Opening Thoughts: Saturday, Wisconsin will complete it’s round-robin with the state of Michigan when they visit the dump of a basketball venue known as the Crisler Arena. In their previous meeting this season, the Badgers had to finish the game on a 24-9 run to win 54-48. Head Coach John Beilein has not been victorious against the Badgers in his tenure at Michigan. Michigan has had some troubles this season, as they started the season ranked and ran out to a 3-0 record, but they followed that up with a 3 game losing streak. They currently sit at 11-11 (4-6) and will be hard-pressed to make the NIT. Hate to gloat, but I did question the reasoning behind their ranking and didn’t think they’d improve much, if at all.
What the Expert Nerds Say:
Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #11 and Michigan #94. He makes Wisconsin a 5-point favorite.
Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #5 and Michigan #73. He predicts a 58-53 Badger victory in 57 possessions and gives the Badgers a 74% chance of winning.
Note: Sagarin and Pomeroy are unable to objectively calculate UW’s abilities with Jon Leuer out, so they don’t. However Pomeroy weighs his numbers towards more recent games so he is a bit more accurate in that regard.
*G – 6’3” SO Laval Lucas-Perry (5.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 97.9 OR, 15% Poss, 14% Shot, 22% TO, 3% OffReb, 11% DefReb, 2.8 FTR, 68% of FGAs are 3PT)
*G – 6’3” SO Stu Douglass (6.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 81% FT, 96.3 OR, 16% Poss, 17% Shot, 17% TO, 1% OffReb, 8% DefReb, 1.4 FTR, 76% of FGAs are 3PT)
*G – 6’5” SO Zack Novak (7.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 55% 2PT, 105.5 OR, 14% Poss, 16% Shot, 12% TO, 6% OffReb, 12% DefReb, 1.6 FTR, 67% of FGAs are 3PT)
*G – 6’5” JR Manny Harris (18.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, 52% 2PT, 79% FT, 109.4 OR, 30% Poss, 28% Shot, 16% TO, 7% OffReb, 15% DefReb, 4.4 FTR, 36% of FGAs are 3PT)
*F – 6’8” SR DeShawn Sims (17.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.0 APG, 54% 2PT, 111.6 OR, 27% Poss, 31% Shot, 10% TO, 10% OffReb, 18% DefReb, 2.4 FTR, 18% of FGAs are 3PT)
G – 6’4” FR Darius Morris (4.2 PPG, 2.5 APG, 1.7 RPG, 83.0 OR, 15% Poss, 12% Shot, 30% TO, 2% OffReb, 8% DefReb, 3.4 FTR, 32% of FGAs are 3PT)
F – 6’10” SR Zack Gibson (3.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 64% 2PT, 77% FT, 114.6 OR, 21% Poss, 19% Shot, 16% TO, 14% OffReb, 15% DefReb, 5.0 FTR, 19% of FGAs are 3PT)
G – 6’4” FR Matt Vogrich (2.1 PPG, 41% 3PT, 91.2 OR, 17% Poss, 19% Shot, 24% TO, 4% OffReb, 11% DefReb, 0.8 FTR, 65% of FGAs are 3PT)
F – 6’6” JR Anthony Wright (1.6 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 80.0 OR, 16% Poss, 17% Shot, 20% TO, 6% OffReb, 10% DefReb, 1.1 FTR, 65% of FGAs are 3PT)
OR = offensive rating, or personal points per possession
Poss = possession usage
Shot = share of shots taken
TO = percentage of personal possessions ending in turnover (21% is average)
OffReb = % of offensive rebounding opportunities grabbed by player (anything in double digits is good)
DefReb = % of defensive rebounding opportunities grabbed by player (anything above 15% is good for forwards/center, double digits for guards)
FTR = # of free throws taken per 10 field goal attempts (3.76 is average)
Note: If I don’t list a player’s 2PT%, it’s not above 50%, if I don’t list 3PT%, it’s not above 40%, and if I don’t list FT%, it’s not above 75%
What Michigan is really good at:
1. Not sending opponents to the line. Their opponents only attempt 4 free throws for every 15 field goal attempts. This ranks 1st in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation.
2. Taking Care of the ball. They are 20th in the nation at avoiding turnovers, with a rate of 17.2%. This is 3rd in the Big Ten.
3. Forcing Turnovers. The Wolverines are 38th in the nation, forcing a rate of 23.9%. They are 3rd in the Big Ten.
4. Defending the 3 ball. They allow opponents to shoot only 30.5% from beyond the arc. This is 3rd in the Big Ten and 37th in the nation.
5. Shooting free throws. They are 61st in the nation and 3rd in the Big Ten, shooting 72.5% from the charity stripe. Unfortunately for them, they don’t get there much.
6. Getting steals. They get a steal once every 9 defensive possessions, good for 77th in the nation and 3rd in the Big Ten.
What Michigan is really bad at:
1. Getting to the line. They attempt only 2 free throws to every 7 shot attempts. This is 10th in the Big Ten and 328th in the nation.
2. Shooting threes. They shoot 29.2% from beyond the arc, 325th in the nation and dead last in the Big Ten.
3. Defending inside the arc. They allow opponents to shoot 50.4% from 2. That is good for 276th in the nation and 10th in the Big Ten. They also only block 2 two-point attempts out of 29, which is 271st in the nation and 9th in the Big Ten.
4. Defensive Rebounding. The Wolverines grab 66.3% of all rebounding opportunities, which is 205th in the nation and 10th in the Big Ten.
When Michigan has the ball: Michigan has scored a slightly below average 1.00 PPP in their first 10 Big Ten games, while UW has given up a league leading 0.93 in their first 10.
When UW has the ball: Michigan has given up an slightly above average 0.98 in their 10 Big Ten games, while UW has scored an above average 1.05 in their 10 Big Ten games.
Pace: Michigan has played at 61 possessions per game so far in their 10 Big Ten games compared to UW’s 59 in their 10 Big Ten games.
Top 50 Wins and Bottom 247 Losses:
UM Good Wins = OSU, UConn
UM Bad Losses = @ Utah, @ Indiana
UW Good Wins = (N) Maryland, Duke, Marquette, OSU, Purdue, MSU
UW Bad Losses = @ UW-GB
1. Manny Harris scores less than 15. Timmy J and Ryan team up to frustrate Harris into a shooting night similar to his last 4 contests against the Badgers, in which he has shot a net-scorching 24.5% from the field.
2. Trevon Hughes scores more than 16. He has been an assassin against Michigan lately, scoring 20, 19, and 16 in his past three games against them.
3. Badgers grab 78% or more of the defensive rebounding opportunities. Michigan doesn’t focus on offensive rebounding and Wisconsin is 3rd in the nation in defensive rebounding.
4. Badgers hold Michigan to 45% or less inside the arc. This is Wisconsin’s strength and Michigan is too perimeter-oriented.
Note: I don’t rephrase what I write because I mean what number I write. If I rephrased it, I would change the number accordingly. I just tend to be off by a hair.
My Prediction: The Badgers win 63-54 in 60 possessions.