Wolverines Have Questions to Answer After Loss To Hapless Penn State

Shocked. Frustrated. Confused. Upset. Deflated. These are all words that could describe the feeling of Michigan basketball fans this evening.

In the ultimate trap game scenario, the fourth-ranked Wolverines (23-5, 10-5 B1G) went down to a motivated Penn State team (9-18, 1-14 B1G) in Happy Valley on Senior Night by a score of 84-78. Continue reading “Wolverines Have Questions to Answer After Loss To Hapless Penn State”

Mason Cole, The Michigan Man

And then there were 4.

4 is the number of commits that Michigan stands at now in the 2014 class and that number 4, although a small number, comes in a very large man.  Yes I said man, cause that is what Mason Cole is on the football field.  At 6’4 275, Mason Cole is a plow.  You run behind him and you will have green in front of you. Continue reading “Mason Cole, The Michigan Man”

Game Preview: #4 Michigan Heads to Happy Valley to take on Penn State

The fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 B1G) travel to Penn State (8-18, 0-14 B1G) tonight looking to keep their win streak alive and gain some momentum going into the Big Ten stretch run. Continue reading “Game Preview: #4 Michigan Heads to Happy Valley to take on Penn State”

Opinion: Why Michigan Should Not Redshirt Shane Morris

Note: This is MY take on the Michigan QB situation going forward, not necessarily the opinion of the Bleed Blue Staff. Thanks!

Brady Hoke has managed to put together yet another very strong recruiting class for the Wolverines. One of the gems of the 2013 class was local quarterback Shane Morris out of Warren De La Salle. Continue reading “Opinion: Why Michigan Should Not Redshirt Shane Morris”

Quick Analysis Series: Mason Cole

The rich get richer. University of Michigan has one of the best offensive line classes coming in for the 2013 season, and seems to want to continue that theme for the 2014 class, adding 4 star (and blue chip) recruit, Mason Cole. Continue reading “Quick Analysis Series: Mason Cole”

Will Denard Robinson Have a Successful NFL Career?

We all know what Denard Robinson was able to do while he was at the University of Michigan. Over his four seasons in Ann Arbor, Robinson was one of the most dynamic play makers in the history of college football at the quarterback position. His only flaw was that his passing left a ton to be desired.

Denard won’t be playing quarterback in the NFL, but his raw athleticism and play making ability has NFL scouts drooling over his potential.

Devin Gardner took the reigns at quarterback this season when Robinson went down with an elbow injury. Gardner showed much more promise as a passer that he kept the job, but when Denard came back from injury, Brady Hoke and Al Borges had to find a way to get him on the field. He played running back and wide receiver in some formations and showcased what his future would be in the NFL.

Following the season, Robinson received an invite to the Senior Bowl as a wide receiver and struggled a bit. New to the position, he had a hard time running routes and his elbow injury still seemed to hobble him, dropping many passes. The coaches also put him back returning punts and kickoffs and he was still very much raw there as well.

These things are to be expected from a guy who is used to playing quarterback. Just because you are a natural athlete doesn’t necessarily mean switching positions will come easy.

Over the weekend, Denard Robinson had the chance to showcase his physical attributes at the NFL combine. He ran an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds and showed an improvement in his hands during wide receiver drills.

While he has improved since the Senior Bowl, Robinson needs to improve his catching ability in order to fit in the NFL. As we saw in college, he took a lot of big hits and his durability is a question, so he will not make it in this league as a running back.

Called by Lions GM Martin Mayhew a “Swiss Army knife,” Robinson definitely possesses the pure athleticism that could make him a successful player in the NFL. He is the kind of guy that defenses would have to account for when he steps on the field. Robinson is still a very raw prospect, but I think that he is worth the risk as a 3rd or 4th round pick.

Time will only tell. We still have two months until the Draft. His stock could change a lot from now until then.

Wolverine Legends Tournament Round One: Crisler Region

The final region we will break down is the Crisler Region. Voting is unlimited and will end on 2/30 at midnight. Match-ups can be seen below or at the Legends Tournament page.

(1) Glenn Rice vs. (8) Jimmy King

Glenn Rice is one of the all-time greats in the Michigan basketball program. He is the program’s career leading scorer with 2,442 points in his four years. Rice led the Wolverines to the 1989 National Championship and scored a record 184 points during that run in the NCAA Tournament. He was the fourth overall selection in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Miami heat and won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. Rice’s #41 was retired by the program in 2005.

Jimmy King is another one of the notable alumni of the Michigan Basketball program. The guard out of South Bend, Indiana was a member of the famous Fab Five in the 90’s that went to two straight national title games. He was drafted in the second round by the Toronto Raptors in 1995, but his pro career never really took off, playing only one season in the NBA.

Update: Glenn Rice advances with 93% of the vote!

(2) Bennie Oosterbaan vs. (7) LaMarr Woodley

The younger generation may not be familiar with him, but Bennie Oosterbaan is one of the best athletes in school history. Oosterbaan played football, basketball, and baseball for the Wolverines in his college career from 1925-28. He was an All-American in football, where he played defensive end and wide receiver, and basketball, where he played forward. He was also All-Conference in baseball, winning the Big Ten batting title that same season. Oosterbaan is one of two Wolverines, the other being Anthony Carter, named to the All-American team three straight seasons. After his playing days, he also coached basketball (1938-1946) and football (1948-1958) for the University of Michigan, winning the national title in football in 1948. His resume is one that will never be matched again in Ann Arbor

LaMarr Woodley is one of the best linebackers ever to come out of Ann Arbor. Primarily a defensive end in college, he had 12 sacks in his senior year and won the Lombardi Award in 2006. He was first-team All-Big Ten that same year in addition to being named to the All-American team. Woodley was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft and has been successful in the league. Playing rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense, he has been named to the Pro Bowl once and won the Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2009.

Update: Bennie Ooserbaan advances with 55% of the vote!

(3) Ron Kramer vs. (6) Chad Henne

Ron Kramer was another multiple sport star of the Wolverines. He lettered in football, basketball, and track in his career during the 1950s. Kramer led the Wolverines basketball and football teams in scoring in two of his seasons there. He was a two time All-American in football and his number 87 has been retired by the program. He was the fourth overall selection of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and made a Pro Bowl

Chad Henne was probably the best passer in recent history for the football program. A four year starter, Henne and the combination of running back Mike Hart and receivers Braylon Edwards, Steve Breaston, and Jason Avant were an offensive force to be reckoned with in their years together. In his career, Henne completed 828 of 1,387 passes for 9,715 yards, 87 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions, all five of which are school records. He is second in Big Ten conference history in passing touchdowns.

Update: Chad Henne advances with 58% of the vote!

(4) Charlie Gehringer vs. (5) Jake Long

Charlie Gehringer is one of the all-time greats of the Michigan program. He played basketball and baseball, where he caught the eye of Detroit Tigers outfielder Bobby Veach, who convinced him to come tryout for the team. He ended up playing for the Tigers from 1924-1942 and was a six time All-Star selection at 2nd base. He was the 1937 American League MVP while winning the batting title that same season. His #2 was retired by the organization and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

Jake Long was one of the best blindside protectors in Michigan Football history. Playing on the same teams as Chad Henne and Mike Hart, Long was a formidable presence at the offensive tackle position. He was first-team All-Big Ten in 2006-07 and was the first overall pick of the 2008 Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He is a four time Pro Bowler and made the All-Pro team in 2010.

Update: Jake Long advances with 86% of the vote!

So who comes out of this region? YOU DECIDE! Voting ends 2/30 at midnight and is unlimited. Remember to vote in the Berenson, Schembechler, and Yost regions as well. Second round matchups will be posted Monday, March 4th.

Wolverine Legends Tournament Round One: Yost Region

We took a look at the match-ups over in the Schembechler and Berenson regions, now we move over to Yost. Voting is unlimited and will go until 2/29 at midnight. Take a look at the breakdowns below.

(1) Tom Brady vs. (8) Aaron Ward

Tom Brady seemingly came out of nowhere. Backup to Brian Griese during the 1997 National Championship season, this former Wolverine quarterback rose from seventh on the depth chart his freshman year and ended up battling out with Drew Henson to be the #1 QB in ’98 and ’99. Coming out of college, nobody expected him to be much of anything in the NFL. A sixth round pick by the Patriots, Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and led the Pats all the way to the Super Bowl that year, and the rest is history. He has gone on to become a three time Super Bowl winner and eight time Pro Bowler. Brady has come a long way from his Michigan days and is now one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.

Aaron Ward is one of the more successful players to come out of the Michigan hockey program. The defenseman was drafted fifth overall in 1991 by the Winnipeg Jets and won three Stanley Cups in his 17 year career, two of which came with the hometown Detroit Red Wings. He played in over 600 career games and has represented the program well in his days since then.

Update: Tom Brady advances with 99% of the vote!

(2) Chris Webber vs. (7) Marty Turco

Chris Webber may very well be the best player to play basketball for Michigan. Considered the leader of the Fab Five, Webber and the Wolverines went to two straight national championship games. He was a first-team All-American in 1993 and was selected by the Orlando Magic (then traded to Golden State) with the first pick of the 1993 NBA Draft. The five time NBA All-Star had a successful 15 year career and retired in 2008. Due to the Ed Martin scandal, he was banned from Michigan events until 2013. No word yet to if either side has contacted the other to make amends. Regardless, Webber is a staple in the history of the Wolverine basketball program.

Marty Turco is considered one of the better goalies of his era. The former Wolverine netminder had a very successful career at the University of Michigan. He won two national championships in Ann Arbor and carried that success over to the NHL. He had over 275 career wins and holds the NHL record for shutouts in a playoff series with 3. Known for his signature style of good puckhandling for a goaltender, Turco retired in 2012 and is now an analyst for NHL Network.

Update: Chris Webber advances with 85% of the vote!

(3) Denard Robinson vs. (6) Mike Hart

Denard Robinson is arguably the most electrifying athlete that has ever stepped foot in Ann Arbor. Robinson is the all-time leading quarterback rusher in college football. His speed as a passer was a weapon that few defenses could stop, let alone contain. He has 9 of the 10 highest total yardage games in school history. He was not the greatest of throwers by any means, but every time he touched the ball there was a chance he could go the distance. He was also the ultimate leader and team player. When Brady Hoke and his staff came in 2011, Denard was key to the transition period. His future is uncertain as of now, but there is no denying Robinson was one of the best to take the field.

Michigan is famous for the running backs it has produced over the years, and Mike Hart is among the most accomplished of them. Starting as a true freshman, he set the school record for a first year player with 1455 yards rushing. He finished with 5040 yards, which is a Michigan school record. He had 28 games with at least 100 yards rushing and five with 200 yards or more. His pro career was met with marginal success, but he did go to the Super Bowl with the Colts in 2009. Mike Hart was a great leader destined for success and it seems he has found it, joing the Eastern Michigan football coaching staff after his retirement from the NFL in 2010.

Update: Denard Robinson advances with 65% of the vote!

(4) Drew Henson vs. (5) Jim Harbaugh

Drew Henson may be best known for taking the quarterback reigns from Tom Brady, but he was also a very good baseball player for the Wolverines. Drafted in the third round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, Henson had marginal success at the major league level before announcing his retirement from baseball in 2003. From there, he was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in 2003 by the Dallas Cowboys. He was never really able to seize any opportunities to play consistently in the league and retired after he was cut by the Detroit Lions in 2008. Although his pro careers did not bode well, it takes a special athlete to make it pro in two sports.

Jim Harbaugh may be best known for throwing temper tantrums on the sidelines as an NFL coach, but before then he was one of the more successful quarterbacks in Michigan football history. Playing for Bo Schembechler, he finished his college career in the top five in passing attempts, completions, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdown passes in school history. In his junior year in 1985, he was one of the most efficient passers in the country, leading the Wolverines to one of their best seasons under Bo. He went on to have mixed success in the NFL as a player, but is now coach of the 49ers and is one of the best in the league. Regardless of your opinion of his demeanor, he has represented the University of Michigan well since leaving.

Update: Jim Harbaugh advances with 80% of the vote!

So who comes out of the Yost Region? YOU DECIDE. Voting ends 3/1 at midnight and is unlimited!

Basketball Mailbag: February 21, 2013

I took to Facebook this week to see what questions you guys had about all things Michigan basketball. Without further ado, let’s see what was on your minds this week?

Shaun asks: How does the recruiting class look for next year?

Michigan has a solid class coming in 2013. There are 3 available commitments filled to this point. The Wolverines will be bringing in the heir apparent to Trey Burke next year in point guard Derrick Walton, scoring small forward Zak Irvin, and big man Mark Donnal. Assuming that Trey Burke goes pro like most of us think, Walton will start right away. Irvin’s role on next year’s team will probably be as a sixth man coming off of the bench, a role that could suit him very well being the stat sheet stuffer that he is. Donnal to me is a bit of a project due to his lack of post moves and below average shot blocking. John Beilein has obviously started to bring in very talented players, which is a huge turn for this program. Beilein has put the program back on the map. The next step is building depth and it appears he will be doing that with this class.

Ray asks: What happened to Joe Dumars’ son (Jordan)?

Jordan Dumars left the program in 2011 due to nagging injuries. Dumars never played a game for the Wolverines after transferring from South Florida in 2009-10.

Adam asks: Will Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. go pro?

It’s a little early to tell. If I had to give an answer right now, I’d say no. Until the Penn State game, GR3 disappeared during Michigan’s gauntlet of a stretch in conference play. Not only did he not produce, he hardly even got involved. It was as if he was totally disinterested in being out there. If you look at the stats, GR3 has done virtually nothing on the road. He has great potential and we’ve seen what he can do when he is at his best, but he is not nearly consistent enough. I have not seen him rated very high in mock drafts at this point, and unless the NBA Draft Advisory board gave him a lottery grade, I would suggest he stay in school.

Hardaway is a little different. Physically, he is ready for the NBA. When he is hot, he is one of the best pure shooters in college basketball, but when he is cold, he is HORRID. There is no in-between.  I don’t see him being much more than a role player in the NBA anyways, but right now he would be a second round prospect in my eyes because of his lack of consistency. If I were him, I would stay.

Zach asks: Is there any chance that Trey Burke stays?

Unless he has a total breakdown to end the season, I think Trey Burke is NBA bound. Talent-wise, he is as good a player as he can be in my eyes. The Chris Paul comparisons are a bit much in my eyes, but if he adds a bit more strength and improves his decision making, he will be a very good NBA player. Some people say, “Decision making? Burke doesn’t turn the ball over a lot.” Poor shot selection is the same as a turnover in my eyes. He is famous for his step-back three point shot, but Burke is at his best when he drives to the basket. In that regard, I see a little bit of Tony Parker in his game. If he keeps up on the pace he’s on, there is no question he will be going pro and probably be taken early.

Thank you for your questions and continue to send them in! Go Blue!

Basketball Poll: Which 2013 Prospect Are You Most Excited to See Play?

Now that we have broke down the three commits from the 2013 class, who are you most excited to see play for the Wolverines?