Game 10: Michigan at Kansas Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Basics

Who: Michigan (5-4) at Kansas (9-0)
Where: Allen Field House, Lawrence, KS
When: Noon EST, Saturday, December 19th
TV: ESPN / ESPN360.com
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ 950 AM/WTKA 1050 AM
Stats:
Live Tempo Free Stats
Line: Kansas by 20
Pomeroy Profile

jay-hawk

Note: Make sure to read the Q&A preview as well

With their season falling apart more and more by the day, Michigan heads to Lawrence, Kansas to play the nations top ranked Jayhawks. To any rational person, a blowout appears to be in the cards.

The Jayhawks rely on the three headed monster of Sherron Collins (13 points, 4 assists), Xavier Henry (18 points, 4 rebounds), and Cole Aldrich (12 points, 10 rebounds). They can score the ball inside (54.6% 2pt fg) or out (44.2% 3pt fg), they don’t turn it over, and they crash the glass. Their offense scores 1.24 points per possession, good for 2nd best in the country.

The Jayhawks are no slouch on the defensive side of the ball either, ranking in the top 10 in field goal percentage defense. Opponents shoot a dreadful 38.2% eFG% versus Kansas. They don’t give up the three and are a solid defensive rebounding team.

The Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff) give the Jayhawks some size inside and are solid contributors. Their bench is littered with talent, including Brady Morningstar who will return from his DUI suspension on Saturday.

It’s tough to envision a Michigan win in any situation. Kansas is the best team that Michigan, 5-4, has played to date and Michigan hasn’t looked all that great against mediocre teams, nonetheless great teams. Kansas will certainly be excited because Michigan is a name opponent and it’s one of their biggest games this year.

If I’m Michigan, I would experiment with the 2-3 zone, the 1-3-1 hasn’t worked and despite Kansas being a great three point shooting team. This worked against teams with lots of size (UConn) late last year and might be worth a shot.

Obviously, Michigan will need to make shots to win. They haven’t done it all year and on the road against a team like Kansas doesn’t sound like the most likely time for that to change. A win over Kansas could change Michigan’s season for the best but a loss will continue to slide it along the same trajectory.

I’m debating doing a live blog during the game so let me know if there is any interest.

  • eddie

    Shock the World!

  • Jayson

    71-60 ku…um keeps it close most of the game….a L, but continues building confidence for the team…GO BLUE

  • KainKitizen

    It’ll be interesting to watch the boys play tomorrow. They need to keep pace with kansas the first 5 minutes of the ball game. They need to make there first few buckets to build confidence. Manny needs to drive the lane and get and 1 if he can, to keep Kansas off of our shooters. Do a few backdoor cuts and keep Kansas’ defense honest.

  • Giddings

    This sounds a lot like the UConn preview last year…

  • AG2

    Michigan MUST MUST MUST slow this game down. They cannot get into a track meet, they’re not that kind of team. As much as I’d love it if Kansas conceded rebounds to get back on defense, we all know that’s not going to happen. But at the very least, a repeat of Utah can’t happen.

    I don’t want to be overly pessimistic, but Michigan isn’t just outmanned, they’re a good match up for everyone because of their weak defense and rebounding. Kansas 82 Michigan 56

  • AG2

    Oh, and big up to Chris Hunter starting for the Warriors tonight.

  • ZRL

    Agree AG2, I’m guessing we employ the “take the air out of the ball strategy”. Based on the 2nd half of the Detroit game, I think Beilein Stu starts instead of Darius to slow the game down and run the half court offense better.

  • ZRL

    Also, for everyone saying we need to hit 40% from 3 to play top teams competitively, just checked the stats and last year we were only 9-27 against UCONN and 5-20 against UCLA. This team doesn’t have to be a great shooting team to do well on offense, it just needs to shoot well enough to give Manny and Sims room to operate.

  • Austin

    I love my Michigan basketball. I’ll watch every game this year, no matter what, but this just isn’t a good synchronized team. Little chemistry, less leadership. I’d love to see a turnaround, but I don’t think it’s in the cards.

    KU 84 Mich 61

  • JimC

    Expecting a loss by 27, but hoping for a miracle upset

  • Tom, Too.

    Too bad there is a shot clock…we could hold for one.

  • Basketball Jerome

    Kansas is the best team I’ve seen play yet this year. On the other hand, Michigan hasn’t played good defense, rebounded, or shot well on a consistent basis. This looks like a 30 point or more loss to me. I hope I am wrong. We need Manny and DeShawn to play out of their minds, and we’ll need at least two others to step up and hit threes. Attention: Zack, Stu, and LLP – start making your open threes. I don’t expect better defense or rebounding, but if our offense is clicking, maybe we can stay in the game for awhile and avoid a 30 point loss. Go Blue!

  • JayRich

    For some reason, I agree with other posts that Michigan plays hard ajd stays in it for a while but then takes a big loss. Kansas 71 Michigan 55. All I want to see is UM play hard, improve on defense, and actually hit a couple 3 pointers. GO BLUE!