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Posts Tagged ‘Barclays Center’

(6) Notre Dame 70 – (11) Michigan 63: Second half letdown ends Michigan’s season

Saturday, March 19th, 2016


Irvin vs ND(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan survived Tulsa in the First Four on Wednesday night, but couldn’t carry the momentum to Brooklyn, where the Wolverines’ season came to an end with a 70-63 loss to Notre Dame on Friday night.

Unlike Wednesday’s game, Michigan came out firing on all cylinders and playing tough defense, holding a lead the entire first half. It took more than three minutes for Notre Dame to score its first point, but Michigan had only amassed five. Over the next seven minutes, however, Michigan outscored the Irish 21 to 11 to take a 26-13 lead.

Notre Dame pulled within five, but Michigan scored the final seven points of the half, capped by a Moritz Wagner layup at the buzzer. Michigan took a 41-29 lead into the locker room.

Four Factors
Michigan Notre Dame
48 eFG% 67
28 OReb% 26
11 TO% 26
8 FTR 35

But that was as good as it would get for the Wolverines. Notre Dame scored the first eight points of the second half before Mark Donnal finally got Michigan on the board at the 17:49 mark. Unlike the first half, every time Michigan scored, Notre Dame had an answer. Duncan Robinson hit a three, but the Irish scored four straight. Donnal made anther layup, but Notre Dame scored five straight. And suddenly, with 12:18 to play, the game was tied at 48.

Neither team scored for nearly three minutes until Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem hit a three to give the Irish their first lead. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman answered with a three of his own and Zak Irvin followed to put Michigan back on top. A 6-2 Notre Dame run gave ND the lead, but a Donnal layup with 4:55 to play put Michigan back on top 58-57. It was the last lead Michigan would have.

The Wolverines managed just three points — a Donnal foul shot and layup — over the next three and a half minutes as Notre Dame 66-61 lead. An Irvin layup brought Michigan within three, and after a defensive stop, Michigan had a chance to tie the game in the closing minute. But Irvin missed a three and the Wolverines were forced to foul. Notre Dame sealed the game at the free throw line.

Michigan shot 39.7 percent for the game, but just 28.1 percent in the second half. After making 7-of-14 three-point attempts in the first half, the Wolverines made just 3-of-13 in the second. Meanwhile, Notre Dame shot a blistering 58.1 percent from the field and made 8-of-15 three-point attempts.

Abdur-Rahkman led Michigan with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 3-of-4 three-point shooting. Derrick Walton was the only other Michigan player in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting to go along with eight assists. Donnal, Irvin, and Robinson added nine points apiece.

Beachem led Notre Dame with 18 points, while Bonzie Colson added 12, Demetrius Jackson 11, and Zach Auguste recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Michigan’s season ends at 23-13, while Notre Dame (22-11) advances to the Round of 32 to face Stephen F. Austin on Sunday.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 4-9 0-1 1-2 3 0 3 3 9 1 0 1 0 29
10 Derrick Walton* 4-13 2-6 0-1 1 3 4 1 10 8 2 0 6 38
21 Zak Irvin* 4-16 1-9 0-0 1 3 4 0 9 4 0 0 1 36
22 Duncan Robinson* 3-7 3-5 0-0 0 4 4 3 9 2 1 0 0 38
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 5-12 3-4 2-2 2 2 4 0 15 3 0 0 1 38
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
13 Moritz Wagner 3-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 4 6 0 2 0 1 8
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-3 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 0 7
32 Ricky Doyle 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 4
Totals 25-63 10-27 3-5 11 14 25 14 63 18 7 1 10 200
Notre Dame 25-43 8-15 12-15 5 28 33 9 70 12 16 8 3
200
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: NCAA Tournament vs (6) Notre Dame

Friday, March 18th, 2016


UM-ND2
Michigan (23-12, 10-8) vs Notre Dame (21-11, 11-7)
Friday, March 18 | Brooklyn, N.Y. | 9:40 p.m. ET | CBS
LineNotre Dame -3
Offense
74.1 Points/gm 75.7
(922-1,985) 46.4 Field Goal % 47.1 (869-1,844)
(332-874) 38.0 3-pt FG % 36.9 (235-637)
(417-564) 73.9 Free Throw % 73.5 (450-612)
11.9 FT Made/gm 14.1
32.2 Reb/gm 36.1
14.8 Assists/gm 13.5
9.7 Turnovers/gm 9.7
Defense
67.3 Points/gm 70.6
(896-1,952) 44.5 Field Goal % 42.8 (821-1,918)
(243-710) 34.2 3-pt FG % 37.6 (246-655)
33.1 Opp. Reb/gm 33.8
5.5 Steals/gm 5.6
2.3 Blocks/gm 3.9
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (16.5), Zak Irvin (11.9) Points/gm Demetrius Jackson (15.5), Zach Auguste (14.4)
Derick Walton (5.5), Caris LeVert (5.3) Reb/gm Zach Auguste (10.8), Demetrius Jackson (4.8)

Less than 48 hours after their season came within a minute of ending, the Michigan Wolverines will take on Notre Dame in the Round of 64 Friday night.

Michigan survived a late Tulsa run Wednesday thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by Zak Irvin in the final minutes. Afterwards, John Beilein told anybody who would listen that he hasn’t seen a single look at the Fighting Irish and would start watching film on the plane to Brooklyn.

For the Wolverines to keep their season alive, they’ll have to greatly improve their shooting from beyond the arc. Michigan made just six of 25 attempts Wednesday and might need to double that total to beat a much stronger Notre Dame team.

Luckily for Michigan, Notre Dame is one of the worst defensive teams in the NCAA Tournament and struggles to defend the three-point line. Duncan Robinson will be a major key for a Michigan team that hasn’t shot particularly well for the better part of two months.

Notre Dame is led by senior forward Zach Auguste, one of the few college players to average a double-double this season. Auguste is second on the team with 14.4 points per game and leads the Irish with an average of 10.8 rebounds.

In the back court, Derrick Walton will be tasked with slowing down leading scorer Demetrius Jackson. Jackson 15.5 points and 4.8 assists per game. Walton will have to play like he did against Yogi Ferrell in the Big Ten Tournament, and not like he did against Tulsa’s back court, to slow down Jackson.

With Walton in foul trouble Wednesday, Michigan nearly watched their tournament lives slip away.

Auguste will be a major issue for a Michigan front court that got dominated on the defensive glass in the second half against Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane is undersized, but Mark Donnal struggled to keep it out of the paint.

If Donnal comes out stagnant again Friday, look for Beilein to stick with freshman Mo Wagner, who gave Michigan excellent minutes Wednesday. He doubled his career high with four blocks and grabbed eight rebounds.

With a win, Michigan would earn a third elimination game in five days against the winner of West Virginia and Stephen F. Austin.

Michigan hoops preview & Sam’s 3 thoughts: #12 Villanova

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


UM-Villanova
Michigan (4-0) vs Villanova (4-0)
Tuesday, Nov. 25 | Brooklyn, N.Y. | 10:00 p.m. EST | ESPN2
Legends Classic Championship
Offense
77.5 Points/gm 76.8
(103-220) 46.8 Field Goal % 45.3 (106-234)
(33-74) 44.6 3-pt FG % 28.7 (27-94)
(71-92) 77.2 Free Throw % 71.6 (68-95)
17.8 FT Made/gm 17.0
34.5 Reb/gm 35.2
14.8 Assists/gm 15.5
7.8 Turnovers/gm 9.3
Defense (2013-14)
61.5 Points/gm 57.0
(92-218) 42.2 Field Goal % 43.7 (87-199)
(30-81) 37.0 3-pt FG % 27.4 (17-62)
30.8 Opp. Reb/gm 31.3
6.0 Steals/gm 10.5
3.5 Blocks/gm 4.0
Individual Leaders
Zak Irvin (20.3), Caris LeVert (16.3) Points/gm Dylan Ennis (12.5), Darrun Hilliard (11.0)
Caris LeVert (7.0), Derrick Walton Jr (5.5) Reb/gm Daniel Ochefu (9.3), JayVa Pinkston (6.0)

___________________________________________________________________________________

It hasn’t always been pretty, and it hasn’t been particularly clean basketball yet, but the young Michigan Wolverines find themselves off to a 4-0 start after last night’s 70-63 Legends Classic semifinal win over a decimated Oregon squad. John Beilein’s freshmen still have a ways to go, and even the veterans have looked rushed at times, but there’s little reason to complain over an undefeated start. Tonight (10:00pm, ESPN2), the Wolverines face their toughest test thus far, however, in the Villanova Wildcats. Jay Wright has put together somewhat of a basketball powerhouse in Philadelphia, and the crowd at the Barclays Center won’t be as Maize and Blue dominated as it was last night. How can Michigan escape with another win and the preseason tournament title? Here are my three keys.

1. Play Poised: Villanova is considerably more experienced than Michigan, starting two seniors, two juniors, and a sophomore, and will look to control the pace right out of the gates. Last night, the Wolverines allowed Oregon to dictate flow far too often, and despite recording only eight turnovers total, Michigan often looked out of sorts and unimpressive offensively. If the Wildcats are able to dominate the fast break the same way the Ducks did, Beilein’s squad will be in for a long night and an even longer flight home. Villanova only coughed it up nine times against VCU’s aggressive defense in their 77-53 blowout, and their veteran, guard-dominated style will be hard to rattle. Michigan just needs to run their offense, minimize turnovers, and take advantage of fast break opportunities to control the pace.

2. Crash the Glass: I’m still not sure how the Wolverines never trailed last night despite letting Oregon rebound a whopping 45 percent of their own misses, but another miserable performance on the defensive glass is sure to equal a loss against Villanova. Michigan actually led the nation in defensive rebounding percentage before being beat up last night, and they have the size and athleticism to clean up, but the Wolverines need to stop ball-watching and put bodies on the opponent. The problem with last night wasn’t that Oregon was winning 50-50 rebounds consistently; the problem was that Oregon was too often the only team represented in the vicinity of their own misses. On four or five occasions, the Ducks grabbed uncontested offensive boards and laid (or slammed) them right back in. Those are the easy points Michigan cannot afford to give up against a much better team. Tonight, it’s all about positioning. It doesn’t matter if it’s Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, Spike Albrecht, or Ricky Doyle grabbing defensive rebounds; all that matters is that Michigan is boxing Villanova out consistently on defense and competing on the glass.

3. Guard the Hot Hand: With Villanova’s bevy of guards comes a significant threat from deep. So far, the Wildcats have been ice cold from downtown, with a team mark of only 28.7 percent, and only two players are shooting better than 33 percent, but that won’t last all season. Junior Dylan Ennis, brother of former Syracuse star Tyler Ennis, is hitting at a 40% rate from downtown while freshman Phil Booth has made two of five attempts in limited minutes; but Michigan will also need to watch out for junior Ryan Arcidiacono, a high-volume sniper who can go off at any time despite his current 23.5 percent connection rate, and senior Darrun Hillard II, who shot 41% from distance last year but is shooting a lowly 19 percent so far this year. The young Wolverines should have the advantage from outside, but they’ll need to play smart defensively and stick to the shooters when the drive-and-kick is on.

Prediction: In my preseason preview, I penciled in a loss in tonight’s Legends Classic finale for Michigan, but I like the way the guards are playing and I was extremely surprised by Ricky Doyle’s strong emergence last night. Villanova was also quite unimpressive against Bucknell last week and has struggled mightily to put the ball in the hoop. Further, Michigan has also been playing some solid set defense despite some baffling freshman miscues on that end of the floor. I like Zak Irvin to have a big game tonight while Mark Donnal is the surprise big, helping Michigan to a 71-66 win.

First test passed: Michigan 70 – Oregon 63

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


LeVert layup vs Oregon(MGoBlue.com)

After opening the season with a Division II school and two mid-majors, Michigan faced its first test of the season on Monday night in the semifinal of the Progressive Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Wolverines passed the test with a 70-63 win over Oregon to advance to Tuesday night’s championship game.

Michigan opened the game with a Caris LeVert three-pointer and opened up a 7-2 lead thanks to a Kameron Chatman layup and a Mark Donnal dunk. After an Oregon basket, Zak Irvin hit his first three of the game to give Michigan a 10-4 lead.

The rest of the first half was played within a few points with Oregon pulling even at 25 with 4:50 to play. But Michigan freshmen scored the next four as Chatman made a free throw and Ricky Doyle made a layup and a free throw. After a two minute and 40 second scoring drought, Oregon got a Jordan Bell dunk to pull within 29-27, but Michigan closed the half with a Doyle tip-in and two LeVert free throws. Michigan led 33-27 at the half.

Four Factors
Michigan Oregon
51.1 eFG% 43.2
23.3 OReb% 45.0
12.7 TO% 22.2
63.0 FTR 33.5

Oregon scored the first basket of the second half, but Irvin hit another three. Every time Oregon tried to make a move, Michigan had an answer. The Ducks scored the next six points to pull within one, but four straight Michigan free throws put the Wolverines back on top by five.

With 13:45 to play, Oregon pulled even once again at 40, but Michigan scored the next eight to take its biggest lead of the night. Oregon ended a 3:19 scoring drought with a Joseph Young three, and after two more LeVert free throws, Oregon scored five straight to pull within 50-48.

After a Doyle layup, neither team scored for the next minute and a half until Derrick Walton Jr. made two free throws to put Michigan back ahead by six. Oregon wouldn’t go away, again pulling within one with four minutes left, and again a minute later after the teams traded a pair of free throws. LeVert converted an and-one, but Oregon responded with two free throws.

Leading by two with 1:34 to play, Michigan called a timeout to set up a play. LeVert drove from the top of the key and kicked it out to Irvin on the right wing. Irvin nailed his third three of the game. Four Oregon free throws surrounding two by Walton made it a three-point game and Michigan ball in the final minute.

LeVert missed a jumper, but Doyle grabbed the offensive rebound on the left block. He pivoted back and forth, trying to find a teammate to kick it out to, but unable to find one, dribbled, pump-faked, and put in a game-clinching layup. The final 30 seconds were just a formality as Irvin rebounded a missed Oregon shot and made two free throws to give Michigan a seven point win.

Irvin led the way for Michigan with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He made 3-of-6 three-pointers and grabbed three offensive rebounds. LeVert added 18 points on just 3-of-13 shooting, but made 11-of-13 free throws. Doyle was the only other Wolverine in double figures with 10 points and he also grabbed three offensive boards.

As a team, Michigan shot 45.6 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range. Oregon shot 39.0 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from three. Oregon held a 41-29 advantage on the glass, including an 18-7 advantage on the offensive glass, but turned the ball over 14 times compared to Michigan’s eight. The biggest difference was Michigan’s ability to get to the free throw line. The Wolverines shot and made 11 more free throws than the Ducks.

The Wolverines will face an even bigger test against 12th-ranked Villanova (4-0) on Tuesday night for the Legends Classic championship. The game will tip off at 10 p.m. EST and will be televised by ESPN2.

Three Stars:

***Ricky Doyle***
10 points (4-of-5 FG, 2-of-3 FT), three rebounds (all offensive), one block in 24 minutes

**Zak Irvin**
19 points (6-of-11 FG, 3-of-6 3pt, 4-of-4 FT), five rebounds (three offensive), one steal in 38 minutes

*Caris LeVert*
18 points (3-of-13 FG, 1-of-4 3pt, 11-of-13 FT), five rebounds, three assists, one block, two steals, two turnovers in 39 minutes

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 Kameron Chatman* 1-4 0-1 2-4 0 3 3 1 4 3 1 0 0 15
34 Mark Donnal* 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 4 0 0 1 0 11
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 1-3 0-0 4-4 0 4 4 4 6 2 0 0 0 24
21 Zak Irvin* 6-11 3-6 4-4 3 2 5 4 19 0 0 0 1 38
23 Caris LeVert* 3-13 1-4 11-13 0 5 5 2 18 3 2 1 2 39
02 Spike Albrecht 3-6 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 7 3 2 0 0 35
05 D.J. Wilson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
32 Ricky Doyle 4-5 0-0 2-4 3 0 3 1 10 0 0 1 0 24
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
24 Aubrey Dawkins 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 7
Totals 21-46 5-13 23-29 7 22 29 16 70 11 8 3 3 200
Oregon 23-59 5-19 12-18 18 23 41 24 63 10 14 2 3 200
Full Stats

Holding On: Michigan 68 – Stanford 65

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013


(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan and Stanford faced off in Brooklyn on Saturday night, the former looking for a quality non-conference win to add to its resume and the latter seeking a second straight quality win. For much of the game, Michigan fans were surely seeing flashbacks to last Saturday’s narrow loss to top-ranked Arizona.

The parallels were there. Michigan held a close lead for most of the game, was finally able to widen the lead a bit midway through the second half, but the opponent came back in the closing minutes.

This time, however, the Wolverines were able to close out the game and come away with a 68-65 victory. Though not the signature victory beating Arizona or Duke would have been, it will be favorable on Michigan’s NCAA Tournament resume come March, and even more so if Stanford (8-3) challenges for the Pac-12 title as is certainly possible.

Michigan was held scoreless for the first 4:15 as Stanford jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Glenn Robinson III finally got Michigan on the board with a jumper and Nik Stauskas followed that with a three to tie the game. Robinson split a pair of free throws on each of Michigan’s next two possessions  to give the Wolverines a 7-5 lead. Stanford tied it up after a nearly seven minute scoring drought, but Zak Irvin hit a three to put Michigan back on top, 10-7.

Nik Stauskas led the way with 19 points (MGoBlue.com)

From there, Michigan never relinquished the lead, although Stanford prevented the Wolverines from pulling away. Every time Michigan threatened, the Cardinal responded. A Jordan Morgan layup and another Irvin three put Michigan ahead 15-9, but Stanford got a pair of threes sandwiched around two Robinson free throws.

Michigan scored the next six to take an eight-point lead, but once again Stanford pulled within two. Irvin answered with his third three of the day and Morgan slammed home a dunk and Michigan took a 30-27 lead into the half.

Stanford scored the first points of the second to cut the lead to one, but Derrick Walton Jr. answered to preserve the lead. With just over 16 minutes remaining, Stanford once again pulled within one, but over the next five minutes Michigan widened the lead to nine at 51-42. Four minutes later, a Spike Albrecht three gave the Wolverines a double-digit lead at 56-46. With just seven minutes remaining it appeared Michigan had taken control of the game.

But Stanford wasn’t done. The Cardinal started chipping away at the lead. A Chasson Randle jumper at the 2:21 mark made it a two point game. Albrecht hit a pair of free throws, but Caris LeVert fouled Randle as he drove to the basket. Randle made one of two. On the other end, LeVert was fouled, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. On the rebound, Morgan fouled out and Stanford made one of two to pull within 64-62.

Robinson III got the ball at the top of the key and the rest of the team spread out, allowing Robinson to drive to the basket. He made a left-handed layup to put Michigan ahead by four with 14 seconds remaining. Randle answered with a layup and was fouled by Irvin. He made the free throw to pull within one with nine seconds left.

Stauskas was fouled on the inbounds pass and he calmly sank both free throws. A last second heave by Randle was no good and Michigan hung on for the three-point victory.

Stauskas led all scorers with 19 points, while Robinson III added 17 and Irvin was the only other Wolverine in double digits with 12. Robinson and Irvin each added six rebounds, while Stauskas dished out four assists and grabbed two steals. Morgan scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds in 24 minutes of action in place of the injured Mitch McGary. Jon Horford, who got the start, fouled out in just six minutes while scoring just two points and grabbing no boards.

As a team, Michigan shot just 40.4 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from downtown. Irvin made four of Michigan’s eight threes. Michigan equaled Stanford on the boards at 32 despite a size disadvantage. The Wolverines had a 16-8 assist-to-turnover rate while forcing 12 Stanford turnovers.

At 7-4, Michigan will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule next Saturday at home against Holy Cross (6-5). The game will be televised on Big Ten Network at 6:30pm EST.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 6-10 1-4 4-8 2 4 6 0 17 2 0 0 1 36
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 2-5 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 4 1 1 0 0 21
11 Nik Stauskas* 4-11 2-7 9-9 0 1 1 0 19 4 2 0 2 36
05 Jon Horford* 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 5 2 1 0 0 0 6
23 Caris LeVert* 0-7 0-3 1-4 0 4 4 1 1 5 3 1 2 30
02 Spike Albrecht 1-3 1-3 2-2 0 0 0 3 5 2 1 0 0 17
21 Zak Irvin 4-9 4-8 0-0 2 4 6 2 12 0 1 0 0 18
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 12
52 Jordan Morgan 3-5 0-0 2-2 2 3 5 5 8 1 0 0 1 24
Totals 21-52 8-27 18-26 9 23 32 22 68 16 8 1 6 200
Stanford 22-48 4-10 17-20 5 27 32 19 65 9 12 4 2 200
Full Stats

Sam’s 3 thoughts: Stanford

Saturday, December 21st, 2013


Michigan entered this 2013-14 college basketball season as a consensus top-15 squad, but so far, they have not lived up to the lofty expectations. After making it all the way to the NCAA Championship game earlier this year, the Wolverines are clearly missing their star point guard from a year ago and have yet to record a noteworthy win on the season. Now with four losses already in the books, Michigan needs to start digging themselves out of the small hole they find themselves in. The first opportunity to start that journey is tonight, as the Wolverines travel to the Barclays Center for a clash with a quality 8-2 Stanford Cardinal team (8:30pm on Fox Sports 1). Here are my three thoughts on tonight’s match-up.

Contain Chasson: Much has been made recently of the struggles of this Michigan team in finding a reliable point guard. Freshman Derrick Walton has started every game of the regular season thus far, but his inability to facilitate strong offense in the half court has become increasingly apparent and his turnovers are also concerning. Spike Albrecht is the other option, and while the offense seems to run smoother with the native Indianan on the floor, Michigan becomes vulnerable to attacking guards with the sophomore running the show. John Beilein’s solution to the problem thus far has been to ride the hot hand, and we should see much of the same tonight. With Stanford’s size, however, a bigger lineup featuring Caris LeVert at point guard and two bigs could be deployed frequently this evening.

Johnny Dawkins' squad picked up a signature win at #10 UConn on Wednesday (Jared Wickerham, Getty Images)

Stanford, on the other hand, has had no problems figuring out who their contributors are, and it all begins at the point guard spot. Sophomore Chasson Randle has been money all season, averaging 18.6 points per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from downtown. At just 6’2″, Randle is Stanford’s shortest starter by four inches and would normally draw the opposing team’s point guard, but the answer tonight might be to put LeVert on him and hope to limit his shots. In Stanford’s blowout loss to Pittsburgh, Randle only mustered 10 points on eight shots, but in this week’s massive win over UConn, Randle poured in 22 on 16 shots. Three other Cardinal players, Anthony Brown, Dwight Powell, and Josh Heustis, are also consistently good scorers, but Randle is the one to get everything going. If Michigan can successfully limit Randle’s looks, the Wolverines should pull out a victory, as the Stanford star only tallies two assists per game.

Want it More: Sometimes a basketball game simply comes down to willpower. Tonight, Michigan finds itself in what most are calling a must-win game, and with a crowd that should favor the Wolverines, the Maize and Blue need to bring lots of energy. Mitch McGary has been the guy to bring that energy seemingly everyday, but with a recent spat of injuries, McGary will most likely not be 100 percent tonight. Michigan can ill afford to lose five games before Big Ten season even rolls around, and while three of Michigan’s losses so far have been to high-quality opponents, the time is now for Michigan to show that it can win a game from start to finish. The loose balls, hustle points, and free throws all need to be going Michigan’s way if this team is to compete in the long haul.

Shoot the Lights Out: In losses to Iowa State, Charlotte, and Duke, Michigan’s struggles can basically be boiled down to poor shooting, as the Wolverines never shot better than 27 percent from deep. Tonight, Nik Stauskas and company are going to need to let it fly from long range with confidence. On paper and on film, Michigan is the better team, but their road woes so far are cause for concern. Last season’s games at the Barclays Center saw Michigan shoot very well, but the Wolverines simply haven’t found their offensive groove away from Crisler. With Stanford turning the ball over 12 times per game, and 30 total times in their two losses, Michigan needs to create some havoc on defense, run the floor, and find easy fast break layups and threes.

Prediction: A loss tonight for Michigan could potentially spell doom for their postseason aspirations, but a win would give them a quality neutral court win that should give the Wolverines some confidence with just two weeks to go until conference play begins. I think Nik Stauskas scores 20-plus and Michigan plays two bigs with LeVert at the same time for extended periods of time. It should be a competitive game for a while, but Michigan pulls away midway through the second half for a 78-67 win.

Michigan hoops preview: Stanford

Saturday, December 21st, 2013


#NR/NR Michigan (6-4) vs #NR/NR Stanford (8-2) – Brooklyn, NY – 8:30pm EST – FOX Sports 1
Offense
79.3 Points/gm 79.0
(275-589) 46.7 Field Goal % 48.8 (281-576)
(93-237) 39.2 3-pt FG % 41.8 (71-170)
(150-201) 74.6 Free Throw % 68.3 (157-230)
15.0 FT Made/gm 15.7
36.5 Reb/gm 37.8
15.7 Assists/gm 14.2
9.5 Turnovers/gm 11.9
Defense
63.1 Points/gm 69.7
(238-567) 42.0 Field Goal % 40.0 (239-597)
(54-165) 32.7 3-pt FG % 35.1 (72-205)
32.5 Opp. Reb/gm 33.7
6.1 Steals/gm 5.4
3.0 Blocks/gm 5.7
Individual Leaders
Nik Stauskas (18.3), Caris LeVert (14.0) Points/gm Chasson Randle (18.6), Anthony Brown (15.2)
Mitch McGary (8.3), Jon Horford (5.1) Reb/gm Dwight Powell (8.1), Josh Huestis (7.9)

______________________________________________________________________________________________

With the football team off from Nov. 30 to Dec. 28, the Michigan basketball team has assumed the weekly Saturday schedule throughout the month of December. Michigan hasn’t played since a close-but-no-cigar effort against top-ranked Arizona last Saturday, and after tonight’s game against Stanford, the Wolverines have another week off before returning to action for the final non-conference game of the season against Holy Cross.

While it’s hard to keep any sort of rhythm through such long spans, it does allow John Beilein’s squad to rest and heal up for conference play. Unfortunately, word came yesterday that Mitch McGary is still not close to 100 percent and may not be available to face Stanford tonight, which would be a big blow to Michigan’s prospect of picking up a quality non-conference win.

Regardless, Stanford presents a tough test for the young Wolverines still looking for that quality win. They’ve had plenty of chances, but fell short at Iowa State and Duke and couldn’t hold off Arizona. Each of those losses will make Michigan stronger in conference play, but a win over Stanford would help bolster the Wolverines’ tournament resume come March. Let’s take a look at the Cardinal:

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Chasson Randle 32.0 18.6 52.1 44.4 78.4 3.5 2.0 2.2 0.1 1.0
Anthony Brown 33.9 15.2 55.4 57.9 77.8 5.6 2.3 1.7 0.3 1.1
Dwight Powell 31.8 14.6 48.7 28.6 60.5 8.1 4.2 2.9 1.1 1.6
Josh Huestis 33.7 11.9 49.5 42.9 61.5 7.9 1.5 1.0 2.6 0.4
Stefan Nastic 18.9 7.1 52.1 00.0 65.6 2.4 1.4 1.4 0.9 0.2
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Aaron Bright 19.3 5.9 35.7 38.9 73.7 1.1 1.6 0.7 0.0 0.2
John Gage 9.6 2.9 40.0 33.3 100.0 1.9 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.0
Marcus Allen 8.4 2.1 50.0 25.0 28.6 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.0 0.2
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 8 Bucknell W 72-68
Nov. 11 BYU L 103-112
Nov. 14 Northwestern W 71-58
Nov. 17 at Denver W 66-57
Nov. 21 Texas Southern W 97-71
Nov. 25 Houston* W 86-76
Nov. 26 Pittsburgh* L 67-88
Dec. 1 South Dakota State W 92-60
Dec. 14 UC Davis W 83-56
Dec. 18 at #10 UConn W 53-51
*Progressive Legends Classic

At 8-2, Stanford didn’t have much of a resume entering this week. That changed when the Cardinal upset 10th-ranked Connecticut on the road on Wednesday night. Now, Stanford is sure to enter the Top 25 if it beats Michigan tonight. Prior to the win over UConn, Stanford had lost to every good team it had played and beaten a bunch of nobodies. BYU (8-4) won a shootout in Palo Alto, 112-103, while Pittsburgh (10-1) routed the Cardinal 88-67 in the championship game of the Progressive Legends Classic.

That loss to Pittsburgh does have one benefit, however. Coupled with a  86-76 win over Houston, Stanford has already played two games in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, where tonight’s matchup will take place.

As far as the wins go, aside from UConn, the combined record of the teams Stanford has beaten is 36-43 and the average KenPom rank is 180. If not for that UConn win, Stanford wouldn’t have much of a resume. But then take a look at the six teams Michigan has beaten which have a combined record of 20-43 and average KenPom rank of 254 and you’re a little more humbled. Stanford is currently 37th according to KenPom, roughly in the same territory as Michigan’s best win to date, Florida State. In other words, Michigan needs this win.

The Series

Tonight will mark the first meeting between Michigan and Stanford since 1959 when the Cardinal won 59-52 in the Pacific Coast Tournament. Michigan holds a 1-3 all-time record against Stanford, the only win coming in 1946 when Michigan beat Stanford 45-37.

Notes

• Michigan played in the Barclay’s Center last season, topping West Virginia 81-66.

• Glenn Robinson III has shot 56.1 percent over the last five games.