Friday, January 30, 2009

Bright Spot

Like all Michigan fans I had never been happier to see the football season this past fall come to an end. It was a feeling that I never want to experience again for as long as I live. Watching our "national powerhouse" football team stumble to an abysmal record setting 3-9 season. Highlighted by losing to a MAC team for the first time in school history, losing to all 3 of our hated rivals by a painful average deficit of 22.3 points between the 3, including a 35 point loss to the Fuckeyes to finish off the season. Some people blame it on the O-line, some on the QB, others like to direct their anger toward the coaching staff. Now that the pain has lightened and a couple of top 5 victories by our surprise basketball team acting like morphine for a harshly wounded ego of most die hard Wolverines, we can feel comfort knowing that one maize and blue tradition has held up as we move into this new chapter of Michigan football. That's right, there is a part of our program that is still among the nation's best and it comes in the form of recruitment and hope for the future. With signing day so close you can smell it Michigan finds themselves with a number 7 ranking for the incoming 2009 class. Highlighted by an all-that-is man bulldozer of a human in William Campbell and our Tim Tebowesk "savior" of a quarterback in Tate Forcier. Accompanied with a quick, shifty, athletic group of receivers, running backs, and D-backs makes this class exactly what the doctor ordered. So for those of you still grieving from our "Big House" size kick to the loins this fall, find comfort in knowing that help is on the way. As stated above, signing day is next week and there is still plenty of action for Michigan fans to keep their eyes on. There will be that beautiful block "M" on many top recruit's hats around the country. Some of the big names still out there interested in the Wolverines are Florida high school teammates Denard Robinson and Adrian Witty. Robinson, a 6 foot 180 lbs 4-star ATH with a scorching 4.4 forty is being recruited as a QB. Witty, a 2-star corner that has kind of fallen off the map with an injury plagued senior season, will likely be a package deal with Robinson as they are best friends off the field and hope to room together wherever they choose to play. Other names to keep an eye on is ex-Tennessee commit WR Ja'Ron Stokes who turned heads at the Army All-American game and recently took an official to Ann Arbor, a pair of DT in Pearlie Graves and DeQuinta Jones, and a long shot in top ranked corner Dre Kirkpatrick who has yet to commit and still has the Wolverines on his short list. With a good singing day for the maize and blue next week they can easily retain their #7 class rank and maybe make a push to break into the top 5. So if your looking for a sense of hope in these dark times of Michigan football tune in next week and meet the young men that we will be puting our emotions, pride, and dreams on the line with each Saturday for the next four years.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hello NIT

Now, I must admit I did not watch all of last nights debacle against the worst institution in America. But, as much as I hate saying this I feel like we all saw this coming. Maybe Beilien can pull us out of this slump of losing 4 of our last 5 games by an average of 13.75 points a game but I don't see it happening. Maybe, our inability to to make the tournament was clear when it became quite evident that a semi-athletic middle school basketball team could slap on a full court press and show complete dominance doing it. Maybe the players can feel their once promising season and first tourney bid since 1999 slipping away and I think that became clear when all of our favorite freshman Mr. Novak decided to throw an elbow straight to P.J. Hill's face. I must admit however I did get a slight sense of joy seeing that elbow get thrown. As much losing as we've been having to the worst institution in America recently there was something about seeing one of those SPEDs take an elbow straight to the face that made me smile and have a nice chuckle and forget about the fact that we were about to lose our 4th game in our lst 5. It even allowed me for a slight moment to think hey, we aren't going to go down without a fight this could be our spark. I know they are two different quality of teams but I also felt this way with our comeback victory over Indiana that maybe Michigan basketball was turning the corner and could win a tough road game when they weren't necessarily playing well at all . However that wasn't or will be the case here. Over the past few weeks our lack of inside presence, a deep semi-talented bench, as mentioned ability to handle a full court press, and our inconsistency to shoot the three have become more and more noticeable. Do I think M will turn the corner and this season is a good starting point for the turn around? Absolutely. Do I think M can still make the tourney probably not. But here's what we have to get on our knees and pray to the basketball God's to happen this last month and a half of the regular season. We need to pull off 5 to 6 victories with a good road victory or two somewhere in there. I don't count UCLA or Oakland as road victories seemingly because both were played on neutral sites. That means our only true road victory came at lowly Indiana. So that leaves us with at Purdue, UConn, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as our only chances to pick up these victories. Purdue and UConn most likely have no chance to happen. Wisconsin hardly ever loses at home and Minnesota has shown signs of being a good basketball team but also that it is an inconsistent team, which is sign for some possible hope. That leaves us with Northwestern and Iowa as our two best chances to pull off victories. We must win all of our remaining home games by beating Minnesota, Penn State and then defeat the hick school up I-96, which on the other hand hasn't hardly happened in what seems to be forever. This leaves us with 19-20 victories with some wins over quality teams. The last thing we need to show the selection committee is a good showing in the Big Ten tournament with a solid victory or two. Do I think this is going to happen? It is very probable but I see it as very unlikely. Manny Harris is going to have to be the best player on the court at all times for both which he usually is, even though as of late he has shown that he is not ready for NBA with his inconsistent play. Deshawn Sims will need to move away from the basket spread out the floor and take advantage of his quickness he hs on bigger slower defenders that will be guarding him. We need to be much more consistent on shooting the three and see some production from our bench other then just Stu Douglas. We'll have to see how the team responds this Saturday at Purdue but, if signs of life aren't shown here quickly we will be saying goodbye tourney and hello sweet sweet NIT...