this blog does not acknowledge WMU's revamped mascot and never will

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #4 Michigan (9-0) vs
#222 Western Michigan
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 2 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan –24 (Kenpom)
TV BTN

THE US

Michigan has reached their annual near-dormant mid-December. The next three opponents are all buy games that Kenpom favors Michigan in by absurd margins. This is in part because the teams are bad, but they're not as bad as they usually are. Last year's trio of Detroit, Jacksonville, and Alabama A&M were all 319th or worse in Kenpom. A&M was a 3-28 SWAC team.

This year's slate is more respectable, and Michigan might be slightly disappointed that they're getting slightly down versions of WMU, which is usually around .500 in the MAC but seems headed for the bottom of the league this year, and Air Force. Even somewhat weak versions of those two programs are (probably) much better for NET purposes than the confused time-traveling Mongol squads of yesteryear.

Binghamton? Well, can't win 'em all.

Michigan should cruise past all three of these opponents in dominating fashion, but Michigan's seven-man rotation is looking a little vulnerable to foul trouble and injury so there will be moments of import for down the road when Jon Teske, in particular, exits.

THE LINEUP CARD

Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 12 Michael Flowers So. 6'1 195 76 23 106 No
PG shooting pretty well and getting to line; TOs an issue. Mansome DREB PG.
G 4 Jared Printy Jr. 6'4, 185 68 12 117 No
Just A Shooter.
G 3 Josh Davis Sr. 6'5, 200 79 24 95 No
Senior's uptick in usage is almost all turnovers. Shooting almost the exact same, TO rate nearly doubles to 28, ORTG 95.
F 11 Kawanise Wilkins So. 6'5 235 60 18 119 Maybe
JUCO transfer shot 37% from 3 last year. Struggling from there so far but solid all-around game otherwise. Getting his own shots.
C 50 Seth Dugan Sr. 7'0, 240 79 27 115 Yes
Traditional C has taken big leap forward in his final year. Shooting up, assists up, rebounding up. Very good at rim (75%, half assisted). 14% on other twos. Not a shotblocker.
G 2 Adrian Martin Fr. 6'3 170 41 16 49 Yes
FR shooting 14/15 from floor. Not a typo. On 41 shots!
F 15 Patrick Emilien Fr. 6'6, 190 39 15 80 Yes
Uh this guy is at 27/19. Gets some OREBs at least?
G 20 William Boyer-Richard Fr. 6'1, 185 32 16 77 Meh
Hey this guy's at 40/33! … with a 42 TO rate.
F 24 Adida Ikongshul Jr. 6'6, 265 13 22 76 Yes
Ye gods: shooting 3/24 from two for his career.

[Hit THE JUMP for A STUNNING PREDICTION.]

Former Michigan commit Daxton Hill
big mood [Robert Allen/247Sports]

Yesterday I was driving home and a deer leapt a gosh dang guard rail and bounded across the road and I hadn’t been that surprised since, well, you know. So Saturday night got ugly in a hurry. Not only did Michigan hockey lose to Minnesota at home in a game they desperately needed to get points out of, but they lost on an even-strength goal with under two minutes to play. That same night, OK S Daxton Hill dropped the Thanos Snap of recruit tweets, flipping his seemingly rock-solid commitment from Michigan to Alabama. Judging by the texts I got and twitter and message boards and every other available piece of evidence, this went over poorly.

If you were surprised, you weren’t alone. According to 247’s Steve Lorenz, not only was Michigan’s staff caught off guard, Alabama’s staff was surprised to learn of the flip. Michigan visited Hill at home last Wednesday. Alabama visited Hill’s home the next day, but no crystal balls were flipped. Lorenz says that the Alabama staff felt better about flipping FL S and current Ohio State commit Jordan Battle and thought that, if anything, they might get an unofficial visit from Hill. The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reiterated that Michigan’s staff found out when the public did and, though they wanted him to sign during the early signing period and he had apparently let them know he wanted to wait until February, there were no red flags presaging a decomitment.

The main point of Webb’s post centers around a quote from Hill’s father Webb obtained when he visited the family this fall. The family said they liked that Michigan was about winning all areas of life and not just winning at any cost, and Webb points out that Alabama was Alabama when Hill committed to Michigan, which was coming off a loss to Notre Dame that had people down for weeks. Webb went on to say that he feels Hill isn’t done grappling with whatever might have shifted his hierarchy of decision factors; when a poster on their message board asked if this wasn’t over, Webb responded with a clip from Rocky V of Mickey as a Force ghost or something that ends with Rocky yelling ‘Yo, Tommy! I didn’t hear no bell.” Now Lorenz checks in with a notes post in which he says he was also able to confirm that there's some optimism on Michigan's end that this recruitment may not be over. With Hill's decision horizon apparently extended two months, that makes some sense.

[After THE JUMP: Ann Arbor in December is a hot vacation destination]

[Patrick Barron]

Per Steve Lorenz, O'Maury Samuels has been booted:

Samuels got scattered carries as a backup the past couple years as Michigan had crowded backfields. Karan Higdon's departure was going to open the door for a third player to join presumed platoon members Chris Evans and Tru Wilson; Samuels's departure removes an option.

Christian Turner, Zach Charbonnet, and maybe Hassan Haskins (who played some linebacker) or Michael Barrett (who's practiced at both viper and slot receiver but was a hell of a running QB in high school) will now vie for those snaps. Turner looked slippery and tough to bring down in some cameo snaps this year; Charbonnet is flying up recruiting lists and might end up a five-star.

of course Liberty hired Hugh Freeze

They aren't playing badly, but they're playing as well as they can.

tracking shirts

In which Michigan plays a sloppy disjointed game and wins by 11. 

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