Sunday, December 17, 2006

Michigan Hoops....11-1?????

So the Michigan basketball team defeated Northern Illinois yesterday to improve to 11-1 on the season heading into their showdown with #1 UCLA at the Pauley Pavilion next weekend. The question is, how good is this team? 11-1 is a mighty pretty record. In fact, it is the best record Michigan has had through 12 games in a long time. Twice under Amaker they have started 10-2 only to tail off somewhat in conference play. Michigan's only loss thus far was at NC State in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and they haven't exactly had a quality win yet.

Let's take a peek at their 11 wins and how those teams have fared against other "major" competition this year.

  • Central Connecticut State - CCSU hasn't really played anybody with a 13 point loss to UMass and a 3 point loss to St. Bonaventure being their biggest name opponents
  • Davidson - they lost to Missouri by 6 points, Duke by 28 points, and beat Charlotte by 28 points
  • Eastern Michigan - lost to Marquette
  • Wisconsin-Milwaukee - also lost to UAB and Wisconsin
  • Harvard - they haven't played anybody
  • Youngstown State - lost to Michigan State and Ohio State
  • Maryland-BC - lost to St. Johns, George Washington, and Marquette
  • Wofford - lost to Clemson and Auburn and Cincinnati (by 1 point)
  • Miami (OH) - lost to Kentucky, Xavier, Illinois, and beat Rutgers
  • Delaware St - lost to Pitt, NC State, Marquette, Purdue, and Wisconsin
  • Northern Illinois - hasn't played anybody
So not exactly an impressive slate of victories. Miami, UW-Milwaukee, Wofford, and Davidson are probably the best of the group. But how does Michigan stack up statistically with last year's NIT group through 12 games? Well, it's tough to compare because last year they had already played Notre Dame, Miami-Florida, UCLA, and Indiana. But here's a look anyway:

Stat: Last year - this year

Team FG%: 50.2% - 48.3%
Opp FG%: 41.4% - 36.0%
Rebounding margin: +8.6 - +9.4
Asst/TO ratio: 1.04 - 1.15
Team PPG: 73.0 - 70.5
Opp PPG: 61.3 - 54.3

Not a whole lot of difference. They still turn the ball over way too much. The defensive stats have been a bit better, albeit against far inferior competition. It will be interesting to see how they hang with UCLA. Can they keep it interesting in the second half? Will they get blown off the floor? The one encouraging part about this season thus far is that they have done most of this without much contribution from super frosh DeShawn Sims who has had a few little injuries here and there, but has been really emotionally hampered by the murder of his little brother a few weeks ago. If Sims can ever get his game back, they could make a run at an NCAA bid this year in a weak Big Ten. Based on recent history, however, I'm not holding my breath.



Blogger WB said...

If Davidson can get through the Southern Conference tournament again this year to reach the NCAAs, Davidson could finally get that first round upset that they have been close to pulling off the last couple of trips to the Big Dance.

I wish that we (Davidson) had played Michigan maybe two or three weeks later. It could have very easily been a different story. The young team (4 freshman on the floor in last night's game...January 13th, 2007) has won 11 straight and is really looking like they are going to coninue this run.

Unfortunately, the Southern Conference is a one-bid conference. It really doesn't matter what you do in the regular season...if you don't win the conference tournament, you don't get an NCAA bid. If you had an excellent season, you likely would end up in the NIT...but that's no gimme either.

Go Wildcats.

Sun Jan 14, 03:28:00 PM  

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