Preview: Iowa

Preview: Iowa

Submitted by Ace on March 4th, 2016 at 2:38 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (20-10, 10-7 B1G) vs
Iowa (20-9, 11-6)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 8 pm ET, Saturday
LINE Iowa -1 (KenPom)
TV BTN
PBP: Joe Davis
Analyst: John Crispin

Right: Sadly fitting that our best picture of Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht together doesn't feature them in uniform. [Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]

THE US

Tomorrow is Senior Day, an even more bittersweet experience than usual this year because both seniors, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, have season-ending injuries. For those attending the game, you're encouraged to show up early; the pregame ceremony starts at 7:45.

While LeVert is going to prepare for the NBA when he's healthy again, Albrecht could conceivably get a medical redshirt and play another year if there's a scholarship available. That's on the table, though it doesn't sound too likely:

On a conversation with Coach Beilein about a potential return: “I haven’t really had a conversation with him about it, just because I know like you guys know with the scholarship situation and things like that, but I know at this time that I’m not feeling good and I’m not ready to play. I always told him that I’m not going to use up a scholarship if I don’t think I can play and help. I won’t be making that decision until after the season, I don’t want to distract him more than anyone else.

: /

THE STAKES

Michigan is clinging to one of the final at-large bids in most NCAA Tournament projections. A victory over Iowa—even this patented late-season collapse version—should secure a place in the field. A loss and it'll be a nerve-wracking conference tournament; speaking of which, M is locked into the BTT eight-seed.

THE LAST TIME

Back when the Hawkeyes looked like a candidate for a one-seed, they beat Michigan by 11 in Iowa City, led by Jarrod Uthoff (23 points) and Peter Jok (16). While the Wolverines put up a strong 1.13 points per possesion, they allowed 1.30 to Iowa—the Hawkeyes lit it up from the field and only committed four turnovers.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 10 Mike Gesell Sr. 6'2, 190 74 19 No
#30 assist rate nationally, low-volume but effective shooter, high FT rate.
G 5 Anthony Clemmons Sr. 6'2, 200 74 18 Kinda
Solid passer, decent finisher, outside shot is iffy (31% 3P).
G 14 Peter Jok Jr. 6'6, 205 65 25 No
Good athlete with solid jumper, getting to line more. 2nd in B1G in steal rate.
F 20 Jarrod Uthoff Sr. 6'9, 221 77 26 No
8th in KPOY standings. 47/39/81 shooting splits, excellent shot-blocker.
C 34 Adam Woodbury Sr. 7'1, 250 62 17 Very
Plus rebounder, skilled around the basket, might poke you in the eye.
F 25 Dom Uhl So. 6'9, 215 44 19 No
Backup big hits 47% of threes, hits offensive boards. Not a good finisher.
F 51 Nicholas Baer R-Fr. 6'7, 200 36 14 No
Efficient gunner (61% 2P, 43% 3P) also a decent shot-blocker.
F 0 Ahmad Wagner Fr. 6'7, 225 24 14 Very
Shoots 69% on twos, good rebounder and shot-blocker.

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

Preview: Wisconsin

Preview: Wisconsin

Submitted by Ace on February 26th, 2016 at 2:45 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (20-9, 10-6 B1G) at
Wisconsin (18-10, 10-5)
WHERE Kohl Center
Madison, Wisconsin
WHEN 6 pm ET, Sunday
LINE Wisconsin -6 (KenPom)
TV BTN
PBP: Jeff Levering
Analyst: Jon Crispin

Right: Nigel Hayes is a big presence for the Badgers. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

THE US

Caris LeVert is doubtful for Sunday's game and even that might be optimistic; John Beilein said this afternoon he doesn't expect LeVert to practice the next two days. LeVert's availability for the rest of the season is in serious doubt. Beilein insinuated he could be shut down completely if he's not ready to play next week. This is depressing as hell.

THE STAKES

Covered in exacting detail yesterday. A win would all but lock up a spot in the NCAA Tournament. A loss would keep Michigan on the bubble; they'd have one more shot at a bid-clinching victory in the regular season next Saturday against Iowa. If Michigan loses both, they'd need to win at least one game—and quite possibly two—in the Big Ten Tournament to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday.

This game also affects BTT seeding. Michigan sits a half-game behind Wisconsin in the conference standings. A victory would keep the Wolverines in contention for the #4 or #5 seed; a loss and they're more likely to be somewhere in the 6-8 range depending on the Iowa outcome.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 3 Zak Showalter Jr. 6'2, 184 77 13 No
Good role player. Low usage, leads B1G in eFG%, solid defender.
G 24 Bronson Koenig Jr. 6'4, 193 86 20 No
Excellent outside shooter, takes care of ball, struggling inside the arc.
F 30 Vitto Brown Jr. 6'8, 230 61 21 Kinda
Decent offensive rebounder, great midrange game, hits occasional three.
F 10 Nigel Hayes Jr. 6'8, 240 90 27 Kinda
Not shooting well from field, but gets tons of FTs. Good post passer.
F 22 Ethan Happ R-Fr. 6'9, 235 61 23 Very
Good rebounder, leads B1G in steal rate, draws lots of fouls, okay finisher.
G 21 Khalil Iverson Fr. 6'5, 205 33 15 Yes
Minutes vary wildly from game-to-game. Coming off solid showing vs. Iowa.
G 11 Jordan Hill R-So. 6'3, 178 31 13 No
Low-usage shooter hits 37% of threes, doesn't do much else.
F 25 Alex Illikainen Fr. 6'9, 220 25 14 No
Stretch four makes 50% of twos, 38% of threes. Not a rebounder.

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

Preview: Ohio State

Preview: Ohio State

Submitted by Ace on February 16th, 2016 at 4:29 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (19-7, 9-4 B1G) at
Ohio State (16-10, 8-5)
WHERE Value City Arena
Columbus, Ohio
WHEN 7 pm ET, Tuesday
LINE OSU -2 (KenPom)
TV ESPN
PBP: Bob Wischusen
Analyst: Dan Dakich

Right: Ohio State, in a trolling maneuver for which I can only show grudging respect, is retiring Evan Turner's number tonight. With that in mind, let's remember the best of times. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]

THE US

Caris LeVert is back! Well, sort of. He played 11 minutes, all in the first half, against Purdue on Saturday before gassing out, and whether due to lingering effects of his injury or being out of game shape (or both) he looked a step slow when he was out there.

As such, it's not a huge surprise to see that he's still a game-time decision:

LeVert, speaking with local reporters for the first time since the injury, said Monday that he will continue to be a "game-time decision" moving forward — basing his availability on how he feels through pregame warmups — and that he continues to progress from the injury.

"Pain is still going to be his guide," coach John Beilein said. "If he's feeling any soreness anywhere in his body, we'll pull him out and wait. It's important that he takes his time in getting back to full strength."

LeVert acknowledged the obvious—he's not 100%—and said he hopes to be at full strength by the end of the season. If he plays tonight, he'll be limited again, and almost certainly still coming in off the bench.

THE STAKES

Covered in detail yesterday. A victory would come close to locking up an NCAA bid while also keeping Michigan in fourth in the Big Ten. Moving up in the conference this week looks unlikely with Maryland and Indiana, both a game in front of Michigan, taking on Minnesota and Nebraska in their respective upcoming games.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 13 JaQuan Lyle Fr. 6'5, 201 70 25 Yes
Decent slasher, gets lots of assists, but poor shooter and TO-prone.
F 2 Marc Loving Jr. 6'7, 220 81 22 Kinda
With shot failing (31% 3P), relies on drawing fouls to get his points.
F 1 Jae'Sean Tate So. 6'4, 225 71 21 No
Novakian forward is excellent off. rebounder, decent finisher, can hit threes.
F 33 Keita Bates-Diop So. 6'7, 235 76 19 No
Inconsistent, but at his best a plus rebounder who can score inside and outside.
C 32 Trevor Thompson So. 6'11, 250 44 20 Very
Excellent rebounder and shot-blocker, okay finisher, foul-prone.
G 15 Kam Williams So. 6'2, 180 51 16 No
Just A Shooter™, leads B1G at 54% on threes in conference play.
C 4 Daniel Giddins Fr. 6'10, 230 41 16 Very
Good offensive rebounder and shot-blocker, bad at scoring (41% 2P, 38% FT).
G 12 AJ Harris Fr. 5'9, 165 32 17 Not really
Tiny, turnover-prone, and not much of a scorer.

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

Preview: Purdue

Preview: Purdue

Submitted by Ace on February 12th, 2016 at 4:30 PM

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

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (18-7, 8-4 B1G) vs
Purdue (20-5, 8-4)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 2 pm ET, Saturday
LINE Purdue -1 (KenPom)
TV ESPN2
PBP: Mike Tirico
Analyst: Dan Dakich

Right: AJ Hammons will be on the floor. Will Caris LeVert? [Barron]

THE US

Caris LeVert's status had not been determined at the time I wrote this. If he does play, it'll almost certainly be in a limited role.

THE LAST TIME

After Michigan hung tough for the first half of their matchup at Mackey Arena on January 7th, Purdue blew the game open in the second and cruised to an 87-70 win. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 25 points on 10/16 FG; the rest of the team went 13/45. Full game recap is here.

THE STAKES

Michigan has one game out of their final six in which they're favored on KenPom (home vs. Northwestern). Making the 77%-safe assumption they take care of that one, the Wolverines still probably need two more wins out of these games to feel comfortable about their NCAA Tournament hopes (KenPom Win Probability as of Thursday evening):

  • Purdue (46%)
  • at Ohio State (42%)
  • at Maryland (15%)
  • at Wisconsin (34%)
  • Iowa (31%)

None of those look like particularly good bets; this game provides M's best hope of stealing a much-needed win for their resume.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 3 PJ Thompson So. 5'10, 188 56 12 No
Low usage, decent outside shooter, great assist:turnover ratio, high FT rate.
G 35 Rapheal Davis Sr. 6'6, 217 59 18 No
Reigning B1G DPOY now hitting open threes. True lockdown guy.
F 12 Vince Edwards So 6'8, 225 66 21 No
Inside-outside threat boasts team's highest assist rate.
F 50 Caleb Swanigan Fr. 6'9, 250 62 24 Yes
Heralded freshman is beast on boards, struggling with shot and turnovers.
C 20 AJ Hammons Sr. 7'0, 250 55 27 Kinda
Living up to his potential: monster rebounder and shot-blocker, shooting 60%.
G 31 Dakota Mathias So. 6'4, 200 46 14 No
Just A Shooter™, hits 36% of his threes.
G 1 Johnny Hill Sr. 6'3, 187 44 17 Very
Strong finisher for a PG, but lost starting gig due to TOs and lack of 3P shot.
C 44 Isaac Haas So. 7'2, 282 37 29 Very
Production and playing time have dropped, but still huge and dangerous.

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

Preview: Minnesota

Preview: Minnesota

Submitted by Ace on February 10th, 2016 at 2:09 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (17-7, 7-4 B1G) at
Minnesota (6-17, 0-11)
WHERE Williams Arena
Minneapolis, Minnesota
WHEN 9 pm ET, Wednesday
LINE Michigan -7 (KenPom)
TV BTN
PBP: Cory Provus
Analyst: Shon Morris

Right: Not even a poor shooting night could prevent Michigan from winning the first matchup. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]

THE US

Caris LeVert is pain-free, practicing, and officially in control of his return to the court:

According to Michigan coach John Beilein, LeVert has been cleared to play and is the sole decider in when or if he will return to the floor for the Wolverines.

The senior star, an All-American candidate prior to injury his lower left leg in late December, is pain-free and still gradually returning to form.

"This is his call," Beilein said Tuesday. "This isn't my call. We'll see what he feels like after today's practice — how much he can go."

While LeVert could potentially return tonight, there's reason to believe he should wait a little longer; Beilein said LeVert has just worked his way up to an hour of practicing and he's yet to go 100% in a full-court setting. If he plays, it'll be in a limited role as he works his way back into game shape.

THE LAST TIME

Michigan beat Minnesota 74-69 a few weeks ago in Crisler in a strange and uninspiring performance. The Wolverines jumped out to a big first-half lead, then went ice-cold from the field and allowed the Gophers to cut the deficit to as little as three points in the second half; despite this, Michigan's win probability on KenPom never dropped below 90%—in large part because Minnesota is bad, but the Wolverines controlled the game and simply couldn't knock down open looks. They won anyway. Minnesota is bad.

THE STAKES

Have I mentioned Minnesota is bad? They are bad. As such, this is a must-win game for a Michigan squad that needs to win at least three of their last seven regular-season games to feel half-decent about their NCAA Tournament chances—and four if they don't want to be under serious pressure in the Big Ten Tournament. Tonight's game is one of only two in which Michigan is outright favored; the other is February 24th against Northwestern. Those two are must-haves, and then the Wolverines have to defend home court against Purdue on Saturday or put themselves in the position of needing a tough road win or an upset in the finale against Iowa.

This game also has stakes beyond Michigan's postseason outlook. This is for history.

Please don't screw this up. Yes, Minnesota-Rutgers could be a special kind of historic.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 2 Nate Mason So. 6'2, 185 80 25 Kinda
Good assist:turnover, 79% FT shooter, inefficient from the field.
G 1 Dupree McBrayer Fr. 6'4, 195 53 19 Yes
Role increasing, but shooting 35% on twos and 16% on threes.
F 23 Charles Buggs Jr. 6'9, 230 51 13 No
Stretch four type who can shoot, but doesn't have much impact otherwise.
F 3 Jordan Murphy Fr. 6'6, 230 60 24 Kinda
Top-15 rebounder on both ends in B1G, decent shot-blocker, 57% on twos.
C 21 Bakary Konate So. 6'11, 235 51 14 Very
Good finisher/rebounder/shot-blocker, somewhat foul- and TO-prone.
F 24 Joey King Sr. 6'9, 240 77 16 No
Deadeye outside shooter also getting to the line. Not great inside arc.
G 11 Carlos Morris Sr. 6'5, 185 62 24 No
PT decreasing as he's been mired in a shooting slump.
G 4 Kevin Dorsey Fr. 6'0, 185 42 26 Yes
Draws a lot of fouls and hits FTs. Mediocre finisher and terrible 3P shooter.

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

Preview: Michigan State

Preview: Michigan State

Submitted by Ace on February 5th, 2016 at 4:30 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (17-6, 7-3 B1G) vs
Michigan State (19-4, 6-4)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 2 pm ET, Saturday
LINE MSU -2 (KenPom)
TV CBS
PBP: Carter Blackburn
Analyst: Clark Kellogg

Right: Izzoface. [Fuller]

THE US

John Beilein still won't get into specifics about the availability of Caris LeVert. Today he said LeVert was able to do more in practice yesterday and "we'll see what happens."

LeVert himself has apparently told a few people that he expects to be back on the floor tomorrow. The expectation is he'd come off the bench in his first game back before working his way to his old role.

So, um, we'll see what happens. As Beilein has said repeatedly, we won't know LeVert's final status until we see him (or don't) in warmups.

THE STAKES

Aside from rivalry pride? A win would be a huge boost for Michigan's tournament resume; most recent bracket projections have M in the eight- to ten-seed range. The Wolverines need at least three more wins over a tough final eight games of the Big Ten slate to feel comfortable with their tourney chances, and while KenPom projects them to reach 11-7—getting four wins down the stretch—he only has them as outright favorites in two of those games. (Two others, vs. Purdue and at OSU, are essentially coin-flips.)

While it's very unlikely Michigan catches Iowa and Indiana atop the conference standings, a victory would be critical for Big Ten Tournament seeding; a win would get M two games clear of MSU with the head-to-head tiebreaker in their only matchup. The Wolverines could find themselves alone in fourth place with a win and a Purdue loss at Maryland on Saturday.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 14 Eron Harris Jr. 6'3, 185 50 25 No
40% three-point shooter also gets to FT line frequently.
G 5 Bryn Forbes Sr. 6'3, 190 66 19 No
One of the best pure three-point gunners in the country.
G 45 Denzel Valentine Sr. 6'5, 220 65 28 No
4th in KPOY. Consistent triple-double threat. 50/43/83 shooting splits.
F 23 Deyonta Davis Fr. 6'10, 240 45 19 Very
1st in B1G in block rate, 4th in 2P%, 19th in OR%, 5th in DR%. Kid's good.
F 10 Matt Costello Sr. 6'9, 245 55 22 Very
Good finisher and shot-blocker, elite rebounder, fouls under control.
G 20 Matt McQuaid Fr. 6'5, 190 41 14 No
Low-usage, mostly a spot-up shooter, hits 42% of his threes.
F 2 Javon Bess So. 6'5, 220 33 17 Yes
Inefficient scorer, but gets to line and does decent work on the glass.
F 25 Kenny Goins Fr. 6'6, 225 23 13 Very
Minuscule usage in B1G play, minutes vary wildly depending on opponent.

Point guard LouRawls "Tum Tum" Nairn is "doubtful at best" with a foot injury.

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

Preview: Indiana

Preview: Indiana

Submitted by Ace on February 2nd, 2016 at 3:51 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (17-5, 7-2 B1G) vs
Indiana (18-4, 8-1)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 9 pm ET, Tuesday
LINE Michigan -3 (KenPom)
TV ESPN
PBP: Mike Tirico
Analyst: Dan Dakich

Right: Like it was going to be anything but this picture. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]

THE US

John Beilein still won't speak in anything resembling specifics, but we're getting closer to Caris LeVert's return:

"Caris did more (Sunday) than he's done at all," Beilein said. "This was the first time he really tested himself more than he has. So it's day-to-day, and we'll wait and see when he's ready to go. It's ultimately going to be his decision. It could be soon. It could be later."

Beilein mentioned hoping for LeVert to return to the court "this week or next" on Dan Dakich's radio show Monday, so there's a possibility he sees some time tonight—he'll most likely come off the bench in his first game back, whenever that may be. As Beilein has said repeatedly, we'll know LeVert is back when he's participating in warmups, so your guess is as good as mine when it comes to a specific return date.

THE STAKES

Both Michigan and Indiana have benefited from easy opening halves of the Big Ten schedule; at least in part due to the schedule factor, both squads are in the thick of the conference title race. Indiana is tied atop the standings with Iowa; Michigan is a game back. This is the only regular-season meeting between M and IU this season; discussing tiebreaker situations at this stage is very much putting the cart before the horse, but it's at least worth noting.

This game also carries extra importance because Michigan and IU are both on the seven-seed line in the latest Bracket Matrix. There's a decent chance these two teams end up compared head-to-head when it's time for tournament seeding; in that context, it's critical for M to defend their home court.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 11 Yogi Ferrell Sr. 6'0, 180 84 25 No
One of the best PGs in the country. Great outside shooter, distributor.
G 4 Robert Johnson So. 6'3, 195 60 18 No
Excellent three-point shooter. Inefficient inside arc. Turnover-prone.
F 30 Collin Hartman Jr. 6'7, 215 52 12 No
Low-usage, Just A Shooter™ type making 40% of threes.
F 5 Troy Williams Jr. 6'7, 215 65 26 No
Great athlete and finisher, impactful defender, improved shooter, TO-prone.
C 31 Thomas Bryant Fr. 6'10, 245 56 22 Yes
Top-flight post scorer also boasts strong rebounding and block rates.
G 2 Nick Zeisloft Sr. 6'4, 210 46 13 No
Has attempted 99 threes and 10 twos this season. 39% 3P shooter.
F 0 Max Bielfeldt Gr. 6'8, 240 43 20 No
Rebounding and finishing very well, second-best steal rate in B1G. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
F 3 OG Anunoby Fr. 6'8, 215 27 17 No
Efficient inside-outside scorer, good offensive rebounder, turnover-prone.

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

Preview: Penn State

Preview: Penn State

Submitted by Ace on January 29th, 2016 at 4:51 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (16-5, 6-2 B1G) vs
Penn State (11-10, 2-6)
WHERE Madison Square Garden
New York, New York
WHEN Noon ET, Saturday
LINE Michigan -7 (KenPom)
TV BTN
PBP: Gus Johnson
Analyst: Jon Crispin

Right: Michigan won the first leg with ease. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]

THE US

Caris LeVert is "unlikely" to return to the court tomorrow, though John Beilein said this afternoon that he's been doing more in practice.

Also of note from Beilein's presser today: he said either DJ Wilson or Kam Chatman needs to step up so the main members of the rotation can get more rest.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 33 Shep Garner (inj.) So. 6'1, 185 86 23 No
Nominal point is more of a scorer. Shooting better from 3 than 2.
G 3 Devin Foster Sr. 6'2, 205 50 13 No
Low usage, bad finisher (21/47 2P) and FT shooter, turnover-prone.
F 0 Payton Banks (inj.) So. 6'6, 220 71 22 Yes
Decent finisher and rebounder, iffy outside shooter.
F 10 Brandon Taylor Sr. 6'6, 225 80 28 No
Huge usage, middling efficiency (47/35/72 shooting splits).
C 44 Julian Moore So. 6'10, 235 41 16 Very
Good rebounder and decent rim-protector, draws fouls and hits FTs.
C 32 Jordan Dickerson Sr. 7'1, 245 44 11 Very
Top-25 block rate, excellent offensive rebounder, low usage.
F 1 Deividas Zemgulis Fr. 6'6, 220 30 15 Yes
Good scorer inside arc, but only 8/31 on threes.
F 5 Donovon Jack Sr. 6'9, 210 33 19 Kinda
Decent inside-outside scorer, but turnover-prone and huge foul rate.

Penn State has undergone some lineup changes since they visited Crisler a few weeks back. Sophomore Julian Moore took the starting center job from senior Jordan Dickerson, starting guard Josh Reaves is out with mono, and two more starters—including PSU's top guard—are banged up:

Garner's absense would be significant; not only is he their lead guard, but he plays a whopping 86% of the team's minutes and PSU is already thin in the backcourt.

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

Preview: Rutgers

Preview: Rutgers

Submitted by Ace on January 27th, 2016 at 4:42 PM

THE ESSENTIALS


WHAT Michigan (15-5, 5-2 B1G) vs
Rutgers (6-14, 0-7)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 7 pm ET, Wednesday
LINE Michigan -22 (KenPom)
TV BTN
PBP: Joe Davis
Analyst: Jon Crispin

Right: Sadly, this was still less mean than including a picture of actual Rutgers basketball.

THE US

Caris LeVert still won't be in the lineup tonight, but John Beilein told the media yesterday that there's a timeline—one he won't reveal—for his return:

"Caris has had more testing," he said. "Things continue to go in the right direction, but he is not ready yet. We hope it is very soon, but he is moving in the right direction."

LeVert has not met with local reporters since sustaining the injury. Beilein has repeatedly declined to expand on the specifics, other than to say the program is being "overly cautious" and that it's a "lower left leg injury."

 

Of the aforementioned timeline, Beilein would only say, "For the first time we met and said, 'OK, let's start looking at this date.'"

Michigan plays Penn State at Madison Square Garden on Saturday; ideally, he could work his way back in that game and return to his normal role for next week's home games against Indiana and Michigan State, but that would be a best-case scenario at this point.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 3 Corey Sanders Fr. 6'2, 175 80 26 Not Really
High usage, high turnover rate, decent outside shot, poor finisher.
G 5 Mike Williams So. 6'2, 190 68 23 Yes
Takes most threes on the team, hits... 28% of them.
G 2 Bishop Daniels Sr. 6'3, 185 64 24 Kinda
44/30/70 shooting splits, most attempts from two. Turnover-prone.
F 1 DJ Foreman So. 6'8, 230 65 19 Yes
Only 47% shooter, draws a ton of fouls but only makes 58% of FTs.
C 35 Greg Lewis Sr. 6'9, 245 52 17 Very
Decent rebounder and shot-blocker shooting woeful 37% FG, 45% FT.
G 31 Omari Greer Gr. 6'4, 180 46 18 No
A legit shooter! 44% from beyond the arc.
G 10 Justin Goode Fr. 6'2, 185 37 8 Yes
Tiny usage, pretty much only shoots threes, has made 6/26 on the year.

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

Preview: Nebraska

Preview: Nebraska

Submitted by Ace on January 22nd, 2016 at 5:26 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Michigan (14-5, 4-2 B1G) at
Nebraska (12-8, 4-3)
WHERE Pinnacle Bank Arena
Lincoln, Nebraska
WHEN 2 pm ET, Saturday
LINE Nebraska -1 (KenPom)
TV ESPN2
PBP: Dave Lamont
Analyst: Dan Dakich

Right: The last time these two teams met, Andrew Dakich was all smiles. [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]

THE US

LeVertWatch continues. John Beilein said today that he's "doubtful" for tomorrow's game. While Beilein still won't reveal the specific nature of the injury, he said it wasn't related to the stress fracture that cost LeVert most of 2014-15 (it's "just an injury"), and he still expects him to be back this year. I have no idea how comforting that is supposed to be, but with Rutgers next on the docket, I'd be surprised if we see LeVert on the court for another week at the earliest.

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 SIBMIHHAT
G 32 Benny Parker Sr. 5'9, 175 63 12 No
Short, low-usage, decent outside shooter, mediocre assist:turnover ratio.
G 5 Glynn Watson Jr. Fr. 6'0, 160 55 22 Kinda
Iffy shooter, team's most efficient distrubutor, top-100 steal rate.
F 3 Andrew White III Jr. 6'7, 216 70 24 No
Impressive 61/43/79 shooting splits on high usage. Good def. rebounder.
F 31 Shavon Shields Sr. 6'7, 225 76 28 Kinda
Dominates ball, excellent mid-range shooter, decent finisher.
F 12 Michael Jacobson Fr. 6'8, 222 38 15 Very
Solid offensive rebounder, decent shot-blocker, finishing needs work.
G 0 Tai Webster Jr. 6'4, 196 66 20 No
51/41/77 shooting splits. Turnover-prone but much-improved.
F 10 Jack McVeigh Fr. 6'8, 210 42 17 No
Just A Shooter™ type making 35% of his threes.
F 30 Ed Morrow Fr. 6'7, 225 35 16 Very
Undersized post shooting 62% but high turnover rate ruining efficiency.

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