Preview: Coppin State

Submitted by Ace on December 22nd, 2014 at 12:49 PM



WHAT Michigan (6-5) vs.
Coppin State (1-9)
WHERE Crisler Center,
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 8 pm ET, Monday
LINE Michigan -22 (KenPom)
PBP: Eric Collins
Analyst: Shon Morris

Right: We're befuddled too, Jim.


Projected starters are in bold. %Min and %Poss figure are from this season now—yes, there will be a fair amount of noise in these numbers for a while. 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.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss SIBMIHHAT
G 11 Taariq Cephas* Sr. 5'10, 165 69 22 No
Decent 3-pt shooter, good number of assists, poor shooter inside arc.
G 10 Christian Kessee So. 6'2, 180 54 20 No
Low volume, high efficiency outside shooter. Bad inside arc. Turnover-prone.
G 24 Sterling Smith* Jr. 6'4, 185 63 17 Yes
Just 29% 3-pt on nearly 2/3 of his total FGA.
F 3 Arnold Fripp* Sr. 6'7, 210 67 22 No
Best (only) inside-outside threat. Plays a lot of C despite low reb. numbers.
C 2 Lawrence Fejokwu Jr. 6'9, 260 35 12 Very
Decent block/steal rates. Not a great rebounder. Very foul-prone. Shoots 30%.
G 5 Daquan Brickhouse Sr. 5'8, 160 48 15 Yes
Good assist:turnover. Top-100 steal rate. Lives up to name: 39% eFG.
G 21 Jahvari Joseph Sr. 6'4, 185 40 25 Yes
Volume shooter, solid inside arc (18/34), terrible outside of it (3/21).
F 1 Dallas Gary Sr. 6'5, 210 26 27 Yes
5/22 2-pt, 2/13 3-pt, turnover-prone, low rebound #s. 53.1 ORtg. Yikes.

*returning starter


Coppin State is, um, not good. Their lone win this year came at home against Goldey Beacom, which is not an off-brand cable company but a 3-8 D-II squad. They've lost to three teams ranked in the 200s on KenPom. In their four matchups against top-100 teams, the smallest losing margin they've had was 21 points, the next-smallest 37. They share a common opponent with Michigan: Oregon, whom the Wolverines beat by seven and the Eagles lost to by 42.

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


If there's a team to break a slump against, there are few better options than Coppin State, the #335 team (out of 351) on KemPom.* They're known for their breakneck pace (#3 in adjusted tempo) and, uh, being equally terrible at offense (327th adj. efficiency) and defense (324th), I guess? Being undersized and heavily three-point reliant doesn't hurt from Michigan's perspective, either.

While largely ineffective big man Lawrence Fejokwu is a starter, he plays fewer than 40% of the team's minutes. That puts a lot of pressure on 6'7" forward Arnold Fripp, a solid scorer—52% 2-pt, 36% 3-pt—who splits his time between the four and the five; his rebounding numbers underwhelm for a guy who spends that much time on the interior. 

6'5 forward Dallas Gary will also see a decent amount of run; he's posting an unfathomably bad 53.1 offensive rating, thanks to a 22.9 eFG% and a 25.0% turnover rate. Backup big Jerimyjah Bates is shooting 33% with a 4.6 O-Reb% and 8.1 D-Reb% while committing 8.8 fouls per 40 minutes.

Starting three Sterling Smith takes almost 2/3 of his shots from downtown and hits just 29% of them. He's finishing pretty well inside the arc, but like his team in general he doesn't venture inside very often. Smith is frequently spelled by 6'4" senior Jahvari Joseph, who is one of the team's most effective players inside the arc (53% 2-pt) and not so much outside of it (14% 3-pt).

Two-guard Christian Kessee is a spot-up shooter who's hitting his threes at a 44% clip and his twos—almost entirely jumpers—at just 38%.

Two diminutive point guards get a lot of time, often together. 5'10" senior Taariq Cephas gets the starting nod and has a top-200 assist rate; he's a decent three-point shooter who has a tough time finishing inside. 5'8" senior Daquan Brickhouse takes care of the ball very well and generates a top-100 steal rate, but his last name is unfortunately apt: he's shooting 36% from two and 26% from three. Despite the shooting woes, Brickhouse has the best O-rating on the team.

*Context, since someone asked in the comments: EMU is #116—a legimitately decent MAC squad—and NJIT is #266.


We'll start with what jumps out: yes, Coppin State's shooting defense is literally off-the-charts bad. They're dead last in the country in three-point defense (47.2% ... good lord) and 342nd in two-point defense (57.2%); compounding matters, they give up a ton of second chances and send opponents to the line with regularity.

CSU's insane tempo hasn't given them an advantage on offense, either. They hit under 40% from two, and despite attempting three-pointers at the 18th-highest rate in the country, they make just under 31% of those. They don't crash the glass and rarely get to the line; the only thing they do well is not turn the ball over.


Put the ball in the basket. Please?

Don't be terrible. Seriously, losing this game would require complete and utter failure in so many aspects of the game that it would cast an NIT bid, let alone any NCAA hopes, into serious doubt. I do not expect this to happen.


Michigan by 22.

This would be decidedly worse than NJIT. Let's not with that.


UMHoops preview. Maize n Brew preview. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh:

That and more kicks to the soul dong from MnB's Drew Hallett, who must be stopped.



December 22nd, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

"Coppin State is, um, not good"

Can you clarify that a bit further by any chance?  Are they not good like Eastern Michigan wasn't good or are they not good like NJIT was not good?

Cause right now the whole concept of "not good" as it relates to basketball is a glass house we should probably not throw any rocks in.


December 22nd, 2014 at 1:04 PM ^

but I guess Ace was saving himself for the softball to come, Daquan Brickhouse.  I guess Coppin State figures if they can't compete on the floor, they should try to dominate the lineup card?

snarling wolverine

December 22nd, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

I Harbaugh no doubt that we will Harbaugh this game.  Although the team Harbaugh Harbaughed lately, against a team like Coppin State it should Harbaugh out of its funk and Harbaugh able to Harbaugh into its little Christmas break Harbaughing a little better about themselves.

(Harbaugh >>>> all verbs in the English language.)



December 22nd, 2014 at 8:49 PM ^

Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.This is what I do…….  
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