landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Once again, we're here. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]
Michigan beat Delaware State 80-33 on Saturday, and while the game itself didn't contain much of note, the shuffling of M's lineup due both to injury and personnel issues continued. There's enough of interest for a basketbullets post, starting with...
Mea culpa. So, yeah, I mailed in the game recap. My general stance on these games is to take them about as seriously as one should when the foe is a team that barely looks like they're playing the same sport, but despite the upcoming schedule—Northern Kentucky, Youngstown State, Bryant—I'll be shelving the bad poetry recaps. In my defense, Delaware State was so, so bad; they had as many turnovers (17) as combined made FGs and FTs.
Robinson replaces Dawkins. John Beilein made a move in the starting lineup that wasn't dictated by injury, replacing Aubrey Dawkins with Duncan Robinson. Beilein discussed the move in the postgame presser:
“We feel right now our flow defensively and offensively is better as a starter for Duncan. Get him in there and let him go and get more scorers out there. He and Aubrey do a lot of things very similar, there’s just a different flow right now with him. I think it make other guys better, and as we work at some of the things Aubrey’s working at, we can shore some of his weaknesses up, which I think we some of it today.
The justification is simple. While Dawkins has been a solid offensive player this year, he doesn't add as much on that end as Robinson—they're both mostly spot-up gunners and Robinson is outshooting Dawkins 60% to 39% on threes with a higher volume of attempts while dishing out more assists and turning the ball over less. Both have some degree of disastrous on defense all season, and with that continuing to be the case, Michigan might as well have Robinson out there as much as they can.
That said, when Michigan hits the meatier portion of the schedule, I wouldn't mind seeing Robinson move back to a sixth man role if Dawkins can be something other than awful on defense; bringing Robinson off the bench often allows him more time against an inferior matchup (the opponent's bench wing) when he's on the court.
The point guard situation. With Derrick Walton temporarily sidelined—he'll play tomorrow barring a setback—and Spike Albrecht permanently so, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman got the start and Andrew Dakich burned a planned redshirt (again) to provide backup minutes. With Walton returning, Dakich shouldn't be much of a factor going forward—he had four points, three assists, and two turnovers in 20 minutes—but Rahk's contributions are worth a closer look.
Rahk still isn't a point guard. He has seven assists and six turnovers in 195 minutes this year; his 6.8% assist rate is below every Michigan regular's mark aside from Dawkins and the three centers. He's mostly a drive-and-dish guy without much dish at the moment, but he's showed some signs he could be more on Saturday; after opening the season 3/13 from three, he buried 3/4 attempts against Delaware State. Granted, those shots were great looks, but Rahk looked more confident in his stroke than he has in the past. It'd be critical to M's spacing for him to be more of a three-point threat.
Irvin rounding into form... except in one critical area. Largely unnoticed during the tumultuous start to the season has been Zak Irvin's continued improvement in the Not Just A Shooter™ aspects of his game. He's making 57% of his shots inside the arc and has 31 assists against nine turnovers; he's become a legitimate drive-and-dish guy.
Unfortunately, Irvin's shot appears broken; after going 0/3 from deep on Saturday, he's now 7/38 on the season. Needless to say, he has to figure out what's wrong and correct it if Michigan wants to bounce back from their recent ugly stretch and push for a tournament spot.
Speaking of that recent stretch, it's a little early to write Michigan off considering how well their recent competition has done:
Noteworthy in this week's AP poll ... 1. Michigan St, 6. Maryland, 10. Xavier, 18. SMU, 25. UConn. All 3 of Michigan's losses are ranked.
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) December 14, 2015
It's a similar story on KenPom: Xavier is 9th, SMU is 20th, and UConn is 26th. Michigan doesn't have a true signature win—Texas is 43rd on KP—but unless the very unexpected happens over the course of the next three games, they'll get through non-conference play without anything approaching a bad loss, which is a lot more than most of the Big Ten can say.
This season hasn't inspired much in the way of GIFs posts. Sunday rectified that.
Different rival, different scenario, but man, does that look deliciously familiar nonetheless.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the Ohio State game in GIFs.]
Jordan Morgan recorded his second double-double of the weekend in the most Jordan Morgan way possible: by attempting to take a charge, not getting the call, and grabbing a board anyway while he's flat on his back.
This didn't make the top ten from the weekend. Don't fret, though—Morgan still makes several appearances. For the rest of the first two rounds of the tourney in GIFs, hit the jump.
[JUMP like GRIII over Javan Felix.]
You know what it is. Just hit play already.
About the Big Ten Tournament making you tired.
Got into a discussion with a friend over the importance of the B1G tournament, he thought it was a useful "spring board", I did not. Did some gopher work on the results that might be interesting to you.
4 – Exceeds expectations, only 2009 Purdue wasn’t a #1 seed.
5 – played to seed
7 – Did not meet expectations. Although 3 of these are Sweet 16 losses, which aren’t absolutely terrible.
Year Champion B1G Tourney Seed NCAA Tournament Result
#3, lost in 2nd round. Later Ed Martin’d
#1, Lost in Final Four
#1, Won it all
#7, played to seed
#4, lost to #12 Mizzou in second round
#4, lost to #5 ND
#6, played to seed
#1, Lost in NCG
#3, Lost in first round
#1, Lost in NCG
#3, Played to seed, but lost to #10 Davidson
#5, played slightly above seed, lost to #1 Uconn in Sweet 16
Side note, doesn’t it seem like decades ago since Purdue was good at basketball?
#2, Lost to Tennessee in Sweet 16. In a cruel twist of fate, Bruce Pearl gets canned for lying about hosting Aaron Craft at his house
#1, lost to Kentucky in Sweet 16, [fart noise]. Is that big white guy from Kentucky still in the NBA?
#1, lost Louisville in Sweet 16
#2, got Shocked in Elite 8. All the debates about charges…..
Kent, a.k.a. Baloo_dance
That doesn't look like anything resembling a real effect, especially since only 1998 Michigan, 2002 OSU, and 2006 Iowa had anything resembling first-weekend surprise exits. OSU and MSU going out in the Sweet 16 after a two-week period in which they played two games can't be chalked up to fatigue unless you're Tom Izzo.
Also worth noting that teams that "play to seed" generally exceed the average tourney wins per seed line:
So a one seed that reaches the final four is about seven tenths of a win to the good. Big Ten Tourney champs have acquired 38 wins in the tournament since the BTT's inception; based on seedings they were expected to get 36.42. At the very least we can say there's no evidence that winning the Big Ten has any effect on your tournament hopes. Given the seed line graph above and the fact that winning games moves you up lines, it is undoubtedly a net positive.
Resolved: in favor of winning Big Ten Tournament.
On Michigan twitter.
In your opinion, is Delonte' Hollowell the most interesting M athlete to ever grace Twitter? I think so, but that's just, like, my opinion, man. At the bare minimum he has to be the greatest all-caps philosopher of all time.
If Twitter has proven anything it's that plebes are suckers for athletes who tweet in all caps, and I am in their midst.
Most athletes use twitter like high school kids with ten followers—like weird semi-public email, and that puts a damper on things. You can tell whenever a dude breaks up with a girl because he starts making tweets that sound like Gin Blossoms lyrics; a lot of the time you're just getting "hey @other_athlete, what's good". The rest of the time it is "rise and grind #blessed." This is fine and all but not particularly interesting to people other than @other_athlete.
Hollowell, on the other hand, spends large chunks of his time with ALL CAPS EXHORTIONS to be something or do something else that are meant to be twitter. He rises and grinds without informing the world of this fact, and he does not tweet #blessed. He seems perpetually irritated by everything. He is the best.
Other current Wolverines worth following:
- Henry Poggi's feed is mostly about the Big Lebowski, which means you may not want to follow it but I do.
- Andrew Dakich, obviously.
- Jordan Morgan trolls MSU fans, and keeps trolling.
- Graham Glasgow takes shots at his brother by deploying Snorlax. Frequently tweets about being sleepy or in bed.
- Desmond Morgan sarcastically deploys #blessed.
— Desmond Morgan (@D_Morgan48) March 10, 2014
#mcm == "Man Crush Mondays."
Ondre Pipkins would have been on the list, but he nuked his twitter last year.
On NBA Draft changes.
This question is undoubtedly way too soon. I normally don't like to engage in the "who are we losing" questions while still able to enjoy the product on the floor. However, I was reading about potential NBA draft changes and Adam Silver's emphasis on extending the age-limit prohibiting players from entering the NBA until they are done with their sophomore year.
Several articles mentioned NBA front-offices fearing a insanely weak 2015 draft if any changes were implemented. What do you think this potential, if any, has on a player like Nik Stauskas when evaluating an NBA departure?
No. Stauskas is projected in the top 15 of this loaded draft and there's hardly any difference between going 15th and 5th. That would not impact his decision.
However, it might impact McGary and Robinson. They would go from guys who might play themselves into the first round next year into holy first round locks. That would shift the equation significantly enough that it would suddenly be a very bad idea to enter.
However, despite the immediate salutary benefits for Michigan that is a step in the wrong direction. The right direction is draft and follow: everyone's eligible before their freshman year, five round draft, anyone who gets signed occupies a roster spot for remaining NCAA eligibility + 1 years no matter where they are.
after a loss michigan is 7-0 with an average margin of victory of 24 points. thats insane, no?
Be sure to note that Michigan notched its 7th road win of the season yesterday. Folks sometime forget how tough it is to win on the road in the B1G; how tough it is to win in East Lansing, or in Madison, or in Columbus -- much less in all three places in the same friggin' year. It's really an eye-popping achievement, and a testament to the job Coach B has done of getting them ready to compete in very hostile environments.
Let's enumerate the wonderful things about this GIF:
- The Orange Crush is very bad at casting spells, judging by the two dudes right behind Nik Stauskas.
- Stauskas staring down 6'11" Nnanna Egwu for a couple seconds, going "yeah, I got this," and coldly hitting a three in his face.
- Derrick Walton meandering back on defense as soon as he sees Stauskas is going to shoot.
- Andrew Dakich beginning his roll the dice flourish while the ball is still mid-flight.
- Andrew Dakich, period.
- Exasperated Orange Crush girl throwing up her WTF hands at the very end.
- The Illini fans in the far corner whose will to move/exist has been completely destroyed.
This GIF, by my highly scientific ratings, comes in at #6 for the Illinois game. You're gonna want to hit the jump and watch the rest.
[JUMP and make Tracy Abrams bail the heck out]