Your handy, dandy, basic Michigan basketball preview
First, let's start with some individual predictions. One note: individual ppg and team ppg don't necessarily add up because players will miss some games. For example, Petway is out for the OOC season. I also expect your basic bumps and bruises, but I'm not counting on any injuries that knock players out for weeks or more.
Starting PG, Daniel Horton (SR): He's the unquestioned emotional leader of the team. When he's on, Michigan can knock off anybody. Unfortunately he has had a lot of off games. He needs to get a little more efficient on offense this year because there is plenty of talent around him.
32 mpg, 10.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.5 to/g, 40.5% fgs, 37.0% 3s, 80% fts
Starting SG, Dion Harris (JR): Maybe the most talented player on the team got asked to be the primary scorer and primary ballhandler last year while surrounded by a bunch of walkons. Well, the Big Ten can play some D and that was a tough assignment. This year he has Horton to handle the rock and Lester Abram to draw the D, so look for him to really explode.
32 mpg, 14.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.0 to/g, 44.0% fgs, 35% 3s, 78% fts
Starting SF, Lester Abram (RS-JR): Easily Michigan's best player. If Horton is the vocal leader, Lester Abram is the heart and soul of the team. A tenacious competitor on both ends of the floor, he brings it night after night.
32 mpg, 17.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 to/g, 48% fgs, 42% 3s, 87% fts
Starting PF, Graham Brown (SR): He's a banger, but he's limited in what he can do offensively. When he's on, he gets garbage points and does a good job setting up everybody else with screens. When he's not, he's a TO machine. When Petway returns to action, his minutes will go down.
20 mpg, 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.5 to/g, 55% fgs, 70% fts
Starting C, Courtney Sims (JR): One of the most talented post players in the conference, but he's inconsistent. He's got good size, soft hands, and an excellent touch around the rim. Too often he struggles to get position in the post, though. Also doesn't recognize the double team quick enough and will force shots. Has continued to improve at Michigan, and if he keeps that up he will quickly be a force in the league.
28 mpg, 12.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 1.0 apg, 2.0 to/g, 62% fgs, 72% fts
Sixth man, Brent Petway (JR): Air Georgia is one of the most exciting players in the nation. He racks up highlight reel dunks and blocks and isn't afraid to draw the charge. Unfortunately, he's been rapping a bit too much and not studying enough so this flight is grounded until after the semester ends. But when he returns, look out. Instant energy off the bench, he can change a game in a hurry.
22 mpg, 7.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 to/g, 65% fgs, 65% fts
Backup, Chris Hunter (SR): He's long and he's lanky, but he's got good shooting touch and is an excellent scoring threat at PF. Too weak on the glass at times, though, to be a consistent force.
18 mpg, 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.0 apg, 2.0 to/g, 50% fgs, 36% 3s, 80% fts
Backup, Jevohn Shepherd (FR): 6'5" explosive athlete from Toronto is really going to add depth to the Michigan backcourt this year. Has a rep for being a good defender with a developing offensive game. He could thrive in the open court with guys like Horton and Harris pushing the ball.
10 mpg, 4.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 to/g, 52% fgs, 32% 3s, 78% fts
Backup, Jarrett Smith (FR): He's got good size and can really pass the ball. Not a very good shooter, but he knows how to use his size on defense. While not a major threat yet, he is a major upgrade over our backup PG situation last year.
8 mpg, 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 to/g, 41% fgs, 30% 3s, 74% fts
Backup, Ron Coleman (Soph): He was 2nd on the team in minutes played last year because of injuries. I hope he enjoyed that PT, because there is a ton more talent around now and he won't be seeing the floor nearly as much. If he wants to play, he has to showcase his phenomenal shooting touch and improve his defense/rebounding. That's really the only way he will earn PT on this deep and athletic squad.
6 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 44% fgs, 38% 3s, 84% fts
Backup, Kendric Price (FR): long and lanky, but he has some offensive punch. Might get a little bit of PT in the OOC games with Petway out, but he'll be seeing a lot of the bench come Big Ten play.
4 mpg, 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 44% fgs, 70% fts
Now how about a little game by game prediction?
(H) Central Michigan - W
(A) Boston University - W
(H) Butler - W
(H) Miami, FL - W
(A) Notre Dame - W
(H) Delaware St - W
(A) South Florida - W
(H) UCLA - L
(H) Miami, OH - W
(H) Coppin St - W
(H) Chicago St - W
(A) Indiana - L
(H) Purdue - W
(A) Illinois - W
(H) Northwestern - W
(A) Minnesota - L
(H) Michigan St - W
(H) Wisconsin - W
(A) Penn St - W
(A) Iowa - L
(H) Ohio St - W
(A) Purdue - W
(H) Minnesota - W
(A) Michigan St - L
(H) Illinois - L
(A) Ohio State -L
(H) Indiana -W
That's 20-7 (10-6 conference record) heading into the Big Ten tournament. Figure a split in the BTT for a 21-8 record heading into the NCAA tournament. Should be good for around a 5-7 seed depending on how strong the Big Ten is.
Labels: Michigan Basketball