Unverified Voracity Spawns Baby Courtside

Submitted by Brian on February 8th, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The chaos! Illinois finally came through on its promise to be an agent of chaos in the Big Ten title race by going on a 13-2 run to beat Indiana; the final bucket was a wide-open layup off an out of bounds play that went down when Cody Zeller lost Tyler Griffey. Court-rush: approved.


Here is John Groce screaming at a shirtless child I hope is not his.


I hope it popped out of a woman at courtside who was not even pregnant.

The implications are large for Michigan. Indiana has now dropped two league games and has visits to OSU, MSU, Minnesota, and Michigan on tap along with a home outing against the Buckeyes. Michigan's tough games left are @ Wisconsin, @ MSU, MSU, and Indiana. Advantage M. While OSU and MSU are proving they are going to have a say in this, the most likely outcome of the season is that the M-IU conference finale will see one team playing for an outright title, the other for a share. Last night's stunner—I think Gasaway will let me get away with that—shifts the outright half of that to Michigan. Viva Illinois chaos machine. Don't make me take this back after your visit to Crisler, kthx.

Meanwhile for, you know, the Illini: their quest to be an at-large team with an under .500 conference record is looking pretty good right now. Adding Indiana to their pile of skulls gives them the good wins of a top four seed and they've got a few more shots at adding to that pile. I think even 7-11 might get them in now. Beilein's bubble resumes with 20-12-ish teams were considerably worse since the Big Ten wasn't nearly as good and they didn't have a pair of nonconference wins on par with Gonzaga/Butler, and on Selection Sunday they were easily in.

I mean:

  • MICHIGAN 2011: 19-12 regular season, 9-9 Big Ten, best wins over 10-seed Penn State, Dayton-bound Clemson, 9-seed Illinois, 10 seed MSU (2x).
  • HYPOTHETICAL 7-11 ILLINI 2013: 20-12 regular season, 7-11 Big Ten, best wins over (CTD projection) 3-seed Gonzaga, 2-seed Indiana, 4-seed Butler, 4-seed OSU.

That Michigan outfit ended up nowhere near the bubble, finding themselves in that 8-9 game against Tennessee. Bubble teams are weak yo.

So… who wants to play a John Groce team that consists of a bunch of shot-jackers who can burn your tourney to the ground if you catch them on the wrong day? That's nobody, especially not me. This time Michigan won't see them, though.

Oops. Will Sheehey got a technical late in the first half.

This is either the best thing ever or Bob Knight yelling at librarians, which is also the best thing ever. From Midnight Maize's erroneously named "Crap You Wouldn't Buy On EBay" series:


Someone purchase this and send it to Wolverine Historian.



Words are very unnecessary here.

OSU highlights. A comprehensive reel from MGoVideo:

That sequence of Sam Thompson block to Burke three to Deshaun Thomas missed three to deflected Stauskas pass to Deshaun Thomas three was all sickening lurches back and forth.

Also in OSU video bits, Five Key Plays.

OSU takes from Grantland. Mark Titus's power rankings  spend a lot of time talking about how Ohio State should be about as giddy as you can be about a loss, lending credence to our "man OSU played well" meme. As for Michigan:

As giddy as I am over Ohio State's performance in Ann Arbor, a small part of me can't help but acknowledge the obvious — the Buckeyes played their best game of the season and Michigan still won. Similarly, Michigan didn't play very well at all at Indiana over the weekend, yet the Hoosiers beat the Wolverines by only eight. This is terrifying. Michigan is taking the best shots of some of the best teams in the country while not playing anywhere close to their best, and they're still tough to beat. They just have too many weapons, especially now that Mitch McGary is coming around. Very few guys in America can contain Trey Burke one-on-one, but if you decide to help too much to stop him, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, or Nik Stauskas will make you pay. The only hope in beating Michigan is to hope several of their players have off nights (like they did at Indiana). I guess you could also try to beat them at their own game and get into a shootout, but unless you're Indiana or Florida, good luck with that.

He cites Michigan's recent three binge as a source of concern. If they have to keep knocking down threes at a 50%+ rate to win games that will indeed be a worry. I tend to chalk that up to randomness and Tim Hardaway going nuts.

Also, all those makes obscured the fact that only 40% of Michigan's looks were from deep. That's only a little high. D-I takes 'em at a 33% clip and Michigan is at 36%. If Michigan had shot a D-I average number of threes against OSU we're talking about four shots migrating inside the arc. I'm not sure that's anything to get exercised about, especially after Michigan was right on the average against Indiana.

I do think he's got a point about Michigan getting deep-jumper happy at times. Like, say, the end of a tie game.

Also on Grantland, Shane Ryan puts up ten things about the game. I disagree that the Burke block was even close to a foul, as he asserts. The last one probably was, sure, but Michigan didn't win this game in regulation by five so whateva. Ryan does slam the heroball bit.

Revise your self-reality-checking. Michigan has gone from 5-1 against to 7-2 against in Vegas. They're now co-favorites with Florida. Also, add this great shot from John T Grelick to both Tim Hardaway's photo pantheon and the rapidly growing Stauskas pantheon:

inner gus johnson goes uhn

And you could stand to update you wardrobe, too. Your media meme of the moment is something about Urban Meyer SECizing the Big Ten. The sole piece of evidence cited is increased recruiting budgets at a lot of schools. This is not much evidence. Michigan, the one school to keep pace with OSU's recruiting, actually saw its budget fall this year. Ohio State's is up marginally… and 9th out of the ten schools that responded. Meanwhile the schools that saw massive increases are Nebraska, which is an outlier since they just changed conferences and have gone national in an attempt to replace lost clout in Texas, and teams coming up to the Big Boy average without positive effect on their recruiting.

Nevertheless, the meme is on high today after Meyer said something about learning up his peers on the whole recruiting shazaam:

"Our whole conversation [at the Big Ten coaches meeting] needs to be about 'How do we recruit?'" he told the radio station. "When you see 11 of the SEC teams are in the top 25 that’s something that we need to continue to work on and improve."

He called the recruiting discussion "essential," and he'll spearhead it Monday.

Urban Meyer's perception of this meeting:

What everyone else hears:

This is what they hear all the time anyway.

Fitz! Running! A nasty dual break of Toussaint's lower leg results in running ten weeks after:

"Saw him running around -- I was shocked," Jackson said Wednesday. "The kid had a broken leg. Ten years ago, that probably wouldn't have been the case. But he was running around the other day and I don't know if they had him cut, but to me, that's tremendous progress."

As previously noted, the average recovery time of soccer players who suffered the same injury would see Fitz available for the season opener. While everyone's hyped about Derrick Green, it's nice to have multiple options—especially ones versed in Michigan's blitz pickup schemes. And putting a redshirt on DeVeon Smith might be nice.

File under extreme writer envy. Charles P. Pierce, writing on the Ed O'Bannon suit, summarizes one of the running themes appearing in this space for years in a paragraph:

By and large, the people charged with running our various sports conglomerates have proven through history to be as incapable of taking the long view of their own survival as the average brachiosaurus was. They blunder around, eating whatever comes under their noses, trampling the scenery and hooting loudly into the wind. They never see the meteor coming.

Writer jealousy: engaged.

Hugh Freeze going all Lance on us. Ah, youth:

I'm so irritated right now, so forgive me," the Ole Miss football coach said. "I've taken it about up to here with all the media and the Twitters and everybody."

Up next: 7 SEC championships, denials, dating Cheryl Crow, more denials, epic wristbands, tearful Oprah confession.

This Week In We Are Not Iowa. Michigan is trying to assemble a stripeout for… the Penn State game. In basketball. I don't think this will work. Next time go for the Brownian-Motion-Out, you guys.They're wearing 1968 throwbacks, which are actually 1968 throwbacks if the items they're selling on the MDen's site are accurate. As such, they are uniforms, no Z. I actually like them better than the current outfits.

Etc.: ESPN comprehensive photo gallery from OSU. You know what bugs me about the Magic thing? Magic averaged over eight assists per game. 17 and 7 is impressive; 17 and 8 is like whoah. Also whenever it gets brought up my feed fills up with Spartan fans contemplating a raid on Bristol. Kansas lost to TCU! Hoke doesn't like recruiting deregulation. Also, don't freak out about the video: that is not Chantel Jennings looking freakily like Samantha Ponder, it is Samantha Ponder.

The annual Detnews Blue Chips player interviews are a bit less interesting than usual. Reschke slams Urban Meyer, guys not recruited by Michigan are a little bitter, etc.


so bored at work

February 8th, 2013 at 12:27 PM ^

Two thoughts reading the quotes in the Blue Chips article:

1. Why would State not offer a 6'5" 290 lbs OL who was good enough for Florida?

2. I've never been a big fan of cheering for anyone else in the Big 10, but "I'm a good eater. I can put it away." has me rooting for Gerald Holmes to have a nice career (outside of games against us).


February 8th, 2013 at 1:24 PM ^

Dillard is a head scratcher alright.  I get why Michigan didn't offer him based on our haul, but why not MSU?  Either Florida picked up a prize, or MSU (and all of the recruiting sites, in Sparty's defense) really got it wrong with this guy.  It does say something when a kid commits to Florida and the sites still don't give him four stars.  

In other interesting news, Florida took 4 OL in this class, and Dillard was tied with one other kid as the highest of the four according to Rivals.  I guess Florida can only recruit the small guys - of Florida's ten highest rated recruits (they had 10 who were 5.9 or higher), only one of them weighs more than 229 pounds.  


February 8th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

It is interesting that last night Indiana, playing on the road, only went to the line 14 times as opposed last Saturday when they got to the stripe 25 times against the nation's #1 team in committing the fewest fouls.   



February 8th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

No, it's not. On Saturday, 12 of IU's attempts happened in the final 1:42 on 6 UM fouls, most of which occurred after UM started fouling to extend the game. The FT thing was an overrated part of that final box score. I dont think Michigan really fouled that much during the course of the game, which is pretty standard. Take those six hacks out and MICH is right at their season average basically of fouls.

IU wasnt as aggressive as they usually are, went long stretches in between Zeller touches, last night. Thus, no fouls. Thought both games were officiated pretty fairly


February 8th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

Draw what conclusions you will but the facts are Indiana goes to the line significantly more often at home than on the road.  So unless Creen has them playing a different defense or their offensive sets are different, there is only variable I see that would account for the disparity if foul shots.


February 8th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

Hmmm, I dont know about that

At home, in 5 B10 games, IU averages 28.2 free throws a game

On the road, in 5 B10 games, IU averages 23.4 free throws a game

Is 5 more "significant" as you assert?

They've had as many 30-plus FTA games at home as on the road (2-2)

They've had as many 20 or below FTA game at home as on the road (3-3)

Getting to the free throw line is a clear team strength and they carry it on the road and in nuetral site games. But, you're free to believe what you want


February 8th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

Small sample size, but a 20% increase is a pretty significant difference, I'd say.   In fairness, they've played better teams more able to keep things close at home than on the road.

Home: Minny, Wisconsin, PSU, MSU, Michigan

Road: Iowa, PSU, NW, Purdue, Illinois

I hadn't looked before, wow is that schedule front loaded for them.  Their last 8 are pretty brutal with home games against Nebrasketball, Purdue, Iowa, and OSU and road games against every other ranked team in the conference.


February 8th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

Yes. IMO 20% disparity is significant when the only variable is the officials.   I dont have the time to investigate it I wonder if ALL B1G teams get a 20% free throw increase when playing at home?  It would seem to me that your assertation that all is fair and equal would be proven  if all teams get to shoot 20% more free throws (as Indiana does) at home.


February 8th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

Home teams win a lot of game in CBB. When you win games, you often shoot more FTs just from the various end of game situations that play out when the trailing team extends the game with fouls

Lets compare IU, the #2 FT Rate team in the country, to the #1 and #3 teams and the next two best B10 teams. Thats Villanova, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa. lol, what a weird group. Conference games only.

Nova: Home FTAs, 28.2; Road FTAs, 22.4

New Mex: Home, FTAs, 21.8; Road FTAs, 15.4

Minny: Home, FTAs, 24.2; Road FTAs, 17.2

Iowa: Home, FTAs, 28.2; Road FTAs, 19.0

These teams at least get a bigger percentage increase in FTAs at home vs the road than Indiana. Maybe Carver-Hawkeye should be the Hall Of Calls.

My only points are Indiana's ability to get to the line is a legit strength that travels with them; Saturday's FT edge had WAY more to do with end game situation and not Michigan being whistled all night long with a 40-minute parade to the FT line; and that drawing a terse parallel between FTAs in Saturday's IU win over UM and IU's loss last night, as was done above, is poor analysis, but also some bitter sour grapes from said poster.

I for sure buy the competition angle you bring up. But even there, IU's numbers are pretty consistent. When they play good teams, with talent, who can guard them to any degree, they get in the high teens, low 20s FTAs, regardless of venue. When they play crappy teams that dont have near the amount of talent to hang with them, they'll get over 30, regardless of venue.

I just think it does a complete disservice to Indiana for the poster to be blaming officials.

Blue boy johnson

February 8th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

I wouldn't argue with the guy, he has descended into full Archie Bunker mentality. Any foul on Michigan against IU proves he's right, and no amount of evidence to the contrary is going to change his mind. He is one of those people who, every game,  focus more on the officials than the players. Not a fun way to watch bball imo

IU was the better team all game and M was fortunate to keep it to an 8 point differential.

M is going to have to play Oladipo and Zeller different at Crisler. I've noticed Oladipo is unstoppable if you let him get a head of steam going, but pressure him in the halfcourt and he is turnover prone (file this under easier said than done). As for Zeller, he was feeding off Oladipo quite a bit, but there were still too many occasions where McGary simply lost Zeller in the half court. Specifically when McGary didn't put a body on Zeller on the weak side, and Zeller went right around McGary for a dunk, also, early in the game, McGary let Zeller saunter into the lane on a left hand dribble and shoot an easy four footer. Pretty sure that shit didn't play well in the video room.


February 8th, 2013 at 2:16 PM ^

Looking at raw foul numbers may not be the best way to see if the game is fairly called because it doesn't take into account the idea that on a neutral the potential or them not getting many of those calls. It's the combination of the total number of fouls in addition to the makeup of those foul calls... I.e. were they ticky tacky etc.

Hardware Sushi

February 8th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

Cam Dillard's Detroit News interview was the best...asking those questions has to be like being the reporter that has to go to the loser's lockerroom afterward:

"Why not UM? No offer.

Why not MSU? No offer.

I'd rather play SEC SPEEEEEEEEEEEEED anyway."

Michigan Arrogance

February 8th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

I'm not sure why people are concerned about M's 3pt reliance. Like Brian said, they don't really shoot that many and b), they are one of the best 3pt teams in the country with one of the 4-5 best individual 3pt shooters in the country.

M has shown over 23 games that they can hit the 3 very well. even off nights are 4-14. the team is too balanced are too good to worry about offensive production. EoG jumpers, sure. Help D, sure.


February 8th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Still hard to believe that game last night. IU controlled the game for 37 minutes. Then, it just slipped away. It was a lot like their Nebraska choke job last winter


February 8th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

Also, we'll see about Illinois. They need to keep winning

But how relevant is it to compare Illinois resume to a bubble team's resume from 2 years ago? We should start comparing them to the teams on the current bubble this year. Not that the conclusion wont be the same, but Illinois needs to be stacked up against 2013 Indy St, Temple, St Mary's, Arizona St and so on. Not 2011 Michigan.

Different years, different bubbles, different competitors in the ring


February 8th, 2013 at 1:27 PM ^

On the topic of Bob Knight rants, this postgame one (uploaded by WolverineHistorian) from the 1986 game in Crisler (when we clinched the Big Ten title with a blowout win) is a good one. He's pretty low-key for awhile but around 4:25 he sees Don Canham and it gets fun:

Ty Butterfield

February 8th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

Not sure if the remaining schedule favors Michigan. I don't see Michigan winning at Wisconsin or at MSU. The home game against Illinois just became tougher not to mention the season finale at home against Indiana. The Big Ten is brutal this year. I see at least two more losses for Michigan, maybe more. I hope I am wrong.


February 8th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

The schedule still favors Michigan. As you mentioned, Michigan's remaining schedule is pretty tough, but Indiana's is even worse. They don't have to travel to Wisconsin, but they do still have to play @OSU, @MSU, and @Minn. No Illinois at home, but they do host OSU. And then the season finale is in Ann Arbor. The Big Ten is brutal for everyone, but Indiana's schedule is especially backloaded.


February 8th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

But between that and the video frozen shot Hardaway probably wants all images of himself destroyed.

And you have to wonder what view one is taking on the "dinosaurs."  It's nice to be that little mammal waiting for their extinction, but the big boys could just stomp through the world for many millions of more years than we have, very successfully. So one better be sure it's a really big meteor coming before scurrying out of one's hiding hole.


February 8th, 2013 at 2:59 PM ^

You know what bugs me about the Magic thing? Magic averaged over eight assists per game. 17 and 7 is impressive; 17 and 8 is like whoah. Also whenever it gets brought up my feed fills up with Spartan fans contemplating a raid on Bristol.

True. But OTOH, Magic played in a much more up-tempo era, with more possessions available per game. For Burke to come close to duplicating Magic's averages is pretty amazing.  Granted, he does have the three-point shot available and Magic didn't, but I don't think that offsets the lower number of possessions.  Teams don't average as many points per game now as they did then.


February 8th, 2013 at 3:20 PM ^

Magic also averaged over 7 rebounds per game.  Not sure the pace was all that different.  MSU averaged about 73.5 ppg that year.  The regular season average was below that, the Spartans averaged over 86 ppg in their 5 NCAA tourney games.

Separately, I don't think you can blame Zeller for losing Griffey.  He wasn't guarding him and he also wasn't guarding the guy Griffey was screening for.  He was one over.


February 8th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

Crean didn't want to use his because it would give Illinois a chance to set up an ally-oop inbounds play. So instead, it is his team that is disorganized and screws up. He also said he would do the same thing (no timeout) if he had it to do over.

I think his guys were just going through the motions, figuring that they were headed to OT.

Hardware Sushi

February 8th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

Shane Ryan once again proves he's a hack. Yes, I'm ultra biased about those final two fouls but JHC how do you let him get away with his comments? That whole second paragraph needs fisking of the highest order.

Those two fouls changed the outcome of the game? OK SHANE you dummy, let's just forget about: 

  1. The 3-pointer Craft had that wasn't even sort of close to the 1 on the shot clock. Yes, the buzzer should go off but it is ultimately the referee's responsibility to make the call. That's why they put 3 guys out there - so they can watch different stuff. They aren't all supposed to be staring at the guy dribbling the ball. AND
  2. The flagrant foul would've made the final possession irrelevant, making his point about whether Hardaway's foul was a foul or not relevant.

I like Klosterman, I've come around to Simmons and Titus, but Shane Ryan continually ruins any interest I have in reading Grantland regularly. I'm pretty sure he's putting food  in his butt South Park-style because shit is always coming out of his mouth.

Blue boy johnson

February 8th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

Michigan wins at Wisconsin, and I think they will, they are in the drivers seat. If they win at Wisconsin and MSU, which wouldn't surprise me, BIG race is over and M will be BIG champs. Going to be fun to watch it unfold.

If Michigan ends next Tuesday with road wins at NW, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, MSU, it will be as impressive a feat as any BIG team has accomplished in years. Buckle Up.


February 8th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

A full quarter of Urban's class came from the heart of the SEC. If you count Texas as being in the SEC footprint, then it's actually almost half the class. Meyer is a major Dbag, but it's not like he sucked up all the best the midwest had to offer and is now essentially gloating through lecture about how everyone else needs to step up. He did it by raiding SEC land, which is the only way the B1G is going to ever compete with the SEC as a whole conference. Given the playoff structure will reward SOS, compelling other B1G schools to follow suit in recruiting out of the more talent rich south is actually pretty smart. While Michigan kept pace with OSU talent wise, we did it by taking the creme of the crop from the Midwest, primarily. This will keep us a national contender, but I do think we need to become more sucessful at pulling southern prospects north. While Michigan has a moral compass and academic standards that limits how far we will go to land the big southern prospects, what's MSU's excuse? It's not like they're poor, and we all know D'antonio is Meyer without the charm. 

Honestly, with the rule changes that now allow for essentially unlimited recruiter functions at schools, the B1G has no excuse not to be doing better job of pulling in some of the nations top talent.


February 8th, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

That same Brachiosaurus was the same one who said, "Eff it, life's too short....nom nom nom, yummy leaves". 

Brachiosaurus just so happened/happens to be my favorite dinosaur.