Thursday Notes

Dylan Burkhardt


Michigan will head to Salt Lake City next year to play Utah, last year’s mid-major RPI (13) darling. Utah was 24-9 last year but as a commenter points out, they lose their top four scorers to graduation. Because the game is on the road it will probably be tricky but on the other hand these are the games that can really boost an NCAA tournament resume. A road win is a road win come March and it’s not like Utah is going to be as bad as North Carolina Central. The game is scheduled for December 9th. The future schedule page has been updated.

My questions surround this section of Snyder’s article (emphasis is mine):

Michigan has not yet released its nonconference games, but a few are known, including a Thanksgiving tournament in Orlando. A home game against Connecticut is expected, too, as reciprocation for last year’s trip to Storrs, Conn.

After playing Duke the past two seasons, the Blue Devils are not expected to be on this season’s schedule.

Other dates are still being confirmed, but there are not expected to be many more notable opponents.

The last I heard, UConn was not expected to come to Ann Arbor until the season after this one. I also expected Duke on the schedule but maybe Snyder knows something I don’t. The third paragraph I’m not so sure about either. I expect there to be one more big name opponent on the schedule at least. That coupled with the pre-season tournament is a pretty strong schedule in my book. For review, go look up the RPIs of the teams who played in the Old Spice tournament last year.

Beilein Staying Busy

John Beilein is a busy man. He’s not only leading the NCAA ethics committee but he’ll also serve as a court coach for the USA U19 trials. He will only run the tryouts, not travel overseas with the selected team.

“I am pleased and honored to be selected to assist with USA Basketball this summer,” said Beilein. “I really look forward to this experience with great anticipation. The opportunity to contribute to USA Basketball, work with our game’s finest coaches while teaching and coaching our nation’s top players is a privilege.”

Recruiting Talk

Speaking of USA Basketball, 2011 wing-guard Brandan Kearney will also be involved in USA basketball as he’s trying out for the U17 team. I’m also hearing that Kearney plans to visit Ohio State on May 31st and an offer may be on the way as soon as the middle of June. He also has rescheduled his unofficial visit to Ann Arbor for June 3rd.

ESPN scouts also caught Tim Hardaway Jr. in action last week at the Nike MDC. They liked what they saw, naming Hardaway Jr. one of the weekend’s biggest surprises:

Hardaway, who has obvious basketball bloodlines, displayed high-level ballhandling and passing ability at both guard positions. He is an excellent athlete who uses his quickness and length to his advantage. He showed he is a threat from 3 if the defender backs off. He was very good in transition pushing the ball up the floor and is a great finisher at the rim. He had a good feel for using ball screens and also could create off the dribble. He was able to get into the paint for a midrange jump shot and did a nice job drawing the defense and kicking out to an open teammate. Defensively, he is a smart, fundamentally sound player who understands angles and has above-average lateral quickness. He still has upside and is developing some point guard skills. As his body continues to mature, Hardaway should blossom into an excellent college player.


It’s the summer time so that means that we can throw out all kinds of rankings. ESPN ranked the incoming classes of the Big Ten recently (which I’m sure they will do again this fall) and here are the results.

Most notably, Matt Vogrich was named the sleeper recruit of the Big Ten:

Vogrich (Lake Forest Ill./Lake Forest) has the range that begins as soon as he steps in the gym. The opposition has to constantly account for him as he will knock down jumpers from well beyond 3-point range. His shooting prowess will fit seamlessly with the penetration of Manny Harris, and when on the floor with fellow 3-point marksman Stu Douglass, the Wolverines have two shooters who can space the floor and give DeShawn Sims more room to operate in the paint. Vogrich can also pass the ball very well for a shooting guard and teammates should find themselves on the receiving end of a number of deft Vogrich passes.

ESPN ranked Michigan’s class a ‘B-‘ overall and I have a hard time disagreeing with that ranking. Compared to the other teams in the conference, a ‘B-‘ seems just about right.

And one final shocking piece of news: Memphis (Derrick Rose) cheated (on the SAT) under John Calipari’s watch.

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  • Tom Too

    I am just happy to say that everywhere else, if a story pops up like the Calipari/Rose story, I am not the least bit surprised. I know something like that would NEVER pop up under JB’s watch. In all my years, he is the most ethical man I have ever met.

  • Drew

    Dylan… You said you agreed with Snyder’s last little bit, that there will be more notable opponents. But he said there aren’t expected to be many more notable opponents. I’m guessing you meant you disagree?

  • And I can’t read…

  • Fixed my post… Sorry.

  • Benjamin

    Couple that Calipari news with the Gillispie lawsuit for $6,000,000 and Kentucky is having a real bad week.

    John Beilein’s halo is blinding.

  • Benjamin

    2008 Old Spice Field (RPI from 08-09)
    Gonzaga – 21
    Maryland – 50
    Oklahoma State – 19
    Siena – 17
    Tennessee – 26
    Wichita State – 159
    Michigan State – 4
    Georgetown – 65
    Average – 45

    2009 Field (RPI from 08-09)
    Alabama – 108
    Baylor – 43
    Creighton – 46
    Florida State – 18
    Iona – 216
    Marquette – 30
    Michigan – 40
    Xavier – 14
    Average – 64

    Its going to be a challenge. I am definitely looking forward to this tourney.

  • The thing is… I would argue most of last year’s teams had inflated RPIs when all is said and done. This is mostly because 3 games against good teams on NEUTRAL courts is just huge. No home games vs. Michigan Tech or anything else.

  • JRose5

    It would be interesting to play Baylor and Ekpe. Great job of off-season work Dylan! The recruiting info builds tons of excitement about the upcoming season of UM Basketball. This site is a must read day in and day out, Thanks!

  • UMDC

    Questionable activity happening around John Calipari…. Hmmmm…. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that there’s gambling in Casablanca!

  • GregGoBlue

    ESPN essentially says that Douglass is our “other” 3-point threat. But if you go to MGoBlue statistics, Novak has the exact same amount of 3’s (52) as Douglass on the season. We also have a few other players that can hit the three…

  • It’s ESPN… The author must have watched the UConn game.

    Also it’s a lot harder to cover a team when you look at them from a wide angle. I know from doing the game previews… I’m sure I’ve missed certain aspects of a team… Especially b/c the author is a recruiting guy.

  • Kevin in GR

    Anyone planning on going down for the Old Spice Tournament? I checked today on a package deal. Check this out if you’re interested in going:

  • ScottGoBlue

    Here’s what’s wrong with the NCAA’s punishment system. Under John Calipari, a recruit enrolled at Memphis who had someone else take his SATs for him. That same recruit had a friend who received benefits he should have. Who gets punished? Memphis and … no one else.

    Now, Memphis should get punished. But so should Calipari. And, if at all possible, so should Derrick Rose. I mean, Rose should at least be required to appear in court and pay back his year of scholarship or something. Memphis should forfeit all the games in which he appeared. And John Caplipari should be banned from coaching for 2-4 years.

    I’m not a hater. I just know that when the Ed Martin stuff went down at Michigan, we went through a 10 year death and Steve Fisher moved to San Diego. What kind of sanctions did he get? The coaches need to be held responsible, over and above simply losing their jobs. Because these guys WILL find a job elsewhere. If they are turning a blind eye when they should have been more attentive, they need to man up to their faults.

    And the NCAA needs to incorporate that into their sanctions.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Kevin in GR, thanks for the link. I’m thinking pretty hard about attending. What a great excuse to go back to Disney World.

  • Kevin in GR

    Go back? I’ve never been to Disney World! I checked with that company (Anthony Travel) for a flight out of Grand Rapids. I had a quote of $383. It came out to be about $1000/person for everything (based on 2 people travelling which I didn’t think was too bad). You can either get a pass for all games or a pass for just your team…It’s only like $40 more to get one for all games though.

  • dj

    Hey – how is Devin Oliver or that Payne kid from Ohio doing this summer? With news about Hardaway becoming more interesting, I am wondering what happens to our other wing recruits. Can we now pressure Prather / Zeigler? Having a couple viable backups would put us in strong position.

  • Tom Too

    I doubt if they can be pressured by us….

  • Walt

    ScottGoBlue – agree there needs to be a sanction on dirty coaches. But Fisher would have stayed in AA if were allowed, and he would have chosen to live thru any punishment levied, I think. So he’s not your best example.

    Most of the suffering M did for all that was as a result of poor replacement decisions, not the actual NCAA actions.

    Whats happened to Kelvin Sampson? He’s an asst. coach in the NBA (Milwaukee). Thats maybe a better example. Sampson was banished to the NBA as a form of ‘punishment’.

  • FL Wolve

    I will definitely be at the Old Spice Classic for a few games. That would be cool to meet up with a few of the diehards.

  • Kenny

    ScottBlue, I am with you on that. The coach, in additional to the school that he works for, should be banned from coaching at NCAA.

  • CP

    Dylan, Congratulations on the freelance job with Well deserved: “The company, which previously said it plans to pay a limited number of bloggers for their content, announced a freelance relationship today with Dylan Burkhardt of”

  • CP: That’s uhm,. interesting.

    Thanks for the note… I have not really come to any agreement w/ but I had a conversation with him. That news is a bit surprising to me.

  • For the Record:

    There is no agreement in place between Ann and myself.

  • jmblue

    Walt, I agree with you. The NCAA sanctions (both the ones from 1997 and the ones from 2002) really weren’t what did us. What really destroyed our program was the hiring of Brian Ellerbe, a guy who was absolutely unqualified to be a high D-I coach. He had no control over the program on the court or off. And then Amaker, while better than Ellerbe, just wasn’t the guy to bring us back. If we had hired Beilein in 2001, the past eight years would have been a lot better, sanctions or not.

  • Paul

    Kelvin Grady may not be done at Michigan. He might go on the football team. It could happen. Heres a link.

  • jmblue

    I have been saying this for years. Goss hired him, I wonder why?

  • Jay

    Finally Michigan will travel West..I will be there to support the blue most definitely! A W in Utah will help come March. The Utes always put a quality team on the court, no matter the attrition.

  • Bluebufoon

    All-right boys and girls Blake McLimans played in a charity All-Star game in Buffalo yesterday along with Will Regan who was scheduled to be his teammate– brownie points for anyone who can find a write-up or article on the game. I’ve tried several different searches and I couldn’t find anything. The game is called the Miguel Respress Charity Classic, would be courious do know how McLimans fared in this one ?

    Thks for anyones help.

  • Mitchigan

    I posted two videos below which I haven’t seen before showing off the skill set of Darius Morris. He really looks good, except my only worry is that I’ve heard he has a tendency to make the pretty play rather than the smart one. I’m sure Beilein will let him know quickly that a lot of good plays makes a great player rather than making the fancinating play (i’ve heard Beilein say that before). Great catch though. Go Blue.

  • Tom Too

    I am a tad worried that Morris will cause some minor heart attacks on the sideline next year with his play. Flashy point guards and Beilein do not go hand-in-hand. Ask Grady. There could be some interesting moments next year….early on (in the B10) anyways. JB might be bald by the end of January.

  • WTHef?

    Don’t worry about Darius. I’ve seen highlight videos where he’s making AND1-type of plays but they are always AAU and All-Star type games where players have a little more fun. I saw him play four times this year with his high school team and there was no unnecessary flash in his game. As with any freshman point guard there will be times when he will drive JB – and us – crazy but it won’t be because he’s trying to be flashy.

  • Paul

    Lets not forget that if D. Mo. is not having a good game Stu or Laval will take over at the point.

  • Tom Too

    Both great points….also, I think JB wouldn’t have recruited him so hard if he thought he wasn’t coachable and out-of-control. I thought about this after my posting above….