Please don't hammer me too hard on this, for this is my first thread post, but I really wanted to get everybody elses' opinion on where this season is going for the Men's basketball team. Lately I've been looking into the analysts' predictions and trying to get a general feel for where this team is headed, whether it be a Big Ten championship or a Final Four run. Maybe I'm looking into this way too early, but I feel that if the pieces are in the right spot, this team has the potential to do seroius damage in March, if that wasn't already given. We certainly need everybody healthy on the roster to do this, but I would like to hear from you guys, what are things we have done extremely well up to this point, things we really need to improve on in order to do damage in March, and personal expectations/predictions for this team. Thanks everyone, and GO BLUE!
MBB: Desired Improvements and Predictions/Expectations
GRIII needs to be able to create a little bit for himself.
I agree. He was the beneficiary of other people creating early in the year and flowing to the right spot at the right time. I still think he has a ton of potential but too often he seems to allow himself to be removed from the offensive gameplan.
Defensively I think he is just about as good as anyone on the team. He was matched up against Thomas all last night and hounded him very well.
I agree with both of you, the only problem being that we have up to 3 guys already trying to create on the floor at a time (Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas), that I would imagine it's a tough balance to both fit in the offense AND be your own shot creator.
Would love to see GRIII try a few of his own game blouses drives.
They need to be smarter on the road. They seem to get too reliant on threes and if they aren't falling, well, you get down by 21 and 15 early.
Just on the road? The offense didn't look that great yesterday either. Not an elite one.
They put up 1.19 PPP against the best perimeter defense in college basketball. They put up 1.50 PPP in the second half. They have the highest rated offensive efficiency in the country. If that's not elite, then the word doesn't have meaning.
Elite eliting so elite
I don't think he was "owned" at all. In my opinion, those stats are quite misleading, and I have a hard time believing that anyone who watched the OSU game would think otherwise. The high PPP is largely a reflection of our nearly 60% three point shooting, which we will not get most games. Our offense looked very disfunctional at times against OSU, especially finishing near the basket and getting good seperation on high ball screens. Our offense has been far from elite against teams with good on-ball defense.
But we did. And over the course of the season we have consistently been very effecient. Ohio State matches up extremely well with us devensively. Name another guard that can impact Burke the way the Craft seems to be able to.
I think where a lot of the perception that our O needs to improve comes from the fact that we have seen them be extremely explosive. We know that they have a ton of weapons and get frustrated when we feel those weapons aren't being utilized. But that arguement disregards the strength of the competition. OSU and IU are both good defensive units.
Ok, but elite offenses should perform great against good defensive units. We've faced two teams with legitimately very good defenses, and our offense has been very suspect in both. I think we are a very good offense. I wouldn't use the word elite, at least not yet.
I don't think you understand what it means when the other team has an elite defense.
And didn't we go through this ad nauseam about football? Here is the worst syllogism in the world:
P: Our team has an elite offense.
C1: We should be able to score at will at all times against all defenses.
I agree that's a bad syllogism. What that has to do with my comment, I'm not sure. I didn't suggest that we should be able to score at will at all times. But I do give you points for the crafty strawman.
Oladipo, but he's not a pg.
The PPP is misleading in this case. The offense certainly scored a lot of points but we got to that 1.19 number by shooting 14 of 24 from 3. Shooting 58% from 3 is not sustainable and not going to happen again against a good team. We've got good shooters but we are hitting 40.2% on the season from 3. So that 1.19 is inflated by a lucky shooting night. If we shoot our season average of 40% instead of 58% that is about 10 of 24 on 3s and 12 fewer points, maybe a little less due to OREBs and that game turns into something along the lines of a 10 point loss.
At this point it looks like Burke is having trouble creating penetration against more athletic and physical teams. Better competition, sure. Tired legs? Maybe. Just not able to do it? Dunno. In any event, that reduces the open shots for everyone and leads to a lot more perimeter shots that are often contested. It's not a strategy for beating the very best teams. We need someone else, and it doesn't necessarily have to be Burke, to force the defense to rotate off the dribble and then pass to the open baseline guys or cutters or just score. It hasn't happened against the good teams yet.
Having said that, we don't need to score 1.19 PPP (or hit 58% from 3) if we can do a better job defensively. And we'll pretty much have to if we want to win the B1G, B1G tourney or the tournament. OSU hit some shoots too that they don't normally hit. But that was not a good defensive performance by us.
It's what kept us in the game, but you can't count on that level of production.
I'd like to see us finish stronger inside. Just using the OSU game as an example , but there was a lot of missed lay ups that could have easily been dunks.
In both the Ohio and indiana game they gave up way too many second chance points. They need to harder after defensive boards and stop letting guys get easy tap in and highlight dunks.
I'm also not a fan of the flow of the defense. 2-3 guys flowing to the ball and abanding their man or their zones and leaving half the other team wide open.
I think if stauskas could just become more than a standalone shooter this team could maybe find themselves in the round of 32... If not then good luck in the first game.
....but He Is More Than Just A Shooter.
Indeed. Late in the second half last night he led the team in rebounds (6) and turnovers (6).
Stauskas didn't have 6 turnovers for the entire game
No. Pretty sure Stauskas is just a shooter. I've watched games - I know things.
Somebody let me know if you hear about him doing something other than being a shooter cause if he did then I'm sure the TV dudes would point it out for us. And they don't. Game after game all I hear them say is "Stauskas - he's just a shooter."
I hope my sarcasm meter is off...
They need to box out and rebound better. Or maybe play 2 of our bigs on the floor at the same time more often.
Tired of seeing teams getting offensive rebounds/putback jams on this team.
my main pet peeve in the IU game and in the Ohio game last night... We easily win that thing last night by ten if we don't give up so many second chance points. Part of it is Morgan, though, with his injury. Still have to be better on the boards, though.
Yea I think those rebounding stats were skewed. In part because everytime we got an offensive rebound, it was soon after stolen or blocked. EVERY offensive rebound they got seemed like it was an easy put back layup or dunk.
Spot on, in my view. Yes, the rebounding totals were not as bad last night as I woud have thought, but the last two games a lot of missed d-rebounds have ended up as dunks. I also like going with more bigs, esp against Sparty and IU.
I really do wonder what employing two big men would do to Michigan's offensive sets and spacing. One big man allows our athletes to run around, achieve space and do some serious scoring damage. The floor is more open. I might be more inclined toward two big men if any of them had a jumpshot, which would help keep the defense out of the lane, but none of the big men can really shoot, and are basically pick and roll recipients and rim rattlers on offense. The rebounds might not be worth it. Two big men down low with no threat of a mid-range shot mean more defenders in the lane, which mean more contested shots when Burke and company take it to rack.
Exactly. Another big man will marginally help on rebounding, but will clog up our spacing and introduce another help defender. There are times we will need to do it, particularly against MSU who can throw two pretty good post players in, but too much of it threatens to harm our offensive efficiency more than it improves our rebounding and defense.
It would have been nice to keep Smotrycz, if only for this exact situation/reason. Assuming his extra height (with an extra dose of experience and strength) would help in rebounding, he would have been able to play the four while still giving us an outside threat.
A shame on both ends that he left, because he would have been a much better fit on this year's team (no need to play the 5 like last year and sacrifice his game in exchange for getting pushed around in the paint) and probably could have helped an elite team instead of sitting out for the whole season waiting to play for Maryland.
I agree completely. The answer is not a second big man on the floor but more aggressive blocking out on the back side of the defense. Once the big man had to slide over to cut off the penetrator, there were nothing but red jerseys behind him near the rim. Better defensive execution in our current configuration is the solution. Otherwise the offense suffers too greatly.
I'd love to see two bigs on the floor for defensive and rebounding purposes.
Also would like to see the screens by McGary/Horford actually completed. Morgan seems to be the only one who actually screens the ball handlers man instead of barely touching him.
And if a game is down to the wire again, no more iso's for Trey and a step back three please.
But we have the potential to win a national championship, just need to put all the pieces together.
Obvious troll is obvious.
The post game is a concern, but it's probably just not having Morgan for the past week. Morgan was able to hold his own against Sullinger and other big men last year. I'm not too concerned. Burke needs to drive more in big games. He gets too reliant on threes and step back twos.
I say we can't have any significant injuries heading down the stretch... We all saw last season how injuries to Marshall and Henson ruined UNC's title hopes in the blink of an eye, and with similar circumstances considering possible players leaving to the NBA, I just hope this doesn't happen to us.
And also fell through the hoop.
if history is an indicator, I don't think the refs will notice
Their reaction is incredible, everyone just stands there.
That's because it's not real. The hoop is 18" in diameter. Seems pretty hard to get a set of shoulders through there, much less a whole body cleanly, with zero tangling in the net.
Uh, actually I stand corrected. Amazing: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351332/Man-dunks-self-basketball-hoop-half-time-Phoenix-Suns-routine.html#axzz2KBzUHGDz
Snark redacted, and my apologies to you sir.
JMO is key-- horford and mcgary bring other things to game but not enough.
robinson needs to become an aggressive offensive threat --it will help open up for everyone else.
defensive intensity needs to be more consistent.
Burke- he needs to manage the offense and be a main scorer, but not play Burke on 5
Hardaway - he needs to continue to keep his confidence and make big shots. He has stepped up in many games, most importantly @Minnesota and Ohio at home.
GRIII - Continue to get the quiet positive stats. The team plays much better when he is aggressive on the boards, so he may need to pick it up after the last 2 games.
Stauskas - He is a shooter, so always be ready to take the shot. Of course, he is not just a shooter, but Michigan needs to include him on more plays that set him up for open shots. I mean he is 3rd in the country on 3pt %.
McGary- Keep being the energizer bunny. He has proven that he can work on the court at a high energy and produce a positive impact.
Morgan - his minutes are going to continue to be declined because of McGary, but he is still an excellent rebounder and defender. Make the most of you opportunities when you are in the game.
Albrecht, Horford, LeVert - similar to Morgan regarding the limited minutes, but all are still critical to our success.
This team is good! Real good!! I am a little concerned about the defense (wide open shots) and rebounding (offensive) in both the Indiana and Ohio games. If we can get those corrected and all the above pans out, I see a ceiling as obviously MBB Champs or bottom of at least Sweet 16. It is all about match ups in March Madness so who knows.
I would say sweet 16 is a forgone conclussion... after that it depends on our shooting. Honestly I don't think this team plays good enough defense to win four straight against very good competition. one night of bad shooting and our season is over...
I think elite eight is about most likely though we could win it all... I mean we are good, but not infallible...
The thing is, usually you don't end up playing what we right now at least, would consider very good competition in four consecutive games. There's always a few under the radar teams that make their way to the later rounds.
I don't know, I see 1 more loss guaranteed, and I predict it comes against MSU at the Breslin Center.
- @ WISC - W
- @ MSU - L
- vs PSU - W
- vs ILL - W
- @ PSU - W
- vs MSU - W
- @ PUR - W
- vs IND - W
This is sort of my best-case scenario, I just really don't see us winning out. We've got two games against MSU (who are proving to be among the best in the conference), Indiana, and Wisconsin.
At worst, I see us picking up 3 more losses, so I expect us to finish between 28-3 (15-3) and 25-6 (13-5)
- GRIII needs to get and stay involved, rather silent through Indiana and Ohio State
- Stauskas needs to be Not Just a Shooter™ while still knocking down some 3s
- Burke needs to not force things
- We need different end of half/end of game plays than "Trey Burke iso" where he dribbles until the clock runs out then jacks up a contested 3. It only worked at Indiana, once
- McGary needs to continue contributing like he is with the second chance points, blocks, steals, and rebounds. He's been doing it all, wouldn't mind to see him rewarded with increasing PT
- THJ to be THJ he was last night, improved ball control and draining some 3's
- REBOUND -- Frequently don't box out (see Zeller's 8 points off of dunks from his teammates' misses) and struggle rebounding when we've got a man or two advantage under the hoop
- Free throws. It's just embarrassing to watch. We shoot 70% good for 5th in the conference, but they're going to screw us over in a close game (a la OSU), especially missing all the front ends of the 1-and-1s
- Improved defense -- not sure what to say here, our defense is just average, frequently giving the other team open looks
Overall, we play a bit too timid for the Big Ten IMO. We don't go up strong and drive to the hoop as much as we need to, we pick and roll to try and make a jumpshot. It functions because we've got good shooters, but it's often a difficult shot. I'd like to see fewer of the "Let's pass around the perimeter until the shot clock runs out and throw up a bad 3" plays
I'm looking for an improvement on defense. There have been nagging doubts all season, and I think that some of it can be attributed to having freshman on the floor. The more game experience they get, especially against top competition, the more they will progress.
I'd like to see an improvement in the inside game, instead of relying too much on the three ball. Hopefully a healthy Morgan helps with this.
This team is capable of beating anyone. With a little improvement between now and March, we can be deadly. Looking forward to it.
I would love to see us play some on ball defense that is above average, get much more physical while boxing out, and closing out under control more often.
Bonus: A guy who shows a promising jump hook. Shooters following their shots when it is advantageous.
The biggest issue on defense last night was UM hedging screens and forcing Craft out and helping hard on Thomas. It looked like they were going to make the other Buckeyes win the game. If osu's other players would have played how they normally do and not extremely well, I think UM would have won by ten.
That was the only gripe on defense for me last night. Maybe a little too much help.
Boxing out needs to get better. I don't ever want to see another Zeller tip slam
Oh, and more threes please.
Mitch McGary needs to start and continue to work on his conditioning so he can stay in the game longer. Nik Stauskas needs to settle down and find his stroke early in big games away from home. We need to defend the three better early in those big games as well. Improve in those areas and I can't see us not going deep into the Tourney.
make more free throws and play better D in the post
It's hard to be too critical, but we are fans and want to win every game so..... I would keep the starting five but vary our lineups more during the game. First if all, we have to start using two bigs. Especially now with gr3 seemingly hitting the freshmen wall. Second, I would like to see us use some 1-3-1. I think our versatility from these different looks could give us an ridge against just about everybody
I'm a bit surprized they don't have Levert or TH or GRIII playing the baseline in the 1-3-1 more- I thought that D really needed a quick, athletic guy with long arms in that key spot in that defense. Seems like we have 3 of those guys this year.
Are you talking about OSU, or in general?
I mean M going to the 1-3-1 more thruought the year, since they have length and athleticism for that baseline defender.
Seems to me that Levert looks lost out there. He plays sloppy d and is out of control on offense. Maybe he will settle down by the end of the season but right now I'm not sold.
He's certainly not settled on offense, but defensively he's one of the best perimeter players we have.
He's definitely better than Stauskas, which is why I was screaming for offense/defense subs late in the game. Then Stauskas doesn't box out, his man gets a 2nd chance shot and...BANG, tie game.
He's a freshman that plays like a freshman on offense.
You put the long arms LeVert up top on the 1-3-1 to force traps and deflections.
Michigan will finish the season #1 and win the national title.
Need to do a better job of running there man into the screen. Run him into the screen will get the switch and separation. Countless times Burke will not let the screen be set because he doesn't take the correct path. It's just as important to run your man off the screen as it is for the screener to be set. If we can do that effectively then we will see another up tick in offensive production. Michigan did a better job in the second half of running there man into the screener look at THJ's threes.
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At least we should be playing a 15/16 seed starting the tournament to give ourselves a bit of a rest after the tourney.
The Big Ten has done fine in the tourney lately. OSU made the Final Four last season. Trey Burke wore down last season, but that doesn't mean it'll happen again.
I'm surprised I haven't seen this mentioned yet, because it was the main contributing factor to my head nearly exploding yesterday. When up at the end of the game, do not take 3s. If a guy is shooting a 3 with a minute left and the team up 3, he better not have a defender within 15 feet of him, because scoring just one more point makes it a two possession game. You better get that one point. I don't even want to look back at how many contested threes we took when we were up by 2 or 3. It's like we were entirely concerned with running down the clock and didn't even care what the shot was at the end of the shot clock. Trey, it is possible to drive to the rim in 2 seconds. You do it all throughout the game. Run the clock, get some movement off the ball, drive the hoop, get fouled. Simple. Burke is the best ball handler in the country but for some reason he doesn't want to handle the ball with less than 2 minutes to go. He would rather stand for 30 seconds and then jack up a deep ball with a hand in his face. I love him, but he infuriates me at the end of games.
I mentioned it at some point (not that you automatically would see that), just agreeing and saying it annoys the FFFF out of me as well. Iowa did it tonight with Oglesby in regulation against Wisconsin -same scenario, tie ball game, not down x points, but tied.
It is just not smart basketball. I'm coming around for the three shot down two points and going for a win; I used to hate that as well but it's become prevalent and so be it. But down one or tied the amount of three pointers taken has become absurd. It's a low efficient shot and again, not smart basketball. Get to the rack and try and get some contact or look for a kick-out. The play last night before the Trey step-back fade away missed three was beautiful. A screen up top and a dribble drive and kick to the low block for McGary to throw it down. Why not try something similar?
I actually liked much of what I saw in OT. They backed the ball out and got two good shots right at the rim (Stauskas and McGary) that they couldn't finish. I'm not sure if JB was referring to the missed shot before OT but he said that wasn't the shot they were looking for. It was supposed to be a double screen...if they got the switch (which they did), Robinson was supposed to set another screen (which he didn't). Had he, Burke would have had either an open 3 or a chance to shorten the shot with a dribble or two.
There was a lot I liked in the game last night. Unlike Indiana, it seemed like there was a lot more ball movement. Michigan has to figure out how to run a half court offense against better defenses or teams that are trying to minimize their transition points. That's why I liked the motion in OT the led to Stauskas and McGary getting to the rim. The better Burke becomes at being patient and recognizing when he's got the advantage the better they will be.
I'm not as worried about the defense but only because I think they will continue to improve and Morgan will hopefully soon be back.
Obviously it's our Achilles heel, but defense is worrisome. I don't think it's scheme; it's the intensity on that end. It's too sporadic. I know were an offensive juggernaut, but locking down a team when required is crucial. Our rotations are just a step too slow and not in sync. Too many times we see our opponents motion cause wide open looks. Need to clean that up. If were forcing tough shots, rebounding will be ok. That is my main concern. A big run in the tourney is likely if we can play better defense more consistently.
It scares me how little of a rest we could give Trey in the OSU game. Spike came in and had two awful possessions in a row. We would be fine if he could just give 6-8 solid minutes a game to give Trey a breather.
Couldn't imagine myself saying this a few years ago, but we absolutely need Morgan back for his D and rebounding.
A team that plays 3 freshmen about 70% of the time and 4 freshmen the other 30% of the time has two losses, both on the road, to the no. 1 team in the country and the number 10 team in the country after returning from basketball oblivion in the last few years and all you guys do is whine about what they don't do. Hell, they play with great intensity and maturity given their actual age and experience, and they found a way to win against a much bigger and more experienced OSU team that had beaten them 8 out of their last 9 meetings...You guys would date Mila Kunis and whine that she does not cook well enough for you!
Uhhh...If you've had her scrambled eggs before you'd be bitching up a storm too!
Is my agreed upon free pass with my wife. So since we are in a fantasy world, it's reasonable to believe she is a fantastic cook
Hero-ball with Burke doesn't bother me. To those who say it doesn't work and it only worked once at Indiana this year clearly haven't been watching Burke for the past two seasons. I can count multiple times that he's hit the final shot of a half. Hell, Burke was 3/5 from three in the game when he went for it at the end of regulation against OSU.
The problem is his height and in a lot of those situations it works as a disadvantage because no matter how well he drives, he's not going to get a end of the game/half foul called by a defender who is at least 7+ inches taller than he is. He is going to get blocked/throw an errant pass/get an off-balanced look.
A step-back contested jumper may be a low-percentage shot, but it happens to also be Burke's bread and butter. Not that I want all of our possessions to be end of shot clock scenarios like that, but give credit where credit is due. I'd want Burke to be the one to take that shot at the end of a game.
Anyway, defensive rotations have to improve, and I think that's been touched on a lot, but to me, it isn't the rotations that are the biggest problem. What kills us is after we rotate and maybe are a step too late and someone jacks up a three, nobody knows who they should be boxing out. Stauskas gets blown by on the wing and he doesn't know who to put a body on on the perimeter. That's how we got killed with second chance points against OSU.
Clean that up, and bring a little more intensity on our on-ball defense (Burke was fantastic on Tuesday), and I think we'll be much better.
a few things, We have ZERO offense in the paint. Weve got to be able to go down low to get better looks from the perimeter.
McGary needs to play more. He reminds me a lot of Jon Brockman. When he's not in were really stuggle to get boards.
If were down by one with 10 seconds left, who gets the ball? Were lacking a pure scorer. I really think THJ is that guy but it seems that plays are always to Burke first.
Have you seen the numbers when we go into the post? We're not good at it. Our bigs all work very hard but their post games are pretty rough. The reason post touches open up the perimeter is that defenses will collapse on a good post scorer, but there's no reason for teams to double if we throw it into the post.
McGary is playing about as much as he physically can play right now. He was sucking wind in the OSU game. Overplaying him now is a great way to insure that he's worn out in March.
The final point is accurate. I do think our late game sets are getting stale. Burke wants to take the shot (not a bad thing) and has a tendency to dribble the air out of the ball late in games. I'd like to see THJ run off some stagger screens to open him for a catch and shoot/drive option with Burke penetrating as a second option a few times. I'd also like to see Burke go a little earlier than he tends to in late game situations. Right now he attacks with about 4-5 seconds left, which has the advantage of preventing the opponent from getting the ball, but limits his options. I'd like to see him go at about 7 seconds.
Morgan has a solid post game. We tend to go to him a lot at the start of each half and he's usually productive. He just needs to get healthy.
Boards. Get the rebounds. That was getting ridiculous last nght. That's the big thing we miss from Morgan.
This is Brady's best class so far. He seems to have subscribed to the Bill Parcells school of thinking. Build both lines. Then fill in with the rest.
Michigan is better right now than it was a few months ago. The depth is great. The talent level just shot up.
Many of these kids will get alot of playing time as freshmen. As Greg Mattison said "I play talent. I don't care what class their in."
dont let me down Illinois!!!!!
This is easy...
- You're 21-2, so the vast majority of what you're doing is good. Don't change those things.
However, there are some things that MUST happen for us to improve...
- Run an offense, too many set plays and not enough movement, motion and off the ball action.
- Late in the shot clock, we're almost exclusively ISO, last year we were almost exclusively high pick and roll with J-Mo. MIX IT UP! 50/50 - Why does it have to be one or the other?! It has been beyond frustrating watching us go 1-4 with Burke dribbling into a tough step back jumper, the entire world knows it's coming. Go back to some pick and roll from time to time. Run a play of Hardaway or Stauskas. It shouldn't even be 50/50 like I said before, it should be 33 ISO/33 Pick and Roll/33 Run a play for THJ or Stauskas.
- Keep playing tough defense - I remember exactly when it was when the light switched for this team and we started playing defense. Just can't remember if it was Iowa or Purdue. But it was around the 12 minute mark of the 2nd half, offense was okay, but not great and suddenly we just went nuts on defense. Burke was pressuring the ball, McGary got a steal, a block, it was beautiful to watch. We have to keep doing this...we haven't let up since this game that I'm referring to.
- Learn from IU and OSU - Don't be stubborn about it. Those are two good teams. Both teams plays as tough of defense on us as we've seen all season and those were clearly our toughest 3 games of the season. It's no coincidence. We do not handle pressure well. We MUST adapt. In practice go 5 on 6 and have that 6th person protecting the basket while the other 5 help off their man, trap, and get in the starter's face.
- Play 2 "BIGs" more often. I don't know why our staff is so hesitant to play McGary and Horford/Morgan so much. I understand we don't have a super deep rotation, but GRIII can't play forever. Also it gives us an advantage rebounding the basketball which is huge. Against Ohio we started the OT with Horford and McGary and I don't believe they scored in the first 3 minutes of OT. I'm not saying extensive minutes, but 5-7 more minutes per game play 2 post players.
Once Morgan is healthy and splitting minutes with McGary I think Horford should split time with GRIII. I like GRIII just fine, but he can't keep playing 40 minutes a game. I also really like what Horford brings to the game. I like the idea of Morgan/GRIII alternating with McGary/Horford frontcourts. An offensive specialist and rebounding specialist (way over-generalizing the players I know) in each pairing. McGary can be a GREAT player but there is no doubt their interior defense and rebounding take a dip when he is playing the 5. Having Horford out there too may mitigate some of that. At this point it doesn't look like they'll get much production out of their backcourt bench.
B1G is brutal, we all know that, best conference in the land. We can win the B1G, we are good enough, we play poorly and are still in games which is the sign of a championship team. We play well and we can be/are the best team in the nation.
My biggest fear come tourney time is overlooking opponents, this coaching staff is great but this happens every year and it scares the shit out of me. We will be a 1 or 2 seed and we will get those lower ranked teams that can sneak up on people.
If this team is running on all cylinders, it will be hard for this team to lose.
Imterestingly enough, this team hasn't shown a propensity to overlook anybody. Most of their "slow starts" were against really good teams and the only non-ranked teams to really give us any trouble were Purdue (hitting 35 foot heaves) and Pitt (who I can't figure out if they are good or terrible)
There are improvements to be made on both sides of the ball, but anyone suggesting that any problems we have our offense oriented are insane. The main issue as I see it is wing defense. Our guys need to learn to close out and still be in good position to not let them drive past us. Also if one wing gets beat off the dribble, the other needs to rotate over and get a body on the weak side big men since McGary is forced to either help or give up a free layup.
Overall though, this is all nitpicking really. the team is 21-2 and does a ton of things really well. A lot of people here seem to have lost sight of that in focusing on their "frustrations" with the team.
This year is probably Michigan's best 'window of opportunity" for a Final Four. I hope that the new guys coming in next year can replace Burke and Hardaway, and that all of the freshmen stay, but the future is never guaranteed.
Coming through against Ohio was huge, and the next challenge is to beat an elite team on the road. Once they make that breakthrough, the neutral site games in the NCAA Tournament won't be that difficult.
All it's going to take is for Stauskas and GRIII to make minor tweaks that will help them get close to what they were doing against lesser teams. I look at the last two and next two games as "basketball school" for both. They are learning and adapting. I think both will grow a lot between now and the tournament, and that this team will "peak" at the right time.
We already got to see Burke and Hardaway go into the "We will NOT lose this game" mode against Ohio. They should be enough to sustain high performance until the freshmen grow.