Friday, April 27, 2007

1/2 is still a lot

The Ann Arbor News is reporting tonight a deal on Beilein's buyout. According to reports, he's paying 1 million less than the contract specified. WVU will receive the first of five consecutive $300,000 payments in April 2008. The WVU contract required that Beilein would pay $500, 000 for every year remaining on his contract, but didn't specify when the payments would be made--there were five years remaining on that contract. While the payments are $1 million less than required by the contract they are actually even less than that. Assuming a 5% return on money, the present value of the 5 payments is actually $1.23 million. Beilein is making 1.3 million annually at Michigan. Even if it is less than 1 year's salary, it's' still a lot of money.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Great article about Gutz from the Ann Arbor News today if you haven't read it, you should. Class guy.

You can have your cake Kentucky

Alex Legion, who will be nominated as a contestant for an award to be announced here soon, has apparently committed to Kentucky. Even mom sounds good about this choice. How much of this saga is attributable to the oozing-dripping-slimy green AAU stuff hasn't been revealed yet. But, Annette Williams (Legion's Mom) has certainly forshadowed future events:

Williams also cited Kentucky senior guard Joe Crawford as a significant reason for the Kentucky decision. Crawford and Legion played for the Family AAU team in Detroit, and Williams said it will help Legion to have an older player he knows on the team.

And the best quote yet:

When we went there, they gave us the red-carpet treatment. It was the icing on the cake when they had the mayor and the school president there . . . "He felt as if Kentucky was a little more serious," Williams said.

We have seen our share of the cake in Ann Arbor and thanks, but no thanks, we're not that serious.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Legion to Kentucky, or UCLA, or UConn, Or . . .

In an article about how much the players like Beilein's system, Rivals reports that Legion is no longer considering Michigan. We wish you well (sort of). You still have time to make at least two more commitments and at least one decommitment.

Alex Legion, another Detroit guard and Rivals top-50 player who signed early with the Maize and Blue, asked for and recently was granted a release. Legion had planned to make an official visit to Ann Arbor next weekend, but told on Thursday he is no longer considering the Wolverines.

On the brighter side,

"A lot of it was completely different from what we are used to," Michigan junior forward Ronald Coleman said. "We did a lot of work on foot speed and shooting. Coach Beilein even demonstrated a lot of the stuff himself. He had a lot of energy and did a good job communicating.

"He put us in a lot of game situations. During one drill, we had to make a certain amount of jump shots in a certain amount of minutes. By the end I could barely lift my arms, but I think it really helped. It taught us how to shoot when you are exhausted."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

M stil in running for Loucks

Luke Loucks is a 6-5 swing man from Georgia. He was strongly considering WVA before Beilein left. He's now considering Michigan. A couple of quotes from his local newspaper make it look like we are very much in the hunt for him:

There are hordes of basketball coaches jumping in on the Loucks sweepstakes. The latest? Minnesota's Tubby Smith, who called Loucks Wednesday night. The intriguing one? Michigan's John Beilein, who Loucks built a relationship with while Beilein recruited him while coach at WVU.

But, as Loucks said, in making a decision like this, you can be impressed with a campus and facilities all you want. But "you're basically picking a coach."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Awards, Sweets, Early Returns, 4 Year Olds and Bubblin' Crude

The Heisman Hype Has Begun

Chad Henne wins the first award of his senior campaign (err, the other senior campaign). Congratulations, Chad, on the College Big School Player of the Year award. Does this foreshadow a more well known award given to the best "big school college player of the year" for Chad? Mini me says . . . Yes.


The women's hoops assistant coach from Grand Valley won a national championship last year. Not sure how that escaped me. Anyway, B-Bo and she go way back, and she is totally in love with B-Bo. Let's call her P-Bo. Oops, sorry, can't do that. How about Coach Sweet? That'll work. By the way, that's two national championships among the hoops coaches, one for B-Bo and one for Sweets.

Early Times and Early Returns

Kelvin Grady not only stays committed, but offers the scoop that his big brother may not be as badly injured as previously reported. Given his comments to the Daily, it's conceivable KG will be back this year:

But Grady’s brother, Kelvin, told the Michigan Daily that Kevin had torn his left ACL and that the injury wasn’t as serious as everyone originally thought.

“He should be recovering more quickly than they expected,” Grady said during a phone interview.

4 Year Olds

You've heard, no doubt, of the terrible twos. From my experience the terrible twos happen (at least to my daughters) after they turned 3 and before age 4. But my four year old daughter will tell me she wants go outside and play and 30 seconds later is crying because she can't stay inside and play with Itty Baby. She asks to drink milk with her cookies, and changes her mind -- juice please (she is polite!) She wakes up and wants to play soccer, but will cry when its time to leave. Fortunately, she will grow out of this in another 6-10 months. At least her 6 year old sister did. What you ask, does this have to with this Blog? Good question. The answer, of course, is that some people, especially those coddled and sucked up to their entire lives never outgrow this nasty trait; e.g. Alex Legion. Recall that he committed to Michigan. Then he opened up his recruiting again. He again committed to Michigan several months later. He then asked to be released from his LOI because Amaker departed. Now he is apparently considering us again and intends to visit Michigan on April 28.

What the #*$?!

Why do you need to take yet another VISIT? How many have you had? How many times have you gone to a game not counted as a visit? How many times have you talked to the coaches (Amaker and Beilein)? Now, I know this kid is only 18. But, c'mon!

Why can't you just make a decision? (throat clearing -- Tim Green). Which brings us to the:

Bubblin' Crude

Sing that tune to the following lyrics and you have the Allen Academy fight song as written and directed by Tim Green "Backs":

Come and listen to a story 'bout kid Leg-ion
A poor kid from Inkster, with only mama 'Nette
Then one day Al was shootin' up some hoop
When came Tim Green with the promise of a fool.

AAU hoop that is, influence and cash.

Old Tim, don't you know, was just a lyin' cheat,
He told young Al to move away from here
Said UCLA is the place you ought to be
They'll pay, both me and the Acad-emy

Hansomely, that is.
Wads of cash and strippers.

Time for Al to go and for Green to take his cash,
But ole' mama 'Nette, she finally smells the rat
She quick calls Keener and Beilein to do some droppin' in
Now Al's again thinking 'bout this locality
But without heapin' helpin' loads of Green's hospitality.

'Til next time that is. When he'll be back. AAU style. "Can't get rid of me now, y'hear?"

As I mentioned last night, the "AAU game" is slimy. It's also significant. Legion is obviously seriously affected by his AAU coach/guardian, whatever and whoever he is. Mom confirms the Green factor in an interview with Freep. While I can, with a straight face, compare Legion to my four year old daughter, Alex apparently does not have the luxury of people that actually care about his best interests surrounding him. Alex Legion's mother told the Freep:

"I want to make it clear, Tim Green is not part of this process," Williams said Tuesday. "I'm tired of him trying to persuade my son against the University of Michigan and his family."

Green, principal of Allen Academy in Detroit, refused comment Tuesday.

"I've been quiet for four years, but Tim Green does not speak for my son, and I'm tired of him trying to make decisions for my son," Williams said. "Mr. Green wants my son to go to Connecticut or UCLA, but my son will go to neither institution."

"I really like what I'm hearing about Beilein," she said. "I really want to thank coach Keener, who has talked very positively about my son to coach Beilein. We just needed to get rid of Tim Green."

Legion's coach at Oak Hill (named Keener) appears to be straight. Beilein has met with him. Keener had this to say. From the Freep:

"Even after Alex's departure [from Oak Hill Academy], I still have a good relationship with him and the family," Keener told the Free Press. "It wasn't that he left on bad terms or anything. When this whole thing with Michigan started to unravel, I knew Annette didn't have the support system she needed, and I've been through the recruiting wars and she could bounce things off me."

Keener said Legion is "a good young man. He's had some poor counsel and misguidance from AAU people in his past."

Hmm. I wonder if Green has a commitment from UCLA and Connecticut for donations to his AAU Hurricanes and the Allen Academy?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Praise for Beilein

With the exception of Jay Bilas, and Alex Legion, everyone else is praising the move by Michigan to hire Beilein. An interesting selection of comments about the coach:

"I think Tommy Amaker inherited one of the most difficult programs certainly that we've had at Michigan. I think he conducted himself well. He's a first class individual, and a guy that I think will have outstanding success before he's done. I think he brought the program a long long way. I think he brought kids in here that represented the university well. So I think John is inheriting a program that is not far away. If you look at some of the things that Tommy has done, and the guys that are here, some of the young kids that are returning, and hopefully be able to keep the three commitments that Tommy had – I think that he's walking into a program that is much much stronger than it was when Tommy came in." -- Lloyd Carr
I had an opportunity to talk with John last Friday and I've watched his teams over the course of the last two or three years, and I think he brings an outstanding enthusiasm to the game. And certainly what he's been able to do in his career, he's got a great background, and from every source, he's a great teacher of the game. I think he's going to do a great job here." -- Lloyd Carr

Sports Illustrated named Beilein as the 11th, 12th or 13th top NCAA men's basketball coach in Stewart Mandel's ranking of the top 10 college coaches. The list of the top ten and "just missed" includes Izzo, Matta, Beilein and Bo Ryan -- that's 4 of the top 13 coaches from the Big 10. The next closest number of coaches for any one conference is two.

One of the paid recruitniks really likes Beilein a lot.
The guy interviewed covers West Virginia recruiting. By these comments, you'd think he might be related to Beilein:

He's the best coach in America. His legacy is this: For 25 years there's been no basketball [in West Virginia], except for one Sweet 16. For 20-25 years you lost a generation of fans. He did a good job with attendance. He built up the schedule, played UCLA and Oklahoma. He's had more trouble versus teams who've played his style . . . He's probably the best shooting coach in America. He rebuilt the fan base and the interest level. People loved his team. There never was a hint of impropriety. His weakness is that he's too hard on himself. . . . The media say he's too tight. He's completely honest and sometimes his team is uptight . . . .He's the same type of coach as Wisconsin's coach (Bo Ryan) . . . He'll be very much like Tom Izzo, John Thompson III and Bo Ryan.

And, he says Beilein will recruit well:

He saw an opportunity at Michigan. A national school filled with doctors and lawyers. He can consistently get great players at every position. There's a lot of concern about him recruiting Flint and Detroit. He'll go to Catholic schools in Detroit and Chicago and be able to recruit regionally. He's gotten kids from the Northeast and New Jersey and Washington D.C. He was beating out Maryland and Georgetown. He had a fairly good base in Florida. At West Virginia he didn't touch junior colleges. He didn't play the AAU game."

The nets and papers are full of comments that Beilein runs a very clean and very ethical program (he does sit on an NCAA ethics board). It's not too surprising, then, that he didnt' play the "AAU game" at West Virginia. The "AAU game" is pretty slimy. It's also pretty significant. It may even be more significant to Alex Legion, whose guardian was also his AAU coach, Tim Green. I'll have some more comments later about AAU and recruiting in general, but in the meantime check out this must read from mogoblog regarding Legion from last year.

Rip Him Up Jimmy!

Jim Harbaugh had this to say about Pete Carroll. Keep up the good work Jimmy. The highlights are precious:

Harbaugh: "Perhaps the reason it's been up and down here [Stanford] is that no one has stayed here 20 years . . . Charlie Weis is going to do that at Notre Dame. [Jim] Tressel at Ohio State. Pete's doing it. He's only got one more year, though. He'll be there one more year. That's what I've heard. I heard it inside the staff."

"If he's going to make statements like that, he ought to get his information right," Carroll told the Los Angeles Times. "And if he has any questions about it, he should call me."

"It's been widely publicized that he has interviewed for other jobs, and that is what I've heard," Harbaugh said Monday. "I definitely said that. But we bow to no man. We bow to no program here at Stanford University."

Harbaugh "apology":
"I gave Pete Carroll a compliment, really. He's created a great program at USC and, you know, I said what I've heard, that he won't be there"

Jim is sounding more and more like B-Bo every day!

No tune for now

I was feeling optomistic when I promised a tune if we kept Manny, Kelvin and Legion. I haven't given up hope yet. I'm not feeling quite as confident now after Legion has been formally released from his LOI. Alex, it's really a good tune, you may want to hear it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

No Post Today

This is my moment of silence to the Virgina Tech community. If you need to read something, click here and here. Our prayers and condolences are with VaTech today.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Practice Musings Part II (WR's and TE's)

Wide Receivers:

was out with a knee injury and didn't practice to any degree of significance. Get some rest Mario, we're all looking forward to seeing some more ND corner toast.
There's nothing new with Antonio Bass. Sophomore wide receiver Greg Mathews won the John F. Maulbetsch Award as the freshman candidate who has the best chance for future success based on desire, character and capacity for leadership. "I think he's capable of being one of those guys that has a great career here,'' coach Lloyd Carr said. "He has great hands, he runs great routes, he's very physical and very tough.'' Brian at Mgoblog doesn't think Matthews is a deep threat. I defer to Brian since he saw it and I didn't. Nothing Lloyd said would make us think otherwise. Perhaps another Avant or Marquis Walker? Nothing more on Adrian Arrington. We certainly have depth, though. Even if Arrington doesn't make it back I suspect our corps will be more than adequate with a Senior Henne. With Arrington, we'r'e arguably the best in the country.

Tight Ends:

What tight ends? Martell Webb isn't here yet. Mike Massey didn't play. Carson Butler, well, you already know that story.

B-Bo/I Like Coach Borseth (Updated)

While mere coincidence that the first two letters in this guy's last name are "Bo", he certainly talks a good game. As I said before, I could see Martin saying these things. On reflection, these comments are Bo-esqe. While I've no idea what kind of coach he'll be, or what kind of record the women's hoops program will put up, I do know that he talks a great game:

"Michigan was always the job I dreamed of.

I am "a Michigan fan for life,"

"We were hired here to do a job — bring the program to national prominence," he said. "We've done it before. We can do it again."

I'm not going to let this little nugget temper my enthusiasm:

"I'm not used to all this support personnel. I've never had a secretary before," he said, adding he planned to meet Monday with his secretary so she can clue him in on how the office works.

I'm going to go out on a very long limb and nickname Borseth "B-Bo" as short for basketball Bo. This is merely a probationary nickname, and is subject to revocation at my whim. Click here for an article on Borseth from the Green Bay paper; and here for a nice uper article from Ironwood on Borseth and his experience -- he played in a college basketball championship,and even played some football in his day.

WR Depth

Could Mini Me (Verne Troyer) take Adrian Arrington's roster spot if he doesn't return to the team next fall?? I think his lack of size might be an issue, but then again, can you imagine being a DB and having to get down low on a tackle??
Nice to see we aren't the only school with celebrity fans - TAKE THAT USC AND SNOOP DOG!! The following quote, from Troyer's bio made me a new fan of the less than pint size actor:

"Verne loves college football. His favorite team is the Michigan Wolverines. He says his second favorite team is "whoever's playing Notre Dame."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring Practice Musings Part I (QB's and RB's)

I could not attend the spring scrimmage. I have read quite a bit. There are several links from which I've pulled this information and the links are listed at the bottom of this post. As we all know, and as the coaching staff reiterates, even this week, the expectation is not for the player but the position. I'll endeavor to update the comments and performance by position. In a glowing report of the individuals, Lloyd gave a typical response of the group effort. While comments of this type are made by every coach, and in every year, I suspect there is genuine sincerity in this comment:

I like the attitude of this team, they've worked as hard as any team we've had. Practices have been very physical."

Physical, yes. Is nice? No. In fact, there are so many injuries, it makes more sense to list them by position. Fortunately, only a hand full are likely still unresolved by August.

Quarterbacks: Not surprisingly, this is one position that, even with Forcier's transfer, we're doing well. In fact, so well that I doubt there is another team with as good a returning senior, with a bona fide (albeit young) player to jump right in behind him. This is reminiscent Tom Brady's time at UM when Henson came in, except, Henne is better at this point that was Brady.
Chad Henne took the Meyer Morton Award for the player who shows the greatest development and promise as a result of spring practice. Greatest development? Since when? If since last year that's really quite an accomplishment. Let's hope the line can give him 2.5 to 3.2 to get the ball out of there. David Cone was said to have made "progress". That was the only comment. Don't expect Cone to make any contribution soon. Lloyd had glowing things to say about Ryan Mallett. While no quotes, Loeffler thinks Mallett may be the most advanced of any quarterback coming in. Lloyd had these comments about Mallett:

He's a very bright guy. He's really picked up the things that we've asked him to do as far as in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. He's got a lot of poise, and they'll see a guy with a great arm. He's a guy that has such great physical stature in terms of his height and size, he's able to see down the field, and when he lets it go, it's a strong throw.

"(He) picked things up very well, and he got a lot of repetitions throughout the spring, I think his development is continuing. He's a talented guy, a very bright guy.

I think what he has done might not be as noticeable to a fan, but certainly to a coach. Now he still has a lot to learn, but I think he's made a lot of progress. He's done some things that's going to enable him this fall to come into training camp with confidence, knowledge, ability and his understanding of what we're trying to get done."

Running Backs: Mike Hart didn't' practice, so no real word on Number 20. It's hard to tell from the comments whether Minor or Grady would have been second string this spring. With Grady's injury, there's no question that come the fall Brandon Minor will assume the backup role to Hart. Lloyd said of Grady:

The disappointment, of course, is Kevin Grady. Kevin was having an outstanding spring, and he was developing the patience it takes to play at that position.

I think Kevin will have surgery on [April 16th], and I don't know what the future for him regarding next year is. But the good news for Kevin is that he's got such a great work ethic and he's still a very very young guy. So I don't think there's any question that he'll be able to return. The disappointment for us: he was having a great spring. He just had gone to another level, so certainly that's a disappointment for all of us.

Brandon Minor had a very nice freshman year. That should only get better:
'"Brandon Minor has had an excellent spring," Carr said. "He's much more confident because he's been around, and he got a lot of work.

In the long run, Carlos Brown will be happy he stuck with it. If he's as talented and fast as it sounded out of high school he should get playing time before he leaves. It's likely that will include this fall, including in the opener September 1. Run Carlos Run, we can use your speed!

While there was reported
enthusiasm about former walk-on Mark Moundros at fullback, enough so to claim he is competing for the starting spot, it's hard to believe that he'll beat out a tight end transferring to fullback, much less Vince Helmuth. Oh, that's right, we haven't a tight end to move. To end the suspense, I announce here that the starter will be . . . Helmuth.

University of Toledo doing its best to emulate O$U.

The University of Toledo athletic department over the past few years has been making an effort to create a higher profile for the University. It seems as if they finally have taken the cue from O$U and are now on a path to possibly compete with Big Brother Buckeye in the future (LINK).

Is it just me, or is everyone else happy that we traded that small strip of land in Ohio for the beautiful Upper Peninsula as a resolution to the Toledo War?

Why is this O$U fan about to cry?? Read on...

Everyone knew that Greg Oden would be in the NBA next year. But it now looks as if he will be joined by fellow Luckeyes Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook (link). According to Oden's father, Mike Conley Sr. has received certification as a players agent and will represent Oden. Conley and Cook may wait to hire an agent, opening the door for the possibility of a return to the bucks if they aren't offered more money in the NBA than they are currently making at O$U.

The last couple of paragraphs in the article are certainly interesting. Seems Thad may have helped push the 45 year old Freshman out the door with his playing style. THANKS THAD!!!!

Michigan Hockey takes over Tinseltown

It appears that Los Angeles has officially become the Western outpost for University of Michigan hockey. With the naming of Mike Cammalleri as team MVP, and the addition of our beloved JMFJ, the Kings seem to finally be doing something right. I am pleased to see that the JMFJ moniker lives on in LA, as well as his well deserved, and well earned reputation.....KILL JACK KILL!!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Will Charlie Weis Have Time to Order Spot's?

The NCAA has changed the football rules (again) in its effort to control games and timing. With the exception of the reduction of timouts to 30 seconds (how would Gary Moeller have ever made a decision?) in a televised game (it'll still be over 2 minutes long by the time "Our Country" concludes) the changes seem to make some sense. The question is whether the new rules will allow Charlie time to order wings on the sideline come September 15.

1. Instead of starting the clock at referee ready following change of possession, the clock will now start on the snap after a change in possession
(which was the case before that stupid rule change that went into effect last year. See Rule 3-2-5-e.

2. Last year, the clock started on when the kicker's foot hit the ball on kickoff's and kicks following a safety. That rule has also been changed to the former version,
and the clock will start only when the ball is legally touched in the field of play.

3. Kickoffs will now be from the defensive 30 yard line, instead of the 35.

4. Following tv tiimouts the play clock will only be 15 instead of 25 seconds.

5. During televised games only, team timeouts will be reduced to 30 seconds (plus the additional 25 second play clock). I'm not sure how much difference this will actually make because the rule only applies where a conference or media agreements to the contrary does not apply.

The NCAA statement regarding the rule changes are here. The actual rulebook can be found here.

Sweet Angel (ique)

Angelique says this afternoon that the rumors of a Carlos Brown transfer are untrue (well, at least he's decided not to transfer). She says that he's back at tailback (instead of corner where he had apparently practiced some this spring) which will add some needed depth behind Mikey Hart now that Grady is out for the year with his ACL. What's interesting to me is that, assuming no other redshirts Grady, Minor and Brown will all play their last year together. I'd like to see Carlos get a little more flexible and at least consider corner. He is fast. Even if only a fifth or sixth back, he could likely play some both ways even if only sparingly at tailback. Here's hoping he improves enough to compete with Grady and Minor. We could use a small, fast, deceptive back after Mikey is gone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Hopefully you've heard about the recognition for Jim Abbott. He was elected to the college baseball hall of fame. He deserves it.

For those of you too young, or not into baseball, Jim Abbott was born without his right hand. A remarkable baseball player for Flint Central, he also played as a quarterback for the Flint Central football team.

Abbott pitched for two years at Michigan. He was declared the amateur athlete of the year in 1987. He was named the Big Ten male athlete of the year in 1988 (for baseball which is only deemed a big ten sport every other year). This is really an amazing feat (for a baseball player) considering steroid monger Tony Mandarich (remember him?) was hyped that year as the best offensive lineman of all time, won the Rose Bowl, and was drafted second overall in the draft.

Abbot won a gold medal with the US Olympic baseball team in 1988, where he pitched a complete game victory over Japan in the final game. Abbott left Michigan after his sophomore year and began pitching with the Angels without first playing in the minor leagues. He played for the Angels and Yankees during his best years in the MLB. In 1993, Abbott pitched a no-hitter with the Yankees, pictured below:

For more info on Jim Abbott, check this out.


Everything surrounding this guy related to Michigan is B-A-A-A-D. So BAD, that not only did he tarnish the Michigan program by taking wads of cash from Ed Martin, but he also actually lobbied for Tom Goss (another low point in Michigan history) to select the worst coach in Michigan basketball history.

In fact, you could probably win an argument that everything that happened surrounding the Tractor after his high school career was BAD. Without a doubt, everything that happened to Tractor after his selection in the NBA draft as the sixth choice overall was downhill. For instance, he was traded even up for Dirk Nowitzki after the draft. He's now stuck playing in Spain.

But, even I feel just a scintilla sorry for the Tractor. In what can only be described as judgment so poor it tips the scales of Tyler Ecker running out of bounds against Nebraska with no time on the clock instead of pitching to speedy number 15, the Tractor made some fine investments for his drug dealing kin. It's pretty sad when all your attorney can say on your behalf is this:

Traylor "got some bad advice, and unfortunately he took it," said his attorney, Steve Fishman of Detroit.

"He's a basketball player, not a lawyer."

"For those who think that all NBA players are wealthy, Robert Traylor is an example of one who is not."

Hmmmmm, apparently Robert didn't learn too much during his three years as a Sports Management and Communication major. A good article on the whole thing from the Detroit News by Fred Girard here.


But probably only if you look like this guy:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stephanie Pinder-Amaker to Harvard

According to the Harvard daily:

Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, is expected to join the Harvard faculty. In a 2001 interview with the Michigan Daily, [Tommy] Amaker issued the following quote: “Any decision made in the Amaker household is a joint decision and I'm not the coach of that team.”

Tommy is also going.

Hopefully Tommy can win some games for the Crimson. Some say that Tommy's hire was prompted the lack of any other african american coaches. But the real reason is the Turtle. Hey, Harvard, you may be looking at a different color, but you can still see the same familiar fashion as former Harvard hoops coach, Frank Sullivan:

I Like Coach Borseth

This guy sure isn't shy or scared of creating expectations. I can imagine the following words coming straight from Bill Martin:

"The University of Michigan, that's top tier,'' Borseth said by telephone Tuesday. "That's as good as it gets. You have an opportunity to potentially recruit the best in the country. The Larry Birds, the Chamique Holdsclaws, the Magic Johnsons, the Sheryl Swoopeses.

"The level of competition is so appealing. It's a university you can do so much with, from its reputation and name to the tradition. It has everything.''

You've just gotta love the names Holdsclaws and Swoopeses. While I agree with you Coach, I'm not sure the this guy would:

Then again, how would one expect a vacuum to achieve heights greater than a .500 record. Quotes are from a nice article by John Hueser at the AANews. It's worth a look.

Today is a Good Day

Manny Harris is staying. Kelvin Grady is staying, according to the Detroit News, and other outlets, including the Wolverine pay content. Markowski of the DetNews says:

And that's not all. According to Harris, Kelvin Grady of East Grand Rapids is staying with U-M and Alex Legion of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy could make his decision as soon as this weekend.

This is fabulous. Legion should follow. Especially given his mother's quote in the previous link and this dated bit:

"Al talked with him (Beilein) for an hour on Wednesday," Williams said. " When you have a ballplayer like Al, it's not about him. What's important are the players you have around him."

Word to Al: your teammates haven't changed since you committed. If Legion stays too, I'll have a theme tune for the freshman class with an acknowledgment to Tommy's fine work to get them signed in the first place. Nice work Tommy, Coach Beilein and Coach Jackson. Avoid this obnoxious link for Coach Jackson, unless you've read my former posts.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Not Suzy Merchant

The women's basketball coach will be this guy, who has a pretty darn good resume:

According to the Ann Arbor News and Oakland Press:

Michigan has hired Kevin Borseth away from Wisconsin-Green Bay to shore up its struggling women's basketball program, the school said Monday night.

With Borseth and Beilein Crisler will be Be Be Be Bo Bo Bo Rockin Baby!

Coach Jackson (Update)

Not that anyone didn't already know, but Jackson's importance to Legion and Harris are verified here. Legion's mother says:

Legion’s mother, Annette Williams, said today that Beilein told her in their meeting last week that Jackson was returning, and she said that was a major factor for her son, who is still considering whether to attend U-M.

A combination of a gameplan that fits Legion perfectly, and an assistant he likes who talks glowingly about Beilein gives us, in my estimation, a great shot to get Legion at lease. Let's not lose track of the statements that Manny wants to be near home.

Welcome Back Coach Jackson

Michael (Mike) Jackson returns to the UM. This is a very good move by Beilein and Michigan. It may also help keep Legion and Harris in the fold. Jackson was a key recruiter, with long time Detroit connections.

"I am thrilled to have Mike Jackson rejoin the Michigan Basketball staff," said Beilein. "I did a lot of research in the days since I was hired and there is no doubt Mike is a tremendous fit for the future of this program. His experience and connections with and around this program will only be a plus for us as we get set to move forward."
While you can't blame Jackson for departing without any promises from the athletic department or idea of whom it would eventually hire, this is a terrific opportunity for him to learn under a great coach. As Jackson stated to
"This was a great opportunity for my family and I to stay in Michigan," said Jackson. "To be able to learn and work with a coach like John Beilein, I have no doubt it will be a wonderful experience
Jackson not only has local connections but appears to an excellent recruiter even outside of the immediate geographical area, and was largely responsible for Udoh's commitment. according to Scout:
"Then I had started looking back and some of my notes that I wrote down on my visit. I had prayed about what I was going to do I felt like god was not going to steer me wrong. So then about two weeks ago… I believe it was on April 29 at around 3 am…. in the morning I sent Coach Mike Jackson a text message. In my text message I told him I was coming to Michigan.
Michigan SportsCenter has some good info on rumors which were circulating on the message boards, and also a statement from a player before the rumor became official.

This also paves the way for a remarkable connection to Las Vegas if he eventually becomes our next coach.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Beilein Ramblings, Etc.

In my estimation, Beilein is a very good hire. Congragulations to Bill Martin on an extraordinary job 1) keeping the search quiet, 2) getting the guy he apparently wanted all along, 3) coming up with the money to pay Beilein a competitive salary, and 4) not paying his buyout (apparently). As glad as I am to have Beilein this search bodes well for what will be the most important decision facing the athletic department in more than 10 years when Lloyd eventually retires. Brian at has several fine posts about Beilein (which anyone reading this has probably already read, and if you haven't you should).

I am concerned about this year's recruiting class, however. While thing looked good in comments from Udoh and elsewhere regarding Harris and Legion, this Harris quote from the Detroit News cannot be good:

"I'm opening up my recruiting," Harris said. "I'm not looking at one or any school in particular. Michigan is still a school I'm looking at."

Perhaps as concerning is a quote from Alex Legion's mother from the DetNews indicating that the issue with his decision is not so much about his game, or the team's style (within which he would fit perfectly) but about who else he is playing with:

"Al talked with him (Beilein) for an hour on Wednesday," Williams said. " When you have a ballplayer like Al, it's not about him. What's important are the players you have around him."

I take this to mean that if Harris leaves, Legion leaves. Ouch. Coach B. has some hard work ahead of him in the next few days.

Hopefully he and Harris both come to the realization that Beilein's addition to UM will add to the attractiveness of Michigan, and make them far better players in the long run than TA ever could have. There is certainly still hope, as Legion stated:

"We watched films of his teams at West Virginia, and he told me what his teams were about," Legion said. "He seemed very knowledgeable. His teams like to shoot the 3(-pointer) and run that 1-3-1 defense. That offense suits my game."

How great is it that Beilein is already out there doing far more public appearances than TA did in an entire year? This may very well be the biggest long term advantage in recruiting that Coach B will have over TA. There will a stark contrast between coach B and TA, and one that will certainly help Michigan in recruiting and player development.

On the other hand, how disturbing is it that TA actually required players to make appointments to come see him?