One Frame At A Time: Wofford & Texas

One Frame At A Time: Wofford & Texas

Submitted by Ace on March 25th, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Jordan Morgan recorded his second double-double of the weekend in the most Jordan Morgan way possible: by attempting to take a charge, not getting the call, and grabbing a board anyway while he's flat on his back.

This didn't make the top ten from the weekend. Don't fret, though—Morgan still makes several appearances. For the rest of the first two rounds of the tourney in GIFs, hit the jump.

[JUMP like GRIII over Javan Felix.]

MGoPodcast 5.21: Cakewalking

MGoPodcast 5.21: Cakewalking

TEXAS/WOFFORD

Discussion about whether cakewalk is appropriate. Cakewalk eventually approved. Jordan Morgan had a man's game. Texas rebounded everything else. Stauskas giggles. Michigan and making you zone because you're out of ideas.

TOURNEY BUSINESS

We cannot believe we didn't pick Dayton to do things given that we laughed at the idea of OSU as tourney sleeper and openly plead for Syracuse to be bracketed with Michigan. Otherwise, kind of on point: UConn, Baylor, and Tennessee outperform seeds and Wichita State is victimized by the loaded half of their bracket.

MUSIC

"Across 110th Street."
"It Could Be Sweet," Portishead (I see what I did there)
"Surf Wax USA," Weezer

The usual links:

Being Blake Griffin

Being Blake Griffin

Submitted by Brian on March 24th, 2014 at 12:14 PM

3/22/2014 – Michigan 79, Texas 65 – 27-8, Sweet 16

image

Dustin Johnston/UMHoops

The last time Michigan played an NCAA tourney game involving a two seed, it was their first bid in ten years. After not quite blowing a huge lead against Clemson in the 7-10 game they ran up against a brick wall named Blake Griffin. Insofar as you can call one of the most athletic dudes on the planet a "brick wall," anyway.

Michigan was still not exactly complete at this juncture. Manny and DeShawn headlined; the rest of the starting lineup consisted of freshman versions of Novak and Douglass plus the CJ Lee/David Merrit walk-on duo. Kelvin Grady, Jevohn Shepherd, Laval Lucas-Perry, Zack Gibson, and Anthony Wright were the bench. Every time you end up looking at that roster the immediate thought is "these guys made the second round of the tournament?"

Meanwhile, Griffin's stats are as hilarious as you would expect from "Blake Griffin takes on guys like Zack Novak." He used almost a third of Oklahoma's possessions, rebounded a third of defensive opportunities, drew more fouls than anyone else in the country, and shot 66% from the floor—mostly by dunking from halfcourt. Watching him live was mostly an experience in terror. Dual undercurrents cut it: one of outrage that he could do the things he did and still call himself human, a second of excitement at the same thing.

Michigan managed to stick close despite foul trouble for Harris. Anthony Wright played the game of his career, and Michigan kept in contact. As the second half progressed, though, a feeling of inevitability fell over the proceedings. Michigan was just not good enough to make up the deficit presented them. They made a push or two; each was quickly met with a riposte.

That is entirely the wrong word, since it indicates finesse. Every time Michigan approached Oklahoma it was called a nerd and thrown bodily into a dumpster.

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"Hey, Novak! Your kid is going to have a picture of that on his wall!"

Michigan lost by ten; it may as well have been a billion. Novak would later be featured in a Sports Illustrated article dedicated to all the guys Griffin has posterized. He took it with good humor, because sometimes life puts you in china shop with Blake Griffin and asks you to get it tea.

------------------------------------

Nik Stauskas has taken to opening games with a demonstration of force. The first shot of most Michigan games is Stauskas raising up over his defender to hit an eyebrow-cocking three. Welcome to the gun show, it says. I can do this whenever I want. Later he'll fly over a screen and rise up when the big starts sagging back into the lane. It goes in, because it just does. One moment is all it takes. In your face, Charlie Murphy. Stauskas is the Big Ten player of the year for a reason.

That reason is not that he has to take all of Michigan's shots. He takes barely more than an average share of them, so when you start freaking out about Stauskas the ball is in someone else's hands. That person is generally flying towards the basket (if he is Jordan Morgan) or aligning himself for a catch and shoot three pointer he knocks down at 40% (if he is anyone else). They'll bail you out with a turnover maybe twice a half.

This is a different kind of hopeless thing to be in opposition to, but it is just as dispiriting as knowing that Blake Griffin has the ball on a fast break and you are supposed to do something about it. Novak in SI:

"When I get to the three point line, I start thinking, Why am I doing this?" … "Next thing I know his feet are at my face."

You can get in deep, quick. If Michigan is going well, things will get somewhat out of hand before the opposing coach throws his hands up at the man to man defense that has been the heart of his philosophy for his entire career and goes to a zone. Yeah, against a team that shoots 40% from three. Yeah, we're not even much of a zone team. It can't be worse is the thought. Often it is followed by why am I doing this?

Texas was so discombobulated by the basketball portion of the first half that they came out in the second determined to play volleyball on one end and a random matchup zone on the other. It worked, a bit. Texas pulled to within six. Things threatened to get serious, but then a rather important flaw in the idea of playing zone against Michigan presented itself. First Robinson got lost, then LeVert, then Albrecht.

They rained in death from above, as they are wont to do.

I know that look. I have had that look, when Blake Griffin was doing Blake Griffin things and the only response was stare ahead and think what is anyone supposed to do about THAT?

I thought about Griffin in the second half as Texas drew nearer. I was nervous, of course, but it was only a part of my consciousness instead of its entirety. In a commercial break someone said something about the last four minutes of stagnation, and I said they were still getting great looks and they would be fine. It then dawned on me that I meant it.

I was not waiting for the roof to fall in. I was waiting for water to find its level. And then it did. They're still bigger and stronger than Michigan, but these days it's the bullies getting put in the dumpster.

Bullets

The column in one emoji. I could have just embedded that LHN tweet instead.

I'm not just going to do Novak like that. I did write a thing about Novak getting posterized that I should link if I'm going to include that picture.

Epic victory. Jordan Morgan flat wore Cameron Ridley out, with an assist from the opening nine-minute stretch of gametime without a whistle. Ridley was coming off a 17-point, 12 rebound, 4 block, 2 A, 0 TO performance against Arizona State's 7'2" shotblocker Jordan Bachynski.

Morgan limited him to 5 FGAs and six points and out-rebounded him. And he had 15 points himself in a fashion so quiet I exclaimed "how did that happen?" when someone mentioned it to me in the immediate aftermath.

That is a terrific sign for Morgan's matchup with Vol Jeronne Maymon, who is another 6'8" widebody post type.

stauskas-texas-dunkThe slowdown. [@ right: Stauskas shoulda coulda woulda thrown this down and blown the roof off, but alas. Dustin Johnston/UMHoops.]

The zone did put a brief halt to Michigan's offense after it adapted from a straight 2-3 that Michigan melted into a pile of scrap. To my eyes that drought was largely bad luck. Stauskas had a Blake Griffin-level dunk rattle out; Robinson had a putback facilitated by the zone go halfway down before popping out; a couple of open looks didn't fall. It happens. And then water finds its level.

The best scouting report ever. The way that game played out was downright eerie. Isaiah Taylor takes nothing but floaters; Isaiah Taylor took nothing but floaters aside from a couple of takes where he actually got to the basket, and then he finished with the most Isaiah Taylor line ever: 8/22, all shots from two.

Junk defense after junk defense. The hypothesis that Illinois actually did Michigan a favor by scaring the hell out of them with a 2-3 zone is now upgraded to a theory. It took about four possessions for Texas to decide a straight up 2-3 was even more doomy than their man to man, with the last straw a Morgan dunk from the baseline.

They then switched to a 1-3-1 for one possession, which frustratingly saw Michigan do nothing for about 30 seconds until Stauskas rose for a long contested three that led to a transition opportunity. Barnes immediately shelved that in favor of an odd-looking matchup zone that I couldn't quite figure out. Michigan seemed hesitant about it, too, but eventually Texas started matching up with the wrong dudes. There was that one LeVert three on which he didn't have anyone within ten feet of him.

Mildly mitigated. Normally you'd look at a game in which Michigan picked up 11 offensive rebounds and say that was good enough for shot parity. Nope, as Texas spent the second half rebounding damn near every one on their infinite misses and finished the game with more OREBs than Michigan had DREBs.

That is an alarm bell heading into a matchup with a burly Tennessee outfit, though again some of those just seem like crappy luck. Texas guards grabbed eight of their offensive rebounds and two were credit to "team"; Morgan and Robinson nearly matched the posts' contributions with seven offensive rebounds to Holmes and Ridley's nine. If that minor advantage holds up for the Tennessee posts I'm feeling pretty good about Friday.

Must work on free throw defense. Texas goes 15/16. Cumong man. Michigan did give most of those FTAs to the Texas guards and not their bricklaying bigs, so they couldn't have expected 10/16… but still. Maybe I shouldn't be complaining in a game where Morgan goes 7/8.

A quick look at Tennessee. Much more on this later, of course, but at first glance Tennessee is Texas after leveling up a few more times. They don't shoot well but make up for it by pounding the offensive boards; their defense is tough to shoot against and doesn't force many turnovers. Unlike Texas, Tennessee does a good job of preventing threes from being launched. They also have a semblance of outside shooting.

As you've probably heard, the Vols are huge Kenpom darlings, currently 6th in the rankings despite being an 11 seed. They're favored by a point in a game Kenpom sees as a virtual tossup, and trash Kenpom at your peril—they certainly made short work of UMass and Mercer after an OT win against Iowa.

As per usual, bizarrely high computer rankings are built on margin of victory. Tennessee spent the year blowing out SEC opponents or losing to them narrowly. They finished the year with 76-38, 82-54, and 72-45 win over Vandy, Auburn, and Mizzou; they beat Virginia by 25 in December. They also lost to UTEP, NC State, Texas A&M, and Vandy. They're also 0-3 against the Gators.

Michigan 79, Texas 65

Michigan 79, Texas 65

Submitted by Ace on March 22nd, 2014 at 8:35 PM


Um, Texas? You there? [photo via Dustin Johnston/UMHoops]

The scouting report favored Michigan, and this game played to the scouting report.

The Wolverines advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by outshooting Texas considerably, hitting a team NCAA Tournament record 14 of their 28 three-point attempts. The Longhorns connected on less than 40% of their two-pointers, and while they managed to make a second-half surge by overwhelming Michigan on the boards, they simply couldn't keep pace.

After the Longhorns took an early 6-3 lead, Michigan went on a tear, eventually gaining a 30-12 advantage after a Zak Irvin triple—the seventh Wolverine three-pointer in the first 13 minutes. Texas's attempts to push the pace backfired, leading to several open shots for Michigan and a bunch of missed jumpers on the other end. One could only watch agape at the display of offensive firepower:

Said firepower, when combined with a returned aversion to turnovers—Michigan committed just four all game—proved impossible to overcome.

While Texas managed to close the gap to 13 points by halftime, Michigan threatened to blow the game open entirely when the Longhorns opened the second half in a 2-3 zone. Michigan scored eight points in three possessions, with a couple Derrick Walton bombs over the top sandwiched around a Jordan Morgan dunk after gorgeous passing shredded the defense.

Them something strange happened. Rick Barnes called for a slight alteration to the 2-3, shading the backside guard over the middle, and then mixed in a fair amount of 1-3-1. Michigan went without a field goal for nearly six minutes. After Michigan had managed to mitigate Texas's size and rebounding advantage in the first half, the Longhorns dominated the boards in the second, and they pulled within six after an Isaiah Taylor jumper.

That's when Glenn Robinson III made two of the biggest plays of his career, first blowing by Connor Lammert and finishing with an impressive floater, then connecting on a three from the wing on Michigan's next possession to stretch the lead back to 11 with 6:45 to play.

A corner three by Spike Albrecht and a four-point trip after Jordan Morgan drew an intentional foul—while making a basket that was waved off, no less—put the final nails in the coffin. While it took them a while, Michigan eventually took advantage of the holes in the Longhorn zone, and once they did the proceedings were academic.

In addition to Robinson (14 points, 5/10 FG, 5 rebounds) and his second-half heroics, two performances really stood out for Michigan. Nik Stauskas led the team with 17 points on 15 shot equivalents while tying a career high with eight assists; his passing was key in picking apart Texas's zone. Then there was Morgan, who scored 15 (5/7 FG, 7/8 FT), pulled in ten rebounds (5 off.), dished out two assists, and recorded two steals. He limited Cameron Ridley to six points and nine rebounds while giving the Texas behemoth all sorts of trouble with his quickness on the other end.

While Michigan's offensive lull in the second half got a little scary, John Beilein had a response for every one of Rick Barnes's adjustments—yes, this was expected—and it's tough to get worried about the offense when they still managed to score 1.4 points per trip. This was another slow-paced game—just 57 possessions, one more than the Wofford slog—with a score that often belied the comfortable gap between the two teams.

With Duke off the board, Michigan awaits the winner of tomorrow evening's Tennessee/Mercer game. Either way, they've cleared the path for a deep run, and they've already accomplished a lot—did anyone imagine this team moving on to the Sweet Sixteen without much resistance after Mitch McGary went down?

Now, with McGary competing for the role of top cheerleader from the bench, Michigan will be favored to play for a spot in the Final Four regardless of who wins tomorrow. Take a bow, John Beilein.

Fee Fi Foe Film: Texas

Fee Fi Foe Film: Texas

Submitted by Ace on March 21st, 2014 at 4:59 PM


Isaiah Taylor almost exclusively shoots floaters. Related: he's a 40% shooter.

A real opponent in the NCAA Tournament means it's time for a special hoops edition of FFFF. In addition to catching most of last night's Arizona State game, I watched film of Texas against a common opponent—Iowa State—to get a better read on their strengths and weaknesses. After seeing how little resistance they provided defensively against the Sun Devils and how poor their offense looked against the Cyclones, I'm pretty optimistic about Michigan's chances.

Offense

Texas's first offensive possession sums up Texas's offense.

The Longhorns's statistical profile—terrible shooting, great offensive rebounding—showed up right away against ISU. Texas went 0/5 with four offensive rebounds on their first possession, despite playing five-on-four for most of it after DeAndre Kane got a stinger and stopped playing defense. Their general offensive philosophy also shows up in that video: play from the inside out. When they're not on the run, Texas looks to post up a big on just about every trip.

That big is usually Cameron Ridley, a behemoth who dominated ASU (17 points on 15 shot equivalents, five offensive rebounds) and struggled against ISU (4 points, 0/4 FG, 3 OR). He's a monster on the boards; he doesn't have great touch, however, and relies a lot on drawing contact. Ridley also gets gassed—he's 285 pounds, after all—which keeps him from sustaining a high effort on both ends for long stretches. While his overall turnover numbers are good, I think that's largely due to the number of quick putback chances he gets; Iowa State brought a hard double team on him when he posted up, producing three turnovers:

Backup center Prince Ibeh is another strong offensive rebounder, but he's otherwise not much of a factor on that end. Also crashing the boards with aplomb is starting four Jonathon Holmes, a good post scorer who can also stretch the floor. His matchup against Glenn Robinson III is the most worrisome to me because of his size—6'8" with long arms—and rebounding ability.

Isaiah Taylor gets the highest usage on the team, and he's liable to go off or be an offensive anchor due to his unusual style. Taylor is very quick, able to blow by most guards with ease, but instead of taking pull-up jumpers or layups he almost exclusively shoots right-handed floaters, especially from the right baseline. It took him 26 shot equivalents to score 26 points against Iowa State; he had 11 on 14 against the Sun Devils.

Brian suggested in the preview that the 1-3-1 could be a nice curveball to throw in this game, and I agree. Not only does that defense take advantage of Texas's lack of outside shooting, it puts Derrick Walton on the baseline, where he can cut off Taylor's favorite shot—he'll take it regardless, but that's why he's shooting just 40% from two.

About the shooting thing: they're awful. Texas generates a lot of three-pointers for Javan Felix (33% 3-pt) that are as likely to miss the rim completely as they are to go in—he really tests the integrity of the backboard—and they also take a ton of two-point jumpers. Against Iowa State, they airballed five(!) two-pointers, four in the first half alone. Of course, jump shot chaos is part of what allows them to rebound well; they rebounded three of those, with two leading to immediate putbacks.

While Felix jacks up by far the most threes on the team, the sweetest shooting stroke belongs to stretch four Connor Lammert, a backup who plays over half the team's minutes. He drilled 2/3 triples against ISU; when he's open, he's dangerous, and his misses are far less wild than Felix's.

[Hit THE JUMP to see how Iowa State took advantage of Texas's bigs on defense, and how Michigan can do the same.]

Tourney Preview: Texas

Tourney Preview: Texas

Submitted by Brian on March 21st, 2014 at 1:46 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

bieber-barnes
WHAT Michigan (26-8, 15-3 B1G) vs.
Texas (24-10, 11-7 B12)
WHERE Bradley Center,
Milwaukee, WI
WHEN 5:15 pm Eastern, Saturday
LINE Michigan -4 (KenPom)
TV CBS

YOU PICKED THE WRONG CANADIAN, RICK BARNES. THE WRONG, WRONG CANADIAN.

THE STAKES

Win or go home.

THE LINEUP CARD

Projected starters are in bold:

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss SIBMIHHAT
G 1 Isaiah Taylor Fr. 6'1, 170 75% 25% Very
Super quick PG shoots 40% from 2, does not take 3s. Main strength is getting to line.
G 3 Javan Felix So. 5'11, 195 64% 23% Sort of
Volume jump shooter hits 38%/34%. Takes ton of iso two point jumpers.
G 2 Demarcus Holland So. 6'2, 185 74% 16 Very
Lots of TOs, miserable FT% for guard, shoots 45% from two.
F 10 Jonathan Holmes Jr. 6'8, 240 54% 24 Sort of
Stretch-ish 4 is OREB guy and decent 3 threat. Low min despite high ORTG.
C 55 Cameron Ridley So. 6'9, 285 63% 22 Very
Post widebody is rebound machine, draws tons of fouls.
F 21 Connor Lammert So. 6'9, 235 52% 14 Sort of
Typical post backup, but does have range to 3. Efficient, but low usage.
G 24 Martez Walker Fr. 6'4, 185 29% 18 Sort of
Emerged into 20 min/G backup lately. Decent shooter, no standout skill yet.
C 44 Prince Ibeh So. 6'10, 250 35 16 Very
Generic large man.

THE THEM

Texas is an oddity in the college basketball world, an old-school, throwback two-post outfit that usually has two 6'8+ guys on the court at all times. NCAA teams have increasingly moved away from this paradigm in favor of a smaller, more offensively efficient one, and Texas's stats reflect their interior orientation. They're rebounding monsters who can't shoot.

As far as individual players go, the guy who makes things go is center Cameron Ridley, a Traylor-like post who has his own gravitational pull.

Ridley crushes the boards at both ends and has a top 25 free throw rate. Unfortunately, he's mediocre at best once there (62%) and is only decent from the floor at 55%. He does take care of the ball well for a big guy.

Texas splits its minutes at the four about down the middle between Jonathan Holmes and Connor Lammert. They're similar players statistically, both monsters on the defensive boards and very good on the offensive boards. Both guys have three point range (34% for both) that they don't use very much and shoot decently from two. They're Texas's most effective players at shooting, full stop.

When a post isn't taking a shot it's usually not good news for the Texas offense. Their two high-usage guards are not particularly efficient. Point guard Isaiah Taylor is a flash in the lane but has limited ability to finish once there. He's shooting just 40% on his 327(!) two point attempts, and he has only 19 three point attempts on the year. When he is on, though, he is scary:

He assists, of course, but his A:TO ratio is mediocre at best. Taylor's best asset is his ability to get to the line. That asset is one usually nerfed by Michigan's passivity on defense, but the tradeoff is that Taylor might be getting way better shots than he usually does.

Meanwhile, to envision Felix Javan, strip eight inches off of Zak Irvin and make him shoot 38%/34%. Oh and give him a bunch more assists. But basically short bricklayer Irvin. Only 14% of his shots are at the rim and most of his twos are not assisted; he dribbles himself into two point jumpers. He is Texas's primary three point threat. At 34%, yes.

The third guard, Demarcus Holland, is a really bad offensive player who must be on the floor solely to D up. He shoots 57/45/29 and turns the ball over a ton.

THE RESUME

Texas opened the tournament with a dramatic buzzer-beater win over Arizona State in a game that was shockingly efficient for the Horns, which put up a Michigan-like 1.24 PPP thanks to low turnovers and efficient two point shooting. That Holland guy I just trashed had 14 points on 7 shot equivalents, IE the maximum you can acquire without taking a three. He didn't try a three.

Before that game Texas was on a hell of a skid, 3-5 in their last eight with one of the wins over basketball nonentity TCU, and with all but one loss by 9 points. They went 11-7 in a very deep and tough Big 12, though, and boast wins against Iowa State, Baylor (twice), Kansas, and Oklahoma State.

Texas didn't have a lot of high quality opponents in the nonconference slate. They beat autobids Mercer and Stephen F Austin early, lost to BYU on a neutral floor, and go run by MSU at home. Their main selling point a road win against mercurial North Carolina in an 80 possession game.

THE TEMPO-FREE

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Texas shoots miserably from everywhere and tries to make up for it by crushing the offensive boards. They also get to the line a fair bit, though they're only 67% there. Texas is relatively uptempo and not particularly efficient when they go uptempo, so that's a push with Michigan's problematic transition D.

THE KEYS

Keep it tight and slow. Texas tries to get out in transition because their half court offense is poor. This doesn't go that much better (Texas transtion eFG%: 52%; Michigan: 64%; Michigan halfcourt eFG%: 53%), but the increase in their efficiency is approximately as large as Michigan's increase in efficiency. If Michigan can make this into a shooting contest, the only thing that will save Texas is a blizzard of offensive rebounds.

When in doubt, help. Texas's best three point shooter is mediocre and the rest of the team is hesitant to even launch one. The Horns are in the 300s at taking threes and 251st at hitting them. Texas's bigs have miniscule assist rates. Double the post every time.

Meanwhile, when someone's driving, perimeter players should feel free to sag off most Texas players in an effort to get the driver to pull up and kick it back out or take a floater. Allowing the driver to engage the big is bad news, as a missed shot that draws Morgan or Horford over looks to be as good as an assist against the burly Longhorns.

This may be a situation where a zone can help you out. Tight turnaround, lots of drivers without much shooting, team that couldn't really prep much for you with a 7/10 game looming, coach regarded as a bit of a lightweight… this could be a situation where the 1-3-1 can make a major impact. The threat of the offensive rebound veritably looms, but it's a curveball you can test out some to see if it works. The rarely seen 2-3 also seems like an option if Michigan can't stay in front of Texas's waterbug guards.

Crash the boards a bit yourself. Texas is mediocre at defensive rebounding because their bigs try to block everything. While there's not much hope Michigan can hold Texas off the offensive boards, they can mitigate some of that possession advantage by having Morgan/Horford mitigate that.

THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES

Michigan by 4.

Early Look: Texas/Arizona State

Early Look: Texas/Arizona State

Submitted by Ace on March 19th, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Previously: Enter The Terrier (Wofford)

This is not a jinx, as KenPom predicts Michigan will make the round of 32, and the KenPom Curse defeats all other curses by analytical submission.

Despite their placement in a loaded Midwest region, Michigan actually lucked out with their early draw. Not only is Wofford considered the weakest 15-seed in the field, Texas/Arizona State is the 7/10 matchup least likely to produce an upset—Nate Silver gives U-M the best odds of any two-seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Silver has Texas/ASU as a 50-50 tossup, while KenPom gives the Longhorns a 52% chance at victory. While the game is a coin-flip, the teams involved look remarkably different. Here's an overview of Michigan's potential round of 32 opponents. 

TEXAS (23-10, 11-7 Big 12)

KenPom Says

The Longhorns are an unpredictable squad, having gone up against several top opponents this season with very mixed results. The above dunk came in a 12-point home win over #8 Kansas; on the return trip, however, the Jayhawks won by 31. Texas upended #26 North Carolina by three points in Chapel Hill; three days later, #10 Michigan State pulled away for a 14-point victory in Austin.

The Longhorns swept the regular-season series against #31 Baylor, then lost to them by 17 in the conference tournament, their fifth loss in the last eight games. That final stretch included a six-point loss at #86 Texas Tech, the worst team they fell to all season.

The unpredictability can be chalked up to a very iffy offense. Texas ranks 79th in the country in efficiency despite boasting the sixth-best offensive rebound rate (39.4%) in the country. That's because they can't shoot a lick: they're ranked 244th in 2P%, 266th in 3P%, and 285th in FT%. Six Longhorns have attempted at least 45 three-pointers this year—none shoots better than 35.4%, and their highest-volume shooter—5'11" shooting guard Javan Felix—is at 33.3% on 171 attempts.

Texas isn't winning a game of HORSE against Michigan even if Nik Stauskas decides to shoot exclusively left-handed. The Longhorns have the #36 defense in the country and they're 15th in 2P% against. They give up a very high percentage of three-point looks, however, and they start three guards ranging in size from 5'11" to 6'2" — not ideal for contesting Michigan's shooters.

Matchup Concerns?

6'9", 285-pound center Cameron Ridley is 50th nationally in OR%, 195th in DR%, 48th in block rate, 97th in fouls drawn, and 22nd in FT rate, per KenPom. Despite his considerable girth, he manages to play 63% of the team's available minutes. Ridley will be difficult to keep off the boards, and if officials are calling things tight, a Max Bielfeldt first-half cameo isn't out of the question. That'd be a worst-case scenario, as the only way I see Texas winning this particular matchup is by overwhelming Michigan on the boards.

Outlook

While the rebounding is a concern, Texas's inability to shoot, lack of size on the perimeter, and the coaching mismatch of John Beilein against Rick Barnes lend me to believe this would be a game that very much favors Michigan.

[Hit THE JUMP for the outlook on Arizona State]