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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Donnal’

Michigan hoops 3 thoughts: #18 UConn

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Michigan vs #18 UConn
Wednesday, Nov. 25 | Paradise Island, Bahamas | 9:30 p.m. EST | AXS TV
76.0 Points/gm 89.3
(79-164) 48.2 Field Goal % 51.0 (98-192)
(29-66) 43.9 3-pt FG % 36.7 (29-79)
(41-56) 73.2 Free Throw % 76.8 (43-56)
13.7 FT Made/gm 14.3
31.0 Reb/gm 44.3
14.3 Assists/gm 19.3
11.3 Turnovers/gm 8.0
66.0 Points/gm 60.0
(67-167) 40.1 Field Goal % 33.5 (60-179)
(23-61) 37.7 3-pt FG % 30.9 (25-81)
35.3 Opp. Reb/gm 35.0
8.0 Steals/gm 5.7
2.7 Blocks/gm 7.7
Individual Returning Leaders
Caris Levert (19.3), Derrick Walton (10.7) Points/gm Sterling Gibbs (15.7), Rodney Purvis (14.3)
Aubrey Dawkins (5.0), Caris Levert (5.0) Reb/gm Daniel Hamilton (8.3), Shonn Miller (6.3)

Coming off of an embarrassing home loss to Xavier, the Michigan basketball team earned the enviable task of spending the week in the Bahamas for the school’s first Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

The Wolverines already missed their best opportunity for a quality nonconference win, so now they’ll need to pull a big upset in one of these games to right the ship. The first round pits Michigan against the 18th-ranked Connecticut Huskies, who’ve started the season with a trio of home wins over cupcake opponents.

What will it take for John Beilein to get things moving in the right direction?

1. Stop the bleeding

For a team that didn’t really know what to expect heading into this season, Friday’s blowout loss was a huge wakeup call. Xavier is a talented, physical basketball team, but Michigan should never lose by 16 points in the Crisler Center.
There’s no way around it: As of now, Michigan is not an NCAA Tournament team.

But Beilein is the right guy to help the Wolverines learn from the loss and continue to grow. The most valuable resource for this group is time; time for everyone to learn their roles and develop a better rhythm. Injuries to Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht robbed this talented group of an offseason that most teams spent getting comfortable playing with each other.

What Michigan can’t afford is a nonconference slide like it experienced last season. After dropping consecutive home games to N.J.I.T. and Eastern Michigan, the Wolverines got blasted in Arizona and lost a fourth straight to SMU.

If Michigan hopes to get back into the field of 68, it’ll need to avoid another long losing streak and pick up a few quality wins in the nonconference. As I said last week, those opportunities are few and far between in the upcoming schedule.

2. Find an offensive flow

When you look at Michigan’s team on paper, you can’t help but think ‘this group could be an offensive juggernaut.’ It has everything a team needs to put up huge point totals: Sharpshooters, slashers, great passers, even a couple of strong offensive rebounders.

But the team we’ve seen on the court has been absolutely stagnant through three games. Yes, they can get out in transition and put together a few nice scoring runs, but that’s more representative of the pure athletic prowess of guys like LeVert and Walton.

Take Aubrey Dawkins as an example. He emerged as one of the team’s best players late in the 2014-15 season because he can shoot, he can finish and he can really clean up shots around the rim. But Dawkins was a complete nonfactor against Xavier, spending most of his court time standing in the corner around the three-point arc. Yes, he grabbed six defensive rebounds, but five points on 1-6 shooting? That’s indefensible for a guy as explosive as Dawkins.

Irvin was the other no-show. The junior is coming off a long layoff because of injury, but he doesn’t look ready to play on the offensive end. In February and March, Irvin looked like a new man, evolving into Michigan’s best passer and improving off the dribble. But on Friday, it was more of the catch and shoot that Irvin displayed early last season. Settling for deep jumpers is part of what got Irvin, and the Wolverines, in trouble.

It’s up to Walton, who struggled greatly against Xavier, and Albrecht, who’s trying to get back into game shape himself, to kick start this offense in the Bahamas. Everyone needs to be moving without the ball instead of standing around the outside while LeVert tries to make a 1-on-1 move late in the shot clock.

Barring another avalanche of injuries, I expect Beilein’s offense to get much better as the players settle in. Remember, most of these guys, like Dawkins, Kam Chatman, Duncan Robinson, Ricky Doyle, D.J. Wilson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, haven’t spent much time on the court with a healthy LeVert or Walton. It’ll take a big leap from what we saw Friday to come out on top of UCONN.

3. Off the Mark

If it wasn’t completely obvious last season, it is three games into the new campaign: Mark Donnal simply isn’t ready for a major role on this team.

I’m not going to crush the guy. He’s never done anything wrong off the court and he seems to be a quiet kid who just goes about his business.

But I think that’s part of the problem.

Michigan, which has a glaring weakness at the center position, can’t afford to be soft in the paint. And there’s no way to deny that Donnal simply hasn’t been the force inside that the Wolverines need.

Donnal started the game against Xavier but played only six minutes because he picked up four fouls. He gave up two dunks on defense and couldn’t hold on to a few rebounds that were basically right in his grasp.

On offense, he won’t go up strong at the rim. Even when he takes a pass off the screen-and-roll, Donnal flips it up toward the backboard and often gets blocked or, unfortunately, flat-out misses.

There was one sequence during the game on Friday when Donnal checked into the game in the 2nd half with Michigan on defense and trailing by a few possessions. When I saw him at the scorer’s table, I turned to my dad and said, “Here comes a dunk.”

Xavier inbounded the ball, missed a three-point shot from the corner, grabbed the offensive board, missed a short put-back and tip-slammed the second rebound. The second rebound wasn’t Donnal’s fault, but it struck me how the team lacked an inside presence with anyone but Doyle on the court.

The Big Ten isn’t a soft league, and Connecticut isn’t a soft team. Maybe Beilein needs to light a fire under Donnal to get him going. But for now, he’s not getting the job done and Doyle, Wilson and even Moritz Wagner have emerged as better inside options.

Xavier 86 – Michigan 70

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Beilein vs Xavier(

Last night was supposed to be the start of a season-long comeback party for Michigan after underperforming last year. It was supposed to be a game to help the team, coaches, and fans start forgetting about some of the horrors of a season ago.

Instead, it was anything but the start of that comeback party. All last night’s loss to Xavier did for the Wolverines was bring back those same demons.

After cruising to two easy victories against overmatched competition to open the gates on the new season, Michigan took one massive step back against a very good Musketeer squad that made the Crisler Center feel like their home away from home, dumping the Wolverines 86-70 with a balanced attack that saw four Musketeers score at least 14.

Throughout the night, Xavier simply looked like the better, stronger, and more prepared team. They dominated the paint from just after the opening tip, when Detroit native Jalen Reynolds cleared out the lane, posted up starting Wolverine center Mark Donnal, and blew by him for an easy and-1 finish just 10 seconds into the game.

Four Factors
Michigan Xavier
50 eFG% 48
19 OReb% 45
16 TO% 13
50 FTR 39

That would be an ominous sign for the four Michigan big men who saw minutes Friday, as they struggled to contain Reynolds and fellow Musketeer big James Farr – who combined for 23 points on 15 shots and 22 rebounds (eight offensive) – and racked up fouls left and right. By halftime, Donnal, Ricky Doyle, D.J. Wilson, and Moritz Wagner all had at least two fouls but only combined for five points and one rebound in an opening stanza that saw Michigan trailing 45-36 at the break.

The visitors also looked like they simply wanted the win more. Time and again, 50-50 balls ended up in Xavier’s collective hands, and by the end of the blowout, it seemed that Michigan might never get another rebound, with the Musketeers more than half of their misses in the second half.

Michigan showed some promise early on, grabbing a 16-12 advantage nine minutes in after Reynolds was tagged with a technical foul for hanging on the rim, but they lost that lead within the next minute and never got it back.

Caris LeVert showed off an impressive array of drives to try to keep the Wolverines afloat, and he had his shot all night on his way to 29-point outburst, but none of his teammates were able to crack double digits. LeVert’s seven rebounds and three assists also led the team.

It looked as if Michigan would take control of the game a couple times midway through the second half, twice cutting Xavier’s lead to two points behind a pair of triples (I dare you to see how many variants of two you can use in one sentence), but every time the Wolverines showed life, the Musketeers answered with triples of their own.

At one point, Duncan Robinson made two straight threes, and had a third would-be go-ahead trey go down only to be taken away by an illegal screen call.

But it wasn’t meant to be. For his part, Robinson looked like he should ably fill the role of instant microwave off the bench, but he’s never going to be a dynamic playmaker – he recorded just one rebound to go along with his nine points, zero assists, zero steals, and zero blocks.

The production simply wasn’t there from the rest of this potentially deep squad, and the defense struggled to get any stops. Zak Irvin, back in the starting lineup after missing offseason time following back surgery, was clearly a step slow and only managed seven points, while fellow starters Aubrey Dawkins and Derrick Walton Jr. had five and four points, respectively. No other Wolverine had more than five points, and only LeVert and Walton had multiple assists.

From here, the road doesn’t get much easier in the near term, but it’s clear that Michigan’s defense must improve if they are to be competitive in next week’s Battle 4 Atlantis, where they will open up with Connecticut on Wednesday and could potentially see Syracuse in the second game. As LeVert repeatedly said after the game, Michigan needs to lock down its defense and limit the fouls going forward – they had 23 called against them in this one that led to 23 made free throws for Xavier. It’s unusual for a John Beilein-coached team to have such a high foul rate, but new emphasis on contact rules will take some adjusting. LeVert also thought that Michigan should win most games when they put up 70 points, but they may not be at that point yet.

Luckily, Michigan is far from the only squad to lose an early season matchup, and this one shouldn’t hurt the resume too much, as Xavier looks to add to an impressive run in March Madness from last season with a more dynamic, experienced squad.

At the same time, the Wolverines will need to show that they can win some of these big games in the near future – or else memories of last year just might creep up on them again.

Three Stars

***Caris LeVert***
29 points (8-of-16 FG, 5-of-8 3pt, 8-of-10 FT), seven rebounds (one offensive), three assists, two steals, three turnovers in 36 minutes

**Duncan Robinson**
9 points (2-of-5 FG, 2-of-4 3pt, 3-of-3 FT), one rebound, zero turnovers in 19 minutes

*Spike Albrecht*
5 points (1-of-1 FG, 1-of-1 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), one rebound, one assist, zero turnovers in eight minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 4
Duncan Robinson – 4
Derrick Walton – 3
Spike Albrecht – 1
Quick Hitters

• This isn’t the first time Michigan has lost a game despite a scoring outburst from LeVert. The Wolverines fell to NJIT last season despite 32 points from their star, while also dropping games against Duke and Wisconsin two seasons ago when LeVert scored 24 and 25 points, respectively. In all of these cases, LeVert scored more than one-third of the team’s total points.

• I thought Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht looked close to 100 percent on Monday, and Irvin said himself that he felt he was at 100 percent physically, but they clearly both have a ways to go. Albrecht only got eight minutes on the night, and though he threw his body around for loose balls, he’ll be seeing a lot more time when Beilein feels the senior point guard is fully back. Irvin was noticeably slow on the floor, at one point just jogging to a crucial long rebound late in the game that he was easily outrun for despite having perfect position.

• The rotation once again included all 12 scholarship players on the team, but that won’t last much longer. Mark Donnal struggled all night, recording zero points and zero rebounds while committing four fouls and turning it over once in just six minutes of time. Kameron Chatman and Albrecht only got eight minutes a piece (I expect Albrecht’s minutes to go up, but Chatman’s may disappear), Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman only saw 10 minutes, and D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner played just seven and five minutes, respectively.

Beilein Coachspeakometer

John Beilein is always quick to praise Michigan’s opponent – whether playing against the worst team in the country or one of the best. Here’s a look at a Beilein quote from this game’s press conference followed by a rating from Completely Objective and Fair (1) to Pure and Utter Coachspeak (10) on the John Beilein CoachSpeakometer

“We’ve seen good teams come (to Crisler Arena). Sometimes we were able to win, sometimes we weren’t, and that was as good a team as I’ve seen come in here at any time. They got all the pieces, they’re just really good. They hit the backboards obviously much better than us, they got loose balls, they got tremendous grit, and then they got a great mix of guys that can drive the ball, guys that can shoot the ball, (along) with the big men. So they’re sitting on something great right now, and they have for a long time at Xavier. They have a really experienced team that knows how to win…they’ll vie for a Big East Championship is what I think and they’ll be a team that is very good all year long.”

Verdict: 8

John Beilein is right to a certain point here – Xavier is a really good team that should be in the thick of the Big East race along with Villanova, Providence, and Butler. But to say that they are as good a team as he’s seen play at Crisler is quite the stretch. Along with a handful of excellent Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State teams (and many other very solid conference foes in the past eight years), Michigan has also welcomed #1 Arizona (2013), #3 Kansas (2011), and #4 Duke (2008) to Ann Arbor in Beilein’s tenure, not to mention plenty of other very good ranked and unranked conference and non-conference foes. Xavier will most likely be ranked in the next poll (and rightfully so), and coach Chris Mack has established a program that can compete with any team on any night, but they are certainly not on the same level as other recent home opponents. Excellent coachspeak yet again.

Final Game Stats
34 Mark Donnal* 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 4 0 0 1 0 0 6
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 1-5 0-3 2-2 0 5 5 1 4 2 2 1 4 31
21 Zak Irvin* 3-6 1-4 0-1 0 1 1 3 7 0 2 0 0 22
23 Caris LeVert* 8-16 5-8 8-10 1 6 7 2 29 3 3 0 2 36
24 Aubrey Dawkins* 1-6 1-5 2-2 0 6 6 2 5 1 0 0 1 36
02 Spike Albrecht 1-1 1-1 2-2 0 1 1 0 5 1 0 0 0 8
03 Kameron Chatman 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 8
05 D.J. Wilson 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 1 0 7
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 10
13 Moritz Wagner 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 5
20 Duncan Robinson 2-5 2-4 3-3 1 0 1 2 9 0 0 0 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle 2-3 0-0 0-3 1 0 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 22
Totals 21-52 10-26 18-26 7 22 29 23 70 8 11 2 7 200
Xavier 27-66 9-21 23-26 18 29 47 25 86 13 9 2 3 200
Full Stats
Beilein tie watch
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

Michigan hoops 3 thoughts: Northern Michigan

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Michigan vs Northern Michigan
Friday, Nov. 13 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 7:00 p.m. EST | BTN Plus
Offense (2014-15)
64.7 Points/gm 61.5
(734-1,724) 42.6 Field Goal % 44.1 (648-1,471)
(250-696) 35.9 3-pt FG % 33.0 (150-455)
(353-468) 75.4 Free Throw % 69.8 (277-397)
11.0 FT Made/gm 9.9
30.2 Reb/gm 31.1
11.9 Assists/gm 11.4
9.6 Turnovers/gm 12.5
Defense (2014-15)
63.9 Points/gm 61.9
(764-1,702) 44.9 Field Goal % 44.7 (678-1,516)
(208-606) 34.3 3-pt FG % 37.0 (185-500)
34.1 Opp. Reb/gm 30.6
5.4 Steals/gm 5.0
1.8 Blocks/gm 3.5
Individual Returning Leaders
Caris Levert (14.9), Zak Irvin (14.2) Points/gm Jordan Perez (11.6), Marcus Hall (10.0)
Caris Levert (4.9), Zak Irvin (4.8) Reb/gm Terry Nash (3.9), Kenny Williams (2.9)

It’s amazing how much football affects the buildup to college basketball season.

For the better part of a decade, Michigan’s football team had fans counting down the days until the start of basketball, which won two conference titles and went to a Final Four and an Elite Eight during the football team’s struggles.

But now that Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back on the map, the start of basketball sneaked up on some people. Once the season starts, fans shouldn’t sleep on John Beilein’s team.

Michigan battled a slew of injuries last season, including the loss of its two best players — Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton — early in the conference season. Now that the whole crew is back, minus role player Max Bielfeldt, who transferred to Indiana, we’ll see what Beilein really had in mind for this group.

Here are three keys for Michigan’s opener against Northern Michigan.

1. Welcome back party

This season’s recruiting class might not play a major role during the 2015-16 season, but the Wolverines are adding two five-star caliber players back into their rotation.

LeVert, who was shut down on Jan. 18 last season after injuring his foot late in a home win over Northwestern, will be the team’s top player on offense and defense if he can stay healthy. At the time of his injury, LeVert was leading Michigan in points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks while often lining up against every opponents’ best offensive player.

The one area LeVert can really improve is his field goal percentage. He shot below 30 percent in six of 18 games last season and needs to be much more consistent to help Michigan compete in the Big Ten.

Walton was starting to round into form last season before a foot (and toe) injury of his own slammed the breaks on his sophomore campaign. He scored 12 or more points in five of his last six games, capped by a 17-point effort against eventual National runners-up Wisconsin.

Without its starting point guard, Beilein’s formidable offense looked like a train without a conductor. Though Spike Albrecht evolved into the team’s best passer, the offense went through staggering scoreless stretches that cost Michigan games it should have won. At 16-16, the Wolverines were only a few wins away from slipping into another NCAA Tournament.

Walton’s return not only gives the starting five a legitimate off-the-dribble scoring threat, it also bumps Albrecht down to his more familiar role as the second point guard. Even when he’s on the floor with Walton, which will be often, if the last two years are any indication, Albrecht can focus on running the offense and defer to LeVert and Walton when it’s time to rack up the points.

If those two guys can return to form, Michigan will be right back in the thick of the conference race. A third key player returning from injury, Zak Irvin, will not play in Friday’s opener.

2. 3D in the paint

One of the biggest holes in last year’s team came at the center position, where the revolving door of Mark Donnal, Ricky Doyle and Bielfeldt turned into way more Bielfeldt than Beilein had hoped.

This season, Michigan will look to its three Ds — Doyle, Donnal and, well, D.J. — to establish a presence in the paint and give a deep group of shooters more open looks.

If that’s a focus for Beilein this season, expect to see a heavy emphasis against teams like Northern Michigan.

Doyle showed the most promise last season, playing nearly 20 minutes per game and chipping in with about six points and three rebounds while shooting well over 60 percent from the field.

The best case scenario for Michigan is for Doyle to grab the starting job and run with it, as he’s clearly got the most upside of the bunch. He has a few strong moves down low and he’s a way stronger rebounder than Donnal. An offense that features LeVert, Walton and eventually Irvin won’t need Doyle to be a prolific scorer. He just needs to clean up the offensive and defensive glass and control the paint.

Donnal is much more of a question mark. After losing his starting job early last season, the redshirt freshman looked soft and timid during Big Ten play. He’s got a decent outside game, but sometimes that hurts him, as he doesn’t do enough work underneath the basket. His best performance came against Rutgers last season, when he scored only three points but ripped down seven boards and looked like a Big Ten center. Beilein will need to see more of that to keep Donnal in the regular rotation this year.

D.J. Wilson, on the other hand, didn’t get much of a chance to prove himself before accepting a redshirt five games into his freshman campaign. He’s got a great basketball body, but he was a little hesitant on offense and needed to bulk up on the defensive end.

Now that he’s back from another offseason of work, Michigan fans will finally get a look at where he fits into the system. More than a year ago, Beilein said Wilson can guard positions one through five on the court. Hopefully he can fit into just one of those jobs and gain some confidence.

3. Air Dawkins

There wasn’t much to celebrate when Michigan’s season came to a close in Indianapolis. A streak of two straight deep tournament runs came to a close as the Wolverines packed it up after the Big Ten Tournament.

But the extra playing time did reveal a few bright spots, the greatest being afterthought 2014 commit Aubrey Dawkins.

Dawkins played almost no role during the preconference schedule, scoring just 15 points in the team’s first 12 games. But when the Big Ten season rolled around, he burst onto the scene in a big way.

A very big way.

The freshman exploded for 20 points on 6-7 three-point shooting in the opener against Illinois, leading the team to an improbable overtime win. He slowly developed into a staple in the offense, eventually scoring 70 points in the team’s last three regular-season games. In his best effort, Dawkins dropped 31 points on Rutgers on eight for 11 shooting from beyond the arc.

Beilein showed his confidence in the freshman when he played him for 49 minutes during a double-overtime loss at Northwestern.

It’s hard to imagine why Dawkins didn’t garner more interest as a recruit. He can shoot from anywhere in the gym, he’s the most athletic player on the team and he even plays reasonable defense on the perimeter. If he’s grown as much as Beilein claims during the offseason, he could be one of the best offensive players in the Big Ten.

Dawkins needs to get off to a strong start against Northern Michigan to establish himself as a top option in what promises to be a much deeper offense.

Michigan basketball 2015 season preview: The juniors

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Irvin-Walton(Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News)

While we’re in the midst of football season – a season of rebirth and return of the Michigan of old – college basketball is surprisingly just around the corner. Michigan Basketball tips off their own season later this week with a team that is looking to prove that last year’s mediocrity is firmly in the past. As usual, we will begin to preview the season looking at the newest and youngest players first before finishing with the seniors (they exist this year!). Today, let’s take a look at the juniors.

#34 Mark Donnal
Class Junior Mark Donnal headshot
Major Sport Management
Measurements 6’9″, 240
Hometown Monclovia, Ohio
High School Anthony Wayne
Position(s) Center (5)
Committed June 15, 2011
Fun Fact Brother, Andrew, plays football at Iowa
Career Stats
Pts Reb Ast Stl TO Min FG% 3Pt% FT%
2013-14 Redshirt
2014-15 3.4 2.1 0.1 0.6 0.3 10.7 52.2 36.8 71.0
Career 3.4 2.1 0.1 0.6 0.3 10.7 52.2 36.8 71.0

Career Highs: Points: 13; Rebounds: 7; Assists: 1 (four times); Blocks 2: Turnovers: 2; Minutes: 26
Favorite Big Ten Opponent: Ohio State

Career to Date: Mark Donnal has been in Ann Arbor for a couple years already, but we still have a pretty limited idea of just who he is or who he can be after he redshirted his freshman year and saw limited minutes last season backing up both Ricky Doyle and Max Bielfeldt. But we do know that Donnal has potential, as evidenced by his spot in the starting lineup at the beginning of last season after supposedly holding his own in practices during his redshirt year, and another shot at starting in last week’s exhibition game.

Out of high school, Donnal was pegged as an inside-out threat who was just as comfortable knocking down a three-pointer as he was finishing off a post move; in fact, I would argue that his perimeter game was perhaps a bit more advanced than his inside game when he arrived at Michigan. So far, however, it’s clear that John Beilein sees his junior as purely a center, though Donnal has looked relatively shy and unassertive on the court while Doyle has looked more comfortable and stronger in the paint. The outside shot has been there at times, with Donnal shooting a respectable 36.8 percent mark from deep on a small sample, but I’d still like to see more pick-and-pop opportunities moving forward.

This season, it’s critical that Donnal improves his game in all facets, as the loss of Bielfeldt leaves a good deal of available time at the five position. He has built his body up to college size and has the shot to threaten a defense that leaves him open behind the arc, but if his timidity continues on the court, Donnal could certainly see his minutes taken by younger players like D.J. Wilson or possibly Moe Wagner.

It’s certainly too early to write Donnal off completely, but it’s also clear that he must show improvement, and early on. Recently, Donnal’s class listing on the team’s official website was changed from redshirt sophomore to junior, a sign that perhaps a fifth year may not be in order if big changes don’t happen. Beilein has praised Mark Donnal’s strides during the summer, however, and I do believe he will start the first couple of games this year as the coach works to up his confidence level in order to have two solid options down low.

Area to Improve: Confidence

I’m a firm believer in Mark Donnal’s game. He is now big enough to bang in the post with opposing bigs, he’s been a solid rebounder in the paint, he has range out beyond the three-point line, and his athleticism is more than enough to cope. But Donnal has also shown a tendency to shy away from his shot and to be altogether too passive on the floor. If he can boost his confidence level and play with a fire in his game, Mark Donnal could hold down a starting spot for the entire season and play 20 minutes a game. If his confidence woes and passivity continue, however, Donnal may find himself on the bench more often than not. He would also do well to trust his athleticism, his feet, and his positioning on defense in order to avoid a foul rate that has been far too high in his career.

Stat Predictions: 4.5 points (56 FG%, 36 3-PT%, 78 FT%), 2.7 rebounds, .5 blocks, 0.3 assists in 13 minutes per game

#21 Zak Irvin
Class Junior Zak Irvin headshot
Major Sport Management
Measurements 6’6″, 215
Hometown Fishers, Ind.
High School Hamilton Southeastern
Position(s) Guard/Wing (2, 3, 4)
Committed July 31, 2011
Fun Fact High school teammate of former MSU star Gary Harris
Career Stats
Pts Reb Ast Stl TO Min FG% 3Pt% FT%
2013-14 6.7 1.3 0.4 0.2 0.4 15.4 43.4 42.5 71.4
2014-15 14.3 4.8 1.5 1.0 1.5 36.3 40.2 35.5 69.7
Career 10.2 2.9 0.9 0.6 0.9 25.1 41.3 38.3 70.1

Career Highs: Points: 28; Rebounds: 12; Assists: 6; Steals: 3 (three times); Turnovers: 4; Minutes: 49
Favorite Big Ten Opponent: Iowa

Career to Date: Zak Irvin came out of Hamilton Southeastern as the school’s second straight Mr. Basketball winner after Gary Harris, the former Spartan, won the same award at the same school. Many expected Hamilton Southeastern to take a big step back after its star player graduated in 2012, but Zak Irvin was waiting in the wings and stepped up in a big way. Similarly, Irvin was there at the end of last season to pick up the slack left by injured stars Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, posting a string of excellent games to close out an otherwise disappointing season for the team as a whole.

Irvin’s freshman year was a great campaign from a personal standpoint, as he played his sit-in-the-corner-and-shoot role brilliantly with 62 triples in 37 games, but struggled at times being more of a go-to player in his sophomore year. It wasn’t a terrible season by any means, but Irvin couldn’t get his shot going as well as a year before, he was still not the offensive creator many expected him to become, and he often took ill-advised shots when more of the offensive burden fell on his shoulders – that is, until the last six or so games of the season, in which Irvin looked like a completely different player, putting the ball on the floor, finding the open cutter for an easy lay-in, and knocking down his looks from deep. Those last six games saw Irvin at three or more assists each time too, something he only accomplished four times in 63 games prior.

If Irvin can continue on that path – being a dynamic playmaker and distributor as opposed to just being a knockdown sniper – he will be an absolute star and Michigan will be extremely difficult to guard. A more passive Irvin, however, means fewer things to worry about in the scouting report for opposing defenses.

The only hurdle in Irvin’s way now is an off-season back injury that required surgery. The native Hoosier is starting to ease his way back into drills, but he is not at full-go yet and was held out of an open practice and an exhibition game last week. John Beilein has indicated that there’s a chance Irvin suits up and sees the floor during Friday’s season opener against Northern Michigan, but I think it’s more likely that he sits out one more game and gives it a go next Monday before a big game the following Friday versus Xavier.

Area to Improve: Aggression

Irvin has shown that he has it in him to be a triple threat player – shooting, driving, and passing, in order of strength for him – but he needs to show that on a consistent basis. Zak Irvin needs to be a primary concern for every defense the Wolverines go against, not just when he’s the only scoring concern on the floor. The only way to ensure this happens is if Irvin thinks he can be terrific every night on the floor, and backs that optimism up with aggression on the floor.

Stat Predictions: 15.0 points (44.0 FG%, 40.2 3-PT%, 74.0 FT%), 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, in 30 minutes per game

#10 Derrick Walton Jr.
Class Junior Derrick Walton headshot
Major Sport Management
Measurements 6’1″, 190
Hometown Detroit, Mich.
High School Chandler Park Academy
Position(s) Guard (1)
Committed Nov. 16, 2012
Fun Fact State of Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year (2013)
Career Stats
Pts Reb Ast Stl TO Min FG% 3Pt% FT%
2013-14 7.9 3.0 2.9 0.6 1.5 26.7 42.9 41.0 79.3
2014-15 10.7 4.7 3.0 1.2 1.8 33.3 34.6 35.8 83.3
Career 8.9 3.6 2.9 0.8 1.6 29.0 39.4 38.7 81.2

Career Highs: Points: 22; Rebounds: 10; Assists: 9; Steals: 4; Turnovers: 5; Minutes: 40 (three times)
Favorite Big Ten Opponent: Northwestern

Career to Date: A few years back, John Beilein was on the recruiting trail looking to reel in his next point guard after Trey Burke. On the first day he could offer then-juniors in high school, Beilein offered three prep stars a spot on his team. One, Monte Morris, ended up at Iowa State, where he has blossomed into a dynamic pass-first point guard. Another, Demetrius Jackson, blew up late last season at Notre Dame, nearly leading the Fighting Irish to a historic victory over Kentucky in the Big Dance.

The third, Derrick Walton, was on the same track to stardom at Michigan before a foot injury put a significant dent in his sophomore season just five games in. Walton, while not a superstar as a freshman, was named to the All-Freshman Big Ten team after doing a very good job leading the Wolverines to the Elite Eight, and starting all but one game on the way. He played within his limitations (though not many existed), deferred when it was the right choice, and knocked down threes at an impressive 43 percent rate. Walton’s quickness as a true freshman proved devastating in wins at Michigan State and Ohio State, and his rebounding ability has always stood out for an undersized point guard.

The start of his sophomore season saw Walton building on a successful rookie year, with four of five games in double digits, at least four rebounds in each of the first five games and four assists in two of them, and just four turnovers in those five games as well. Then a late injury struck against Villanova, and Walton’s season started spiraling downhill. He still performed admirably at times, to be sure, but it was painfully obvious that Walton’s foot injury never fully healed, and every aspect of his game was negatively impacted. The quickness and speed that allowed Walton to blow by defenders in the half court and on the fast break was gone, at times making Walton look like he was going in half motion; the burst off the floor for a mid-range jumper or an open layup was sapped; and the pain clearly lingered on with every step and hop. After struggling through the foot injury well into Big Ten play, Walton was finally shut down for the season with 12 games remaining when he injured his other foot from over-compensating for his original injury.

This season, Walton is fully healthy and poised to build on the progress he showed early on last year. If history is any indication, a point guard like Walton should see significant improvements after a freshman year under Beilein, and though his sophomore year was cut short, the true junior now has a great opportunity to make the leap a season later.

Area to Improve: Bounce Back

Walton is perhaps Michigan’s most complete player relative to the position he plays. He’s an excellent passer with good court vision from the point guard spot, he has proven to be a very good spot up shooter, he’s serviceable on defense, and he can certainly run the pick-and-roll game that Beilein covets. Unfortunately, we’ve only seen that on full display during a freshman year in which Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III took much of the offensive spotlight. This season, Walton just needs to bounce back from his injury with great confidence and fill an important role on this offense – one in which he will be asked both to facilitate and to score.

Stat Predictions: 12.5 points (45.0 FG%, 44.1 3-PT%, 87.8 FT%), 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, in 30 minutes per game

Shuckin’: Michigan 58 – Nebraska 44

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

UM vs Nebraska(

Michigan is still looking for a signature victory after an overtime loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, but a 58-44 waxing of Nebraska without its two best players was a step in the right direction.

Derrick Walton, Jr. joined Caris LeVert on the bench Tuesday night with Michigan hosting Tim Miles’ Cornhuskers. But three of Michigan’s unheralded role players stepped up to shoulder the load.

Aubrey Dawkins paced the Wolverines in the first half, scoring 10 of the team’s 23 points to carry a five-point lead into the break. An ugly offensive showing by Nebraska was highlighted by a zero from Big Ten leading scorer Terran Petteway.

Michigan came out of the break hot, stretching its lead to 11 with an 8-2 run. Petteway scored his first point with 15:05 left in the game, but it was too late as the Wolverines had already built an 18-point lead.

Four Factors
Michigan Nebraska
54.3 eFG% 34.7
21.4 OReb% 22.2
22.7 TO% 17.5
17.4 FTR 28.6

A Shavon Shields layup cut the lead to eight with under six minutes remaining, but Michigan answered with a Max Bielfeldt layup and never let Nebraska back within 10.

Dawkins finished with 13 points for Michigan, second only to Zak Irvin, who dropped in 14 and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman helped Michigan ice the game with three fast break layups in the second half. He finished with nine points and four rebounds on four of eight shooting.

Bielfeldt put up 12 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. Starting center Ricky Doyle scored four points and grabbed two boards in the other 14 minutes.

Mark Donnal was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection, which has ravaged through the Michigan locker room this season.
Shields was the only Cornhusker to score more than seven points Tuesday, finishing the game with 14 points on just four of 12 shooting.

Petteway, who finished with seven points, snapped a 30-game streak of scoring in the double digits.

With Michigan up 14, Austin Hatch got into the game for 7.8 seconds.

The Wolverines moved to 6-3 in the Big Ten, good for fourth place halfway through the conference schedule. The wins have come against the six worst teams in the conference standings.

John Beilein will lead his team into East Lansing on Sunday for a matchup with Michigan State.

Final Game Stats
32 Ricky Doyle* 2-5 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 3 4 0 1 1 0 14
02 Spike Albrecht* 0-2 0-0 6-6 0 2 2 3 6 7 1 0 0 34
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman* 4-8 0-1 1-1 0 4 4 2 9 1 2 0 1 37
21 Zak Irvin* 5-12 3-7 1-1 1 11 12 0 14 3 1 0 1 38
24 Aubrey Dawkins* 5-7 3-3 0-0 0 2 2 2 13 1 2 1 0 32
03 Kameron Chatman 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 8
04 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 8
20 Sean Lonergan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
30 Austin Hatch 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
44 Max Bielfeldt 6-9 0-2 0-0 4 5 9 1 12 0 1 0 0 26
Totals 22-46 6-14 8-8 6 28 34 14 58 12 13 2 3 200
Nebraska 15-49 4-19 10-14 8 18 26 12 44 6 10 2 3 200
Full Stats
Beilein Tie Watch
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

Stepping up: Michigan 54 – Rutgers 50

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Walton vs Rutgers(Jim O’Connor, USA Today Sports)

It’s no secret that Michigan’s basketball team has struggled mightily this season after losing three players to the NBA and two big guys – one to graduation and a second to transfer – off a roster that made it to the Elite Eight last season. But it would have been hard for anyone to predict just how bad it would get.

After slogging through a non-conference schedule that saw home losses to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan, among a handful of other defeats, the Wolverines entered Big Ten season not looking to do much. Somehow, though, Michigan managed to stitch together a 3-2 record – albeit with two blowout road losses – heading into Saturday’s home showdown with Northwestern. Again, the struggles continued, but the young Wolverines managed to pull out an ugly and unencouraging two-point victory.

But one day later, the season that seemed to have already hit rock bottom fell further into the ground with the announcement that star junior wing Caris LeVert, who led Michigan in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and minutes per game, would miss the remainder of the season with a broken foot suffered on the last play against Northwestern.

Fast-forward to tonight. Michigan would have to take to the road to face a team that defeated then-#4 Wisconsin two Saturdays ago and had given both Maryland and Minnesota good games on the road.

Michigan, clearly missing their star player, shoots 34.7 percent from the floor, 30.8 percent from downtown, and records 11 turnovers. Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton, and Spike Albrecht – what now must be considered the new “Big Three” – combined to make nine of 25 shots and just four of 15 triples while turning it over seven times. The Maize and Blue, as has become the norm this season, also suffered through nearly nine and a half minutes in the second half in which they could only manage one bucket, and five times went scoreless in three-minute periods.

And, oh yeah, at one point in the first half, Michigan’s lineup consisted of a sophomore walk-on who had played zero meaningful minutes to-date, another sophomore walk-on who was planning to redshirt so that he could eventually transfer to a smaller school for a fifth year and had not played a minute all season, a sparsely used freshman guard, another freshman who had lost his spot in the starting lineup due to increasingly poor play, and a third freshman who had fallen from first-game starter to third-string big man. Having trouble coming up with the names? That would be Sean Lonergan, Andrew Dakich, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Kameron Chatman, and Mark Donnal, respectively.

As expected, Michigan got blown out by 30…won? Don’t ask me, I’m just as confused as anyone else.

But yes, you read that correctly – the Wolverines inexplicably pulled off a 54-50 road win at Rutgers despite a bevy of injuries, illnesses, and ineptitude to move to 5-2 in Big Ten play.

No Michigan player scored more than 12 points, but nine different Wolverines scored for just the sixth time all year and just the second time in conference play.

Michigan also managed to hold Rutgers to a putrid 35.8 percent mark from the floor and 29.4 percent from three.

The difference, however, might have been at the free throw line, where the Wolverines knocked down five more free throws (12) than Rutgers despite both having 14 total attempts. Derrick Walton, Jr. led the way there with a perfect 6-of-6 mark to ice the game away while finishing with a team-high 12 points.

Four Factors
Michigan Rutgers
42.9 eFG% 40.6
31.3 OReb% 35.1
19.2 TO% 19.2
28.6 FTR 26.4

It’s been a season of mostly downs for the Maize and Blue, and compounding the loss of the core of last year’s impressive team has been a rash of injuries and ailments. Both Walton and Albrecht have been suffering through lower body injuries throughout the majority of the season, LeVert is now done for the year with a broken foot (the same foot he broke last summer), Zak Irvin has been beat up in a couple games and is apparently ill, Albrecht missed Saturday’s game with an illness, and starting center Ricky Doyle once again could not go in the second half after looking completely worn out in just a couple minutes of play.

Rather than fold, though, Michigan has battled, and never more so than tonight. The Wolverines managed to hold onto a lead for the majority of the first half even with Zak Irvin glued to the bench with two fouls and a lineup that Tom Izzo would most certainly refer to as ‘weird’, and entered halftime up two behind five points and six rebounds from senior Max Bielfeldt and five points from freshman Aubrey Dawkins.

Irvin then came out of the break on a mission, netting five straight points in a minute and a half to put Michigan up four before Dawkins made a pretty driving layup and a free throw to give the Wolverines a seven-point lead – what would end up being the biggest of the evening.

Following the promising second half start came the all-too-familiar offensive drought for Michigan, however; after going up seven, the Wolverines scored exactly two points over the next 9:12 and suddenly found themselves down six to the equally listless Scarlet Knights.

I, though usually optimistic, simply could not envision a scenario in which Michigan could scrounge up enough offense to stage a comeback; in fact, I’ll even admit to doubting whether or not the visitors would score six points the rest of the way.

Yet within those final eight minutes, a light came on. Dawkins drained a huge three from the left wing to cut Rutgers’ lead in half before Derrick Walton and Spike Albrecht made back-to-back buckets – the first of the night for both – to tie it up at 42 with just under six minutes remaining.

After a couple more empty possessions on both ends, Walton knocked down his second triple in as many tries for Michigan and Bielfeldt unhesitatingly drained a trey of his own to mirror their earlier six-point deficit.

With three minutes left to make a final run, Rutgers had no chance of mustering up enough offense, and the Wolverines escaped.

Sure, the victory was far from pretty, and few problems appear to be truly solved, but John Beilein will certainly take a road win given the extreme circumstances. The win also marks the second time of Big Ten play in which Michigan has been able to take two of three games.

That’s a ratio that Beilein and squad would lovingly live with the rest of the way, but unfortunately the schedule is about to get a lot tougher.

Coming up this Saturday is a home tussle with Big Ten beasts Wisconsin that will feature as ESPN’s College GameDay contest. Another home game against lowly Nebraska closes out January before a brutal January consisting of at Michigan State, vs. Iowa, at Indiana, at Illinois, vs. Ohio State, vs. Michigan State, and at Maryland arrives.

For now, the Wolverines will enjoy the improbable victory, hope to heal up quickly, and focus on the Badgers. According to my friend and bracketologist Joe Cook, a win there would put Michigan near the bubble.

Perhaps it’s not what Michigan had planned on going into this season. But it’s certainly refreshing to see these Wolverines – no matter how young and battered they may be – continue to battle to stay alive.

Quick Hitters:

• One game after freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman earned his first start in place of the ill Spike Albrecht on Saturday, classmate Aubrey Dawkins started his first career game tonight and made it count with 11 points on eight shots, three rebounds, and one block. Dawkins’s game continues to progress slowly after his coming out party against Illinois, and though he doesn’t do any one thing spectacularly yet, he’s shown enough to overtake the struggling Kam Chatman’s spot in the rotation. Dawkins’s shot looks good, his hops have propelled him to a couple nice rebounds, and his comfort level on both ends of the floor appears to be on the rise.

Perhaps the best play of the evening came on a terrific drive from Abdur-Rahkman midway through the second half in the middle of Michigan’s brutal scoring drought. The Philadelphia native was pressured all the way down the court and left to handle it on his own, nearly drew a 10-second violation, then blew by his defender without help and laid in a layup (something that hasn’t come easily to many Wolverines this season). Rahk also continues to earn more minutes, tallying four points in 14 minutes tonight.

 Ricky Doyle was clearly winded early on in the first half again as he continues to deal with an infection of some sort, but still managed three blocks in just seven minutes.

Three Stars:

***Derrick Walton Jr.***
12 points (2-of-8 FG, 2-of-7 3pt, 6-of-6 FT), seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, three turnovers in 30 minutes

**Aubrey Dawkins**
11 points (4-of-8 FG, 2-of-5 3pt, 1-of-2 FT), three rebounds (one offensive), one block in 31 minutes (career high)

*Max Bielfeldt*
8 points (2-of-7 FG, 1-of-3 3pt, 3-of-4 FT), eight rebounds (four offensive), one assist, one turnover in 22 minutes

Final Game Stats
21 Zak Irvin* 3-9 2-5 2-2 0 2 2 2 10 0 2 0 0 24
24 Aubrey Dawkins* 4-8 2-5 1-2 1 2 3 2 11 0 0 1 0 31
32 Ricky Doyle* 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 3 0 7
02 Spike Albrecht* 1-4 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 3 2 0 2 32
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 2-8 2-7 6-6 0 7 7 0 12 3 3 0 1 30
03 Kameron Chatman 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 1 2 0 2 0 0 8
04 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 2-4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 4 1 1 0 0 14
20 Sean Lonergan 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 13
34 Mark Donnal 1-4 1-2 0-0 2 5 7 1 3 0 0 1 0 15
44 Max Bielfeldt 2-7 1-3 3-4 4 4 8 2 8 1 1 0 0 22
Totals 17-49 8-26 12-14 10 24 34 12 54 9 11 5 3 200
Rutgers 19-53 5-17 7-14 13 22 35 17 50 8 11 3 4 200
Full Stats

What’s wrong with Michigan basketball and what it will take reach the Big Dance

Thursday, January 15th, 2015


Coming off an NCAA Championship game appearance and, last season, an Elite Eight finish that was inches from back-to-back Final Fours, Michigan basketball was thought to have climbed the hump from the scrappy opponent who gives the superior teams a run for their money now and again to a year-in, year-out bona fide contender.

After all, going into this season, it felt eerily similar to the start of the 2013-14 season that saw the Wolverines run away with the Big Ten title outright and earn a 2-seed in the Big Dance.

Yes, John Beilein would have to find a way to replace Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas, but Trey Burke was the Wooden Award winner the year before that, and Michigan bounced back just fine.

And yes, Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan would no longer be donning the Maize and Blue, but McGary hardly played at all last year and Morgan was a solid, if unspectacular, big man who rarely wowed offensively.

And sure, Glenn Robinson III decided to pursue his NBA dreams after two years in Ann Arbor, but Little Dog never seemed to live up to his monstrous hype anyway and was an inconsistent shooter and competitor.

Certainly some new faces would be playing the majority of minutes and plenty of shots would open up, but Beilein has elevated this program to one that can simply reload, not replace — right?

It turns out that maybe we were all a little bit ahead of ourselves – national pundits, local journalists, and Michigan fans alike – in thinking that the Wolverines would once again dominate offensively with another incredibly youthful and inexperienced team. It’s not every year that you see players the caliber of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, and, yes, even Jordan Morgan, sport your team’s colors.

Last year's Big Three formed one of the most efficient offenses in the nation (Detroit Free Press)

Last year’s Big Three formed one of the most efficient offenses in the nation (Detroit Free Press)

And Michigan fans are finally beginning to appreciate the glory those youngsters brought to the program rather than to expect it.

Today, the Wolverines find themselves well out of the NCAA Tournament picture at 10-7 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten play, with a couple of unbelievable losses and even fewer marquee wins.

So what went wrong?

In short, a lot went wrong.

The offense has disappeared for long stretches, the defense has been porous against lowly competition, and the replacements that were expected to be reinforcements have a lot of learning to do.

I don’t think there is any one player to point a finger at for all of Michigan’s shortcomings, and I don’t think John Beilein went from coaching the best offense in the country for two years straight to forgetting how to coach at all (resulting in an offense that’s outside the top 100 in offensive efficiency).

Instead, there are a bevy of problems coming from a number of different areas.

To start, let’s take a look at Michigan’s “Big Three” returning guards: Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton Jr, and Zak Irvin.

Those three players were largely expected to take on the bulk of the Wolverines’ offense, and while they are contributing nearly 60 percent of Michigan’s points – a slightly higher percentage, in fact, than Michigan’s Big Three of Stauskas, Robinson III, and LeVert contributed last season – the points are down overall by a whopping eight per game. To put that number into a bit more perspective, this team is scoring more than 0.2 points fewer on every possession.

The reasons for that dramatic drop-off are numerous, but probably stem from the top. Michigan lacks a go-to scorer with a killer instinct. Scoring droughts have seemingly become the norm for this team rather than the rare exception, and that falls onto the veteran leaders of the team.

LeVert is certainly a capable scorer, and his 14.8 points per game are nothing to scoff at, but I think he is much better suited for the role of Robin to Stauskas’ Batman that he played so adeptly last season as opposed to the alpha dog spot. When Michigan falls down by a handful of points and starts struggling to score points of any kind – as they did the other night at Ohio State for the first seven minutes of the second half, effectively sealing their blowout – they need a leader to step up and demand the ball. But LeVert is not that kind of player. He’s a quiet assassin with no shortage of moves or skills, but a killer that doesn’t quite know exactly when or how to move in and take over.

When he does take matters into his own hands, the young junior from Columbus makes things happen. LeVert single-handedly kept Michigan alive against NJIT with 32 points and led the Wolverines with three straight crucial buckets to secure a big win at Penn State last week. But for as many times as LeVert has taken over, Michigan has gone on long scoring droughts that have buried them – against Villanova, Eastern Michigan, SMU, Arizona, Purdue, and Ohio State. With Stauskas at the helm and LeVert as a second option, that wasn’t an issue last year.

This year's Big Three has struggled with consistency and battled injuries (Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News)

This year’s Big Three has struggled with consistency and battled injuries, resulting in an offensive efficiency in the 100s nationally (Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News)

Irvin, like LeVert before him, was expected to go from freshman role player to sophomore sidekick. That transition has proved a bit tenuous for the former Indiana Mr. Basketball.

Undoubtedly, Irvin has taken his game to another level this season, upping his scoring average by nearly eight points per game and adding many inches to his vertical leap, but he is simply not the creator this team so desperately needs. Irvin was comfortable in his role as an off-the-bench sniper, and he thrived to the tune of 42.5 percent from downtown, even though opposing defenses knew he was only going to shoot threes. Now, Irvin has attempted to shoulder a bigger load and his shooting has suffered. He’s still capable of big, efficient scoring nights – take, for example, his first four games in which he poured in 20.3 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting from downtown – but the pressure and increased usage have seen his three-point shooting percentage drop more than six points while his overall field goal percentage is down nearly three points.

Lastly, Walton looked to improve on a very solid freshman campaign to become more of a scoring point guard this season, but a toe injury suffered early in the season is clearly hampering the Detroit native’s play all over the floor. Last year, Walton’s quickness and deft play on the break were crucial to Michigan’s ridiculous offensive output, but this year, Walton is a step and a half slower because of his toe. If you don’t believe me, watch Michigan’s win at Ohio State from last season and then re-watch the Wolverines’ loss at Ohio State from a couple nights ago. Like Irvin, Walton’s shooting numbers are drastically worse than last year, but the cause is much different.

With these Big Three struggling to produce with the same efficiency as last season, Michigan’s role players would need to pick up the slack, but that’s been far too big a task for Spike Albrecht and a company of freshmen who were probably forced into action before they were ready.

Kam Chatman, the jewel of Michigan’s six-man recruiting class, was expected to come in and seamlessly replace Glenn Robinson III. That, more than anything, has turned out to be the biggest single shortcoming on this squad. Robinson III, though sometimes inconsistent from long range and almost always quiet in his ways, was an incredibly efficient and reliable scorer and a terrific finisher around the basket. Chatman, on the other hand, has been almost the exact opposite, to the point where Beilein has decided to replace him in the starting lineup with the 5’11” Albrecht.

The Portland native was seen as a high four-star from most recruiting publications, and his basketball savvy was projected to translate into a solid, if unspectacular, freshman season. But Chatman has struggled to pick up the offense, his confidence appears to be wavering, and his shooting has been downright miserable – mothers, cover your children’s eyes – to the tune of 31.5 percent on twos and 25 percent on threes for 4.1 points per game. Contrast that with Robinson’s freshman season (65.2 percent 2-pt, 32.4 percent 3-pt, 11 ppg on nearly three shots more per game) and you see where things really start to go awry.

Robinson’s biggest strength was his ability to finish everything around the bucket with his strength and athleticism. If GRIII caught a pass sitting open within five feet from the hoop, it was two points guaranteed. If he rebounded a teammate’s miss, it was an easy deuce for him. If he received an alley-oop, there was no doubt about the finish. The same cannot be said of Chatman, who doesn’t have the strength or hops to work magic in the lane like his predecessor at the 4-spot and whose confidence is waning (never more clearly than in a missed alley-oop layup attempt against Penn State in which there wasn’t a defender within 15 feet of him).

Fellow wing man Aubrey Dawkins has had one shining game against Illinois, but he’s also been fairly quiet the rest of the way despite flashing signs of tantalizing potential, while Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is just starting to get consistent playing time and looks to be a couple seasons away from being an offensive threat.

Down low, Ricky Doyle has performed admirably for a freshman big man, but his defense has certainly made Michigan fans yearn for the days of Jordan Morgan manning the post, and his free throw shooting has been curiously poor of late. Doyle also needs to work on improving his hands, fighting for rebounds, and learning the offense (as does every other freshman). Redshirt freshman Mark Donnal has gone from starter to backup, and while he’s also shown some nice glimpses, he’s probably a season or two away from being a consistent scorer. Lastly, D.J. Wilson – my pick for freshman MVP – was unimpressive early on before falling prey to the injury bug, making a redshirt season (pretty please!) seem like a reasonable outcome for the high-potential California native.

As a whole, this Michigan team is lacking in more ways than could have been imagined, and while the defense is actually significantly better than last season, the offense has collapsed into a rocky mess. What was expected to be around a top-20 squad competing in the Big Ten once again looks instead to be a team that has a steep and treacherous path to simply earn a ticket to the Big Dance.

The good news for Michigan is that there’s still a long way to go until March, and anything can happen in the wonderful world of college basketball – especially when your average player on the court has just over one year of experience. And of course, there’s always the chance to win an automatic bid with the conference tournament, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on the Wolverines’ chances there.

Instead, the Maize and Blue will need to quickly improve on a resume that sports two black eyes and little muscle. Michigan has two terrible losses – NJIT and EMU – that are really hurting and only two top-50 KenPom home wins – Syracuse and Minnesota (neither of which is in the top 40) – that leave much to be desired. Right now, Michigan’s players are certainly kicking themselves over those two December losses, but perhaps even more crucial was the neutral court game against Villanova that the Wolverines let slip away after a crazy comeback. Change that L into a W and Michigan is squarely on the bubble already.

So what exactly will it take from here on out for the Wolverines? I think to have a realistic chance at being solidly on the bubble, Michigan needs to go 8-5 the rest of the way and win at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament.

Which eight games do those have to be? I’m not sure if that makes a huge difference. Michigan obviously needs to take care of their matchups with conference cellar dwellers (Northwestern,  at Rutgers, Nebraska, at Northwestern, Rutgers) and win a few marquee games as well. If the other three wins are Iowa, at Indiana, and at Illinois, I’d be a little concerned. To be safe, I think Michigan needs to take at least two from some combination of Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

With five games left against that group, the opportunity is there. Will the Wolverines seize it?

You may want to temper those expectations again.

Sleepwalking: Ohio State 71 – Michigan 52

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

UM-OSU(Greg Bartram, USA Today Sports)

After a 3-1 start to Big Ten play, Michigan had its first chance to make a statement on Tuesday night when it visited rival Ohio State. Instead, Michigan turned in a lackadaisical and unfocused performance and left with a 19-point loss.

Ohio State opened the game with a Sam Thompson dunk, but Zak Irvin answered with a three on Michigan’s first shot of the game. But that was about the only thing that went right for the Wolverines. Ohio State scored the next five points, but Michigan went on a 9-2 run to take a 12-9 lead at the 14:27 mark. But then the Wolverines went cold.

Four Factors
Michigan Ohio State
39.0 eFG% 53.5
31.6 OReb% 32.3
20.7 TO% 14.3
10.2 FTR 24.6

Michigan managed just five points over the next 9:45, and by the time Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman hit a three, Michigan was down 30-20. Ohio State closed the half with a 9-4 run to take a 39-24 lead into the locker room.

Michigan has already come back from a double-digit second-half lead this season to beat Illinois, but any hope of repeating that on Tuesday night was dashed when Michigan began the second half by missing its first 13 shots. A Max Bielfeldt tip-in ended the drought six minutes and 36 seconds into the half. Meanwhile, Ohio State had already added 13 points to its total to take a 52-26 lead.

The rest of the game was spent trying to make the final score look a bit more respectable, but the damage had been done. Michigan got within 14 points after a Mark Donnal hook shot with three minutes to play, but OSU’s Marc Loving responded with a three to ice the game.

Michigan shot just 33.9 percent from the field and 23.1 percent (6-of-26) from three-point range, while Ohio State, the Big Ten’s best shooting team, shot 49.1 percent overall, making eight more field goals than Michigan did on two fewer attempts. While the rebounding margin was close (36-33 in Ohio State’s favor) Michigan turned the ball over 13 times and was outscored off of turnovers 19-8.

Columbus native Caris LeVert led Michigan with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting, while Irvin was the only other Wolverine in double figures with 11 points, also on 4-of-10 shooting. But the duo combined for seven turnovers. The other three starters — Derrick Walton Jr, Spike Albrecht, and Ricky Doyle — combined for just eight points and eight rebounds on 4-of-15 shooting. Donnal scored eight points off the bench and freshman Aubrey Dawkins added six.

Ohio State was led by D’Angelo Russell’s 21 points. Sam Thompson contributed 12 and Amir Williams 10.

Michigan returns home to host Northwestern (10-6, 1-2) on Saturday night. The game will be televised by Big Ten Network at 8:15 p.m. EST.

Final Game Stats
02 Spike Albrecht* 2-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 29
32 Ricky Doyle* 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 0 0 15
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 1-7 1-3 0-0 0 5 5 4 2 2 1 0 0 27
21 Zak Irvin* 4-10 3-6 0-0 2 3 5 1 11 0 4 0 0 32
23 Caris LeVert* 4-10 2-5 4-4 0 2 2 4 14 1 3 0 1 31
03 Kameron Chatman 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 2 0 0 1 14
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 1-6 1-5 0-0 1 0 1 0 3 1 1 0 0 15
24 Aubrey Dawkins 3-6 0-2 0-0 2 1 3 1 6 0 1 0 0 13
34 Mark Donnal 3-7 0-2 2-2 2 2 4 0 8 0 1 0 0 17
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 6
Totals 20-59 6-26 6-6 12 21 33 16 52 8 13 0 2 200
Ohio State 28-57 5-18 10-14 10 26 36 16 71 20 9 5 11 200
Full Stats

Doyle rules: Michigan 72 – Coppin State 56

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Irvin dunk vs Coppin State(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

It’s been a while since Michigan’s basketball squad put their collective foot on the pedal and coasted to victory. Heck, it’s been a long time since the Wolverines have sniffed any sort of win.

But tonight, Michigan overcame an ugly four-game losing streak to put away the lowly Coppin State Eagles, 72-56.

Michigan was led by a career-high 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from Ricky Doyle in his second consecutive and second career start and 13 points, including 3-of-7 from deep, and an all-time best seven rebounds from sophomore Zak Irvin. Derrick Walton contributed a career-high nine assists as well.

For Michigan, tonight’s victory is the first step in a long and potentially treacherous recovery.

Early in the season, these young Wolverines looked to have determination, confidence, and poise in a tough loss to Villanova after eliminating a double-digit second half deficit. In that memorable matchup, Michigan sludged through a miserable scoring drought, but quickly made up for it.

In another thrilling game, the Wolverines downed perennial power Syracuse despite struggling to contain the Orangemen’s bigs. Things looked to be right on track for the team who has made back-to-back Elite Eights and won the Big Ten outright by three games last season.

Then the wheels started to come off – slowly at first, but more and more convincingly as Michigan struggled in all aspects of the game.

Four Factors
Michigan Coppin State
54.7 eFG% 41.8
27.3 OReb% 17.1
17.6 TO% 16.2
49.1 FTR 9.8

Against NJIT, the Wolverines couldn’t keep a sloth out of the paint, and a few timely (and miraculous) triples saw Michigan fall to its most surprising home loss in years.

A few days later, the Maize and Blue never got it going on offense and embarrassingly fell to Eastern Michigan with a total of only 42 points.

The following weekend, all of Michigan’s problems seemed to compound themselves in a game that was never really a game down in Tucson, Arizona.

And just this past Saturday, John Beilein’s squad looked as if they’d finally notch a W until laying a goose egg over the past seven minutes of what would become a blowout to SMU.

Tonight’s game was just what the doctor ordered – an easy matchup against one of the worst teams in Division I right before Big Ten season. And Michigan no doubt took advantage, running out to a 16-point lead within five minutes of the tip and never looking back.

But the victory certainly didn’t answer all the questions. For one, Michigan still seems to be settling for threes far too often, and though many of them were good looks, the Wolverines only hit 30 percent of them while taking nearly half their shots from deep against a Coppin State team whose head coach, Mike Grant (brother of former Michigan great Gary Grant), estimated that there may have been three or four Eagles who were shorter than 6’0″ on the court at once.

Beilein was a little more pleased with the shot selection today, but said that Michigan needs to be more than just a jump-shooting team.

“As long as we’re taking good shots I really don’t care where they come from. We did score in the paint more than we have been. After we looked at the SMU game, we thought we had several, almost 10, empty possessions either shooting early or turning (it) over early and we can’t play that way. I like today that we looked inside, threw it up to the big guy a few times, so we gotta evolve in that area. We just can’t be a three-point shooting team, we have be more than that, and maybe we made some steps there today. But we’re still gonna shoot them because we have some pretty good shooters.”

Those shooters still have a ways to go in terms of confidence, but it at least appears to be coming back around for Zak Irvin.

“I felt pretty good (about my jumper) today. I definitely worked with Coach Beilein yesterday, just shooting and getting a couple reps in after practice. I felt pretty good in my shootaround and then going into the game today. We didn’t shoot our best tonight, but we just have to stay confident and knock down the open ones.”

On the other hand, Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert still appear to be lacking a little bit in the confidence department from downtown, but the overall boost couldn’t have come at a better time.

Going forward, Michigan has a full week of rest ahead before taking on an interesting Illinois squad back at home next Tuesday.

And according to Beilein, the rest is much-needed.

“I think we need rest first. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. When we’re fatigued, it’s really hard for us to just concentrate to even be confident…Spike needs it, Caris needs it, Zak needs it. We all need rest right now.”

A week to rest and prepare for the start of the conference season should certainly work some magic in Ann Arbor, and with Michigan going into Big Ten play with a few bad losses already on the docket, hunger should not be an issue – so long as the Christmas holiday doesn’t fill them up.

Quick Hitters:

 Zak Irvin threw down what may be the dunk of the year so far on a one-handed alley-oop from Caris LeVert. Irvin looked to levitate for a couple moments before jamming it in over a Coppin State defender. Irvin said after the game that he told Caris to look for him out of the timeout and he was able to just go up and get it. The sophomore also went down at halfcourt after basically getting tackled after a steal, but he said he got his left ankle taped up and is good to go.

 Michigan has struggled a bit with shot selection over the past couple weeks, and they still settled a little too often for threes tonight against an over-matched Coppin State team, but they cut way down on the low-efficiency mid-range jumpers. The Wolverines only attempted four shots from between the paint and the three-point, with the one make coming on a pretty baseline floater from freshman Aubrey Dawkins.

 Ricky Doyle said he was a little nervous about starting again, but he was much more comfortable tonight after his dad made the trip from Florida to see him play on Saturday. Doyle struggled a bit from the free throw line, making just four of his nine attempts there, and had the quote of the night about his disappointment there: “I’m definitely probably never going to let that happen again.” He says he expects to be around 70 percent usually.

 Austin Hatch came into the game late and scored his first official college point on a free throw (he made one of three after getting fouled on a triple from the top of the key) after also making a free throw in Michigan’s exhibition game at the start of the season. Hatch attempted a second three-pointer a few seconds later from the corner and just had it rim out.

Three Stars:

***Zak Irvin***
13 points (5-of-11 FG, 3-of-7 3pt), seven rebounds (career-high, two offensive), three assists, two steals, one turnover in 33 minutes

**Ricky Doyle**
16 points (career-high, 6-of-7 FG, 4-of-9 FT), five rebounds (one offensive), one turnover in 22 minutes

*Derrick Walton, Jr.*
nine points (2-of-5 FG, 2-of-4 3pt, 3-of-4 FT), five rebounds, nine assists (career-high), one block, three steals

Final Game Stats
03 Kameron Chatman* 3-7 2-4 1-2 2 2 4 2 9 1 0 1 0 29
32 Ricky Doyle* 6-7 0-0 4-9 1 4 5 1 16 0 1 0 0 22
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 2-5 2-4 3-4 0 5 5 1 9 9 3 1 0 33
21 Zak Irvin* 5-11 3-7 0-0 2 5 7 0 13 3 1 0 2 33
23 Caris LeVert* 4-10 0-2 0-0 1 7 8 1 8 3 1 1 0 35
02 Spike Albrecht 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 18
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
20 Sean Lonergan 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-5 0-3 1-2 1 1 2 0 5 0 0 0 1 7
30 Austin Hatch 0-1 0-1 1-3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0+
34 Mark Donnal 3-4 1-2 1-2 0 2 2 3 8 0 1 0 0 12
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-1 0-1 1-2 1 1 2 1 1 0 3 0 0 6
Totals 25-53 8-26 14-26 9 34 43 10 72 18 12 3 3 200
Coppin State 21-61 9-33 5-6 7 24 31 22 56 14 11 0 7 200
Full Stats
Beilein Tie Watch:
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

Ice cold: SMU 62 – Michigan 51

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

UM vs SMU(Duane Burleson, Getty Images)

Coming off three straight losses, two of which were shocking home losses, Michigan had a week to prepare for an increasingly important non-conference matchup with Southern Methodist this afternoon. The week would surely provide rest, rehabilitation, and some renewed confidence after a tough skid that saw poor defense, putrid offense, and all around bad play.

One week wasn’t enough.

The Wolverines struggled right out of the gates, getting outscored 11-10 in the first six minutes of the game by star Mustang point guard Nic Moore alone, then continued to lag closely behind throughout the rest of the first half.

Much like in their losses against Arizona and Eastern Michigan, Michigan simply could not buy buckets, finishing the first half at a lowly 34.6 percent mark from the field and just 25 percent from deep, yet still only trailed by three.

The beginning of the second half continued the inept offensive display, as missed buckets and box outs led to a quick 7-0 spurt and a double-digit lead for SMU.

Then, out of nowhere, Michigan finally started to pick it up on offense after falling behind. Mark Donnal, after coming off the bench for the first time all season, scored five straight points during a 15-3 Michigan run that saw the Wolverines take a 44-42 lead with 9:30 left.

But as quickly as the run came, a heavy drought arrived in Ann Arbor, a far too common occurrence so far this year. One minute Michigan looked ready to take control and grab a much-needed home win just prior to the start of conference play. The next minute, Michigan found itself down nine with 2:31 left.

Four Factors
Michigan SMU
38.9 eFG% 50.0
19.5 OReb% 36.7
20.8 TO% 29.7
25.9 FTR 30.8

Any confidence the young team had mustered up was drained in an instant, and SMU used an extended 20-7 run over the final nine-and-a-half minutes to come away with a 62-51 win.

Michigan seemed to find some answers today, but even more questions were raised. The Wolverines found plenty of open looks throughout the game, but knocked down a measly 31.5 percent of their shots, with a whopping two-thirds of them coming from downtown (which they hit at an even-uglier 22.2 percent clip). Too often, players are settling for threes and long jumpers without so much as trying to traverse the lane and draw contact, or at least collapse the defense.

Ricky Doyle earned his first start of the season over Mark Donnal after looking like the superior option throughout the non-conference season only to raise further question marks while being severely out-played by the redshirt freshman. Doyle finished with just three points on 1-of-3 shooting and four rebounds while mishandling a number of passes and getting burned multiple times defensively. Donnal, on the other hand, poured in a career-high 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 2-of-3 from downtown while collecting four rebounds in five fewer minutes than Doyle. Beilein mentioned after the game that he thinks bringing Donnal off the bench made him play more relaxed, and he is seeing him as more and more of an outside shooter who can spread the defense. Donnal also said that his first bucket off the bench – an open triple from the wing just seconds after he walked onto the floor – came on a drawn-up play.

Lastly, Irvin seemed to start emerging from a slump while Caris LeVert, who had been carrying the team throughout a difficult December, had his worst game of the year with four points (1-of-8 FG, 0-of-5 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds, five assists, and five turnovers – a few of which were extremely costly and downright inexplicable. Irvin led the team with 17 points on 15 shots and made a few nice plays on the defensive end with three steals.

At some point, you have to assume that this dreadful shooting and these long periods of nothingness on offense will come to an end, but that day looks to be a far way down the dark tunnel at this point.

The Wolverines’ season, of course, is not over, but the impending bump in the road just became a mountain.

Luckily, most mountains are scalable, and Michigan’s next game against Coppin State should get them off the pavement before Big Ten season starts a week later.

John Beilein remained calm in the post-game press conference, and has always said that Big Ten teams are fortunate to have three chances to win a bid to the Big Dance – the non-conference season, the conference season, and the conference tournament.

Michigan has already blown their first chance. Can they learn from their mistakes and rebound?

Quick Hitters:

 Perhaps the most entertaining part of today’s game came while both Michigan and SMU were in their respective locker rooms at halftime. Back on the Crisler Center floor, one Michigan student was given a chance to win $10,000 after winning a mini free throw contest. In order to win, this student had to make a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer, and a half court shot all in 25 seconds. In what could go down as one of the more memorable fan contests of all time, the student made the layup with ease, hustled after a free throw miss to rattle home his free throw, drained a three, then swished a half court heave only to find out that he had released his half court shot a half-second after his time ran out and would not be taking home $10,000. During the second half, however, Michigan announced that they would give the student a consolation prize of $1,000 for his heroics.

• SMU’s size and strength down low was too much for Michigan to handle throughout the game. Center Yanick Moreira was dominant with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 5-of-9 free throws while grabbing five rebounds, leading the way for the Mustangs to destroy Michigan by a 17-to-25 mark in the paint and out-score the Wolverines 34-10 down low.

• Both of Michigan’s point guards are clearly playing injured right now, and both Derrick Walton and Spike Albrecht had to receive medical attention at different times throughout the game. The sophomore-junior tandem combined for just 13 points on 17 shots while turning the ball over five times.

• Michigan’s contingent of true freshmen had a very rough day in all. Kam Chatman continued to struggle shooting the ball while Doyle couldn’t capitalize on his first career start, and Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman only saw three minutes of garbage time apiece. The freshmen combined for three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Three Stars:

***Mark Donnal***
13 points (4-of-6 FG, 2-of-3 3pt, 3-of-4 FT), four rebounds (two offensive), one assist, one turnover in 14 minutes

**Zak Irvin**
17 points (6-of-15 FG, 3-of-11 3pt, 2-of-4 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), three steals, two turnovers in 38 minutes

*Derrick Walton, Jr.*
11 points (4-of-13 FG, 3-of-10 3pt), two rebounds, two assists, three steals, two turnovers in 38 minutes

Final Game Stats
03 Kameron Chatman* 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 2 0 1 1 0 0 14
32 Ricky Doyle* 1-3 0-0 1-2 2 2 4 2 3 1 0 0 0 19
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 4-13 3-10 0-0 0 2 2 1 11 2 2 0 3 38
21 Zak Irvin* 6-15 3-11 2-4 2 3 5 2 17 0 2 0 3 38
23 Caris LeVert* 1-8 0-5 2-2 0 5 5 2 4 5 5 0 2 37
02 Spike Albrecht 1-4 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 0 2 27
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
24 Aubrey Dawkins 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3
34 Mark Donnal 4-6 2-3 3-4 2 2 4 4 13 1 1 0 0 14
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-1 0-1 1-2 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 7
Totals 17-54 8-36 9-14 8 19 27 15 51 12 14 0 11 200
SMU 23-50 4-14 12-19 11 33 44 16 62 9 20 0 4 200
Full Stats
Beilein Tie Watch:
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)