Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae, 4/10/2012

Return of the King: As you know Trey Burke has decided to return and the pendulum of life, which swings back and forth between "OMG AWESOME" and "OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE WHY"--and only these two things--has swung back to the good side. Now that this mildly stressful ordeal is over (if you were actually freaking out about this then you need to reconsider the manner in which you deal with things), these are some points of note, for me:
  • On a less cheery note, if you think about leaving early for the NBA, Michigan fans will downplay your ability, backtracking only once you've decided to stay. 
  • With Burke returning, it's very hard for me to imagine a 2009-10 season Redux. This comparison will be drawn approximately 12, 485 times this offseason, but I think it's fairly clear that 2012-13 Michigan basketball>>>2009-10 Michigan basketball. It's not even close. 
  • I wouldn't get too excited about our newfound point guard "depth." It really wouldn't surprise me to see Trey play similar minutes again next year, even with Spike in the fold. 
  • An early 2012-13 forecast? Predicting how a team will perform in the NCAAT a year in advance is like trying to decipher Oregon football picturized offensive signals. With that said, this team is a Final Four contender. I think Michigan might have some minor growing pains as the freshman get up to speed and Michigan tailors the offense to its new personnel (see, "actually having bigs on your roster"). 
  • And, last but not least: be more than a little skeptical about CBS's investigative reporting. It seems that Goodman is arguing that it was a sure thing when he reported it, but, you know, people change their minds all the time, and it's his job to discern what the odds are of a change of heart. Does that sound sort of ridiculous and/or impossible? Yes, which is why the media should cool it with the "being the first to report something that really doesn't need to be known NOW NOW NOW" operating philosophy. It's almost as if some journalists are becoming professional versions of Internet commenters that post "first!!!11!!!" on things.
Spring Highlights: Some more spring scrimmage highlights, courtesy of MGoBlue.com. These little 2-3 minute videos don't mean much, but they are giving me the general feeling that Fitz is about to have a monster year. 

Urban Meyer: I gave the Sporting News piece on Urban Meyer a quick read and, to be quite honest, didn't find it to be all that surprising or revelatory in any significant way. As for the favoritism re certain star players and rampant drug use...does that really surprise anyone (not that either are of course desirable in any way)?The implication is that UF won in despite all of these problems simply because they were better than everybody else and it wasn't even close. I tend to believe this, but the problem is that guys like Tebow and Harvin don't come around all the time. At the same time, the talent gap between Ohio (and Michigan) and the rest of the Big Ten is typically far wider than that seen between the top SEC team and the next tier of teams in that league. So, maybe this sort of stuff can happen again and work out fine for Urban and the Buckeyes*. 

In short, find me in three or four years and maybe this will all be relevant again as part of some trend that I care to talk about for more than two seconds. While the writer here is of course biased, I had a somewhat similar reaction to all of this: 
"They were all smoking dangerous street drugs and choking coaches and doing all of their homework with the help of Wikipedia," said some bitter injured backup no one ever heard of who got a mercy invite to Florida's pro day because why not. "I read OverSigning.com and began to think I had lyme disease."
*And by "work out fine" I mean winning championships. 

Rivalry!: RR and Todd Graham throw out the first pitches at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. RR asks Graham if he's "ready" to throw before they toss to home plate in unison. This polite gesture shows that RR does not GET IT or the rivalry that is Arizona State-Arizona. Also, the RR I know wouldn't have waited for his opponent to get ready: RR clearly doesn't even GET his own offense anymore.

Jibreel Black Position Switchin': In light of my post on Alabama's OL yesterday, this piece on Black's switch to the inside has me thinking one thing and one thing only: somebody get this man a copy of "The Gittleson Diet: Weight Gain for the Modern (But Not Too Modern) Athlete," ASAP.

Black says he's upped his weight to 270 this spring (up from 260), and plans to add about 10 more by fall. This is encouraging, because there's no way in the world that a 270 pound 3-tech would be able to stand up against an interior line as large as the Warmack-Jones-Steen triumvirate. Then again, our own DL coaching triumvirate is pretty formidable, too.

In other "please be good" news: It's never good when something is referred to as a "carnival of missed assignments," but, nonetheless, Jerald Robinson has being acquitting himself quite well amongst it all. I very much want him to be good because he offers something that almost none of our other wideouts have (at least until the 2012 guys, Darboh and Chesson, come in), but, at the same time, Robinson seems like he's the only guy who even could be termed a "breakout" guy vis-a-vis this position group, so this sort of praise, while better no praise, might be indistinguishable from your common spring fluff.

History and Stats re: Burke's draft status: Dave Ryan over at Maize n Brew compares Burke to a mystery player who was at one point in a similar situation. I won't spoil the surprise, but the cogent points are many here, namely that "marketing" and overall exposure are often as important to NBA scouts' perceptions of a college player as cold hard stats. Trey might not have a "better" year in 2012-13, but it's hard to envision his draft prospects getting any worse as long as he has a comparable encore season.

More? In "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" news...yeah. "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" news, part II (also, coincidentally, SEC-centric). 

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