Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Ode to Skip Bayless

I am sitting here in front of the TV and I just felt compelled to write this post. I think Skip Bayless is truly the greatest talking head in the sports business. You have to respect his opinion, because a lot of the times he's right when you look back. Not to mention that gain his admiration and respect you have be an elite player. If you get respect from Skip Bayless, you've made it places. Kobe, Roger federer MJ, Tiger Woods, Pete Sampras, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson. Those are the elite that he recognizes. LeBron. Nope. AROD (both of them). Nope.

Mickelson? Nope.
Serena? Nope.
Peyton? Maybe after the title.

Dirk is also on the Skip Bayless no respect list.

My point is he's not like the typical guy on sports who feels the need to play it safe. He always takes an opinion that no one thinks is logical and makes it logical. He's a really smart guy and he doesn't feel the need to take the popular point of view. Skip is an NBA guy and he's primarily the reason I've switched over to watching a boatload of professional basketball. Skip will always choose an NBA game over a college basketball game because it makes sense to watch the game with the elite of the elite players. They are pros for a reason. Every player in the NBA was one of the best on their team in college.

Bayless is hilarious too. He's so ornery, it's just awesome to hate him. He's such a douchebag to the point where it reaches comedy. He's like the Eric Cartman of the sports world. A jackass to the extreme — so extreme we are compelled to enjoy it.

Go watch Skip on 1st and 10 and Cold Pizza (highly underrated show) because you're missing out if you aren't.

What a jackass. What a genius.

I know I talk a lot about this coaching search...

But c'mon, for me this is a huge deal. I've been dreaming all season to cover a coaching change. The latest info has this coaching search ending in the very near future. In fact it could possibly end by Monday. Bill MArtin is waiting for Beilein's season to come to a close tomorrow after the NIT Final (Speaking of which, the WVU guy made a ridiculous game winner in the NIT semis against Mississippi State). But it may not be his job to lose as once thought. Apparently Martin has already tried to lock up Lon Kruger of UNLV, but they couldn't agree on the right figures. Kruger has midwest connections and is an established coach having led UNLV, Illinois, Florida, and Kansas State to the NCAA Tournament. He led Florida to the Final Four in '94 (where they lost to Grant HIl-led Dukies) and he got Illinois to the Elite 8, while laying the ground work for Bill Self's successful run there. Kruger's one drawback is his aversion to the AAU coaches that dominate the recruiting circuit. He just didn't feel like dealing with the Chicago ones as the Fighting Illini coach, and from what I hear, the Detroit AAUs are even worse and more political.

And I guess Kruger is an adequate fit, something just doesn't feel right about it. For me it just doesn't sound right when I say the phrase "Michigan coach Lon Kruger" or "Coach Kruger". "Michigan coach John Beilein" comes out a whole lot smoother if you ask me. I just don't understand why some Detroit columnists just hate him. They say he can't recruit, they say his offense is just a system, not something that can get you to a national title. Well guess what, I think he will be able to recruit because of how rich the Detroit talent pool is. Ann Arbor is just 45 minutes away and a lot of these guys are family-oriented and want to be close to home. Everytime I talked to Alex Legion, and I asked what made him come it was, "my mom loves coach Amaker". He cared what his Mom thought, and wanted to stay home. A lot of these Detroit kids have this attachment to Detroit. DeShawn Sims talks about how homesick he got all season, and how much he wants to make a difference in his neighborhood while in college. He doesn't want to leave the neighborhood completely behind him. Manny Harris was the same way. He had an entourage of 20 family members at every game I saw him play. So don't give me this recruiting crap. Beilein just seems like the right choice to me. I really think this team, if it keeps Manny and Alex, will make the NCAA Tournament next season with John Beilein as head coach. My gut just tells me that.

But right now the reality is that unless Beilein has a good interiew, the Kruger signing is imminent. Kruger wants to be here, the money just needs to get sorted out. But Martin is waiting for an interview with Beilein first. A report came out on CBS SPortsline today saying that Kevin Stallings of Vanderbilt was the frontrunner for the job. I say don't believe it. The national websites are usually a few days behind the local media. I really believe Bill Martin has his list down to two guys: Kruger and Beilein. We just gotta see what happens from here. I hope Bill makes the right call.

I don't think I'm the only who feels like he isn't the right guy.
He's so average it hurts. We'll be better than with Tommy...
But how much better?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quick Stuff

The coaching front has been pretty quiet lately and frankly I'm getting a little bored with it. Bill needs to pick a coach quickly. Either Michigan is about to make some huge news or they're stuck. I think Bill Martin has a short list compiled and he's going to make his move this weekend at the Final Four. I have no idea what that short list is but in the past few days many sources have said Martin has decided to choose an established coach if her can. That would likely rule out candidates like Butler's Todd Lickliter, GW's Karl Hobbs, and Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery. It's also been said that Lon Kruger is completely out of the mix because of the difficulties he had recruiting the Chicago AAU circuit during his days at Illinois. The Detroit AAU folk are just as difficult as the Chicago leaders.

Paddy Murphy is this weekend so I've been real busy, that's why I'm making this short. I'll definitely post again when I get the time.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The search continues and more

Figure I'd post a bunch of stuff now that the Elite 8 is upon us. Man, there are some good matchups out there. But first some Michigan coaching news.

-Well obviously Tubby Smith is off the market now that he signed with Minnesota. I'm not really upset about him signing with the Gophers, although it adds yet another elite coach into the Big Ten, but I am upset that Michigan is now going to need to compete with Kentucky for a coach. Luckily, it looks like the Wildcats have their sights set much higher in regards to a new coach (i.e Donovan and Izzo). In recent days there's been a new name added to the mix in terms of Michigan's search and it's Kevin Stallings, the Vanderbilt coach. He's led his team to two sweet 16s in the past four years and knows what it is like to coach at a school with strong academics.

-That leaves us with this list of hopefuls: Beilein, Lowery, Kruger, Stallings, Hobbs (yes, he's back in the mix apparently).

The new guy: Kevin Stallings.
The real question is:
Do I want a coach who's balder than my Dad?

-Here's my problem with this whole search. If you were a coach and you had to choose between Iowa, which lost coach Steve Alford to New Mexico (by the way tell me how that makes any sense), why would you choose Michigan? There's no practice facility, a shitty arena, and in general no committment to the sport of basketball. I'm sick of this athletic department parading around like they can just walk into a room, show off the block M and get there way. It just doesn't work that way, especially for a program that hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament in nine years. Michigan needs to get off its pedestal and act more desperate, which is what they are. They should be doing whatever it takes to get the right person in place, and that means making improvements to Crisler, building a practice facility and not being cheap in terms of salary.

-Has anyone looked at these Elite 8 matchups? With such a lack of upsets, these games have instant classic written all over them. Kansas-UCLA? That's a matchup that could be in the National Championship not the Elite 8. The other three games are just as good. Georgetown-UNC, Florida-Oregon, and Ohio State-Memphis, God damn that's awesome. I've got UCLA, Georgetown, Florida and Ohio State winning...but not in my bracket...I had Texas A&M going.

-How in God's green earth did the officials miss that travelling call on Jeff Green? That is the worst officiating miss in a big game I've maybe ever seen. He was like running, it wasn't even close. And then when the replay ran during the next game, Billy Packer was still saying Green didn't travel, even though they were showing the highlight in slow motion to emphasize the travel. I actually didn't hate Billy Packer before this (unlike others, most notably Bill Simmons) but c'mon. Green travelled and Vandy should have won that game.

-I'm not that upset that the Wiz kids are about to lose the division lead in the Southeast to the Heat, but I just really don't want them getting into a series with the Heat in the playoffs. The bottom line is that they simply just can't beat the Heat. They can get by anyone else in the East, but not the Heat. What sucks is that this would have never happened had the Wiz been healthy. Ever since that dynamite December and January, they haven't had the Big 3 together for more than one game at a time. First Antawn went down, and now Caron is on the shelf. Hopefully Caron comes back in the next week or so, and the Wix regain their footing. I know nobody wants to face the Wizards because when healthy, they are part of the East's elite. After losing to Golden State last night, it's pretty important that they close this West Coast trip strong. Two wins would be nice, but one is more realistic.

-Wait a minute. Hold the phone. They caught pro wrestlers using steroids! I'm shocked. And appalled for that matter. I mean who would have ever thought an organization whose CEO (Vince McMahon) also uses steroids would have employees who use them too. This news was worse that when someone told me pro wrestling was fake in fourth grade. Ughhh I'm just digusted.

Sting is the only one I can really trust anymore

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Miller the new name

Well it's another day and obviously there have been more than a few developments in Michigan's search for a new basketball coach, so here it goes.

-Xavier's coach Sean MIller is the new hot name. He has gotten some serious consideration from Bill Martin, but apparently there is already an offer on the table from Minnesota which is believed to be about 1.4-1.7 million a year. That is a steep price for a guy who has really only had one great season at Xavier. However, the guy is a recruting God. Thad Matta told the Cincinnati Inquirer earlier this year that "Miller taught me everything I know about recruiting". But Martin does not want to rush this decision, so he probably won't even interview Miller until next week. It's a good call for Martin not to let Miller leverage him. if he takes the Minnesota job, so be it.

-It's also coming out that Matta may be telling Miller not to take the job. Sounds like Thad is a little worried that Miller might ruin his talent stranglehold on the midwest....but that's just me guessing.

-In a welcome relief, it's been confirmed by numerous sources that Bill Martin is not letting money be an issue. If he really believes someone like Beilein is the right guy for the job, he will do whatever needs to be done financially (i.e pay the 2.5 million buyout).

-Lon Kruger said he is staying at UNLV and not considering other jobs in a teleconference today. But don't take it all that seriously because he's gotta say that type of stuff with his team still in the Sweet 16.

-Current GW coach is out of the running. Sources close to him say he doesn't feel Michigan is the right fit. It didn't help that he has no midwest connections.

-I actually ran into freshman DeShawn Sims outside of one of my classes today and talked with him for a little while. He told me himself and Ekpe are more than likely on board with whomever comes and coaches. He also asked me about any developments showing that they are definitely leaving the players in the dark about this one.

-Wizards assistant coach Phil Hubbard, whose jersey resides in the Crisler Arena rafters, told Ivan Carter of The Washington Post that Michigan would be his "dream job".

-ALthough he's been on the record several times saying otherwise, sources close to Alex Legion say keeping him under his letter of intent is going to take some convincing. Apparently the big timers have already started calling (UNC, Kansas, Duke, etc..)

I'll have more as everything develops, but if West Virginia wins again tonight and with many of the candidates still in the NCAA Tournament I don't see this coaching thing to get worked out until next week at the earliest.

Miller Time at Crisler?
I like how he recruits.
Still like Beilein more though.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Update on the coaching search

A lot has happened on this Monday so I figured I would post an update:

1) John Beilein: Apparently there is interest on both sides. Beilein wants to be here and Bill Martin might want him here too. The holdup is that WVU is still in the NIT and Beilein has a 2.5 mil buyout that Martin might be too cheap to pay.

2) Dick Vitale was on AM 1270 here in Detroit and flat out said if he were Michigan he would call up Tubby Smith and convince him to coach where the pressure isn't so high. Tubby said this afternoon that he was planning on staying at Kentucky

3) Lon Kruger was on Rome is Burning today and when asked about the Michigan job he said he'd listen but he wanted to do what was in the best interest of his family and that his family likes Las Vegas.

4) Sean Miller of Xavier is interested in the job according to sources

5) Talked to some guys at and they all indicated that Beilein is the frontrunner right now.

6) Todd Lickliter of Butler is getting serious interest but he is a Butler alum and they are ready to pay a lot to keep him there. Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois won't comment because his team is still in Tourny, but from all indicators is also very interested.

Pretty much this search is going to come down to whether or not Michigan is willing to shell out the money to get someone. Everyone wants this's the best on the market this offseason. If they can get over this whole buyout business with Beilein it looks like he might be the one. I'm willing to bet there's a hire by the end of next week with how quickly things are progressing. Rivals has a list of the 12 likely candidates up and it's got all the guys I mentioned above as well as Mike Montgomery, John Calipari, Karl Hobbs, Steve Lavin, Ernie Kent, Ben Braun (of Cal), and Tony Bennett (of Wash State).

I would put up a picture of Beilein since he's the leader,
but I did that in the last post. Figured I go with Tubby
since Dickie V wants him.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crucial Time for Michigan basketball

Well, St. Patrick's Day was glorious for more reasons than simply binge drinking beyond belief. The Tommy Amaker era of Michigan basketball has finally come to a close as athletic director Bill Martin did the right thing and pulled the plug on Amaker's tenure. And after how much I've been looking forward to this day, it was too bad I was way too drunk to go to the press conference announcing the firing. Why on God's green earth would they have it at 430 pm on St. Patrick's Day. It just doesn't make sense. They couldn't wait until Monday? I really wanted to see the look on Tommy's face as he cam to the realization that he just can't cut it as a coach. This is like a 31-year old baseball player being demoted from AAA to AA. It's like "listen buddy, you're 31 years old and getting demoted...the majors aren' realistic. Tommy is either going to be an assistant again or coach some rinky dink college, but he shouldn't get another major college basketball head coaching job. The best coaches eat, sleep and breath winning and Tommy just didn't do that. Basketball wasn't everything to him, it was showing class and running the program the right way. But in the end, it comes down to winning and he just didn't do enough of that.

Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey you suck!

But now that he's gone, I should stop ragging on the guy. I wasn't at the press conference but apparently you went away thinking, "Man, I feel bad such a nice guy got fired". But what can you really do when the in-game coaching just isn't there. Being a high character guy only takes you so far at a Big Ten school. I was real impressed by Tommy telling both Legion and Manny Harris that "they should honor their committments to Michigan" and that "the place for them is Ann Arbor". How can you really go away hating someone like that? And as I write this, I'm already reading that Northwestern is thinking about firing Bill Carmody and they might want Amaker. Good for him, that might be a better fit since Northwestern doesn't really care that much about winning.

As for possible replacements: there's been a lot of names thrown out there already. A lot of people want a big name, but what they don't realize is that it probably isn't financially possible for Michigan. There's no way they are going to pay a basketball coach more than the football coach. And to pry away a guy like Jay Wright from Villanova and Tom Crean from Marquette, you're going to need to pay a lot of money. Not to mention an elite coach is going to want some promises about a practice facility and possibly some guarantees about a renovation for Crisler Arena. The Michigan athletic department is at a crossroads right here because they have essentially been running the basketball team as if it was in the MAC. The facilities suck, the coaching staff is one of the lowest paid and has some of the worst accomplishments of anybody in the Big Ten. The athletic department has this far fetched belief that simply going into a room wearing a block M on yuor shirt is just going to blow people away. Well, if you haven't noticed, 18-year olds don't exactly remember the Fab 5 like it was yesterday. Michigan basketball carries no weight these days. It's time for Bill Martin to put up or shutup. However, the new coach, whoever it may be, is going to need to come to the realization that basketball will never be king here. Boosters are football people in Ann Arbor and that will likely neve change. But here are some of the names that have been mentioned in the past few days and I think are actually feasible:

John Beilein of West Virginia (I think it would work)
Rudy Tomjanovich (I thought he might have died)
Tom Crean (not happening because he hates playing Izzo, but experts say otherwise)
Lon Kruger of UNLV (this is the message board favorite right now, has Big Ten ties from his Illinois days)
Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois (Might be possible, has some Michigan ties, not much of a track record)
Gregg Marshall of Winthrop (no Michigan ties, but maybe)
Jay Wright of Villanova (I just don't see him leaving there for a place like Michigan)
Larry Brown (it's been mentioned, but I doubt they have the money or if Brown actually would want to do it)
Mike Montgomery of Stanford fame (This is my choice, he's proven he can win at a school that places emphasis on academics, but does Michigan want to spend the money?)

That's just a preliminary list. My gut tells me the three that are going to be the frontrunners are Kruger, Lowery and Beilein. Andy Katz was on ESPN radio earlier today and said he thought Beilein made the most sense, but that he has a 2.5 million dollar buyout at WVU, which might be too steep for Bill Martin and co.

And here's an interesting quote from today's New York Times, which says a lot about the potential for the Wolverines and their basketball program:

"Publicly, Big Ten coaches will say that the firing of Amaker is unfortunate, but privately they are concerned about the reawakening of a power that won a national championship in 1989 and made the title game in 1992 and 1993 behind the famed Fab Five."

Personally I think either Kruger or Beilein would be great fits here, and I would be happy with either. The next few weeks should be a real exciting time for Michigan basketball, and is probably Bill Martin's last chance to prove himself as an athletic director.

All things considered...I want Beilein.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Some First Round Reflections

So to start off I'd like to update on what's been going on lately. I feel like I haven't been posting as much as I should with all that's been happening recently. Obviously the Tournament is underway and I've been watching a good amount, school has been pretty absurd lately, Michigan's season finally ended, Michigan is in the CCHA semifinals against Michigan State and omg it's Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow. That calls for an all-day booze-a-thon. Couple that with all the sports on TV and you've got a level of ridiculousness that is rather achieved. Here's just some random thoughts I've had over the past few days that are non-Tournament related:

-I am still pissed at the people who were in my room during the Suns-Mavs epic the other night. The game went into double overtime after Steve Nash just played unbelievably down the stretch. To be completely honest, if he finishes average the rest of the season, that game might have locked up another MVP I know Dirk's team is having a crazy good year, but what would the Suns be without Steve Nash. But back to how I missed the end of what is certain to be an Instant Classic and probably will go down as the game of the year in the NBA all because guys had to catch South Park so desperately. It's not very often that you catch an instant classic as it's unfolding. The new South Park would have been rerun on Sunday. You gotta show respect to the great games.

-That game got me thinking about the NBA playoffs in just under a month. If you're a REAL basketball fan, you'll appreciate it even more than the Tournament. This is taking the best players from each of the best teams on the same court and having a longer Tournament. Oh hell yeah!

Three MVPs. Most unbelievable rise in production
for a prevously average player ever

-The Wiz have me concerned. Caron is out 7-10 days and the Heat are nipping at our heels just one game back. If the Wiz end up facing the Heat in the playoffs they are done. They just can't beat that team. This is the time where Gilbert can prove he's a top 5 player in the NBA. A top 5 player in the NBA lifts his teams in times of need. If he's a bona fide superstar and has an entire commercial campaign dedicated to him, he's gotta put this team on his shoulders.

-Michigan basketball looked awful in Tallahassee. I didn't actually watch the game, but apparently Florida State whipped em pretty good. There was some snipping after the game, as senior Brent Petway criticized some on the team of not hustling enough, and not showing proper effort all season. The Tommy Watch is on. I just don't see how Bill Martin can keep him on considering how much negativity surrounds the program right now. Beyond this upcoming recruiting class, the 2008 class is barren. We only have one scholarship to begin with in '08 because Tommy gave free rides to players like Anthony Wright and K'Len Morris. There's literally no one on our radar screen currently. That's my opinion, but some have said that Martin is going to give Tommy one last season to make the Tournament with this real nice recruiting class coming in. I guess getting the guys in the program would be nice, but I think we all know this team is going nowhere significant with Tommy leading it.

-Oh and I forgot, the names getting mentioned if Tommy were to be let go are Southern Illinois's Chris Lowery, former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich (health permitting), and Winthrop's Gregg Marshall. We'll see, who knows what'll happen. I really have no idea what's going to happen, if something does it'll go down in the next week. Martin really doesn't have much time to decide.

- 300 was a disgustingly awesome movie. The action was incredible. I heard someone call it Braveheart without the essentially warfare and killing... and I completely agree. Not to mention this movie had some of the most ridiculously corny, yet absurdly hilarious one-liners as they headed in for more killing.

"Eat a hearty breakfast because tonight we dine in hell!"

- Michigan football losing wide receiver Adrian Arrington, tight end Carson Butler and reserve lineman Eugene Germany. Ouch. The rumor (I emphasize rumor because Lloyd has not said anything) is that they failed a drug test. It was Arrington's third strike and apparently he wasn't listed on the roster given out to media at Carr's press conference. However Butler and Germany were on the roster. It looks like it's going to take a lot for Arrington to be allowed back on as Carr called it "possible but not probable". If all three aren't allowed back on, it would be a huge loss for the the Wolverines. Arrington had 40 catches last year and was extremely solid opposite Mario Manningham. Butler led tight ends in catches and was slotted in as a starter for next season. I heard that Carr is a huge Butler fan and its only his second strike so he has a better shot than the others of being allowed back on.

Okay gotta have some Tourny thoughts:

-God dammit Georgia Tech. Are you serious? I had you elite eight. Bogdammit (yes, Pat's middle name is the basis of a curse word)


-If you really want to be entertained, check out Bill Simmons' tournament blog on Hilarious stuff.

-I've got a pretty generic Final 4: UCLA, Florida, Georgetown, and Texas A&M, with UCLA winning it all. I'm probably wrong.

-Don't even get me started about that VCU-Duke game. This is just so heart breaking. This Duke team was the worst I can remember, yet I still think the Blue Devils will be a preseason top 10 next year. They've got potential to be real good next year because they've got a hyped up recruiting class coming in.

God damn you Eric Maynor

- Has anyone else noticed that the first round has a lot more boring lately? It's like watching reruns of Saved by the Bell everyday and then suddenly the TV station decides to have a few weeks of The College Years. I don't remember this little drama in a first couple days ever. I bet there's going to be some great ones coming in the next couple rounds. The sweet 16 is always my favorite round because there's a lot of games and pretty much all the riff raff has been eliminated and all you got left is legitimate contenders.

Alright I'm going to sign off for now. I'll update this post after the night games to maybe point out some stuff if anything interesting happens. Enjoy this because it doesn't around all that often.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Say it ain't so Manny

Well Manny Harris went off last night. The Michigan-bound Detroit redford star went off for 41 points and 12 boards in a huge playoff game against perennial power Romulus. The kid is going to be Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan, no doubt about it. But after telling me that it wouldn't matter if Amaker was fired, now he has come out and said he isn't so sure he'll come to Ann Arbor without Turtleneck Tommy standing on the sidelines. Here's what he told The Detroit News:

"He (Amaker) is a big part of why I came," he said. "But I love Michigan so I don't know. I can't answer that now."

Personally with or without Harris and Alex Legion, we need to get rid of Tommy. Dion Harris was a top-10 recruit (i.e more coveted than both these guys) and he's turned into simply an average college basketball player. With Tommy still coaching these kids will not develop to their fullest potential. That's a guarantee. We shall see but I really hope Bill Martin doesn't let two 18-year olds influence the decision we all know needs to be made.

By the way the picture thing hasn't been working the past couple days. Hopefully one of the geeks at blogspot wil fix it soon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Who cares about the NIT?

Nobody! Or actually I take that back...Tommy Amaker cares about the NIT. Atleast that's what he made it sound like at his press conference yesterday. He said it was a "great honor to be invited back to the NIT". Lester Abram had a far more relevant quote concerning the magic that is the NIT:

"It's not like we're going to go out there and lose on purpose -- whatever happens, happens," captain Lester Abram said. "You're happy you're still playing, but nobody wants to play in the NIT. It's something you have to do, though."

But you know what is even more depressing about this whole situation: The Selection Committee released a list of 31 teams that didn't make the Tournament who were under consdiration. Guess who wasn't on there: Yep, Michigan.

Another interesting stat: there were 104 teams in Division 1 who finished with 20 or more wins. Yet when asked yesterday if he thought his non-conference schedule was adequate Tommy responded by listing off how Central Conn St and Miami (OH) made the NCAA Tournament, not to mention his 3 minute ramble about what a solid team Delaware State is. This guy really has no clue. Yeah your schedule included NCAA Tourny teams like Davidson, Conn St, and Miami (OH), but beating those teams does nothing for your RPI. To be exact there non-conference strength of schedule was ranked 95th in the country. Clearly they aren't exactly playing juggernauts. Maybe with a couple more opportunities against quality opponents the Wolverines could have pulled off an upset at home or something.

But the worst part about his press conference yesterday was this quote from Tommy: "I think our program has made tremendous progress the past few years. I would figure I'm not in the majority on that."

Yeah no shit Sherlock. Your team has been stagnant ever since you won that NIT title back in '03. It's as if this guy lives in a parallel universe where he just doesn't know what's going on. To make matters worse, his players will defend him to death, saying that it's their fault the team sucks. That's partly true, but through his 6 years there have been a ton of talent yet none of it seems to translate onto the court. That's bad coaching. I really hope they lose tonight to Utah State because I have a feeling that it will be the nail in the coffin for the atrocity that has been the Amaker Era.

Monday, March 12, 2007

NIT Again

The worst part about Michigan being excluded from the Big Dance yet again is that I have to go to its NIT games. Is watching two mediocre teams (the Wolverines and Utah State) how I imagined spending my Tuesday night? Hell no! And then if Michigan wins I might have to go down to Tallahassee to watch them play Florida State. There's a press conference later today and I'm really curious to see what Tommy has to say at it. Since that loss to Ohio State on Friday every local media outlet has come out with some story calling for Amaker's firing. I'm going to assume he'll be doing the usual Tommy Amaker "we're extremely disappointed but let's win the NIT" bit.

As for the actual NCAA Tournament, I won't lie I was shocked at the raw deal the BIg East got. I thought Syracuse was in for sure and I thought even West Virginia had a legitimate beef for not getting in. I don't know all that much about the Drexel thing but the argument that they should get in simply because they are a mid-major and no teams come to their gym is not reasonable. The selection committee isn't concerned with how big conference schools are pussies and won't come play in mid major hime gyms. They are concerned with putting the top 34 at-large teams in the Tournament. Drexel finished 4th in the CAA and went 1-5 against the top 3 teams from that conference. I realize George Mason did really well last year, but Drexel was the 4TH best team in its conference, which besides those top 4 was relatively weak.

I hope you realize that 'Cuse
not getting in means we'll
have to deal with this man
bitching for weeks

I also think no team in this Tournament has an easier road to the Elite 8 than Georgetown. Unless they play God awful they will be in the Elite 8, and from there anything can happen. The Hoyas should be pretty happy with what they got. I was also surprised to see Duke as a 6 seed. Definitely thought they would be punished more for not finishing that strong, but it looks like the in general the committee rewarded the ACC for being the toughest conference in America this year. I think it's pretty obvious that Arkansas shouldn't have gotten in. I really don't think you should reward a team for having all of its big wins come in a nine-day span that included just the end of the season and the conference tournament. By the way, the Razorbacks have a guard in Patrick Beverley, the SEC freshman of the year, who wanted to go to Michigan but Tommy thought better of recruiting him. Maryland can pretty much beat anybody in its bracket except Florida. It's just too bad they'll have to face them in the Sweet 16. People are talking about how Maryland should be concerned with Davidson, but you know who one of their 4 losses came against: Michigan. It was the second game of the season though. Stephan Curry (son of Dell) is a stud freshman who put up 32 against us and their point guard played with Klein at Barrington so that automatically puts him in the upper echelon of Division 1 point guards. Watch out for GW too. Quietly the Colonials went 23-8 this year and now face a Vanderbilt team that isn't exactly a juggernaut.

He's a Barrington Bronco
Don't fuck with that

Friday, March 09, 2007

Courtside at the United Center

Well, I'm sitting directly behind the Michigan bench for the Ohio State game today. I'm definitely going to hear some stuff I never would have dreamed of hearing. As I sit here though, I started to think about what if I was sitting here during a Michigan State game. Imagine that type of stuff I'd hear coming out of Izzo's mouth. But as the game goes along I'll keep you updated on some insider information courtesy of my eavesdropping ears:

By the way, as I was walking out of the media hospitality room (man there's been some good press food so far) who do I run into but Greg Oden of Ohio State. So of course I have to talk to maybe the future No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. Here's how the convo went down:

Me: Hey do you know how to get to the court from here?
Oden: Yeah I'm goin there now
Me: Thanks

And there you have it. My encounter with Greg Oden. Not exactly Erin Andrews exciting but still something nobody else could dream of. Speaking of Erin, she's in the house again today. I'm going to be honest, I think wherever she walks every single male just drops what they are doing and stares at her. Just a second ago she walked by and a couple Purdue fans shouted "Hey baby" to which she responded "I'm not your baby" with the slickest smile ever. She knows exactly what she's doing, and I think she knows that every male is mildly obsessed with her. I wasn't on press row yesterday, but the Daily writer who was said he overheard her saying she was going to get plastered tonight after she was done covering the Tourny. I'm definitely intrigues at seeing a drunk Erin Andrews, but will she remember me from Ohio State a few weeks ago?

Okay game is about to start, I'm predicting a Michigan loss here, but you never know what with all of the upsets that occurred last night. Speaking of which, Wednesday was just an absurd day of college basketball. And today could be even better. Gotta love Championship Week.

I won't lie, it's a pretty sweet arena
The Jordan statue is legit and the
food is great

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wild Couple of Days

Well the 21st is over and done, but it had plenty of memorable moments — atleast for other people it did. I don't actually have a memory past 11pm on either night I went out to celebrate. Now, I'm leaving for Chicago in the morning for the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan plays at noon on Thursday against Minnesota. If they win that the Wolverines get a rematch with Ohio State in the quarterfinals. To have any real shot to make the Big Dance I think Michigan needs a win over Minnesota and Ohio State, but even then it might not be enough. A win in the semis would probably guarantee the Wolverines a spot, but if there are more of these Wright State over Butler upsets, Michigan could simply be shit out of luck.

I actually really want to talk about all of this steroid nonsense that has come up the past few days. How weird is it that it seems like every single steroid user played in the Orioles system at some point in their careers, and for the most they played together. Look at the names: Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Grimsley, Gary Matthews, Jr., Sammy Sosa, Jerry Hairston, Miguel Tejada (has been accused numerous times). What does this say about the organization? There's no way nobody in the front office didn't know what was going on. And yet with all those steroids the team still sucked during that time. I really think there needs to be a formal investigation into how prevalent the Orioles have been in these steroid talks. So that leaves us with this conclusion: the Orioles are from the worst city in America, have the worst owner in the majors, have the worst front office in the Majors, and are the worst criminals in all of this steroid garbage. Classy franchise you got there Peter.

I always thought Hairston would beat our Brian Roberts.
Hey, remember BJ Surhoff?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fitting in a lot in a little

I just got back from Tampa, where I went to the DRays Spring Training. Definitely had a good time and got a little bit of insight into the workings of an MLB team from talking (more like eavesdropping) with their management. I have a lot to fit in and with the huuuugggeee Michigan-Ohio State basketball game approaching fast, I'm gonna go with the good 'ol fashioned bullet points:

-I have to start out with some Redskins stuff. I like the London Fletcher signing, because Lemar Marshall just didn't cut it last year as a starting middle linebacker. That leaves the Skins with Marcus Washington, Fletcher, and hopefully Rocky McIntosh (if he progresses) at linebacker. That works for me.

-I'm extremely happy that the Redskins didn't make the mistake of overpaying to resign Dockery. That contract he got from the Bills is absolutely absurd for a guy who was good, but not great. Also like what the Skins decided to do at the cornerback position. Clements is good, but he should not be getting Champ Bailey money. And picking up Smoot (which is apparently all but done) means we've got three corners who I can feel confident about (Smoot, Springs and Rogers). If Springs stays healthy, then Smoot and Rogers will be interchangeable at No. 2 and 3.

Welcome back Smoot Smack. Hopefully.

-In talking with the DRays management they all have this notion that with the core they have set up right now, they should be contending for the World Series by next season. From looking at their roster, I think they are morons. Yes, their outfield is great with Baldelli, Delmon Young, and Carl Crawford, but baseball is all about pitching. And the DRays have a bunch of guys who they think could be good, but most baseball people think won't be that good. They have Scott Kazmir and a bunch of average pitchers. With how good the yanks and Bosox should be over the next few years, the DRays are not going to reach their goal of a playoff berth anytime soon. I will say it was awesome being around the team though.

-Carl Crawford: Not a good public speaker. At an event to rebuild a Little League field, the guy stumbled and bumbled his way through a short 30 second speech.

-We were on the field for the Yankees batting practice on Friday morning and it shocked me how big some of the players are. Derek Jeter, who I considered a smaller guy by baseball terms, is like 6-3 and buit. ARod and Giambi look like tanks up close. Joe Torre looks real old, and Don Zimmer looks downright ancient.

-Michigan has to beat Ohio State today in order to even be in consideration for the Tourny. But Joe Lunardi was quoted in The Detroit News this week as saying even with the win, he thinks Michigan will need two wins in the Big Ten Tourny to really have a good shot at an at-large bid. Personally, if the cards fall right (i.e teams that are supposed to win their conference tournys do just that) the Wolverines need to beat the Buckeyes today AND win their first round Big Ten game.

OSU is a perfect example of how quickly
a good coach can turn around a shitty
program. Take notes Bill Martin.

That's it for now. I turn 21 tonight, so maybe I'll post some drunken ramble in the next couple days.