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Monday Brew

1.    Manny Re-Opens Recruiting
2.    Michigan State Wins The NCAA Hockey Championship
3.    More Beilein!
4.    Michigan Nabs a Big Dude
5.    Traylor Parked In Spain, Possibly Prison

What a Difference a Weekend Makes: Less than 48 hours from King Udoh's edict that Harris would attend Michigan in the fall, Harris told the Detroit News:

"I'm opening up my recruiting," Harris said. "I'm not looking at one or any school in particular. Michigan is still a school I'm looking at."

The Detroit News story is somewhat bittersweet. Prior to Harris' quote, there is a lengthy discussion about the meeting that occurred between Legion, his mom, and Beilein. The meeting appeared to go positively and Legion was scheduled to meet with Beilein again on Monday, presumably to tell him what his intentions were. Harris' decision to re-open his recruiting probably couldn't have come at a worse time. Legion re-committed to Michigan after Harris announced his commitment. While the two are quite different, in some way they are a package. Get one, likely get the other. Lose one, likely lose them both.

Regardless of whether Legion or Harris decide to honor their commitments to Michigan, this spring will have to go down as one of the oddest, non-booster related off-seasons in decades.

NCAA Hockey Hates Michigan: Exhibit A, Michigan State wins the National Hockey Championship. Dammit. Even so, it's hard to get too angry about it when I know Michigan would've found a way to lose had the bracket placements been reversed. Based on our goaltenders being unable to stop a group of four year-olds lobbing beach balls at the net, we probably would've exited early there too. MSU had what Michigan's been trying to find all year: A hot goaltender.


Making Sauer Wet His Pants All Year

Congratulations to MSU on their title. Nothing made me happier this weekend that watching Barry Melrose sit there quietly subdued after hand jobbing BC and BC defenseman Brian Boyle for two solid weeks. A tip o' the cap to the Spartans. Job well done.

Beilein? Beilein! More fun stuff on the Coach from Scout.

Awesome nugget:

"They rely on fast break basketball and really push it up hard. If it's not there, they shoot three's and spread the court," McCormick said. "It's much more of an international style of play that you saw in the Olympics. Pass, cut, good ball skills, big men need to be versatile and shoot the perimeter and post up. It's a very fresh style of basketball and I think recruits will love it."

Yes, Virginia, Football Does Exist During Basketball Time: Amidst all the basketball related nonsense, the Free Press has an interesting article on gigantic Michigan offensive lineman-to-be, 6-foot-8, 295-pound Dann O'Neill from Grand Haven.

Traylor Playing in Spain While Awaiting Sentencing For Aid in Drug Ring: If you ever met Robert Traylor you'd probably come away with the same impression I did. He was a gigantic man, fairly pleasant, and probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I met Traylor only in passing a Michigan, but that impression stuck with me as I watched his fuchsia suburban roll past me on Packard or State Street from time to time. It had to be the ugliest thing I've ever seen. Fuchsia, about two inches off the ground, a boomerang antenna off the back, and a stereo with bass so heavy it'd make your lungs vibrate in your chest from a mile away.

Everyone who saw it joked that it was "his aunt's." More like his "Uncle Eddie's."

Traylor was one of four former Michigan players, including Mo Taylor, Louis Bullock and Chris Webber, who took an estimated $616,000 in cash and gifts from dirtbag booster Ed Martin. While Taylor and Bullock have gratefully disappeared, Webber and Traylor remained the Michigan reputation stains in the NBA. Now it's just Webber.

According to the Detroit News and a fine article by Fred Girard, in January of this year Traylor pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in the preparation of a false tax return in connection with a massive sting on one of largest drug dealers in the state of Michigan. Sadly, that person was Traylor's cousin, Quasand Daniell Lewis.

Traylor helped Lewis launder nearly $4 million in drug money by purchasing real estate on Lewis' behalf. For some unfathomable reason, not only did Traylor purchase apartment buildings for Lewis, Traylor (on the advice of another "friend") deducted the rental loss for the apartments off his income taxes in 2004, totaling $205,668. A series of improbable events led to Lewis spending the next 18 years in jail and Traylor cooperating with the Feds in an attempt to reduce the 8-14-month sentence called for by federal guidelines.

Traylor, once traded straight up for Dirk Nowitzki, is currently playing in the Spanish League's third division. While his team name is funny, Gestiberica Vigo, his situation is not.


Possibly the source of Traylor's troubles?

Over the next few weeks Traylor will learn if he'll spend the next year in jail, or continue to make a living doing the only thing he's ever done well, play basketball. Sadly, despite making over $11 million in salary during the course of his NBA career, little of that fortune remains. Traylor's high school coach, Murray Wright basketball coach Earl Moore said,

"He was like a lot of young men who get into the NBA, get surrounded by a large amount of money. He started living a different lifestyle. He didn't keep it simple. He stopped listening to the people who got him there."

I suppose it's no surprise he ended up where he is. But that doesn't make it any less disappointing.