Monday Quick Hits: More Big Chill News

By · Monday, May 3, 2010 · 2:42 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Close to 96,000 tickets have now been sold to The Big Chill.  It’s only a matter of time until the ticket counter goes over 100,000.
  • Michigan is going to wear throwback jerseys from the 1940s in The Big Chill game against Michigan State.  (Lots more about the game can be found in a great article at Athletic Business.  Hat tip to The Blog That Yost Built.)
  • Three high school hockey games are going to be played at Michigan Stadium on December 5, six days before Michigan and Michigan State hit the ice.
  • The CCHA has essentially adopted the Big Ten basketball tournament’s setup for its playoffs since it will only have 11 teams starting next season.  Like the BTT, five teams will receive a first-round bye.  The 4 and 5 seeds will be scheduled to play each other from the beginning of the playoffs, but they won’t have to do the series until the second week of action.
  • Brandon Graham (pictured here with fellow senior DeShawn Sims) graduated and met President Obama, who spoke at Michigan’s commencement, on Saturday.
  • Donovan Warren, who is going to play free safety for the Jets, is blaming the NFL’s Draft Advisory Board for his decision to leave Michigan a year early only to go undrafted.
  • Anthony Wright’s basketball career at Michigan may be over, but with another year of eligibility left, he may play for one more season at a Division II or NAIA school.
  • Michigan’s lacrosse team is the top overall seed in the MCLA tournament.

Friday Quick Hits: NCAA Tournament Expansion Approved

By · Friday, April 30, 2010 · 4:18 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Basketball Quick Hits: Michigan Hires Bacari Alexander

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 2:15 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan has hired Bacari Alexander to be one of the basketball program’s assistant coaches.  Alexander was previously an assistant at Western Michigan, and John Beilein made it pretty clear why he made this hire:

    “He has strong roots in Michigan and significant recruiting experience both here and in neighboring states,” added Beilein. “He is a passionate teacher with strong communication skills. Bacari is a former post player and has a proven ability in the development of big men at the college level. With our young front court, that was an important factor in my final selection. I look forward to Bacari’s immediate and very positive impact on the growth of our program.”

    Alexander, who was named the best dressed college assistant coach and winner of the Fashionable 4 (seriously), joins Jeff Meyer and Mike Jackson as John Beilein’s assistant coaches.

  • Alexander was a Harlem Globetrotter for a couple years, and Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com chatted with him about that experience.
  • One of the rumored candidates for the job that Alexander ended up taking was IPFW’s Dane Fife, who opted to stay where he is.  It’s not known if he was ever officially offered by Michigan, but he was definitely one of the hot names for the job.
  • The NCAA tournament is going to expand, but only to 68 teams rather than 96.  The much smaller expansion comes along with a new 14-year deal between the NCAA and CBS/Turner Broadcasting that will allow every tournament game to be shown live on TV (on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV).  Not only is this a great deal when you consider that every game will be on TV, but also because the tournament is only getting three more teams rather than 31, which really would have wrecked the mystique of March Madness in my mind.  Three more teams, which will only add three more play-in games, is fine by me.
  • 2010 recruit Isaiah Sykes was offered by Michigan but is going to take a couple other visits before making a final decision.
  • UM Hoops scouted a number of recruits at the King James Classic.

Friday Quick Hits: Brennen Beyer Commits to Michigan

By · Friday, April 16, 2010 · 9:17 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Canton defensive end Brennen Beyer has committed to Michigan.  Beyer is a four-star on Scout (the only service that has evaluated him so far) and has offers from Louisville, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas Tech, UCLA, and Vanderbilt, among others.  Beyer is the fourth recruit to commit for the 2011 class, joining cornerbacks Greg Brown and Delonte Hollowell and wide receiver Shawn Conway.  For more on Beyer, check out mgoblog.
  • Tate Forcier’s status for the spring game is up in the air due to his ankle injury.
  • Florida running back recruit Demetrius Hart, who will be visiting for the spring game, has a final three of Michigan, Alabama, and Auburn.
  • The Free Press wrote a good article on the Mealer family and their bond with Rich Rodriguez.  (Shocking, isn’t it?)
  • The NCAA has approved the following rules changes for football: messages on eye blacks are no longer allowed (sorry, Terrelle Pryor, no more supporting dog killers and then making dumb comments about it later), wedge blocks on kickoffs are now illegal (the NFL made that change last year), and starting in 2011, if a player taunts the opponent before crossing the goal line for a touchdown, the score will not count as a result of the penalty (lame).
  • Jon Falk, Michigan’s equipment manager since the 70s, has a book coming out in August.  You can bet that it will have loads of great stories. (UPDATE: A reader on mgoblog found the Amazon link to it.)
  • EA Sports has confirmed that ESPN integration is coming to NCAA Football 11.
  • Ray McCallum Jr. is going to Detroit Mercy to, like Trey Zeigler, play for his dad.
  • Evan Smotrycz answered readers’ questions on UM Hoops.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Trey Zeigler Picks Central Michigan

By · Wednesday, April 14, 2010 · 11:25 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Trey Zeigler decided not to wait until next week to make an announcement about where he will play college basketball, as he said today on ESPNU that he will be going to Central Michigan.  Zeigler will sign his LOI tomorrow morning to make it official.  Although I figured Zeigler would go to a bigger school since his offer list was so impressive, this move isn’t all that surprising, especially when you consider that Trey’s dad, Ernie Zeigler, just got a four-year extension with CMU on Tuesday.  Taking that into account, it’s no coincidence that Zeigler’s long recruitment finally came to an end when it did.
  • Jon Horford signed his LOI with Michigan today, wasting little time in officially becoming a Wolverine.
  • Joe Lunardi put together a 96-team bracketology for next season.  Spoiler: The bracket looks just as dumb as you would expect with 96 teams.  (By the way, Michigan is a 15 seed, which would make it play an 18 seed and then a 2 if it wins in the first round.)
  • Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore have declared for the NBA Draft but will not hire agents.
  • Ex-Michigan player Ekpe Udoh has declared for the NBA Draft.

Tuesday Quick Hits: DeShawn Sims Shares MVP Award with Manny Harris

By · Tuesday, April 13, 2010 · 1:16 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • DeShawn Sims was named the basketball team’s MVP during its banquet last night, but he asked to share the award with Manny Harris, just as Harris did with Sims a year ago.
  • Eso Akunne is no longer on scholarship.  Also, it looks like Ben Cronin will be placed on medical scholarship because of his hip injury, opening up another regular scholarship for the team.
  • Kelvin Grady’s status with the basketball team going forward is uncertain, but John Beilein apparently doesn’t think he will be back.
  • Once Michigan’s basketball practice facility is built it will try to land the MHSAA state finals, which would be nice since they are held at Breslin Center currently.  I imagine that if the state finals were to ever return to Crisler Arena, it would be after the extensive renovations are completed down the road.
  • Trey Zeigler is finally going to make an announcement regarding where he will play college basketball sometime next week.  If I had to guess I’d say that he picks Central Michigan to play for his dad.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Ryan Kartje put together a great piece on Red Berenson.
  • Adam Rittenberg interviewed Rich Rodriguez.
  • The Big Ten re-upped its deal with the Little Caesars Bowl through 2013.  Chances are the matchup will usually feature a MAC and Sun Belt team, though.  I say that because the Little Caesars Bowl will get the eighth pick in the Big Ten’s bowl lineup, but since two teams make it to the BCS so often, that probably will be the ninth pick in reality.  I don’t expect the Big Ten to be producing that many bowl eligible teams year in and year out, and this bowl didn’t get Big Ten teams very often even when it had the seventh pick.

Monday Quick Hits: Assistants Jerry Dunn, John Mahoney Leave Michigan

By · Monday, April 12, 2010 · 2:28 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Assistant coaches Jerry Dunn and John Mahoney have left the basketball program.  Jeff Meyer, who replaced Dunn as an assistant during the middle of the 2009-10 season, is now permanently an assistant coach.
  • The ESPNU 100 for the 2010 basketball recruiting class has been updated.  Evan Smotrycz is ranked 85th and Tim Hardaway Jr. is ranked 94th.
  • Observations from a couple people who watched Saturday’s football scrimmage were gathered and posted on mgoblog.
  • The early forecast for the spring game is a high of 55 degrees and a 30% chance of rain.
  • Michigan football players participated in Relay for Life this past weekend.
  • The Michigan lacrosse team’s 49-game winning streak was snapped by Colorado on Friday.  Michigan rebounded on Sunday by knocking off #2 Colorado State.
  • Jordan Taylor pitched a perfect game in the softball team’s 9-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
  • In case you were wondering, Boston College beat Wisconsin 5-0 to win the national championship in hockey at Ford Field on Saturday.  Thanks to a great start to the third period, BC went from leading 1-0 to being up by 4 goals fairly quickly.  In a desperate attempt to get back in the game, Wisconsin pulled its goalie with lots of time left, resulting in another BC goal with around four and a half minutes to play.
  • A poster on mgoblog put together an early preview of NCAA Football 11.

Thursday Quick Hits: Spring Game Gets a Sponsor

By · Thursday, April 8, 2010 · 1:45 PM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • PNC Bank is the “presenting sponsor” of the spring game and will specifically sponsor the locker room tours (6:30-8 p.m. on Friday and 7-9:30 a.m. on Saturday) and “Kick for Cash” promotion.  Part of the sponsorship money from PNC will go towards the “Michigan football interactive play area at the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.”
  • TomVH has a list of who is visiting for the spring game.
  • Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are apparently pretty even right now at quarterback.
  • Kelvin Grady and Terrence Robinson are getting some time at running back.
  • Will Heininger has a torn ACL and could miss the entire 2010 season.
  • Vladimir Emilien and Jared Van Slyke might return from knee injuries next week.
  • Check out mgoblog for a full recap of Tuesday’s practice and press conferences.
  • The Michigan Daily profiled Zoltan Mesko.
  • The same restrictions implemented at the Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club last year for football tailgates will not be changed for the 2010 season.  Lame.
  • Red Berenson did a Q&A with AnnArbor.com.
  • The semifinals of the Frozen Four are going to be played at Ford Field later today.  I will probably tune in for a bit just to see what the setup looks like, but I’m still way too bitter over Michigan not being there because of a BS call to watch for more than a minute or two.
  • After the new basketball practice facility is built and infrastructure work is done on Crisler Arena, Dave Brandon wants to completely renovate Crisler to make it a “modern arena.”  Sounds good to me.
  • The Sporting Blog remixed this year’s One Shining Moment video with Luther Vandross’ version of the song, and it just makes the whole thing a million times better.
  • Evan Turner and five Kentucky players have declared for the NBA Draft.
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