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Posts Tagged ‘Max Bielfeldt’

A statistical look at Michigan’s 2013-14 season

Monday, April 7th, 2014


Huddle vs UK(MGoBlue.com)

With the 2013-14 Michigan basketball season in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take a statistical look back at the team. The chart  below is color-coded for each player’s rank in each statistical category based on that player’s team rank. The darker the maize, the higher he finished, with the team leader represented in dark maize and the number bolded. The darker the blue, the lower he finished, with the low man in dark blue and the number bolded.

Two years ago when I did this, the chart showed that Michigan was basically a six-man team. The first six were mostly maize and the bottom eight were mostly blue. This year’s team went a little deeper with a nine-man rotation (counting the injured McGary) before the colors turn to blue. The nine regulars played 97.8 percent of the team’s total minutes all season, while the bottom five played a combined 162 minutes. That’s 35 minutes fewer than McGary played in the eight games he played in.

Nik Stauskas led the team in 10 categories: minutes, minutes per game, field goals made, three-point field goals made, three-point percentage, free throws made, free throw percentage, assists, points scored, and points per game. He also had the most turnovers. He had an average team rank of 4.57.

Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert had an identical average team ranking of 4.79. They were the only two players on the team to play in and start every game, and while Robinson didn’t lead the team in any other category, LeVert led the Wolverines with 141 defensive rebounds. The two ranked second or third in most other categories.

Jordan Morgan led the team in three categories: field goal percentage, offensive rebounds, and total rebounds, while McGary led in rebounds per game and Horford led in blocked shots.

Final Player Stats
Name GP-GS Min Avg
Min
FG-FGA FG% 3FG-3FGA 3FG% FT-FTA FT% OR DR Tot
Reb
Reb
Avg
A TO Blk Stl Pts Avg
Pts
Nik Stauskas 36-36 1281 35.6 185-394 .470 92-208 .442 168-204 .824 15 90 105 2.9 118 67 11 20 630 17.5
Glenn Robinson III 37-37 1194 32.3 182-373 .488 33-108 .306 87-115 .757 54 110 164 4.4 44 46 11 35 484 13.1
Caris LeVert 37-37 1258 34.0 163-371 .439 60-147 .408 92-120 .767 19 141 160 4.3 109 62 10 44 478 12.9
Mitch McGary 8-4 197 24.6 30-55 .545 0-2 .000 16-24 .667 23 43 66 8.3 12 13 6 15 76 9.5
Derrick Walton Jr. 37-36 989 26.7 91-212 .429 43-105 .410 69-87 .793 14 98 112 3.0 106 56 1 21 294 7.9
Zak Irvin 37-0 569 15.4 85-196 .434 62-146 .425 15-21 .714 14 35 49 1.3 13 16 3 9 247 6.7
Jordan Morgan 37-27 743 20.1 98-140 .700 0-0 .000 39-62 .629 72 113 185 5.0 22 32 16 16 235 6.4
Jon Horford 37-7 512 13.8 62-110 .564 0-2 .000 17-26 .654 49 105 154 4.2 19 19 26 10 141 3.8
Spike Albrecht 37-1 545 14.7 38-94 .404 24-62 .387 21-27 .778 6 35 41 1.1 75 16 1 18 121 3.3
Cole McConnell 4-0 10 2.5 1-3 .333 1-3 .333 1-2 .500 0 1 1 0.3 0 0 0 0 4 1.0
Max Bielfeldt 19-0 89 4.7 6-21 .286 3-9 .333 0-1 .000 8 12 20 1.1 0 2 2 2 15 0.8
Sean Lonergan 11-0 23 2.1 2-5 .400 0-1 .000 2-2 1.000 2 2 4 0.4 1 2 1 1 6 0.5
Brad Anlauf 8-0 16 2.0 1-4 .250 0-0 .000 0-0 .000 0 2 2 0.3 1 1 0 0 2 0.3
Andrew Dakich 12-0 24 2.0 1-4 .250 1-1 1.000 0-0 .000 1 3 4 0.3 5 2 0 0 3 0.3
Color Key
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Further analysis will follow in the individual player season profiles in the coming days, but below are the overall team stats and how they compared to last season.

The column on the far right shows the difference for each stat category. A maize highlight means the team improved in that category and blue means it declined. This year’s team won three fewer games and lost one more than a year ago, but improved in conference play by three games, which was good enough to win the Big Ten.

This year’s offense was college basketball’s most efficient offense in the last 12 years according to Kenpom, but it scored 1.3 fewer points per game and shot 0.7 percent worse than last year’s squad did. That said, this year’s team took 278 fewer shots (in just two fewer games) than last year’s, which is a big reason for the great efficiency. This squad improved its three-point shooting by 1.7 percent while attempting 25 more, and improved its free throw shooting by a whopping 6.2 percent while attempting 49 more, compared to last season.

On the glass, this squad pulled down 3.6 fewer boards per game, but also allowed its opponents to rebound 0.9 fewer as a result of the great offensive efficiency. Assists, blocks, and steals all went ever so slightly down, but turnovers improved by a hair.

Final Team Stats
2012-13 (Last year) Category 2013-14 (This year) Difference
75.2 Points Per Game 73.9 -1.3
63.3 Scoring Defense 65.1 -1.8
1,093-for-2,260 (48.4%) Field Goal % 945-for-1,982 (47.7%) -0.7
941-for-2,221 (42.4%) Def. Field Goal % 905-for-2,035 (44.5%) -2.1
296-for-769 (38.5%) 3-point % 319-for-794 (40.2%) +1.7
242-for-745 (32.5%) Def. 3-point % 201-for-632 (31.8%) +0.7
450-for-642 70.1%) Free Throw % 527-for-691 (76.3%) +6.2
11.5 Free Throws Made/Game 14.2 +2.7
35.0 Rebounds Per Game 31.4 -3.6
32.1 Opp. Rebounds Per Game 31.2 +0.9
14.5 Assists Per Game 14.2 -0.3
9.4 Turnovers Per Game 9.3 +0.1
6.1 Steals Per Game 5.2 -0.9
2.8 Blocks Per Game 2.4 -0.4
12,138 Average Home Attendance 12,698 +560
G – Trey Burke (18.6)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (14.5)
Leading Scorers G – Nik Stauskas (17.5)
F – Glenn Robinson III (13.1)
F – Mitch McGary (6.3)
F – Glenn Robinson III (5.4)
Leading Rebounders F – Mitch McGary (8.3)
F – Jordan Morgan (5.0)

Stay tuned in the coming days for the individual player season profiles, where we’ll evaluate each player’s contribution to the season, how it compared to his previous season(s), and the main areas of improvement for next season.

Sam’s 3 thoughts: Florida State

Friday, November 22nd, 2013


#14/13 Michigan (3-1) vs Florida State (4-0) – San Juan, Puerto Rico – 5pm EST – ESPN2
Offense
79.2 Points/gm 86.2
(111-241) 46.1 Field Goal % 53.7 (117-218)
(42-105) 40.0 3-pt FG % 35.7 (20-56)
(53-75) 70.7 Free Throw % 70.5 (91-129)
13.3 FT Made/gm 22.8
38.5 Reb/gm 41.8
16.0 Assists/gm 14.3
9.5 Turnovers/gm 20.5
Defense
59.8 Points/gm 65.8
(87-220) 39.5 Field Goal % 35.9 (94-262)
(24-73) 32.9 3-pt FG % 27.8 (22-79)
32.5 Opp. Reb/gm 33.2
7.3 Steals/gm 9.8
2.3 Blocks/gm 7.0
Individual Leaders
Nik Stauskas (19.0), Caris LeVert (16.5) Points/gm Ian Miller (17.0), Devon Bookert (16.0)
Jon Horford (8.0), Glenn Robinson III (6.3) Reb/gm Okaro White (7.0), Montay Brandon (6.8)

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan escaped yesterday’s opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and in doing so, were in fact the only favorite to advance. That doesn’t mean that the road will get any easier today, however. After a mostly easy 24-point win over Long Beach State yesterday, the Wolverines take on Florida State after the Seminoles posted a massive 18-point upset victory over #10 VCU in a game that was never really close. Preparing for games against major competition with only one day is never going to be easy, but here are my three thoughts on this evening’s matchup (5pm on ESPN2) for Michigan:

Neutralize the Size

Long Beach State was a fairly easy matchup for Michigan because the 49ers didn’t possess the size inside or the shooting prowess outside to really pose a threat to the Wolverines. Heading into today’s game, Michigan was probably expecting to face a similar-sized squad in the smaller and quicker Rams of Virginia Commonwealth, but instead the Maize and Blue will playing perhaps the biggest team in the country. Florida State boasts an impressive seven players who stand 6’7″ or taller, including three 7’0″-plus trees in Boris Bojanovsky, Michael Ojo, and Kiel Turpin. Of those seven giants, three (all under 7’0″) play 20-plus minutes per game and three (including two of the seven-footers) play between 11 and 13 minutes a night.

Florida State's size will require Mitch McGary to play more minutes than he did last night (Ricardo Arduengo)

In contrast, Michigan has just five players who stand 6’7″ or above, and two of them (Max Bielfeldt and Mark Donnal) play few or no minutes. John Beilein is going to have a big decision to make tonight. Will Michigan play two big men at a time, a lineup that has proven unworthy in limited minutes so far, now that Mitch McGary is back in uniform, or will he try to take advantage of Florida State’s relative lack of speed with a smaller, attacking five? For my money, I think we will see Michigan’s starting lineup remain constant, with Horford being the only big on the floor for Michigan, but Mitch McGary will play at least 20 minutes tonight and we will at least see spurts of a two-big look. I do believe Beilein will stick with a one-big look the majority of the time, however, and attempt to force FSU coach Leonard Hamilton’s hand into doing the same. The one big adjustment we might see will be at the guard spots, where Derrick Walton and Spike Albrecht will never see the court together and a 6’6″ Caris LeVert will draw some minutes at the point to neutralize some of the Seminoles’ bigger looks.

Give Less, Take More

In yesterday’s game, Michigan took advantage of Long Beach State’s overall sloppy play, scoring 25 points off of the 49ers’ 16 turnovers to just six points the other way around. Tonight, the Wolverines will look to do much of the same, as Florida State is simply ghastly when it comes to holding onto the ball. Through four games, the Seminoles have averaged 21 turnovers per outing and have yet to cough it up fewer than 18 times in any one game. Michigan continues to value the rock and is turning it over only 10 times per game; their 12 cough-ups at Iowa State was the most they have turned it over all season. Tonight, Michigan should be able to capitalize on Florida State’s turnovers and further neutralize their size inside with easy fast breaks. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, it doesn’t appear as if their problems will be an easy fix, considering a whopping five of their top six minute accumulators turn it over at least twice per game and all nine rotation players are guilty of at least one give away per contest.

Shoot the Lights Out

Under John Beilein, Michigan is always going to be a team that likes to shoot the ball. And with shooters like Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert, and company, why not? Certainly there will be games in which the team struggles as a whole from the outside, as in the loss at Iowa State, but usually the Wolverines will drain enough bombs to make it the smart choice to fire away. Today’s game should be no different. After a blazing-hot start against Long Beach State in which Michigan set the record for most three-pointers made in a single game in this tournament with 14 (on 30 attempts), the Wolverines are shooting 40 percent from deep as a team. Stauskas and LeVert are simply scorching the nets this season, making 56 percent and 54.5 percent of their threes, respectively, and if capable teammates like Glenn Robinson III, Zak Irvin, and Derrick Walton boost their percentages by a few points, the Wolverines will once again be one of the most dangerous shooting teams in the country. Beilein never wants his teams to rely on making threes, but it will be important tonight in facing such a big team.

Prediction: Michigan had no problems dispatching of Long Beach State yesterday after their first loss of the season earlier this week, but tonight will be the true test of this tournament. Florida State is playing very well on both sides of the ball and will use their size to rebound and defend, but Michigan should be able to turn them over and make enough threes to post a 77-70 win.

Bombs away: Michigan 93 – South Carolina State 59

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013


(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

In the season opener against UMass Lowell on Friday Michigan struggled through the first half before finding its rhythm in the second and pulling away for the expected win. Tonight, there was no sluggish start as the Wolverines dominated South Carolina State from the outset and cruised to a 93-59 victory.

Through the first four minutes of the game, SCSU kept it close as the Wolverines made just three of their first seven shots and led just 8-7. But over the final 16 minutes of the first half, Michigan outscored the Bulldogs 51-16 to take a 59-23 halftime lead.

It was the hot hand of Caris LeVert and Nik Stauskas that fueled the Wolverines through the first half. LeVert made 5-of-6 three-pointers in the half to lead all scorers with 17, while Stauskas made 5-of-5 from downtown for 15 first half points.

South Carolina State outscored Michigan 36-34 in the second half, but it didn’t matter as the game was well in hand and John Beilein took the opportunity to give the backups some quality playing time. Max Bielfeldt made the most of it, banking in a three-pointer for his first points of the season.

When all was said and done Michigan easily beat the spread and looked good doing it. The Wolverines made 15 three-pointers in the game, one shy of the school record, shot nearly 51 percent overall, and out-rebounded SCSU 43-30.

LeVert finished with a game-high 24 points and added four assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. Stauskas was right behind with 23 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Glenn Robinson III added 13 points and nine boards. Derrick Walton Jr was the only other Wolverine in double figures with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Jon Horford was the only starter not in double figures – he finished with nine – but his 15 rebounds certainly made up for it.

Michigan heads to Ames, Iowa for its first true test of the season against Iowa State on Sunday. The Cyclones are also 2-0 with a pair of blowouts against lesser opponents. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 5pm EST.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 4-12 1-4 4-5 0 9 9 2 13 1 1 0 3 31
15 Jon Horford* 4-8 0-0 1-1 5 10 15 1 9 1 1 1 0 24
52 Derrick Walton Jr.* 5-10 1-4 1-1 0 0 0 2 12 1 3 0 0 24
10 Nik Stauskas* 6-7 5-6 6-8 1 5 6 3 23 5 1 0 0 28
11 Caris LeVert* 7-11 6-7 4-4 0 3 3 1 24 4 0 2 1 31
02 Spike Albrecht 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 14
05 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 2
12 Cole McConnell 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
14 Brad Anlauf 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
20 Sean Lonergan 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
21 Zak Irvin 2-7 1-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 5 1 1 0 0 21
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 1-1 0-0 1 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 4
52 Jordan Morgan 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 5 6 1 4 2 1 2 1 15
Totals 31-61 15-28 16-19 9 34 43 15 93 19 9 5 6 200
SCSU 21-59 6-14 11-19 8 22 30 13 59 11 9 4 6 200
Full Stats

An ode to Team 96, forever winners in our hearts

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013


via MGoBlue.com

Meet Josh Bartelstein, Michigan’s senior captain who played a total of 56 minutes in his Michigan career, none of them meaningful in any game, but all of them significant to his 14 teammates. The blogger and son of a prominent NBA agent, Bartelstein is more likely to represent future professionals than ever get paid to play himself, but the respect this team had for him was immense. No Michigan player was ever more excited to see a made three-pointer than when Bartelstein made either of his two career field goals, one last year and one the year prior.

Meet Corey Person, a fifth-year senior who was offered to come back for one last year this season not because of his on-court production but because of his off-court leadership, and, most likely, his pre-game dance ritual, a staple that will be dearly missed and never forgotten. Person entered graduate school after earning his bachelor’s degree last year, and despite the time commitment he made for such little recognition, Person never once questioned his decision, a sacrifice certainly appreciated by his teammates.

Senior Josh Bartelstein served as team captain this season (MGoBlue.com)

Meet Eso Akunne, another senior who rarely had a direct impact on any game but again stuck it out and never complained. Akunne lost his mother two summers ago to cancer, and was never able to give her a final farewell as she passed away a half-world apart, but his strength and courage contributed to the team’s success perhaps more than any basketball play could have.

Meet Matt Vogrich and Blake McLimans, the fourth and fifth senior veterans of this University of Michigan basketball team. Both Vogrich and McLimans accepted scholarship offers from John Beilein with very little to go off other than one NCAA Tournament appearance and eventually had to accept “role player” spots on the team as younger players’ talent won out. Regardless, neither player once complained to the media or otherwise about a reduction in minutes played and points scored in each of their last three seasons, instead cheering on their teammates and happily playing their part as senior leaders.

Meet Jordan Morgan, a fourth-year junior who will be back for one final swan song next season. Morgan entered the year as a starter and played the role admirably for the most part before injuring his ankle in Michigan’s first loss of the season and never fully recovering health-wise or confidence-wise, eventually seeing his starting spot dissipate as freshman Mitch McGary stole headlines throughout the NCAA Tournament. Nonetheless, Morgan continued to give everything he had and was often the on-court vocal leader of this team and a guy who everyone looked up to despite his struggles. A quiet night in the championship game was aptly preceded for Morgan by his thunderous game-ending dunk in the semifinals over Syracuse.

Meet Max Bielfeldt, who chose to play for Michigan two years ago despite an unclear situation in terms of playing time and his family’s strong allegiances to Illinois. Bielfeldt, a redshirt freshman who must feel like a sixth wheel among the “Fresh Five”, has three years left of eligibility but certainly realizes that his battle for playing time will continue to be an uphill climb as the years continue to pass. Still, the player lovingly referred to as Moose by his fellow teammates was nothing but smiles and laughs throughout Michigan’s post-season run even though he only stepped on the floor for less than one minute the entire time.

Fifth-year senior Corey Person didn't play much but his pre-game dance will be missed (MLive.com)

Meet Jon Horford, a redshirt sophomore who continues to ooze potential but has a ways to go before putting it all together. Horford always seemed to be in positive spirits despite an early-season knee injury (his second in two seasons) and worked his way into productive minutes this year. The younger brother of NBA All-Star Al Horford is often over-shadowed in the media and was often over-matched on the court by stronger, quicker, and more talented big men this year, but Jon still has plenty more basketball to look forward to in Ann Arbor and will continue to put forth full effort every time he steps on the floor. His length and shot-blocking prowess make him an important piece moving forward, and Horford’s final point this year, a made free throw to give Michigan a three-point lead with just 18 seconds left against Syracuse in the first Final Four game, was absolutely crucial, especially considering he had missed the first.

Meet Caris LeVert, the skinniest, youngest, and last member of this year’s freshman class. A former Ohio University commit, LeVert switched his pledge to Michigan after coach John Groce left the Bobcat program and was immediately projected to redshirt this year in order to gain some weight and experience off the court. Early on, however, it was clear that LeVert had too much heart and not enough quit to let that happen, quickly over-taking Vogrich’s minutes by mid-season and going on to make a bigger impact than anyone could have predicted. The lanky 18-year-old was almost always out-muscled by his man and he finished this season with by far the lowest shooting percentage of any regularly-used player, but LeVert’s defense was always praised by coaches and his gutty eight-point performance against Syracuse was the difference between the biggest win and the hardest loss of the season for the Maize and Blue.

Matt Vogrich enjoyed success early in his career but was relegated to the bench this season (MGoBlue.com)

Meet Nik Stauskas, the Canadian sniper that will probably end up being the best shooter Michigan coach John Beilein has ever taught when his career comes to an end. The second commit of this freshman class, Stauskas honed his shooting skills in his cold backyard with the rebounding help of his dad for years as preparation for this – a chance to contribute on a championship-contending team and a potential future NBA career. This year saw its ups and downs for Stauskas, from the amazing 22-point shooting display to lead Michigan over Florida for the South regional title to the measly three combined points in the two Final Four games in Atlanta, but overall it was an incredible year for the calm, confident kid with a bright future in Ann Arbor and beyond.

Meet Spike Albrecht, another unheralded freshman who was brought in as a last-minute emergency plan in case Trey Burke had decided to bolt for the NBA last year. Once Burke announced his plans to return, most assumed that Albrecht would be relegated to a bench-warming spot, and his baby-face looks lent to some confusion as to whether Spike was a player or manager, but the sure-handed and sure-headed 20-year-old set things straight throughout the year with solid contributions in spot minutes. As the year went on, Albrecht seemed to provide more and more on a nightly basis, finally culminating with a captivating 17-point first half performance in the championship game on a brilliant 6-of-7 shooting stretch that stole big minutes on ESPN and stunned college basketball fans around the country – a show that followed a perfect, albeit short-lived, six-point outing in four minutes against Syracuse. Spike has now won over the hearts of many young women and Michigan fans everywhere and will look to build on his already growing legacy with three more years in Ann Arbor and a more prominent spotlight.

Meet Glenn Robinson III, the quiet, athletic freshman assassin. The son of former college great Glenn Robinson, Little Dog was never the focal point of this Michigan offense, but he always seemed to manage double-digit points while grabbing a few rebounds, helping the team to so many victories while never once complaining about not getting as many shots as perhaps he would demand on a lesser team. With his next-level athletic abilities and his knack for finishing around the rim, Robinson has turned the heads of many scouts and faces a decision of whether to declare for the NBA Draft or return to Michigan to work toward completing some unfinished business with the rest of the team. No matter what he decides, Glenn Robinson III has already carved out a spot in the hearts of many Michigan fans after blossoming from a lowly-regarded high school player to a top player on one of the best college teams in the country.

Eso Akunne never played much, but got to enjoy a trip to the finals (detroitnews.com)

Meet Mitch McGary, the freshman big man and ball of energy. After committing to play for Michigan as the second-highest rated high schooler in the country, McGary was expected to star right off the bat, but his learning curve was a little slow. Alas, the 20-year-old struggled academically at his four-year high school in Chesterton, Indiana before transferring far away from home to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire before getting his grades in order and refining his basketball game. With time, McGary’s conditioning and overall game improved slowly but surely at Michigan; his energy, on the other hand, has never lacked. As the NCAA Tournament finally rolled around, McGary’s star started to shine bright on the national stage, as he poured in double digit points in five of Michigan’s six games, including a new career high in consecutive games over VCU and Kansas, and recorded double-doubles over the same stretch before slightly struggling to reach the same level in the championship game, where he was hampered with four fouls. McGary, who now finds himself on draft boards with these renewed looks, has a decision to make much like his roommate Robinson’s. If he stays, McGary is seen as a potentially dominant animal in the post, a guy who could conceivably average a double-double, expand his game, and lead Michigan back to the promised land. If he goes, McGary will be seen as a Wolverine whose love of Michigan and passion for tough play have already ingratiated him in the hearts of all Michigan fans.

Meet Tim Hardaway, Jr., the son of NBA legend Tim Hardaway. The junior and second-leading scorer of this Michigan team bounced back from a tough year last year to become a scoring force on offense, a solid defender, and a player who could turn the course of a game with a huge dunk or a streak of three-pointers. Despite some difficult games here and there, Hardaway always seemed to be a steadying force and the seasoned veteran within a lineup full of underclassmen, scoring 10 or more points in all but eight games this year. As a freshman, Hardaway championed Michigan back to the NCAA Tournament after the Wolverines had struggled to a 15-17 mark the year prior to his arrival, and despite his tough shooting year last season, Hardaway has always been a great scorer and a phenomenal team player. Many expect him to forego his last year of eligibility and follow in his dad’s footsteps to the NBA; regardless of what he does, however, Hardaway’s three years so far will never be forgotten, and performances like his 23-point night to beat Ohio State in overtime this season will go down in Michigan history.

Blake McLimans was an important senior leader this season (annarbor.com)

Meet Trey Burke, the one-time no-name prospect and Penn State commit out of Columbus, Ohio. A high school teammate of former Buckeye Jared Sullinger, Burke had always dreamed of playing for Ohio State, but when he was shunned by Thad Matta, he decided to take his talents north and play for John Beilein. Two short years later, Burke has become the best Michigan player in at least 20 years, gaining far too many accolades – including First Team All-American honors and Big Ten, Naismith, and Wooden Player of the Year awards – to list off at once. Last year, Burke’s out-of-nowhere freshman stardom nearly convinced him to take off for the pro ranks after just one season of college, but a talking to from his parents and thoughts of the promise of this year’s team led him back to Ann Arbor, where he put on a show for the ages. Night in and night out, Burke’s cool leadership from the point guard spot led Beilein’s team, and his exceptional team play, his caring for his fellow Wolverines, always stood out to those on-lookers. In retrospect, he was without a doubt the best player on the court every time he suited up for Michigan, and his number will one day hang from the rafters of the Crisler Center. Trey, just like his teammates, was always quick to praise teammates for Michigan’s success, even though it was clear that he was the biggest reason for it. So many of his performances are unforgettable, both for Michigan fans and college basketball fans in general, and his ball-handling prowess, passing, and scoring ability will perhaps never again be matched by a Michigan player. In what will almost certainly be his final collegiate game, Trey Burke again showed why he will always be loved by Michigan fans, scoring 24 points, grabbing four rebounds, and dishing out three assists while his slight 6’0″ frame took a constant beating from the physical Louisville front line. It wasn’t enough, but, like usual, it was more than what could have ever been asked of him.

Meet the 2012-13 Michigan basketball team. In the end, these 15 young men came up just short of the finish line, losing 82-76 in the National Championship after an improbable run through five rounds of the Big Dance. Much like the teams of the early 1990s, they couldn’t match Michigan’s one national title from 1989, and they will not go down in history as the best team in the country in 2013. But they will forever hold a special place in the hearts of all Michigan fans, and rightfully so. Though the last game may have said otherwise, these Wolverines always have been, and always will be, winners in our hearts.

McLimans, Person, Burke, Bartelstein, Hardaway, Morgan and the rest of Team 96 made it to the NCAA Championship game

Michigan 74 – Illinois 60: Relentless defense shuts down Illini

Sunday, January 27th, 2013


Final 1st 2nd Total
#2 Michigan (19-1, 6-1) 35 39 74
Illinois (15-6, 2-5) 27 33 60

Nik Stauskas torched Illinois for 16 points (Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

Staring down the number one national ranking for the second Sunday in three weeks, Michigan needed a Big Ten road win over Illinois. And the Wolverines did just that with a 74-60 win in Champaign on Sunday evening.

Illinois started the game exactly the way head coach John Groce wanted them to – with a statement dunk. But it was the only statement the Illini would make the rest of the night. Michigan took its first lead out of the under-16 timeout on a Trey Burke jumper that ignited a 9-0 run over the next four-plus minutes. Illinois kept it close for the remainder of the first half, but Burke hit a step-back jumper with four seconds left to give Michigan a 35-27 halftime lead.

In the second, Illinois made a point to go right at Michigan to get the big men in foul trouble. They were able to pull within four at 41-37, but that was as close as they would get. The Michigan lead grew to as many as 18 at 70-52 with just over four minutes to play and the Wolverines cruised to the 14-point victory.

Despite losing Jordan Morgan to a sprained ankle early on, the Wolverines got solid inside production by committee from Mitch McGary, Jon Horford, and Max Bielfeldt. The trio combined for 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Like usual, Burke led all scorers with 19 points. He also added five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Nik Stauskas scored 16 on 7-of-11 shooting, while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12. Glenn Robinson III also finished in double figures with 10 points, and led the Wolverines with seven boards.

As a team, Michigan shot 52.5 percent from the field while holding Illinois to 37.1. The Illini chucked up 26 three-pointers and hit just six of them.

With Duke’s blowout loss to Miami earlier this week, Michigan is likely to move up to No. 1 in the national rankings. Following the game, John Beilein was asked what it would mean and he responded that a year from now, no one will remember who was No. 1 at the end of January. But rest assured Michigan fans would, as most of the players on the team weren’t even alive the last time Michigan held the top spot, in the 1992-93 season.

The Wolverines return home to host Northwestern on Wednesday night and visit Indiana on Saturday for what should determine the Big Ten frontrunner.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 5-7 0-1 0-0 2 5 7 1 10 2 0 0 1 38
52 Jordan Morgan* 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
10 Tim Hardaway Jr.* 5-9 2-4 0-0 0 3 3 1 12 2 2 1 3 38
03 Trey Burke* 7-19 1-5 4-7 1 4 5 1 19 5 3 0 3 37
11 Nik Stauskas* 7-11 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 0 16 2 0 1 0 34
02 Spike Albrecht 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
04 Mitch McGary 3-7 0-0 0-0 4 4 8 4 6 0 2 0 0 16
15 Jon Horford 3-3 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 3 7 1 3 0 1 13
23 Caris LeVert 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 8
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-0 2-4 2 0 2 1 4 0 1 0 1 6
Totals 31-59 5-15 7-13 12 23 35 12 74 13 12 2 9 200
Illinois 23-62 6-26 8-9 16 20 36 14 60 7 15 1 7 200

2012-13 Michigan basketball player previews: the bench

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012


To wrap up our player preview posts, today we will take a look at the five remaining players – Max Bielfeldt, Josh Bartelstein, Corey Person, Eso Akunne, and Blake McLimans – that have not been written about yet. These are guys that will not project to make a significant, tangible impact in on-court minutes but could and should be valuable in a number of other ways off the court and in practice. Some could surprise and play their way into the rotation, but at this point I do not believe they will be regulars in game action. You can view previous player previews here.

Max Bielfeldt
JorNumber: 44
Class: Redshirt Freshman
Major Undecided
Measurements:

6’7″, 245 pounds

Hometown: Peoria, Ill.
High School: Peoria Notre Dame
Position(s): Power Forward

Rundown: Bielfeldt is yet another big body that Beilein will have at his disposal to throw into the mix down low when he sees fit. The redshirt freshman saw a decent amount of playing time in last Thursday’s exhibition game, grabbing three rebounds and recording one block in 11 minutes on the floor, and the biggest thing that Bielfeldt can provide on the court is rebounding; Beilein has raved a number of times about how competitive Bielfeldt is in practice on the boards, which can only help Michigan’s regulars put forth a little extra effort when it counts in the games. Bielfeldt is also someone that has worked hard at developing his outside shot, and while he missed his one three-point attempt in the exhibition game badly, Max could be a threat to stretch the floor when he gets in the game. Most of his minutes this season will likely come if Michigan experiences front court injuries or if Mitch McGary, Jordan Morgan, and Jon Horford get into major foul trouble, but Bielfeldt should be in line to increase his role in coming seasons.

Josh Bartelstein
JorNumber: 20
Class: Senior
Major Sport Management
Measurements:

6’3″, 210 pounds

Hometown: Highland Park, Ill.
High School: Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.)
Position(s): Point Guard, Shooting Guard
Career Stats:

PTS REB AST STL TO BLK MIN FG% 3-Pt% FT%
2009-10: 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 2.6 00.0 00.0 00.0
2010-11: 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7 14.3 20.0 00.0
2011-12: 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 1.3 25.0 33.3 00.0
Career Avg: 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 1.7 13.3 18.2 00.0

Rundown: Of the players not expected to see many minutes this season, Bartelstein may be the one to make the biggest impact off the court, as he was named the captain of this team prior to last week’s exhibition game. The players decided that Bartelstein was best suited to lead the team in that role, and Beilein mentioned that he has perhaps never coached a player in his career that is more about the team than the senior and son of prominent sports agent Mark Bartelstein. While many teams may take the captain label lightly, that will certainly not be the case at Michigan. We have seen in the past how seriously Beilein considers the captain position and have seen how critical the post has been before, as the 2009-10 team struggled in large part due to a reported lack of leadership. Expect Bartelstein to provide a very vocal presence in the huddle, and even though he doesn’t typically show the fiery side that former co-captain Zack Novak often displayed, Bartelstein is a guy that has been around for a while and knows what Michigan is all about. He’s tough to root against and should really be a key to Michigan’s success this season even though he will only see the court in “garbage” time.

Corey Person
JorNumber: 32
Class: First-year Graduate Student
Major General Studies
Measurements:

6’3″, 210 pounds

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Mich.
High School: Kalamazoo Central
Position(s): Shooting Guard
Career Stats:

PTS REB AST STL TO BLK MIN FG% 3-Pt% FT%
2009-10: 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 00.0 00.0 50.0
2010-11: 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.4 0.0 1.8 00.0 00.0 25.0
2011-12: 1.1 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 1.1 62.5 00.0 100.0
Career Avg: 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.0 1.5 55.6 00.0 42.9

Rundown: While Corey Person is not the captain of this team, he will certainly be one of the more outspoken and noticeable players in the huddle, but in a good way. Person always seems to be in good spirits and can always be seen dancing in the huddle before games and giving a unique handshake to each of the starters as they are announced and run onto the floor before tipoff. Corey will rarely see the floor besides at the end of blowouts, but his presence in the locker room should be very valuable to the team, especially the younger players. As a grad student who has been around for five years now, Person’s experience and knowledge of Beilein’s system will make him the player most likely to be deemed “an extra coach” on the team. He will also undoubtedly be selected as a game captain a number of times and will be the first player I have ever known to player in two Senior Days, as this is his last year of eligibility for college sports.

Eso Akunne
JorNumber: 5
Class: Senior
Major Political Science
Measurements:

6’2″, 225 pounds

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
High School: Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard
Position(s): Point Guard
Career Stats:

PTS REB AST STL TO BLK MIN FG% 3-Pt% FT%
2009-10: 0.7 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 5.4 66.7 00.0 100.0
2010-11: 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.5 42.9 33.3 00.0
2011-12: 1.7 0.7 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.0 4.0 87.5 80.0 100.0
Career Avg: 0.9 0.5 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 3.6 66.7 62.5 72.5

Rundown: Eso Akunne is the only player on the roster from Ann Arbor and has played the second most minutes of anyone on this list behind McLimans with 126 total over 35 games. Last season Akunne saw some significant playing time in a couple games in which Trey Burke found himself in foul trouble early on, but his minutes dwindled as the year went on and he sustained an injury that kept him benched throughout the majority of the Big Ten schedule. Akunne finds the majority of his minutes at point guard, and with the addition of Spike Albrecht in the offseason and Albrecht’s fast start in Thursday’s exhibition game, the guard with a linebacker’s body is going to have to beat the newcomer out if he is to see minutes this year. His sometimes shaky handles make it hard for me to believe he will beat out Spike, but Eso did show off an improved jumper last season, shooting 4-5 from behind the three-point line. If he can work his way into a few minutes early on and prove that he is a viable option at the one backing up Trey Burke, he could see extended playing time every now and again. For now, though, his senior leadership should be most valuable.

Blake McLimans
JorNumber: 22
Class: Senior
Major Economics
Measurements:

6’10″, 240 pounds

Hometown: Hamburg, N.Y.
High School: Worcester Academy (Mass.)
Position(s): Power Forward, Center
Career Stats:

PTS REB AST STL TO BLK MIN FG% 3-Pt% FT%
2010-11: 1.2 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 5.4 31.7 05.3 100.0
2011-12: 0.8 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 4.2 47.6 41.7 00.0
Career Avg: 1.0 0.8 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 4.8 37.1 19.4 100.0

Rundown: McLimans was a star pitcher who clocked up to 92 mph on his fastball and a good volleyball player throughout his prep career but decided to stick with his favorite sport, basketball, at the next level. Unfortunately for him so far, his basketball career hasn’t gone as planned. He is a prototypical Beilein big man that drew comparisons to one-time West Virginia star Kevin Pittsnogle for his ability to step outside the arc to shoot the three-ball over smaller defenders, but he quickly earned the brutal moniker of being a shooter that couldn’t shoot after making only one of his 19 three-point attempts in his redshirt freshman season. When his struggles continued throughout the season, an audible sigh could sometimes be heard from the crowd when McLimans entered games, but McLimans put in more work in the offseason and came back much better last season, when he made 41.7 percent of his 12 three-point attempts and shot 47.6 percent overall. Despite the improved numbers and effectiveness last year, however, Beilein announced in the offseason that McLimans would be on a four-year path rather than taking a fifth year with a redshirt season in 2009-10 like Jordan Morgan. And much like Akunne’s path to playing time, McLimans will probably begin the season behind the much-hyped McGary on the depth chart and will see the majority of his minutes when the other bigs get in foul trouble or if there are injuries. If Bird continues to improve his numbers, though, he just might sneak into a small rotation spot as a stretch big.

UM Hoops Exhibition Game Preview: Wayne State

Friday, November 4th, 2011


Michigan opens its basketball season next Friday, but tonight, the Wolverines host Wayne State for the first and only exhibition game at Crisler Arena at 7pm.

#18 Michigan v. Wayne State (Exhibition)
Friday Nov. 4
7 p.m. ET
BTN.com
0-0 Record 0-0
21-14 2010-11 Record 22-8
9-9 2010-11 Conf. Record 14-5
14-5 2010-11 Home Record 13-1
5-5 2010-11 Road Record 7-6
2-4 2010-11 Neutral Record 2-1
66.5 2010-11 Points Per Game 76.4
62.5 2010-11 Scoring Defense 66.6
44.8 2010-11 Field Goal % 48.1
35.2 2010-11 3-Point FG % 35.0
69.9 2010-11 Free Throw % 72.1
31.9 2010-11 Rebounds Per Game 35.2
13.7 2010-11 Assists Per Game 13.0
10.0 2010-11 Turnovers Per Game 12.2
4.8 2010-11 Steals Per Game 7.0
2.0 2010-11 Blocks Per Game 3.6

While it doesn’t count towards the standings, it gives Michigan fans the first chance to see the Maize and Blue in action since last March’s near upset of Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This one isn’t a gimme for Michigan, but it presents a solid first test before the regular season kicks off. Wayne State is an NCAA Div. II school that plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last season, the Warriors finished tied for second in the South division, but beat Ferris State 73-71 in the GLIAC Championship Game.

They are led by junior guard Mike Hollingsworth, a 6’1″ 182-pounder from Utica, Mich. He was an All-GLIAC South Division First-Team selection last season and is picked to be the conference preseason player of the year. He averaged 16 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.

Redshirt senior center Ike Udanoh is the other player to watch. The 6’8″ 229-pounder from Detroit, Mich. was an All-GLIAC South Division Second Team selection a year ago, averaging 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Tonight will be the first chance for Michigan fans to see newcomers Trey Burke, Carlton Brundidge, and Max Bielfeldt in action. Burke is expected to be the starting point guard, filling the spot left by Darius Morris’ departure to the NBA.

Stay tuned for Maize and Go Blue’s basketball season preview early next week!