15 I say!
Death From Above: Penn State, Part 2
|WHAT||Michigan at Penn State|
Happy Valley, PA
|WHEN||6:30 PM tonight|
|LINE||Michigan –15 (Kenpom)|
Pat Chambers's prayers have not, to date, been answered. Picture via Onward State.
Penn State remains Penn State, the worst team in the league by some distance thanks to Tim Frazier's exploded achilles and the fact that Trey Burke is not in Happy Valley—considering alternate universes where that is a reality and Frazier is not hurt is a mindblowing pastime.
Ace's preview covers the Nittany Lions in detail and reality has changed very little in the intervening week and a half. DJ Newbill is a huge-usage player who puts up a lot of bad shots because he has to; Jermaine Marshall is the Robin to his Batman and also takes a lot of bad shots because he has to; anyone else putting the ball up is a good idea unless it's on a putback or it's Nick Colella getting a good look at a three.
In the first game, Penn State put Michigan's defense to as much of a sword as they're capable, putting up 1.1 PPP thanks to decent shooting inside and outside the arc and a 15/17 performance from the line. Michigan struggled to contain center Sasa Borovnjak on the pick and roll; he ended up acquiring 17 points without having to create in the post much himself. Jordan Morgan's presence will help cut those opportunities down—if he's healthy.
Other than that, there's a reason Penn State finds itself where they are.
Penn State is still without a conference win but it's worth noting that they do seem to have turned a corner. They have left Depressing Blowout Street for Wrenching Close-ish Loss Avenue, sure, but it is something that their last three games have been defeats by two, eight, and five points with the latter two on the road against tourney-bound Michigan and Illinois.
The Illinois game was a slow-paced grinding in which Borovnjak again picked up 17 points on efficient shooting—checking him will be important.
Four factors, conference only.
|eFG%||Turnover %||Off. Reb. %||FTA/FGA|
|Offense||41.3 (12)||19.7 (11)||29.7 (9)||31.6 (7)|
|Defense||49.3 (9)||16.4 (10)||29.2 (5)||61.0 (12)|
Though still horrible, Penn State has picked up almost a point and a half in eFG% since the last preview post in this space—they are getting better. Sort of. Thanks to their epic hackathon at Crisler they've actually gone 2.5 points in the wrong direction when it comes to giving up free throws.
Ace covered most of the fun stuff in the first post, but to recap, this is a team that shoots 28% from three and 41% from two and is 345th nationally at avoiding opponent free throws. Yeesh.
Stop the pick and roll. Major issues with this fueled Penn State's competitive first half in Ann Arbor, and those issues continued into the Illinois game until Morgan came off the bench and ran around and did Jordan Morgan stuff. Having Morgan healthy will help; it would also be super nice to see Horford and McGary improving in this department.
Keep 'em outside. Jump shooting is just the worst for Penn State. I guess an uncontested three is kind of bad but given the way these guys put it up, a jump shot is about as likely to lead to a transition opportunity for Michigan as it is points for Penn State.
Hit your free throws. Oh, there will be free throws. So many free throws.
Don't, like, lose to Penn State. Yeah man.
THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES
Michigan by 15!
Despite Borovnjak having a great game, Newbill and Marshall were the ones that scared me in Ann Arbor. They both seemed better than you'd expect from a team with Penn State's resume though that might have caused in part by Michigan's porous defense that game. Penn State may not be very good, but they're better than their record (hard to be worse)
I do agree that tonight should be easier. If Morgan plays Michigan's defense is a lot better and I think they were also shaking off the shock of the MSU game.
what I most want to see tonight is proof that they have rebounded from the ruff patch of recent weeks.
How does a team even achieve 61% FTA/FGA? That is just so mindblowingly crazy.
Michigan by 1,307,674,368,000? That seems a little outlandish to me, Brian.
1307674368000 / 3 == 435891456000 total 3-pointers (assuming a shutout of course). With 40 total minutes x 60 == 2400 seconds in the game, Michigan must hit a 3 every 5.505e-9 seconds to beat Penn State by 15 factorial!
but with Burke, there's always a chance.
In 5.505x10^-9 seconds, the amount of time Michigan has to hit a three pointer to fulfill this prediction, light would travel 1.65m, or about from the baseline to the distance the rim hangs over the court.
Therefore, photographers on the baseline would be unable to photograph any of our three pointers.
And furthermore, after we were finished Florida would still somehow be ranked #1 in KenPom.
Brooms out Michigan!
Penn State's Senior night is tonight? Rough game for that dontcha think?
Re-reading the 'protips' about jump shooting for PSU... kind of stings right now. I realize they're way-too-open looks, but would these guys please miss a few.
We have experienced tonight a truly embarrassing upset.
The cool thing about tonight's Michigan vs. Appalachian State replay is that if we can lose the next two games against MSU and Indiana, we will be the #5 seed in the Big Ten tourney and play #12 Penn State. With sweet revenge on their minds, Michigan could possibly beat the Nittany Lions. Especially if they continue to play the GERG inspired defense.
...has a thread been more appropriately titled.
But...PSU played a whale of a game and deserved this. I still think we're a good team, but just not elite. I see us as a team that can still make some noise in the Tourney with the right draw, but I no longer see a title contender.
The game Sunday could be rough, the schedule picked the absolute worst time to give a wounded Sparty afull week of rest of film study, you know Izzo will have that team ready. If we win that game it will be on pure emotion because all signs point to advantage Sparty.
GO BLUE!!! I still like this team, we just weren't quite as good as we though a few weeks ago, but still, this program is in good shape.
I know it's been said before and has been a reason (excuse?) given a few times the past couple of months, but let's not forget that Michigan relies heavily on its freshman. Even when freshmen are 1-and-done guys they often lack the reaction time it takes to compete at the D1 level. It's clear that there's a lot of reacting going on and especially on defense it seems like everyone is always a step or two slow on their rotations (not to mention on-ball defense). A lot of us excused the past couple of months because of the tough competition but it's time for them to really committ on defense and hopefully the pick and roll defense will become more instinctual for the younger guys.
I'm sure the team is frustrated and angry and let's hope they can channel that into investing for MSU and bringing it for the full 40 minutes on both sides of the floor. Let's also not forget to enjoy watching Trey Burke in what is likely his last season at Michigan.
We shit the bed.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?