Unverified Voracity Talks Basketball(?)

Submitted by Brian on October 28th, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Hello Blake. Michigan has picked up a commitment from 2009 PF Blake McLimans of New York. As per usual, UMHoops has the details:

The scouting report on McLimans is that he is a versatile 6-10 big man who can play on the perimeter. He’s skinny but he can run the floor and hit the face up jumper but also has nice moves in the post. Blake is also reportedly a solid ball handler who can hit the occasional three point shot. There isn’t a lot of scouting information on him because as was mentioned he didn’t play AAU ball.

Rivals shows offers from BC and Georgia Tech; UMHoops claims "interest" from those schools. I think we're probably talking about the latter here. McLimans didn't have a Rivals profile until a few days ago, and is unknown to Scout and ESPN. Unlike Tommy Amaker, though, Beilein has made a career out of unearthing big guys he can coach up.

McLimans finishes Michigan's 2009 recruiting class unless there's an unexpected departure. The results:

  • 4* PG Darius Morris (approx #75)
  • 3.5* SG Matt Vogrich (approx #150)
  • 3* PF Jordan Morgan
  • 3* PF Blake McLimans

Not exactly a North Carolina haul but a couple of pretty good recruits and a guy in Morgan that Beilein identified and acquired early. There are just two slots open in the class of 2010; the top priorities are a wing and a post.

Hold thine horses. Permit me a small blasphemy here. This makes no the sense:

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference announced its 2008-09 basketball preseason honors at the conference media day today (Sunday, Oct. 26), with University of Michigan sophomore guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) being selected to the five-member men's All-Big Ten preseason squad.

I like Manny Harris, like his real name and his haircut and his decision to come to Michigan both before and after Tommy Amaker was fired. But if Harris is going to end the season one of the top five players in the Big Ten he's going to have to take a quantum leap forward.

Yes, Harris returns with some impressive numbers…

He started all 32 games as a freshman and led the Wolverines for the entire season in per-game scoring (16.1), assists (2.7), steals (1.4), minutes (33.0) and free throw percentage (81.7).

…but here are some mitigating ones:

  • 30.4, Harris's massive usage rate last year, 34th in the country
  • 22.0, Harris's massive TO rate last year, worse than anyone on the team other than… uh… the point guard
  • 43.6, Harris's un-massive eFG% last year, worst on the team outside of walk-ons.

The raw numbers are nice; the tempo-free ones are Bracey Wright-esque. And then there's my personal observations. For some reason, I decided that last year would be a great year to go to around ten basketball games—a personal record—and while Harris was clearly the team's best player that's not a huge compliment when you win ten games. I have the distinct memory of a ton of turnovers committed when Harris was sitting at the top of the key, being sloppy with the ball. Those aren't on his general lack of teammates.

Of course, Harris is a guy named "Harris" playing for Michigan so he's cursed to spend at least one year surrounded by walk-ons thinking he has to score every damn basket; high usage and lots of turnovers and low eFG% go hand-in-hand.

Harris should be better this year. And Michigan returns everyone of any use save Epke Udoh, who wasn't much of a factor in the offense, and adds hawk-eyed Stu Douglass, potentially useful Zach Novak, and half of Arizona transfer Laval Lucas-Perry (eligible in January), so you'd assume the usage would go down and the efficiency up. I hope in March we're here looking at scoring average going down a little bit but those field goal numbers going up a lot; we'll see.

Contract. Rodriguez has signed it—guess he's not going to Clemson—and MVictors has posted it. Highlights:

  • Contract is six years.
  • Page 5 contains a convoluted clause that indicates the buyout money Michigan is paying West Virginia is indeed taxable income for Rodriguez; Michigan will compensate Rodriguez for that income "in order that Rodriguez not be unduly burdened or distracted in connection with the performance of his duties hereunder."
  • The buyout is—surprise!—four million dollars until year four, when it drops to 2.5, but they'll roll it over before it hits that, I assume.
  • Jebus: "The Men's Football Program will be provided with a salary fund of $1,950,000 to be reserved exclusively for the nine assistant coaches and the head football strength and conditioning coach."

Etc.: While we're on basketball; here's an interview with Cazzie Russell.

Michigan State printed up a shirt commemorating their victory over a 2-6 team. This is why you're Michigan State.



October 28th, 2008 at 2:31 PM ^

Anytime a mid-major, or heaven forbid 1-AA, school beats a historical powerhouse even in a down year, I can understand the excitement.  Now, ULM beat Alabama in a bad year following several bad years so that is a little less exciting.

But, the biggest thing is that it is the official Spartans website selling these shirts. We don't know who put up the billboard, so it could have just been some fans.  The spartans athletic department should not find beating Michigan in Ann Arbor once every 18 years so great that they sell t-shirts about it.


October 28th, 2008 at 1:57 PM ^

I could not resist saying that.

I would cut him a little slack as those numbers represent pretty standard freshmen-like playing.....especially given his so-so supporting cast.

Lot of BBall analysts in the know seem to think Manny Harris will be key in getting this sucker turned around. I expect better numbers, especially less TOs and higher shooting % in his second season under JB.


October 28th, 2008 at 1:59 PM ^

......as an IU alum, please refrain from dropping anymore Bracey Wright references.

Its going to be a long winter down Bloomington way, please dont heap on more by bringing up Bracey.

Yinka Double Dare

October 28th, 2008 at 2:03 PM ^

Brutal year for you if you're also a Michigan football fan.  IU basketball is about to make our football season look positively fantastic.

This being Big Ten basketball though, IU will be back in the top 3 or 4 a couple of years from now as long as they don't end up with further NCAA sanctions.  Crean is really good, and he should definitely be able to recruit to IU.


October 28th, 2008 at 3:32 PM ^

Worst. College Season. Ever.

Never imagined as a fan of both schools that UM football and IU basketball would be this down at the same time.

But, I've been prepping for this for many months now.....with both, its all about 2009-2010 as far as the first rays of sunshine go.

And, we're almost there!!!

I am still having loads of fun following the UM rebuilding process, and I hope I can manage to do the same this winter with IU. But, its weird that my expectations for UM are higher and more valid this winter than for IU. It has not been that way in, well forever.

J. Lichty

October 28th, 2008 at 2:00 PM ^

Dantonia said that this was the defining win for his program and that it counted as more than one win, so I guess these t-shirt hawkers come by it honestly, but this is truly sad. 

I can see why App State thought that (although I would think that their championships are more defining) and maybe Toledo thinking that, although is by far and away not the best Toledo team we have seen, but does MSU really want to be like 1-AA or the MAC? 


October 28th, 2008 at 2:39 PM ^

Selling "Scoreboard!" t-shirts is something my little brother would do.

Watch Sparty celebrate right up to kickoff Staurday, then go out and lose at home to Wiscy. 


October 28th, 2008 at 2:46 PM ^

Although certainly not Sparty's intent, this over-extended celebration overbeating us is very flattering.  They are making Michigan look good in the process.  Anytime a team get's so excited that they make t-shirts and put up billboards announcing the victory, the team they beat must be a pretty big deal.  Just like how App St. put the big house on their championship ring, it shows that these teams recognize UM as a Big Fucking Deal.  Other people realize this as well.  I really don't mind it.

I Blue Myself

October 28th, 2008 at 3:23 PM ^

"Page 5 contains a convoluted clause that indicates the buyout money
Michigan is paying West Virginia is indeed taxable income for Rodriguez"

My guess is they used that convoluted language to try to disguise that theyactually paid much more than $2.5 million for Rodriguez's WV buyout.

As I understand it, Rich Rod was going to have to pay tax on the $2.5 million that Mich paid WV.  Assuming he's at the top 35% tax bracket, that would work out to about $875k.  The university wants Rich Rod to get $2.5 million tax free, so they paid $875k as withholding to the IRS, plus whatever Rich Rod owed in state and other taxes.

Those numbers aren't exact because of deductions and whatnot, so after Rodriguez files his 2008 taxes, he or the university will have to pay each other back to make up the difference.  It's much better for the university to say in a vague way that they'll compensate Rodriguez for having to pay tax on the buyout than to put a large number in the contract itself.  The university won't know exactly how much extra the tax will cost them until they settle up with Rich Rod 2009, which should prevent any scary headlines in the Ann Arbor News saying "U-M to Pay $1 Million More for Rodriguez Buyout."


October 28th, 2008 at 2:59 PM ^

While it is amusing that MSU is printing T-shirts for this win, Brian himself printed T-shirts for beating MSU.

Same thing... I find both pretty lame. Their only purpose is to mock another fanbase, so can we really take the high road here?


October 28th, 2008 at 3:49 PM ^

Have we seen the new adidas basketball jerseys?  I'm guessing the answer is no b/c I can't find them online anywhere.  I would appreciate anything anyone knew about them. 


October 28th, 2008 at 7:29 PM ^

it seems that since football is terrible and hockey appears to be less than expected as more and more defenseman crack their skulls, we should be able to expect a final four birth in basketball. right?