Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae, 7/4/2012

A shortened post on this 4th of July. Happy Birthday, America. 

Trouba status. In light of Connor Carrick's decision to jump to the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, thereby foregoing a longstanding commitment to Michigan, it would be understandable for the cynics among us to start doing the Letterman collar tug thing once various rumors started to pop up indicating that Trouba was next in line to be plucked up. Fortunately, Trouba reaffirmed his commitment to Michigan yesterday. You may downgrade your panic level from "Kel going 'aw here it goes'" to "faint but mostly unjustified concern because you are an Eeyorish Michigan fan and concern is your default state of being."

The Trouba family released the following statement via the the official Michigan hockey twitter
account :
"There is absolutely no truth or merit to the recent media reports that the Kitchener Rangers have offered Jacob any remuneration," the program wrote on behalf of the Trouba family. "We have the utmost respect for the Kitchener Rangers and those that choose the (Canadian Hockey League) as an option.
"But Jacob will be attending the University of Michigan next fall as a student athlete."
 So, there you go. This is the second time that Trouba has reaffirmed his commitment, the last time coming, IIRC, the day before the draft. Yes, Michigan has been burned many times before with these in these situations, but at this point it seems like we Trouba should end up manning the blue line in Ann Arbor this fall. I don't need to tell you that losing a top 10 draft pick would've been fairly devastating, not to mention the fact that Michigan will of course be breaking in a new goalie (always a precarious situation). If these rumors had proven to have some substance, it would've been time to bust out some punny yet saddening George Strait.

Northwestern basketball...recruiting? Yeah, it's early July. Bill Carmody landed 4-star (!) PG Jaren Sina on Monday, making this the second intriguing commitment to the NU basketball program in recent weeks (the first being the commitment of 7'2'' Chier Ajou a couple weeks ago).

Sina is a 2013 guy, so 2012-13 will still be the Sobocop show at the point. However, if Carmody can somehow survive this season, Northwestern could have something going. The bad news for Carmody is that SG Drew Crawford is a senior, and thus won't be around when Sina gets to Evanston.

In any case, this seems like a pretty big coup for a program like Northwestern's. Via Sippin' on Purple, Sina is a top 100 guy and is *probably* the first 4-star of the Carmody era...Carmody has been in Evanston since 2000. Sippin' on Purple:

Woo! And Rivals has his handle listed as being "outstanding". This is quite a get. Fred Hill was the lead recruiter, flexing his New Jersey muscles, and getting Sina to pick NU over Villanova, Rutgers, Stanford, and Pittsburgh. He had earlier committed to Alabama, but reconsidered and now will be coming to NU.
That is a very nice lookin' offer list, and from the sound of it Northwestern has quite a player on their hands.  If Michigan didn't have Trey Burke, I might be feeling a little bit jealous right now. It's always good to see the lesser recruiting brands in the conference reel in good prospects; hopefully this nets the Wildcats their first tourney bid at some point in Sina's career.

Hammer and Rails previews Michigan. TMill over at Hammer and Rails offers his thoughts on Michigan football after Year 1 of the Hokemania Experience. While I wouldn't exactly agree that last year's game was decided on "a couple of plays," Michigan will certainly need to put in a similar performance if this year's game in Ross-Ade is going to not come down tot he fourth quarter. TMill sheds some light on the defensive side of the ball for the Boilers, particularly in light of Michigan's prolific output in the ground game last year in the Big House:

Fortunately, I like our defense going into the year. The front four has the potential to be stout and both Will Lucas and Dwayne Beckford started really coming on late. This could be a game where the new 3-4 elements can make a difference. Robinson is the most elusive quarterback we will see all season. To have even a chance at a victory we must contain him.
 Like all road games, this will be a tricky one for Michigan, as this game is the Big Ten opener, right off  the heels of a prettyyyy prettyyyyy prettyyyy tough non-conference slate. In years past, this very well could have represented Michigan's "one inexplicable Big Ten loss of the year."

While I put the odds of this happening somewhere between "not gonna happen" and "so you're saying there's a chance?", a slip up here and Michigan could find itself with a 2-3 record to start the season. I'm going to go ahead and stop this section here and head to to reassure myself that 2011 happened and that This Is Michigan.

More? Saban apparently turned down a home-and-home with the Badgers...oh well. Would've been pretty cool. Wisconsin and Alabama will go ahead and schedule North Dakota and Georgia State now, thank you very much.

This whole "star players playing for their rivals" thing that NCAA 2013 is promoting is starting to scare me. I'm sure the dialogue in that comment section is reasoned and enlightening. UMHoops has some Zak Irvin highlights for you. He can shoot the three and the mid-range shot well, he can slash...and he can dunk! In all seriousness, he looks like a big time talent at the 3. Given GRIII's versatility, it will be interesting to see how much run Irvin gets at the 3--which GRIII also plays--during his freshman season. I can't imagine that Beilein will struggle to find Irvin minute from the get go.

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