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Golden Nugz for 12-16-08

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(GN doing the lede here and PJS with the bullet points below)

I'm really not sure where this came from but MGO Blog's Brian made a couple of preposterous statements comparing Brewster and Mason's recruiting classes.  If you take an honest look at Brewster's brief tenure as the Gopher's head coach there is absolutely no comparison and I'm really not sure what his point was in these few paragraphs.

Michigan's recent acquisition of Taylor Lewan caused me to check back in with Minnesota's recruiting class. Tim Brewster was hired primarily because he was a swanky recruiter at Texas, after all, and had a surprisingly excellent first class, though the star of that class failed to qualify. This year… eh:

  • two four-stars, one of them a JUCO,
  • twelve three-stars,
  • two kids lower than that, and
  • a kicker.

Brewster has locked down Minnesota, I guess, but other than Bryce McNeal there are no four-stars in the state. Is this better than your average Glen Mason class? Not really. To be fair, the class that suffers after a dismal season is usually the one a year behind, and Minnesota was a disaster zone in 2007; if Brewster bounces back there may be hope for him yet.

The statement that jumps out and is the easiest to refute is, " Is this better than your average Glen Mason class? Not really." Rivals' data goes back to 2002 which gives us Mason's final five classes (2007 was a mix of Mason and Brewster).  Over that span this was Mason's average classes...

4 Star 3 Star 2 Star
Mason        0.60        8.40      14.20

Looking at that it makes you wonder how we ever made a bowl, maybe Mason had this coaching thing figured out.  Seriously, he averaged nearly 15 two-stars and a four-star every other year.  Anyway, since Brewster currently has two  four-star kids and 13 three-star kids, this is already better than the average Mason class by a long shot and equals his best class.  And this is December 16th, there will be more commits to come.

4 Star 3 Star 2 Star
2009             2           13             2 Brewster
2008             7           17             5 Brewster
2007             1             9           12 mixed class Brewster / Mason
2006           -               9           11 Mason
2005             1           10             9 Mason
2004           -               6           16 Mason
2003             2           14           11 Mason - his best class, Maroney, Brinkhouse, Wheelright
2002           -               3           24 Mason

Mason        0.60        8.40      14.20
Brewster          4.5        15.0          3.5

The stark contrast is the number of three-star players.  Mason loved his two stars and Brewster is going to make his living with threes.

That comparison was easy but there is more that is bothersome here.  The other low hanging fruit is the knock on the 2008 class for failing to qualify MarQueis Gray.  Even without Gray there is no question this class was outstanding, but Brian fails to recognize (maybe he didn't know) that Gray has qualified and will be on campus starting in January.

Finally the scoff that locking down the Minnesota borders isn't that big of a deal because "other than Bryce McNeal there are no four-stars in the state."  It is true that Minnesota rarely sees a more than an occasional four-star or a rare five-star, and nobody is claiming you can build a program solely with Minnesota kids. But Wisconsin, Iowa, Notre Dame and Nebraska have been plucking starters from our borders for the entire Mason era (don't forget the Big Ten Defensive player of the year at Ohio State).  Locking down the borders is vital.  There is no doubt that Michael Floyd, James Laurinaitis, Nate Swift, Lyndon Murtha or David Gilreath would have made huge difference on this current Gopher squad.  Locking down the borders is vital to this program building any sustained success.

Again, I'm not really sure what Brian's point was and to be fair I don't expect him to have firm grasp on the history Gopher recruiting and in depth knowledge of the current class.  But I would expect more than looking down his nose at our two four-stars and 13, three-stars as not being up to the standards of a "Michigan Man".  But it is entirely inaccurate to assume or imply that Brewster is overrated as a recruiter because this class is not the top 20 class it was a year ago.

By Brian's logic are the Michigan faithful going to be OK with Michigan's 2010 class being a bit down?  Because, "To be fair, the class that suffers after a dismal season is usually the one a year behind."

  • A blog called Unwatchable College Games lists the Insight Bowl (formerly the Copper Bowl, who knew?) as one of 10 bowl games to avoid. From the blogger: "The game takes place on New Year’s Eve at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe to give Arizona State students something to do while drinking themselves silly. "
  • As From the Barn noted, the Gophers men's basketball team received two votes this week in the AP poll. I didn't double-check this and am going to trust FTB. Let's hope we pull the upset in Arizona this weekend against Louisville so the votes in our favor increase.
  • Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo tips his cap to his former college coach, Tubby Smith, in this USA Today article. I have to say this rings true.
    "Rondo is averaging 10.3 points and career highs in assists (7.3, eighth in the NBA), rebounds (4.8) and steals (2.3, third), making the most of his quickness and length. He credits college coach Tubby Smith, now at Minnesota, for teaching him to play with "a sense of urgency" on defense, a mind-set that has served Rondo well for getting into the passing lanes and starting the break."
  • It was posted yesterday morning that you could watch live Brewster, Mangino and some Insight corporate peeps ringing the opening bell of the NASDAQ.  Here are some pictures from the event.