Pregame Glance: Michigan

Written January 12th, 2013 by Ken

One of the most improved, and most impressive teams this season, the Michigan Wolverines arrive in Columbus undefeated. Their 16-0 record includes an impressive win over currently 18th ranked NC State at home. Let’s give them a glance.

School University of Michigan
Location Ann Arbor, MI
Founded 1817
Student Population 42,716 total, 27,407 undergrad
School Type Public – Land Grant
Stadium Crisler Center
Seating 12,721
Opened 1963
Head Coach John Beilein
Experience 6th year at UM

Here we go, another ‘Before we get started‘ commentary. I want to advise of my whatever-degrees of-freedom connection to this program. Beilein is a native of western New York, and as it turns out, I golf several times a year with Beilein’s brother-in-law. We’re gentlemanly enough to get off the course in a civil fashion, but during the round, I flog him mercilessly. Only somewhat related, when Beilein left West Virginia for UM, his successor was none other than Bob ‘Huggy Bear’ Huggins’. Bob and I are alumni of the same high school, and my brother and Bobby (as he was known back then) were on the same high school basketball teams.

Information will be pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. I‘ll measure of teams capabilities that I will refer to will be the Four Factors; effective FG%, TO%, Off Rebounds Rate and FT Rate, as well as a couple other metrics just to flesh out the teams performances.

The #15 Buckeyes will host the #2 Wolverines this Sunday afternoon in Columbus. As you’ll see below, it’s a good thing it is a home game.


The second ranked Wolverines (16-0, 3-0) are a very good Michigan team, propelled by an efficient offense. They lead the Conference in points per game (84), point-per-possession (1.31 ), assists per game (19) and second fewest turnovers per game (8). They are last in the Conference in rebounds-per game (27), but since they are undefeated, it doesn’t appear to have hurt them too much. When you shoot the lights out like the Wolverines do, there aren’t that many rebounds to be had.

Michigan #3 T. Burke 16 33.25 18.188 53.3 77.6 39.2 3.0 7.25 1.25 0.25 1.375
Michigan #1 G. Robinson III 16 31.5 12.563 60.3 67.9 37.9 6.125 1.313 0.813 0.313 1.063
Michigan #10 T. Hardaway Jr 15 32.867 16.333 48.0 76.6 38.4 5.4 2.733 0.6 0.4 1.6
Michigan #13 N. Stauskas 16 30.125 13.5 50.4 85.0 52.3 3.188 1.25 0.5 0.313 0.688
Michigan #52 J. Morgan 16 21.188 6.75 62.3 63.2 0.0 5.438 0.438 0.563 0.188 1.5

Ohio State

The (now) 15th ranked Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1) play another ranked team, this time in the friendly confines (more on that later) of Value City Arena . The usual cast of characters, below. Key stats for the starters:

Ohio-state #1 D. Thomas 15 33.0 20.333 47.2 78.3 40.4 6.8 1.6 0.667 0.333 1.333
Ohio-state #4 A. Craft 15 31.0 8.933 39.8 81.1 33.3 3.333 4.667 1.8 0.133 2.333
Ohio-state #32 L. Smith Jr. 15 27.0 10.733 44.8 56.0 43.5 5.533 1.8 0.533 0.133 1.733
Ohio-state #12 S. Thompson 15 23.667 7.133 44.3 76.7 24.0 3.733 1.133 0.867 0.867 1.533
Ohio-state #23 A. Williams 15 15.867 4.533 63.9 51.2 0.0 4.067 0.2 0.333 1.467 2.4

The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).

Michigan Ohio State
eFG% 58.8 52.3
TO% 14.4 16.2
OR% 36.3 35.6
FTR 29.0 35.4
PPP 64.8 67.3
PPO 1.25 1.13
PPD 0.91 0.86

Michigan won’t put a big team on the floor with Burke (6‘0“), Hardaway Jr. (6‘6“), Stauskas (6‘6“), Robinson III (6’6”) and Morgan (6’8”). OSU counters with Craft (6’2”), Smith (6’4”), Thomas (6’7”), Thompson (6’7”) and Williams (6’11). The Michigan offense runs through Columbus native Trey Burke, who leads the team is several categories (team chart above), but he has a lot of help, as the same chart indicates.

The Buckeyes back-court will be defensively challenged due to UM ability to shoot well from 3-point range (41%) and be able to dish for assists. I expect Evan Ravenel to see significant and productive court time. The front line, and Lenzelle Smith, need to make a concerted effort to get offensive rebounds because OSU isn’t as offensively efficient as Michigan. A good way to offset that shortfall is to get offensive rebound put-backs. And it denies UM a transition possession.

If Ohio State plays with the intensity and energy that they began against Purdue, for the full 40 minutes, this will be an interesting game. If they don’t, it won’t. Earlier, I’d mentioned “friendly confines”, and it should be as true Sunday as ever. The Buckeyes need a full-throttle, high-energy level of effort to beat the Wolverines on Sunday. If you can even remotely make it to the game to provide high-volume support for your Buckeyes, please do so.

Tip-off is on January 13th at 1:35 at Value City Arena. Please join us for the live blog at 1:15. The game is televised on CBS.


  1. GaryNo Gravatar
    January 13th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Michigan comes in the last undefeated team in D-1 and hopefully that changes when they leave Columbus!


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 13th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    That wouldn be nice, wouldn’t it?


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