Tuesday Quick Hits: Idea of Notre Dame Ultimatum Nothing New

By · Tuesday, May 4, 2010 · 12:25 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Maize n Brew found that talk of the Big East giving Notre Dame an ultimatum isn’t a new concept.  In fact, Rich Rodriguez brought up the idea back in 2002.

    “I know this agreement was made earlier,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just a football coach and our players are just players, but we don’t understand some of the political things. I don’t understand why Notre Dame is getting the best of both worlds.  “I think the Big East is a great league and we can stand on our own. In my opinion, Notre Dame either needs to get in or get out.”

    Personally I’m with Rodriguez and current Big East coaches on this issue.  On top of the fact that Notre Dame gets the benefits of being in the Big East in non-football sports (not counting hockey), the football team also benefits by having bowl tie-ins connected with the Big East, which is what caused the above-mentioned complaint.  Conference expansion may cause Notre Dame to get in or get out anyways, but if I were a Big East coach, I definitely don’t think the positives of ND having partial membership in the conference outweigh the negatives.

  • Jon Runyan was interviewed by mgoblog.
  • FedEx has decided to no longer sponsor the Orange Bowl, ending a 21-year partnership.
  • Although NCAA tournament expansion to 68 teams has been approved, the selection committee now must decide on how to add the three new teams.  I personally hope they just make a play-in game for each of the 16 seeds.  Yes, more teams from mid-major conferences will go to the bottom of the barrel seeding-wise, but I’d rather just keep the play-in games the same rather than have one for a 16 seed and another for a 12 seed and so on.  Plus, I’d argue that teams in the play-in games get more exposure than simply going out and being slaughtered by a 1 seed, especially if there are multiple games and something like “play-in game Tuesday” becomes its own big thing.

Friday Quick Hits: NCAA Tournament Expansion Approved

By · Friday, April 30, 2010 · 4:18 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Basketball Quick Hits: Michigan Hires Bacari Alexander

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 2:15 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan has hired Bacari Alexander to be one of the basketball program’s assistant coaches.  Alexander was previously an assistant at Western Michigan, and John Beilein made it pretty clear why he made this hire:

    “He has strong roots in Michigan and significant recruiting experience both here and in neighboring states,” added Beilein. “He is a passionate teacher with strong communication skills. Bacari is a former post player and has a proven ability in the development of big men at the college level. With our young front court, that was an important factor in my final selection. I look forward to Bacari’s immediate and very positive impact on the growth of our program.”

    Alexander, who was named the best dressed college assistant coach and winner of the Fashionable 4 (seriously), joins Jeff Meyer and Mike Jackson as John Beilein’s assistant coaches.

  • Alexander was a Harlem Globetrotter for a couple years, and Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com chatted with him about that experience.
  • One of the rumored candidates for the job that Alexander ended up taking was IPFW’s Dane Fife, who opted to stay where he is.  It’s not known if he was ever officially offered by Michigan, but he was definitely one of the hot names for the job.
  • The NCAA tournament is going to expand, but only to 68 teams rather than 96.  The much smaller expansion comes along with a new 14-year deal between the NCAA and CBS/Turner Broadcasting that will allow every tournament game to be shown live on TV (on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV).  Not only is this a great deal when you consider that every game will be on TV, but also because the tournament is only getting three more teams rather than 31, which really would have wrecked the mystique of March Madness in my mind.  Three more teams, which will only add three more play-in games, is fine by me.
  • 2010 recruit Isaiah Sykes was offered by Michigan but is going to take a couple other visits before making a final decision.
  • UM Hoops scouted a number of recruits at the King James Classic.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Trey Zeigler Picks Central Michigan

By · Wednesday, April 14, 2010 · 11:25 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Trey Zeigler decided not to wait until next week to make an announcement about where he will play college basketball, as he said today on ESPNU that he will be going to Central Michigan.  Zeigler will sign his LOI tomorrow morning to make it official.  Although I figured Zeigler would go to a bigger school since his offer list was so impressive, this move isn’t all that surprising, especially when you consider that Trey’s dad, Ernie Zeigler, just got a four-year extension with CMU on Tuesday.  Taking that into account, it’s no coincidence that Zeigler’s long recruitment finally came to an end when it did.
  • Jon Horford signed his LOI with Michigan today, wasting little time in officially becoming a Wolverine.
  • Joe Lunardi put together a 96-team bracketology for next season.  Spoiler: The bracket looks just as dumb as you would expect with 96 teams.  (By the way, Michigan is a 15 seed, which would make it play an 18 seed and then a 2 if it wins in the first round.)
  • Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore have declared for the NBA Draft but will not hire agents.
  • Ex-Michigan player Ekpe Udoh has declared for the NBA Draft.

Thursday Quick Hits: Spring Game Gets a Sponsor

By · Thursday, April 8, 2010 · 1:45 PM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • PNC Bank is the “presenting sponsor” of the spring game and will specifically sponsor the locker room tours (6:30-8 p.m. on Friday and 7-9:30 a.m. on Saturday) and “Kick for Cash” promotion.  Part of the sponsorship money from PNC will go towards the “Michigan football interactive play area at the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.”
  • TomVH has a list of who is visiting for the spring game.
  • Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are apparently pretty even right now at quarterback.
  • Kelvin Grady and Terrence Robinson are getting some time at running back.
  • Will Heininger has a torn ACL and could miss the entire 2010 season.
  • Vladimir Emilien and Jared Van Slyke might return from knee injuries next week.
  • Check out mgoblog for a full recap of Tuesday’s practice and press conferences.
  • The Michigan Daily profiled Zoltan Mesko.
  • The same restrictions implemented at the Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club last year for football tailgates will not be changed for the 2010 season.  Lame.
  • Red Berenson did a Q&A with AnnArbor.com.
  • The semifinals of the Frozen Four are going to be played at Ford Field later today.  I will probably tune in for a bit just to see what the setup looks like, but I’m still way too bitter over Michigan not being there because of a BS call to watch for more than a minute or two.
  • After the new basketball practice facility is built and infrastructure work is done on Crisler Arena, Dave Brandon wants to completely renovate Crisler to make it a “modern arena.”  Sounds good to me.
  • The Sporting Blog remixed this year’s One Shining Moment video with Luther Vandross’ version of the song, and it just makes the whole thing a million times better.
  • Evan Turner and five Kentucky players have declared for the NBA Draft.

Tuesday Quick Hits: CBS Wrecks One Shining Moment

By · Tuesday, April 6, 2010 · 12:35 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Dave Brandon is against expanding the NCAA tournament.
  • How great was that game last night between Duke and Butler?  I thought we were going to see an Evan Turner-esque shot at the end, but it was barely missed.  Either way, it was definitely an entertaining game and I just thank God that it wasn’t Michigan State playing for a title again.
  • Continuing with the NCAA national championship game theme, what was CBS thinking by letting Jennifer Hudson take over One Shining Moment?  The new version absolutely sucked, although the song wasn’t quite as bad as the constant shots of Hudson singing during the video, which is supposed to be highlights of the tournament.  News flash to CBS: nobody wants to watch Hudson sing; we want to watch highlights of the tournament.
  • When Billy Packer was finally canned by CBS, I figured it would be a big improvement for the Final Four broadcast.  As it turns out, Clark Kellogg can be equally annoying.  Last year I wasn’t all that thrilled with his announcing, but last night and on Saturday he was just really bad.  I’m starting to feel the same way about Jim Nantz, too.  He’s a great announcer for golf (i.e. the Masters this weekend), but I want some excitement and non-robotic commentating for a game like the one last night.  I’m not necessarily saying he has to be as over the top as Gus Johnson can be at times, but at least Gus sounds excited to be there.
  • Chad Kolarik made his NHL debut last night.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded a two-part look at the 2003 Michigan-Michigan State game (a.k.a. the Chris Perry Show).

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.

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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