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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mas youtube. A couple old school Michigan bowl game highlight reels showed up in recent days. There's the 1986 Fiesta Bowl against Nebraska:

This one's before my time. It's remarkable to see Jamie Morris in all his not-pudgy glory. I'm mostly used to him wandering around hockey games, being subject to the perpetual "Ja-mie Morr-is" cheer I imagine follows him everywhere.

There is also the not-particularly-old-school '99 Citrus versus Arkansas:

(Suck it, Mallett rumormongerers!)

Say what? This blog has absolutely nothing against former Michigan quarterback Matt Gutierrez, who stuck it out behind Henne until his desire to play overwhelmed his fondness for the university and he transferred to I-AA Idaho State. But assertions like those proffered by the creepily-named Bob Cook...

Detroit would be better off drafting someone like Adams, the sort of speed-rushing end that would fit perfectly in coach Rod Marinelli’s version of his old boss Tony Dungy’s Tampa-2 defense. Then it could look lower in the draft for another intriguing prospect, Michigan State’s Drew Stanton or Gutierrez, an Idaho State quarterback who is being compared to Tom Brady for more than just being of similar size and race.

Like Brady, Gutierrez struggled early to get playing time in college at Michigan. Unlike Brady, Gutierrez, who lost his starting job to Chad Henne after getting hurt, decided to transfer. Gutierrez is 6-foot-4, 232 pounds and raw, but a good choice for a team that isn’t looking for someone to be anointed a savior.
...are mystifying at best. Gutierrez was not even the second-best quarterback in his I-AA conference last year -- he was honorable mention All Big Sky -- and threw 14 interceptions to just 16 touchdowns. While I hope he does well in the NFL, bringing him up as a Tom Brady comparable is preposterous and only serves to reinforce the myth that Brady was somehow gypped out of Michigan's starting job by a tin-eared coaching staff.

In other Gutierrez news, the Ann Arbor News has an article on him that only reinforces this blog's lingering fondess for the guy.

Final CSB. The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau has released its final rankings. Players of note:
  • #16 Max Pacioretty.
  • #90 Ben Winnett
  • #101 Aaron Palushaj
  • #121 Louie Caporusso
  • #134 Tristin Llewellyn
  • #167 Matt Rust
  • #18 Goalie Bryan Hogan.
The CSB segregates North American and Euro skaters, so Pacioretty is probably a late first-round or early-second round pick and you can slide the rest of the rankees down a couple rounds. The CSB's also notorious for underrating college-bound and small players, so Winnett, Caporusso, and Rust may be drafted higher than their rankings might imply.

Overall, the incoming class seems to be mostly in an NCAA sweet spot much like that occupied by TJ Hensick. The aforementioned three smallish centers are all offensively skilled players who should be successful on the collegiate level without drawing a ton of attention from the NHL. If Michigan can pick up a few one- or two-year stars in the next couple classes Michigan should be able to take a serious run at a national championship (if the goaltending and defense works itself out).

One downer: Llewellyn has been on a steady downswing since his early commitment. When he was offered and committed to Michigan a few years ago he was thought to be an obvious first round pick. Obviously, that hasn't come to pass. His development has stalled and he's fallen into the middle rounds of the draft. He still has the size and skating ability to be a good NHLer, but there's something missing that we might get intimately and frustratingly familiar with during his years at Michigan. Also, Hogan's rating as the #18 NA goalie doesn't seem to represent a Sauer-killer who will come in and wrest the job from Mr. Soft Goal In Critical Situation.

Thanks, I guess? SI's Luke Winn places John Beilein #1 amongst coaches who should be cut some slack in their early years on the job, then provides a "realistic tournament timetable" of 2009, which means Winn thinks he should be cut slack for exactly one year. Thanks for nothing, says Beilein.

I don't wish to rip unduly on Winn, as the article is a good one. Dude did his homework:
This isn't the equivalent of switching a football team from the Single Wing to the West Coast Offense, but consider Beilein's victory formula at WVU featured three things: A precision, perimeter-based offense that includes scores of strangely named plays like Double Quickie Potato; a heavier reliance on the three-point shot than 332 of the 336 Division I teams (42.4 percent of West Virginia's points came on treys in '06-07); and a 1-3-1 zone that forced steals on 12.5 percent of possessions last season, good for 23rd in the nation.
(I thought to myself "these have to be Kenpom stats" when he dropped them and indeed they were, as he mentioned kenpom later in the article, but there was no link to them. I would suggest in the future providing direct links to the source of the killer and interesting information you're providing. Note that Simmons has started linking out frequently on his "basketball blog," something that is so much like a blog in tone, content, and linking that I should really drop the scare quotes.)

Etc.: Hart #6 Heisman contender. Harris threatening to break into first round (where he deserves to be). HBO is lookin' for you.