- 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.
- 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.
- Darius Morris got some advice from Gary Grant after last week’s Wisconsin game.
- Grant was in town because the 1984-85 Big Ten-champion Michigan basketball team was honored at halftime of the Wisconsin game.
- Bill Frieder returned to Crisler Arena for a basketball game for the first time since 1989, and in the lead-up to the reunion he talked about the Michigan basketball program and what he is currently doing.
- Antoine Joubert also talked about what he is up to nowadays.
- John Beilein is taking a wait and see approach with Manny Harris’ future. More than anything, Beilein made it clear that what Manny said after the loss to Northwestern was nowhere close to a final decision, as it was simply something said in “conversations” after a tough game.
- Beilein is against expanding the tournament to 96 teams.
- Ben Cronin is still rehabbing his hip with the hope that he will be able to play basketball again sometime in the future.
- The Big Ten Network’s “Big Ten Hoops on Campus” show will be filmed at the Intramural Building on Thursday night.
- Michigan’s win over Minnesota was the first time the Wolverines scored 70 or more points since the Ohio State game on January 3.
- UM Hoops posted another commit diary with Evan Smotrycz.
- Zack Novak received an academic-related honor.
- It’s pretty sad when Michigan’s bubble is for the NIT instead of the NCAA tournament (and U-M is actually on the outside looking in), but that’s the reality of the situation this team is in right now.
- Brandon Smith is apparently planning on or strongly thinking about transferring. Smith was a redshirt freshman this past season and switched back and forth between safety and linebacker. He started at safety against Wisconsin, but that was about it as far as his non-special teams playing time went. Smith was recruited to Michigan initially by Lloyd Carr as a fairly highly-rated athlete. When he came to Michigan it was unclear what position he would play (LB or S), and that uncertainty continued this past season, as he got shifted around quite a bit. I hope Smith reconsiders and decides to stay at Michigan, but it certainly doesn’t look like that will happen.
- UPDATE: The video is now back up on MGoBlue.A video of Rich Rodriguez’s speech at the Michigan football bust was posted on MGoBlue over the weekend, but it has since been pulled. There were some issues with the video not working at certain points, so maybe they are just fixing it before putting it back up.
Either way, I finally got a chance to hear the context of what Rodriguez said about New Orleans and hurricanes, which caused some people to criticize him. Rodriguez was making a point about overcoming adversity and said something about New Orleans and what it went through with Hurricane Katrina. As mentioned, Rodriguez received some criticism for comparing going through practicegate to being hit by Hurricane Katrina, but he was simply making a point about adversity based on what was originally brought up by a U-M Regent who spoke earlier (her speech was also in the video). She brought up the Saints and what they overcame as an example of how people overcome adversity. What she and Rodriguez said was not trying to liken a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina to Michigan rebuilding its football program; it was simply an example of overcoming adversity.
- The Wolverine has a recap of what the seniors had to say at the bust.
- Rodriguez opened his speech by making it sound like he was going to talk about rumors regarding his job security, but he instead joked about the Notre Dame opening:
“There’s been a lot of innuendo,” Rodriguez said about his future. ” … I just want to set the record straight: I am not a candidate for the University of Notre Dame.”
That got a big laugh from the crowd and loosened things up a bit before Rodriguez spoke with a more serious tone, talking about how proud he is of the team and the seniors and how championships will come eventually. All in all it was a very good speech, and I hope it is posted again soon on MGoBlue so you all can watch it.
- Speaking of Notre Dame, how lame are they? ND actually decided not to play in a bowl game because of what their athletic director called “unique circumstances.” In reality, ND probably didn’t want to go to a game like the GMAC Bowl, where it would have had to face Central Michigan and probably would have lost. Sure, Notre Dame is without a coach, but it’s not like that is a reason to not go to a bowl.
- A full bowl schedule can be found here.
- I was really hoping that TCU and Boise State would play against BCS opponents in their bowl games, but instead they will play each other in the Fiesta Bowl. That is a really crappy matchup to me simply because I was hoping to see what each team is really made of. Playing each other, just as they did last season, will not prove anything, whereas playing against Florida, Iowa, Georgia Tech, or Cincinnati would have given the nation a chance to see how deserving these non-BCS teams are of someday getting a shot at the national title. Utah and Boise State have already proved that mid-majors deserve to play in the BCS, but this could have been the year where the system was really brought down if TCU and Boise State took care of their opponents. Instead, it will be TCU vs. Boise State, and while the matchup is certainly intriguing, it won’t do anything to bring the BCS one step closer to making some serious changes.
- Football commit Cullen Christian has been named a U.S. Army All-American.
- Burgeoning Wolverine Star took a look at what Michigan’s defense would be like next season without Donovan Warren. My exact reaction when I read the post was “ahh” due to the scariness of a Warren-less defense.
- Anthony Wright is now a father.
- UM Hoops has another commit diary with Evan Smotrycz.
- Ohio State’s Evan Turner is out for two months after breaking bones in his back on a missed dunk attempt on Saturday. Michigan plays Ohio State on January 3 and February 27/28, meaning that the Wolverines for sure won’t have to worry about Turner in the first meeting.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. and Evan Smotrycz signed their letters of intent yesterday, officially becoming members of the 2010 recruiting class.
- It seems like if Carlos Brown is injured then Brandon Minor is healthy and vice versa, and that appears to be the case again this week. While Carlos Brown is expected to be completely healthy for Saturday’s game, Brandon Minor is still day-to-day with a bruised shoulder. How much the injury will limit him, if at all, against Wisconsin is left to be seen. A one-two punch of Brown and Minor would be ideal, but with the way the injury situation has been this year, it doesn’t exactly seem all that likely that it will be present against Wisconsin.
- Martavious Odoms has returned to practice.
- Patrick Omameh is the permanent starter at right guard. There is no permanent starter at middle linebacker just yet, because coaches aren’t sure if Kevin Leach or Obi Ezeh should start.
- David Molk’s surgery was scheduled to happen today.
- Brandon Graham has a shot at climbing up Michigan’s all-time list for sacks and tackles for a loss.
- Michigan is currently leading the nation in attendance.
- Although going into tomorrow’s Michigan-Michigan State hockey game the coaches are saying that memories of the last meeting between the two teams won’t affect play, it’s kind of hard to forget the image of Steve Kampfer face down on the ice after Corey Tropp and Andrew Conboy attacked him. Perhaps members of the team will do their best to not let it take their focus off of winning the game, but I can tell you right now that the crowd will let Tropp have it all night long. Anytime MSU comes to Yost the atmosphere is taken to a new level, but as I said earlier this week, tomorrow night may be the most hostile crowd ever, and that’s saying something. An e-mail from the hockey team was sent out to students basically as a warning to watch what you say, as ejections could happen without warning. Personally, I am going to try my best to avoid doing something to get ejected, but if another incident happens like in the last game between Michigan and Michigan State, all bets are off.
John Beilein picked up his second commit for 2010 today, as Miami guard Tim Hardaway Jr. verballed to the Wolverines. Hardaway participated in a team camp at Michigan this past weekend and played so well that he received an offer from Beilein. After getting the offer, it took Hardaway very little time to decide to commit to Michigan.
Hardaway is a 3-star shooting guard on both Scout and Rivals. ESPN grades him as a 93, which is very good. By comparison, Michigan’s other 2010 commit, power forward Evan Smotrycz, is graded as a 95. Obviously stars and rankings aren’t that important when you consider how unheralded Stu Douglass and Zack Novak were coming out of high school, but it is still nice to see future Michigan players rated highly by a site like ESPN.
One of the early criticisms of John Beilein was that the majority of his recruits were more like Douglass and Novak than highly rated players like Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that those criticisms weren’t accurate, as Beilein has proved he can find diamonds in the rough and land some big names as well.
As you probably guessed by now, former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is the father of Michigan’s latest commit. Hardaway Sr. played in Golden State and Miami for the majority of his career and was a very talented point guard. He was a five-time All-Star and won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics. Obviously Hardaway Jr. has some good basketball genes.
Evan Smotrycz, a 6-9 power forward from New Hampshire, committed to Michigan today. Smotrycz is not highly rated by Scout or Rivals, but he seems like a perfect fit for John Beilein’s offense. He has height and the ability to shoot from three-point land, making him a prototypical power forward in the Beilein offense. He seems like a bit of a sleeper prospect, which would make sense since he is now a Michigan commit. After all, very few people thought much of Stu Douglass or Zack Novak in high school, and we all know how big of a role they played this past season.
Check out UM Hoops for more on Smotrycz.