Unverified Voracity Rides The Dolphin

Unverified Voracity Rides The Dolphin

Submitted by Brian on January 28th, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Pretty much. Midnight Maize returns with MS Paint sidearm:

nik1[1]

I do not know why Petway is riding a dolphin.

Brackets. Surveying the panoply of brackets at the Bracket Matrix gives the impression that to most Michigan is currently a three seed. Michigan's currently the last one overall, but the Matrix generally lags as brackets are up to a week old. They're on the cusp of a 2, especially with Oklahoma State losing last night.

That's where Jerry Palm has them, in a rather unpleasant region with potential rematches against Stanford (the 11), Iowa State(the 2) and Arizona(the 1) plus winged-helmet-on-winged-helmet crime in the opener against Delaware. There is  exactly no reason to get exercised about team placement in a random January bracket, I know. I just am not feeling positive about that business.

More on Aneurysm Two. Beilein has not and apparently will not disclose what set him off, but when MLive is getting screenshots from youtube of the LeVert layup attempt that was (officially) blocked by Appling, it seems that everyone agrees. Beilein, for his part, on Stauskas getting him away from the spittle exchange:

“Yeah, that was a good assist by him,” Beilein said of Stauskas in the postgame press conference. “He was a little rough with me, too. I was in control, though, believe it or not.”

I do not entirely believe it, and if it was anyone other than John Beilein I would be snorting in derision. Also:

"(Stauskas) made a great move there because I was an innocent bystander at the time," Beilein said. "At any rate, we got through that. That would have been a shame if I would have gotten a technical at that time."

The implication there is that Beilein started barking at this Wymer guy and it was Wymer who got in his face. Imagine that happening to, say, Tom Izzo. It does not compute. No wonder he blew up.

Coach Mitch. Presented without context.

“I’m Coach Mitch,” McGary said to reporters after the game Saturday.

Also, another photo in the Horford/McGary odd couple bin:

amf.BKC_.vsnorthwestern.1.5.13.176[1]

Photographers, you have been notified that side by side shots of McGary and Horford are of bottomless joy and utility.

Aw man. I was just getting into the swing of calling the Huskers something like Increasingly Dangerous Nebrasketball™ and they had to go and kick Deverell Biggs off the team.

[checks kenpom]

Nevermind! Biggs was a unique combination of high volume and absolutely miserable efficiency: his usage rate was 35th nationally and his ORTG 92nd. I'm only thinking this is a major loss because Biggs had 14 points against Michigan. Now I am worried abut Michigan's defense. More worried.

Just another Alabama offseason. Alabama fans believe they will take 27 kids in this recruiting class, which means they'll have to eject eight guys from the program. Unless it's actually eleven, ie, the different between Michigan signing the 16 or 17 they expect to this year and a near-NCAA maximum class. At least Bama fans are no longer able to deny what's happening with sleight of hand, and have to admit they don't care:

Don't care.

Scholarship limits are designed to limit student-athlete opportunities in the name of competitive balance. Those who laud scholarship limits while suggesting that oversigning is harmful to student-athletes are hypocrites.

Next question.

I knew I shouldn't have worn my I LAUD SCHOLARSHIP LIMITS t-shirt today. The only thing more endangered by Alabama than backup offensive linemen are strawmen.

Injuries issues for Wisconsin hockey. Badger defenseman Tyler Barnes will be out for this weekend's series at Yost. Nick Kerdiles, a first round pick, is questionable after missing the Michigan series in Madison. Even if they get a weakened version of the Badgers, Michigan is going to have to significantly step up their game to compete with the #5 scoring offense in the country.

Wow, Yost. Remember that? It's January 28th and this is the first game at Yost since December 11th. Scheduling. I am not impressed with it. If they're going to have all these bye weeks because the conference tournament is one weekend instead of three, they should endeavor to fill breaks like last week with nonconference series. I very much want to go to hockey in January, because it's a star attraction. In the heart of football season it's not.

Well now. There's been a kind-of-bonkers rumor floating around the past few years that when Red retires, one of the primary candidates to replace him will be Mike Babcock. Here is the first circumstantial evidence this is not something a twelve year old posted on a message board:

“He always mentions that -- (coaching college hockey) at some point -- when we talk,” Berenson said. “When he's done (in the NHL), he could see himself doing that. He's a student of the game and understands academics and sports and life after hockey."

IIRC, Red's tentative plan is to serve out the next two years of his contract and then hang it up. If Babcock wants the job I think we might let him have it.

Etc.: Obituary of the year. Venric Mark will return for Northwestern. Hockey moves up its recruiting calendar by six months so coaches can talk to guys before the CHL drafts. Nebraska's new ice rink will not support D-I hockey. Oh man I forgot to put the fact that MSU was favored by five by Vegas in the 30 for 30 pitch.

NEW BLACK HEART GOLD PODCAST THEME SONG

!!!

Unverified Voracity Braces For Departure

Unverified Voracity Braces For Departure

Submitted by Brian on January 21st, 2014 at 12:54 PM

amf.WRS_.vsminnesota.1.19.14.1745AA_1[1]

ROAR [Allison Farrand/Daily]

SHERMAN'D. Congrats to Michigan wrestling, which took down #2 Minnesota over the weekend thanks to a dramatic OT win by heavyweight Adam Coon over Minnesota's two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson. Well done, sirs.

Meanwhile, Dave Brandon captured the most important part of the meet:

Kudos to you sir on your triumphant victory.

Well… that sounds not ideal. Michigan's been extraordinarily fortunate to have their supposedly-middling recruits blow up into NBA first-rounders (yes even if we assume that John Beilein is a crazy talent evaluation ninja), but also kind of sort of unfortunate that their super good players have been of the variety the NBA covets instead of terrific college players the pros are indifferent to, like McDermott/Payne/Craft/Berggren etc.

You thought Nik Stauskas might be one of those four year awesome guys, but… uh… you've probably seen him play of late. And unless Joe Dumars clones himself and gets himself appointed to every other NBA GM job, chances are the NBA will think he's pretty good. If they do, don't expect Stauskas to pull the McGary. From a recent SI profile on the most swag Canadian:

“He sees the brass ring, like three inches away from his nose,” [father] Paul Stauskas said. “He knows all he has to do is keep his nose to the grindstone for another couple of months, and there’s a really good possibility he might be able to go pro. He’s working really hard to achieve that.”

Can't begrudge the kid, obviously, but a Stauskas departure would leave Michigan a bit thin next year on the wings. Also they would not have Hypothetical Junior Nik Stauskas, which…

homer-drooling[1]

The ideal is that the Uber-Loaded 2014 NBA Draft™ convinces Stauskas to return for one more year. I would brace for departure impact if Stauskas keeps doing what he's doing, though.

GRANDPA ASSASSIN. John Beilein's version of the Richard Sherman promo in the aftermath of the Wisconsin win:

"I don't care," the Michigan coach said Monday night, later adding, "It will be a good win if we have a great season." …

"Things that happen during the year, yeah, they’re cool and our guys like them. But where people are rated right now is such a projection. You can beat a team (that is) No. 1 in the country and by the end of the year, they might not even be in the top 25. So did you really beat the No. 1 team in the country?

"Here’s what it is: Any road win, I don’t care if we go to Concordia to play, is a quality, quality win. And (Wisconsin) was a quality win."

A requirement given Michigan's next two games. Me, I'm refreshing Kenpom every five minutes.

Tim Miles is okay by me. Nebraska picked up its first Big Ten win of the season last night, beating Ohio State at home. In the aftermath, Husker coach Tim Miles told BTN  that he should probably go jump around during his post-game interview, and then took a selfie with a fan on the court.

BeemQz8CQAAXU0a[1]BeejAVcIMAANeg7[1]

Miles also has an entertaining-for-a-coach, actually-him twitter account and a Beilien-esque track record of success at smaller schools that led him to Nebraska. Viva Tim Miles. Viva Nebrasketball.

Lohan come back. Injured Michigan defenseman Kevin Lohan is badly needed with the Wolverines leaking goals and slipping in the pairwise. He should be back soon:

Right now, Lohan says he’s at about 90 percent — while the recovery process has been long and arduous, he’s progressing well ahead of schedule. On Nov. 5, Berenson said the injury was a “worst-case scenario” and that it would take at least three months until the defenseman had a chance to play again.

“He’s doing really well,” Berenson said. “He’s pretty close to going all-out.”

He won't play this weekend's series against MSU; the next week or the week after are targets for a return. Mike Spath reports that when he does come back, only Bennett, Downing, and Sinelli(!) are safe. This says much about the development, or lack thereof, from Clare and Serville.

Wisconsin takes. They come from the Daily, UMHoops, Maize and Brew, and MLive. Meanwhile, Fran McCaffery lays it on a teeny bit thick in the lead up to Wednesday's showdown with Iowa:

“If you look at John over the years, he’s one of the best coaches of our generation,” said McCaffery, who will bring Iowa to the Crisler Center on Wednesday. “And the numbers bear that out. He’s going to stick with his style of play. They play a certain way. They can beat you in halfcourt, they can beat you in transition, they’re going to guard you.

"His offense is really sound, it’s not easy to guard and he’s going to plug the people into those positions and he’s going to go to those guys."

Meanwhile, Beilein provided an informative update on what's going on with redshirting Mark Donnal:

"He’s increased his strength a great deal. He’s probably like Horford or Morgan as far as a rebounder. Great hands. But he’s so much stronger than he was. He’s country strong anyhow, I mean he’s strong. He’s gaining weight. The one thing he has, which I’m looking forward to coaching, is he can really shoot the ball. He can really pass the ball. When you have big men who can do that, it can really open up your offense. But this was absolutely the right decision, because in all the other things freshmen go through — learning the offense but most importantly, defense — he needed this year to develop.”

Donnal will be Beilein's first post-type substance at Michigan who might resemble Kevin Pittsnogle in any way whatsoever. Will be interesting to see how that works with Michigan's current style of offense, which I assume isn't going away even if Stauskas exits since LeVert and Walton can pick up the pick and roll burden without issue.

Etc: Stauskas on the Journey. Wyatt Shallman shaved his head to look more like a kid at Mott. Michigan much better at offense, worse at defense without McGary, correlation is not causation. Michigan continues to dominate the USA's ice dancing program. Looking at Iowa's success.

Punt-Counterpunt: Nebraska 2013

Punt-Counterpunt: Nebraska 2013

Submitted by Brian on November 9th, 2013 at 11:39 AM

tumblr_lwp3o6y9PQ1r8ifvxo1_400[1]334128[1]

THE INTERNET LOVES PHOTOSHOPPING BO PELINI INTO CAT PHOTOS

Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.

DSC00045_thumb6_thumb1_thumb134_thumPUNT

By Nick RoUMel

We need a good dose of optimism. Like the little boy who got all excited when he got a bag of horse crap for Christmas, happily exclaiming that Santa must have left him a pony outside.

image

But Punt, or Counterpunt - or whatever I am this week - is rarely an optimist. Look what happened last week. I go all giddy and pick Michigan to beat the Spartans, despite the odds and common sense. We got horse crap instead.

image

It would be so easy to revert to form. Get all grouchy, and say we suck; that we’ll lose to Nebraska, even though they are without seemingly 7th year senior citizen Taylor Martinez, who is tending to his arthritis and bunions.

But - just as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects Punt to be predictable, either.

I therefore unpredictably predict a comfortable Michigan victory, now that we are back in the cozy confines of the Big House. All warm and fuzzy, like retired former Punt, Ken “Sky” Walker, sitting at home, soaking his large feet in Epsom salts, sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea, cursing Al Borges while wrapping his Michigan Snuggie close, like so:

imageimage

Meanwhile, Heiko and I will freeze in the cold rain, cheering an embattled Michigan team, which will defy the odds and common sense, and do some crazy, unpredictable things themselves. Like running for positive yardage. Aggressively pursuing the opponent’s young, inexperienced quarterback. And the craziest thing of all?

Michigan won’t be the softest team on the field.

MICHIGAN 35, NEBRASKA 17

HeikoG_1147_thumb4_thumb_thumb_thumb[2]COUNTERPUNT

By Heiko Yang

Hey, remember when Nebraska won the division and made it to the Big Ten Title game last year?

/dies

Good news! The team visiting the Big House today isn’t that Nebraska team. This year’s edition of the Cornhuskers needed a Hail Mary just to beat Northwestern at home. Wait …

/dies

Sorry sorry. Enough with the self-evisceration. Today is the post-apocalyptic-where-does-society-go-now game. Let’s try to find something in the rubble that isn’t still on fire and start rebuilding.

Michigan got nuked into negative yards rushing last week. Whatever. I’m over it. Today, let’s get positive yards. The kind where someone takes the ball, runs past the line of scrimmage, and gets tackled—not for loss, but for WIN. Yes, I think we would all to see Michigan get tackled for win.

Devin Gardner got sacked like he was Rome last week, only worse and more frequently. Today, let’s see if we can erect a wall some kind of obstacle maybe that could at least moderately hamper any incoming barbarians. I hear Michigan has offensive linemen. They should get really offensive today with personal insults like “you’re fat” or “you remind me of Indiana.” I even recommend name-calling and epithets, because upsetting the opponent is an important step towards slowing them down.

Finally (and somewhat seriously), let’s see if Michigan can show any indication that they’re willing to try something different this time to avoid another apocalypse. Quit screwing around with the gimmicky offensive line stuff. Maybe call a running play out of the ace formation, and stop going play-action on obvious passing downs. Throw a play-action pass from the inverted veer. I don’t know. Anything at all would be nice. Even just one spread punt would be so reassuring.

Again, I mean, whatever. I’m over it. The sun is out today, and it’s not rainy and disgusting. It’s good to know at least the weather knows how to improve.

Nebraska 30, Michigan 28

Unverified Voracity Found This Too Late

Unverified Voracity Found This Too Late

Submitted by Brian on March 4th, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Source needed, but too good to pass up. This image is awesome.

BaZPIbb[1]

Message board random who posted this only linked to imgur, so it could come from anywhere. UPDATE: Melanie Maxwell of MLive is the photographer.

Burke is of course going WHEEEEEE, and  then the Michigan State folk from L to R are going "welp," "welp," "welp," "I am terrified of all things," and "welp."

All the better to rip your heart out. Burke called his shot with McGary earlier in the game:

Michigan forward Mitch McGary said Appling used a spin move earlier in the game, which Michigan won 58-57, and Burke told him exactly how he was going to swipe the ball.

"He told me whenever (Appling) spins, he puts it in his right hand and it's an easy steal," McGary said. "Tim and I were just hoping he didn't hang on the rim."

Note that if it didn't work Appling would have had a choice between pressing the opportunity presented and giving Michigan a last shot of their own or holding for the final shot—it was an excellent time to go for broke.

Champions are made in the hot tub eating pizza. Greg unearths this great shot of Michigan kicker Bob Bergeron eating pizza in a hot tub that made SI:

sep51984bobb_thumb[1]

He got to keep the pizza. Wild west back then.

CIVILIZATION. This is the end of it. There is nowhere to go but down from this.

Or this.

Gritalanche. It was a gritclone on Saturday. A toughdome.

Michigan's Mitch McGary provides much-needed energy, toughness off bench against Michigan State

It was a tickertocker.

Michigan shows its heart in critical win over MSU

It was a toughygritintestinalblockage.

Michigan finally shows grit, toughness, desperation in gutty win over rival Michigan State

It was a basketforge.

Trey Burke, Michigan show mettle in win over Michigan State

To be fair, John Beilein started it:

“We’ve had some real pretty wins here, where we did everything right and the ball went in and we just played lights-out,” Beilein explained after the win. “Today, it was all about grit.”

Michigan allowed Michigan State to rebound half of their misses. Congratulations to Mike Rothstein, who did not play along.

Burke steals a signature win for Michigan

Or at least his headline writer. You never know who does those things these days.

Make sure you use the right block M, as long as it's some shade of blinding yellow. Via Kyle Meinke, Michigan's persnicketiness about the block M:

BEOUj_8CYAAywis[1]

I'm fine with this. Persnicketiness is good with the whole branding thing. but don't try to tell me that that color maize represents the colors Michigan is using on their uniforms these days. Y'all need to get your persnick on more.

BONUS: Hey, #FFCC000 is what I settled on when I was eyeballing what maize was way back in the blogspot days. I was off on the blue, using #000022. This portion of the post brought to you by things no one cares about but me.

Tiebreaker scenarios. The events of last week have caused an enormous hairball in the Big Ten standings below Indiana. Michigan actually has a not-infinitesimal shot at the title since Indiana finishes with Ohio State and Michigan. These teams are still in the hunt:

  • Indiana: share clinched. Win outright by winning at home versus OSU or @ Michigan.
  • OSU: win out (@ IU, Illinois), Michigan beats IU
  • Michigan: win out (@ Purdue, IU), OSU beats IU
  • Wisconsin/MSU: IU loses out, win UW/MSU game, don't blow last game against low-level opponent.

The chances are not good, but they're not zero. You may shake your fist at the Wisconsin and Penn State games now. In the event that a bunch of teams tie at the same record, Michigan is hurt by going 0-1 against Wisconsin (grrr) and often loses the tiebreaker and gets stuck without a bye in the first round of the Big Ten tourney, playing (grr) Penn State. If Michigan finishes 12-6 in the Big Ten that is at least a 50/50 proposition.

Lolizzo. Classic "my players destroyed the universe, but it's my fault" line:

"We were looking to get Gary a shot at the top of the key or to Keith and we didn't run it right," Izzo said. "We had a couple of freshmen in there that struggled with it. That was my fault."

Izzo : "my fault" :: humans : "just sayin'"

Also.

MINUTES FROM FRESHMEN, M/MSU, 3/3/2013

  • Michigan: 93
  • Michigan State: 72

Etc.: Wojo thing. Everett Cook on setting the trap. MSU highlights reveal glorious 57-0 victory for the People's Team. Five Key Plays.

Dion Harris On The Other Foot

Dion Harris On The Other Foot

Submitted by Brian on January 10th, 2013 at 1:08 PM

1/9/2013 – Michigan 62, Nebraska 47 – 16-0, 3-0 Big Ten

8366598962_4aaf5189ab_z[1]

on mah grind (Bryan Fuller)
also note all five Nebraska players are in this shot looking at Burke

Yesterday's game was an ugly slow-it-down slugfest that brought one particular game to mind: Michigan's matchup with that 2005 Illinois team everyone brings up when they attempt to put this year's offense in historical context. The Illini were 23 games undefeated, Michigan was 3-6 in the league and so injury-wracked that walk-ons Sherrod Harrell, Ashtyn Bell, and John Andrews got 51 minutes between them. Collectively they attempted three shots.

Michigan's strategy consisted of taking the air out of the ball, giving it to Dion Harris with the shot clock winding down, and vaguely hoping. It darn near worked. Michigan kept contact the whole night, leading at points, and eventually went down to a narrow six-point defeat. It was an extreme underdog kind of strategy willing to trade possession-to-possession efficiency for increased variance, because over time Michigan was just going to die.

Better to up the randomness: no turnovers, no transition buckets, all half-court jump shots which can do things like rim out. If basketball had innings, you'd lose by more, on average. It doesn't.

So Nebraska came out determined to make this basketball game an exercise in half-court blithering. Michigan obliged, clanking a series of threes and free throws. They were never really threatened and pulled away for a comfortable win at the end—more comfortable than those amazing Illini, by some distance. By the end they'd fallen a few points short of Kenpom/Vegas, understandable in a game with a mere 57 possessions. By comparison, Michigan's only other game in the 50s this year was Binghamton. Give them the extra ten opportunities at the basket they had against Iowa or Northwestern, and change the tempo of the game to get them, and… well, yeah.

This is what it's like to be the overdog against a team that knows they're nowhere near your level. The opponent tries to whittle down the time and opportunities you have to display your superiority, and when your keep coming up craps on your shots things get a little sticky. This game serves as a reminder that the great hand of fate is waiting to crush you, but shouldn't impact expectations going forward much, if at all.

Anyway, bullets:

Redundant Bullets Header Section

Photos. From Bryan Fuller:

Concerns: do we have them should we have them what? Yeah, a couple. One: Michigan had only six assists on 21 makes. At times it seemed like too much of the offense was guys going one on one. Maybe that was just Nebraska's defensive philosophy? I don't recall much help defense or switching. Six is a really low number, though, and I don't think that was all on shots that usually go down not doing so.

Two: Nebraska was able to keep their turnovers way down (just six). Turnover avoidance is the only bright spot on their offense, so again this may be part of their extreme underdog philosophy. It would be nice to have a defense that could pick up steals to spur Michigan's excellent transition offense; at this point that does not seem to be in the cards.

Pounding the glass. Michigan's offense actually reached a respectable 1.1 PPP by the game's end despite subpar shooting everywhere because they had their usual lack of turnovers and they pounded the offensive boards. Michigan grabbed 41% of their misses, with three to each of the frontcourt guys (McGary, Morgan, Robinson) and a whopping five "team" offensive rebounds that IIRC were mostly Mitch McGary being a possession-generating animal. Like that one where he was roaring out of bounds and flung it off a Nebraska player. That's probably a "team" rebound.

Because of that, McGary's impact on the box score was considerably lower than I expected it would be after watching the game: 1/4 shooting, three OREB, three DREB, a block, a steal, 18 minutes. That looks like not much, but my eyes are all like "he is rounding into form as a monster possession-generator." Back to back with the Iowa game it's exciting to see him round into a guy who makes an impact whenever he hits the floor, which he will do literally at times. Frequently, even. I bet he dives at squirrels on the Diag if they're orange enough.

8365486645_c119789620_b[1]UHN. Tweet of the night:

Chantel Jennings@ChantelJennings

Remember when Zack Novak won the Michigan dunk contest?

Tweet of the night #2:

@Bry_Mac

I feel like I just watched a Michigan State football game

Tweet of the night #3, in response to #2:

@ChadKieft

@Bry_Mac Let's make T Shirts!! #WhataGame

[ed: reference to this]

Tweet of the night #4, in re: Minnesota:

@KurtASees

Please write your own term papers, please write your own term papers, please write your own term papers... #gophers

And Tweet of the night #5, in re lol:

BAOMYQpCAAIZcoE[1]

via Kyle Lenderman

Periodic Hardaway complete player alert. Just one assist in this game, which is not a huge surprise with six total, but made up with an 11-DREB double-double. Nebraska got just 18% of their misses, which is fantastic. Also it is perhaps further evidence of extreme underdog strategy: the Cornpack was so focused on getting back to prevent transition opportunities that there was almost never anyone on the glass.

KNITTING LADIES OF CRISLER, WE SALUTE YOU. A Michigan woman comes prepared for commercial breaks.

BANNjryCMAAHw9p[1]BANNjryCMAAHw9p[1]

yeah you know I made this scarf myself

This is becoming a thing.

Periodic bitching about long twos. Gonna do it: in this game there were several instances in which it seemed a player—Burke and Hardaway generally—passed up a good look at a three for a two just inside the line that was at least as difficult a shot. Burke in particular can get that eighteen footer whenever he wants, so unless the shot clock's under ten keep working.

Also in complaints: it seemed like Nebraska went under screens all night and Burke too frequently allowed them to do this instead of pulling up for the three. No hedge and guy goes under screen means that screen is not disrupting the balance of the defense, and the driving lane isn't great since the guy isn't trying to fight through over the top. I'll take an open three from Burke any time.

Stauskas. I'm watching Stauskas get to the basket and dish impressive assists and wonder a bit about next year. If Burke and Hardaway are gone, isn't he going to be the primary creator on offense? I guess it'll depend on how good Derrick Walton is and how much GRIII develops his handle. Smooth out some of Stauskas's rough edges with an offseason, though, and he's a credible shot creator.

Gauntlet: now. The next month of Michigan's season:

  • @ OSU
  • @ Minnesota
  • Purdue
  • @ Illinois
  • Northwestern
  • @ Indiana
  • OSU
  • @ Wisconsin
  • @ Michigan State

Here it is. Purdue and Northwestern should be slam dunks, and I'm not too worried about Wisconsin no matter where it is this year. Then you've got a couple should-wins (OSU at home, @ Illinois) and the four road games that will decide damn near everything. Win all the should-wins and go 2-2 there and you've got to be feeling good about winning the league. In all likelihood there are three losses in this stretch, though, and it'll come down to holding down home court against Illinois, State, and Indiana to finish out the year.

Ah yup. I've seen this in my twitter feed a half-dozen times but if you don't have it, here's Chris Paul apropos of nothing:

@Trey_Burke3 I see that move u hit em with 2nite #niiiice

Honestly, if Burke went in the top ten would you blink? I would be like "yep."

I regret I only have but one life to give for excessively elaborate charge calls. Ed Hightower is fine after an incident in which, well:

Michigan-62-Nebraska-47-9-597x398[1]

Dustin Johnston/UMHoops 

If there's a purple heart for referees, there shouldn't be one. Also Hightower has it.

Point schedule. Hey, Pitt engrobulated Georgetown 73-45. Fraudmeter: descending. And West Virginia beat Texas.

Last night West Virginia shot 15% on their 3s and 38% on their 2s on the road. And won.

Texas is horrible. Meanwhile, Illinois is all like OH NO NOT AGAIN:

Since Maui, #Illini are shooting just under 32% from 3. Over 1.0 PPP in 4 of 10 games#zerodimensionaloffense

Illinois just crested 1.0 in that OSU game, BTW. They kind of are thrash.

Death From Above: Nebraska

Death From Above: Nebraska

Submitted by Brian on January 9th, 2013 at 2:54 PM

huskerbasket[1]Hello. Ace was tasked with important things like making Stauskas GIFs and a special treat to be unveiled a bit later, so I'll take over preview duties.

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT Nebraska at Michigan
WHERE Crisler ArenaCenter
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 7PM tonight
LINE Michigan –23 (Kenpom)
TV BTN

The N stands for "nope."

THE THEM

TABTZBTCFLTTPSF.20100330170527[1]

Brandon Ubel must have gotten lost on the way to Wisconsin.
Also, two years ago Nebraska played something called Peru State.

According to Kenpom, the Huskers are the worst team in the league and only a Tim Frazier-less Penn State is anywhere close. A plurality of Nebraska's attempts will come from 6'5" senior Dylan Talley, who has Burke-like usage but shoots 35% from two. No doubt he is the guy saddled with late shot clock heaves that Nebraska's slow-it-down offense obtains plenty of. When he gets a three he knocks it down at a decent 35% clip.

Backcourt partner Ray Gallegos is mostly a standard-issue distance gunner—shots are two-thirds threes, no TOs, assists, or free throws. Unfortunately for the Huskers his plentiful threes are dropping at a 32% rate. When he does get a shot from inside the arc it tends to go down.

Center Brandon Ubel is probably Nebraska's best player. he gets to the line pretty well, hits 80% from there, and hits a little better than half of his relatively frequent twos. His rebounding is only okay and he doesn't do much defensively, but if there's a spot on the floor where Nebraska has any sort of size/athleticism advantage it's in an Ubel-Morgan matchup.

5'9" freshman point guard Benny Parker is almost nonexistent on offense. A third of the time he registers in the box score, it's because he's turned it over; in 15 games he's launched a total of 52 shots. For context, he shoots less often than Spike Albrecht.

There isn't really a fifth starter. Wing David Rivers gets just over half of available minutes; he is a statistical non-entity. 6'6" wing Shavon Shields is a turnover machine as well; his game looks like rim or nothing. Andre Almedia is the most interesting bench player because he's frigging enormous—6'11" and at least 350 despite being listed at 314—and manages to get off the ground enough to have a top-100 block rate and be the team's most effective rebounder on both ends of the floor. He only gets 40% of available minutes, likely because any more would kill him. I'd look for Michigan's athletic bigs to run the floor against the guy.

Finally, junior Mike Peltz makes me wish Kenpom tracked lowest usage: in 15 games he has put up 14 shots despite being on the floor a third of the time.

THE RESUME

Nebraska's best wins are against Valpo and Tulane, fringe KP100 teams. They've lost to Kent State, Creighton, Oregon, and UTEP by double-digits and got blown out by OSU in their Big Ten opener. They did beat Wake Forest and USC—two of the worst major-conference teams in the country—and led Wisconsin at the six-minute mark before falling 47-41.

THE TEMPO-FREE

This is a major-conference version of EMU with a grim offense and okay defense:

eFG% Turnover % Off. Reb. % FTA/FGA
Offense 46.8 (216) 18.6 (75) 25.6 (321) 29.2 (300)
Defense 48.2 (176) 18.7 (265) 24.9 (7) 36.2 (187)

An okay defense relative to the rest of college basketball, that is. Nine Big Ten teams are 52nd are better; only Northwestern and Penn State are worse. They are the worst offense in the league by some distance.

They can't shoot threes, don't shoot many, keep opponent threes to a relative minimum, and offensive rebounds are minimal at both ends of the floor.

Drilling down, the best news for Nebraska is that they own the country's 18th-best free throw defense. Clutch, you guys, clutch.

THE PROTIPS

Show up. The game will proceed from there.

Sag if you want to. Talley's the only guy on the team who's even mediocre at threes.

Iso Burke if you want to. This Parker kid is going to have to check Burke, which good luck, or switch on to a 6'5" player. Either way, he doesn't have a prayer of not getting lit up.

Don't wander off at halftime. Challenge: challenging.

THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES

Michigan by 23

Elsewhere

UMHoops preview. Michigan needs to focus.

Why even pretend Burke has to compete for the Bob Cousy award? Moreover, if there are 20 "finalists," what do you call the guys when you cut it to ten and then five? I hate award PR.

NESBITT ASKS THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

When did it become OK to coo about Michigan basketball?

MY ANSWER IS SIX

At this rate, Caris Levert will be Andre Almedia by his senior year. Horford may return tonight. GRIII hype. He's still outside of Chad Ford's first round, blessed be Chad Ford.

Well, Mr. Baumgardner, I think Michigan will respond to adversity by not having any.

Iowa fans are all like "whoah." Opposing coaches are like "this gives me the heebie-jeebies," literally. Try not to watch most of the Iowa game again now that you have a link.

Gasaway: Michigan is good on offense. #science