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07/20/2018 - 9:26am John Brooks getting hurt was…

John Brooks getting hurt was probably the biggest single reason that the US didn't qualify, as it exposed the extreme shallowness in the player pool at CB and led to lots of time for Gonzalez, who was clearly not up for it.

07/18/2018 - 12:09pm If Delta is still running…

If Delta is still running flights from OHare into the Marine Terminal at LGA, that's the way to go.  It's by far the best airport experience in NYC. It's a small terminal used only for commuter flights between NYC and Boston, Chicago, and DC, and has none of the enormous hassle of LGA's other terminals and none of Newark's occasional huge security lines (even with Pre-check).

06/14/2018 - 2:49pm Yeah, the 48 team WC is…

Yeah, the 48 team WC is going to have some ugly games. Saudi Arabia looked like a 3rd division team. Hard to play a possession game when you're incapable of possessing the ball.

06/13/2018 - 1:37pm A large number of employers…

A large number of employers want employees that have learned to think in particular ways (sorting and assembling diverse information to make original arguments) rather than being trained in discrete technical skills that are going to be specific to their industry. Most employers expect that recent college grads will need extensive training in the things specific to the particular job they are hiring them for.

05/25/2018 - 3:03pm It seems like MLS is

It seems like MLS is generally making a bet that smaller stadiums customized for soccer (both LA and Minnesota's new stadium have standing sections behind one goal, ie no seats, and the rest of the seats are close) where they control all revenues is both a better fan experience and business model than the kind of situation proposed at Ford Field. Atlanta's obviously the counterpoint, but it seems to have some particularities that don't apply (specifically, the relocation of MLB to the far northern suburbs).

FWIW, NYCFC almost never sells seats in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium and they rarely sell out the lower bowl. Given the issues they're having building their own facility, as well as Miami's, I doubt MLS ever green lights another expansion team that doesn't already have a stadium deal.

05/25/2018 - 2:36pm It has that rep, but it's

It has that rep, but it's based off WC qualifiers, not MLS attendance. They have the second  worst attendance in the league this year and were third from bottom last year. There are also modern stadium politics involved, where a new owner portrays a less 20 year old stadium as outdated in an attempt to extort local pols.

On Detroit's bid, the Ford Field proposal was never going to be accepted when there were competing proposals that were building their own facilities, nor should it have been. 

05/25/2018 - 2:35pm Yeah, a Detroit team should

Yeah, a Detroit team should be looking not to Atlanta, but to what LAFC did with their stadium, which seems awesome.

04/27/2018 - 2:24pm FWIW, here's what scouts told

FWIW, here's what scouts told former Packers beat reporter (and UM alum) Bob McGinn about Hurst, who he rated the #4 D lineman (after Vea, Payne, and Bryan).

4. MAURICE HURST, Michigan (6-1 ½, 291, 4.98, 1-2): Played extensive from 2014-’16 but didn’t become a starter until his senior season. “He’s more of the prototypical 3-technique than anybody in the draft,” one scout said. “Everybody wants that length at that inside position but I look at the Pro Bowl every year and everybody that gets voted to it is 6-1 or less. He’s a lot like Aaron Donald. Only thing where they’re not alike is Donald can just jolt your shoulders over your heels and rock you right back into the quarterback. I haven’t seen that quality in this guy. His plays were made on quickness.” Finished with 132 tackles (32 ½ for loss) and 12 ½ sacks. “He’s just got to fit your system,” a second scout said. “He has to continue playing hard. He’s a quick penetrator. He’ll get hammered if he plays two gaps.” Arms just 32, hands only 9 ½. Wonderlic of 26. “What you’ve got is a very small man,” a third scout said. “He’s not like Warren Sapp or Tommie Harris, any of those super 3-techniques. I just don’t see it. He’s a good rotational player.” Prevented from working out at the combine when doctors discovered an irregularity with his heart. Later was cleared by doctors and worked out fully at pro day. His father, Maurice, started at CB for the Patriots from 1989-’95. From Westwood, Mass.…

04/19/2018 - 5:58pm The TNT reporter told Lebron

The TNT reporter told Lebron about it off the air, and asked if he wanted to say anything. He said he wanted to. Completely respectful.

04/18/2018 - 10:23am Basic Economy

FWIW, I just flew on a basic economy ticket on Delta on Monday and Tuesday this week (purchased for me, I had no say). There was no constraint from using the overhead bin, aside from the potential that it would be full since you board in the newly created Zone 4. Anyone whose bag didn't fit was checked free of charge. Also, it was a regional jet with a 2-2 seat map, so there was no chance in ending up in the middle seat. If you're flying with someone, though, I imagine you'd face a near certainty of being separated on the plane.

03/30/2018 - 2:19pm That’s absolutely the best

That’s absolutely the best solution.

03/30/2018 - 2:05pm No doubt on the greater

No doubt on the greater exposure part. I watch a lot of basketball, both college and NBA, and can't imagine a situation where I'd watch a G-league game. Maybe I'd take my kids to one in a "we need to do something today" manner. And the greater importance of the college games themselves almost certainly allows players to make greater progress in the intangible parts of the game like playing under pressure, etc.

But I think the coaching in terms of the development of fundamentals is a wash, at best. Players play a lot more games in the G-league (about 50). They don't have limits on practice time. Coaches in the G-league aren't judged, largely on wins and losses, but on player development (those are the roles they mostly occupy when they move up to NBA benches). And I've seen enough Bill Self and Coach Cal players in the NBA who don't have a clue about how to play at that level, guys like Josh Jackson and the Morris twins who are amazing athletes but can't dribble and pass, who have no idea where to be on the floor, to think that the development of fundamentals in a lot of even high level college programs is any great shakes.

03/30/2018 - 1:54pm That's a really good

That's a really good question. Just from looking at the list, it seems that lots of the G-league coaches that move up go into "player development" roles on NBA benches. That suggests that the NBA teams that own G-league teams look particularly to coaches that specialize in player development, and particularly to develop players for the particular way basketball gets played in the NBA. 

There are lots of college coaches paid handsomely to coach players to be good at college basketball, some of whom (cough, Izzo, cough) emphasize the development of skills that aren't particularly important in the NBA. 

I think that college is still the preferable route for almost all players, particularly given the comically low pay of the G-league (and what happens to players that blow out a knee in the G-league). But I'm not convinced that they receive better coaching in college, particularly if the goal is to develop the particular skills valued in the NBA's version of basketball.

03/30/2018 - 1:42pm On the coaching, it really

On the coaching, it really depends which G-league team you end up on. There's a pretty solid pipeline of coaches from the G-league to NBA benches as assistants. This list has 12-14 guys who were coaching in the G-league last year who are now on NBA benches in various roles.

And if you get a good coach, you're getting coached in NBA-style offenses and defenses, which are substantially different than in many colleges, which, as we've seen in this tournament, are still playing a lot of 2 big systems that just don't get played much in the NBA. I'm assuming the G-league attempts to play the same way as the NBA, though I've never really watched a game. Boeheim's only an extreme example of the way that even super well-respected college coaches aren't really preparing players for the play to play elements of NBA basketball. How much did Coach K prepare Marvin Bagley for playing defense in the NBA? Not at all, I'd suggest.

The issue, beyond the money, which is so low to make the G-league route a virtual non-starter for almost everyone, is that you can't choose your coach. That's a huge advantage for college. I'm frankly surprised that more players haven't chosen Michigan in the past 5 years because Beilein's ball screen and spacing offense is so similar to the median NBA offense.

03/28/2018 - 3:29pm Unlimited substitution harms

Unlimited substitution harms the game in two distinct ways.

1. Unlimited substitution hurts college soccer players vis a vis players in other venues who don't play with it. This seems self-evident, but i'll spell out how it manifests itself. On of the common most criticism of US players is that they're tactically naive. College soccer players never learn how to maintain tactical shape while conserving energy (which isn't about standing around but about making choices about expending limited energy and still being in position to play). They also don't learn tactical adaptation, since coaches are more apt to substitute if a particular problem arises rather than teaching players to figure out what's going on and adapt on their own. 

2. It also hurts the game itself. College soccer is largely played (and those who go to games know this is true) using tactics that emphasize aggressive pressing and very direct play. On its face, this sounds exciting, but it's anything but. The hockey equivalent is dumping the puck and trying to win the puck in the corners. Certainly a part of the sport but not the most skillful or interesting. Hockey would be far less interesting if this was the primary strategy that teams used. But that's what unlimited subs do for college soccer. Studies have shown that NCAA soccer has worse passing stats than MLS (obviously, and one can only wonder what this would look like in comparison to a top 5 league) but, more importantly, the gap widens enormously in the second half. (see chart below) NCAA teams in the second half average 45 passes every 15 minutes, about one-third of what you'll see in a single build up at higher leagues. The passing stats goes down because unlimited substitution means that the most skillfull players (who stay on the field the longest) are playing with an energy deficit vs. the players who are frequently subsituted, therefore, there's much less space to play in, and teams are apt to just lump the ball forward into the mixer in the penalty box.


03/28/2018 - 1:31pm Add in that in response to

Add in that in response to the frequency of games, college soccer has instituted a rule (relatively unlimited substitutions) that negatively affects player development. It leads teams to play pressing styles that are unsustainable for players over a 90 minute game. Those strategies, in turn, lead most coaches to deemphasize possession for the type of long ball, Route 1 soccer that doesn't serve players at higher levels. 

Changing the sport to fall - spring would benefit all players, not just the future pros, because they'd be less prone to injury with a reduction of games to mostly one per week. The most shocking stat in that article is that studies have shown athletes playing 2-3 per week are six times more likely to be injured.

03/28/2018 - 1:07pm That article makes a very

That article makes a very good case that the NCAA can facilitate that process by changing the schedule so that soccer doesn't shoehorn 25 games into the fall, which seems to have really negative consequences on players' health and development. (It should also change the stupid substitution rules so that college soccer has the same rules as every other high level competition).

03/28/2018 - 11:46am That's the reality, though. I

That's the reality, though. I just quickly glanced at the drafts from 2011-2015 and the best outcome for draft positions 8-14 are players like Stephen Adams, Klay Thompson, Andre Drummond or CJ McCollum, players firmly in the "3rd best player on a winning team" role (maybe McCollum is the 2nd best).

The only possible lead guy in those 5 drafts is Devin Booker, and the Suns are so bad that it's hard to tell what his optimal role on a good team would be.


If you go back a couple more years, you get Gordon Heyward, Paul George, and DeMarr Derozan. So you get a couple lead guys on low playoff seeds and one legitimate best player on a good team (who took almost a decade in the NBA to become that).

03/27/2018 - 12:43pm Bamba

He absolutely hasn't said that. He was recruiting Mo Bamba until the end of the last cycle and everyone knew he was one and done.

03/26/2018 - 5:37pm They called it a flagrant

They called it a flagrant because they judged that Duncan swung his arm and made "illegal, non-excessive contact above the shoulders" which is the standard in the rulebook. It didnt have anything to do with the dead ball. It was because he swung his arm and hit him in the face.

03/26/2018 - 4:53pm The FSU guy did get charged

The FSU guy did get charged with a foul for holding Duncan. Then when they went to the monitor, they assessed Duncan with a flagrant 1. Since UM wasn't in the bonus, it just went to the other end for the flagrant free throws.

It was probably the right call by the letter of the law, but pretty harsh because it sure didn't look malicious by any stretch.

03/21/2018 - 2:13pm He has one of those weird

He has one of those weird things where he's much more confident as a mid-range rise up shooter than he is at the foul line, even though the shots are equal distance and the in game shots are obviously contested.

The place Matthews is really good in the zone is the short corner. He can flash to the middle of the zone, and he's an explosive enough athlete to either get the ball and quickly go baseline or cut to the rim when the ball is entered into Mo/whoever at the opposite elbow. It's the role that GRIII occupied in 2013/14.


03/21/2018 - 1:36pm They've used Duncan a bit,

They've used Duncan a bit, but I think they've mainly used Mo and Matthews in combination in the middle so far. Both have been fairly effective after the "look at the zone for 3 possessions" phase. Mo's a better distributor, Matthews has been able to use his short-distance driving ability or rise up from the foul line.

Seems like the "look at the zone" phase is a lot about figuring who's going to flash into the middle of the zone and when to do it.

03/21/2018 - 12:47pm Well, wouldn't this be solved

Well, wouldn't this be solved if we played Teske and Wagner together?


03/21/2018 - 10:32am The financial consideration

The financial consideration isn't the rookie contract, but getting into a second and third contract, which are much more lucrative for players, a year earlier, and extending your earning capability an extra year on the back end. The issue, of course, is showing enough potential and production to get those contracts by the 3rd/4th year in the NBA.

03/21/2018 - 10:27am Post game is almost

Post game is almost completely irrelvant for bigs in the NBA today. Teams just don't play through the post anymore. What bigs need to be able to do is protect the rim, be quick enough to survive when they get switched onto perimeter players, and show the capability to space the floor and rim run on offense. Bamba is almost a prototypical big in today's NBA.

03/16/2018 - 11:50am I hate that kind of

I hate that kind of officiating, where the officials allow all kinds of contact on the perimeter (including hand checking on the hip, which is a point of emphasis) but call every piece of body contact on the interior.

03/16/2018 - 11:44am 25 shots and 0 assists. 

25 shots and 0 assists. 

He would be the most annoying guy to play pickup with.

03/16/2018 - 11:43am Have we played a good team

Have we played a good team this year that has one player with such high usage? I can't think of any examples (down year for good PGs in the Big 10). Will be interesting to see the defensive approach.

Keys will obviously be keeping Z out of foul trouble and the help D. Just from watching last night, Grey has kind of an idiosyncratic hesitation/step through game when he penetrates that's going to really test Z's ability to not overcommit. When he does try to step through, the help has to be ready to come because he sure didn't seem to dish the ball at all. He had like 30 shot equivalents with 0 assists, which is crazy.

03/14/2018 - 11:54am In the first half, though,

In the first half, though, the running clock makes 2 for 1 time management really unpredictable, unless you get the ball with more than a minute remaining. If the other team can take 3 seconds inbounding the ball without taking time off the shot clock (or even more if they do the "roll the ball up the floor" thing), then the 2 for 1 timing becomes very difficult.

There's no excuse for screwing it up at the end of the game, though, since the clock stops after made baskets. And you're totally right about end of clock time management. Teams either seem to go too early and create a danger of losing when they should go to OT at the worst or wait too long and end up jacking up a contested 22 footer.

03/14/2018 - 11:25am 2 for 1

Playing 2 for 1 at the end of the half is tricky because the clock doesn't stop on a made basket in college.

Say you get up a shot at the 40 second mark. If you make it, by the time the other team in-bounds the ball, there will only be like 35 seconds left. Then they can hold the ball and get a shot up with 6 or 7 seconds, meaning you get the ball back with 4-5 seconds, with the clock running, which isn't really enough time to do much more than throw the ball up court and hope there's something immediately there. If you want to play 2 for 1, you really have to shoot with about 50 seconds left on the game clock.

It would be a good rule change to stop the clock in the last minute of the first half after made baskets, which would make the rules consistent across both halves and allow teams to actually reliably play 2 for 1.

03/04/2018 - 10:12pm Delaney’s a genius. More East

Delaney’s a genius. More East Coast tournaments!

02/28/2018 - 9:39am Actually, as Taylor Branch

Actually, as Taylor Branch documents extensively in this article, the origins of "student athlete" as a category of person, lie in universities' attempts to avoid paying workman's compensation claims to football players in the 1950s.…


Key paragraphs:

“We crafted the term student-athlete,” Walter Byers himself wrote, “and soon it was embedded in all NCAA rules and interpretations.” The term came into play in the 1950s, when the widow of Ray Dennison, who had died from a head injury received while playing football in Colorado for the Fort Lewis A&M Aggies, filed for workmen’s-compensation death benefits. Did his football scholarship make the fatal collision a “work-related” accident? Was he a school employee, like his peers who worked part-time as teaching assistants and bookstore cashiers? Or was he a fluke victim of extracurricular pursuits? Given the hundreds of incapacitating injuries to college athletes each year, the answers to these questions had enormous consequences. The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the school’s contention that he was not eligible for benefits, since the college was “not in the football business.” 

The term student-athlete was deliberately ambiguous. College players were not students at play (which might understate their athletic obligations), nor were they just athletes in college (which might imply they were professionals). That they were high-performance athletes meant they could be forgiven for not meeting the academic standards of their peers; that they were students meant they did not have to be compensated, ever, for anything more than the cost of their studies. Student-athlete became the NCAA’s signature term, repeated constantly in and out of courtrooms.

02/24/2018 - 5:18pm I see someone else was

I see someone else was streaming the game on his phone. Impossible to tell what was going on in that tiny square.

02/12/2018 - 11:23am Athlete's reactions

"Super unfortunate," "I'm not extremely proud of my run. Back 5, cab 5, front 7 is pretty mellow, that would barely get into finals in some events...." that's the Gold Medalist.

Other athletes:

"I think everyone's just really happy that no one got seriously hurt."

"A shitshow."

"I don't know why it was ran, to be honest, because no one wanted to go."

"It's a little funny that they can move the downhill five days and they pressure us into riding in these conditions."

"Before my first run I was just up there crying."

02/12/2018 - 11:12am No, but they shouldn't be

No, but they shouldn't be held in conditions that are dangerous to the competitors. Golf tournaments get canceled in lightning storms. This was the equivalent of that.

Freestyle aerials are already dangerous. Athletes are spinning 30 feet in the air. They need particular conditions to do it safely and show their ability. That's why they postpone competitions when there are high winds. Except, of course, when the GS has already been canceled and the Olympics TV partners are panicking that they won't have anything to show live in primetime.

And all the athletes seem to agree, including the gold medalist:…

02/12/2018 - 10:32am She was smart. Took a safe,

She was smart. Took a safe, conservative run in horrible conditions. The event itself didn't reflect where the sport is right now. It was a horrible decision not to postpone the event and they're very lucky none of the athletes suffered a serious injury.

02/12/2018 - 9:09am It was a terrible decision to

It was a terrible decision to hold the competition. If they cancelled the GS, they should have canceled the freestyle. The conditions killed any chance that the women could do their most advanced tricks. Normally, those boarders are doing 1080s, the wind cut those down to 720s at best. It meant the winner was going to be based far more on the fluke of when the wind gusted than actual skill and ability. It made the competition both really basic and completely unfair.

The wind blowing up the hill either knocked them down short on the flat transition, or, if they went in with tons of speed, it carried them farther than expected (like in ski jumping) and they were bailing in the air. It was really lucky that no one seemed to get seriously hurt, given the really violent crashes a lot of them took. 


02/05/2018 - 3:30pm Replay review time limit

I seem to remember that when the NFL started to have replay, they put a clock on it and if the decision wasn't clear after 60 or 90 seconds of viewing, the call stood. Soccer seems to be doing something similar for its early iterations of replay. If a variety of sports adopted that idea of a fixed time limit to review and focused on egregious errors rather than the kinds of minute "was the ball moving in his hand/did he scrape the ball with his fingernail," it'd avoid the kind of frame by frame atrocity we saw in the end of the Purdue game.

02/05/2018 - 11:13am I'd say that much of that

I'd say that much of that game was the epitome of def naive football.

02/05/2018 - 9:57am Jeffrey (lined up wide right)

Jeffrey (lined up wide right) was considered on the line. He checked with the linesman and got an ok on his position. He certainly lined up in a grey area, but he confirmed with the linesman that he was considered lined up correctly.

02/05/2018 - 8:50am The best thing the

The best thing the refs/league office did was to review the plays quickly, so we didn't have a Purdue end of game situation. They were both about 90 seconds and out.

Putting a time limit on all reviews seems the best way to avoid the frame-by-frame pedantry that we saw in the Purdue game. If the refs/league office isn't sure after 90 seconds, the call stands.

01/31/2018 - 4:07pm I'd add that that many of the

I'd add that that many of the people with the most well known connections to universities gain those connections through athletic noteriety, which gives them high name recognition but very few qualifications to oversee institutions of higher education.

01/31/2018 - 4:03pm Source of the dynamic

This piece on LGM makes a pretty compelling argument that MSU's inferiority complex is at the heart of the connections between MSU's unqualified BoT, the shadiness of the MSU AD, and the Nassar coverup.…

Key paragraphs:

"The central point is that Michigan State’s obsession with sports success is the key to understanding both why Nassar’s reign of terror lasted so long, and why in recent years the department turned a blind eye toward or actively covered up sexual assaults by numerous athletes from the two teams responsible for funding the athletic department, football and men’s basketball.

Despite becoming a major research university in its own right, MSU as an institution continues to manifest a marked inferiority complex relative to its richer and more prestigious in-state rival, the University of Michigan. (I am commenting on this from the perspective of someone who grew up in Michigan, and who has many friends and family members who attended each of the schools). 

An important form of compensation for the institution’s alumni and administration (which, for fundraising purposes, is carefully attuned to alumni concerns) has been success in athletic endeavors, especially in the major revenue sports, football and men’s basketball.


The structural situation at MSU – an obsession with sports success, a closely connected obsession with fundraising, and a governing board that shares and intensifies those obsessions while featuring no discernible qualifications in regard to regulating a research university (none of the board members have ever worked in higher education, and only one, a lawyer, has an advanced degree) — is a very common one in contemporary American higher education. The scandal at MSU should be a cautionary tale for the many institutions that resemble Michigan State in more ways than one."

01/29/2018 - 10:57pm I can't imagine many students

I can't imagine many students go. Getting from Evanston to O'Hare in the early evening is a nightmare and there's no reasonable public transit option.

01/29/2018 - 10:27pm Northwestern's renovating

Northwestern's renovating Welsh-Ryan, so instead of their high school gym (which I was actually fond of as it felt like a place meant for basketball) we'll play them in the cavernously empty building formerly known as the Rosemont Horizon, out by O'Hare.

01/23/2018 - 5:09pm Borcila and Pegler-Gordon are

Borcila and Pegler-Gordon are faculty. They're organizing a faculty vote of no confidence in Simon.

01/23/2018 - 3:51pm Yeah, the 2014 gubernatorial

Yeah, the 2014 gubernatorial election had about 3 million voters, so you're talking about 750,000 petition signatures, which is a huge hill to climb.

01/23/2018 - 2:28pm FWIW, all elective offices in

FWIW, all statewide elective offices in Michigan, save for judgeships, are subject to recall. Article II, Section 8 of the Michigan constitution:


"Laws shall be enacted to provide for the recall of all elective officers except judges of courts of record upon petition of electors equal in number to 25 percent of the number of persons voting in the last preceding election for the office of governor in the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled. The sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question."

01/19/2018 - 10:57am Every NBA fan can look at the

Every NBA fan can look at the schedule before the season and pencil in 6-7 probable schedule losses. Home-road back to back? Probable loss. 3rd game in 4 nights? Probable loss. That's what this was.

UM didn't front rim a huge percentage of their threes, give up driving lanes, and constantly get their open driving lanes cut off because they lost their touch or forgot fundamentals. They didn't have their legs, and that's because they had a road-home-road stretch over 6 days that basically hasn't been scheduled in the past. 

And this is nothing equivalent to the tournament, which doesn't involve travel, doesn't involve a third game, and has both teams facing the same conditions.