Unverified Voracity Preps For Yukon Winter

Submitted by Brian on August 3rd, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Hatch. A very long ESPN article details Austin Hatch's situation, family, and dual plane crashes. Not blockquotable but recommended.

New tunnel. Via Maize on the MB, this is the new tunnel:


No longer will there be a hard edge, but the replacement is AOK.

Prepping for Mustaches for Michigan? Thought process: "I'm old. I'm old and bumpy and retired and don't have to impress anyone anymore… anyone except the bears I wrestle in the woods of the UP."



If a wizened old dude is punting for Troy this fall you know what went down.

I see you over there not caring. Discussion of the infamous, perpetually-closing "gap" between the basketball programs of Michigan and Michigan State descended into pure mockery of the Wolverines at some point during the Amaker era. Now it's popping up again what with the season sweep and Beilein snatching Derrick Walton before Izzo could even make a pitch, and this time it might actually have some merit.

The best way to check is through the actions of the rival. We've seen plenty of sarcastic congratulations for beating Michigan State's "worst team in a decade" (sounds familiar, that) and even more predictions of doom without Darius Morris, but have we reached the point where Michigan State fans might be protesting a bit too much about a lack of concern? Yes:

The upshot for Michigan State is that when you can hold off on offering a player like Derrick Walton only to lose him to a rival and still not have a major cause for concern, it's a testament to where your program and its recruiting have risen. So, again, great recruiting week for UM.  "Boo-yah" to them, but, as Pete and others have suggested, there's more prospects like Jabari Parker, Drake Harris, Tyus Jones, Gary Harris, and James Young who should help to keep Michigan State's future recruiting success a likely proposition.

The upshot for Michigan is when you're causing the instate rival to reassure itself that everything is JUST FINE, THANK YOU, you are on the verge of having one of those… what do you call them… programs.

This hasn't actually impacted State much. Michigan's recent recruiting success has had little to do with MSU. Until Walton, no one in Michigan's 2011-2013 classes is a guy Michigan State had pursued. This was largely because it was MSU storming through the Midwest to pick up early commits from Costello/Kaminski/Valentine before Michigan could get a word in edgewise.

Now the pattern is reversed, but more importantly Michigan has put together a hell of a lot of talent over the next three years without having to overcome the Spartans. Both Michigan and Michigan State can be confident in their plan A recruiting by an established coach. Michigan is no longer under anyone's thumb.

Well, maybe. Early skepticism about Marell Evans's ability to contribute after not playing much at I-AA Hampton was muted by rumors he was injured, and via TTB Evans's coach confirms:

"That [lack of playing time] was definitely due to injury...he ended up re-injuring his foot. I think he actually first got injured up there [at Michigan] before he even came down [to Hampton], so he re-aggravated the injury...it was tough on him, as it would be for any young man."

Evans is even more important now without Kellen Jones. If he can be a capable backup for Demens that might give Desmond Morgan the luxury of a redshirt.

In case there was any question. Matt Godin is a defensive tackle, not a strongside DE:

Godin is listed at 6'6" and 270 lbs, but he said he would like to get up to 290 pounds by the time he gets to Michigan.

Pencil him in at three-tech. Also, Godin is looking to double his 28 TFLs from a year ago.

It could have been marginally worse. From Scott Dochterman's epic ten-part series on the Big Ten's divisional breakdown, there were actually worse options than "Legends" and "Leaders" on the table for the Big Ten division names:

“By the time we were done, we were really down to two categories: one that sort of described our geography, Midwestern roots and one that described our characteristics and mission.”

The divisional names that centered on the Big Ten’s mission included Scholar/Athlete, Academics/Athletics and Legends/Leaders. The 115-year-old conference has a storied history of on-field success with 18 Heisman Trophy winners and more than 50 College Hall of Fame players. It also boasts former President Gerald Ford as an alum as well as thousands of political, business and civic leaders.

We should just skip the preliminaries and rename the divisions "Dungeons" and "Dragons." We are the nerds of college football.

Even if the division names weren't going to be Bo or Woody as they obviously should have been I would have preferred Kinnick/Paterno or Stagg/Grange even if Michigan didn't feature because we would at least seem less likely to get our lunch money stolen.

(Dochterman HT: BHGP.)

All this and NBA bloodlines. Glenn Robinson III displays a variety of dunks:

get up


Maybe he's Tim Hardaway's son, too. For a guy mostly known as a shooter Nick Stauskas can break an ankle or two:

Highlight video disclaimers apply but the sheer variety of drives there is encouraging. Stauskas can go left or right, deploys a crossover somewhere between effective and sick depending on its success rate outside highlights, and can spin his way to the bucket. He appears to favor his right hand to finish but there are a couple of nice baskets with his left in there, too. I even like the music.

Add 6'6" and three-point shooting and that's a nice pickup to go with Glenn Robinson III, who's been garnering steady praise of his own this AAU season. If Beilein can weather Darius Morris's exit the talent pipeline is in place to rip off a run of NCAA appearances… and maybe more. [ed: and then Beilein put together his 2013 class in about a month.]


King Eckstein. I made a joke about this Zack Novak article in the sidebar yesterday but managed to miss this spectacularly clichéd description of Chesterton's favorite son:

Novak, who helped establish a hustling, scrappy work ethic on a team that lacked grit and toughness, has played in 100 games, averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.

That checks all the boxes, doesn't it? I guess he could have been described as "heady."

EVEN MORE NEWS FROM FOREVER AGO. If you missed it the first time around, a member of the Event Staff posted highlights from their annual meeting on the board about two seconds before I left for France. Items of interest to me:

The Stadium is no longer open to the public on non game days. This has been the during renovations but is now permanent policy. Tours can be arranged through the Athletic Dept.

Boo. I've been to the Stadium on non-gamedays a few times and it's always been fun, with kids and parents running around, trying to kick field goals, etc.

DB says night game is a test and it's for the fans and players. A bad experience would make this the only night game. Good experience = a night game per year.

If you hate night games you can do your part to never have them again by getting arrested.

DB confirms: design completed for filling out bleachers to top of scoreboard in south end. Capacity will raise to 120,000. Opponent tickets will be up at top next to scoreboard.

That latter bit is pure evil, or at least would be if the video board opposite you wasn't big enough to see. I'm a little skeptical they can sell 120k tickets consistently as long as the OSU/ND/Nebraska games are all home or away in the same season (and they refuse to schedule anyone interesting other than ND).

No number retirement due to large squads and number sharing issues.


Straws and lids are back


Etc.: Guess who's just so beyond awful in close games. Go ahead. You'll get it in three. MHN interviews new 2013 D commit Michael Downing, who "110%" disclaims the OHL.



August 3rd, 2011 at 11:22 PM ^

For some reason, I think starting last year or maybe 2009, there were no straws or lids anywhere for pops at the concession stands! It drove me nuts, as people are always kicking them over as they walk by our aisle seats. I can't possibly imagine a reason why they wouldn't have them--unless DB is really one frugal mofo


August 3rd, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

Until Walton, no one in Michigan's 2011-2013 classes is a guy Michigan State had pursued. This was largely because it was MSU storming through the Midwest to pick up early commits from Costello/Kaminski/Valentine before Michigan could get a word in edgewise.

I agree that MSU fans are protesting a bit too much in regard the Michigan vs. MSU basketball recruiting situation. But a couple of things in the above quote aren't entirely accurate. Michigan pursued Matt Costello from early on, had him in for a visit, and offered him before MSU did. He was one of several cases in which Michigan was in on a recruit early only to have that recruit quickly commit to MSU once they finally offered.

Also, Sam Webb said the other day that MSU tried to make another of these late pushes with Mark Donnal—but they were rebuffed. And the same thing happened with Zak Irvin. In short, Walton is not the first head-to-head basketball recruiting battle between Michigan and MSU in recent years.


August 3rd, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

Define "seriously interested in." Just because, for example, Zak Irvin never received an MSU offer, that doesn't mean Izzo didn't seriously consider giving him one. If he wasn't seriously interested in Irvin, why did he contact him at the last minute to try to get him up to East Lansing for a visit?

Izzo is very stingy about making offers, and I think particularly so when he believes a prospect may end up committing to Michigan. He wants it to appear that MSU has not lost any head-to-head battles with Michigan, and Brian seems to have bought into the MSU spin on this.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

Is Monte Morris considering MSU? Because getting one and MSU getting the other (or any combo of 2 of the big 3 point guards) is kind of a wash. We obviously were happy with the first to commit among them, without waiting to see how they play and if any one of them is superior. What ARE the latest views on how their rankings play out? With the numbers in football, an early commitment can be a wash, but with so few players on a B-Ball team, a difference can really matter. It's a shame that all this talent in this year plays the same position.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

I wouldn't claim to be up on everyone's interests, but my take on Monte Morris is that, at least right now, he's probably more interested in MSU than vice versa. I know he grew up a big MSU fan, so I would have to guess that he'd jump at an offer from them. But I think he ends up going out of state, and Iowa seems very interested in him.

At least some MSU fans seem to think that with Walton committing to Michigan Izzo won't take a 2013 point guard, especially because they're the favorite to land Tyus Jones, a top 2014 PG from Minnesota who's evidently a big MSU fan.

There should be new rankings out soon, and Walton seems to have had the best July among the three PGs Beilein had offered. I think Walton ends up being ranked higher than both Morris and Demetrius Jackson, so I think Beilein's strategy worked out just perfectly.


August 3rd, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

The Stadium is no longer open to the public on non game days.

This is sad for me.  I lived the first 9 years of my life in AA and used to play soccer on the field with my dad and brother.  Several years later I was living on the east coast and about to accept a position at Georgetown's law school when my parents insisted that I give Michigan a serious look and visit their campus.  I did, was blown away, and took a walk by myself to think through the decision.  I ended up in the (freezing cold) stadium, sitting by myself.  Once I stopped there for several minutes, the choice seemed easy.  I came to Michigan Law, went to Michigan Stadium every chance I got with my (cheap!) season ticket, and left with an amazing Michigan-born-and-raised wife.

I can't emphasize enough how much I loved that you could just walk in and sit in the Big House.  To me it was like the way some churches are left open so you can come in, sit down and pray or meditate.  I am sure for others it was fun to be able to play games, go streaking, etc.  I really feel it should be left open like a public park.  There's something incredibly corporate about keeping it closed unless you've paid to be inside.


Bando Calrissian

August 3rd, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

I definitely used to head down to the Stadium and just sit and think for a while in college when things were iffy.  Couldn't beat it.  Nor the ridiculous workout of running the steps.

Put me down as yet another person who thinks this policy is just more cold, corporate sterility eroding away at the little things that make Michigan special.

Bando Calrissian

August 3rd, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

The doors to the suite towers lock. It was only open during the day anyway, and there's security anyway.  There's really no excuse.  I can understand restricting access to the field, which was always enforced pretty heavily once the FieldTurf went in.  I just don't see the point in shutting the whole thing down unless you pay.

lexus larry

August 3rd, 2011 at 2:41 PM ^

Gotta love sports writers.  The big joke for the HS basketball beat writer was that there were only three words to describe rebounds:




Count 'em up next time you're scanning the sports page during hoops season.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

Now the fun part-
<br>We're obviously in the scholars division, OSU is in the Athletes (or flip the names to the other one's that mean the exact same thing)...now divvy up the rest of the Big Ten between the 2.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

since Godin is pegged as a DT does everybody still want both Pipkins and O'Brien or just one of them and Dunn?  I personally want to make sure we get 2 WR and 1 more OT regardless of the DT situation, but since we are going to be a power running team i wouldnt mind getting a stud RB


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

It's a sign of how amazingly inept the people coming up with the names were when they apparently considered the above for anything other than comedic, we're-not-really-serious reasons. The fact that Leaders and Legends are actually better just makes it more pathetic.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

Instate/midwest recruiting: Manny Harris deserves our undying gratitude for making it "cool" for elite prospects to consider the University of Michigan again.  

Stadium access for the public during the week: David Brandon will be happy to let you walk in HIS stadium: for a price.  This is yet another tradition that Brandon has ignored for the sake of a few extra dollars.

I don't disagree with everything DB does, though.  I do like putting opponsing fans far away from the action, and would love to see the expansion make it tougher for the professional scalpers.  Besides, who says the stadium has to be full every game?  I wouldn't mind seeing capacity go to about 140,000, as Yost may have intended.  


Blue in Yarmouth

August 4th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

I don't care if I get negged to bolivia for saying this, but I have never been a big fan of DB. From the time he arrived at UM he has made many questionable decisions in my mind and closing the stadium to the public is yet another one.

Even those questionable decisions I can tolerate. From the night game to the throw back jerseys to not being concerned about keeping the OSU game as the last game of the season...the list goes on (i'm not saying I am opposed to all of them, but posters have expressed concerns in regard to all these decisions). Those decisions (or points of view) can be overlooked to a degree IMHE. What I can't stomach is the condescending way in which he interacts with fans.

We have seen many posts over the course of his time here where he responds to emails that make perfectly reasonable suggestions (or ask perfectly reasonable questions) only to receive condescending retorts from DB. That is my biggest beef with this guy. That...and he reminds me somewhat of a sleezey used-car salesman who will do anything for a buck and thinks everyone is stupid enough to believe his pitches. 


August 3rd, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

That's a pretty creative read of my article.  I hope readers click through the link to catch my gracious words about Michigan and praise for Derrick Walton.  Michigan should be gearing themselves up to be very good.  I'm not protesting anything, except perhaps when opposing fanbases diminish the accomplishments of a rivial.  That is something my article, even in its last paragraph you nab, strives to not do. 

Blue boy johnson

August 3rd, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

Can M weather the loss of Darius Morris? I think so. I think losing Novak and Douglas next year is more difficult to overcome than Morris this year..

Michigan returns everyone from a NCAA Tournament team except a 2nd round NBA talent. M will be as good or better this season IMHO.

Mr. Yost

August 3rd, 2011 at 8:24 PM ^

After watching Grevis Vasquez at Maryland up close for 3 years...Nick Stauskas' highlights like JUST like him. Herky, jerky...but damn effective. Grevis is now on the bench for the Grizzles but gets decent minutes.


Couldn't stand the kid because he was a douche on and off the floor...but no denying that he could play (even though you'd watch a be like, "dude, really?" or "what the HECK was that?....I'll take it."


Stauskas has that same game, he's not overly athletic, doesn't have the greatest handle, but gets it done. He's bound to be called "crafty" for 4 years at Michigan. His size and range makes him a legit wing player, however...he looks like he can handle the point when called on in situations (like Grevis).