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.

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Hoops Preview: Purdue 2018

Hoops Preview: Purdue 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 30th, 2018 at 2:17 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #6 Michigan (6-0) vs
#12 Purdue (5-2)
WHERE Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 3:30 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan -5 (KenPom)
TV ESPN

THE US

A reasonable best-case scenario for Michigan basketball before the season may have included a 7-0 start, but not in the manner Michigan accomplished it. If you drop out preseason projections, Michigan is the top team in the country per Bart Torvik. That's true for the most recent 20-game stretch. There is only one way to respond to this:

There's going to be a bump or three down the road, and the Big Ten's expanded conference schedule provides a potential bump tomorrow: Purdue. Last year's three-game series was electric, with the Matthews Zapruder game at Crisler and then the delirious 1.3 PPP game at Mackey going to Purdue. Michigan picked up a modicum of revenge in the Big Ten title game.

Those games, and the 2016-17 ones, were a battle between Purdue's giant, conventional centers and Moe Wagner's ability to spread the court. They featured Isaac Haas switching onto point guards and Wagner trying not to foul out in three minutes as Haas went to work on the block. Those days will not recur, but the last few years have taught us that a Painter-Beilein matchup is going to be a hell of a thing.

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 Carsen Edwards Jr. 6'1, 200 80 36(!) 116 No
Do-everything G was already top 100 in usage last year, now at Happ level w all four other 2017-18 starters gone. Maintaining his efficiency so far. Shooting 50/39 at 36% usage. Dang.
G 14 Ryan Cline Sr. 6'6, 195 83 19 129 No
Just A Shooter. 41% from deep on 382 career attempts. 33 career FTAs. Rep is he's a pretty good defender.
G 20 Nojel Eastern So. 6'6, 220 64 14 112 Yes
Deeply strange "point guard" who's mostly good on the offensive boards. Shooting almost entirely at rim. Pesky, good defender.
F 24 Grady Eifert Sr. 6'6 220 61 10 135 Probably
Invisible shortish stretch four type only dunks off putbacks/assists and takes the occasional 3. 5/15 from there.
C 32 Matt Haarms So. 7'3, 250 45 24 109 Yes
Dutch windmill is close to same player he was last year but has improved rebounding and usage significantly. Too many TOs to be efficient. Top 30 block rate. Averaging 5.1 fouls/40.
F 12 Evan Boudreaux Jr. 6'8 220 47 25 137 No
Dartmouth transfer looks and plays like 40-year-old Frenchman. Giant OREB rate (21%, third nationally) and non-existent block rate don't match. All his minutes as a stretch 5.
G 55 Sasha Stefanovic Fr.* 6'4", 195 40 12 111 No
Just A Shooter. Composite #374. From Indiana so this isn't a Moe Wagner thing.
G 2 Eric Hunter Fr. 6'3, 170 37 14 117 Maybe?
Composite #151 freshman can't find his shot early on. Too early to really say much, but looks more like a PG than SG.
F 1 Aaron Wheeler Fr.* 6'9, 200 30 15 90 Yes
Stretch four is 4/15 from three on the year and has a bunch of turnovers. #174 composite freshman.

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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. ]

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Preview: The Game 2018

Preview: The Game 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2018 at 1:29 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Ohio State image
WHERE Ohio Stadium
Columbus, OH
WHEN Noon Eastern Like God Intended
THE LINE Michigan –4.5
TELEVISION FOX
TICKETS exist
WEATHER scattered showers clearing up after first Q
cloudy, 50 degrees, ~10 mph wind

Overview

Ohio State university has existed in relative obscurity for most of its 200 years as a small teacher's school in Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin. It was only the recent discovery of a 20,000-year-old mass grave unprecedented in the history of the pre-Columbian Americas that brought the school to the attention of history departments across the continent. It's a tremendous find, one that will reshape our perceptions of an entire hemisphere.

Apparently they have a football team as well? Wonders never cease.

[Hit THE JUMP for NOT YOUR ONE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER'S OHIO STATE OFFENSE]

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Preview: Indiana 2018

Preview: Indiana 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 16th, 2018 at 1:01 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Indiana indiana
WHERE Michigan Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 4 Eastern
THE LINE Michigan –28.5
TELEVISION FS1
TICKETS exist
WEATHER cloudy, mid to low 30s,
immediate aftermath
of a fair amount of snow

Overview

This is year two post-Kevin Wilson, and the Wile E Coyote year has passed into the plummet stage. The Hoosiers are in the same range they usually are, battling for a bowl bid after surprisingly competitive games against Penn State and Ohio State that turned into inevitable Ls.

But also they've escaped Rutgers by a touchdown, gotten blasted by Iowa, and currently sit 82nd on offense in S&P+. They're 81st overall. The record doesn't show the step back from the old #chaosteam ways, but this is not the super-feisty Indiana of years past. They're almost dead average in tempo now. Which, like, what? How you gonna roll up on a big boy with a non-incoherent defense and win? Not that they won those games before. But they were more interesting about it!

Bah. 

[Hit THE JUMP for Just Some Guys]

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Hoops Preview: Villanova 2018

Hoops Preview: Villanova 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 14th, 2018 at 5:06 PM

1985_villanova_logo.0THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #25 Michigan (2-0) vs
#6 Villanova (2-0)
WHERE Finneran Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA
WHEN 6:30 PM
LINE Villanova –7 (KenPom)
TV FS1

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

THE US

Michigan faces its first test of the 2018-19 season tonight with a true road game in a band-box (the Pavilion is Yost-sized) against the defending national champions… or at least the bits of that team that aren't in the NBA. For Michigan, though, it's more about reassembling an offense in the absence of MAAR, Moe Wagner, and Duncan Robinson.

The parts look like they're there. The shots look like pretty good shots. Michigan's EFG% after two games is 320th. There is a strong probability that's not a thing. Now would be a good time to demonstrate that it's not.

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 5 Phil Booth Sr. 6'3, 194 75 23 151 No
Sixth man last year shot 53/38 on 18% usage with close to 1:1 A:TO. Did little in title game. X can probably lock him down.
G 24 Joe Cremo Sr. 6'4, 191 54 16 137 No
Albany grad transfer was go to guy; projects as Just A Shooter at high-major level. 46% last year.
G 2 Collin Gillespie So. 6'3, 183 54 17 153 No
So will hope to expand game after a Just A Shooter FR year where he hit 39% from deep. Major assist rate uptick against early season tomato cans. Still taking 2/3rds of his shots from behind the line.
F 15 Saddiq Bey Fr. 6'8 220 54 17 151 No
Composite #138 freshman is 4/6 from line, 2, and 3 so far this year.
F 25 Eric Paschall Sr. 6'8, 255 58 30 134 No
Stretch five was deadly from 3 last year after 1/27 start. 1/5 this year. Usage increase from 18 to 30 unsustainable. Did little in title game.
F 23 Jermaine Samuels So. 6'7, 220 51 23 105 No
4 MPG last year. 3/9 from 3 this year, ton of blocks against low-majors. #46 composite croot in 2017.
G 2 Jahvon Quinerly Fr. 6'1", 17 41 19 64 Maybe?
Composite 5* was #29 recruit last year. Early struggles: 43 TO rate, 2.9 from three.
C 2 Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree So. 6'9, 226 45 13 134 Yes!
Traditional-ish post player will allow comfy Teske matchups for his time on the floor.

 

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

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Preview: Rutgers 2018

Preview: Rutgers 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 9th, 2018 at 3:58 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Rutgers wsj_gfx_v48_12.5.9.4
WHERE Homesure Lending Stadium
Piscataway, NJ
WHEN 3:30 Eastern
THE LINE Michigan –38.5
TELEVISION BTN
TICKETS exist
WEATHER sunny, around 40
15 mph wind

Overview

Rutgers is #126 in S&P+. Teams that S&P+ thinks are better than Rutgers include San Jose State, UTEP, Central Michigan, and Kansas. That latter is pretty logical since Rutgers lost to Kansas 55-14. That's the most points Kansas has put up since 2007. Kansas has since fired their coach. For only beating Rutger by 41.

[Hit THE JUMP for A HALF-ASSED PREVIEW. QUARTER-ASSED if we're being REAL]

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Preview: Penn State 2018

Preview: Penn State 2018 Comment Count

Brian November 2nd, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Penn State 8185794694
WHERE Michigan Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 3:45 Eastern
THE LINE Michigan –12
TELEVISION ESPN
TICKETS exist
WEATHER cloudy, high 40s
0% chance of rain

Overview

Life after Saquon Barkley and Joe Moorhead has been odd for Penn State. The Nittany Lions spent the first third of the year almost losing to Appalachian State and screwing around for 30 minutes against overmatched foes before hitting ludicrous speed. There's no better summary of this period than the Illinois game, in which Illinois had a third quarter lead(!) and lost 63-24.

The last four games have been a series of one-score games that got weirder by the week. Penn State blew the Ohio State game, again, by giving up a 90-yard TD drive that was almost exclusively screens. Against Michigan State, Penn State gave up a game-losing 76 yard TD drive on which Felton Davis was single covered with 19 seconds left. Indiana surged into a late lead the next week and lost narrowly—which isn't actually weird at all, now that I think about it—despite outgaining Penn State 554-417.

Last week, Iowa and Penn State played El Gaffeco in a driving rainstorm; at one point Iowa had 14 points. This is a completely normal number of points. Iowa acquired them via a field goal, two safeties, and a touchdown pass from a punter to a defensive lineman. At one point Franklin had to be physically restrained from calling a timeout after a change of possession.

This ended up not being a change of possession. So, yeah. That kind of season.

Anyway, they're a bland B+ kind of team when you zoom out. When you zoom in they're a horror film that can't decide who the bad guy is.

[Hit THE JUMP for MERCIFUL RELIEF FROM THE RAIN OF DEATH]

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Preview: Michigan State 2018

Preview: Michigan State 2018 Comment Count

Brian October 19th, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Michigan State 636646628339902062-AP-Michigan-State-Board-of-
WHERE Spartan Stadium
East Lansing, MI
WHEN Noon Eastern
THE LINE Michigan –7
TELEVISION FOX
TICKETS exist
WEATHER cloudy, high 40s
15 mph winds
"showers"

trash

Overview

I could say a bunch of stuff here or I could just embed this chart, which would be a very on-brand thing to do:

msu spread

FFS.

Now, the Harbaugh bits of this are benign—at least as they relate to expectations moving forward. The last three years have featured a fumbled punt, MSU's Defeat With Dignity fourth quarter, and John O'Korn and his five turnovers immediately after his fool's gold Purdue game. This does not constitute a pattern. Last year's game saw MSU receive 24 points of turnover luck in a four-point win. MSU has not had the giant tactical advantages they had when Brady Hoke was squinting from the sideline. Vegas has vastly more data on Michigan's quarterback, and the weather…

FFS.

[Hit THE JUMP for THE USUAL, ON ONE SIDE OF THE BALL]

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Preview: Wisconsin 2018

Preview: Wisconsin 2018 Comment Count

Brian October 12th, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Wisconsin cheese-varieties
WHERE Michigan Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 7:30 Eastern
THE LINE Michigan –9.5
TELEVISION ABC
TICKETS exist
WEATHER clear, mid-40s
minimal wind

Overview

This was supposed to be The Year for Wisconsin. Returning senior quarterback with a sexy geography name: check. Eight—literally eight—offensive linemen to rotate in and out, including three of the best players in the country: check. This year's ore from the Inexhaustible Linebacker Mines Of Sheboygan: uhhhhhhhhh, check-ish.

Then half their defense got injured and someone named "Squally Canada" showed them their own intestines and their near-automatic kicker had a poorly-timed malfunction. Wisconsin lost to BYU and Tanner Mangum. Yes, that Tanner Mangum.

Relatively comfortable wins against Iowa and Nebraska have all but locked up Yet Another Big Ten West crown almost before the conference season began, and their offense is the steamroller you'd expect, but that defense is turning this from The Year to The Usual Year. Thus the two-score spread.

[Hit THE JUMP for THE USUAL, ON ONE SIDE OF THE BALL]

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