Sunday, January 31, 2010

Michigan Basktball: Michigan Rebounds – Literally

Posted at 12:00pm -- 1/31/2010

Michigan Rebounds – Literally

It was, if one were a Hawkeye fan, easy to see why Iowa struggles to stay in games and pull out wins. There is not much basketball talent out on the floor. Sure, there were moments when Iowa’s guards drove the middle and secured easy lay-ups against Michigan’s inside defense, and there were the three pointers that went in now and then. But for most of the game, Michigan, with better talent, made more shots, got to the loose balls before Iowa, and generally was able to easily rebound and get the ball up court. Iowa did not have many opportunities to apply pressure since so few shots went in during the first half. This may have made no difference.

Michigan started off smartly by immediately getting Sims the ball on some good entries. After building a good lead, it looked like the guys got bored and started launching some less than ideal shots, including the dreaded barrages of three’s. Enough went in this time to protect the lead.

In the second half, Manny decided it was his turn to join the fun and he dominated most of the second half. Make no mistake, even though the Wolverines got the ball to Sims early and Manny fired and hit late, the team did not put on an offensive clinic yesterday.

During the last ten minutes, Michigan became sloppy and threw many poor passes, just after receiving a compliment on this site for improvement in taking care of the ball. Some poor shots went up and certain subs could have played a little better during this stretch. Anthony Wright played very hard but the results were unfortunately unimpressive.

Sims continues to impress me with his overall skill set; he works hard (usually), can go inside or outside, and frankly can rebound very well for his size. It is the belief here that he could make a nice small forward in the NBA. Scouts will like him because he could play some 4 as well as 3. Someone in the NBA may agree and draft Sims before Manny. Neither is going to be a lottery pick, and neither may actually be a first-round pick.

Michigan is still hanging by that dreaded thin thread, just where the improbable is still possible. The mission is simple; this team must get on an unexpected role and get some quality wins. The four and five of the first part of the Big Ten season must be more than reversed in the second half of the Big Ten season. The Wolverines will likely finish between a high of 6th and a low of ninth. It seems improbable that Iowa, Indiana, or Penn State should overtake UM. Michigan must set the scope sight on Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northwestern. This group will be the bottom of the cement mixer that was discussed in the preseason article offered on this site. Who will come out of the mixer and get the final Big Ten slot is still very much in doubt. So, Michigan’s job is to win enough games to literally stay in this mix and not sink to the land of Penn State, Indiana, and Iowa.

Thank you for reading and continue to visit GBMW.

Written by Doc4blu

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Mailbag question: Recruiting and the advantages of Texas, Florida and California schools

Posted at 8:00am -- 1/31/2010

Mailbag question: Recruiting and the advantages of Texas, Florida and California schools

Given that most elite recruits are from the Southeast and Texas/California, isn't the Big Ten under a tremendous disadvantage? How do you get someone to move from warm weather to the frigid cold, especially that far from home? I also have a second question. Why can't RR compete for the best recruits against Ohio State? Is it simply due to the last two seasons? Seems to me we were losing ground even before he arrived.

Sent from my iPhone

Peter F.


Thanks for the question.

USC, UCLA, Texas, and most of the SEC schools definitely have a built in recruiting advantage.

Texas can basically fill in its entire roster with homegrown talent and usually has almost and entire class verbally commit a year ahead of time before signing day; the same with USC and Florida schools inking the in-state recruits.

In Ohio, we have been upset with Michigan's recruiting of the state back to the Coach Carr days. At this point, getting the elite talent from Ohio is going to take some serious work. Ohio State has done a fantastic job in state and will not give that up without a tremendous fight.

Michigan has secured commitments from many recruits in Ohio this year, which we like a lot. But of these Ohio players, there are few, if any, that Ohio State either offered or had a serious fight with Michigan for a commitment. We need to start battling Ohio State for the elite players in Ohio and in 2011 Michigan has a good chance, but they need to win and also stay on these recruits the entire year, not just after the season.

Trying to convince high school recruits that playing in cold will help prepare them for the NFL is one angle we have heard used.

One thing Michigan/Coach Rod has to offer is early playing time, but most of the true elites believe they can compete with anyone at any program.

The bottom line, is Michigan has to start to win again if it wants to attract the best of the best, or as we say the elite players.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Michigan Hockey: Michigan vs. Michigan State

Posted at 4:00pm -- 1/30/2010

Michigan Hockey

Michigan vs. Michigan State
7:30pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 663
FSN Detroit

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

BTN: The Journey -- Special look at MSU and Michigan

Posted at 3:00pm -- 1/30/2010

At 9:30 PM ET, immediately following the Big Ten Basketball Post-Game Show, The Journey will take viewers behind the scenes during this week's Michigan-Michigan State thriller, an unforgettable, new chapter in the rivalry.

The show re-airs at 9 PM and 10 PM ET on Sunday and 9:30 PM ET on Monday.

Following multiple teams every week, The Journey offers a behind-the-scenes, documentary-style look at the most intriguing storylines across the Big Ten Conference. Video clips and bonus footage from previous episodes can be found at

The Journey
9:30pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Written by GBMW Staff

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Michigan Men's Basketball: Iowa at Michigan

Posted at 2:00pm -- 1/30/2010

Michigan Men's Basketball
Iowa at Michigan
4:30pm EST. - 6:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Written by GBMW Staff

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Michigan Basketball: Iowa at Michigan -- Preview

Posted at 12:00pm -- 1/30/2010

Basketball Reviews and Previews

The past 10 days or so have not been nice to Michigan basketball. But it may be more accurate to say that Michigan basketball could be nicer to itself as an entity.

The team has played better, as one would expect. However, this team has many chinks in the armour and the current version of Wolverine basketball must play at a very high level to beat top ranked teams. That (winning against a top team) almost happening against Michigan State; almost is the operative word.

First, a run-through of Wisconsin and Purdue will be presented. Michigan caught Wisconsin at just the right time, coming off a tough loss and on the road. The Badgers got off to a horrible start, missing the first eight shots. As well as the Badgers are coached; they were clueless and ripe for a blowout. Michigan helped by playing just all right and kept the Badgers in the game. In an all too familiar scenario, a nice lead evaporated and the game became a 4:00 shoot-out going down the stretch. Hughes took over for Wisconsin and single-handedly pulled victory from possible defeat. No one could stop Hughes; he is physical, knows what is going on, and is a clutch performer. Michigan had no one take over, and quite the opposite, such an attempt yielded no results. Again, key missions of guarding a key opponent and shutting down the inside were not accomplished.

Purdue put on a clinic and again showed how two perfect passes can beat about any defense. The final score was not indicative of the Boiler dominance. The bombs away approach and the soft defense helped seal the near slaughter.

Clearly, Michigan would play better against Michigan State, and the Wolverines certainly did. One could say good enough to win, with the great job of taking care of the ball and having few turnovers the entire game. MSU made some sloppy passes that resulted in really unforced turnovers. The Spartans did get some cheap, easy points in the outstanding transition game, but overall Michigan did a very nice job of containing this part of the Spartan arsenal.

In a familiar scenario, Michigan worked hard to build a lead and then in the middle of the second half took four three pointers, none of which hit bottom. As a result, the lead evaporated. Finally, at the end, Michigan State went to its game-maker, and Lucas came through. Everyone in the building and both benches knew that if there was a chance Kalin Lucas would control the ball and the destiny of the night. He lost one Michigan defender and Novak jumped harmlessly by Lucas for an easy horse game 15 footer (a lay-up for a scorer of this nature).

The one-point loss was tough to swallow, but the game showed three things: (1) Michigan was very well-prepared by Coach Beilein; (2) the last four minutes of the game remain problematic for Michigan; (3) the same weakness still exist and will continue to exist. Foremost, may be the failure of Michigan players to finish lay-ups. The positive is that the passing and ball handling has improved, allowing turnovers to decrease. This team is not blessed (or stocked) with great talent, the players reach for the ball instead of moving the feet (a sign of lesser athleticism or poor knowledge of rebounding geometry). This team is showing some frustration and that is both good and bad. But also, this team has now demonstrated that it can compete with the big boys, at least at home. Michigan will likely win a couple of surprises, lose a couple of surprises and play about half the remaining schedule as predicted. And now let us go on to the Iowa preview.

The Hawkeyes are 2-6 in the Big Ten and the Wolverines are 3-5. The Wolverines are at home and obviously better win, since this is on of the most winnable games left on the schedule. Contrary to what many in Iowa City spout, Iowa is well coached by Todd Lickliter. Iowa is not stocked with great talent either, but like Indiana, Iowa will scrap and stay around. So, an upset can easily happen if the Wolverines are asleep at the wheel today.

Iowa has had some adversity to add to the already difficult situation. Matt Gatens, likely Iowa’s current best player, has a bad wheel and how well he plays is now down to the grit level (he has plenty). Anthony Tucker is still suspended but is now practicing with the team. Iowa news sources predict he will not play at Michigan. Eric May and Jarryd Cole are bright spots as freshmen. Aaron Fuller may be the key to the game. He can get hot and has been playing much better lately.

Iowa struggles with 3’s; the team is shooting at about Michigan’s pace. But Michigan better not concede the three point shots and give Iowa a run. Rebounding in this game will be Sims getting his on athleticism and everyone else will fight for the ball. Who will have the most fight? Michigan will need to beat the Hawkeye pressure over the top, and the Wolverines should, since Iowa will not be able to put big fast monsters on the floor to trap.

Michigan should win if the team shoots well. But we all know how that goes. Even with the deficiencies, the writer still finds the Wolverines a fun team to watch. Enjoy what you see, because next year could be brutal and next year becomes the first real rebuilding year in the Beilein era. The injuries to the inside guys means Michigan must land some big time talent inside to evolve up the NCAA food chain, a need Beilein thought he had somewhat covered before the injuries.

Thank you for reading and continue to visit GBMW.

Written by Doc4blu

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Michigan Men's Gymnastics: Penn State at Michigan

Posted at 10:00am -- 1/30/2010

Michigan Men's Gymnastics
Penn State at Michigan
12:00pm - 2:00pm
DirecTV Channel 610

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Mailbag question: Big Ten defenses and the 4-3

Posted at 8:00am -- 1/30/2010

Mailbag question: Big Ten defenses and the 4-3

I enjoy reading your blog.

After watching the bowl games that I can fairly say surprised most, the B10 defenses effectively controlled "explosive" offenses of Oregon, GT and LSU. I know players make plays and schemes don't win or lose games, but what is the advantage of Iowa, PSU and OSU's defensive schemes? Does a 4-3 allow more "team" oriented performance and avoid more 1-1 match ups on defense, which we seem to be stuck in? Also, it seems that UM employed mostly 3-4 and added to a lesser degree 4-3 defenses. Is this a problem? Does it confuse our players too much? Should our defense be "simple" like Iowa's and just be tough and disciplined? Can we emulate Iowa's defense or has that ship sailed. Finally, whom would you like to see on the defense line and at LB? I would like to see Big Will next to Mike Martin, put two of our best guys out there side by side, instead of alternating them.

Lastly, to those readers that want more "positive" commentary, we need to see positive things on the field first.

-T B


Thanks for the question.

The thing that the 4-3 defense does is provides four linemen to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. It is also a very flexible defense that can easily be adjusted to 4-2 for nickel, or 4-1 for a dime package.

The 3-4 defense can also be a very effective front. The Steelers and Patriots play the 3-4 as their base.

Most teams that play one front have the capability of playing the other.

USC for instance plays a base 4-3, but also has what is called the Elephant Package, that is a 3-4 scheme.

The Patriots for years would take linebacker Vrabel and have him put his hand on the ground to make the defense a four-man front.

The difference is Michigan used basically a nickel package as the base. This causes a huge mismatch against bigger stronger offensive lines, especially teams that featured a tight end or halfback.

Molecki from Iowa, Kendricks and Graham from Wisconsin, Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph and Penn State's Quarless all had success against Michigan.

The thing we want to see is a more consistent defense. That means what we see on the field along with schemes. The defenses that you have mentioned such as Penn State, Ohio State, and Iowa have had the same type of scheme no matter if coaches move on or not. They have used the same scheme, so when they recruit they go after the same type of player every year.

What Michigan has done over the last few years is have several different defensive coordinators and also have several different base defenses. That creates a problem of what type of kid to recruit and also the recruits themselves wonder if they will fit into the Michigan defensive scheme for the entire time they are at Michigan.

That is why a place like Iowa can recruit players to fit their scheme and usually have decent to very good defenses.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Michigan Hockey: Michigan vs. Michigan State -- Preview

Posted at 4:00pm -- 1/29/2010

MSU Spartans / Michigan Wolverines Hockey Preview

#20 MICHIGAN (14-11-1, 9-8-1-1) 7th in the CCHA
#12 MSU Spartans (16-8-4, 11-5-4-1) 2nd in the CCHA
Friday 1/29 7:05 pm Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing
Saturday 1/30 7:35 pm Joe Louis Arena, Detroit,Mi.
Television: Friday night: BTN; Saturday night: FSN

In State Rivals Part Deux

Michigan leads the series 137-121-18 according to Spartan records. The record is133-120-18 according to the Wolverines. Michigan lost 3-2 @ Yost and 2-0 at Munn earlier this season. It was the first Spartan sweep of a weekend series since the 1997-98 season.

The Spartans hold court at home with a 60-46-9 all time record, once again depending on whose records you want to believe. MSU is 8-3-4 on their home ice this season, and have lost three of four shootouts. Michigan leads the series at JLA 20-17-5 (12-9-3 in non-GLI or CCHA playoff action), although MSU is 4-3-3 in downtown Detroit since 02-03.

MSU also holds a 4-1-1 mark against top ten ranked opponents, but is 4-3-2 overall against ranked opponents this season.

Spartan Stats:

MSU has come back down to earth since scorching Michigan Tech and RPI in the Great Lakes Invitational tourney during the holidays. Most recently they have been swept in a H&H series with Notre Dame, beaten a much improved LSSU team and then tied/lost a shootout at Munn against the Lakers. Last week, OSU split a series at Munn. This may be a good time to catch the Spartans. MSU does like to play it close, with 20 of the past 28 games this season being settled by 2 goals or less, with 9 of those games decided by 1 goal.

The Spartans vital statistics are very similar to Michigan in many categories. They are tied for 12th in the country with a 3.3 goals per game average. They allow 2.4 goals per game average, good for 11th in the country. Their PK is 24th at 82.8% and their PP is ranked 29th at an 18.5% conversion clip. They also are ranked a respectable 24th in the nation in penalty minutes, averaging 14.7 minutes per game.

Leading The Charge:

Junior forward and Wolverine nemesis Corey Tropp (17-19-36) leads the Spartans (and the nation) in points (36), goals (17) and PP points (17). He is 2nd in assists (19), PPG’s (6) and GWG’s (4).

Freshman Derek Grant (10-17-27) is T4th in points (27) nationally, 13th in goals (10), 5th in assists (17), 2nd in PP points (15) and PPG’s (6). He leads all freshmen in the CCHA in scoring.

Junior Defenseman Jeff Petry is T3rd in CCHA assists (18) and is T2nd in defensemen scoring with 21 points.
Freshman Torey Krug leads the Spartans in PM’s with 53, but is also the CCHA’s top scoring (freshmen) defenseman with a 3-10-13 line which is also 11th overall for blueliners in conference. He also leads MSU with 57 blocked shots.

Not surprisingly, Senior Nick Sucharski (one of the two seniors on the Spartans along with back up goaltender Bobby Jarosz) follows Krug to box with 43 PM’s. Tropp has 34.

Junior Andrew Rowe has also led the Spartan offensive attack, adding 11-10-21 to go with his 26 PM’s. He also has the best +/- rating (+15) on the roster.

The bulk of the netminding has been handled by sophomore Drew Palmisano, (12-7-3) who is 8th nationally in SV% (.927), 12th in GAA (2.17) and is T6th in victories with 12.
Senior Bobby Jarosz is 4-1-1 in limited action, with a 2.55 GAA and a .910 SV%.

Wolverine Notes:

Carl Hagelin (12-15-27) still leads the Wolverine offense. Matt Rust (8-14-22) follows, and Louie Caporusso is next at 6-13-19. Freshman Chris Brown has added 9-9-18. Senior Brian Lebler is tied with Rust for 2nd in goals with 8.

Steve Kampfer leads the defensive corps with 1-11-12.

The Wolverines score an average of 3.12 GPG, 22nd in the country. They allow 2.23 GPG, 8th in the country. Their PP is converting at 19.7%, good for 26th. Their PK is now at 88.7%, 5th in the nation. They take on average, 16.5 minutes in penalties per game, 12th worst in the country. Ironically, both Ferris and Miami are ahead of them in that category.

The Wolverines have remained rather healthy this season, with no long term injuries to report. Scooter Vaughn was dinged up two weeks ago, but came back and played a strong series against Ferris.

Goaltender Bryan Hogan (14-10-1) is allowing 2.18 goals on the average, 14th in the nation. He holds a .906 SV%. He is looking to rebound from a rather disappointing effort last Saturday, and looks to return to JLA and perform better than during the GLI.

This week’s keys to the match up:

1. Score the first goal on the road, which takes their crowd out of it. Both teams are very similar in how they defend a lead in a close checking tight rivalry game.
2. Play defensive hockey, first. The tendency is to let emotion take over your discipline, especially against State. No dumb penalties or defensive breakdowns.
3. Hogan has to keep his team in the game.
4. Secondary scoring will be important, since the top line will probably be responsible for keeping Tropp, Rowe and Grant off the scoresheet.


Friday Michigan State 2 Michigan 1
Saturday Michigan 3 Michigan State 2

Written by Yostmeister

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Lemming Report

Posted at 3:00pm -- 1/29/2010

Lemming Report
7:30pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 613

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Michigan Hockey: Michigan at Michigan State

Posted at 2:00pm -- 1/29/2010

Michigan Hockey

Michigan at Michigan State
7:00pm EST. - 9:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Mailbag question: Young players on defense

Posted at 12:00pm -- 1/29/2010

Mailbag question: Young players on defense

Hi Guys,

I love the blog, long time reader, first time e-mailer. Thank you for the great work you do.

My question:

With the defense being so atrocious last year some new blood needs to flow through that crumpled body to re-energize the spirit so that the players can hit people in the mouth like the Michigan defenses I remember. What younger players do you see contributing in the upcoming season to get this defense going? What newcomers will emerge and become stars?

Thanks, I'll stand by and read.



Thanks for the question.

First off the offense can help the defense. One of the younger defensive players that impressed us last year was Will Campbell, who has the potential to be special. His improvement last season was impressive, especially considering what we saw in the spring (much work to do).

J.T. Turner is another player who we believe could be special (maybe very special). It will be interesting to watch J. T. this spring and see how he has developed over the off-season.

Craig Roh, if he gains enough weight to move to defensive end, could continue to become a high level player. He still needs to get bigger and stronger to be able to take on the run better.

Other Players:

Hawthorne, Vlad, and Jones also showed some talent, although we doubt they will ever be stars, but all could very well end up being quite good. Guys we have not seen but have received good reports on include Bell and T. Jones. Although some state that Jones is being moved back to offense.

Vlad, the real question is can he get 100% healthy and be able to go full out? He was impressive in the spring, but then faltered with his knee swelling up, along with hanging out with the wrong crowd.

The youngster we are personally looking forward to seeing is Lalota. The reports we are getting are encouraging and as with all the youngsters GBMW is anxious to see his improvement. We have heard Lalota has gained a lot of weight and strength, which is exactly what he most needed.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

Michigan Basketball: Inside Michigan Basketball

Posted at 10:00am -- 1/29/2010

Michigan Basketball

Inside Michigan Basketball
4:00pm EST. - 4:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

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