<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://draft.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d19839948\x26blogName\x3dVarsity+Blue\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://varsityblue.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://varsityblue.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d9110799870737777087', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Varsity Blue

Visit the new Varsity Blue at http://www.umvarsityblue.com!

Breaking down the eligibility chart

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 by Tim

First thing's first: the class of 2007 is tiny. There are only 9 scholarship guys in it. First indication is that Michigan will have a tiny recruiting class next year. However, my count has 8 scholarships unaccounted for (well, three are accounted for, but won't be used by their original owners). That brings the total for the recruiting class up to seventeen, before any further attrition.

Possible early entries and big trouble, along with transfer candidates includes a sum total of 6 guys (Arrington only counted once). Thus, without any unforeseen attrition, such as some underclassman having a ridiculous year and going pro, or more Big Trouble, the recruiting class could be anywhere from 17 to 23. If it is determined that Antonio Bass can no longer play football (which would be a huge shame; he's a great kid and tremendous athlete), his scholarship will no longer count against the 85 (see precedents of Kolodziej and Reid), making it possible for maybe one more.

In future years, the classes will likely be bigger, as the graduating classes that are currently juniors and seniors are far more sizable that their senior counterpart. Of course, they are likely to shrink with some sort of attrition. The freshman class seems huge, but remember that a good number of the incoming freshman will redshirt, counting toward the next year's eligibility expiration, and not their own. Again, expect some sort of attrition from this class as well.

By the way, if anyone knows where I am missing 5 scholarships in the current breakdown, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Labels: ,

Scholarship Count

by Tim

This is based on the Spring Roster with the addition of Adrian Arrington. I only accounted for 74 scholarships (out of 79). The maximum is 85, but 3 scholarships were for the players who have since been dismissed, one was for Forcier, who be wit dem Cardinal now, and one for
mixon, who be wit dem Falcons. McKinney and Schifano have both quit the team. The status of Quinton Patilla is up in the air. This discrepancy of 5 should mean that there are more scholarships for the next recruiting class than many think (for next season, they will probably be given to some senior walkons). More walkons will be added before the season.

9-17-07 Johnny ears booted for dat herb.

Current scholarship players

2007 eligibility expiration - 9
Jamar Adams*
Anton Campbell
Shawn Crable
Brandent Englemon
Chris Graham*
Michael Hart*
Chad Henne*
Jake Long
Adam Kraus

2008 eligibility expiration - 20
Adrian Arrington
Jeremy Ciulla
Grant DeBenedictis
Doug Dutch
Brett Gallimore
Kevin Grady*
Brandon Harrison*
Tim Jamison
Will Johnson
Brandon Logan*
Mario Manningham*
Mike Massey
Alex Mitchell
David Moosman
Austin Panter*
Charles Stewart
Terrance Taylor*
Johnny Thompson
Morgan Trent
Cory Zirbel

2009 eligibility expiration - 18
Antonio Bass
Justin Boren*
Carlos Brown*
Stevie Brown*
Carson Butler
Andre Criswell
Brandon Graham
Greg Mathews*
Tim McAvoy

Chris McLaurin
Zoltan Mesko
Brandon Minor*
Mark Ortmann
Adam Patterson*
LaTerryal Savoy

2010 eligibility expiration - 30
Zion Babb*
Greg Banks
Artis Chambers*
Toney Clemons*
David Cone
Perry Dorrestein
Marell Evans*
Obi Ezeh
John Ferrara
Vince Helmuth*
J.R. Hemingway*
Brandon Herron*
Avery Horn*
Mark Huyge*
Jason Kates
Ryan Mallett*
David Molk
Jonas Mouton
(Quinton Patilla)
James Rogers*
Renaldo Sagesse*
Steve Schilling
Steven Threet*
Ryan VanBergen*
Donovan Warren*
Steve Watson*
Martell Webb*
Michael Williams*
Troy Woolfolk*
Bryan Wright

*Unused redshirt - Threet must use his redshirt in 2007.

Total – 59 + 17 Fall freshmen

Unused Scholarships – 10 (7 from Germany, Richards, Forcier, Mixon, McKinney, Schifano, Sears)

Possible big trouble – Arrington, as yet unforeseen misbehavers

Possible Early entry – Manningham, Arrington, Taylor

Possible Transfer Candidates – C. Brown

Unrenewed 5th Candidates – Gallimore, DeBenedictis, Dutch


William Bostic
Sam Buckman
Jon Conover
Shakir Edwards
Jason Gingell
Sean Griffin
Matt Hornaday
Ankit Kachhal
K.C. Lopata
Patrick Lyall
Ian McComb
David Middleton
Mike Milano
Lee Mondol
Mark Moundros
Tim North
Bryant Nowicki
Jason Olesnavage
Ohene Opong-Owusu
Max Pollock
Michael Ramirez
Jon Saigh
Nick Sheridan
Robbie Thornbladh
Ben Wright
Jeff Ziegler

Labels: , ,

[Grand] Marques Slocum Better Be Fast

Monday, March 26, 2007 by Paul

Professional incoming recruit (he's been on his way in for the past two years) Marques 'Grand Marques' Slocum responded to some criticisms leveled against certain players by "Michigan fans" on Facebook.com*. He posted this on the "wall" of a group called Michigan Football Recruiting HQ:
Wow... its crazy how thats all yall do is talk and post bullshit and yall dont know nothin... yall dont know our situations and its crazy how this is MICHIGAN FOOTBALL RECRUITING HQ'S and yall have no comments about recruiting or anything good about Michigan football(at least what I've read)...but i have some questions for yall... Did any of u get in trouble? or how bout did any of u get in trouble beause some asshole is a asshole? or how bout being a U. of Michigan football player and feeling like everybody in Ann Arbor is out 2 get u...we try 2 go out and have a good time but we cant do that because everytime we go out its another problem because of these average people... Now u respond 2 that!
I was not one of the posters in that group, but I'll take on the challenge to respond "2 that." To note, I'm going to avoid any (more) cheap jokes about grammar, spelling, etc., since this was a Facebook.com wall post and not an English125 assignment.

First of all, the assertion that we all know nothing and don't know the athlete's situation. Besides being a bit of an overstatement, there is a kernel of truth to this. No one outside of those involved, coaches and administrators knows what exactly happened. We can make educated guesses based on context and the limited statements that have been made. Also, it's not easy to try to put yourself in a Michigan Football player's shoes. They may not take the hardest classes, and they may have a dedicated academic assistance team, but it still has to be a tough row to hoe going to classes full time and being a college athlete.

Next, the last piece of good news from the Michigan Football team was Boubacar Cissko committing (I guess O'Neill too, but his name isn't as awesome). The past few weeks we have been inundated by rumors of drug use, assault and transfers. I'll take any good news I can get.

For the record, I have never been charged with an MIP, DUI, possesion of a controlled substance, assault, public indecency or even a speeding ticket. And it's not as though I spend all my time studying (junior year and I'm on a 2 year streak with no library visits!), or don't do anything (12 keg St. Patty's Day party), I just know how to manage myself and my environment so I don't get in trouble.

Now the age old question: What to do when an asshole is being an asshole? There is a little Irish guy in my house that when he gets drunk, turns into what can only be described as an asshole. He has some sort of complex and goes after the biggest guy he can find. Well, my freshman year, my buddy was drunk and looking for the biggest guy and Alan Branch was there (for those of you who don't know Alan Branch > Any man. Ever.). My friend was an asshole being an asshole, and what did Branch do? Alan could have easily picked him and thrown him onto the roof or something, but he just laughed it off while we told our friend how bad of an idea it would be to continue. That's one way to respond. Or you could just beat the hell out of some kid looking for an iron.

As far as people in Ann Arbor being out to get football players, I can see that happening. Someone gets drunk and tries to big the big man, but football player HAVE to know they could kick pretty much everyone's ass, so why show it? It sucks, it's not right that you have to put up with it, but it's there. I guess you could think of it as tuition.

Slocum has some decent point, and I will never say that being a student athlete is easy in any way, shape or form. BUT, they should realize that there will be those challenges when they come to a team like Michigan. I bet the coaches are fairly honest with them and let them know it won't be easy, but it will be their best chance to make themselves better people.

The football players who were dismissed from the team most likely deserved it. And Michigan needs to keep up it's reputation as both a winning football team as well as being the leaders and the best. Everyone screws up, but when that someone represents a university with a reputation like Michigan in such a visible way, his margin for error is much smaller.

Labels: ,

Hockey housed by Sioiux; Johnson going pro

Sunday, March 25, 2007 by Tim

The hockey team didn't say goodbye to just its season after their loss to North Dakota last night. Jack Johnson is also expected to sign with the LA Kings tonight. Johnson, a sophomore, will forgo his final to years of eligibility to the surprise of exactly no one.

Labels: , ,

Carson Butler, Eugene Germany, Chris Richards dismissed.

Saturday, March 24, 2007 by Tim

No surprise here. Hope they can get their lives in order, because they certainly have too much talent to waste it like they are right now.

Hey! a source! freep.

Labels: ,

Close Encounter of the Lloyd Kind

Thursday, March 22, 2007 by Paul

Every year the Greek Community has a semester long fund raising program inaccurately called "Greek Week." On Wednesday night, representatives of the charities receiving the funds address everyone in the Greek system at Rackham auditorium. One of the annual charities is the Lloyd Carr Cancer Foundation. To speak on behalf of the fund, Lloyd Carr has spoken 3 out of the past 4 years.

I was lucky to sit up front by the speaker staging area, and from watching him before and during his speech, I reaffirmed my strictly idealistic man-crush on Lloyd Carr.

Before his speech as people were filing in, I saw Carr walk up and begin talking to the spokesman for one of the charities. This kid is in a wheel chair, and couldn't even make it on stage to give his speech. Lloyd without an SID or handler telling him, talked with this kid for about 5 minutes. After his speech, the host of the event told the audience that Lloyd had also promised him and his family tickets to a Michigan game this year.

His speech was vintage Lloyd Carr. I could just imagine his note card for the event:
  1. Reminisce about own Greek experience
  2. Awkward anecdote about leadership
  3. Talk about football
It is important to note that transitions between topics are not allowed. The awkward anecdote involved Ernest Shackleton where he compared Michigan students to Antarctic explorers. The football talk was about his love of the NW corner of Michigan Stadium.
If we ever need to get a score late in the game, or get an important stop, I always hope it's in the North End.

He was asked after he left the stage to say a few words about Bo (Bo's charity fund was the next charity to speak), so he awkwardly went back up on stage and took the mic away from the emcee and told the story of his first interview with Bo, which included road rage, the Pretzel Hut and suspending players. I'm putting this in a quote, but I'm paraphrasing here:
For my first interview for a job at Michigan I flew in on a Monday. I walked into Bo's office, and there were a couple assistant coaches in there. We went out to the Pretzel Hut, which was a fine Ann Arbor establishment to go for lunch and a beer.

So after we left the Pretzel Hut, we headed to get the car in the parking structure. Bo was driving, and he pulled out and before he could even get the transmission into drive, a car that had been coming up slammed on his horn, and I mean really slammed. He wanted Bo to know he had pulled out in front of him.

Well, Bo wasn't in a good mood, he had to suspend some players earlier that day which never makes any coach feel good, so instead of putting the car in drive and going on his way, he leaves the car in reverse and slams into the guy.

I was thinking to myself 'this is one hell of an interview,' when the guy behind us honked again! So, Bo did the only thing he could do, and slammed into the guy again.

The obvious question this brings up is how big of a deal was drunk driving back in 1981.

I really think this type of thing is what makes a college football coach. Lloyd Carr, despite being a grumbling curmudgeon with the press, is open and compassionate with students and fans. Sure success on the field is in important (and Lloyd has had success with a .758 winning % and 5 Big Ten Titles), but if that was it, coaches would just be hired guns like they are in the NFL (or Alabama).

Lloyd Carr is the definition of a Michigan time, and I was really surprised and impressed that the day Michigan jumped to the lead of the Fulmer Cup, he was there in front of students and being a part of campus. Hopefully for Lloyd, he can win a (Mythical) National Championship and ride into the sunset with a legacy appropriate for such a good coach and such a great man.

Labels: ,

2007 Depth Chart: Now serving fun update!

by Tim

Here's the updated depth chart with certain players removed who are likely to get kicked off the team (or already have, per reports), taking into account Lloyd's press conference and some of the rumblings around the program. Red means no spring practice, blue means limited spring practice. Number of starts from last year is no longer relevant and has been removed.

Offensive Line
Boren or MoosmanMitchell
or Ortman
or Zirbel

Offensive Skill Players
Mallett or
OR Grady


Defensive Line
Van Alstyne
Or Graham
Or Ezeh
or Mixon
Patilla or Mouton
SearsS. Brown
Or C. Brown
Or Enlgemon
Or Gingell
Or Lopata
MeskoS. Brown
C. Brown

Labels: , ,

Information gleaned from Courtney Sims' myspace

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 by Tim

You Play Like...:Tim Duncan
You Want To Play Like...:KG, but it's dry
Best Hand:Right
Best Talent:My Hook
Second Best:Punching Shit
Third Best:Man, you going to far wit this shit now
Need Most Work In:My Handle
Second Most:Three point shot
Third Most:Strength
Describe Your Game In One Word:SMOOVE!!!!!!

Labels: , ,

Carson Butler and Chris Richards in Trouble

by Tim

Carson Butler, already on Carr's shitlist, is now likely to be kicked off the team. Chris Richards, not in Carr's doghouse, despite having an arrest warrant out for him, may be having some "staying on the team"-related difficulties, as well.. The Ann Arbor News provides this OMG Breaking News Alert!

The two are accused of beating the shit out of a random passerby in West Quad for "no reason" (a phrase which here means: they were drunk and probably high, though the article says there is no evidence of either).

Eugene Germany, previously thought to be in the biggest trouble of the three known to be in the doghouse, was ticketed for marijuana possession, which means his trouble was maybe not so great as it had been assumed to be. (Thanks to Brian for the link)

Labels: ,

2006 and 2007 Depth Charts

by Tim

Parentheses indicate number of starts, accounting for different formations. Departing players struck out.

Offensive Line
Long (13)Kraus (13)Bihl (13)Mitchell (12)Riley (12)
OrtmannCiullaMoosmanBoren (1)Mitchell (1)
Offensive Skill Players
Breaston (12)Ecker (6)Henne (13)Oluigbo (4)Hart (13)Manningham (2)
Tabb (4)Butler (5)ForcierPaulGradyArrington (4)
BradleyMassey (2)CriswellMinorMathews (1)
Defensive Line
Woodley (13)Branch (13)Taylor (11)Biggs (13)
Van AlstyneJohnsonWaltonJamison
Burgess (9)Harris (13)Crable (8)
Graham (4)ThompsonBurgess
Hall (13)Englemon (8)Adams (13)Trent (11)
Harrison (6)Mundy (6)BarringerStewart (2)
Rivas (13)MeskoBreaston

Removing players who will not be joining the Wolverines in the Fall, and adding in a couple of freshmen, the projected depth chart will flow as follows:

Offensive Line
Long (13)Kraus (13) or BorenBoren or MoosmanMitchell (12)Schilling or Ortman or Zirbel
OrtmannCiullaBoren (1)Mitchell (1)
Offensive Skill Players
Arrington (4)Butler (5)Henne (13)CriswellHart (13)Manningham (8)
Massey (2)Mallett or
HelmuthGradyMathews (1)
Defensive Line
Germany or Van AlstyneJohnsonTaylor (11)Jamison
Graham (4)Thompson or PanterCrable (8)
Mouton or LoganMixonPatilla or Mouton
SearsEnglemon (8) or S. Brown Adams (13)Trent (11)
Harrison (6)WilliamsEnlgemonWarren
WrightMeskoSears, Minor, ?)

Some things have changed since spring practice has begun (not reflected in the above). Andre Criswell has moved from fullback to H-back, leaving early-enrolled freshman Vince Helmuth as the lone Fullback. However, from Lloyd's spring presser, it sounds like the move is just for spring:
"We moved Andre Criswell to tight end. Criswell is a big, strong guy who really, I thought, towards the end of the season began to emerge. He'll still play some fullback, but this spring the emphasis will be at tight end because Mike Massey is out for the spring with a procedure."
All reports indicate that Jonas Mouton has looked great in practices thus far; will he be able to take the starting spot from Chris Graham? Carlos Brown has switched to the defensive side of the ball. Quoth Lloyd:

"Carlos Brown came in to see me after the bowl game and has an interest in moving to cornerback. That's going to be a great move for us."

...and on kick returns:
"Steve Brown will be a candidate, Carlos Brown is definitely in the mix. Greg Mathews. We'll look at a lot of guys, but I think those three have shown the type of potential to do well."

Then there's Arrington-Butler-Germany-gate. None of the aforementioned are listed on the spring roster, and it's unclear which (if any) will return to the team in the fall.
On whether Arrington, Eugene Germany or Carson Butler will practice this spring ... "No."

On whether all three could return by fall if they do what's expected of them ... "That is possible, maybe not probable."

Mgoblue has the full spring press conference transcribed here. Updated depth charts coming soon taking into account all of Lloyd's fun updates.

Labels: ,

Spring Roster released

by Tim

On MGoBlue now! Hurray!

Number changes:
Stevie Brown #3
Kevin Grady #24
Doug Dutch #35

New guys:
Ryan Mallett #15
Vince Helmuth #32
Artis Chambers #38
Austin Panter #54

Labels: ,

Sims, Udoh to stay at Michigan

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 by Tim

Nathan Fenno of the AA News reports.

This is huge news, aside from the fact that Michigan is retaining two great players, in that both Manny Harris and Alex Legion have specifically mentioned these two guys as reasons to stay committed to Michigan.


Spring Depth Chart article in AA News

by Tim

Courtesy of columnist John Heuser.

I have a slightly more in-depth look at the depth situation in the works, but am essentially to lazy to finish it in any reasonable amount of time. Look for that in the near future.


New Layout Alert

by Paul

After over a year of brave service, the Minima Blue template has been retired. Trying to avoid (intentionally or unintentionally) copying the blogs that Tim and I read all the time, we tried a different approach to the Maize and Blue color scheme. This is one is based more on the away jerseys.

Let us know what you think about the new layout in comments.


Michigan Stadium to Receive Scoreboard Update

Monday, March 19, 2007 by Tim

Clickondetroit reports.

The $750,000 update is expected to be completed by the start of next season. For the time being, that will rule out possible expansion around the end zones once the renovation is done (that wouldn't have happened for a very long time anyway).

For those of us desperately wanting a Godzillatron (a la Texas), there is no good news. When Texas renovated Royal Stadium, they built one Godzillatron, which, along with some (relatively inexpensive) audio upgrades, cost $8 million. I still wouldn't rule out improving the screens to HD capabilities, though the video boards will not become ridiculously large.

Labels: ,

Actual Football Post

Sunday, March 18, 2007 by Tim

Dann O'Neill, an offensive tackle from Grand Haven, has committed to the Wolverines. He's pretty highly regarded, though not exactly OMG shirtless. Probably a 4-star guy.

Jim Stefani has him ranked as the #26 offensive line prospect, regardless of position. Stefani also calls him 6'7", though there are a lot of conflicting reports about his size. Most credible sources have him at 6'5". Also of note in Stefani's post: Michigan targets J.B. Shugarts (#5), legacy Khaled Holmes (#17) , Kurt Wermers (#45).

O'Neill's a very athletic big guy: he wrestles, and finished 7th in the state. He was a commitment waiting to happen, and once his wrestling season ended, he pulled the trigger on a visit to the first spring practice.

Labels: ,

Around the Horn on Bill Martin Firing Amaker

by Paul

In case you have been in a cave the previous day (I was kind of in a green beer induced cave) Amaker has been fired. While the response from some Michigan bloggers can only be described as euphoria, some people feel differently.

Tom Izzo spits some righteously indignant fire in Bill Martin's general direction.

I feel bad for our profession that guys with 20 wins are getting fired in programs that I don’t think they stressed basketball there.
It is true that Amaker had 20 wins going into the Big Ten Tourny, but look at the schedule. I think a good IM team at Michigan could have beaten Wofford. Numbers mean nothing without context, and Izzo's point isn't salient when you put it in the context of playing a schedule that would make Kansas State's AD blush.

An interesting article from the recruiting angle. Some highlights are Legion with:

“I’m surprised, shocked and disappointed,” said Legion, a third-team Parade All-American who this past season averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Wilson, Va.-based Oak Hill finished 40-1. “Coach Amaker is the coach I wanted to play for.

“He and I were real close. And he was real close with my mom (Annette Williams), too. He was a father-figure to me. It hurts that they fired him.”

And the President of the Detroit Public School League Coaches Association had some an opinion on the firing:

“It’s terrible,” said Washington, who plans to write a letter expressing his disappointment. “They didn’t give him enough time. You need more time to rebuild a program than they gave him.”
So... watch out for a strongly worded letter Bill...

Michael Rosenberg chimes in with his article actually supporting the decision and giving some (predictable) thought on the future.

Finally there is a great interview with Bill Martin by Jim Carty and Nathan Fenno (via Maize 'n Brew). Definitely worth the read. You can really tell Bill Martin really didn't want to fire Tommy Amaker, but really had no choice, which was kind of surprising for me. I figured that Amaker had enough support from the administration, especially Mary Sue Coleman, to get through the offseason, especially with the recruits he has (or had?) coming in.

While unequivocally mediocre as a coach, Amaker was the right guy for the Michigan job six years ago. He restored the credibility of the program, but now Michigan needs someone to restore the luster, the excitement, the pride of the basketball program that was around in the Fab Five days, but with the added challenge of a lower salary cap. I hope Bill Martin can find the right fit and make Michigan basketball relevant again.

2007 T-Shirt Design

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 by Tim

Currently being voted upon by student season ticket holders. Here's a copy of the e-mail sent to students:
University of Michigan Athletics

Football student season ticket holders for the 2006 season may vote to decide the winning design of the 2007 Michigan football season T-shirt. The maize shirts with the theme "The Team, The Team, The Team" can be viewed and voted on at [link redacted] until Wednesday March 14 at 5:00pm.

You can be part of the largest crowd to watch a college football game by ordering a student football season ticket for the 2007 season. The student season ticket sale begins next week. An e-mail will be sent by Monday, March 19 to all U-M students with ordering information.

Go Blue!

Marty Bodnar
Associate Athletic Director, Ticketing & Marketing"

And the options are:




Also, I am an idiot and don't know how to prevent these images from breaking the tables. I'll make Paul fix it later.

[Paul - fixed it]

Another interesting bit from the Martin interview

Monday, March 12, 2007 by Tim

See a couple posts down for the original.

"My goal in football, in the Big Ten, is to ideally play a complete round robin - 10 conference games and two non-conference (games). I've been fighting for that for four to five years. I'm not going to get it. But I think I'll get nine games, soon."

As commenters and Brian have noted, maybe our boy Billy isn't so good at the math.

Hockey Liveblog

Saturday, March 10, 2007 by Tim

I've never done a hockey liveblog before for a few reasons:

1) This is a football blog.
2) I never followed hockey at all until the past couple of years, and know next to nothing about the sport.
3) I'm typically at home hockey games.

However, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I shall perform some awesome liveblogging of tonight's game against Northern Michigan. While I will always cheer for Michigan teams (even if a loss can result in an Amaker firing), I'm cheering doubly for the team tonight, because if they lose, I have to work at the game tomorrow.

I apologize in advance for my essentially utter lack of hockey knowledge. Because of this, I may not be saying much all that often. FSN Detroit coverage started a few minutes ago, so now I just await the drop of the puck (that's what faceoffs are called, right?) Another important fact to note is that I have a life, and may or may not end this blog early to do something with my weekend.

7:39 Puck drops. The announcer REALLY needs to learn that David Rohlfs's first name is not "Dale." I realize that I know very few players names based on their numbers, and will probably refer to a lot of guys by number, rather than name.
7:41 Uh, the puck has been on our half of the ice for a long time. Maybe we should go the other way.
7:42 Since I don't know a whole lot about hockey, I'll probably comment mostly on peripheral things to the game. One such thing is as follows: the announcers fucking suck. Give me O'Day and Breece!
7:43 A fun little loose puck thing happens, and Hensick collects it. Finding himself conveniently in a one-on-one situation with the goalie, he shoots, he scores. 1. We want. Mooooooore Goals.
7:45 Kolarik takes a shot off a beautiful feed from Cogs, but Zaniboni makes the save. This leads me to the realization that NMU has switched goalies since last night, going to Zaniboni who started most of the year.
7:48 Great color commentary. "Hensick is 10th on the Michigan all-time scoring list. He needs one more to move into ninth. Actually, that would make him tied for ninth." TV Timeout 1-0 UM 12:25 1st Period
7:51 Billy does the splits to make a save, not freezing the puck or clearing it out.
7:52 I guess it didn't turn out too poorly, as Cogs gets it to JMFJ for a goal. That would make it 2-0. Per the announcers, the teams are playing 4-on-4, though there was never any mention of a penalty.
7:54 Hensick makes a sweet move behind the net to get alone with the puck out front but Tim Cook(? #25) decides to wait approximately seven minutes before actually taking the shot, allowing Zaniboni to get back in position. NMU commits a penalty, UM on the PP. Cump, dick, wuss, etc.
7:58 Michigan penalty coming up. TV Timeout 2-0 UM 7:37 1st Period.
8:00 NMU scores on the power play, 2-1 UM. I don't think I remember seeing a legit power play set up by the Wildcats last night.
8:02 Cogliano does this thing where he skates around a bunch of guys and scores. Hooray! 3-1 UM 5:55 1st Period, Zaniboni is a sieve. TV Timeout.

I have determined that this here liveblog shall end after one period, because I get the distinct impression that I look like an idiot trying to talk about a sport whose intricacies, etc. are but a mystery to me.

8:05 David Rohlfs's name is still not Dale, a fact that will probably bring much embarrassment to the play-by-play idiot when someone whispers it in his ear. He is brutally bad.
8:06 Zaniboni gets hit in the head with a shot. Let's just say he's lucky it wasn't JMFJ.
8:08 For like 80% of the time the teams are at even strength, it looks like Michigan is on the power play, as they seem to be able to just set up camp in the offensive zone and pass it at will. JMFJ has a sweet play where he goes up the ice and has a good look at the net, but the puck ends up on top of the net after he fakes some dude out going between his legs.
8:10 Porter scores directly off the faceoff, putting Michigan up 4-1 early. This one might be over by the time the 2nd period rolls around (especially considering it already seems to be). 1, 2, 3, 4, we want more goals.
8:12 For the size of the network, I'm surprised how poor FSN Detroit's Coverage is. I'm at least as good a cameraman as theirs, and their announcers make me want to tear my eyeballs out. 4-1 UM End 1st Period.

Time to go socialize. Enjoy the rest of the game.

Labels: ,

Martin on Coaching changes

by Tim

Present (W Basketball), potential (M Basketball), and future (Football). From the Detroit News.

Martin keeps and open mind

Interesting tidbit for those who think Lloyd will hand-pick his successor (Debord):

Q . Would you like coach Carr involved in the process to find a successor?

A . I would say that I would seek Lloyd's input, but I don't think I would want a coach directly involved in the process. I think you need to be able to step back, take a long look at the program and decide what's in the best long-term interest of Michigan football. There's no question that that's an absolute critical objective.

And more interesting-ness on playing App. State:

Q . A lot of fans have criticized the school's decision to play Appalachian State in football next season. What's your take on that and your philosophy about football scheduling?

A . We thought we had a Division I opponent up until the final moment. Now, we didn't get it, but we had to get a game in place.

If you look at Appalachian State, they're the two-time, I-AA champion. Ask yourself: Do you think they could beat half the teams in the MAC?

I anticipate that we will have one of the top five toughest schedules this year. Look at our home schedule. Everyone wants you to play the top teams every week, unless you're a coach or athletic director. So you have to look at it from both sides.

OSU Liveblog: 2nd Half

Friday, March 09, 2007 by Tim

1:04 OSU inbounds the ball. They go right to Oden, who essentially walks right around Courtney.
1:06 Oden loves to block weak attempts at basket. Well, it's his lucky day, becaue he's playing against Courtney Sims.
1:08 Petway fouled before the shot, but the more foul trouble for OSU, the better. Turnover on the inbounds, of course.
1:09 Again, Michigan looks pretty lost on offense. Let's see some (get this) "motion."
1:10 Courtney blocks Oden WTF. Also, Dion airballs a WIDE open three. WTF again.
1:11 Petway needs to dunk in any tip opportunity he gets. TV Timeout. 42-32 OSU 15:54 2nd Half
1:14 C Sims with a curiously strong move, drawing the foul. Mike Conley's dad was an olympian is the new Tom Zbikowski is a boxer is the new Jeff Samardzija also plays baseball is the new Matt Trannon plays two sports.
1:16 Hey guys, let's give up wide open three.12 point lead for OSU. The game might be starting to slip away (for real this time).
1:17 Abram stems the flow, thankfully. Nice D by Dion.
1:18 More fouls on OSU. Muahaha. The more bigs they have in foul trouble, the better for us.
1:19 Lavin is inadvertently calling Conley Sr. a gangsta, as Jerret bombs a three, Lead is back down to 6.
1:20 Oden back in w/ 2 fouls, and a Udoh sighting for the first time in a while as well. He hits a shot. Hooray.
1:22 Scramble for the ball, Dave O'Brien decides it isn't important to let us know what the call is before the commercial. I'm assuming timeout OSU. 46-41 OSU 11:33 2nd Half
1:28 I had other shit to do, and missed a 4-point barrage by OSU. They currently lead 50-41. Oden forces a jump ball, but it stays w/ Michigan.
1:29 Though I went out of my way to defend Jerret Smith at halftime, he takes a lot of really shitty layups in traffic. Now he turns it over, but Conley charges on the break.
1:30 Steve Lavin hilariously lauds the Big 10 officials, who are actually really bad (though they're doing all right this game). Jerret hits a big 3 to bring it back within 6.
1:31 TERRIBLE foul call on Courtney, guarding Oden. There was almost literally no contact. Steve Lavin is still retarded. Sims with another block, and Matta picks up a T. Reminiscent of yesterday, when a UM fast break was stopped to T up Minny's coach.
1:33 Dion hits both, now UM has the ball with a chance to get within one score. Prediction: turnover. Nope, foul on Jamar Butler. His 3rd.
1:34 Abram misses the front end of a one-and-one, proving that he actually can't effectively contribute from anywhere. Another AWFUL ticky-tack foul on Sims (which they haven't even come close to calling on the other end). Even Lavin is laying into the refs, whom he and O'Brien were recently sucking off verbally.
1:35 Oden with a chance for the old fashioned 3-point play, as Petway commits the foul, but the free throw isn't close. Udoh takes an ill-advised jumper, then is mauled on the defensive glass, again with no call.
1:36 THEN COMES L.A. MR. CONSISTENCY. He is so hilariously inconsistent, but it's been mostly good in this game.
1:37 TERRIBLE FOUL CALL ON UDOH. I am seriously going to assassinate a Big 10 ref. They are awful at their jobs, with stunning consistency that is lacked by Lester Abram. 54-49 OSU 7:14 2nd Half
1:40 Another missed offensive opportunity by UM. They're going to have to start converting some of these if they want to have a chance at the end.
1:43 Dion Harris goes up strong and is fouled.
1:44 Petway makes the rare wise decision to not go for a crushing block, but the OSU player hits the 3 anyway.
1:45 Oh Jesus. Awesome OSU alley oop. Dion turns it over on a 5 second call.
1:47 Call me a homer, but this officiating isn't even close to fair. There have been bad calls on both ends, but anything even remotely resembling an OSU player being approached by a defender draws a foul. Nice +1 by C Sims on the hard foul by Terwilliger.
1:49 GRRRRR Jerret makes a good pass to Dion on the break, and he can't handle it for the easy deuce (and probably a foul as well, if he goes up with it). 66-56 OSU 3:47 2nd Half
1:51 Essentially uncontested hook shot by Oden. Time is starting to run out for Michigan. Execution must be at its peak, and now.
1:53 Hey guys, you're down by 10 with 2.5 minutes left, let's do something on offense. Michigan timeout. 68-60 OSU Hilariously, Oden whacked Petway on the dunk, and no call!
1:55 OSU gets the ball in, and O'Brien talks about Petway dunking in "multiple hairstyles." Conley (I hear his dad was an Olympian?) hits both foul shots. Jerret Smith turns the ball over, effectively ending the game.
1:58 71-60 OSU, they have the ball, about a minute to go.
2:01 72-62 OSU Final Score.


Labels: ,

Halftime Report

by Tim

(insert NBA Jam Scottie Pippen-Horace Grant hilarity). My apologies for going not-so-live for a while there; my internet connection played a hilarious prank on me.

Michigan has kept it close against a team that should be able to overmatch them, but they're going to have to get a little more energy going on offense.

rebounding, Reed Baker has played some minutes, Jerret Smith is limiting his turnovers.

other people have made up for Jerret's turnovers, the offense is really stagnant.

I have also come to a few decisions. People hate Jerret Smith and Tommy Amaker. I have been one of those people. UNTIL NOW. No, Jerret Smith isn't a great point guard. However, since he has been inserted into the starting lineup, he has definitely gotten the job done. If he would just work harder in the weight room (and on the treadmill), he could be a good PG, rather than a serviceable one.
Tommy Amaker is never going to be mistaken for a great coach. His offenses tend to look terrible. Part of this, however, is the desire of the players to work hard. In the game, he can only do so much. I have criticized him a lot for being emotionless on the sidelines, but sometimes you just have to come to terms with the fact that it's his demeanor. The coach can only do so much, and it's up to the players to execute (see: Courtney Sims bricked dunk, DH missed one-and-one last time against OSU).

The people who deserve a lot of the blame for the shittiness of this team are Lester Abram, who has gotten worse every year, and Courtney Sims, who is a decidedly low-ceiling guy.


OSU Liveblog. Prediction: Pain

by Tim

After letting the Buckeyes off the hook last Saturday, Michigan once again faces off against OState, this time in the Big 10 tournament.

12:00 Coverage begins. More Lavin. Dave O'Brien is his partner. Obligatory wrong soccer team reference.
12:03 First glimpse of hideous OSU uniforms. I thought I'd get used to them when I saw them in action, but it didn't happen.
12:04 Petway controls the tip. Jerret Smith eventually turns it over. They let the clock run down far too low before getting anything going, but it could have just been the good OState D. Coming back down, Dion Harris feeds Smith on the break, drawing first blood.
12:06 Ohio State answers with a fast break of their own. Also, somebody please inform Dave O'Brien that Lester Abram IS left-handed. His finish with left hand is considerably less impressive when taking this into account.
12:07 Good entry pass by Jerret, fumbled by Courtney. Eventual shot clock violation as Abram passes up an open three. Seriously. Tommy. Bench Abram. Seriously.
12:08 I could have witnessed his birth 18 years ago, and still not believe that Oden is under 30. Lame Dave O'Brien Oden dicksuck.
12:10 Conley steal, fouled by Jerret. TV Timeout. 8-6 OSU 16:03 1st Half
12:11 5 Point lead bucks. That might be the game already. 2 Consecutive turnovers for Michigan, including an offensive foul on Dion.
12:12 11-6 OSU 15:04 1st Half
12:14 Dave O'Brien is talking about being high. what.
12:16 Missed Alley Oop by OSU that C Sims REALLY should have rebounded. Udoh enters the game. Good things will likely happen. Abram passes up another open 3.
12:17 Udoh forces a missed layup on the break. I love him. OH MY FUCKING GOD I DO NOT DISLIKE PETWAY EITHER. My god, he draws a charge, too. He will be missed by many (namely me).
12:18 Lavin and O'Brien are making fun of how stupid Coleman is. Why don't they just talk about how bad he is at basketball? At least his wrist is OK to play. Lavin is talking about how much better UM is playing today over yesterday. Maybe he hasn't noticed that they only have 8 points. Harris fouled going to the hoop. TV Timeout. 13-8 OSU 11:27 1st Half
12:23 Jerret Smith is beat up and his wallet is taken on the way to the hoop, but the foul is not called. REED COMING IN BITCHES! Tommy trying to stop the Bucks from playing zone, I assume.
12:24 Speaking of players I love, make it rain, Reed. I think announcers always call Oden "Mr. Oden," likely because he's as old as their parents. D Sims battles for an offensive rebound, earning a trip to the stripe, where he makes one.
12:27 Jerret Smith is actually doing a pretty good job driving and forcing the defense to react. He draws another OSU foul (though he did just commit one on the other end).
12:28 A visit from our good friend turnoverus. Also, Reed doesn't do anything on defense. Abram passes up another wide open three. I seriously want to injure him.
12:29 D. Sims putback and a foul on Oden. It's like Christmas! 20-14 OSU 7:40 1st Half
12:32 Analysis of UM tournament chances. It's fairly obvious we must win today, and I think probably tomorrow (which will be a winnable game no matter who wins Iowa v. Purdue). Abram contributing the only place he can: the free throw line.
12:35 OMG he actually doesn't pass up an open three, and lo and behold he hits it! Harris lob to Petway, with a beautiful finish. Can;t wait to see him in a dunk contest.
12:36 Jamar Butler misses another shit, UM with a chance to tie it. TERRIBLE offensive foul called on Jevohn Shepherd. Lavin thinks Shepherd is a freshman.
12:38 Jevohn Shepherd, offensive liability turns it over, but luckily the OSU player lands on the baseline. Holy christ, Oden missed a shot, hell must be freezing over, Lavin. Harris hits a 3 to bring the score within 1.
12:40 Lewis responds on the other end, to open the lead back to 4. Courtney Sims gets pounded by Oden on the way up, of course no foul called. I'm ready for Tommy to start throwing items of clothing (start with Courtney's bra). 31-25 OSU 2:11 1st Half
12:43 Long jumper from D Sims with an expiring shot clock. Me likey the shot, not the situation.
12:45 Harris misses a rainbow three, Coleman gets the rebound, and Harris draws a shooting foul. Lavin and O'Brien are comparing coaching styles between Matta and Amaker. I don't think they realize they just have to say "good vs. bad."
12:47 D Sims misses the front end of a 1-and-1. Halftime 34-29 OSU

Labels: ,

Liveblog: Michigan vs. Minnesota 2nd Half

Thursday, March 08, 2007 by Paul

Halftime: After discussing McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden, I ran back to my house and turned on the game. It was an impressive display of the "Motion" offense. I watched the last 5 minutes and saw a total of 8 points, four each. This is going to be tough to watch, but I'll be here on the front lines.

19:26: I've become a fan of Jarret Smith lately. He makes a smart drive to the lane, draws the foul. Then he hits one of two, gets his own rebound, which he then summarily gives to Minnesota, but still... you like the hustle.

18:38: Could Harris be heating up? 2 straight threes. This one off of good penetration and kicks by Smith and Abram.

17:57: Courtney Sims gets the ball and doubled and finds an open Petway for an AG why you doin' that? Dunk. Sims with court awareness? This could be a good thing, but I doubt that will keep up.

16:52: OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION! 14 points in 3:30 after only 36 in 20 minutes. Michigan has something that looks like offense. This could be encouraging. Michigan needs to play this game like they played against OSU. They can

15:46: Why can't the Big Ten get good basketball officials. Michigan has an open man past the defense, good pass down, easy lay-up, BUT IT WHISTLED OFF. Why you ask? To call a technical foul on Minnesota's coach. He's not a puppy, you don't have to T him up immediately for him to learn his lesson. Why would you penalize Michigan to penalize Minnesota? Damnit. At least Harris makes both to get it up to ten.

15:33: Karma. Petway makes a tough shot he normally wouldn't off of the Technical foul.

15:05: With all due respect to Brian @ mgoblog, Minnesota's PG just threw a post entry pass to Tacopant. Honestly, I think it might have gone over the back board.

13:43: Too bad it's almost over, but I'm really started to dig this Smith, Petway pick and roll. If they had another year, I could imagine a TON of alley-oops coming off of that set. It just (good?) offense, which is always refreshing to see from Michigan.

11:57: Instead of the Jeff Bowden-esque 3pt shot, with the shot clock running down, Jarret Smith drives and gets a good look and gets fouled. He is really starting to make good decisions. He's the most pure PG I've seen since Amaker has been here.

10:31: Minnesota can't hit anything. 16pts in the first half, 7pts in 10 minutes in the second. Wow. I thought Michigan was bad.

10:06: What little rhythm there was in this game, the refs have completely removed.

8:34: FINALLY! After missing 9 straight field goals, DeShawn Simms gets a put back and Michigan equals it's first half (which I thought they would about 3 minutes ago).

8:22: Courtney Sims needs to GO UP STRONG! He gets blocked from behind on a bunny.

7:08: Michigan is doing a good job crashing the offensive glass, but could do better converting, another turnover.

6:02: AGAIN. Michigan does a great job getting the offensive rebound just to turn it over. Michigan needs points, bad. It's only a six point game.. Michigan hasn't scored in almost 3 minutes.

5:12: Ronald Coleman (wtf?) nails a three from the corner off a sweet drive and dish by Smith. But Abu-Shamala answers right back.

4:15: Dion Harris shooting the head end of a one-and-one and hits it. Brent Musberger keeps and saying how Dion Harris "lowered the shoulder." Having watched Harris for four years, I've noticed his shoulder on his ball handling side is always low. I think he does it to look gangsta'. But he did not

3:06: Coleman goes up for a rebound and a Minnesota player undercuts him (totally accidental, legal contact, just unfortunate) and he lands hard on his side. It looks like his wrist hit and then his body came on top. Ouch. I bet everyone in the United Center heard the thud. I don't want to sound like a huge asshole, but at least it's Ron Coleman.

2:11: Brent Musberger has a crush on Dion Harris? This is verbatim, I swear. "Dion Harris is a cutie."

1:39: Abram fouls out. For some reason, I'm not immediately fearing for the win. Where has Udoh been this game? I missed the beginning, was there an announcement? I don't remember him getting hurt in the OSU game.

1:12: Brent Petway is a rebounding machine. He skies up there and grabs the board over everyone else. I was really worried about Graham Brown leaving and who would fill his role. People mentioned Petway, but I was skeptical, but I was wrong. He does a lot of the little things, takes charges, makes blocks, just a good energy guy. But he also has the ability to do some of the most incredible dunks in college basketball.

54.1: Reed Baker SCORES! That's all really, just thought that was worth noting.

6.1: So fitting. Michigan gets the offensive rebound with the shot clock off and then TURN IT OVER. I wonder what percentage of Michigan's turnovers came after offensive rebounds.

Final: 49-40. Decent game by Michigan, but it really seemed that they weren't playing their hardest. It could be understandable that Michigan was looking ahead to OSU, but luckily Minnesota is horrible. Jarret Smith needs to play out of his mind tomorrow, and I think he could do it.

Labels: ,

Minnesota 1st Half Liveblog

by Tim

12:00 Cold Pizza ends, and there was much rejoicing. Brent Musburger is announcing, and there is moderately less rejoicing.
12:01 Per Steve Lavin, guard play is one of the key aspects of the Big Ten tournament. We're fucked.
12:04 Le Tip. Courtney wins it, and an early foul is committed by Minnesota. Not a terrible start. Turnover by Abram. My surprise level is 0.
12:05 Holy shit. The ball gets stuck between the rim and the backboard and Jerret Smith can't jump high enough to knock it loose. Petway fouled, can't hit the shot. Jesus, this is just comedy hour. According to Musburger, Brent's "main girlfriend" gave him the winged helmet cut. He missed both FTs.
12:06 Huge Petway block. Abram hits the shot and gets the foul. Scoring opens 1:46 into the game.
12:08 Neither team can hit anything. I guess I should be used to it for Michigan this late in the year.
12:09 Pick and roll with Smith and Petway, that inexplicably ends with Petway shooting (and missing) a 12-footer. Then, TURNOVERPALOOZA!
12:10 Udoh enters the game. Good, Minnesota needed to be shut down on offense a little more. TV Timeout 3-0 Mich 15:46 1st Half.
12:13 AWESOME GARRETT RIVAS JOKE, MUSBURGER!!!! Apparently the ball sucked, which was causing the scoring to be off. I think the announcers and refs just aren't used to shitty basketball teams. Courtney Sims scores.
12:14 Minnesota draws a foul on Courtney, giving them an opportunity to finally score. They hit both.
12:15 Courtney is doubled every time he gets the ball, but has yet to turn it over. Dion charges, ball to Minn. They get an easy dunk.
12:17 Pretty weak foul called on Courtney, denying the entry pass.
12:18 A Minnesota player humps Smith as he sprawls out for the ball. You can hear boos from the crowd, which one can only assume are coming from State fans. Udoh inexplicably shoots with his feet on the 3-point line.
12:20 Blocking foul on Petway, which is two quick ones. Minnesota is building a good amount of momentum here.
12:21 Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Jevohn Shepherd, offensive liability.
12:22 Jesus, they're really letting the kids play out there. Deshawn took a pretty good hit on the shot, no call. 9-7 Minnesota 10:47 2nd Half
12:25 Back to the game. Minnesota's band is full of even bigger nerds than ours. threeball for Minnesota. Abram gets blocked in embarrassing fashion when he was triple-covered. Obligatory Musburger-Oden dicksuck.
12:27 Repeat dicksuck. Steve Lavin Joins dicksuck.
12:28 Jerret Smith tries to dribble with his right hand, with nearly disastrous results.
12:30 Nobody is moving on offense, which is a bad sign in an offense named "motion." Deshawn gets foul on a shot, immediately resulting in a commercial. 12-11 Minnesota 7:39 1st Half
12:32 Georgetown is apparently really good, which makes me less angry about getting spanked by them earlier in the year. Deshawn hits one of the two FTs.
12:33 Tollackson takes approximately 4 changes of pivot foot before shooting, and the rebound is tied up.
12:34 Smith takes someone off the dribble(!) but promptly misses the wide open jumper.
12:35 My god this offense looks awful.
12:36 MacKenzie pokes Smith in the balls, and is entirely perplexed as to why this is a foul.
12:37 Tommy apparently shows emotion only by shoving his players as they head towards the scorer's table. Harris easy deuce on the break. 16-12 Michigan 4:37 1st Half
12:39 Tollackson provides some evidence that Udoh really needs to hit the weight room. D. Sims looks to have been fouled, resulting in a turnover, and Minnesota scores an easy breakaway basket on the other end.
12:41 He is fouled again, and this time it gets called. 16-16 3:25 1st Half
12:43 Deshawn goes 1-2 again. Lavin and Musbirger are talking about getting wasted together last night. What. The. Fuck.
12:45 Udoh draws the offensive foul on Tollackson, his 2nd. MORE FOOTBALL JOKES LOL!!!
12:47 Abram travels. PLEASE sit him for the rest of his life, Tommy. Nice box out on the three, Jerret.
12:48 Offensive foul on Mr. Consistency. Seriously, Tommy, if you value your job, you will sit Abram.
12:49 Smith is guarding a post player, but Udoh managees to hop over and get the block for him. Dion hits a 3.
12:50 Zany play at the end that Musborger accurately describes as "volleyball" and the half ends with Michigan leading 20-16. This is on pace to be a 40-32 game. AWESOME!

Class time.

So I decided to skip class...

by Tim

...and watch the first half of the game, so Paul can ever-so-valiantly bring you what I miss. If the first half isn't over by about 12:50, you'll miss out n the end, because I must must go to my 1:00 class.

There are few things more awkward than sitting in a classroom, waiting for class to start, and leaving because you have realized that Lorch Hall isn't so keen on this "wireless" idea.

I'll be doing work during the game since I'm skipping class, so my apologies if the liveblog isn't teh awesomez.

Basketball Liveblog: Michigan vs. Minnesota

by Paul

I'll be liveblogging (most) of this game today. Unfortunately I have a class from 11:30 to 1 that I haven't legitimately attended in about 3 weeks. Fortunately, the professor apparently hates to teach and routinely shows up late and lets class out early.

There is a rumor on the series of tubes that one could watch the game for free on ESPN360, but I don't want to "that guy" who brings his laptop to class or "that guy" who's laptop dies 20 minutes into class because his battery is shot.

Tim will attempt to catch what I miss during his class (obviously far more dedicated than I, either that or you really don't have to pay attention in communications classes).

Hopefully we won't have a repeat of last year. Let's GO BLUE!


Happy Zoltan Day!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 by Tim

Per Brian (and creepily verified through FaceBook), today is the official Zoltan Mesko Birthday, which shall henceforth be known as Zoltan Day. In honor of the joyous occasion, I am wearing my Zoltan shirt (dutifully purchased from MGoStore), and sharing a fun anecdote that I have likely already told and am too lazy to type out in its entirety.

Place yourself in LAX airport on January 2, 2007. You may just spot yourself a Zoltan! If you are extra lucky, connecting to Grand Rapids through Cleveland, you may just find a Zoltan on your flight! (Mario Manningham and Prescott Burgess, too, if you must know). Luckily, you taught your parents the "Z" symbol yesterday at the Rose Bowl of Finite Pain. Unfortunately, they enjoy embarrassing you publicly. They convince the flight attendant to form said "Z" hand symbol in the face of the Zoltan! He laughs in her face, and you feel like an idiot for having taught your parents not only the hand thing, but also telling them that He was on your flight.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Michigan vs. Ohio St. Live Blog 2nd Half

Saturday, March 03, 2007 by Paul

Half Time: If this game was decided by which university had the better PSA, Michigan would win hands down. With my apologies to EDSBS, SPACE BITCHES! Looking at the stats, Michigan is doing a good job of drawing fouls and not getting into foul troubles themselves. Only C. Sims and J. Smith have two fouls while virtually all of OSU front line players have at least 2 fouls.

18:30: Oden gets bailed out as the officials call the foul on Ivan Harris and not Greg Oden. Sims continues to earn my ire as he misses both of his free throws.

17:07: Big Ten officials <3 Greg Oden. And Amaker gets a technical and loses his coat! He's just rocking the business casual turtle neck. He's still yapping. Maybe he'll get kicked out and Michigan will have a chance.

17:01: Amaker's words did not fall on deaf ears and puts his coat back on. Petway drives and gets fouled by Oden. Oden may be a 7 footer, but Petway can jump as high as Dwight Howard.

16:06: Decent offense against the zone. Smith gets a little penetration and is able to get it to Sims a foot away from the basket who (just to annoy me) Euro-dunks it. Then Sims follows it up with a block on the other end. I'm liking the play from the seniors (although Abrams has been sitting most of the game), but Smith is really surprising me with good, intelligent point guard play for the most part.

14:42: Michigan is playing inspired defense. They got back and even though OSU had numbers, it looked like Michigan had more on that end of the floor. Eventually they force the bad shot and the OSU rebounder goes out of bounds.

14:09: Did Abram hear me? He's playing a lot more aggressively now with two drives (one for a block) this one a really nice drive and finish.

12:55: Abram was running around looking for someone to guard. Luckily OSU turned it over stepping out of bounds.

11:49: Michigan is stagnating on offense, but they really look like they're playing to win. Good hustle for rebounds and loose balls. Michigan has only 2 more turnovers then OSU and has a assist-to-turnover ratio of over 1.00. Weird.

11:22: Harris goes on to the court and breaks a 3-minute scoring drought with an and-1 opportunity which he fails to convert.

10:13: Petway vs. Oden. Petway wins.

9:02: WOW! Lob over the top of Oden to Courtney Sims who goes up strong with arguably the nation's best shot blocker right over his should. Thad Matta looks like he's almost to a gum spitting level.

7:54: The Big Ten officials seem to go by the assumption if Oden gets the ball and doesn't score, there most be a foul. By the by, this might be the first game not against Delaware St. where I have been worried by Courtney Sims going to the bench. He has been playing Oden tough and had gotten it going on the offensive end. With the OSU game plan looking like "feed Oden" I would really like Sims out there.

6:50: Petway hits the deck to get the ball out to Smith on the offensive glass. Abram gets the ball and draws another foul. The seniors are playing like they don't want to win the NIT.

5:56: I was just about to write how I don't like Michigan playing the zone and then Smith comes up with the steal which leads to a Dion Harris score after an inbounds.

5:11: I don't like Michigan playing the zone. They don't know what they're doing. People are just running around trying to guard a man or a zone, it's hard to tell.

4:55: SIMS DRAWS A FOUL ON ODEN. Sims is trying to re-earn my love! Going strong into Oden and gets the freebies. NAILS THE FIRST! AND THE SECOND. Michigan up by two.

4:45: Oden gets it right back against Sims, who has 4 fouls.

4:15: Who is the player wearing #1 for Michigan; I sure don't think it's Smith. Honestly, besides the turnovers, which were only early on, he's been playing out of his mind. Making great passes, great decisions, good drives and that ridiculous three point bomb from the side.

3:54: Sims gets an and-1 thanks to great feed, four fouls on Oden, and the hilariously named Terwilliger hitting his arm.

2:31: Michigan up by 2pts. It seems as though Michigan has been in control the entire game, but OSU could go on a run of 8-20 pts and blow this game wide open.

2:21: Michigan is starting to turn the ball over an awful lot. They need to stop if Michigan has any chance of holding on.

1:54: Michigan is down by 2. The game is going in the wrong direction. Michigan needs a solid offense possesion. If Dion Harris or Jarret Smith could turn the corner and either go all the way or dish it to Sims or Petway.

1:27: Sims misses a dunk. I'm pretty sure there was a foul, but Oden had four, so... no dice.

48.8: Sweet spin move by Harris draws the foul. He better make these...damn. Misses the front end of a one-and-one

10.0: Michigan can't box out Ivan Harris since there are 6 Michigan players blocking out Oden. Immediate foul and Michigan is down by 3. And 4.

0.0: Smith throws it into the backcourt instead of, you know, shooting. OSU wins. Michigan gears up for another great NIT run.

Final: 65-61. A missed dunk by Sims and Harris missing the front end of a one-and-one with less than 90 seconds to go in a must win game. This, unfortunately, doesn't surprise me at all. Two seniors, on Senior Day, against the #1 team in the country, playing for their tournament lives fold under the pressure. Now Michigan will have to win AT LEAST two games in the Big Ten Tourney for any chance of a bid. Amaker should try to get a Technical foul each game in the tourney. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Michigan vs. Ohio St. Live Blog 1st Half

by Paul

3:59 pm: Winthrop wins Big South Tourney. Importance? At large bid quality mid-major wins conference championship.

4:01 pm: Forget my Blogger password and have to reset it.

4:04: pm: Washington Huskies just bean UCLA... waiting for the Michigan game to come on.

(Switch to time in the game)
18:53: Game comes on and Michigan is up 3. That's a pleasant surprise!

18:21: Apparently Mich. St. is playing. Love the announcers. And... Jarret Smith loses his shoe as opposed to losing the ball.

17:40: There's that Jarret Smith turnover!!

17:21: There's another one!!

16:45: Turnover #3 for Smith in less than 4 minutes! But he makes a 3 pointer... so he's even I guess?

15:30: First media timeout 8-7 Michigan. Interior defense has looked fairly solid. Lester Abram has drawn at least two fouls so far.

15:12: Petway is awesome. Blocks the ball all the way to the Big House. He also has the winged hair. Pretty sweet.

14:32: Michigan doesn't do anything that looks like offense until there is 10 seconds left on the shot clock which leads to a Jeff Bowden-esque 3pt shot from Dion Harris.

12:53: Ohio St. leads 11-10. And Harris turns it over. 13-10.

12:00: According to Big Ten Wonk, Michigan turns the ball over on about 41% of their possesions. They might up that average toady.

11:30: Courtney Simms gets a sweet entry pass and actually goes up fairly strong and puts it in. The only reason I'm noting this is because he usually either doesn't catch the ball or has some sort of magnetic repulsion to the hoop on the catch.

11:08: Michigan and Ohio St. are primary rivals in football only in my opinion. In basketball I would say MSU is a bigger rival, and ice hockey is probably MSU too.

9:21: I like the defense that C. Sims has been playing on Oden. There was a really weak call on him on an Oden post possesion. If the refs are going to let Oden be physical on offense, Michigan defenders ought to be able to push back.

8:55: Jevohn Shepherd scores? That doesn't happen. Although, it seems as though he should be better. He has good size and made a good move to the basket. I bet it has something to do with the ultimate player development coach we have...

7:48: Petway bricks a 12ft jumper. He should have just dunked it from there. AG why you ain't doin' that?

6:35: This zone is killing Michigan. The Wolverines are just tossing it around the perimeter hoping for one of the OSU defenders to die of boredom. With 4 seconds left Dion Harris starts driving (presumably for a hopeful toss) and gets fouled. Maybe they should do that more...

5:23: Jerret Smith can make some great plays (3/4 court lob to Petway/hook pass to Petway down low this game) but then will have the inexplicably dumb turnover. He could be pretty solid if he had a little more consistency

5:00: AG WHY YOU DOIN' THAT? Huge dunk from Petway off of another GREAT feed from Smith after he broke down the defense going baseline. Michigan up by 8 now.

4:07: The Basketball team looked like the football team's front seven against Penn St. (don't get that reference? Ask Anthony Morelli) on the offensive glass.

3:51: For Christ's sake Dan Bonner! It's Michigan! They are wearing Yellow which is not close to either White or Green.

2:42: Big OSU run with improbable 3 pointers and some poor defense from Michigan.

2:14: Petway has actually achieved some basketball smarts during his time at Michigan (not classroom smarts as he is routinely in the back of the class with music blaring so loud the lecturer can probably hear it). He catches the lob, stays in bounds and feeds it D. Simms, who can't convert, but still a nice play by Petway.

1:27: Epke Udoh, much to the chagrin of announcers, draws the charge. He's going to be a star at Michigan, and is probably the only person on this team who has a chance at getting drafted (obviously not this year). But Dion Harris sure is a deadly shooter when he has space.

0:33: Michigan doing what it does best, running time off the shot clock, and then they turn it over. That might actually be what they do best.

Half Time: Michigan up by 3 playing at a pace that is good for them. Good defense for the most part. They have weathered OSU's runs fairly well, usually maintaining the lead. I get the feeling we'll be seeing a lot of OSU's zone in the second half. Michigan has looked horrible against that defensive look. They got bailed out by some fouls drawn by Harris and did a good job of crashing the boards, but overall Michigan looked very stagnant against the zone. Up two is not bad going in to the half against the #1 (no matter how legitimate) team in the country.


Tip? Question? Contact Varsity Blue


Become a fan of Varsity Blue on Facebook


recent posts

recent comments


important posts