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Monday, November 21, 2005

Taking what I can get. Yes, Michigan did beat Central Michigan handily in their season opener, waxing the Chips 87-60. Both Big Ten Wonk and Hawkeye Hoops wonder aloud whether Tommy Amaker is reading blogs for his strategery, as Daniel Horton took all of four shots in 27 minutes and allowed Abram and Sims to shoot 16-for-20. I'm guessing he doesn't; the turtleneck thing persists.

Big Ten Wonk pointed out offensive rebounding as a canary-in-the-coalmine stat for Michigan this year, but I'll be looking closely at two other stats: defensive rebounding and turnover percentage, especially from the guards. I'm resigned to the fact that Hunter, Brown, and Sims are all going to turn the ball over with frequency, but there should be a dramatic improvement in the backcourt. For all of Horton's fobiles and Harris' struggles, they're worlds better than Dani Wohl, Ashtyn Bell, and the rest of the IM All Stars. As far as defensive rebounding goes, there's just no excuse for a team with a veteran and deep set of posts and a couple wings (Coleman and Abram) who are capable on the glass to finish dead freakin' last in the league. Michigan must improve drastically to compete for an NCAA spot.

So far? Freshman Jerrett Smith had nine assists and two turnovers; Horton had four and zero. Ominously, 17 turnovers were turned in by others, including four each from Abram and Sims. Better news is to be found in the defensive rebounding, as Michigan crushed the Chips to the tune of 86%. Even notoriously soft Chris Hunter got in on the act with seven defensive boards in only 19 minutes.

Yeah, other people think it sucks, too. RBUAS:

It was 21-12 and I kept getting the feeling I’d seen this game before. The way the lead was so unsatisfying, how bewilderingly it had been obtained, and how petrified I was even while up nine points, knowing fate would soon realign itself and things would be back to normal, with Michigan baffled as to how another one got away
ugh, it was like watching the Lions.
Ouch. Tony:
Ah, the joke that never got to be made. After all-everything Ted Ginn handled a couple of punts like an epileptic with a hot potato, I was foaming at the mouth to make the “nice muff” joke. Twice. But Michigan wouldn’t let that happen.
Joey's probably twitching in a ditch somewhere, but no doubt he'll check in with something appropriately rabid.

Drafty bits. The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau has released its preliminary rankings, which you can see up at INCH. Long story short: Mitera #3, Miller #17, Turnbull #21, Swystun #25, and Sauer the #1 goalie. The preliminary rankings are only per league, but since the NCAA has averaged from 5-8 first round picks in recent years, it appears that Mitera is a likely first-rounder. Sauer may be as well, though it's really hard to tell with goalies until much later in the year.

Well, there's always the Pistons. Despite getting blown out of Dallas by the end of the first quarter on Saturday, they're still 8-1 and Rasheed is still saying things like this:
"I'm telling you, Darko is a Serbian gangster," Rasheed Wallace said. "Darko's got some bodies back there (in Serbia-Montenegro). He can go psycho on guys."
XOXOXO Sheed. Remember that he is known as the King of Vulgarities when he takes a penalty.

(via Detroit Bad Boys)