Unverified Voracity Refuses To Get Excited

Submitted by Brian on April 28th, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Jaylenbits? Maybe not quite but it is by far the most interesting thing going on right now. The latest:

  • Scout's Brian Snow has been saying this is a top two of UK and M for weeks and reiterated that, with Cal running third. Feels like the Bears would be a surprise but not an all-caps SHOCK.
  • Sam Webb did not offer a gut feeling on WTKA this morning but did reiterate that Michigan was very much in this recruitment; he's got an article coming up in the News on why that is. As a guy who's badgered him about this recruitment for months I can say that Sam is getting more hopeful as we move along here. He is not playing coy, though: nobody knows.
  • Kentucky offered 2015 6'6" wing Shaun Kirk yesterday just hours after he committed to NC State. Kentucky needs a lot of guys, yes; they already have a commitment from a 6'6" wing out of Chicago and are about to get a JUCO shooting guard, Mychal Mulder. A 247 Kentucky staff member suggested this was "more indicative" of where things are with Jaylen Brown than Cheick Diallo, the 6'9" power forward who is the other major prize Kentucky is after.
  • Even if Kentucky sweeps Kirk/Mulder/Diallo they will still have a spot for Brown, FWIW. Adding Jamal Murray, the Canadian combo guard who is considering reclassifying from 2016, and all those guys would fill them up but even then a guy like Marcus Lee could get Creaned.
  • Crystal Ball predictions continue to roll in for Michigan, including one from Jerry Meyer, 247's head of basketball recruiting. Michigan now has the last 13 picks, with 247 staffers at their Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, and UNC sites amongst those to pick M in the last couple days. Again, I wouldn't take this as gospel since this recruitment has been cloak and dagger. Somebody is hearing something.
  • College coaches don't seem to be among that group, as several said they have "no clue" and/or "no feel" for what Brown was going to do.
  • The OSU staffer told his message board that after some texts it looks like it's "headed UM's way" and that the Adidas thing was "huge". Steve Lorenz also mentioned something along those lines. I will call them Competent Germans for a week if this happens.
  • Rivals, which has been pessimistic the whole time, suggests that Kansas writers in their network are "beginning to believe" they have a real shot. That's at odds with what their 24/7 guys are saying.
  • There's no scheduled commitment time but people expect that that Brown will choose within the next couple weeks.

Meanwhile VA combo guard Kenny Williams is planning to take an official to Michigan. UNC and Virginia are the other schools he'll visit after using two of his officials earlier in the year; those schools and maybe VCU appear to comprise his list. Obviously if Brown does happen, Williams will no longer be an option.

Other basketball things. During the Hatch press conference, Beilein touched on a couple personnel matters. On DJ Wilson's position:

That is no surprise with Teske and maybe Davis scheduled to enter in 2016 (Davis may prep), but it is an indicator where Michigan stands this year. They may need a third C and it sounds like Wilson will be the guy playing Bielfeldt/Smotrycz when foul trouble looms.

On Spike:

That does not put talk about Spike redshirting to rest but it should at least dampen it considerably. Given the composition of the roster Michigan should want to add a point guard in 2016; a Spike redshirt prevents that. And having Albrecht available is a very good thing for a team with aspirations.

On other potential roster moves:

There was some speculation that Chatman might light out for greener pastures; happy that is not the case. He is still a guy who can develop into an excellent player. Just get that corner three down and get mean on the boards and we're in business.

1925 sounds exactly as fun as you would expect. The roaring 20s of football:

Several years later mud would obscure key numbers in the New York Stock Exchange, and the rest is history.

Nyet. Mike Spath reported a week or so ago that Michigan would look to add a grad transfer wide receiver or two over the coming months, space permitting, and thoughts naturally turned to Devin Lucien, the UCLA receiver who Michigan essentially turned down (they asked him to play D) days after Hoke took the job. Lucien is no longer available:

Ah well.

Cut to the chase. The Final Four—two spectacular games and Duke punking MSU—put the "COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS DEATH" meme to the sword, or it least it should have. But at the same time the tournament was going on, basketball was experimenting with a 30 second shot clock in their B- and C-tier postseason tournaments. Those increased scoring without a commensurate decrease in efficiency, so you may as well do it. It appears that people are going to do it:

Men's basketball is likely heading toward reducing its shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, NCAA rules committee chairman Rick Byrd told ESPN.com on Monday.

Byrd, the coach at Belmont, said a year ago that there was a 5 percent chance of the change happening, but he changed his tone Monday.

"Now there's a real decent chance," Byrd said. "It's pretty evident a lot more coaches are leaning that way. The opinion of coaches on the shot clock has moved significantly to reducing it from 35 to 30. And all indicators are pointing toward that."

Byrd also said there was a 90% chance college basketball would adopt the NBA charge circle. It does sound like other changes are on the horizon:

Byrd said coaches have told him the game is too physical and too rough. He said that will come up quite a bit in the meeting.

Byrd also said there will be discussion about altering the timeout rule to create better flow. He said he would like to mimic the rule in women's basketball where if a coach calls a timeout within 30 seconds of a media timeout, then that becomes the TV timeout.

He said too often coaches will call a timeout, knowing they are getting a media timeout 15 seconds later, and that creates an even longer downtime for the fans in the stands and the TV audience.

"You can have the last few minutes take 20 minutes," Byrd said. "It doesn't bother coaches, but it does for those watching at home and in the arena. We need to try to get the games within two-hour windows."

All of that sounds excellent. From a selfish perspective I think the shot clock reduction hurts Michigan since they use their time on offense so well, but if it's part of a package that includes improving offensive flow by reducing the Spartanizing of the game I'll take it in a hot second.

Now just implement my coaches-must-cut-off-a-digit-to-call-timeout plan and we are cooking with gas.

The unbundling. ESPN has sued Verizon for attempting an end-around of their contract. ESPN thinks it says Verizon can't offer "basic" packages without its family of channels; Verizon is like nah.

Verizon Fios has just shy of six million cable subscribers -- making it the fourth largest cable company and sixth largest cable or satellite company in the country. Verizon recently announced a new cheaper alternative to a basic cable package. That offering allows consumers to subscribe to a basic cable package for $59.99. Unlike Dish Network's recent Sling TV offering which includes ESPN in its basic tier, the new Verizon Fios package doesn't include ESPN in its basic tier pricing. Instead ESPN -- along with ESPN2, FS1 and NBC Sports Network -- are included in a sports tier package which consumers can purchase for the additional price of $9.99 a month. That is, it's possible to subscribe to Verizon's new cable package without receiving ESPN.

That's actually a great deal for that sports package since ESPN and ESPN 2 alone cost Verizon seven dollars. I am not a law-talking guy but I can't see how this is going to fly in the courts; it is an indicator of where we're going. Right now sports is being subsidized by people who don't care about it at all. In an a-la-carte world that no longer happens.

Then what? Then ESPN takes a bath, with sports leagues next on the chopping block. ESPN costs 6 bucks a month for a channel 20% of people are interested in; it will not cost thirty bucks a month in an a-la-carte world because a lot of people will forgo it. There's only so much you can do by strong-arming customers in an environment where ten bucks a month gets you a virtually infinite pile of content. The people who don't care will opt out.

This is why adding questionable fanbases to the Big Ten in the pursuit of short-term cable dollars was so incredibly foolish even beyond the deleterious effects of adding a bunch of games nobody in the world cares about. Every time I see someone hail Jim Delany as some kind of visionary I want to laugh/cry.

Etc.: Jack Harbaugh on satellite camps. Quinn on Hatch.



April 28th, 2015 at 12:46 PM ^

Don't 247 writers get somer version of 'points' for making correct picks? I was taking the inrush of M picks to be a bunch of writers hopping on the bandwagon, looking for an easy 'W'. I'm sure there's a few in there who know something, but for a recruitment that has been near silent, I'm hard-pressed to believe more than a few of those guys know anything past 'There's a rush on Michigan'

Steve Lorenz

April 28th, 2015 at 12:49 PM ^

Posted this in one of the long threads yesterday: 

Some of the predictions are piggy-back picks on some of the early picks; that part I will not and have never not denied regarding the Crystal Ball. 

However, our Duke insiders (Andrew Slater, Adam Rowe) and our Kansas insider (Matt Scott) are among the best I've worked with at 247 regarding underground info. None of those three guys would have gone with Michigan without some sort of information pushing them in that direction. I trust them in that respect. 

I'm staying out of it personally because Michigan came in late and there was no way to develop real contacts regarding his recruitment. 


April 29th, 2015 at 12:15 AM ^

Yeah, just watched it and had a similar reaction. I havent really followed this saga closely because basketball season is over, a bad one at that. I've been Harbaughing along my merry way for a while.  Umm now I get it.  The highlight videos title is named correctly:  "Jaylen Brown is a straight BEAST"!  His scoring talent is unbelievable - optimally leverages his athleticism combined with sick moves from any distance and great vision.  If he comes he'll Beileins first truly elite wing talent, that was known to be elite before ever setting foot on campus. Given the track record of GRIII, Levert, Stauskas, Hardaway Jr (solid but not elite recruits), Brown's potential in Beileins offense is ridiculous.  Hopefully Brown is aware those names and has watched a few Michigan games the past couple years.

M Fanfare

April 28th, 2015 at 1:06 PM ^

Punting on first down (and before fourth down) was fairly common back then. Teams didn't have reliable passing games, so most defenses could load up against the run. That meant that the ball was hard to move forward, and if you were backed up near your own goal line, a turnover was potentially disastrous. So teams would play a field position battle with the punting game. Punters were often the best player on the team--Michigan coach Harry Kipke was an All-American in 1922 playing halfback and punter.


April 28th, 2015 at 1:42 PM ^

When you (and Brian) say 20%, is it people or subscribers?  That's a huge difference.  I'm the only one in my family that watches ESPN (1 out of 5 people or 20%) - because I want it, the family as a subscriber is buying it and will continue to do so (1 out of 1 - 100% in this very narrow example).


April 28th, 2015 at 12:57 PM ^

His crossover in traffic (0:43) and ability to finish at the hoop with rim rocking jams or with a soft touch...man, if we get this kid I would be so happy.  


April 28th, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

Exactly. He's exactly what this team needs (aside from a proven 5) to take it to the next level. We have plenty of shooters and two other guys who can get their own when need be (LeVert and Walton), but adding Brown as another slashing threat that can finish at the rim would be huge.

Teams wouldn't be able to overplay Michigan (as they tend to do to take away our outside shooting) because we'd have 3 guys who can burn that kinda D with the dribble drive.

True Blue Grit

April 28th, 2015 at 2:38 PM ^

team would be the deepest squad I've ever seen at Michigan going back to the late 70's.  Basically, we'd have 11 guys who either have had significant minutes or will be getting them consistently.  And that doesn't include Robinson or Wagner who are kind of unknown factors at this point.  It's going to be a challenge for the coaches to find ways to utilize the available talent.  But, that also will be a real asset come tournament time. 


April 28th, 2015 at 3:53 PM ^

and Spike too.  Spike attacks the rim and distributes well.  Irvin did this at the end of last season.  It'd be amazing to have guys at the 1-4 who could all shoot, attack, and distribute.  I'd have to imagine that this team's offense would challenge 2013s team for offensive efficiency. 

Doyle is a very good addition to that as well.  Offense from all 5 spots.  I'd also think that defense would be decent just due to the length and speed of all the guys at their respective positions (with the exception of the 4, which would be undersized against a lot of teams). 


April 28th, 2015 at 1:03 PM ^

If UK is starting to offer lesser prospects and UM still has not hosted a likely 4* UM commit, there must be some inside information out there.  I wish I knew what it is or how persuasive it is.

State Street

April 28th, 2015 at 1:02 PM ^

The whole fist half of this UV is just bananas.  We've got 15-20 grown men obsessing over where an 18 year old kid may or may not go to college.  They each have their "sources" and are saying a good number of contrary things.  How much of that shit is spewed for clicks?  I'd venture to say a great deal.


April 28th, 2015 at 1:13 PM ^

I can't help it. 

Michigan today: top 15-20 team, a tier (slightly) below Maryland and MSU in regard to expectations.

Hypothetical Michigan w/Brown; top 5-10 team, conference co-favorite.  Our "big 3" becomes a Big 4 and much of our second unit would be good enough to start for half the Big 10. 

Football hasn't even started and I already can't wait for bball season.


April 28th, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

"All of that sounds excellent. From a selfish perspective I think the shot clock reduction hurts Michigan since they use their time on offense so well, but if it's part of a package that includes improving offensive flow by reducing the Spartanizing of the game I'll take it in a hot second."

This is clearly Izzification, not Spartanizing. Spartanizing is a dry cleaning process.

Julius 1977

April 28th, 2015 at 1:49 PM ^

I buy the lowest priced channel line-up that includes BTN and ESPN.  Everything else on the tube is pure crap - and - all that crap is a LOT of channels.  So basically, for at least one customer, the non-a-la-carte TV setup means that BTN and ESPN is subsidizing EVERYTHING ELSE.  So, I guess I'm in that 20% that is referenced.

Still, I've read and re-read the argument in this article about the increased Big-Ten footprint not making economic sense and I don't get it.  Sorry.  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I'm just not seeing the argument.  Perhaps a more clear argument could be made in a future post and some of the numbers could be supported.  The notion that 80% of the TV viewers don't care about the core sports channels isn't going to sit well with me until someone tells me where they are getting those figures.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:11 PM ^

that in a bundled world, increasing your footprint to the NYC market, gets your network on the basic (or a lower tier) subscription in NYC.  This increases your total subscriber base significantly, and increases revenue.  Without being in the NYC market, people have to pay for a special sports tier because they specifically want the BTN.  

The opposite argument is that, as the world edges ever-closer to an a-la-carte model, this no longer applies, so expanding to the NYC market makes no sense.

Julius 1977

April 28th, 2015 at 2:30 PM ^

So, you make more money in the bundled world.  I think that makes sense.

Being an old geezer, I was around before there were cable companies and long before there were little dishes.  For as long as these have existed, people have been screaming for more choice.  I certainly want more choice.  But that's exactly what has not been offered.  It's never going to be offered.

I don't see any movement toward a-la-carte offerings.  If you make decisions on the basis that there is going to be more subscriber friendly offerings in the future you're just making decisions based on fantasy.

We're all going to croak.  And when we croak DirecTv and Dish will still have those big channel line-ups.  They will be even more bloated and cost more.  Some of the conference footprints will probably extend into Canada and Mexico.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:08 PM ^

A total collapse of cable just means that content producers that have ad friendly products like sports will hold out for more network money. They won't just keep doing what they're doing now and making the product available everywhere. Ultimately the only thing that will be hurt is consumer choice, which is hilarious.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:11 PM ^

government remove cable/phone/internet companies from monopoly/oligopoly status where there's free competition. You'll see better package at a better price with faster internet speed as a result. Monopoly or oligopoly is a result of a service where consumers suffer the most.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:24 PM ^

Crystal Ball predictions continue to roll in for Michigan, including one from Jerry Meyer, 247's head of basketball recruiting. Michigan now has the last 13 picks.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:26 PM ^

I'm glad to have that clarified.  A number of Mgobloggers have insisted he's a five.  I always questioned that.  Now we have an answer:  He's not a center, but he's centerish.


April 28th, 2015 at 2:27 PM ^

I saw Spike riding an excersize bike at Medsport this am while I was rehabbing my torn patellar tendon. I was pleasantly surprised that he was riding like nothing was wrong.