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09/13/2018 - 5:49pm What the hell does it take…

What the hell does it take to get a holding call at this point?   I'm serious - is this just against Michigan or have college refs given up calling it?  

Better question - is Michigan's OL not doing enough holding given that it never gets called?

09/12/2018 - 12:15pm Two question ideas:

#1 -…

Two question ideas:

#1 - How much value is there (if any) to the development of the roster that back-ups are able to play at the end of blowout games? 
(Last year there were only scattered drives in which the second string got to play because almost every game was close into the 4th quarter.  Did that inhibit the creation of depth?  Did that delay the maturation of younger players?  Did that cause any players to leave since they weren't getting even scattered playing time?  How much will it help that we've had WMU and probably a couple other opportunities this year?)

#2 - You discover a magic lamp in the diag and the genie grants you three wishes.  Your wishes have to be related to changing three things in the past decade related to the Michigan Offensive Line that would most improve the current state of affairs.  
(Could include recruiting different players, redshirting, coaching, style of play, etc.)

09/06/2018 - 1:00pm A couple of uneducated…

A couple of uneducated thoughts:

  • On the ball where McKeon had to box out to prevent a near interception, was the ball tipped or was Patterson's arm just hit?  If the ball wasn't tipped, then that should have been pass interference, right?  The DB climbs over McKeon's back before the ball arrives.
  • On the INT you gave most of the blame to Higdon, and I agree that he did poorly.  But I think Ruiz needs more of the blame on this one.  It is debatable whether he even needs to step to the right immediately (before checking blitzers).  There are more protectors than rushers to his right and his footwork seems terrible, stumbling off balance as he tries to recover.  
  • On the fumble, WTF was Ruiz doing??  I've never seen an OL chase his defender two spots over on the line.  Even after he biffs handing off to Bredeson he could still amazingly hand off to Runyan and take his guy for this play to work.

Runyan was bad in this game, but Ruiz had a couple of major issues too in my opinion.  

09/02/2018 - 12:27pm I was at the game, here are…

I was at the game, here are my observations:

  • Solomon played in the DT rotation.  Didn't do much like the rest of them, but played.
  • Marshall went to the locker room limping at some point and that's why you didn't see him later.
  • I never saw Bell, but it is possible he was out there on ST or something
  • Gill, Bush, and Uche got a fair amount of PT, Furbush did not.  His only memorable play was getting beat on the pass where Metellus was ejected.
  • I parked next to the Spanellis family and they told us "you'll definitely see him out there for some plays".  I was expecting him as a jumbo TE, but he only played the one snap when Ruiz lost his helmet. 
  • Peters tweaked his knee in practice, but he was out there dressed and warming up.
08/26/2018 - 7:18pm The band will be in ND this…

The band will be in ND this year. 

(Every now and then they go to another place like Northwestern or PSU)

08/22/2018 - 10:25am I think it will be a 2-game…

I think it will be a 2-game suspension for him, the AD will get slapped on the wrist, and some random staffers will be let go.  They don't have the guts to fire him and they know that the PR associated with doing nothing will be brutal.  So two games, he's back for their first meaningful football game.  

I also predict that within 2 hours of whatever announcement comes out that Brett McMurphy will post an interview with the staffer who was reassigned after the encounter with Smith that further adds to the bad PR around this.  

08/21/2018 - 11:11am Unfortunately you're…

Unfortunately you're correctly talking about the pessimistic side of the equation.  In order for 2018 to be better than 2017 you're banking on some combination of the following:

  • OL Coaching staff/strategy is significantly improved/simplified/rational
  • The fact that 7 of the 8 guys contending are returning players and 5 have starting experience helps.  All of them except JBB are still  young and thus should expect improvement with experience.  
  • New strength coach
  • Kugler was part of the problem last year on the interior, which was the biggest part of the issue with drive killing negative plays.  (i.e. it is easier to scheme around your OT getting beat around the edge than it is your interior getting owned)

I think all of those things will help.  But to expect the improvement to be drastic is foolish.  We're hoping for stability and minimizing the drive-killing blunders.  We could run the ball pretty well in 2017 and that should continue.  So if we can just reduce the passing screw ups we'll see benefits.....but we're at least a year away from being "good".  

08/21/2018 - 11:04am I'm curious how you think…

I'm curious how you think Runyan compares to Mason Cole.  Both were not the size you'd want in your OT and both were better suited to the interior.  On the other hand, both were smart players who could play any of the 5 OL positions - which I think is a valuable trait.  Working against Runyan is 2-inches of height and his lack of star rating.  Working in his favor is that he's the son of one of the best OL of all time.  

I personally like that he showed up this year and flat out earned a starting spot with a new coaching staff and with everyone's attention on this position.  Sure, I wish he was 6'7" tall and had a twin who could play the other OT position, but I'm not as terrified as some people are.  

08/16/2018 - 1:25pm My initial thoughts:

My initial thoughts:

  • Surprised no talk of Ambrey on offense
  • If Runyan was really 6'6" wouldn't we be thrilled to have an upper-classman who could play all 5 positions and was the offspring of one of the best OTs in Michigan history holding down the critical LT spot?  Maybe he's Mason Cole 2.0 and if that's true, then maybe the doom isn't as likely as we think.
  • No Watson mentions at CB?
  • Disappointed that McCaffrey seems buried at QB.  I'm highly skeptical that he's actually behind Milton.  
08/12/2018 - 10:43am While I'd bet against a 21…

While I'd bet against a 21 point win, this unpredictability is what makes the UM-ND game special.  Unlike the other rivalry games later in the year, we have no idea what to expect.  

  • There's no preseason to get a read on the teams like the NFL
  • The media has limited access to practice
  • There's a ton of turnover every year in college
  • Both teams usually start with a good ranking....sometimes deserving, sometimes based more on reputation and recruiting rankings
  • Both teams will have a bunch of young players trying to figure things out that early in the season

All of the OPs points about ND are true and could result in a struggle for them.  We can also point to Shea, the coaching changes, experience for the WR and get optimistic.

Or an ND fan can point out that our OL was horrific last year and lost the one good player to the NFL.  And that Hurst is in the NFL.  And that they are at home at night.  

The beauty of the UM-ND game is that anything can happen!  

08/10/2018 - 10:59am I think Johns could play the…

I think Johns could play the 5 for a few minutes in the right situations and be valuable, not a liability.  Jordan Morgan is about the same size.  DJ Wilson was touted for his occasional minutes at the 5 and he was skinny.  Even Nick Ward is only like 6'9".  

But that's not the point - against the Haas, Ward, Happ types of centers you're strategic with the match-ups - you either play Davis for post-defense or you play Johns to draw them away from the hoop since he can shoot from outside.

The thing I suspect will surprise most people about Johns is that he's probably a better 3pt shooter coming in than Livers or Iggy.  

08/07/2018 - 2:54pm I'm still willing to argue…

I'm still willing to argue about the #3:

  • Tripp - I'm not sure if Tripp's stats actually match my memory of him playing from when I was a kid, but I think he was one of the best safeties they ever had and was at least a 3-year starter who also returned punts for two years.  He finished with 227 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and 8 INTs.  
  • Marlin - Was good throughout his career, including as a safety for that one season (or partial season).  I didn't split out his stats.
  • Brown - Was terrible until he found his calling as a hybrid box safety and then he was pretty good - contributed/started for four years.  Finished 186-4-4.  
  • M-Rob - Had his moments but barely played. 

On the other hand....

  • Shazor - had two pretty good years and then flamed out....literally.  Finished with a total of 186-5-4 and was remember equally for big hits and blown deep balls.
  • Dymonte - Played sparingly for three years.  His lone year of contribution was solid and I guess he gets credit for sometimes returning kicks and that one awesome punt block.  Finished 127-1-1.

And with #2, I see your point about it not being just one guy.  But when that guy might be the best player to ever live at his position?  Maybe make an exception....  

08/07/2018 - 1:47pm Sorry, I'm about the same…

Sorry, I'm about the same age as you and when I close my eyes and picture an all time defense it is #3 at Safety (Tripp Welborne) and #2 at Corner (Woodson may be the only one.....but he was the GOAT).  

08/07/2018 - 11:35am It is definitely complicated…

It is definitely complicated when an employer, university, or sports team has to do an independent investigation that doesn't align with the legal system.  But it happens all the time and is their duty to complete.  Osuna got suspended 75 games and Elliot lost most of a season when the legal system hadn't caught up.  

Whether they had to talk to Courtney Smith or not, it didn't take the media long to find out there were NINE reports filed from 2012-2018.  They can quietly not-renew his contract at some point just to avoid having to deal with what was clearly a problem situation.  Urban could pat him on the back, write a nice referral, and get him a job somewhere else - preferably far away from his ex-wife.  

Instead, it looks like they did nothing.  If Urban did report it in the past, then no meaningful action seems to have taken.  I think the actual outcome is that they either completely ignored it and didn't do anything all the way up to another "please don't file charges" scenario like at Florida.  

All that being said, I'm still expecting a short suspension of Meyer and some sort of hand slap to Smith.

08/06/2018 - 2:09pm Today's post at UMHoops is…

Today's post at UMHoops is worth a read for anyone who's a subscriber there - and if you aren't, you should be.  Basically he said similar things to Brian but gets into the future of the class a bit more with names.  Specifically, Michigan is likely done with all of the similar 3.5-4 star guys you've heard about all cycle.  They'll keep the 5-starts and Wagner on the line until the spring when they have a better feel for their ability to find another spot.  He also talks about Beilein following the trend of "positionless basketball".  

08/04/2018 - 8:22am Seth - a few thoughts I…

Seth - a few thoughts I would love to hear your opinion about....

  • What's the deal with Oliver Martin having the same jersey as Shea?  Camp battle to see who keeps it or something more?
  • For all the talk about Higdon getting bigger, he's listed as the same size as Long and Watson. Which of their measurables is the most BS?
  • No mention of walkon QB Sessa and his 6'8" 210 pound frame?
  • I didn't think I would see the day when Bredeson was heavier than JBB.  I am not sure how excited to be about that.
08/01/2018 - 11:24am The AD at Ohio State stuck…

The AD at Ohio State stuck up for Jim Tressel the entire time and has a long history of defending the program against any and all negative events.  The only way firings like this would happen is with significant public out-cry.  None of the OSU fans will call for his firing because they're winning.  Just like no MSU fans called for Izzo or Dantonio because they're winning.  The local media in Ohio goes out of their way to avoid any negative story about OSU so you're not going to get pressure from them.  Thus it falls to the national media or focused me skeptical.  

07/27/2018 - 2:20pm I am a long time fan of the …

I am a long time fan of the #1 jersey despite it's more lack luster recent history.  I am glad you mentioned Butterfield and brief contribution.


I do think you sold McMurtry a little short.  He was more of the primary receiver in his four years, outpacing the yardage of Kolesar, long time NFL guy Chris Calloway, and freshman Desmond.  He wasn't a star, but he was good and hung around the NFL a couple of years.  

07/25/2018 - 3:48pm I think a lot of those…

I think a lot of those Michigan players are going to see their draft position skewed by the group-think in the NFL combined with combine performances.

  • Gary - He'll dominate the combine, has a clear position, and is the right size.  He stays high.
  • Chase - He'll get dinged because he isn't 6'5" and 265 pounds.  Probably stays in the top 3 rounds.
  • Bush - No matter how fast he is or how productive he is I think he slides because of his tiny stature.  
  • Hudson - The NFL didn't know what to do with Jabril Peppers, why do they suddenly know what to do with Hudson?  His size and "Viper" position get lost in the old school group think and he probably falls.
  • Hill/Long - Who knows?  Lewis fell to the third round despite an awesome career/season and was behind a ton of lesser CBs because of his size or speed or not enough INTs.  
  • Shea - It is a horrible year for QBs in the draft so if he has a good season he could easily get over-drafted by an NFL team.  Or he could be back for his last year.
  • Kinnel - Who knows?  A solid year and he's a late round pick since almost every DB under Don Brown has been drafted.
  • Higdon - Mid-round draft pick since the NFL treats RBs as cannon fodder. 
  • Gentry - Could get drafted anywhere based on his unicorn status.  Gesicki went pretty high from PSU.  
  • Any OL - hahahahaha.....we can dream, right?  
07/23/2018 - 5:18pm I have no problem with the…

I have no problem with the kid choosing Stanford.  Losing out to them is different than a kid that says he's serious about school and then goes to Ole Miss or Alabama.  Good luck to him there and I hope David Shaw says a prayer that Harbaugh built that program to where it can attract kids like this.  

My problem is that you don't need to go out and tell everyone you're 100% solid when you're not.  Either be honest or don't say anything - why is flat out lying okay in our culture?  I hope he was up front with the coaches and they with him.  In this case there's no way Harbaugh would have pulled his offer if he came out and said "it is between Michigan and Stanford once I confirm my transcripts with both schools."  

Maybe that's a pipe dream - but why come out and say that he's solid to Michigan?  It won't actually calm the rumors or chatter and now he looks like someone who's word can't be trusted.  Oh well - I like our DEs just fine even without him.  


07/17/2018 - 5:48pm My wishlist for the next…

My wishlist for the next round of improvements:

  1. Get rid of the "recent post" items in the header.  They take up too much room, they are redundant to recent posts below, and they're horrible for mobile.  The idea is okay, but just turn them into a list somewhere - not a huge picture.
  2. Fix "the jump".  When we get into UFRs or in-season posts that are large, clicking on the jump should take you where you were, not having to rescroll and find it.  What's the point of calling it "a jump" at that point?  Might as well just post headlines on the front page with a brief description rather than a portion of the article - maybe that's the compromise.
  3. Improve the mobile experience.  Doesn't have to be an app (though I loved it).  But I want to see and have access to posts without multiple clicks and lots of scrolling.  

I know most people will add things about comments and voting - which I'd support.  But my consumption of MGoBlog doesn't require those to be enjoyable as much as the way in which it is consumed.  

I'm glad the site is evolving and I will be patient.....while visiting less often for now. 

07/17/2018 - 5:42pm I'm trying to reserve…

I'm trying to reserve judgment until I see how the site responds to Football season and whether improvements are made over time.  This is always a slow period and I really don't want to be a "get off my lawn" old I'll keep an open mind for now.

With that said, I definitely visit less.  With the old site I could see whether there was new content immediately on my PC or Mobile.  Now it takes multiple clicks and scrolling with either platform, so I take those steps less often.  I think the amount of user content has decreased and that plays a role too.  Maybe those won't matter come August....


07/09/2018 - 5:36pm Didn't David Cone transfer…

Didn't David Cone transfer to Iowa for his last year?  He may have been a 4th year, but he still transferred. 

07/09/2018 - 9:26am I was wondering if Zak Irvin…

I was wondering if Zak Irvin found his way on to anyone's roster.  I'm a little surprised that Levert is on a summer league team given how much he played last year.  

07/05/2018 - 11:14am This will be the most…

This will be the most fascinating aspect of the offense next year.  How well does the ball-screen offense work when neither the PG or C is an effective outside shooter?  

I guess Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan were effective together.  But this will be an interesting off-season for Beilein to tinker with offense given that he has so few proven shooters on the court.  (Meanwhile they're drooling over this potential defense....)

06/22/2018 - 1:11pm While first round picks are…

While first round picks are the appropriate focus here, we shouldn't forget that Morris and GR3 both carved out decent NBA careers being early second round picks.  McGary falling from grace and Stauskas never being a contributor are the saddest part of the list.

I think Matthews gets drafted somewhere next year.  No clue about Poole.  I love the guys and have high hopes for him, but geez are we setting expectations high for a guy who was a minimal rotation player.  He has a long way to go and will get every chance....but it will be okay if he's just "good" and not "Stauskas 2.0".  


06/22/2018 - 1:09pm While first round picks are…

While first round picks are the appropriate focus here, we shouldn't forget that Morris and GR3 both carved out decent NBA careers being early second round picks.  McGary falling from grace and Stauskas never being a contributor are the saddest part of the list.

I think Matthews gets drafted somewhere next year.  No clue about Poole.  I love the guys and have high hopes for him, but geez are we setting expectations high for a guy who was a minimal rotation player.  He has a long way to go and will get every chance....but it will be okay if he's just "good" and not "Stauskas 2.0".  


05/03/2018 - 2:05pm Ryan Shazier

I'm surprised no one pointed out the lunacy that is the NFL celebrating the INSPIRATIONAL STORY of Ryan Shazier at the NFL Draft while treating Hurst like he has the plague.  Shazier was a perfectly healthy, young, dominant player who nearly died on the field last year and we're celebrating openly that he can almost walk 50-feet to the podium.  

I hope Shazier fully recovers and lives a long, normal life with or without football in it (preferably getting to see OSU lose to Michigan every year).  I also applaud his efforts to date in his recovery.  But the NFL trotting him out there as some sort of PR stunt about inspiration is just bad.  Your sport maimed him on national television, nearly paralyzed him, and could have killed him.  Congrats on almost learning how to walk again!  

I think NFL Group Think affected Hurst, but there clearly is some risk associated with drafting him.  I personally think the Raiders made smart decision to bring him in, spend time with medical experts, and determine his future.  They're not locked into a contract with him at this point and he has data from two top hospitals and four years of film suggesting this isn't a death sentence.  

04/27/2018 - 7:01pm Both?

We use Sam's due to location and have been happy. But we have some friends that use Costco and sometimes the wives will go to the other store with each other to take advantage of the benefits of both.

04/22/2018 - 8:19pm Fun young players

The goal for the season is to find a handful of young players that can be part of the future.  There are some names so far this season that are trending in the right direction, but too early to know yet.  But it has been better than expected - especially if you flip that opening day game to a win without the weird replay.  

04/19/2018 - 2:14pm Fun to argue which is our best recruit

For all the past complaints about Beilein recruiting, I love reading this comments with everyone throwing out which top-100 recruit is going to be the best or which is the most under-rated.  

This is the most complete, deepest, most talented class Beilein has ever had.  He recruited an entire starting 5 that would rival any past recruiting class at Michigan other that the two from the early 90s.  And that's not even factoring in that Beilein is excellent at developing talent - especially those prospects in that 50-150 range of ratings.  

  1. DeJulius - Late surge as a senior could only improve his ranking so much for a 6'1" guard.  Good news is that we don't need him to run the team right away with Z and Brooks around.  
  2. Nunez - Older player with limited athleticism but his best skill fits with exactly what Beilein wants - shooting.  Ranking doesn't matter as much, though it should be remembered if he doesn't play a lot early in his career.
  3. Iggy - One of the best pure scorers we've ever recruited.  His age, size, and position mean that he should be ready to contribute immediately.
  4. Johns - The highest rated recruit to some sites but overlooked by many fans.  
  5. Castleton - Maybe the highest ceiling of anyone on the list.

Side note - here's an interesting history of MIchigan's top recruits since 2000 from 247.  Does humble you to think about the few misses in Beilein's past (Smotrycz, Chatman, Brundidge, etc.)


04/18/2018 - 3:42pm Purdue example

I like your thinking on Purdue having a great offense with Haas - worth discussing.  My worry is that Purdue surrounded him with 4 great shooters and Michigan  And as much as we all love Poole, he shot 36%, not 42%.  It is also a lot easier to sag off one shooter than it is four like Purdue had.  

Less important, but worth mentioning is that Purdue utilized an inside-out offense frequently where they would throw it to Hass, force a double, and find the open man.  Michigan is not going to post up anyone to initiate offense - including Teske.  I think Teske would thrive with a tall ball-screen PG like Morris or Stauskas.  Maybe they can work some Poole/Teske pick-and-roll.  

04/18/2018 - 3:39pm Comments, not post

I saw the 30mpg in the comments, not the original post.  It usually comes in conjunction with "Davis is barely going to play and will get passed by Castleton".  

04/18/2018 - 2:34pm Bigs....

Lots of good stuff here, but need to correct a few thoughts:

  1. Even the best Beilein bigs don't play 30mpg like some project for Teske.  Not McGary either year (19-Fr, 24-So), not Morgan even when he was clearly the best option (max of 24.4mpg), not Wagner (26mpg last year), and not all the mediocre guys along the way.  Teske is also bigger than all of those guys.  Pencil him in for 25mpg.
  2. Freshmen bigs usually suck.  McGary struggled throughout his freshmen year until the end when he took off.  Wagner and Wilson couldn't even see the floor.  Teske looked lost last season.  Morgan was mediocre out of necessity in his REDSHIRT freshman year.  Castleton looks great....but expecting a lot from him next year is foolish.  
  3. Beilein hates mistakes.  One of the reasons that Morgan played so much despite his limitations was because he didn't screw up.  Wagner, Wilson, Donnal, Doyle, Horford, and even McGary were frequently in and out of the lineup throughout their careers because of mistakes.  One of the big advantages Davis will have initially is that he's been in the program two years and doesn't ever try to do too much.  


04/18/2018 - 12:56pm Small Ball

I think you're going to see ~5mpg with Johns or Livers playing the 5 against smaller teams in an effort to generate more offense and spread the floor for guys like Iggy, Poole, etc. to attack.  I think Johns will see the floor quickest as a platoon with Davis for those 10-15 minutes backing up Teske.  

04/17/2018 - 1:36pm OL

To me this entire post and the entire season still centers around the mess at OL....even though I liked hearing the other bits. My take on your takes:

  • QB - Patterson if he's eligible, but Peters still a contender.  Both need help to succeed and both will have limitations.
  • RB - Potential to be amazing with a little OL/QB help.
  • WR - Saying all the right things.  I assume Perry has been hurt?  He's the one guy you could count on to catch what was thrown to him and that's a skill needed in the rotation.  Crawford is a decent piece for depth but didn't bring any one skill to the table that stood out so far.  McDoom brings one skill to the table....but it doesn't involve running a route or catching a pass so it is hard to fit him into the mix.  
  • TE - Use them effectively as part of a balanced offense....and don't hand the ball to them.  
  • OL - I agree with your take on the letter grades.  This is a position group where you always want to have solid depth and competition in the spring.  But this still reeks of "we have no true tackle on the roster".  If JBB or Runyan lock down RT then I feel "okay" with that.  They're fine.  But it is hard to see upside or more than a C+/B- there.  If they lost the job to Filiaga then you worry about freshmen mistakes but are dreaming of the upside that comes with youth.  At LT we're either putting in an "ok RT", we're hoping for the converted DT to be good as a RS-FR, or we're hoping for a medical miracle with Newsome.  I think the odds of any of those happening are low enough for the coaches to consider JBB a contentender there because he's a known commodity.  
04/16/2018 - 2:54pm Livers

I was very high on Livers before last season because he fit the 4 position so well for Beilein.  This time last year we heard about Poole, Matthews, Robinson, etc. but there was healthy skepticism (even from Ace & Brian) about Livers ability to have an immediate impact.  

Then he comes out and struggles mightily from three, going 4-for-17 to start the season.  Then he goes 16-for-his-next-29 from three and rips the starting job away from Robinson.  Then he finishes 2-12.  So who is he? 

Someone who can defend well, rebound, and hit corner 3s is going to be a stud at the PF spot for Beilein.  Livers showed that for about a third of the season and will get every minute he can handle if he can do just those things whether he creates for himself or not.  But the problem is the other two thirds of the season.  

I like Livers a lot and he'll get every chance to own the 4 spot next season.  I actually see the roster makeup driving Iggy to start and Livers come off the bench, similar to what happened this year with Livers/Robinson.  This season they started Rahk and Wagner so having Livers' D and intangibles worked as a starter with Duncan giving the bench spark.  Next year they need scoring to start (Iggy) and Livers can bring the stability to the bench unit.  Just my theory for mid-season.  

04/14/2018 - 6:47pm Iggy...due to position

I am excited for all of them and think DDJ will play plenty of minutes backing up Z and Poole.

But my answer is Iggy. the team will be lacking offense and will also need diversity at forward. I think there will be 10 minutes backing up Mathews and maybe 20 splitting with Livers. While I like Johns, I think the scoring and maturity Iggy brings will earn him the biggest role and most immediate impact.

04/14/2018 - 8:57am Livers hype

I have high hopes for Livers.  I was always hyping him up in the comments last summer when I didn't think Ace and Brian were talking about him enough.  I would argue he's the best true Beilein-4 recruit depending on how you compare him to DJ and Kam as recruits.  

I thiink Livers was good on D, he avoiding any bad mistakes, he rebounded pretty well, and he did a lot of the hustle stuff you want from a role player.  But he needs to step up and show more next year.  His shot was broken to start the year and to end the year and that's critical for a 3&D guy.  

The reason I think Iggy is going to take his starting spot is less about Livers and more about roster management.  Z, Matthews, and Teske are not shooters.  I think if you put Iggy on the floor with them, even if he plays the 15mpg that Livers did this season, helps you get some floor spacing out there.  Then when you need some stability, defense, or size you bring in Livers.  

I would also like to see LIvers work on that small-ball-5 role since I think they will want that for a few minutes per game.

04/13/2018 - 5:59pm Brooks vs. DDJ

I think your take is very fair.  The sophomore leap for Beilein PGs is working heavily in Brooks favor.  I think Beilein will trust him a lot more too.  DDJ may come in with a bit of Poole swagger to him that will take time to endear itself to Beilein.  

I think Brooks still has untapped potential and could easily work into those 10-20 minutes at the 1&2 spots.  However, I think what Michigan will be searching for most often next year is offense and specifically outside shooting.  The reason I think Iggy will start over Livers is because I think they want to mix offense/defense more in the starting lineup.  That's the same reason why I could see DDJ getting some minutes in a 2-PG lineup because he can light it up.  Brooks hasn't shown that in high school much or college ever.  

I think it will play out like this year.  Brooks gets a lot of back-up PG minutes to start the season and maybe a few at SG since he knows the system and won't make a lot of mistakes.  But if he doesn't hit shots or initiate offense you'll see the door open for DDJ.  If he's as good as we think, he'll serve the Freshman-Walton role of "park in the corner, nail 3s, be a secondary ball-handler as needed."  

04/13/2018 - 5:55pm Johns is a wildcard

I think Johns/Livers is going to be interesting.  I think they are somewhat similar so they will fight for minutes.  Both are very talented and may be primed for more minutes than you think.  Livers clearly has the edge being a sophomore, but he didn't really show anything that cements him into 20-30 minutes.  I think he'll probably get those minutes, split time with Iggy, and then Johns will be that "extra big" role at the 4 or 5 when we need it for ~5-8 minutes here and there.  

04/13/2018 - 2:08pm DeJulius / Nunez / Iggy / Brooks

This past season when Matthews would have one of his bad moments during games and came out of the lineup, it was POOLE who replaced him.  The option of doing that next year still exists for the 10 or so minutes Matthews will need to rest.  For that reason, I think there are a bunch of minutes available at the 2 & 3 for whichever guy (DDJ, Nunez, Iggy, Brooks) shows they deserved them.  

My current prediction is that Iggy wins the starting PF job to get more offense into the starting lineup and Livers turns into an energy guy off the bench.  I also think that DeJulius and his shooting + ball handling are going to earn minutes.  So my prediction is this:

  1. Simpson (30), DeJulius (10), Brooks (as needed)
  2. Poole (25), DeJulius (10), Brooks/Nunez (as needed)
  3. Matthews (30), Poole (5), Iggy (5)
  4. Iggy (15), Livers (15), Johns (10)
  5. Teske (25), Davis (10), Livers (5)


04/12/2018 - 1:04pm Not really....

Actually, under Beilein his established starters (especially guys returning) often play more than 30 minutes unless they're a center.  Typically centers, even the best ones, top out around 25.  Mo last year, despite being our best player, hit about 26.  

To be fair, you're right that I don't think Beilein has ever had this much depth before.  Rarely has he filled all 13 scholarships and this will be his most talented recruiting class at Michigan.  So maybe things will change.  But even Izzo doesn't play more than 10 guys regularly an Beilein historically has limited minutes to freshmen.  So I expect a 9-man rotation with the 10-12 guys getting the <5mpg you saw Watson/Davis get this year.  

Anyone who thinks Teske is playing 30mpg is probably crazy because rarely do centers do that since they get tired faster, they pick up fouls more often, etc.  That's why I see Teske at 25mpg, Davis at 10mpg, and a small-ball option like Livers/Johns/Castleton at 5mpg.  

04/11/2018 - 9:06pm Minutes battle...

I think there's a scenario that Brian didn't mention.  Poole was the primary back-up to Mathews at the 3 this season and I think he could play a few minutes at that spot next year too.  I think it is safe to pencil in the following:

  1. Simpson - 30mpg
  2. Poole - 30mpg (unless he spends 5 at the SF position)
  3. Matthews - 30mpg
  4. Livers - 20mpg
  5. Teske - 25mpg

So I think the freshmen plus Brooks are going to have a battle for the following:

  • There are 10-25 minutes available at the PG/SG positions that DeJulius, Brooks, and Nunez can fight for.
  • There are 20-30 minutes available for Iggy/Johns/Livers/Watson to fight over at the SF/PF position.  
  • I don't see Teske playing more than 25mpg next year, which even Mo barely surpassed this year.  That leaves 15mpg for either a traditional center like Davis to take or maybe they play small-ball to get more offense with Livers or Johns playing 5-10mpg.  

I'm still not sure if Castleton will redshirt or not, but even though the main rotation will not get above 9 guys I think there are minutes to be had out there.  

04/10/2018 - 7:27pm But I will play along....

I think Mo is gone, I think Charles might submit his name but think he will stay (even if GR3 is an interesting comparison), I think Davis and Brooks stay to try and beat the freshmen for PT, and I think Watson is your wildcard. If he is on track to graduate early he might look to find a small school with playing time.

04/10/2018 - 7:24pm Premature reaction

This sounds highly unconfirmed at the moment. With all the freshmen signed and no obvious roster spot I think this is at worst just Beilein kicking the tires on an emergency plan. Combine the lack of a roster spot, this kid being a decent but not great shooter and the recent struggles of Simmons fitting in the rotation despite a lot more success at a higher level and I don't think anything comes of this.

04/10/2018 - 6:08pm OL response...

From my viewing last year I thought Onwenu was as good or better than Ruiz and I struggled to grasp why he lost his job to him.  Neither were perfect for sure, but I thought Ruiz made just as many mental/youth errors and yet Onwenu is still not locked in at starter.  Maybe that's a credit to the depth on the interior OL or maybe it is pass-pro.  

As to your comment about RS-FR tackles, I was surprised about the shortness of that list.  Jon Jansen played 50 games in 4 years, though at Right Tackle.  I couldn't find Jon Runyan Sr.'s stats, but he was a beast too.  I guess my memory of Michigan's OL of yore didn't really include 2nd year players because there were always strong upper classmen ahead of them.  

04/04/2018 - 6:35pm Z starts

anyone who thinks a true freshman point guard in a John beilein offense is going to replace the incumbent starter who just let us to a national title game is crazy. As much as I like the future with DDJ, this is Simpson's team. We were a bubble team until he took control of the starting spot and took us to the title game.

but the good news for you fans of the new recruits or haters of Simpsons flaws is that I believe there are 25 minutes per game available to the winner of the Brooks/ DeJulius/Nunez competition. (10 at PG, 15 at SG). I think DDJ is going to get a majority of those minutes because of his offense just in the way that Spike always had a role on the team despite playing behind Burke or Walton.

04/04/2018 - 2:34pm Brooks/DDJ/Nunez battle for 2-guard

Lots to respond to here:

  • Highly unlikely that Z gets above 35% or develops a pull-up shot, but reasonable to say he could get into the 30-35% and hit those wide open shots he's going to get like he did early in the year.  
  • I think it will help Z in all phases of his game to play closer to 27-30 minutes.  He expends so much energy on D and the offense relies so much on the PG that it is hard to do both.  So I think there's some PT available.
  • Beilein always likes to have his SG initiate offense and help break the press.  Rahk actually did a lot of that this year.  Who besides Poole can play SG minutes next year?  Watson is more of a 3-and-D wing.  So even if our dreams come true and Poole makes a huge leap, we need minutes backing him up.  Likewise, Poole can back-up Mathews at the 3 as well.  So I think DDJ, Brooks, and Nunez are going to battle for those 20-25 minutes in the rotation.  
  • Brooks didn't show me much this year that gets me excited about his ceiling, but I think he can be a reliable role player.  Unlike Z, however, I think Brooks can become a reliable outside shooter and hit ~38% of his 3s.  
  • DDJ looks like a stud and I think they could play him in a freshman-Walton role at times.  
  • Nunez will likely be a good shooter and that's what the team needs, but I don't know the he brings enough other traits to the table to break through as a freshman. 
03/23/2018 - 8:55am Mark Titus interviews CJ

Here is a fun clip of The Ringer's Mark Titus (former manager/walk-on at OSU) interviewing CJ after the game:…