Do you not remember the ONLY other time this season that MGoBlog went against KenPom? We are now jinx'd.
Revision of Preview: Indiana from February 2nd, 2013 at 1:52 PM
|WHAT||Michigan at Indiana|
|WHERE||Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana|
|WHEN||9:00 PM Eastern, Saturday|
|LINE||Indiana –6 (Kenpom)|
Right: Victor Oladipo is terrifying, frankly.
One team stands between Michigan and sole control of the Big Ten, not to mention a likely perch atop both national polls. That team, of course, is Indiana, whose lone losses have come in overtime against Butler (neutral-site) and at home in a textbook Wisconsin slugfest.
Indiana's national player of the year candidate is seven-foot center Cody Zeller, an offensive force thanks to deft touch around the basket (69% on FGs at the rim, per hoop-math), decent mid-range shooting, one of the highest drawn foul rates in the country (7.0/40 min.[!]), and stellar offensive rebounding. He's also a very good defensive rebounder who provides a solid shot-blocking presence. He'll be a huge test for a Michigan team that should be without Jordan Morgan, their best on-ball defender among their big men.
Indiana's other national player of the year candidate is 6'5" wing Victor Oladipo, a brutally efficient shooter—making 69% of his twos and 18-of-34 threes—who hits the offensive glass nearly as frequently as Zeller. Oh, and he's also one of the best defenders in the nation at any position, boasting the #12 steal rate in the country along with his fair share of blocks. The big question for this game is who Oladipo will guard. Will Crean match him up with Trey Burke, in an effort to stymie Michigan's pick-and-roll game like Ohio State did with Aaron Craft? Or does that create too many other matchup issues, leading Crean to put him on Tim Hardaway Jr. or even Nik Stauskas? That largely depends upon what they do with...
...6'0" shooting guard Jordan Hulls, one of the most efficient offensive players in the country thanks to his dead-eye outside shooting (48.1% from three, where he takes 64% of his shots). His lethal shot adds much the same dimension to Indiana's offense that Stauskas's does for Michigan—never, ever help off of Hulls—but on the other end of the floor he's something of a liability. Indiana has three options defensively thanks to his shortcomings, which guarantee he won't match up with Burke: (1) play Oladipo on Burke and hope Hulls can hold his own against Stauskas, (2) go to a 2-3 zone, which they've done to middling success before and could go south in a hurry against Michigan's shooters, or (3) bite the bullet and lessen his minutes in favor of his more defensively proficient backups.
|eFG%||Turnover %||Off. Reb. %||FTA/FGA|
|Offense||52.0 (55)||21.9 (247)||48.0 (1)||44.7 (18)|
|Defense||43.5 (32)||23.0 (66)||35.1 (283)||32.1 (102)|
The ridiculous offensive rebound rate obviously stands out here, and that numbers hasn't dropped much in conference play—the Gophers are first in the B1G at 44.9% while maintaining their strong shooting and foul rates. On the negative side, they've also kept up their ugly turnover rate, though this is an area Michigan doesn't usually exploit.
The dropoff has come on defense, where the Gophers still give up a ton of offensive rebounds but have stopped forcing turnovers (17.6% in four conference games). Opponent shooting has taken a jump near the D-I average on the strength of a big rise in two-point shooting; presumably, Big Ten teams are better equipped to handle Minnesota's athleticism up front.
Everybody hit the glass. Something's got to give when Minnesota's absurd offensive rebounding goes against Michigan's stellar defensive rebounding. Four of Minnesota's five starters are big threats to hit the offensive glass, so it's imperative that every Wolverine on the floor is focused on boxing out and securing any rebounds.
There's an added benefit to the guards hitting the defensive boards—I'll have much more in a post tomorrow, but the short version is that Michigan gets out in transition best when their guards are getting rebounds. If they can counter on the fast break and force Minnesota to stop selling out for offensive rebounds, that'll give Michigan a huge edge.
Get physical. Putting Mbakwe and Williams on the line is preferable to letting them dunk, of course. With Jon Horford back in the rotation, Michigan has three bigs plus Robinson to throw at those two. On the other end, if the Wolverines can get back to going to the basket—something they couldn't do at all against OSU—the Gophers don't have the depth up front to mitigate any foul trouble.
If Michigan can't draw fouls on offense against Mbakwe and Williams without getting too many shots blocked, they have another way to get them in foul trouble: take charges. Mbakwe and Williams aggressively attack the rim, but they may be less inclined to do so if they're hit with a couple early offensive fouls.
Work the pick and roll. Michigan has to get their bread-and-butter play going again after Ohio State shut down that aspect of their offense. Against Minnesota, there's the extra benefit of drawing Mbakwe—and his shot-blocking prowess—away from the basket.
THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES
Minnesota by 3
Do not anger the KenPom gods.
When mgoblog went against KenPom last time, KenPom predicted the victor correctly. If mgoblog goes against KenPom here and KenPom predicts the victor correctly, it will be the exact same winner as if mgoblog goes with KenPom and KenPom predicts the victor correctly.
It is the prediction deviating from Kenpom that results in Kenpom being correct.
And if the prediction is in accordance with Kenpom, then the result will be that Kenpom is incorrect.
The prediction is causative (negatively correlated) according to those who believe in jinxing it.
I'm a little disturbed that Kenpom matches my prediction in the win stuff thread.
Why even bother calling it the section where you predict the same thing that Kenpom does? Talk to the OSU game on the road about what happened before.
Not sure why you previewed Indiana; conventional wisdom has Beilein spending the week crying about what the refs are going to do.
Last time Stauskas played in a hostile environment on par with Assembly Hall was the Ohio game. Hopefully he doesn't allow the environment to get the best of him and become his usual self tonight. If he scores 10 or more points I see us winning.
in terms of hostile environments, and Stauskas did put in 11 pts there so I'm hoping the OSU game was just a first-game-jitters kind of thing
One place I am 100% sure we have a big advantage is Crean vs. Beilein. Not sure if it's enough to overcome the Assembly Hallness of it all, but Crean kind of sucks as a game coach. And Beilein is a genius.
... I see tOSU game differently: uber-Rival, C-Bus, spitting Grannies in tank tops and tats.
While the Hoosiers have a legacy in basketball, I think our young guns think of Indiana as a mid-major otherwise.
I have a hunch that Stauskas will be doing this at least 5 times:
In a dark jersey...
Tom Crean will be checking his watch to see if he'll make the flight to NOLA to watch one of his wife's brothers lose to the other.
All signs point to Wolverines. Epic win.
ESPN keeps saying we haven't won in Bloomington since 1986. It's annoying. We won there in 1995 (not vacated) and in 2009.
(or meaning to say) that we haven't beat a ranked IU team in Bloomington since 1986?
That could be (I don't know if they were ranked or not in '95), but they have not clarified sometimes. During Wednesday's game the color guy just said "They haven't won in Bloomington since '86."
"That's a bold move Cotton, we'll see how it plays out."
THJ, you go on and win this game with your defense.
I'd go with Michigan without that Assembly Hall voodoo. But you just know the referees will find a way to swing a few points to Indiana in the second half. And those few points might be enough.
Predict against KenPom to your heart's content. Never predict against the stupidity and cowardice of Big Ten basketball officials.