Unverified Voracity Triple-Points Epically

Submitted by Brian on April 23rd, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Epic triple point. It happened.


Y'all better get over there.

Hype video. With a historical bent.


The format. The Big Ten announced the first four years of their hockey playoffs will be the single-elimination, neutral-site plan that symbolizes college hockey boldly forging a new path into… oh right, same old stuff.

At least the worst-case scenario was narrowly avoided. The tournament will only be on the far west edge of the conference half the time. The rest of the time it'll be at the Joe, or wherever the Wings happen to be playing.

It will surprise no one that I think this is kind of dumb. The Big Ten is going to get five games in one weekend when they could have set it up to get 10-15 over three. Unless these things are crazy-popular sellouts with separate tickets for each games—and they won't be—the Big Ten's taking in less revenue so they can play fewer games. But high school tournaments are a go, so there's that.

The other format. Teddy Greenstein has some bad news for fans of home games in a college football non-playoff event:

So what is most likely to happen?
Sorry, Big Ten fans, but Delany's "home game" model is on life support. It makes sense in that it would boost the regular season by rewarding the top two in the rankings. And it would eliminate the sham of another LSU-Ohio State national title game in the "neutral" setting of New Orleans.

So what's the problem?
Aside from SEC teams not wanting to play in Ann Arbor or Columbus in late December, it's logistics. Many schools won't have the infrastructure then because they're on holiday break. Stadium size would be an issue with schools such as Cincinnati (35,100), TCU (50,000) and Oregon (53,800). If there's a playoff, officials will want to maximize revenue by selling hospitality and luxury suites. And, besides, most fans love going to bowl games in places like New Orleans and Glendale, Ariz. Delany cited the comfort of the fans when he helped choose a neutral site (Indianapolis) for the Big Ten title game.

"Logistics" is of course a laughable excuse, as is citing Cincinnati's stadium size as a hurdle. Cincinnati? Seriously? But Greenstein is forced to repeat what people tell him, so that's what people are telling him. Woo back to back travel weeks making it even dumber for Big Ten teams.

Crack down. TOC picture-pages one of Michigan State's many, many successful outside overload run plays from last year's game. The motion guy at top of your screen…


…isn't even needed by the end of the play:


As they say in showbusiness, if you want daddy to stop drinking, stop doing that. The first step in doing that is getting those linebackers shifted over to the strength of the formation. Here Hawthorne (near) gets clubbed and Demens (far) has no shot.

More detail at TOC; dealing with these outside runs is priority #2 for Michigan this year. #1 is, of course, not letting two linebackers fly up the middle of the field untouched on 10 snaps.

The AAU deluge begins. In terms of recruiting service rankings, the next three or four months will be more important than any others for Michigan's three 2013 basketball commits, The summer before your senior year is when the pencil of early rankings turns quickly to pen. One of those weird erasable pens, but pen.

MI PG Derrick Walton is off to a good start in Las Vegas. Rivals's Eric Bossi:

Michigan has itself another nice point guard on the way in Derrick Walton. The four star point guard runs his team and has a burst off the dribble that allows him to get into the lane and make plays with regularity. He's also a communicator, plays hard and will ultimately be a very good replacement/complement to Trey Burke.

Dave Telep also chimed in with some Walton praise, adding a similar "no Burke, no problem" view.

As for Donnal, he is also playing at a high level:

Michigan has got themselves a good one in Mark Donnal. The 6-foot-9 big man is a smart and productive player who has a serious competitive streak in him. His footwork is outstanding and he’s a good athlete who can finish through contact.

Scout's Evan Daniels called him "physical and talented" and "much improved" on the twitter. Athleticism is the issue that might keep him from flying up recruiting rankings; in any case he'll be a great fit with Beilein.

Zak Irvin is at the Nike Spring Showdown, where he led his team to a 6-0 record:

The intensity level of play increased when bracket play began on Sunday and Irvin’s play rose to the occasion. He struggled shooting the ball in his first Sunday game, but found other ways to make an impact. He commanded the ball, frequently playing point guard, and he sparked a crucial run by facilitating and getting his teammates easy baskets. With his team facing its only adversity of the tournament against Team D-Rose, Irvin became a better vocal leader. He displayed a calm demeanor and elevated his game as the moment grew.

He didn’t take long to get over his poor shooting performance, scoring a game-high 25 points, leading his team to a one-point overtime victory over the Illinois Wolves later in playoff action. He caught fire and was scoring in a variety of ways – establishing himself as the best player on the floor and everyone in attendance took notice.

Michigan is poking around numerous guys for the 2013 and 2014 classes; UMHoops has the details. Sam Webb has recently mentioned that Michigan continues to look for a grad-year transfer who will be eligible this fall, but no names yet except a guy who decided to stick at Xavier. There is a four year 2012 guy on the radar, though…

imagePossibly not done yet. As broken by Sam Webb($), Michigan is looking at OHIO(!!!) decommit Caris Levert, a rail-thin 6'5" shooting guard who opened up his recruitment in the wake of John Groce's move to Illinios. Levert appears to have had a monster senior year and has multiple Big Ten schools after him now, including Groce's new home at Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, and of course Michigan. Dayton is also in the running.

He saved his best performance for the state playoffs, getting top billing($) in ESPN author John Stovall's evaluation:

Caris Levert (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central)
2012, SG, 6-5, 185 pounds
College: Ohio

He is one of the most improved players in Ohio. He was a 5-9 guard as a freshman and has continued to grow physically and from a talent standpoint. Caris is very good off the dribble, has the ability to create his own shot and has a chance to be a special talent at the next level if he continues to improve.

He was named the JJHuddle player of the year, an award with a damn good track record:

JJHuddle Ohio Player of the Year

Caris Levert (6’4.5/Sr.)- Pickerington Central

*Levert led Pickerington Central to the school’s first boy’s basketball state championship with a 45-40 win over Toledo Whitmer in the Division I title tilt. Levert scored 20 of his team's 45 points in the championship game including 11-straight in a pivotal third period and playing all 32 minutes. The Ohio University commit averaged nearly 19 points per game throughout his outstanding senior campaign. Coming into the year, Levert may not have been a household name, but his name is in the mind’s of many following this past tournament run along with a more than stellar regular season. Levert became the type of player capable of getting a bucket whenever the Tigers needed one. There were less than a handful of players in Ohio capable of doing so and the lengthy bundle of talent was at his best in big games. Levert shot slightly over 53 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range along grabbing 3.4 rebounds and swiping 3.4 steals per contest.

JJHuddle Players of the Year
2012: Caris Levert, Pickerington Central (Ohio)
2011: Trey Burke, Northland (Michigan)
2010: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2009: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2008: William Buford, Toledo Libbey (Ohio State) & B.J. Mullens, Canal Winchester (Ohio State/Charlotte Bobcats)
2007: Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky (Ohio State)

While it's not a great year for Ohio talent—the only OH players in the Rivals 150 are UL commit Terry Rozier (#80) and MSU commit Kenny Kaminski (#113)—he sounds legit. Ohio does have a top 50 junior in OSU commit Marc Loving who Levert beat out.

No idea where he's leaning yet. He is a teammate of Taco Charlton, so Michigan will have a guy in his ear. Obviously they like Levert quite a bit more than new OSU commit Amedeo Della Valle; hopefully Michigan's sudden cancellation of his trip indicates they've got the inside track here. UMHoops has a bit more on Lavert's game plus some 2013 and 2014 notes.

We named the dog Indiana. Nick Baumgardner reveals the source of Spike Albrecht's odd nickname:

"I've been watching Zack Novak play since the first grade," Albrecht recalls. "He was tough back then, too."

No longer a first grader, and no longer the little kid whose obsession with constantly wearing baseball cleats earned him the nickname "Spike," the undersized Indiana-born point guard is ready to do whatever it takes to make an impact in Ann Arbor.

Just like Novak.

Wait… um… math. If Spike Albrecht is currently in fifth grade I think we've got ourselves a steal here.

Transfer restrictions. Michigan has responded to a couple of erroneous assertions that Beilein's restrictions on Evan Smotrycz's transfer were similar to Bo Ryan's:

The spokesman said that when a player opts to transfer from Michigan -- as Smotrycz, Carlton Brundidge and Colton Christian did last month -- it's Beilein's preference that the player not choose a Big Ten school or a program that Michigan has on its schedule over the next two years.

That's his preference.

However, it's not a policy, the spokesman said. And it's not a hard and fast rule.

The spokesman said that should a situation arise where a transfer student shows a strong desire to attend a school Michigan has scheduled down the road, then Beilein would be open to having a discussion about the situation, and would not be absolutely opposed to allowing the transfer to occur before the discussion took place.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten transfer rule has changed. Previously, you could not be on scholarship at all. Now you can, but you lose the year of eligibility you would otherwise retain by not playing. The upshot is anyone who hasn't redshirted has a powerful incentive to transfer out of the conference, but anyone who has may as well go to Purdue or wherever because it doesn't make a difference.

It will still be extremely difficult to get a release to a conference school unless Lloyd Carr thinks you belong at OSU, though. That's one restriction I don't have a problem with. If transferring player X can't find a suitable home outside of his current conference that's more on him than on anyone else.

Etc.: A Lion Eye takes stock of where the Illini sit going into fall in a two-parter considering offense and defense. Offense might have some issues at tackle, where two redshirt sophomores are backed up by redshirt freshman, and running back. Defense seems sunny in places that aren't the secondary. Brandon "hopeful" that band will make it to Dallas, undoubtedly with someone else's money. Andy Staples with this year's edition of "recruiting rankings are valid."

Mike Martin bombs the GERGfense as "backyard defense" and says that Bruce Tall didn't know anything about coaching defensive line. Let's all have arguments about RR again!



April 23rd, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

I was standing right next to GERG before the 2010 Wisconsin game ready to go onto the field for halftime. The man was in a classic crouching pose with his hands on his head. He slowly stood up and asked Roh "Was that power? Are they running power?" Roh nodded. GERG went back to his crouching position and starting breathing through his teeth.

I hope to God he was being sarcastic.


April 23rd, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

Judging by the past BCS crapola decisions, I'm gonna bet on no BCS semi-final home game the day after X-mas and a Monday night championship, a week and a half after New Years, thereby making sure there will be at least 15,000 tickets available for all games on Stubhub for less than half of face value.

His Dudeness

April 23rd, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

RR is who is to blame for everything bad. He is a hitler toilet snake to be sure. Everything he has ever done or ever will do including anything his kids will do is horrible and his life will be remembered for its badness at all things ever.


His Dudeness

April 23rd, 2012 at 8:06 PM ^

Why would I come on here, amass 12K points over 4 years and then call myself a fucking douche fuck guy? That makes no sense. I am just your average mouth breathing Michigan fan who has never been to Ann Arbor and smokes a SHIT TON of meth and has no teeth and loves to win win win. It's all I do. They made a song about it. And all I hate is losing and RR is a loser and loses so much it makes my sack shrink. FUCK YEA!

MI Expat NY

April 23rd, 2012 at 3:30 PM ^

We're eventually going to reach a point at which college sports fans refuse to pay ridiculous amounts of money to travel and watch their teams play, right?  Would even the most batshit crazy SEC fans travel to the SEC-CG in Atlanta, a semi-final in AZ, and a final at the Rose Bowl?


April 23rd, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Europe faces this all the time and it isn't a problem: if you qualify for the round robin stage of the Champions League and your stadium doesn't satisfy minimum specs, you have to find another stadium for your home games. Thun had to play their home games at their main rival's stadium in Bern--I'm sure that's not the only time it's happened but it's the one that comes to mind.

MI Expat NY

April 23rd, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

Considering that the neutral field locations are all smaller than your biggest college football stadiums, the threat of the occasional small stadium seems like a stupid reason to go away from home games.  When Oregon hosts, they'll be offset by at least one or two teams with 100K stadiums.  Ticket sales would be at least a wash as compared to neutral sites.  

I guess I could see havinga 50K cut-off.  The only school I can think of that wouldn't have an easily accessible large stadium would be Boise.  Seattle would be the closest at over 8 hours away.  I bet Boise would live with it.  

French West Indian

April 23rd, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

Reading between the lines, I think the preference for netural fields is to take some of the pressure off of the polls/rankings.   If home-field advantage is a result of how teams shake-out in the final polls, the politicing is going to be absurd. 

It's already bad enough with the present system where the top two teams are voted into the championship game.  But if it gets expanded to 4 (or more teams) and home-field advantage is added to the mix, then the howling & scrutiny over even the smallest slights is going to be unbearable.

Just my 2¢.


April 23rd, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

Whoever greenlighted Boren to OSU, be it Carr or RR or some faceless administrater, they did the right thing.

Michigan walks with the angels on this controversy.


April 23rd, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

Not sure if I'm just missing Brian's joke, but the article is correct. According to the article, Spike "grew up in the same Hoosier State region as Novak" and thus has known him/been watching him for a long time.


April 23rd, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

Answer, very. NO ONE wants to play in the other teams stadium, and it's absolutely no different for Bama up here or us down there. Weather is a stupid excuse. And "fan comfort" is idiotic. The NFL is really suffering when playoiff games are in New England or Pittsburgh in January aren't they? Guh...

Fort Wayne Blue

April 23rd, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Stupid sure.....but there is a HUGE advantage for a cold weather team over a warm weather team in a cold weather open stadium. Look at the Tampa Bay Bucs struggles back in the day coming north. 

I agree its stupid, but the system is built to their advantage, and I doubt they're going to let that change. 


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

Exactly!  That to me is even more reason why we should have home games.  The away team should be uncomfortable!  These things shouldn't be little vacations where the away team fans all show up like it's a bowl game, it should be a legit home game.  Home fans will be plenty comfortable, right in their own stadiums (stadia?).


April 23rd, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

that is MSU WR Cunningham knocking into LB Hawthorne.

reading that little write up is informative as there are a few small nuances to get angles on defenders that make that play work until countess gets around a blocker for a tackle at the 3. for instance, the playside OT pulls around the H-back allowing the H to block down and seal.

that game...


April 23rd, 2012 at 5:23 PM ^

What was interesting to me is just how easy it was for MSU to gain that kind of numerical advantage by bringing one guy in motion.  Curious how Mattison/Hoke would explain it.  Is that on Demens/Kovacs/Hawthorne to make the adjustment on the field?  Were they or the staff just reluctant to make an adjustment that may have defended that particular play better but might also open up the defense on the inside to greater damage? 

It seems like a good chunk of the defense's vulnerability last year came as the result of little linebacker checks/reads like this (thinking of the WLB running across the field to defend a slot against WMU).  I would think these sorts of things are more common in a new system or with new players (Hawthorne/Morgan).  If it is as easy a fix as it sounds like, that should be a nice positive going into next year with so much experience coming back in the back 7, all with another year in the system.


April 23rd, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

Did Gerg every do a press conference when he was at Michigan?  I don't recall ever seeing one...unlike the Mattison ones we get all the time.  How was Gerg allowed to dodge the press like that? 

We basically knew nothing about the man, except his hair, terrible defense...and an old stuffed beaver.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

He did a presser in the off season going into his second year. It's on youtube. And I really got the vibe that he had no idea what he was talking about. Couple that in with how awful the D was, and you get the answer why he didn't do any in season pressers. Calvin never did any either, btw.


April 23rd, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

gatorade girl in practice photo?

hello, my user name is taken from a guy whose career was over prior to your birth. you see, the players used to be able to block kicks and, well tripp was the best at it. impressed?


April 23rd, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

available slot for 2012 instead of banking it for 2013.  We lose 3 contributors from last years team and we are replacing them with 6 guys already (4 new freshmen, plus Bielfeldt and Horford).  Playing time is already going to be tight this year, I wonder how many minutes Levert is likely to see.  Maybe Beilein thinks this kid is better than anyone he could pull from the 2013 group.


April 23rd, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

I'm pretty sure that Burke will be gone after next season regardless.  I think it's the same for THJ because of NBA tendency to downgrade SR heavily.

GRIII has one and done potential and has NBA athleticism to go along with a good jump shot.  McGary could very well jump into NBA if he proves critics wrong.

That's 4 players.  By adding a '12 recruit into the fold would only ease the loss of early defection and will already have a year of JB's system under their belt.  If they lose 4 players and Hatch is reclassified, 5 spots would be open for '13 class.  By adding Levert, it will allevaite the need to find more '13 prospects.

His Dudeness

April 23rd, 2012 at 8:12 PM ^

Put me on record as saying Mitch will not be a one and done. He just doesn't have it yet for that level. If he does end up going pro (and it is a smart decision see: lottery pick) after a year it will be a serious coach-em-up job and I won't even be mad.

GRIII on the other hand might be the most NBA ready prospect we have had in a while. Needs to work his shot into a consistent threat and he is good to go.


April 23rd, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

This whole Bo Ryan thing made me realize Lloyd allowed Boren to transfer to u know who.  I'm glad I saw it referenced here and I never realized it before.  It's just one more reason that as disappointing as the RR era was, Lloyd and Bill Martin were completely incompetent in finding a successor.  It should have been a 2 year plan.  Whoever was going to succeed Lloyd, we should have been recruiting for that system at least a year in advance.  Ok, old news, i'll drop it...


April 23rd, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

This caused me to chuckle and sigh depressingly afteward: "It will still be extremely difficult to get a release to a conference school unless Lloyd Carr thinks you belong at OSU, though."


April 23rd, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

...there will come a day when we experience college football without whispering to ourselves how we are being ripped-off and marginalized to feed the wallets of the BCS/Big-Ten/etc etc fat cats. This will likely come after some sort of federal inquiry/corruption scandal/nuclear holocaust, but it's going to feel so good when it does.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

It's a joke anyone mentioned Cincinnati's stadium, but it's my second favorite place to watch games (to the big house ofcourse) it's so small but your so close to the field, the atmosphere was good when Kelly was here and we we're good, however, we still also sell beer.