Unverified Voracity Reads Draft Tea Leaves

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Inside the locker room. Grantland's Shane Ryan has a great article about Michigan in the locker room after the game:

This is clearly one of the most painful losses of your career. When it's over, you have a few minutes to talk to each other, to be alone, and then it's an onslaught of media. Your pain is still fresh. You can't get mad, you can't get annoyed, you can't refuse, and it lasts a long time. What's that like?

Tim Hardaway Jr.: [laughing] "I mean, it's not — I don't want to say it's brutal, but it is … it's a job. It's their job, it's your job to get stuff, so … I mean, I'm not worried about it, I'm not afraid to talk about it, so … that is the nice answer, but it's honest, I'm honest about it. It's part of what they do. It's part of what everybody does, so I mean, I'm not worried about it at all."

Hardaway's laughter was satisfying, in a way, because it cracked his shell for a moment. It broke through the training, and it showed, for an instant, the real difficulty it presented. The laugh was part sarcastic, part "how could I possibly explain this to you?" and part "it's miserable and depressing, but I know better than to say that on the record." It was also the prelude to shutting down again. I even interrupted him halfway through: "That's the nice answer" — but he was careful not to take the bait a second time. Still, I got that one laugh.

Reason #3,509 I have no interest in having a press pass.

Everyone's main question. McGary backed off the definitely back talk and is now in Hated Chad Ford's top 20. Let's seize on this quote and cuddle it for warmth:

"This will be a great team next year, with great guys coming in and a great group of guys leaving, you can't replace those five seniors," he said. "We'll see."

"There's some unfinished business. ... We'll see next year."

In the immediate aftermath, the News picked up this quote from Robinson:

"Right now, I'll be back. We'll talk about that whenever I need to but you know this isn't the time to talk about that right now," Robinson said. "It's about all these guys in the locker room that played their hearts out tonight."

Burke, of course, seems gone. Hardaway is 50/50 with tea leaves suggesting he leaves. Someone ask Tim Hardaway's hat.

In other news, NBA scouts are kind of jerks.

"I think it was obvious that he was the reason that Michigan got that far. He will be drafted higher than he should be," the scout said. "He wants to be (Allen) Iverson but I'm not sure any organization will just hand him the ball. I question his speed and size. Definitely (at least) an NBA backup point guard."

I question your face, buddy. And your basketball acumen if you think that Burke's an inefficient volume shooter and ball-hog.

Slate on the whatnot. Guhhhh.

After Albrecht’s sadly non-superheroic jaunt to the basket, Louisville’s Chane Behanan plucks the ball off the backboard and throws an outlet pass to Peyton Siva. The Cardinals guard is in the open court with only Burke between him and the basket. On the subject of irrational confidence: Just a minute before, the 6-foot Siva had gone backdoor, leaped high into the air, and stuffed in an alley-oop. Now, Siva jumps from the same spot on the court. Burke, who’s slowed down to time his steps, jumps with him. Their hands meet above the rim, cresting at the midpoint of the backboard square. It’s a beautiful play, proof that you can achieve athletic grace by canceling out your opponent’s best effort.

And then the stupid ref ruins it by calling a stupid foul.

Levin eventually concludes that he's not sure what you could do to make basketball less dependent on the random guesses of [redacted] men in stripes. I wish I could be as benevolent about the lessons to take from the outcome.

Why it took so long to foul. Beilein screwed up:

"I thought we were in the 1-and-1, so it's a coaching error on my part" Beilein said. "We were trying to foul the right guy (Dieng). I was happy (Dieng) was going to the foul line, and I didn't realize we weren't in the 1-and-1. That falls right on me as a coach."

Fire this clown! HOT TAKES

Lawrence Frank disagrees. He got a little hot when the idea of questioning Beilein for sitting Burke as long as he did came up:

"Let's say he (Beilein) puts him (Burke) back, when, I don't know, two-minute mark, three-minute mark, and he picks up his third foul, up 12," Frank said.  "What are people going to say then?  'Well, what the hell, you had a 12-point cushion, why would you put him back in the game?'

"Look, what it took was a guy that was a transfer walk-on (Hancock) to make four threes.  Everyone's entitled to their opinion but trust me, John Beilein knows that Trey Burke's the national college player of the year.  It's not a surprise to him.  He knows how good the kid is.  He also knows how the ebb and flow of the game goes."

Frank said he was stunned that Beilein's decisions were so scrutinized after a well-played game.

"Here's a guy, he's got the youngest team in the tournament, they're in the final game, and yet a story line is coaching.  Are you kidding me?" Frank said.  "Not that he's infallible or didn't make mistakes.  He got the youngest team in the tournament to the finals."

Odes. Michigan blog tribute outbursts come in waves:

Horford zen. Jon Horford on the post-game locker room:

"It was beautiful," sophomore forward Jon Horford said. "Everyone was so calm. No one was crying, no one was complaining, no one was throwing things. Everyone was just so calm. Coach (John) Beilein just got up and he started to speak and he just set the tone. He stressed the importance of valuing everything we’ve accomplished.

"He just started thanking everyone, from the players and coaches to the support staff, and he just had this air of gratitude. Having great respect for the moment, and understanding the bonds we’ve made as a team are much more important than winning a basketball game, even if it is the national championship."

Spencer Brinton, come on down. Michigan says they'll look for potential JUCO or fifth-year QBs to address the whole "two scholarship QBs on the roster" thing. Projected impact: none. Even if they find a guy to come in, he'd be a JUCO who didn't get picked up already or a fifth-year guy knowingly walking into a situation where he won't start. That guy won't be better than Shane Morris, and if Michigan is going to try to get that redshirt on him they'll probably be riding with Brian Cleary late in games.

It's all about not quite paying the kids enough money to meet federal standards for financial aid. Everyone hates Mark Emmert. Some of us have good reasons. Others are Indiana State, and this creates a problem for that whole "stipend" thing which is really just bringing the athletic scholarship closer to how much it actually costs to attend various colleges:

In some ways, the issue has become a referendum on Mr. Emmert, whose attempts to get things done quickly have alienated certain factions.

“There are some people who will oppose anything he supports, and that’s unfair,” says Sidney A. McPhee, president of Middle Tennessee State University. As head of the NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group, Mr. McPhee has become chief arbiter of the stipend debate. …

The climate has frustrated Mr. McPhee, who believes that even the less-wealthy programs have an obligation to make a priority of players and their unmet financial needs. “If you want to compete [in Division I],” he says, “you’ve got to step up."

They've had an almost unanimous straw poll with various stakeholders in favor; they believe anything they do would just get overridden.

Okay, no counsel. How about standing around them with passive menace? Taylor Lewan isn't going to give various Michigan basketball players noogies until they agree to come back next year:

"That's not my place at all," the senior said Tuesday after practice at Glick Field House. "What Trey Burke, Tim does -- I know Tim, have had class with him and he's a great guy -- whatever decision they make, you have to make the best decision for yourself.

"I think if they choose to leave, they'll have my support. I don't even know Trey Burke, but he has my support. Those guys have done a great job and earned everything they get."


Tremendous sighting. In the welcome-home pep rally yesterday:

With his team in folding chairs around him on the floor, Wolverines coach John Beilein took to the microphone and thanked the fans for coming out. He said he had heard about the Monday night gathering at Crisler when the arena was nearly filled to capacity, and called it “tremendous.”

Etc.: Wojo on if these guys are going to hang around yo. SBN on Trey Burke. Of course it's the Detroit Free Press with the commemorative national title book. Twit factory, that place. Northwestern fans have discovered the work of the Michigan wikipedia club. They are not best pleased.

MLive is terrible at pulling out interesting tweets. This article on Burke's possible NBA departure sets new records for commenter stupidity. We are not going anywhere. Also not going anywhere.


M Fanfare

April 10th, 2013 at 4:58 PM ^

That Sippin' on Purple article is fantastic. Hats off to the U of M Wikipedia Club for the best unintential trolling of Northwestern in history.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

Here's the jist for everyone else, but go read it, its hilarious

So here's what I don't get: let's ignore the fact that for some reason, every example of basketball comes from one game in January at Welsh-Ryan Arena. That's SILLY AS HELL, but at least it can be xplained away by the fact they needed free use pictures, and somebody was kind enough to go to W-R and take them.

But, yo: WHY NORTHWESTERN ALWAYS GOTTA BE GETTING CRAPPED ON?!?!?! Northwestern might have gotten blowed the hell out in that game, but hey, they scored 66 points too! And yet, the pictures here are: Michigan scoring a layup, Michigan finishing an alley-oop, Michigan missing a layup and getting the offensive rebound, and Northwestern getting called for two fouls. COME ON, WIKIPEDIA!


April 12th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

The "NU" in Lincoln is actually the University of Nebraska Lincoln, a.k.a. "UNL".  The real "NU" is Northwestern, though ESPN will never let them win that fight.  I suppose it's the same as my wife calling Minnesota the "UofM" and me having to gently remind her that "UofM" is Michigan.


April 10th, 2013 at 4:58 PM ^

So, Brian, what is your take on Beilein sitting Burke in the first half? You've long railed against this Beilein policy, but I'm not hearing a lot of dissent around these parts this time.  Obviously that's because he ended with four fouls so it turned out to be the right decision.  If he finishes with two fouls, the criticism gets louder, but unfortunately Beilein hasn't figured out how to peer into the future.

I agree with Beilein sitting guys based on this policy, because all minutes in a game are not of equal importance. Despite Albrecht going crazy, I would rather have Burke at the end than an extra 12 minutes in the first half.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

April 10th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

No offense to Brian, but I will take this one: sitting Burke was our only option. If he gets number three with 5:00 left in the first and then fouls out with 2:00 in the game, ok fing then what? What is your solution? Duh, we are in a worse position. Basically, a cold shooting Hardaway and gased Albrecht? Staukas, who apparently left at half time to get some ice cream. Levert? Oh my begeebies, Levert!! He wasn't the answer, if anything a bigger problem Monday.

Burke led/leads us, but we needed more from others in the title game. We just didn't get it Monday. No reason to analyze something worthless like that. Louisville wasn't getting blown out in that game. They are/were a big run team. If people are assuming we would have increased our lead to 20 before the half by keeping Burke in, I think that is marshmallow skies and strawberry fields type thinking.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:01 PM ^

but I have no idea why he really would. He just had a pretty bad tournament. All I remember is him clanking a zillion shots and then there was that sweet dunk in the title game. I hope he's back next year, for his sake and ours

EQ RC Blue

April 10th, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

THJr had a great first weekend -- shot very well (8-12 from 3) and was a huge part of breaking the VCU press.  He had 21 assists over the 6 games to only 7 TOs.  He rebounded well.  He was the leading scorer against 'Cuse.  He was 5-9 from 2 in the final.  It would have been great if he could've shot better, especially from 3, over the last 3 games in particular.  Whatever you think of his upcoming decision, he didn't have such a bad tournament. 


April 11th, 2013 at 3:33 AM ^

THJ needs to go because I don't think he will get much better while in college. He needs to be committed to basketball full-time with NBA coaches and S&C. We've got to remember, the NBA and NCAA are two very different kinds of basketball in terms of the rules. NBA favors offense, NCAA favors defense. He'll be a nice role player somewhere, with a name like Hardaway he'll get a shot.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

I had to laugh when Greg Anthony questioned sitting Burke at halftime by saying that you can trust a point guard not to get into foul trouble.  Greg Anthony's UNLV team lost to Duke in '91 because he - the point guard - got into foul trouble.  

Another note:  Burke thinks he's Allen Iverson?  Uh...yeah...I mean...they both play basketball.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:16 PM ^

I'm surprised no one has talked about our attempts at guarding their pick and roll.  Wichita St held down Louisville in part because the defending guard played under the pick and roll, making Siva's ability to penetrate more difficult.  I kept waiting for the switch and it never happened.  I was more frustrated by that than the refs.  Refs are known to suck.  Our coaches should have made some adjustment there.  I know we're not a good zone defense team, but it seems that making that one change to defending the pick and roll could've prevented Louisville from putting up 50 points in the second half.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

While I agree, it's hard to totally change a season's worth of defensive instincts in a halftime.  We were too young to be really multiple on defense.  But yeah, the plan should have been to have Siva jack shots and block out.

Also would liked to see Hardaway post up Siva/Smith more frequently.  Not that our offense was really a problem, but I think that forces them to double and Tim's a good enough passer it generates a ton of open looks for guys, I think.

EQ RC Blue

April 10th, 2013 at 5:53 PM ^

Exactly.  We played the P&R the same way all year, essentially regardless of personnel/habits of the opposition.  If there was coaching error, it was this year-long decision, as diverting in the most important game from the one way we played it all year would've been questionable.  With the offensive struggles this team had at times, the coaches were probably thinking that they had to get the guys to play one defensive strategy well.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

It's wierd for me right now because most of the time I jump right from Michigan basketball to getting geeked about Michigan football with the spring game and then build-up to the season. While I was a student (2004-2008) team wasn't very good, though I still went to most of the home games, it felt like basketball was more of a distraction from football. The Spring Game is on Saturday, but I'm still not over basketball and probably won't be for a while. I don't think I'll be over it until we know who is going/staying and who is added to our recruiting class to account for any losses.


April 10th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

how many of you newer readers know about "The Other Brian," but that piece linked on Genuinely Sarcastic is an awesome read. The Other Brian is a great writer and his pieces are so rare (his front page has stuff from almost 2 full years ago still), so go check that out.


April 10th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

"Even if they find a guy to come in, he'd be a JUCO who didn't get picked up already or a fifth-year guy knowingly walking into a situation where he won't start. That guy won't be better than Shane Morris"

I'm glad Hoke doesn't agree with Brian's misread of this situation - assuming Morris is going to be ready to play as a freshman is a mistake.  It's a repeat of the Kyle Kalis situation  (Brian has asserted that Kalis could/should start in 2012 even though he didn't show it in the fall, couldn't beat walk-ons or unproductive veterans, and may not even start in 2013 despite 3 seniors graduating).

Don't get me wrong - I'm glad to have Morris and certainly perfer him to some JUCO/transfer, but this isn't one or the other.  Morris will hopefully be great, but it's 50-50 that he is able to be a good starter for Michigan early in his career.  Another body mitigates the inherent uncertainty that comes with relying on immediate contributions from almost any recruit.  There's a decent chance Gardner gets hurt at some point and when it happens I'd rather have three freshman/walk-on/transfer bullets than two.


April 11th, 2013 at 9:28 AM ^

Sadly, the way any team beats Michigan is to turn the game into a grab fest. Michigan is not coached in that style and as pointed out by Gottlieb, Louisville fouled on every shot. There is no way that an official is going to call that, and that style of play is very difficult for Michigan to respond to.


April 11th, 2013 at 9:49 AM ^

that was the whole Big Ten, Syracuse, and Louisville we still came within 6 points of winning it all with a sophomore PG and a slew of freshmen who are getting better and better. Heck, if they had freakin called Luke Hancock's fouls right we very well might've won the whole thing.

If the whole team came back, we would be the unanimous choice to be #1 next year and we would be good enough to win it all (but we all know the best team rarely wins in one-and-done tournaments)


April 11th, 2013 at 3:25 AM ^

I still don't know how Calipari convinces all these elite players to go to one school and share the spotlight. I also don't think he's a very good coach. I haven't seen any of his players do much in the NBA. If the NCAA is going to scratch the NBA's back by giving them a free farm system, then the NBA, through the scouts, should ruin Calipari's reputation because 7 elite players going to one school means 6 other schools are losing out on program changing talent.

I actually LIKE Calipari too. I like how he wants his players to go to the NBA early and get paid, not be exploited. My issue is that if he doesn't make them better or instill a sense of a work ethic in them, most of them will get a big rookie contract and that's it. That's a lot of money that could last a lifetime, but unless he's connecting them to someone at Charles Schwab of Fidelity, it probably won't.


April 11th, 2013 at 7:51 AM ^

I agree with what others said about THJ posting up and about going under the picks and forcing Siva to jack it up. They were horrendous from 3 and if we could have made them jack it up a bit more that could've been to our favor. THJ took that one shot after posting up his guy after an in bounds and buried it I would have gone right back to it.

The only other point I was confused about at the end of the game when we were looking for 3's Stauskus was on the bench. Maybe he was looking for ball handlers and yes Spike was hot but for me I thot he should be in there.

A lot has been said about how bad the refs are, not just in this game, but in all of college bball. I agree and was trying to think of some solutions. I don't think rule changes are necessarily the answer b/c the game is so fast and physical. What if they were to add a couple refs that would stay on the baseline on either side and just look for out of bounds and charges and other key calls. They would be overseeing certain calls which would free up the other refs to follow certain calls. Sort of like in football where the back judge counts and throws a flag for certain things but not others. This could work in the NBA too. Just can't hurt to utilize more eyes. I have tried reffing bball and it is one of the toughest sports b/c of angles, physicality, and minuteness of detail with balls being tipped and toes on lines. There is just a lot to look for. A charge is almost impossible without 2 people b/c you are almost always watching the ball so how can you really determine if they guy was set or not. A guy on the baseline could solve that or at least could drastically improve that. Love to hear what other solutions people would have. . .


April 11th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

Maybe I'm a jerk, too, but if you only paid attention to Burke down the stretch, you could get the impression he's a volume shooter.  From the Indiana game through the NC, Burke averaged 17ppg on 15.4 shots, shooting at a 37% clip.


April 11th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

I have a feeling that GRIII may leave for the NBA. I think if Burke and Hardaway go and Robinson stays, they will be in good shape for next year. However, if Hardaway and Robinson stay I would consider them a lock for the Final Four.