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July 19, 2013

Big House Bullets: July 19

Big House Bullets

Quote of the Week
Quick-hitting notes, interesting stats, a compelling Tweet: you'll find it all right here, in Big House Bullets. While the weekly feature is still taking shape, I'd love to get your feedback on it. If you have suggestions or read a story that may make an interesting note, please e-mail me at andy.a.reid@gmail.com.
"I am very excited to have this opportunity to coach at the University of Michigan for at least five more years ... My staff and I will continue to work every day with our student-athletes to ensure they grow from this incredible educational opportunity. At the same time, competing for Big Ten championships will be the goal every year."

-- Michigan basketball coach John Beilein on his contract extension through 2018-19.
Notes, News and Views
By the Numbers
  • Devin Gardner=Ryan Tannehill?: Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner turned some heads at the Manning Passing Academy this week. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks left the camp impressed, comparing Gardner to former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who similarly switched from wide receiver to starting quarterback. "After watching him perform in workouts, I believe that fascination will grouw based on his spectacular talents as a passer," Brooks wrote about Gardner. "He displayed superior arm strength in drills, showing the kind of zip and velocity to rival big-armed NFL passes like Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick And he demonstrated outstanding accuracy and ball placement." Read the rest of the article here.
  • Gearing Up: Next week, the preseason officially kicks off with Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, July 24-25. The conference's 12 coaches will be in attendance, along with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and team leaders from every squad. The Michigan contingent of players in attendance will consist of Gardner, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and fifth-year senior safety Thomas Gordon. TheWolverine.com will be on hand to provide all the news from the event. Check here to see the other teams' player lineups.
  • On This Day In Michigan Sports History: On July 19, 2007, the University of Michigan Board Of Regents approved designs for a new indoor football facility - which eventually became the Al Glick Fieldhouse, the Wolverines' beautiful practice home on South State Street.
  • Wolverine Radio On Demand: You can now subscribe to the Wolverine Radio On Demand on iTunes! Just go to the iTunes store, search "Wolverine Radio" and subscribe for free. You can now listen to Balas, J.B., Spath and I talk about Michigan sports on your iPod, in your car or while working out. Technology is awesome, you guys.

42: Days until Michigan football kicks off the 2013 season with a home game vs. Central Michigan. College football is just around the corner.
54.1: With the loss of Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and the senior class, the Wolverines are returning 54.1 percent of their scoring next season.
South Campus Power Rankings
1. Brady Hoke: In a little over a month, Hoke will kick off his third season as Michigan's coach - and almost everyone is predicting a Wolverines-Buckeyes rematch in the Big Ten Championship Game. Will Hoke bring hom his first conference championship?
4. Taylor Lewan: Lewan's decision to return to Ann Arbor for his fifth-year senior season was met with some criticism by national pundits. But now, with the football season just around the corner, Lewan is receiving national praise. Lewan is a consensus preseason All-American, according to the national preview magazines. Lindy's magazine ranks Lewan as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the entire country and considers him the Big Ten's best pass blocker.
2. John Beilein: After taking the Wolverines all the way to the NCAA Tournament National Championship Game, Beilein is riding high. Beilein just extended his contract through the 2018-19 season and earned a raise to over $2 million a year. The future looks bright.
5. The Michigan men's swimming and diving team: The Wolverines scorched through the 2012-13 season, dominating teams all year and finishing the year with a national title. Now, several members of the team - including coach Mike Bottom - are gearing up for a fun summer. Two swimmers, Connor Jaeger and Sean Ryan, and two former swimmers, Tyler Clary and Charlie Houchin, will compete in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Bottom will be on the Team USA coaching staff.
Mitch McGary: McGary has had a great summer, standing out at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Coming back to Ann Arbor for his sophomore season, McGary is ready to become a breakout star. SI.com wrote a feature with him; click here to read it.

Andy's Two Cents
  1. LaVall Jordan: During my time at the Adidas Invitational last weekend, I talked to a ton of Michigan prospects - in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes. Michigan assistant coach LaVall Jordan was on hand, seeing all of them in person. When I spoke with the recruits, nearly all of them talked about their great relationships with Jordan. The fact that Michigan is keeping him after his brief flirtation with the Butler head coaching job is huge. He's a huge part of the Wolverines' recent success, and they're going to continue to benefit from having him around.
  2. UConn Game: I really like how the schedule sets up this season, especially considering Michigan is going to have a young interior offensive line and a couple question marks at various play-making positions. Kicking off the year against Central Michigan - as opposed to, say, Alabama - is big. And having the first away game of the year at UConn is great. The Huskies have big concerns, especially at quarterback, and if if the Wolverines get off to a slow start in an away environment, they will have the opportunity to bounce back. Michigan hasn't been terrific on the road the last two years - 4-5 in true road games - so this game could be a confidence-builder, heading into the Big Ten slate.

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