Thursday, July 29, 2021

Michigan Thursday: BBQ This Weekend

The Big House BBQ is coming up this weekend (is this the only good lasting impact of the RR years?) and there will be a number of commits and recruits coming in this weekend.  This event is now really geared towards future years and if your looking for that list of players check out Touch the Banner

Here are the 2022 guys coming in:

Aaron Alexander LB - Commit 

Falentha Carswell OT - 3 Star from Georgia 

Josh Conerly OT - 5 star from Seattle 

Mario Eugenio OLB - Commit 

Isaiah Hasting DT - 3 Star from Florida 

Will "the thrill" Johnson CB - 5 Star Commit 

Kody Jones  S- Commit 

Alessandro Lorenzetti OT - Commit 

Tyler Morris WR - Commit 

Dillion Tatum S - 4 star instate (Bloomfield) athlete

Amorion Walker WR - 3 Star ND Commit from Louisiana

Deone Walker DT - 4 Star from the Detroit

  • Good Luck to all the Wolverines in tonight's  NBA Draft.  The Pistons better not "Darko" this draft pick.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Wolverine Wednesday: Michigan Players in the NBA Draft

The NBA Draft is Thursday and Michigan will have a number of eligible players to get drafted.  The Pistons of course have the #1 pick and most likely will take Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State. 

What we know for certain is Franz Wagner will go in Round 1 and most likely a Lottery Pick.  NBA Teams like his upside and that he is a strong defender.  He of course can evolve his offense game in the league and will need to improve his 3 point shooting.  The rest of the Wolverines are most likely going to be 2nd round prospects with the hopes of hearing their name called:

Isaiah Livers is expected to go in the 2nd Round, I've seen predictions between pick 47-59.  Reports are he is healthy and doing workouts.   That might help this sharp shooter get drafter sooner rather then later in Round 2.

Chaundee Brown is 2nd Round to a Free Agent prospect.   He has been working out for teams and if they watch his tape, they will love the way he defends on the ball.   An NBA team could draft him to be a defensive stopper off the bench and a guy that can hit an open 3.  I have a feeling someone will take him late in the 2nd.  

Mike Smith is likely a free agent and will have to make some hay in the Summer League.  Mike will have to show his ball skills and hit open jumpers during the summer.   The upside here would be a two-way contract with an NBA team and the G-League.   

Smith and Brown could be diamonds in the rough here.  Nobody will confuse either with an elite NBA prospect but both guys could be valuable bench players if they get a shot at a roster spot! 

Good luck to all the Wolverines and the Pistons on Thursday night! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Michigan Tuesday: Let's Not Water Down The Big Ten

With Texas and OU making it clear they are leaving the Big 12, the Big Ten now has some decisions to make about the future of our conference.   Which leaves the question:  Who would I want in the Big Ten from the Big 12?

Nobody, the SEC is getting the two best programs and if I'm Kevin Warren I'd pass on the rest of the teams.  There is already some buzz about the following Big 12 teams that would like to start a conversation with Kevin and the Big 10:

Kansas - Great basketball school and maybe the worst D1 football program in the nation.  No, Thanks. 

Iowa State - A built in rivalry with Iowa and very good head coach in Matt Campbell.   That does nothing for the Big Ten or driving views:  Hard Pass.

Oklahoma State - Decent football program with a famous head coach, I'm a Man!  Basketball has also had some good years.   Does OSU fit the Big Ten academic profile?  The answer is no.  This is more of a tier 2 option in my mind.  

Many don't believe the additions of Rutgers and Maryland have been successful at all and I don't see adding any of the above teams worth watering down the league any further.   Does KU and ISU move the needle for BTN viewers?  I guess Kansas brings in KC but ISU does nothing for viewers. 

So who would I like to add?

My choices would be Duke and North Carolina from the ACC.   These schools would fit academically, both have up and coming Football programs, and incredible basketball programs.   They also could bring their built in rivalry to the Big Ten.  Both schools are having their legendary basketball coaches retire (UNC this year - Duke next).   

This is a pipe dream as I don't believe either is looking to leave the ACC and both are more Basketball Schools then football and the ACC is a very Basketball centric conference.   The negative is neither would pull a big TV market but I think the above mentioned "fits" would over-ride the TV market.   For those saying, what about ND?  Let's not go there again, please.

The Big Ten can't settle here and need to only take top tier programs and I don't see any options in the remaining Big 12 programs.   

  • Where in the world is Tate Martell?  Ohio State? Nope - Miami?  Nope - UNLV? Yep!
  • Seems Livers is healthy and ready to get drafted this week.  Fingers crossed
  • Austin Davis has signed a pro contract with a Polish team.  Good luck big man!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Michigan Friday: Needed A Culture Change

As  I have mentioned all week, we rarely get any good information out of Big Ten Media Days.   We might hear Jimmy say something funny or a reporter ask him why he hasn't beaten OSU or MSU enough.  This year we did get a few nuggets:

  • Jimmy said Mike McDonald was next inline to be the Ravens DC and his brother and others in the NFL spoke very highly of him.  
  • That Michigan will beat Ohio State or die trying.  This is what fans want to hear. 
  • That McNamara is the #1 QB coming into Fall Camp.  Not sure I have ever heard him say that.  
  • Hutch was very honest in this comment:  “Clearly in 2018, 2019, something wasn’t right about the culture,” he said. “We shouldn’t be getting blown out by Ohio State if we’re competing at just as high a level as them, and it just didn’t make sense. Coach Harbaugh has been doing a great job of adapting and seeing what our team needs and changing what needs to be changed.”
  • He also said this: "I actually didn’t think about culture too much until probably last year or this year. I thought it was more about Xs and Os and about being in the right gap or guys not being in the right gap, and that's why we’re losing ballgames. I was kind of enlightened by (Mike Macdonald). He came in and we kind of discussed this, talking about culture and the importance of it. And he kind of opened my eyes to how you can have the greatest Xs and Os or the greatest plays, but if your team is not fully bought in and 1,000 percent invested in what you’re doing, it’s going to fail.”

I appreciate Hutch's honesty and giving us a glimpse into the dysfunction that has been Michigan football for the last couple of years.   We're all tired of OSU running out their offensive scheme and 5 star talent and beating Michigan before they get off the bus.  Michigan was about consistency through the Bo years and even during Carr's time.  Yes, the App. State loss was a bad deal but that team played pretty well after that and beat Tebow in the Citrus.  Since then, this program has been about "change".

RR turned out to be a poor head coach after people figured out his offense. 
Hoke is a good head coach in the MAC or at a smaller school 
Jimmy comes in after coaching in a Super Bowl and rebuilding the 49'ers and still isn't getting the wins we expect. 

Change is not easy but its needed in most cases.  You have to change game plans that are not working.  You have to change players, who are not making plays.  You have to change coaches who can't adapt or recruit.   Change has to be the consistent with this program moving forward, as OSU is not taking a step back anytime soon.  Losing to them has to start changing as well. 

  • Seems LB Sebastian Cheeks is starting to trend away from Michigan to NC or Texas. 
  • Michigan is expected to have two very high draft picks in the NHL Draft, maybe 4 in the top 10.  
  • The Big Ten might start rotating the Championship game.  My guess is Ford Field would be one of the candidates.