- 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.
- 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.
- Michigan’s game against Miami in the CCHA semifinals has been scheduled for 8:05 p.m. As expected, it will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. It will also be streamed live on FoxSportsDetroit.com, as will the Ferris State/Northern Michigan game at 4:35 p.m. and the championship game on Saturday night. The first semifinal on Friday and the championship game will be broadcast on FS Detroit as well.
- The first spring football practice is today.
- TomVH interviewed running back recruit Demetrius Hart, who will be visiting Michigan for the spring game.
- The women’s basketball team did not make the NCAA tournament, so it will instead be playing in the WNIT. The first game for Michigan will be on Friday at home against Kent State. (Full bracket here)
- John Beilein explained Michigan’s defense on the final play of the Ohio State game and admitted it was “too soft.”
- Jimmy King and Jalen Rose were on ESPN First Take yesterday, and one of the things they debated was who would win between the 1992 Michigan team and this year’s squad from Kentucky.
- Iowa unsurprisingly fired head basketball coach Todd Lickliter on Monday.
- I was a guest on The Michigan Man Podcast recently. You can check out part one of my interview here.
- Dave Brandon officially took over as Michigan’s new athletic director on Monday. He did some interviews (including one for the FOX Business Network) as a result and discussed various things, including Rich Rodriguez. Unfortunately Brandon will be asked a lot about Rodriguez until football season clears up that situation one way or another, but for now Brandon is maintaining his stance that Rodriguez is “our coach for this season.”
- Rodriguez was recently interviewed by the Toledo Blade.
- Bill Martin did an interview about his last days in his usual office.
- DeShawn Sims made the All-Big Ten second team and Manny Harris made the All-Big Ten third team.
- Since the NIT is no longer a realistic option for the basketball team, my assumption was that Michigan would play in the CBI. As it turns out, that won’t be happening, either, because Michigan isn’t interested. At first I was thinking that Michigan wasn’t interested simply because it’s the CBI (sort of like turning down a low-level bowl game because you think you’re too good for it), but Dave Birkett made a good point on Twitter about how U-M would have to pay for a home game and probably wouldn’t even come close to drawing enough fans to make it worthwhile. He’s probably right, because although I would consider going to an NIT game, I don’t think I’d even bother if it was the CBI. It’s tough enough to get excited over anything but the NCAA tournament to begin with, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the CBI is just not at all appealing to me.
- John Beilein was not too happy with the physical play that was allowed during Sunday’s game against Michigan State. I understand where he’s coming from, but fair or foul, that is just Big Ten basketball.
- It’s hard to believe, but Selection Sunday is coming up later this week. It seems like just yesterday I was at Crisler Arena celebrating Michigan’s inclusion in the tournament. Unless there is a miracle in the Big Ten tournament there won’t be much to celebrate about for Michigan fans this year, but as you get ready to fill out your bracket, check out some NCAA Tournament Projections and Predictions from Doc’s Sports.
- Chris Brown was selected to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.
- WolverineHistorian uploaded a new three–part video of the 2004 Michigan/Michigan State game.
- Michigan students Meryl Davis and Charlie White won a silver medal in ice dancing at the Olympics, and fellow students Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates finished 11th.
- Birmingham Seaholm wide receiver Shawn Conway committed to Michigan over the weekend after being offered a scholarship. Conway, Michigan’s third commitment for 2011, is a definite sleeper considering that Michigan is his only offer so far. I know many fans out there are concerned over the fact that Conway has flown under the radar so much, but let’s keep in mind that it is only February. A lot of times players that are sleepers will suddenly jump up in the rankings after their senior year or simply once they gain more attention. That’s not to say that will for sure happen in Conway’s case, but he has good size and good hands, making it seem like he could be a solid possession receiver for Michigan someday. For more on Conway, check out mgoblog.
- AnnArbor.com has a recap and various videos of the Victors Rally that was held on Sunday. The Wolverine Blog also has a few videos from the event.
- Coaches almost decided to play Justin Turner and burn his redshirt last season. Although I imagine he would have helped the secondary, in the long run I think that was a good decision.
- Brandon Graham’s stock soared after the Senior Bowl, and if he manages to run a 4.5 40-yard dash in Indianapolis like he did in practice recently it could continue to be on the rise.
- Bill Martin’s official title from March 8 (after Dave Brandon officially becomes the athletic director) to September 4 of this year will be “special adviser to the president.”
- The USA Today profiled Dave Brandon.
- Fielding Yost was a curler back in the day.
- Five Michigan hockey recruits are in Rivals’ top 50 rankings. Two of them have five stars.
- I think John Beilein’s expression during the Penn State game last Saturday just about sums up my overall expression for Michigan sports since October.
- Beilein doesn’t expect Ben Cronin to play basketball again.
- Michigan has submitted bids to host NIT games for both the men’s and women’s teams. At this point I don’t think Michigan will even have to worry about hosting anything for the men’s NIT.
- UM Hoops and The Wolverine Blog put together a two–part Q&A on where things stand with basketball recruiting.
- Brent Petway is headed to France to play basketball.
- Former Michigan basketball player Dommanic Ingerson was arrested last week in Oakland after stealing a purse and a jacket from two women and proceeding to swim in a lake naked.
- George Sisler, who played baseball at Michigan from 1913-15, was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
- The Big Ten has hired a research firm to analyze schools that could join the Big Ten. The initial list included 15 schools. Texas was not on the list, but you don’t need to really do research to know how big of an impact adding the Longhorns to the conference would have.
- Michigan Sports Center turned four on Sunday.
- 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.
- The Crisler Arena renovation was approved by the U-M Board of Regents on Thursday. The $20 million project will overhaul quite a bit of Crisler Arena, though it is only the first phase of renovations.
The first phase would address the highest priority infrastructure needs such as repair of the roof, electrical, plumbing and air handling systems. Lower bowl seats also would be replaced, with the expansion of seating for people with disabilities, addition of hand rails and other code related issues.
On top of the initial phase, Michigan will look into doing additional renovations of Crisler Arena down the road.
Future phases could possibly address what would be left in the Arena, including the upper bowl, the concourses, the playing floor and other more cosmetic things.
I imagine the entire arena will eventually be overhauled in one form or another by the time all renovations are complete. Although it’s good that the first phase will address many of Crisler Arena’s issues, there’s no doubt that future phases will be necessary to truly fix things up.
- Bill Martin was asked about simply replacing Crisler Arena with a brand new facility, and this is what he had to say:
“We looked at it,” Martin said. “But understand to begin with that Crisler has good bones. It’s sized right. Structurally, it’s very sound and it’s going to last a long time.”
The cost of a potential new arena wasn’t a factor, Martin said, although when it is done he anticipates when all phases are done the renovations will cost between $40-60 million instead of a new arena, which could cost more than $100 million.
Personally I would have been on the new arena bandwagon simply because it’s tough for me to envision a renovated Crisler Arena truly being that much better than it currently is, but there would have been a lot of issues with starting from scratch. Aside from the cost, location would have been a big problem. Regardless of your thoughts on Crisler or its appearance, there’s no doubt it is in a good location. Unless Crisler was torn down and a new arena was built on that same land, it would be tough for a new facility to come even close to being in as good of a location as Crisler is. Either way, I would have been decidedly for a new arena unless this renovation and future renovations will really freshen up Crisler. It just has a dreary and dark look to it, both on the outside and inside, so hopefully the renovations will change that.
- According to a poster on MGoBoard, Kelvin Grady is going to rejoin the basketball team. He isn’t leaving the football team, though. Grady will simply be a football player that is also playing for the basketball team. Quite frankly I hope this turns out to be true, because Grady would have been the best returning point guard this season had he continued playing basketball. I don’t know exactly how he will fit into the rotation with Stu Douglass and Darius Morris at point guard, but I will gladly welcome the added depth. Grady’s defense is far from great, but he is a great shooter and does an even better job of running the floor.
- There is a video on MGoBlue of the basketball team celebrating after the UConn win, and it shows Rich Rodriguez high-fiving everybody and congratulating the team on the upset.
- Via PaulVB, UConn head coach Jim Calhoun had a great quote following his team’s loss to Michigan.
“Their 6’3″ guys bodied up and prevented our 6’9″ guys from getting lay ups. I don’t know how, but they did”
Speaking of Calhoun, he announced earlier this week that he is taking a leave of absence for medical-related reasons. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.
- UM Hoops has a rundown of just how much Manny Harris struggled in the last part of Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin.
- John Beilein has no interest in recruiting players in the eighth grade.
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