Coach is busy dancing. Dancing. Dancing.
Revision of Picture Pages and More: Michigan State from January 19th, 2012 at 1:41 PM
In lieu of the time-consuming and largely superfluous offensive UFRs, I'm going to start reviewing the offensive output of Michigan's basketball games by examining the available advanced metrics while also utilizing the UFR shot chart and picture pages. Think of it as an offensive UFR without all the unnecessary charting.
It's impossible to discuss the win over State and not start with Trey Burke's performance. I mean, goodness, Burke inspired this piece from Grantland's Shane Ryan...
I'm coming out with the big guns today: Trey Burke is the most exciting player in college basketball.
You want caveats? OK. Trey Burke is the most electric, dynamic, breathtaking human being wearing a Division I uniform, and Tuesday night he etched his name into Michigan lore with a 20-point virtuoso turn in a 60-59 home win over rival Michigan State. Also, he's the coolest customer on the court at any given time, and he's only a freshman.
...as well as this incredible video from mgodisney:
We'll get into why Burke was so successful later, but first, his numbers. By traditional stats, he was ruthlessly efficient with his shot, scoring 20 points while going 8-11 from the field (3-6 from three), and he also managed to hand out three assists, though those came along with three turnovers. Burke was lethal on the pick and roll, a welcome change from the last couple games, and his only major negatives came when he got caught in the air on the baseline, which happened a couple times and led to turnovers. His offensive rating was a stellar 135.5, well above his season average of 109.1 and by far the best mark he's put up against high-quality competition.
As far as rest of the team goes, things weren't quite so easy. Stu Douglass recorded the team's lone offensive rebound of the night, and if you take away Burke's numbers, the Wolverines shot just 15-34 from the field and hit only 3-15 from beyond the arc. Most of the squad actually shot the ball at least decently well, but Tim Hardaway Jr. forced up several long shots (3-9 FG, 0-4 3-pt), and Evan Smotrycz also had a quick trigger finger after hitting a couple layups early (2-6 FG, 0-2 3-pt). Now that I've given away large portions of it, I might as well go ahead and post the shooting chart:
|Burke||1/1||1/1 (1F)||1/1 (1F)||2/2||-||-||1/2||1/2||1/2||4/5||2/3 (1F)||2/3 (1F)||8/11 (2F)|
|Hardaway||(1F)||2/2||0/2||-||1/2||0/1 (1F)||-||0/2||0/3||(1F)||3/6||0/6 (1F)||3/9 (1F)|
|Smotrycz||-||2/3 (1F)||-||-||-||0/1||-||0/1||0/1||-||2/4 (1F)||0/2||2/6 (1F)|
|Morgan||1/1||1/1 (1F)||-||-||-||0/1||-||-||-||1/1||1/1 (1F)||0/1||2/3 (1F)|
|Douglass||2/2||(1F)||-||-||-||0/1||-||1/1 (1F)||0/2||2/2||1/1 (2F)||0/3||3/6 (2F)|
|TOTAL||4/4 (1F)||6/7 (4F)||2/4 (1F)||2/2||2/3||1/6 (1F)||1/4||4/9 (1F)||1/9||7/10 (1F)||12/19 (5F)||4/19 (2F)||23/45 (7F)|
You have no idea how happy I am that those numbers matched the box score. Anyhow, you can see the root of Hardaway's struggles in the chart—he took twice as many heavily-contested shots as anyone else on the team, including three from long distance. Michigan as a whole didn't get many good looks against a strong Spartan defense, but when they did, those shots usually came from very close to the basket. You can also see how much Michigan emphasizes hollowing out the defense—creating open shots either at the basket or beyond the arc—when you look at the two-point shots. Burke had the team's only two uncontested attempts in that category, and when the team put up a contested two-pointer, it was usually because the play they ran didn't work effectively.
Looking at the four factors, which you'll likely recognize from UMHoops's game recaps, the key to Michigan staving off the Spartans was a decidedly-low turnover rate:
The lack of offensive rebounds is disconcerting even when taking into account MSU's size, rebounding acument, and the fact that Michigan went small for most of the game. It's going to be difficult to continue winning without hitting the offensive glass, as it essentially forces the team to play mistake-free (or, at least, mistake-very-limited) basketball while connecting on a solid percentage of their shots. The Wolverines got away with it here, but I don't foresee them winning many more games during this tough stretch of the schedule if they're hauling in just one offensive rebound.
For bringing up Beilein's Dance Moves because I was going to Jack my second thread with this youtube link - check out 1:16 of the video! Priceless LMAO...Love Coach B!
I do not say this lightly: I think Beilein's dancing makes me even happier than Denard's does.
the rebounding issue in his post-game presser. He wasn't upset with the rebounding margin since they decided to send 3 guys back down court to prevent MSU fast break opportunities. And it seemed to work.
MSU fast break lay-ups are always my biggest fear. They always seem to have plenty of speedy guards/wings that know how to finish. Take away the break and you turn a very good team into only a good team.
philosophy for JB, it was just a one game thing. JB made the call to have only one or 2 guys crash the glass in order to thwart MSU's transition game...I'm not sure that will be a consistent strategy going forward.
This makes sense, and I understand Michigan made a lot of adjustments in order to combat State's size and also their fast break ability. That said, one lone offensive rebound is still not good at all—watching the game again, Morgan looked overmatched trying to crash the boards against State's bigs, and his poor hands cost him a couple rebounds as well.
Ace, love the new format. Great information and posted quickly.
Question: What are all the abbreviations in the table? I assume they refer to how contested a shot is, but I also wonder what you consider uncontested, medium contested, etc.
Thanks, David. I should've put a key above the table, but those stand for no contest, late contest, and heavy contest, which is how Beilein breaks things down. I'm really having a hard time trying to describe what constitutes each category—they mostly speak for themselves, but a no contest means a wide open shot where nobody gets a hand up, while a heavy contest is when the defender is in position and gets his hands up (getting a hand in a player's face is ideal defense, actually—you don't want players reaching for blocks unless they're really good at it). Late contest is when a defender gets his hand up, but after the offensive player has already started shooting and has a look at the basket. That's the best way I can think to describe the differences right now.
Ace - I had two semi-disagreements with your recap.
First, I don't think you need to worry about the OR based on this game. Against Northwestern just a few days ago Michigan had one of their best OR performances ever. I think part of it was context as you said (MSU, small lineup, etc.) but I think a lot of it was strategy. They knew they weren't going to out-rebound MSU in that way and didn't want to give up easy baskets in transition. I am far more worried about UM losing games due to poor 3pt shooting than I am offensive rebounding.
Second, and I know I'm in the minority here, I thought Smotrycz played decent in this game. Acknowledging a couple of ball handling issues, he only took 6 shots. Only two of them were even from 3-point land and one of them was "LC" in your chart. He had three LC 2-point shots and made two of them. I thought he did a good job of trying to drive to the hole instead of just shooting jumpers. If I read your chart correctly he took 4 out of 6 "good" shots. You'd like to see him make all of those obviously, but when he's clearly struggling with his outside shot I liked seeing him drive more and avoid contested outside shots as much as he did.
Along those lines, maybe a column you can add to your chart is "shot selection" where you take the ratio of LC to HC shots. If the offense is humming along perfectly you'd like to see that err heavily toward LC.
I haven't broken down film like you, but here's what I saw belein do to adjust for the hedge. UM screened Morgan's defender before the pick and roll. That slows down the hedge just enough. to alleviate pressure