Basketbullets: Carton's Final Three, PWO Hello, Summer League Action

Basketbullets: Carton's Final Three, PWO Hello, Summer League Action

Submitted by Ace on July 9th, 2018 at 1:32 PM

NJAS [Photo: Marc-Gregor Campredon]

THE RINGMASTER. There are more prominent Wolverines in this year's NBA Summer League but if you think I'm not starting with Defensive Stopper Duncan Robinson then, well, you probably thought there was breaking news on Jordan Poole or something. This is for my %#*&ing city.

Robinson has averaged double-digit points on nearly 60% shooting while playing alongside his former point guard, Derrick Walton. In what has to be considered a remarkable testament to Robinson, John Beilein, and Luke Yaklich alike, those on the Heat beat are openly wondering if a two-way contract—the same way Walton got onto Miami's roster last year—will be enough to prevent other NBA teams from poaching The Ringmaster:

Remember, Earl Barron once stood as the all-time scoring leader of the Orlando Pro Summer League. But considering how much shooting range means in today's NBA, even if Robinson is the second coming of Steve Novak, that still could be enough to get him a contract somewhere, if not here. At this point, I'm not sure that a two-way contract is enough to keep him. It may instead take a standard deal, with a potential six-figure guarantee.

Who will play minutes in a real NBA game first: Former Division III Player Duncan Robinson or Former Kentucky Transfer Charles Matthews? That is a real question with a very uncertain answer at the moment. The "john beilein says there's gold in them thar hills" tag has been deployed.

[Hit THE JUMP for DJ Carton's final three, Laker Moe, freshman numbers, and more.]

Basketbullets: Can This Team Be Good?

Basketbullets: Can This Team Be Good?

Submitted by Ace on December 6th, 2017 at 2:48 PM

[James Coller]

After the collapse at Ohio State on Monday, there's been quite a bit of consternation among Michigan fans about the course of the season. The Wolverines sit at 7-3, and they're only 2-3 against viable competition, with their best win coming against the #82-ranked team on KenPom. If they don't at least come away with a split in their upcoming games against UCLA and Texas, there's good reason to worry about how this team is going to compile a worthy tournament resumé.

To get an idea of how the season could play out, I wanted to take a look at how John Beilein's Michigan teams have improved (or not) over the course of the season. I'm an idiot, however, so thankfully our very own Alex Cook had the same thought and could actually put it into action. Alex used the game score metric from Bart Torvik*—a 0-100 score for each game based on adjusted efficiency margin—to map out the in-season progression of Beilein's teams. This, for example, is last season's graph. The blue line tracks the individual game scores; the black line is a five-game running average; the gray line is the overall season trend. As you certainly guessed, the 2016-17 graph shows a great deal of late-season improvement:

Waltoning, The Graph

The first question that I had: was last year more the exception or the rule? Alex went through each season to get the answer. Positive numbers show in-season improvement, negative the opposite:

I'm about to get into much more detail, but the initial takeaway is we can't assume that Beilein is going to turn things around this season without a couple things breaking the right way. Using the above as a guide, it's time to take a look at the potential ways this season plays out.

[Hit THE JUMP for season scenarios with past precedent.]