10. May 2007 · Comments Off on #1 in Underachievement · Categories: Archive 2007

In 16 Candles, Anthony Michael Hall summarizes his social status in the suburban high school as “King of the Dipshits”. Molly Ringwald politely suggests that carrying such a title is “kind of cool”. Just so we’re clear, it’s not cool, although the geek jumps up a notch at the end, thanks to Jake’s dad’s ride and Jake’s pickled girlfriend Carolyn:

Michigan Hoops: King of the Dipshits

ESPN.com just rated the most underachieving teams in Men’s college basketball over the past decade and it was unanimous: the Wolverines came in number 1. It wasn’t even close. Four of the five experts picked as the distinguished top turd except for Dukie, Amaker-apologist Jay Bilas who didn’t even have the Blue on his list! Here’s the complete vote. Here’s the capsule on the undisputed Dipshits:

Michigan Hoops: King of the Dipshits

Is this any surprise? Here’s more on the topic from Doug Gottlieb:

Michigan, for example, has been seen as a dog of a program in terms of wins and NCAA tourney appearances recently. When you compare Michigan now to the Michigan with Bill Frieder and Steve Fisher at the helm, there is an obvious drop-off. Add into the mix the Wolverines’ relative lack of facilities and the scarcity of talent that is homegrown in Michigan, sprinkle in the fact that Michigan State has become a power just down the road, and UM has some explaining to do — and ground to make up.

The sanctions from the Fab Five era and Brian Ellerbe’s hire occurred at roughly the same time and had a devastating effect on Wolverines hoops. The embarrassment that followed the taking down of two Final Four banners and the subsequent losing seasons killed any hope of getting a much needed new arena, practice facility and all the other perks that Big Ten rivals Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and even Penn State received.

On the surface, Tommy Amaker’s inability to join 62 of the other 72 BCS teams in the NCAA Tournament during his six-year tenure is embarrassing, but Amaker dealt with an administration that wanted less-questionable students to play basketball, he was at a football-driven school and the overall image of Michigan hoops was in the toilet when he arrived.

(Ironically, Amaker is taking over at an underrated underachiever in Harvard. The Crimson have never won an Ivy League basketball title and have no one to blame but themselves. In fairness to former coach Frank Sullivan, Harvard never has truly wanted to be good (until the Amaker hire) in terms of facilities, admissions and attendance. Now a new arena has been promised. Academics will always be strict, but if Harvard can bend a little, as it does in hockey and football, Amaker seems to be just the guy to do it the right way and succeed in Cambridge, Mass.)