- Jon Bills, Mark Moundros, and former Michigan player Kirk Moundros were in a car accident yesterday, and Bills is going to have surgery today because his injury is apparently pretty serious. My thoughts go out to both him and the Moundroses.
- Smoking will be banned in all of Michigan Stadium starting this coming season.
- Michigan got a commit from Columbus defensive end Chris Rock last month.
- Sam Webb isn’t optimistic that Demar Dorsey and Antonio Kinard will make it to Michigan. Everybody else should be good to go, though.
- Desmond Howard isn’t entirely sure what he will say during his induction speech for the College Football Hall of Fame, but he is definitely going to honor Bo Schembechler.
- Assistant coach Mike Jackson is leaving Michigan to be an assistant at Purdue. Ouch.
- Darius Morris has been working out with likely No. 1 overall pick John Wall this offseason.
- Anthony Wright is going to transfer to Toledo and will be able to play next season if he pursues a graduate degree not offered at U-M.
- Construction of Michigan’s basketball practice facility has begun.
- John Beilein shared his memories of John Wooden, who passed away last week.
- The Michigan softball team ended up getting swept by Tennessee in the super regional, ending their season.
- The Michigan baseball team was eliminated from the Big Ten tournament after a couple of late-game collapses, so their season came to an end in May as well.
- Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay is now training for the 2012 Olympics, which would be the third Olympics of his career.
- Someone from the Tampa Bay Rays is a Michigan hockey fan.
- Miami (Ohio) captain Tommy Wingels signed with the San Jose Sharks.
- Lloyd Carr spoke to Angelique Chengelis about the whole Morgan Trent/Rich Rodriguez draft book fiasco that developed over the weekend, clearing up exactly what his involvement in the situation was.
“That paragraph is completely a distortion of my conversation with Morgan,” Carr said. “That is a complete distortion, and it is not accurate. I have never spoken with the author. I have never met him. I have never had a conversation with him to the best of my knowledge.”
Trent also talked to Chengelis and backed off the assertion that Carr was the one who brought up what Rodriguez supposedly said and used specific quotes about it like the book implied.
“Lloyd didn’t bring any of this to my attention,” Trent said. “When we spoke, I brought it up to him, and he said he had heard some of the same things.”
This still isn’t a great situation, but at least we now know that Carr didn’t go running to Trent or the author of this book to share the specifics of how Rodriguez was trashing one of his former players to scouts. That wasn’t necessarily what the book was trying to convey either, but the excerpt could easily be interpreted that way.
- 2010 power forward Colton Christian has committed to Michigan. Christian was originally set to go to Tulane, but he changed his mind after a coaching change. Christian then made a few visits and picked up offers from Cal and Penn State before ultimately deciding on Michigan following a trip to Ann Arbor this past weekend. He isn’t ranked on Rivals and only has two stars on Scout, but ESPN grades him as an 85, which isn’t bad. This definitely seems like another sleeper type of recruit, but Christian did play at the Hargrave Military Academy this past year, prompting ESPN to give him this evaluation:
Tulane may have landed a sleeper as Christian plays a very efficient, and college ready, brand of basketball. He isn’t going to dominate the game with his scoring but has some inside-out skills and impacts the game in a variety of ways. He’s a capable scorer on the block with a little jump hook and can also step out to 18 feet and shoot. He’s strong and very athletic off of two feet, bodies up well defending the post, and rebounds out of his area. Look for him to see immediate minutes next year at Tulane.
The best part about getting Christian is that he adds more height to the team (Rivals lists him as being 6-7). He isn’t a seven-footer or anything, but the added depth in the post will be very welcomed by John Beilein and company. Plus, he becomes the fourth recruit to join the 2010 recruiting class, meaning he, Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, and Jon Horford will be coming to Ann Arbor this summer as true freshmen ready to contribute to the 2010-11 Wolverines in some form.
- UM Hoops has a recap of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new basketball practice facility. AnnArbor.com also has a recap of the event as well as some videos.
- Patrick Beilein (John’s son), who has been a graduate manager at Michigan, is leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Dartmouth.
- Some of the top matchups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge have leaked out. There’s no word on who Michigan will play yet, but its opponent will not be Duke, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, or Miami (the ‘Canes aren’t participating in it this year).
- Big Ten expansion rumors went crazy yet again yesterday when a radio station reported that Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Rutgers had been invited to join the conference. The rumor itself seemed like just another BS report, which was seemingly confirmed by the various denials issued throughout the day by the schools involved. Even so, the rumor picked up steam and even caused ESPN to report on it, kicking discussion of expansion back into high gear.
I will admit that I took the bait when the Pitt rumor came out a couple months ago, but since then each rumor has just really been annoying more than anything. Until the Big Ten has deals in place to add teams to the conference, I doubt anything will be announced by them, and all of these other rumors just don’t seem too credible. I’m sure there is some validity to the idea of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. However, I will have a tough time believing any rumor until something official is announced by the Big Ten.
- Personally, I think Black Heart Gold Pants’ take on Big Ten expansion was just about as credible as the rumor that popped up yesterday.
- Michigan’s homecoming game against Iowa on October 16 is going to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast nationally on ABC. So far three game times have been announced for the 2010 season (you can check them all out here).
- There is a new video of Brock Mealer training on BarwisMethods.com. The goal is for Brock to lead the team out of the tunnel and under the banner before the UConn game without any assistance. If he meets that goal, it seriously could be one of the greatest moments in Michigan Stadium history considering how far Brock has had to come from the injuries he sustained in that tragic car accident a few years ago.
- The Insight Bowl inked a deal with ESPN, meaning it will no longer be stuck on NFL Network.
- The groundbreaking ceremony for Michigan’s basketball practice facility is going to be held next Monday at 1 p.m.
- Brian Ellerbe has been hired by DePaul as an assistant coach. Why? I don’t know either.
- Kevin Borseth apparently offered a scholarship to an eighth-grader.
- The Big Ten Network is making some serious dollars. I have to say, back when the BTN first launched I never would have imagined it would be this successful already, but then again, I think it has exceeded everybody’s expectations. It is a great asset for the conference not only in the sense of how much money it is making, but also for when expansion talks start to heat up, as we are already starting to see.
- Red Berenson is reportedly going to return next season, but the general consensus is that 2010-11 will be Berenson’s final year as Michigan’s head coach.
- Carl Hagelin won the hockey team’s MVP award.
- There was some serious panic last Friday over the fact that Demar Dorsey’s name could be found on a list of players who signed a LOI for Fort Scott Community College. As it turns out, though, this is merely a backup plan for Dorsey in case he doesn’t qualify.
- Greg Robinson spoke to the media last week and mgoblog has a rundown of what was discussed.
- It appears Michigan Stadium has a new logo (see the bottom right corner of this letter) that incorporates the new brick structures into it. We got a little preview of this when the Big Chill logo was released, but this one features more of the entire stadium rather than just one of the brick structures.
- Construction of the new basketball practice facility will begin after graduation next month.
- Some West Virginia players who were once coached by John Beilein had nothing but good things to say about him in the lead-up to the Final Four. Also, some of those players saw him at dinner last week and spoke with him for the first time since he left WVU.
- Michigan’s women’s tennis team beat Northwestern on Saturday to end the Wildcats’ 81-match winning streak in the Big Ten.
Designs for Michigan’s new basketball practice facility, officially being called a “Basketball Player Development Center,” were approved today by the Board of Regents. Here are the details from MGoBlue (you can view more artist renderings there):
The facility, to be built adjacent to Crisler Arena, will provide approximately 57,000 gross square feet, including two basketball practice courts, team locker rooms for players and coaches, athletic medicine and hydrotherapy.
The second floor will accommodate men’s and women’s coaching staff and administrative support functions, as well as film-viewing rooms and strength and conditioning space.
The proposed design calls for a new entrance to Crisler Arena for players and coaches at the playing floor level and a new, dramatic Hall of Fame in the entry lobby. The lobby would provide a distinct identity for the basketball programs while harmonizing with the existing basketball arena and Michigan Stadium.
The facility will be finished in 2011, just in time for the start of the 2011-12 season. While construction is going on 150 parking spaces will be displaced, but 55 of them will return when the project is finished.
- Today’s game is designated as a “Maize Out,” and it will also feature a blue block “M” in the student section similar to the one we saw during the Wisconsin game last year.
- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts received great seats to the game today in exchange for speaking at the Law School’s 150th anniversary celebration.
- Jarrett Irons’ favorite memory from the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry was when Lou Holtz complimented him after he made a tackle.
- Open tryouts for the football team will be held on Monday at 4 p.m.
- The Michigan Daily did an in-depth piece on the players that came to Michigan from Pahokee, Florida.
- 200 student seats have been added to section 16 in the lower bowl of Crisler Arena. Since demand is so high, this will allow more students to sit in the lower bowl rather than be stuck up in the gold level.
- Michigan plans on presenting the schematic design for the basketball practice facility at next Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting. If the plans are approved, construction will be set to begin in April 2010 and be completed in October/November 2011, just in time for the 2011-12 season. The cost of the project is around $23.2 million.
- Hockey news: Captain Chris Summers’ younger brother will be Michigan’s third goalie this coming season.
- The design for Michigan’s basketball practice facility may be approved in July if everything goes according to plan.
- The softball team swept No. 11 Ohio State yesterday to up its winning streak to 20 games and to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title.
- All 25 of Michigan’s varsity athletic teams exceeded the NCAA’s APR.
- Apparently Michigan players have e-mailed Terrelle Pryor to tell him he can’t throw and he’s overrated. I’m guessing Stevie Brown wasn’t one of those players.
- Former Michigan football player and coach Henry Fonde passed away on Sunday.
- Larry Foote signed with the Lions on Wednesday.
- The basketball team held its awards banquet last night, and Manny Harris was named the MVP. In a surprising move, though, he asked to share the award with DeShawn Sims, making the two players co-MVPs. It was certainly a great gesture and shows how close the two native Detroiters are. For a full list of awards, click here.
- Harris and Sims will probably return to Michigan next season, but an official decision probably won’t be made until later this week (possibly tomorrow).
- Expectations are high for the basketball team next season.
- Bill Martin talked about Michigan’s new basketball practice facility and possible renovations to Crisler Arena at the spring game.
Regarding the new basketball practice facility, the next step is to get the final plans completed and then go back to the Board of Regents for design approval and the construction budget. Martin said the plan remains to have the facility functioning by 2011.
“We’re working on additional improvements inside (Crisler), if I can get them,” Martin said. “I’d love to get a new scoreboard and new video boards. I’ve got to find the money or figure out how to do that, and I haven’t figured that out yet.”
The improvements to Crisler the last couple of years (new sound system, new baskets, brighter lights, etc.) have been great, and one of the things I actually thought about while watching the selection show at Crisler was how cool it would be to get a new scoreboard like you see in pro sports arenas. I’m talking about one with HD screens and multiple video boards; the kind that has a circular LCD screen around it. Obviously it would cost a pretty penny, but if Martin can find enough money for it, a new scoreboard would be at the top of my wish list.
- Bill Martin also touched on the lighting situation at Michigan Stadium.
U-M athletic director Bill Martin said the construction project has wired the stadium ground for lights, either temporary ones at the TV networks’ request, or for permanent fixtures. No decision has been made on permanent lights yet.
I don’t know how long we will have to wait, but I’m guessing it is only a matter of time until Michigan plays a night game at the Big House. Rich Rodriguez is all about marketing the program, and the hype that would surround a night game at Michigan Stadium would be unreal. Personally, I would like to see one home game a season played at night. That is probably asking a bit too much for right now, but who knows, maybe night games will not be all that unusual to Michigan in a few years.
- Michigan’s game at Iowa next season will actually be played at night.
- Quarterbacks coach Rod Smith has apparently been flying down to Florida every once in a while to get Denard Robinson acclimated with the playbook.
- I was planning on writing a more informative update on Michigan’s newest commit, Stephen Hopkins, but ran out of time. For more on Hopkins, check out MGoBlog and Varsity Blue.
- Michigan impressed many recruits over the weekend, and a few may be on the verge of committing. Specifically, Marvin Robinson, a safety from Florida, seems like he is getting close to picking Michigan.
- The full list of spring football award winners can be found here.
- A Michigan State running back, Glenn Winston, was sentenced to 180 days in jail for his role in a fight that involved football and hockey players. Unsurprisingly, Andrew Conboy was one of the people that allegedly started the fight. He was the player that sucker-punched Steve Kampfer in the now infamous incident that happened back in January.
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