Hoops Preview: Northwestern 2018

Hoops Preview: Northwestern 2018 Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2018 at 3:08 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #5 Michigan (8-0) vs
#46 Northwestern(6-2)
WHERE Welsh-Ryan Arena
Evanston, IL
WHEN 9 PM
LINE Michigan –6 (Kenpom)
TV BTN

THE US

This is going very well!

Michigan is undefeated and if they can brave the new Welsh-Ryan there's a very good chance they get through the year unscathed. They've unleashed beatdowns on every opponent so far, but Northwestern provides a couple of potential roadblocks.

One: it's a road game. All basketball teams have weird road games where they shoot horribly and the refereeing seems absurdly tilted. Two: last year Northwestern bottled up Michigan's offense in two ugly  games by playing a lot of zone, and pretty much the last "oh no what if" left in this season is "what if they play a good zone D." As you'll see, the Wildcats have the length to make their zone annoying indeed.

At some point Michigan is going to look mortal, and this is a good candidate. Hopefully their defense carries them through even if that's the case. The alternative is more red flowers down below us.

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 11 Anthony Gaines So. 6'4, 200 58 15 93 Yes
Never shoots, for good reason. 43/27 last year and worse this year. TO rate of 28 is awful. Blocks a lot of shots for a 6'4" guard though?
G 14 Ryan Taylor Sr. 6'6, 195 79 20 112 No
Evansville grad transfer. Finding life in a major conference much more difficult but still a low-TO guy and shooting is shooting. Early scuffles (31% from three) probably a mirage, must check.
F 21 AJ Turner Jr. 6'7, 188 80 19 99 Maybe?
BC transfer. Decent numbers as a low-usage guy there two years ago; currently getting to the line a ton at 88% and missing all his threes.
F 4 Vic Law Sr. 6'7 200 78 26 117 No
Stretch four with low-ish TO rate shooting 48/45 is most Beilein player on NW roster.
C 5 Dererk Pardon So. 6'8, 250 77 22 125 Yes
I just learned that dude has an extraneous R in his name. WTF! Crushing it so far with top 20 OREB rate, 66% from floor with 22 usage early. Both are big steps forward.
C 22 Pete Nance Fr. 6'10 210 33 18 93 Maybe
Erstwhile M recruit chose poorly. Miniscule rebounding numbers on both ends, shooting too early to tell. Beanpole.
C 25 Barret Benson Jr. 6'10", 240 23 16 109 Yes
Just another backup C. JABC? JABC.
G 2 Ryan Greer Fr. 6'2, 185 21 18 65 Yes
Composite #341 is closest thing to PG on roster. Miserable in all facets so far after reclassifying to 2018.
F 23 Miller Kopp Fr. 6'7, 210 33 25 94 No
Composite #116 FR off to good start from three but miserable inside line, lot of TOs.

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

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