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Date Title Body
07/14/2018 - 9:05am Good call Brian on the…

Good call Brian on the Travis Beckum/Erick All comparison.  Very similar athletes.

03/05/2018 - 7:06pm Great Stuff Brian

Letting your inner Thomas Pynchon out a bit; was cackling at work and people thought I was crazy.

02/27/2018 - 8:34pm Good Stuff Ace

Like the Bradley Beal compare. Not quite as athletic, but a very similar game.

02/23/2018 - 12:57pm Really good catch and

Insightful stuff; I'll definitely be watching for it next game.

01/31/2018 - 7:04pm My Mother was

an Alum and father went to Wayne St., so was indoctrinated early.  I was a military brat who spent his HS days near Dayton Oh.  Easily the only kid in my HS who was a UM fan.  Come senior year, was accepted at UM, but decided to go to UK. One of the bigger regrets I have (though my parents saved a bunch since UK's out of state tuition was half of UM's at the time.

01/17/2018 - 12:02am Nice Post

We won't know about the '18 class for a couple of years, but I suspect we're in for some really good times ahead.

01/03/2018 - 5:33pm Ace

Iowa has some talent; Bohannon is a quality point guard and Cook is obviously a beast.  I don't think they'll contend this year due to youth, but they won't be a bottom tier team either.

Re: Livers, most impressive thing to me were the 3 assists.

11/10/2017 - 10:55am Ibi

Looked more comfortable on offense, but on defense he's still a major work in progress.   He routinely had trouble staying in front of people off the drive and picked up several bad fouls due to poor positioning and technique.  

Interesting that Poole, who has a more polished skill set, appears to be way behind Ibi; defense and learning the offense?

11/07/2017 - 5:45pm Tillman

Hudson has no responsibilities?  Tillman should be launched into the sun.

10/03/2017 - 7:40pm He was recruited

because he can flat out shoot the rock. He has a nearly flawless stroke (great lift, high/quick release, consistent follow-through and mechanics).  As Ace mentioned, he also looks like a pretty good athlete.  In addition, he moves very well without the ball and understands spacing on the floor - all things which have high appeal to our beloved coach.

I think his floor is probably Sophomore Duncan Robinson, but he has a lot more upside as he's  a much better athlete.  The comparisons to high school THJ aren't just recruiting hyperbole; there's some similarity in their game.

May not be a difference-maker, but I think he'll be a solid contributor over the course of his career.  

09/26/2017 - 6:50pm He fits in so well to this offense

it's ridiculous.  He can attack off the dribble, you can use him on pick and roll or you can even use him on the high post.  In addition, he's a plus rebounder.  

Most impactful recruit they've had since Mitch McGary.

09/26/2017 - 6:47pm His NBA equivalent is

a taller version of fellow countryman Sarunas Marciulionis.

09/23/2017 - 9:15am 98 He reminds me more of a taller

Sarunas Marciulionis, another Lithuanian. Has a much more physical and well rounded game than Nik did coming out of HS.

09/23/2017 - 9:11am Absolutely agree Mich Teacher

Absolutely tremendous get!!!!  Arguably the biggest recruit since McGary - kid is a stud!  His skillset is tailor made for JB's offense and he'll be a match-up nightmare from day one. 

09/22/2017 - 2:16pm Iggy

Haven't seen him in person, but can't believe he's not rated a bit higher.  Very very rare to see a big with his skills.  He'll be a match-up nightmare in JB's offense if they get him.  Reminds me very much of a taller Sarunas Marciulionis.

08/21/2017 - 6:05pm Tell us how you feel

Mike (LOL).  While it's clearly a message to his position group, you could also tell from his body language that he's frustrated with their progression.

08/06/2017 - 3:11pm Reminds me of a young

Reggie White; not as freakishly athletic, but very strong and extremely good at holding the point of attack and disengaging to make plays.  Granted they are highlights and not game clips, but never got washed out of a play in 9 minutes of his Hudl film.  IMO, his best position on D will eventually be 3-tech.  He's going to easily add another 25-30 lbs and will only get stronger. Great great pick-up who compliments Herron's skills extremely well.

08/02/2017 - 8:42pm I'm not buying

That Vandy is a bottom ten power 5 school.  

07/14/2017 - 3:08pm A 3-4 DE is basically

a DT with 2-gap responsibility, so I don't think 3-tech will be much of a transition for him; he's used to lining up in the 3 gap.

I like the Alan Branch comparison better; Branch was ranked higher, but they're almost the same size and play very similarly.  Also think he has a bit more quick twitch than Henry and could possibly even play SDE for some snaps like Branch did.

Lastly, agree with Brandon that his technique is actually pretty good; he's gotten some good coaching from somewhere.

07/03/2017 - 5:02pm If JB wants a shooting guard in this class

Locke is the only viable candidate IMO.  I hope UM gets him; guys that can shoot like him don't come around that often.  Plus he's versatile enough to play on the ball some in JB's offense, he's comfortable in the P&R, and he plays bigger than his 6'2" height.

Tyson is a more versatile/athletic version of Duncan Robinson, e.g. a 3; Love Iggy's game (he's already got a B1G ready frame and tons of game), but his best position is the 3 IMO.  Hunter's a point forward all the way who'd be best at the 4 position.

06/29/2017 - 5:31pm Battier

Isn't a horrible comparison, similar no-frill games and physiqes; Johns is a bit taller and Battier is a bit quicker.  Guy who really reminds me of Battier is Brian Bowen (sigh).

Excellent pick up.  He still has a lot of room to grow in his game; the raw material is there to get much better and he's a pretty damn good player right now.

03/20/2017 - 12:48pm Regarding Recruiting Rankings

DJ Wilson was a 4* and fringe top 100 player.  In addition, if Wagner had played prep ball in the US, I suspect he would have been ranked similarly to to DJ if not slightly higher.

Not that it matters; what's important is that JB saw two players who fit well into his system and could be developed.

03/17/2017 - 5:33pm Oklahoma State

Had 30 more points in the paint, shot 55% from the field,had 17 assists to only 10 turnovers, and lost; let that one sink in for a bit.

If that team is a 10 seed, I'll eat my hat.

02/21/2017 - 6:12pm Nice Mailbag Ace

Agree with just about everything you had to say.  

One thing which doesn't get discussed is that Irvin has not let his offensive issue dictate his defense.  He's turned into a plus on-ball defender and can cover 3 different positions.  He struggled a bit in the Minnie game, but that wasn't what cost them.

I'll go one further with the second question; I think they'll be a significantly better defensive team next year.  Coaching transitions take at least a year to sink in, and this is no exception.  The team will have had a full year and two offseasons to incorporate Donlon's scheme.  Matthews and Simpson are plus defenders and I believe Wagner and Wilson will take the next step (Wagner already has the make-up of an excellent defensive player, just needs to get a bit stronger). 

01/24/2017 - 5:58pm Dude

Northwestern hoops has not been remotely as bad as Rutgers over the last 15 years.  They've had some solid teams under Carmody, some of which were close to making the tournament.  They struggled a bit the last couple of years due to some injury issues, but they have always been fairly competitive.

12/29/2016 - 3:24pm Really solid article Adam

Nice work.

11/04/2016 - 9:00pm Delano Hill

Other than the horse crap retaliation call for being punched, he had a damn good game.  He saved their bacon on at least two plays where the defense completely broke down and was one of the few in the back 7 to tackle well all afternoon.  Coverage was solid as well.

11/04/2016 - 7:16pm Um...

Why would "Hill's loping through the secondary after a trap, several times" make me cackle with knowing glee?  I'm missing something here.

10/27/2016 - 5:55pm That looks

Freakin' awesome; going to try it this weekend.  Had a similar dish at a resort on the north shore (Turtle Bay?) and it was to die for.

10/24/2016 - 10:07pm The question is:

What will evil genius Harbaugh's constraint play(s) be for the offset draw; you know it's in the playbook.

10/24/2016 - 6:49pm Unless he has the frame

to add a ton of weight, given his propensity to rush the pass (and the other DE's in the class) have to believe he's being recruited as a SAM.  Good pickup IMO.

10/21/2016 - 6:27pm Agree

The Ed Muransky segment deserves in the MGoBlog HOF.

10/18/2016 - 9:55pm Excellent Interview

with Dietch.

10/14/2016 - 6:04pm Yes, but

Xavier isn't coming off double hip surgeries; I'm looking for wood to knock on, but losing him would be an unlikely occurence.  Simpson was comfortably in the concensus top 100; consistent outside shooting and size were concerns, but game management and defense are strengths.  No knock on Andrew Dakich, but do you really think he's going to perform better than X?

Without Caris et al, UM made the tourney.  Injured players not factored into the analysis.  JB has a very good track record of player development; odds are that this will be a better team this year.

10/14/2016 - 5:30pm I'll try to put this diplomatically

For someone who covers the team, the analysis is a bit thin, and while this site loves them some analytics (lies, damn lies, and statistics), I expected a bit deeper dive than their stats from last year.  You have 5 starters returning, one of whom was playing coming off an injury and three being first year starters.  At the very least, you figure there will be incremental improvement.

They lose basically all their 3 depth, but so what? That's more than compensated by actually having a backup point guard who also has a reputation as a tenacious defender.  This is a HUGE differentiator; UM overplayed Walton to the point of exhaustion last year, and when he got into foul trouble, UM had a walk-on to back him up.  JB's already hinted that we'll likely see some 2 PG sets, so in spite of his hand wringing about the freshman learning curve, I have to believe he likes what he's seeing from the X-man.  At least a 1 game conference swing IMO.

Moe Wagner is IMO the X-factor for the season and was hardly mentioned.  Kid has a big upside and if he can learn better defensive technique, he'll give the team some serious juice in post playmaking ability as well as defensive/offensive rebounding.  His development IMO is a 2-3 game conference swing.  We'll see you it plays out.

They also have 2 new assistants, one with a well earned reputation for teaching defense; like you, I'm in wait and see mode here.  Generally, those cultural changes take a year or two to sink in.

You don't fight new wars with the last war's tactics, but generally that's what most preseason predictions are based on.  I get that.  I think this team has more ceiling than you're giving them credit for.  (FWIW - I think Illinois will be much better as well.)

Bottom line: conference is weaker (or at least less experienced) than last year and I expect UM to have a minimum of 2 and up to 4 game swing in their record from last year.  That should give them a fighter's chance for the conference title and put them comfortably in the tourney.  In 4 months, I may be getting hit by a lot of rotten tomatoes, but that's how I see it.

09/08/2016 - 7:04pm On last defensive scheme

Cover zero?

08/06/2016 - 9:46am Dr Mantis

MCL was my guess as well; they generally don't require surgery, just rest and rehab.

07/16/2016 - 11:27am Brian's thoughts

pretty much mirror mine.  Very good size, quickness, vision, balance and speed.  Lot of upside.

The only thing I saw which was somewhat worrisome:  he has a slight case of Derrick Green disease; he goes down too easily when getting tackled low in space.  Don't think it's a balance issue, but getting bigger/stronger in the legs/lower body will be a priority; coaching will help there as well.

As far as the UA game; not sure any RB would have performed that well against team Highlight's front 7; they were flat out beasts.

I like the Zeke Elliot comparison; a less beefy Clarett works as well (there's a reason the OSU faithful were a bit salty; he would have been a great fit in their spread power run attack).  I'll be suprised if he's not a productive back for UM.

07/14/2016 - 7:26pm I loved Floyd as a player

but he didn't have the vision of Davis; BJ Askew is probably a better comparison, though BJ had better wheels.  BJ was a tailback forced to play FB; don't think that will be the case with Kingston.

05/31/2016 - 6:41pm Interesting on Lund

Perhaps insurance in case he's not accepted at Stanford?

04/19/2016 - 4:13pm Poole

Has a chance to be special.

03/08/2016 - 5:33pm Highly recommend

You break the post game analysis players of the game into two parts:

1) Offense: Friend and trusted agent; and 

2) Defense: Dude

02/11/2016 - 6:47pm Clear to me

That JB has put a bug in RAAK's ear to be more agressive, not only in getting to the rim, but firing an open shot.  No surprise, they need him to do that.  

What's a bit surprising is he is starting to deliver on a consistent basis.  He's always been a great finisher; now that he's knocking down open shots, he'll have a lot of opportunity to keep driving.

Next step is finding open post ups and cutters.

02/06/2016 - 9:36am MSU's ball screen offense

sounds eerily familiar.

02/01/2016 - 6:40pm With all respect to Zach Novak and GRIII

Agree that Irvin is the best 4 he's had.  Guy has evolved into a 5 tool player to coin a baseball term.

01/25/2016 - 5:58pm The Willie Henry comparison

Is spot on; same physical attributes and abilities, same deficiencies in technique.  Hopefully he works out as well for the good guys and himself.

01/17/2016 - 10:52am Uthoff a power forward?

More of a stretch 4 or point forward IMO.

Going to be tough sledding.  Guards have to stay out of foul trouble.

12/31/2015 - 12:02pm I was just considering whether to smoke

a Brisket or Prime Rib this morning and voila!!  

12/02/2015 - 6:46pm If Durkin's gone

Then the buck position may be a non-factor.  The two skinny DE's in this year's class may end up as strong side linebackers.

11/14/2015 - 10:25am Good to hear you're feeling better Ace

It's a journey, not a race.