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Unverified Voracity Extracts Concessions

Unverified Voracity Extracts Concessions Brian February 19th, 2019 at 12:40 PM
[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Getting more out of Livers. It's a project that is underway:

“It’s something we’ve been talking with him a lot," said Michigan coach John Beilein. "He leaves a lot on the table. He shoots 3s well, but there’s another element to his game that he’s still developing. We’ve got to encourage it."

Livers has been an excellent complementary player during his first two seasons at Michigan. He won a starting job as a freshman last season as the Wolverines made it to the national title game. This season, though, he has come off the bench. Teammates have referred to him as a "glue guy."

He's already bumped his usage from 12.9 to 15.4; if he's able to do that again next year he'll be at ~18, and at that point he's enough of a contributor that you're not worried that his presence is pushing someone up to usage levels they're not efficient at.

Rebounding is variable. I know this John Gasaway assertion is true after several years in which Michigan took a top-50 DREB rate into conference play only to finish 10th in that department:

Defensive rebound rates can translate a bit better from whole-season to conference (cf. Maryland, Colorado, and Michigan), but even here you can’t just assume you’re hitting statistical bedrock every time. Take Kansas State, No. 17 nationally in defensive rebound percentage, more than 100 spots higher than its nearest in-conference competitor (Oklahoma, No. 132). Actual Big 12 play, however, has swiftly devolved into a vicious egalitarian struggle where every team’s virtually identical on the defensive glass and the Wildcats nominally rank No. 4 in the league in that category.

These numbers are in motion, of course, but this isn’t primarily a sample-size thing. It’s more of a basketball thing, or, better still, one more peculiarity of a mass-audience sport wherein the teams themselves select a sizable portion of their own opponents. There are few bread-and-butter box score numbers that vary as much as rebound percentages due merely to non-conference scheduling philosophies and/or to how certain coaches choose to change their look for conference play.

Those were usually Zack-Novak-at-power-forward teams that suffered when larger people entered the equation. Michigan's maintained much better the last two years. They finished last year 2nd in B10 DREBs and are fourth this year.

Also in that post, a bizarre thing going on at MSU:

Inverse-Michigan Factor (IMF)
Standard deviations above/below conference means
Conference games only

                          OR%     DR%     IMF
Michigan State    2019   1.75   -1.20    2.95
Rutgers           2017   1.62   -0.90    2.52
West Virginia     2019   1.11   -1.35    2.46
Providence        2019   1.07   -1.33    2.40           

These are the largest IMF numbers we’ve seen in the past five years in major-conference play. Purdue 2019 is not far behind.

MSU is the best offensive rebounding team in the conference… and 13th on the other end. MSU's block rate probably has something to do with this. They're #1 in conference play, and that's without anyone particularly large-huge and leapy. Surmise: MSU's trying to block everything and giving up OREBs when those attempts go awry.

[After THE JUMP: Mike Leggin' it]

Pending visit. Per Endless Motor, Nimari Burnett will make an unofficial visit on the 24th. He's a combo guard who's the #25 composite 2020 player; Michigan already has Zeb Jackson in a class that's probably going to be 5+ players (Simpson, Teske plus Iggy and Poole NBA possibilities, a potential firm handshake for Austin Davis's fifth year, and maybe a playing time transfer).

For more basketball recruiting I recommend this thread on the board.

A standoff for the wrong reason? Baseball is trying to get an extra coach approved by the NCAA. Big Ten ADs are apparently dead-set against this:

Several Big Ten coaches confirmed to D1Baseball that their ADs told coaches that they had taken a straw poll on the proposal at a recent meeting — and that ADs had opposed it 13-1. That is not a binding vote, and there’s still time for B1G athletic directors to reverse course before the NCAA Board of Directors’ official vote on the matter in April, but the conference as a whole must vote yes or no. And as a Power Five league, the Big Ten has outsized voting power — its vote has double the weight of the “Group of Five” conferences, and four times the weight of every other conference. So if the Big Ten opposes it, proponents of the proposal are concerned that smaller conferences will follow its lead. If a conference that generates close to $1.7 billion in annual revenue won’t get on board, what hope is there for conferences with dramatically smaller operating budgets?

The coaches were "blindsided" by this since they favor the proposal. Unfortunately, the concern is apparently that adding another paid assistant would cause other sports to agitate for expanded coaching staffs. That's a nonsensical issue to have when Big Ten ADs keep adding employees because revenue keeps going up. Conference distributions are projected to go up nearly 20 million over the next decade.

This should be/might be the real reason:

Baseball is never going to be a moneymaker in the Big Ten as long as the season starts in the middle of winter — one coach suggested that ADs probably viewed this proposal as “just more money down the drain.”

It’s impossible to overstate how difficult it is for Northern teams to compete at a national level in baseball when the season starts in February. There’s a reason baseball players are called “the boys of summer.” … If college baseball were played during actual baseball weather, the Big Ten would be a behemoth, plain and simple.

If the Big Ten is trying to block this legislation as a middle finger to the folks who make the schedule what it is, hooray. The Big Ten should block any attempt to do anything unless it comes paired with scheduling concessions. Want a third assistant? Push the season back two weeks.

I don't think this is news. But in case it is:

Most of the replies to this tweet are "can't wait to find out what color the sky is."

In actual hockey news, Cam York lands at #10 in the latest NHL mock from the Athletic:

York is the modern-day defenceman in more ways than one. He’s got everything you like in today’s game: the smooth stride, the calculated decision making, the slick hands which allow him to escape trouble when pressure is there and the passing ability to move the puck up ice or across the offensive zone. He’s also a strong defender who uses that skating and decision making to close gaps, play tight and keep forwards to the perimeter — without having to rely on physicality to do it. But he also has another element of the modern defenceman that’s becoming more common: He lacks a heavy shot and he’s not particularly strong in 50/50 battles. You’ll take the latter because the former skills make him so effective.

Michigan also picked up another 2019 commit, Emil Ohrvall. Ohrvall is 20 and will be 21 when he steps on the ice for Michigan; after an 11-point freshman season at RPI he's currently a top-ten scorer in the USHL. This gives Michigan 13 commits, nominally, in this class, and Ohrvall is a guy they must be taking immediately since he's out of junior eligibility.

One guy not coming in: Jack LaFontaine, who is committed to Minnesota now.

ALSO. If Kent Johnson was not already committed to Michigan he would be required by law to sign up now:

Johnson's the top scorer amongst 16-year-olds in the BCHL and tentatively scheduled to come in the 2020 class.

S&P+ for next year. Michigan is 9th in the preseason S&P+ rankings. Opponents in the top 25:

  • #7 OSU
  • #11 Wisconsin
  • #12 Notre Dame
  • #14 Penn State
  • #23 MSU
  • #25 Iowa

Going to be another tough slate.

Etc.: ESPN longread on Tim Donaghy fixing NBA games is worth your time. A deep dive on Chase Winovich's injury, which he sustained early in the OSU game. Megadonor Stephen Ross profiled. Oops. Arizona prepares to get nuked. Or gently tickled. One of the two. Quinn Hughes profiled.

Profile picture for user ScruffyTheJanitor


February 19th, 2019 at 1:06 PM ^

I Michigan can make it through THAT schedule as a one-loss team, we deserve to be in the playoffs.

Profile picture for user Communist Football

In reply to I Michigan can make it… by ScruffyTheJanitor

Communist Football

February 19th, 2019 at 1:32 PM ^

Don't forget Army, which is going to be way tougher than a lot of people think.

Profile picture for user The Fugitive

In reply to Don't forget Army, which is… by Communist Football

The Fugitive

February 19th, 2019 at 8:02 PM ^

heh, I've been terrified of that game for a while.  Army is on a 9 game win-streak and they put up 70 on Houston. They didn't play too tough a schedule last year (Liberty, San Jose St, Lafayette, Colgate) but they did take Oklahoma to OT on the road.  Their only other loss was game 1 at Duke.

Michigan will probably win but why schedule the Service Academies?? 

Profile picture for user Brian Griese

In reply to I Michigan can make it… by ScruffyTheJanitor

Brian Griese

February 19th, 2019 at 1:44 PM ^

I got to admit, it is terrifying to look at the schedule for next season and see 9 games Michigan *could* lose.  

Profile picture for user Michigan Arrogance

Michigan Arrogance

February 19th, 2019 at 1:16 PM ^

I assume Emil Ohrvall left RPI due to the coaching change, but would a 11pt scorer in the ECAC really translate to a top 10 guy in the USHL? Or did this kid really gorw his game in the last year?

In reply to I assume Emil Ohrvall left… by Michigan Arrogance


February 19th, 2019 at 2:10 PM ^

There's a big difference between being the youngest guy on the ice in college and the oldest guy on the ice in juniors. James Sanchez is like 23rd in league scoring playing on not-as-good of a team.


February 19th, 2019 at 1:19 PM ^

In re: Donaghy--there's been some scrapping over at UMHoops about whether reffing is a problem. (Dylan is not interested in the question.) I'm not inclined to belly ache too much game after game, but it's clearly something leagues and conferences need to become more rigorous about. Giving fans legitimate reasons to question the basic fairness of outcomes isn't a good thing.

Poor calls and game-fixing are, of course, different. But a pro-active approach would likely be welcome. And we need statistics. 

Profile picture for user Michigan Arrogance

In reply to In re: Donaghy--there's been… by MGlobules

Michigan Arrogance

February 19th, 2019 at 1:26 PM ^

I think it's generalized incompentence from 2-3 refs in the league and it has affected M acutely since those 3 losses 2 were on the road. Also, our lack or depth and auto bench policy hits us harder on this front as well.

Profile picture for user AC1997

In reply to I think it's generalized… by Michigan Arrogance


February 19th, 2019 at 1:41 PM ^

Dylan has never been willing to bring the refs into any discussion - even in extreme cases.  I think he takes the stance that "yes, refs are bad and erratic at their jobs - but it generally evens out and there's nothing you can do about it so play well enough to win anyway."  

I have long been a hater of refs' influence on games, even though I know their job is really hard (especially with basketball).  I guess you can't rule out corruption, but more often I think it is a combination of incompetence and being too easily swayed by external factors (crowd, home/away, stars, yelling coaches, etc.).  

For those of you like me who do get more riled up at bad refs, I've got news for you - it could be worse!  My daughter started competitive gymnastics this year and the judging in that is completely nonsensical.  

Profile picture for user 4th phase

In reply to I think it's generalized… by Michigan Arrogance

4th phase

February 19th, 2019 at 1:49 PM ^

It starts with incompetence, but I'm beginning to wonder about how the league office is managing the officials. It seems like after a Michigan loss in which the foul calls go against us, the next game we are getting all the calls.

Wisconsin lost at Maryland by 4 with 23 fouls, then only had 11 fouls against Michigan. Before Iowa played Michigan at home and got 14 fouls, they played Minnesota on the road and lost by 5 with 23 fouls. Penn State lost at OSU by 4 with 23 fouls, then against Michigan at home had 13 fouls.

It's like the refs are constantly trying to over correct. Everytime Michigan loses, it's on the road to a team that just lost themselves on the road and had a lot of fouls called against them. Could be overanalyzing but it looks like a pattern. And its been working in our favor after losses.

In reply to I think it's generalized… by Michigan Arrogance


February 19th, 2019 at 1:57 PM ^

Also, unbiased incompetence is going to look a lot like bias against the more-talented team.  All Michigan really needs is for the officials to get out of the way and let skill take over.

However, nothing in Michigan's losses really screams "fix" to me.  The closest would be the quick whistle on Teske in the Iowa game -- an official who wanted Iowa to cover might decide to take advantage of the autobench, hoping that it would give Iowa enough of an advantage that they wouldn't have to make it obvious later in the game.  There's a section in the Donaghy article that describes the technique.

I wouldn't object to someone running an analysis to look for outliers, but it's important to keep in mind that the population of referees is big enough that low-probability events actually become likely.  For example, it's almost a certainty that some official will have a profile of called fouls that appears to be statistically unlikely -- it's the law of large numbers in action.  Ideally, you'd form a hypothesis first and then test data for the population at large and for the single member that you're interested in.

Profile picture for user ST3


February 19th, 2019 at 2:08 PM ^

I coached in a youth basketball league for four seasons. One year, before the season started, they invited us volunteer coaches to attend the local high school basketball practice so we could see how it’s done. That team had 10 coaches/volunteers running drills. Everyone was busy doing something useful. I was amazed.

Profile picture for user umchicago


February 19th, 2019 at 2:48 PM ^

RE: msu rebounding

historically, they crash the O boards hard vs say UM or WI which prefer to get back on D.  also, msu leaks players out for fast breaks on the D end, so they D rebounding would suffer as a result.  just a couple of other observations on msu's success on the O boards vs on D.

Profile picture for user plamonge


February 19th, 2019 at 3:29 PM ^

Why do we play Wisconsin every year. I bet they hate playing us every year too.

In reply to Why do we play Wisconsin… by plamonge


February 19th, 2019 at 3:31 PM ^

My issue is not with playing them every year, but that our division rivals don't.  The joys of a 14-team conference.

Profile picture for user Mr Miggle

Mr Miggle

February 19th, 2019 at 3:44 PM ^

Why does Wisconsin get to vote on a baseball issue when they don't even field a team?

Profile picture for user Clarence Boddicker

In reply to Why does Wisconsin get to… by Mr Miggle

Clarence Boddicker

February 19th, 2019 at 4:33 PM ^

To fuck us. Oh, how I loathe Bucky Badger and all things Wisconsin.


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