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Posts Tagged ‘ACC-Big Ten Challenge’

Michigan 79 – NC State 72: Stauskas’ hot shooting leads Michigan

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


Final 1st 2nd Total
#3 Michigan 43 36 79
#18 N.C. State 36 36 72

From the start of Tuesday’s Michigan-North Carolina State ACC/Big Ten Challenge battle, it was evident that Michigan had yet to play a team of the Wolfpack’s caliber. On the very first possession of the game, Matt Vogrich threw a careless pass that got stolen and thrown down on the other end by Lorenzo Brown.

Over the next five minutes, the two teams traded baskets until the 14:57 mark following the first TV timeout, when N.C. State star C.J. Leslie made a nice mid-range jumper to take a 10-9 lead. Something felt different. Michigan, who has hardly been challenge yet in the young season, was in for a dogfight.

Within one minute, however, Tim Hardaway, Jr. scored five points to give Michigan a small cushion, a cushion that in the end proved large enough for Michigan to not relinquish.

Nik Stauskas led all scorers with 20 points (Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

Throughout the final 15 minutes of the first half, the Wolverines kept themselves five to nine points ahead of the Wolfpack behind the uncanny shooting of freshman Nik Stauskas. Hardaway, Jr. poured in 11 points in the first half and finished with 16 to continue his season’s prolific pace, but it was the Canadian newbie that stole the show with a dazzling display of shooting and slashing. Stauskas dropped 13 in the first half with three hand-in-his-face three-pointers, a nice lay-up in traffic, and a pair of free throws after drawing contact in the lane. He finished the game with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor, 4-of-7 from downtown, and 4-of-4 from the line in 33 minutes of time as Matt Vogrich got into early foul trouble and looked out of place for the majority of the game.

Stauskas has simply out-played even the most unreasonable expectations for him through six games. At this point he not only has to be considered the best shooter on the team, he has proved that he can snipe with the best in the country. Stauskas’s 95-plus percent free throw shooting mark is icing on the cake, and his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket shows his ability to be a complete scorer, someone capable of taking over a game and carrying his team to victory.

With a seven point lead heading into the half, things were certainly looking up for Michigan, and a fast start out of the gates looked like it would put an end to N.C. State’s hopes early on. And while the first half belonged to Stauskas and Hardaway, Jr., All-American Trey Burke showed why he is one of the very best players in the country in the second stanza.

Burke’s nine first half assists went largely unnoticed due to the show put on by the other Wolverines, but his 18 second half points, including a number of deep clutch threes, were simply too hard to ignore. The floor general’s final line of 18 points (5-of-9 FG, 3-of-5 3PFG, 5-of-8 FT), a career-high 12 assists, two steals, one block, and zero turnovers is almost too good to be true. Stauskas, Hardaway, Jr., and Glenn Robinson III have been so impressive this year that Burke has almost flown under the radar, but his success so far cannot be over-stated. He is unquestionably the man that gets things running, the calm and cool point guard that always seems to get the job done in the biggest situations.

So while Burke was busy proving why he is an All-American in the second half and Michigan was coasting to a 15-point lead, North Carolina State seemed to be down for the count, but there was some fight left in the preseason ACC favorite.

Leslie was terrific throughout, using his long and lanky frame to find his way to 16 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals while leading a furious late rally that saw the Wolfpack cut Michigan’s lead to five points with 2:11 left. Leslie appeared to be ready to take over the game with a variety of quick spin moves and dunks on Michigan’s bigs, and his 12 second half points were key in the comeback, but a late controversial charge was called against him that all but sealed the deal for Michigan. The 10-0 run North Carolina State put together from the 5:42 mark to the 2:11 mark gave the Wolfpack faithful hope, but another nifty Hardaway, Jr. lay-up stopped the bleeding for Michigan and the charge call within the final minute gave Michigan its first signature victory of the season.

Mitch McGary added 8 points and 5 rebounds (Tony Ding, AP)

As Michigan continues to win and climb the charts, the hype becomes harder and harder to ignore. There are few remaining non-conference games that should even pose a threat to Michigan’s undefeated record, and while John Beilein and company are obviously continuing to stress a one-game-at-a-time approach, it’s hard for onlookers to not think about what might be later this season. Many are talking about this team as a national title contender, and though that talk is probably premature and would have been absurd just two years ago, Michigan has shown so far that it will be a very difficult out for any team.

The balance that Michigan displays on offense with at least four players that could conceivably lead the team in scoring on any given night is scary for opposing coaches, and when Michigan’s dominant rebounding thus far is thrown into the equation, there are very few teams in the country on the same level as the Wolverines.

The difference in tonight’s game came down to three stats: three-point shooting, free throws, and turnovers. They may not always be the first numbers that fans look at, but some combination of these three factors will determine the majority of college basketball games. Michigan made seven more threes and shot 12.5 percent better from downtown than N.C. State (37.5% to 25%); made 10 more free throws and shot 13.3 percent better from the charity stripe than N.C. State (80% to 66.7%); and turned the ball over seven fewer times than N.C. State (six compared to 13). The Wolfpack held an edge in both field goal shooting and rebounding, but Michgian won the categories that decided it.

A trip to Peoria, Illinois looms this Saturday for the Wolverines as they will take on Bradley, another team that should turn into a victim.

There comes a time when there is not much to say about a team being so good, and I feel like that time is near. The first ranked team of the year came to Ann Arbor and left with a loss. They certainly won’t be the last.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 3-5 1-2 4-4 2 5 7 2 11 0 2 0 0 32
52 Jordan Morgan* 3-5 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 6 0 0 1 0 23
03 Trey Burke* 5-9 3-5 5-8 0 0 0 1 18 11 0 1 2 37
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 7-18 1-9 1-2 0 3 3 3 16 0 2 1 1 36
13 Matt Vogrich* 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 5
02 Spike Albrecht 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 6
04 Mitch McGary 3-4 0-0 2-2 1 4 5 1 8 0 1 1 0 19
05 Eso Akunne 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
11 Nik Stauskas 6-10 4-7 4-4 0 2 2 0 20 1 0 0 0 33
15 Jon Horford 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Totals 27-54 9-24 16-20 7 18 25 9 79 14 6 4 3 200
N.C. State 32-56 2-8 6-9 9 22 31 18 72 14 13 5 5 200

Michigan vs NC State preview/quick thoughts

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012


After taking home the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship over Thanksgiving last week in New York, the Michigan Wolverines return to Ann Arbor tonight for their much-anticipated ACC/Big Ten Challenge match-up with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. While Mark Gottfried’s team was tripped up in its own preseason tournament by Oklahoma State, they are supremely talented and were projected to win the ACC by the experts before the season started. Tonight’s game at the Crisler Center (7:30pm on ESPN) will be seen by many on national television and headlines the 15th Challenge. Here are a few things to make note of as you watch:

#3 Michigan v. # 18 North Carolina State
Tuesday, Nov. 27
7:30pm ET
ESPN
5-0 Record 4-1
Slippery Rock 100-62
IUPUI 91-54
Cleveland State 77-47
Pittsburgh 67-62
Kansas State 71-57
Wins Miami (Ohio) 97-59
Penn State 72-55
UMass 94-76
UNCA 82-80
Losses Oklahoma State 56-76
812 Points Per Game 80.2
56.4 Scoring Defense 69.2
153-for-286 (53.5%) Field Goal % 147-for-285 (51.6%)
109-for-297 (36.7%) Def. Field Goal % 122-for-317 (38.5%)
41-for-93 (44.1%) 3-point % 31-for-76 (40.8%)
32-for-106 (30.2%) Def. 3-point % 35-for-110 (31.8%)
59-for-82 (72.0%) Free Throw % 76-for-124 (61.3%)
11.8 FT Made/Game 15.2
41.6 Rebounds Per Game 38.2
27.6 Opp. Reb. Per Game 35.6
14.6 Assists Per Game 13.4
10.0 Turnovers Per Game 13.8
3.6 Steals Per Game 6.8
2.4 Blocks Per Game 2.4
G – Tim Hardaway (18.4)
G – Trey Burke (16.2)
Leading Scorer F – T.J. Warren (14.8)
F – Richard Howell (14.6)
F – Glenn Robinson (7.6)
G – Tim Hardaway (6.8)
Leading Rebounder F – Richard Howell (8.4)
F – C.J. Leslie (7.0)

1. Stopping the Stars: Michigan has been extremely impressive thus far, shutting down teams from the likes of Slippery Rock and IUPUI to Pittsburgh and Kansas State last week, and while the latter wins were a little closer, there never seemed to be much doubt as to the outcome of any of the Wolverines’ five victories. That could change tonight, as North Carolina State will certainly be the most talented team to date to challenge Michigan. Mark Gottfried has established a squad that, while not incredibly deep, is extremely talented and very balanced. Junior 6’9″ forward C.J. Leslie was the talk of the ACC coming into the season and is one of six players on the squad to average between 10 and 15 points per game. Leslie’s long, lanky frame makes him an excellent rebounder, as he grabs seven per game, but his 10.8 points per game are a little bit lacking compared to preseason expectations. For the Wolfpack, that hasn’t been a big concern, however, as superstar freshmen Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren have been spectacular, averaging 10.8 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game and 14.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, respectively. Senior Richard Howell has emerged as a big that can rebound (8.4 per game in just 24 minutes) with the best of them and junior Lorenzo Brown is simply filling the stat sheet up with 11.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.2 steals per game; his downfall is in turning the ball over 4.4 times per game and in shooting under 35 percent from the field. The problem such a diversified attack poses is in help defense. Michigan will need to play great man-to-man defense with as little help as possible. The 1-3-1 zone will certainly be utilized on occasion, as only two NC State players have attempted more than 10 threes (Purvis and sharpshooter Scott Wood).

C.J. Leslie and the other big men will put pressure on Michigan inside

2. Packing it in: North Carolina State isn’t the biggest team in the world, starting only two guys 6’8″ or above and rotating in only one more 6’8″ big, but they are strong inside and will attempt a vast majority of their shots as close to the basket as possible. Michigan has been dominant on the glass so far while the Wolfpack have been average, so that shouldn’t be a big problem for the Maize and Blue, but Michigan big men Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary will need to be careful about not fouling. We saw them both get into major foul trouble against Kansas State, and while Jon Horford presents a spectacular option for a third big, Michigan will want to run with a couple big guys for at least a quarter of the game. The zone should be a big part of the game plan to force the ball around the edges and make it tough to get inside, but Leslie, Purvis, and Brown can all get to the rack. Michigan needs to be sure to play tough inside defense without fouling. The Wolverines also need to be mindful of Purvis and Wood on the outside, as they shoot 58.8 percent and 44.8 percent from downtown, respectively, while being aware that few others pose deep threats.

3. Protecting the Rock: The Wolfpack’s Achilles heel so far this year has been in taking care of the ball. They turn the ball over a whopping 14 times per game, and while they like to run the floor and shoot often, scoring 80 points per game, John Beilein is going to do everything in his power to make this game into a half court battle, where Michigan should thrive. If North Carolina State is careless with the ball early, their struggles of late should continue. They barely inched past a now 1-5 UNC-Asheville team 82-80 because they turned the ball over 19 times. Michigan’s fast break and shooting have simply been too good to give them free possessions and still expect to win. The Wolverines are turning the ball over only 10 times per game. A few extra possessions could go a long way for either team.

Prediction: While this will be the toughest test yet for Michigan, the home crowd should give the Wolverines a solid advantage and will propel them to another double digit victory. Tim Hardaway, Jr. has unstoppable all season and has been cleared to play after a scary collision against Kansas State last Friday. His contributions alongside Trey Burke and freshman revelation Nik Stauskas should be too much for the Wolfpack to handle. Michigan does their part for the Big Ten as the conference takes home a fourth straight victory in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, winning 76-65.

Virginia 70 – #15 Michigan 58

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011


Final 1st 2nd Total
#15 Michigan (5-2) 23 35 58
Virginia (6-1) 24 46 70

John Beilein's crew falls to 5-2 on the season (AP photo)

Michigan took to the road for its first true road game of the season but came away with a 70-58 loss to Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

It was clear early on that it would be a defensive battle with two of the better defensive teams in the nation. It took a minute and 15 seconds for the first basket of the game, a three-pointer by Virginia guard Sammy Zeglinski. Zack Novak put Michigan on the board a minute later with a three of his own.

Michigan got in trouble, however, when Tim Hardaway Jr. picked up his second personal foul just six minutes into the game and he sat the rest of the half. Still, Michigan played the first half evenly, taking a one-point deficit into the half.

In the second, Michigan pulled ahead by five at 39-34, but Virginia used a 19-2 run over the course of the next seven minutes to pull away. It was too much for Michigan to overcome and Virginia made its free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Novak led the way for Michigan with 12 points, while Trey Burke added 11 and Evan Smotrycz tossed in 10. Smotrycz, Jordan Morgan, and Stu Douglass each grabbed five rebounds, while Burke added four and four assists.

Michigan was outrebounded for the game 36-26, including 10-3 on the offensive end, resulting in 13 second-chance points for the Cavaliers. The main discrepancy in the game was free throw shooting. Virginia was able to get to the line considerably more than Michigan, attempting 15 more free throws and making 13 more.

The Wolverines had trouble stopping Virginia forward Mike Scott who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Guard Joe Harris also poured in 18 points for the Wahoos.

Michigan returns to action on Saturday at noon at Crisler Arena against Iowa State.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
23 Evan Smotrycz* 4-4 2-2 0-0 0 5 5 5 10 0 1 0 1 22
52 Jordan Morgan* 2-3 0-0 1-2 1 4 5 2 5 0 3 2 1 21
00 Zack Novak* 5-8 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 3 12 0 0 0 2 36
03 Trey Burke* 4-10 1-4 2-2 0 4 4 1 11 4 3 0 1 33
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 2-9 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 3 5 2 2 0 0 25
01 Stu Douglass 3-9 2-6 1-1 1 4 5 2 9 1 0 0 0 28
02 Carlton Brundidge 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
05 Eso Akunne 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 3
13 Matt Vogrich 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 14
15 Jon Horford 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 6
22 Blake McLimans 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 1 0 6
45 Colton Christian 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 5
Totals 22-50 10-22 4-7 3 23 26 20 58 8 11 3 5 200
Virginia 22-53 9-25 17-22 10 26 36 12 70 16 8 3 7 200

Michigan Hoops Preview: Virginia Cavaliers

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011


Michigan held its own in the EA Sports Maui Invitational last week, winning two of three games and playing Duke tough. Tonight, the Wolverines travel to Charlottesville, Va. to face the 5-1 Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

#15 Michigan v. Virginia
Tuesday, Nov. 29
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
5-1 Record 5-1
Ferris State 59-33
Towson 64-47
W. Illinois 59-55
#8 Memphis 73-61
UCLA 79-63
Wins S. Carolina St. 75-38
Winthrop 69-48
Drexel 49-35
Drake 60-52
Green Bay 68-42
#6 Duke 75-82 Losses TCU 55-57
68.2 Points Per Game 62.7
56.8 Scoring Defense 45.3
153-for-312 (49.0%) Field Goal % 119-for-259 (45.9%)
120-for-291 (41.2%) Def. Field Goal % 94-for-281 (33.5%)
42-for-128 (32.8%) 3-point % 25-for-77 (32.5%)
33-for-106 (31.1%) Def. 3-point % 20-for-84 (23.8%)
61-for-95 (64.2%) Free Throw % 113-for-144 (78.5%)
10.2 Free Throws Made/Game 18.8
32.3 Rebounds Per Game 32.7
29.3 Opp. Rebounds Per Game 27.7
12.8 Assists Per Game 11.7
11.8 Turnovers Per Game 13.2
5.2 Steals Per Game 6.7
3.5 Blocks Per Game 3.0
G – Tim Hardaway (17.2)
G – Trey Burke (11.0)
Leading Scorer F – Mike Scott (14.8)
G – Joe Harris (11.7)
F – Evan Smotrycz (5.0)
F – Jordan Morgan (4.0)
Leading Rebounder F – Mike Scott (10.0)

Michigan is 4-6 all-time in the challenge but beat Clemson on the road last season. Overall, the ACC has a 72-47 lead, having won 10 of the 12 years, but the Big Ten has taken the last two.

Virginia comes in with a 5-1 record, but has not actually played anybody yet. The lone loss was a 57-55 defeat at the hands of TCU in the opening round of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was an ugly game in which the teams combined to commit 40 turnovers and it was also the most points the Cavaliers have allowed all season.

Virginia gives up just 45.3 points per game, which is 11.5 better than Michigan’s defense allows, but again, the strength of opponents is much worse.

The Cavaliers were picked to finish fourth in the ACC this season by the media, behind North Carolina, Duke, and Florida State.

They are led by senior forward Mike Scott, a presason All-ACC selection who averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 10 games last season before missing the rest due to an ankle injury. So far this season, Scott is averaging 14.8 point and 10 rebounds.

The Cavaliers return four of five starters including a pair of good three-point shooters in senior guard Sammy Zeglinski and sophomore guard Joe Harris. Harris made 41.7 percent of his threes as a true freshman last year, the highest percentage for a freshman in the ACC since 2000. This season, however, he has hit just 9-of-28 so far. Zeglinski ranked second in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage (43.6) last season. So far this season, however, he hasn’t hit more than two in a single game.

Virginia will present a tougher challenge than Michigan’s first three opponents, but they’re certainly a team Michigan should beat. The Wolverines have the advantage of already being tested this season with games against Memphis, Duke, and UCLA.

Virginia’s guards haven’t seen Michigan’s combination of length, athleticism, and shooting ability yet, so expect a big game from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke.