This could just as easily have been titled “Way Too Early Arkansas Preview Part 2” history buffs can wax nostalgic with part 1 here…http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/way-too-early-arkansas-preview
Here it is 2012 and America’s premiere basketball conference
has an opportunity to flex its muscles against the lowly scum-sucking SEC.
Yes, I am aware that Michigan lost last year in Fayetteville. Yes, I am aware that Ace called it “the most painful possible basketball game to watch” http://mgoblog.com/category/tags/2012-arkansas-hoops
as Arkansas hit their first 11 shots, Michigan turned the ball over repeatedly, and Arkansas shot out to a 20 point lead. Michigan would crawl back, and Trey Burke missed the 3 pointer that would have won the game.
That’s not going to happen this year.
But let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let’s talk Arkansas. Mike Anderson is starting his second year at the helm for the Razorbacks after finishing 18-14, 6-10 in the SEC. At 4-3, Arkansas has lost to Syracuse, Wisconsin, and Arizona State, and beaten Oklahoma. They do exactly one thing well. Anderson’s teams feed on chaos. They force you to turn over the ball. They press with reckless abandon. They run the court as if there were an 8 second shot clock. They call it 40 Minutes of Hell.
Against good teams, they tend to get out-rebounded by 5 or 6, but they force 4 or 5 more turnovers than they commit. That was enough to beat Oklahoma. Syracuse pulled out the win by shooting 10% better. Wisconsin won their game from the charity stripe. I expect that Michigan will take care of the ball a bit better, and failing all else shoot their way out like Syracuse.
Somehow between turnovers their regular rotation individually manages to shoot around 45% from the field(the exception being Rashad Madden, who shoots 68% but leads the team in turnovers). Their leading scorer 6-3 sophomre guard B.J. Young has no conscience whatsoever.
The guy is shooting 16% from downtown, but he still leads his team in attempts at 4/g. The guy runs and chucks like no player you have ever seen, to the tune of 20pts/game.
Last year 6-2 junior guard Madracus Wade averaged 48% from downtown, averaging 5 attempts/game. He was a game changer.
This year he is averaging two attempts and shooting 29% from downtown averaging 7pts/game. Go figure. Versatile 6-5 sophomore guard Rashad Madden and dangerous charge-prone 6-3 slashing junior wing Ricky Scott are picking up the slack, averaging 12 points and 4 assists between them.
Last year Arkansas lost promising 6-7 junior forward Marshawn Powell to a knee injury.
This year he is healthy and effective, averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds for the razorbacks. He is joined in the frontcourt by newcomer 6-7 junior combo forward juco transfer Coty Clarke, who boasts 8 points and 7 boards/game himself. 6-10 sophomore forward Hunter Mickelson and 6-8 freshman forward Jacorey Williams pitch in as well, combining for 11 points and 6 rebounds per game.
So why am I so convinced that Michigan will pull this one out? In a game as crazy as basketball, shouldn’t we favor the team that favors chaos? Didn’t a wise man once say…“The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.”? Well, time is also marked by transfers and graduation. Specifically, the graduation of guard Julysses Nobles, and the loss of his passing(3 assists), defense(2 steals) and scoring(9 points). They also lost versatile PF Marvell Waithe and Michael Sanchez’s big body to graduation. Then big man Devonta Abron took his 20 minutes of post depth to TCU.
Mostly though, I am comforted that Trey Burke has already done his time in hell, and emerged all the stronger. He’s had 18 assists and no turnovers in his last two home games. And this year, he has help.
My son’s middle(and nickname) may have been inspired by Stu Douglass, but if all else fails against the press I’d rather have Spike helping to get the ball up the court. Players like Hardaway and Stauskas have dealt with a pesky steal-crazy defense down in Peoria, and taken the lessons as they’ve come. This is as complete a team as I have seen adorning the maize and blue.
WMU’s coach summed it up the best. Michigan will win this Saturday because, "They just have better players. They’re a better basketball team – it’s as simple as that.”
69-54 Michigan wins.
(Click the image to view full size)
Yeah, I know there's still the bowl game, but... Basketball. Let's do this.
Tomorrow we'll catch up with Baby Bo.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog,
and at least every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to
check out Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
So, Now that we’re simply awaiting the start of the bowl season to cap off an interesting year in Big Ten, and indeed, college football, I thought I might present to the board for comment something I had been considering doing for a while – “The Big Ten Scorecard”.
It’s not by any means scientific, and I don’t pretend to be an expert at these things, but what I tried to do here is take summary metrics and compare them to what the conference game averages would have been. Including the BTCG, there were 146 games played (allow that two teams played 13 games, of course), so the same size is sufficient, in my view, to present what an average Big Ten game stat line would look like.
Bearing that in mind, there are several tables – passing offense and defense, rushing offense and defense, scoring offense and defense, a summary for offensive and defense metrics and how many were met, and an overall “score” for the team.
Glad you asked. I kept it fairly simple for this first pass at the idea. You will see in the tables many boxes shaded in red with numbers in red as well. I went with the mean for each statistic as the target, so essentially, what we’re discussing is the team’s performance against the Big Ten mean on 31 measures.
So, for the most part, on offense, if a team was below the mean on a certain measure, the box is shaded because it indicates a performance which was generally subpar compared to the rest of the Big Ten. The sole exception would be interceptions, in which case being below the mean is preferred obviously.
On defense, on the other hand, generally numbers below the mean would be preferred; the sole exception again (for purposes of this experiment) would be interceptions, as more indicates an opportunistic defense.
There are some confounding factors, of course, such as teams facing pass-heavy or run-heavy opponents, but the human performance aspect of football allows teams proficient in stopping such attacks to meet other targets.
In other words, in my totally contrived system, there are 31 possible points, and if you “exceed the target” (perform well against the mean), you get one point for that measure. I have even included handy icons to graphically illustrate which teams are making the grade compared to their conference compatriots, if you will, in the summary tables.
Basically, the final score is the percentage of measures against which you exceeded the conference average. No team obviously scored 100%. Indeed, no one even hit 80%, so there is a bit of a curve involved as well. One other thing that some will undoubtedly notice – sometimes, a team which came in at what appears to be average is still in a shaded box. I rounded the numbers for purposes of simplicity in the tables, but what it means more often than not is that the unrounded figure is still slightly below the actual mean.
TL;DR – Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin all exceed the Big Ten mean at least most of the time in most areas. Michigan State and Northwestern would be teams that do this only slightly more than half the time. Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue struggle, needless to say. Illinois...well, at least this season gets “Firestone Smoldering Rubber Award”.
Again, this is my first stab at such a thing, and I welcome comments and suggestions. For as long as I am here, I would like to make it a yearly thing with perhaps even midpoint reports.
THE TABLES (offense first, then defense, in each case):
PASSING – OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
RUSHING – OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
SCORING – OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
OVERALL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
I had some incredible years playing at Michigan. And that was because of my teammates, the staff, the fans, the tradition. I'm so thankful for my Michigan experience and wanted to share a new venture I'm working on with the Michigan faithful. It's called Merit.
Ok, so I saw a request for these on the board, so I figured I'd just throw them out there. I'll work on some additional wallpapers to add some variety, but this is a busy season for work and I'll most likely not have too much free time to kill. That being said, here's the first installment of basketball wallpapers, both Desktop (16:9) and Mobile formats. Hope this helps sate the current wallpaper hunger pains until we get some more on the board.
Mobile (iPhone, etc.)
Our good friend TomVH passed this along and I thought it was worth posting before the holidays—Mike Barwis is raising money for the Athletic Angels Foundation, which will provide food, clothing, and toys to needy families in the Detroit area. If you're interested in donating, the information is below. Checks shoud be sent to:
Athletic Angels Foundation
44191 Plymouth Oaks Blvd., Suite 600
Plymouth, MI 48170