fair point that
2012/2013 Michigan Basketball
Tonight sucked and if I didn't do this, I'm not sure I would have been able to talk myself off the bridge. Today’s game was an atrocity, but Brady Hoke said it best: “The number one goal is to win a Big Ten Championship.”
Luckily it was only one game and only counts as one loss. If we can somehow put the pieces back together (a major IF after the past 4 games), we can still be in a position to win a B1G championship.
Humor me for a moment with this. Here are the current standings:
TEAM CONF GB OVR
#8 Michigan State 10-2 -- 21-4
#1 Indiana 9-2 0.5 21-3
#20 Wisconsin 8-3 1.5 17-7
#4 Michigan 8-4 2 21-4
#13 Ohio State 7-4 2.5 17-6
Minnesota 5-6 4.5 17-7
Purdue 5-6 4.5 12-12
Illinois 4-7 5.5 17-8
Iowa 4-7 5.5 15-9
Northwestern 4-7 5.5 13-11
Nebraska 3-8 6.5 12-12
Penn State 0-11 9.5 8-15
After pulling up the remaining schedules of the top 5 B1G teams, I ran predictions on each matchups and labeled each matchup by 3 categories: Likely Win, Possible Win, Possible Loss (there were no Likely Losses). I then assigned three final conference records: Predicted Record, Worse Case Record and Best Case Record. Predicted basically assumed all Likely and Possible Wins Resulted in Wins, all Possible Losses resulted in Losses. Worst Case means the team only won the "Likely Wins", and Best Case means the team basically ran the table the rest of the season.
Obviously this isn’t a science, but I basically gave the benefit of the doubt to most of the good home teams (and was a little tough on Michigan). Even so, after seeing what other teams have to go through the rest of the year, I still see that championship in the distance if we win big games down the stretch.
*big games in bold
MSU (Currently 1st)
2 Likely Wins, 3 Possible Wins, 1 Possible Losses
Predicted Conference Record: 15-3
(Worst case 12-6, Best Case 16-2)
Feb 16 - @ NEB – Likely Win
Feb 19 - vs #1 IND – Possible Win
Feb 24 - @ #13 OSU – Possible Loss
Mar 2 - @ #4 MICH - Possible Win
Mar 7 - vs #20 WIS – Possible Win
Mar 10 - vs NW – Likely Win
Indiana (Currently 2nd)
3 Likely Wins, 3 Possible Wins, 1 Possible Loss
Predicted Conference Record: 15-3
(Worst case 12-6, Best Case 16-2)
Feb 13 - vs NEB - Likely Win
Feb 16 - vs PUR - Likely Win
Feb 19 - @ #8 MSU - Possible Loss
Feb 26 - @ MINN - Possible Win
Mar 2 - vs IOWA - Likely Win
Mar 5 - vs #13 OSU - Possible Win
Mar 10 - @ #4 MICH - Possible Win
Wisconsin (Currently 3rd)
4 Likely Wins, 1 Possible Wins, 2 Possible Losses
Predicted Conference Record: 13-5
(Worst case 12-6, Best Case 14-4)
Feb 14 - @ MINN – Possible Loss
Feb 17 - vs #13 OSU – Possible Win
Feb 20 - @ NW – Likely Win
Feb 26 - vs NEB – Likely Win
Mar 3 - vs PUR – Likely Win
Mar 7 - @ #8 MSU – Possible Loss
Mar 10 - @ PSU – Likely Win
Michigan (Currently 4th)
2 Likely Wins, 2 Possible Wins, 2 Possible Losses
Predicted Conference Record: 12-6
(Worst case 10-8, Best Case 14-4)
Feb 17 - vs PSU - Likely Win
Feb 24 - vs ILL - Possible Win
Feb 27 - @ PSU - Likely Win
Mar 2 - vs #8 MSU - Possible Loss
Mar 6 - @ PUR - Possible Win
Mar 10 - vs #1 IND - Possible Loss
Ohio (Currently 5th)
2 Likely Wins, 3 Possible Wins, 2 Possible Losses
Predicted Conference Record: 12-6 (Worst case 9-9, Best Case 14-4)
Feb 14 - vs NW - Likely Win
Feb 17 - @ #20 WIS – Possible Loss
Feb 20 - vs MINN – Possible Win
Feb 24 - vs #8 MSU – Possible Win
Feb 28 - @ NW – Likely Win
Mar 5 - @ #1 IND – Possible Loss
Mar 10 - vs ILL – Possible Win
What say you MGoPeople? We ready to do this, or what?
EDIT: Typos have been fixed
Congrats to Mitch for earning his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor this season.
This past week he averaged 13 points, 7 boards and 3.5(!) steals. Glad to see him stepping up in Jordan Morgan's absence.
Part one last weekend: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/look-big-ten-remaining-schedules
This is long- if you don't like that move on....
First up current standings:
....shakes fist at Wisconsin.....
Next- upcoming schedules, with some scheudle notes:
|GAME 12||NEB (3-8)||MICH (8-3)||@MSU (9-2)||@MINN (5-5)||NW (4-7)|
|GAME 13||PURD (5-6)||@NEB (3-8)||PSU (0-11)||OSU (7-4)||@WISC (8-3)|
|GAME 14||@MSU (9-2)||INDIANA (9-2)||ILL (3-7)||@NW (4-7)||MINN (5-5)|
|GAME 15||@MINN (5-5)||@OSU (7-4)||@PSU (0-11)||NEB (3-8)||MSU (9-2)|
|GAME 16||IOWA (4-7)||@MICH (8-3)||MSU (9-2)||PURD (5-6)||@NW (4-7)|
|GAME 17||OSU (7-4)||WISC (8-3)||@PURD (5-6)||@MSU (9-2)||@IND (9-2)|
|GAME 18||@MICH (8-3)||NW (4-7)||IND (9-2)||@PSU (0-11)||ILL (3-7)|
You may have noticed from last week I dropped Minnesota. With 5-losses their odds of competing for a crown have faded too far to include them this time around.
Projected wins and losses are done by better than 50% or worse than 50% to win that game. After each team’s write-up I will delve into deeper odds (since most teams win/lose unpredictable games obviously- and you can project which games those could be)- so the projected final is if every expected win is a win and every expected loss is a loss...
Projected Wins: NEB, PURD, @ MINN, IOWA, OSU
Projected Losses: @MSU, @ MICH
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Middle of the pack schedule of remaining teams- road games at Michigan and Michigan State are very tough- they win one or both of those their chances of winning the conference shoot up. Sleeper games- At Minnesota, and OSU and Iowa at home- all are possible L’s- they let any of those games slip their chance at the title could slip with it.
Projected Wins: MICH, @ NEB, IND, WISC, NW
Projected Losses: @ OSU, @ UM
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Hardest schedule of remaining teams- at least 3 of the 5 games against top 5 are at home- but all three of those home games- Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin are all very, very losable. Road games at Ohio St. and at Michigan are both likely losses. Their 14-4 projection is a little tenuous. While they are favored in my opinion in the three top home games my guess is that there is a slightly better than 50-50 chance one of those becomes losses and they end at 13-5.
Projected Wins: PSU, ILL, @ PSU, MSU, @ PURD, IND
Projected Losses: @MSU
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Bold potentially, but the schedule is Michigan’s friend relative to other top-5 teams. Splitting against MSU seems likely, and the final home game against Indiana very well could decide the conference. Sleeper game is at Purdue, maybe home at Illinois fighting for the tournament at-large. PSU twice is a very pleasant upcoming stretch.
Projected Wins: @ NW, NEB, PURD, @ PSU
Projected Losses: @ MINN, OSU, @ MSU
Simplified Projected Final: 12-6
Maybe a little low on Wisconsin because of sheer madness of thinking about the last game but I think they have a tougher chance at winning the conference. Their projected wins are all safe bets- although home at Purdue could be a sleeper game. Home at OSU I think they lose because I think OSU is a very good team, and will guard the 3’s better than we did- and I don’t think they have an answer for Thomas- they lost at Ohio State by nine and even though the next game will likely be close I say they lose. At Minnesota very well could be a win- but I think Minnesota will be playing for a lot in that game and will hold out at home. At MSU seems very likely to be a loss.
Projected Wins: NW, @ WISC, MINN, MSU, @ NW, ILL
Projected Losses: @ IND
Projected Final: 13-5
Another bold predicted finish. Although I favor them against Wisconsin on the road and MSU at home it is 50-50 or so one will be a loss. At Indiana will likely be a loss, and home against an Illinois team fighting for the tournament and away at NW could be tough- as could Minnesota. They have a tough schedule- but are the favorites in most of them. If they hold onto all of the games I have them favored in they could definitely compete; however, they have a lot of tough games that could be road blocks for them. Plus, with 4 losses already they are realistically shooting for a split crown most likely.
I have a 3 way tie at 14-4 in conference with Indiana, MSU, and Michigan. But all 14-4 projections are not equal.
One, Indiana and MSU are projected to lose 2 games and UM (OSU also) only 1. Projecting fewer losses always leaves more room for error. Even though Wisconsin’s schedule is easier than most of the other top-5’s I do see them falling off.
MSU has likely the hardest schedule left. 5 games against the top-5, but only two on the road; however, those are the two I see them losing (OSU and Michigan). I think those are most likely losses, and the chance they lose 1 out of: Michigan at home, Indiana at home, and Wisconsin at home seem decently high.
Indiana also has a tough schedule. They close at Michigan a distinct disadvantage in that it is the hardest last game of a top-5 (although Michigan home against Indiana obviously is close). Losing at Michigan and Michigan State seems most likely. At Minnesota and home against OSU/Iowa/Purdue could all be tricky though. They could also win one of the games (or both) in the state of Michigan however, so their 14-4 to me seems more likely than MSU’s.
Michigan has perhaps the easiest schedule (Wisconsin could be a bit easier) which is why I have one more loss predcted. Unfortunately it is the next game- @ MSU. I have predicted wins at home against MSU and Indiana as well- both of which are hard games. The rest is easier- 2 games against PSU, and home against Illinois are likely wins, and @ Purdue is hard but winnable. I actually think Michigan finishing with a loss or less is as likely or better than both MSU and Indiana due to the schedule.
OSU is the other team I said has 1 loss- but they will be hard pressed to do it. The @ Indiana game is the projected loss; however, the odds of them losing at least one of: @ Wisconsin, Minnesota, MSU, or Illinois seem to be high. So they have the hardest chances in my opinion to win the conference- particularly outright of any team besides Wisconsin.
Wisconsin may have the easiest schedule looking at top-5 games (only 2); however, those games (OSU at home and @ MSU) are both games I think they are more likely to lose. Plus, the next game, @ Minnesota they have likely slightly better than 50% chance of losing. Although the rest of the schedule: NW home and away, Nebraska t home, Purdue at home, and at PSU seem very likely to be wins- and although they could lose 1- most likely @ NW or home at Purdue they should be able to win all of those- and to win the conference they have to.
Note: I give the odds I estimate as well as the most likely outcome to reach that won-lost record.
In conclustion (if you have read this far):
I see very little chance of MSU or IND winning out- obviously if they do they win the conference.
I see three teams with a shot at 3 losses (Wisconsin not so much)- in Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State. None of these teams are likely to go 15-3 in my opinion- with Michigan a 5% chance, MSU twice that, and Indiana 3 times that.
Most likely the winner (or co-champs) will be 14-4. All three of Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State have a 50% chance of going 14-4. So I have Indiana as a slight favorite, followed closely by Michigan State and Michigan. OSU with 4-losses already is unlikely to win with a 2 game hole, and Wisconsin I see as falling off a bit, and only having a very outside chance at splitting a championship at 14-4. There are so many tough games left that it's possible 13-5 may be co-champ worthy again- but with two 9-2 teams, and Michigan's schedule it seems very unlikely- although you never know with the BigTen and looking at all the hard games remaining it is possible we see a lot of upsets ahead.
Hope you all enjoyed- and GO BLUE!!!! If we win at Michigan State coming up be very very pumped- and if we lose don't be do disheartened- the odds are still good for us if we can split with MSU and hold on at home against Indiana. Also thank god for playing PSU twice!!!
I know I just wrote a diary yesterday.... I hope this one is appreciated!
Below is the remaining schedules for the top-6 BigTen teams:
|INDIANA||MICHIGAN||MICH ST||OHIO ST||WISCONSIN||MINNESOTA|
|Game 10||AT ILL 2-7||OSU 7-2||MINN 5-4||AT UM 7-2||IOWA 3-6||AT MSU 7-2|
|Game 11||AT OSU 7-2||AT WISC 6-3||AT PURD 4-5||IND 8-1||UM 7-2||ILL 2-7|
|Game 12||NEB 2-8||AT MSU 7-2||UM 7-2||NW 4-6||AT MINN 5-4||WISC 6-3|
|Game 13||PUR 4-5||PSU 0-9||AT NEB 2-8||AT WISC 6-3||OSU 7-2||AT IOWA 3-6|
|Game 14||AT MSU 7-2||ILL 2-7||IND 8-1||MINN 5-4||AT NW 4-6||AT OSU 7-2|
|Game 15||AT MINN 4-5||AT PSU 0-9||AT OSU 7-2||MSU 7-2||NEB 2-8||IND 8-1|
|Game 16||IOWA 3-6||MSU 7-2||AT UM 7-2||AT NW 4-6||PUR 4-5||PSU 0-9|
|Game 17||OSU 7-2||AT PUR 4-5||WISC 6-3||AT IND 8-1||AT MSU 7-2||AT NEB 2-8|
|Game 18||AT UM 7-2||IND 8-1||NW 4-6||ILL 2-7||AT PSU 0-9||AT PURD 4-5|
|v. 8-1 IND||N/A||HOME||HOME||ROAD + HOME||N/A||HOME|
|v. 7-2 UM||ROAD||N/A||ROAD + HOME||ROAD||HOME||N/A|
|v. 7-2 MSU||ROAD||ROAD + HOME||N/A||HOME||ROAD||ROAD|
|v. 7-2 OSU||ROAD + HOME||HOME||ROAD||N/A||HOME||ROAD|
|v. 6-3 WISC||N/A||ROAD||HOME||ROAD||N/A||HOME|
|v. 5-4 MINN||ROAD||N/A||HOME||HOME||ROAD||N/A|
|v. 4-5 PUR, 4-6 NW, 3-6 IOWA, 2-7 ILL||HOME- PUR DNP NW HOME IOWA ROAD ILL||AT PURD DNP NW DNP IOWA HOME ILL||AT PURD HOME NW DNP IOWA DNP ILL||DNP PURD ROAD + HOME NW DNP IOWA HOME ILL||HOME PURD AT NW HOME IOWA DNP ILL||AT PURD DNP NW AT IOWA HOME ILL|
|v. 2-8 NEB, 0-9 PSU||HOME NEB||DNP NEB ROAD + HOME PSU||AT NEB DNP PSU||DNP NEB DNP PSU||HOME NEB ROAD PSU||AT NEB HOME PSU|
The top six teams all have 9 games left in conference- I showed all of those games. Then I separated the BigTen into the top 6, the sub-500 teams who can surprise teams, and Nebraska and Penn State who should not surprise anyone no matter where the game is being played. Now I will analyze the home-away breakdown for each sub-group of teams before analyzing each team separately.
One game advantage will be critical since they have the hardest schedule left in my opinion. While MSU and OSU both play one more game against a top-6 team, Indiana plays 4 on the road, including closing out against Michigan. They do have 3 home games against the bottom half, but the game at Illinois could be a trap after a tough fought Michigan game. If they win the conference they will have really earned it, since almost half the remaining games are playing on the road at OSU, MSU, MINN, and UM.
Average schedule amongst the top six. Easier than Ohio State’s or Michigan State’s and Indiana’s most likely- which is very good for our chances of winning the conference. Only Minnesota and Wisconsin play less amongst the top-six, but they are two games and one game behind us respectively. Fortunately we have one more home game against the top-six than roadgames- a nice combo with also having less games against top teams. Plus we play PSU twice and Illinois at home. At Purdue is our sleeper game in my opinion.
At least 4 of the 6 games against the top-six are at home, other than that there is little to be too pleased about for the Spartans. Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin at home are all tough and Ohio State and Michigan on the road will be tough to get. Plus they play Purdue on the road also. They do not play Penn State in the last 9 games, and even the “easy game” of Nebraska is away… poor Sparty. A game behind Indiana and tied with Michigan and Ohio State it will be very hard for them to win the regular season conference crown.
Like Michigan State they have more than half their games (six) against the top-six teams. They play the top two teams (Michigan and Indiana) on the road as well as Wisconsin. Their home top-six are another against Indiana, and then Minnesota and Michigan State. They do not play either Nebraska or Penn State either for easy wins. As is the case with Michigan State there is a lot working against Ohio State. That could all change however if they beat Michigan next game. If they lose to Michigan they will be two back of Indiana (assuming Indiana wins at Illinois) and one game behind us and Michigan State (if they beat Minnesota at home). If they get the upset they can claw their way to a regular season championship, if not the odds get pretty long.
2 back of Indiana they have little hopes to start with. Jumping 4 teams will be a monumental task. Their style of play creates matchup issues but they lack the elite level of play of the teams above them in my opinion. In their favor are only 4 games against the top-six. Home against Michigan and Ohio State and away against Michigan State and Minnesota. No more against Indiana, home against two 7-2 teams, and road against a 7-2 and 5-4 team. They have the easiest schedule of the top-six teams- but not easy enough to be a serious threat to win the regular season in all likelihood.
Should they even be in the top group? Are they going to start off great every year and collapse in conference? They have a lot of work to do if they want to win- and as was the case with Wisconsin they have an easier schedule remaining than the top-four teams. At Michigan State and Ohio State and home against Wisconsin and Indiana. If they don’t win all four their hopes fade away… but at least they exist… for now.
Minnesota is too far gone to be a serious threat. Wisconsin, despite an easier path, needs to much to fall in place in order to win it. Michigan has an easier path than Michigan State or Ohio State, our fellow 7-2 conference mates, and Indiana plays 4 top teams on the road. Too be honest all four have pretty similar odds looking at the schedule- so it will come down to who wins the bigger games- particularly on the road. If Michigan takes care of business against Ohio State our chances rise. If Michigan State loses to Minnesota at home as well after the next conference game it may be Michigan and Indiana fighting for the title with MSU and OSU dropping to long shots. It also seems like there is a very good chance of a split again this year.
My current odds:
I think there is a 1/3 chance there is an outright champ and a 2/3 chance its split. It could be split with two, three, or four teams, so my odds for a split are funky- and maybe mathematically impossible but they are rough estimates anyway.
Michigan and Indiana are so close- the fact Indiana closes at Michigan (that will be such a classic game if things shape up as they seem to be) and that they play more road games against top opponents leaves me thinking Michigan has a slightly better chance of a title in any capacity- and equally as likely to win outright. MSU and OSU are half as likely given tougher schedules than Michigan and a game behind Indiana. They are also less likely to get a split in my opinion, but both have good odds. Wisconsin has almost no chance to win outright, only an easy schedule in comparison keeps some hope alive. They seem possibly in the hunt for a split title- kind of like ours last year with everything needing to fall in place. Minnesota is too far back now and can only hope the top teams beat up on each other enough so everyone gets dinged and they take care of a schedule that’s easier than the top 4 teams.
I have a lot of time this weekend and started to reflect on the year so far. It turned into me writing about each of the main players production to this point, a quick Indiana game recap, and forecasts for the rest of the year and for next year. It is quite long so if you dont like longer posts you will hate this one... it is also my first contribution so be nice (hopefully it will be a good read for those who look through it!):
First Half: There’s a reason he is thought of as the best point guard in the nation and a serious contender for player of the year. The fact that such a young team has been top-5 all year has a lot to do with his tremendous leadership. He can take over games, and has an ability to raise his game when he is most needed. Has at times struggled with poor shot selection.
34.0 minutes, 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.9 TPG, .487 FGP, .778 FTP, .367 3PP
Indiana Game: 9/24 shooting, 4/12 from 3, 25 points, 8 assists, 3 to, and 4 PF. Not his strongest game despite good overall production. Some very poor shot selection (deep threes, long two step-backs, etc.) but also great leadership at time.
Second Half Thoughts: While fans will be excited about a championship run it will be also interesting to see if he will be player of the year. He seems to have wrapped up being the top PG, and very possibly will be a unanimous all-American. If we win the BigTen it will be largely because he stepped up in big games- and improved his shot selection in close games.
Next Year Thoughts: Hard to imagine him coming back… Stinks for him he gets compared to CP3 because the chances he produces at that level are likely pretty low- but for a player who came in under-the-radar and turned into potentially the best college player who knows…
First Half: With Burke playing all but 6 minutes per game Albrecht does not play a whole lot. A big surprise has been how well he seems to handle things when he gets into the game. Has hit some big shots, plays within the flow of the game very well.
7.1 minutes, 1.5 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.2 TPG, .370 FGP, 1.000 FTP, .353 3PP
Indiana Game: 4 minutes and no stats accumulated. It’s nice that when he steps in the game no one panics too much. A low recruit freshman stepping in for perhaps the player of the year- you would think whenever he steps in fans would hold their breath- the fact that that is not the case says quite a bit- even if his stats don’t seem to impressive.
Second Half Thoughts: I imagine the second half will go just as the first has. Let’s hope he can step in during some high pressure situations and play well to get some good experience for next year- but this is Burke’s team and he will play most of the time obviously.
Next Year Thoughts: Derrick Walton is a top-flight recruit. Let’s see if Walton will follow in the footsteps of Burke and Morris (it certainly seems like he has the ability to). My guess is that Albrecht will play more at the start of next year and gradually give up more and more time to Walton. I imagine that Walton will start at some point next year- but that Albrecht will start the first few games (probably more than Vogrich did this year) and then play 5-10 minutes per game depending on how well Walton matures as the year goes on.
Tim Hardaway JR:
First Half: Last year his game was inconsistent, this year he has been a steady producer. Last year he tried to force his way into games, this year he plays within the game much better. He has made some huge shots, and his shooting has been getting better all year. He can handle the ball well (although too many turnovers), and along with Burke makes up the best backcourt in the country.
34.0 minutes, 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2.2 TPG, .483 FGP, .736 FTP, .410 3PP
Indiana Game: 8-16 shooting, 2-5 3’s, 1 Reb, 2 TO’s, 4 PF, 18 points. Played solid defense, hit some big shots, but did little else.
Second Half Thoughts: He is one of the top players in the country and can take over games. Plays solid defense but can also be silent for longer stretches. Would love to see him step up his game even more but if he plays like he has so far everyone should be happy.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he stays. With Irvin coming in and Stauskas we could absorb the loss- but it’d be great if he came back. He can still develop his game more and would benefit from another year- but he has all the talent to turn into a productive NBA player.
First Half: Glad he used the redshirt! He has been very fun to watch play and has shown signs of having the ability to become a very good player. Nothing too flashy, no very productive games, but consistently plays well when he is in.
11.6 minutes, 3.1 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.1 APG, 0.3 TPG, .391 FGP, .500 FTP, .409 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 min, 2-4 shooting, 0-1 from 3’s, 1 Reb, 1 ast, 2 PF, 4 points. He showed some promise while playing. Handled the ball more than he normally does and looked like he could handle the pressure. That’s pretty impressive considering he was not going to play at all this year.
Second Half Thoughts: Likely more of the same. Hopefully he can improve shot selection a little bit better and be more productive.
Next Year Thoughts: He looks like he can be a very solid player. You can see how many had him as the Ohio player of the year last year in high school. When he continues to fill out his frame he could develop into a very solid player. Some on the board seem to think he has a legit NBA shot- too early for that in my opinion, but you can see brilliance in his future if everything clicks.
First Half: Probably the most pleasant surprise this year. We knew he could shoot on youtube, but 50% from 3’s is crazy. Plus he has two memes- more than a shooter, and blouses… gotta love it.
30.9 minutes, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .486 FGP, .827 FTP, .483 3PP
Indiana Game: 10 points of 3-10 shooting with 1-5 from 3. 1 Reb (offensive), 2 assists and 2 fouls. Apparently he may not have been feeling well- and it makes sense watching the game. When he passed up an open three you could tell things were not perfect. Hard to remember he is a freshman at times- and it is hard to expect great play from a freshman in a serious road game.
Second Half Thoughts: If he continues with his production that would be fantastic. Become a real threat on the pick and roll and off the dribble- would love to see that progress- especially since next year he may handle the ball more without as strong a PG. While he is more than a shooter that is the heart of his game, and shooters go through stretches of greatness and cold spells- let’s hope those hot streaks correspond with big games.
Next Year Thoughts: He has a lot of swagger and the ability to back it up. I can see him becoming a leader on this team, and becoming even more productive. He looks like a future NBA guy, but we should enjoy plenty of 3’s and game blouses moments next year!
Glen Robinson III:
First Half: We at MGoBlog expected big things from the freshman and he has delivered. One of the most productive players, and a very smart and talented player. His athleticism and dunking ability have also led to some of the most pleasant moments of the year.
32.9 minutes, 11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .586 FGP, .677 FTP, .405 3PP
Indiana Game: Only player to go all 40 (in part because he had only 1 foul), but his weakest game. 2 points on 1-6 shooting, 4 rebounds (2 offensive) and 1 assist and 1 turnover.
Second Half Thoughts: Despite the rough Indiana game big things are ahead for GR3. He has been tremendously consistent and productive. I expect big things from him the rest of the way- and if he can improve he has the ability to take this team to an even higher level.
Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he doesn’t make the jump. He has an NBA body and athleticism and skill-set- but he has a lot of growing to go. Let’s hope that maturation happens in a Michigan uniform. If he stays next year’s team will also be very special- if he jumps it will be much tougher to have as great a year.
First Half: Not a whole lot of minutes, and has only played in half the games. Shows signs of having a lot of potential but not too close for that talent turning into production any time soon.
Indiana Game: DNP
Second Half Thoughts: Less time as games become more important.
Next Year Thoughts: Next year he should still see limited action, but at times has shown signs he could work his way into the rotation as an upperclassmen if he develops the way he appears to be able to.
First Half: Not flashy but a big part of this team. Plays half the minutes as finally Michigan has plenty of big-men to play. Great defense, great rebounder, solid and productive offensive player.
19 minutes, 6.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.1 TPG, .626 FGP, .583 FTP
Indiana Game: L… 2 minutes without any stats battling an injury.
Second Half Thoughts: Let’s hope he heals- because we are a stronger team with him playing. Has also shown great leadership- and leadership on the court means a lot in the college game. May not be the flashiest or highest scorer- but he makes a huge impact and if stays healthy expect more of the same.
Next Year Thoughts: Center position will all be back- and should all see their play step up- I like having solid big men!
First Half: You can see why he was so highly ranked- and you can also see why he dropped in the rankings. Tons of talent, even more hustle! He does so many little things right- outlet passing, boxing out, solid defense, and intangibles galore!
16.6 minutes, 5.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 BPG, 1.0 TPG, .592 FGP, .579 FTP
Indiana Game: 28 minutes, 5-7 shooting for 10 points with 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 assits, 2 steals, 1 block, but 4 fouls. Very high intensity game with good production.
Second Half Thoughts: More of the same- lots of rebounds, decent points, lots of hustle.
Next Year Thoughts: NBA player for sure- but should definitely be back at least for a year. He can definitely develop into an all-BigTen bigman- with more minutes that could even be next year. Such a great rebounder and hustler- if he can continue the high level of production with increased minutes expect very big things.
First Half: Fewest minutes of the bigs that play regular minutes. Less offensive production, but just as solid defensive production.
9.6 minutes, 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.7 BPG, 0.5 TPG, .571 FGP, .600 FTP
Indiana Game: Started and got 10 minutes with 2-3 shooting for 4 points. 1 offensive and 2 defensive boards to go along with 2: blocks, turnovers, and fouls.
Second Half Thoughts: If Morgan battles with injuries he will have to step up. He has struggles with his own injuries in the past- but has shown great signs of progress!
Next Year Thoughts: He will still be behind McGary and Morgan for minutes- but he has some definite potential and can play his way into bigger minutes.
There’s a reason we have been a top-five team all year- we are very good! There have been a lot of good surprises this year, and a lot of production. Burke is a definite player-of-the-year guy, and with THJR makes up the nation’s best guard combo. Indiana game was tough- but this was a young team playing on the road- and we played tough. There are plenty of reasons to expect big things this year- and for the most par I expect players to continue their production levels the rest of the way- which is a good thing considering how solid production has been.
McLimans and Vogrich are the only players who will graduate- so there are a lot of reasons to expect big things for next year. Burke seems very likely to leave, and Hardaway and Robinson are the most likely to join him- but hopefully both will be back. Irvin and Walton should be good contributors as freshman and Donnal will likely add good depth. If Hardaway and Robinson leave we should have a big drop but still be pretty decent- if at least one stays we should still have an excellent year next year- and if both stay and only Burke leaves we can be a top-10 team potentially- especially if Walton continues the trend of excellent PG recruiting.
As you already know, the last time that the Michigan Wolverines were ranked #1 was during the 1992-1993 basketball season, when the fab five were in their second and final year of playing together. Other than the #1 ranking, there are actually a number of other similarities between that team and this year's team. Since it is snowing outside and I don't work on Fridays, I thought it would be interesting to compare the impact players from both teams. Chart? Chart.
|'92-'93 Impact Players|
|Player||1992- 1993 stats (avg/game)||Draft Info||Other Notable Facts|
|Chris Webber||19.2 pts, 10.2 rebs, 2.5 asst, 2.9 TO, 2.5 blk||#1 draft pick 1993||1993 1st Team All-American. In the range of #60-75 all-time NBA player. Ranked by ESPN as the #11 power forward of all-time. 5 time NBA all-star.|
|Jalen Rose||15.4 pts, 4.2 rebs, 3.9 asst, 3.1 TO, 0.4 blk||#13 draft pick 1994||1994 Consensus 2nd team All-American, NBA All-Rookie Second Team|
|Juwan Howard||14.6 pts, 7.4 rebs, 1.9 asst, 2.6 TO, 0.4 blk||#5 draft pick 1994||NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1995), All-NBA Third Team (1996), NBA All-Star (1996)|
|Jimmy King||10.8 pts, 4.4 rebs, 3.1 asst, 2.3 TO, 0.5 blk||#35 draft pick 1995|
|Ray Jackson||9.0 pts, 4.1 rebs, 2.3 asst, 1.5 TO, 0.3 blk||undrafted|
|Eric Riley||5.6 pts, 4.8 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.9 blk||#33 draft pick 1993|
|Rob Pelinka||4.3 pts, 2.1 rebs, 1.0 asst, 0.5 TO, 0.0 blk||undrafted|
|James Voskuil||3.1 pts, 1.8 rebs, 0.5 asst, 0.7 TO, 0.2 blk||undrafted|
|'12-'13 Impact Players|
|Player||Season Stats (avg/game)||Anticipated Draft Status||Other Notable Facts and Projections|
|Trey Burke||17.9 pts, 3.0 rebs, 7.1 asst, 1.9 TO, 0.4 blk||2013 1st Round||Likely All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten POY and candidate for National POY|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||15.5 pts, 5.0 rebs, 2.6 asst, 2.2 TO, 0.6 blk||2014 Late 1st Round or Early 2nd Round||Candidate for All Big Ten this year, and should be a lock for Big Ten honors if he stays for his senior year.|
|Glen Robinson III||12.1 pts, 5.8 rebs, 1.3 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.2 blk||2014 1st Round||Could make a run at Big Ten POY next season if he stays.|
|Nik Stauskas||12.6 pts, 3.0 rebs, 1.3 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.3 blk||2015 1st Round||More than just a shooter. Canadian.|
|Jordan Morgan||6.4 pts, 5.2 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.2 TO, 0.2 blk||Undrafted|
|Mitch McGary||5.6 pts, 6.0 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.7 blk||2015 Late 1st Round or Early 2nd Round||Great motor.|
|Caris Levert||3.0 pts, 0.9 rebs, 1.1 asst, 0.3 TO, 0.1 blk||Too hard to tell, could be drafted after Junior or Senior seaons.|
|Jon Horford||2.6 pts, 2.6 rebs, 0.3 asst, 0.4 TO, 0.6 blk||Unlikely that he will be drafted, but has potential|
|Team||78.0 pts, 37.0 rebs, 15.0 asst, 9.0 TO, 3.0 blk||Preseason #5 ranking, climbed to #1 in week 13 (ahead of Kansas and Indiana), anticipate a final top 5 ranking. Should finish either 1st or 2nd in the Big Ten Conference and make a strong NCAA Tournament run. 2-1 against currently ranked opponents.|
*Disclaimer: I am not an NBA scout, and I do not even play one on TV. My "anticipated draft status" is a combination of what I have read online, and my own untrained opinion. There is a very very good chance that both THJ and GRIII could enter the draft after this season. Draft Express only had them in their 2014 mock draft the last I saw, so that is where I have them for now.
Comparing the two teams (I am just going to use present tense and assume that time travel already happened): Both teams have 4 players averaging double digits PPG and both teams do a good job controlling the boards. Both have similar win percentages against ranked teams, but of course the 2012-2013 team has a much smaller sample size at this point; the next couple of weeks will give us a better sample of what this year's team can do against elite competition. The '92-'93 team was elite at blocking shots, but also turned the ball over at a much higher rate. The '12-'13 team plays a slower pace, but takes better care of the ball and has a much better assist to turnover ratio. The '92-'93 team featured that year's #1 draft pick and a second rounder, as well as 2 future first rounders and a future second round pick. It remains to be seen what is in store for this year's team in upcoming drafts, but they probably have 2 players who could go in the first round this year if they chose to leave early and another who could probably go in the second round this year. In total, I expect that this year's roster will match the '92-'93 roster with eventually 5 drafted players, and could add a sixth or even a seventh (optimism!!).
Questions: Who is the better team? Who is the more fun team to watch? If both teams were in this year's NCAA Tournament, who would have a better chance to win the title? I will post the answer key after all tests have been submitted.