MLB DFS Breakdown: Sept 17

Pitcher Spotlight- Marco Gonzalez, Seattle Mariners

Marco Gonzalez will be a popular play at his low cost of $6.3K.  There are multiple factors for that.  His low cost will allow you to pay up for secondary pitching options or collect the top bats on the slate.  

Gonzalez’s matchup is a juicy one in Pittsburgh versus a Pirates lineup that will not have two of its key hitters in Starling Marte and Josh Bell. Without the key cogs in the middle of the order completely changes the look of the Pittsburgh lineup.  Placing Erik Gonzalez and Melky Cabrera in their places.  Marco is a cost play versus a watered-down lineup, but his upside is ideal in this situation.

Top Stacks- Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians

Focus: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks will be an under owned potential stack.  The matchup with Caleb Smith is a solid one for the righties.  Smith has given up a .250 ISO versus righties on the season as well as over a +1.30 road ERA.  The focus of the lineup build should be the affordable pieces Christian Walker and Adam Jones at just $3.6K. Add on the perspective power/speed of Ketel Marte at $5.2K and you have a solid mini stack.  

Focus: Cleveland Indians

Cleveland will matchup with Spencer Turnbull but seems to be priced as if they are matching up with a stronger starter.  Mathew Boyd was the original starter for Detroit, DraftKings did not seem to price the change correctly. Getting Franmil Reyes and Roberto Perez for a combined $7.K are bargains if that allow you to complete the three-man stack along with the high-priced Francisco Lindor. 

Sneaky Stack: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have a chance to break the slate against Chandler Shepherd, former Red Sox farm hand that spent his 2019 getting blistered in AAA.  Shepherd has an 8.55xFIP before being cast to Baltimore.  The Toronto hitters are all affordable outside of Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Combining the power potential of Vlad Jr. and Randall Grichuck seems like the most ideal point per dollar plays. 

P: Marco Gonzalez, Seattle Mariners, $6,300

P: Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs, $11,200

C: Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians, $3,600

1B: Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,600

2B: Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks, $5,200

3B: Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, $3,900

SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, $4,800

OF: Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Indians, $3,500

OF: Adam Jones, Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,600

OF: Randall Grichuck, Toronto Blue Jays, $4,300

NCAAF Picks ATS Week 3

Ohio State Buckeyes -17.5 at Indiana Hoosiers Total 60

The Buckeyes trampled the Cincinnati Bearcats last week 42-0. Justin Fields and company rolled through a Bearcat’s squad that was able to out muscle the UCLA offense the week before. Ohio State’s offense will always make the headlines while their defense got little recognition for pitching a shutout.  

In come the Indiana Hoosiers who had a scare versus Ball State (34-24) in week one and followed it up with a dismantling of Eastern Illinois (52-0).  It has been a complete team effort with two quarterbacks combining for five touchdowns and to five different receivers.  Their rushing attack is led by Stevie Scott’s 109 yards over the first two games.  

Ohio State has a 24-0-1 record against Indiana over their last 25 meetings.  They have also went 5-1 in their last six road games in September. 17.5 seems like a large number of the road against a Big Ten team but I see Indiana having trouble moving the ball against the stout Ohio State defense.  

Pick: Ohio State -17.5, Under 60

USC Trojans -4.5 at BYU Cougars, Total 55.5

USC is entering this game fresh off a beatdown of Stanford, (45-20) putting them in the top 25.  Freshman Kedon Slovis came out of nowhere to lead an offensive explosion.  USC has a clear advantage in talent all over the field including a very young and talented defense, the Trojans top eight tacklers are all underclassman.  While the inexperience hurt them last year, it is paying off early in 2019.  

While USC has the talent, BYU is coming off of an inspiring victory of their own against Tennessee.  The Cougars faced two power five schools in their first two games, holding both Tennesee and Utah to just 30% conversions on third down.  BYU has the ability to deflate the freshman QB who will be facing his first road test. This smells like a trap for USC.

Pick: BYU +4.5

Stanford Cardinal at UCF Knights -9.5 

Stanford just blew a 17-3 lead versus a freshman quarterback in a division game.  They now get to face a UCF team that seems to have a never-ending chip on their shoulder. Stanford is limping on the offensive end and they will need every bit of it against UCF.  Stanford QB Davis Mills has only thrown for 318 total yards over their first two games, if they fall down early, they don’t have the offense to overcome.  

The Cardinal are giving up 351 yards per game over their first two as well as 7 touchdowns.  Those two teams don’t bring the same fire power as the Knights.  UCF should win this by two touchdowns.

Pick: UCF -9.5

Oklahoma Sooners -23.5 at UCLA Bruins

UCLA can’t score, even in a Chip Kelly system.  Oklahoma scores like they are playing intramural flag football with no refs.  Jalen Hurts and Lincoln Riley seem to have a great repartee in this offense which could lead to bigger things for Hurts in the long run. UCLA has name recognition and that’s about it right now.  This game is to easy, not much more analyses needed. 

Sooners roll by four touchdowns

Pick: Oklahoma -23.5

Other Picks:

Florida/Kentucky Under 47.5

Colorado State +10

Maryland -7 

NCAA Football Week Two Picks ATS

Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio State Buckeyes -16.5, Total: 55.5

I am one of the many that stopped watching the Buckeyes opening contest against Florida Atlantic after they jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead.  The cover seemed like a forgone conclusion, unfortunately for Ohio State backers the Buckeyes were not able to hold the cover putting a stop to the offense

Justin Fields looked like the real deal accounting for five touchdowns in his first start, he will have a stiffer challenge coming versus a Cincinnati frontline that made life miserable for UCLA.  Former Ohio State player, now Head Coach of Cincinnati Luke Fickell will have a veteran team that will not be intimidated by the name on the jersey.  Fickell has a tough defense that will be able to stop the run early and make a game of it.  

16.5 seems like the right gap due to the immense level of talent on Ohio State but the Bearcats bring a stout defense as well as a sharp veteran passer in Desmond Ridder.  This game will be a dog fight early, but Ohio States overall talent will win out.  I like Cincinnati to cover by my favorite play is the under. 

 Under 55.5, Cincinnati +16.5

Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins -2, Total: 57.5

Syracuse’s offense seemed out of sync against the lowly Liberty Flames.  Putting up just 24 points against the Flames defense.  Syracuse’s new starting quarterback Tommy DeVito struggle on the road. He didn’t hit half of his passes, couldn’t do much down the field, and ended up throwing two picks. Syracuse will have a tough challenge against the stout Maryland defensive front. Maryland is coming off of domination of Howard winning 79-0 in week one while racking up eight sacks. 

Maryland will be able to keep the Syracuse defensive front at bay with their rushing attack.  The Terps were dominate on the ground with 317 rushing yards.  This game will be a struggle to find out which offense can find its flow first.  With Maryland at home and the early struggles of DeVito Syracuse can be in for a tough game. 

Pick: Maryland -2, Under 57.5

West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers, -14, Total: 62.5

The Missouri Tigers shockingly took a loss as 17-point favorites against Wyoming.  Mizzou couldn’t hold onto the ball in their defeat with three fumbles, losing two of them.  

The Tigers defense was also a huge problem giving up over 297 yards on the ground. 

The Tigers were still solid on offense with Kelly Bryant throwing for over 400 yards and two touchdowns. Mizzou was the dark horse to win the SEC East but now will have to go back to the drawing board.  A matchup with the rebuilding West Virginia Moutaineers at home should be just what the doctor ordered.  West Virginia is coming off of a narrow victory versus respectable FCS James Madison.  Mizzou should be able to run their offense efficiently against the Mountaineers defense.  Look for the Tigers to jump out to a lead early and then step on the neck of their Big 12 foe.  

Pick: Mizzou -14, Over 62.5

Nebraska Cornhuskers -4 at Colorado Buffaloes, Total: 64.5

This line has made an interesting move.  Opening at -7 in favor of the Cornhuskers has moved all the way down to -4.  This is most likely due to the subpar performance from Nebraska in week one versus South Alabama.  There is a reason that teams schedule a lower level team early in the season, they can work out the kinks in the offense.  The Nebraska defense took a nice step forward as the game went on causing five turnovers and sacking the QB four times.  

Colorado was impressive against the powerful offense of Colorado State in week one, with a 21-point victory. First year head coach Mel Tucker was quick to point out the flaws from the Colorado defense though as they gave up 505 total yards along with 27 first downs.  The Buff’s will have a step up in competition versus Nebraska.  Scott Frost’s offense will find a way to turn it around in this matchup.  With the line continuing to fall you can get the Cornhuskers at a value.  

Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers -4, WAY OVER

MLB DFS August 9 Attack Edwin

Pitcher Spotlight- Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Darvish in a pitcher friendly ballpark at one point would have been a scary concept.  This Yu Darvish has turned his season around, putting up twenty points in 4 of 5 of his last five games.  His most recent start against Cincinnati Darvish went six innings, struck out seven, giving up just two hits.  

The Reds have a watered-down lineup after moving Yasiel Puig and Scooter Gennett.  They have officially entered into a rebuild mood around their pitching.  Sporting a top three rotation that can be one of the tops in the league entering 2020 is not going to help their offense.  They sport a 23.5% strikeout rate over their last 10 games.  Darvish has a great matchup and his cost is just outside of the top on the slate leaving you wiggle room for upper level hitters. 

Potential Stacks- Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros

It’s hard to ignore the Kansas City Royals.  They have multiple low-priced power options that can help you fill up your lineups.  They get a matchup with the infamous Edwin Jackson. Jackson enters this matchup giving up a little over three homers per game during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon are all plays that make sense for a middle of the order stack.  Keeping my eye on Ryan O’Hearn at just 2.8K can be a great value for someone trying to play Walker Buehler.  

It’s simple, Edwin Jackson is a powderkeg and the low cost of the Kansas City Bats makes a lot of sense. 

Potential one off plays-

Justin Upton- Los Angeles Angels

Most will look to Mike Trout in the Angels matchup with Brian Johnson.  I would prefer the cost of Justin Upton who will most likely be batting cleanup holds a career .365 wOBA against lefties. Johnson only strikes out 16% of batters.  Upton at 3.8K is a value with monstorous upside. 

Xander Bogaerts- Boston Red Sox

Bogaerts is not cheap so this as a one off has to be well planned out.  Angels starter Jaime Barria gives up a lot of hard contact, 43.4% to right handed hitters.  Xander excels at home with a .680 slugging percentage in Fenway.

Aaron Judge- New York Yankees

Aaron Judge is way to cheap. He’s struggling right now but with his potential power against Sean Reid-Foley, worth the shot.

P: Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs, $9,200

P: Drew Smyly, Philadelphia Phillies, $5,800

C: Kyle Higashioka, New York Yankees, $3,500

1B: Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros, $5,000

2B: Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals, $4,500

3B: Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals, $4,400

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, $5,000

OF: Jorge Solar, Kansas City Royals, $4,600

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $4,200

OF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals, $3,800

Five Most Disappointing Players of 2019- MLB

Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics

It was only a season ago when Khris Davis finished 8thin the AL MVP voting.  Mashing 48 homers Davis became the power bat in an emerging lineup.  The cog in a machine of a soon to be great offense in Oakland.  The specious Coliseum was no match for his raw power. The Athletics were so inspired by his season that they signed him to a two-year extension worth over $33 million. When they did this, I openly tweeted that Oakland just got a steal.  A young player that has been averaging 40 homers for multiple years for a discount as well as not having to go through the trouble of dealing with the problem of free agency.

The Athletics have overcome a slow start despite Davis’s slash line of .224/.290/.390.  Davis has been a complete disaster with a wRC+ 50 points behind his career average. The Athletics have been lucky to have Ramon Laureano become an offensive force.

Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays were not coming into this year looking to contend. Aaron Sanchez was supposed to be a player they could look upon to bring back some valuable pieces to help the rebuild along with their already existing young core.  Sanchez came out of the gates looking like a guy that would be moved to a contender in no time, starting out the year with a 3-1 record with a 20.6% strikeout rate, 15.3% walk rate, 2.32 ERA, 5.45 SIERA, and 0.3 fWAR in 31 innings. Then the wheels fell off Sanchez. Sanchez currently leads the league with 14 losses while sporting a 5.09 xFIP.  

Sanchez went from potential trade chip to a potential DFA in less than two months.  

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

Thor was supposed to help the Mets compete for an NL East crown in 2019, but that’s not the season Noah Syndergaard of the Mets have gotten.  Not to say Syndergaard has been terrible but a 4.33 ERA was not what the Mets were looking for.  They wanted to see steps in the right direction similarly to Jacob DeGrom. That has not been the case for Syndergaard.  Statistics are similar but the biggest problem for him has been batting average against with runners in scoring position. His xFIP has went up by an entire run in the 2019 season.  

Syndergaard has now been forced to deal with the rumors that he is available in trade scenarios.  The distraction has been a problem for the team along with the lack of direction for the team.

Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies were everyone’s darling team last season.  Kyle Freeland was the leader of a pitching staff that stepped up to make them a legitimate contender.  Freeland entered the season looking to repeat his dominance, that is not how the season has gone.  Freeland, 26, has found himself in the midst of a major regression 2-6 with a 7.13 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 12 starts before being farmed out.

The minors haven’t seemed to help Freeland find what he was missing as the second half hasn’t changed much. With Freeland’s decline the Rockies have declined falling further out of contention as the summer goes on. Freeland’s most baffling number is the power he has given up.  Last year he posted an impressive .76 homeruns per nine.  That number has ballooned to a 2.09.  In a place like Colorado there is no wiggle room for mistakes and Freeland has been making a lot of them.  The Rockies are still within striking distance of a Wild Card Spot, they will need Freeland to step up and be some form of his 2018 self.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals believed that they had the perfect combination at the top of their lineup with Matt Carpenter, coming off of a career season in 2018, followed by newly acquired 

Paul Goldschmidt.  The plan was to have them bat one and two in front of power bat Marcel Ozuna.  Carpenter has looked lost at the plate for the entire season, his total WRC+ has dropped from a 138 in 2018 to an 86 in 2019.  His on-base percentage is down 50 points compared to last season.  Carpenter’s struggles attributed to the slow start of the Cardinals offense. 

Injuries have played a role in Carpenter’s struggles, but an overall lack of confidence seems to be the most telling signs.  His swing and miss rate has gone up as well as his pitch recognition.  The Cardinals have found a way to play through his struggles and still compete but a return to form of their 2018 MVP candidate would be huge for the stretch run.  It is not looking likely though as Carpenter’s most recent numbers in the minors have not shown that he is major league ready.  The Cardinal need his production to be a legit contender. 

July 26 MLB Draftkings Lineup

P: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks, $10,500

Probably the most obvious pick on the slate.  Most likely will be the highest owned pitcher.  Facing the Marlins in Miami, a pitcher friendly park.  Greinke has hit double digits in fantasy in each of his last 5 games.  The Marlins don’t hit righties well, plain and simple. 

P: Daniel Mengden, Oakland Athletics, $6,200

The middle tier of pitching is a toss-up, so I am going to go with the player with the highest potential upside.  The Rangers are the highest per game strikeout team in all of baseball, averaging over ten strikeouts per game.  In 55 career at-bats against Mengden the Texas lineup has a 25%K-Rate and just a .233 WOBA.

C: Martin Maldonado, Chicago Cubs, $2,800

You have to have a punt play every now and then.  Maldonado versus a lefty in a hitter friendly ballpark makes a lot of sense.

1B: Luke Voit, New York Yankees, $4,800

Yankees stack.  Keep it simple. Voit is five for seven in his career versus Andrew Cashner.  Unless he is out of the lineup, he is a must play.

2B: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees, $4,900 

Yankees stack. This play is based solely on Torres’s ownership of Andrew Cashner. In his short career Gleyber is six of thirteen with two bombs.

3B: Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays, $2,700

One of my two low cost plays of the slate.  Wendle is coming off of his best game of the season since returning from injury. Wendle brings some speed and potential power from a lineup that may be a sneaky stack tonight. His cost is the main reason for this play.

SS: Jonathon Villar, Baltimore Orioles, $4,000

Jonathon Villar is building off of a huge 38-point night.  Villar gets a matchup with late notice starter Nick Tropeano. Villar brings both pop and speed to your potential lineup in a good spot versus a sub-par starter.

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $5,500

Yankees Stack. If you are trying to stack one team you need someone towards the top of the order. Judge at a steep price is my pick. Always a home run threat. 

OF: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $4,500

JD hits lefties.  I can list all of the stats, but I will only include the simple ones.  .412 ISO versus lefties.  He faces James Paxton; he is a lefty.  End of story.

OF: Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals, $4,200

Soler is a reverse split player.  Higher ISO, Average and Slug facing righties. Zac Plesac gives up power to righties.  I wouldn’t look to stack the Royals but a one off with power like Soler makes a lot of sense at a very affordable price.

Potential Stacks:

New York Yankees

Tampa Bay Rays

Keep an eye on:

Atlanta Braves

Three Ideas to Fix the Cardinals Offense

The St. Louis Cardinals are not likely to go out and make a big splash in the trade market.  The need for more offense will have to come from within. The obvious answers to fixing the offense will be Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter returning to their career norms. Eventually you would assume they will improve but what else can the Cardinals do to improve the offense right now? 

Call up Tyler O’Neill and Play Him

Tyler O’Neill has strikeout issues.  It’s been talked about for what seems like years.  What O’Neill brings to the table is instant offense.  557 career minor league games O’Neill has 137 bombs as well as a .556 slugging percentage. The Cardinals rank bottom five in Isolated Power and Slugging Percentage behind teams like the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays. 

The Cardinals outfield have (or had) one guaranteed spot taken with Marcell Ozuna playing closer to the All-Star form of 2017.  Dexter Fowler and Jose Martinez have had moments where each have shown that they are capable taking over right field long-term, but those moments are becoming rare.  Harrison Bader’s defense has been the only thing keeping him in the lineup his .208/.324/.384 numbers can’t be hidden behind his defense. 

O’Neill has to be given a chance to play every day for at least a few weeks, if he can’t supply the offense that is needed the worst thing that happen is adding another strikeout to a lineup that is already proficient in that category.  Jose Martinez would provide more value late in pinch hitting situations and Dexter Fowler can split time with Bader depending on the matchup up. 

Kolten Wong can’t play against lefties, especially at home.

Kolten Wong has always been a player I thought was going to break out.  In April Wong looked like this was the season he was going to live up to the expectations. Quickly Wong has come back down to earth.  Wong has been incredibly miserable at the plate in St. Louis, sporting a .198 batting average to go along with a wRC+ of 48.  Wong’s defense has been elite but with the offense struggling the way it is something has to change.  Matt Carpenter has been sitting recently but that has not made changes to the offense, the next likely candidate to hit the bench would be Kolten Wong.

Tommy Edman and Yairo Munoz would be the likely candidates to step in for Kolten.  Edman jumped onto the scene getting 8 hits in 24 at bats to begin his career mixing in a homer and two stolen bases. Munoz has dealt with some injuries to start the season which has limited his usage to start the season. In 2018 though Munoz surprised me with a .350 OBP, the usually prevalent free swinger was able to get on base more often than Wong while also providing more power in the middle or end of the lineup.  

Yadi needs to be seventh and no higher.

St. Louis fans love of Yadier Molina has blinded them to his offensive inefficiencies.  Yadier Molina is sporting an .662 OPS while still being put into the middle of the order on most nights.  Regression is going to happen as players get older, Yadi was fighting the endless battle against time for the last few years and coming out on top. His age coupled with a thumb injury that sidelined him for a few weeks have begun to hamper the future hall of famer. While his presence in the lineup is still crucial from a leadership standpoint, the Cardinals front office has to look past the aura of career greatness and focus on the facts.  Molina is not hitting.  He has not hit for most of the season.  Continuing to put him in the middle of the lineup is a mistake that is easily correctable by the simple use of a pencil and an eraser.  Yadier Molins is a seven-hole hitter until he gives a reason not to be.    

Batting Molina 7thleaves you with ability to have Bader or Wong batting in the 8th hole in a bunt situation leading off an inning. Yadi’s thumb may heal and he gets back to the solid major league hitter we have seen over the last 5 seasons, for now he has to be moved.  

May 24 MLB Draftkings Lineup

SP: Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, $10,100

Thor is facing the Detroit Tigers who basically strikeout as if it was their personal hitting approach.  While he has had a few clunkers this season its hard not to think Syndergaard isn’t looking at ten strikeouts tonight

SP: Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Cardinals, $7,300

Multiple stud pitchers going on the slate tonight you have to find someone to pair with them.  Mikolas is coming off of his worst start of the year but at 7.3K he has the highest upside of the low to mid-tier plays.  Worth a dart throw.

C: Yan Gomes, Washington Nationals, $3,200

Gomes is cheap but brings double digit DK points in 2 of 3.  Catcher is a tough position go with the veteran that is swinging well.

1B: Pete Alonso, New York Mets, $5,300

The Mets are another stackable team tonight going against Tigers prospect Gregory Soto.  Soto has stunk in his first three career starts. There is no other way to sugar coat it.  Alonso will have opportunity with men on to do damage, most likely homers tonight.

2B: Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox, $5,000

Four homers in 29 at-bats on the season versus lefties makes Chavis a nice play.  Chavis has been at the top of the Boston order over the last few games which also gives him value with more plate appearances. While I like Wade Miley I can see him as a potential fade at hitter friendly Minute Maid Park.

3B: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,200

Matt Carpenter has had a few slow starts in his career but I think it’s finally time for a breakout. Matching up with Mike Foltynewicz who gives up a .270 ISO against lefties this season.  Carpenter has had some bad luck this season with his hard hit percentage being high yet his BABIP has not. 

SS: Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics $4,000

Semien matchups up with with Leblanc’s favorite pitch, the changeup.  Semien has an iso of .250 for the season against that pitch.  Look for Semien to use his sneaky power to drive the ball for multiple extra base hits tonight.

OF: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates $4,000

Marte is coming off of his best game of the 2019 season. Surprisingly Marte has also been hitting righties much better then lefties so a matchup with the tough Walker Buehler can scare a lot people off of him but with his great value and huge upside he is a perfect fit for your lineup.

OF: Steven Piscotty, Oakland Athletics, $3,700

Piscotty has a .441 wOBA versus lefties this season.  They face struggling Wade Leblanc.  He only costs 3.7K.  Any other questions?

OF: Steve Pearce, Boston Red Sox, $3,000

He should really be named chalky chalkerson for tonights game.  His career against lefties going along with his extremely low price will make him a most start in your lineup to save room for some pitching studs.

The right choice for Michigan

The legacy of the Fab Five lives on in college basketball history.  Any time there is a vaunted recruiting class they are compared to the greatness of the 1991 Michigan rookie class.  Three notable future NBA players Jalen Rose, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard highlighted a group that was able to reach two national championship games. Despite not winning either their impact on the game and their style of play was a look into the future of college basketball.

The Fab Five’s greatness was tarnished after leaving Michigan, allegations of paying players forced the university to take down banners that were earned from the sweat and hard work of 19-year-olds.  Whether or not you find the allegations right or wrong in the landscape of college basketball, I will never agree with a university ultimately punishing is student athletes by trying to take away the history they built in their time there. 

Michigan basketball has quietly been one of the most consistent programs in college hoops, since 2013 they have been in the national title game twice, reaching the sweet sixteen twice and the elite eight twice.  Only in 2015 did Michigan not make the NCAA tournament.  Add in one Big10 regular season title and two tournament title and you can see why the loss of longtime coach John Beilein was a punch in the gut to the program.  The loss of Beilein accompanied by the loss of last season top three scorers, Ignas Brazdeikis, Charles Mathews and Jordan Poole, all have announced they’ll being entering the draft and signing with agents temporarily left Michigan with a lot of questions heading into next season.  But with the quick acquisition of Howard as Head Coach things are looking positive for the future of the program.

Howard will have a tough test in his first season.  Returning team leaders Zavier Simpson, Jr., Guard and Jon Teske, Jr., Center will be the cornerstones of the rebuilding process.  While Howard brings a lot of name recognition and NBA star endorsements he is still going to be starting from behind in recruiting.  While eventually this will be a projected strength Howard has spent all of his coaching career within the NBA ranks and will most likely have to rely on his staff for current recruiting efforts.  Still based on the recent success of NBA stars to college coaches the turnaround of talent in the program shouldn’t be a multi-year problem. 

I believe that Juwan Howard will be a great college coach but most importantly Michigan made a choice that is great for the school and allows the alumni to remember a great time in their sports history.  Jalen Rose recently spoke about the hiring of Howard squashing the beef between the Fab Five and the university.  With Rose on board and Howard at the helm the next step will be to bring back Chris Webber and finally end this unfortunate saga.

Kudos to Michigan on getting a great coaching and reigniting a legacy that shouldn’t have been forgotten.