WTKA Roundtable 12/6/2018: Do You Know What a DVD Is?

WTKA Roundtable 12/6/2018: Do You Know What a DVD Is? Comment Count

Seth December 7th, 2018 at 7:41 AM

Things discussed:

  • Shutting down Carsen Edwards was a team effort
  • Surprised Haarms hasn't progressed more.
  • Northwestern hit a lot of weird shots, good defensive team.
  • Poole and Brazdeikis are their best isolation players but that's not their offense
  • Brian not so hard on Austin Davis—blamed the refs.
  • The 14-2 run with Teske on the bench with foul trouble was too stark
  • Could use less Matthews usage but that's not gonna change
  • Post-Michigan coaching comments
  • Defensive strategy leads to fewer fouls: not a lot of help/reach-ins
  • The Big Ten is deep, some poor bubble team is going 8-12 in this league.

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

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


"I turn on the game and I'm like who is this 60 year old freshman?


This Week's Obsession: Expectations are Back There

This Week's Obsession: Expectations are Back There Comment Count

Seth December 4th, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The Sponsor:

It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. If you haven't listened to Nick's podcast, Finding True Wealth, yet, head over there because his latest episode is an interview with our own Brian Cook about the past and future of MGoBlog. Nick also has a neat new tool which has a different spin on figuring out which level of risk is appropriate for your portfolio in these volatile times.

Legal disclosure in itty bitty font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.


The Question:

Why is this team exceeding expectations?

Ace: Just wait until Jordan Poole gets goin— oh, I see.

Seth: 1/1 Charles Mathewses agree: this is not a good development.


Ace: We can start with the obvious: Michigan had one of the best defenses in the country last year, upgraded on that end at the four and five spots (and arguably the two as well), and also moved into year two of Luke Yaklich’s teachings taking hold. Now it’s the best defense in the country by a significant margin so far this year.

This is very much Zavier Simpson’s team. Matthews’, too.

BiSB: To the defensive question, we didn't know if Iggy could play defense. Turns out... yeah, very much so.

Brian: His first real test is "hey, check Eric Paschall with zero help defense" and that goes spectacularly.

Seth: Let's not leave out 7'2" Zavier Simpson.

BiSB: Big Trogdor?

Ace: I meant in terms of temperament. Jon Teske is clearly one of the main reasons this team is so good. He’s a defensive savant. It’s not just that he can block shots, he’s almost never in the wrong place, his hands are great, and he moves surprisingly well.

BiSB: His foul rate is also insanely low.

Brian: Michigan's two point D is stunning and it is most stunning when The Big Sleep is on the floor. 31%!

Ace: (pulls out bullhorn)


[After THE JUMP: Florida gets mentioned once. Also Duke.]


I Have Been Suplexed Into A River But At Least I Have Company

I Have Been Suplexed Into A River But At Least I Have Company Comment Count

Brian December 3rd, 2018 at 1:33 PM

12/1/2018 – Michigan 76, Purdue 57 – 8-0, 1-0 Big Ten

Bigs are the college basketball equivalent of offensive linemen. They're hard to project. They take a significant amount of time to refine into their final product. Also they are big.

Once you get outside the rarefied air of the kids who go to basketball factories so fake they can't even bother to come up with a real name—there is now a place called "Spire Academy" which naturally now houses LaMelo Ball—when centers arrive on campus they've mostly spent their time raining fire on 6'3" guys who keep asking the ref if they can use pitchforks against it. Also, they are big, so they've been slotted into basketball teams whether or not they really care to be. The bigger the person, the more foreordained it is that they will play center despite a total lack of basketball-related skills. There's a 7'6" dude from Dakar named Tacko Fall who plays for UCF and shoots 27% on free throws. QED.

So when you hear the new big who looks like a newborn deer during the brief moments he's permitted on the court is nicknamed "The Big Sleep," well… this is our concern. Not even the guy with literal narcolepsy got called The Big Sleep.


Two years later, Purdue has switched Carsen Edwards onto The Big Sleep. This is a thing Purdue just does on instinct at this point. Does the tall man's jersey read "Michigan"? Okay, switch a firefly onto him because the one thing Michigan never does is post up. This gambit has waned in its effectiveness over time but usually because the Boilermaker on the guard is a great lumbering thing or, now, a Frenchman on a dilapidated bicycle. Michigan still doesn't post up, basically ever.

This time Jon Teske puts Edwards on his back, receives an entry pass, and dunks. Edwards shrugs afterwards. His face says "what I am supposed to do with that?" He knows the answer is nothing.

This is Teske now, with the rough edges sanded down. He puts up 17 points on 8 shot equivalents. He spearheads the #1 defense in college basketball. There are a lot of reasons that opponents are hitting 36% of their twos, but the foremost among them is Teske. When he's on the court teams are hitting 31 percent. 31! When he goes to the bench opponents get 13 percentage points worth of relief. Teske got switched onto Nassir Little in the last game and matched Little's drive to the basket. That ball ended up in the stands.

Teske roared afterward, much like he does in the photo that leads this post. That came when he put poor Grady Eifert on a poster:

At the top, Simpson is doing his Big Mood walk despite having no involvement in the play. And that's right too. Teske deserves to roar; he deserves all the chest-bumps and weird awkward arm-lock thingies Michigan is doing this year.

He still looks like the nice boy down the street after you increased his pixel count by 50%, and that's why he'll always be Big Sleep to me. Saddi Washington attempted to rebrand Teske as "Big Nasty" last year, but let's keep The Big Sleep around. Big Nasty is taken by Corliss Williamson and generic anyway. Ain't nobody named Big Sleep.

We just have to look at it a different way. The Big Sleep isn't about what Jon Teske is. It's about what he does to your offense, and sometimes your defense. The Big Sleep is a noir movie. The Big Sleep is a wrestling finisher. The Big Sleep is what happens when you tell Cement Ricky you'll have his money in two weeks and don't.

The Big Sleep is what happens when you manage to get past the forest of poking arms around Michigan's perimeter: a giant man in a trenchcoat throws you over his head into the water.

[After THE JUMP: cat and mouse between Beilein and Painter]


MGoPodcast: Burninating the Cottages

MGoPodcast: Burninating the Cottages Comment Count

Seth December 3rd, 2018 at 7:45 AM

1 hour and 39 minutes

The Sponsors

This show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan nobody would get our jokes. Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, and Lantana Hummus


1. North Carolina

starts at 1:00

People are there for a 9:30 p.m. tip on a Wednesday and Crisler has been *loud*. Lotta Carolina fans got to witness their team's defenestration too. Is Michigan a blue blood? When Poole is your "weak point" your defense isn't vulnerable. Teske five blocks vs one of the most athletic teams in the country. CM's fall-away from 10 feet is not our favorite shot but it's valuable as a late clock idea. Iggy segment starts at 16 minutes.

2. Purdue

starts at 29:52

Boilers' schedule is brutal to start. Teske vs. Painter: if he's going to hit threes from the top of the key Painter's got nothing left. Carsen Edwards had 50% usage. Poole is now on fire. Prevented a three-centric team from shooting them.

3. Hoops Season Outlook

starts at 52:36

Is this a Top Seed? Normally a Beilein team is operating like this in February. Big Ten is manageable, probably already played the highest ranked opponents on the schedule. Have a trip to Breslin in their future. Free throw shooting: if Matthews can stay at 70. Big Ten is good this year though.

4. Not Hockey

Starts at 1:14:50

Why can't we get these games on TV? What has Warde done? This would be a good thing to do. State plays with six goalies on the ice at a time. Gotta make some Grade A stops because nobody can live at .830. Gonna be an off year or two while we wait for Mel's guys to grow up.


  • "Trogdor Song"—Homestar Runner
  • "Open Mike Eagle"—Microfiche
  • "I Bombed Korea"-Cake
  • “Across 110th Street”


I don't need them to go out and commit crimes but,


Michigan 76, Purdue 57

Michigan 76, Purdue 57 Comment Count

Alex Cook December 1st, 2018 at 6:29 PM

For the second time this week, Michigan welcomed a ranked team with one of the best offenses in the country to the Crisler Center, and for the second time, the Wolverines won easily. In this one, Michigan got out to a fast start against Purdue: consecutive threes from Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews, then a layup from Zavier Simpson past Matt Haarms prompted a timeout from Matt Painter less than four minutes into the game. At that point, the Wolverines led 13-4. Purdue didn’t get the deficit to within a possession for the rest of the game.

Michigan found plenty of open shots against the Boilermakers’ switch-heavy defense in the first half and took advantage. Michigan went on an extended scoring run reminiscent of John Beilein’s best offensive teams, and there were plenty of highlights throughout the half: the Wolverines hit nine threes, including three each from Poole and Matthews; Ignas Brazdeikis hit a particularly nasty step-back three over Grady Eifert; Matthews found Jon Teske for two alley-oop dunks, one of which extended Michigan’s lead to 31-16 halfway through the half.

That 31-16 margin held up for almost five minutes, as Michigan’s offense went cold and their defense began to lock down Purdue. Ryan Cline got open for a few threes, but otherwise Michigan’s defense was on point, especially against All-American lead guard Carsen Edwards. Purdue’s star needed to have a strong performance to have a chance at pulling off the upset, but he was held to 7-21 shooting from the field, fell short of his scoring average with 19 points, and had more turnovers than assists for the Boilermakers.



Purdue’s offense is built around Edwards’s relentless attacking style, and his aggressiveness eventually waned, as he only had three shots after the under-16 timeout in the second half. Michigan played well on both sides of the halftime break: the Wolverines hit a few threes and had another Matthews-to-Teske alley-oop to close out the first, and kept pace with a little run from Edwards to start the second. Poole kept on scoring - and finished with a game-high 21 points on just nine shots - but Matthews cooled off, and wound up scoreless in the second half.

Michigan’s offense bogged down for a while - they had a stretch without a made field goal that lasted for over nine minutes - but Purdue was unable to cut the lead to closer than 12 points during that span. Jon Teske emerged as a focal point of the Wolverine offense in the second half: he hit two pick-and-pop threes, slipped some screens to break a ball-screen coverage that had started to stymie Michigan’s guards, and had 12 second half points (he finished with 17). Of course, his excellent defense around the rim was a big factor in the win as well.

Over the course of the game, Michigan’s offense had some hot and cold stretches, but ultimately the Wolverines shot 13-26 from three and ended the game with 1.23 points per possession. Zavier Simpson, who played a major role in slowing down Edwards - sticking to him off screens, contesting every shot - was more involved in the offense than usual. Simpson was inefficient shooting (10 points on a team-high 14 shots), but had seven assists to just one turnover and frequently made the right decision when confronted with bigs on the switch. Michigan’s starters were relied on heavily in this game, as Isaiah Livers was quiet, and all five finished with at least nine points.



The Wolverine defense allowed 0.92 points per possession against an elite offense and one of the best scorers in college basketball. Michigan did well on several different fronts: forcing Edwards into a ton of missed shots (and maklng him really labor for even decent looks) was the key battle, but Michigan also muted Purdue’s typically terrific three-point shooting and offensive rebounding. As usual, the Wolverine defense was close to impeccable in its ball-screen coverages, rotations, and decisions on whether to send help; they contested almost every shot and eventually broke Purdue’s will.

Michigan travels to Northwestern on Tuesday and then will go a month without facing a decent opponent until Big Ten play resumes. This was the only scheduled matchup between the Wolverines and the Boilermakers, and UM notched a strong early result as they mount a campaign for a conference title. Michigan has been easily the best team in the league thus far and have looked as dominant as anyone in all of college basketball. With today's win, they recorded their their third quality win of the season - and they still haven’t even played a close game.

[Box score after the JUMP]


Hoops Preview: Purdue 2018

Hoops Preview: Purdue 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 30th, 2018 at 2:17 PM


WHAT #6 Michigan (6-0) vs
#12 Purdue (5-2)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 3:30 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan -5 (KenPom)


A reasonable best-case scenario for Michigan basketball before the season may have included a 7-0 start, but not in the manner Michigan accomplished it. If you drop out preseason projections, Michigan is the top team in the country per Bart Torvik. That's true for the most recent 20-game stretch. There is only one way to respond to this:

There's going to be a bump or three down the road, and the Big Ten's expanded conference schedule provides a potential bump tomorrow: Purdue. Last year's three-game series was electric, with the Matthews Zapruder game at Crisler and then the delirious 1.3 PPP game at Mackey going to Purdue. Michigan picked up a modicum of revenge in the Big Ten title game.

Those games, and the 2016-17 ones, were a battle between Purdue's giant, conventional centers and Moe Wagner's ability to spread the court. They featured Isaac Haas switching onto point guards and Wagner trying not to foul out in three minutes as Haas went to work on the block. Those days will not recur, but the last few years have taught us that a Painter-Beilein matchup is going to be a hell of a thing.


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 3 Carsen Edwards Jr. 6'1, 200 80 36(!) 116 No
Do-everything G was already top 100 in usage last year, now at Happ level w all four other 2017-18 starters gone. Maintaining his efficiency so far. Shooting 50/39 at 36% usage. Dang.
G 14 Ryan Cline Sr. 6'6, 195 83 19 129 No
Just A Shooter. 41% from deep on 382 career attempts. 33 career FTAs. Rep is he's a pretty good defender.
G 20 Nojel Eastern So. 6'6, 220 64 14 112 Yes
Deeply strange "point guard" who's mostly good on the offensive boards. Shooting almost entirely at rim. Pesky, good defender.
F 24 Grady Eifert Sr. 6'6 220 61 10 135 Probably
Invisible shortish stretch four type only dunks off putbacks/assists and takes the occasional 3. 5/15 from there.
C 32 Matt Haarms So. 7'3, 250 45 24 109 Yes
Dutch windmill is close to same player he was last year but has improved rebounding and usage significantly. Too many TOs to be efficient. Top 30 block rate. Averaging 5.1 fouls/40.
F 12 Evan Boudreaux Jr. 6'8 220 47 25 137 No
Dartmouth transfer looks and plays like 40-year-old Frenchman. Giant OREB rate (21%, third nationally) and non-existent block rate don't match. All his minutes as a stretch 5.
G 55 Sasha Stefanovic Fr.* 6'4", 195 40 12 111 No
Just A Shooter. Composite #374. From Indiana so this isn't a Moe Wagner thing.
G 2 Eric Hunter Fr. 6'3, 170 37 14 117 Maybe?
Composite #151 freshman can't find his shot early on. Too early to really say much, but looks more like a PG than SG.
F 1 Aaron Wheeler Fr.* 6'9, 200 30 15 90 Yes
Stretch four is 4/15 from three on the year and has a bunch of turnovers. #174 composite freshman.

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