Basketbullets: Big Breakout, Matthews Settles, Poole Party, Flaherty's Farewell

Basketbullets: Big Breakout, Matthews Settles, Poole Party, Flaherty's Farewell

Submitted by Ace on March 15th, 2018 at 12:47 PM

SPONSOR NOTE FEATURING FREE BEER. HomeSure Lending is once again sponsoring our NCAA Tournament coverage this year. Matt will be hosting an informal watch party tonight at HOMES Brewery, and buying the first round for any MGoBlog readers who come. If you're looking at buying a house this spring/summer you should talk to him soon.

ICYMI. Part one of the pre-tourney mailbag addressing what constitutes success, the sixth man factor, the possibility of a two-big lineup, and late game free-throw lineups can be found right here. Part two, on M's most important player, Z's lockdown sustainability, splitting defensive credit, and managing the tourney rotation is here.

Brian posted the Montana game preview on Tuesday. We'll bump it back up to the top of the front page later this afternoon.

Teske Awakens

A better feel for the game has unleashed Teske. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

From the moment Jon Teske arrived at Michigan, the seven-footer's potential as a defender was obvious. He's been excellent on that end in his sophomore season and still has room to grow into an elite rim protector. When Teske has been on the court this season, Michigan's defense improves by 0.14 points per possession, per Hoop Lens—about the same gap as that between M's fifth-ranked defense and 195th-ranked High Point.

It wasn't as clear if he'd find his way on offense. He looked ponderous and lost as a freshman, and through the first half of this season there still hadn't been a significant breakthrough—his effectiveness as a backup center came almost entirely from his defense.

Over the last month, however, the light came on. Teske played only 18 combined minutes across three games culminating in the February 11th trip to Wisconsin. To that point, facing top-75 competition (venue-adjusted), Teske made only 13-of-28 two-point attempts in 13 games—nobody that big and skilled should be sub-50% inside the arc. He's 8-for-13 on twos in the six top-75 games since, culminating in the 14-point outburst at Purdue, while averaging over 15 minutes in that span. He's finishing with an authority he hadn't shown previously, as Isaac Haas can tell you.

Teske's also settling into the offense in ways that don't show up in his personal stat line. Using data from Hoop Lens, here are Michigan's offensive stats with Teske on the floor before and after the trip to Madison (top-100 non-conf. games and Big Ten only):

  Offense w/Teske Thru Feb. 11 Offense w/ Teske Since Feb. 11
Possessions 328 185
Points Per Poss. 0.99 1.15
eFG% 47.6 56.8
TO% 14.3 10.8
OR% 26.8 26.9
FTA/FGA 0.242 0.317
2P% 49.2 55.1
3P% 30.0 39.7
FT% 64.8 56.9
3PA/FGA 0.375 0.391

There's noise in here, to be sure—the nearly ten-point gap in three-point shooting should be attributed more to luck than anything Teske is doing. A six-point difference in two-point percentage is less fluky and remarkably impactful, however, and there's reason to believe it's sustainable based on the film.

Beilein's offense requires quick reads based on how the defense reacts to certain actions; Teske suddenly looks way more comfortable and adept at being in the right place. The posterization of Haas is one example: Teske sees that Zavier Simpson drew two defenders, trails the play, gives Z a target, and goes to the rim with bad intentions. We didn't see that level of decisiveness from him often before.

Where he's really standing out is in the pick-and-roll, an area he previously struggled. According to Synergy, he only used 27 possessions as the roll man in 31 regular season games; in the BTT, he had eight in four games. Seemingly all of his teammates have a greater chemistry with him, which means he's making the correct reads. Here he perfectly times a slip with Duncan Robinson handling the ball and adjusts his roll to get an open short jumper instead of a contested look from Dutch windmill Matt Haarms:

On this P&R with Simpson, Teske extends the pick—he's done a good job of ensuring he makes contact with his hip without picking up fouls—which causes a switch; he trails Z to the hoop, gets his hands up for an easy target, establishes great position against Haas, and follows his own miss. He got an easier, rim-rattling finish when he timed his roll with Haas leaving his feet while putting pressure on MAAR.

While Teske's scoring made headlines in the Purdue game, it's been his ability to open up lanes for others that's made the most consistent impact. Charles Matthews going left off the dribble surely caught the MSU defense off guard, but Teske ensured it ended in a dunk by flipping his screen and effectively cutting off the path of both Miles Bridges and Xavier Tillman:

He helped Simpson get a bucket on Tum Tum Nairn by once again flipping the pick, then boxing out Tillman after slipping to the basket and gaining inside position.

This one may be my favorite. Teske sets two screens for Z, getting great contact on the first and drawing an extra defender when he slips the second. This would've opened up a spot-up three for most M players but the help defender is leaving Matthews, who gets the ball and drives hard into traffic. Teske, who'd been looking for an entry pass, recognizes this and gets into position to pick off a defender, giving Matthews the space to rise and fire:

Here's one more just to show not everything has to go to the rim when Teske's out there: a three-pointer by MAAR after he doubles back off the initial screen and executes a quick give-and-go.

In addition to all that, Teske has started turning more of his stops at the rim into outright blocks and steals. He's going to be an excellent player next year. Meanwhile, he should get plenty of chances to shine in this tournament, and his ability to provide a different look from Wagner with minimal drop in team production could very well swing a game or two.

[Hit THE JUMP for much more.]

Basketbullets: Matthews-Wagner Ballet, Point Guard Roulette, Two Bigs?

Basketbullets: Matthews-Wagner Ballet, Point Guard Roulette, Two Bigs?

Submitted by Ace on November 29th, 2017 at 3:33 PM

If you're looking for the UNC preview, click here or scroll down.

Charles Matthews, Point Guard

No point guard? Just run the offense through the wing. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Charles Matthews was nothing short of spectacular in the Maui Invitational. The only thing that could slow him down was cramps, which hit in the third game in three days after Matthews had posted back-to-back 20+ point, 8+ rebound, 3+ assist games.

If anything, those numbers undersell Matthews's impact. This offense now runs through him, much like the 2014 team's went through Nik Stauskas while the team broke in a freshman point guard. In the loss to LSU, Matthews took on 40% of the team's possessions with remarkable efficiency: 28 points on 22 shot equivalents, six offensive rebounds, three assists, and only two turnovers. While the final result may not have been desirable, Michigan established their offensive identity in this game. Once again, the two-man game with Moe Wagner will be the centerpiece of the offense, this time with Matthews running the show.

Early on, Michigan used a side screen to get Matthews going left-to-right into the paint, where he could either pull up for a short jumper or dump it off to Wagner for a jumper:

Like the Walton-Wagner duo, the two showed an innate ability to read the defense and make the right play off the screen, whether originating at the top of the key or off to the side. Matthews found Wagner with a nifty lob on the roll to set up an and-one; Wagner flipped a high screen to get a wide open jumper; when the roll wasn't open, Wagner cleared out so Matthews could isolate his defender and draw a shooting foul off the drive; when Wagner popped out for a three-point attempt, Matthews crashed the boards and cashed in with a putback.

What's been most impressive, and pleasantly surprising, is Matthews's court vision and passing out of the pick-and-roll. According to Synergy, Michigan ranks in the 88th percentile in pick-and-roll derived offense when Matthews is the ballhander, and he's currently providing more value as a passer (87th percentile) than a finisher (69th). This play jumped out to me the most from last week. Wagner slips the initial screen as VCU aggressively doubles Matthews. When the defender in the corner slides down to prevent a Wagner layup opportunity, Matthews throws a really difficult pass to Duncan Robinson over the double:

If that pass is late or even a bit off-target, VCU can recover to contest Robinson's shot. Instead, it's an easy three points because Matthews puts it right on him.

[Hit THE JUMP for the Matthews-Wagner off-ball two-man game and more.]

Basketbullets: Big Nasty Edition

Basketbullets: Big Nasty Edition

Submitted by Ace on November 20th, 2017 at 2:37 PM

It's Teske Time

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Michigan heads into this week's Maui Invitational with a 3-0 record in body-bag games. There's a good chance you haven't seen too much of this team yet; two of those games were on the dreaded subscription-only BTN-Plus stream.

As expected, this young team still has a lot to figure out. Neither Zavier Simpson nor Jaaron Simmons have taken control of the point guard position. Charles Matthews's scoring, and seemingly his confidence in his jumper, has waxed and waned. The offense, as it often does early in the season under John Beilein, looks disjointed, and the team is connecting on only 32.9% of their three-pointers.

We do, however, have a definitive answer to one looming preseason question. Jon Teske removed all doubt about his standing on the depth chart with a ten-point, 11-rebound outburst against Southern Miss, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in 15 KenPom MVP-worthy minutes. Competition caveats abound, of course—bold prediction: Teske doesn't shoot 100% in most games—but USM at least fielded a 6'11", 260-pound center. Here's Teske eating that center alive:

Before getting into the serious analysis, some Small Sample Size Theater with Teske's early-season stats:

  • He's shooting 100% from the field and 80% from the line with an 83.3 free throw rate.
  • He's posting a 19.3 offensive rebound % and 37.9 defensive rebound %.
  • His 7.7% block rate would be Michigan's best over a full season since Ekpe Udoh in 2009-10.
  • According to Synergy, Teske has used nine possessions, including assists. Michigan is averaging 2.11 points on those possessions.

Pretty, pretty good. 

[Hit THE JUMP for a bunch more Teske GIFs, Z's lockdown defense, and more.]

Basketbullets: Walton, Irvin Ink Pro Deals

Basketbullets: Walton, Irvin Ink Pro Deals

Submitted by Ace on July 25th, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Walton Signs Two-Way Deal With Miami

A strong summer league performance and the NBA's new contract structure got Derrick Walton a gig with the Miami Heat, which signed him to a two-way deal yesterday. That means Walton will play for Miami's G-League (formerly D-League) affiliate, the Sioux Falls (SD) Skyforce, and could spend up to 45 days with the NBA squad if he earns a callup.

Walton landing a contract wasn't a surprise given his summer league performance, which had plenty of Orlando fans hoping the Magic would hold onto him.

Walton has a place in a pick-and-roll league, and it's great to see him get a shot straight out of college, even if he'll have to work his way from South Dakota to Miami.

Zak Irvin had a tougher go in summer league. While he didn't land an NBA deal, he'll still play professional basketball. VL Pesaro of Italy's Serie A (the top Italian league) signed him yesterday. He'll play with a few other Americans, including former BYU standout Eric Mika.

[Hit THE JUMP for Wagner at the FIBA Euro Championships, some 'crootin happy trails, and more.]

Basketbullets: B1G/ACC Matchups, Johnson to UNC

Basketbullets: B1G/ACC Matchups, Johnson to UNC

Submitted by Ace on June 8th, 2017 at 12:09 PM

B1G/ACC Challenge Matchups: M Heading To Dean Dome

I guess this qualifies as a marquee opponent.

This year's Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchups were released today by ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Michigan drew one of the marquee games: they'll travel to Chapel Hill to face defending national champion North Carolina. Here's the full slate of games; dates and times are still TBD:

Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Duke at Indiana
Notre Dame at Michigan State
Miami at Minnesota
Penn State at NC State
Boston College at Nebraska
Michigan at North Carolina
Clemson at Ohio State
Louisville at Purdue
Florida State at Rutgers
Maryland at Syracuse
Wisconsin at Virginia
Iowa at Virginia Tech
Illinois at Wake Forest

This will be the first time Michigan has faced Carolina in the challenge, as well as their first trip to the Dean Dome. It's the first matchup between the two programs since a certain game in 1993 that never happened and definitely didn't end horribly for the Wolverines. The nonconference schedule is beginning to come together; M will play in the Maui Invitational, host UCLA, travel to Texas, and face Detroit at Little Caesars Arena.

The UNC squad we'll see in November will look quite different from the one that beat Gonzaga for the title in March. The entire starting frontcourt of Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, and early NBA Draft entry Justin Jackson is gone, as are key reserves Nate Britt and Tony Bradley.

They still won't lack for talent, of course. ESPN has UNC seventh in their too-early preseason rankings. The starting guard tandem of Joel Berry and Theo Pinson returns and there's plenty of talent coming up from the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. In addition, they landed a major piece as a grad transfer, and it's a player Michigan fans had held out hope for...

Cam Johnson to UNC

Pitt grad transfer Cam Johnson, a 6'8" sharpshooter who would've been a great fit at the four in Beilein's system, announced on Tuesday that he'll head to UNC for his final two seasons of eligibility. Pitt coach and noted jerk Kevin Stallings restricted Johnson from transferring to other ACC programs without sitting out a year, but now that Johnson's transfer has been approved he's making a strong push for immediate eligibility:

Johnson also cited an NCAA rule that stipulates graduate transfers be allowed to compete immediately at a given school, or be completely denied the opportunity to transfer to that school. Pitt is allowing Johnson to transfer to UNC, and receive immediate athletic financial aid. And so, Johnson argued, given that he wasn’t prohibited from transferring to UNC, he should be immediately eligible there.

During a recent interview, Johnson said he graduated from Pitt with a 3.9 GPA. In his statement, he wrote that Pitt officials cited his strong academic record in their decision to allow him to transfer to an ACC school and receive immediate athletic financial aid.

Johnson has a strong case and public opinion on his side; I'd expect him to be on the court this season.

This may spell the end of Michigan's pursuit of grad transfers barring another name popping up late. Johnson was the last available player who had confirmed contact with the coaching staff. The Wolverines haven't been mentioned in connection with Illinois State grad transfer MiKyle McIntosh, who's visited Oklahoma, Oregon, and Oregon State. McIntosh appears to be a top priority for the Ducks, who were also hoping to land Johnson.

Ignas Brazdeikis Not Reclassifying

Another possibility for filling the open scholarship was having four-star Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis—who's at #39 overall in today's updated Scout rankings—reclassify from 2018 to the 2017 class. While Brazdeikis took that under consideration, he ultimately decided to stay in 2018, per UMHoops' Orion Sang:

Traded texts with Ignas Brazdeikis, a four-star forward in the class of 2018. Brazdeikis told me that he WILL NOT be reclassifying to the class of 2017. He also said he has no visits planned for this summer and that Michigan is "most definitely" still one of his top teams.

While Brazdeikis remains a top target for 2018, he won't help fill the hole left in this season's rotation by DJ Wilson's departure, and it's looking increasingly possible that Michigan will bank that open scholarship. This post on Michigan's post-DJ outlook from a couple weeks ago may be relevant to your interests.

Basketbullets: Simmons Fit, Scholarships, Detroit In Detroit

Basketbullets: Simmons Fit, Scholarships, Detroit In Detroit

Submitted by Ace on April 25th, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Jaaron Simmons: How Does He Fit?

Simmons gets a lot of tough buckets at the basket.

Michigan added a significant piece to the roster late last night in Ohio grad transfer Jaaron Simmons, who's in line to be the starting point guard provided he doesn't jump to the NBA. While that seems unlikely given his draft stock—he's unranked on DraftExpress and listed as "likely undrafted" on NBADraftNet's rundown of potential early entrants—Simmons told MLive's Brendan Quinn he's discussing that possibility with John Beilein:

In a phone interview with MLive on Tuesday, Simmons said he is indeed transferring to Michigan and has accepted the program's lone available scholarship. However, having previously declared for the NBA Draft, he does not yet know if he will withdraw [and] spend next season in college basketball.

"I haven't decided yet," Jaaron Simmons said (pronounced "Juh-Ron"). "Me and coach (John) have been talking about that, but I haven't decided."

Simmons said he'll continue to talk to his family and Beilein about the choice to stay in the draft or withdraw and "come up with the decision that's best for me."

Simmons said whether he receives an invitation to the Draft Combine or not will not weigh in that decision. He said he does not have a timeline for his final decision, but does not plan on waiting until the NCAA's May 24 withdraw deadline.

Beilein can't comment on Simmons until he's officially added to the roster, but I can't imagine he'd accept a commitment for the last open 2017-18 scholarship without a pretty good idea that Simmons would withdraw from the draft. Unless his projection changes dramatically, it's hard to imagine Simmons would want to stay in the draft anyway.

Brian covered the basics on Simmons when news of his commitment broke last night. He's first and foremost a pick-and-roll creator, and he took on a huge usage load at Ohio, where his efficiency was hurt by having to create the vast majority of his shots. After the jump, I'll explore how he fits into the projected lineup for 2017-18.


Basketbullets: The Shot Fake, DJ The Lion, Secondary Scorers

Basketbullets: The Shot Fake, DJ The Lion, Secondary Scorers

Submitted by Ace on March 21st, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Player Development At Ludicrous Speed, Part One

Moe Wagner considers how to shred his defender to bits. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

John Beilein's acumen at player development is, by now, unimpeachable. He has turned Michigan into one of the top producers of NBA talent in the country without the steady stream of high school All-Americans who end up at the likes of Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky. After last weekend, Moe Wagner and DJ Wilson—a late import to the 2015 class and an oft-injured three-star wing*—are firmly on the NBA radar after two and three years on campus, respectively. Following the Louisville game, Beilein reminded us just how far those two have come in only a year's time:

Moritz, he averaged two points a game last year. He’s 19 years old. You got to watch this guy. D.J. averaged the same. There’s a process that people go through to develop their teams, and [the Big Ten] had a lot of good seniors last year who graduated and a lot of guys waiting in the wings. It may have not showed in November, December. It’s showing in March.

The year-to-year progression is remarkable; so is the seemingly game-to-game progression. Here's Beilein after the Purdue victory at Crisler less than a month ago:

[Wagner] is learning that fine line between shooting a three and driving it. I can’t wait to work with him more on selling his shot fake before he does, sometimes he just rips and goes. He’s almost like a forward or a guard in how he plays. But he had a really good post move inside. He and DJ have to bottle this thing up, that they can shoot from the outside, but to help teams win, they’re going to play professionally if they have a post-up game. They’re not going to just be these 6’10” shooters. They’re going to need to grow in that physical part of it. He’s got a good mix of that. If we can put that third part in, that he can shoot, he can drive, and he can effectively post up and hold position, he could become very special.

We saw a whole lot more than a pair of 6'10" shooters last weekend. That shot fake Beilein wanted to see Wagner utilize? He busted it out on arguably the biggest possession of the year:

Wagner also obliterated Louisville from the high post. His career-high 26-point output against the Cardinals couldn't have looked more different from his previous best, the 24-point performance in that aforementioned Purdue game. The latter featured Wagner raining in threes off pick-and-pops with a couple post buckets standing out as notable exceptions. The former saw him working with his back to the basket against smaller defenders and using that three-point threat to take bigs off the dribble; he only attempted (and made) one three-pointer.

*[HT to Maize.Blue Wagner for posting a thread of the current team's commitment posts.]

[Hit THE JUMP for DJ's development and the late-season surge from MAAR and Irvin.]

Basketbullets: Beilein's Evil Script, Wilson As Center

Basketbullets: Beilein's Evil Script, Wilson As Center

Submitted by Ace on March 15th, 2017 at 3:13 PM

He Seems So Nice, But...

The face of a ruthless killer after a successful hunt. [Paul Sherman]

John Beilein can be evil. Just ask Ethan Happ.

Michigan's first two offensive sets against Wisconsin put Happ in no-win situations and set the tone for the rest of the game. Here's the first, which features Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman making an elaborate off-ball cut after a dribble handoff:

MAAR's cut is gorgeous on its own: it looks like he'll run along the baseline to the opposite corner, a common maneuver in Beilein's offense, but instead doubles back and curls around a Moe Wagner screen that gets MAAR two steps ahead of his defender, Vitto Brown.

The real beauty of this play, however, comes right about the moment Derrick Walton releases the pass. Against almost any other team in the country, Happ wouldn't hesitate to slide into the paint and prevent the layup. Michigan has Wagner, however, and three points are greater than two. After MAAR curls around the screen, Wagner pops out to the perimeter. Even though the ball is already headed MAAR's way, Happ is preoccupied enough with Wagner to take a false step towards the three-point line:

That moment of hesitation provides MAAR with the space he needs for a layup.

That play was pretty mean. The real evil comes on the next possession.


Basketbullets: Still-Not-A-Bubble Watch, The Last Two Plays

Basketbullets: Still-Not-A-Bubble Watch, The Last Two Plays

Submitted by Ace on March 2nd, 2017 at 2:46 PM


Five days ago. [Bryan Fuller]

That wasn't a fun way to lose. I'll cede that point. The reaction to a one-point road loss, however painful it may have been, has still been borderline hysterical. Heading into last night, Michigan had won five of six—with the one loss a ref screw-job in Minneapolis—while moving off the NCAA tournament bubble. They have the best offense in the Big Ten by a wide margin and a defense that's steadily improving. They lost last night on a prayer of a play that was inches away from backfiring spectacularly; if Nathan Taphorn's pass flies another six inches or so, Michigan is inbounding under Northwestern's basket with a chance to win in regulation.

With a night to sleep on it, here's where things really stand: Michigan is still comfortably in the NCAA tournament field. Jerry Palm's latest bracket denotes 15 bubble teams, including Michigan State. Michigan, projected as a nine-seed, isn't one of them. Joe Lunardi dropped the Wolverines one seed line—to a nine-seed. Michigan is still an eight-seed on the Bracket Matrix, though they'll slide back to a nine as more projections are updates; that's still not on the bubble.

Illinois, a team that Penn State swept this season, has moved into the field on several projections, including Palm's. This year's bubble is really soft. If Michigan loses out, they're in danger of a nerve-wracking Selection Sunday. They have two very winnable games left: at Nebraska, a team that's never beaten Michigan since joining the Big Ten, and a neutral-site game in the BTT against a team that won't be seeded higher than ninth. KenPom gives Michigan a 63% chance to beat Nebraska. The most likely BTT scenario, a 7/10 matchup with Ohio State, gives M a 68% chance of picking up another win, per Bart Torvik's tourney simulator. That works out to a 12% chance of losing both games.

The rending of garments is premature.

[Hit THE JUMP for the final play and more.]

Basketbullets: Matchup Chess, The New Rotation, Wagner/Wilson Quote Bonanza

Basketbullets: Matchup Chess, The New Rotation, Wagner/Wilson Quote Bonanza

Submitted by Ace on February 28th, 2017 at 3:46 PM

Stopping all of this has proven quite difficult. [All photos: Bryan Fuller]

Generally, opposing coach press conferences after losses are brief and uninformative. After the Moe Wagner-Derrick Walton pick-and-pop obliterated Purdue's defense to the point they had to entirely change strategies, however, Matt Painter went into great detail on the problems posed by Michigan's offense, specifically those that result from facing two big men that can shoot.

To set this up: Purdue started the game with Caleb Swanigan defending Wagner. Michigan exploited the matchup by forcing Swanigan out to the perimeter, usually with high screens. Wagner feasted.

Wagner went 9-for-12 in the first half, hitting 5-of-6 twos and 4-of-6 threes. Michigan fielding a lineup with five viable outside shooting threats wreaked havoc on Purdue's defense and their rotation. 7'2" center Isaac Haas usually plays 20 minutes per game, often pairing with Swanigan to form an imposing frontcourt duo. Here's what happened when Purdue put both big men out there:

If Michigan's big men can't shoot, Swanigan wouldn't be in no-man's land, and Haas would be in position to block Simpson's shot into the tenth row if he manages to get into the paint anyway. The threat of Wilson and Wagner instead opened a cavernous lane for the quick point guard to bolt through.

As a result, Haas played only seven minutes in the first half, and just two with Swanigan also on the court. The adjustment Painter had to make in the second half forced his second-best player off the floor almost entirely:

We just went and switched everything, knocked them out of their [pick-and-pop] action. The downside of that is now you have your bigs guarding their guards and they can break you off the dribble. Then you have to help, now you’ve got to get to their shooters. When you have a good point guard and you have bigs that are skilled that can shoot and spread you out, you have to pick your poison. We can flip it on them, but when you don’t score the ball at the rim—and I thought we had a lot of opportunities for Haas in there, missed dunk, layups, a hook, that he normally makes—if we could’ve made those plays, we could’ve lived with all of it, because we wouldn’t have been out of the game, and now we put them in a bind because they’re eventually going to foul us and get out of the game. But if we can’t keep you in the game because [of defense], that gets hard for us. We just decided at half that we had to switch, and then when Donnal came in the game we could play Isaac [Haas]. But obviously we didn’t play well enough to be able to get back in.

Haas played four second-half minutes, entering the game after Michigan inserted Donnal and exiting at the first stoppage after Beilein lifted Donnal and put DJ Wilson at center. The combination of Wagner and Wilson in Beilein's offense rendered the second-best player on the Big Ten's best team effectively unplayable.

[Hit THE JUMP to see how Michigan took advantage of Purdue's new defensive tack.]