A Look At The Big Ten Remaining Schedules #2

A Look At The Big Ten Remaining Schedules #2

Submitted by GOLBOGM on February 10th, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Part one last weekend: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/look-big-ten-remaining-schedules


This is long- if you don't like that move on....

First up current standings:

MSU 9 2
MICH 8 3
WISC 8 3
OSU 7 4
MINN 5 5
PURD 5 6
IOWA 4 7
NW 4 7
ILL 3 7
NEB 3 8
PSU 0 11

....shakes fist at Wisconsin.....

Next- upcoming schedules, with some scheudle notes:

GAME 12 NEB (3-8) MICH (8-3)  @MSU (9-2) @MINN (5-5) NW (4-7)
GAME 13 PURD (5-6) @NEB (3-8) PSU (0-11) OSU (7-4) @WISC (8-3)
GAME 14 @MSU (9-2) INDIANA (9-2) ILL (3-7) @NW (4-7) MINN (5-5)
GAME 15 @MINN (5-5) @OSU (7-4) @PSU (0-11) NEB (3-8) MSU (9-2)
GAME 16 IOWA (4-7) @MICH (8-3) MSU (9-2) PURD (5-6) @NW (4-7)
GAME 17 OSU (7-4) WISC (8-3) @PURD (5-6) @MSU (9-2)  @IND (9-2)
GAME 18 @MICH (8-3) NW (4-7) IND (9-2) @PSU (0-11) ILL (3-7)
HOME 4 4 4 3 4
ROAD 3 3 3 4 3
vs. top5 3 5 3 2 3
rd top5 2 2 1 1 2
hm top5 1 3 2 1 1
vs. mid5 3 1 2 3 4

You may have noticed from last week I dropped Minnesota.  With 5-losses their odds of competing for a crown have faded too far to include them this time around.


Projected wins and losses are done by better than 50% or worse than 50% to win that game.  After each team’s write-up I will delve into deeper odds (since most teams win/lose unpredictable games obviously- and you can project which games those could be)- so the projected final is if every expected win is a win and every expected loss is a loss...


Projected Wins: NEB, PURD, @ MINN, IOWA, OSU

Projected Losses: @MSU, @ MICH

Simplified Projected Final: 14-4

Middle of the pack schedule of remaining teams- road games at Michigan and Michigan State are very tough- they win one or both of those their chances of winning the conference shoot up.  Sleeper games- At Minnesota, and OSU and Iowa at home- all are possible L’s- they let any of those games slip their chance at the title could slip with it.


Projected Wins: MICH, @ NEB, IND, WISC, NW

Projected Losses: @ OSU, @ UM

Simplified Projected Final: 14-4

Hardest schedule of remaining teams- at least 3 of the 5 games against top 5 are at home- but all three of those home games- Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin are all very, very losable.  Road games at Ohio St. and at Michigan are both likely losses.  Their 14-4 projection is a little tenuous.  While they are favored in my opinion in the three top home games my guess is that there is a slightly better than 50-50 chance one of those becomes losses and they end at 13-5.


Projected Wins: PSU, ILL, @ PSU, MSU, @ PURD, IND

Projected Losses: @MSU

Simplified Projected Final: 14-4

Bold potentially, but the schedule is Michigan’s friend relative to other top-5 teams.  Splitting against MSU seems likely, and the final home game against Indiana very well could decide the conference.  Sleeper game is at Purdue, maybe home at Illinois fighting for the tournament at-large.  PSU twice is a very pleasant upcoming stretch.


Projected Wins: @ NW, NEB, PURD, @ PSU

Projected Losses: @ MINN, OSU, @ MSU

Simplified Projected Final: 12-6

Maybe a little low on Wisconsin because of sheer madness of thinking about the last game but I think they have a tougher chance at winning the conference.  Their projected wins are all safe bets- although home at Purdue could be a sleeper game.  Home at OSU I think they lose because I think OSU is a very good team, and will guard the 3’s better than we did- and I don’t think they have an answer for Thomas- they lost at Ohio State by nine and even though the next game will likely be close I say they lose.  At Minnesota very well could be a win- but I think Minnesota will be playing for a lot in that game and will hold out at home.  At MSU seems very likely to be a loss.


Projected Wins: NW, @ WISC, MINN, MSU, @ NW, ILL

Projected Losses: @ IND

Projected Final: 13-5

Another bold predicted finish.  Although I favor them against Wisconsin on the road and MSU at home it is 50-50 or so one will be a loss.  At Indiana will likely be a loss, and home against an Illinois team fighting for the tournament and away at NW could be tough- as could Minnesota.  They have a tough schedule- but are the favorites in most of them.  If they hold onto all of the games I have them favored in they could definitely compete; however, they have a lot of tough games that could be road blocks for them.  Plus, with 4 losses already they are realistically shooting for a split crown most likely.


 I have a 3 way tie at 14-4 in conference with Indiana, MSU, and Michigan.  But all 14-4 projections are not equal.

One, Indiana and MSU are projected to lose 2 games and UM (OSU also) only 1.  Projecting fewer losses always leaves more room for error.  Even though Wisconsin’s schedule is easier than most of the other top-5’s I do see them falling off. 

MSU has likely the hardest schedule left.  5 games against the top-5, but only two on the road; however, those are the two I see them losing (OSU and Michigan).  I think those are most likely losses, and the chance they lose 1 out of: Michigan at home, Indiana at home, and Wisconsin at home seem decently high.

Indiana also has a tough schedule.  They close at Michigan a distinct disadvantage in that it is the hardest last game of a top-5 (although Michigan home against Indiana obviously is close).  Losing at Michigan and Michigan State seems most likely.  At Minnesota and home against OSU/Iowa/Purdue could all be tricky though.  They could also win one of the games (or both) in the state of Michigan however, so their 14-4 to me seems more likely than MSU’s.

Michigan has perhaps the easiest schedule (Wisconsin could be a bit easier) which is why I have one more loss predcted.  Unfortunately it is the next game- @ MSU.  I have predicted wins at home against MSU and Indiana as well- both of which are hard games.  The rest is easier- 2 games against PSU, and home against Illinois are likely wins, and @ Purdue is hard but winnable.  I actually think Michigan finishing with a loss or less is as likely or better than both MSU and Indiana due to the schedule.

OSU is the other team I said has 1 loss- but they will be hard pressed to do it.  The @ Indiana game is the projected loss; however, the odds of them losing at least one of: @ Wisconsin, Minnesota, MSU, or Illinois seem to be high.  So they have the hardest chances in my opinion to win the conference- particularly outright of any team besides Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin may have the easiest schedule looking at top-5 games (only 2); however, those games (OSU at home and @ MSU) are both games I think they are more likely to lose.  Plus, the next game, @ Minnesota they have likely slightly better than 50% chance of losing.  Although the rest of the schedule: NW home and away, Nebraska t home, Purdue at home, and at PSU seem very likely to be wins- and although they could lose 1- most likely @ NW or home at Purdue they should be able to win all of those- and to win the conference they have to.


Note: I give the odds I estimate as well as the most likely outcome to reach that won-lost record.

  14-2 15-3 14-4 13-5 12-6 Worse
INDIANA <1% 15% 35% 45% 4% 1%
  win out lose @UM or @MSU  lose both @UM and @MSU lose @UM and @MSU and 1 of: PURD, Iowa, OSU, and @Minn both big away games and 2 of others both big away games and 3 of others
MSU <1% 10% 40% 45% 4% 1%
  win out lose @UM or @OSU  lose both @UM and @OSU lose @UM and @OSU and 1 of: UM, IND, WISC both big away games and 2 of others both big away games and 3 of others
MICHIGAN N/A 5% 45% 45% 4% 1%
  already has 3 losses win out lose @MSU only lose @MSU and 1 of: MSU, IND, PURD lose @MSU, and 2 of others lose @MSU and 3 of others
OSU N/A N/A 5% 25% 50% 25%
  already has 4 losses already has 4 losses win out lose @IND only lose @IND and 1 of: @WISC, Minn, MSU, and ILL lose @IND and 2 of others
WISCONSIN N/A <1% 5% 30% 60% 5%
  already has 3 losses win out lose only @MSU lose @MSU, and 1 of: @Minn, OSU, @NW, Purdue lose @MSU, and 2 of others lose @MSU and 3 of others

In conclustion (if you have read this far):

I see very little chance of MSU or IND winning out- obviously if they do they win the conference.

I see three teams with a shot at 3 losses (Wisconsin not so much)- in Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State.  None of these teams are likely to go 15-3 in my opinion- with Michigan a 5% chance, MSU twice that, and Indiana 3 times that.

Most likely the winner (or co-champs) will be 14-4.  All three of Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State have a 50% chance of going 14-4.  So I have Indiana as a slight favorite, followed closely by Michigan State and Michigan.  OSU with 4-losses already is unlikely to win with a 2 game hole, and Wisconsin I see as falling off a bit, and only having a very outside chance at splitting a championship at 14-4.  There are so many tough games left that it's possible 13-5 may be co-champ worthy again- but with two 9-2 teams, and Michigan's schedule it seems very unlikely- although you never know with the BigTen and looking at all the hard games remaining it is possible we see a lot of upsets ahead.

Hope you all enjoyed- and GO BLUE!!!!  If we win at Michigan State coming up be very very pumped- and if we lose don't be do disheartened- the odds are still good for us if we can split with MSU and hold on at home against Indiana.  Also thank god for playing PSU twice!!!

A Look At The Big Ten Remaining Schedules

A Look At The Big Ten Remaining Schedules

Submitted by GOLBOGM on February 4th, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I know I just wrote a diary yesterday....  I hope this one is appreciated!

Below is the remaining schedules for the top-6 BigTen teams:


Game 10 AT ILL 2-7 OSU 7-2 MINN 5-4 AT UM 7-2 IOWA 3-6 AT MSU 7-2
Game 11 AT OSU 7-2 AT WISC 6-3 AT PURD 4-5 IND 8-1 UM 7-2 ILL 2-7
Game 12 NEB 2-8 AT MSU 7-2 UM 7-2 NW 4-6 AT MINN 5-4 WISC 6-3
Game 13 PUR 4-5 PSU 0-9 AT NEB 2-8 AT WISC 6-3 OSU 7-2 AT IOWA 3-6
Game 14 AT MSU 7-2 ILL 2-7 IND 8-1 MINN 5-4 AT NW 4-6 AT OSU 7-2
Game 15 AT MINN 4-5 AT PSU 0-9 AT OSU 7-2 MSU 7-2 NEB 2-8 IND 8-1
Game 16 IOWA 3-6 MSU 7-2 AT UM 7-2 AT NW 4-6 PUR 4-5 PSU 0-9
Game 17 OSU 7-2 AT PUR 4-5 WISC 6-3 AT IND 8-1 AT MSU 7-2 AT NEB 2-8
Game 18 AT UM 7-2 IND 8-1 NW 4-6 ILL 2-7 AT PSU 0-9 AT PURD 4-5

The top six teams all have 9 games left in conference- I showed all of those games.  Then I separated the BigTen into the top 6, the sub-500 teams who can surprise teams, and Nebraska and Penn State who should not surprise anyone no matter where the game is being played.  Now I will analyze the home-away breakdown for each sub-group of teams before analyzing each team separately.

Home Games 4 5 5 5 5 4
Road Games 5 4 4 4 4 5
TOP 6            
Home 1 3 4 3 2 2
Road 4 2 2 3 2 2
TOTAL 5 5 6 6 4 4
SUB 500            
Home 2 1 1 2 2 1
Road 1 1 1 1 1 2
TOTAL 3 2 2 3 3 3
BOTTOM 2            
Home 1 1 0 0 1 1
Road 0 1 1 0 1 1
TOTAL 1 2 1 0 2 2


One game advantage will be critical since they have the hardest schedule left in my opinion.  While MSU and OSU both play one more game against a top-6 team, Indiana plays 4 on the road, including closing out against Michigan. They do have 3 home games against the bottom half, but the game at Illinois could be a trap after a tough fought Michigan game.  If they win the conference they will have really earned it, since almost half the remaining games are playing on the road at OSU, MSU, MINN, and UM.


Average schedule amongst the top six.  Easier than Ohio State’s or Michigan State’s and Indiana’s most likely- which is very good for our chances of winning the conference.  Only Minnesota and Wisconsin play less amongst the top-six, but they are two games and one game behind us respectively.  Fortunately we have one more home game against the top-six than roadgames- a nice combo with also having less games against top teams.  Plus we play PSU twice and Illinois at home.  At Purdue is our sleeper game in my opinion.


At least 4 of the 6 games against the top-six are at home, other than that there is little to be too pleased about for the Spartans.  Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin at home are all tough and Ohio State and Michigan on the road will be tough to get.  Plus they play Purdue on the road also.  They do not play Penn State in the last 9 games, and even the “easy game” of Nebraska is away… poor Sparty.  A game behind Indiana and tied with Michigan and Ohio State it will be very hard for them to win the regular season conference crown.

Ohio State:

Like Michigan State they have more than half their games (six) against the top-six teams.  They play the top two teams (Michigan and Indiana) on the road as well as Wisconsin.  Their home top-six are another against Indiana, and then Minnesota and Michigan State.  They do not play either Nebraska or Penn State either for easy wins.  As is the case with Michigan State there is a lot working against Ohio State.  That could all change however if they beat Michigan next game.  If they lose to Michigan they will be two back of Indiana (assuming Indiana wins at Illinois) and one game behind us and Michigan State (if they beat Minnesota at home).  If they get the upset they can claw their way to a regular season championship, if not the odds get pretty long.


2 back of Indiana they have little hopes to start with.  Jumping 4 teams will be a monumental task.  Their style of play creates matchup issues but they lack the elite level of play of the teams above them in my opinion.  In their favor are only 4 games against the top-six.  Home against Michigan and Ohio State and away against Michigan State and Minnesota.  No more against Indiana, home against two 7-2 teams, and road against a 7-2 and 5-4 team.  They have the easiest schedule of the top-six teams- but not easy enough to be a serious threat to win the regular season in all likelihood.


Should they even be in the top group?  Are they going to start off great every year and collapse in conference?  They have a lot of work to do if they want to win- and as was the case with Wisconsin they have an easier schedule remaining than the top-four teams.  At Michigan State and Ohio State and home against Wisconsin and Indiana.  If they don’t win all four their hopes fade away… but at least they exist… for now.


Minnesota is too far gone to be a serious threat.  Wisconsin, despite an easier path, needs to much to fall in place in order to win it.  Michigan has an easier path than Michigan State or Ohio State, our fellow 7-2 conference mates, and Indiana plays 4 top teams on the road.  Too be honest all four have pretty similar odds looking at the schedule- so it will come down to who wins the bigger games- particularly on the road.  If Michigan takes care of business against Ohio State our chances rise.  If Michigan State loses to Minnesota at home as well after the next conference game it may be Michigan and Indiana fighting for the title with MSU and OSU dropping to long shots.  It also seems like there is a very good chance of a split again this year.

My current odds:

Team Outright Split
Indiana 10 35
Michigan 10 40
Michigan St. 5 25
Ohio St. 5 25
Wisconsin 2 10
Minnesota <1 2

I think there is a 1/3 chance there is an outright champ and a 2/3 chance its split.  It could be split with two, three, or four teams, so my odds for a split are funky- and maybe mathematically impossible but they are rough estimates anyway.

Michigan and Indiana are so close- the fact Indiana closes at Michigan (that will be such a classic game if things shape up as they seem to be) and that they play more road games against top opponents leaves me thinking Michigan has a slightly better chance of a title in any capacity- and equally as likely to win outright.  MSU and OSU are half as likely given tougher schedules than Michigan and a game behind Indiana.  They are also less likely to get a split in my opinion, but both have good odds.  Wisconsin has almost no chance to win outright, only an easy schedule in comparison keeps some hope alive.  They seem possibly in the hunt for a split title- kind of like ours last year with everything needing to fall in place.  Minnesota is too far back now and can only hope the top teams beat up on each other enough so everyone gets dinged and they take care of a schedule that’s easier than the top 4 teams. 

Player-by-player basketball reflection/outlook

Player-by-player basketball reflection/outlook

Submitted by GOLBOGM on February 3rd, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I have a lot of time this weekend and started to reflect on the year so far.  It turned into me writing about each of the main players production to this point, a quick Indiana game recap, and forecasts for the rest of the year and for next year.  It is quite long so if you dont like longer posts you will hate this one... it is also my first contribution so be nice (hopefully it will be a good read for those who look through it!):




Trey Burke:

First Half: There’s a reason he is thought of as the best point guard in the nation and a serious contender for player of the year.  The fact that such a young team has been top-5 all year has a lot to do with his tremendous leadership.  He can take over games, and has an ability to raise his game when he is most needed.  Has at times struggled with poor shot selection.

34.0 minutes, 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.9 TPG, .487 FGP, .778 FTP, .367 3PP

Indiana Game: 9/24 shooting, 4/12 from 3, 25 points, 8 assists, 3 to, and 4 PF.  Not his strongest game despite good overall production.  Some very poor shot selection (deep threes, long two step-backs, etc.) but also great leadership at time.

Second Half Thoughts: While fans will be excited about a championship run it will be also interesting to see if he will be player of the year.  He seems to have wrapped up being the top PG, and very possibly will be a unanimous all-American.  If we win the BigTen it will be largely because he stepped up in big games- and improved his shot selection in close games.

Next Year Thoughts: Hard to imagine him coming back… Stinks for him he gets compared to CP3 because the chances he produces at that level are likely pretty low- but for a player who came in under-the-radar and turned into potentially the best college player who knows…

Spike Albrecht:

First Half: With Burke playing all but 6 minutes per game Albrecht does not play a whole lot.  A big surprise has been how well he seems to handle things when he gets into the game.  Has hit some big shots, plays within the flow of the game very well.

7.1 minutes, 1.5 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.2 TPG, .370 FGP, 1.000 FTP, .353 3PP

Indiana Game: 4 minutes and no stats accumulated.  It’s nice that when he steps in the game no one panics too much.  A low recruit freshman stepping in for perhaps the player of the year- you would think whenever he steps in fans would hold their breath- the fact that that is not the case says quite a bit- even if his stats don’t seem to impressive.

Second Half Thoughts: I imagine the second half will go just as the first has.  Let’s hope he can step in during some high pressure situations and play well to get some good experience for next year- but this is Burke’s team and he will play most of the time obviously.

Next Year Thoughts: Derrick Walton is a top-flight recruit.  Let’s see if Walton will follow in the footsteps of Burke and Morris (it certainly seems like he has the ability to).  My guess is that Albrecht will play more at the start of next year and gradually give up more and more time to Walton.  I imagine that Walton will start at some point next year- but that Albrecht will start the first few games (probably more than Vogrich did this year) and then play 5-10 minutes per game depending on how well Walton matures as the year goes on.



Tim Hardaway JR:

First Half: Last year his game was inconsistent, this year he has been a steady producer.  Last year he tried to force his way into games, this year he plays within the game much better.  He has made some huge shots, and his shooting has been getting better all year.  He can handle the ball well (although too many turnovers), and along with Burke makes up the best backcourt in the country.

34.0 minutes, 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2.2 TPG, .483 FGP, .736 FTP, .410 3PP

Indiana Game: 8-16 shooting, 2-5 3’s, 1 Reb, 2 TO’s, 4 PF, 18 points.  Played solid defense, hit some big shots, but did little else.

Second Half Thoughts: He is one of the top players in the country and can take over games.  Plays solid defense but can also be silent for longer stretches.  Would love to see him step up his game even more but if he plays like he has so far everyone should be happy.

Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he stays.  With Irvin coming in and Stauskas we could absorb the loss- but it’d be great if he came back.  He can still develop his game more and would benefit from another year- but he has all the talent to turn into a productive NBA player.

Caris LeVert:

First Half: Glad he used the redshirt!  He has been very fun to watch play and has shown signs of having the ability to become a very good player.  Nothing too flashy, no very productive games, but consistently plays well when he is in.

11.6 minutes, 3.1 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.1 APG, 0.3 TPG, .391 FGP, .500 FTP, .409 3PP

Indiana Game: 10 min, 2-4 shooting, 0-1 from 3’s, 1 Reb, 1 ast, 2 PF, 4 points. He showed some promise while playing.  Handled the ball more than he normally does and looked like he could handle the pressure.  That’s pretty impressive considering he was not going to play at all this year.

Second Half Thoughts: Likely more of the same.  Hopefully he can improve shot selection a little bit better and be more productive.

Next Year Thoughts: He looks like he can be a very solid player.  You can see how many had him as the Ohio player of the year last year in high school.  When he continues to fill out his frame he could develop into a very solid player.  Some on the board seem to think he has a legit NBA shot- too early for that in my opinion, but you can see brilliance in his future if everything clicks.



Nik Stauskas:

First Half: Probably the most pleasant surprise this year.  We knew he could shoot on youtube, but 50% from 3’s is crazy.  Plus he has two memes- more than a shooter, and blouses… gotta love it.

30.9 minutes, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .486 FGP, .827 FTP, .483 3PP

Indiana Game: 10 points of 3-10 shooting with 1-5 from 3. 1 Reb (offensive), 2 assists and 2 fouls.  Apparently he may not have been feeling well- and it makes sense watching the game.  When he passed up an open three you could tell things were not perfect.  Hard to remember he is a freshman at times- and it is hard to expect great play from a freshman in a serious road game.

Second Half Thoughts: If he continues with his production that would be fantastic.  Become a real threat on the pick and roll and off the dribble- would love to see that progress- especially since next year he may handle the ball more without as strong a PG.  While he is more than a shooter that is the heart of his game, and shooters go through stretches of greatness and cold spells- let’s hope those hot streaks correspond with big games.

Next Year Thoughts: He has a lot of swagger and the ability to back it up.  I can see him becoming a leader on this team, and becoming even more productive.  He looks like a future NBA guy, but we should enjoy plenty of 3’s and game blouses moments next year!



Glen Robinson III:

First Half: We at MGoBlog expected big things from the freshman and he has delivered.  One of the most productive players, and a very smart and talented player.  His athleticism and dunking ability have also led to some of the most pleasant moments of the year.

32.9 minutes, 11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 TPG, .586 FGP, .677 FTP, .405 3PP

Indiana Game: Only player to go all 40 (in part because he had only 1 foul), but his weakest game.  2 points on 1-6 shooting, 4 rebounds (2 offensive) and 1 assist and 1 turnover.

Second Half Thoughts: Despite the rough Indiana game big things are ahead for GR3.  He has been tremendously consistent and productive.  I expect big things from him the rest of the way- and if he can improve he has the ability to take this team to an even higher level.

Next Year Thoughts: Let’s hope he doesn’t make the jump. He has an NBA body and athleticism and skill-set- but he has a lot of growing to go.  Let’s hope that maturation happens in a Michigan uniform.  If he stays next year’s team will also be very special- if he jumps it will be much tougher to have as great a year.

Max Bielfeldt:

First Half: Not a whole lot of minutes, and has only played in half the games.  Shows signs of having a lot of potential but not too close for that talent turning into production any time soon.

Indiana Game: DNP

Second Half Thoughts: Less time as games become more important.

Next Year Thoughts: Next year he should still see limited action, but at times has shown signs he could work his way into the rotation as an upperclassmen if he develops the way he appears to be able to.



Jordan Morgan:

First Half: Not flashy but a big part of this team.  Plays half the minutes as finally Michigan has plenty of big-men to play.  Great defense, great rebounder, solid and productive offensive player.

19 minutes, 6.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.1 TPG, .626 FGP, .583 FTP

Indiana Game: L… 2 minutes without any stats battling an injury.

Second Half Thoughts: Let’s hope he heals- because we are a stronger team with him playing.  Has also shown great leadership- and leadership on the court means a lot in the college game. May not be the flashiest or highest scorer- but he makes a huge impact and if stays healthy expect more of the same.

Next Year Thoughts: Center position will all be back- and should all see their play step up- I like having solid big men!

Mitch McGary:

First Half: You can see why he was so highly ranked- and you can also see why he dropped in the rankings.  Tons of talent, even more hustle!  He does so many little things right- outlet passing, boxing out, solid defense, and intangibles galore!

16.6 minutes, 5.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 BPG, 1.0 TPG, .592 FGP, .579 FTP

Indiana Game: 28 minutes, 5-7 shooting for 10 points with 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 assits, 2 steals, 1 block, but 4 fouls.  Very high intensity game with good production. 

Second Half Thoughts: More of the same- lots of rebounds, decent points, lots of hustle.

Next Year Thoughts: NBA player for sure- but should definitely be back at least for a year.  He can definitely develop into an all-BigTen bigman- with more minutes that could even be next year.  Such a great rebounder and hustler- if he can continue the high level of production with increased minutes expect very big things.

Jon Horford:

First Half: Fewest minutes of the bigs that play regular minutes.  Less offensive production, but just as solid defensive production.

9.6 minutes, 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.7 BPG, 0.5 TPG, .571 FGP, .600 FTP

Indiana Game: Started and got 10 minutes with 2-3 shooting for 4 points.  1 offensive and 2 defensive boards to go along with 2: blocks, turnovers, and fouls.

Second Half Thoughts: If Morgan battles with injuries he will have to step up.  He has struggles with his own injuries in the past- but has shown great signs of progress!

Next Year Thoughts: He will still be behind McGary and Morgan for minutes- but he has some definite potential and can play his way into bigger minutes.



There’s a reason we have been a top-five team all year- we are very good!  There have been a lot of good surprises this year, and a lot of production.  Burke is a definite player-of-the-year guy, and with THJR makes up the nation’s best guard combo.  Indiana game was tough- but this was a young team playing on the road- and we played tough.  There are plenty of reasons to expect big things this year- and for the most par I expect players to continue their production levels the rest of the way- which is a good thing considering how solid production has been.

McLimans and Vogrich are the only players who will graduate- so there are a lot of reasons to expect big things for next year.  Burke seems very likely to leave, and Hardaway and Robinson are the most likely to join him- but hopefully both will be back.  Irvin and Walton should be good contributors as freshman and Donnal will likely add good depth.  If Hardaway and Robinson leave we should have a big drop but still be pretty decent- if at least one stays we should still have an excellent year next year- and if both stay and only Burke leaves we can be a top-10 team potentially- especially if Walton continues the trend of excellent PG recruiting.


Comparing '92-'93 bball to '12-'13

Comparing '92-'93 bball to '12-'13

Submitted by Doctor Wolverine on February 1st, 2013 at 4:03 PM

As you already know, the last time that the Michigan Wolverines were ranked #1 was during the 1992-1993 basketball season, when the fab five were in their second and final year of playing together.  Other than the #1 ranking, there are actually a number of other similarities between that team and this year's team.  Since it is snowing outside and I don't work on Fridays, I thought it would be interesting to compare the impact players from both teams.  Chart?  Chart.


    '92-'93 Impact Players  
Player 1992- 1993 stats (avg/game) Draft Info Other Notable Facts
Chris Webber 19.2 pts, 10.2 rebs, 2.5 asst, 2.9 TO, 2.5 blk #1 draft pick 1993 1993 1st Team All-American. In the range of #60-75 all-time NBA player. Ranked by ESPN as the #11 power forward of all-time. 5 time NBA all-star.
Jalen Rose 15.4 pts, 4.2 rebs, 3.9 asst, 3.1 TO, 0.4 blk #13 draft pick 1994 1994 Consensus 2nd team All-American, NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Juwan Howard 14.6 pts, 7.4 rebs, 1.9 asst, 2.6 TO, 0.4 blk #5 draft pick 1994 NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1995), All-NBA Third Team (1996), NBA All-Star (1996)
Jimmy King 10.8 pts, 4.4 rebs, 3.1 asst, 2.3 TO, 0.5 blk #35 draft pick 1995  
Ray Jackson 9.0 pts, 4.1 rebs, 2.3 asst, 1.5 TO, 0.3 blk undrafted  
Eric Riley 5.6 pts, 4.8 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.9 blk #33 draft pick 1993  
Rob Pelinka 4.3 pts, 2.1 rebs, 1.0 asst, 0.5 TO, 0.0 blk undrafted  
James Voskuil 3.1 pts, 1.8 rebs, 0.5 asst, 0.7 TO, 0.2 blk undrafted  



    '12-'13 Impact Players  
Player Season Stats (avg/game) Anticipated Draft Status Other Notable Facts and Projections
Trey Burke 17.9 pts, 3.0 rebs, 7.1 asst, 1.9 TO, 0.4 blk 2013 1st Round Likely All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten POY and candidate for National POY
Tim Hardaway Jr. 15.5 pts, 5.0 rebs, 2.6 asst, 2.2 TO, 0.6 blk 2014 Late 1st Round or Early 2nd Round Candidate for All Big Ten this year, and should be a lock for Big Ten honors if he stays for his senior year.
Glen Robinson III 12.1 pts, 5.8 rebs, 1.3 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.2 blk 2014 1st Round Could make a run at Big Ten POY next season if he stays.
Nik Stauskas 12.6 pts, 3.0 rebs, 1.3 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.3 blk 2015 1st Round More than just a shooter. Canadian.
Jordan Morgan 6.4 pts, 5.2 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.2 TO, 0.2 blk Undrafted  
Mitch McGary 5.6 pts, 6.0 rebs, 0.4 asst, 1.0 TO, 0.7 blk 2015 Late 1st Round or Early 2nd Round Great motor.
Caris Levert 3.0 pts, 0.9 rebs, 1.1 asst, 0.3 TO, 0.1 blk Too hard to tell, could be drafted after Junior or Senior seaons.  
Jon Horford 2.6 pts, 2.6 rebs, 0.3 asst, 0.4 TO, 0.6 blk Unlikely that he will be drafted, but has potential  
Team 78.0 pts, 37.0 rebs, 15.0 asst, 9.0 TO, 3.0 blk   Preseason #5 ranking, climbed to #1 in week 13 (ahead of Kansas and Indiana), anticipate a final top 5 ranking. Should finish either 1st or 2nd in the Big Ten Conference and make a strong NCAA Tournament run. 2-1 against currently ranked opponents.

*Disclaimer: I am not an NBA scout, and I do not even play one on TV.  My "anticipated draft status" is a combination of what I have read online, and my own untrained opinion.  There is a very very good chance that both THJ and GRIII could enter the draft after this season.  Draft Express only had them in their 2014 mock draft the last I saw, so that is where I have them for now.


Comparing the two teams (I am just going to use present tense and assume that time travel already happened): Both teams have 4 players averaging double digits PPG and both teams do a good job controlling the boards.  Both have similar win percentages against ranked teams, but of course the 2012-2013 team has a much smaller sample size at this point; the next couple of weeks will give us a better sample of what this year's team can do against elite competition.  The '92-'93 team was elite at blocking shots, but also turned the ball over at a much higher rate.  The '12-'13 team plays a slower pace, but takes better care of the ball and has a much better assist to turnover ratio.  The '92-'93 team featured that year's #1 draft pick and a second rounder, as well as 2 future first rounders and a future second round pick.  It remains to be seen what is in store for this year's team in upcoming drafts, but they probably have 2 players who could go in the first round this year if they chose to leave early and another who could probably go in the second round this year.  In total, I expect that this year's roster will match the '92-'93 roster with eventually 5 drafted players, and could add a sixth or even a seventh (optimism!!).


Questions: Who is the better team?  Who is the more fun team to watch?  If both teams were in this year's NCAA Tournament, who would have a better chance to win the title?  I will post the answer key after all tests have been submitted.

Four Factors, Defensive Efficiency, and Individual Defensive Statistics

Four Factors, Defensive Efficiency, and Individual Defensive Statistics

Submitted by Blue_MQT on January 31st, 2013 at 4:18 PM

[ed: bump.]

This diary was prompted by the debate from Tuesday between Brian and the Big Ten Geeks regarding the value of defensive rebounding. I read the Big Ten Geeks article that morning and had many of the same thoughts as Brian-I've never been a fan of the stops metric, particularly the way it was being used to compare players. As the debate moved to the value of defensive rebounding percentage, I decided to look through some Kenpom numbers to make a better argument for the importance/insignificance of that particular statistic.

Four Factor Correlations with Defensive Efficiency (by Team)
  D-Eff Type eFG% TO% DReb% FT Rate
2013 Raw 0.86 -0.39 0.46 0.17
  Adj 0.82 -0.33 0.49 0.18
2012 Raw 0.86 -0.39 0.40 0.15
  Adj 0.78 -0.28 0.43 0.23
2011 Raw 0.84 -0.37 0.43 0.15
  Adj 0.77 -0.18 0.48 0.28
2010 Raw 0.84 -0.39 0.42 0.17
  Adj 0.76 -0.19 0.44 0.28

A couple of notes. While I've labeled it as "DReb%", the statistic used was actually Opponent Offensive Rebounding %, hence the positive correlation with Defensive Efficiency (both statistics are "better" for the defense when the number is lower). TO% has a negative correlation because a higher TO% is "better" for the defense, so a high TO% would lead to a lower (read: better) defensive efficiency.

(It’s interesting to see how the Kenpom adjustments to efficiency change the numbers. eFG% and TO% consistently drop when adjusting for competition, while Dreb% and FTRate rise. The smaller deltas for this year makes me believe that this is a result of conference play and the leveling the playing field between teams that played non-conference schedules of varying difficulty, due to the relatively large proportion of non-conference game in the 2013 sample. I digress.)

It is well-known at this point that eFG% is by far the most important factor in defensive efficiency, but I was surprised that DReb% was the second most important factor (I had assumed it would be turnover rate). After seeing these results, I looked at the correlations between the four factors next.

Four Factor Correlations, 2013
  eFG% TO% DReb% FTRate
eFG% 1 0.01 0.33 0.24
TO% x 1 0.18 0.34
DReb% x   1 0.13
FT Rate x x x 1


So, there is a weak, but significant (with >340 samples) correlation between eFG% and DReb%. Going back to the correlations with defensive efficiency, I ran a partial correlation between DReb% and adjusted defensive efficiency, controlling for eFG%, which produced a value of…0.41. About the same correlation as TO% (a partial correlation for TO% is almost exactly the same as one without the adjustment, as you’d anticipate based on the low correlation between TO% and eFG%).

It looks like defensive rebounding is at least as important as the non-eFG% factors. What about the effect on the offensive end? Like Brian, I believe that steals should be valued more than other defensive statistics, so I went in assuming that we’d see some sort of correlation between TO% and Offensive Efficiency.


Defensive Four Factor Correlations with Offensive Efficiency, 2013
  eFG% TO% DReb% FTRate
Raw -0.31 0.01 -0.38 -0.39
Adjusted -0.36 0.01 -0.38 -0.41


Negative correlations are due to lack of adjustment to defensive ratings for use with offensive efficiency (switching from lower = better to higher = better). However, from this, we can clearly see that defensive rebounding is just as important as any of the other defensive factors when it comes to offense. Michigan’s offense this season has shown this fanbase how defensive rebounding can trigger the break, but it is even more evident when you watch other leagues, where fewer teams put an emphasis on transition defense and sending players back on a change of possession and the game often breaks down into 2-on-2 or 3-on-2 runouts in each direction.

However, after all of this, I still believe that defensive rebounding is overrated as an individual metric. I'm not complaining about Jordan Morgan’s season, but he just isn’t a defensive game-changer in the way of Jeff Withey, Anthony Davis, Fab Melo, Nerlens Noel, or even A.J. Hammons. As has been stated, his high “stops” count is due to both Michigan’s excellent team Dreb% and Morgan's high individual number. His block and steal numbers are very low (his block% is 7th on the team, lower than all other starters, McGary and Horford). I might even argue that his presence has some effect on Michigan’s defensive philosophy and their inability to prevent three-pointers. With Morgan not a threat to alter shots inside, Michigan has to constantly switch on screens in order to prevent easy dribble penetration and 2-on-1 scenarios. They can’t fight over the top of screens to better challenge outside shots.

There was a great example of the effect that a shot-blocker has in the Iowa-Purdue game from Sunday, where Iowa’s players often had Purdue defenders trailing them after screens, but could not drive inside easily due to Hammon’s presence. Unfortunately, there weren't any Youtube highlights for that game, so I had to make due with the Michigan-Purdue game for an example.


First, Morgan sets a good screen for Burke. Hammons did not follow Morgan out to the perimeter, and you can see Ronnie Johnson start to fight through the screen at the top.


Burke is around the screen, but Johnson has followed him, preventing Burke from pulling up for an open three. Hammons is still in the paint, while Morgan is about to roll to the basket.


Finally, Burke has picked up the ball, unable to penetrate past Hammons or shoot over him. Purdue's defensive philosophy has helped remove the threat of a 3 from Michigan's balls-screen offense. Fortunately for Michigan, D.J. Byrd is still afraid of Burke and is about to jump in to help off Stauskas, leaving him open for a soon-to-be-bured 3. Not the best result for my example, but good for Michigan.

Further validating the importance of having a shot-altering presence: Correlation between block rate and defensive efficiency is very high (0.51), largely due to its influence on effective field goal % (correlation of 0.61).

This is all part of the bigger argument that the Big Ten Geeks make in their response to Brian's criticism-that post players/taller players should score higher on defensive metrics. Taller players can more easily influence defensive play away from their man, and playing on the interior puts you in better position for defensive statistics on every possession. Seeing as the objective of a perimeter defender is usually to prevent a single player from scoring/impacting the game, the best argument or evidence for an Oladipo or Craft would be to compare single game statistics vs season numbers for their primary defensive responsibility. They can’t impact the entire opposing offense and accumulate statistics in the same way as a Hammons or Berggren, but that’s a difference between the roles of perimeter defense and interior defense rather than a gap in defensive aptitude. You wouldn't want either of those guys I just mentioned chasing Trey Burke around the perimeter the way Christian Watford did, briefly, in last year's Indiana game. While Watford may have been successful initially, Burke got over the surprise and went on to score 18 points on 9 shots.

In my opinion, the best way to statistically evaluate individual defensive impact would be something similar to what Ace posted on Tuesday, evaluating lineups and considering an individual player’s ability to improve team defensive statistics while they are in the game. Now, this isn’t as fair to players like Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, who are rarely on the court with four other starters (theoretically the better defenders), but we could make an initial assumption that the other rotation players are all roughly equivalent when analyzing an individual player. It’s also unfair to players like Trey Burke, who might play 90% of the team’s minutes any given night and have a limited sample of largely garbage time minutes against which to compare the impact of their absence. That said, it would provide a better picture of a player’s ability to influence the opponent’s offensive strategy and results.

I am very curious to see the 3PA/FGA ratios and 3P% isolated for Michigan's three centers. Even though the team defensive philosophy remains the same for all three,it would be enlightening if opponents were taking more threes (or lower quality threes) depending on which player was protecting the paint. Ken Pomeroy wrote a blog post this week discussing the Syracuse zone and its (limited) ability to force lower quality three point attempts. Any effect at Michigan would likely be much smaller than that seen at the schools discussed in his post, but would still be worth examining.


McGary vs Morgan. Who do you start?

McGary vs Morgan. Who do you start?

Submitted by robbyt003 on January 22nd, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Besides the 2014 fake commitment of Rodney Davis, there's not much going on today.  Sooo I figured I'd compare Morgan and McGary's play during conference games.


01/03 at Northwestern.

21 MIN. 6/8 FG. 12 pts. 13 reb. 0 blk. 0 stl. 1 PF. 3 TO

01/06 vs Iowa.

14 MIN. 2/3 FG. 4 pts. 2 reb. 0 blk. 0 stl. 4 PF. 1 TO.

01/09 vs Nebraska.

23 MIN. 0/1 FG. 0 pts. 11 reb. 0 blk. 0 stl. 1 PF. 1 TO.

01/13 @ Ohio.

22 MIN. 2/2 FG. 5 pts. 6 reb. 0 blk. 0 stl. 0 PF. 2 TO.

01/17 @ Minnesota

20 MIN. 4/6 FG. 9 pts. 4 reb. 0 blk. 1 stl. 2 PF. 1 TO.


20 MIN. 70% FG. 6 pts. 7.2 reb. 0 blk. .2 stl. 1.6 PF. 1.6 TO.


01/03 at Northwestern.

20 MIN. 1/4 FG. 4 pts. 8 reb. 1 blk. 2 stl. 3 PF. 1 TO.

01/06 vs Iowa.

20 MIN. 2/2 FG. 5 pts. 11 reb. 3 blk. 0 stl. 2 PF. 0 TO.

01/09 vs Nebraska.

18 MIN. 1/4 FG. 2 pts. 6 reb. 1 blk. 1 stl. 3 PF. 0 TO.

01/13 @ Ohio.

18 MIN. 3/3 FG. 6 pts. 3 reb. 2 blk. 0 stl. 3 PF. 1 TO.

01/17 @ Minnesota

20 MIN. 4/5 FG. 8 pts. 2 reb. 1 blk. 3 stl. 4 PF. 1 TO.


19.2 MIN. 61% FG. 5 pts. 6 reb. 1.6 blk. 1.2 stl. 3 PF. .6 TO.

My Thoughts

As McGary continues to get in better shape and avoids the stupid fouls, it's going to be hard to keep him off the floor.  There are so many other things that he does that you don't see on the stat sheet.  As the year goes on, I would not be surprised to see him moved into the starting five.  For now though, I do think it should continue to be Morgan.  

Michigan Bball. #5 in AP/Coaches' Poll

Michigan Bball. #5 in AP/Coaches' Poll

Submitted by robbyt003 on January 14th, 2013 at 1:16 PM

per Michigan Basketball via facebook

Michigan is now ranked No.5 in the AP and Coaches' Poll



AP Top 25
1 Louisville (36) 15-1 1,591
2 Indiana (13) 15-1 1,527
3 Duke (14) 15-1 1,501
4 Kansas (1) 14-1 1,416
5 Michigan (1) 16-1 1,415

Others of Interest:


9 Minnesota 15-2 1,041


11 Ohio State 13-3 939


14 North Carolina State 14-2 836


16 Kansas State 13-2 670


18 Michigan State 14-3 426


23 Illinois 14-4 199