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Posts Tagged ‘Crisler Center’

Michigan 72 – Northwestern 63: Rahk and Dawk fuel comeback win

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016


MAAR vs Northwestern(Rick Osentoski, USA Today Sports)

Three weeks ago on the same home court, Michigan raced out to a 17-6 lead over Indiana, but lost the game by 13 points. On Wednesday night the Wolverines took the opposite route. Thanks to an 0-for-8 start, Michigan dug itself a 17-6 hole, but fought back for a nine-point win over Northwestern.

It took nearly six minutes for Michigan to score its first basket, a Zak Irvin layup, in front of a sleepy Crisler Center crowd. But then Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman took matters into his own hands, scoring nine of Michigan’s next 11 points to pull the Wolverines within two at 19-17. By the time the first half came to a close, Michigan trailed by just one point.

Four Factors
Michigan Northwestern
53 eFG% 54
31 OReb% 19
15 TO% 15
51 FTR 17

The second half began eerily similar to the first with Michigan missing every shot it took and digging itself another hole. Abdur-Rahkman got Michigan on the board 4:12 into the half, but Michigan trailed 37-30. As Michigan clawed back in, it got a boost from a sophomore off the bench.

Aubrey Dawkins, who has seen his minutes decrease throughout the season, hit back to back three-pointers to tie the game at 44. A pair of free throws by Kameron Chatman gave Michigan its first lead. The game went back and forth over the next four minutes until Dawkins put Michigan ahead for good with his third three of the half. From there on, Michigan hit 10-of-11 free throws to seal the game.

Abdur-Rahkman led the way with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Derrick Walton had a quiet 16, sinking all eight of his free throw attempts. Dawkins added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Northwestern had a trio of players in double figures, led by center Alex Olah’s 19. Tre Demps and Aaron Falzon each added 14.

As a team, Michigan shot 49 percent from the field but just 26.7 percent from three-point range. Northwestern shot 46.3 percent overall and 30.8 percent from downtown. Michigan dominated the glass with a 33-24 advantage, but won the game at the free throw line where they made 20-of-20 compared to Northwestern’s 5-of-9.

At 20-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten, Michigan still has work to do if it wants to breathe comfortably on Selection Sunday. The Wolverines visit Wisconsin on Sunday and then host Iowa the following Sunday before Big Ten Tournament play begins. A win in one of those games should be enough to put Michigan comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field, but lose both and they’ll have to win one or two in Indianapolis to avoid sweating it out.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman***
19 points (8-of-14 2pt, 0-of-2 3pt, 3-of-3 FT), three rebounds (two offensive), two assists, two turnovers in 36 minutes

**Aubrey Dawkins**
11 points (4-of-7 2pt, 3-of-3 3pt, 0-of-2 FT), seven rebounds in 19 minutes

*Derrick Walton Jr*
16 points (4-of-9 2pt, 0-of-2 3pt, 8-of-8 FT), six rebounds, three assists, one turnover in 39 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Derrick Walton Jr – 30
Duncan Robinson – 17
Caris LeVert – 15
Zak Irvin – 15
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 12
Mark Donnal – 8
Aubrey Dawkins – 7
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 2-3 0-1 3-4 2 2 4 4 7 0 1 0 1 30
10 Derrick Walton* 4-9 0-2 8-8 0 6 6 0 16 3 1 0 0 39
21 Zak Irvin* 2-6 0-3 2-4 0 3 3 2 6 2 3 0 0 35
22 Duncan Robinson* 2-7 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 1 5 1 1 0 0 21
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 8-14 0-2 3-3 2 1 3 2 19 2 2 0 0 36
03 Kam Chatman 0-1 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 6
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
24 Aubrey Dawkins 4-7 3-3 0-2 0 7 7 0 11 0 0 0 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle 2-2 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 1 6 0 0 0 0 10
Totals 24-49 4-15 20-25 8 25 33 11 72 8 9 0 2 200
Northwestern 25-54 8-26 5-9 6 18 24 20 63 17 9 0 2
200
Full Stats

#10 Michigan State 89 – Michigan 73: Michigan has no answer for streaking Spartans

Sunday, February 7th, 2016


UM vs MSU(MGoBlue.com)

For the second time in a week Michigan’s best performance came from its bench in garbage time against the opponent’s bench. For the second straight game said bench made the final score look much closer than the game actually played for the first 37 minutes.

The only difference between Michigan’s 89-73 loss to No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday and their 80-67 loss to No. 22 Indiana on Tuesday was that there was no early lead for the Wolverines. In this one, Michigan was overmatched from the start, holding only a 5-3 lead, and when Eron Harris hit a three at the 18:42 mark, Michigan never lead again.

Four Factors
Michigan Michigan State
52 eFG% 78
18 OReb% 33
13 TO% 27
28 FTR 32

The Spartans shot 64 percent from the field and 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from three-point range for the game while holding Michigan to just 44.8 percent overall and 28.6 percent from downtown. MSU made 10-of-14 three-point attempts in the first half including their first five and eight of their first 10. Bryn Forbes was routinely left wide open and made Michigan pay by scoring 23 first half points on 7-of-9 three-point shooting himself.

Zak Irvin led the way for Michigan with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 2-of-6 three-point shooting. Aubrey Dawkins (14 points) and Derrick Walton (11) were the only other Wolverines in double figures. No Michigan player had more than three rebounds and the Wolverines managed just 20 boards for the game. Some of that has to do with the fact that Michigan State wasn’t missing shots. Forbes led the Spartans with 29 points, while Denzel Valentine added 21 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

Michigan has now lost two straight and must turn its attention to simply qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Caris LeVert will see the court again and without him it’s becoming increasingly clear that Michigan is a team that can beat the teams it should beat, but can hardly compete with great teams. At 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten, Michigan may need to go at least 5-2 the rest of the regular season and win at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament to feel comfortable heading into Selection Sunday. However, in looking at the remaining schedule, only Minnesota and Northwestern look to be sure-bet wins for the Wolverines. Purdue, Iowa, and at Maryland are likely losses, while at Ohio State and Wisconsin are toss-ups.

Michigan looks to bounce back from a rough week on Wednesday against a Minnesota team still looking for its first conference win. The Gophers are 6-17 overall and 0-11 in the Big Ten. A Michigan loss in Minneapolis will likely mean an NIT berth next month.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 2-5 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 3 4 0 1 0 1 17
10 Derrick Walton* 3-10 3-7 2-2 0 2 2 4 11 2 1 0 3 35
21 Zak Irvin* 8-16 2-6 1-1 0 3 3 1 19 1 2 0 0 32
22 Duncan Robinson* 1-5 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 25
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 2-5 0-3 2-2 1 1 2 2 6 4 0 0 1 32
03 Kameron Chatman 2-3 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 5 0 0 0 1 25
05 D.J. Wilson 2-3 0-1 1-1 0 2 2 3 5 0 1 0 1 14
11 Andrew Dakich 1-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 2 5
13 Moritz Wagner 0-2 0-1 0-1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 4
24 Aubrey Dawkins 3-5 2-4 6-8 0 1 1 0 14 3 1 0 1 17
32 Ricky Doyle 2-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 14
Totals 26-58 8-28 13-16 6 14 20 18 73 10 9 0 11 200
Michigan State 32-50 14-22 11-16 7 28 35 20 89 18 19 1 4
200
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: #22 Indiana

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016


UM-Indiana
Michigan vs Indiana
Tuesday, Feb. 2 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 9 p.m. EST | ESPN
Line: Michigan -3
Offense
77.4 Points/gm 85.2
(600-1,234) 48.6 Field Goal % 51.7 (667-1,291)
(233-565) 41.2 3-pt FG % 43.2 (220-509)
(269-361) 74.5 Free Throw % 71.8 (321-447)
12.2 FT Made/gm 14.6
32.8 Reb/gm 38.2
16.0 Assists/gm 16.7
9.8 Turnovers/gm 14.6
Defense
64.4 Points/gm 68.5
(518-1,221) 42.4 Field Goal % 43.4 (558-1,287)
(151-451) 33.5 3-pt FG % 33.3 (125-375)
31.6 Opp. Reb/gm 30.0
5.7 Steals/gm 7.4
2.5 Blocks/gm 4.3
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (17.6), Duncan Robinson (12.5) Points/gm Yogi Ferrell (17.5), James Blackmon (15.8)
Derick Walton (5.9), Caris LeVert (5.4) Reb/gm Troy Williams (6.5), Thomas Bryant (5.5)

After sweeping its easiest four-game stretch of the Big Ten season, Michigan returns home Tuesday to kick off a much more difficult second half of the conference slate against Indiana. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers come into the game after a pretty worry-free first half of their own.

Seven of Michigan’s last nine games will come against teams with a winning conference record, and none will be bigger than Tuesday’s matchup against an Indiana team currently tied at the very top. The Hoosiers, though they’ve yet to play any of the Big Ten’s top six teams, are 8-1 and winners of 13 of their last 14 games.

With top-five duo Maryland and Iowa setting the pace, Michigan will have to put together a string of quality wins in February to earn a double bye in next month’s Big Ten Tournament. That journey begins Tuesday night.

Here are three keys to the game.

1. Bielfeldt is back

It’s been a wild ride for former Michigan forward Max Bielfeldt over the last 12 months, going from bench warmer to rotation center to starting big man at Indiana.

Calves came out of nowhere in 2015, playing more than 20 minutes in eight of Michigan’s final 14 games. The redshirt junior topped 20 minutes only once in the team’s first 18 games: A four-point effort against Detroit.

But now Bielfeldt is a major contributor for the Hoosiers, averaging 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 17 minutes per game. He’s also raised his field goal percentage by more than 10 percentage points, shooting a stellar 58.2 percent from the floor.

As a graduate transfer, this will be Bielfeldt’s last game at the Crisler Center, but Michigan fans will see a much different player than the one who came off of John Beilein’s bench with a minute left in blowouts. Bielfeldt is more involved on both ends of the floor with the Hoosiers and has scored in double figures nine times this season.

Beilein said on Monday that he didn’t agree with the NCAA allowing Bielfeldt to transfer to another Big Ten school. That quote alone will tell you Bielfeldt’s old coach understands the veteran’s value on the court.

2. To Caris, or not to Caris?

While the mysterious absence of Caris LeVert in Michigan’s backcourt continues to drag on, both sides of Tuesday’s matchup are focused squarely on one question: Will he play?

But regardless of LeVert’s status, the more appropriate question for Michigan fans might be, “Should he play?”

That’s no knock on LeVert. The senior guard is clearly the team’s most valuable player, leading the way in points, assists and rebounds before his “lower leg” injury. But it’s worth wondering if such a big stage is the right time for Beilein to pull the trigger.

Since LeVert hit the bench, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton have really stepped up their play. Irvin is making a concerted effort to drive to the basket and find his teammates while Walton is filling LeVert’s absence on the defensive boards.

With the offense starting to click in its current rotation, is it the right time to reinsert a player like LeVert, who not only demands the basketball in his hands on most of the team’s possessions, but also might be knocking off a month’s worth of rust?

The obviously problem is that, with Michigan’s upcoming schedule, there’s really no good time to make the transition. The Wolverines only have two opponents left on their schedule — Northwestern and Minnesota — that they can beat without playing a solid game. With having LeVert ready by March as Beilein’s primary goal, he might have to bite the bullet and accept the growing pains that’ll come from putting LeVert back on the court.

Would the future first-round draft pick agree to come off the bench? If so, that might be a good way to ease him back into the flow of things. LeVert has never suggested to be a player with a huge ego, but coming off the bench would definitely be a transition for the third-year starter.

Michigan has been very vague about the nature of LeVert’s injury, so we probably won’t get an answer to our questions until he trots onto the court.

3. Protect this house

Michigan will play perhaps the most difficult second-half schedule in the Big Ten, but it can at least watch its destiny play out on its own turf.

Over the next five weeks, Michigan will host Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern and Iowa at the Crisler Center. That means before the conference title is decided, four of Michigan’s five greatest competitors for the conference crown will take a trip to Ann Arbor.

If the Wolverines can take care of business on their home court, the path to the Big Ten championship will run along Stadium Boulevard.

The Hoosiers didn’t make the trip north last season as the only meeting between these two teams came at Assembly Hall. In fact, last time Indiana saw Crisler, Michigan was cutting the nets and getting ready to raise another banner.

Michigan’s 84-80 win over the Hoosers on March 8, 2014, put the cherry on top of another Big Ten title for Beilein’s squad. Michigan polished off a 23-7 regular season with a 9-5 run in the final minute to hold off Tom Crean’s upset attempt. After a Stanford Robinson bucket tied the game at 75 with under 90 seconds to go, a Glenn Robinson 3-pointer and six perfect free throws sent Michigan into the conference tournament with a No. 1 seed.

Tuesday night’s game will begin with a much different feel. Michigan, for one, is unranked and expected to be a middling seed when it heads to Indianapolis. Meanwhile Indiana, at 18-4 overall, has its eyes set on a top-three seed in the Big Dance.

But those differences don’t change the importance of this game. Michigan can’t afford to drop home games like this if it hopes to emerge as a true contender. This appears to be a bit of a validation game for two teams hoping to keep pace with loaded rosters like the Hawkeyes and Terps.

Michigan’s guards will have their hands full with Ferrell on defense, but Indiana’s athleticism in the front court might be the biggest deciding factor in this contest. With eyes on LeVert, Bielfeldt, Crean and Ferrell in his last trip to Crisler, it should be an entertaining matchup to kick off February in the Big Ten.

Michigan hoops preview: #24 Ohio State

Saturday, February 21st, 2015


UM-OSU
Michigan (13-13, 6-8) vs #25 Ohio State (19-7, 8-5)
Sunday, Feb. 22 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 1 p.m. EST | CBS
Offense
63.9 Points/gm 78.0
(579-1,393) 41.6 Field Goal % 49.9 (756-1,515)
(200-571) 35.0 3-pt FG % 38.4 (186-485)
(303-404) 75.0 Free Throw % 67.5 (330-489)
11.7 FT Made/gm 12.7
30.7 Reb/gm 36.2
11.6 Assists/gm 16.4
9.8 Turnovers/gm 11.2
Defense
63.3 Points/gm 61.1
(612-,1369) 44.7 Field Goal % 39.0 (562-1,440)
(168-492) 34.1 3-pt FG % 31.5 (176-559)
34.0 Opp. Reb/gm 33.2
5.6 Steals/gm 8.1
1.8 Blocks/gm 5.3
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8)*, Zak Irvin (13.5) Points/gm D’Angelo Russell (19.1), Marc Loving (11.2)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr (4.7) Reb/gm D’Angelo Russell (5.8), Amir Williams (4.8)
*Out for season

___________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan’s season is lost, riding a five-game losing streak with just four games to play. At this point, it has been reduced to a fight to finish above .500 in order to sneak into the NIT. Ohio State is firmly in the NCAA Tournament field, and although they’re four games back of Wisconsin in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes have tournament seeding to fight for.

During the game, Michigan will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Michigan basketball team that won the Big Ten championship and finished runner-up to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament, as well as the 30th anniversary of the 1985 team that also won the Big Ten title.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
D’Angelo Russell (G) 33.3 19.1 46.6 43.1 77.4 5.8 5.5 2.7 0.1 1.7
Marc Loving (F) 25.0 11.2 48.8 52.5 79.7 3.7 0.8 1.3 0.3 0.6
Sam Thompson (F) 31.4 10.2 48.6 25.0 62.7 3.7 2.0 1.2 0.9 1.3
Shannon Scott (G) 30.0 7.8 42.2 25.9 63.6 3.5 6.2 2.3 0.1 1.9
Amir Williams (C) 19.0 6.8 68.9 00.0 61.5 4.8 0.3 1.0 1.8 0.7
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Jae’Sean Tate (F) 20.8 8.4 58.1 12.5 54.4 4.8 0.3 1.2 0.6 0.9
Kam Williams (G) 15.7 6.5 47.1 37.5 88.2 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.5
Keita Bates-Diop (F) 10.8 4.2 44.2 40.6 67.9 2.6 0.5 0.4 0.8 0.4
Anthony Lee (F) 11.0 3.4 62.0 00.0 52.6 2.3 0.1 0.6 0.4 0.1
Trey McDonald (C) 10.8 3.1 58.6 00.0 59.1 2.7 0.2 0.5 0.6 0.1
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 UMass Lowell W 92-55
Nov. 18 Marquette W 74-63
Nov. 23 Sacred Heart W 106-48
Nov. 26 Campbell W 91-64
Nov. 28 James Madison W 73-56
Dec. 2 at #5 Louisville^ L 55-64
Dec. 6 Colgate W 70-50
Dec. 10 High Point W 84-64
Dec. 13 Morehead State W 87-71
Dec. 17 North Carolina A&T W 97-55
Dec. 20 #24 North Carolina* L 74-82
Dec. 22 Miami (Ohio) W 93-55
Dec. 27 Wright State W 100-55
Dec. 30 Iowa L 65-71
Jan. 3 Illinois W 77-61
Jan. 6 at Minnesota W 74-72 OT
Jan. 10 at Indiana L 66-69
Jan. 13 Michigan W 71-52
Jan. 17 at Iowa L 67-76
Jan. 22 at Northwestern W 69-67
Jan. 25 #23 Indiana W 82-70
Jan. 29 #16 Maryland W 80-56
Feb. 4 at Purdue L 58-60
Feb. 8 at Rutgers W 79-60
Feb. 11 Penn State W 75-55
Feb. 14 at Michigan State L 56-59
Feb. 22 at Michigan
Feb. 26 Nebraska
Mar. 1 Purdue
Mar. 4 at Penn State
Mar. 8 #7 Wisconsin
*CBS Sports Classic, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Ohio State won the season’s previous meeting, 71-52 in Columbus on Jan. 13. Michigan still had some hope entering that game with a 10-6 record and 3-1 in Big Ten play, but it would turn out to be the second-to-last game with Caris LeVert on the floor, and Derrick Walton Jr would bow out three games later. Since then, Michigan is just 3-7 and enters this afternoon’s game riding a five-game losing streak. Ohio State, meanwhile, has gone 6-3 since that game. The Buckeyes have had a full week off since losing to Michigan State on Valentine’s Day.

The Series

Michigan trails the all-time series 76-100, but has won three of the last four meetings. Michigan leads 46-37 all-time in games played in Ann Arbor. Although Michigan and Ohio State faced off twice last season, neither was in Ann Arbor as Michigan won 70-60 in Columbus during the regular season and 72-69 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal. The last time Ohio State visited the Crisler Center, Michigan sent the Buckeyes home with a 76-74 overtime loss during the 2012-13 season. The last time Ohio State won in Ann Arbor was a 68-64 victory on Jan. 12, 2011.

Notes

• Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring offense (78.0 points per game), scoring defense (61.1),  and scoring margin (plus-16.9)

• Ohio State leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage (49.9), while Michigan ranks second-to-last in field goal percentage defense (44.7)

• Ohio State ranks second the Big Ten in blocked shots (5.3 per game) and turnover margin (plus-4.46)

• D’Angelo Russell ranks second in the Big Ten with 19.1 points per game and leads the conference with 2.8 three-pointers made per game

• Shannon Scott leads the Big Ten with 6.2 assists per game and ranks third with 1.9 steals per game

• Marc Loving leads the Big Ten in three-point shooting (42-of-80 for 52.5 percent)

• Amir Williams ranks tied for second in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (1.8)

Michigan hoops preview: Michigan State

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015


UM-MSU
Michigan (13-12, 6-7) vs Michigan State (17-8, 8-4)
Tuesday, Feb. 17 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 9:00 p.m. EST | ESPN
Offense
63.8 Points/gm 72.0
(560-1,345) 41.6 Field Goal % 47.1 (668-1,419)
(192-549) 35.0 3-pt FG % 40.0 (191-477)
(282-376) 75.0 Free Throw % 62.2 (273-439)
11.3 FT Made/gm 10.9
30.9 Reb/gm 39.0
11.7 Assists/gm 17.4
10.0 Turnovers/gm 12.4
Defense
62.6 Points/gm 61.2
(581-1,319) 44.0 Field Goal % 38.7 (523-1,350)
(162-474) 34.2 3-pt FG % 30.0 (138-460)
34.0 Opp. Reb/gm 30.8
5.6 Steals/gm 5.8
1.8 Blocks/gm 4.6
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.9)*, Zak Irvin (13.4) Points/gm Travis Trice (14.5), Denzel Valentine (13.4)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr (4.7) Reb/gm Branden Dawson (10.0), Denzel Valentine (6.0)
*Out for season

___________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan is out of NCAA Tournament contention barring a Big Ten Tournament title, but the young Wolverines still have much to play for. As Drew Hallett pointed out, no current Michigan State player has won in Ann Arbor. Michigan has had the upper hand in the rivalry the past few seasons, and a win tonight would be five in a row at Crisler and seven of the past 11 overall for Michigan. Let’s take a look at Michigan State.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Denzel Valentine 32.0 14.4 44.1 43.3 84.0 6.0 4.3 2.6 0.2 0.9
Travis Trice 32.8 13.4 38.1 36.7 68.4 3.4 5.4 1.6 0.2 1.3
Branden Dawson 30.5 11.9 53.2 00.0 44.4 10.0 1.9 2.0 1.5 1.4
Bryn Forbes 28.6 9.4 47.0 45.5 80.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.1 0.8
Gavin Schilling 18.4 6.0 60.2 00.0 48.2 4.4 0.5 1.1 1.8 0.3
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Matt Costello 19.4 7.4 59.8 00.0 69.6 5.6 0.7 1.0 1.2 0.4
Marvin Clark Jr. 10.2 5.0 53.0 40.5 75.0 2.2 0.1 0.8 0.4 0.2
Javon Bess* 12.3 2.7 47.8 50.0 42.9 2.9 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.3
Lourawls Nairn Jr. 17.7 2.3 39.3 25.0 50.0 1.5 2.6 1.0 0.0 0.2
Alvin Ellis III 8.9 1.4 20.0 20.0 57.9 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.2 0.4
*Injured
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 at Navy W 64-59
Nov. 18 #4 Duke* L 71-81
Nov. 21 Loyola (Ill) W 87-52
Nov. 24 Santa Clara W 79-52
Nov. 27 Rider# W 77-45
Nov. 28 Marquette# W 79-68
Nov. 30 #11 Kansas* L 56-61
Dec. 3 at Notre Dame^ L 78-79 OT
Dec. 6 Arkansas-Pine Bluff W 85-52
Dec. 14 Oakland W 87-61
Dec. 17 Eastern Michigan W 66-46
Dec. 20 Texas Southern L 64-71 OT
Dec. 22 Citadel W 82-56
Dec. 30 #12 Maryland L 66-68 2OT
Jan. 5 Indiana W 70-50
Jan. 8 at Iowa W 75-61
Jan. 11 Northwestern W 84-77 OT
Jan. 17 at #14 Maryland L 59-75
Jan. 21 Penn State W 66-60
Jan. 24 at Nebraska L 77-79
Jan. 29 at Rutgers W 71-51
Feb. 1 Michigan W 76-66 OT
Feb. 7 Illinois L 54-59
Feb. 10 at Northwestern W 68-44
Feb. 14 #23 Ohio State W 59-56
Feb. 17 at Michigan
Feb. 22 at Illinois
Feb. 26 Minnesota
Mar. 1 at #5 Wisconsin
Mar. 4 Purdue
Mar. 7 at #22 Indiana
*State Farm Champions Classic, #Orlando Classic, ^ACC/Big Ten Challenge

While the previous meeting has set off a four-game losing streak for Michigan, the Spartans have won three of four including that game. The only loss was a 59-54 home loss to Illinois, who Michigan lost to in overtime last Thursday. On Saturday, Michigan State topped Ohio State thanks to a three by Denzel Valentine with 3.2 seconds remaining.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 97-76 and has won three of the last five meetings and six of the last 10. Michigan leads in games played in Ann Arbor, 60-28, and has won the last four. Michigan State won this season’s previous meeting, 76-66 in overtime in East Lansing.

Notes

• Michigan State ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scoring (72.0 points per game) and third in scoring defense (61.2)

• Michigan State ranks fourth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (47.1 percent) and second in three-point percentage (40.0). The Spartans defense leads the Big Ten in opponent field goal percentage (38.7) and against the three (30.0).

• Michigan State is the Big Ten’s worst free throw shooting team, shooting just 62.2 percent

• Michigan State leads the Big Ten in rebounding margin (plus-8.2) and assists (17.4 per game). The Spartans lead the conference in defensive rebounds (27.1) and rank tied for third in offensive rebounds (11.9).

• Branden Dawson leads the Big Ten with an average of 10.0 rebounds per game. He’s the only player averaging double-digit rebounds and leads the conference in both offensive rebounds per game (3.2) and defensive rebounds per game (6.8 – tied with Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky)

• Travis Trice ranks third in the Big Ten in assists per game (5.4) and leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3)

• Bryn Forbes ranks third in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (45.5)

Michigan hoops preview: Northwestern

Saturday, January 17th, 2015


UM-Northwestern
Michigan (10-7, 3-2) vs Northwestern (10-7, 1-3)
Saturday, Jan. 17 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 8:15 p.m. EST | Big Ten Network
Offense
66.1 Points/gm 65.2
(388-926) 41.9 Field Goal % 43.1 (395-916)
(139-392) 35.5 3-pt FG % 34.4 (115-334)
(208-284) 73.2 Free Throw % 72.9 (204-280)
12.2 FT Made/gm 12.0
31.8 Reb/gm 35.3
12.7 Assists/gm 14.6
10.2 Turnovers/gm 11.5
Defense
62.8 Points/gm 62.4
(394-894) 44.1 Field Goal % 41.3 (375-907)
(115-325) 35.4 3-pt FG % 35.9 (98-273)
33.8 Opp. Reb/gm 32.7
6.2 Steals/gm 3.2
1.7 Blocks/gm 4.0
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8), Zak Irvin (14.4) Points/gm Bryant McIntosh (12.4), Tre Demps (12.2)
Caris LeVert (4.8), Derrick Walton Jr (4.5) Reb/gm Alex Olah (7.2), Vic Law (5.0)

___________________________________________________________________________________

After winning both games last week, Michigan got demolished by Ohio State in Columbus on Tuesday and is in danger of falling to .500 in conference play with a loss tonight. Northwestern comes to town with an identical 10-7 overall record, but the Wildcats have just one Big Ten win so far. Michigan is going to have to play itself into the NCAA Tournament at this point, which means games like this are must-wins the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at Northwestern.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Bryant McIntosh 32.9 12.4 32.9 42.2 85.7 2.7 4.5 2.9 0.3 0.2
Tre Demps 31.9 12.2 38.7 28.7 64.1 3.6 2.6 1.2 0.1 0.4
Alex Olah 27.9 10.3 46.8 35.0 72.5 7.2 1.5 1.8 1.7 0.4
Vic Law 24.5 6.6 36.2 20.5 80.6 5.0 1.5 1.6 0.6 0.4
Sanjay Lumpkin 27.4 6.4 57.4 36.4 71.0 4.8 1.2 0.8 0.3 0.8
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
JerShon Cobb 21.9 5.8 35.9 31.6 68.8 2.8 1.5 1.0 0.1 0.3
Nathan Taphorn 9.2 4.3 59.1 52.0 66.7 4.4 0.4 0.4 0.0 0.1
Scottie Lindsey 11.4 4.2 45.3 44.0 72.7 2.1 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.2
Dave Sobolewski 8.0 2.1 37.5 38.9 81.8 0.6 0.5 0.2 0.0 0.3
Gavin Skelly 8.4 1.9 50.0 00.0 54.5 2.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.3
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 Houston Baptist W 65-58
Nov. 17 at Brown W 69-56
Nov. 20 North Florida W 69-67
Nov. 22 Elon W 68-67 OT
Nov. 25 Miami (Ohio)* W 55-46
Nov. 26 Northern Illinois* L 42-61
Dec. 3 Georgia Tech^ L 58-66
Dec. 6 at #23 Butler L 56-65
Dec. 14 Missouri Valley State W 101-49
Dec. 17 Central Michigan L 67-80
Dec. 20 Western Michigan W 67-61
Dec. 22 UIC W 63-46
Dec. 27 Northern Kentucky W 76-55
Dec. 30 at Rutgers W 51-47
Jan. 4 #4 Wisconsin L 58-81
Jan. 11 at Michigan State L 77-84 OT
Jan. 14 Illinois L 67-72
Jan. 17 at Michigan
Jan. 22 Ohio State
Jan. 25 at #14 Maryland
Jan. 31 Purdue
Feb. 3 at Nebraska
Feb. 7 at #7 Wisconsin
Feb. 10 Michigan State
Feb. 15 Iowa
Feb. 18 at Minnesota
Feb. 21 Penn State
Feb. 25 Indiana
Feb. 28 at Illinois
Mar. 3 Michigan
Mar. 7 at Iowa
*Cancun Challenge, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

The only common opponent so far this season is Illinois. Michigan beat the Illini 73-65 in overtime to open Big Ten play, while Northwestern lost to their in-state rival 72-67 on Wednesday. The Wildcats don’t have a good win yet this season, having lost to the only ranked teams they have played, 23rd-ranked Butler, 65-56 on Dec. 6 and seventh-ranked Wisconsin 81-58 two weeks ago. They also lost their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup to Georgia Tech, 66-58.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 108-56 and has won the last six matchups. Michigan also leads 62-20 in Ann Arbor. Last season, Michigan beat Northwestern 74-51 in the teams’ only meeting. The last time Northwestern beat the Wolverines was a 74-60 decision in Evanston on Jan. 18, 2011, and the last time Northwestern won at Crisler was on Jan. 10, 2010.

Notes

• Caris LeVert is the only player in a Power 5 conference (and one of six nationally) to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks

• Northwestern is the second-lowest scoring team in the Big Ten, averaging 65.2 points per game. Michigan is the third-lowest.

• Northwestern ranks 11th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (43.1 percent) and field goal percentage defense (41.3 percent)

• Northwestern ranks 9th in the Big Ten in three-point shooting (34.4 percent) and 13th in three-point shooting defense (30.8 percent)

• Northwestern ranks last in the Big Ten with just 55 steals (3.2 per game). The next closest team, Wisconsin, has 91 (5.1 per game). Michigan ranks 6th with 106 (6.2 per game)

• Northwestern ranks last in the Big Ten in turnover margin, averaging 0.94 more turnovers than their opponents per game

• Alex Olah ranks third in the Big Ten with 7.2 rebounds per game

Michigan hoops preview: Minnesota

Friday, January 9th, 2015


UM-Minnesota
Michigan (9-6, 2-1) vs Minnesota (11-5, 0-3)
Saturday, Jan. 10 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 1 p.m. EST | ESPN
Offense
67.3 Points/gm 79.9
(347-815) 42.6 Field Goal % 48.2 (469-974)
(129-348) 37.1 3-pt FG % 39.9 (121-303)
(186-258) 72.1 Free Throw % 64.8 (219-338)
12.4 FT Made/gm 13.7
31.8 Reb/gm 35.3
13.3 Assists/gm 18.6
10.1 Turnovers/gm 13.4
Defense
62.6 Points/gm 65.8
(347-788) 44.0 Field Goal % 41.5 (366-881)
(102-285) 35.8 3-pt FG % 33.7 (103-306)
33.4 Opp. Reb/gm 36.6
6.3 Steals/gm 11.7
1.8 Blocks/gm 4.1
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.8), Zak Irvin (14.7) Points/gm Maurice Walker (12.9), Carlos Morris (12.7)
Caris LeVert (5.1), Derrick Walton Jr (4.4) Reb/gm Maurice Walker (6.1), Andre Hollins (3.9)

___________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan picked up its first Big Ten road win of the season on Tuesday with a 73-64 win over Penn State. On Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines look for their first conference winning streak when they host Minnesota. Let’s take a look at the matchup.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Maurice Walker 21.9 12.9 63.2 00.0 69.1 6.1 0.6 2.3 1.6 1.6
Carlos Morris 27.9 12.7 44.0 34.0 75.0 3.8 2.6 2.1 0.2 2.3
Andre Hollins 28.3 12.4 42.3 42.4 75.8 3.9 2.6 2.3 0.0 1.2
DeAndre Mathieu 29.6 9.9 49.6 47.1 73.2 2.9 5.7 2.1 0.0 2.6
Joey King 27.8 9.3 45.8 40.4 78.3 3.3 1.9 1.4 0.5 0.6
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Nate Mason 24.0 10.0 44.1 45.3 61.5 3.4 2.8 0.9 0.1 2.2
Elliott Eliason 14.0 4.7 70.5 00.0 46.4 3.8 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.4
Charles Buggs 11.2 4.1 44.9 36.0 54.2 1.9 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.2
Bakary Konate 9.1 2.4 47.1 00.0 54.2 2.2 0.3 0.8 0.6 0.6

The same five players have started each game this season and Minnesota has four players averaging double figures. Fifth-year senior forward Maurice Walker is the leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. At 6’10”, 255-pounds, he has the size to give Michigan trouble inside. He’s coming off great performances against two of the better teams in the conference, Maryland and Ohio State, against which he combined to make 16-of-29 shots, score 38 points and grab 19 rebounds.

Junior guard Carlos Morris is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points per game. Believe it or not, at 34 percent, the 6’5″, 175-pounder is the worst three-point shooter among the top five on the team. Part of that is due to a 2-of-10 three-point performance against Maryland. The most he has even attempted in any of the other 15 games is four. He has a season high of 24 points scored against UNC-Wilmington on Dec. 27, and scored 18 in that Maryland game. But he followed up that 21-shot outing by attempting just five shots against Ohio State on Tuesday and finishing with just six points.

Senior guard Andre Hollins (6’2″, 195) averages 12.4 points per game and is the most dangerous three-point shooter, leading the team with 36 made threes and 85 attempts. By comparison, Zak Irvin has made 40 on 111 attempts. Hollins has three 20-plus point games this season with a high of 27 against Wake Forest, but his scoring has fallen off a bit lately. He has averaged just 7.6 points per game in the last five. In the first three games of Big Ten play, he is shooting just 18.8 percent (6-of-32) from the field and 22.2 percent (4-of-18) from three-point.

Senior guard DeAndre Mathieu (5’9″, 170) is just under double digits at 9.9 points per game, but he fills the stat sheet in other ways as well. He leads the Big Ten with 5.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game and is shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from three. He delivered his best scoring output of the season against Ohio State on Tuesday, scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

The fifth starter is 6’9″, 235-pound junior forward Joey King. Like Hollins and Mathieu, he’s shooting over 40 percent from downtown (40.4 percent). He’s averaging 9.3 points per game, but after a 19-point game against Furman, he managed just three and five against Maryland and Ohio State, respectively.

Freshman guard Nate Mason (6’1″, 185) is the top man off the bench, averaging nearly starter minutes and 10 points per game. He ranks second on the team with 2.8 assists per game and third with 2.2 steals. He had a four-game stretch at the end of December in which he averaged nearly 15 points per game, but Maryland and Ohio State held him to a combined 3-of-14 shooting (0-of-5 three-point) and nine points.

No one else plays more than 14 minutes a game. Fifth-year senior Elliott Eliason (6’11”, 245) spells Walker down low, but averages just 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. While his season high is eight points, he scored 10 and eight in the two games against Michigan last season, including a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in the first one.

Redshirt sophomore Charles Buggs (6’9″, 220) and freshman Bakary Konate (6’11”, 225) also provide frontcourt minutes off the bench. The pair combine for 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game.

The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 #8 Louisville# L 68-81
Nov. 18 Western Kentucky W 76-54
Nov. 20 Franklin Pierce W 109-57
Nov. 22 UMBC W 69-51
Nov. 26 St. John’s* L 61-70
Nov. 28 Georgia* W 66-62
Dec. 2 at Wake Forest^ W 84-69
Dec. 5 Western Carolina W 84-64
Dec. 8 North Dakota W 82-56
Dec. 10 Southern W 85-57
Dec. 19 Seattle W 92-57
Dec. 22 Furman W 86-76
Dec. 27 UNCW W 108-82
Dec. 31 at Purdue L 68-72
Jan. 3 at #12 Maryland L 58-70
Jan. 6 #22 Ohio State L 72-74 OT
Jan. 10 at Michigan
Jan. 13 Iowa
Jan. 17 Rutgers
Jan. 20 at Nebraska
Jan. 24 Illinois
Jan. 28 at Penn State
Jan. 31 Nebraska
Feb. 7 Purdue
Feb. 12 at Iowa
Feb. 15 at Indiana
Feb. 18 Northwestern
Feb. 21 at #4 Wisconsin
Feb. 26 at Michigan State
Mar. 5 #4 Wisconsin
Mar. 8 Penn State
#Armed Forces Classic, *NIT Season Tip-Off, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge

The only common opponent Michigan and Minnesota share so far this season is Purdue, and both lost to the Boilermakers on the road. Purdue came back from 11 points down in the second half to beat Minnesota by four, and then came back from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Michigan by 13.

The Series

Michigan leads the all-time series 88-65 and carries a six-game winning streak over the Gophers into Saturday’s matchup. Michigan has won 10 of the past 11 meetings and leads the series 53-20 in Ann Arbor with the last home loss coming on Jan 22, 2011. Last season, Michigan beat Minnesota 63-60 in Minneapolis on Jan. 2 and 65-56 in Ann Arbor on March 1. John Beilein is 11-3 against Minnesota since becoming head coach at Michigan.

Notes

• Minnesota just missed the NCAA Tournament last season, but earned a No.1 seed in the NIT and won the whole thing, defeating fellow No.1s Florida State and SMU, in the process. The Gophers finished the season 25-13 overall and 8-10 in Big Ten play

• Minnesota has started the same five players in all 16 games this season

• Minnesota leads the Big Ten with 11.7 steals per game. Guard DeAndre Mathieu leads all Big Ten players with 41 steals (2.6 per game), while Carlos Morris (2.3) and Nate Mason (2.2) rank third and fourth, respectively

• Minnesota ranks third in the conference in scoring, averaging 79.9 points per game, and three-point shooting at 39.9 percent

Michigan 73 – Illinois 65 OT

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


Dawkins vs Illinois(MGoBlue.com)

On a celebratory afternoon for the Michigan football program, in which new head coach Jim Harbaugh was introduced at halftime, the basketball team pulled together an inspired performance to top Illinois 73-65 in overtime.

Fans who packed the Crisler Center to the rafters to catch a glimpse of Harbaugh didn’t have much to cheer for through the first 20 minutes as Michigan and Illinois went back and forth in an uneventful half.

Michigan jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but Illinois went on an 18-6 run over the next 12 minutes to grab a 20-13 lead. True freshman Aubrey Dawkins hit a three to end the drought, and back-to-back baskets by Max Bielfeldt and Ricky Doyle tied the game. But Illinois outscored Michigan 12-6 over the last four minutes of the half to take a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

Illinois guard Malcolm Hill kicked off the second half with a three and the Illini kept piling on, reaching a 13-point lead midway through the half. Dawkins nailed his second three of the game to stop the bleeding, and Zak Irvin followed with two straight threes to cut the deficit to six. After an Illinois dunk, Dawkins connected again, and after an Illinois free throw, another Dawkins three brought Michigan within three points.

Four Factors
Michigan Illinois
48.5 eFG% 46.6
27.5 OReb% 20.0
7.4 TO% 14.9
21.2 FTR 24.1

Michigan forced a turnover and LeVert scored to pull within one, but Hill answered with a bucket of his own. With less than three minutes to play, two straight Doyle baskets gave Michigan its first lead since the opening minutes. Hill answered with another jumper to put Illinois back on top, but Doyle responded with another layup to give Michigan a 58-57 lead with 1:13 remaining. Hill hit a pair of free throws to tip the scales back in Illinois’ favor, but Doyle made one of two free throws to tie the game at 59. A last-second Illinois attempt fell short, sending the game into overtime.

Hill stayed hot, scoring the first basket of the extra frame, but Dawkins made a pair of free throws to tie it and Irvin followed with a three. After a pair of Hill free throws, Dawkins nailed his sixth three of the game to put Michigan ahead by four and Michigan never looked back.

Dawkins, who had scored just 15 points all season coming into the game, led the way with 20 on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. LeVert followed with 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Irvin and Doyle each finished with 13 points. Spike Albrecht led Michigan with six rebounds, while Irvin, Dawkins, and Mark Donnal added five apiece.

As a team, Michigan shot 40.9 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from downtown. But a hot second half and overtime, in which Michigan shot 47.1 percent overall and 44.4 percent from long range, propelled the Wolverines to victory. Michigan also out-rebounded Illinois 39-36 and committed just five turnovers compared to the Illini’s 12. Hill was the only Illinois player in double figures with 19 points, while Rayvonte Rice was held to eight on 3-of-11 shooting.

At 1-0 in the Big Ten and 8-5 overall, Michigan hits the road for two straight against Purdue (8-5, 0-0) on Saturday and Penn State (12-1, 0-0) on Tuesday.

Three Stars:

***Aubrey Dawkins***
20 points (career high, 6-of-8 FG, 6-of-7 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), one turnover in 24 minutes

**Caris LeVert**
19 points (9-of-19 FG, 1-of-5 3pt, 0-of-2 FT), three rebounds (one offensive), five assists, two steals, one turnover in 42 minutes

*Zak Irvin*
13 points (4-of-15 FG, 3-of-10 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist, one steal in 42 minutes

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 Kameron Chatman* 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle* 5-6 0-0 3-6 1 1 2 1 13 1 0 0 1 21
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 0-8 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 1 1 0 1 27
21 Zak Irvin* 4-15 3-10 2-2 0 5 5 2 13 1 0 0 1 42
23 Caris LeVert* 9-19 1-5 0-2 1 2 3 1 19 5 1 0 2 42
02 Spike Albrecht 1-3 0-1 2-2 0 6 6 0 4 5 0 0 2 25
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
24 Aubrey Dawkins 6-8 6-7 2-2 2 3 5 3 20 0 1 0 0 24
34 Mark Donnal 0-3 0-2 0-0 2 3 5 2 0 1 1 0 0 21
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
Totals 27-66 10-28 9-14 11 28 39 12 73 15 5 1 7 205
Illinois 24-58 6-15 11-14 7 29 36 15 65 11 12 4 2 205
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Syracuse

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


UM-Syracuse
Michigan (5-1) vs Syracuse (5-1)
Tuesday, Dec. 2 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 7:30 p.m. EST | ESPN
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Offense
76.0 Points/gm 70.2
(158-334) 47.3 Field Goal % 44.4 (159-358)
(53-119) 44.5 3-pt FG % 20.2 (18-89)
(87-113) 77.0 Free Throw % 66.9 (85-127)
14.5 FT Made/gm 14.2
34.2 Reb/gm 42.7
14.0 Assists/gm 15.0
9.2 Turnovers/gm 12.3
Defense
61.3 Points/gm 51.7
(138-325) 42.5 Field Goal % 34.1 (110-323)
(44-120) 36.7 3-pt FG % 26.8 (33-123)
30.3 Opp. Reb/gm 33.2
5.8 Steals/gm 9.8
2.5 Blocks/gm 6.3
Individual Leaders
Zak Irvin (17.7), Caris LeVert (17.5) Points/gm Rakeem Christmas (17.5), C. McCullough (15.3)
Caris LeVert (6.2), Derrick Walton Jr (5.4) Reb/gm Rakeem Christmas (9.5), C. McCullough (8.3)

___________________________________________________________________________________

Despite losing to 12th-ranked Villanova in the Legends Classic championship game last Tuesday, Michigan showed it can compete with the nation’s best. The Wolverines rebounded from that loss with a 91-62 win over Nicholls State on Saturday and now host Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The last time Michigan and Syracuse faced off a national championship game appearance was on the line. Michigan topped the Orange 61-56 in the 2013 Final Four to reach the title game. This time, the only thing on the line is a chance to pick up an early-season quality win that will pay dividends come tournament time. Michigan will get another chance for that when it travels to Arizona next week, but getting Syracuse at home on national television is a prime opportunity.

Syracuse comes in with an identical 5-1 record with wins over Kennesaw State (89-42), Hampton (65-47), Iowa (66-63), Loyola (70-37), and Holy Cross (72-48) and a loss to California (73-59). Like usual under head coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse gets it done defensively, allowing an average of 51.7 points per game, which ranks ninth nationally. In addition, Syracuse is holding opponents to just 34.1 percent from the field (eighth nationally) and 26.8 percent from three-point range.

Three players average in double figures, led by 6’9″, 250-pound senior forward Rakeem Christmas, who averages 17.5 points. He also leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per game and 15 blocks. He has scored at least 15 points in five of six games this season. The only one he didn’t was the loss to Cal in which he was held to eight on 3-of-10 shooting. The last time out, he scored 25 against Holy Cross on 8-of-10 shooting and 9-of-10 free throw shooting.

Freshman forward Chris McCullough (6’10”, 220) is the second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 board per game. He scored a season high 20 points against Iowa and has two double-doubles in six games.

Redshirt junior guard Trevor Cooney (6’4″, 195) is the only other player in double figures, averaging 10.2 points per game, but he has struggled from three-point range, having made just 9-of-33. Freshman guard Kaleb Joseph (6’3″, 165) is the fourth player that has started all six games this season. He leads the team with 6.2 assists per game while scoring 8.5 points, but he has also turned the ball over 21 times. He has only attempted three three-pointers and missed all of them.

Sophomore forward Tyler Roberson (6’8″, 212) started the first four games and averaged 6.5 points and five rebounds, but missed the last two with a strained abdominal muscle. It is unclear whether he will be ready for tonight’s game. In his place has been 6’7″, 185-pound sophomore forward B.J. Johnson. He has averaged 7.8 points and 7.6 rebounds thanks in large part to a 19-point, eight-rebound performance in the season opener against Kennesaw State. However, he was held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting in the loss to Cal.

Junior forward Michael Gbinije (6’7″, 200) is the first man off the bench, averaging six points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He ranks second on the team with 10 steals, but has made just 2-of-16 three-point attempts to start the season. Ron Patterson, a 6’2″, 200-pound sophomore guard, is the only other player averaging double-digit minutes per game (10.2), but he has very little production, averaging 1.2 points and 1.7 assists.

Syracuse is shooting just 20.2 percent from three-point range so far this season and averaging 5.8 fewer points than Michigan. But the Orange have a major advantage inside with a 8.5 rebounds per game edge. If Michigan can force Syracuse to settle for long shots and limit Syracuse’s second-chance opportunities, the Wolverines will have an excellent opportunity to pick up a win. But Michigan’s big men — Ricky Doyle, Mark Donnal, and Max Bielfeldt — will have to control Christmas and McCullough without getting into foul trouble, especially with D.J. Wilson out several weeks with an injury.

Derick’s 3 Thoughts: Bucknell

Monday, November 17th, 2014


UM-Bucknell

Fans got their first look of the 2014-15 Michigan basketball team on Saturday afternoon, when the Wolverines discarded Hillsdale College 92-68. Now Bucknell comes to town after winning their opener in a much closer battle: 75-72 over Marist.

John Beilein’s teams haven’t always jumped out to fast starts. In 2013 Michigan was 6-4 and the season seemed to be spinning out of control before the Wolverines righted the ship and won the Big Ten by three games.

Game two comes to Crisler on Monday night as the Bison prepare to take on the offensively-charged Wolverines. Michigan will look to build off a strong finish against Hillsdale and avoid another slow start. Here are three thoughts to keep in mind while Michigan and Bucknell battle on the hardwood.

1. Don’t overlook the Bison

Michigan is one of the top contenders in the best conference in college basketball, so it should have no problem disposing of Bucknell in the Crisler Center. But the Wolverines can’t come into this matchup unprepared and disappear for stretches like they did against Division II Hillsdale.

Bucknell has won 20 or more games in three of their last four seasons and upset the Big Ten’s Penn State in Happy Valley last season. That win came in the second game of the year, when the teams were still working to find their identities. Michigan needs to come out of the tunnel strong and put the Bison away early.

Beilein won’t simply be able to put Caris LeVert on Bucknell’s top scorer to shut down the opposing offense Monday, as five players scored in double figures for the Bison in their opener against Marist. LeVert stifled Hillsdale’s Stedman Lowry after the freshman scored 11 of his team’s first 15 points in the opening five minutes.

Beilein’s young team will have plenty of chances to beat up on inferior competition, but it will want to bring it’s A game against the perennial Patriot League powerhouse Monday night.

Former Michigan graduate assistant Dave Paulsen returns to the Crisler Center as head coach of Bucknell

Former Michigan graduate assistant Dave Paulsen returns to the Crisler Center as Bucknell’s head coach (Getty Images)

2. Find a way to get the post involved

Michigan’s guards put on quite an offensive show in the opener, as Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin and LeVert each scored at least 20 points and combined for 63 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. LeVert even made a bid for a triple-double, falling just two boards and a dime short on the night.

But as the nonconference schedule continues, Michigan should look to establish its trio of 6’9″ post players as stiffer competition looms. When the Big Ten season starts, the Wolverines will need contributions from the big men, even against elite post players like Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Purdue’s A.J. Hammons and Northwestern’s Alex Olah.

Yes, the offense will run through the talented guards all season, as it did through Trey Burke in 2012 and Nik Stauskas last season. But if Michigan can add an offensive presence in the paint, it will free up even more open shots for the sharpshooters.

Take a look at the performance of the big men on Saturday. Mark Donnal, Ricky Doyle and D.J. Wilson combined to shoot six for eight from the field, scoring 18 points. If that trio continues to score with such efficiency, Michigan should really use these early-season games to develop the three freshmen.

Donnal and Doyle spent most of their time in the paint, grabbing five rebounds in 35 combined minutes on the floor. If Michigan works those two into the offense, it will be much more difficult for opposing teams to cheat toward the countless three-point threats around the arc in Beilein’s sceme.

Wilson, on the other hand, is much more likely to factor into the offense with a bigger role. The versatile forward played just nine minutes against Hillsdale, but can score inside and out, even knocking in a couple of three-pointers from the corner against Wayne State in the team’s exhibition matchup.

If Michigan doesn’t get the post involved during the early games when Michigan clearly holds the upper hand, then it will never happen. Tonight is the first chance to really help the three forwards spark their offense at the college level.

3. Keep up that freshmen hustle

One of the most documented themes of this Michigan basketball season is the youth of Beilein’s roster. A roster that lacks any seniors (counting Max Bielfeldt as a redshirt junior) will definitely hit some speed bumps due to lack of experience. But the important thing is to make up for that hole with hustle plays.

Beilein played six freshmen Saturday that figure to take on significant roles this season in Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Wilson, Doyle and Donnal. Those players demonstrated their enthusiasm to be playing major college basketball against Hillsdale, stuffing the boxscore with what you might call “hustle stats.”

Perhaps the most important number from this group was eight: The total offensive rebounds the Wolverines pulled down in the opener. Donnal led the team with three offensive boards, Abdur-Rahkman added two and Wilson and Chatman each had one. The rest of the team failed to record an offensive rebound, but the hustle of those four players gave Michigan eight extra possessions for its deadly offense.

On the other side of the court, Donnal and Chatman led the charge on defense with a combined six steals. For a Wolverines defense that struggled to contain shooters, steals were the most effective way to stifle the Chargers’ offense. As coach Bacari Alexander said at halftime of the opener, the offense was sparked by these steals as the defense turned directly into points on the other end.

Chatman’s four steals were particularly impressive as he struggled on offense in his first college game, making one of seven field goal attempts and scoring just four points. Chatman showed great maturity, not letting his shooting woes stop him from making a major impact on the defensive end.