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.

Monday Quick Hits: Jack Johnson and Team USA Earn Silver Medal

By · Monday, March 1, 2010 · 1:01 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Jack Johnson and Team USA lost to Canada in a thrilling gold medal game, but they still left Vancouver with a silver.
  • Friday’s game against Lake Superior State will be broadcast on Comcast and Saturday’s will be on FS Detroit.  Both are set to start at 7:35 p.m., and Sunday’s start time is still to be determined.
  • Brandon Graham tweaked his hamstring at the NFL Combine and was unable to finish his workout.
  • Graham was recently asked about Rich Rodriguez’s status as Michigan’s coach, and he basically summed up the situation by saying that Rodriguez has one year left to get things turned around.  If Michigan doesn’t start winning next season, chances are there will be a new coach in 2011.
  • Ben Cronin’s spring break will be spent doing relief work in Haiti.
http://twitter.com/Michigan_mbball/status/9788770449

Saturday Quick Hits: Michigan to Play FAU in 2012?

By · Saturday, February 27, 2010 · 7:22 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan and Florida Atlantic are reportedly close to agreeing to a deal that would bring the Owls to the Big House in 2012.  FAU played at Michigan State last season and will play at Spartan Stadium again in 2011.  This year FAU will play MSU at Ford Field, which is where the Owls played in 2008 for the Motor City Bowl.
  • Brian of mgoblog interviewed the author of Bylaw Blog about the allegations against Michigan.  It is very interesting and provides a look at what sanctions Michigan could be facing.  Also at mgoblog is a look at some past cases that are similar to what Michigan is going through and what sanctions came from them.
  • A user on mgoblog compared the Free Press’ allegations with what the NCAA actually found, and it’s pretty amazing just how off the paper was in so many instances.
  • NFL.com has combine videos of Zoltan Mesko and Brandon Graham.
  • AnnArbor.com has a video of Graham getting ready for the combine with Mike Barwis.
  • Tony Gibson thinks Donovan Warren will have a great career in the NFL.
  • New England Patriots and former Michigan linebacker Pierre Woods is working out in Ann Arbor to stay in shape during the offseason.  Considering how he and Lloyd Carr never seemed to be on the same page during his time at Michigan, it’s good to see him back around the program again.
  • MGoBlue has news aerial photos of Michigan Stadium.
  • Dave Brandon’s last full day at Domino’s included a nice surprise.
  • Goalie Shawn Hunwick, who won his first career collegiate game on Thursday, is the scoreboard operator at Alumni Field (softball).  You learn something new every day.
  • Baseball great Barry Larkin originally came to Michigan to play football for Bo Schembechler.
  • Despite multiple reports to the contrary, Texas’ athletic director claims that the school hasn’t had any talks with the Big Ten.
  • Some information about NCAA Football 11 is out, and it looks like EA Sports is finally going to add some features that have been missing from the game for way too long.  That said, not much of this info is gameplay-related, which is what I’m really looking forward to hearing about.

Thursday Quick Hits: Yeah, College Basketball Refs Suck

By · Thursday, February 18, 2010 · 10:49 AM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • According to Greg Banks, Michigan will attempt to fill the void created by Brandon Graham’s departure with various players, including Ryan Van Bergen.
  • Mel Kiper thinks Donovan Warren should have returned for his senior season.
  • How lame is the officiating of Ed Hightower and company?  Had DeShawn Sims missed his game-tying three at the end of regulation, a foul would have been called.  Because he made it there was no foul.  That about sums up how inconsistent college basketball referees are, especially in the Big Ten.
  • Anthony Wright didn’t play against Iowa because of a forehead injury.  Based on what John Beilein said about Wright, it sounds like he was in an altercation of some sort, but that is just pure speculation.
  • Michigan hockey commit Jon Merrill is ranked fourth in the nation by CollegeHockey247.com.
  • A poster over at mgoblog has a recap of Mock Rock, which took place earlier this week.  AnnArbor.com also has a recap.
  • Frank the Tank has another great look at why Texas to the Big Ten isn’t quite as crazy as you might think.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Jack Johnson Hits the Ice for Team USA

By · Tuesday, February 16, 2010 · 3:43 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Football Quick Hits: Michigan Fills Coaching Vacancy with Adam Braithwaite

By · Saturday, February 13, 2010 · 4:37 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Just like a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy with school and have had a bunch of news pile up.  As a result, I’ve separated quick hits into different posts for football, basketball, and hockey.

  • Rich Rodriguez filled the vacancy on his coaching staff by promoting quality control assistant Adam Braithwaite to safeties/outside linebackers coach.  Braithwaite’s experience as a position coach/coordinator is mainly limited to lower divisions, but he was a graduate assistant for Rodriguez at West Virginia and a quality control assistant the last two seasons at Michigan.  To me this was a pretty “meh” move, but I guess Rodriguez wanted some continuity considering Braithwaite has been around the team for a couple years.
  • This move means that Greg Robinson is now in charge of coaching the inside linebackers and Tony Gibson is responsible for the cornerbacks and free safeties.  Gibson is also now the team’s special teams coordinator.  Regarding that move, the release said this: “Rodriguez will continue to have all of the coaches remain involved with a certain phase of special teams, but Gibson will manage that phase of the game on a daily basis and on game day.”
  • Before Rich Rodriguez’s press conference on signing day, I wondered to myself if any questions would be about Demar Dorsey, who has an interesting past, to say the least.  Well, there were multiple questions about Dorsey and his brushes with the law, but Rodriguez came to his future player’s defense each time before the media was finally told to move on.  The media did move on at the press conference, but the Free Press followed up with a lengthy article detailing what exactly Dorsey has done.  The article sheds some light on the type of trouble he has been in and includes some quotes from Dorsey on what happened and why he decided to come to Michigan.  One of the big reasons he picked Michigan is to escape the type of people that have brought him down in the past, though he already is trying to do that and (knock on wood) hasn’t been in any trouble since 2008.  I certainly understand some of the concern over taking a player like Dorsey, but I’m glad he is coming to Michigan and hope he is a changed person.
  • Somebody who isn’t a changed person is Drew Sharp.  I say that because, unsurprisingly, he was a huge douchebag about the whole Dorsey situation and made some extremely unprofessional comments.  Like Rob Parker, I will never understand why Sharp has a job and manages to get on ESPN as often as he does.  It’s so blatantly obvious that Sharp’s schtick is simply to write and say negative/controversial things to drum up attention.  He isn’t anything close to an actual journalist (this picture from MVictors certainly seems to show that) and is nothing more than an assclown, as the folks at the MZone used to call him.
  • Rich Rodriguez said there was one school in the Big Ten doing a lot of negative recruiting.  He didn’t name the school, but he did say that it wasn’t Ohio State.  Rumors suggest that the school in question is either Minnesota, Purdue, or Michigan State.  Based on how big of a problem Danny Hope seems to have with Rodriguez, my bet is that Purdue is the school behind the negative recruiting.
  • Antonio Kinard appears to be the only member of the 2010 recruiting class in danger of not qualifying.
  • AnnArbor.com put together a comprehensive Q&A with Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class.
  • Also from AnnArbor.com is an interview with Devin Gardner from signing day.
  • MGoBlog has video and transcripts of interviews from signing day with early enrollees and coaches.
  • Ricardo Miller hopes he can be the next Braylon Edwards.
  • Austin White put in a lot of extra work last fall in order to be able to enroll early.
  • Baquer Sayed, a receiver from Dearborn Fordson, will join the Michigan football team next season as a preferred walk-on.  Sayed had offers from a couple MAC schools, but he opted to play for Michigan as a walk-on instead.
  • The Big House Blog has more news on recruits who will join the team as walk-ons as well as an interview with kicker Jeremy Ross, who is from Pioneer High School.
  • Mark Moundros will line up at fullback and linebacker this spring.
  • Had Calvin Magee got the South Florida job, he would have wanted to take some Michigan assistants with him, including Greg Frey, Tony Dews, and the newly-promoted Adam Braithwaite.
  • The Board of Regents met on signing day for an informal meeting to discuss the NCAA’s investigation of practicegate.  No real news has come out of the meeting, but hopefully it is a sign that the investigation is close to wrapping up.
  • There is a photo gallery on MGoBlue giving us a look inside the suites in Michigan Stadium.
  • “72 percent of the suites and 77 percent of club seats” that will open in the Big House next season have been sold.
  • Mike Hart would like to be Michigan’s head coach someday.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Andy Reid wrote a great article about Antonio Bass.
  • Tyrone Wheatley has been hired by Syracuse to be the Orange’s running backs coach.
  • Teryl Austin, a former Michigan assistant, is Florida’s new defensive coordinator.  Urban Meyer sure likes former Michigan assistant coaches.
  • Former Michigan coach Mike DeBord has landed in Chicago as the Bears’ tight ends coach.
  • Former Michigan players Jonathan Goodwin and Adrian Arrington and former coaches Mike Mallory and Terry Malone are Super Bowl champions as a result of the Saints’ victory over the Colts last Sunday.
  • The NCAA has proposed some new rules for the 2011 season.
  • A 13-year-old quarterback committed to USC.  Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this news.
  • It was only a matter of time, but Big Ten expansion rumors involving Texas have popped up in recent days.
  • Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said that if the Big Ten were to call, the Cornhuskers would certainly listen.
  • Michigan State changed its mind and is no longer going to change its logo as a result of all the backlash it received over the news.  It is going to change its shade of green, although that’s not really all that big of a deal.

Monday Quick Hits: Brandon Graham Named Senior Bowl MVP

By · Monday, February 1, 2010 · 11:13 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • 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.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Jibreel Black Commits to Michigan

By · Tuesday, January 26, 2010 · 3:05 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Ohio defensive end Jibreel Black committed to Michigan over the weekend.  Black originally committed to Indiana and later switched to Cincinnati before eventually deciding on Michigan.  He has offers from those schools as well as Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, NC State, Purdue, South Carolina, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  He is a 3-star on Rivals and ESPN and a 4-star on Scout.  Overall it seems like he has a lot of upside as a defensive lineman and is somebody who can contribute early on in his career.
  • With Black on board, Michigan’s recruiting class technically now has 27 players.  It’s probably actually 26, though.  There is no official news on Tony Drake’s status yet, but Scout has already removed him from Michigan’s list of commitments.  Assuming he will not be part of the class and there will be no decommitments or non-qualifiers (that’s a big assumption), Michigan’s class is filled up.  However, there are still two big recruits out there who have yet to choose a school — Sean Parker and Rashad Knight.  Michigan would definitely make room for them if they want to commit, but as it stands right now I believe that would mean another commit or two would have to grayshirt.  There’s no point in speculating just yet, as you never know if the entire class will make it to signing day or if Parker and Knight will even pick Michigan, but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. (Demar Dorsey ended up committing to Florida State, by the way.)
  • Kelvin Grady has returned to the basketball team.  He approached John Beilein about returning, wondering if he could do anything to help the team.  Beilein saw that he could be a big help in terms of bringing quickness to the scout team, which is where he will likely spend most of his time right now.  It isn’t expected that he will get into a game unless injuries force him to play, because Beilein doesn’t want to burn a year of eligibility this far into the season in case Grady decides to become a two-sport athlete and continue to play basketball in the future.
  • Michigan followed up Friday’s impressive win over Ferris State with a crushing loss in Big Rapids on Saturday.  There wasn’t a ton of action during the first period, but Ferris State led after 20 minutes thanks to a soft shorthanded goal.  Bryan Hogan simply whiffed on the weak shot from a pretty good distance out, letting the Bulldogs go up 1-0.  Michigan answered back in the second period with a power-play goal, but the Bulldogs retook the lead before time expired to go into the third period up 2-1.  Just like the second game of the series against Alaska, Michigan waited and waited but eventually did tie things up with less than two minutes left.  Against FSU on Saturday Michigan went on the power play and Brian Lebler scored on an awesome tip in off of a nice pass from David Wohlberg.  Unfortunately Michigan took a bad penalty (it seemed to be a makeup call more than anything) right after it tied things up.  Ferris State put on the pressure, and following a terrible turnover by Chris Summers in his own zone, the Bulldogs scored with only 24 seconds left to eventually win 3-2.

    This was a tough loss to take considering Michigan was so close to going to overtime and getting a tie.  The fact that Michigan did lose, though, makes this coming weekend’s series with Michigan State all the more important.  MSU has been struggling a bit as of late, and if Michigan could avenge the Spartans’ sweep from earlier this season with one of its own, suddenly the Wolverines’ tournament hopes would be in pretty good shape.  I would settle for a win and a tie and a split at worst.  Another sweep by MSU, though, could be a knockout blow for Michigan’s season.

  • Erin Andrews will be in Ann Arbor for tonight’s game against Michigan State.
  • Purdue’s Chris Kramer and Matt Painter were whining about elbows again on Saturday during the Michigan game.
  • Lost Letterman interviewed Cazzie Russell.
  • Four former Michigan players (Mike Hart and Marlin Jackson for Indy; Adrian Arrington and Jonathan Goodwin for NO) and two former coaches (Terry Malone and Mike Mallory for NO) are going to the Super Bowl.
  • Tai Streets and Desmond Howard played in Curtis Granderson’s celebrity basketball game on Sunday and were asked about Rich Rodriguez.  Jalen Rose and Jimmy King also played in the game, and Lloyd Carr was one of the honorary coaches.
  • Urban Meyer’s leave of absence didn’t last long.
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