Unverified Voracity Rides Elephant Comment Count

Brian April 16th, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Kickstarter, eh! After many requests we have added a couple of kickstarter tiers for international folks: 20 bucks for one mag, 40 for both, and we'll eat the extra costs for anyone who goes for the 50+ tiers.

Reminder: we have made our base goal and are now shooting for the 50k stretch goal, whereupon the basketball/hockey preview mag is a real thing on paper.

Meanwhile if you're in the giving mood check out Marlin Jackson's Fight For Life charity. Very good cause. Seth posted extensively on what they do this morning.

Our linemen are a wonderful freak show. They're all having huge lumberjack beards and looking like Freddie Mercury and, uh, this:

djbunyan

That's walk-on Dan Gibbs's twitter avatar. We probably should have started him against Jesse Williams, who Gibbs is seen riding. Equal to the task is Gibbs's twitter avatar: DJBunyan.

Speaking of offensive linemen, Elliott Mealer has shaved the beard.

as if millions of follicles suddenly cried out in terror

We will always remember you, ZZ Top beard.

image

This year's OL has a lot to live up to. They are off to a good start, at least.

Zak-Irvin[1]

Michigan has a five star basketball recruit for the second straight year. (isportsweb)

It's too bad he can't compete with the big boys. Rivals has given Zak Irvin the GRIII bump, moving up ten spots after his Mr. Basketball season in Indiana. This nets him the coveted fifth star. Walton is #37—also a ten-spot bump—while Mark Donnal is #111, one of the last four-stars. IIRC Donnal was just inside the top 100 last time. He got one of those "you stay the same and we find twelve guys we like a lot" downgrades.

Indiana's six-person oversigning extravaganza is the best class in the Big Ten according to the sites. Michigan is second, #13 nationally at ESPN. Illinois and Wisconsin are next, but it's always hard to figure out how to rank basketball classes because they're so divergent in terms of numbers.

Speaking of Tom Crean…

You're Nick Saban, dude. A year after Indiana signee Ron Patterson was told he couldn't enroll at Indiana in August—ie, the Les Miles—Tom Crean signs six players and is oversigned by one going into the late signing period. Out you go, Remy Abell. Indiana currently has 13 players. They've just offered Jaren Sina, the former Northwestern commit who opened up his recruitment when Bill Carmody was fired.

Now is the time on Sprockets when brows are furrowed about young men and how it's disappointing they've left the program and etc. etc. etc. It's not disappointing, it is mathematically required by Coach Schrute's recruiting. Someone was going to leave, full stop. There's no difference between what's going down at Indiana and Nick Saban's annual purge. In this, OSU and Michigan fans are united.

The thing is: Crean's just flat out saying they're oversigning, which is at least more honest than Saban's approach.

Again, this was not unexpected, and IU coach Tom Crean admitted as much when he spoke with assembled media in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday afternoon. He knew he might have two guys leaving early, in addition to three seniors (Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Derek Elston) which is, Crean told the Indianapolis Star, "one of the reasons we oversigned."

Wait ... what?

Yes, the Hoosiers enter the second straight summer with more players signed than scholarships to give out — this time 14 for 13. (Last season, IU's 15 signed players ended with senior guard Matt Roth's seemingly confused, thensuddenly uber-positive, departure, and a fortuitous turn in freshman Ron Patterson's academic ineligibility.)

Even without further departures Michigan will go into next year with an open scholarship. Purdue's down to ten. Schrute is looking for more guys to run off. Hard to have the moral high ground as a conference when you… uh… don't have it.

Godspeed, Tom Hammond. The Great and Powerful Hammond is being replaced by some guy named Hicks on Notre Dame broadcasts. A tip of the cap to a man who overcame his fear of cameras to be on television, like, all the time. We'll always have the picture and the tie.

tomhammondtie_thumb[1]

See you around the rhythmic gymnastics odeon. /brohug

Baseball making it happen. Rich Maloney's ouster last year was sudden and controversial. So far it looks to have been the right move as the previously moribund base-to-ball team is currently 7-2 in the Big Ten behind freshman starting pitcher Evan Hill's dominating 1.89 ERA. Baseball America takes note:

The future looks bright for Michigan, which has a strong freshman core leading its resurgence this spring. Michigan’s best starter has been freshman lefthander Evan Hill (6-1, 1.89), whose projectable 6-foot-5 frame helped him rank No. 165 on the BA 500 heading into last year’s draft. Hill still is just scratching the surface of his potential, but he is maturing quickly and has settled nicely into the Saturday starter role.

“He still is a projection guy—his best years are ahead of him,” Bakich said. “But he’s very talented, he works extremely hard. The mental game has been critical for him, because he’s learned how to breathe and focus on executing the next pitch, that’s been a big part of his development mentally. But he’s still a long, lean, tall, thin guy who has a good fastball, and he’s got good offspeed pitches. He just doesn’t always have the command that he’s going to have in the future of his secondary stuff. But a lot of his success has come from pitching off his fastball. He throws a cutter and a curveball, and when those are on, he usually does pretty well.”

Two other freshmen have earned starting jobs on the left side of the infield and in the top half of the batting order. Travis Maezes (.308/.396/.421) has shown good athleticism, instincts and arm strength at shortstop while hitting in the No. 2 hole. And third baseman Jacob Cronenworth (.339/.397/.460 with two homers and a team-leading 26 RBIs) has been very steady in the cleanup spot. He has a balanced, line-drive approach from the left side of the plate to go along with good speed. Cronenworth also has a strong arm at the hot corner, and he can run his fastball up to 92 mph off the mound, where he has emerged as Michigan’s closer, posting a 1.06 ERA, six saves and a 16-3 strikeout-walk mark in 17 innings.

That's a hell of a freshman class.

Michigan's coming off consecutive sweeps of MSU and Penn State; they take on ND today at 4, with Eastern coming in tomorrow at 6. If you're in Chicago, Michigan plays Northwestern at Wrigley Saturday.

It was a bet with Zak Irvin. A picture of a displeased Gary Harris wearing a Maize Rage t-shirt made the rounds on twitter recently, and I was all like "dude lost a bet with Zak Irvin?"

Dude did lose a bet with Zak Irvin:

M&GB: Can you tell us about that picture of Gary Harris that surfaced on twitter of him wearing a Maize Rage t-shirt?

Irvin: (Laughs) As a matter of fact I was just talking with him about that a couple hours ago but that was from last year. When Michigan played Michigan State we had a bet that whichever team won, the loser had to wear that team’s shirt to school the next day, and Michigan won so Gary had to wear a Michigan t-shirt all the next day.

Just not a recent one.

Not playing coy about Dymonte Thomas. Courtney Avery's job is officially in serious danger given the way Michigan usually talks about freshmen. No one's bothering to say Dymonte Thomas is a long way off or whatever:

"He’s a very conscientious young man. For a guy that comes that should have been at his prom to be here the whole time, and for him to pick it up like he did ... Dymonte Thomas had a very, very good spring for a freshman.”

So there's that. He's playing. Starting? We'll see.

Cumong, NCAA man. Oregon and the NCAA agree that Oregon paid Willie Lyles 25k to help recruit players. Also this:

There is no information," according to the NCAA, "in the record that Lyles coerced or directed any prospect to ultimately choose Oregon. That said, Lyles did provide a meaningful recruiting advantage by orally providing background information about prospects to the coaching staff and also by serving as a conduit to facilitate communication with prospective student-athletes."

I hate you, NCAA enforcement. Oregon has proposed two years of probation and one lost scholarship for a few years. Seriously. Sic 'em, Get The Picture.

Etc.: A tribute to Trey Burke. His finest moments. Oh yes "Roger Federer as a Religious Experience" reference in regards to Trey Burke, oh yes. HSR on the end of basketball season.

UMHoops talks to 2015 SG recruit Luke Kennard. MSU is selling spots in the press box for their spring game. How much? Next question. The definition of amateurism is "whatever the NCAA says it is," and changes constantly. Four(!) Michigan players make John Gasaway's final top 25 freshmen($), with Spike Albrecht making the tail end of the list at 25. That's for show, man. David Allen Grier gets Trey Burke to smile. It is possible. Drake Harris "commitment" scarequotes are unbecoming.

Comments

jmdblue

April 16th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

100 Sparties who feel a little flush can gather and watch their spring game from the press box for $5,000?  Not $5K each, but can pool their fifty dollarses and raise 5 G's for Sparty athletics or Sparty scholarships or a meal in the Sparty dining hall?  Good God.  I can't even get through a season of 50-50 raffles at my boy's little league games for $50.

Hardware Sushi

April 16th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

HAHAHA I'm so glad you called out the "Commitment" quotations.

Joe Rexrode, Mike Griffith and all the other Spartan beat media are acting as pissy as the average crazy twitter Spartan fan. Hilarious, and a little sad.

M-Wolverine

April 16th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

And isn't it weird how many Spartan beat writers are basically cheerleaders for the team? (Every year they must overestimate Spartan wins and U-M losses by about 4) While Michigan deals with grads like Rosenberg, Snyder, or Sharp, or guys who are pretty much equal opportunity humorists like Wojo. Even Angelique who's friendly to the program is from Ohio, so she's not a slappy. 

Mark my word Mick McCabe will pick Webb as his top player in Michigan for 2013 just because he's the one who didn't commit to Michigan....

snarling wolverine

April 16th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

Why does Crean even need to oversign?  13 scholarships is already a lot for basketball.  If you use up your full complement, you're basically required to redshirt some guys (or hope they're cool about not playing, like Vogrich and McLimans).

 

gwkrlghl

April 16th, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

You know some are gonna flame out, transfer or bust. Just on our team we've had guys like Brundidge and Smotz who didn't make it 4 years or guys like Vogrich who didn't end up being quite as good as we hoped. Indiana basically buys themselves a flameout or two a year by oversigning. A nice little advantage Dwight has built for himself

dragonchild

April 16th, 2013 at 6:20 PM ^

Another Michigan legend becomes a matter of written word, to fade from memory. . .

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. . . oh no wait, we actually used camera & storage technology for posterity, unlike that twit in Blade Runner.

Yinka Double Dare

April 16th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

Just in case anyone was wondering why people rip on ESPN's football recruiting rankings, Luginbill posted their top 10 WRs today (paywalled) and there isn't a single guy from outside the SEC footprint.  5 from FL, 3 from LA, 1 from MS and 1 from TX.