this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
So our next opponent is playing on TNT as we speak. Mercer Bears vs. Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee's big men...are big, and athletic, and good. Theire guards can shoot and hit shots which also propel them.
Iowa St. - UNC is at halftime on CBS
Stephen F. Austin - UCLA will be on at 7:10 on TBS
Creighton - Baylor at 7:40 on TruTv
I've searched online for a schedule for the Midwest Regional games, but can't find anything yet. Does anyone know whether we are the first or second game on Friday and what times those games will be? Also, any idea what time the game will be on Sunday (if we are fortunate enough to make it)?
We have heard that John Belilein will not lose a game against a team they have a week to prepare for. (Good luck to Tennessee /Mercer) This article on Mlive talks some about the other problem for teams in the NCAA tournament. Bacari Alexander says that while Michigan can forcus on a few things that other teams do well and determine a game plan to stop it, other teams have to deal with a deep playbook with little time to prepare for it. Obviously the Tennessee?Mercer winnner will have more time however they still have no idea how Michigan is going to play them.
I think that's why Michigan will continue to be a factor in the NCAA's in the future. No one knows how Michigan will play. Whether it's Beilein having a week to tear your team apart or a team only having a couple days to prepare for Michigan's extensive playbook, Michigan has an advantage. Throw in abundant talent and Michigan is going to be a tough team to beat.
The B1G knows Beilein better from playing them more frequently so it's mitigated to some small extent. However, even if you figure out how to beat them one game, they may attack with a totally different game plan the next time.
Maybe I read too much into this article and over analyzed but I think Beilein will soon be getting the attention he deserves for being a brilliant coach and all around nice guy.
From Mlive:After feeling slighted, again, Michigan's Jordan Morgan stays on the warpath in win over Texas
Title says it all - good Mlive piece about Jordan not liking living in Ridley's shadow and what he did about it.
All day Friday, Morgan had to answer questions about how the Wolverines were going to limit Texas' massive center. One after another. And with each question, Morgan's focus elevated.
"I ain't got a lot of body fat on me, there's been a lot of weights lifted over my five years here," he said. "I'm not about to just roll over."
Morgan was as emotional as he's been at any point all season, including the team's senior day at the Crisler Center earlier this month. And when it was all over, and Michigan subbed him out for the final time, he was still letting everyone know about it.
He pumped his fists to the Michigan crowd behind the team bench. Got in assistant coach LaVall Jordan's face and let him know he meant what he said when he told his team he would be just fine vs. Texas on Saturday, and then finished up by head-butting sophomore Mitch McGary right in the chest.
- Did anyone else notice this?
- Do you think he was pissed or pumped.?
- If pissed, was anyone at the game able to make out what caused this?
Not in a sleepy mood right now and with the caveat of I have not seen Tenn play one game this year and there is no assurance they get by Mercer.... I decided to look over some data points on Tenn assuming they win. Here is some quick and dirty intel on the team a lot of people are suddenly high on. (Mercer's big guy has a concussion so that hurts them Sunday assuming he cannot play).
Tenn plays in the SEC - this is looking like a very sorry conference. Three teams made it to the NCAA: Florida (18-0), Kentucky (12-6), Tenn (11-7). Georgia at 12-6 in conf was invited to NIT... and promptly lost to LA Tech. So conference = bad.
How did Tenn play vs "good opponents". They look a lot like Texas. A high variability. They crushed a lot of the lower SEC teams by 20, and played the good teams kinda close some of the times. They played a quite awful non conf outside Wichita State and Virginia. For some reason they played Xavier twice in non conf (splitting). Their one signature win is an absolute destruction of Virginia in December. Obviously a lot can change in 3 months and maybe it was just "one of those nights" for a very good defensive team in VA.
- By 9 @Wichita State
- By 8 @Kentucky [only 1 meeting]
- By 25 @Florida
- By 9 to Florida
- By 7 to Florida in tourney
So Florida is their standard as the season progressed and they have narrowed the gulf as the year went by.
They beat Iowa in OT to get into the tourney earlier this week.
So how do they "stack up" age wise and physically - which is the go forward question for UM opponents? First their starting 5 has a ton of experience - 3 seniors and 2 juniors; a major luxury in the current NCAA.
Looking at the Iowa game - their starters play the bulk of the minutes, everyone at least 32 minutes (in an OT game). Two main subs who played 12-14 minutes. Basically 7 deep; UM plays generally 8 deep in games that refs don't erase Morford in the first 2 minutes, but seem to run teams into the ground with our good conditioning, so potential advantage to offset Tenn's age/experience advantage.
Similar situation vs UF in the SEC tourney; 5 starters 27-37 minutes, 1 sub with 23 minutes - the other 2 under 10 minutes.
Beefy quotient - about the same as Texas. Two big bruisers inside Jarnell Stokes & Jeronne Maymon, both 6'8 260, 54%ish shooters. I am confident with Morgan against one, but GR3 unlike with Texas won't be out weighed by 25 lbs but by a lot more. Offset.... that dude has to chase GR3 on the perimeter. Of the two Stokes is the big target with 15 PPG and 10 RPG. The other Maymon is 10 PPG and 8 RPG.
They play 3 guards, but unlike Texas these guards have size ...and experience.... two are 6'6 (one is 6'2) so a good match for Caris and Nik size wise. Of the 3, the main man is Jordan McRae. He of 18.7 PPG. Looks like a high volume shooter to get those points with a 43.6% FG and 37% 3 PT FG. The other 2 guards are 33% 3 PT FG, but Josh Richardson (4th leading scorer and 6'6) has a nice FG% for a guard at 45%.
There 2-3 main bench guys are all guards.
So takeaways - their top 5 play a lot. They have 2 beefy guys in those top 5. If said beefy guys can get into foul trouble or tired, they get smaller with 6'5 type guards. It's a long team though, aside from one dude at 6'2 we are talking 6'5 to 6'8 for every other of their top 7-8. They are experienced and maybe coming together but an Iowa team in a tailspin just took them to overtime last week... I see a lot of similarities to Texas in this matchup.
If Mercer wins Sunday, this message will self destruct.