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Posts Tagged ‘DJ Newbill’

Still on top: Michigan 80 – Penn State 67

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014


(MGoBlue.com)

In a season so far of ups and downs, Michigan’s recent upswing to start Big Ten season has brought a bit of stability with it. Tonight, in a game Michigan had to have if they are to compete in the Big Ten, the Wolverines closed out a relatively stress-free 80-67 home victory over Penn State to open their conference schedule on a four-game spurt after winning their last two non-conference games as well.

Michigan got off to a blazing start this evening on the backs of true freshman point guard Derrick Walton, Jr., who scored the game’s first eight points, including five in the first 24 seconds. Penn State, not to be put away quietly, rallied with the help of big man Donovon Jack, who scored six early points as well, but the Wolverines steadily increased their lead throughout the majority of the half.

With 4:20 to go in the first half, Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III continued to showcase his improved game, making a smooth midrange jumper from the right wing followed by two free throws and a pretty step back three with 3:58 left to give the Maize and Blue a 14-point lead – their biggest before the break.

Derrick Walton Jr scored Michigan's first eight points and finished with a career high 16 (MGoBlue.com)

Not to be outdone, star senior guard Tim Frazier put the Nittany Lions on his shoulders, scoring seven straight points for Penn State late in the first half to key a 10-3 run that cut Michigan’s lead to seven at the half. In the second half, Penn State came out hot again, scoring the first four points to make it a three-point lead and then four more points after a Caris LeVert three to cut the deficit to just two. From there, the two Big Ten foes battled back and forth a while longer until Michigan went on a 16-3 run of its own starting at the 13:45 mark.

Penn State guard D.J. Newbill did his best to keep his team afloat after the run, scoring 16 second half points after notching just one before halftime, but his Nittany Lions would never cut Michigan’s lead to less than eight.

Michigan is still figuring out exactly who they are, but John Beilein’s squad continues to trend toward being an offensive power with some defensive issues.

After the game, Beilein praised his team’s 80-point outburst on just 52 shots and pointed out the chemistry on offense that led to 18 assists on 28 made buckets, but he also singled out Nik Stauskas as being a defensive liability.

“I thought Nik got really tired when they were making that run, Nik was matched up on Newbill, and he was just taking him. You know, I told you, the Philly guys can get buckets.”

For his part, Stauskas took the blame himself.

“The second half, I was having trouble staying in front of D.J. Newbill. He was kind of just big-bodying me, putting down his shoulder, (and) I really couldn’t stay in front of him, so that was my fault.”

Certainly Frazier and Newbill, with 17 points a piece, scored a few more than what Beilein would have liked to see, but Michigan was at least able to keep one of them cold while the other was hot, as Frazier scored six in the second half and Newbill had only one in the first.

If Michigan can continue running their offense so smoothly and scoring seemingly at will, however, they can get away with some defensive letdowns, but with a big trip to Wisconsin looming this Saturday, Michigan cannot afford too many of those breakdowns.

Stauskas, who was again brilliant offensively with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting (3-of-8 3PT), five assists, and six rebounds (two offensive), knows that each win is important and indicated that Michigan will only be concerned with the game at hand.

“We know we’re gonna have big stretches, the Big Ten has some of the best teams in the country here, but we just like to take it one game at a time, and we’re just happy we’re 4-0 right now. We’re not trying to get too excited about that…we’re just happy we’re 4-0.”

Maybe Michigan isn’t too excited about their start, but they have to be happy to be sitting 4-0 and tied for the conference lead with in-state rival Michigan State.

Three Stars:

***Nik Stauskas***
21 points (7-of-12 FG, 3-of-8 3PT, 4-of-5 FT), six rebounds (two offensive), five assists, zero turnovers in 37 minutes

**Glenn Robinson III**
15 points (5-of-013 FG, 2-of-3 3PT, 3-of-5 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), three assists, one steal, zero turnovers in 34 minutes

*Tim Frazier*
17 points (7-of-12 FG, 0-of-2 3PT, 3-of-3 FT), six assists, three rebounds, two steals, two turnovers in 35 minutes

Quick Hitters:

Nik Stauskas continues to show off an impressive dribble-drive game, but his shooting prowess keeps defenses honest on the outside, which has really allowed him to build chemistry with Jon Horford. Horford had another outstanding performance tonight with 11 points and seven rebounds (two offensive), but much of the credit goes to Stauskas, as the Candiana sophomore assisted three of Horford’s four field goals.

Mitch McGary was not on the bench for tonight’s game after going through back surgery last week. He is most likely out for the remainder of the season, and his timeline to return to the bench is unknown.

Freshman Zak Irvin played sparingly tonight, missing his only field goal attempt and recording a turnover in just nine minutes on the court while fellow first-year player Derrick Walton had one of his best games to date, scoring 16 points on nine shots and recording three assists.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 5-13 2-3 3-5 2 3 5 1 15 3 0 0 1 34
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 6-9 2-5 2-2 0 3 3 1 16 3 3 0 0 31
11 Nik Stauskas* 7-12 3-8 4-5 2 4 6 0 21 5 0 0 0 37
52 Jordan Morgan* 3-3 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 2 8 1 1 1 0 22
23 Caris LeVert* 2-6 1-4 1-1 1 1 2 3 6 5 1 0 2 32
02 Spike Albrecht 1-3 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 3 1 0 0 0 18
15 Jon Horford 4-5 0-0 3-4 2 5 7 1 11 0 0 0 0 17
21 Zak Irvin 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 9
Totals 28-52 9-25 15-19 8 20 28 10 80 18 6 1 3 200
Penn State 26-53 5-19 10-13 8 18 26 17 67 8 9 2 2 200
Full Stats

Sam’s 3 thoughts: Penn State

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014


Already off to a 3-0 start in conference play, the Michigan Wolverines still have one more of their easiest Big Ten games coming up tomorrow night against Penn State (8:00pm on BTN) before the gauntlet of the schedule kicks off this weekend. With injuries playing a major role going into the Wolverines’ conference season, the excellent start to Big Ten play on the backs of a relatively easy three-game stretch has been a huge relief and certainly a confidence booster for the young team. Tomorrow, look for Michigan to take advantage of a Penn State squad going in the opposite direction with these three keys.

Kill the Boards: Michigan has been a little bit up and down in the rebounding department all year long, coming up big against a team like Stanford and then struggling to control the defensive glass against Arizona and Minnesota, but tomorrow the Wolverines need to dominate in that department.

Penn State has started Big Ten play 0-4, largely because of their inability to keep the opposition off the offensive glass. In each of those four losses, Penn State’s opponent got at least 12 offensive boards, and overall, Penn State has allowed their Big Ten enemies to rebound more than 40 percent of their own misses.

Michigan's guards will have their hands full with Tim Frazier (pictured) and DJ Newbill who average a combined 33.9 ppg (Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports)

Tonight, look for the Maize and Blue to take advantage of this weakness and of their size advantage to control the boards on each side of the court. As usual, Michigan will be more concerned with stopping the fast break than with getting offensive rebounds, but Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Morgan, and Jon Horford should all be looking to grab a few for easy put-back buckets.

Make Them Work: Without Mitch McGary in the lineup for Big Ten play, many of Michigan’s opponents will try to work the ball inside repeatedly. So far, that strategy has not worked too well for opposing big men. Nebraska certainly scored far too easily and Elliott Eliason played well for a half in previous games this month, but Michigan has yet to cede a dominant performance. Luckily for the Maize and Blue again, Penn State is not the team to do much damage inside either and the Big Ten as a whole is pretty thin on the front line.

The Nittany Lions are led by veteran guards Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill, who have combined to take exactly 400 of Penn State’s 981 field goal attempts; if Michigan can force these guys to give the ball up and make the rest of the Nittany Lions work for their shots, it should be another blowout win. Newbill has been the better player so far this season, making 51.7 percent of his two-point field goals and 42.6 percent from downtown while Frazier has shot just 32.6 percent from three-point range. Michigan needs to be careful about letting either of these talented players get hot while knowing the scouting report and closing out on Newbill.

Don’t Give Up Freebies: The one area that Penn State could be dangerous in is in getting to the free throw line. Newbill and Frazier are, again, the suspects to keep an eye on here, as they have accounted for 202 of the Nittany Lions’ 414 free throw attempts (48.7%) and make a solid 76.7 percent of their looks there. The rest of the team is no slouch either, however, as the Lions have made nearly 74 percent of their combined freebies while posting a respectable 42.2 percent team free throw rate.

Michigan will live with Penn State jacking away from downtown, as they make just 34.4 percent of their threes overall, but the Wolverines need to keep them off the free throw line. As has been the case in the Beilein era, Michigan is pretty good at staying out of foul trouble, but there is always the concern of big man depth if Morgan or Horford draw a couple early fouls. The refs have seemingly blown the whistle less as the season has gone on, but tomorrow the Maize and Blue need not tempt the officials.

Prediction: After a big win at Minnesota a couple weeks back, Michigan seemed primed to make a nice little run through early January. Tomorrow, John Beilein’s squad has the chance to close out the first four-game stretch of Big Ten play with an easy win over a conference cellar dweller at home, and I expect them to do just that. Penn State has nobody on the roster that can guard an aggressive Glenn Robinson III, and Michigan’s size and athleticism should be too much for the Nittany Lions. I’ll take Michigan in a runaway, 76-61.

Michigan – Penn State quick thoughts

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


#4 Michigan vs Penn State
Wednesday, Feb. 27 | 6:30pm ET | Big Ten Network
23-4 (10-4) Record 8-18 (0-14)
Slippery Rock 100-62
IUPUI 91-54
Cleveland State 77-47
Pittsburgh 67-62
Kansas State 71-57
NC State 79-72
Bradley 74-66
W. Michigan 73-41
Arkansas 80-67
Binghamton 67-39
West Virginia 81-66
E. Michigan 93-54
C. Michigan 88-73
Northwestern 94-66
Iowa 95-67
Nebraska 62-47
#9 Minnesota 83-75
Purdue 68-53
Illinois 74-60
Northwestern 68-46
#10 Ohio State 76-74 OT
Penn State 79-71
Illinois 71-58
Wins St. Francis PA 65-58
Providence 55-52 OT
Bucknell 60-57
Penn 58-47
Army 78-70
Delaware State 80-76 OT
New Hampshire 72-45
Duquesne 84-74
#15 Ohio State 56-53
#3 Indiana 73-81
Wisconsin 62-65 OT
#8 Michigan State 52-75
Losses #6 NC State 55-72
Akron 60-85
Boston College 61-73
La Salle 57-82
Wisconsin 51-60
#5 Indiana 51-74
Northwestern 54-70
Purdue 42-60
#18 Michigan State 72-81
Nebraska 64-68
#7 Indiana 49-72
#14 Ohio State 51-65
Iowa 67-76
Purdue 49-58
Nebraska 53-67
Iowa 72-74
#4 Michigan 71-79
Illinois 59-64
76.0 Points Per Game 61.2
61.3 Scoring Defense 67.7
764-for-1,547 (49.4%) Field Goal % 547-for-1,409 (38.8%)
630-for-1,510 (41.7%) Def. Field Goal % 544-for-1,288 (42.2%)
216-for-542 (39.9%) 3-point % 130-for-459 (28.3%)
177-for-551 (32.1%) Def. 3-point % 175-for-500 (35.0%)
307-for-434 (70.7%) Free Throw % 366-for-524 (69.8%)
11.4 FT Made/Game 14.1
35.5 Rebounds Per Game 35.4
30.5 Opp. Reb. Per Game 33.5
14.9 Assists Per Game 9.6
9.5 Turnovers Per Game 12.8
5.7 Steals Per Game 5.2
2.7 Blocks Per Game 3.2
G – Trey Burke (18.9)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.1)
Leading Scorer G – DJ Newbill (15.8)
G – Jermaine Marshall (15.0)
F – Mitch McGary (5.7)
F – Glenn Robinson III (5.5)
Leading Rebounder F – Ross Travis (7.0)
G – DJ Newbill (5.6)

Two short weeks ago, the Michigan basketball team was just coming off an embarrassing 23-point loss at the hands of arch rival Michigan State, their third downfall in four games and fourth conference defeat. The Spartans and the Hoosiers of Indiana both stood two full games ahead of the Wolverines in the Big Ten standings, and any chances of Michigan repeating as conference champions looked slim at best. My oh my, what can happen in such a short time.

Tonight, Michigan travels to Penn State in control of their own destiny, a seemingly distant dream just last week, after Michigan State lost two in a row and Indiana fell at the hands of the Minnesota Gophers last night. To win the Big Ten, Michigan still has plenty of work to do, however, and before both MSU and IU travel to Ann Arbor, the Wolverines need to take care of business tonight in Happy Valley. Here are three quick thoughts for the matchup:

  1. Defend the Pick-and-Roll: Last Sunday, Penn State went to the Crisler Center and gave Michigan everything they could handle, holding a lead for much of the first half and staying within striking distance throughout. The key to their success was something that has hounded Michigan’s defense all year – the pick-and-roll. Guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall continuously used screens to break wide open into the lane on their way to scoring a combined 28  points on 16 shots and exploited Michigan’s strong hedges by dishing the ball to an uncovered Sasa Borovnjak time and time again, helping him score 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. John Beilein is known to defend the pick-and-roll by using the screener’s defender (usually a big man, like Jordan Morgan or Mitch McGary) to hedge (or help defend) the opposing guard using the screen. When the big man hedges, the screener will then typically roll to the basket. At that point, Michigan’s defense needs to help out the big man who is hedging by sliding over and covering the rolling big man. This is almost always going to leave someone open for an instant, but strong help defense and quick recoveries are the easier-said-than-done way of defending the ball screen. Tonight, Michigan needs to help off their defenders when a big man rolls to the basket without worrying about the two wings that will usually be camped behind the three-point line. For some teams, that would be asking to be beat, but the Nittany Lions really struggle to shoot the ball, coming into this game at 28.3 percent from downtown. Nick Colella is the only regular who is even respectable from three, and he only shoots 34.6 percent himself. A strong pick-and-roll defense should shut down the majority of Penn State’s offense and give Michigan an easy win.
  1. Jordan Morgan’s Health: Ever since going down to a nasty ankle sprain at Ohio State in January, Jordan Morgan has been less than 100 percent to say the least. Against Illinois, he finally played double digit minutes for the first time in more than a month, shoring up Michigan’s defense and rebounding significantly. There is no doubt now that Morgan is the Wolverine’s best big defender, and while he has yet to score the ball consistently since his injury, his on-court presence is going to be huge for Michigan both tonight and down the stretch. Trey Burke quipped after Sunday’s win that the redshirt junior out of Detroit seemed to be at 99.9 percent. If Morgan can get back to full health, Michigan’s chances of running the table to close out conference play increase dramatically. For Morgan, a nice, easy win over Penn State tonight should help.
  1. Focus, Focus, Focus: The reason you probably don’t know a whole lot about Penn State is pretty simple: they are terrible and no one is talking about them. Tim Frazier, a preseason All-Big Ten point guard, went down early in the season with a torn ACL, and what’s left of Pat Chambers’s squad is unimpressive, to say the least.  They have lost an astounding 14 straight games and have not sniffed victory since 2012. They shoot a conference-worst 38.8 percent from the field and turn the ball over 13 times a night. Needless to say, this is a game Michigan should win comfortably. Before you decide to skip tonight’s game, however, there is more to be said about the fight in this team. Chambers is a fiery coach who is certainly not letting his team pack it in for the rest of the season, and his guys have responded in a big way, losing by an average of just five points per game over their last three (Iowa, at Michigan, at Illinois). The Big Ten is a roughshod league, and Penn State clearly doesn’t have the talent to match up with the nation’s best teams, but they are going to give everything they have to try to make up for their loss in Ann Arbor and give themselves something to hang their hats on. With games against Michigan State and Indiana just around the corner for Michigan, John Beilein needs to make sure that his team is absolutely focused on tonight’s game, or else the classic trap game could jump up on them.

Prediction: Penn State’s confidence is pretty high right now after sticking with three good teams, but they are also probably a little down on themselves for not pulling any game out. Michigan, on the other hand, is feeling rejuvenated after receiving plenty of help from Indiana, Ohio State, and Minnesota and should be prepared to put Penn State away early. Trey Burke continues his torrid pace and Nik Stauskas gets back on track with 15 points as Michigan coasts to an 81-64 win.