u r a bad fucking man doing a basketball UFR. THANKS!
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
This game happened, like, two weeks ago, so apologies in advance for revisiting something that could not be less timely, but I had all these charts and stuff that took a really long time to fill out. This is the first of what I expect will be many forms of a basketball UFR, so suggestions are not only welcome, but encouraged. I'll be doing these with regularity come Big Ten season, and now that I have a basic template, they'll come down the pipe much faster than this one.
An explanation of my methodology is probably in order. The play-by-play breakdown is relatively simple—it's broken up by possession, one point can be earned or lost on each possession (lots of half-points are assigned, but I like this method since you want to average at least—technically a bit above—one point per possession), and I tell you the offensive set (more on that later) and defense (either man or type of zone, plus whether or not they pressed). FB == fast break. OOB == set from an inbounds play. I am not a basketball coach, and the last time I played competitively was in middle school, so corrections on terminology and the like would be much appreciated. Points do not coincide with made or missed baskets, but instead are awarded on the basis of creating shot opportunities—for instance, a pick to free a man, a cut to get open, or a nice pass may merit half-points, and creating a bucket on an isolation will earn a full point.
Shots are charted separately, and are broken down into three categories: dunk/layup, two-point shots, and three-point shots. They are further categorized by the level of contest from the defense—either no contest, late contest, or heavy contest—which, according to a tidbit from a BTN announcer, passed on to me by Brian, is how John Beilein charts shots.
Offensive Set Notes: Michigan starts nearly every possession, as you'll see in the chart, with a 2-1-2 set. It looks like this:
Douglass is the point guard here, and the man in the middle is always the center (in this case, Smotrycz). One wing starts up top, opposite the point guard (Vogrich) while the other is down by the baseline (Hardaway) across from the four (Novak). From here, Beilein has a seemingly infinite number of plays. On occasion, Michigan starts in a slight variant of this, which for lack of a better term (or lack of basketball knowledge) I called a 2-1-1-1:
As you can see, the shooting guard (Douglass) has moved from the wing over to the top of the key, right in front of the center. This opens up the outside of the court a bit more and allows for some interesting double screens in the middle. For something completely different, here's Michigan running a 1-4 high, where everything starts outside the arc:
We'll see if the distribution—almost entirely 2-1-2 in this game—changes at all when Michigan plays a defense that does something besides man. I have Memphis down for one zone press, and on every other possession they were in man-to-man. Josh Pastner isn't much into this whole "X's and O's" thing, and would much rather you leave him alone and let him continue recruiting McDonald's All-Americans.
Here goes (something that is probably) nothing...
|20:00 1H||0-0||FB||FB||Hardaway||FT (1/2)|
|Morgan (+0.5) wins the opening tip and knocks it right to Hardaway. Hardaway (+0.5, dunk/layup, late contest, foul) sees an opening, crosses over Joe Jackson, and drives to the bucket, where he's fouled by a late-arriving Tarik Black.|
|The offense is stagnant for 15 seconds, with Morgan setting an off-ball pick for Smotrycz that is ignored and Hardaway posting up his defender without great position (Team -0.5). Hardaway sees Burke has the ball one-on-one, clears out to the corner (+0.5) and Burke drives to the bucket, spins past Jackson, and hits a running floater in the lane (+1, 2 pt., no contest, make).|
|18:58||3-2||1-4 High||Man||Novak||3-pt Make|
|Novak grabs a defensive board and charges hard up the court, but Memphis gets back. He hands off to Burke at the top of the key, where Morgan (+0.5) sets a screen that Burke takes. As Burke scrapes over the top of the screen to the left, Novak loops behind him and takes a handoff from Burke, while three Memphis defenders are caught up with Burke. Morgan dives into the lane, where he's open but with help coming, and Novak pulls up and drains a three just before a recovering defender can get a hand in his face (+0.5, 3 pt., late contest, make).|
|Burke starts the offense from well beyond the three point line, dribbles to his right, and passes to Smotrycz, who had flashed from the baseline to the FT line extended next to the sideline. Memphis's Wesley Witherspoon plays him tight, trapping him without room to dribble. Smotrycz tries to clear Witherspoon out, but brings the ball down too low and has it slapped away right to a Tiger defender (-1, forced TO).|
|Burke starts down the left side and gives to Morgan, who has flashed out to the three point line. He swings it to Smotrycz (+0.5) on the right, who moves back towards Morgan—now setting a pick—before hitting Hardaway on a textbook backdoor cut (+0.5). Hardaway goes up for the dunk but is blocked from behind on a spectacular defensive effort (dunk/layup, heavy, block).|
|Burke attempts a one-man fast break, but has the ball knocked out of bounds on the baseline. Burke inbounds with Michigan lined up in a box, Morgan and Smotrycz in line with Burke, Novak and Hardaway on the other side of the lane. Novak curls around a double screen by Smot and Morgan before diving to the basket. Hardaway follows Novak, beating his man, gets the inbounds pass from Burke, and drains a corner jumper from just inside the line (+0.5, Team +0.5, 2 pt., no contest, make).|
|This one is too easy. Burke dribbles up the court, goes to his left as Novak vacates to the top of the key, and Hardaway takes a quick jab-step towards midcourt before cutting along the baseline (+0.5). Burke hits him perfectly in stride (+0.5) and Hardaway hits the layup (dunk/layup, no contest, make).|
|Morgan comes up from the FT line to the top of the key and gets the pass from Burke, but he's come out so far that he's nearly standing on the midcourt logo (which is annoyingly large, but not THAT large). Witherspoon slaps the ball away and starts a fast break for Memphis (Morgan -1, forced TO).|
|16:14||10-6||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Burke||2-pt Make|
|Horford in for Morgan. Novak breaks the press from Memphis and eventually gives it back out to Burke, who's 28 feet away from the bucket on the left side. Horford comes over and sets a pick that does little (-0.5). Burke fights his way right around Jackson, however, and finds space in the middle of the lane to hit a short floater (+1.5, 2 pt, no contest, make). This is just Burke being a superior athlete, as he received little help.|
|15:34||12-9||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Smotrycz||Layup Make|
|Burke breaks the press down the right sideline and gives to Horford at the top of the key, who passes to Smotrycz on the right elbow outside the 3-point line. Burke clears out to the left corner, and Smotrycz makes a quick crossover to his right, getting a step and taking it all the way to the bucket for a tough layup (+1, dunk/layup, heavy contest, make). Not pretty, but effective.|
|Hardaway pushes the pace off a long defensive rebound, beats everyone up the court, and draws a shooting foul (+1, dunk/layup, late contest, foul).|
|Douglass in for Smotrycz. Hardaway again going fast up the court after a rebound. The entire team is beyond the three point line as Hardaway dribbles to the top of the key, but Horford has the presence of mind to set a quick screen (+0.5) which gives Hardaway just enough space to get off a long two, which drops (+0.5, 2 pt., heavy contest, make). Probably an ill-advised shot with 29 seconds on the shot clock, but Hardaway is feeling it and he hits it, so he gets the half-point.|
|Burke swings it to Novak at the top of the key. Novak starts driving to the left and Hardaway makes a hard V-cut to clear himself a little bit of space at the three-point line. Novak gives it to him, and Hardaway chucks up a three with a hand right in his grill—it misses with nobody in position for a rebound (-1, 3 pt., heavy contest, miss).|
|Smotrycz in for Horford. Burke gives to Novak on the right elbow, who passes to Smotrycz at the top of the key. Douglass (+0.5) sets a pick for a cutting Novak as Smotrycz swings it to Hardaway, who finds a wide-open Novak (+0.5, dunk/layup, no contest, make) for an easy layup.|
|Burke hands off to Novak, who swings it to Douglass at the top of the key. Smotrycz sets a screen for Hardaway in the lane, then pops out to the three point line, where Douglass gives it to him. Smotrycz pumps and then drives, where he's doubled with Hardaway now open under the basket. Instead of passing, Smotrycz pumps, tries to draw a foul, and nearly misses everything as his five-foot leaner ricochets off the underside of the backboard (-1, 2 pt., heavy contest, miss). Memphis gets the board. Smot really forced that one.|
|Akunne in for Burke. Instead of giving the offense a chance to set up off a missed Memphis FT, Hardaway drives into the left corner, where he picks up his dribble and is trapped by a double team (-0.5). He does find a cutting Smotrycz under the basket, but Memphis rotates nicely and Smotrycz (-0.5, forced TO) is stripped clean as he tries to go up for a layup. Might be a little harsh on Smot here, as Hardaway didn't put him in a great position and he did make a nice cut, but he's gotta be more secure with the ball.|
|Michigan works the ball around the perimeter, Amaker-style, until a Hardaway pass to an open Smotrycz is tipped OOB on the sideline with 8 seconds on the shot clock. Media timeout. Vogrich in for Hardaway. Akunne gets the inbounds, gives it to Smotrycz and gets it back immediately, and is stripped along the sideline as the shot clock expires (forced TO). Akunne -0.5 for not getting a shot off, Team -0.5 for putting him in that position in the first place.|
|10:55||20-19||1-4 High||Man||Douglass||3-pt Make|
|After Michigan swings the ball around the perimeter for a while, Novak (+0.5) sets a screen in the paint to open up Horford, who flashes to the top of the key while Douglass holds the ball on the right. Douglass gives to Horford, then cuts back around him, and Horford (+0.5) hands it back off and screens Stu's man. Douglass buries a wide open three (3 pt., no contest, make).|
|Nobody is really moving without the ball, so Douglass (+0.5) drives to the basket with 16 seconds left on the shot clock. He's well-defended, but the defense collapses on him, so he kicks it out to an open Novak in the corner. Novak can't sink the shot, and Horford commits a foul for going over the back trying for the board (Team -0.5, 3 pt., no contest, miss).|
|9:30||23-21||-||2-2-1 FC Press/2-3 Zone||Douglass||3-pt Miss|
|Lineup is now Burke, Douglass, Vogrich, Christian, McLimans. Yeah. Michigan breaks the press rather easily and Vogrich (+0.5) makes a nice skip pass to Colton Christian in the corner. Christian immediately kicks it out to Burke (+0.5), who finds a wide-open Douglass up top for a three. It clangs out and the rebound goes OOB off Christian (3 pt., late contest, miss).|
|Burke tries to get a quick break off a Memphis miss and Vogrich is fouled driving the baseline. Hardaway checks in for Douglass. With Burke inbounding from the baseline, Hardaway (+0.5) comes from under the basket to set a screen for Christian, who dives to the basket and takes the feed from Burke. He goes up and hits the layup with a hand in his face (+0.5, dunk/layup, heavy contest, make.)|
|7:31||25-23||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Hardaway||TO|
|Again, Burke has no trouble breaking the press. The ball eventually is worked around to McClimans at the top of the key. He passes to Hardaway on the wing and goes to set a screen, but Hardaway chooses to spin away from the screen and into two defenders, getting stripped in the process and turning it over (-1, foi'mrced TO).|
|Hardaway once again finds himself with the ball on the left side, and again drives hard to the left side of the basket. He pulls up from around 12 feet and tries a jumper, but he's well-defended by his man and McLimans's man rotates over and blocks the shot (-1, 2 pt., heavy contest, block). Athletic play by the defender to block it, but also a bad force with 18 seconds on the shot clock.|
|6:36||25-25||2-1-2||Man||Christian||OReb, 3-pt Miss|
|Burke chucks up a deep three after going too far around a pick from McLimans (Burke -1, 3 pt., no contest, miss) but Christian makes a great effort under the boards to tap the ball to himself and haul in the rebound (+1). He manages to fend off three defenders to keep the ball and backs out to the three-point line, where he passes to an open Vogrich out of a double team (+1). Vogrich misses (3 pt., no contest, miss). Fantastic effort from Christian, however.|
|Michigan comes out of a timeout with Burke, Vogrich, Douglass, Novak, and Smotrycz. ESPN cuts back from the break as Vogrich gets the ball on the left sideline, played tight by his man. He clears the ball through and drives it straight to the bucket, getting his body between himself and the defender and going up strong for a layup (+1, dunk/layup, heavy contest, make).|
|Smotrycz sets a pick for Burke up top and rolls open towards the basket, but Burke ignores him, tries to drive it himself, and then commits a palming violation as he attempts to pass to an open Douglass in the corner (-1, unforced TO). A full minus for missing the open man and then committing the turnover, though I had no idea they still called carries at any level of basketball.|
|Novak starts the breakout after a defensive rebound, and Michigan has numbers. Novak gives to Burke, who makes the right choice to pass to an open Douglass on the elbow. Douglass draws the defense and finds Vogrich under the basket; he's fouled. After resetting the offense off the inbounds, Novak takes the ball from the left wing and tries to drive to the free throw line off a Smotrycz screen. Smot's man switches and steals the ball from Novak (-1, forced TO).|
|Douglass receives a skip pass on the right side from Vogrich, then makes a sloppy bounce pass to Burke, who's just a few feet away from him. Burke gets a hand on it, but the ball goes OOB. Douglass -1, unforced TO.|
|3:24||27-29||1-4 High||Man||Burke||3-pt Miss|
|Burke dribbles to the elbow and spins away from a Smotrycz pick, choosing to drive under the basket, leaving his feet as the defense collapses (-0.5). He's bailed out by finding an open Douglass for three, but there's still no need to jump. Douglass misses (3 pt., no contest, miss), and Smotrycz (-0.5) gets hit with an offensive foul for blatantly shoving the guy boxing him out in the back.|
|3:02||27-31||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Douglass||3-pt Make|
|Hardaway in for Vogrich. Hardaway gets the ball on the wing and Smotrycz comes over for a pick-and-roll. Smot (+0.5) draws two defenders as he dives to the basket, and Douglass rotates to the top of the key, where Hardaway (+0.5) finds him for a wide open look. This time, Stu knocks it down (3 pt., no contest, make).|
|Smotrycz grabs a defensive board and immediately runs out on the break, as two Memphis players are caught under the M basket (+0.5). Unfortunately, a guard catches up to him and knocks the ball away as Smot falls to the ground (-1), but Burke is in the right place, grabs the loose ball, and takes it to the hoop, where he's fouled while attempting a short pull-up J (+0.5, 2-pt, heavy contest, foul).|
|Douglass skies for a long defensive rebound and Burke immediately takes off downcourt, beating both Memphis guards down the floor. Stu (+0.5) lobs a beautiful pass that hits Burke in stride, and he goes in for a nice reverse layup without needing to put the ball on the floor (+0.5, dunk/layup, no contest, make).|
|Hardaway launches a pass the length of the court to Novak, who dribbles to the FT line, waits, then tosses it to Burke, who cut to the corner. Burke makes a nice touch pass (+0.5) to Hardaway, who found space for an open three, but he misses (+0.5, 3 pt., no contest, miss). Memphis knocks the rebound OOB, with Smotrycz there putting up a good fight. On the inbounds, Douglass gets the pass after going around a double pick, then finds Burke—the inbounder—wide open for a 10-footer after drawing three defenders (Douglass +0.5, Team +0.5, 2-pt, no contest, make).|
|Hardaway gets the defensive board and takes off along with Burke and Douglass against three scrambling Memphis defenders. He stops on a dime, nearly traveling but losing his man in the process, and rattles in an 18-foot pull-up jumper (+1, 2 pt., no contest, make). End of 1H, 37-31 Michigan.|
|19:47 2H||37-33||2-1-2||Man||Morgan||OReb, Layup Make|
|Starters back in. Burke gets himself trapped out near halfcourt with 10 seconds on the shot clock (-0.5), but spins and finds Smotrycz at the FT line. Smot drives and tries a spinning hook shot with the clock about to expire, but it rims out (+0.5, 2-pt., heavy contest, miss). Nobody blocks out Morgan, however, who grabs the rebound and lays it in for two (+1, dunk/layup, no contest, make). Nice job of Smotrycz to draw the defense when the offense had been stagnant, and good positioning by Morgan.|
|After an off-the-ball foul on Memphis, Burke inbounds from under the basket. Michigan again aligns in a box, and Novak splits through the two bigs (Morgan & Smot) while Hardaway pops out to the three-point line. Burke inbounds to Hardaway, who swings it to Smotrycz, who finds Burke open in the corner for a three, which he misses (Team +1, 3 pt., late contest, miss).|
|After a few passes, Smotrycz gets the ball on the right wing. On the left side of the lane, Novak sets a screen for Hardaway, then pops out to the top of the key as both Memphis defenders follow THJ. Smotrycz finds Novak all alone for three, and he buries it (+1, 3 pt., no contest, make).|
|17:46||42-36||-||Man FC Press||Smotrycz||2-pt Make|
|Horford in for Morgan. Memphis presses after a made FT. Burke (+0.5) breaks it himself, streaking down the right side, sees a double coming, and passes to Smotrycz, whose man stepped out on Burke. Smot pump fakes and steps past a closing Memphis defender—a nice move—and pulls up for an easy 12-footer (+0.5, 2-pt., no contest, make).|
|17:18||44-36||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Burke||3-pt Miss|
|Michigan inbounds with 22 on the shot clock after Smotrycz drives and has the ball knocked OOB. Burke gives it to Novak under the basket, but he can't go up with it and has to take it out. Ball is passed around the perimeter for too long, and finally Burke has to chuck up a desparation three from 30+ feet as the shot clock is about to expire. It misses badly (Team -1, 3 pt., no contest, miss).|
|16:16||44-38||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Horford||FT (2/2)|
|Burke again runs right past the Memphis press—not sure why they're still doing it—gets to the lane, and dishes it off to Horford under the basket (Burke +0.5). Horford goes up for the layup and is fouled (+0.5, dunk/layup, heavy contest, foul). Nice job of diving to the basket by Horford, and great penetration by Burke to set it up.|
|Douglass in for Smotrycz. Hardaway runs off a Memphis miss, finds Burke, who tries a running floater that comes up short (2 pt., late contest, miss). Horford (+1) snags the offensive rebound in traffic, dribbles once, sees nothing is there, and kicks it out to Hardaway, who passes to an open Novak for a look at a three. Clang (3 pt., late contest, miss).|
|Not sure what to call this, but instead of their normal 2-1-2, Burke starts in the center of the court and Douglass, instead of starting even with him on the opposite wing, stands right in front of Horford in the middle (pictured up top). Burke spends the entire shot clock dribbling around, missing an open Douglass early in the possession, and has to dish out to Stu for a deep three as the shot clock is about to run out (Burke -1, 3 pt., heavy contest, miss).|
|Douglass has the ball up high on the right side. Novak begins a curl cut towards the basket that ends up turning into a sort of awkward pick for Burke (+0.5? Sure. GRIT.) Douglass passes to Burke, who banks in a long two (+0.5, 2 pt., late contest, make). Not a pretty shot on this particular occasion, but Burke gets great elevation on his jumper.|
|Novak gets a defensive board and pushes the pace, passing it up to Douglass, who's standing about 28 feet from the basket. Douglass turns and... fires up a three. Huh? (-1, 3 pt., no contest, miss). Yes, Douglass is open here, but it's not hard to get open 28-footers at any point in the shot clock, and Michigan had Memphis scrambling to get back. Turrible shot selection, Kenny. Turrible.|
|Akunne and Smotrycz in for Burke and Novak. After passing around the perimeter for a while, Horford comes up and sets a pick Hardaway (+0.5), who finds Horford open on the roll for an easy layup (+0.5, dunk/layup, no contest, make).|
|12:34||50-41||1-4 High||Man||Akunne||3-pt Make|
|Douglass (+0.5) pushes the pace off a Memphis miss, gives it to Hardaway at the top of the key, and THJ swings it to an open Akunne on the wing. Eso buries the three (+0.5, 3 pt., no contest, make). Half-points to Douglass for recognizing that Memphis wasn't getting back quickly and Akunne for finding the open area, but this was mostly a defensive bust by the Tigers, who had two men collapsing down on Horford in the paint.|
|12:11||53-42||2-1-1-1||Man FC Press||Hardaway||FT (2/2)|
|Novak in for Smotrycz. After a kick-ball violation on Memphis, Douglass inbounds. Hardaway sets a screen for Akunne, then pops out to the three point line, where Douglass inbounds to him. Hardaway dribbles to the FT line, pulls up, and gets fouled as he shoots a jumper (+1, 2 pt., late contest, foul).|
|11:38||55-44||3-2||Man FC Press||Douglass||3-pt Miss|
|Morgan and Burke in for Horford and Akunne. Morgan starts the set down on the baseline instead of the center's normal spot in the middle of the lane. With time running low on the clock, Douglass drives to the right, is stopped, spins, and somehow hits an open Vogrich in the corner with a skip pass (+0.5). Vogrich can't connect (Team -0.5, 3 pt., no contest, miss). Ugly possession—with 10 seconds left on the shot clock, all five M players were outside the three-point line.|
|10:50||55-46||2-1-2||Man 3/4 Press||Morgan||Layup Make|
|After the ball cycles around the perimeter for a while, Burke calls for a Morgan pick with ten seconds on the clock. He drives to the left, beats his man, and wraps a pass around a defender to Morgan, who has crashed to the basket (Burke +0.5). Morgan collects it, goes up strong, and makes a tough lay-in with a defender right in his face (+0.5, dunk/layup, heavy contest, make).|
|Vogrich and McLimans in for Douglass and Morgan. Burke, as usual, breaks the press as Memphis backs off a bit and goes into man. Hardaway gets the ball on the wing and Burke curls to the basket. He's open, but Hardaway doesn't give. Instead, he tries to pass to McLimans on a backdoor cut, but the pass is easily cut off. -1 Hardaway, unforced TO.|
|Michigan can't find an open cutter or a lane to the basket, and cycles the ball around the perimeter. Novak swings it to Hardaway in the corner and he tries a quick three, but he's well-defended and the shot is blocked (Hardaway -0.5, Team -0.5, 3 pt., heavy contest, block).|
|Burke turns on the jets on the fast break, spins around a defender at midcourt, then has the ball knocked from behind right through a defender's legs to Hardaway for a layup (+0.5 Burke, +0.5 Hardaway, dunk/layup, no contest, make). That was totally unintentional, but I'm feeling generous and that move at halfcourt was pretty sweet, plus it's tough to give THJ a full point for having the ball roll right to him under the basket.|
|Douglass in for Burke. Michigan gets a fresh clock after Tarik Black fouls Smotrycz on a halfhearted drive to the basket. After resetting up top, Douglass tries multiple times to get to the basket, is stymied, and settles for a 12-foot fallaway with a hand in his grill (-1, 2 pt., heavy contest, miss).|
|Hardaway goes on a one-man break, jump-stopping between three defenders and airballing his pullup jumper from the paint (-1, 2 pt., heavy contest, miss). Douglass grabs the airball and kicks it out to an open Novak, who pump-fakes a three, steps up, and can't hit from just inside the arc (2 pt., late contest, miss).|
|7:02||59-47||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Novak||FT (2/2)|
|Burke in for McLimans. Novak takes the ball from the wing and dribbles around Smotrycz to the top of the key, where he hits a back-cutting Hardaway (+0.5) with a great bounce pass (+0.5). THJ goes up for a dunk and is fouled (dunk/layup, late contest, foul).|
|6:28||61-47||-||Man FC Press||Smotrycz||TO|
|Memphis is in a weak full-court press, but Smotrycz—the inbounder—doesn't have a man on him, so he curls back around and sets a pick (+0.5) for Burke, who's able to drive all the way to the basket (+0.5). Smot does a great job of trailing and finds himself wide open in the lane, and Burke puts a pass right on the money that goes right through Smot's hands and OOB (-1, unforced TO). Oops.|
|5:50||61-49||2-1-2||Man FC Press||Hardaway||Layup Make|
|Hardaway takes the ball on the wing and passes to Smotrycz, who swings it over to Novak as Hardaway makes a hard backdoor cut. Novak (+0.5) finds THJ, who spins off his man—who overplayed the pass—and goes up for a layup before the defense can fully rotate. Money (+0.5, dunk/layup, late contest, make).|
|5:12||63-51||-||Man FC Press||Hardaway||TO|
|Hardaway gets the inbounds after a made FT, beats the press down the left side, then tries to stop, turn, and pass back to Douglass as a double comes. He's falling over as he does this and Memphis steals easily (-1, unforced TO).|
|4:55||63-54||4 Corners||Man FC Press||Burke||Layup Make|
|Memphis again presses, and Michigan goes into the old four corners. Burke just beats his man off the dribble and goes right up the middle for a layup (+1, dunk/layup, late contest, make). He's gonna be good, that one.|
|Morgan has the ball at the top of the key and Burke (+0.5) comes open on a curl cut around a Hardaway (+0.5) screen. He takes it right at the basket, but 3 defenders collapse and Burke is stuck in no man's land when he jumps, giving it away when he tries to kick it out to Smotrycz. -1 Burke, unforced TO. Think he could've taken the shot if he went up strong, but he made a mistake in leaving his feet without knowing where he was going with the ball. Last two possessions are a good reminder of what it's like to have a talented freshman PG.|
|4:10||65-56||OOB||Man FC Press||Hardaway||FT (2/2)|
|Memphis comes out of a timeout in the press again, but immediately fouls Hardaway when he gets the inbounds pass. Michigan is in the double bonus. Derp.|
|3:56||67-56||2-1-2||Man 3/4 Press||Smotrycz||3-pt Make|
|Douglass dribbles around for a really long time without anything opening up, which I guess is understandable considering Michigan is trying to kill clock now. He nearly gets stuck in the paint, but just before the shot clock is going to expire he finds Smotrycz, who nails a dagger with a hand in his face (+1, 3 pt., heavy contest, make). End of charting, because this is remarkably time-consuming and the game is essentially over at this point.|
So, are you going to do the alter-ego thing too, Ace?
You know, I hadn't really thought about it, but it is a really easy way to transition between...
Yes, charts, but you're jumping the gun, alter-ego. We should probably figure out what happened above.
So, um, what happened?
Coaching happened, at least for Michigan. I'm not exactly sure what to call whatever Pastner does. Michigan hit Memphis with a wide variety of screens and cuts that took full advantage of their man defense, and the Tigers apparently don't play zone... ever. Beilein probably felt like he was back pwning NAIA fools again. As for individual player performances...
Wait, now you're jumping the gun. We have a...
|Burke||9.5||5||4.5||Had some freshman mistakes, but overall quite good.|
|Hardaway||10||7||3||Best creator on offense, but forces plays too often.|
|Novak||4||1||3||Tons of half-points, GRIT. What did you expect?|
|Smotrycz||5||5||0||Pretty much as expected. Does a lot of good things, but also makes some glaring errors. Looks uncomfortable handling the ball, especially in the post.|
|Morgan||2.5||1||1.5||Not very active, does good job crashing to basket.|
|Douglass||3||3||0||Guard version of Smotrycz. Lots of positive half-points and inexplicable minus-ones. Still good for at least one absurd three-point attempt per game.|
|Horford||3||.5||2.5||Little post game to speak of, but very active off the ball. Much-improved.|
|Akunne||0.5||0.5||0||He's... useful? That's a bonus.|
|Christian||2.5||0||2.5||One fantastic hustle possession and a layup off a pick. Nice spark off the bench.|
|Vogrich||1.5||0||1.5||Pretty quiet day, but did have a nice driving layup.|
|McLimans||0||0||0||Nothing of note in seven minutes,|
|Team||2||3.5||-1.5||A couple of well-executed plays where there were too many players doing something right to break down credit individually. Also, a few plays of Amaker-ball, which are justifiably minused.|
|TOTAL||43.5||26.5||17||Really have no clue what this means yet.|
This should not come as news to those who have watched Michigan play this year, but Trey Burke is quite good for a freshman, or just period. He was efficient shooting the basketball, took care of the ball outside of a couple bad plays, and didn't try to force the issue too much. In fact, he was better than Tim Hardaway in that regard, though THJ is the one guy on the team who can really create his own shot from anywhere on the floor, so that's understandable.
I was torn about who should start at center after this game, and though Jordan Morgan locked that job down over the last couple weeks, it's still worth noting that Jon Horford is a lot better than he was last year. He hits the boards hard, is a presence inside on defense, and now looks comfortable in the offense, which has opened up opportunities for him to score a few points. Horford is a much more explosive athlete than Morgan, so if he can develop a passable post game, I think he'll eventually overtake Morgan for the starting role. Even if he doesn't, he's a viable big man off the bench, something Michigan didn't really have last year.
Stu and Metrics may drive me insane before the year is out, at least if this game is any indication. Douglass can handle the ball and plays good defense, but he's not hitting his open looks (more on that later) and his shot selection can be highly questionable. He also looks completely out of sorts when he has to take the ball anywhere near the basket, an affliction that also seems to affect Smotrycz, who turned the ball over multiple times because he forgets to hold the ball above his head instead of keeping it low and allowing defenders to knock it away. When I'm looking at the TV and screaming "I WAS TAUGHT NEVER TO DO THAT WHEN I PLAYED REC-ED BALL IN THIRD GRADE," well, it's an issue. On the other hand, Smot does look better when he drives to the basket, and his finishing looks improved, so hopefully this is just him getting acclimated to playing in the post more often.
Sorry, totally ignored myself there. Should we talk about the shooting chart?
Yes, you negligent jerk.
No need to get pissy, self. Shot chart is broken up by the three different levels of shots. NC == no contest. LC == late contest. HC == heavy contest. You probably already figured that out. The (3F) for Hardaway under late contested dunks/layups means he was fouled three times while taking those types of shots, since those attempts are worth noting but obviously can't count against shot attempts.
Again, we'll see what trends emerge as I do more of these, but I was impressed by the number of wide open looks Michigan got in this game. The team actually missed a fair amount of wide open threes, or the score could've been even more lopsided. Also, only one missed dunk/layup on the day, and that came on a great block from behind—everybody finished well around the basket. The only players that could make you go "argh" are Douglass—gotta knock down more of those open looks—and Vogrich, who can't seem to find his shot. Oh, and ESO!
Can I introduce the "Let's go to the tape" section?
Do you do that?
I am well versed in the art of section breaking in 190 languages, dialects, and levels of sanity.
Ga naar de video mijn kleine recensent
This section is going to be shorter than normal, because this is more of a test run and I forgot to cut video in the second half, but here are two plays that stood out. The first is just one of Beilein's plays working like magic, as Novak gets freed up by a pick on the backside of the play and Hardaway hits him perfectly for a layup:
That's just beautiful basketball—as I watched this game in slow motion, focusing on all the off-ball movement involved in Beilein's offense, I gained a huge appreciation both for his coaching and the execution by the players. If you're just looking at the ball when Michigan is on offense, you're missing out.
As for the other video I cut, well, this is just a fantastic pass by Douglass and a great finish by Burke, included because you all need to be as excited about Burke as I am:
While the layup looked easy, Burke's decision to not dribble and cut across the face of the retreating defender—basically cutting him off from any chance at contesting the shot—is a savvy move and very encouraging coming from a freshman. His basketball instincts are ahead of the curve.
Burke and Hardaway, who provided the bulk of the offense. Also Novak, who was deadly from three and did all the usual Gritty McGrittereckstein stuff. Oh, and John Beilein like whoa.
It's tough to call anyone a goat after beating the #8 team in the country, but Douglass can't waste possessions like he did, and also needs to start hitting open threes. That's what he's here for, and it's long past time where we can use the excuse that he's not used to handling backup point guard duties and that's somehow affecting his shot.
This is obviously just an offensive UFR, as I worked on this during Ohio State week and there just wasn't any time to do the defense. In the future, I'm thinking I'll just re-create the shot chart—no need to do a possession-by-possession breakdown for the other team's offense—for the opposing team and break that down further based on what type of defense Michigan played. It'll likely be included with the offense as a general basketball UFR.
Consider this a test run. Please give feedback, especially if something is confusing or you have a correction about basketball coaching stuff that I probably messed up.
u r a bad fucking man doing a basketball UFR. THANKS!
I am so fired.
Loved the UFR in general. Didn't think it was possible for me to spend more time on this blog than I already do, but a basketball UFR will likely make that happen. I know that Brian has done a lot of Xs and Os studying (coaching books, etc.) that has given him a deeper knowledge of what he's looking at, and I imagine the same will happen for you. I don't really have any specific criticism; just wanted to say good job and that I look forward to the evolution of the basketball UFR.
i'm pretty impressed. all of the elements are here. it's just a question of how long the reader has to devote to a possession-by-possession breakdown of a bball game. with that in mind, i wonder if there's some way of condensing possessions that aren't essential to an evaluatio of the game.
First of all: awesome.
That's all I've got now. I'm excited to watch this develop!
second suggestion #2 big time.
when i watch games, the announcers are always screaming for the 1-3-1 and claiming that we use it all the time, and it'd be nice to have real data on that. also, if i'm screaming for them to switch to zone, i'd like to know if what i think i've seen is right.
second also the video embeds, but picture pages based off of this would be pretty sweet too.
More proof of why this is the best blog on the internet. Thank you Ace!
This is fantastic and thanks for all the work that goes into it. Even the established UFR is a work in progress, so stick to it.
I think you're right to combine the defensive side into UFR. It's probably more about the success of formations rather than individual contributions. It'll be like charting a team of cornerbacks...if they're successful, you often don't notice them at all...and those individual successes show up on the stat sheet so unless there's something uncharted you can think of, there's not much of a need there. Maybe team metrics regarding contestation of shot and amount of shot clock the offense is forced to use?
Respectfully, I disagree. The idea that the "[defensive side] is probably more about the success of formations rather than individual contributions" is wrong, in my opinion. Individual contributions to team defense are extremely important.
In fact, I'd say that's where a charting service like this may prove most useful. During the game, it is often easier to pick out good and poor performers on offense than on defense. A charting service like this can help you break down the team defensive effort and look closely at how the contributions of individuals are adding up to the team result.
I think you misunderstand my jist here. I'm saying that defense is more about team play than about individual play, and that individually grading team defensive play would be too difficult - much in the same way that it's often difficult to grade a cornerback, whose successes (covering the guy so well he doesn't get the ball thrown to him) are often not noticed. The obvious individual successes and failures, like steals, blocks, rebounds, etc, already show up in the stat sheet and we don't need Ace to regurgitate those - unless we do, so but even then I can't think of any other things he could evaluate.
I'm saying that team defensive metrics would be a bit easier for Ace and would not already be reflected in the stat sheet. Then we could see how our formation affects things like shot clock usage and how open the shot was.
Ace - This is somewhere between fantastic and absolutely fantastic. I have never seen a basketball game broken down like this before and I really appreciate the work (and just as importantly the time) involved in putting this together.
Edited for proper credit to be given!
Excellent write-up. Looking forward to seeing other games evaluated and noticing trends in the UFRs as the season continues.
I love the idea, you have your work cut out for you w/ a basketball UFR, because the play is so much more free flowing, but you already knew that.
Anyway, seems good, and the +/-'s pass the eye test of what i thought i saw, Would love to see this compared to a game like UVa where our offense bogged down for long stretches
What an undertaking! This is incredibly detailed breakdown and seems like it's very time consuming. Terrific stuff - thanks for taking the time to create this.
A request: some Totals Columns and Row would be a handy, quick addition on the shot chart.
I haven't read this whole thing yet, but I'm beyond impressed. Seeing the work that's done on this blog makes me wonder what mainstream media journalists do to earn their paycheck.
You make sure Brian's paying you enough for you to be doing this sort of thing, OK?
Something else that may prove quite interesting to chart, especially over the course of a season, would be to track the production for each group of 5 on the floor...
Burke, Douglass, Hardaway, Smotrycz, Horford: 7 minutes, -5 pts
Burke, Hardaway, Novak, Smotrycz, Morgan: 12.5 minutes, +7 pts
First... Ace: Like everyone else, I'm in awe. This is a fantastic effort. This will definitely contribute to the evolution of MGoBlog as THE premiere site for Michigan athletics and as an example of how great a blog can be.
Regarding the comment above: I think this is an interesting potential add.
Another way to think of it might be like a +/- in hockey. When the O gets a point or a half point, there is a separate +/- point assigned to each guy on the floor. Players on the floor might all get a - for a turnover or a negative point offensive play.
Depending on how the defensive charting evolves, the other team getting a point results in a - for everyone on the floor and a + for a great stop.
It is going to be a big question of how time consuming this is and how much incremental work you want to do.
The interesting outcome may be that it identifies great roleplayers and bench guys who add value other than in simple points.
Great job and a huge undertaking.
The one thing I'd say is what about defense?
When you work with the defense, you should definitely breakdown opponents shots by our D (man, 2-3, 1-3-1). Also, I'm just curious how much detail there will be to that one. Giving it the full +/- would obviously be very time consuming, but I think you should at least run through it quickly and dole out some -'s for mistakes.
Anything else about your process would be interesting to hear. As a basketball guy, I would love to breakdown games like this and definitely could see doing something similar in the future, especially considering I want to coach at high school ball one day. I'd probably try to make my own chart if it weren't a student at Michigan (FERGODSAKES!).
/shakes fist at Michigan professors
This is a very good job for what you're trying to do, Ace.
I'll reiterate what I said before, however: unlike in football, you're going to be spending a lot of time (after the fact) just confirming what most people can tell from watching the games or reading the boxscores. I'd look for a way to make this useful beyond confirming Novak's grit, Burke's handle, or Hardaway's shot selection. I'm not sure how you'll do that.
That said, it's a good product.
just earned a new job.
There is a UFR posted at Mgo.......but just not the UFR you think
Great job, Ace. Cant wait to read the Duke one tomorrow
One small nit-pick: For the sake of consistency, shouldn't what you're calling a 2-1-1-1 actually be a 1-1-1-2? After all, a 2-3 zone is 2 guys up top, 3 down low, and also you name the 1-4 high using this nomenclature.
But overall I love this idea and look forward to seeing how it evolves over time.
it should always start at the top.
...though I've never heard of offensive sets refered to in the same terms as zone defense. They usually have a name; motion, flex, triangle, etc. I'm not sure what the 1-1-1-2 set is trying to accomplish but you could run an isolation, pick-and-roll, or inside-out from it. It's been a while since I've played competitively and I'm not familiar with today's offenses.
umhoops tried it at one point, but I think a plus minus rating like hockey would be interesting. It's always interesting to see how the team does as a whole when certain people are in. Somewhat related, the above suggestion of metrics for certain combinations of players would be interesting.
Very encouraging start!
maybe a RPS type of deal. One pass and jack up a 3 (-1) after running no offense. Long skip pass up the court to a teammate running the floor in contested traffic (+1).
I think that would be a lot harder to do for basketball. Plays often don't go exactly how the coach planned them, so we can't always know if it was Beilein throwing "rock" or Burke improvising.
Great job. I'm pretty sure the 2-1-2 offensive set is a variation or coming pretty close to the UCLA version with shallow cuts and stuff. There's a lot a team can do with it, but it is a continuity offense and I'll keep looking at it, but it surely resembles what is commonly called, UCLA.
This looks entirely too exhausting!
Well, it's been a while since I posted, but it's nice to be back! as a former B-ball player (not for UM) I gotta say "this rawks!" Notes:
1.) You have to read some college b-ball books man. Offensive sets START OUT in 1-4,2-1-2, etc. but those are not the sum of the play. For instance, in FB there is a set (Shotgun) and then a play (QB Oh Noes). Multiple plays can occur from one set. The same is true in B-ball. To just say the set, and not the play, only tells half the story. (admittedly, it's hard as hell to know the play due to...well, dudes not always running the play. But you can catch on by watching the first steps of players, and what Coach B's patterns at play-calling are.)
2.) While the system of +/- is nice, I think sometimes it can limit the understanding gained from the +/- system to ALWAYs award a set number. For example, I don't think winning a tip (Morgan, first play) is the same as when burke "drives to the left, beats his man, and wraps a pass around a defender to Morgan, who has crashed to the basket (Burke +0.5)" (at the 10:50 mark second half.) I don't have an answer that I like, but my best one would be: give Morgan no credit or give TB full (+1) credit. I'm sorry, that's all I've got.
3.) Kinda back to the "read books, yo" stuff, but I think there are certain things which don't show up in the stats. EG: Novak goes off two feet on that play which you highlighted. This is because (relatively) unathletic people need to do that to get a shot off, while leapers (like THJ) should go off one foot because they still get the same height, but their movement forces defenders to adjust. I don't think you should give Novak a +.5 every time he leaps off two feet, but you should at least be aware of it.
4.) I don't think you can say Stu took bad shots. He took 2 HC shots, and 5 NC shots. Yes, a few NC shots were from NBA 3 land. But clearly, he's got the green light to do that, from an NCAA level coach. I just don't think he takes bad shots, and the analysis proves it.
Yeah, really sounds like I'm bitching. Sorry. I really do like the idea though, I'm just trying to help. Ignore/use at your own discretion.
This is really great - stick with it!
Love the idea. If I have time I will post more later, but for now:
At the end of the piece, you write that in the future you will likely do a shot chart for the other team's O and... I didn't quite get what you intended to do for analyzing our guys on defense. I just wanted to say that without a doubt a useful basketball UFR must include a detailed analysis of how the guys play on defense. Some things to watch for: how the guy defends on the ball, how he helps, how he helps the helper, how he moves in a zone, how he boxes out on the shot, how he rebounds, and how he transitions.
FYI I've coached at a fairly high high school level and have had a couple of chats with Beilein when he came to recruit one of our guys and at a charity dinner (he's from western NY/Buffalo area and I coached there a while).
Other things quickly: maybe keep a running tally of the lineup along the side of the UFR. On O and D, a graphic shot chart would be great (as in, a picture of the half-court with O/X for make/miss in each spot where a shot was taken). On O, look for plays and not just sets if you can identify them. Also on O, some sort of "Who won? Us or defense?" is useful (in other words, did we get a good shot, regardless of whether or not we made it?). That is also a useful stat for us on D.
But yeah, my main thing is the D. Can't tell for sure but it seems like you might be downplaying the D in the UFR compared to the O. If it were my team, I'd do the D first every single time.
That said, awesome job. I know it's a huge amount of work, and I'd love to see more.
Do you have the links to the Wayne State, Ferris State, Towson, and Western Illinois UFRs?
When can I expect Duke, UCLA, Virginia, and Iowa State to be complete? I'm assuming its prior to the Oakland game on Saturday.
I have this image of a bleary-eyed Ace rewinding a vintage Betamax, staring at a grainy 13-inch screen, attempting to finish the UFR while the present or future Mrs. Anbender stands in the bedroom doorway and taps her foot impatiently while clearing her throat and gesturing at the grandfather clock that reads 3 a.m.
And that image makes me lol.
Nice work, Ace. You are clearly a younger and more vital man than I.
I don't have a tape of the game so I can't tell you which possessions to look at, but this was a very common set against Memphis (it's common for Michigan generally but it was especially effective in this game).
The pictures mostly speak for themselves. A few comments:
This offense is as old as the hills--it dates back to the early 50s at least and it's never stopped working.
Looking at the shuffle, it certainly keeps 4 or even all 5 on the perimeter almost all the time; if you're adding the options to go for 3 pointers compared to its original design, wouldn't you want anyone closer in for rebounding? I can see if the focus were on high percentage layups that you may need that, but it seems to me that so far this season we're not get the offensive rebounds unless the shots are hard off the backboard.
And, Ace, this is excellent work; look forward to more.
At least the way I think of it, the main focus of the offense is those cuts off a post towards ball and hoop (#2 in the first picture, #3 in the third picture). You want to punish that defender with a layup if he trails the cutter or gets caught on the screen, which means you want the lane clear. A clear lane also keeps the back door threat available.
I'd need to do some work to know if the lack of offensive rebounding is set-dependent. There's been a lot of free-lance isolation plays, penetrating and trying to kick out, instead of running the set. My sense is that it's harder to get an offensive rebound off that than out of the basic set, because you've pulled defenders toward the basket. In the shuffle the defenders are all away from the basket as well.
But that's just a sense; I don't actually know. If Ace keeps this up maybe we'll learn some things as the season goes on.
Notes on the D UFR/me possibly thinking too much:
1.) First off, zone D speaks for itself. Any differences in scheme are pretty easy to pick up, so I don't think anything needs to be said on that.
2.) But, man D help can be confusing. Imagine that one play we double the post from the top, then the next we double from the baseline, but the defender get over late, all hell breaks loose, and boom: someone who didn't deserve blame gets it (in this example the guy who had previously helped from the top.)
3.) does anyone here know who normally helps out on Man D doubles? I don't think we do 'em much (excepting Sully of course) but they're a vital part of blame and so....yeah, important for UFRs.
My work productivity just tanked. Looking forward to these and the evolution of the UFR as season progresses. Great suggestions from the readers. I second the idea from Johnny_GoBlue of "Groups of Five" point totals .
This is quite obviously amazing and the effort is certainly appreciated, so the following questions are more of a Devil's Advocate-like exercise.
I don't know what your schedule or the schedules of other MGoReaders is like, but I wonder if it's worth it to do a full, play by play, UFR considering how many basketball games there are and the difference between basketball and football games' style of play.
I'm curious as to what your process is in while making this. Do you have to replay each possession? How many times? Does it get really tedious? (Obvious caveats apply for this being the first time.)
Would we get 90% of the information and jist with you doing much less work if you were to break the game up into 8 5-minute segments and give your impressions? There could still be links to certain plays and you could still grade the players (and add some info that others have mentioned), but I imagine it's pretty time consuming to explain every single play in detail.
At the very least, this type of UFR could be stop-gap until you do more research on Beilein's offense since without more context you might not be able to explain what's really happening (and perhaps what's supposed to happen, making the player grades more valuable).
Thoughts from Ace and others?
One thing that I would recommend getting into your UFR's would be the +/- on different lineups as far as scoring differential. It was probably the most useful thing in that link to Tim's attempts from Varsity Blue. I used it for my son's youth teams.
The lineup +/- will show that some lineup combinations work great and others just don't even though in theory they should. We made lineup and substitution adjustments based somewhat on that stat. Your eyeballs will tell you most of the time if something isn't working, but numbers will tell you what is.
You are a good person. If this was done for just a half, I would still consider this my favorite basketball-related item of all time outside of the games themselves.