Thursday Quick Hits: Michigan Softball Opens Super Regional Tonight

By · Thursday, May 27, 2010 · 2:51 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan opens its Super Regional series against Tennessee tonight at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor.  Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN.  Tomorrow’s first game begins at 4:30 p.m., and if a third game is necessary it will start at 7 p.m.  Friday’s first game will be shown on ESPNU, whereas the third game will be on ESPN2.
  • Desmond Howard has been elected to the College Football of Hall of Fame.
  • Michigan’s hockey captains next season will be Carl Hagelin and Luke Glendening.  The alternate captains will be Matt Rust and Louie Caporusso.

To the Tournament We Go: Michigan Beats NMU 2-1 for CCHA Title

By · Sunday, March 21, 2010 · 8:31 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 

(From CCHA.com)

Midway through the first period back on February 25, Bryan Hogan went down with an injury and was forced to leave the game.  Replacing him was Shawn Hunwick, a walk-on goalie known only to the most avid fans because he had seen such little playing time in his career at Michigan.  In fact, the only substantial playing time he had was back at Joe Louis Arena during this season’s Great Lakes Invitational.  Hogan was struggling big time and was pulled after the second period.  Michigan made a comeback attempt, but Hunwick surrendered the game-winning goal on one of the few shots he faced in 20 minutes on the ice.  The next night Hogan was back in net just like usual.  He was viewed as this team’s only starting-caliber goalie, playing so much during the season that he led the nation in minutes on the ice.

So on senior night in came Shawn Hunwick, who left me with very little confidence that Michigan would defeat Notre Dame.  Hell, every time Notre Dame entered the zone and had a look at a shot I was nervous.  After all, Hunwick was inexperienced and nothing more than depth on the roster.  There was a reason Hogan had started every game during the season, but Hunwick, with no time to warm up or anything, immediately started to prove me wrong.  He made some great saves and the entire team started to play better and better as time went on.  By the end of the night Michigan was up 4-0 and that nervous feeling went away.  Hunwick didn’t allow a single goal en route to a perfect senior night, recording a combined shutout with Bryan Hogan.

At the time this seemed like nothing more than a fluke and a great story for one night in a season that was riddled with bad ones.  That seemed even more like the case after Hunwick had a rough second period at Notre Dame a couple nights later, leading to a 5-3 loss to the Fighting Irish.  The good feelings quickly went away, as the realization set in that Michigan was without its starting goalie and was only a single game over .500.  To make matters worse, Michigan missed out on a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs and was the seventh seed.  To say that there was little hope in Michigan’s NCAA tournament streak staying alive would be an understatement.  The only way for the Wolverines to make the tournament was to emerge as the CCHA playoffs champion, which seemed like it would take a miracle.

Even after Michigan convincingly beat Lake Superior State at home during the first round of the playoffs, outscoring the Lakers by a combined total of 11-2 in the two games, the chances of making it to Joe Louis Arena looked slim, let alone winning the whole thing.  That is because Michigan had to go to Munn Arena, a place where it hadn’t won two consecutive games since the 70s.  Like Michigan, Michigan State was playing for its season, so the odds were clearly stacked against the Wolverines, especially with captain Chris Summers now out with an injury and Bryan Hogan still not healthy enough to even return as a backup.

Just as it would all month long, however, Michigan shocked everybody and not only swept the Spartans, but dominated them outside of a few minutes at the end of the first period in the second game.  The Wolverines outscored MSU 10-4 in the two games and clinched their ticket to Joe Louis Arena in what was suddenly being called “Yost West” thanks to an invasion of Michigan fans.

Next for up Michigan: Miami, one of the top teams in the nation, and a team that came to Yost earlier in the season and swept Michigan in dominating fashion.  Once again, hopes of just getting to the championship game seemed slim, although it looked like Michigan was peaking at the perfect time in front of a goaltender who was playing with loads of confidence.

Michigan continued to play exceptional hockey against the RedHawks and took a surprising 2-1 lead into the third period on Friday.  In the final period, Michigan exploded for 3 goals, ran a goalie who is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, and took down Miami by a score of 5-2 to advance to the championship game.  Suddenly a bid to the NCAA tournament wasn’t a long shot; it was only one win away.

In the CCHA championship on Saturday night, Michigan went up against Northern Michigan, which split a series with the Wolverines at Yost Arena last month.  NMU was the team that secured the fourth and final bye in the CCHA playoffs and a team fresh off of an overtime victory on Friday against Ferris State.  The Wildcats definitely appeared beatable, but the question for Michigan was if it could keep this amazing run going for at least 60 more minutes to extend the season and extend the NCAA tournament streak to 20 consecutive years.

During the first period, there was no scoring but plenty of action.  Michigan came out red hot and put lots of pressure on NMU.  The Wolverines were unable to score any goals, however, which looked like it could wind up being the story of the game since there were so many close calls.  NMU countered with some sustained pressure of its own for a good part of the period and had a few close calls as well.  The biggest moment in the first period, though, was when Luke Glendening checked a Northern Michigan player from behind with 2:30 to go and was given a game misconduct.  Not only was Michigan now missing a great player in Glendening, but it had to kill off a five-minute major as well, or so it originally appeared.

About a minute into the penalty kill, Northern Michigan took a slashing penalty.  21 seconds later the Wildcats had a player sent to the penalty box for interference, giving Michigan a power play that carried over into the second period.  Michigan was unable to score during the power play, but a good part of that five-minute major was useless for Northern Michigan.  The Wildcats did go on the power play again, though, and even ended up with a brief two-man advantage after David Wohlberg was called for a holding penalty.  Michigan luckily killed off the 5 on 3 and then killed off Wohlberg’s penalty as well, allowing play to return to 5 on 5 for the first time in what seemed like an eternity.

Michigan killed off another penalty five minutes later, and then frustration continued with the refereeing after a Northern Michigan player boarded a Wolverine and only got two minutes.  Considering Glendening received a game misconduct in the first period for a similar play, the thinking was that the NMU player would get the same penalty.  He didn’t, however, and Michigan failed to score during the power play, leaving things all evened up for when the Wolverines went back on the power play at the end of the second period.

With the clock winding down on the period, Michigan didn’t appear to have a whole lot going for it on the power play.  Northern Michigan was doing an excellent job of blocking shots and preventing Michigan from having any open lanes.  On top of that, Matt Rust lost his stick behind the net and had to go to the bench, briefly leaving Michigan with only four players in the zone.  Suddenly, though, out of nowhere came Louie Caporusso, who jumped onto the ice to replace Rust.  Caporusso immediately got the puck and fired it past NMU’s Brian Stewart for the game’s first goal.  It was an absolutely great wrist shot that came very unexpectedly because Caporusso wasn’t even on the ice a few seconds prior.

Nearly midway through the third period, Michigan had yet another power-play opportunity.  This time around Michigan was getting sustained pressure on NMU and just barely missing out on a goal.  Caporusso, for example, put a big rebound right off the post.  Had the puck been just a little over it would have went right into an open net since Stewart was on the ground.  The close call turned out to be a good thing, though, because it directly led to the eventual game-winning goal.  Steve Kampfer ended up with the puck at the blue line after it hit the post, and he slapped a pass down low to the left of the net.  Caporusso once again seemed to come out of nowhere and quickly deflected the puck into the net off of his stick.  It was a perfect setup and a perfect shot that put Michigan on top 2-0 with 11:07 to play in the game.

Northern Michigan wasn’t going to make this easy for Michigan and fought back with a goal of its own two minutes later.  Michigan turned the puck over in front of the net, and a bad bounce off of a skate put the puck right on the stick of Andrew Cherniwchan, who put it past Shawn Hunwick for a goal.  Suddenly this was only a 2-1 game and there were still more than nine minutes left to play.

Michigan tightened things up and managed to run down the clock without allowing any big scoring chances.  There was another turnover that gave NMU a decent shot, but it never even found its way to the net since it was blocked by a Michigan player.  The clock kept winding down and NMU pulled its goalie with a minute left.  Michigan barely missed the empty net once, but it wasn’t exactly playing to score a goal.  The key thing was to make sure NMU didn’t have a chance to tie the game and to run out the clock, and that is exactly what the Wolverines did.

With 11 seconds left on the clock, the puck found its way to the back of the net and Steve Kampfer pinned it up against the boards.  Kampfer, along with Louie Caporusso, managed to keep the puck pinned until the clock stopped with 2.5 seconds left despite being cross-checked and hit in the back of the head.  It seemed like the clock stopped before the whistle and should have run out, but it proved to be unimportant because a Northern Michigan player was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking.  The celebrating immediately began on the Michigan bench because the ensuing faceoff was moved to the NMU zone as a result of the penalty, meaning it was nearly impossible for the Wildcats to score with only 3.5 seconds left in the game (for some reason the refs put an extra second on the clock).  The puck was then dropped and time did run out, and Michigan poured over the bench to celebrate the 2-1 victory, CCHA championship, and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with Shawn Hunwick and the other players already on the ice.

This amazing run to the NCAA tournament was filled with things that seemed beyond unlikely back when Bryan Hogan was injured against Notre Dame on February 25.  Michigan swept Lake Superior State, swept Michigan State in East Lansing, destroyed one of the top teams in the country, and then beat Northern Michigan on Saturday to keep the NCAA tournament streak alive.  This run included Louie Caporusso going on an absolute tear and playing like he did last season after being nonexistent for most of the regular season.  This run included solid defense despite Chris Summers missing the Michigan State series and both games at Joe Louis Arena.  And most notably, this run included an absolutely outstanding performance by Shawn Hunwick, who was merely a backup goalie with almost no experience a month ago.  Hunwick played so well that he was named the MVP of the tournament on the same ice where he gave up the game-winning goal in Michigan’s loss to RPI back in December.  Who would have ever thought that a walk-on goalie would be leading Michigan to the NCAA tournament under these circumstances, especially when you consider Hunwick’s unlikely path to joining the Michigan team in the first place.

Although a movie could be made right now about Hunwick and the way this team came together to make the NCAA tournament, hopefully there is some magic left that will have to be added to the script in the future.  Of course I’m talking about the NCAA tournament, which is now a reality after being nothing more than a dream for most of the season.  The selection show for the tournament is at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning on ESPN2 and will reveal where and who Michigan will play next week.

Because Michigan moved all the way up to a tie for 11th in the PairWise Rankings, it appears that the Wolverines will end up with a 3 seed.  As far as where it will play, it looks like Michigan will be headed to either Worcester or St. Paul.  Based on who Michigan would draw in those two regionals, I’m hoping Michigan goes to St. Paul, where USCHO thinks it would play St. Cloud State in the first round and then possibly play Wisconsin if it is victorious.  In the Worcester regional Michigan could end up having to play North Dakota in the first round and then Boston College if it makes it to the next round, which is less than ideal.  Then again, most Michigan fans (myself included) were hoping to not play Miami in the CCHA semifinals, and that worked out quite well for the Wolverines.

At this point I’m just glad Michigan got into the tournament to keep the streak alive.  Obviously the dream would be for the Wolverines to win two games to make it to the Frozen Four at Ford Field and then win a national championship in front of tens of thousands of Michigan fans, but the fact that they even have an opportunity to do that is great considering how improbable it once seemed.  Besides, regardless of what happens in the NCAA tournament, I think this was one of Red Berenson’s best coaching jobs ever, and that’s saying something.

Hockey Quick Hits: Michigan Shuts Out Ferris State in 2-0 Win

By · Saturday, January 23, 2010 · 2:30 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan beat Ferris State last night 2-0 in what was another impressive performance.  The Bulldogs are third in the CCHA currently, so this was a huge win.  It was close throughout the night, though Michigan did seem to dominate play for the most part.  Both of Michigan’s goals came in the second period off the stick of Luke Glendening.  He nearly had a hat trick, but Ferris State’s Chad Billins got a piece of the puck when Glendening fired it at an empty net.  Glendening’s two goals proved to be more than enough for Michigan to win because Bryan Hogan recorded his second shutout in the last three games.  There was a close call or two involving the post (on both ends), but Hogan played extremely well again, which was good to see.
  • As mentioned, Ferris State is still third in the CCHA, but a win by Michigan tonight would cut the gap in half and put the Wolverines only three points back of the Bulldogs.  Actually, depending on what happens in the games involving Alaska, Lake Superior State, and Notre Dame, a Michigan win could vault the Wolverines all the way up to fourth in the conference.  As you can see, tonight’s game in Big Rapids is very important because of the conference standings implications, but it is also important because a sweep of a team like FSU would go a long way in helping Michigan get back in the NCAA tournament discussion.  With a huge series against Michigan State coming up next week, it would be great if Michigan could head to East Lansing on a wave of momentum thanks to a sweep of the Bulldogs.
  • Former Michigan players Danny Fardig and Jack Johnson were at last night’s game and participated in Score-O during the second intermission.  Fardig scored on his second attempt, but both of Johnson’s shots went wide of the net.
  • Speaking of Johnson, the timing of his return to Ann Arbor couldn’t have been better.  The Kings play at Detroit tonight, which is why he had a chance to take in the Ferris State game, but his visit came in the wake of a war of words in the media with Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi.  Lombardi said some pretty nasty things about Johnson, Red Berenson, and the Michigan hockey program in an interview earlier this week.  The quotes really speak for themselves, but all I can say is that it’s unbelievable that the general manager of a professional hockey team would have the audacity to say things like this:

    “This guy has never had any coaching [at the University of Michigan],” Lombardi said. “Jack just did what he wanted.”

    “Michigan is the worst.” Lombardi added. “For hockey people, if you’ve got a choice between a kid—all things being equal—one’s going to Michigan and one’s going to Boston University, you all want your player [going to Boston University]. Michigan’s players—[head coach] Red [Berenson] doesn’t coach. It’s ‘do what you want.’ He gets the best players in the country.”

    During his two seasons at the University of Michigan, Johnson played as a rover, rather than as a defenseman, even though that was his official position.

    “Jack was a thoroughbred out there,” Lombardi explained. “But he was all over the place. He was awful as a hockey player. As an athlete, you’re going, wow! Look at the way he skates, shoots, he can pass. But he had no idea where he was going.”

    “At times, he was playing forward at Michigan,” Lombardi elaborated. “You had no idea what position he was playing. But he had always been the star and he always got his numbers. Then he turns pro and for the first time, we’re telling him ‘whoa, just make the first pass and learn to play in your own end.’ How about making a read in your own end about the right guy to pick up? He was awful.”

    Again, I can’t believe the GM of a pro team would say things like that, but lo and behold a douche like Lombardi has come along and basically called out his own player and Red Berenson, whose resume speaks for itself. As you might imagine, Jack Johnson did not take kindly to what Lombardi said, and he fired back yesterday.

    “I’m a Michigan man. I’m very proud of it. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Johnson said after the Kings’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.

    “Michigan has produced more NHL players than any other school. Even the U.S. development program, people rip that and they just don’t know anything about it and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    Berenson, Johnson said, “is one of the finest coaches and men that I’ve met. For my general manager to rip me as a person and criticize me as a person and as a player and call me an awful hockey player is irresponsible and unprofessional.”

    Kudos to Johnson for sticking up for his former coach and former school, because I’m sure colleges recruiting the same players as Michigan are salivating over what Lombardi said. That is just about the worst kind of negative recruiting fodder out there — the GM of an NHL team calling into question Michigan’s coach despite the fact that, as Johnson said, more NHL players come from Michigan than any other school.

  • The Free Press has an interview with Jack Johnson.
  • Brendan Morrison came to the defense of Red Berenson and the Michigan program on mgoblog.
  • Berenson had nothing to say about Lombardi’s comments.
  • There was some concern over the status of the Cold War II after some comments MSU coach Rick Comley made on the radio earlier this month, but according to a poster on Spartan Tailgate’s Red Cedar Message Board, the game is official and the date is set for December 11, 2010.  Yes, it’s a post on a message board, but the RCMB has quite a few connected posters (that board played the biggest role in breaking the news about MSU’s new logo), so I believe it is a credible post.

Thursday Quick Hits: Minor Doubtful for Saturday; Other Injury Updates

By · Thursday, November 19, 2009 · 2:35 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Brandon Minor is doubtful for Saturday’s game because of a shoulder injury that has been bothering him in recent weeks.  It figures that even though his ankle injury is finally better, he may not play because of a different injury.  I’m sure nothing would keep Minor off the field on Saturday if it was his decision, but Rich Rodriguez explicitly said yesterday that whether or not he plays will be up to the trainers.
  • On the bright side, it looks like Carlos Brown will not be limited on Saturday, or at least that’s the hope.  Brown has been cleared to play already and barring any setbacks, I’d pencil him in as the starter if Minor can’t go.  We will probably see more of Vincent Smith like last week, but if Brown is healthy and Minor isn’t, Carlos should be the starter.
  • It also looks like Martavious Odoms will play on Saturday.
  • Brandon Graham and Mark Ortmann called a players-only meeting before practice on Monday.
  • The 1969 Michigan football team that beat Ohio State will be honored at Saturday’s game because it is the 40th anniversary of the 24-12 win.
  • The Michigan-Ohio State game is being moved to the Saturday after Thanksgiving starting next year, and Jim Tressel isn’t a fan of the change.  I’m not, either, because I’d much rather see the game be moved to the last week of the college football season.  Having it the Saturday after Thanksgiving will be an issue for many students, especially ones who are out of state.  I definitely want to have a bye at some point during the season, but the Big Ten ought to give everyone the week of Thanksgiving off and end the season with the rest of the nation in the first week of December.  That would give teams a bye during the main part of the season and another week off right before their last game.
  • The uniforms Ohio State is going to wear on Saturday are even uglier in video form than they were in picture form.
  • Michigan players understandably aren’t too fond of Justin Boren.
  • Sean McDonough and Matt Millen will be the announcers for Saturday’s game.
  • The chances of Rich Rodriguez making changes to his coaching staff this offseason aren’t very likely.
  • Mary Sue Coleman let Rich Rodriguez know earlier this week that she is 100% behind him.
  • Rodriguez called Tate Forcier into his office with a dictionary in hand to let him know the difference between an argument and a lecture, which is in reference to Forcier saying that the two got into an argument last week.
  • Donovan Warren is going to look into going pro after the season is over.
  • MVictors has a recap of Jamie Morris’ interesting interview on a Columbus radio station.
  • Devin Gardner highlights from last Friday can be found over at mgoblog.  Inkster is now one win away from reaching the state finals.
  • Also at mgoblog is a list of visitors for the OSU game.
  • Manny Harris is one of the Big Ten Players of the Week.
  • You can go to tomorrow night’s basketball game for $1 if you donate 2 non-perishable food items.
  • Carl Hagelin and Luke Glendening have been named alternate captains by Red Berenson.
  • Mike Babcock was at last Friday’s hockey game at Yost.
  • Minnesota’s new stadium is actually going to be in the next NCAA Football game.
  • Northwestern’s Kevin Coble and Jeff Ryan are both out for the season, which will make for a tough basketball season for the Wildcats.
  • Purdue’s Lewis Jackson is out until February at the earliest, which is a big blow to the Boilermakers.

Notre Dame Scores 5 Unanswered to Win CCHA Tournament

By · Sunday, March 22, 2009 · 1:37 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

For the first half of its game against Notre Dame, it looked like the hockey team was going to make Michigan fans’ night much better. Thanks to goals scored by Luke Glendening and David Wohlberg, Michigan was up 2-0 and appeared to be on their way to a CCHA title. Things started to go downhill 12:11 into the second period, however, and it was all Notre Dame from that point forward. Notre Dame got on the board with a goal and rode that momentum into the third period to dismantle Michigan.

Notre Dame scored a pair of goals within 50 seconds of each other only a couple minutes into the third period. Michigan had nothing going in its favor after that, and Notre Dame put the game away with two more goals later on. In all, ND scored five unanswered to capture the CCHA tournament title. It was quite the collapse on Michigan’s part, but ND simply took it to the Wolverines in the second half of this game.

Michigan will find out exactly where it is playing in the NCAA tournament this morning at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Michigan will be the final #1 seed, so they will likely end up playing in the East Regional, located in Bridgeport, CT. Yale is the host of the East Regional and will play there, probably as a #2 seed. Assuming both Michigan and Yale advance in the opening round of the tournament, that would force U-M to win a road game to make it back to the Frozen Four.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Michigan Moves Up in Hockey Rankings

By · Tuesday, February 17, 2009 · 1:57 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Michigan moved up to #3 in this week’s USCHO.com Poll.
  • In the PairWise Rankings, Michigan is now tied for 2nd in the nation. Notre Dame is tied for 4th, which is great news for seeding in the NCAA tournament. Obviously there is lots of hockey to still be played, but this is a good sign nonetheless.
  • Luke Glendening was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week.
  • MGoBlue has more details on Gordie Howe’s autograph signing that will take place prior to the Ferris State game on February 28.

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Sweeps UNO, Clinches First-Round Bye

By · Monday, February 16, 2009 · 2:01 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan clinched a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs by sweeping Nebraska-Omaha. On Friday, Michigan went off in the third period by scoring 4 goals. UNO actually made it a 4-3 game just a couple minutes into the third period, but Michigan answered back by opening the floodgates. In a five minute or so span, the Wolverines scored 4 goals to make this an 8-3 blowout. Bryan Hogan, who was apparently feeling sick, was able to pull himself out of the game with around seven minutes left, giving Billy Sauer his first playing time at home since November.

    On Saturday, Sauer started in place of Hogan and was welcomed back to the starting lineup with a pair of 5-on-3 situations. Tim Miller received a 5-minute major for kneeing and Danny Fardig was sent to the box for boarding shortly after. That put Sauer in a tough situation, and Nebraska-Omaha first capitalized with a goal just as Fardig’s penalty was set to expire. 30 seconds later, UNO scored again to make it a 2-0 game.

    Less than a minute after Tim Miller’s penalty ended, Chris Summers and Brian Lebler went to the box at the same time. With a penalty already called on Summers for boarding, Lebler picked up one as well for high-sticking, meaning Michigan had to kill off another 5-on-3. This time things went much better for Michigan, and they escaped the pair of penalties without giving up another goal. That really turned the entire game around, as Michigan was probably lucky to be down only 2-0 after the first period ended.

    With under five to go in the second period, Michigan finally scored when Louie Caporusso zipped a pass in front of the net to Travis Turnbull, who smacked it in for a goal. About a minute and a half later, Brian Lebler put the rebound of a Turnbull shot into the net to tie the game, setting up the Wolverines to make this a comeback victory in the third period.

    With less than five minutes to go in the game, Luke Glendening took a pass from Caporusso and sniped a shot past UNO’s goalie to give Michigan a 3-2 lead. Caporusso got the puck off a turnover and quickly went into UNO’s zone to set up Glendening for his first goal of the night. Caporusso would later set up Glendening’s second goal of the night by feeding him a pass out in front of an empty net with 35 seconds left in the game. The second goal by Glendening sealed the game for Michigan and gave them a 4-2 win.

  • Since both Miami and Notre Dame also swept their opponents this weekend, Michigan is still in third-place in the CCHA (2 points behind Miami and 6 behind ND). Michigan probably won’t catch ND, but the good news is that a first-round bye has already been secured. The rest of the season is important for seeding in the NCAA tournament more than anything else.
  • Michigan heads to Ohio State next weekend to play the fifth-place Buckeyes. OSU is battling for a first-round bye, so this is a huge series for them. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. and will be on the Big Ten Network and Saturday’s game starts at 8:05 p.m. and will be on CBS College Sports.
  • Mark Mitera is going to participate in full contact practice this week, suggesting that he is on pace to return on Senior Night (February 28 against Ferris State). Mitera has been out since the first game of the season, so getting him back would obviously be great news.
  • Forbes named Ann Arbor the #1 college sports town in America.
  • Varsity Blue posted a video of an interview with Will Campbell.
  • Charlie Weis has named himself Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator.
  • Lane Kiffin has committed another recruiting violation.
  • The FanHouse took a look at all of the negative things Kiffin has done so far at Tennessee.

Monday Quick Hits: First Look at New Home Uniforms

By · Monday, June 16, 2008 · 12:45 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 

With mid-June here, Michigan Sports Center will soon begin focusing on the upcoming football season. It’s hard to believe, but Rich Rodriguez’s first game as Michigan head coach is only two and a half months away, meaning it will get here much sooner than you think. Also, this is going to be a longer edition of quick hits since I was gone for an entire week. The vacation was nice as I spent a few days in Ann Arbor for orientation, but it’s time to get back to work.

  • If you are going to be a new student at Michigan this fall, you can now order student season football tickets.
  • Michigan held a women’s football academy on Saturday, and thanks to the Detroit Free Press, it appears that we have got our first look at Michigan’s new home adidas football uniforms. In this picture, you can see the new uniforms, which basically are the same as the old ones. The only difference is that the Nike logo has been swapped out for the adidas one. Other than that, everything else is the same. I have heard the designs for the adidas uniforms have been done for a while now, but no word yet on when an official release will be put together to give us a look at the road jerseys.
  • Ann Arbor is a finalist for ESPN’s TitleTown USA. Basically, this is ESPN’s “filler” segment on SportsCenter this summer as there aren’t as many highlights to show. SportsCenter is going to visit Ann Arbor in July as a part of the segment and then will name a winner after all cities have been visited. Detroit is also a finalist.
  • Kalamazoo’s Corey Person, a guard with offers from some MAC schools, is going to be a preferred walk-on for the Michigan basketball team. Rather than accept one of those MAC offers, Person, the valedictorian of his high school, is going to Michigan with the hopes of one day earning an athletic scholarship. In the mean time, he will sort of be on a scholarship anyways thanks to the Kalamazoo Promise, which will pay for the majority of his Michigan tuition. UMHoops has more, as does Eric Lacy.
  • Lacy also reports that the NCAA hasn’t made a decision on Robin Benzing’s status for next season yet.
  • Ex-Michigan basketball player Ekpe Udoh has transferred to Baylor.
  • Larry Wright, a player who was thought to be considering Michigan as a possible transfer destination, will instead be going to Oakland University.
  • Indiana’s Jordan Crawford is not going to play for the IU basketball team next season, meaning new coach Tom Crean will have one returning scholarship player on the roster for the 2007-08 campaign. As hard as this may be to believe, barring Tom Crean being a miracle worker, Michigan should be better than Indiana next season. I know Michigan won’t be that great, but one returning scholarship player? That’s not much to work with.
  • MGoBlue has posted a new photo gallery of the Michigan Stadium renovation and a new video that discusses construction going on at both the Big House and the site of Michigan’s new indoor practice facility.
  • A West Virginia TV station conducted a lengthy interview with Rich Rodriguez recently, and all eleven parts of it can be found on their website.
  • The football team took over WTKA on Friday to raise money for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and MVictors has some audio.
  • CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd believes Erik Campbell is the nation’s best wide receiver coach. I couldn’t agree more. Campbell is now Iowa’s wide receiver coach, but before that he served the same position at Michigan. Out of all Lloyd Carr’s assistants, I was hoping Campbell would be rehired the most by Rich Rodriguez. Fred Jackson was the only one, though, giving Iowa the chance to hire him instead.
  • Mike Bottom is Michigan’s new men’s swimming coach.
  • Luke Glendening is going to be a walk-on for the hockey team this year.
  • Rather than wait until 2009, hockey recruit Greg Pateryn will also join the team this year.
  • Sam Webb talked about Michigan commit Will Campbell in his weekly column for The Detroit News.
  • The Patriot-News caught up with Michigan incoming freshman Michael Shaw, who talked about his decision to decommit from Penn State to Michigan on signing day.
  • The Midstate News did an article on another incoming freshman, Elliott Mealer. Mealer was at the Big 33 football game (Pennsylvania vs. Ohio) this past weekend just to take in the experience as he wasn’t quite ready to play yet due to a shoulder injury. A blog for The Patriot-News posted about a video of Brock Mealer’s (Elliott’s brother) rehab at Michigan.
  • Also at the Big 33 game were Micheal Shaw (Ohio’s MVP), Taylor Hill, and Roy Roundtree. Terrelle Pryor, on the other hand, snubbed the organizers of the game.
  • Minnesota football recruit Sam Maresh has to have open heart surgery to repair a heart defect. MSC’s thoughts and prayers go out to him.
  • Jake Long was recently interviewed at a Topps rookie photo shoot. (HT: MVictors)
  • NCAA Football 09′s demo will be out this coming Thursday.
  • Geena Gall and Tiffany Ofili both took home national titles at the women’s track and field NCAA Outdoor Championships. Video highlights are available at the link provided.
  • The men’s track and field team didn’t have any national champions, but one of their relay teams did finish fourth in a race.
  • With the track and field teams done, all varsity sports are officially finished. Because of that, MGoBlue has put together a nice table recapping how each team did this past academic year.
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