Unverified Voracity Swats Mosquitoes

Submitted by Brian on July 3rd, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Hello gents. I've been out the last few days enjoying the natural beauty of and extreme numbers of mosquitoes on North Manitou Island:


Your move, Ohio

Protips: stay away from the areas of the island in the lee of the wind—surprisingly, the west side—and punch anyone who tells you bug bands work in the face. Then do it again, and ask them if they're wearing their getting-punched-in-the-face bands. They probably are.

Anyway, exodus was half pretty great, half a nine-mile Mosquito Death March and I kind of feel like I need a vacation from the ol' vacation. But here is a computer and here are open tabs so…

Annual bit on camp commits. It's that time in July when an under-the-radar prospect or two has committed after showing up at Michigan's camp and impressing, causing various message board folks to say that was a dumb move when Player X is out there. With the commitments of Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, Player X is Artavis Scott and/or Montae Nicholson, Parrker Westphal, Adoree Jackson, etc.

Leaving aside the fact that people complaining on message boards haven't seen these players do things, I think it's healthy to have a couple of camp commits a year. It shows that the coaching staff doing so is paying attention to that camp, that there's a reason for people to show out, and that the staff can evaluate guys on their own.

Amongst the Michigan fanbase  camp commits have gotten a bit of a bad rap because late in the Carr regime they started leaning way too heavily on it and had erratic (at best) results. The camp guys from 2005 to 2008:

  • Rocko Khoury: Miss.
  • Mike Cox: Miss, though he did get drafted after transferring to UMass.
  • David Molk. Major hit.
  • Steve Watson. Miss.
  • James Rogers. Miss.
  • Troy Woolfolk. You could give him an injury INC, I guess. Lean towards miss there.
  • David Cone. Miss. Coner.
  • Quintin Patilla. Miss.
  • Mister Simpson. Miss.
  • Christ McLaurin. Miss.
  • Zoltan Mesko. Hit, but, like, a punter.
  • Mesko was the #1 punter in the country that year and can't be declared a camp find. Also, he's a punter. Leaving aside him, the record of camp commits is one indisputably great player in Molk, one contributor in Woolfolk, seven guys who flamed out—a few of whom had no business in D-I, let alone Michigan—and the special case of James Rogers, who did start on the worst Michigan secondary of all time. He managed to do that and suggest that he was also a miss.

    That's a symptom of imperial decline, but it shouldn't necessarily reflect on the coaching acumen of Hoke and his staff. If it helps, the vast majority of the above guys had zero other decent offers. Most had zero other BCS offers, period. Watson and Canteen both had offers from Tennessee and Rutgers. Little different situation.

Dumars. Dead to me. While I actually like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as a selection at #8, the mere fact that Detroit's pick was between 7th and 9th for the fourth straight year is all you need to know about Joe Dumars, post-Rasheed trade. Dumars hasn't been able to put together a team that made the playoffs, but neither has he properly tanked. He signed Ben Gordon to a contract so bad Dumars had to dump a first round pick to get rid of him, he still has No Eyebrows on his bench, he traded Chauncey Billups for the corpse of Allen Iverson while offering Prince and Hamilton extensions, and he is now pursuing Andre Iguodala and Josh Smith in free agency for reasons known only to him, all so the Pistons can end up on the fringe of the lottery or exiting in the first round next year.

So, yeah, I do feel like I can say that passing on Trey Burke is a prime example of why the Pistons suck. This is just offensive:

Dumars said that in discussing the possibility of this decision as the draft progressed, he was reminded of when Indiana Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh drafted Reggie Miller ahead of Indiana University favorite Steve Alford in 1987.

Steve Alford went 15 picks later; Burke was off the board on the very next pick, taken by a team that trade up to get him. If Burke takes off in Utah… argh. Seriously considering attending the Palace for the Pistons-Utah game and rooting my ass off for the Jazz.

Pretty much the GRIII thing. One graph on Glenn Robinson's scoring says it all:


Couple that with his 13% usage and you have a guy who is… okay… bear with me… Brent Petway with a three point stroke. Robinson clearly has buckets more potential, but that is the profile of a garbageman exclusively. That the NBA would take that guy in the middle of the first round, well, see above on Dumars.

I agree with folks who say if Robinson was looking to maximize his stock he should have left this year. There are lots of reasons other than draft position to do things in your life, obviously, but if his numbers stay like that in year two his stock will drop precipitously. If he gets a lot better at creating his own offense, it'll rise—and Michigan will destroy. Yes please, sir:

I feel like people have only seen one side of my game, cant wait to see the shock on peoples faces when the see the real GRIII. #Excited

Backup plan. Dave Telep on Derrick Walton's game:

I went back and reread my notes from last summer. Some of the buzzwords included “winner,” “set-up man,” “reads defenses” and “thinks pass first.”

Walton is a point guard’s point guard. He’s a player who has a craving to win and will be an extension of his coach. Next year, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary will need the basketball. Walton, if he’s the player I believe him to be, will not only recognize that, but will allow them to be better scorers for the Wolverines.

Walton assist rate will be a stat to watch early in the season.

Hockey guys incoming. A couple of scouting reports on hockey's upcoming, much-needed infusion of talent and desire. JT Compher sounds like the right prescription, and how:

1. JT Compher – F – US NTDP – Michigan Commit

Compher has one of the highest compete levels I’ve ever seen, and while he’s listed between 5-10 to 6’0, we can all agree that Compher plays far bigger than his size. He slams into the tough areas of the ice with abandon and has an excess of offensive prowess not typically found in a player as willing to get his hands dirty. The Team Illinois product is a potential first rounder.

I'd seen Compher take on Michigan with the NTDP and started muttering on WTKA about how he might have to take on a lot of leadership tasks even in year one, and that's why: he goes and gets it every shift, something Michigan seemed to lack. The emergence of Andrew Copp mitigates that need. Still, there aren't a lot of options for second-line center period, let alone guys who bring a two-way energy. I bet he ends up slotting right behind Copp and playing a lot like him.

Meanwhile Tyler Motte is more in the little devious bastard mold:

…he has always been a very strong, agile skater. Motte also added quite a bit of grit to his game this year, showing a great compete level and making up for his lack of size by using his quickness and tenacity to win puck battles. He's also still got some pretty good offensive abilities, finishing second on the U18 team with 26 goals scored on the season.

The other impressive thing about Motte's season is that he seemed to turn in some of his best performances against the toughest competition he faced. He was arguably his team's best skater in a 3-3 tie against Minnesota early in the year, scored a pair of goals in an upset win over his future team, the University of Michigan. He also led the US in scoring at the World U18 championships, with eight points in seven games.

That's very encouraging. TJ Hensick types who are awesome college players without projecting too well to the pros (Hensick never made it in the NHL and just signed in Sweden) are the best guys to have in your recruiting class, and if Motte goes in the third-to-fifth round range he's projected and remains a guy who gets it done at the college level, thumbs up.

Wheeeee. A look at LSU's finances gives some indication as to where athletic departments are stuffing all of the money in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to hide it all:

The major reasons for the ticket price increases are to offset skyrocketing tuition, salary and employee benefit costs, Alleva said.

The athletic department must reimburse the university’s academic side for each scholarship it hands out — even paying the higher, out-of-state rate for non-Louisiana student-athletes. Alleva said tuition costs have been rising about 10 percent per year the past several years.

In addition to ever-rising coach and employee salaries, Alleva said the fringe benefit rate has gone up from about 22 percent five years ago to 39 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

“If someone makes $100,000, we had to pay an additional $22,000 to the university for sick leave, vacation, holidays and their pension,” Alleva said. “Now that rate is going up to 39 percent.”

LSU's budget has gone up about 150% in a decade, but only because skyrocketing costs have forced it blah blah blah. The money  just makes your suit look lumpy and there's a 20 hanging off your sock, LSU.

Etc.: UF assistant Brian White: if you walk into a room and Urban Meyer is going "ding" in a wheelchair, run. 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard was the main attraction at Michigan's team camp. Elite 11 now overrun by men who write business books. The NCAA title belt, a history. Nebraska has a place to play if it wants to add hockey. Endowing the #1 jersey killed it.


Blue in Yarmouth

July 3rd, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^


"Protips: stay away from the areas of the island in the lee of the wind—surprisingly, the west side—and punch anyone who tells you bug bands work in the face. Then do it again, and ask them if they're wearing their getting-punched-in-the-face bands. They probably are."

is one of the funniest lines I have read on here in a long time. Since it is the off season and down time we don't get a lot of things like this, but that was absolutely hilarious!


July 3rd, 2013 at 12:51 PM ^

I have no favorite NBA team, so this is easy for me to say, but I suggest we all become Jazz fans.  I've been reading a lot about the organization, and it seems like a first-class operation.  Desipte being in Salt Lake City, players seem to have nothing but good things to say about the franchise itself.  Jazz fans also seem pretty dedicated.  I've found several online sources for Jazz news, and the one below is particularly good.





July 3rd, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

True story.  After graduating from Michigan in 1981 I went and lived with my best friend who was getting his MBA from Utah to so I could basically be a ski-bum.  At the time the Jazz were God-Awful and only had Adrian Dantly (pre Pistons), Darrell Griffith and somebody named Ricky Green on their roster so tickets were always available.  There used to be a sports radio show on that featured trivia contests where Jazz tickets were part of the prizes you could select if you could stump their panel of experts.  Every caller (or so it seemed) would always ask a Jazz, U of Utah or BYU question and the experts would always get it right.  I would call in and ask University of Michigan & Detroit pro team questions and won those Jazz tickets like clockwork.  

The seats sucked.....the team sucked but I was 22 and tickets were free so i was pretty stoked to watch the games and became a Jazz fan a long, long time ago.

Come On Down

July 3rd, 2013 at 2:45 PM ^

I have a hard time thinking of the Jazz without thinking of Karl Malone, and I have a hard time thinking about Karl Malone without thinking about how much I dislike him. This makes me never want to root for the Jazz at all but maybe Trey will be able to change my opinion of the franchise.


July 3rd, 2013 at 7:39 PM ^

Being an alumnus from LA and still back in LA I hate Malone as much as anyone else for influencing Magic Johnson's retirement, but that's far enough removed that I'm pretty excited about Burke landing in what seems like a perfect spot for him in Utah.


July 3rd, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

Going to get political, but search around on the owner of the Jazz and you might see some different takes on the team.

I will always love Burke, and wish him the best. But I'm a Pistons fan and just because some people wish they had drafted a local guy won't change that.

Colin M

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

I get the frustration with Dumars, but I don't follow the logic that the fact that he made X horrible decisions in the past justifies being angry with his decision to pick KCP, even though you actually think KCP was a good pick. 

I've also heard a lot of people say they'll root for Utah to beat Detroit. I'll personally root for Utah when they're not playing Detroit but I would never root for another team to beat a Detroit team, no matter how frustrated I am with Dumars. That seems akin to a Michigan fan rooting for Purdue to beat Michigan because they didn't like Rich Rod. 


July 3rd, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

If it's a good basketball decision in your opinion, then leave it at that.  I'm a little pissed that people think Dumars sat on his hands after acquiring Rasheed.  McDyess was a great pickup.  While teams shied away from him because of his injury history, Joe D made a smart offer and he gave us four injury free years.  

I also think that while Dumars gets crucified for the Ben Gordon and Charlie V signings, he should get some cred for not breaking the bank for him, like the Bulls did.  

I remember not rooting for the Tigers in 1989 because they traded away Tom Brookens.  And I enjoyed their miserable season.  But I was 11.  I was returned to normal the next season when I realized that the team meant more than one individual.  Wonder where I got that from.

matty blue

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

the whole "i want to wear #1" thing rubbed me the wrong way then, and even more so now.  i don't think it's a huge exaggeration to say that it always meant more to braylon than anyone else.  somehow we have people wearing jerseys that have actually been formally retired, but braylon (by the way, the SECOND best player to wear #1, and it's really not all that close) gets to decide who wears his old number.  in perpetuity.

it's too bad lloyd didn't just tell him to pound sand in the first place.


July 3rd, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

Wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski

Q: What's your favorite Michigan football tradition?
A: "[email protected] For me specifically it's the #1 jersey! Best WR tradition in the country. Only jersey number that is earned not given!"

Sounds to me like the #1 is not stuck in the back of the closet. They want to give it out, but no one's earned it yet.  GIVE IT TO GALLON!!!  what's a kid gotta do to get a #1 jersey??


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

The east side isn't always windward. Just be happy you weren't there when the biting black flies were. That was the most miserable I've ever been. I had The Thirst and climbed down a bluff to get to the lake and it was a little area where nasty dead fish collected and it was black fly city. North side of the island. Poor life choices. When you get The Thirst though you cannot understand that it is a poor life choice. The biting black flies got infinitely worse once I waded out into the lake to filter some water. They'd coat any part of me that had been touched by the water. Also, the crap in the water kept clogging my filter so I had to resort to iodine tablets (so disgustinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng) I then climbed back up the bluff and realized the bluff was covered in wild strawberries. So delicious!


Other than that: Protip: Thermacell butane powered bug repellent thingy works miracles. Also treat some clothes with Permethrin ahead of time, also works miracles.

Second protip: Grab a delicious sandwich at the shack in Leland and bring it to the island. You'll cherish that last meal of real food.

Third protip: Grab some smoked whitefish from another one of those shacks in Leland. Oh my god smoky divine fish heaven.

Honestly though, North Manitou is simply amazing.


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:47 PM ^

The iodine didn't taste bad but as far as tablets go I prefer chlorine but they take longer. The nastiness was the water. I tried to get as much crap out of it as I could using my shirt as a filter but it still was terrible. So terrible even The Thirst couldn't cover it up lol.


I miss that island, must go up there for my yearly trip soon.


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

I'd like to see them experiment with using GRIII as the roll man in the pick and roll, particularly on the wing. Miami got all kinds of good stuff in the Indiana series by using Lebron as the screener on wing P&Rs with Chalmers. Yes, it's Lebron and all, but with GRIII's athleticism and his ability to hit the mid-range jumper on the pick and pop, it could add a new dimension to his game and the offense, rather than just being the guy who hangs out on the baseline and scores on cuts or rotation jumpers.

Rawls NTR

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

GRIII's assist-heavy pie chart from last year is largely a result of having the ball in the hands of the country's best creator and distributor for the vast majority of our offensive possessions.  Without Burke this year, GRIII is going to be asked to create a heck of a lot more than last year.  I can't wait to see what GRIII's got in store.


July 4th, 2013 at 1:41 AM ^

They actually did start using GR3 as screener late in the year.  But only in the high ball screen, not the side ball screen.  They used him in the sprint pnr, where one big would fake the screen, sprint to the rim as the 4man, gr3, came up and then set the screen.  Most of the time, though, the defense just switched it and had Robinsons man, usually a wing, guard Burke, which led to an iso.
This will continue to happen.  Teams will switch unless you make them pay for doing it.  So another team would need to fear GR3 scoring in isolation against a smaller defender who switched onto him  in order to abandon their strategy of switching. And this iso would start from out near the 3 pt line, a tough propisition.
Switching baits teams into attacking a supposed mismatch, instead of running their original screening action to the plays conclusion.  The greater the size and speed difference between the ball handler and screener, the less tolerable it is to switch, so id think downsizing the roll man from Mitch to GR3 would only encourage switches and thus isos etc.  Im not sure that is something Beilein wants.  Nevertheless im sure well see atleast a small dose of it.  Itll be interesting to see how defenses react to it and if JB would stick with it.
Also, I think GR3 wants to work more as a ballhandler this year, so im not sure if him doing less big man stuff and more guard stuff was just offseason talk or if theyll really emphasize his development as a creator.  I do like his potential as a roll man, I just dont know if Michigan will really have the opportunity to unleash him in that context depending on how defenses guard the action.


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

This may not be of interest to people who don't sail, but honestly Brian it's too bad you didn't wait two weeks to go to North Manitou.  The Chicago-Mackinac race will start Saturday after next, and North Manitou is a terrific place to get a glimpse of a slow, colorful boat parade that lasts all day.  Most pass between the island and the mainland.  I might be the only person who would bother to take a look, but under the right conditions it's a beautiful sight.

Number 7

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

It gets worse:

per CBS Sports (and excerpted on SI.com's "Truth and Rumors" )

[The Pistons] were among the first teams to reach out to the Celtics and express interest in acquiring Rondo, the All-Star point guard who is coming off an ACL injury, league sources told CBSSports.com.  

(link here: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/ken-berger/22612300/sources-pistons-positioning-for-rondo-pacers-making-granger-available)

And thus Joe D sweeps the "we still believe in Brandon Knight" rug out from under his own feet.  Yes, Rondo is practically a superstar, albeit one coming off an injury that may limit him next year, but signing him gets you a couple of near-peak years at best.  Burke would have been part of an exciting core growing up together (especially if paired with Granger or even Iguodala as a FA bring-in).


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

I am having a hard time understanding the National Championship Belt. Michigan is on there like 6 times in the '80s, zero times in the '90s, and has 3 in the '00s.


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

Okay, here is where I dig out my obligatory James Rogers defense:

Rogers was at least a decent player, and many people 'round these parts just got through several years of defending J.T. Floyd.

Rogers in ONE year as a cornerback with bad coaching: 40 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 3 pass breakups

Floyd in TWO years as a cornerback with good coaching (averages): 48 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 6.5 pass breakups

Throw in the fact that Rogers started two games at wide receiver in 2008 and, despite crappy quarterbacks, caught 3 passes for 64 yards (none for less than 19 yards), and you've got a pretty good football player.

In my opinion, Rogers is perhaps the most underrated Michigan player in the last decade. 6'0", 182 lbs. with a 4.42 forty.  Put him with some decent quarterbacks on offense or some decent coaching on defense, and who knows what could have happened? 


July 3rd, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

While I do not put James Rogers on quite such a high pedestal, I do think it was a tad harsh to put him and Woolfolk as "Misses."

I guess it depends on what your expectation of a camp signee is. They played. Ahead of... someone. I think. Although maybe not given the depth chart.

Remember when Woolfolk blew up his ankle and he was so critical that the 2010 season was ruined (much like Mike Jones' and his broken leg)?

On second thought. Don't remember that. Just be happy.


July 3rd, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

I suspect the rift between Braylon & Michigan (as well as Braylon's ego) are so large that it's going to keep just about anyone from wearing the #1.

True Blue Grit

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:49 PM ^

Supports my belief that in the later Carr years, the recruiting effort started to get a little lazy.  (Granted 2008 would have been a RR year) Although a few top players were signed in those years, it wasn't nearly up to the standards of many earlier Carr years. 

El Jeffe

July 3rd, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

Although, and I admit I know next to nothing about recruiting despite reading MGoBlog religiously, wouldn't camp offers for 2008 have come during the summer of 2007 (i.e., the summer before The Horror), given that Canteen and Watson are '14 kids? I.e., 2008 camp offers would have been pre-RR.

Indeed, the combination of Lloyd perhaps losing something off his recruiting fastball, RR being utterly tone deaf to Michigan tradition, and his failure on the defensive side of the ball (throw in Mallett, Manningham, Arrington, and Mr. Plow bolting), and I think you might have one o' them perfect storms for 2008 and 2009.


July 3rd, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

The Pistons will regret not getting Dumars out this year. He had some good times but it was time for a change. I'm not sure how many more years this will set them back but I don't think I will help in the progress.


July 3rd, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

I don't think this will set them back.  It's not like Caldwell-Pope is a schmuck player.  Actually he's supposed to be a very good defender, and the Pistons play shit perimeter defense.  That's something that Trey just wasn't going to help with.  Plus I've always felt that Joe D's worst-ever draft pick wasn't Darko, it was reaching for Mateen Cleaves, who was nothing but a pointless sop to hometown fans and was pretty obviously one of those players who is college-great but pro-lousy.  I hated that pick from Day 1.  Would've loved to root for Trey as a Piston but Cleaves was an obvious lesson in having to be cold to the lure of the hometown guy.


July 3rd, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

Literally everyone who scouted Darko called him the second-best talent in the draft after LeBron.  Criticizing Joe D for the pick is asking him to tell the entire basketball world they're wrong.

And if you're going by the "didn't need him because of the talent we already had" argument, you're basically also arguing that there was no need to take Wade or Melo because of Tayshaun Prince.  Not that mentioned Okur isn't kind of silly.  "We don't need this physical freak that is unanimously considered an elite-level talent because we already have a backup center that we drafted in the second round a couple years ago" is a head-scratcher.


July 5th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

I thought the obvious pick that year was Melo, regardless of need.  Top 5 picks should always be best available, but honestly I didn't know Darko was that highly touted.  I remember thinking who is this euro-Eminem?  Plus, I really liked Okur's game.  I guess it's moot, since a #2 pick would have been drafted to start anyway.


July 3rd, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

Any exec in the NBA who likens Trey Burke to Steve Alford needs a beach (preferably without bugs, but really, who cares?), a big drink with an umbrella, and a few years rest.

I wasn't happy about Reggie--I was soooo wrong. I was happy it wasn't Alford.

Burke can play defense. Burke can get his own shot. He's probably a better person/teammate too, as far as that goes.