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Monday, March 26, 2007

This is a bit old but I hadn't mentioned it here: Sims and Udoh dispel the transfer rumors surrounding them, at least for now.

I'm a sucker for old Michigan highlights, and when they feature Keith Jackson I'm doubly so. Anthony Carter versus ND, 1981:

Meanwhile, prolific YouTube clip assembler dynoguy has a set of ND highlights from years past:

And... uh... there's this from the era when Jim McMahon spawned a wave of football teams wearing sunglasses and "rapping":

The tenuous Michigan relevance herein is Husky quarterback Wilbur Odom, who spent two years on the bench at Michigan in the late 80s before transferring to "Angelo State," a school that seems to be desperately lacking a "San".

Coaching stuffs. The search continues apace; with everyone mentioned as a possible candidate currently done with their season except John Beilein, who has West Virginia in the NIT Final Four -- cue jokes from State fans about how he's a perfect fit. Michigan Sports Center has a comprehensive recap of recent developments. Villanova's Jay Wright and Memphis' John Calipari are two names getting more play recently. IMO, both are pipe dreams. I don't know what to make of Calipari's name getting mentioned, as I always had him associated with Shady Doings in my mind for what appears to be little cause. There was some trouble with Marcus Camby during Calipari's final season at UMass, but as I understand it the issue was more a Marcus Ray/Curtis Enis thing where Camby had impermissible contact with an agent. Everything else he's charged with is the usual mud flung at any improbably successful recruiter and basketball coach. See: Donovan, Matta, et al.

But it does bring up the question all basketball programs have to ask themselves in the AAU era: just how corrupt to we want to be? Frankly, after six years of being a 1 on the Huggins Scale* I'm a little tired of watching everyone with a dodgy hanger-on get redirected to other programs. The resulting Michigan fanbase is constantly lamenting the unpure state of college basketball mostly because our refusal to dip our toe into anything unpleasant -- not even inpermissible -- is the only thing we can cling to after a decade of futility.

*(an MGoBlog created measuring stick for coaching corruption. Not actually headed by Huggins:
11: Dave Bliss (yes, this one goes to 11)
10: Tarkanian -- full on cheaty cheaty all the time
9: Jim Harrick -- a consistent pattern of malfeasance that includes academic fraud
8: Clem Haskins -- Harrick except not slimy enough to get away with it for quite as long
7: Huggins -- as skeezy as you can be and still have a job
6: Steve Fisher -- classic don't ask, don't tell
5: Billy Donovan -- you just KNOW there's something fishy but can't actually prove it.
4: Kelvin Sampson -- persistent minor flouting of NCAA regulations to harrass recruits for personal aggrandizement
3: Rick Majerus -- persistent minor flouting of NCAA regulations because he thinks they're stupid
2: Izzo -- basically squeaky clean, will occasionally take flyers on dodgy characters
1: Amaker -- ick
0: Whoever the current sacrificial lamb at Northwestern is.)

Jalen! Fascinating article from last month's DIME magazine penned by Jalen Rose his ownself:

It ended up being bigger than we ever thought. You have to remember, this was the early '90s. Not only were five freshmen starting, but all five freshmen were also black. How many college programs in the entire country back then had five starting black kids, let alone five freshmen? We were making a statement on so many levels. Social, cultural, hip-hop - we repped the street, flavor, fashion and the love of the game. We were coming after teams like the UNLV Runnin' Rebels squad of the previous few years and John Thompson's classic G'Town teams that were right in the thick of Prop 48 debates - he had to walk off the court a few times with his teams because the environment was so bad. So it was important to us, maybe above all, for the Fab 5 to be strong black men.

We were extremely aware of what was going on. Yes, we were brash and talking trash and we created a distinct style and played with flair, but we also went to class. We never got credit for that. We should have.
I am totally onboard with the idea of bringing in Jalen as an assistant coach whenever he retires from the NBA, especially if we hire someone like Beilein.

Tea leaves. The media got their annual peek inside a Michigan spring practice; the Ann Arbor News reports back:

Given those considerations, here's what the first-team University of Michigan offense looked like across the front: Mark Ortmann at left tackle, Jeremy Ciulla at left guard, Justin Boren at center, Alex Mitchell at right guard and Cory Zirbel at right tackle.

Brandon Minor was the tailback, Chad Henne quarterbacked the offense, and Greg Mathews and LaTerryal Savoy were the wide receivers.

With Schilling still out after surgery -- he should be back in a week or two, that's not particularly enlightening. It does seem that Ciulla will be the first interior lineman off the bench in the case of an injury. Adam Kraus will probably slide over to center in that event, allowing Ciulla to play at guard. Should Jake Long miss any time (please, Angry Michigan Everything Hating God, let's not get any ideas), Ortmann is likely to be his replacement. The defense:
In its package with five defensive backs, the first team featured Tim Jamison and Shawn Crable at end, Brandon Graham and Will Johnson at tackle, Chris Graham and John Thompson at linebacker and Morgan Trent, Johnny Sears, Charles Stewart, Stevie Brown and Brandon Harrison in the secondary.
Adams and Taylor sat out, nursing injuries. Now, this is interesting. Brandon Graham is playing inside, at least in the nickel package inside. Graham saw a lot of time as a zero-technique* pass rusher in the 3-3-5 last year and may maintain that role into the fall. This look could either be a true 4-2-5 with Crable as a speed-rushing end or it could morph into the 3-3-5 is Crable drops back and Graham slides over. Stevie Brown and Stewart are going to battle for the starting spot opposite Adams; current projections have Brown with the lead but Stewart is reportedly doing well at his new, less speed-intensive position.

*( == lined up directly over the center)

Don't click here.

Etc.: Hawkeye State takes an entertaining, in-depth look at the Iowa coaching search; I find this article on with blogger Alex Belth interviewing new blogger Curt Schilling extremely interesting; Section Six has an update on the NCAA's actions against diploma-mill high schools.