MBB Snowflakes and Looking Forward to Wisconsin

Submitted by Generic MGoBlogger on January 14th, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Not a bad showing today although we looked very inconsistent at times.  The defense was very inconsistent allowing a very average Penn State team to battle back into what should have been an easy blowout.   With that, the offense did disappear at times only to come back and display some serious potential in the team.  I'm hoping John B makes the necessary adjustments on defense and offense so that we can compete well with Wisconsin... I'd love to see some zone.



January 14th, 2014 at 10:15 PM ^

I agree about the zone. But I'm wondering if Wisconsin is the place to bust it out because it seems like they have a lot of shooters that could be zone busters.


January 14th, 2014 at 10:16 PM ^

Kinda harsh to say the offense "disappeared" at any point. We scored 80 and shot 54% from the field. I guess we didn't score on every single possession, but that doesn't really count. 

Generic MGoBlogger

January 14th, 2014 at 10:23 PM ^

On PSU's runs we did rush shots, turn the ball over, and looked tentative at times... I understand that runs are a key part of basketball, but if we can't stuff them or at least respond, we could be in for trouble on the road on Saturday.


January 15th, 2014 at 8:57 AM ^

I love that we have gotten so use to winning and seeing 'pretty' basketball.  I believe we had a season low 6 turnovers.  PSU is streaky and held it close with MSU, Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana.  In fact, the only game they didn't lead at half time was the Illinois game where they were down by 2 at the half. 


I am not professing Penn State to be a dominate or even a top half of the BiG team, but they present a fomidable challenge.

SF Wolverine

January 14th, 2014 at 10:29 PM ^

1-2 feels about right; I would be very pleasantly surprised with 2-1.  Team looks better every game; Walton is really coming along well, and we are getting great production from the bigs.  Being in these next three is going to require shifting to another gear, though.  Defense needs to get a lot better, as does rebounding. 


January 14th, 2014 at 10:17 PM ^

While this team is far from perfect, I'm finding it very easy to root for them. I hope they do well in the B1G and go far in March.

Regardless of how they do, this team is really starting to make a Basketball fan out of me. 


January 15th, 2014 at 6:53 AM ^

Last year (and the year before) started the trend. Prior to that, I had never been a big fan of basketball in general, Michigan or otherwise. While I still think the sport is flawed (intentional fouls at the end of the game should be less advantageous), I'm really enjoying watching Michigan basketball. 

Also, this year feels different to me. Last year I had very high expectations. They were mostly met and it was good. This year, due to departures and injuries, the expectations were lowered, but the team has shown the ability to battle. I like that a lot. 



January 14th, 2014 at 10:18 PM ^

Hopefully Wiscy comes out feeling the effects of their first loss of the season; doubtful but everyone's human and they may have a hangover. I'm pumped as hell for This game though, ESPN primetime type game on a Saturday evening.

I find it somewhat funny we're sitting atop the Big Ten all alone. Boom! Fuck Bo Ryan and 7 foot trees and backboard using assholes!

Marley Nowell

January 14th, 2014 at 10:19 PM ^

Maybe this is a result of playing down to the opponent but the team still lacks an identity to me.  The bigs have settled in well, Nik does his thing game in game out, and GRIII and Walton are becoming more consistent.  I guess I just don't understand whats going on with Caris.  Dude was torching dudes early in the year hopefully he is just hitting a wall that he can work through.


January 14th, 2014 at 11:33 PM ^

It's a team with good players but without transcendent ones. Stauskas is the best offensive option, but we saw against Duke that he can be controlled by certain teams--he's not a sure thing every game.

So it's really an ensemble cast, without its best big man, and without the shut-down defense that would make whatever offense they have enough to compete for championships.

All things considered, they're not doing badly. Beating top conference teams will be a challenge, though.


January 15th, 2014 at 10:02 AM ^

Was coming off an ankle sprain. I was at the game (lots of fun despite the fact that we never felt in it even when closing to 6 point) and he didn't seem to be able to make sharp cuts at all like he usually does, with our without the ball. He could've made a big difference.  Also, GRIII hadn't woken up yet, like he has apparently done, and become more aggressive.  Wish we could play those guys again!


January 14th, 2014 at 10:24 PM ^

If you are into the numbers at all, KenPom now rates Michigan as the fifth most efficient offense in the country. I will say that tonight's performance makes me feela little better about going into a much rougher stretch. We were over 1.3 points per possession and had an effective FG% of 62.5%, not to mention an A/T ratio of 3.00. We do indeed work. 

Generic MGoBlogger

January 14th, 2014 at 10:31 PM ^

Effeciency is certainly wonderful, but we have definitely slowed down the pace averaging only about 60 possessions a game (UMHoops). I'm a little scared that efficiency may be skewed by the quality of B1G opponents we have played so far and that there could be a drop off once we play higher quality opponents with our limited amounts of possessions.


January 14th, 2014 at 10:34 PM ^

Are not going to be a very good defensive team, especially with the lack of rebounding. Not much we can do about it. Luckily we are a very good offensive team.

We will struggle with the big boys in the conference for sure...I think 9-9 is still my expectation. Not bad when you're down you all American big man.

SF Wolverine

January 14th, 2014 at 10:38 PM ^

Defense is one thing that you CAN get better at by working harder and smarter.  Much harder to will a team to start making its shots.  That gives me some hope that Coach B can get these guys to turn the screws a bit going forward.


January 15th, 2014 at 8:33 AM ^

I don't have faith in this team beating Wisconsin or MSU either home or away (4 losses), I doubt we win either road game against Iowa or OSU (2 losses), plus Indiana on the road is never easy as Wisconsin showed (1 loss). That's 7 very possible losses, and at that point you're betting that we win at least 4 of: home against Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota, on the road at Purdue and at Illinois. I can see 9-9 happening, especially since Iowa already won a big road game at OSU, and we struggled to a 1 point win over Nebraska on the road.


January 15th, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

I think you underestimate this team. 

No I don't see us winning @wisco or @MSU but we should take one at home. Road games are tough for everyone, not just us, and we play well at home. I could see this team winning 5 more of the home games and then stealing 1 or 2 more on the road. 

11 wins seems most likely to me. 


January 14th, 2014 at 10:41 PM ^

Not as bad as it seemed. On a couple of PSU runs, they got neither open looks at the rim nor from the 3pt line, but managed to just hit every single 2pt jumper and floater from about 7 feet out. You can't prevent EVERY shot, and most of the time, a team isn't going to shoot 52% on those opportunities like PSU did, more like 40-45, which would've made this a 20-30 pt blowout, instead of 13 pt very very solid win.

There were a number of posessions the D strung out till the very end of the clock. I thought they were definitely improved. Not great, but definitely better.

And the offense... when they get moving, wow...


January 14th, 2014 at 10:49 PM ^

seems like GRIII is matching the hype. wasnt too impressed by his non conference play, but he is coming along. wonder how much no burke had to do with his slow start.

very excited about walton's consistent improvement.

5 more B1G wins should do it.  plenty of opportunity, but theyre going to need some good wins to get there. tough sched.


January 15th, 2014 at 12:22 AM ^

Not sure where all the concern for getting 5 more wins is coming from. 

They've got Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU, Minnesota and IU left at home. 5 wins on home games ALONE seems very possible. 

Then you add Wisco, MSU, IU, Iowa, OSU, Purdue, and Illinois on the road. I think they'll probably get 2 there too. 



January 14th, 2014 at 10:49 PM ^

Going into tonight's game our opponents were shooting 74% from free throw line against us making us the 318th ranked team in that department.  For reasons I cannot even begin to fathom there are 317 teams that have the good fortune of have their opponents make a worse free throw percentange than we do.

Tonight?  PSU goes 10 for 13 or 77% from the line meaning we will probably drop again on the "Luckometer" as there really isnt any explanation for this other than that. 

Either luck or God's will.  I'm going with luck cause the alternative isn't very encouraging.

Kilgore Trout

January 15th, 2014 at 1:04 AM ^

I've seen this come up before and someone commented on us fouling guards instead of bigs likely driving this. I looked at the box scores of our four B1G games...

Penn State - Guards 9-11, Bigs 1-2
Nebraska - Guards 6-6, Bigs 5-6
Northwestern - Guards 3-4, Bigs 4-4
Minnesota - Guards 11-14, Bigs2-5

So, in total, guards are 29/35 (83%) and bigs are 12/17 (70%). I'm not sure if this is really indicative of anything, but I think the high percentage of fouls on guards probably skews it.


January 14th, 2014 at 11:53 PM ^

By the way folks, let's not forget that this Penn State team isn't exactly a terrible team.  They're still "Penn State" to an extent but the've been competetive in most games they've lost (Big Ten) and frankly should have a couple wins.  Frazier is a very talented basketball player who can score, and we know about Newbill from last year.  These guys can ball pretty well, we didn't play a slouch of a team no matter their 0-4 conference record.


January 14th, 2014 at 11:36 PM ^

Michigan trades off more pourous defense for not fouling IMO.  It keeps our key players out of foul trouble and makes the offense that much better and consistant.  Without being able to get a charge called, our personnel just aren't able to play the kind of defense Beilein teams have in years past.  Eventually they will adjust.