Members of the Maize n Brew staff got together this week to answer a few quick questions about spring football and how the end of the basketball season looks in retrospect. Here are their responses.
*Law and Order dun dun sound*
A few weeks removed from the end of the basketball season, how do you feel about the year?
Von Lozon: I feel very good about the year. Any time you can hang a banner, you’ve had yourself a great season.
Anthony Broome: It was a great year with a bitter ending. Once they lost Isaiah Livers, anything they did past the first weekend of the tournament was gravy. They will hang a banner for a conference title and played great basketball in the most difficult of years. The ending was brutal, but the total picture was a massive success.
Matt Eifert: It has to be considered an unmitigated success! For a long stretch during the middle of the season, everything went right. Despite the sour taste at the end, Michigan smashed expectations all season long.
Stephen Osentoski: It exceeded expectations in just about every way. Winning the regular-season conference championship, extending past all other Big Ten teams in the postseason without Livers, players like Johns stepping up to fill the gap, etc. It’s a well-coached team that played for one another and, at its best, was an absolute force.
Did it bother you that you were unable to see Michigan’s spring game and there was a general lack of spring buzz? Why or why not.
Von Lozon: Honestly, I’m kind of OK with not seeing the spring game. At the end of the day, it’s one scrimmage. No one ever won a National Championship because they had an awesome spring game. Let them put in their work and I’ll be ready to watch in September.
Anthony Broome: Yes and no. It is a bummer that people who are paid to cover the team at the very least were not able to get a closer look because that affects the accuracy of reporting. On the flip side, this program needs time out of the spotlight to work on itself.
Matt Eifert: It bothers me but not as much as it used to. The Harbaugh Era has gotten me used to not being able to glean much from the spring game. However, there’s always a desire to get a look at the early enrollees.
Stephen Osentoski: Eh. I think I’m MORE frustrated that Michigan feels the need to be cagey than anything else. Michigan feels like they’re trying to hide something. Whether it’s for a competitive advantage or the somewhat sour relationship with fans these days, it feels unnecessary.
The concept of spring buzz is also way overblown. People ask coaches/players who are standing out. Then, names are mentioned as a part of those responses and fans exaggerate. Rinse and repeat.
Many people are appropriately in the mindset of “put up or shut up” these days, and I can’t really blame them.
How has your perception of Michigan football changed since the changes were made to the staff?
Von Lozon: The recruiting game has definitely increased. It’s good to see them going after guys in regions that they normally wouldn’t have before. Everything on the field is certainly in “wait and see” mode.
Anthony Broome: They didn’t change the head coach, so they had to change everything else. They have and Harbaugh should be commended for that. It’s right to have doubts on if it will work, but they got younger and seemingly enhancing their recruiting. You know, outside of the whole admissions thing.
Matt Eifert: The changes have made me even more nervous than I was before. Don Brown’s defense was clearly great for what it was (beating up on the lesser competition, vulnerable against the Ohio States of the world) but it was time to move on. That being said, transitioning to a whole new defensive style takes time. I’m not sure if Harbaugh will be afforded that time given the blaze of a hot seat that he’s already on. Will the staff changes work out? Maybe. Will we even have the time to see them play out before the door is shut? Only time will tell.
Stephen Osentoski: That there’s a distaste for the Michigan community, overall, from the staff. To me, there’s always been a bit more of a close relationship between the community and a college program than the professional level. It seems like the program wants to distance itself a bit from that.
How will you be spending the offseason before football and basketball get back going?
Von Lozon: Helping lead the recruiting coverage right here on Maize n Brew!
Anthony Broome: Once fully vaxxed like Thanos finding the final Infinity Stone, I plan on going off the grid a bit and doing some traveling and things we missed out on over the last year or so. We as a site will plan a fun and interesting ways to keep pushing our content forward. Also naps.
Matt Eifert: My offseason will consist mainly of grumbling at any basketball “way-too-early” pre-season rankings that don’t have Michigan at No. 1. Other than that, I’ll be enjoying Akil Baddoo break MLB records for rookies.
Stephen Osentoski: Freshman Feature episodes, other one-off videos, and lots of film watching ahead of the season! Oh, and hopefully some quiet visits to the lake in northern Michigan at some point.