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Date Title Body
12/04/2013 - 10:17pm I think the majority of

I think the majority of people calling for Spike to start is because he runs the offense much more smoothly than Walton.  One of the biggest problems in our losses is how sleepy our offense looks in the first half.  After that, we're fighting from behind the entire game and it puts more pressure on our scorers.

If we were to start Spike, we might be risking some defensive collapses early, but it may get us in rhythm enough to jump out ahead and actually dictate the game.  

I like Walton playing more minutes though.  He just needs more time to get comfortable on offense.

12/04/2013 - 10:08pm I can't disagree with a lot

I can't disagree with a lot that's been said here.  After eight games we look like a B1G bubble team a la Minnesota or Illinois last year.  Just too many problems and too many questions after a decent sample size.  

They very much have the talent and, believe it or not, experience to turn it around, but I'm keeping my expectations low.  

B1G play is gonna be brutal.  Not necessarily in the sense that we're going to get spanked, but in the sense that every game is going to be a nailbiter.  No longer will NW, Purdue, Nebraska, Penn State, etc be nice easy wins.  It's going to be very difficult to even split MSU, Indiana, Wisconsin, OSU.  

 

12/04/2013 - 12:00am Yeah a lot of his points came

Yeah a lot of his points came at the end and he wasn't full-on NCAA McGary, but I'd hardly call his rebounding presence "adequate".  It's an absolute asset on this year's team.

12/03/2013 - 11:58pm Hey, at least free-throw

Hey, at least free-throw shooting looked solid.  16-19, and Stauskas had missed two of those.  That'll be important in physical B1G play.  

12/03/2013 - 11:49pm He had a rough start.  I

He had a rough start.  I didn't think he played poorly though.  

He didn't have a huge impact defensively, but 15 points and 14 rebounds against a top-10 team on the road isn't bad.  Especially coming off an injury.

12/03/2013 - 11:46pm I don't think a comment like,

I don't think a comment like, "Gosh, going on the road in the B1G is going to be brutal," or "GR3 continues to disappear in big games" are uber-reactionary.  I think they're pretty safe assumptions.  

All negative comments aren't shit-tastic.  C'mon now.  

12/03/2013 - 11:44pm I expected a few losses last

I expected a few losses last year.  Last year's team was quite obviously on a different level than this year's team.  

A road loss at Duke doesn't spell doom for the rest of the season.  Not at all.  But when you string together the poor opening half versus UMass Lowell with the poor road shooting at Iowa State, Florida State, and Duke and the completely uninspired everything against Charlotte, you start to create an expectation of what this team is going to realistically achieve, at least at this point in time.  

No doom or gloom.  Just tapered expectations.  That could change.  But you can't look at the team's performance thus far and expect a 12-6 or better record in B1G play, even with the league looking less formidable than last year.  

12/03/2013 - 11:35pm LeVert and McGary looked

LeVert and McGary looked fine.  Stauskas is obviously hurt.  

GR3 continues to look like...nothing.  Literally forgot about him most of the game because he couldn't be less of a factor.

The Arizona game is going to be miserable.  Going on the road during B1G is going to be miserable.

11/24/2013 - 10:14pm This may be an odd question,

This may be an odd question, but why haven't we spread the floor and run high ball screens like last year?  Granted we don't have Burke, but we still have capable guards who can drive/dish/attack the rim, and we have at least one shooter.  

Our offense looked really crappy tonight, poor shooting aside.  I saw LeVert run a couple nice pick and rolls for easy lay-ups.  More of that please.  Less of Irvin taking one dribble inside the arc and going up with an ugly, low-percentage shot.  

11/24/2013 - 10:02pm Couldn't score.  Couldn't

Couldn't score.  Couldn't play defense.

Stauskas looks great.  Irvin looked so bad I can't begin to describe it.  Terrible shooting and even worse defense.  

Spike looks good on offense and terrible on defense.

We don't have a scoring threat outside of Stauskas.

The B1G will not be fun.  

11/18/2013 - 7:29pm The sad thing is, if they

The sad thing is, if they were to design a maize-out uniform, it would probably be mismatched and ill-fitting just like that picture.  

11/18/2013 - 5:59pm I wanna be able to say that

I wanna be able to say that this time, our alternates won't look blah and unnecessary and they'll actually be sleek albeit untraditional.  

But I'm pretty sure they'll be blah and asthetically-unpleasant and overall kinda wtf-ish.  

11/17/2013 - 7:26pm Of course, I'm not saying

Of course, I'm not saying he's "bad."  But for a lottery pick, pre-season All-American-type player, there's still question marks that leave a lot to be desired.

And I never expected him to be a big creator.  That's pretty obvious - he can't really do it.  His shooting numbers tonight (mind you, these were mostly uncontested) were pretty poor, and he doesn't have that first-step to blow by anyone one-on-one.

I just get excited about his athleticism and potential and he's still not making that sophomore jump (at least not yet).  He's like the Frank Clark of this year's basketball team.  

11/17/2013 - 7:22pm I think Walton is doing a

I think Walton is doing a fantastic job replacing the unreplaceable Burke.

I think the problem is we're missing Timmy.  Without another big shooter (other than Stauskas) on the wing, we're fairly easy to defend.  Not to mention GR3 isn't an offensive threat and we don't have post-offense.  

11/17/2013 - 7:19pm Yeah, that's an overreaction

Yeah, that's an overreaction after a tough road loss.  I'm pretty damn critical of GR3 but to say he's a joke is kinda out there.

At the same time, I just don't understand how someone with that much athleticism and talent can't put it together.  He doesn't have to create his own shot.  But for coaches and players and the media who rave about his basketball IQ?  I dunno, I haven't seen a lot of it this season. 

11/17/2013 - 7:16pm Exactly.  I don't necessarily

Exactly.  I don't necessarily expect him to come out and be a world-beater, but he's shown no improvement thus far this season.  Stauskas is stronger and is more assertive and dominant.  LeVert took a big leap (although he didn't play that well tonight).  Spike looks comfortable running everything.

GR3 doesn't look improved offensively or defensively.  Every timeout, I just want McGary to start shaking him because he looked like he slept-walk through that game.  

Anytime GR3 and Irvin are on the floor together, we're so stagnant.  

11/17/2013 - 7:10pm Also, is our defense just

Also, is our defense just that terrible?  LeVert was supposed to be our defensive specialist and he just got straight up schooled consistently.  By multiple ISU guys.  I thought we'd take a tiny step forward in that department but no.

And not that it decided the win or loss, but that was some very suspect officiating midway through the second half.  A lot of fouls that were called that didn't affect the gameplay but obviously had a larger impact come the end of the game.  I understand the hand checking and charges that are going to be called differently, but there was a span of two or three minutes that was pretty brutal to watch.

11/17/2013 - 7:07pm McGary and Stauskas looked

McGary and Stauskas looked great.  Yeah, Nik missed some open threes, but he also hit some awfully difficult ones when we needed it.  He's our #1 offensive option right now and I thought he played pretty well.

Spike looked fine.  Walton really impressed me with his aggressiveness towards the basket.  A couple times I thought it was LeVert because of how quick he hit the baseline and went up with the ball.  Very good stuff.

GR3 played terribly.  Not that surprising.  I love the kid and I think he has an enormous amount of potential, but that was a repeat performance of exactly why everyone criticized him last year.  The only difference is that his shooting looks worse this year.  I dunno, man.  

Also, Irvin looks lost 100% of the time.  

Not really encouraging, but it's not a terrible loss.

09/04/2013 - 8:08pm Here is my

Here is my "counterpunt"/hopeful opportunity to look stupid on Sunday morning:

 

Notre Dame: 31                   Michigan: 17

 

Offensively, we either turn it over in our redzone or Devin throws a pick-six because of a bad read/big stage jitters.  We can't seem to manage a reliable and consistent running game as they load the box and play competent coverage.  A lot of Gardner scrambles for big gains, but nothing sustainable.  Gallon and Funchess have a few nice grabs to keep us in the game in the first half.  Dileo/Norfleet/Reynolds/Chesson are largely not targeted and therefore not a factor.  Fitz and Green combine for just over 100 yards.

 

Defensively, our front seven play very well and gets a lot of pressure, but our secondary gets slashed on one or two big plays/miscommunication, and overpursuit leads to at least one big run in the second half.

 

It's a one possession game late before ND seals it late in the fourth.

 

(However, I'll also take Michigan 30-10 after everything I just said doesn't happen and Gardner has a field day/our defense makes ND look like CMU)

07/14/2013 - 12:11pm Again, it's not even that

Again, it's not even that rational.  If offense is favored on this list, it wouldn't explain MSU's huge jump over Michigan's.

07/14/2013 - 12:10pm If the list is defined by

If the list is defined by great offenses, how does it explain MSU placing 20 spots higher than Michigan on this list?

It seems like the list favors a team if they have one great unit and one poor unit over a team with two good units.

05/12/2013 - 1:42pm Shoving another player to the

Shoving another player to the ground after play has stopped is "defensive intensity"?

Telling a ref to go fuck himself is "physical play"?

Knowing that your team is extremely thin because of injuries and not being able to control your emotions, ultimately getting yourself ejected is "smart"?

C'mon now.  The Bulls are playing admirably as a matter of being on the wrong end of the talent stick right now.  But they're not "throwing Miami off their game" with this stuff.  They're fueling the fire.

If they cut out all of the extracurricular thug-ness, they're elevated play would keep them in the game.

05/12/2013 - 1:00am Honestly, there is not

Honestly, there is not much of a bias for Lebron.  If you've actually watched the series, he gets maybe one call per game.  The problem is the Chicago has no idea how to play smart.  What, we have a very short bench and we're playing against the most talented team in the league?  Let's play like thugs and shove superstars and bitch about the refs!  Grow up. 

04/26/2013 - 3:17pm Call Dr. Spaceman!

Call Dr. Spaceman!

04/24/2013 - 12:58pm This idea irritates me the

This idea irritates me the most.

"Pshhh what upperclass Michigan student wants to watch their team play a Michigan directional school in Row 80 in September?"  Seriously?

You're right.  We should only expect students to show up for The Game.  Or against a highly-ranked B1G school.*  Is that where we're drawing the line?  I mean, screw it.  No more tickets to a student section, then.  Buy individual tickets for games that you want at actual market value.

The student entitlement is ridiculous.  Yes, we all love pregaming and want to sit in Row 1.  But my god, it's your football team.  Go watch the 6 home games you had last year.  When did it become acceptable to be so cavalier about football indifference? 

I graduated last year but I feel like Clint Eastwood.  Rabble, rabble, rabble....

*BTW, more than 3,000 students didn't show up at all for the MSU game last year.  Ridiculous.

04/23/2013 - 3:53am I agree that the some of the

I agree that the some of the same problems aren't going to be rectified, but we also don't know to what end DB is working towards here.

If it's to fill the student section to capacity quicker, yes GA helps that.  More people who care about the game but may not feel inclined to get to the game early in previous years are more inclined to get the game earlier to get seats.  No more 40% filled student sections at kickoff.

If it's to completely fill the student section, no GA won't necessarily help that.  Like you said, not everyone is going to automatically make it to the game on time.  Some people may not even show up because they're so late.  Some student ticketholders who were "eh" about the games before are still going to be "eh" now.

Part of me thinks that DB wants to see the student section fill up quickly with those students who actually show up for the games, just as every other seat does, and then see if the remaining students actually fill the entire section.  If not, make the student section smaller.  There are students who don't really care about football, you say?  Great.  Give their tickets to alumni and friends that do.

 

04/23/2013 - 12:48am They also won't choose it

They also won't choose it because you can't see his number.  NCAA is paying bucks for #16 on that cover! 

My hopes for the cover photo: 

/s

04/23/2013 - 12:37am Athletically, they would have

Athletically, they would have been perfect fits.  But as others have pointed out, expansion from here on out won't be predominately athletically related.  Media and academics are going to play into the algorithm before "good sports school" does.

(Although seriously could you imagine this years B1G schedule for basketball, except substitute games against Northwestern and Nebraska with Louisville and Pitt.  Holy smokes!)

04/22/2013 - 10:49pm But....This isn't Crisler. 

But....This isn't Crisler.  This is a student section that seats 20,000.  About 100 of the seats are elite.  9,900 are awesome seats  5,000 are okay.  5,000 not so much.

Camping out two weeks before?  C'mon now.  You'll have to stand in line a little early to get the first 30-40 rows.  Everything else, just come before the game starts. 

04/22/2013 - 10:22pm This.
If you think that

This.

If you think that 15,000 students are going to wait in line before the game, you're crazy.  Insane.  Even for the big games.  And on top of that, if you aren't in Row 10 or closer, you want to be a little further away because you can't see shit.  Rows 30-45 are better than Rows 20-30. 

I can't believe the number of students who are lighting up Facebook with "Let's boycott the games altogether!  That'll show them!"  Seriously?  Their sense of entitlement ("I'm a senior so I deserve tickets") reeks of a fanbase who doesn't come to support the players and the team, but just comes after they're hammered to maintain social status.

Next year attendance will be significantly lower attendance in the Student Section, we'll talk about it some more, argue about it some more, and then DB will finally cut back the student section.  It's worth allotting some of those tickets to the public who will show up on time rather than waste them on students who are passed out along State Street instead of at the game.

04/22/2013 - 6:07pm A lot of people are worried

A lot of people are worried about the competitive balance between the two new divisions, but I'll have to echo those who have pointed out that the balance is pretty well-distributed.

Michigan, Ohio, Penn State, and MSU v. Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern.  As of the results from last two years that's a pretty even-handed distribution.

It's so difficult to predict who is going to be the "powers" even with the strengths of Michigan, Ohio, Penn State and Nebraska's programs.  Tell me who thought Northwestern was going to have a 10-win season?  Tell me who thought MSU would nearly win the B1G ?  Tell me who thought Penn State would undergo the Sandusky scandal and lose a huge chunk of its competitive advantage?  Anyone actually think Ferentz's team would be reduced to the laughing stock of the B1G?

Hell, we could turn out just like the Big 12.  Minnesota and Purdue could all of a sudden turn out a couple great classes and MSU and Penn State could fall off the map and we could be looking at an imbalance in the opposite direction.

As of right now, competitively, these divisions make sense.

04/22/2013 - 3:16pm The problem with the

The problem with the basketball round robin, that you accurately pointed out, but nonetheless under-emphasized in my opinion, is that there's no benefit to being in the last slots of the Top 7.  Think about it:  the 7th seed has to face all of the top seeds for the last 6 games while the 8th seed just has to beat up on the bottom feeders?  Hell, the 8th seed team should go undefeated the rest of the way out and have a potentially better record than the #1 seed. 

04/19/2013 - 1:56pm Yeah, you need high

Yeah, you need high individually ranked players to comprise a top class, but the way they are using "top class" is indicating more than just a numbered ranking.

How many highly ranked classes don't pan out?  They get to campus and not that many contribute, they burn out, they don't work together. 

It's good to see that their focus isn't on how many stars one player is racking up on Rivals, and more on how successful this class can be come time for the season.

04/18/2013 - 5:30pm That looks pretty dead-on. 

That looks pretty dead-on.  Iowa and PSU are going to be very underrated going into next year.  Newbill's return and a late season surge will help out PSU a lot especially as some of the lower tier teams in the B1G will struggle again next year.  And Iowa nearly won the NIT and brings back a lot of talent. 

04/18/2013 - 4:46pm If either of Walton/Irving

If either of Walton/Irving have breakout seasons, this could be a lot of fun again guys. 

Like, a lot of fun. 

04/18/2013 - 3:45pm Make no mistake, Mary Sue was

Make no mistake, Mary Sue was a huge asset to the University.  Fantastic fundraiser and overall administrator.

Ask any current student:  half of them have personally met her and have great anecdotes about her. 

04/17/2013 - 1:15pm Yeah, consider me surprised

Yeah, consider me surprised that Lunardi has us so high, seeing as there is a very good chance we lose all four starters. 

Or maybe he is just very bullish on Walton and Irvin. 

04/17/2013 - 11:42am My God.  Any hope of holding

My God.  Any hope of holding it together once they get to the Kansas game is futile. 

 

04/08/2013 - 10:43am This is what I'm clinging to

This is what I'm clinging to right now.  We've looked shaky in the opening weekend games (SDSU, Kansas, Syracuse), but we've been working on all levels for the second games (VCU and Florida). 

I guess if Stauskas hits 5 threes before half, we'll know if we're on or not...

04/08/2013 - 1:56am Ah, you beat me right before

Ah, you beat me right before I posted below!

Great side-by-side analysis.

Argh, Penn State....

04/08/2013 - 1:54am I don't think Michigan's path

I don't think Michigan's path has been as impressive as this might lead you to believe, though.

Sure we played more top teams.  But we didn't necessarily beat them.  Playing Indiana and Wisconsin twice isn't impressive seeing as we went 0-4 against them.  On top of that, Florida's Kenpom ranking was misleading from the start.  Just like Pitt's high ranking.

I think both teams have had it pretty even when it comes to their key wins/paths here.  Michigan had some nice wins against Kansas, Syracuse, MSU and OSU.  Louisville had some nice wins against Duke, Syracuse, ND, and Georgetown.

Good analysis though.  It's always fun to see just how tough the B1G was this year.

04/08/2013 - 1:46am Yeah, I'm not feeling that

Yeah, I'm not feeling that sympathetic for the Orange fanbase.

Their analysis leads me to believe that they scouted the game even less than the team did.  They seem to believe that everyone except Burke on Michigan's team had "career" games, and that Boeheim "completely" outcoached Beilein, and that Michigan didn't win, Syracuse merely shot themselves in the foot.

They seem to forget that Michigan was a three-point shooting team who can knock 30+ footers down (hell, I guess just watching a few games from the past week would tell you that Burke's range is everything), McGary can hit jumpers from the foul line and can rocket around passes from anywhere on the court, Morgan plays good inside defense, etc.

 

 

04/04/2013 - 2:16am Yeah a lot of mixed feelings

Yeah a lot of mixed feelings from me too.

On the one hand, this would be a step in the right direction to support the team, and like the article says, Chris shouldn't feel like everyone at Michigan hates him and never wants to see him again.  I think even people who aren't on his side would like to see him come forward, make amends, and be on better terms with the program, even if it is just a small gesture.  Not to mention, like was said, this is about the team and these kids now, and it would be huge to see him and the rest of the Fab Five there to support Mitch, Nik, GRIII, Spike, and Caris and the rest of the team.

On the other hand, that is a best-case scenario and the media would never let it go down like that.  The second he is there at the game, reporters want to know his thoughts on the team and how they compare to his time and if he is ready to make amends, and how hard it is been for him to be distanced from the team.  It would be an ultimate distraction and would confirm probably why Chris hasn't come forward since then:  the media is never going to leave him alone if the cameras see him and Michigan together again, and that's not what his return in Atlanta would be about. 

04/04/2013 - 12:36am Definitely.  I'm not a hard

Definitely.  I'm not a hard advocate for the maize-outs either, but I do like that the players decided to bring them out for limited, extra-special home games (basically, the revenge games against OSU, MSU, and Indiana).  They're an over-the-top, shake-your-head-and-grin burst of "well if it pumps up the kids..." type of occurrence. 

And without a doubt, they photograph beautifully.  The fact that you can't even see the names on the back of the jerseys really hits home the idea of "the Team":

 

PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND

04/03/2013 - 11:48pm I hope I'm not the only

I hope I'm not the only one....

I think the current uniform design is, well, pretty awesome.  And this is coming from someone who has hated the collar detailing that Adidas has been trying to add in recent years.

They are modern and sleek, but not flashy.  Minimalistic and actually somewhat classic (simple Michigan front with consistent blue detail), with a couple really nice touches that fulfill the "wow" factor (the mini block-ms that comprise the shading in the shorts).  The only criticism I'd have is still the shoulder piping that isn't quite working.

The best part?  Adidas understands design in motion.  We can nitpick looking at a picture of the jersey, but when Trey throws a lob to streaking GRIII in transition, those blinding highlighters look explosive and intimidating.

I get that uniforms tend to be a touchy subject and most want to revert back to the oldest of the old schools jerseys, but the team looks really good in the bright, bold maize jerseys.  The Adidas criticism is generally justified, but in terms of our basketball jerseys, I think they've done a good job.

 

04/03/2013 - 11:25pm After rewatching, I'm trying

After rewatching, I'm trying to think of a more complete, dominating game that I've seen Michigan play against a quality opponent. 

I mean, just everything was clicking.  Granted Florida shot poorly and helped pad our lead, Michigan made everything look effortless.  That was a very pretty win.

04/03/2013 - 5:45pm That McGary save was just

That McGary save was just stupid.  Lolwut indeed.

Spike had quite the GIFable game as well.  That baseball pass is a huge reassurance for next year.  Dude has split-second court vision like whoa.  I guess his acrobatic steal was okay too seeing as he just punked Florida starters who've been to the Elite 8 the past three straight years.

For me, the GIF of the game was Hardaway pounding his chest.  You want to know what happened in the Kansas game?  Watch The Yell.  You want to know what happened in the Florida game?  Cue Hardaway.

 

04/03/2013 - 12:42pm I think this is the biggest

I think this is the biggest concern:  showing up.

I'm not in any way suggesting that Beilein nor the team has thrown in the towel, said "we're just glad to make it this far," and come out uninterested.

But just from the tourney standpoint and from a couple of instances this year, long breaks between games haven't been kind to us.

In the SDSU game we started slow and were trailing for a good chuck of the first half.  The next week we started slow for about the first 35 minutes against Kansas.  Now we have another break in between games. 

I hope that the Florida game really left an impression with the team:  Win the first 5 minutes.  By a lot.  Attacking early means being ahead early which means the game is a lot easier.

I think this game comes down to the end.  Michigan by 2.

04/03/2013 - 12:34pm I was gonna say, he would be

I was gonna say, he would be less competing with Timmy and Nik and more sharing minutes with GRIII. 

Personally, I think that would have really added depth as we don't have a true "4" man other than GRIII who is really a stretch-3.  Sure we can go two bigs but that affects our offensive production.

 

Burke/Spike at the 1

TH Jr/Stauskas/LeVert at the 2 and 3

GRIII/Smotty at the 4

McGary/Morgan/Horford at the 5

 

Anyway, good luck to the guy.  Hopefully he wasn't trying to run away from the B1G...

04/02/2013 - 10:16am I don't think it's as

I don't think it's as "consciously" rigged in that sense.

I think it would be safe to say though that as unbiased as refs want to be, they're gonna give the benefit of the doubt to an NBA superstar over anyone else.  Why?  Because the sport wants to solidify them as being virtuous, hardworking, honest heroes and therefore if a superstar player acts in a certain way ("not" fouling, or flopping), refs will go along with it instead of trying to stand up against it.

Other than that, it's a pretty solidified notion that good officiating is rare.  It's a difficult job in real time.