Throwing Elbows with Jay Bilas

Dylan Burkhardt

Update 1:39 PM: Manny is not expected to be suspended by the Big Ten:

Big Ten spokesperson LaTonya Sadler told the Free Press today that the Big Ten “did not find it violated the sportsmanship agreement.”

There has been plenty of media coverage this morning (linked below) on Manny Harris’ “thrown elbow” in Saturday’s game. Jay Bilas got on television Saturday night and ripped Michigan apart. He called for John Beilein to get his team “under control” and said that he felt the Manny Harris play was intentional. I really have to wonder if Jay even watched the game or whether he just saw the bloody shot of Chris Kramer and assumed Michigan was in the wrong.

Jay wrote a column last Thursday outlining what defines toughness in a college basketball team. Here is one of the entries in the list:

Catch and face: Teams that press and trap are banking on the receiver’s falling apart and making a mistake. When pressed, tough players set up their cuts, cut hard to an open area and present themselves as a receiver to the passer. Tough players catch, face the defense, and make the right read and play, and they do it with poise. Tough players do not just catch and dribble; they catch and face.

I hate to break it Jay but that is all Manny Harris did; catch and face. You can’t run your offense with your back to the basket so Manny got the ball, ripped high, and faced up. Watch Manny play, he has probably done this 500 times this year. Jay goes on to give his criticism of the play because he hit Kramer in the nose:

“I respect his right to protect his kid and stand up for him, and I respect that, but that doesn’t mean I have to buy it. I don’t buy it. I saw (the play) 100 times. That’s not a basketball play. That’s not the way the game is played. How many games are played every day, high school, college or pro, and players execute rip-through moves, and how many noses are broken?”

Is it really surprising that Kramer was the one that got his nose broken? You don’t see this play every day because not everyone plays defense that close when you are 25 feet away from the basket. Kramer can play there but he has to know he runs the risk of getting nicked. If everyone played as tight of defense as Kramer then you might see this play quite a bit more. In fact, a similar play occurred in the Florida/Tennessee game later that night. No ejections were made, only a foul on the defender and a dead ball technical.

The only cheap shot I saw on Saturday was Jay Bilas attacking the Michigan program. Calling for John Beilein to “get control of his program” on national television is nothing more than a low blow from a guy who has held a grudge against the program since March 17th, 2007.

Update: Beilein has recommended no further punishment and plans to appeal any suspension if it is levied by the conference (linked below).


This site is supported by donations

Like what you see? Click the button below to donate and access exclusive content.

  • Sheryl

    Beilein has made his decision on Manny and waiting for the response.

  • Adam
  • Thanks for the link Adam.

  • Keith Davis

    Thanks for the links, everyone. Jay Bilas is quite irritating.

  • BL11

    It is sad what some people do on the national level to accomplish their agenda. It is obvious that Bilas will do anything he needs to attack the university because they got rid of his bud Tommy Turtleneck. Loyalty yes, but come on its ridiculous.

  • Frank

    Jay Bilas has had occasions to say positive things about Michigan in the post-Amaker era, including when he was at Crisler to watch his Dukies go down to Michigan. To the extent that he was critical of Michigan, it was because he felt Bill Martin wasn’t committed to building a competitive basketball program. That’s a view I’m sure many people here agreed with.

    That being said, if even Kramer himself said the elbow wasn’t intentional than I don’t see how anybody could say Harris even lost his composure, much less that Michigan’s players are acting out. If you want to believe this fits in with the narrative that Michigan’s players are frustrated because opposing defenses are disrespecting their ability to score by playing so tight that far from the basket that’s fine. But how do you account for the fact that Harris looked like he wasn’t even paying attention to Kramer. He seemed more focused on catching the ball and passing it over to Grady on the wing than anything else.

    If this is true, and the Big Ten has concurred with Beilein that no suspension is necessary, then count me relieved. We’re going to need Manny for Thursday’s must win home game vs. a now red-hot Penn State team.

  • Here is more from Andy Katz…

    Basically, if your elbow hits someone you are ejected? No matter the circumstances?

    Also a list of teams that have made the dance with losing conference records…

  • El Capitan

    The more I read about this, the more pissed I get about the entire situation. After seeing the Florida/Tennessee incident, it’s pretty clear that there shouldn’t even have been a foul called on the play, much less an ejection.

    Even Ed Hightower would’ve made a better call…

  • JimC

    Pretty Boy Bilas watched the play “100 times” ?
    What penalty does he get for flagrant exaggeration?

  • skeet

    @ JimC

    +1 lol

  • MoreBlueThanGold

    If your elbow makes contact, its flagrant, eh?

    It looks like maybe its not refs that are to blame–its the B10 bigshots replacing actual on-the-scene judgement and experience with rigid, by-the-book, zero-tolerance, remote control officiating. That way, the refs don’t have to be college grads….just robots.

  • AG2

    100 times? I’m surprised he or anybody else at ESPN found the time between declaring the ACC the best conference since sliced bread and the Big East the best conference since sliced bread.

  • Bill

    The Webber article is pretty funny. If the refs are trying to keep the ruff stuff under control why don’t the start by calling fouls. I don’t know how many times Manny has been fouled without a peep from them. How may time LLP has landed on the court from fouls or in the OSU game had somone land on him. Sims missed a dunk against purdue and watching the replay the guy layed a body on him. I watched a big East game this week and when guys put a body on a player driving to the basket thay called it a foul. What a concept. Michigan is probably one of the least physical teams in the big ten but they have bee call for 2 flagrant fouls. To me this is like road rage when a person who is a good driver snaps when one to many jerks pushes on him. Sooner or later people will snap. It would be better for the league if players had to use skill to win. The ACC and Big east do and and people think it’s great.

  • ling pen

    Hate bilas

  • Sheryl

    OT: Watching the UCONN game. We better start praying to the 3-point gods right now (those shots have to come back eventually and this would be a wonderful time) and hope that Gibson (as well as everyone) has the game of his life.

  • AG2

    Wow, if Edgar Sosa, Earl Clark, Terrance Williams, and Samardo Samuels couldn’t handle UConn at home, what chance do we have at Gampel Pavilion? As much as I hate to admit it, Manny Harris could very well be the only guy who belongs on the same court as Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien, AJ Price, Kemba Walker, and Jerome Dyson.

  • jmblue

    Let’s just beat PSU first. UConn is more of a freebie – if we lose it’s not that big of a deal, while if we (somehow) win it would be gigantic. PSU, on the other hand, is a must-win.

  • Penn State is an absolute must win. That’s just the way it is. UConn is just about no chance….

  • Giddings

    Regarding teams earning at-large bids with sub-.500 conference records… the one that really stood out to me was Florida State in 1998. Check out this link and scroll down just a bit to the schedule:

    Much like U-M this year, FSU was unranked to start the season, but ended up beating #6 UConn in the semis of the Preseason NIT (before losing to #2 Kansas in the finals). They had one other big win in the non-conference, beating #4(!) Arizona at home. In the ACC, they started OK and then faded down the stretch, losing 7 of their last 9 games en route to a 6-10 conference record (17-13 overall). They also lost in the first round of the ACC Tourney… and somehow still got into the NCAAs (where they beat TCU in the first round before losing in OT to Valpo in the 2nd).

    I bet that if you show FSU’s 1998 profile to people nowadays, they would think there’s absolutely no way that they make it in… but when you really take a close look, their profile looks very, very similar to ours (if we were to go 8-10 or even 7-11).

  • Ky Fox

    I watched the Uconn game tonight and to tell you the truth louisville actually had quite a few open looks. I wouldnt consider louisville to be as much of a shooting team as we are. You all are right though, we have to shoot out of our minds to be in that game. Its been a long time sense Ive ever seen anything like Thabeet. He is fun to watch.

  • Sheryl

    My UConn comments above were more about keeping it respectable whether it be a win or a loss. Anything can happen during these games so I always leave at least a little ray of hope.
    Making it through the PSU game with a win in a game where everything goes smoothly would be very refreshing.

  • If you have a problem with any comments that I delete, e-mail me. Don’t need that here.

  • Sheryl

    Who is that directed to? If me, I think you misunderstood. (the respectable comment? I was talking about keeping the game respectable score wise.)

  • No no, it was about a post I deleted, and then a following post complaining about me deleting a post.

  • Sheryl

    Oh good. :) I didn’t see those.

  • AG2

    I’m still blown away that a team can go 0-8 from 3 point range on the road and still win by 18 points. Then again almost all of their points were in the paint or from the freethrow line. When you’ve got that kind of talent though I guess its not surprising.

  • Sheryl

    FYI-Kramer is having surgery on his nose Wed. per the Indy Star……

    Junior guard Chris Kramer has a deviated nasal septum and a severely depressed nasal bone fracture as a result of being struck by Michigan’s Manny Harris during Purdue’s victory on Saturday.

    Dr. Peter J. Hillsamer, a Lafayette-based otolaryngologist, will repair the nasal bone fracture during surgery Wednesday. A second procedure to repair the septum likely will be performed after the season.

    Kramer will wear a protective mask for the next three weeks but will continue to play.

  • El Capitan

    I had that exact same surgery on my nose when I broke mine in high school, and normally I would feel bad for a guy who won’t be able to breathe through his nose for a week. But Kramer? I have no sympathy. Maybe he should stop literally sticking his nose into other guys’ business.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Wow, I guess Manny’s elbows are made of titanium. I just hope that this whole thing doesn’t cause Manny or even Novak to play hesitantly. They are going to be worried that refs are keying on them, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a less than aggressive performance from him against PSU. Damn all this much ado about nothing.

  • JimC

    Ken that’s exactly what I’m worried about too -them playing hesitantly because they’ve been singled out.

  • AG2

    I’m expecting to see the Big Ten officiate games tighter for the rest of the season. Then again with Jim Burr and Ed Hightower still reffing I don’t know. At least when Michigan plays UConn Saturday they’ll get a break from Big Ten refs.

  • Eric

    I think I have an explanation about the Kramer play. I posted it below, but I’ve copied it here for convenience. The play makes a lot more sense if Manny hit Kramer in the forehead. That would explain how Kramer falls to his left after being hit from the left side. I think Manny hit Kramer in the forehead knocked him backwards and Kramer breaks his nose on the floor from the fall. I think this probably what happened based on the video and pictures of the incident. I do not think that Manny hit him directly on the nose because Kramer probably would have fallen to his right as the elbow came from his left.

  • While I agree that Manny being ejected was a reaction to Novak and Krabbenhoff…….how can you hate on Kramer? What did he do wrong?
    Is it the comments after the game? Kinda like the Michigan football player who said we are Michigan we don’t lose to Penn State!

    Don’t worry……you get us up there with Kramer still wearing the mask and Hummel still with an L5 fracture in his back.

  • Pingback: Handicapping the Big Ten Player of the Year Race | UM

  • Pingback: Jay Bilas on Manny Harris | UM

  • I’m having a problem viewing your site in my browser. Could you please check this. My browser is Opera 7 btw. :)