Monday Quick Hits: Germany Breaks Cold War Attendance Record

By · Monday, May 10, 2010 · 2:23 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The hockey attendance record set by the Cold War at Spartan Stadium in 2001 is no more.  That is because Germany broke the record last week when 77,803 fans came out to watch the United States and Germany play in the opening game of the IIHF World Championships.  The record Michigan and Michigan State set back in 2001 was an attendance of 74,554 people.  That record had stood ever since but now moves down to No. 2 on the list.  Even so, Michigan and Michigan State should easily take the record back this December at Michigan Stadium.  Already more than 100,000 tickets have been sold to the event, so barring some really crappy weather, this new record of 77,803 should go by the wayside with ease.
  • It’s been a while since the last Rich Rodriguez controversy, so naturally this weekend there was a story written about how Morgan Trent was one of the players focused on in a book about the draft.  The story mentioned that the end of the book included something very interesting about Trent, Rich Rodriguez, and Lloyd Carr.

    At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.

    “Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”

    Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.

    But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez.

    “I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”

    The claim here is that Carr let Trent know that Rodriguez had trashed Trent to NFL scouts.  Trent’s position coach from the Bengals didn’t talk to Rodriguez during the pre-draft process, but he did give some interesting insight about the situation.

    “When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”

    Rodriguez denied the supposed comments, saying the following:

    “The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous.  I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”

    As Brian pointed out on mgoblog, by the time Rodriguez’s supposed comments got to the author of this book, they had been passed along by four or so different people, meaning the chances of them being 100% accurate weren’t great anyways.  What’s more, as Tim pointed out in the comments section on MVictors, this may be a case of Rodriguez giving an accurate assessment of Trent rather than badmouthing his former player.  It’s not like Trent was some great player that somehow fell to the sixth round of the draft.  He was a guy that struggled throughout his career and was downright awful in 2008, his final year at Michigan.  It’s no secret that Trent isn’t a fan of Rodriguez, and although this whole story is annoying in the sense that it’s more bad PR for Rodriguez, it’s not all that surprising given who the player involved is.

  • Michigan’s deal with adidas is at the top of the list when it comes college apparel contracts.
  • Manny Harris is officially gone since the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was this past Saturday and no change to his status was made.
  • E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, on the other hand, are both coming back to Purdue after originally declaring for the NBA Draft.
  • Apparently some “unnamed sources” from the Big 12 are upset that Nebraska and Missouri are so publicly interested in Big Ten expansion.  This all boils down to the fact that revenue sharing in the Big 12 isn’t equal, which is why Nebraska and Missouri have an interest in giving themselves leverage.  By expressing interest in potentially joining the Big Ten, they have quite a bit of leverage since they can threaten to leave the Big 12 if things go unchanged.  Of course, for that to actually work they would need to have an invite to the Big Ten waiting for them, and right now nothing is official.  We’re still in the rumor phase of possible Big Ten expansion, and these “unnamed sources” don’t like hearing Nebraska and Missouri mentioned so often.  I don’t know what will eventually happen with Big Ten expansion, but there could be chaos across the land of college sports, especially with the Big 12, regardless of what the Big Ten actually does.

Tuesday Quick Hits: DeShawn Sims Shares MVP Award with Manny Harris

By · Tuesday, April 13, 2010 · 1:16 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • DeShawn Sims was named the basketball team’s MVP during its banquet last night, but he asked to share the award with Manny Harris, just as Harris did with Sims a year ago.
  • Eso Akunne is no longer on scholarship.  Also, it looks like Ben Cronin will be placed on medical scholarship because of his hip injury, opening up another regular scholarship for the team.
  • Kelvin Grady’s status with the basketball team going forward is uncertain, but John Beilein apparently doesn’t think he will be back.
  • Once Michigan’s basketball practice facility is built it will try to land the MHSAA state finals, which would be nice since they are held at Breslin Center currently.  I imagine that if the state finals were to ever return to Crisler Arena, it would be after the extensive renovations are completed down the road.
  • Trey Zeigler is finally going to make an announcement regarding where he will play college basketball sometime next week.  If I had to guess I’d say that he picks Central Michigan to play for his dad.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Ryan Kartje put together a great piece on Red Berenson.
  • Adam Rittenberg interviewed Rich Rodriguez.
  • The Big Ten re-upped its deal with the Little Caesars Bowl through 2013.  Chances are the matchup will usually feature a MAC and Sun Belt team, though.  I say that because the Little Caesars Bowl will get the eighth pick in the Big Ten’s bowl lineup, but since two teams make it to the BCS so often, that probably will be the ninth pick in reality.  I don’t expect the Big Ten to be producing that many bowl eligible teams year in and year out, and this bowl didn’t get Big Ten teams very often even when it had the seventh pick.

Thursday Quick Hits: Red Berenson Wants Some Answers

By · Thursday, April 1, 2010 · 10:47 AM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • Red Berenson wants answers as to why Michigan’s game-winning goal in overtime was waved off.  I think that’s what everyone wants right now.  The outcome can’t be changed, but I’d like to hear an explanation from the referee.  I mean, the easy explanation is that the officials are morons, but I would like to hear what was going through the ref’s mind and if he feels bad about screwing Michigan over.
  • Seniors Steve Kampfer and Chris Summers have signed with their NHL teams and will start out in the AHL.
  • The football program has put together a Relay for Life team (they’re doing it in support of Phil Brabbs), and they are auctioning off field passes to the spring game, an autographed football, and “coffee with Coach Carr,” among other things.
  • The women’s basketball team lost to Miami (Florida) in the WNIT semifinals last night.
  • 50 Michigan athletes were on the winter Academic All-Big Ten team, including Manny Harris and Zack Novak.
  • Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany thinks that NCAA tournament expansion is “probable.”  All I can say is that expanding the tournament to 96 teams would be an enormous mistake.

Manny Harris Declares for NBA Draft

By · Monday, March 29, 2010 · 12:24 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

All of those rumors we heard on Friday about Manny Harris deciding to go pro were true.  Harris announced at a press conference this morning that he is entering the NBA Draft, forgoing his senior season at Michigan.  Harris is going to hire an agent at some point, meaning he is for sure gone and there will be no chance of a change of heart at a later date.

“After long discussions with the U-M staff and my family and friends, I have decided to pursue my dream of professional basketball and leave U-M early for the NBA,” said Harris. “It is important for me to thank the University of Michigan, Coach Beilein and his staff, my teammates, my professors, as well as all those in the athletic department who have helped me over the last three years. My growth as a person and player wouldn’t have been possible without them.

“I will always appreciate the college game and what it has done for me, but playing professional basketball has always been a goal and I feel it is the best time to pursue that. I will always be a Michigan Wolverine at heart and bleed Maize and Blue forever.”

I wish Manny Harris the best of luck with his NBA aspirations and thank him for all he did at Michigan.

With that being said, I think it would have been wise for Manny to come back for his senior season.  To me it’s a similar situation to Donovan Warren’s decision to go pro in a sense.  Warren’s draft stock does not appear to be all that great right now, but it could have been much higher had he waited a year.  Manny’s stock dropped over the course of the season, and I think he would have benefited from an additional year at Michigan.  I understand why he left, especially when you consider that Sims, his best friend, is a senior, but based on where his stock is now and where it could be a year from now, I do believe an extra year would have made a world of difference.

Also in that regard, Michigan’s basketball team can be compared to the football team’s defense in a sense.  The defense was awful last year and looking ahead to the 2010 season, it’s hard to imagine that it will be better after losing Brandon Graham to graduation and Warren a year early.  For the basketball team, it’s hard to imagine that it will be better after losing DeShawn Sims to graduation and Manny a year early.  In both cases the obvious hope is that the football team’s defense and the basketball team will play better as a whole despite the loss of its two stars.  It’s certainly hard to think either will improve after losing such talent, but hopefully the players still on the roster will continue to get better and there will be less of a reliance on one or two guys in the future, making the entire unit/team stronger as a whole.

Manny Harris to Decide Future on Monday

By · Friday, March 26, 2010 · 10:46 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Manny Harris spoke with the Michigan Daily in response to the rumors that have been going around about whether or not he will return for his senior year.  Nothing was said about the decision itself, but we did find out when it will be made.

“I’m going to make my decision on Monday,” Harris told The Daily this afternoon in a phone interview.

That was all Harris decided to share at this time since his decision is coming on Monday.  I would certainly like to believe that he is coming back, but it just seems like there is too much smoke about him going pro.  I guess we’ll find out one way or another next week.

Friday Quick Hits: Jon Horford Commits to Michigan; Manny Going Pro?

By · Friday, March 26, 2010 · 6:13 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan received its third commitment of the class of 2010 today, as Grand Ledge power forward Jon Horford verballed to the Wolverines.  Horford, the younger brother of one-time Michigan commit and current NBA player Al Horford, is a 3-star on Rivals and Scout and has a grade of 88 on ESPN.  His offer list isn’t very large (Rivals shows Providence as his only other offer), and Michigan only extended a scholarship officially in recent weeks.

    Horford isn’t an elite recruit, but he has potential, especially if he can grow a few inches in the future.  Either way, Horford is listed as being 6-8/6-9 right now, making him a good addition for that reason alone.  Michigan needs height badly, so much so that Horford could see playing time fairly early on in his career at Michigan.  (For more on Horford check out UM Hoops.)

  • Rumors are swirling that Manny Harris has decided to go pro.  I would only take this particular rumor with a grain of salt at this point considering Terry Foster is one of the main sources of it (he is the one who said DeShawn Sims was leaning toward going pro, not realizing that Sims is a senior).  Then again, apparently The Wolverine is hearing similar things about Manny, so chances are he’s probably gone.  I think it’s a mistake considering how much his stock dropped this past season, but it’s understandable, especially when you consider that Sims, his best friend, is leaving.  If Manny does indeed go pro, all I can say is that I hope Trey Zeigler decides to come to Michigan.
  • UM Hoops caught up with David Merritt to get his take on the 2009-10 season.
  • Michigan’s women’s basketball team beat Northwestern 65-44 on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.  It will play either Syracuse or VCU at Crisler Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • It is expected that Chris Summers will return on Saturday for Michigan.
  • If you can’t catch Saturday’s Bemidji State game on ESPN360.com and don’t want to wait for the tape-delayed version of the game on ESPNU at 11:30 p.m., here are your TV options:

    Comcast – 900
    DIRECTV – 640 (MASN), 668 (FS North)
    DISH – 432 (MASN), 436 (FS North)

  • The Wolverine Blog interviewed someone who runs a Bemidji State hockey site.
  • As expected, Michigan State’s Jeff Petry signed with Edmonton.
  • TomVH posted some spring football practice tidbits.

Monday Quick Hits: U-M’s Tournament Opener to Be Shown on Tape Delay

By · Monday, March 22, 2010 · 11:21 AM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • Michigan’s game against Bemidji State on Saturday will air live only on ESPN360.com.  It will be shown on ESPNU on tape delay, and it could be syndicated live on a channel like Comcast 900 or something.  No word yet if that is going to happen, though.
  • Manny Harris doesn’t know if he will stay for his senior season or go pro.
  • Trey Zeigler is down to five teams, and Michigan is one of them.
  • Michigan’s women’s basketball team beat Kent State 69-34 on Friday and then beat Toledo 72-57 on Sunday in the NIT.
  • Stevie Brown performed quite well at Michigan’s pro day.
  • Jon Runyan is launching a campaign to run for Congress.
  • The International Bowl is going out of business.
  • Part 2 of my interview on The Michigan Man Podcast has been posted.

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Will Play Miami in CCHA Semifinals

By · Monday, March 15, 2010 · 9:50 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s path to the NCAA tournament will have to go through the top team in the conference, as the Miami Redhawks beat Ohio State last night to advance to the CCHA semifinals.  Because Miami is the top seed in the playoffs, it will play Michigan, the lowest remaining seed.

    The time for Friday’s game hasn’t been set just yet, but considering the second CCHA semifinal will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, it’s a pretty safe bet that Michigan and Miami will face off at 8:05 p.m.  If Michigan beats Miami, it will play in the CCHA championship game at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday.  That game will be broadcast on FS Detroit as far as I know.  If Michigan loses to Miami, it will play in the third-place game at 3:35 p.m.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, though, because to reach the NCAA tournament, Michigan has to beat Miami and then beat the winner of the Northern Michigan/Ferris State game.  There is no room for error at this point.

  • MGoBlue has a cool video of Michigan’s locker room celebration after Saturday’s win against Michigan State.
  • The men’s bracket is out for the NCAA basketball tournament, and quite honestly I think it was an overall terrible job by the selection committee.  Either way, I can’t wait for the action to get started despite the fact that Michigan is not a part of it this year.  That may not be the case for the women’s bracket, however.  The women’s field of teams will be released tonight, and Michigan has a shot at going dancing.  On ESPN’s bracketology page for the women’s tournament, the Wolverines are one of the last four teams in, so they definitely have a shot.  Hopefully they will get a bid and give Michigan one basketball team in the NCAA tournament this year.
  • The NIT bracket is also out, and Michigan unsurprisingly didn’t make it into the field of 32 teams.
  • Manny Harris opted not to talk about if he will go pro after the Ohio State game.
  • Jimmy King would like to see the Fab Five’s banners put back up at some point in the future.  I tend to agree with him just because it would be good for recruits to come to Crisler Arena and see the Final Four banners, but then again, technically those Final Fours didn’t happen and the Fab Five didn’t exist, so I’m not exactly sure what should be done with them.
  • A new photo gallery of Michigan Stadium is up on MGoBlue.  This particular gallery looks at the entrance to the tunnel, which is being overhauled right now, as well as the installation of speakers in the north scoreboard (they used to be on the press box).
  • Jordan Kovacs will likely be placed on scholarship this fall.
  • Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren are going to work out for pro scouts on April 8 since both have been dealing with injuries.
  • Angelique Chengelis has a great idea for the spring game: play it at night.
  • Jake Long is a large man.
  • Desmond Howard, Jumbo Elliott, and Rob Lytle are candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Serious knee and ankle injuries are apparently more likely to happen on FieldTurf compared to grass.
  • Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary last week, has been suspended for the entire 2010 season.
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