"What (Michigan coaches) told me is that they're focusing on point guards right now, but if anything opens up, they'll definitely come back on and recruit me as hard as they were," said Towns
|WHAT||Michigan (17-5, 9-1 B1G) at Iowa (17-6, 6-4)|
|WHERE||Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa|
|WHEN||2 pm Eastern, Saturday|
|LINE||Iowa -5 (KenPom)|
|TV||ESPN/WatchESPN (PBP: Bob Wischusen; Analyst: Dan Dakich)|
Right: Michigan comfortably held serve at home in their first matchup with Iowa [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]
After defeating Wisconsin at the Kohl Center, Michigan handled Iowa at home, 75-67, in the second game of a three-game gauntlet that the Wolverines emerged from unscathed when they knocked off MSU at the Breslin Center.
Michigan kept a fast-paced Iowa squad out of transition, limiting the game to 66 possessions while outscoring the Hawkeyes 12-4 on the fast break. Nik Stauskas scored 26 while Hawkeye star Roy Devyn Marble was limited to just 13 points (3/9 FG, 5/6 FT) and two assists with four turnovers. Iowa's 1.02 points per trip was well below their current Big Ten mark of 1.17; this probably stands as Michigan's best defensive performance of the season considering the opponent and the fact that Derrick Walton missed almost the entire game due to flu-like symptoms.
A reader suggested including jersey numbers in the preview to help make it easier to connect descriptions of players in the post to the guys running around on your TV, which makes so much sense I feel like an idiot for not doing this sooner.
Since the player descriptions often get clunky when I try to cram in various measurables and the like, I've decided to include a "lineup card" featuring every healthy player getting 25% or more of the team's available minutes. Also, in the grand tradition of unnecessarily long acronyms, the "SIBMIHHAT" column stands for "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three?"—the answer is based on the efficiency (and, to a lesser extent, 3PA frequency) of the shooter in question.* Starters are in bold:
|G||10||Mike Gesell||So.||6'1, 190||55.6||18.3||Kinda|
|Good assist:turnover ratio, mediocre shooter, fair number of steals|
|G||4||Roy Devyn Marble||Sr.||6'6, 200||69.7||27.8||No|
|Very high usage, decent efficiency, draws lots of fouls, at best in transition|
|F||30||Aaron White||Jr.||6'9, 220||65.0||20.9||Yes|
|Outrageously efficient scorer inside the arc, solid defensive rebounder|
|F||1||Melsahn Basabe||Sr.||6'7, 220||47.7||18.6||Very|
|Rebounding machine, lots of putbacks, decent shot-blocker|
|C||34||Adam Woodbury||So.||7'1, 245||40.7||18.6||Very|
|Excellent off. rebounder, developing post game, not many blocks or def. rebs.|
|F||20||Jarrod Uthoff||So.||6'9, 208||46.6||19.3||Not at all|
|Efficient stretch four, good defensive rebounder and rim protector|
|F||15||Zach McCabe||Sr.||6'7, 235||40.9||20.5||No|
|Takes nearly as many threes as twos, should consider taking fewer twos|
|C||0||Gabriel Olaseni||Jr.||6'10, 225||38.9||21.5||Very|
|Insane off. rebound percent (18.3), blocks lots of shots, not a big post-up threat|
|G||5||Anthony Clemmens||So.||6'1, 190||34.9||13.6||No|
|Extremely low usage, solid shooter, very turnover prone, possible DNP-CD|
|G||2||Josh Oglesby||Jr.||6'5, 208||20.5||12.6||Not at all|
|Three-point specialist, injured for most of non-conf, now playing 17.5 mpg|
Feedback is always welcome, but I think this is going to stick.
Iowa's stumbed a bit in recent weeks after racing out to a 4-1 start in Big Ten play. Beginning with their loss at the Crisler Center, they've dropped three of their last five—the two other losses coming at home against Michigan State (in OT) and Ohio State (by 7 in a game controlled by the Buckeyes).
Much of those struggles can be attributed to the up-and-down play of Roy Devyn Marble, who's shooting 5/18 from three over that span with a 9:19 assist-to-turnover ratio; while Marble isn't the point guard, he's the team's primary distributor in transition, and those numbers reflect that Iowa's having a much more difficult time getting into transition against conference foes. Marble is much more effective in transition—where he boasts a 53.8 eFG% and gets 57.4% of his assists, per hoop-math—than in halfcourt sets (44.4 eFG%). He's going to get to the free-throw line—before a 2/3 FT effort on Tuesday against OSU, he'd attempted no fewer than five FTs (and as many as 11) in six straight games—and probably score double-digit points; the key is making him work for them.
Point guard Mike Gesell was a total non-factor in the first matchup (4 points, 2 assists) despite the absence of Derrick Walton for most of that game; incidentally, his role looked a lot like Walton's, as he often spotted up on the perimeter while Marble initiated the offense. At his best, he's a very good passer who doesn't turn the ball over much, picks the right spots to shoot, and generates a steal or two. He's a very streaky shooter whose numbers (47%/32%/65%) are pretty mediocre.
Aaron White provides a significant matchup problem at the three; he's 6'9", shoots 65.6% inside the arc with range out to around 18 feet, and gets to the line—where he shoots 83.5%—at a very high rate. Nik Stauskas did an admirable job defending him in the first game, shutting White out until the final seconds of the first half before wearing down in the second; White finished with 17 points, but it took 12 FGA and 8 FTA to get there.
The other matchup to watch is Glenn Robinson III against power forward Melsahn Basabe, who exploded for 15 first-half points and three offensive rebounds in the first half against Michigan before disappearing in the latter stanza. He's one of the best rebounders in the country, especially considering his size, and generates points without dominating the ball; he's also a solid shot-blocker on the other end. Basabe platoons at the four with Jarrod Uthoff, a very solid shooter (54%/46%/80%) who's a slightly worse rebounder and better rim protector than Basabe.
Seven-footer Adam Woodbury is nearly Basabe's equal as an offensive rebounder (11.0 OReb%) and he's got a decent touch around the basket; however, his defensive rebounding and shot-blocking numbers are surprisingly low for a player of his size. He splits time pretty evenly with Gabriel Olaseni, who would boast a top-four OReb% (18.3) and top-50 block rate (9.5%) nationally if he played just a couple more minutes per game.
Other key reserves include forward Zach McCabe, a 34% three-point shooter, and guard Anthony Clemmens, a good shooter whose predilection for turnovers has led to a very reduced role in conference play. Clemmens' minutes have gone almost entirely to shooting specialist Josh Oglesby, a 6'5" wing who's hit 17/33 three-pointers this season. What was once an 11-man rotation has been essentially reduced to nine during Big Ten season.
All six of Iowa's losses have come to teams ranked in the top 18 on KenPom; the only such opponent they've defeated is Ohio State in Columbus, though the Buckeyes avenged that loss on Tuesday. While the Hawkeyes don't have a bad loss, they're still searching for a signature win; aside from OSU, their best victory is a 21-point home blowout of #41 Minnesota.
Four factors, all games (national ranks in parentheses):
|eFG%||Turnover %||Off. Reb. %||FTA/FGA|
|Offense||51.9 (78)||16.7 (65)||38.4 (16)||49.8 (29)|
|Defense||44.1 (16)||18.8 (145)||27.8 (28)||33.4 (45)|
Conference-only (ten games, Big Ten ranks in parentheses):
|eFG%||Turnover %||Off. Reb. %||FTA/FGA|
|Offense||50.6 (5)||18.0 (9)||36.4 (2)||53.4 (1)|
|Defense||47.3 (5)||17.8 (6)||25.9 (3)||38.2 (6)|
Iowa's breakneck pace has predictably slowed a little in conference play, though they still boast the fastest tempo of any Big Ten team and the quickest offensive possessions—opponents combat this with the longest offensive possessions allowed by any Big Ten team. The Hawkeyes are heavily reliant on scoring via two-pointers (55.3% of their points, 2nd in B1G) and free throws (27.2%, 1st), and many of the former come on second-chance opportunities.
The defense isn't particularly good or bad at any one thing save the prevention of offensive rebounds, which they do quite well. One potential area to exploit is their perimeter defense, as they allow the second-most three-point attempts in the conference; Michigan was 8/27 from three in the first matchup and could've easily done better if Caris LeVert (0/3), Glenn Robinson III (0/5), and Spike Albrecht (1/3) didn't shoot well below their collective average despite getting open looks.
Control the pace. Michigan managed to keep the tempo in their comfort zone the first time around due to their ability to make shots—it's pretty hard to run off of made baskets unless you're playing Purdue. Shot selection, turnovers, and picking the right time to crash the boards all play into this; while Michigan's transition offense can keep pace with Iowa's, their transition defense is poor to the point that they'll want to avoid an up-and-down game.
Keep it even on the boards. Despite Basabe's three first-half offensive rebounds, Michigan limited Iowa to just ten in the first matchup (31.2 OReb%) while hauling in ten of their own (30.3%); the Wolverines actually outscored the Hawkeyes 14-12 in second-chance points. Replicating that effort, or even coming close, would be a huge boon for their chances of pulling this one out. Robinson (4 ORs, 5 DRs in the first game) keeping pace with Basabe is the big matchup here.
Play the hot hands. Zak Irvin chipped in a key 11 points off the bench and Spike Albrecht had seven points and seven assists the first time around; getting that level of production off the bench would be huge against a deep Iowa squad that rotates frequently. While Albrecht probably won't get 35 minutes again, he could play a big role in this one—Gesell doesn't provide a huge matchup problem for him defensively. If Robinson or Walton can't find their shooting rhythm, going to the bench for better shooting will be key for keeping Iowa out of transition—which, if you can't tell by now, is the top priority for Michigan in this game.
Iowa by 5
*In other words, anger is high when a poor outside shooter hits one, and not so much when a good outside shooter does.
should I be mad if announcers say "not just a shooter"
Kenpom loves Iowa.
I admit that I don't know much (anything) of how Kenpom's system works, but Iowa is #11 and the top ranked B10 team (MSU is #12, Mich is #14).
I expected this game to be closer to a pick-em.
Even though KenPom adjusts for schedule, blowouts can skew the numbers a bit, and Iowa had a lot of wide-margin wins in their non-conference schedule, plus the blowout of Minnesota—that moved them up seven spots (from #12 to #5) on its own. It also helps that none of their losses are even remotely bad, and most of them were quite close.
Is very right on this one. Iowa is good, deep, and coming off a loss and on a home and home back to back. Carver hawk eye is murder, they need this game desperately. If we win this game it is far more "holy shit" than either at Kohl or at Breslin. I think we will play well........ I like us at Ohio far more that at Iowa.
Fine - so Iowa won't drop that much after another good loss to Michigan.
LIke the new formatting of the lineup card. Very informative and easy to read at a glance. I also totally understand the SIMBIHHAT, but it needs a better acronym IMO. I am frequently thinking in games that I hate whenever Gary Harris shoots a 3 because they are always a good shot, but love when Denzel Valentine shoots one.
Maybe add PPG and RPG into the lineup card? ORTG? it's hard to pick and choose which stats are important.
Iowa by 5 seems generous, but Kenpom does like them some Iowa.
I don't know if I'd quite say we "comfortably" handled Iowa at home. They were within striking distance pretty much the whole way.
JMBlue you are, in my mind, the best "counter-puncher" on the board. If anybody, anywhere makes a statement that's even a little bit questionable I can always count on you to shoot holes in their arguement with cold, hard facts.
I don't know, I think this is where KenPom can be misleading. We had the lead the whole second half, but it felt like we could never put them away. Iowa kept hanging around. Looking back on it, it was a lot like our game at MSU, but without the game-deciding run by the visitors in the last 3 minutes.
...emotions are often more misleading than the actual numbers. But it's Friday, so perhaps let's not get into a lengthy, semantics-based debate over my use of the word "comfortable."
comfortable ... I'm fine with that.
Yes, but it wouldn't have taken much for the actual numbers to have changed. Say Iowa scores on that late fastbreak instead of Spike perfectly jumping the passing lane and picking it off, and suddenly our win percentage goes down, what, 10%?
But I won't belabor the point further.
Do you have the win probability chart for the MSU game? I'm curious to see what it looked like when it was 49-41 and at other points.
With 13:29 left, Michigan had an 11.6% chance of victory.
(click to make big)
from ($) http://kenpom.com/box.php?g=3468
That seems more volatile from possession to possession than I would expect. If I'm reading that correctly, each team had a 50% chance when we led 55-54, but then when MSU went ahead 58-55 a couple possessions later, they suddenly had a 75% chance, even though there were still six minutes left? I guess the math backs it up, but it seems odd.
I am assuming that State's initial win probability of 68% (which obviously factors home court) afforded them extra leeway even after Michigan pulled ahead there, then gave them a huge spike when they regained that 3-point lead.
KenPom has a few blog posts about win probability that get pretty detailed. They're an interesting read.
to describe Gessell as gritty and White as a gym rate. Or is it the other way around?
Add me to the list of those who like the new lineup card.
Also agree that Kenpoms algorithms overrate Iowa due to some blowouts. UMs ability to prevent transition opportunities via their strengtus of few TOs and high shooting % are a good foil to Iowa's key strength. The key will be to maintain that and mitigate Iowa going crazy on Oreb. That said, definitely agree with Ace not deviating from the Kenpom prediction.
Mini-feedback: Did the previews formerly show UMs rankings on the four factors along with the opponents or am I misremembering? In any case, I am interested enough to want to see those in the previews but too lazy to look them up. So take that for what little it is worth.
apparently I do not know how to enter line breaks from the phone app. ugh. /noob
I guess it depends on who you're more likely to be mad at. If a good outside shooter drains an open 3, I'm mad at our guys for leaving him open. If a poor outside shooter drains a 3, I'm still mad, but mad at fate, as in "Why does _______ get every f-in' break in this game?"
To Kenpom! Michigan needs this one too bad to lose a second strait game to a middle of the pack B1G team. Michigan 78 Iowa 73.
Michigan won two days ago. Iowa is absolutely not a middle of the pack big ten team by any other measure than conf record.
If we can win three of the next four I will smile and be happy for a week. But seriously this is it, this next stretch is the most important part of the big ten season. I think we go 3-1 with a loss in Columbus.
and a must game for Iowa. If we lose, MSU takes charge of the race and I doubt if we get it back.
At least we'd get it back the very next day if they lose @ Wisconsin without Appling.
Yea but if they lose it shouldn't count cuz Appling wasn't playing...It's not fair of course.
True, plus they won with players having foot blisters and mono. Should've counted as 2 wins.
But seriously, are foot blisters, the flu, and mono really something they needed to show a graphic for when showing all of MSU's injuries last night? It's become unwatchable with how much every telecast talks about it.
This is a championship game.
B1G championship race will be mostly determined over the next four games. Michigan can't lose two in this stretch and still win the championship (unless one of those wins is over MSU and then they would still need help).
MSU has avoided losses in 3 OT squeakers and they're only going to get better with Payne coming back. They will be favored in almost every game the rest of the way.
SIBMIHHAT reminds me too much of Death to Backboards for comfort.
I love when sports guys go into a long analysis then when their game prediction comes up they take the spread and the score of the game they take the over/under, divide it in half and use the spread as the difference.
I know most don't watch Iowa as much as I do but Olaseni has come on lately, almost beast-mode like. He will probably get his and be a tough matchup tomorrow afternoon. I assume GRIII would guard him?
Anyway, this is going to be a tough, tough game. I know most think the way Iowa has squandered some games lately that they're slippin' and are considered a should-win game, but I'm pretty sure that won't be the case. Especially becasue they've lost some at home recently, they're not going to want to lose another, and neither will the home crowed; they'll be amped.
We could easily lose any and all of the next four games, so I don't have any expectations. We're gonna make the tourney so I'm happy. I just hope we don't get screwed by the refs in any of these games, that pisses me off more than anything.
UM beat them comfortably at home missing their PG. Carver Hawkeye is tough to play at, but their pace is going to play into UM's hands IMO.
Plus, while UM doesn't have as much depth, they have better talent.
I've said it before, but it's all about ball screen defense, and the 5th year Engineer has been doing a bang up job in that department.
FYI The game is also on espn radio and the espn radio app.
Iowa keeps up their bad shooting form, and we do what is mentioned in the article - rebound well, and win the transition battle. However, I had this game marked down as a loss at the beginning of the season, and I think that is what will happen. A win will be a huge road win.
I am not going to the game, unfortunately. The Hawkeye fans hate Stauskas, much like they hated Novak -- why, I do not know.
Want to go, myself. Haven't worked up the courage to splurge on a ticket(s) though, ~$90-100, and will probably just enjoy watching at a bar...with beer!
I saw some tix for about $75 on stubhub, but instead, I put that money into our Disney savings fund. Friggin' snowed again last night, and so we are bunkered down in the farmhouse, about to start slugging down some brunch and beverages.
I'm not buying Iowa by 5. I do think D. Marble is the one that got away but we have more talent coming off our bench than Iowa has in their starting 5. No disrespect to Iowa they play great team/fast break hoops but minus the IU game I can't see a scenario where this team(Michigan) doesn't 'Rise to the Occasion." Go Blue by 3 and I only feel that because my crystal ball says we'll miss a couple FT's down the stretch and Iowa hits a desperation 3. But if I was a betting man and Vegas said +5 M I'd take that all day.
Really like the new lineup card. It would be great if Brian can do something similar for the football previews as well. Great idea