Let's Have Some Fun With Bart Torvik Dot Com

Let's Have Some Fun With Bart Torvik Dot Com Comment Count

Brian January 9th, 2019 at 12:12 PM

Bart Torvik's site allows you to slice data into whatever chunk you want; I've been slicing.

One rank to rule them all. Michigan is the #1 team in the country if you consider just games against top 50*, top 100, top 150, and top 200 opponents. It's only when the dregs get added in that Michigan slips back to third.

The reason for this is pretty obvious: zones. Torvik's algorithm thinks more highly of Michigan's offense than Kenpom and the teams that get added back in when you consider every game are Norfolk State, George Washington, Chattanooga, Air Force, and Binghamton. That selection of opponents contain the large majority of Michigan possessions against zones.

Michigan's offensive issue-type substances almost entirely go away when you consider just top 100 opponents; they're 9th per Torvik. The defense is third. That's a seven-game sample, so it's relatively robust.

*[venue-adjusted]

[After the JUMP: charts!]

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Basketbullets: Penn State

Basketbullets: Penn State Comment Count

Brian January 4th, 2019 at 11:53 AM

1/3/2019 – Michigan 68, Penn State 55 – 14-0, 3-0 Big Ten

The most concerning portion of the long December lull was the sudden permeability of the defense. Some weird guys hit some weird shots, sure, but the overall aura was ominous. It didn't feel like the same unit that caused a Yosemite Sam version of Roy Williams to resort to a hockey line change in the second half. It wasn't exactly bad, but the comedown from HELLO WE ARE MONGOLS AND THIS IS OUR HORDE was real.

Genghis and friends roared back with a 0.76 points per possession performance featuring 18 TOs and zero three pointers that didn't bank in. The tense, ugly first half gave way to the opening five minutes of the second when Michigan swarmed PSU for a number of turnovers and the ensuing transition buckets, opening up the 13 point cushion they'd finish with.

Michigan isn't a high pressure team that gets a ton of steals but they're pretty decent (100th) despite having a rock bottom foul rate; in this game everyone who played 10 minutes had at least one. They were locked in a slog of their own until their defense opened it up for them.

Michigan basketball: good. Also weird.

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hello i must destroy you [Campredon]

Shorts: in them. Rasir Bolton's been a bit of a revelation for Penn State this year; with a quick release and some ability to drive he's been their most efficient player. Here: 0/3 from three and seven turnovers for an ORTG of 44. Zavier Simpson ate his lunch.

Michigan also drove Lamar Stevens to another high-usage, poor efficiency game: 17 points on 19 shot equivalents and three turnovers. Michigan doubled Stevens a lot early, which was weird to me and led to an easy look at the rim for their backup C. They must of thought he was the kind of black hole you can double with impunity. They weren't quite right about that but they weren't too far off: Stevens had just one other assist.

[After THE JUMP: some yelling, Jordan Poole doing Things]

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Hoops Preview: South Carolina 2018

Hoops Preview: South Carolina 2018 Comment Count

Brian December 7th, 2018 at 12:14 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #4 Michigan (9-0) vs
#108 South Carolina(4-4)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN Noon Saturday
LINE Michigan –17 (Kenpom)
TV FS1

THE US

Michigan finally had a real game as Northwestern slowed Michigan's offense down sufficiently to allow a series of improbable shots from Vic Law and Ryan Taylor to first catch and then briefly pass Michigan down the stretch. Michigan responded; Northwestern's final attempt was reduced to an off-balance NBA three that hit the backboard and caught iron before ceasing to terrify legions of backboard-hating Michigan fans.

Now Michigan takes on their final major-conference opponent before the usual trio of buy games in mid-December and conference play beyond that. Unfortunately for Michigan's eventual seeding, South Carolina has been awful this season and currently projects as the second-worst team in the SEC.

Unless something bizarre happens this should be another suffocating defensive performance and relatively easy win.

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 2 Hassani Gravett Sr. 6'2, 188 69 16 116 Probably not
Low usage combo G suddenly shooting 42% from three after 33% last year, also 80% from line. Playmaking responsibilities much lower. Shooting potentially a mirage?
G 00 AJ Lawson Fr. 6'6, 172 71 30 90 Meh
Rough when you're giving 30% usage to the #147 composite freshman. Terrible ORTG mostly due to 25 TO rate. Good assist numbers, 52/30 from floor, getting a ton of FTs but only hitting 60%
G 1 TJ Moss Fr. 6'2, 193 41 19 86 Meh
Composite #207 FR has emerged into starting lineup. Currently good at nothing. 44/33 from floor, 26 TO rate.
F 30 Chris Silva Sr. 6'9 234 60 24 96 Yes
Traditional PF pounds boards at both ends, has a top 100 block rate, and had nation's #1 FT rate last year. Poor from floor (48% last year, 41% this year). Lots of TOs. Gabonian.
C 21 Maik Kotsar Jr. 6'11, 264 61 15 106 Yes
Estonian has shot 47% from two and 50% from line in career. Rock bottom TO rate, so he's got that going for him. Defensive pest.
F 13 Felipe Haase So. 6'9 253 56 15 103 Meh
Chilean backs up at the 4, high FT rate, shooting decently from 3, no OREBs, no shots at rim. Many TOs.
F 24 Keyshawn Bryant Fr. 6'6, 190 41 28 92 Yes
Composite #291 FR has a ton of usage, shooting 50% from 2 with a ton of TOs. 0/7 from three on year.
G 4 Tre Campbell Sr. 6'2, 185 55 15 95 Meh
Shooting 33/28; shot 42/34 last year. Has cut down on turnovers though!
F 2 Alanzo Frink Fr. 6'6, 265 5 23 75 Yes
NR freshman has gotten a few minutes lately due to injury to Justin Minaya.

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

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Timecops 2775

Timecops 2775 Comment Count

Brian December 5th, 2018 at 1:47 PM

12/4/2018 – Michigan 62, Northwestern 60 – 8-0, 2-0 Big Ten

Q: Really?

A: You should look at it as a compliment.

Q: I'm supposed to use the greatest invention in the history of humanity to go back seven hundred years in time to… I don't even know?

A: You guys have already repaired all of the really bad stuff. Nobody outside of this organization knows anything about World War II, Larry Culpepper, or Michigan Football from 2007-2037. This… this is what's left.

Q: And we have to spend our allocation or…?

A: Exactly. We get less next year.

Q: And this is what you want.

A: I mean… they made GIFs and everything. Look at it:

Q: This does not reflect well on the species.

A: It does not.

Q: I'm still unclear on the mission. Kill Hitler. Make Pitbull the permanent intergalactic president. Brain-swap Rich Rodriguez and Nick Saban. These are all defined goals. How am I supposed to prevent… that?

A: You could have a stern talk with him about the essential dignity of humanity and the importance of its preservation?

Q:

A: I see you've been on a college basketball head coach mission before.

Q: Yes, President Pitbull. The Izzident is the darkest day in our organization's history.

A: "First, do no harm."

Q: Violated. The first and only time.

A: Look, just change the refereeing structure of college basketball to be fundamentally less sycophantic to little Hitlers. Any coach venturing onto the court during play gets a tech.

Q: Now that's the kind of timeline revision I can get behind.

A: Make it so. Dale.

[After THE JUMP: the post gets marginally less silly]

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20 Game Conference Schedules Are Good

20 Game Conference Schedules Are Good Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2018 at 12:44 PM

The most recent Ken Pomeroy podcast had a brief discussion of the Big Ten's 20-game conference schedule, which got a thumbs down because Pomeroy prefers nonconference games. Nonconference games connect various conferences and are required for ranking systems to make sense, so Pomeroy's got a point.

But what kind of games are being excised by the expanded conference schedule? I looked at everyone's schedules this year and last and divided them into approximate major and non-major categories. There's some wobble in these distinctions. The A-10, Mountain West, and Big East count. Certain programs (Gonzaga and the top of the American) outside of the top 7 conferences also count. I ended up grudgingly including DePaul because they're in a major conference but left out some incidentally top 100 opponents like Montana and South Dakota State on the assumption that these were buy games that were accidentally good opponents. FWIW, if you were to do it the other way and drop out programs like Pitt while including good mid- and low-majors the number of games worth playing would remain essentially equal.

Anyway, the conclusion is that the extra conferences games have almost universally replaced bad buy games:

  2018 2019
  Major-ish Mid-low Major-ish Mid-low
Michigan 5 (LSU, VCU, UNC, UCLA, Texas) 8 5 (Nova, GW, Providence, UNC, SoCar) 6
MSU 5 (Duke, UNC, ND, DePaul, UConn) 8 5 (KU, UCLA, Texas, Florida, Louisville 6
Wisconsin 6 (Xavier, BU, UCLA, UVA, Temple, Marq) 7 6 (Xavier, Stanford, OK, UVA, NCST, Marq) 5
Nebraska 4 (St John's, BC, Creighton, Kansas) 9 5 (Seton Hall, TTech, Clemson, Creighton, OkieSt) 6
OSU 5(Gonzaga, Stan, Butler, Clemson, UNC) 8 4 (Cinci, Creighton, Cuse, UCLA) 7
Indiana 4 (Seton Hall, Duke, UL, ND) 8 5(Marq, Ark, Duke, UL, Butler) 6
Maryland 4(Butler, Bonnies, UNM, Cuse) 9 2(UVA, Seton Hall) 9
Purdue 5(Marq, Tenn, AZ, UL, Butler) 8 5 (Davidson, FSU, VT, Texas, ND) 6
PSU 4(NCST, GW, Pitt, A&M) 9 4(DePaul, VT, NCST, Bama) 7
Northwestern 6(Creighton, La Salle, TTech, GT, DePaul, OK) 7 6(Fresno, La Salle, UT, GT, DePaul, OK) 5
Minnesota 4(Prov, Bama, Miami, Ark) 9 5(Utah, A&M, UW, BC, OkieSt) 6
Illinois 5( DePaul, Wake, UNLV, NMSU, Mizzou) 8 7(GTown, Zags, ISU, Xavier, ND, UNLV, Mizzou) 4
Rutgers 2 (FSU, Seton Hall) 11 3(St John's, Miami, Seton Hall) 7
Iowa 3(VT, ISU, CU) 9 4(Oregon, UConn, Pitt, ISU) 7
    118   87

There are 28 fewer slots for mid- to low-major buy games and 31 fewer mid-to-low-major matchups. Only two teams (OSU and Maryland) are playing fewer major opponents this year.

There's an argument that the increased slate of conference games reduces opportunities for teams like Bucknell, which was three points away from a win at Maryland last year, to establish their tournament bonafides. That may be happening to some degree but teams like Bucknell, Marshall, Belmont, Wright State, Loyola-Chicago, and Bradley still speckle Big Ten schedules.

It's undeniable that most of the games that aren't being played as a result of the 20-game schedule aren't really worth playing.

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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]

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The Unusual

The Unusual Comment Count

Brian November 29th, 2018 at 1:14 PM

11/28/2018 – Michigan 84, North Carolina 67 – 7-0

Last year's game against North Carolina was a familiar script for Michigan fans. When one of college basketball's blue bloods deigns to play Michigan, it's the old college try for a while. Then the fact that the large men can jump over your head wins out, as it tends to in basketball games.

Sometimes Michigan stayed in contact until the very end, like they did in the Elite Eight against Kentucky. Sometimes they won the damn game, like they did in the Sweet Sixteen versus Kansas. Other times not so much. But even when the positive version of these events were transpiring every lead the opposition got felt like a million points; every Michigan basket was trying to empty the ocean bucket by bucket. Last year it was 20-20 in a flash because Michigan was hitting everything, but even then I was waiting for the bottom to drop out. North Carolina was taking a bunch of good shots. Michigan was taking… shots. They weren't all bad. They weren't all good. They were just shots.

When the lull inevitably came the deficit piled up quickly. Michigan never managed to eat into it. And that was the least unusual thing in the world.

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

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pre-hat-and-pistols phase[Campredon]

Last night Roy Williams got madder and madder and madder until he was Yosemite Sam in a suit. He was so furious about a four-point first-half deficit that he kept his team in the locker room for the full duration of halftime; when the second half started his team was so sped up that they were taking literally any shot they could get up without devolving into half-court offense. These were universally bricks.

Michigan responded with slick pick-and-roll baskets and open threes. Williams became beet-red at the neck, with the redness inching ever-higher. Jon Teske—honest friar Jon Teske—leveled the basket on an alley-oop dunk that I still do not believe happened; the red flew up Roy's forehead. The meter filled up shortly after. Williams pulled the ultimate high school move: all five starters on the bench, looking forlorn as their backups booted balls into the stands and threw up the kind of shots that are hard to rebound because they come off the backboard so fast they feel like bullets. By the time the starters returned the lead was well and truly insurmountable.

Afterwards:

"It was because they stunk it up," Williams said when asked about the lineup change. "Every one of them stunk it up, and so did I." …

"I've got no positive things," Williams said. "If you want positive things, you'd better go out and find someone on the street. I've got no positive for me, no positives for my team."

This was unusual. Michigan has exasperated coaches before. They've rained death from above against half the country. They've never comprehensively whooped one of college basketball's upper crust on both ends. If Michigan could hit a dang free throw they would have cracked 1.3 points per possession. UNC was held under one on the other end.

This wasn't Michigan scrapping out a victory with pluck and an improbable three pointer launched nearly from halfcourt. From the 12 minute mark in the first half on it was a +27 beatdown in which Michigan felt like the better team in everything except getting shots up (but not down) fast. This year it was UNC hitting just shots for a while, and then the bottom dropped out on them. Their vaunted transition game was more curse than gift. Once in the halfcourt they looked around for one on one opportunities and executed far too few of them.

This is a new world.

John Beilein's Michigan teams are known for scuffling through early rough patches as the complicated offense comes together with new folks in new roles. Then they hit the warp speed button. Sometimes in January, sometimes in February, but usually around halfway through the year.

What happens when a Beilein team that has ripped Villanova and North Carolina hits the go button? Is there even a button left to push? Where can they even go from here? What's the hole to patch? Okay, other than free throws? I have no idea what the answer to these questions are. I project finding out is going to be fun.

[After THE JUMP: old man game and a deer on fire]

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Hoops Preview: North Carolina 2018

Hoops Preview: North Carolina 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 27th, 2018 at 1:42 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #7 Michigan (6-0) vs
#4 North Carolina (6-1)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 9 PM Wednesday 
LINE Michigan -2 (KenPom)
TV ESPN

THE US

Michigan's Only Revenue Sport™ returns to the court tomorrow in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, sporting a shiny #1 in Kenpom's defensive efficiency rankings. This kicks off a four-game stretch, including two conference games, that will either firmly establish Michigan as a contender in the league and maybe for a 1-seed or cause the total implosion of the Michigan fanbase. No pressure!

This stretch kicks off with a return game from North Carolina. Last year a frenetic start (20-20 six minutes in) gave way to a Michigan scoring drought and a 14-point halftime deficit Michigan never ate into. Luke Maye put up 27 points as Michigan forced just six turnovers and allowed 57% shooting from two. Michigan gave up 1.23 points per possession, their worst performance of the year outside of that Purdue insanity.

This edition of UNC is insanely fast and Michigan's D is locked in. Should be fun.

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 2 Coby White Fr. 6'5, 185 57 27 120 No
#25 composite freshman is giant point guard who hit 7/10 threes against Texas. Bad so far inside line. Pull-up three shooter.
G 24 Kenny Williams Sr. 6'4, 191 65 15 110 No
Low usage but very efficient (59/40 shooting) last year. Rarely creates own shot, but will convert off cuts a lot. Scuffling early this year.
F 5 Nassir Little Fr. 6'6, 220 50 23 129 Kinda
#3 composite freshman is absurd athlete hitting 64% from two and grabbing a ton of OREBs. 95%(!!!) at rim. Iffy shooter.
F 13 Cameron Johnson Sr. 6'9 210 64 21 135 No
Grad transferred from Pitt last year and fit in as versatile stretch four. 52/34 from floor, not much of an impact without the ball.
C 32 Luke Maye Sr. 6'8, 240 71 21 119 No
Stretch 5 hit 43% on 116 threes last year and is burly enough to be a major factor on the boards. Not a great athlete and just a 50% shooter from two in 2017-18.
C 15 Garrison Brooks So. 6'9, 230 45 20 118 Yes
Conventional big is hammering the offensive boards and converting off others' assists.
C 21 Sterling Manley So. 6'11", 235 30 21 96 Yes
Extremely typical backup C.
F 1 Leaky Black Fr. 6'7, 185 36 13 120 No
#71 composite freshman got ~15 MPG vs Texas and UCLA. Super low usage so far.
G 4 Seventh Woods Jr. 6'2, 185 40* 16 117 Yes
PG has whopping 43% assist rate and basically never shoots because he's awful at it. 25 TO rate against jabronis.

*[Woods missed UNC's games against UCLA and Texas but was averaging about 15 MPG in their previous outings. ]

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

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Isaiah Livers: The Detail-Oriented Star

Isaiah Livers: The Detail-Oriented Star Comment Count

Matt Way November 20th, 2018 at 1:06 PM

The best players on a basketball court are often easy to identify.

Their skill and athleticism set them apart. They jump off the screen every time they touch the floor.

The most impactful players are different and often harder to locate.

Impact is not measured just by bulk stats. Rather, the smaller details are sometimes the most important. Who is communicating with their teammates on where they should be? Who is always in the right position? Who is paying attention to the small things?

For Michigan, Isaiah Livers has proven to be that guy through five games.

When times get tough on the basketball court, the small details are often the most important. For Michigan basketball this season, those difficult stretches are most likely to come while executing half court offense.

The departures of Moritz Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, and Duncan Robinson mean John Beilein has to replace 214 of Michigan’s 361 made three pointers from a year ago. Spacing will inevitably suffer. And, although he wouldn’t be the first name to come to mind, Isaiah Livers’s attention to detail may just be the key to offensive execution in the half court.

During Michigan’s season-opening win against Norfolk State, the spacing issues were on full display. Recognizing that deep shooting is an issue for the Wolverines, the Virginia iteration of the Spartans previewed what Beilein’s team is likely to see a lot of this season: zone defense.

Attacking a zone defense can be tricky.

The common reaction is to shoot your opponent out of their scheme. Find your best teammate from deep and let it fly. If the zone extends, look for someone with huge range.

That isn’t always an option, though. Often, the most effective way to bust a zone is to beat it from within.

[After THE JUMP: Inside out.]

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What Are You Gonna Do, Stab Me?

What Are You Gonna Do, Stab Me? Comment Count

Brian November 15th, 2018 at 12:24 PM

11/14/2018 – Michigan 73, Villanova 46 – 3-0

During the consumption-of-entrails portion of the game someone tweeted a question at me.

Sort of but also no. "Death from above" is a particular genre of Beilein win where Nik Stauskas sticks contested threes in your face and no amount of scoring you manage is ever enough to climb up the Sisyphean treadmill that Michigan's offense presents you. Halfway through the first half your official twitter account issues a shruggie. The danger comes from the high-arcing artillery shells Michigan fires with unerring accuracy, and then a Lithuanian-Canadian dude dunks on your face.

That's Death From Above. This was different, except for the Lithuanian-Canadian dude. This was a shiv in the dark.

Michigan was most dangerous in the low places, where Zavier Simpson's fingers are stickiest and Ignas Brazdeikis's defense most implausible. The closest thing to a consistent perimeter threat Michigan presented came from Charles Matthews jumpers that started just outside the restricted circle and ended just inside the three-point line. The very, very burly Eric Paschall is going to hit 65% from two in conference play; he was just 3 of 13 against against a true freshman wing giving up 40 pounds.

At the same time Michigan was turning an All Big East C into a pumpkin they limited Villanova (VILLANOVA!) to 3 of 15 from behind the arc, on shots that were about 95% contested. Six different guys had steals. Zavier Simpson had five himself. Villanova had three turnovers for every assist.

At some point Gus Johnson said that Michigan was known for ferocious defense and a near-total lack of turnovers. I thought about tweeting out something in the "lol that's half-right" genre, and then stopped. Stopped like a wildebeest trying to drive the lane against Michigan. Maybe it's true. Or, at least, it's is going to be true.

And like, I don't know, fine? Let's go? I don't have the fingers to deal with this.

Never in the history of humanity has a program undergone such a dramatic 180 in how they get things done without losing its fundamental personality. And make no mistake: Zavier Simpson is as good of a Beilein-at-Michigan avatar as anyone despite the fact he'll hit 30% of his threes this year if he's lucky. He is not without precedent. He is the continuation of a theme. Seven years ago Darius Morris told Michigan State to "get the fuck off my court." Nik Stauskas terrified Kentucky fans despite Kentucky having 16 seven-foot jumping jacks. Charles Matthews?

25730438977_e957c9a448_k (1)

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Charles Matthews spent the entire first half doing this to various Villanova Wildcats. Everyone wanted to punch him and someone almost did.

These guys have always been assassins. Just not this kind. They've been guys who line your head up in a targeting reticle from two miles away. Now they knock on the front door and ask if anyone wants to play with all these knives they brought. You can say no all you want. The question is rhetorical.

stabme

Yes. Michigan is going to stab you until a palpably depressed Gus Johnson can no longer inject any life into the game. And then they're going to stab you one last time, because maybe you deserved it.

[After THE JUMP: some bullets and react from elsewhere]

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