WTKA Roundtable 3/8/2018: It Wasn’t a Switch

WTKA Roundtable 3/8/2018: It Wasn’t a Switch

Submitted by Seth on March 9th, 2018 at 6:46 AM

WTKA cover 2018-03-08

Things discussed:

  • Hit some threes with some weird guys. Michigan’s matchups vs MSU are all too good. Can’t cover up Winston’s defensive deficiencies the way Michigan spaces you.
  • Michigan’s coaching is so good
  • Won Nebraska with defense; didn’t like that we kept going at Roby and he was awesome. Wagner’s best game other than 27 points at Breslin?
  • Michigan starts the 2nd half vs Purdue with a 10-2 run after missing great shots in the first half. Purdue was one step behind Beilein all night. Painter is a great coach too.
  • Bridges turns into a jump shooter because Yaklich put Z on him. It’s not a switch! He wasn’t able to stick in the post despite MSU trying to run their offense through him.
  • State came into the game trying to punk Michigan, turned out they were the softer team.
  • What do we not want to face: zone teams. Good zone attack plan but not enough rise up shooters. Every time they face it they need time to adjust. Good draws: West Virginia (see: the VCU game in 2013), Virginia, teams that have a traditional post. Bad draws: Duke, UNC, Nova. Don’t want a Michigan-ish team.
  • There’s no favorite in this tournament. If Virginia didn’t have a history of flaming out at least.
  • Yaklich effect: 43rd percentile in P&R defense to 92nd!!
  • Craig: Zavier Simpson, best defensive point guard at Michigan since Alfred Ethelwulfsson, maybe the best ever.
  • Free throwin’: Z is up to 60% since his new routine, Matthews 65% in his last 30.
  • Can we play in Detroit? It’s possible.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

They’ve got a permanent chip on their shoulder and its name is Zavier Simpson

Purdue 92, Michigan 88

Purdue 92, Michigan 88

Submitted by Ace on January 25th, 2018 at 9:43 PM

Sometimes you face a normal foe. Sometimes you face a fleet of T-Rexes in F-15s firing with maximum precision. When facing the latter, especially in their territory, the margin for error is terrifyingly thin.

For the better part of 40 minutes, Michigan held their own with the Purdue T-Rexes in F-15s, with Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman playing the role of dinosaur hunter. A MAAR three-point strike, part of a scorching second-half start for both teams, even gave the road underdogs a lead with under ten minutes to play. It was the game's 23rd lead change.

Vince Edwards countered for the 24th and final lead change. T-Rexes in F-15s are unrelenting; Michigan's few mistakes finally exposed them late. Some turnovers from Jaaron Simmons or Charles Matthews here, some missed free throws from MAAR or Zavier Simpson there, and the T-Rexes successfully repelled the rebel forces.

I've very much enjoyed watching Michigan-Purdue basketball games. I'm also very much ready for all those dudes to graduate and Carsen Edwards to go pro.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Hoops Preview: Purdue, Part Two

Hoops Preview: Purdue, Part Two

Submitted by Ace on January 25th, 2018 at 12:46 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #27 Michigan (17-5, 6-3)
at #2 Purdue (19-2, 8-0)
WHERE Mackey Arena
West Lafayette, Indiana
WHEN 7 pm ET, Thursday
LINE Purdue -13 (KenPom)
Purdue -14.1 (Torvik)
Purdue -10 (Vegas)
TV ESPN
PBP: Rece Davis
Analyst: Robbie Hummel

Right: Moe vs. Drago IV [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

THE US

Michigan's trip to face a white-hot Purdue squad represents something of a no-lose situation for the Wolverines. Neither the fancystat sites nor Vegas give Michigan much of a shot to win this one.

According to Bart Torvik's tourneycast, a loss would keep Michigan at their current standing as a projected 8-seed. A win, meanwhile, would shoot them all the way up to the 5-seed line. Barring a deep conference tourney run, this is easily M's best shot at getting off the dreaded 8/9 line and even get a little wiggle room to stay off of it. It'd also keep Michigan in contention for a rather shocking Big Ten regular season title; a loss almost certainly knocks them out of the race.

THE LAST TIME

Michigan was on the brink of handing Purdue their only conference loss until the Zaprudering.

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 11 PJ Thompson Sr. 5'10, 185 69 13 137 Not At All
Very efficient, low-usage PG. Hitting 51% of threes. Strong defender.
G 3 Carsen Edwards So. 6'0, 190 68 28 119 Not At All
B1G's most improved. Shot creator who's greatly improved finishing.
G 31 Dakota Mathias Sr. 6'4, 200 76 19 129 Not At All
Three-point sniper, also threat inside arc, good passer when D overcommits.
F 12 Vincent Edwards Sr. 6'8, 225 75 24 122 Not At All
Does a bit of everything on offense, good defender.
C 44 Isaac Haas Sr. 7'2, 290 54 26 122 Very
Behemoth. Strong post scorer, rebounder, shot-blocker.
C 32 Matt Haarms Fr. 7'3, 250 46 16 109 Very
Low-usage Haas, basically. Some offensive dropoff but none on defense.
G 14 Ryan Cline Jr. 6'5, 190 46 14 118 Not At All
Just A Shooter™, makes 41% of his threes.
G 20 Nojel Eastern Fr. 6'6, 220 32 19 88 Yes
Big combo guard at best around hoop. Hits the glass. Turnover-prone.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]

Purdue 70, Michigan 69

Purdue 70, Michigan 69

Submitted by Ace on January 9th, 2018 at 11:47 PM


[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Thirty-nine minutes and fifty-four seconds of exquisite basketball ruined by replay.

Michigan and Purdue played an absolute classic tonight. Twice the fifth-ranked Boilermakers stretched their lead to double digits; twice Michigan clawed their way back, finally taking their first lead of the game with under five minutes remaining.

Moe Wagner went toe-to-toe with Isaac Haas in the post. Zavier Simpson hit multiple floaters over seven-footers, including one to beat the first-half buzzer. Charles Matthews hit a couple cold-blooded jab-step threes. Jordan Poole scored eight points in seven minutes. Isaiah Livers was everywhere. Regardless of outcome, it was a game that showed Michigan's present and (especially) future are both bright.

But about that outcome. With under ten seconds on the clock in a 69-69 tie, Matthews came off a Wagner screen, got a step on Dakota Mathias, and drove hard to the basket. Mathias reached through Matthews and poked the ball out from behind, no foul, Michigan ball—as with countless plays before it, the gentleman's agreement to give that play to the offense applied.

Then the refs went to the scorer's table and spent five minutes Zaprudering the play, killing much of the considerable excitement from the wild back-and-forth affair before eventually determining the ball lingered on Matthews's hand for a frame or two after the Mathias poke. Purdue got the ball, Wagner committed a (legitimate) foul on Haas, who made the first of two free throws. A buzzer-beating heave by Matthews took a painful journey around the rim and out.

It's hard not to feel robbed. While it's also hard not to be excited about this team, that rings hollow when a call that's never made in the first 38 minutes of a game costs them a much-needed signature win. The future is bright. The present, for the moment, is stupid.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Hoops Preview: Purdue

Hoops Preview: Purdue

Submitted by Ace on January 9th, 2018 at 4:20 PM

First off, I've been overwhelmed and uplifted by the outpouring of support from my post earlier today. Thank you so much to everyone who's reached out with words of support or shared their own personal stories. It means the world to me to be a part of such a remarkable community.

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #32 Michigan (14-3, 3-1 B1G)
vs #5 Purdue (15-2, 4-0)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 9 pm ET, Tuesday
LINE Purdue -2 (KenPom)
Purdue -4.8 (Torvik)
Purdue -1 (Vegas)
TV ESPN
PBP: Dave Flemming
Analyst: Dan Dakich

Right: It's gonna get physical. [Paul Sherman]

THE US

Purdue's visit to Crisler gives Michigan its best chance at a marquee win from a Big Ten schedule that doesn't have MSU travel to Ann Arbor. Given the way the nonconference schedule broke, pulling out at least one victory against the Boilermakers or Spartans is probably the only way the Wolverines can get above a 7 or 8 seed—there just aren't many resumé-boosing wins to be had when most of the conference is moving in the wrong direction.

In rotation news, Zavier Simpson took the starting job back from Eli Brooks for the Illinois game, and that's all but assured to be a permanent change. Brooks could be in a fight for the backup job with Jaaron Simmons, who Beilein inserted for a brief stretch that wasn't in garbage time. Jordan Poole has definitively moved in front of Ibi Watson as the primary backup at both the two and the three. (He's previously just played the two.) Isaiah Livers continues to impress and this could very well be the game he overtakes Duncan Robinson regardless of who starts the first half; the Boilermakers pose a terrible matchup for Robinson.

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 11 PJ Thompson Sr. 5'10, 185 71 13 135 Not At All
Very efficient, low-usage PG. Hitting 49% of threes. Strong defender.
G 3 Carsen Edwards So. 6'0, 190 67 28 114 No
B1G's most improved. Shot creator who's greatly improved finishing.
G 31 Dakota Mathias Sr. 6'4, 200 76 19 129 Not At All
Three-point sniper, also threat inside arc, good passer when D overcommits.
F 12 Vincent Edwards Sr. 6'8, 225 74 24 118 Not At All
Does a bit of everything on offense, good defender.
C 44 Isaac Haas Sr. 7'2, 290 54 27 124 Very
Behemoth. Strong post scorer, rebounder, shot-blocker.
C 32 Matt Haarms Fr. 7'3, 250 46 14 112 Very
Low-usage Haas, basically. Some offensive dropoff but none on defense.
G 14 Ryan Cline Jr. 6'5, 190 45 13 117 Not At All
Just A Shooter™, makes 40% of his threes.
G 20 Nojel Eastern Fr. 6'6, 220 30 20 86 Yes
Big combo guard at best around hoop. Turnover-prone.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]