Unverified Voracity Reflects

Submitted by Brian on April 3rd, 2014 at 1:11 PM


Dustin Johnston/UMHoops

Rounding up the exit. Further takes on the end of Michigan's season come from Genuinely Sarcastic:

In three of the last four seasons, Michigan's season has come down to one final shot in the dying moments. That's actually pretty astonishing when you think about it. All the chaos and moving parts of a basketball game, boiling down to one shot on three separate occasions in three separate games. All three involved different circumstances, and a Michigan program at different stages of its evolution.

Hoover Street Rag:

Sometimes you don't appreciate you have until it's gone.  Which is why I am thankful we were able to send off Jordan Morgan on a high note.  Morgan is exactly what we want our players to be, tenacious, hard-working, always working to be better, and, oh yeah, a pretty damn good student to boot.  To see all of the #ThanksJMo tweets after the game is to know that we didn't lose sight of what was going to end when Stauskas's last shot fell short.  We know we're probably also losing some other players, and we'll deal with that when the time comes, but for now, we appreciate what we had, because it was fun.  It was just fun.

The Daily:

INDIANAPOLIS — Moments after the game, the sun is low in the sky and Lucas Oil Stadium casts a long shadow across Indianapolis as, inside, Michigan walks off the court for the last time together. Jordan Morgan is first, well before anyone else. Glenn Robinson III gives a quick wave to the crowd and puts his head down. Nik Stauskas is emotionless. Mitch McGary, who was never getting into the game, walks off wearing the uniform his teammates have insisted he wear.

Later, Morgan, held up by his press conference, is one of the last to enter the Michigan locker room. Most of the room is composed except for Zak Irvin, who is emotional in one corner of the room, and for Morgan. He wipes his face with his sleeve and cries in front of the television cameras.

His teammates have said the loss is all the more difficult because it means they’ll never play another game with Morgan. The senior doesn’t know how to respond.

He pauses to wipe his eyes.

“I didn’t expect it to be my last game,” Morgan says.

“It’s over. I don’t know what else to say.”

And Nick Baumgardner:

But while every team in this NCAA tournament, save for one, ends its season with a loss, they don't all end their season without regret.

This Michigan team earned the right to live -- forever -- with a clear conscience.

"You can be mad if you want," Michigan's Jon Horford said. "But if you make guys hit tough shots they don't normally hit.

"Then you shake their hand."


[Bryan Fuller]

Draft stuff. NBA draft types seem to be in consensus about Michigan's three early entry candidates: Stauskas is out the door, but the other two should return. "Should" and "will" are two very different things, of course. Also, when NBA draft types talk about these things they talk about them from the perspective of the NBA, not the player.

Disclaimers aside, NBA type on Robinson:

Projecting where Robinson could be selected in this year's NBA draft is difficult. His potential is boundless, but his play has been erratic. The scout described his prospective draft position as "all over the board for some people."

He concluded saying Robinson should return to Ann Arbor to "develop some consistency in his game."

A guy the BTN talked to:

Glenn Robinson III
Why he should stay: Should finally emerge as Michigan’s star player. Showed flashes of what people expected as a sophomore, but not consistently. Should look better with Walton having a year under his belt as point guard.
Why he should leave: Teams still like his skill and athleticism. Could flourish enough in workout situations to alleviate NBA concerns.
Prediction: Stays

As I mentioned in the post a couple days ago, Robinson's clear frustration at being forced to play the 4 is something that will weigh on him. This makes Mark Donnal the most important guy on the team from GRIII's perspective. If Mitch returns Donnal is free to play the 4 for basically all of his minutes, and if he's a 25 minute or 30 minute guy that means Robinson's spending almost all of his time on the wing.

As for Mitch, there is almost universal agreement that it would be hard to take the guy in the first round with the questions about his back and relatively thin resume. McGary would have to be confident in his ability to go full McGary in draft camps this month if he was going to make a leap. Anonymous NBA guy:

If he chooses to declare for the draft, McGary's health will be "picked apart in this process" due to an injury classified only as a lower-back condition, according to the scout.

It's clear both Robinson and McGary entered the year planning that this would be their last at Michigan, and that momentum will make deciding to stay more difficult than it otherwise even if it seems like the best idea to return for both.

These days there is no withdrawal, so the dates that matter are April 16th, when the Portsmouth Invitational starts and the 27th, which is the last day to declare. GRIII and McGary will almost certainly decide by the 16th, as Portsmouth is where a lot of first or second round decisions get hashed out.

Also in draft stuff. I'm not sure if this draft blogger the BTN talked to has anything solid or if he's just guessing based on the fact that everyone flees West Lafayette, but here's the hypothetical death knell for Matt Painter's career:

A.J. Hammons
Why he should stay: Showed very little improvement in many ways from freshman to sophomore year. A dominant junior year could make him a first-round pick.
Why he should leave: Skilled big men and shot-blockers are always in demand at the NBA level and Hammons’ development may have stalled at Purdue.
Prediction: Enters Draft

Tom Dienhart also predicted a Hammons departure, FWIW. I know Hammons is a frustrating dude but he's all Purdue has right now.

Other decisions the Big Ten is waiting on include Sam Dekker and (now) Frank Kaminsky at Wisconsin plus Gary Harris and Branden Dawson at MSU. Gary Parrish reported that barring a 180 in the next couple days, Harris is out the door. Dawson is a bit of a surprising name, but he's got financial issues and pretty much is what he is at this point: a 20-minutes-a-game defensive specialist.

MSU is also offering firm handshakes to potential fifth-year players Alex Guana and Russell Byrd. The latter is a little sad, since he had the highest ratio of bark to bite in the Big Ten. From the spectator's position, it's always tough to lose a guy like that.

Freshman talk. Via MGoVideo:

Canteen made a catch! And he's wearing 17. Always enjoy guys wearing oddball numbers I have no association with. Looking forward to Canteen changing it six times over the course of his career.

Wrong move, buddy. Now we're going to try and beat you. Ohio State cockiness increments yearly these days. And one day super super soon they are going to regret it, I tell you. Until then, the prospect of random OSU assistant coaches spouting off about Michigan remains. Ed Warinner:

Standard message board banter. Okay. And then:

Wow. That's personal. I expect that from a guy named WOLVERINEKILLAH88, not so much a coach. Hoke brushed it off on WTKA today, as he is wont to do.

From the People In Charge Of Things Are Just In Charge Of Them file. Texas has a new athletic director, who is in charge of Texas. He is also an idiot.

He sees Texas as being in a unique position to grow its international brand and said it's essential to use athletics as a platform to tell the university's story.

"They shouldn't be done for junketeering purposes," Patterson said. "They should be done in a fashion that grows the profile and the interest of the university of a broad scale internationally."

Patterson reportedly has expressed interest in playing a nonconference football game in Mexico City. Another possibility Patterson acknowledged Tuesday could be a future sporting event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

This dude already scheduled a Texas basketball game in China, but will not even consider playing Texas A&M. The goal appears to be pissing off your core fanbase as much as possible. CEO types are just emperors running around naked as the day is long these days, searching for growth at all costs like their department is a publicly traded company.

Also… "junketeering." Just keep shooting bullets into the English language until it topples, guys.

It's on. The Michigan legislature passed a bill allowing Michigan to sell alcohol for that rumored Man U/Real Madrid friendly this summer, which was followed up by an announcement there would be an announcement tomorrow. Expect them to announce a series of announcements about announcements culminating in a soccer game.

Etc.: A Brian Phillips ode to Raftery and Lundquist. Five Key Plays for Kentucky. More Morgan. Additional Morgan. DJ Wilson update.



April 3rd, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

The #17 has been worn by some greats in recent years, suh as Carl Tabb and Jeremy Jackson. I'm surprised it's not a Legends jersey yet.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

First blockquote regarding last possession and three seasons. What percentage of all games come down to the last possession. My biggest complaint about basketball is how most games come down to the last 4-5 minutes, when one team either makes a run and puts the game out of reach or the other team makes a run and gets the game close. Considering that after 35 minutes of basketball, generally even the most mediocre of teams can play well enough to keep the game competitive, is not not sort of expected that games are often going to go down to the last couple of possessions?

Just a thing I'm interested in hearing a little bit more about.

UofM Die Hard …

April 3rd, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

"...followed up by an announcement there would be an announcement tomorrow. Expect them to announce a series of announcements about announcements culminating in a soccer game."


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:34 PM ^

According to the OED it comes from 'junketeer', an American version of 'junketer': "one who takes part in a junket." Junketer goes back to 1825, junketeer to 1939.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:36 PM ^

If only Stauskas leaves, and Robinson and McGary both come back, I think next year's team has the potential to be the best all around team we've had yet in the Beilein era. And that's seriously saying something.

PG - Walton should have the breakout year we've come to expect from 2nd year point guards under Beilein hopefully, with Spike solidly backing him up.

SG - Caris for basically the whole game, save a couple minutes. Not a lot of depth here, but Caris already played like 38 minutes a game in any big game we had this past year anyway. Caris is already really good, and even after attending Camp Sanderson last summer, he still kinda looks like a stick figure out there. Put 10-15 more pounds of muscle on him and watch out. Potential All-BigTen player next year for sure.

SF - Irvin, backed up by GR3 and Chatman. I definitely see Irvin having a breakout year next year. He reminds me a lot of freshman Stauskas: deadeye shooter, and you could tell they had the potential to put the ball on the floor and create as well but they were just a little bit away from being able to do it effectively. A summers worth of hard work and he will be a seriously good player.

PF - Robinson, backed up by Donnal, McGary, and maybe Chatman some. I think Robinson would end up splitting his time about 50/50 between SF and PF. I know he would want to start at the 3, but I think Irvin might be too good to leave on the bench. But at the same time, we could leave Irvin on the bench for some instant offense and start either both McGary and Horford, or start Donnal if he's ready. GR3 would surely be putting in the work to make sure he is ready to land in the first round in the 2015 draft, and I think he'd have a big year as well.

C - McGary, backed up by Horford. I'm sure some of the time we'd see two of Mitch, Jon, and Donnal on the court at the same time. We all know what a healthy Mitch is capable of: being one of the best centers in all of college basketball. Horford would be a very solid back up option as well, and Donnal could probably play here in a pinch.

Wow is that a lot of talent. When you throw in the fact that this team would have senior Trey and junior Nik if they weren't, well, Trey and Nik, Beilein has done a fantastic job.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:54 PM ^

I agree. The only team I see that could potentially have more talent than us is Duke, and that's only if Parker comes back.

Sneaky thing about this past Michigan team too: Our best player was definitely Stauskas, hands down. But I would argue that our most important player was actually Caris. We could have survived without Nik: the offense would have been worse, but it still would have been fine. More of the load just would have shifted to Caris and Glenn to create. And Nik, while improving his defense, was still never great. I don't think we could have survived without Caris. We NEEDED him to guard the other team's best wing player all game every game, because we didn't have anyone else that could do it. Our defense would have been torn to shreds without Caris almost every game. When you throw in that he made up a big portion of the offense, too, I think he was the most important player on the team.

LS And Play

April 3rd, 2014 at 2:04 PM ^

If Arizona brings everyone back, they will be absolutely filthy. But aside from that, I agree with you entirely. I have 100% confidence that Walton and Irvin will make the #BeileinLeap from Year 1 to Year 2. Everything is in place for this team to be elite next year if Glenn and Mitch come back. 

LS And Play

April 3rd, 2014 at 2:12 PM ^

If you were playing Mitch at the 4, then it must be Horford at the 5. You would lose a lot offensively with that lineup. I can't imagine us being a #1 Kenpom sort of team with Horford and Mitch out there at the same time. The spacing/cutting that makes Beilein's offense so tough to defend would be reduced with two bigs out there. 


April 3rd, 2014 at 3:21 PM ^

Are you saying starting Walton, Lavert, Robinson, McGary and Horford is poor offensive lineup?  That looks pretty good to me.  I'm sure Beilein would tweat the offense some to accomodate the lack of 3 point shooting from Mitch.

On top of that you bring Spike, Irvin and the younger guys off the bench, which is probably a better bench then most teams would have.

Blue In NC

April 3rd, 2014 at 5:15 PM ^

Yes, offensively but that bigger lineup likely makes us a better defensive team so the net result is pretty similar.  Personally, I like the idea of starting Donnal at the 4 (if he can handle it) with Mitch at the 5.


April 3rd, 2014 at 5:10 PM ^

Lots of sleeping on Donnal - he is the prototypical 4 that Beilein had at WV.  With Mitch at 5, and Donnal at 4 you can play GR3 at 3 - I would see that as the front court for 15-18 minutes a game or as long as Donnal can go/earns as a RS fresh.  Kid is 6'9 240 and Beilein says he already rebounds in the realm of Morford, but has way more range.


April 3rd, 2014 at 5:16 PM ^

Chatman is not a PF unless its square peg in round hole - we just went through this for 2 years with GR3.  Especially in a lanky freshman bodyl it would be like putting a slightly larger LeVert at PF as a freshman.  You'd put Irvin in that spot for 5 minutes a game over Chatman despite an extra inch.  Chatman would be a good backup for Caris and GR3... you don't want to run Caris into the ground either when you have capable players behind him, he doesn't need to play 35-38 a game if Mitch and GR3 come back and you go 9 deep.

Chatman and Irvin are kind of in the same spot/build so there is overlap.  The nice thing again is we'd have quality depth.  Some of our starters could actually play 25-28 minutes against some of the non conf creampuffs or Northwesterns.


April 3rd, 2014 at 6:57 PM ^

Proposed lineup. He admitted that he was upset having to switch back to the 4 this season. Further more, I don't see the need for him to play the 4. Mitch, Donnal and Bielfeldt can handle the four with Horford, Doyle and Mitch/Donnal at the 5. That leaves Robinson to play the 3 backed by Irvin and Chatman. Irvin can also back up LeVert.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:43 PM ^

Question about Legends Jersey's. Say two people want to wear #11 (One on offense, one on defense). Do both players get legends patches? Or only the guy who earned it?


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:50 PM ^

When did this come to light ? I must have not been paying enough attention. I could care less about the Snarky remarks but who exactly lost their Playbook. Are Players still toting them around at the end of the season ?


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:50 PM ^

I think Genuinely Sarcastic's take is a bit on the negative side.

I don't see a "window closing" for our chances to win basketball titles at M.

As long as they continue to recruit and lose an average of 1 star to the league per offseason, while continuing to develop guys they like (and seriously, find me a low-rated recruit under Beilein that hasn't been a gem over the past 3-4 seasons) we should continue to remain a Top 15 squad.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

more deep run into the tournament followed by one more really good recruiting class and Michigan will have reached the level of perennial power in college basketball.  Five years ago I did not think Michigan basketball would EVER AGAIN be performing at the level it is right now and the level it had in years passed.  I now think they will be in the national championship conversation for years to come.  My guess is in the next few years Belien looks for a "coach in waiting" type assistant prospect for the purposes of continuity and to teach his principles and offensive system.  We could develop nearly a Duke-ish level of consistency in terms of the competitiveness of our BB program.  I believe JB will win a national time here before he retires.


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^


If we lose only Stauskas this offseason, it's possible we return to the heights of the 2012-2013 squad, reaching #1 in the regular season polls. The squad will be stacked. Soph and Junior versions of Walton and Albrecht. Irvin and Levert the chief shooters. A slashing GRII on the wing, a healthy McGary in the paint. That's top notch talent everywhere.


April 3rd, 2014 at 5:25 PM ^

I was going to do a post on this in the future but still gathering data.  Right now there are about 8-10 elite programs, and then 3-4 near elite... OSU is one of those near elite since Matta got there in 2004.   UM in 2014 is about where OSU was 2010-ish so we have another 3 years of consistency necessary to get into that elite/near elite area.  That means at least 1 (preferably 2) victories in the NCAA each year, top 3 finishes in the Big 10, and one of those 3 years a very deep run (final 4ish) in the tourney.

We cannot take anything for granted.  We are just assuming now that the Donnal's, Chatman's, Wilson's and Doyle's are plug and play.  There is a good chance 1 or 2 of these kids won't reach expectations - especially the kind people are putting on them now when they see Burke and LeVert.   I am pointing to Matt Costello - a kid Belien wanted and he looks meh to me.  Maybe with our staff he'd be way more than meh but he was a UM target and is not near an All Big 10 type player.

I am hoping Beilein is able to wrestle a few more top 30 types so his margin of error is lower; he deserves it with his track record.  I have as much confidence as anyone in this staff but (a) Jordan is most likely to be an incredibly hot commodity we most likely will lose within 24 months and (b) we cannot just assume every 3 star showing up on campus is going to be an All Big 10 in 2 years.  Or 3 out of 4 will be.


April 3rd, 2014 at 1:58 PM ^

Hoke's response to the coloring book jab "we try to stay inside the lines" is....  actually pretty awesome. Witty, not too serious, and maybe even a subtle jab at at Urban's history of fast and loose discipline style. 

matty blue

April 3rd, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

...hasn't exactly been crawling with buckeyes, either.  let's see:  2010, yes...um, 1997, and...wait, what?  1985?  3 times in the last 30 years?  am i counting that right?


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:05 PM ^

In the case of Branden Dawson... .maybe this is just recency bias, but, well, the dude had 24 and 10 against UVA and absolutely crushed us.  He was every bit the matchup nightmare MSU fans like to think he is.  And he had MSU's 4th-highest usage rate, 3rd-highest shot percentage, best shooting percentage, best individual O-rating, and KenPom's 70th-best individual O-rating in the country.

I think he'd be a pretty significant loss for Sparty.  Consider their potential lineup without him:

PG: Travis Trice (maybe Lourawls Nairn)

SG: Alvin Ellis (?)  (maybe Javon Bess?)

SF: Denzel Valentine

PF: Matt Costello

PF: Gavin Schilling

Dawson would, like, double that lineup's scoring punch.  Valentine's already mercurial; for him to be the focus of a defense would wreck his efficiency.  Costello's a pick-and-roll scorer and nothing more.  Schilling turned the ball over more than he shot.  If Dawson leaves I honestly think that's the difference between NCAA and NIT.


April 3rd, 2014 at 5:31 PM ^

Dawson is not a fringe first rounder - he is either a late 2nd rounder or going to Europe..if he leaves now.  Kid dominates physically at this level when his mind is into the game but you saw UConn had athletes and stopped him, against UNC who again has similar athletes he was stopped.  Virginia, Wisconsin and us don't have that same level of athlete (outside Mitch).   If he comes back and develops a consistent 12 foot jumper he has a good chance to get into the late 1st round next year.  He is being mocked even a year from now as a 2nd rounder.

Dawson cannot dribble - he cannot hit a shot outside of 5-6 feet.  He gets a ton of put backs, alley oops, rebound dunks, and shots in the 2-4 foot zone.  He won't get any of that in the NBA... plus he will get stripped a lot as his handle is really bad.  And these last 6-7 games were the first time he played with any consistency from 1 week to the next.


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

You ought not to make fun of Texas's CEO without making fun of ours for slapping his own name on Roy Mannings's office.

Also: I still feel weird with our MGoStyle of apostrophe-s'ing possessives that end in 's'.


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

April Fools', wasn't it? I'm still not sure if that was for real.

Also, while we're early in the usage development cycle, I'm wondering if the gerund "apostrophe-s'ing" shouldn't actually be spelled ""'s"-ing." (The Chicago style use of quotation marks makes that more confusing than I thought it would be. I'm also wondering, should a literal including double quotation marks be inside single quotation marks or doubles?)


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

It makes no sense for him to come back another year and play the 4, and I don't see how Beilein could promise him that he'd play significant time at the 3 without knowing how other players progress.

GR3 has gotten the amazing opportunity to play with great players, go to a great school, and be apart of two great teams, but I really think he made an unfortunate choice in coming to play at Michigan. His game would have been much better suited at a school where he could play defense vs. wing players and slowly develop physical toughness, rather than being thrown into the lion's den right as a freshman.

Blue In NC

April 3rd, 2014 at 5:12 PM ^

Totally disagree.  First, GRIII has a promising NBA career ahead and M's coaching staff had a major role in that.  The offense has allowed GRIII to showcase his talents.

Second, Beilein can promise the 3 if that's a sticking point because whatever the roster makeup, Michigan is a better team if GRIII returns.  Beilein let's GRIII play mostly at the 3, Irvin backs him up and Michigan is a better and deeper team.  Easy.


April 3rd, 2014 at 2:27 PM ^

Unfortunately, I think all 3 of them leave early. With Griii settling into the first round after workouts and Mitch being a fringe 1st rounder based on teams taking a chance on his skillset. I've always heard that Mitch and Griii would decide together and honestly I think Mitch has as much to lose by coming back and reinjuring his back as he does by showing he is healthy. Our team will still be solid and a tournament team even if they all leave.


With spike chatman young Doyle and bielfeldt playing the reserve roles


April 3rd, 2014 at 3:13 PM ^

"You can be mad if you want," Michigan's Jon Horford said. "But if you make guys hit tough shots they don't normally hit.

"Then you shake their hand."

Kentucky hit a ton of threes they shouldn't have made. You can complain about officiating but if Michigan had won by 3 Kentucky would have just as many relevant gripes. The proper response to the Kentucky game is just "Well...darn".