of Michigan's crucial division games each year easier (but just probably) 2) It probably makes OSU a less dominant team in the short term (but just probably) and 3) it probably gives everyone else a better chance to win the conference (but just probably).

That's it and it's all speculation.


December 6th, 2018 at 2:57 PM ^

My cynical nature has me thinking that the NCAA is going to wait out all three of the federal basketball trials and then do a 2 year investigation added on to that.  Once its "completed", they will then admit all the crap that has happened, but since it happened so long ago punishments won't be warranted for the current students.  Letting them off the hook in having to punish their big dogs in basketball.

Diagonal Blue

December 6th, 2018 at 3:04 PM ^

These are certainly decisions you can make. Central Michigan took Jim McElwain off of Michigan's hands a few days ago, opening up a slot for a WR coach who will almost certainly be a recruiting upgrade. The actual position coaching quality he brought is unknowable in just a year's time—Michigan's WRs improved but they were going from freshmen to sophomores and were going to improve a lot with any minimally competent WR coach.

Yea, not really thrilled with the WR class this year and last. I think Giles Jackson will be terrific in the slot, but the pedestrian rankings and lack of size in the other guys like Johnson, Kent, and Bell is concerning to me. Give me WR's that look like DPJ, Nico Collins, and Tarik Black. 


December 6th, 2018 at 3:39 PM ^

Serious question though: if you were an elite WR recruit, why would you want to come to this offense? I try to be positive, but have to acknowledge that this offense, among the most run and TE heavy in the country, may not be attractive to receivers. How many times all year did our offense attack teams with our supremely talented and athletic receivers? I love Michigan, but if I were advising a good high school receiver, I would tell him to go somewhere that will utilize him better.


December 7th, 2018 at 2:59 AM ^

It wasn't really dink and dunk so much as Michigan threw literally half the number of passes as air raid and faster paced teams which means you run half as many routes, get targeted half as many times, make half as many catches and TDs and your numbers look like crap.

There is a positive and that's a lot of NFL coaches on the offensive side and NFL style routes/offense.  I also think the 2016 class was so good it wasn't as attractive to recruits to have to sit behind them for a couple years.  We'll see if they're able to bring in some top end guys as this class nears departure.

Diagonal Blue

December 6th, 2018 at 4:57 PM ^

I think there's benefit to playing in a pro style offense and learning a route tree more intricate than slants, curls, and fly's like in a spread. We also should have good QB's for the foreseeable future to get those guys the ball. That said this is why I've been harping on the fact that Harbaugh needs to modernize and open up the offense more. Pep's passing game is all based on play action and long developing routes. There's nothing intermediate or in the middle of the field, everything is to the sidelines. Think about this: even if you doubled Patterson's TD passes he'd still be 5 behind Haskins on the year. That's insane, and Urban Meyer never used to throw the ball like that. He adapted and so has Saban. Time for Harbaugh to do the same Anyone satisfied with this offense just has to look at what it did in the three biggest games of the year (ND, MSU, OSU). 


December 6th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

Vecenie is most certainly getting his data from Synergy and it is probably correct. People often confuse any drive as an isolation, but anytime you catch a pass and go to the basket without much of any hesitation it is considered a Spot Up - catch and drive situation, not an isolation or 1 on 1.


December 6th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

Now we just need to find a way to steal Spencer Knight from BC and have it stick this time. It'd be nice to have our first elite goalie recruit show up on campus since, geez, Montoya probably? 0.88 save percentage just isn't cutting it.


December 6th, 2018 at 3:40 PM ^

I agree that Iggy may not have the athleticism to be a big player in the NBA. He is good but seems to play below the rim and is not a fantastic 3 point shooter. Love him on the team but I am not sure his skills translate to the NBA for a 1st round pick.


December 6th, 2018 at 9:53 PM ^

The fact is that there are many things about moving up in the level of play that is beneficial to the better players. In high school and college defenses can sag off of weaker players and help out the pros-not so much. Ignas may not have superior speed and quickness but his basketball IQ is very high and he is very strong.  He may well not be a first round pick but someone is going to be very happy to get him.


December 6th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

The Dave Brandon postmortem took months. Brandon quit on Halloween, and I think "The Failure" came out on a random day in February or March. 

If Brian is working on something of that nature, I would expect it to take a few weeks at least. We should give him a break, he's coming off of football season, where he claims to work 80 hours a week. He has two kids. I expect something on Urban Meyer, but there is no reason for Dear Leader to rush it out. 

Michigan Arrogance

December 6th, 2018 at 3:56 PM ^

BC has been a huge underachiever, not sure why kids would sign up to go there if they are serious prospects at this point. NE and harvard have been better, and BU seems to be on the upswing to a certian extent.

Not sure what the BC issues are besides a coach change - but he was an assnt right? 


December 6th, 2018 at 4:23 PM ^

Im confused why 30% of the comments here are posters looking for an opinion from Brian on Urban and OSU fiasco.  Are the sheep looking for an opinion to regurgitate as their own at the bar to their buddy's?  

What the hell else needs to be said that has not?

Hey, give me your opinion because i'm too fucking dumb to formulate my own?


December 6th, 2018 at 9:23 PM ^

People come to this website to learn Brian's opinion on everything. FFS, you are commenting in a thread he created. You can be darn sure that Brian is composing a requiem for Urban Meyer and I certainly look forward to reading his prose. While not always the same opinion as mine, he writes very well and has a well conceived opinion. I enjoy learning the opinions of other smart people. Are you so daft that the only opinion you give a shit about is your own?

tl/dr: stop drinking and go to bed.


December 6th, 2018 at 4:33 PM ^

I honestly feel like all the pre-draft analysis about Iggy is going to come back and bite these analysts in the ass. I think he's going to have a lot of success in the NBA like Alonzo Trier is on the Knicks. I just feel like Iggy's play style will be even more compatible to the NBA style of play similar to how Trier's game seems to definitely be more suited to the NBA than it was in college. He's a wizard around the basket and can hit 3s a good clip. I also think his "lack" of athleticism is overstated. He's a pretty athletic guy and defense is mostly about effort, which he puts in a lot of. The stat about the team being better with him being off the court seems to make sense since he's a freshman and the guy coming in for him is usually Isiah Livers, so that stat is misleading.


December 7th, 2018 at 3:17 AM ^

Yeah, I had two immediate counters to that guys take:

1) He's being replaced by Isaiah Livers who is an elite college defender.  Livers took the starting spot from a 5th year senior sharp shooter who just earned a two way NBA deal because his defense is so good.  This guy is correct that Iggy isn't going to be a defensive difference maker in the NBA but the fact that he's worse than Livers doesn't say he's bad at all.  I will say that his relative lack of blocks and steals is concerning.  That's probably a lack of arm length which could hurt him a bit as block and steal rates in college are pretty good predictors of NBA defensive ability.

2) He may be getting a lot (relatively, I guess) of his offense on back cuts and in transition but that doesn't mean those are uncontested, necessarily.  The guy has a really high foul drawn rate.  He finishes and/or gets fouled in traffic in transition and off those back cuts.  That's a really valuable ability.  And the fact that he doesn't have to create to much is partially because he plays with Z, Matthews and Poole who all have creative ability.  And that step back three against Purdue (or was it NW?)...

His profile is actually a bit like James Harden in college and he reminds me of Harden they way he finishes so craftily around the basket without elite athleticism.  They have that old man game that makes you wonder how in the world they drew contact and still finished. 

As freshmen, they had almost identical foul rates (6.0 fouls drawn for Harden per 40, 5.6 for Iggy), FT% (75% for Harden, 78% for Iggy), 2 pt % (57% for Harden, 58% for Iggy), 3 pt % (40% for Harden, 44% for Iggy), 3PA/2PA (~40% for both) and both took about exactly 27% of their teams shots.

The biggest differences in their high level stats are that Harden had a healthy assist rate as more of a point forward, and Harden had a really high steal rate (so yeah, there are red flags about Iggy's defense - he's not going to be plus on that end).

But his arms are way too short and he's definitely not a first rounder.


December 6th, 2018 at 8:23 PM ^

Same conversation about Iggy going on over at umhoops. Worth remembering that this conversation about him 'not creating his own offense' is only a limitation in terms of his leaving this year. If anyone can help him grow into that it's Beilein. Fine with me if he requires another year!