Happy Tuesday, folks. We’re awaiting news from D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner on whether they will opt out of the NBA Draft and return to school, and, in the category of old friends, former Interim Athletic Director and hirer of Jim Harbaugh, Jim Hackett, has been appointed CEO of Ford Motor Company. Harbaugh says Hackett is a good fit and that he, “Brings a wealth of experience and tremendous leadership skills.” Also in this morning’s Brews we check in with Football, Baseball, and Softball.
Let’s hit the links:
The big news this morning is that we’re waiting for
Godot a decision from both D.J. Wilson and Moe Wagner. Both entered the NBA Draft early, but declined to hire agents - meaning that they have until tomorrow to opt out of the draft and return to school. Both Wilson and Wagner are expected to return to school if they are projected outside the first round. As the Bob Wojonowski of the Detroit News says, “The general consensus is, D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner aren’t ready to play in the NBA, not yet. That’s fine, and also irrelevant.” This ultimately comes down to what Wagner and Wilson want to do, and we’ll find that out soon enough.
Now that Spring Ball has concluded, we’re starting to enter the time when way-too-early Top-25 lists are published. One outlet that consistently produces such a list is Athlon Sports. Michigan checks in at #10 on Athlon’s list, behind Penn State (#6) and Ohio State (#2). The rest of the Top-10 is Alabama (#1), Florida State (#3), Washington (#4), USC (#5), Clemson (#7), Oklahoma (#8), and Auburn (#9). Athlon says it will be a rebuilding year for Michigan, but that, “thanks to back-to-back top-five recruiting classes, the Wolverines won’t be down for long.” Sports Illustrated has Michigan at #12 in their post-Spring Top-25 and Fox Sports has Michigan at #16.
Softball’s season came to an end over the weekend, and it wasn’t the end that we were all hoping for. After a surprising loss in the B1G Tournament Quarter-Finals, Michigan had to travel to Seattle for its NCAA Regional. There, Michigan made it to the final game (including a no-hitter performance from Senior Megan Betsa) before falling to #7 Washington and exiting the NCAA Tournament. Betsa and fellow seniors Kelly Christner, Lindsey Montemarano, and Abby Ramirez combined to post a 202-43-1 record during their four years at Michigan. Betsa finishes her career as one of Michigan’s most prolific pitchers, tallying 102 wins and 1,201 strikeouts - both good for third all-time on their respective lists.
Minnesota lost two of three to Purdue, but, unfortunately, Michigan dropped a game to Michigan State - giving the #1 seed in the B1G Tournament to Nebraska. After losing to MSU 6-1 on Friday, Michigan bounced back to top the Spartans 11-6 on Saturday. On Sunday, it took ten innings and a comeback, but the Wolverines prevailed 2-1. Tomorrow, Michigan will open the B1G Tournament with Northwestern at 1:30 PM on BTN. If they win, they’ll play the winner of Minnesota and Indiana on Thursday.
After putting one of the most talented classes in Michigan history in the 2017 NFL Draft, Michigan looks to place even more top-flight talent at the next level following the 2018 season. Among Mel Kiper’s top seniors are Mo Hurst (#1 Senior DT) and Khalid Hill (#2 Senior FB). Mason Cole also appears on Kiper’s list as the #3 Senior OT. All three have been consistent contributors for Michigan in recent years, particularly Mason Cole who has been a steadying presence on an otherwise tumultuous offensive line. There’s a long way to go until the 2018 NFL Draft, but the pieces of another solid #ProBlue class for Michigan are in place.