Hoops Preview: Villanova, National Championship

Hoops Preview: Villanova, National Championship

Submitted by Brian on April 2nd, 2018 at 11:55 AM

SPONSOR NOTE. HomeSure Lending is sponsoring our tourney coverage. If you need a home loan, you should probably get it from a guy whose Ted Valentine impression is just as thunderously sarcastic as yours. Matt will get you a good loan, fast. And call you for a charge while doing it. Unless it is actually a block.


1985_villanova_logo.0THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #7 Michigan (33-7) vs
#1 Villanova (35-4)
WHERE Alamodome
San Antonio, TX
WHEN 9:20 PM
LINE Villanova –6 (KenPom)
TV TBS

chance they use the same dang wildcat growl everyone else does: 82%.

THE US

It's all about the window. Over the course of the season, Villanova has proven themselves to be the best team in the country by a considerable distance. Over the course of the tournament, same thing. Michigan's been in some dogfights and hasn't beaten a seed higher than #6 Houston; the closest anyone's come to Villanova is 12 points and they ended their semifinal against Kansas in the first four minutes.

But if you push the window back, things get interesting. And I'm not talking about cherry-picking Michigan's win streak. Here's a Torvik slice since January 1st, when Zavier Simpson came off the bench to play 32 minutes against Iowa and established himself the starting point guard, against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams*:

image

That's half the season—far more than half of the quality opponents—during which Villanova is a point or two better over the course of a 60-possession game. Not Vegas's 7 point gap, not Kenpom's 31% chance at winning, but damn near dead even. Big Ten Tournament Michigan—the Michigan that scored 1.1 and 1.2 PPP against the #10 and #31 defenses in the country, respectively—is a titan ready to go toe to toe with even Villanova and their holy grail offense.

Oops Sorry About Your Windshield I Don't Even Know How That Ball Got Out Of An Arena Michigan… not so much. The shooting that's barely gotten Michigan through four of five tourney games isn't going to cut it. For the love of everything good and holy, make some damn shots. Have a Stauskas seance. Whatever it takes.

*[FWIW: this skips the Northwestern L for Michigan by limiting it to Quad 2; it also skips Villanova's loss to Butler, which happened on 12/30. Since Villanova isn't going to run a zone, call it even?]

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 1 Jalen Brunson Jr. 6'2, 190 78* 26 129 No
KPOY #2 shoots 61/41 on big usage, has better than 2:1 A:TO.
G 10 Donte DiVincenzo Sr. 6'5, 205 63 22 119 No
Dual-threat SG is 57/39 w 20 A rate, technically bench player.
F 25 Mikal Bridges Jr. 6'7, 210 70 22 130 God no
KPOY #6 is future lottery pick. 59/44, not much in the way of assists.
F 4 Eric Paschall Jr. 6'7 250 75 18 123 No
Started 1/27 from 3, 48% since. Also shooting 64% and adding OREBs.
F 25 Omari Spellman Fr. 6'8, 255 67 18 121 God no
Stretch 5 hitting 51/44; solid 6% block rate, top 100 DREB guy.
G 21 Phil Booth Jr. 6'3, 195 61 18 119 No
Oh look it's another inside-outside threat hitting nearly 40% from 3.
G 2 Collin Gillespie Fr. 6'2", 185 28 13 125 No
Just A Shooter hitting 39%.
C 2 Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree Fr. 6'8, 195 31 12 132 Yes!
Rudy! Theo! Roy!

*[last five games minutes from Kenpom.]

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

Hoops Preview: Loyola-Chicago, Final Four

Hoops Preview: Loyola-Chicago, Final Four

Submitted by Brian on March 29th, 2018 at 2:18 PM

SPONSOR NOTE. HomeSure Lending is sponsoring our tourney coverage. If you need a home loan, you should probably get it from a guy whose Ted Valentine impression is just as thunderously sarcastic as yours. Matt will get you a good loan, fast. And call you for a charge while doing it. Unless it is actually a block.


Sister Jean GifTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #7 Michigan (32-7) vs
#30 Loyola-Chicago (32-5)
WHERE Alamodome
San Antonio, TX
WHEN 6:09 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan –5 (KenPom)
TV TBS

yes, you can purchase a Sister Jean bobblehead

THE US

Well, here we are. Again. Michigan rolls into the Final Four as the most fearsome defense left in the tourney by some distance. They can't shoot straight anymore, but it hasn't really mattered. Moe Wagner has had three off games, and it hasn't really mattered. The front end of a one and one is a turnover, and it hasn't really mattered.

It'll matter this weekend. Michigan has a shot at the national title. It'll either be a poor one if it's the first weekend; it'll be an outstanding one of it's Texas A&M. Here we go.

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 13 Clayton Custer Jr. 6'1, 185 86* 21 117 No
58/47 from floor, excellent at 2PJs. Main assist guy but 5:4 A:TO is bleah.
G 14 Ben Richardson Sr. 6'3, 195 81 14 111 No
Low usage combo is 39% from deep and has 1:1 A:TO. Barely shoots inside line.
G 5 Marques Townes Jr. 6'4, 210 71 22 106 No
Slasher a rarity on the roster w 60% of shots at rim. 40% on limited threes.
F 0 Donte Ingram Sr. 6'6 215 71 19 106 No
40% from 3 on 184 attempts, does fair amount of work inside line.
C 25 Cameron Krutwig Fr. 6'9, 260 52 23 120 Very
Beefy dude with mad YMCA game. Post-up only. Not a rim protector.
F 21 Aundre Jackson Sr. 6'5, 230 48 28 108 No
Undersized backup 5 does a lot of posting up vs MVC.
G 12 Lucas Williamson Fr. 6'4", 190 47 13 110 No
Does some inside work vs MVC, in this game projects as 43% Just A Shooter
G 2 Bruno Skokna So. 6'1, 195 16 15 111 No
Also a guy likely to be relegated to standing around perimeter; 36% from 3.
G 2 Cameron Satterwhite Fr. 6'4, 175 11 15 102 Yes
Fringe guy who might get a few minutes if there's foul trouble.

*[last five games minutes from Kenpom.]

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

Hoops Preview: Florida State, Elite Eight

Hoops Preview: Florida State, Elite Eight

Submitted by Brian on March 23rd, 2018 at 1:21 PM

SPONSOR NOTE. HomeSure Lending is sponsoring our tourney coverage. If you need a home loan, you should probably get it from a guy whose Ted Valentine impression is just as thunderously sarcastic as yours. Matt will get you a good loan, fast. And call you for a charge while doing it. Unless it is actually a block.




hqdefaultTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #7 Michigan (31-7) vs
#26 Florida State (23-11)
WHERE Ann Arbor Elder Law Center
Los Angeles, CA
WHEN 8:49 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan –4 (KenPom)
TV TBS

uhhhhhhhh in the process of finding an ent picture i found an ent related music video

THE US

That'll do.

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 3 Trent Forrest So. 6'5, 215 78* 19 114 Yes
Driver with no jump shot, top ten FT rate. 52% from 2, A:TO ratio close to 1.
G 11 Braian Angola Sr. 6'6, 195 76 23 112 No
Versatile SG-ish hits 48/38, creates most of his own twos. TOs an issue.
F 14 Terance Mann Jr. 6'6, 204 58 21 118 Yes
Another pure driver, 63% from 2 w 8% OREBs. Transition dependent.
F 0 Phil Cofer Sr. 6'8, 218 67 19 114 No
55/38 from floor, no assist, low TO gent.
C 25 Mfiondu Kabengele Fr. 6'8, 245 43 24 110 Yes
Rebounding beast with 6% block rate and some range.
C 21 Christ Koumadje Jr. 7'4, 233 27 17 118 Very
Enormous man w 10% block rate. Dunks on assists, putbacks.
C 12 Ike Obiagu Fr. 7'0", 240 26 14 88 Very
20% block rate! Terrible at everything else.
G 2 CJ Walker So. 6'1, 195 33 19 102 No
Former starting PG has more TOs than assists, shooting 47/36.
G 2 PJ Savoy Jr. 6'4, 195 51 19 102 No
Just a shooter hitting 38%. Minutes have surged lately.
F 23 MJ Walker Fr. 6'6, 205 47 19 100 Sort of
FR is scuffling badly, shooting 42/35 from floor with TOs, but still plays

*[last five games minutes from Kenpom.]

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

Hoops Preview: Houston, Round Of 32

Hoops Preview: Houston, Round Of 32

Submitted by Brian on March 16th, 2018 at 5:02 PM

UConn_Houston_Basketball_32304THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #9 Michigan (29-7) vs
#18 Houston (27-7)
WHERE Peak Wealth Management Arena
Wichita, KS
WHEN 9:50 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan –2 (KenPom)
TV TBS

i have theories about that hair

THE US

I mean… I told you. I told you!

…it looks like [Montana's] defense holds up much better than their offense when the biggish boys roll into town: PSU, Stanford, Georgia State, and Washington all had 1 PPP or worse when they played the Griz. Those were all losses because Montana's offense crawled in a hole and died, averaging about 0.8 PPP. Penn State is the best of those teams on D, finishing 21st. Michigan is about 4 points per 100 possessions better than PSU, and far better than the other teams.

This might be a bit of a meatgrinder.

It was a bit of a meatgrinder in the same way Stalingrad was. And now everyone's freaking out about a 14-point NCAA win. Including me, a little. Take a breath.

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 32 Rob Gray Sr. 6'1, 185 77 30 117 Nah
Huge usage iso guy, rise-up 3PA shooter, 50/35 from floor.
G 5 Corey Davis Jr. 6'1, 190 75 19 124 Not at all
Huge volume Not Just A Shooter shooter hitting 43%. Decent attacking closeouts.
G 25 Galen Robinson Jr. 6'1, 190 61 15 101 Very
D pest has top 100 steal rate, disaster away from rim on O, many A, many TO
F 15 Devin Davis Sr. 6'6, 225 62 21 110 Very
50% 2PA shooter w about half his makes assisted. Good rebounder, good TO rate.
F 13 Nura Zanna Jr. 6'8, 253 53* 13 99 Very
Putbacks and zero else. Massive OREB rate, foul rate. 47% FTs.
G 3 Armoni Brooks So. 6'3, 185 51 18 128 Not at all
Just A Shooter hitting 42%. Does DREB well.
C 24 Breaon Brady So. 6'8", 250 24 21 95 Very
Some post up but mostly another huge OREB guy w huge foul and TO rates.
F 35 Fabian White Fr. 6'7, 210 41 19 109 Very
Another Zanna clone, or close enough.

*[Zanna's got a slight plurality of C minutes in Houston's last five. He's at 37% on the season.

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

Hoops Preview: Nebraska, Big Ten Tournament

Hoops Preview: Nebraska, Big Ten Tournament

Submitted by Brian on March 2nd, 2018 at 11:22 AM

1519053162_8b3432a8d86bd1c87964db8dbb164883THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #16 Michigan (25-7) vs
#50 Nebraska (22-9)
WHERE Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
WHEN 2:30 PM
LINE Michigan –4 (KenPom)
TV BTN

ayyyyyyy i'm rappaporting over heah

THE US

Michigan slid by Iowa in overtime yesterday and now looks to punch their five-seed card (probably? maybe?) against Nebraska, which sits inconveniently just outside the top 50 bin that would offer a Q1 win at a neutral court. But still.

They get a rested Cornhuskers outfit that hamblasted them in their only meeting of the year, so this should be a tight one. If Michigan can't improve it's three point shooting from the opener—and the first game—it won't be.

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.

Note: all MPG numbers from Nebraska's last five games as that is more representative.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 5 Glynn Watson Jr. 6'0, 173 78 22 99 Yes
39/28 shooter has excellent A:TO ratio. Let him shoot.
G 11 Anton Gill Sr. 6'3, 195 56 15 115 No
Just A Shooter hitting 39%.
F 24 James Palmer Jr. 6'6, 210 81 29 110 Sort of
Has amped up alpha-ness since last meeting. Huge FT rate, 52% on a lot of unassisted twos.
F 13 Isaac Copeland Sr. 6'3, 195 85 20 115 No
Good-at-bad-shots guy hits 44% on 2PJ that are half his shots. Range out to 3.
C 14 Isaiah Roby Jr. 6'8, 225 76 18 120 No
Guards 1-5 w top 100 block rate. Busted out in B10 play, 125 ORTG and top FT rate in conference.
G 15 Evan Taylor So. 6'5, 208 49 18 113 No
Baffling gent shoots 43/47 but has ~85% of his usage from two. Gets to line.
C 32 Jordy Tshimanga So. 6'11, 268 34 20 85 Very
Remains miserable on O. 6.9 fouls/40. Huge OREB rate is main contribution.
G 12 Thomas Allen Fr. 6'1, 180 15 18 96 No
Literally the only bench player < 6'5". Role has shrunk to 6 MPG of late.

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

Hoops Preview: Iowa, Big Ten Tournament

Hoops Preview: Iowa, Big Ten Tournament

Submitted by Brian on March 1st, 2018 at 11:31 AM

Alicia Jay Z film New York video TLH4a_E0tfHxTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #16 Michigan (25-7) vs
#95 Iowa (14-18)
WHERE Madison Square Garden
New York, NY          
WHEN 2:30 PM
LINE Michigan –9 (KenPom)
TV BTN

ayyyyyy i'm just walkin heah

THE US

Postseason time for a Michigan outfit that is streaking, recording five comfortable wins in a row after a nonsense game at Northwestern. Michigan's played themselves on to the five line, per the Matrix—Rhode Island chipped in by getting deathmurdered by St Joe's a couple days ago—and needs this game and tomorrow's to maintain that spot, even tenuously. Make it past the semi and then maybe we're talking about a protected seed.

This game should be a relatively easy one against an Iowa team Michigan has comfortably beaten twice, the second just a couple weeks ago. Fran McCaffrey's unlikely to have another trick up his sleeve in a tournament setting, and Iowa played yesterday.

You never know and all that. Maybe Michigan will shoot four for a zilly from three. They do not have the advantage of a plane crash this time around. Which is good! Unless they lose.

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 3 Jordan Bohannon So. 6'0, 180 78 20 122 Not at all
SG forced to play point, good A:TO ratio. Lethal shooter, but terrible inside the line.
G 4 Isaiah Moss So. 6'5, 205 59 22 111 No
Multi-purpose O weapon w high shot volume and middling efficiency. Again, force inside line.
F 51 Nicholas Baer Jr. 6'7, 210 43 16 107 Sort of
Defensive pest and OREB threat is mediocre scorer.
F 5 Tyler Cook So. 6'8, 215 67 26 110 Very
Skilled 4/5 took it to M in first matchup, then got DUNCBLASTED two weeks ago.
C 55 Luka Garza Fr. 6'10, 235 50 24 121 Sort of
Rebounding machine w solid block rate, efficient, low TO interior scorer. Excellent long two shooter.
F 35 Cordell Pemsl So. 6'8, 240 42 19 107 Very
Hambeast PF rebounds everything and dunks off assists.
F 20 Jack Nunge Fr. 6'11, 225 41 19 109 No
Stretch 4 still a bit skinny; poor DREB gent.
G 25 Maishe Dailey So. 6'7, 195 40 16 103 No
Super large G is another guy Michigan should run off the line as his efficiency drops inside it.

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

Hoops Preview: Ohio State Part Two

Hoops Preview: Ohio State Part Two

Submitted by Brian on February 17th, 2018 at 2:32 PM

imageTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #27 Michigan (21-7) vs
#16 OSU (22-6)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI          
WHEN 1 PM Sunday
LINE Michigan –1 (KenPom)
TV CBS

obligatory

THE US

It's seeding crunch time for Michigan, and here is a massive opportunity: a QUADRANT ONE GAME at home that they're actually favored in, albeit narrowly. This is the first of three Q1 opportunities Michigan has to close out the season and its most manageable, because of college basketball's home/road refereeing split.

As far as the team goes, your top story is Duncan Robinson May Have Made A Deal With The Devil And We're Fine With That. After a senior year spent mostly scuffling, Robinson is 10/15 from three in his last two games, and paired that with excellent defense against Iowa's Tyler Cook. A version of Michigan that has a 42% from three Duncan Robinson is a much more threatening one.

And if Charles Matthews could get off the mat at the same time... I mean, probably not. But maybe!

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 3 CJ Jackson Jr. 6'1, 175 75 23 109 No
Plus usage shot generator; all threes assisted but very few twos. 2PJ main weakness. Good not great A:TO.
G 15 Kam Williams Sr. 6'2, 185 58 15 107 No
Just A Shooter, though about half of those are inside the arc. Just 11% of his shots at rim. Very good shooter though.
F 33 Keita Bates-Diop Jr. 6'7, 235 80 27 118 No
kPOY candidate is very efficient at all three levels w/ big usage. DREB vacuum. Post-like block rate, low TOs.
F 1 Jae'Sean Tate Sr. 6'8, 215 73 23 108 Very
Junkyard dog gets to rim for almost two thirds of his shots. Not an OREB threat this year.
C 34 Kaleb Wesson Fr. 6'9, 270 50 24 126 Very
Insanely good TO rate for post, gets to line, converts, frequently in foul trouble. OREB beast.
F 24 Andre Wesson So. 6'6, 220 44 13 84 Yes
32% TO rate and takes most of his shots from three, where he's hitting 28%.
G 13 Andrew Dakich Sr. 6'2, 190 45 11 116 No
You probably remember him. This year he's getting open threes and hitting them. Really high TO rate.
F 2 Musa Jallow So. 6'5, 200 39 13 89 Yes
SF and thing Jar-Jar Binks says hitting 28% from three, where most of his shots are, and turning it over.
C 0 Micah Potter So. 6'9, 240 23 21 119 Yes
Poor man's Wesson has similarly insane TO rate, hits FTs, efficient scorer. FT rate not as good.

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

Hoops Preview: Iowa Part Two

Hoops Preview: Iowa Part Two

Submitted by Brian on February 14th, 2018 at 1:39 PM

frannyTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #27 Michigan (20-7) vs
#96 Iowa (12-15)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI          
WHEN 6:30 PM
LINE Michigan –11 (KenPom)
TV BTN

Fran McCaffrey is absolutely correct about Big Ten officiating.

THE US

Michigan overcame the Trohl Center in their most recent outing, and now they get the platonic opposite of the deliberate, steady, clang-tastic Badgers. Michigan's offense continue to oscillate between clobberin' and clobbered, with little in between. This is going to have to be a clobberin' outing, what with Iowa's miserable defense and excellent offense.

This is Michigan's last should-win of the season, with a home game against a very good OSU team next and then two road games against high NIT seeds to finish the season. Losing this one would be a bleah lead in to crunch time.

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 3 Jordan Bohannon So. 6'0, 180 78 20 122 Not at all
SG forced to play point, good A:TO ratio. Lethal shooter, but terrible inside the line.
G 4 Isaiah Moss So. 6'5, 205 59 22 107 No
Multi-purpose O weapon w high shot volume and middling efficiency. Again, force inside line.
F 51 Nicholas Baer Jr. 6'7, 210 43 16 107 Sort of
Defensive pest and OREB threat is mediocre scorer.
F 5 Tyler Cook So. 6'8, 215 67 26 110 Very
Skilled 4/5 took it to M in first matchup. Keep away from rim, if you can.
C 55 Luka Garza Fr. 6'10, 235 50 24 120 Sort of
Rebounding machine w solid block rate, efficient, low TO interior scorer. Some range.
F 35 Cordell Pemsl So. 6'8, 240 42 19 111 Very
Hambeast PF rebounds everything and dunks off assists.
C 20 Jack Nunge Fr. 6'11, 225 41 19 113 No
Stretch 5 still a bit skinny; poor DREB gent.
F 25 Maishe Dailey So. 6'7, 195 40 16 107 No
Wing is another guy Michigan should run off the line as his efficiency drops inside it.

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

Hoops Preview: Wisconsin

Hoops Preview: Wisconsin

Submitted by Brian on February 9th, 2018 at 12:46 PM

imageTHE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #29 Michigan (19-7) vs
#92 Wisconsin (11-15)
WHERE Trohl Center
Madison, WI
WHEN Noon, Sunday
LINE Michigan –2 (KenPom)
TV CBS

Wisconsin has been flexed on repeatedly this year.

THE US

This is Not A Vintage Beilein Offense. It's not the schedule, or some goofy shooting that will clear itself up. It is time we accept the fact that sometimes basketball can be ugly even when the Submaster is in charge, and this is pretty ugly. Michigan's bottoming out at around 60th and slightly above-average in conference play, so that's nice. But the Northwestern game rather confirms suspicions from earlier in the year that this is a team that is going to be in a scuffle most nights.

The alarming plummet of Charles Matthews from budding star to a guy with a 92 ORTG in conference play is a large part of this; free throw shooting and guys like MAAR and Robinson hitting their ceiling is a majority of the rest. You can hold out hope that Michigan is going to have one of those Purdue games again, and they might. But prepare for rock fights.

FWIW, Isaiah Livers is touch and go.

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 34 Brad Davison Fr. 6'3, 205 76 22 104 No
PG-type substance w higher TO rate than A rate, decent shooter and gets to line fairly well.
G 1 Brevin Pritzl So. 6'3, 197 66 16 114 Eh
Just A Shooter-ish, w two-thirds of his shots from deep. 33% shooter there. No TOs.
F 21 Khalil Iverson Jr. 6'5, 210 73 19 103 Extremely
Garbage man at rim (68% of his shots), 0/21 from 3 on year. OREB threat. Gets to line.
F 2 Aleem Ford Fr. 6'8, 215 57 13 115 Not at all
Just A Shooter hitting 47% from deep.
C 22 Ethan Happ Jr. 6'10, 235 75 36 107 Very
Post monster has top 20 assist rate nationally but has too much on his shoulders to be efficient.
F 35 Nate Reuvers Fr. 6'10, 215 34 22 94 Eh
Stretch four takes a ton of 2PJ at 36%, meh three point shooter. Doesn't rebound much.
F 20 TJ Schlundt Jr. 6'5, 197 17 10 81 Very
Yes, I expect you to believe that Wisconsin has a bench player named "TJ Schlundt."
F 25 Alex Illikainen Jr. 6'9, 231 15 8 116 Sort of
It is extremely disappointing that Illikainen never worked out because his last name makes for excellent headline fodder.

Note that we assume D'Mitrik Trice is not available. Trice has not played since December 6th.

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

Preview: 2018 Outback Bowl

Preview: 2018 Outback Bowl

Submitted by Brian on December 31st, 2017 at 1:54 PM

aussie-sterotypes-vegemiteEssentials

WHAT Michigan (8-4) vs
South Carolina (8-4)
WHERE Tampa Stadium
Tampa Bay, FL    
WHEN Noon Eastern           
January 1, 2018
THE LINE Vegas: M –7.5         
S&P+: M –8.3
TELEVISION ESPN2
TICKETS can be had
WEATHER overcast, mid-50s, slight chance of rain

MGoBlog: gleefully partaking in Australian stereotypes since 2004

Overview

Michigan's January 1st outing against South Carolina takes on a bizarre new importance since the Big Ten is currently 7-0 in bowl games and Michigan is the last of their conference's teams to play. I don't know what's more shocking: the 7-0 or the fact that Michigan is the only Big Ten team playing on New Year's Day. Remember when, like, 7-5 Northwestern teams played on NYD? I'm confused.

The good news for both Michigan and the league is that this matchup looked like one of the more lopsided bowl matchups of the year even before the conference chaingunned all comers. South Carolina has an even hollower 8-4 than Michigan does and has generally played like a 6-6 team, per S&P+. If Michigan's passing game is at all functional they should run away and hide.

About that, though.

Run Offense vs South Carolina

USATSI_8874938_168381178_lowres

Skai Moore could play for Don Brown

South Carolina is one of those YOU WILL NOT RUN ON US teams, and they've been fairly successful in that department (24th). They rely on their DL to make plays in the backfield and generally read-and-react their linebackers; All-SEC performer Skai Moore is a viper-ish sort (220 pounds) who excels at diagnosing and attacking. His 15 run stuffs leads the team by a wide margin.

The Gamecocks are still skating along with middling talent and making sacrifices in the passing game to prop their run defense up, though, and that comes through in the stats. Most prominently: they're one of the worst teams in the country(123rd) at stopping short yardage. They do a fairly good job as a team; they keep gains down and don't get gashed on the regular, but other than Moore they're just a bunch of guys. Ace:

The front four did a solid job of holding their ground given Clemson's excellent run-blocking. They're a big group with Stallworth at 305 pounds and the nose tackles, Javon Kinlaw and Ulric Jones, both checking in well north of 300. Clemson still had success running between the tackles, however, for a couple reasons. First, there were a number of one-guy-blows-it plays when an SC lineman would try to shoot a gap and get sealed off. Second, the non-Moore linebackers didn't make many plays and frequently got caught up in the wash.

TJ Brunson, the middle linebacker, looked like the linebacker most often unable to get to the ballcarrier. There were a number of plays that Moore had to pursue from behind and hold down to keep from breaking into the secondary.

Notable that this game was out of hand in a flash and Clemson probably put away any wrinkles since they had the ACC championship game the next weekend. A Michigan team that doesn't have a game for eight months will probably have a number of things they'll use to get the opposition chasing the wrong guy or filling the wrong gap for just long enough.

Michigan's approach here is unlikely to change from their second-half mash party, but some of the faces might. Ben Bredeson and Juwann Bushell-Beatty did not participate in the open seconds of some bowl practices and eagle-eyed observers caught a practice video featuring Mike Onwenu at left guard. Your bowl OL might read Cole-Onwenu-Kugler-Ruiz-Some Guy, with Jon Runyan Jr. the likeliest Some Guy. This is unlikely to make much impact since Bredeson played no better than Onwenu and the right tackle has been a rotating disaster zone all year. Something to keep an eye on, in case the switches and absences do exacerbate an already unstable situation. That's more likely in pass protection than on the ground, though Runyan does project as a downgrade from the forceful Bushell-Beatty.

Also in injury issues: neither Ty Isaac or Kareem Walker is expected to play, so Higdon and Evans should get the vast majority of the carries. O'Maury Samuels is the only other back on the roster who is available and not redshirting.

It's worth noting that Michigan's very, very quietly a top-ten rush offense in S&P+ at #9, and that their performance went almost directly upwards after a mid-season switch to a more power-based mashing style. With South Carolina's mediocre stuff rate and line yards allowed plus their short yardage issues, grinding seems like a strong possibility.

KEY MATCHUP: JON RUNYAN JR vs WHOEVER. Runyan was presumably on the bench for a reason. He's got a shot now, probably, and if he can cope on the ground he could be another bullet in the chamber at tackle.

[Hit THE JUMP for... dink dink dink, on both sides.]