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Posts Tagged ‘Maize Out’

Hoops opponent preview: Arizona

Friday, December 13th, 2013

#NR/25 Michigan (6-3) vs #1/1 Arizona (10-0) – Ann Arbor, Mich. – 12pm EST – CBS
80.3 Points/gm 77.4
(251-541) 46.4 Field Goal % 50.2 (278-554)
(85-220) 38.6 3-pt FG % 37.7 (57-151)
(136-184) 73.9 Free Throw % 66.0 (161-244)
15.1 FT Made/gm 16.1
37.9 Reb/gm 41.5
16.4 Assists/gm 15.9
9.3 Turnovers/gm 12.4
62.1 Points/gm 58.0
(211-506) 41.7 Field Goal % 36.4 (203-557)
(50-155) 32.3 3-pt FG % 27.2 (44-162)
32.0 Opp. Reb/gm 27.2
6.4 Steals/gm 5.0
2.7 Blocks/gm 5.7
Individual Leaders
Nik Stauskas (18.9), Caris LeVert (13.9) Points/gm Nick Johnson (15.7), Brandon Ashley (12.3)
Mitch McGary (8.9), Jon Horford (5.2) Reb/gm Aaron Gordon (8.5), Brandon Ashley (6.6)


Michigan rebounded from its loss at Duke with its best offensive performance of the season last Saturday. The Wolverines broke 100 for the first time since the first game of 2012 and doubled up Houston Baptist 107-53. Granted, the level of competition was a major step down from the Blue Devils, but it gave Michigan some confidence heading into tomorrow’s showdown with the undefeated and top-ranked Arizona Wildcats. Plus, Michigan got a week to rest and prepare for the big matchup. Can the Wolverines pull off the upset? Let’s take a look at Arizona:

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Nick Johnson (G) 29.6 15.7 50.0 35.6 82.2 3.8 2.4 2.4 0.9 0.7
Brandon Ashley (F) 27.0 12.3 61.0 58.3 73.3 6.6 0.7 2.0 0.7 0.6
Aaron Gordon (F) 30.1 11.9 46.9 37.5 44.7 8.5 1.4 1.6 1.3 0.4
Kaleb Tarczewski (C) 26.0 9.7 60.0 00.0 73.5 6.5 0.7 2.1 1.4 0.1
TJ McConnell (G) 30.2 7.4 48.3 35.0 57.9 3.9 6.7 2.0 0.3 1.8
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (F) 22.9 9.1 54.4 33.3 63.6 5.0 1.8 0.6 0.8 0.7
Gabe York (G) 18.8 7.6 40.0 39.5 76.5 2.3 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.3
Jordin Mayes (G) 5.6 0.6 23.1 00.0 00.0 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.0 0.3
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 8 Cal Poly W 73-62
Nov. 11 Long Beach State W 91-57
Nov. 14 at San Diego State W 69-60
Nov. 18 Fairleigh Dickinson* W 100-50
Nov. 19 Rhode Island* W 87-59
Nov. 27 Drexel* W 66-62
Nov. 29 #6 Duke* W 72-66
Dec. 3 Texas Tech W 73-71
Dec. 7 UNLV W 63-58
Dec. 11 New Mexico State W 74-48
*NIT Season Tip-Off

While Michigan got a week off to rest some injuries, work out some kinks, and come up with a game plan for tomorrow, Arizona had to play Wednesday night. The Wildcats easily dispensed of New Mexico State, but certainly won’t be as fresh as Michigan. The Wildcats have played two common opponents so far this season, beating Long Beach State 91-57 (Michigan beat LBSU 85-61) and Duke 72-66. The latter came in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Arizona is still unbeaten, but the Wildcats aren’t without close games. Drexel jumped out to a 27-8 lead in the first 13 minutes of the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal, but Arizona fought back and won 66-62. Last Saturday, UNLV held a three-point halftime lead over Arizona but the Wildcats held the Rebels to just 16 second half points and won 63-58.

Arizona also has faced a tough road environment, coming away with a win at San Diego State on Nov. 14, so when they invade the Crisler Center tomorrow they will be battle tested.

The Series

This will mark the first time Arizona has visited Ann Arbor. The teams have met eight previous times with Arizona holding a 6-2 edge. Seven of those eight were in early season tournaments or neutral sites. The only other meeting on campus was a Michigan win at Arizona on Dec. 30, 1987.


• Michigan has won 20 straight home non-conference games. The last loss was a 67-60 loss to Kansas on Jan. 9, 2011.
• Michigan has had a 20-point scorer in each of its last eight games.
• Mitch McGary is averaging a double-double over his last five games (10.6 points and 10.4 rebounds).

Michigan vs Michigan State quick thoughts

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

#4 Michigan vs #9 Michigan State
Sunday, Mar. 3 | 4pm ET | CBS
23-5 (10-5) Record 22-6 (11-4)
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 #7 Kansas 67-64
Texas Southern 69-41
Boise State 74-70
Oakland 70-52
Louisiana-Lafayette 63-60
Nicholls State 84-39
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 76-44
Loyola (IL) 73-61
Tuskeegee 92-56
Bowling Green 64-53
Texas 67-56
Purdue 84-61
Iowa 62-59
Nebraska 66-56
Penn State 81-72
#11 Ohio State 59-56
Wisconsin 49-47
Illinois 80-75
#18 Minnesota 61-50
Purdue 78-65
#4 Michigan 75-52
Nebraska 73-65
#15 Ohio State 56-53
#3 Indiana 73-81
Wisconsin 62-65 OT
#8 Michigan State 52-75
Penn State 78-84
Losses #23 Connecticut 62-66
Miami 59-67
#9 Minnesota 63-76
#7 Indiana 70-75
#1 Indiana 68-72
#18 Ohio State 60-68
76.0 Points Per Game 69.6
62.1 Scoring Defense 59.9
794-for-1,605 (49.5%) Field Goal % 698-for-1,492 (46.8%)
657-for-1,567 (41.9%) Def. Field Goal % 592-for-1,509 (39.2%)
221-for-562 (39.3%) 3-point % 140-for-404 (34.7%)
187-for-571 (32.7%) Def. 3-point % 157-for-494 (31.8%)
320-for-454 (70.5%) Free Throw % 413-for-581 (71.1%)
11.4 FT Made/Game 14.8
35.6 Rebounds Per Game 37.5
30.5 Opp. Reb. Per Game 30.5
14.8 Assists Per Game 13.6
9.7 Turnovers Per Game 13.5
5.8 Steals Per Game 8.3
2.6 Blocks Per Game 4.0
G – Trey Burke (18.8)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.2)
Leading Scorer G – Keith Appling (13.4)
G – Gary Harris (13.2)
F – Mitch McGary (5.6)
F – Glenn Robinson III (5.5)
Leading Rebounder F – Adreian Payne (7.3)
F – Derrick Nix (6.4)

Three weeks ago, the Michigan Wolverines travelled to East Lansing for what was supposed to be the biggest game in the history of this in-state rivalry. Both teams were in a battle for first place in the Big Ten, bragging rights were on the line, and the winner would certainly gain all the more traction when it comes to seeding for the Big Dance. Unfortunately, viewers tuning in from around the country in the hopes of a scintillating matchup were left wondering if they had watched the right game after Michigan State took Michigan to the woodshed, dominating the Wolverines in all facets of the game.

Since then, both teams have had their hiccups, however, with Michigan losing to Penn State last Wednesday and the Spartans coming off consecutive losses for the first time all season. If any game could be more important than that blowout in East Lansing, it’s today’s showdown (4pm on CBS) at the Crisler Center. The Big Ten title might be out of reach for both teams now, but seeding for both the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament are vastly important. Here are three keys for Michigan if they hope to bounce back:

  1. Mix it up on D: In the first tussle between these teams, Michigan State scored at will from anywhere on the floor, with Gary Harris pouring in five threes and the rest of the team combining to shoot nearly 55 percent from inside the arc. For Michigan, the defense has been lacking all season long, and it certainly has not improved recently, as Penn State put up a ridiculous 84 points on the Wolverines on Wednesday. Michigan State is going to try to bully around Michigan’s smaller lineup in the post again and will start both Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne.
  2. To counter, watch for Michigan to throw a variety of looks at Tom Izzo’s squad in the hopes of causing some confusion and perhaps turning Michigan State over, which they are susceptible to at times. At this point, Michigan would be hard-pressed to play worse defense than their man-to-man outfit has been recently, and I expect to see some 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone series. Against Illinois, Michigan was decently successful playing a hyper-aggressive trapping man defense on certain possessions, forcing the Illini out to half court a number of times with double teams, so that is an option to throw out as well. In the post, the Wolverines would again be wise to double team Nix and Payne, particularly forcing Nix over his left shoulder, and rotate when the ball is passed out to the perimeter. Overall, Michigan simply needs to move their feet quickly, cut off the drive, and cover the open man. Easier said than done, but doable.
  1. Protect the Rock: Uncharacteristically for a John Beilein-coached team, Michigan has had some turnover issues of their own in recent losses, coughing the ball up a combined 31 times in the losses to MSU and PSU. Both teams feasted off the Wolverines’ sloppy play and were able to control the flow of the game throughout. Today, Michigan needs to run their offense and make smart decisions at all times. At times, it seems that Michigan is rushing everything too much, especially on the road, and needs to calm down. If a look isn’t there, give the ball to Trey Burke and set the offense back up. When the fast break is open, run, but when the Spartans are back on defense and playing physical, protect the ball, drive, kick to the open man, or draw a foul.
  1. Get Everyone Involved: Michigan is at its best when Trey Burke is not the only player who shows up, as evidenced by the first game in this series. Tim Hardaway, Jr. has been in a bit of a funk lately, and all of the freshmen have hit bumps in the road at one time or another. Burke can and will score his points, but if shots aren’t falling for the wings and the posts aren’t mixing it up inside, it could be a very long day again for the Maize and Blue. The freshmen are young, but they need to play composed in huge games like this if Michigan is going to make a run at any point in the postseason. Look for Burke to get it going early on but then drop some dimes to Hardaway and Stauskas from downtown and Robinson III over the top of the defense. If three or four Wolverines reach double digits, they should win the game. The good news for Michigan is that Michigan State is struggling with the same issue, as Keith Appling has gone ice cold lately and the surrounding cast has been inconsistent at best. The team with more double digit scorers today wins.

Prediction: Much like the first matchup between these rivals, I really don’t know which way this game will fall, and that could be a very bad indication today. For some reason though, I think Michigan will turn the bad publicity into positive energy and stay undefeated at home. Winning on the road is very difficult in the Big Ten, and both these teams are well aware of that this year. The Wolverines need to protect home court today if they want to stay in the mix for a top seed in both postseason tournaments, and I expect them to do that today. Burke leads the way with 20 and 10 assists while Mitch McGary bounces back in a big way on the glass and four Wolverines reach double figures in a 71-62 win.

Michigan 76 – Ohio State 74 OT: Wolverines crack pesky Buckeyes

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Final 1st 2nd OT Total
#3 Michigan (21-2, 8-2) 30 42 4 76
#10 Ohio State (17-5, 7-3) 31 41 2 74

Tim Hardaway Jr hit five threes in the second half to propel Michigan (Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

Trailing by five midway through the second half of a must-win battle with Ohio State, Tim Hardaway Jr. decided it was time to take over the game. The enigmatic junior drained four straight three-pointers as Ohio State matched him with twos on the other end. The fourth gave Michigan a 55-54 lead – its first lead since just before the half after leading for most of the first half.

But a 6-0 Buckeye spurt again put Michigan down by five, prompting John Beilein to call a timeout. Mitch McGary converted a put-back and Hardaway followed it up with yet another three. But Michigan couldn’t stop the Buckeyes on the other end of the court, and it wasn’t until a Nik Stauskas three at the 3:27 mark that Michigan regained the lead once again.

Following an Amir Williams free throw that tied the game, a pair of strange plays kept the momentums wings going. Hardway drove the lane looking for a dunk, but the ball was swatted away right into the arms of Trey Burke who nailed a three. On the other end, Deshaun Thomas missed a three and Stauskas grabbed the rebound, but as he tried to get it to Burke, a Buckeye defender tipped it right back to Thomas who drilled a three to tie the game once again.

The teams traded baskets and Michigan got the ball back with 21 seconds remaining with a chance to win the game. But Burke’s step-back three over Thomas at the buzzer was no good and overtime ensued.

Burke started the scoring in the extra stanza with a three, but Michigan was held scoreless until Glenn Robinson III hit the front end of two free throws with seven seconds remaining. Fortunately, Michigan’s defense turned up the intensity and got the good fortune of Thomas not even taking a shot in overtime, as the Wolverines limited the Buckeyes to just two points in the period. Aaron Craft’s last-second drive to the basket was swatted away by Hardaway and Michigan came away victorious.

It was a heavyweight bout in front of an electrified Crisler Center, and most importantly, the win kept Michigan well within reach of the Big Ten title.

Hardaway led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (6-of-9 from three). Burke scored 16 and dished out eight assists compared to just two turnovers against Ohio State’s pesky defender Craft. Mitch McGary played perhaps the best game of his young career, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Stauskas added 11 and Robinson chipped in 10.

Michigan held Thomas to 17 points – three below his season average – on 6-of-15 shooting, and although Ohio State outshot Michigan from the field (51.7 percent to 46.7 percent), Michigan made twice as many threes (14 to seven). Michigan also outrebounded the Buckeyes 32-30, including a 13-9 advantage on the offensive glass.

The Wolverines head back out on the road for a pair of games with Wisconsin and Michigan State before getting a relative breather. The Wisconsin game is Saturday at noon on ESPN.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 3-8 1-3 3-5 3 1 4 1 10 4 1 0 2 41
15 Jon Horford* 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 2 0 1 0 13
03 Trey Burke* 6-12 4-7 0-0 1 2 3 2 16 8 2 1 0 43
10 Tim Hardaway Jr.* 7-14 6-9 3-5 0 2 2 2 23 1 2 1 1 41
11 Nik Stauskas* 4-8 3-5 0-0 2 4 6 1 11 1 4 0 0 43
02 Spike Albrecht 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
04 Mitch McGary 7-13 0-0 1-1 3 3 6 1 14 1 0 1 4 29
23 Caris LeVert 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
52 Jordan Morgan 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 4
Totals 28-60 14-24 6-11 13 19 32 9 76 18 11 4 7 205
Ohio State 30-58 7-16 7-10 9 21 30 11 74 15 11 7 7 205

Michigan vs Ohio State quick thoughts

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

#3 Michigan vs #10 Ohio State
Tuesday, Feb. 5 | 9pm ET | ESPN
20-2 (7-2) Record 17-4 (7-2)
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
Wins Albany 82-60
Rhode Island 69-58
Washington 77-66
UMKC 91-45
N. Kentucky 70-43
Long Beach St. 89-55
Savannah State 85-45
UNC-Asheville 90-72
Winthrop 65-55
Chicago State 87-44
Nebraska 70-44
Purdue 74-64
#2 Michigan 56-53
Iowa 72-63
Penn State 65-51
Wisconsin 58-49
Nebraska 63-59
#15 Ohio State 56-53
#3 Indiana 73-81
Losses #2 Duke 68-73
#9 Kansas 66-74
#11 Illinois 55-74
#18 Michigan State 56-59
77.8 Points Per Game 71.7
59.6 Scoring Defense 57.3
639-for-1,265 (50.5%) Field Goal % 539-for-1,175 (45.9%)
499-for-1,225 (40.7%) Def. Field Goal % 427-for-1,129 (37.8%)
179-for-445 (40.2%) 3-point % 138-for-369 (37.4%)
140-for-451 (31.0%) Def. 3-point % 122-for-396 (30.8%)
254-for-359 (70.8%) Free Throw % 290-for-417 (69.5%)
11.5 FT Made/Game 13.8
36.4 Rebounds Per Game 37.0
29.5 Opp. Reb. Per Game 32.2
15.4 Assists Per Game 14.0
9.4 Turnovers Per Game 11.2
5.5 Steals Per Game 6.6
2.9 Blocks Per Game 4.5
G – Trey Burke (18.2)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.6)
Leading Scorer F – Deshaun Thomas (20.0)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (10.5)
F – Mitch McGary (6.0)
F – Glenn Robinson III (5.7)
Leading Rebounder F – Deshaun Thomas (6.2)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (5.4)

A little more than three weeks ago, Ohio State quashed Michigan’s hopes of an unprecedented undefeated season on their home floor in Columbus. Tonight (9pm on ESPN), the Wolverines have their chance at revenge against their hated rivals. In the five games since these two teams battled in mid-January, both teams have dropped just one game – Ohio State on the road against Michigan State the game after beating Michigan and Michigan on the road against Indiana in its last game.

As the season goes on, each game seems to matter more and more for the conference crown, and tonight’s matchup will be no different. The sold-out Crisler Center should be rocking in Maize Out form to help cheer on the hometown Wolverines against the Buckeyes. Here are three keys for Michigan to even up the season series:

1. Help Trey Burke: Michigan has the offensive firepower to beat any team in the country on any floor. Yes, Indiana was able to out-gun the Wolverines in Bloomington on Saturday, but no one would deny the fact that the Maize and Blue had a realistic shot of taking the game, and if they had played to the level they are capable of, could have won it outright.

The problem for Beilein’s squad was a lack of production from two key cogs on offense – freshmen Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Stauskas reached double digits against the Hoosiers but took 10 shots and three free throws to get there. He also struggled mightily in the loss to Ohio State, putting zero points on the board for still the only time in his career. Robinson III had been the steady yet quiet scorer for Michigan all season until he nearly went silent on Saturday, when he made just one of his six shots in 40 minutes.

Even if Burke is his usual self, he’s going to need some help on both sides of the ball to avenge the first loss of the season. Unfortunately for Michigan, the chances Burke is his usual self are probably slim. Aaron Craft, Ohio State’s premier lockdown defender, has been remarkable against Michigan’s All-American in their four head-to-head matchups over the past two seasons, holding Trey to 12.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and five turnovers per game while forcing him into 32.6 percent field goal shooting, including a 26.3 percent mark from downtown. Certainly by this time one might hope that Burke has figured out Craft’s defensive play to some extent, but Tim Hardaway, Jr., Stauskas, Robinson III, and company better be ready to play.

2. Stop Deshaun Thomas: Michigan could play Ohio State 30 times in one season and this would be a key every single time. Deshaun Thomas is without question the offensive leader for the Buckeyes, pouring in 20 points per game, nearly double that of Lenzelle Smith, Jr., Ohio State’s second leading scorer, and he leads the team in rebounding as well with 6.2 a night. Thomas has scored 15 or more points in all but two of Ohio State’s games so far, and in both of those, he still managed double digits. His lowest output of the year, an 11-point showing at Penn State, came against the lowliest team in the Big Ten, which was never going to provide a challenge.

Aaron Craft wasn't able to slow down Trey Burke in Ann Arbor last season

Perhaps the scariest part of his game, however, is his ability to score from anywhere on the court. The junior can step out and hit the three-ball (40%), he regularly takes advantage of mismatches and scores in the paint (50.7% from inside the arc), and loves the mid-range jumper. He also makes 81.6 percent of his free throw attempts. Despite all this information, many think that the way to beat Ohio State is to let Thomas score his points and make the rest of the Buckeyes win the game, pointing most notably to Ohio State’s two Big Ten losses so far in which Thomas has averaged 26 points (scoring nearly half the team’s points himself) while his teammates have struggled to get it done themselves.

If I were Beilein, though, I’d still make priorities one, two, and three on defense stopping the dynamic scorer. Force him to work hard for his shots and you have accomplished two things – making it hard on Thomas while at the same time forcing his teammates to beat you. If Michigan can limit Thomas to five fewer points than the previous time they played (when he scored 20), they should have a very good chance of getting it done.

Good news for Michigan: two of Thomas’s three worst shooting nights on the season have come in the past three games, when he has shot just 41.7 percent from the floor. He has also failed to make a three-pointer in Ohio State’s last two outings, only the second and third times he has done that this year.

3. Feed off the Crowd: Ohio State’s secret to beating Michigan at home was no secret at all. They simply rode the energy provided by the home crowd to a huge first half lead and were able to save up enough gas to stymie the Wolverines’ late comeback attempt. Tonight, the Maize and Blue would be wise to reverse the tables with the home crowd in their court. The Wolverines are wearing special maize jerseys along with maize shoes and socks to match the crowd’s Maize Out efforts. The advantage of playing at home simply cannot be over-stated, and in a rivalry game like this, Michigan needs the crowd to provide the extra boost it sometimes takes. A little noise can go a long way toward creating some turnovers, which will lead to Michigan’s hyper-efficient fast-break, while also influencing the refs’ calls when they could go either way.

Most of all, however, the Wolverines need to play their game and control the pace. If Beilein thinks turning up the pace would help, that’s exactly what the Wolverines need to do. When the break isn’t there, Burke needs to pull the ball back and let his teammates help out.

Prediction: If Trey Burke’s woes continue against Aaron Craft and company, Michigan could be in for a long, grueling battle, but if the team as a whole comes together and no one struggles mightily, the Maize and Blue should be able to even up the score in the season series against their archrivals. With the home court advantage and a brutal stretch ahead, I think Michigan will have the focus and energy needed to run out to a nice lead and hold on throughout. Burke shakes Craft a few times while Nik Stauskas has a huge night to propel Michigan to a 69-58 win.