Game 11: Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
Reed Baker

: Michigan (8-2) vs Florida Gulf Coast (4-7)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Monday, December 22nd 7PM ET
Preview: Stat Sheet
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)

Reed Baker leads the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles back to his old stomping grounds in Ann Arbor. Baker transferred to play for former Michigan manager Dave Balza after John Beilein arrived. Reed leads FGCU in scoring with 11.6 ppg but is shooting only 33% from the field. I would love to see Reed have a good game back at Crisler Arena as long as Michigan can pull off the W. Here are Reed’s comments on Michigan:

“He didn’t think I was tall enough to play wing in his 1-3-1 zone,” Baker said. “And based on my stats, how many assists I had averaging 8 to 10 minutes a game, he didn’t think I was the type of player for his system and he didn’t see me playing a lot.”

Baker could’ve kept his scholarship at Michigan but didn’t want to stay where he wasn’t wanted.

“After spending a year putting in the effort and learning what it takes to be a college basketball player and not reaping the the benefits and getting the rewards of playing time, it wasn’t worth it to me, it made my decision easy,” he said. “You’re there four hours a day. Who wants. … I think of myself as a positive person and who wants to be around a person who’s so negative with you every day. I’m not going to put myself around that. So I said, ‘I’m gonna go somewhere else and be happier,’ which I am.”

Reed was basically forced out and I don’t blame him for feeling a little bitter, he was by all accounts a good kid and I’m glad that it appears he has landed on his feet. In the same article Balza notes that the game was scheduled to set up a presentation in memorial of Dr. Joel Fortnoy, a former Michigan manager who died unexpectedly.

FGCU has played a couple tough opponents including Kansas (85-45), Florida (94-60), and Butler (73-53)  but they haven’t beat anyone with an RPI better than 200.

FGCU plays an uptempo game (70.9 possessions per game) but doesn’t shoot it particularly well, their 43.5 eFG% ranks 311th in the nation. They also struggle holding onto the ball and turn it over on 26.7% of their possessions (338th) and also rebounding where their offensive rebounding percentage ranks 231st. The one thing they do relatively well is get to the line, their 29.0 free throw rate ranks 70th in the country. Overall their adjusted offensive efficiency rating ranks 316th.

It’s also worth noting that Michigan’s adjusted efficiency rating is up to 6th in the country, this is very impressive considering they were ranked 148 at the end of last season.

With FGCU’s poor statistical profile and apparent injury problems, this game has cupcake written all over it. It should be a chance for Beilein to continue to tinker with the lineup and continue to ease Laval Lucas-Perry into the lineup.

Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments.

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  • Jacques Auef

    Let’s hope LLP shines and Legion ends up looking like crap.

  • UMQuasi

    While I could see Reed feeling bitter about the way he left, you have to respect that Beilein was honest with him. It would have been much worse for Reed if JB had led him on while knowing that he wouldn’t really be a contributor.

  • I’d like to see Reed go for 20 or so tonight. He was a favorite of mine and like Dylan said it is great to see him land on his feet. But I think we win this one handedly. They aren’t as athletic a team as Savannah State so they shouldn’t bother us, this should be an easy victory. Should.

  • So much for Alex’s mom being a prophet.

  • MattNYC

    The hell? Since when is 2-6 with 3TO, 2 boards a steal and 2 fouls in 18 minutes “impressive”?

    Legion is an easy guy to root against. I’m not at that point, but what a silly headline — “impresses”?

  • ryan

    just wanted to point out- Michigan is still not ranked in the coaches poll. In fact they didn’t move up. Minnesota moved to 23. The AP poll is not out yet.
    The more we don’t get ranked, all though i think it would be nice, I start to agree with alot of you and think how little I acctually care.
    As for tonight, I look for a 30 point win and eric puls to hit three 3 pointers!

  • ryan

    michigan ranked 24th in the AP poll

  • michmgoblue

    Does anyone know who the International guy we are scouting now is? They had something about it on michigan’s rival page.

  • GoBlue

    Yeah the coaches poll is total garbage. The coaches dont have time to watch the games and therefore you get a team like Memphis that cannot shoot the basketball and has 3 losses against 0 big wins and they are ranked? Thats laughable. Then you have one trick pony Davidson getting exposed on national tv by Purdue(21-0 at one point) and they dont fall at all???? Give me a break.
    Its good to see UM ranked in the AP though, woo hoo!

  • MattNYC

    Yea the Davidson/Curry hype train is a bit out of control. I’m not sure how Michigan doesn’t get in above a Memphis team that has no good wins and clearly lost most of their talent to the NBA.

    Rose was clearly a hell of a player for them even if his stats didn’t show he had that big of an impact.

  • Ky Fox

    Yeah Rose was SICK!! I agree that it was good that JB was up front with Reed..he wasnt going to cut it for us and we did the right thing.
    As far as the polls go you can clearly see the love affair all these people have with big name coaches/players and so on, the problem I have is they base much of their voting on how well a team did last year. Forget about what happened last year…teams lose too many players, and things change drastically from 1 year to the next. They should base their voting on what has took place this year so far. Im not too worried about not being ranked in any 1 poll, but when you have teams like the afore mentioned memphis tigers who look less than impressive, it becomes a bit annoying. I guess we need win ourselves into that national elite status so we can lose a bunch of games and still be ranked.

  • dabadeeblue

    does anyone know online links to the FGC game? thanks!

  • MattNYC

    BTN is streaming the game online, it’s a pretty good stream, I usually hook my laptop up to the HDTV, it’s slightly worse than SDTV quality.

  • Ken in Vegas

    The coaches are officially retarded. I hate them. Things like this just conjur of memories of the 1997 “lets give Tom Osborne” a going away present.” Luckily for us, the coaches have nothing to do with the selection committee. Those people are actually informed about more than 10 teams, much like the AP people.

  • JimC

    I was surprised when Baker departed. And now knowing the reason–he “didn’t fit”–seems more of a surprise because his specialty is shooting long range, and that’s the foundation of Beilein’s plan.
    But I’m with you Dylan, go Reed, but let’s get another big W:

    M 91 – FGCU 65 in a sloppy game

  • FGCU is… not good. I’m only watching the stream but it’s rough.

  • jg

    Sims is on pace for around 30 boards this game. Already with a career high 12.

  • Yea, overall I’m not impressed w/ U-M. Settling for decent shots, Manny forcing shots, Peedi is too big that it’s not fair on the glass. FGCU is bad and Michigan is up 19 or something but this isn’t a good effort IMO.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if FGCU had more TOs than points right now. They are shooting 17% to Michigan’s 33%. Ew.

  • jg

    grady has really improved his outside shot this year.

    hard to really fault the team for the performance thus far. Coming off a competitive game on Saturday against a far inferior opponent its not surprising that they’ve come out a little sloppy.

  • Dave

    I need to see Gibson continue to play well. He doesn’t have to score — it’s not so clear that he’s ever going to be comfortable as a scorer — but he’s understanding his defensive responsibilities and he’s making good decisions with the ball. If he can play ~15 solid minutes a night it would be huge for conference play.

  • It might be hard to fault them for the effort but you don’t want to see bad habits develop.

  • JimC

    Some ugly shooting on both sides.

    Note: my previous prediction was in shot attempts only.

  • Jay

    Do we really need to shoot nearly 50 3’s? Grady accounting for what 10-11 himself? geez cut that number down some, and give me some high quality attempts and I’ll take that.

  • GBMDC02

    Looks like a team that decided they were going to coast through this one…

  • Jacques Auef

    UM played poorly but still won. Sims had a great night with 20 pts and 20 rebounds. I am still concerned that the lack of inside play will end up hurting UM during Big 10 play.

  • UMDC

    It’s nice that we won. I guess that’s the best one can say about that game.

    Grady was 4-10 from 3pt range which is a good percentage.

    Novak (0-5) and Merritt (0-3) were not so good.

  • Anyone know what happened to Ant?

  • Giddings

    Good question… you would think that in a game like this one where no one else can hit a 3, you might as well try Ant and see if he can knock one down.

    It’s too bad, I know a lot of people are not so high on Ant but he’s really a good kid and he’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is right now. Maybe we’ll see whaat he can do in garbage time against NC Central.