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Date Title Body
10/11/2016 - 4:56pm Any of M's assistants?

If Brian's coaching landscape outlook holds true, I wonder which of M's assistants will get some serious looks? I guess Drevno and Fisch would be slight possibilities, with others either aged out or still a step or two away from programs at those levels.

08/05/2016 - 11:49pm Steve Wiltfong isn't Asian.

Steve Wiltfong isn't Asian. Google image search says so. Is he the same guy who likes Fallout 4 and darts? Does he play Pokemon Go?

08/29/2015 - 11:49am I can rarely get WTKA podcast

I can rarely get WTKA podcast to download correctly through the iTunes MgoBlog podcast feed (the regular MGoBlog podcasts work fine).  It will often work days later, but almost never on the day it appears and for a couple days following.

05/15/2015 - 3:48pm Trouble downloading?

Anyone else having trouble downloading these through iTunes the past couple weeks?

05/08/2015 - 2:17pm Catching = awareness > hands

I've heard Brian mention the catching issue a lot and his skepticism for improvement.  I think a large element of catching the basketball, especially on quick actions like cuts or rolls to the basket, or fast breaks (ie. not a simple post-up), has more to do with catching up to the speed of the game and anticipation.  The gaps close faster, the speed of the game is quicker, and the point guards are seeing the action open up with even greater anticipation.

It's similar to a receiver in football coming out of his cut to see the ball already there.  It's more about anticipating the play and having your hands ready than any physical talent.  In that regard, I do think there is a good chance Doyle's hands improve significantly over the offseason (of course, some guys just have stone hands).

04/10/2014 - 3:55pm Maybe

I do think he would have gotten more than token playing time.  McGary's sample size for controlling his fouling is small (NCAA tourney), and young big men (Donnal, the incoming freshmen) tend to foul a lot and have trouble staying on the court.  I think the downgrade from Horford to the incoming freshmen will actually prove to be a significant deal (unless GRIII returns plays 4 again, another assumption).  Horford was a good rebounder (when not out of position having to help a la Kentucky) and while not a true rim protector did a decent job of challenging.  Bielfeldt is around but tends to get punished on the boards due to his lack of height (not lack of effort).

04/10/2014 - 3:40pm Will be missed

Best of luck to him in the next journey.  His maturity and leadership is going to be sorely missed.  I'm surprised along with everyone and was looking forward to seeing him be a valuable piece next season.

01/13/2014 - 2:42pm Nuss vs. expected So-Jr improvement?

It would be informative to see what these numbers mean in the context of average expected So-Jr improvement as a starter, as Ace acknowledges.  I think we can assume he would do well in that metric, but it might put things in better perspective.  I can't help but feel that the general tenor of attributing a lot of these QB improvements mostly to Nuss may be overly optimistic.  I seem to be a lot more ambivlanet about the hire compared to most.  However, I definitely agree that the lack of progression with Robinson and Gardner (statistically) is telling.  My exceitement comes more from the standpoint that an improvement in this coaching position from setting historically bad records up to at least sufficient is plenty of reason enough for excitement.

Now if only there was an easy fix for the O-line...

03/26/2013 - 10:12am Yes clearly the football

Yes clearly the football analogy was a stretch, just trying to find an example that wasn't Beilien related.

I just find it frustrating that sometimes Michigan fans fall into our own stereotype of looking down our noses at other programs.  Some of it is good natured obviously, but some of it isn't, and it's the attitude that "Minny is Minny" that is kind of annoying.

People have been saying that about our basketball program for the past two decades until Beilien finally turned it around.

03/25/2013 - 5:36pm Just remember that Michigan

Just remember that Michigan was not (maybe even is not yet, although we're certainly on the rise) considered part of the elite blueblood of college basketball either (historically,  MSU and Indiana as far as Big Ten goes).  In fact, Minnesota's arc is not necessarily all that much different than our's.  They had their only recent success before the past few years wiped out by sanctions in the late '90's only to recently start to regain some prominance.  I don't know enough about Minnesota to know if this is a good firing but if I remember there were people who  thought Beilien was not the answer after Ohio last year (a ridiculous assertion even at the time, mostly recognized as such by the people here).

I guess, as some people have pointed out, the question is whether this is an Amaker fork for Minnesota or a Beilien fork?

03/25/2013 - 5:13pm I see your point.  Certainly

I see your point.  Certainly your example is not a double standard.  I'm assuming here that the people who are outspoken in either case (firing a coach/player too early vs. too late) are the same people.  In other words, one can't argue so strongly for showing a coach or player loyalty and giving them the benefit of the doubt by keeping them too long while at the same time showing disdain if after an extension they then underperform.  It becomes revisionist.  In any case those don't tend to be the more reflective people anyways, and probably doesn't represent most of the people on MGoBlog.

I suppose this is now pretty far off topic.  I think it's good practice to self-evaluate every once in a while though, and I feel like sometimes it's as if we never learned anything from the whole Carr-Rodriguez-Hoke transitions in terms of philosophy towards coach firings/hirings.

03/25/2013 - 4:08pm I assume there are an awful

I assume there are an awful lot of Minnesota fans who aren't on the "push Tubby out" bandwagon either.  The comparison was a stretch but I was trying to make a point that sometimes us Michigan fans are a little quick to judge others.

The larger point is that there is a bit of a double standard in that GM's or AD's are criticized when a coach or player withers before our eyes because they've held on to them too long; then the same criticism happens when they try to be ahead of the curve and part ways too early attempting to jump the gun.  The general retention philosphy in coaching in general is completely absurd and as I alluded to I'm not really in favor of this move either (ie. having only 2 or 3 years to "turn it around").  But I don't think Minnesota should be blamed for trying to be better than medicore...

03/25/2013 - 1:24pm Hypocritical?

Everyone calling this shocking is also coming from the same group of fans who decided it was time to move on from Lloyd Carr.  Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it was time to move on.  What happened afterwards is a whole other discussion.  But to think like an AD's mindset and look at purely the decision itself, if a program wants to be elite should it settle for above average or good?  It took us a while to get (back) to where we wanted to be, but perhaps this is similarly Minnesota's time to roll the dice.

I agree the move seems short sighted now.  But I can also see the viewpoint of needing to take a chance to move forward.  I assume Tubby will find another job quickly because he's certainly no bum.

Anyone who does their job and is happy with "good enough" probably shouldn't be doing their job anymore anyways, so everyone who is saying Minny should just be happy sounds pretty elitist and condescending.

02/28/2013 - 12:13am Lesson learned

I know it's been said before and has been a reason (excuse?) given a few times the past couple of months, but let's not forget that Michigan relies heavily on its freshman.  Even when freshmen are 1-and-done guys they often lack the reaction time it takes to compete at the D1 level.  It's clear that there's a lot of reacting going on and especially on defense it seems like everyone is always a step or two slow on their rotations (not to mention on-ball defense).  A lot of us excused the past couple of months because of the tough competition but it's time for them to really committ on defense and hopefully the pick and roll defense will become more instinctual for the younger guys.

I'm sure the team is frustrated and angry and let's hope they can channel that into investing for MSU and bringing it for the full 40 minutes on both sides of the floor.  Let's also not forget to enjoy watching Trey Burke in what is likely his last season at Michigan.

02/05/2013 - 8:49am The on-ball defense has

The on-ball defense has drastically improved over the past few years.  Whether that's due to athelticism or coaching maybe is hard to tease out.  But you're definitely correct.  Against most teams they play, even statistically mediocre ones, it's painfully obvious how slow Michigan is on their rotations, especially off pick and roll.  Teams in the NBA do this flawlessly and it's easy to take it for granted.  Michigan was almost a full pass behind for most of the first half.  And it's not just Indiana because this has been happening against a lot of B1G teams.

02/04/2013 - 7:12pm MSU?

Did you see MSU and their gold shoes?  That was awful.  Shoes matter, sometimes.  I bet these will look a lot better in person than TV though, without all the glare.

02/04/2013 - 7:11pm Block M, black socks

Especially because the jerseys and shoes are the same color!

Whatever your opinion of the Fab Five, this remains the best style, hands down.

02/04/2013 - 5:56pm Swallowing the whistle; Zeller Oreb


A pet peeve of mine (both as an ex-athlete and a fan) is ref inconsistency, especially at the end of games.  Officials can’t be perfect, that’s understandable, so the next best thing is for them to be consistent over the entire course of the game.

(Forgive me if the details are little off, couldn’t pinpoint the sequence on ESPN’s play-by-play). 

One huge play in the Indiana game was the obvious foul on Cody Zeller’s offensive rebound in the final minutes when he chased a long rebound near the sideline.  It was a great effort but he tackled two Michigan players (Stauskas and one more I can’t remember) who were several steps ahead of him and clearly had position on the loose ball, blocking Zeller’s angle.  The no-call resulted in Indiana getting a fresh 35, which I believe was followed by a score.  I think Michigan was down 6 during the play in question and if they get the ball back they can make it a one-possession game.  Instead the lead is now 8 with only a few minutes left.  This gets called 90% of the time during the first 35-38 minutes of the game, so why is it all of a sudden “okay” for the last couple?  “Let the players play” and “they’re not going to call that at the end of the game” yeah yeah, but all that means is, we’re just going to have a massive shift in rule interpretation only at the end of the game and after an unknown amount of time has passed.

Don’t get me wrong, Indiana outplayed Michigan and deserved that win.  But these kinds of situations happen all the time and potentially have huge implications (see: Crabtree endzone no-call in the Super Bowl – in that case it’s probably the correct call which gets wrongly called in regulation all the time).

End whining.  Sorry.  Beat OSU.

01/16/2013 - 11:14am 74-70 M wins

go blue! offense back on track, up slightly at halftime, Minny makes a run and its close till the end.

01/12/2013 - 10:51am Yes, if anyone comes across

Yes, if anyone comes across an official report please post it.  A brief Google didn't turn anything up, and I am told that the 'Cuse message boards don't have anything regarding Wheatley, either.

I guess we can safely file this under just a rumor, for now.

01/12/2013 - 10:36am As a native Western New

As a native Western New Yorker I can say that the folks in Buffalo are pretty disappointed that they got Marrone instead of one of the bigger name coaches.  However, if they followed Michigan like we did during the end of the RR era I think they'd realize that taking over after a GERG-induced crater at SU and turning it into a respectable squad that quickly is a pretty significant accomplishment.  Great to see Wheatley get a shot in the NFL and work with 2 great RB's.

01/11/2013 - 4:45pm Nice New Column

This is definitely a nice feature to have.  Thanks, Ace.

I agree that this isn't a magic cure to stop Michigan's pick and roll offense, and in fact I don't think other teams will try to utilize this strategy.  In the first video, it actually looks like more of a mistake as McGary's man is caught out of position after Hardaway's down screen.  Hardaway gets bumped off his cut back to the wing and actually ends up too far to the middle of the court rather than set up on the wing, but it ends up working out as he takes what is essentially a long handoff from Burke and gets into the lane.

This is basically how teams try to play someone like Rondo, who isn't a great outside shooter and who's offense predicates on penetration.  It tends not to work because Rondo is exceptionally quick and all this strategy does is give him a couple steps to get into the defender who is now on his heels.  If teams continue to do this, Burke can do that to some extent and should be able to hit that pull-up with consistency.

The best a defense can do with Burke is take advantage of his small size and hedge hard to get a temporary trap or get him off the 3 point line.  It hasn't been working as well this year because Burke has gotten even better than last year at keeping his dribble in this situation and more importantly maintaining his depth on the court (which keeps the passing lanes more in play).  Michigan also has guys who can handle it a bit better than last year and can better take advantage decisively off the first pass.  Last year, Burke would get rid of it in these situations and often M wasn't able to take advantage of the recovering defense.

It's going to be an exciting year and everyone should step back and appreciate the best player in college basketball right now being our point guard.