Michigan is sitting at 5-1 after a very successful November. Not many would have expected this team to beat UCLA and lose only one game (to Duke). I was convinced that Northeastern had at least a 50/50 shot to knock us off early in the season. However even with the surprising record there might be even more questions about this team now than before the season tipped off.
Should Anthony Wright be starting?
The national average for three point shooting this year in the month of November is 33.7% compared to last year’s November average of 34.6%. However last years 34.6% was the highest November three point percentage in at least the last 10 years so this year’s number isn’t that unreasonable. Check StatSheet for every statistic imaginable about three point shooting.
Where has Michigan improved?
I posted a statistic earlier that Michigan’s three point percentage is much worse at this time than last year at this time 28.6% vs 36.3% last year. This number is also well below the national average of 33.7%.
Let’s take a look at the four factors:
This is comparing this month’s numbers to last season’s numbers as a whole but still there is some remarkable improvement. Michigan’s eFG%, offensive rebounding percentage, and free throw rate have all shown improvement. The turnover percentage is probably influenced heavily by Michigan’s last game against Savannah State, before this game the turnover % was only 19.62.
The other improvement this year appears to be defense. Michigan is running the 1-3-1 zone a lot more successfully this year and it’s paying dividends.Â Michigan’s opponents are shooting an eFG% of 43% compared to 51.4% last year.
Michigan has also improved in stealing the ball with a Steal% of 12.3 compared to 9.6 last year. Blocks are down from 9% to 7.3% which is understandable with the departure of Ekpe Udoh.
The Beilein recipe is to not turn the ball over, make three pointers, and create turnovers with the 1-3-1. Right now it appears that they are doing two of those things very well. This improvement along with Manny and DeShawn’s improvement inside the arc is carrying Michigan right now.
If you have questions on tempo free stats, start here.
Is Michigan a 2 man team?
Michigan has two very tough games this week with a road trip to Maryland and a home game against Duke. I think any Michigan fan’s should be pleased with a split.
This team hasn’t played a road game yet and Maryland will be a very good test. Vasquez is a streaky player and it will be important to slow him down early. Maryland looked solid in beating a Michigan State team that looked vastly overrated in Orlando. However they followed that game up with two sub-par performances against Gonzaga and Georgetown.
The Blue Devils are rolling and have a huge game at Purdue coming up Tuesday night. They handled Michigan with relative ease in their first matchup at the Garden and it would be hard not to predict another Duke win. Duke seemed to pick to the 1-3-1 zone apart for long stretches in that game. Michigan get’s another chance at home in front of a home crowd that will be out in full force.