Roundup: BTN TV schedule, recruiting rankings, more

The Big Ten Network announced its non-conference television games yesterday and several of Michigan’s guarantee games now have a time slot.

We’ve updated our schedule page with Central Arkansas (Dec. 13th at 9 p.m.), Maryland Eastern Shore (Dec. 17th at 3:00 p.m.) and Furman (Dec. 22nd at 7:00 p.m.)

The Wolverines’ early season games against Howard and IUPUI will likely be picked up by an ESPN network as part of the 2K Classic, while a handful of other guarantee games could end of the Big Ten Network’s streaming service.

Recruiting rankings

Several national outlets have been updating their rankings with the summer evaluation period in the books.

ESPN’s updated class of 2017 top-100 features several Michigan commits and targets:

ESPN also updated its 2018 rankings and 2018 offerees Brandon Johns (40) and Cormac Ryan (54) both earned spots in the top-60.

Scout.com also updated its 2017 rankings as well with Poole and Livers slipping just outside of the top-100.

Draft notes

ESPN’s Chad Ford released his first mock draft for 2017 and while there are no Michigan players included, the Wolverines will see plenty of pros on their schedule.

UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball is projected 7th in the draft and Texas freshman Jarrett Allen checks in at 12th. The Wolverines will see both players in the non-conference season while Indiana’s OG Anunoby (17), Thomas Bryant (28) and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges (26) represent the Big Ten.

The Big Ten also has three players on John Gasaway’s top 25 college basketball players list in Thomas Bryant (8), Nigel Hayes (10) and Melo Trimble (22). While the conference only managed three slots total, Duke features three in the top 7 including the top two in Grayson Allen and Harry Giles.

Foul trouble

Ken Pomeroy has been investigating foul trouble and game strategy this offseason and has published an additional piece since his initial one detailing coaching tendencies based on fouls.

The new piece examines how players define foul trouble and how it affects how they play.

Hey, maybe the best coach would train his players to play the same way regardless of their foul count.4 If that was accomplished, then we could focus on the goal of maximizing minutes. But it seems that players will never be able to ignore the reality that once they get a fifth foul, their playing time is permanently reduced to zero for what could be the most exciting parts of the game.

That’s a big incentive to reduce one’s foul rate after getting into foul trouble and become a defensive liability. While I wouldn’t side with the most extreme coaches that refuse to play guys in foul trouble, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that ignoring foul trouble isn’t a viable approach, either.

Weight gains

The offseason is always filled with positive stories from the weight room and this summer is no exception with Jon Sanderson posting workout pics of several Wolverines.

Freshman wing Ibi Watson added 10 pounds since arriving on campus and is up to 191 pounds.

Big man Moritz Wagner also continues to add strength and weight and has improved his squat significantly.

Finally, DJ Wilson can reach 12-foot-3, tying a program record.

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