Unverified Voracity Threatens You About Jenga

Submitted by Brian on March 24th, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Stuff for a good cause. The UM Alumni Club of DC has an annual auction to raise money for the scholarships they endow. It's going on now, and includes things like signed Jake Long and Denard Robinson NFL jerseys, tickets to various games next year, and Michigan jenga. 100% of proceeds help kids go to M. Bid on everything.

Except the jenga. I will cut you if you try to take it from me.


[Bryan Fuller]

Exit the one thing I liked. I liked the "Legends" jerseys for the most part. Having a QB wearing 98 was unique, and Michigan does not have much recognition of the guys who have had jerseys retired. While yanking numbers around annually was a bit much, I thought it was a nice reminder of those who had gone before. No more?

I understand that we are going to discard many Brady Hoke staples with prejudice. Incessant second and eleven: seeya. Touching your armpits after observing another sack: GTFO. Allowing 400 passing yards to Rutgers: toodleoo. But in this one case I feel we may be throwing the staple out with the staplewater.

Also heavily rumored. Michigan may be rejoining the ranks of the bestickered helmets.


I'm in the middle here. I like throwback stuff; I like clean, simple stuff. I would prefer helmet stickers made occasional re-appearances for uniformz games, but that's not really how helmet stickers work.

Swat swat swat swat swat. If you follow me on twitter you know the existence of the UC Irvine Anteaters was killing me as they pushed Louisville to the limit in their first-round tourney outing. Irvine has a 6'8" guy… and two 6'10" guys… and a 7'2" guy… and a 7'6" guy. As someone who has pined for a rim protector ever since it became clear Michigan basketball was going to have a really good offense even if their center's game is limited to finishing around the hoop, I was having tiny little conniption fit about a tiny school that had never been to the tournament grabbing enormous people left and right.

Anyway, long story short Jon Teske is tall and alters shots:

Michigan pledge Jon Teske scored 12 points and blocked six shots in the loss, but had a much greater impact than the numbers might indicate.
Though he was credited for only six blocks, the seven-footer (Rivals.com's No. 96 junion nationally) altered at least a dozen shots near the rim with his ridiculous wingspan and was whistled for two fouls on which it appeared he had all ball.

The first two of those were against Esa Ahmad, a WVU-bound forward who Michigan recruited for a minute several months ago. Teske's currently enduring the usual crazy zone defenses that high school teams deploy when facing someone of his size, and he is a young guy who's still growing. Whatever he's going to be is still a long way off—hopefully that includes college-level rim protection duties.

If it isn't broke but could use some improvement, add gradually. Doesn't have the ring of "if it isn't broke, break it" but has the salutary benefit of applying to Michigan football instead of disruptive "sharing economy" Silicon Valley startups. And it's what DJ Durkin is doing to the defense:

"I wouldn't say we're doing 'most' of either (scheme), if there's a defense that fits a scheme and it exposes something with the offense, we'll play it," senior linebacker Joe Bolden said earlier this spring. "Some plays we'll be in 3-4, another we'll be in 4-3. Just depends on personnel, what the other team runs. The scouting reports in the fall will determine what we play. And, if we're playing a 3-4 better, why would we do a 4-3? And just the same the other way.

"I really don't think it's that hard to grasp, personally."

Michigan's defense won't be exactly the same next season, but it won't be drastically different either. More importantly for Durkin, though, the experience level is high.

And again it's what Michigan is going to try to do with that alignment that matters.

Neither option is good here. Funchess revealed that he had a boo-boo last year:

So either that happened when he was inexplicably playing in garbage time or had already happened by the time he was inexplicably playing in garbage time.

I mean, come on. I'd like to see the NCAA burn as much as the next guy but this is laying it on a little thick:

Khari Harding transferred from Auburn to Tulsa to be closer to his ailing father and maximize his dad’s chances to watch him play live next fall.

Under a new NCAA amendment ratified this week, the latter apparently won’t be possible. The NCAA eliminated immediate eligibility hardship waivers for Football Bowl Subdivision transfers.

The rule change is effective immediately, so it doesn’t matter that Harding — whose father Corie is battling cancer for a second time — has been taking classes at Tulsa for two months before the amendment was ratified.

Surely the ability to go to school for free in immediate proximity to your dad so you can see him all the time is the important thing here, not the fact that your football career is going to be delayed by a year. You could argue that the redshirt is actually a benefit.

Andy Staples disagrees with the above paragraph and proposes one weird trick for transfer rules that would handle cases like this by devolving the responsibility to people a bit less bureaucratic. In bullets:

1. Schools may not prevent athletes from transferring to another school and receiving financial aid.
2. The player must sit out the following season. (With only one possible exception.)
3. The athletic director at the previous school signs a form allowing the transferring player to play immediately.

I'd be fine with that. The NCAA couldn't do anything to prevent conference rules from kicking in further restrictions (IIRC the SEC does not allow grad transfers between its institutions; the Big Ten has some restrictions that may or may not apply to Jake Rudock), so if you are concerned about the dread specter of Smotrycz proliferation don't be.

Big Puppy, NBA edition. Just a matter of time before he has his own t-shirts and line of dog food and possibly several different breeds of dog all competing to be renamed McGary:

3. Mitch McGary Running

It’s like the Kramer painting: You can’t look away.

Look at all that churning effort, the weirdly stiff arms and hands, the eager glance backward that says, “Please pass me the ball, I’m open, I’m running really fast, so fast, like the wind, am I going to get the ball?” He’s like a dog looking for a Frisbee.

Jokes aside, big men who run the floor suck in defenders and open up shots for teammates. Good on the rookie for playing out the ball.

Yes, he's a purebred McGary. He generates possessions and feels at an elite level.

NO I WILL NEVER GET OVER IT STOP ASKING. Why has Al Borges never recruited a quarterback who could be considered successful*? Well, it may have something to do with his long-time association with Steve Clarkson, who seems to have fobbed off all his lower-level prospects on mister gullible. This Steve Clarkson as portrayed in Bruce Feldman's "The QB" and reviewed by Spencer Hall:

3. Dilfer's just one of the QB whisperers profiled, a group of guys who all come across with drastically different results. George Whitfield, the man on ESPN chasing guys around with a broom, comes off as half-cracked, but still seemingly legit. The guy who pronounced Tim Tebow's throwing motion to be fixed after three months or so of work, Tom House, might be the biggest beneficiary here: a flaky ex-pitcher with piles of data, a messy office to match, and a stellar roster of clients who quietly swear by him. In contrast, Steve Clarkson, the man who brought Jimmy Clausen to the world, comes off as a money-hoovering huckster prone to announcing any client as "the next [STAR QB GOES HERE]" if given enough cash. Feldman doesn't even have to try, really. You just write down Clarkson's quotes and they do their own work.

Clausen was actually pretty good, if not at all deserving of his hype level. The other guys…

*["successful" is here short for "was the clear starter for his team as an upperclassman."

I only kind of hate Wisconsin basketball. I apologize to that one guy whose entire question to me was a statement about said hatred, but Wisconsin is so fascinated by the NCAA stenographer that Nigel Hayes is answering questions like this:


I didn't know you had to capitalize xylophone. But that's why I'm not a stenographer.

Anyway, I still hate that they get away with the Wisconsin Chest Bump all the dang time but I have always coveted their bigs and I find them relatively tolerable when Michigan is not playing them. This has been a difficult confession. Share yours in the comments!

Etc.: Yes, please. Stopping taxpayer money from being spent on stadiums should be a bipartisan thing right? Jim Boeheim is just kind of this dude who doesn't like NCAA rules. Gasaway on the SCORING CRISIS. Relevant to our current situation: the rise of the vagabond QB. Congrats to Carol Hutchins on her 1400th win, a 20-0(!) bombing of OSU.

When I weep on national television I only get scorn.


Sextus Empiricus

March 24th, 2015 at 11:18 AM ^

The campus is fun.  The students and fans are great.  I'm glad to see them succeed if it is not at Michigan's expense.  Unfortunately some of the success is a problem.  It sure would be nice to get a Diamond Stone or JJ Watt and let the Badger wither.

Cali Wolverine

March 24th, 2015 at 12:23 PM ^

...if I did not get into Michigan and wanted to go to another BIG school...Wisconsin was it. The problem with Wisconsin is all of my Wisconsin friends went to Wisconsin because they didn't get into Michigan. So while they are not a rival like Ohio State or Michigan State...they all have a huge inferiority complex and think Wisconsin academics and sports are just as good if not better than Michigan.

Bando Calrissian

March 24th, 2015 at 11:20 AM ^

I can think of no less than ten times during my MMB career that what happened to this poor Nova girl thankfully didn't happen to me. 

Though I would have taken a trip to the Fallon show and some TSwizzle tickets.

Blue and Joe

March 24th, 2015 at 11:22 AM ^

I was not a fan of legends jerseys. Puts pressure on the kids, and prevents them from making their own numbers "legendary."

Helmet stickers can be cool if done right. The stickers from Jim's era are big and ugly. You've already got the most iconic football helmet design. If you're going to add stickers they should be small and subtle.


March 24th, 2015 at 12:13 PM ^

Legends jerseys were a great idea and what they represented was cool.  When Desmond Howard was on the field before UTL being honored with his Legends jersey, the stadium was just going crazy and it was a special moment.

I don't think it panned out very well, and I think the idea could have been executed somewhat better, but I loved the way it started out.

the real hail_yes

March 24th, 2015 at 12:15 PM ^

when Funchess decided to drop his... maybe thats not a big deal, but to me it indicated that the kids might not be into it. IDK...

I agree with a lot of people that the helmets look better without the stickers, but damn, they're pretty fun... maybe the players can accumulate stickers that dwell on a practice helmet and then come out for a night game or the OSU game or something. Do they even have practice helmets?


March 24th, 2015 at 12:29 PM ^

If you're going to add helmet stickers, doesn't making them small and subtle sort of defeat the point?  The whole idea is to make it a very visibile recognition of their achievements, and not some sort of afterthought.

But tell me, what is the appropriate size for a helmet sticker anyway?  For example, are Desmond Howard's stickers too big, too small or "just right"?  


Blue and Joe

March 24th, 2015 at 2:06 PM ^

The stickers on Desmond's helmet are really big. They look even bigger than the buckeye stickers, and those are the iconic part of OSU's helmets. The iconic part of Michigan's helmet is the wings.

I hate to use MSU as an example, but their stickers are nicely sized. You can see them when the camera is up close on a player, but from a distance it doesn't take away from the main logo. Small Block M's would work nicely.

EDIT: I made my own.

Wolverine 73

March 24th, 2015 at 1:17 PM ^

I think your point about putting unnecessary pressure on the kids is a good one.  New players also should have a chance to become "legends" by making their own numbers famous as a result of their perfromances.  Additionally, failure to perform up to legends standards in a legends jersey makes the whole concept seem a little odd.  This is no knock on Devin Gardner, who played with a lot of heart in a dog's breakfast of an offense, but seeing him in Tom Harmon's jersey suggested "this is what passes for Tom Harmon in today's Michigan." 


March 24th, 2015 at 3:31 PM ^

When they were first introduced my read of this blog was that Brian didn't like them.  Mainly because it takes away from ever making another number famous.  That's where it got me as well.  

A good solution might be to keep the patches, but let the kid keep their own number.  The patch represents the legend and the current player has a chance to make their own number famous.


March 25th, 2015 at 1:39 AM ^

Those didn't work out too well.

Obviously, retiring numbers leads to a point where you just have to stop, or run out of numbers.  Players would have to start wearing letters, or perhaps decimal places would be allowed... 98.1, 98.2

Legends jerseys are the opposite of retiring jerseys... I'm amazed Brian liked these because if there's one thing that epitomized teh Brandon era and 'Branding' Michigan, it's the Legends jerseys.  Piped in nostalgia.

I'm glad to see that's gone... let the kids earn laurels for their own numbers.  If only Devin could have stayed Seven, maybe he would have somehow been immune to the year by year decline.

Sure, put banners up, hang jerseys or just know that a few numbers are special and try to give them to the guys that

  • want them
  • have a shot at deserving them

Good bye legends jerseys!  Woooo!

Oh yeah.. and I like helmet stickers given I really arrived into my Michigan fandom in the 80's, but smaller might be better.


March 24th, 2015 at 11:22 AM ^

would be for legends jersey's to make a one game yearly appearance of some kind.  I really like the idea of honoring our past that way but I really want to see the new kids get a chance to be legends themselves with their own numbers.



Wisconsin basketball is just winning basketball.  The Bennett (elder Bennett) coaching tree is nutso and everyone that plays that style, as nauseating as it can be, wins at every level.


March 24th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

What is preventing a player wearing a Legends jersey becoming a legend themselves?  Why do they have to wear a non-legends number to become legendary?  

Say, for example, Brian Cole, were to swtich from his current #81 to #21 (a legends jersey) or even #1 (a non-legends jersey) and end up being Michigan's leading WR in terms of yardage by his career's end or was a multiple All-American or even won the Heisman Trophy.  Would he be any less of a legendary player because of the number swtich?

It'd be a nice problem for Michigan to have and I rather suspect most fans won't really get hung up on the number itself. 

Bando Calrissian

March 24th, 2015 at 11:25 AM ^

I think what drives me crazy about Wisconsin is just how efficient they are. They don't miss. They don't foul.* They're a foot taller, a step quicker, and you're not getting the ball past the perimeter.

It's annoying. And Bo Ryan is a dick. But you gotta respect just how well it works.


March 24th, 2015 at 2:53 PM ^

I hate Bo Ryan with the fire of a thousand suns for precisely this reason. Does anyone remember last season when GR3 (I think it was him) landed on his head because a Wisconsin player undercut him? 

Ryan teaches a style of play that, apart from being difficult to watch, exploits the shitty officiating of college basketball in a way that can be unsafe for players on the other team. 


March 24th, 2015 at 1:59 PM ^

Just curious why Bo Ryan is considered "a dick"?  Serious question.

I dont see him constantly whine like the "legend" in our state.  He scowls and seems gruff - is that bad? Or did I miss a lot of evil things he has done.  I remember an interview last year when they made the Final 4 and he revealed a soft side.  He is old school and I like old school. 

Unlike Sparty and Buckeyes I can't manufacture hate for teams like Wisconsin or Nebraska.  Wisconsin in particular is a very good academic institution and the football program was built from the ground up by Alvarez in a place that doesnt have many advantages.  And now the school is even putting pressure on the football program by being serious about academic entrance.  Sparty took a high level DT from Wisconsin in the 14 class who was having trouble getting into Wisconsin - so they are serioous about it.

Not sure how one can really hate on them - they have been much more successful then us (football) the past 15 years despite all the advantages UM has, and they dont recruit in the same pool so I just tip my hat to them... and would like to quickly get to (at least) their level.  And yes I guess if they were an hour away I'd have a different view.


March 24th, 2015 at 11:46 AM ^

would probably feel differently if they were 45 minutes down I-96, especially about Bo.

Would love to see the return of Beilein's high-level recruiting. Would even moreso like to see consistency in getting more legitimate (read: tall) bigs (like Teske) into the program.

Did a little back-of-the-envelope analysis a few weeks back and saw the the top 10 ranked schools had front lines that rarely had more than one guy under 6-8. LOTS of 6-11/6-9/6-8 front lines. Maybe a couple had a third guard, but the trend was the old 3 forwards or 2 forwards and a center. My point is you need bigs to win in March. Still wincing from watching our guys try and touch rebounds against Arizona two years in a row.


March 24th, 2015 at 1:57 PM ^

Mitch was the only true high level recruit who was "star" level when Beilein got in.  GR3 was a 3/4 star type who blossomed late.  Zak Irvin the same. 

Burke? His only Big 10 offer was PSU.  Nik was a top 100 type player but more of a Youtube sensation. He and Valentine were similar ranked.

Chatman was relatively well thought of early so ironically might be in the top 3 in terms of "big recruits" in the Beilein era, despite early results.  His HS path was probably similar to Irvin.

UM was not in the limelight then when we grabbed those players so at that point Beilein was recruiting on par with what Michigan was as a bball program.  Now we should be recruiting "better" in terms of getting in on more of the top guys.  And I dont  mean the top 15 which is basically going to be a Duke v Kansas v Kentucky thing but a lot more guys in the 25 to 50 spot should  be seriously considering Michigan.  And I get that bball recruiting is more of a 4 year affair then football which is 2+ish but the window should now be open for players who 3-4 years ago saw big success from UM.


I also share Brian's concern about lack of athleticism (not size per se) up front, and have stated it for 2 years and everyone just yells "Beilen knows!"  But Beilein has been trying to recruit elite big men --so obviously he wants them too, despite Beilein "knowing" . Having a plethora of future NBA wings and guards can cover up the lack of big men but we dont usually have 3-4 future NBA guys in the starting lineup at once including a national player of the year.  And even that group of guys had an elite big man for 1 of our 2 runs.  So the people dismissing the need for size/ability inside because of recent past success needs to look at the entire context.

Like Brian says even if you miss out on a high 4 star big man I dont get why we are not going and just getting "athletic" size.  We have size with the Doyle Donnal Horford Morgan types but these are not the jumping jack athletes.  We already have enough offense out of the 1-4 position on a typical Michigan team.   If you miss out on an offensive minded 5, plan B should be to find a Udoh type.  And yes I realize Udoh went to the NBA but I am talking 17 year old Udoh who was just a raw jumping jack.  Hopefully Teske + DJ Wilson begin to turn that tide but when these teams in non power 5s have this type of player it boggles me we don't.  He can be a bad shooter - all that guy needs to do is clean up the misses of the 1s thru 4s and should get 8 pts a night from that along with his 8 rebounds and 1+ block.  And most importanty make opposing teams THINK before they go down the lane.


March 24th, 2015 at 1:10 PM ^

Regarding height: There's lots of ways to skin a cat. UConn was 6-0, 6-1, 6-6, 6-7 and 6-9 last year.

I hate seeing us crushed on the boards too, but I don't think we can expect Beilein to just deploy a traditional lineup and get the same offensive results he has in the past, plus more rebounding. His system is all about spreading the floor. Playing a 4 who isn't at least a threat from outside defeats what he's trying to do.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


March 24th, 2015 at 2:11 PM ^

Chatman on paper is exactly the type of 4 you would want, save for about 15 lbs underweight.  He rebounds pretty well.  Right now that is about the only part of his game he is average at, in the college game.

On paper he was supposed to be a good facilitator and shooter.  So far he has not been.  But in a theoretical sense he is the 4 you want. 

Syracuse had a guy at 4 before he went down with injury who would be perfect for UM  - Chris McCullough.  6'10 220 lb jumping jack with nice scoring touch- 7 rbs a game, 2 blocks a game as a true freshman - he was #19 on rivals and neither Duke or Kentucky recruited him. Chatman was something like #25.

With the Michigan 4 being an inside/outside guy more than most teams it is that much more important our 5 is a dominant physical specimen IMO.  Because he is going to be working alone a lot more on theoffensive glass than for most programs.  And with our emphasis on offensive players in general at 1-4, most of those guys are not well known for being good defenders.  So puts more pressure on the 5 - again.

And I dont think Beilein is against this - he stated as much after the UK game.  He said we need to change and we need to get guys who play "above the rim" up front.  But we just havent gotten the fish we have gone after.



March 24th, 2015 at 11:57 AM ^

I'm older than BC.  I was bummed when they took away the stickers but have come to like the cleaner look with the helmets.

I like the idea from Blue in East Lansing and a caller on WTKA to do legends jerseys one game a year; the latter suggested homecoming.  But, now that the ADept has done this, you gotta replace it with something.

Personally, I'd like some sort of ring of honor or something inside the bowl.  I like how it makes you feel like the ghosts are still there and working for the team.  Hate to say it, but it definitely works in Ohio Stadium.

All that said, I'm not throwing a coniption on any of this.  Do what ya gotta do JH.


March 24th, 2015 at 12:31 PM ^

The thing about the stickers is that everyone's doing them now.  I get that Bo did it, but in 2015 it feels more like chasing.

Not a fan of the jerseys either; it honors the past at the expense of giving the players a chance to build their own legacies.  And when they don't play up to expectations, it's an invitation to attack them.  I liked Kovacs as #32.  Because he was making that number mean something to me.  The job with #11 was already done.  As for the practicality of bringing back numbers, I'm not in favor of retiring numbers in the first place.  We only have two digits to work with and 85 roster spots FFS.  Maybe in basketball but for football it was never a good idea.

Neither are huge changes to me, though.  Just opinions and I'll watch either way.  Just play ball, yo.


March 24th, 2015 at 2:28 PM ^

But I bet they said the same thing to the first guy who said put numbers on the jerseys, or wings and stripes on helmets.

Both O's and 0's wouldn't be allowed due to confusion, just like with license plates. I'd scrap Z's since they look like 2's, but #ZZ would be awesome.


March 24th, 2015 at 12:19 PM ^

Pro leagues basically extort cities for money or pit neighboring towns against each other to fund their businesses.

It's quite outrageous to me really. These filthy, filthy rich franchies are demanding money from the cities they are in, many of which are cutting back on educational budgets, law enforcement budgets, etc. so their companies can stay a little richer.


March 24th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

Even though he's been out of a job for almost half a year, you still can't give David Brandon a single compliment for doing something that you actually liked, i.e., the legends jersey.  I don't think the first association most people who read ths blog make about them is that they were a "Brady Hoke staple".  Instead, they'd point fingers (or shake pitchforks) in Brandon's direction as someone who misaligned Michigan tradition or onlly did something to make a buck, etc.

Happily, I agree with you that I liked the introduction of the Legends jerseys.  It was a unique way to reintroduce numbers to the team that had long been off the field while recognizing some of the true greats who wore the uniform.  It was certainly different that the traditional methods you see, i.e., some gaudy ring of honor painted on the press box or a gaggle of statues littering the grounds around a stadium.  It also thought it was pretty neat to see modern day players identify with their predecessors who also wore the M ring.

It'll be interesting to see to what extent Michigan goes to regarding not only the Michigan Legends jerseys, but the entire "program".  Is UM going to tear out the Legends jersey lockers at Michigan Stadium?  Is the athletic depeatment going to take down the pictures and signage at Schembechler Hall?  Are they going to do something else to honor Charles Woodson when he retires from the NFL as UM's third Heisman Trophy winner--or do they take a pass on that?  Will the jersey numbers be allowed to remain in circulation?  What sort of communication will the athletic department have with the families, etc. of the honored players when they tell them the Legends jerseys are no longer going to be in place anymore?

I'd also be curious to hear the rationale for discontinuing the practice.  Harbaugh isn't shy about competition or making sure the individual players stand when it comes to even the smallest thing at practice and on the field.  That would certainly be a reason for why he would reinstate the helmet stickets.

So why in his mind doesn't it make sense to give the best tight end #87?  Why would Harbaugh be against awarding the two best linebackers #47 and #48?  Although #2 isn't a Legends jersey, it's certainly used unofficially for recruiting purposes (or perhaps not under Harbaugh).  The #1 jersey for the best WR started before the Legends jersey program--is that to be discontinued as well (along with #21)?  What about #11 and old '98?  Will those two numbers be put back into some dark equipment room somewhere?

Whenever this issue comes up, I read where people find objection to players changing numbers during their careers.  Somehow, I think the fact that Brady Pallante and Chase Winovich getting different numbers going into this season (along with a possible position change) really doesn't get them worked up.

Folks also seem to be worried that players should be given the opportunity to be unique or earn that number.  Well, these guys could have said no (although it probably would have been hard for Gardner to say no to wearing #98), but to me, it'd be a very nice problem to have if Jake Butt switched from #88 to #87 and turned into the next Ron Kramer.  And if he didn't, then so what?  No harm done--and a new generation of fans would get to know a little bit more about one of Michigan's legendary football players.