One Final Quick Hits

By · Monday, June 7, 2010 · 11:04 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Wins Third-Straight Club Lacrosse Title

By · Monday, May 17, 2010 · 10:24 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The Michigan club lacrosse team won its third-straight MCLA title on Saturday, downing Arizona State 12-11 in the championship game.  It certainly seems like it’s only a matter of time until lacrosse gets bumped up to the varsity level, but I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.
  • Michigan was trailing Northwestern in baseball 14-0 yesterday after only 2.5 innings.  The bad news obviously was that Michigan played so bad that it was down 14-0, but the good news was that it had plenty of time to get back into the game, and that is exactly what they did.  Michigan slowly but surely chipped away at the 14-run deficit and eventually tied the game on a 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.  Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Mike Dufek hit a walk-off home run to give Michigan the unbelievable 15-14 victory and to keep Michigan near the top of the Big Ten standings with one week left to play.  This was such a ridiculous game that it made SportsCenter, which isn’t too surprising considering teams don’t often come back from 14-run deficits and win on a walk-off homer.
  • The softball team received the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and will be hosting a regional this weekend.
  • MGoBlue put together a piece on softball’s Bree Evans, who was seriously injured during a game last October but is once again healthy and playing for Michigan.
  • Michigan’s game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is going to be at Clemson on Tuesday, November 30.
  • Gil Brandt, the former longtime VP of player personnel for the Cowboys, said that whatever Rich Rodriguez told scouts about Morgan Trent was not why Trent dropped to the sixth round.  In fact, Brandt gave his own scouting report on Trent and explained exactly why the former Wolverine was only a sixth-round pick.
  • Mike Hart doesn’t regret using the phrase “little brother” to describe Michigan State after Michigan won the rivalry game in 2007.
  • If he could do it over again, Drew Henson would have stayed for his senior season at Michigan instead of signing with the Yankees.
  • Marvin Robinson is going to join the football team at some point in the next couple of weeks.
  • Johnny Sears has signed with the Bengals.
  • Dayeesha Hollins has left the women’s basketball team and is going to transfer somewhere closer to home.
  • Isaiah Sykes ended up deciding to play college basketball at Central Florida.
  • There may be some rule changes coming to NCAA hockey.
  • MVictors has a good post examining what exactly went down between Bo Schembechler and Ernie Harwell during that whole saga in the early 90s.
  • Purdue reinstated Justin Siller, the quarterback who torched Michigan in 2008.

Miscellaneous Quick Hits: Men’s Gymnastics Wins National Title

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 11:58 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s men’s gymnastics team won a national title back on April 16.  This was the athletic department’s first varsity national title since the softball team won one back in 2005, and it was the men’s gymnastics team’s fourth in their history.
  • Michigan’s women’s tennis team clinched a Big Ten title this past weekend by finishing off their perfect conference record with wins over Illinois and Indiana.  Michigan finished the season with 14 straight wins and is ranked in the top 5 in the entire country.
  • The softball team is rolling right now.  Jordan Taylor threw another perfect game last week against Penn State, and since then Michigan has won two more games to up its winning streak to 16 straight victories.
  • WTKA’s Mott radio-a-thon on May 14 is going to feature former football players and coaches on the air all day long.
  • Although Nike wasn’t able to change Michigan State’s logo due to the enormous (and understandable) backlash, it did change all of MSU’s jerseys, and boy are they ugly.  Not only did Nike eliminate MSU’s classic cursive logo for hockey and the well-known “STATE” script for basketball, but it also revamped the football jerseys, which look like they belong in the AFL.  I don’t know what’s worse, the jersey designs in general or the fact that bronze is now one of MSU’s colors.  This kind of crap is exactly why I’m glad Michigan is no longer a Nike school.  It’s not like Nike would have been allowed to touch the home football jersey, but some of the Swoosh’s ideas are just plain dumb, as evidenced by the overhaul of MSU’s look.
  • Ugly jerseys or not, this slightly adjusted picture on MGoBoard from MSU’s football unveiling is just hilarious.
  • The NCAA’s new president is going to be Washington’s Mark A. Emmert.

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.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Catch the Michigan Spring Game on the BTN

By · Tuesday, March 30, 2010 · 10:51 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Miscellaneous Quick Hits: MSU Changes Logo; Epic Meltdown Ensues

By · Saturday, January 23, 2010 · 2:58 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • In addition to approving the Crisler Arena renovation, the U-M Board of Regents also approved the hiring of Dave Brandon as the new athletic director.
  • Marty Bodnar had left Michigan for a new job in his hometown, but he quickly resigned and is now back in Ann Arbor again working as the associate athletic director of ticketing and marketing.
  • Michigan’s new wrestling facility now has a name: the Bahna Wrestling Center.
  • MVictors interviewed Sam Webb.
  • Michigan State Logos - Old and NewThe Red Cedar Message Board unearthed Michigan State’s trademark application for a new Spartan helmet logo, leading to much speculation and discussion.  A day later Michigan State confirmed that it is getting a new logo, causing the RCMB and essentially MSU’s entire fan base to melt down.  The new logo isn’t exactly all that good looking, and I’d definitely say it is a downgrade over the current one.  To make matters worse, Nike supposedly is behind the new logo, which is merely part of a “new comprehensive brand and graphic identity project.”  One source likened the project to what Nike has done with Oregon, causing the meltdown and backlash over this news to go to a new level.  Facebook groups against the new logo have popped up and have already grown to more than ten thousand members, and chants are already being led (by Sparty, no less) in favor of the current logo.

    To say that Michigan State fans have exploded over this whole situation is an understatement, and I can certainly understand where they’re coming from.  Just imagine the collective meltdown that would happen if adidas tried to change Michigan’s home football jersey or the winged helmet.  There’s no doubt we would melt down, although I don’t know if we could top the meltdown currently going on in Spartan nation.  It truly is on another level than anything I have seen before over a logo.  I mean, when the Lions revealed their new logo last year there was some backlash, but it was very limited and generally fans liked the changes. For MSU, though, it seems like every poll about the logo results in somewhere around 90% of the voters being against the change.

    From a marketing standpoint the change to the Lions’ logo made sense.  The Lions needed to do something to generate added revenue, and you can bet quite a few fans went out and bought merchandise with the new logo on it.  I’m sure many MSU fans will do the same thing, but considering just how strongly opposed most people are to the new logo, I really don’t see the sales boom being that large.  In fact, many fans have commented that they will go out of their way to avoid purchasing anything with the new logo.  I imagine over time people will warm up to the changes, but I still don’t think it will be worth it from a revenue standpoint.  On top of that, I don’t get the thinking behind messing with your brand.  It’s things like this that prevent tradition, just like changing uniforms every few years like Michigan State has seemingly always done.  I’m certainly no marketing major, but this move just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me.

  • The Only Colors’ thoughts on the new logo are certainly interesting, and I have to agree about the point regarding the movie 300.  The first year MSU used all of the tie-ins with 300 was fine, but they have beat it to death since then.  It’s beyond cheesy, yet it seems like the new logo was actually influenced quite a bit by the movie.  Seriously, MSU needs to get over it already.  I know, the movie involved Spartans and gave MSU the chance to use cheesy clips throughout games, but MSU’s athletic department needs to move on and forget about that movie.  Like I said, it’s just cheesy at this point.
  • Personally I like The Wolverine Blog’s idea for MSU’s new logo more than anything else I’ve seen.

Thursday Quick Hits: Denard Robinson Joins Track Team

By · Thursday, January 14, 2010 · 5:17 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan takes on Indiana tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
  • Football players Denard Robinson, Je’Ron Stokes, and Joe Reynolds have joined Michigan’s track team.  Robinson will compete in the 60-meter dash against Ohio State on Saturday.
  • The status of Cold War II appears to be extremely up in the air.  There is definitely a lack of communication between Michigan and Michigan State’s athletic departments, which is causing some of the confusion over if this is actually going to happen.  Here’s to hoping it does, but I’m not too confident based on what has been said about it.
  • Although I didn’t hear anything, apparently there was a rumor out there yesterday that Rich Rodriguez was headed to Tennessee to replace Lane Kiffin.  Rodriguez’s agent swiftly denied the rumor and even laughed at it.
  • As for the Tennessee job, it looks like Duke’s David Cutcliffe is going to be the new coach.

    UPDATE: Or not.  Cutcliffe has taken his name out of the running.

  • Skip Holtz is going to be South Florida’s new coach, meaning Calvin Magee will not be leaving Ann Arbor (at least not for that job).
  • Norm Chow has decided to stay at UCLA.

Weekend Recap: Hockey Splits, Basketball Wins, Volleyball Eliminated

By · Monday, December 14, 2009 · 2:52 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 

Hockey

Michigan got a much-needed win on Friday night against Notre Dame in what was a great game from start to finish for the Wolverines.  Carl Hagelin scored less than halfway through the first period to put Michigan on top 1-0, and a busy second period ended with Michigan on top 3-1.  Brian Lebler scored to put Michigan up 2-0, but Notre Dame pulled within one on a power-play goal.  Lee Moffie scored a power-play goal of his own about a minute and a half later, though, again making the lead 2 goals.  Louie Caporusso scored a goal about a minute into the third period to add to his 2 assists for a 3-point night.  Bryan Hogan had a solid night in net for Michigan, giving up only 1 goal in the Wolverines’ 4-1 victory.

A sweep of Notre Dame would have been a great way to finish the first half of the season, but Michigan reverted back to its strategy of outshooting the opponent only to lose in South Bend on Sunday (also known as the Red Wings method).  I didn’t see the game because it was on Comcast, but the stats are nothing new.  Michigan outshot Notre Dame 38-20 but didn’t score a single goal.  The Fighting Irish scored twice during the second period and that was more than enough, as they won 2-0.

The loss means that Michigan was a disappointing 9-9-0 overall during the first half of the season and an even more disappointing 5-7-0-0 in the CCHA (10th place).  The GLI comes up at the end of the month, and then Michigan will get a week or so off before starting up CCHA play again.  To say Michigan needs to play lights out in the second half of the season is an understatement, because splits aren’t even any good at this point.  Michigan needs sweeps if it wants to improve its spot in the CCHA standings and have any legitimate chance of winning the conference tournament to in turn make the NCAA tournament.

(Side story from Friday’s game: You know those warnings about always paying attention since pucks could enter the crowd?  Well, I will start taking them more seriously in the future, because I got drilled with a puck above my right eye on Friday.  I sit in the front row down in the south end and wasn’t paying attention, and I thought the play was going in the opposite direction.  Apparently it wasn’t, because the puck came flying over the glass and bounced right off of my head.  It really didn’t hurt and I was more pissed off than anything that I didn’t get the puck (it bounced under the bleachers or something), but boy was that unexpected.  An usher came over to make sure I was alright and I gave him a thumbs up in order to make sure I didn’t miss any of the game, but I’m still pissed I didn’t get the puck.  Injury-wise I thankfully only ended up with a bump above my eye, so I’m just glad the puck hit me where it did and not, say, an inch lower.  Either way, regardless of where you sit, make sure to always pay attention to where the puck is.  I wasn’t worried about the puck ever coming close to me based on how the boards are set up in front of my seat, but needless to say, I will be watching things more closely in the future.)

Basketball

Michigan again got off to a slow start against an opponent it should blow out and didn’t really pull away until late in the second half.  Detroit put up a fight at Crisler Arena on Sunday and was actually up 36-33 at halftime.  Michigan sort of woke up after a few minutes of the second half went by and took the lead, but Detroit managed to hang around for quite some time.  Eventually Michigan did finally start to pull away from the Titans, but it wasn’t until there were seven or so minutes left in the game.  At that point Michigan went on a run and ended up winning 75-64.  It was another ugly effort, but like I said after the Utah game, it’s clear that this team is just not very good right now.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing that Michigan has Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.  Both of the Detroit natives brought it against the Titans and ended up with 27 and 23 points, respectively.  Manny had 9 rebounds and 6 assists to go along with his 27 points, and Sims ended up with 12 rebounds, good for a double-double.  The rest of the team’s scoring basically came from Laval Lucas-Perry and Stu Douglass.  LLP and Stu both shot 3-7 from the field and 1-5 from three-point land.  LLP ended up with 10 points, one more than Stu’s 9, because of an extra trip to the free throw line.

Next up for Michigan is Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.  This is definitely the toughest game of the season not only because of how much Michigan is playing right now and the fact that Kansas is the #1 team in the nation, but also because Kansas has won 47 straight home games.  It certainly seems like this game is destined to be a blowout, but if Michigan can finally get hot from three-point land for a change (it has to happen at some point) then I think it could be similar to last season’s UConn game.  I doubt Michigan will win no matter what happens, but if it can get hot then this could actually be a close game.  Tip off is set for noon ET on ESPN.

Volleyball

Michigan upset Stanford on Friday night to become one of eight teams still alive in the NCAA tournament.  It won the first set relatively comfortably before barely dropping the second set.  Then, after winning the third set by only 3 points, Michigan stormed out to a big lead and won the match with a 25-11 victory in the fourth set.  The win was impressive not only because Stanford was the #4 team in the country, but also because the match was at Stanford’s arena.

On Saturday, Michigan went up against Hawaii.  If Michigan won, three Big Ten teams would have been in the Final Four (Minnesota and Penn State already advanced).  That, unfortunately, did not happen, though.  Hawaii just barely beat Michigan in the first set by a score of 25-23, and the Wolverines just played sloppy after that.  Hawaii won the next two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-18 to eliminate Michigan from the tournament and end the Wolverines’ season.  It was a good run for sure, although it’s obviously too bad it didn’t continue for another round or two of the tournament.

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