Hope everyone had a good holiday. After spending time with family, friends, and getting chastized for showing up unannounced to a women's basketball game (more to come on the next post), I feel refreshed and ready to get back to blogging.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Hope everyone had a good holiday. After spending time with family, friends, and getting chastized for showing up unannounced to a women's basketball game (more to come on the next post), I feel refreshed and ready to get back to blogging.
Monday, December 29, 2008
NCCU comes to Crisler sporting an 0-14 record in their second season competing in Division I. With a win tonight, Michigan will equal their total wins from last season (10).
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Due to the massive amounts of snow that were dumped on Southeast Michigan (and much of the Midwest), I spent most of the day digging my car out from underneath all the powder. The roads sucked and getting to Crisler on time for the Women's bball match-up was not happening. However, props to Stu and Kyle or giving us our first Women's Bball experience of the season (To hear this game: Click on the YouCastr link to the right and find the UM-Cincy match-up for all the highlights).
...it'll be six playoff spots available if denver beats buffalo in denver or san diego falls in tampa bay...
With that having been said, Yahoo! has created a "Playoff Scenario Generator" that allows you to pick the winner of each game in Week 16 and Week 17. Click the link above to check out what your team has to do to reach the promised land.
...the saturday night ravens-cowboys game will set a lot of things in motion. the cowboys need to win to hold off the bucs another week before the 'boys-eagles game in a week. a ravens win would allow them to hold off the remnants of the afc east in the race for the final wild card spot in the afc until week 17. and, to make a long story short, the loser of the jets-dolphins game in week 17 will need a ton of help to make the playoffs in the afc, regardless of what happens this week, and the bucs will need to win out and hope that the cowboys lose a game, while the eagles hope that the bucs or falcons slip up, allowing the eagles to control their own destiny. buckle up, folks...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Not good at math? OK, Michigan will win. Easy. Think Ben Cronin, except for the entire second half. Seeing as he is about to be res-shirted, might as well get him 3 months worth of minutes.
(Sidenote: a friend of mine mentioned that Ben Cronin is easily at the top of Beilein's "Wait! Don't Shoot!!!" list. Seeing as he is about to be redshirted, Anthony Wright will go back to taking his rightful place atop this throne).
Flying Dangerously Low: EMU is going through a tough season. Last week, they lost their coach to a school imposed 3 game suspension after he allegedly punched a fan after a loss to UDM. I guess if i realized my team was awful and I lived in Ypsilanti, I'd want to hit someone too. But in all seriousness, what possess a grown man to hit a student? The shame in all this is that it was not captured on film. It would've been the most viral video clip out of Washtenaw Co. since Kevin Borseth's rant.
Bueller....Bueller....Bueller: With everyone going home, the cold weather, and the competition being really poor, I'm interested to see how many people show up to these next four games. Earlier tonight on Game of the Week (every Friday 7-10pm on wcbn.org), I agreed that the Wolverines could come out of this stretch being 10-2 heading into the Big Ten season. If they can do that, they are setting themselves up very nicely for a possible Big Dance invite. Beat UConn on the road and this team could make the tourney by just showing up to each Big Ten game from then on. A big part of the process is getting fans to show up in droves. These next four games are free, but will it be enough for kids to show up? And how many people would you expect to show up to these games, much less the Women's Bball games over break?I already referenced Borseth and I just referenced his team again so its time to show them some love: Michigan Women's Basketball is cruising right now! Already beaten a couple of ranked teams and putting together a pretty solid season. Carly (Benson) and Co. did pretty well last year and are looking to improve on the NIT run they made last year. Myself and Stu will be broadcasting next Friday's home game vs Cincy and we'll have something up on the state of Women's Basketball shortly after the game).
...Whoa. What just happened? I passed out. Wait, did I just talk about women's hoops on the blog? I need to stop blogging at 3 am.....
Anyways, back to Beilein's team. Michigan should be expected to cruise through these next four games, as none of these teams are expected to be competitive or make the tournament (Oakland, being the only team with an outside chance if they carry the Summit league). Oakland at the Palace might be tough because it is 5 minutes away from their campus. Still, expect the crowd to be 75-25 in Michigan's favor.
To all the students: Good luck with exams, and check back here over the break as we will be giving you recaps and previews to all the games you might miss while on holiday. That's right: We don't have a life so you can enjoy yours by reading Maize and Blog.
If all goes according to plan, each of those games can be heard HERE through the WCBN sports stream or through our YouCastr link to the right.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
...i'd imagine mets owner and michigan graduate fred wilpon will be pleased that his team is trading a heilman, a notre dame standout, for putz, a trenton, michigan native...
Putz was 7-4 with a 3.71 ERA as a starter for Michigan in 1999 before joining the Mariners organization later that year.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
A packed house at Crisler. Top 5 opponent. National TV.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Well, much closer than I thought. The ACC wins it for a 10th straight year, 6-5... let's recap.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I don't have much of a preview for the game, because it would probably be ugly.
When O-State is on offense, the advantage should be Michigan's D-Line vs. O-State's O-line which has mightily struggled at times this season. They've gotten better though and in the run game, alot will rely on Ezeh and Mouton coming up to help on the run (Oh yeah, we better have 4 down linemen). If Michigan can't slow down Beanie Wells they don't have a shot. But if they do then it depends on if they can keep contain on Pryor and if the coverage can step it up big time when Pryor rolls out of the pocket (eeekk). Remember stopping the running game will involve slowing down Pryor in addition to Wells, its certainly not all Beanie.
O-State hasn't passed much this season meaning they have produced less yardage than Michigan this year. But Pryor is the highest rated passer in passing efficiency since he doesn't have to throw it much when the running game is going. He has thrown some wobbly passes downfield and there should be a couple tomorrow which Michigan HAS to take advantage of.
When Michigan's on offense, Threet and Schilling are out. Without the threat of Threet playing, I actually think it should help Sheridan relax a little bit (see Minnesota game). Schilling out definitely hurts big time, but luckily O-State's D-line is something Michigan should be able to compete with because they have not been great this season. Laurinaitis and Freeman are awesome and versatile linebackers who are the heart of the defense. Throw in a great secondary led by Jenkins and it doesn't look pretty. Michigan will need some breaks and big plays. Minor, Brown, McGuffie, and Shaw are now expected to play. That should help.
On special teams O-State is solid again and Michigan needs to execute and not turn it over.
If you go objectively, Michigan has no shot. Maybe that's how it'll play out. But in this rivalry, you never know.
Up next is something I found myself typing when I started this. It came from the heart I don't care what anyone thinks. I bleed maize and blue and here's what I hope they play for tomorrow:
You guys have no talent. You guys have no confidence. You guys have no heart. Hell you guys would rather be back home sitting on the couch than right here.
Most of the time this is just coach speak, but not for this team, not today.
The damn Buckeyes are saying it. Spielman says you are just terrible, you are playing with no confidence, no pride. Herbstreit says you just have no talent, no heart, no chance, and would rather not even play Ohio State.
Even Desmond, yeah he loves us, but he even says this isn’t Michigan right now, “This is Michigan Tech.”
This season’s been rough and y’all never thought you’d ever have to go through this. 3-8, empty stands on your senior night, and you all have taken more shit than anyone ever should endure.
When will it stop?
Will it stop 5 years from now? Will it stop 3 years from now? Will it stop next year? Or will it stop right here, right now?
When you all run into that tunnel to the loudest chorus of boos you have ever heard, soak it in one last time. Soak in the “you sucks”. Remember all the shit you’ve heard all season and sit there and let it in sink in one last time.
“You suck! You’re worthless! You’re terrible! Go home!” Bathe in it and keep bathing in it til you take the field.
Remember the season and the pain, remember the frustration, remember the anger. Don’t say a word just let it brew inside of you.
Then at 12:07, when the ball is finally kicked into the air, it’s time.
It doesn’t stop next year, in 3 years, in 5 years, it stops now! And as you run down the field for your first hit of the game is when it stops! Let the frustration out and smack the Bucks in the mouth.
From kickoff to the final whistle, this is the last chance you’ll get to win the one thing you all well deserve...silence!
Each snap will be the hardest hitting, toughest blocking, hardest running, most focused moment of your life. Play by play let all the anger and frustration out. Hear all the boos from the year. Hear all the “you sucks!” from the season.
After each hit, you’ll get silence. The more hits we pile on, the more silence we’ll get. And when the final whistle blows you’ll finally get to hear the sweetest sound that you’ve never heard this season....Silence.
Shut them up! Enough is enough! Throw the record out, throw out the troubles of the year, throw out what’s been said, this is STILL MICHIGAN! And I’ll be damned if we don’t go out there and play the hardest damn football game of our lives.
It stops now! From kickoff to the final whistle. Shut them up!
This is Michigan.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The College Basketball season has finally gotten into full swing starting today, and I have to start by saying I have been very impressed with ESPN’s 24 hrs of College Basketball coverage. This was an excellent scheduling ploy, and I loved watching basketball at 2 AM with St. Mary’s playing at home (Sidenote: Patty Mills is for real. Gets his own shot very similar to the way Iverson did back in college. He will be a name you hear come tourney time). I went to sleep with St. Mary's on and woke up in time watch the end of Hawaii/Idaho State. It was a basketball fan's dream.
It reminded me of that first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Tournament when basketball is on for 12 hours straight and you would always try and skip class/watch the game at work. I’ve often said on this blog that those two days are the best consecutive sports days of the year, and I think ESPN could run with this “season opener marathon” idea in the coming years. Put a couple more marquee games on the slate (ESPN scheduled only one game against ranked opponents in Davidson/Oklahoma and UNC/Kentucky is the next closest thing) and this marathon could be a ratings monster. I'd also like to see more mid-major teams against the big conferences. ( For example, Oakland beat Oregon in OT on the West Coast, and was a much better match-up on paper than some of the other games shown today.) I would have seriously considered calling-in sick had ESPN shown something other than Iowa/Kansas women's basketball at noon. No offense to fans of Women’s Bball, but no women’s regular season match-up generates enough excitement worth cutting class for. Not even Tenn/UConn. Hopefully ESPN gives me something I can stay home for next year.
Finally, ESPN’s coverage doesn’t receive total praise from me as they dropped the ball in one of the day's final games in Syracuse/Richmond. The new “Interactive Messaging,” where they scroll fan messages across the top of the screen, is just another example of news networks ramming pointless technology down your throat. This should be banned, along with CNN’s “Hologram Technology” and MSNBC’s “Virtual Pantheon” background from election night. It all needs to go. Now.
OK, back to the Wolverines. Here’s a couple things to watch for on Thursday:
Getting On the Glass:
The Collison Effect: PG Darren Collison is arguably the best on-the-ball defender in all the land. He is lightning quick and made Kelvin Grady look like an eighth grader when these two teams played last year. On Offense, Beilein will be forced to rotate CJ Lee, David Merritt, and Kelvin Grady. None of these guys can match Collison’s quickness, but fresh legs should help a little bit. The point of interest here is whether or not the Bruins decide to put Collison on Manny Harris or give that assignment to Josh Shipp. Look for Shipp to start on Harris, but if Manny gets hot don’t be surprised to see Collison start to put pressure on Harris and funnel him toward the help defense.
The One They Call “Fresh”: Manny Harris was named Big Ten Player of the Week last week and rightfully so. On consecutive points, he put up 56 points and almost dropped a triple-double on a team that just got done giving
Last note on Harris: A lot of fans I’ve talked to have voiced their concern that Harris could go pro at the end of the season. To them I say this: Harris making the jump to the pros would be the worst decision since MSU’s Marcus Taylor tried to make the jump early as a Sophmore and was drafted 52nd overall by the Timberwolves.
The Frontcourt: I can only hope that Zach Gibson watched the game film from last week and totally changed his outlook of how he needs to approach this game against UCLA. Hopefully the game film, plus the cold weather this week, has ignited a Rocky-like fire inside him. Try and picture Gibson running up the steps of the Angell Hall in a gray sweatsuit, knit cap, and Chuck Taylors. Few things would motivate me to get to Angell Hall before 9 AM in the winter, but witnessing this would be one of them. While I have trouble seeing it, I think this is the mentality he needs to adopt to rebound from last week’s performance against Northeastern. Both Gibson and Sims could really be effective against a somewhat undersized front-line of UCLA (Aboya at C is closer to 6’8 than his listed 6’9). Look for Beilein to go inside early to test Aboya.
Other points of interest: Douglass needs to have a big game to give UM a shot, CJ Lee makes his Big Apple return, Michigan’s first National TV appearance of the year, and UM Bball could have fewer losses than UM Hockey heading into the Christmas break. Didn’t think I’d be saying that a year ago…
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Both from college basketball...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Explanation: I have none I don't know anyone who does. My guess is this is the Nick Sheridan that the coaches picked to start the season. A guy who is actually calm in the pocket, keeps his head downfield when he scrambled, and does not force the ball when there is nothing there. All of those things are complete opposites of what he had done earlier in the year.
My unsubstantiated theory on this is that Michigan players and coaches, prior to the Minnesota game, had been carrying the burden of trying to make a bowl game and keep the streak alive. Because of this, the coaches did not let the players loose as much, and the players themselves were either hesitant at times (defense) or trying to force things too much (quarterbacks).
But with the streak finally out of the question. The coaches, admitted that they finally let them loose on defense, as Shafer took "all the complicated stuff out" as Rodriguez said and just let the guys play the way they know how to in the 4-2-5. On offense, the players, Sheridan especially, did not try to force things and just played relaxed and within themselves. The result: a blowout of a 7-2 team who was ranked a week prior, and Michigan winning a trophy in their last chance to do so in 2005.
This week, I have no idea which Michigan team will show up. I'm going to guess a slightly subdued version of last week, but still better than the rest of the season. Northwestern is without their top two running backs, and maybe without their starting quarterback again. They just got spanked by eeek O-State last week. Still they're receiving votes in top 25 polls (not exactly sure why) and have played better than Michigan this season (like most everyone else).
I don't know, but what the hell. Here's a short preview kind of (again we're going with a slightly less good Michigan team than last week).
Northwestern Offense vs. Michigan Defense:
Michigan's is likely to stay in the four man front with the 4-2-5 Nickel package for much of the game like they played last week. The four man front is obviously needed since that's the strength of the Michigan team. I love taking one linebacker out of there as well. And using Harrison and some other safeties as a nickelback/linebacker, blitzing alot is something I love as well (less of a liability in coverage and quick guys to get pressure). All of these are pretty much what everyone has asked for at some point of the season. A combination of that scheme change and the players finally playing more loose and relaxed is what I think resulted in their complete shut down of Minnesota's offense.
This week, hopefully they do the same scheme-wise and hopefully the players play loose and with the same enthusiasm of last week. Brandon Graham said he knew Michigan was more ready to play after the first hit.
Northwestern is now on their third string running back, #25 5'8" 175 pound So. Stephen Simmons, and will be with a still hurting, but ready to go starting QB in C.J. Bacher, but might split time with backup Mike Kafka.
Northwestern's running game has averaged 160 yards per game this season, but again, they're on the third-string Simmons who has averaged 2.9 yards on just 18 carries this season. If Northwestern can run, we have reverted to our play against Purdue. There is absolutely no reason Northwestern and Simmons should be able to run on Michigan tomorrow. Northwestern's O-line has three redshirt freshman and one sophomore starting and has been able to rely on the talented Sutton and fairly talented backup, Conteh, to make plays. Those two are gone and the running game should be too. But we've seen plenty of the unexpected this season.
Northwestern's passing game, however, could get back on track with Bacher back at the helm for the first time since October 25th. Kafka didn't play poorly the last two weeks and could still see the field, but Bacher is the senior leader of this team and though he's a little less mobile than Kafka, he still has 244 yards on the year averaging 4.2 yards per carry on the ground. If Michigan switches back to the 3-3-5 for some ungodly reason, or stops playing as aggressive in the 4-2-5, this could turn ugly.
Northwestern, however, has mightily struggled with turnovers this season. Bacher has 11 INTs to 10 TDs this season through the air, and Kafka also threw 3 INTs to just 2 TDs. Northwestern has also lost 10 fumbles and with a young running back and bad weather, that could increase.
If Michigan plays anywhere near the way they played against Minnesota defensively, they should contain a banged up Northwestern team. Northwestern will get in the endzone though at least once. Their spread is well-executed enough to give Michigan some trouble. This is a better offense than Minnesota's, but Michigan still should play loose like they did last week.
Michigan Offense vs. NW Defense:
Nick Sheridan will start. If he doesn't force things this works. If it doesn't work, Steven Threet is available and fully healthy which is great for Michigan. Justin Feagin will come in and bring a change of pace and I predict he will actually throw a pass tomorrow despite the bad weather. A couple of the runs he had were on read plays where Feagin had a throwing option; I say he passes it once and shows the pass just enough to keep running well.
That's the quarterback situation which looks alot better this week. Running back situation not nearly as good with Brandon Minor likely out for the entire game and Michael Shaw getting his first start. Shaw played very well, though, last week against Minnesota and it will be interesting to see how he does taking the majority of the carries. McGuffie should play alot more now with Minor out and he should be healthier. I doubt the run game will be as effective, unless the O-line plays as well as they did last week. Last week was their best performance and if they continue that play, and Shaw gets some big runs early, he could relax a little and make some plays. Still, that is unlikely and the O-line and run game should regress a little bit. Part of the reason for that is Northwestern's run defense is actually pretty good and better than Minnesota's giving up just 120 yards per game.
Greg Matthews played great, Darryl Stonum not so much, but Odoms also played very well last week. Matthews is turning in some awesome catches though and starting to gain momentum to be a very legitimate threat come next season. Northwestern has a terrible pass defense (228 yards per game and 9th in the Big Ten) so if Sheridan and Threet stay within themselves, as Sheridan did last week, Michigan could rip apart NW through the air.
So run game should regress, but NW is terrible in pass defense so if the QBs don't force things, Michigan should have enough success there.
Holy K.C. Lopata! Zoltan continues to dominate. The return game is actually looking to be more consistent and improving week to week.
NW is dead last in the Big Ten in punt returns, averaging just 36 yards per punt (and punting should be a major part with the bad weather), but they have a decent kicker in Villareal (17-21).
Michigan's special teams has been better as of late though, and barring a regression to their fumbles of early 2008, they should have an edge here.
Michigan 29 Northwestern 17
I have no reasoning for this as I find it impossible to predict with this Michigan team. This is a complete gut feeling of what I think will happen. I hope I'm right.
Thank you seniors for working hard despite the terrible year.
Four years ago, this is not exactly what the 6th ranked recruiting class of 2005 (and those left from the 5th ranked recruiting class of 2004) had in mind.
In 2004 and 2005, many had thought Lloyd Carr and company had put together perhaps their best back to back recruiting classes in Lloyd's tenure. Those from the 2004 class whose eligibility ended after 2007 (Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Jake Long, Jamar Adams), despite their disappointing '07 campaign had largely proven their #5 class ranking, producing Michigan's all-time leading passer and rusher, and the #1 overall NFL pick in Jake Long.
Four years ago, those who saw the 2005 incoming class, certainly wouldn't have predicted those seniors to go 3-7 with a loss to Toledo among the seven losses. But nevertheless, that is where they are.
While most point to Rodriguez's transition as the cause for this disappointing end to the '05 classes career, another look at what has happened to the class, prior to Rodriguez even arriving shows that this senior class is only 1/3 of the class that should be on the field.
Here is the list of players from the 2004 and 2005 recruiting classes who would have been eligible for a fifth year this season and their resulting fates leading up to this season. Anyone who is a fourth year junior from that '05 class was removed from the list. In bold are the players who are actually still here.
2004 Recruiting Class-5th in the Nation by Rivals.com
Roger Allison RB/FB 3 stars---Career Ending Neck injury prior to 2005 season
Adrian Arrington WR 4 stars---Entered Draft Early
Keston Cheathem WR 3 stars---TRANSFER to Oregon State prior to 2005 season
Jeremy Ciulla OL 3 stars---Realized he had no future in football and didn’t come back after coaching change
Doug Dutch WR 4 stars---Disappointing Underachieving Career/Special Teams guy
Brett Gallimore OL/DL 4 stars---Never played much---Got Degree in ’07 and moved on with his life
Tim Jamison DE 4 stars---Good Defensive End and Starter
Will Johnson DT 4 stars---Starter
Max Martin RB 4 stars---TRANSFER to Alabama prior to 2006 then to Alabama A&M
Mike Massey DE/TE 4 stars---Mediocre to Bad Tight End
Alex Mitchell OL 4 stars---Didn’t come back for fifth year with coaching change
Chris Rogers LB 4 stars---TRANSFER to Penn State prior to 2006 season
Charles Stewart DB 3 stars---Decent to Not so Good Safety
John Thompson LB 3 stars---Decent to Not so good Linebacker
Morgan Trent WR/DB 4 stars---Good Cornerback (eventually)
Marques Walton DT 2 stars---TRANSFER to Southern Illinois prior to 2007 season
2005 Recruiting Class-6th in the Nation by Rivals.com
Antonio Bass ATH 4 stars---career ending injury
Jason Forcier QB 3 stars---TRANSFER to Stanford
Eugene Germany DE 4 stars---Kicked off Team for Fight incident in 2007-TRANSFER to Arizona State
Brandon Harrison DB 4 stars---Mediocre safety/nickelback
Brandon Logan LB 3 stars---never played significantly
Mario Manningham WR 4 stars---Entered Draft Early
James McKinney DT 4 stars---TRANSFER to Louisville
Chris McLaurin DE/TE 3 stars---Off team prior to this season/injury? staying on Medical Scholarship
Chris Richards ATH 3 stars---Kicked off team after Fight incident in 2007/Never played significantly
Justin Schifano OL 4 stars---Never played-Left Team b/c didn’t enjoy football anymore
Johnny Sears DB 3 stars---Idiot---Kicked off team in 2007
Mister Simpson RB 3 stars---TRANSFER to Cincy
Marques Slocum DT 4 stars---Kicked off team prior to 2008 season
Terrance Taylor DT 4 stars---Great player
30 Players to Start With MINUS:
3 Career Ending Injuries (Bass of course hurts big time)
11 Kicked off the team AND/OR Transfers (All of which happened under Lloyd Carr, except for Slocum)
2 Early Draft Entries
4 Decided to move on with their lives and stop playing football (All O-LINEMEN)
With that we are left with just:
10 SENIORS (eligibility wise) after starting with 30 potential seniors
There are 8 fourth year guys (from the '05 class) with another year of eligibility none of which are good enough for the draft (Carson Butler DE, Andre Criswell DE, Kevin Grady RB, Tim McAvoy OL, Zoltan Mesko P, David Moosman OL, Laterryal Savoy WR, and Cory Zirbel OL).
Usually any recruiting class will see some considerable attrition from signing day to the start of their senior year. But from 30 guys who would be in their last year of eligibility to just 10?
Of the 16 players from the '04 class that would be seniors eligibility wise this season, we are left with just 7, 2 of which are Doug Dutch and Mike Massey who hardly have played this year.
Somehow 9 players from the '04 class, more than half the number of who should be in their final year, are gone.
Of the 14 players from the 2005 class who, barring injuries, would be in their final year of eligibility this season, we are left with 3, one of which has been good/great in Terrance Taylor, one mediocre to bad in Brandon Harrison, and one who never plays in Brandon Logan.
Somehow 11 players from the 2005 class who should be on the field this year, are gone. (There were 22 players in the entire class of 2005 so half the class defected)
Sidenote: Before you morons who are already anti-Rodriguez blame him, if you notice, only one player was kicked off the team by Rodriguez and that was the ever-troubling Marques Slocum. Out of the other four who decided not to come back for a senior season, Brett Gallimore and Justin Schifano were flat out ready to move on with their lives regardless of the coaching situation (neither every played and the latter seemed uninterested during his career). It could be argued that Ciulla and Mitchell didn't like Rodriguez and therefore didn't return. And that is only a possibility as neither have come out dissing on Rodriguez or anything. So out of the 20 potential seniors who are now off the team, only two COULD HAVE been due to a disagreement with RichRod.
Although recruiting rankings are flawed, if you are going to judge whether this senior class under/overperformed base on their ranking as a class (which was 6th for the '05 class according to rivals) we might as well judge the talent of the players by what they were rated out of high school.
11 four-star players who would be seniors this year, were lost to team at some point. That's a lot of talent that never really got a chance to develop.
And now we are left with these guys for the senior class:
Terrance Taylor DT
Brandon Harrison DB
Brandon Logan LB/Special Teams
Austin Panter LB
5th Year Seniors:
Morgan Trent DB
John Thompson LB
Charles Stewart DB
Mike Massey TE
Will Johnson DE
Tim Jamison DE
Doug Dutch Special Teams
Shakir Edwards Special Teams
Jason Gingell K
Sean Griffin LS
K.C. Lopata K
That's fifteen players in their last year of eligibility, five of them walk-ons or transfers, and of the ones who are actually from the recruiting classes, only 3 never developed into a big time contributor (Dutch, Logan, and Massey).
For a senior class of just 10 players who were actively recruited out of high school, seven starters is not bad at all. Sure Charles Stewart and John Thompson have not been very good this year, but you have to wonder if Michigan would have ever had to count on them if 20 players hadn't defected from the class.
While this year has been terrible, the seniors who stayed are not to blame. They were caught up in a class that had more attrition than most teams will ever see in a senior class. If they were still surrounded by even 5-10 of the guys who came in with them but are now gone, this senior class probably would have a couple more wins to their credit and still be in the hunt for a bowl game.
But only 1/3 of those who would be seniors this year have stayed. And when they take the field Saturday, no matter what happens in the game, I'll appreciate the fact that they not only stayed with their final year occurring in transition, but I'll commend them for having to watch 2/3 of the guys they came in with disappear.
The record still stands at a terrible 3-7, but when those 15 seniors run through the tunnel on Saturday, I'll be applauding.
Those who stayed certainly weren't champions. But, had that class not seen the unprecedented amount of attrition they did, they certainly would have had a better shot.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Join WCBN Sports next week LIVE in New York City and Columbus, Ohio. We have confirmed we will be broadcasting from Madison Square Garden in New York for the semifinals and championship round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Michigan will play UCLA or Miami (Ohio) on Thursday night at 9:00 and either Duke or Southern Illinois on Friday. Then Saturday, we will broadcast the final Michigan football game of the season, as Michigan battles their arch-rival Ohio State at high-noon in Columbus. 3 Games... 3 days... 2 cities... all on WCBN.
Tonight’s 76-56 Michigan win over the Northeastern Huskies sends the Wolverines to MSG next week in a match-up against UCLA and a possible finals match-up against Duke. The margin of victory was big and Manny Harris took home tournament MVP honors. Things were great for the Maize and Blue. That said… I can’t believe
But, that’s why they play the game. Here’s more on tonight’s flattening of the Huskies:
Lessons from LeBron: Manny Harris was everywhere this week. He dropped 30 on Michigan Tech and comes back to put up 26 points, 10 rebs, and 8 assists on Northeastern…just to make sure you didn’t think he was one-dimensional. Harris would have the triple double had it not been for a missed dunk and lay-up from Sims.
It looks like LeBron’s advice at summer camp has taken root.
Harris is scary good, will only get better, and is benefiting from open lanes created by his teammates hitting their threes. He is driving to the hoop at will and can probably set another record for trips to the foul line this year. The only thing I worry about is whether or not they start to lean more than they should. Harris has a tendency to be passive/defer in certain games, but a steady contribution from him will be what this team needs while the young guns (Novak and Douglass) get acclimated.
Microwave off the Bench: DeShawn Sims had himself another great game, putting up 19 points to go along with 7 boards off the bench. He looked comfortable at the 5 spot, moving to the 4 at times, and seemed to do well in clogging the lane and altering a good number of NU’s put-back attempts. If he remains on the bench to start, he’ll do exactly what Vinny “The Microwave” Johnson did for the Detroit Pistons in the Bad Boys era: Give them solid point production off the bench and make smart choices with the ball down the stretch. While he doesn’t need 19 pts a night, his presence on the boards needs to be felt in games like tonight where his front court teammates disappear on the glass. Speaking of which…..
The Gibson ‘wagon has stalled: Zach Gibson faced his first legitimate post-up opponent in NU’s Ojougboh and was not up to the task. Gibson was in foul trouble for much of the game, finishing with 4 points and 4 rebs in 15 minutes. He took only two shots and really looked flustered trying to get open. I’m not expecting him to be Kevin Love, but is 8 points and 7 boards a night too much too ask? I hope not. Otherwise the “Gibson Bandwagon” will be dismantled for parts.
The Crisler Crowd was decent for a 8pm Wednesday tip-off. Listed attendance was at 6200 (the lower bowl was pretty crowded) with the Maize Rage just about full for the first time this year. It would only take one win at MSG to see that attendance spike even higher when the Wolverines return from their road trip, even for a game vs.
It’ll be interesting to see the reaction
Yes, We Can.