December 11th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

But look at all the brackets from the perspective of the one seeds.  They all look highly manageable.

The West has Gonzaga as the 2 (they're not that good) and...Wisconsin as the 3?!?!

The Midwest has Tennesee as the 2 (also not that good) and UNC as the 3.

The East is MSU as the 2 and Texas Tech as the 3? Yes, please.

Per kenpom, the South has the best 2 seed in Nevada, the second best 3 seed in Auburn and the best four seed in Va Tech.

The thing is, this appears to be a pretty down year across CBB.  There is only one team currently with an Adj Efficiency Margin of 27 points or greater right now (Duke). In 2017 7 (!!) teams finished above 27 and in 2016 four teams finished above 29.

We very well could see another crazy tournament like last year when there were also not many really good teams.  Last year only 3 teams had an EM over 27 and chaos ensued (other than Nova being far and away the best team all season and running away with the title).

Taco Panda

December 11th, 2018 at 10:54 AM ^

Agree that it’s too early to get wrapped up in tournament seeding, but damn it’s f-ing awesome to have our basketball team performing so well. Keep winning and go blue!


December 11th, 2018 at 10:56 AM ^

I'm looking at Michigan's schedule and was ready to do a "loss" prediction as to their likely losses.  And then I realized as I was scrolling down that there are not many games on their schedule where I would predict a loss at the moment.  At Wisconsin, at IU, at Iowa, and at MSU will all obviously be tricky, but.... this could be a special season. (Particularly when I think this team has a "ludicrous speed" button that it hasn't even had to push yet against some pretty good competition.)


December 11th, 2018 at 11:20 AM ^

Lack of depth at the 5 could be an issue if Teske gets in foul trouble, agreed.  But I don't think this team "lacks depth" as to the entire roster.  Livers and Eli Brooks are playing well and contributing at really big moments.  Poole, Matthews, and Iggy have all lead the team in scoring multiple times.  I don't think depth is an issue.  Beilein just plays an 8 man rotation.


December 11th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

We're not a bad FT shooting team, we just have 3 bad FT shooters (X, Teske, Matthews). Matthews has looked much improved since his 0-5 start (66% since then). That leaves us with 2 bad shooters. If needed, Teske and X and can be replaced by Livers and Brooks in a late game situation where we know we're gonna get fouled.

Gavia immer_MI

December 11th, 2018 at 11:58 AM ^

There are so many blind spots in this post and other similar posts.

Depth is an issue including and outside the 5 spot. That will get worked on the next month, but it's very much an issue.

Free throw shooting is an issue. That's going to bite us.

Some of the teams we played weren't as good as originally thought. Hello Villanova. Hello Providence. And we just had our hands full with NU and USC.

And while this team is really good right now (so maybe this point is moot), I hate the narrative that Michigan will always become super Michigan as the year wears on. Yeah, there is a track record of this, but it doesn't necessarily mean we are going to become unstoppable.

Not saying we aren't good. We clearly are very good. But this isn't a historical juggernaut that some are trying to make us out to be. At least not yet.


December 11th, 2018 at 12:13 PM ^

I don't understand what you mean by the depth thing.  JB plays 8 man rotations, with a 9th guy who may get some time in a pinch.  I agree that Teske's backup is an issue, but I don't see a depth issue with this team outside of that position.

Nobody is claiming that we are some "historical juggernaut."  You are having a straw-man argument with yourself.  Go look at the schedule yourself.  I have watched every team on our schedule play and we are well positioned to beat all of them.


December 11th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^

There is going to be a total head-scratching loss in there, no matter how good the team is. It's college basketball and it happens (hopefully it just happens in the regular season and nowhere else, but thanks Virginia for showing us how it is done in the tournament). Even though we can't "see" a loss it is going to happen. 

There's an outside chance I might be able to catch the Michigan-Minnesota game in Minneapolis. Minnesota isn't bad this year. It's a mid-week road game. Michigan could win by 25, or they could come out cold and go down early and get run out of the building. These things happen.

The really optimistic projections that still project 4 or 5 losses make me feel good, because they're baking in the unpredictability of the regular season, assuming some things go wrong, and still think Michigan comes out looking great in the end.


December 11th, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

They've looked sharp recently at The Barn.  I am seeing Kohl Center or whatever hardwood opium den exists in Columbus as the tough places.  I am actually hoping for less than 4 losses.  Honestly speaking 4 losses would comfort me more than having 0 losses.  That does not make sense.  Nothing puts steel in the spine like a humbling loss.  


December 11th, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

It's nice and all, but really doesn't mean a thing in Dec. Several things need to happen.

  1. X needs to drive and dish when teams sag off of him at the 3 pt line. (And he needs to continue to shoot the 3, especially against cream puff teams, to improve a bit.)
  2. We have to develop the bench more. Johns? DDJ? One other guy?
  3. Charles has to be wiser about driving and shooting and ball handling. Ditto Iggy.
  4. Re:  Iggy, if he can learn to pass more, it will help. It is great that he is fearless and all, but when you're triple teamed, there has got to be a couple guys open. Find them and pass the ball.

I'm sure there are other things, but those are my four.

EDIT:  Definitely add improved FT shooting, as per mdog.

EDIT:  And I'm glad, looking at ESPN's draft board, that only Matthews and Poole are listed, and not Brazdeikis. Stay another year, young man!


December 11th, 2018 at 11:12 AM ^

X does a decent job of driving and dishing but he could do it more. I noticed how hesitant he was to shoot the 3 when he had an open look against South Carolina. He needs to have confidence in his shot to shoot the 3.

The lack of a deep bench could be a big factor throughout the Big Ten schedule and into the NCAA Tournament. If we don't develop someone, it's going to bite us.

I was really hoping Livers would have a bigger year. He's a good spot up 3 point shooter but he needs more to his offensive game.

We take a huge blow when Teske goes out. Outside of Iggy, I'd say Teske is our MVP this year. Look where we would be without him.


December 11th, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

I think you will see Johns and Dejulius get some run here during this kind of soft spot on the schedule.  I don't think Beilein is all of the sudden going to play 10 or 11 players though, his rotation is about 8 or 9 at the most historically.

I am seeing quite a bit of pessimism from a couple of posts here.  BPONE does not exist in basketball.  This is not a flawless basketball team but a road BIG win and an 11 point home win has cause a little bit more consternation than I would have expected.


December 11th, 2018 at 12:00 PM ^

The only legitimate worry I have right now is just the confirmation of a known issue, and that is Simpson's outside shooting.  Right now he is a legit self-check, he does not need to be guarded on the perimeter.  If that continues teams will sag to the extent that his opportunities to drive and create and pick and roll will be difficult to come by.   He really has to get out of this funk and become at least a threat to knock down an open look or it will begin to really hamper the offense.

Reggie Dunlop

December 11th, 2018 at 12:08 PM ^

Agree 100%. I don't mind him missing. I mind him receiving the pass within the flow of the offense and having a wide-open look and watching his brain shut himself down right as he's about to chuck it. Just shoot it, man. They'll go in. It's between his ears.

I'm also rooting for Davis. I don't think he's been as bad as it's been made out here. But there is a noticeable downshift when he enters right now. They need that 8th guy to participate - be that Davis or somebody else.

Even with all of that, we're talking about a 10-0, Top-5, projected 1-seed. I'm not losing sleep over any of it.