- 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.
- Michigan has been using the 3-3-5 defense quite a bit this spring.
- Due to injuries (the ones listed below are just some of them) and an overall lack of depth, this year’s spring game won’t really be like an actual game, though the hope is to do that in the future.
- Safeties Vladimir Emilien and Jared Van Slyke will miss at least a few weeks with knee injuries.
- Je’Ron Stokes likely will be out one more week with an ankle injury.
- Anthony LaLota is dealing with an elbow injury.
- Denard Robinson hasn’t practiced at a position other than quarterback yet this spring.
- Mike Hart was at practice on Tuesday.
- With Michigan losing its starting kicker and punter to graduation, the staff is essentially auditioning replacements (for kicker, at least; no punters are currently on the roster) this spring.
- Rich Rodriguez has once again been sued for another real estate-related project, this time in Alabama. Back before last season he was named in a similar lawsuit for a real estate project in Virginia.
- Admission for the spring game, like usual, is free, but this year Michigan and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital are partnering for the following promotion:
Fans can make a donation of choice to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital upon entering the gates of Michigan Stadium. Donations are accepted at any level but fans will receive giveaways for donating at the following four levels:
- $5 donation receives an “All in for Michigan Towel”
- $20 donation receives a spring game “All in for Michigan, All in for Mott” T-shirt
- $250 donation receives four passes to a pre-season scrimmage
- $500 donation receives 2 pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to ONE of the following four games: Bowling Green, Massachusetts, Iowa or Illinois (limited number of passes per game)
To encourage fans to participate in the fundraiser, the Beam Family of Brighton, Mich., will match dollar-for-dollar every donation that is made to Mott at the gates during the spring game.
- King Arthur Abraham, a boxer from Germany who is fighting Flint-native Andre Dirrell at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, is a Michigan football fan.
“Everybody in Germany knows the University of Michigan,” said Abraham, making his first visit to Detroit. “It is big and famous. Yes, I know a little, too, about the football team. I like American football. If there are Michigan State fans at my bout, would they please remember, I fight Andre, not them.”
Considering Dirrell, Abraham’s opponent, said today that he’d like to see Michigan State win the national championship in basketball, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be rooting for Abraham to win the fight.
- Associate basketball coach Jerry Dunn is a candidate for the head coaching job at UNC-Wilmington.
- Michigan’s women’s basketball team will play Northwestern at Crisler Arena on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the third round of the WNIT.
- Florida cornerback Rashad Knight has committed to Rutgers over Michigan. Michigan looked to be in pretty good shape with Knight for some time, but after his visit to Rutgers that changed. His mom apparently accompanied him on the visit to Rutgers and was blown away. I believe only his dad went with him to Michigan, and based on a quote like this, it looks like that could have been the difference in his recruitment.
“I really like what they’re doing there and how they do things,” Knight said about Rutgers. “I like coach Pinkham and coach Schiano a lot. In fact, coach Schiano reminds me a lot of my mom.”
Knight is the first of a few uncommitted players that Michigan is watching closely to announce his decision. Michigan is now waiting on Sean Parker and Demar Dorsey, two more defensive backs who are at the center of quite a few rumors. Some of them say that Parker is for sure going to Michigan, whereas others suggest that he is going to end up at Washington, which just recently entered the picture. For Dorsey, the rumors are just as vast and have him signing with a bunch of different schools. Many rumors suggest he will land at Florida State, but it seems like just as many have him going to USC, Michigan, or even Florida, which just dropped him recently. Tomorrow is definitely going to be interesting, starting with Sean Parker’s announcement on ESPNU at 10 a.m. ET.
- The one player already committed to Michigan worth keeping an eye on is Terry Talbott, who is unsure of whether he should go to U-M with his brother or go to North Carolina instead.
- ESPN’s Tom Luginbill likes Michigan’s recruiting class and what Rich Rodriguez is doing with the program.
- Jerry Dunn has returned to the Michigan basketball team, but not as an assistant coach.
- Mary Sue Coleman is not a candidate to be the next president of the NCAA.
- Brandon Graham tore things up all week during Senior Bowl practice and did the same during the actual game on Saturday. Graham had a couple sacks to go along with a forced fumble and was named the game’s MVP. He was viewed as a second-round pick with an outside shot at the first-round by most going into Senior Bowl week, but now he is seemingly for sure a first-rounder and could even be a top-20 pick depending on who you talk to.
- We are less than 37 hours (at the time of this post) away from signing day. Right now there are three uncommitted recruits still considering Michigan that will be worth watching on Wednesday — defensive backs Sean Parker, Rashad Knight, and Demar Dorsey. It’s really too tough to guess at this point, but if all goes according to plan Michigan should get at least one of those three players. Parker seems like the most likely to end up at Michigan based on what Sam Webb has said on WTKA lately, but you never know with USC being the other team still in play. Knight is down to Michigan and Rutgers, and that one seems like it could go either way. Finally, Dorsey was rumored to have committed to Florida State last week, and though the Seminoles are on his final list, I don’t believe a final decision has been made yet. USC and Michigan are the other two schools on his final list. He is probably the biggest long shot of the three, but signing day is always good for a surprise or two. (By the way, Dorsey is Denard Robinson’s cousin, so that connection should help Michigan’s chances.)
- According to Rich Rodriguez, Michigan has room for all three of the aforementioned players if what would simply be an amazing signing day happens and Parker, Knight, and Dorsey choose the Wolverines. Rodriguez said on Saturday the max Michigan can take is 29, and unless there is an unforeseen decommit, that leaves three open spots in the 2010 recruiting class.
- Rodriguez also said that this spring some offensive players may switch to defense since there isn’t a ton of depth on that side of the ball right now. Once the entire recruiting class arrives on campus in the summer depth won’t be as big of an issue, but right now Michigan just needs more bodies on defense.
- A defensive assistant coach should be hired in the next week or so, but not until after signing day. I think the reason for that, based on what someone told me, is because Michigan gave recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary coach status so he could go on the road to recruit. I suppose a coach could be hired now since all of the visits have wrapped up, but Rich Rodriguez probably just wants to get signing day out of the way first.
- Former commit Adrian Witty, who was set to come to Michigan until the admissions department supposedly prevented that from happening, is headed to Cincinnati instead.
- Tony Grimes, who was once viewed as a Michigan lean, committed to Ole Miss.
- Associate head basketball coach Jerry Dunn is expected to return to the team after taking a leave of absence.
- John Bacon provided some insight into what Manny Harris did to get suspended on the day before the Purdue game.
- MLive’s It’s Just Sports interviewed Courtney Sims.
- I think it’s safe to say the hockey team has officially hit rock bottom. Michigan lost to RPI last night by a score of 4-3 despite having a 46-13 advantage in shots on goal. Bryan Hogan absolutely stunk, giving up 3 goals on 9 shots before he was pulled after two periods of action. Shawn Hunwick came in and gave up the game-winning goal in the third period while making 3 saves. The offense had plenty of chances but only managed to score 3 times. Based on the radio broadcast it seemed like Michigan was close to scoring every time it entered the RPI zone, but it only mustered 3 goals on 46 shots. Pathetic seems like an understatement when describing how this team played. It was that bad.The only silver lining I can think of from all this is that Michigan gets to play Michigan Tech today instead of Michigan State, which beat Tech 10-1. If Michigan doesn’t just flat out destroy Tech, you can pretty much just write off the rest of the season.
- Associate basketball head coach Jerry Dunn is taking an indefinite leave of absence due to “personal family matters.”
- Alex Legion is transferring again. It was definitely a blessing in disguise that he decommitted from Michigan and ended up going to Kentucky originally, because chances are he would have transferred out of Ann Arbor at some point just like he did with UK and now Illinois.
Michigan Madness was held last Friday to help kick off the start of basketball practice and to help get fans ready for the upcoming season. This was the first time that there has been a “basketball season-opening event” at Michigan since 1996, according to the Michigan Daily, and hopefully this is just the first of many more to come. There was a decent crowd of around 3,500 people in attendance for the event, and it would have been bigger had it not been fall break at U-M. Either way, I’m sure that as time goes by, this will become a bigger and bigger event that every Michigan basketball fan looks forward to.
After having a BBQ for students that included some great food, the festivities moved inside Crisler Arena for the Greek Shootout. It was a comical event for the students in the crowd, as most players weren’t very good, but more than anything it was an event to kill some time before the teams were announced. The best part was getting to see David Merritt again, as he hosted this particular event. (He and C.J. Lee sat courtside for the rest of the night.)
Right around 9 p.m. is when the lights dimmed and the team introductions began. One player from the men’s team and one player from the women’s team were introduced together, and they came down to the floor from the crowd. The most memorable moment from the team intros happened when Stu Douglass and Courtney Boylan made their way to the court. Those two are dating, and the person in charge of the music was aware of that, changing their entrance music to the wedding song just as they hit the floor. It got a big laugh from the crowd and their teammates, though that probably wasn’t quite as funny as watching the coaches dance when they were introduced. Some of the coaches were really getting into it and dancing quite well, such as Jerry Dunn. For others it was more awkward than anything, like with Kevin Borseth, but it was all in good fun. John Beilein came out last and ran around the court, pumping up the crowd and dancing a little bit himself.
After each of the coaches spoke to the crowd, the skills competition took place. Each group in the competition was made up of a member from the men’s and women’s teams and a fan from the Maize Rage. Each member had to dribble two basketballs from a baseline to near half court and pass one of them away, and then came the tricky part for almost everybody who participated in the competition. The challenge was to bounce a ball through a rim that was propped up on a chair, and nearly everybody had trouble doing that. It was quite funny to watch the actual basketball players struggle with it. After they finally got the ball through the rim, the end of the competition was a bit easier, as the course finished with a layup, dribbling through some cones, passing the ball off of a pitch-back type of thing, and then doing another layup. In the end, Blake McLimans’ team won the competition, edging out Ben Cronin’s team by one second.
The next event was the three-point contest. I thought it would be like the usual three-point contests where you shoot a rack of five balls at five different stations, but it ended up being a team competition. One member of the men’s and women’s teams competed together and the contest was to see who could make a shot at the most stations in a minute. The stations were the same five as a usual three-point contest, and the two players rotated on each shot. To move on to the next station, someone had to make a shot. For this event, there was a tie for first between Anthony Wright/Dayeesha Hollins and Stu Douglass/Courtney Boylan with one pair remaining. Manny Harris and Carmen Reynolds needed to make 11 shots to win the event, and just as time expired, Reynolds hit their 11th three-pointer to move into first place.
The most anticipated event of the night — the dunk contest — was up next. Darius Morris got things started by throwing the ball off the shot clock, catching it, and dunking it, good for a score of 39 out of 40. Zack Novak got the same score by throwing the ball up in the air, catching it, and doing a windmill dunk. Laval Lucas-Perry and DeShawn Sims were the other two competitors, but it was Morris and Novak who were headed to the finals. It looked like Morris had the event wrapped up after he caught a pass from Matt Vogrich, who was 10 or so rows up in the crowd, and dunked it for a perfect score. Novak had other ideas, though, and he made the crowd explode by tossing the ball to himself on the baseline and doing a perfect through-the-legs dunk. It was a given that he got a perfect score, as the four judges from the women’s team threw all of the score cards into the air and went crazy with the rest of the people who saw Novak pull off that dunk. Although Novak technically tied Darius Morris with a score of 40, John Beilein declared Novak the winner for obvious reasons.
Following a short break, each team finished off the night with an 8-minute scrimmage. There isn’t much to say about the scrimmages, but it was nice to see them play some actual basketball at the end of the night. Afterward, the teams gathered at center court and sang The Victors with the crowd to close out the first ever Michigan Madness. It was an entertaining event for sure, and I can’t wait for it to become even bigger in the future.
For more on Michigan Madness check out:
- Fred Jackson spoke on Sam McGuffie’s decision to leave Michigan and confirmed that being closer to his family was a big reason why Sam left.
“We’re real close but the things going on in his family are unbelievable,” Jackson said before today’s U-M basketball game. “There was too much stuff there – he had to go home. There was a lot of issues as far as his sister and brother.”
“The kid wanted to be here,” Jackson said. “It’s just that things happened with his family that weighed heavy he couldn’t concentrate.”
I don’t know the details of what Jackson was talking about and am not even going to bother speculating. There have been a ton of rumors regarding the specifics of these family issues, and quite frankly, it’s just not necessary that they become public. The only thing that matters is that McGuffie did what was best for him, and I wish him the best both on and off the field.
- Rich Rodriguez and other football coaches were at the Duke and Eastern Michigan basketball games with recruits the last couple of weeks. The one coach that wasn’t there for either game is defensive coordinator Scott Shafer. I don’t know if this means anything or not, but it certainly seems strange.
- Quite a few things regarding recruiting happened over the weekend. Cameron Gordon became commit #21 on Thursday, but Jordan Barnes decommitted on Saturday. Then, on Sunday we found out that Taylor Lewan committed, bringing the total of verbals back up to 21. In between the news about Barnes and Lewan, rumors about Pearlie Graves and Shavodrick Beaver decommitting came about. None of the rumors appear to be true, thankfully.
- After a very slow start, Michigan turned it up on Saturday against Eastern Michigan and ended up winning 91-60. Believe it or not, but Michigan actually trailed by 7 points on two separate occasions in the first half and didn’t start to pull away until there were around three minutes left. However, when they did pull away, they really pulled away. Michigan was absolutely lights out from three-point land, making a school record 16 threes. They attempted a whopping 33, which normally isn’t a good thing. When you make nearly half of them, however, it definitely is all good.
- Four Michigan players scored in double digits on Saturday. Manny Harris had 22 points, and 20 of them came in the second half. He didn’t play very much in the first half due to a couple of quick fouls, but he got in the second half and couldn’t be stopped. DeShawn Sims scored 18 points, Jevohn Shepherd had 13, and Kelvin Grady hit 3 three-pointers and ended up with 11.
- David Merritt and C.J. Lee both hit a pair of three-pointers, and walk-on Eric Puls even made one at the very end of the game. Zack Gibson, DeShawn Sims, Jevohn Shepherd, and Stu Douglass also had 1 three-pointer. Manny Harris hit 4 shots from beyond the arc.
- John Beilein was not at Saturday’s game, as he is suffering from acute peripheral vertigo. The vertigo is happening because of an inner ear infection, causing Beilein’s status with the team to be day-to-day. Michigan’s next game isn’t until Saturday, so hopefully he will be back by then. Even if he isn’t, associate head coach Jerry Dunn, who was once Penn State’s head coach, did a nice job filling in for Beilein against Eastern Michigan.
- As mentioned, Michigan’s next game is on Saturday. The Wolverines will play Oakland at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The game is set to start at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on FSN Detroit.
- The Free Press profiled freshman Zack Novak.
- Angelique Chengelis has an update on what Lloyd Carr has been doing lately. Carr responded to Rick Leach’s comments about him not supporting Rich Rodriguez publicly, saying “I’ve talked with Rich several times, and I told him I would not be making any comments publicly because I didn’t want to have anything that I said be misconstrued.” Carr did go on to say that if Rodriguez ever needed him, he would be there.
- Speaking of Rick Leach, MVictors has a ton of audio from his interview on WTKA last week.
- Also at MVictors is a picture of Lloyd Carr with a cowbell from Saturday’s basketball game.
- Nebraska eliminated Michigan from the NCAA tournament in volleyball.
- Auburn hired Iowa State coach Gene Chizik, even though he compiled a 5-19 record in his two years at ISU. Needless to say, Auburn fans aren’t happy with the hire. And I thought our coaching search was a train wreck.
- Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, and Billy Sims demonstrated his obnoxious ways during the announcement of who won the award.
- Ball State head coach Brady Hoke reportedly is going to take the San Diego State job. Why he would make what is not even a lateral move is beyond me, especially with a job like Iowa State just opening up.
- The NCAA Tournament begins today, meaning work productivity is about to take a huge hit. To help the cause, let me tell you about something that anyone at work should know about. It’s called March Madness on Demand. MMOD will allow you to watch games live (except for the one being shown in your local market) and will make the day go by much quicker. And in case your boss happens to stroll by when you’re watching, there’s a handy “boss button” that displays a spreadsheet with one click, saving you from possibly getting fired.
- My picks for the NCAA Tournament can be found here. I have North Carolina winning it all over UCLA in a close game.
- Awful Announcing has the coverage maps for the first-round games of the Big Dance.
- Charles Woodson donated $150,000 to the University of Michigan for two scholarships.
- The Michigan women’s basketball team is in the WNIT. This is the first time the women’s team has played in the postseason since 2002. Considering where this team was a year ago, I’d say any postseason tournament is a huge step in the right direction. It just shows you that Kevin Borseth is a great coach and has the program headed for bigger and better things.
- The Big Ten Network has a video on spring practice for the football team. MGoBlue has another one as well.
- Sam Webb talks Michigan recruiting and the impact Mike Barwis is having on it.
- Yesterday was supposed to be the Michigan baseball team’s first home game since renovations overhauled Fisher Stadium, but bad weather postponed the contest against Oakland.
- Michigan men’s basketball assistant coach Jerry Dunn is a finalist for the James Madison job.
- Maize & Blog compared the hockey and basketball teams’ games from last Friday, and the results are pretty depressing for basketball fans.
- If you have a Wii and are planning on getting NCAA Football 09 for it this summer, make sure to keep the cover out of sight as Sparty is on it.
- The Ann Arbor News’ 4-day series on Michigan athletes and academics wrapped up yesterday, and I’ll admit, I didn’t even bother reading the new articles. I tried, but after the first few lines couldn’t stand to read anymore. Overall, the series turned out to be a whole lot of nothing to me. Basically, the AA News pointed out over the last 4 days that Michigan athletes take easier classes, don’t take on majors that require a lot of time, and get put in easy classes to boost their GPA. Well thanks, because that was such a well kept secret.
I get that the attitude of “everyone is doing it, so we can too” isn’t a good one to have, but to seriously compete in college athletics, athletes don’t have the time to dedicate their lives to academics. That’s just the way it is. And although some may say that the Ann Arbor News did a great job investigating this issue at Michigan, I would strongly disagree. Nothing new was brought up over the course of this series, and I really am surprised that 7 months of work resulted in things we already knew for the most part. Then again, if 7 months of investigating only turned up the notion that athletes have an easier time in the classroom, then it is a sigh of relief as that much time spent digging into some schools would uncover things much worse.
- I usually never see eye-to-eye with Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, but I commend her for defending the University against the Ann Arbor News’ series.
- Finally, I think Autumn Thunder sums up the thoughts of most Michigan fans with what I would say is his best photoshop yet. I know, I know, Carty wasn’t the only one behind this series as many people were involved, but he has become the main target of criticism for some reason.
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