Showing posts with label John Beilein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Beilein. Show all posts

Nik Stauskas leaning towards 2014 NBA draft?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Michigan's Nik Stauskas needed to take on a much bigger role during the 2013-14 season after the team lost first-round draft picks Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. from last year's Final Four squad.

Clearly, the sophomore has embraced the opportunity. Stauskas is leading the team with 18.5 points per game, 3.8 assists per game, 80 percent free-threw shooting and 49.5 percent from the field. He has taken over a team that is playing without preseason All-American forward Mitch McGary and has played through injuries to Glenn Robinson III and flu-like symptoms from starting point guard Derrick Walton.

Stauskas has been unstoppable for the Wolverines in back-to-back wins against top 10 Big Ten opponents. In Wisconsin, he helped Michigan break an 11-game winless streak in the Kohl Center with 23 points. Just three days later he topped that performance, dropping 26 points on No. 10 Iowa in Ann Arbor.

Though Nik's performance is making Michigan's chance to reappear in the Final Four more possible this season, his father voiced a concern that has lingered in the back of many Michigan fans' minds during his offensive tear.

Michigan PG Derrick Walton shining under the radar

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Following Michigan's biggest win of the season, the college basketball world is buzzing about Nik Stauskas's step-back jumper that essentially turned the lights out at the Kohl Center. The sophomore's sweet stroke was good for 23 points against the Badgers Saturday night, and he combined with Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert to score 57 of the team's 77 points.

In the post, Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford put up their best numbers of the season combining for 12 points on 6-6 shooting, 15 rebounds and five blocks.

Clearly the big-name players were impressive for the Wolverines in Madison, but despite all the eye-catching statistics, the most important number was 0.

Expectations Can Kill a Team

Monday, January 6, 2014


© 2013 CBS Interactive.
The moment the 2013 National Championship game ended in a loss, and Burke and Hardaway Jr. entered the NBA, I knew that Michigan fans would have a terrible time staying positive about the 2013-2014 season. I also reckoned that as soon as Michigan slipped up a couple times (Charlotte, as well as Iowa State before most viewers realized they were a Top 10 team) and couldn't beat top ranked teams (Duke and Arizona), fans would throw their hands up and say something along the lines of, ‘Seasons over, we suck.’ None of us wanted to see the defending runner-ups at 6-4 early in the season, but how many of us were truly surprised?

BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Michigan at Ohio State 01/13/13

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Game: #2 Michigan (16-0, 3-0) at #15 Ohio State (12-3, 2-1) Sunday 1/13, CBS, 1:30 PM ET

Vegas: Ohio State -1.5

Opponent Analysis: Ohio State does not have the same caliber of team that they have had the last several years. While DeShaun Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring (20.3 PPG), they are struggling to replace some of their top talent from the past few years. Outside of Thomas, Ohio State does not really have a guy who can create his own shot. This is a stark contrast from years past, when guys like Lighty and Buford could pick up the scoring burden. Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams are trying to pick up the slack for Jared Sullinger's departure (17.5 PPG 9.2 RPG in 2011-12 in 30 minutes per game), but struggling to match his production (Combined 10.8 PPG 8.8 RPG in 34 minutes per game). Ohio State has not won a quality game yet. They are 0-3 against the RPI Top 50, and 12-0 against the rest of the field.

Here are my three keys to the game:

1) Burke must play well against Craft - Trey Burke has downplayed the significance of the matchup between him and Aaron Craft in the media, but let's be honest. Burke had a huge game in Ann Arbor against OSU, and struggled in the games played in Indianapolis and Columbus. Burke is a vicious on the ball defender, and Burke must use his superior athleticism and play smart to get the best of this matchup. Craft has been known to get 2 quick fouls and sit out the rest of this half. Michigan should run screens off Craft and try to get him into situations where he makes mistakes to pick up those fouls. That can be tricky with Big Ten officiating on the road, however, especially in big games with loud crowds. I would be cautious using such a strategy. (This is a more tactical way of saying the refs let Craft get away with murder. However, I probably just ruined it all by writing this part in parentheses)

2) Make open shots - Michigan moves the ball well around the permeter, possibly better than any team in the country. There will be open shots for the taking. Stauskas, Hardaway, and Burke especially must capitalize on these opportunities. One way to hush a loud crowd is to make 3 pointers and grab an early lead. Michigan needs to make shots early and often.

3) Rebounding - As I stated earlier, OSU lost a lot of rebounding when Sullinger left. However, OSU is still +6.8 at rebounding margin, 32nd in college basketball. Michigan has been a step better, at +9.9, good for 6th best in college hoops. A case can be made, however, that Michigan hasn't really been tested in this category, as they have played more uptempo teams, and nobody with a really strong frontcourt yet. Ohio State will test Michigan, but this is a battle I think Michigan can win.

Prediction: This game will go back and forth the whole way, with several ties and lead changes. I'm looking for a big game from Tim Hardaway, Jr. Shooting guards from good teams have lit up OSU this year (Sulaimon - 17, Paul - 19, McLemore - 22), and I expect that trend to continue. I think McGary will struggle in his first big road game against tough competition. Stauskas is cold blooded, and he will hit 3s. DeShaun Thomas will get his points, but the rest of the team will struggle.

Michigan 75 Ohio State 71 in an instant classic

BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Nebraska at Michigan 01/09/13

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Head coach John Beilein must not allow
the team to overlook Nebraska.
Game:  Nebraska (9-6, 0-2) at Michigan (15-0, 2-0) Wednesday 1/9, BTN, 7 PM ET

Vegas: Michigan -24

Opponent Analysis: Nebraska is currently ranked #73 in the RPI. Out of 347 teams in D1 ball, they rank 320th in scoring. Their gameplan is to slow the tempo down. Or maybe they are just not good at scoring. In 2 Big Ten games, they have scored a total of 85 points, on 33.3% shooting. For both games. (Meanwhile, Michigan has scored more than 85 in EACH of its past 4 games) Nebraska is led by a pair of seniors in Dylan Talley and Brandon Ubel, who combine for 26.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. Nebraska shouldn't be taken completely lightly as they are a Top 75 RPI team, they have posted double digit wins over Wake Forest and USC, however neither of those teams are Top 150 RPI. With that being said....

Here are my three keys to the game:

1) Don't forget that there is a game tonight - Nebraska's best chance to win is by forfeiture, but since this game is televised and Michigan has a competent coaching staff led by John Beilein, Michigan will most likely show up for the game. You heard it here first.
Look for GRIII, pictured left, to put up another 20 point game.

2) Stay out of foul trouble - Shouldn't be a problem, but if Michigan is to somehow lose this game, it will be because players like McClimans, Akunne, Vogrich, and Bartelstein will have to see extended minutes. Those guys could get extended minutes, but it would be due to Michigan being up big in garbage time.

3) Focus - Michigan is 15-0, and clicking on all cylinders. A monstrous match-up awaits Sunday in Columbus. But tonight, Michigan can only win the game being played tonight. One game at a time, amirite???

Prediction: Nebraska will not be able to stop the well-oiled machine that is the Michigan offense. Michigan will control the tempo, grab an early lead, and never look back. Glenn Robinson III has been unleashed recently, and I look for him to put up another 19-22 point game. Trey Burke will put up silly numbers. Michigan wins by LOL points. Fine, I'll use real numbers. Michigan 91 Nebraska 59
 

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