Game 1: USC Upstate at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
on
Basics
Who: Michigan (0-0) vs. SC Upstate (0-0)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Saturday, Nov. 13, 7PM
TV: BigTenNetwork.com ($) Replay: 8pm Sunday BTN
Radio: MGoBlue, WTKA 1050 AM, 950 AM
Live TFS

And we’re off. No more Belgian clubs, closed scrimmages, or exhibition games. This one counts. The competition isn’t all too tough, but with a team that expects to start one junior, one sophomore, and three freshmen, an easier start is probably for the best.

South Carolina Upstate is in just their fourth year as a Division I program and plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They’ve yet to post a double digit win total since their move do D-1 and totaled just six wins in the 2009-10 season. Despite last year’s struggles, Pomeroy predicts that the Spartans will be worse this year.

USC Upstate returns two starters and several other players from last year’s rotation. They also have nine freshmen listed on the roster. Mezie Uzochukwu and Josh Chavis both averaged around 8 points per game last season and will likely comprise the core of the Spartan attack. Chavis (37.9% on 140 3pa) poses a formidable threat from three point range. 6-foot-5 215lb Mezie Uzochukwu is an interior player and the team’s best returning rebounder.

With the graduation of 7-foot-3 260 pound Nick Schneiders, it’s very likely that USC Upstate will be significant worse at  most of the things that they did very well last year, namely defending two point attempts and blocking shots. Schneiders was not just the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, he was also one of the top 10 shot blockers in the country. In terms of weaknesses, last year’s USC Upstate team had an incredibly difficult time taking care of the ball. They had the ball stolen on a Division I worst 14% of their possessions and turned it over one in every four trips down the court.

It should be one of the two or three easiest games on Michigan’s entire schedule but it’s also tough to know what to expect out of such a young team. This is the first time the lights are on for a majority of this roster. This is a game that Michigan should handle and, with USC Upstate’s propensity to turn the ball over, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan experiment with the 1-3-1 zone.

Pomeroy predicts a 68-52 win for Michigan in a 63 possession game but he has yet to be correct on a score prediction yet. In this case I don’t think he’s far off, I’ll take Michigan 70, USC Upstate 52 and go with these as my three predictions of the game:

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. bounces back and scores 15 points while shooting in the 50% range.
  • Stu Douglass hits four three pointers.
  • Jordan Morgan grabs double digit rebounds again versus USC Upstate’s undersized front line.

Pregame Reading

  • Sam

    Just to make something clear, Ryan LeGates, who you mention as one of the top returners, has actually transferred to Georgia College & State University of the Division II level. http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=teamreports-2010-ncaab-sec

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Good call. Thanks for the correction… It’s the first game of the season for me too :-)

  • C_weezy

    1st off love the new site!! Will there be a replay of tomorrow’s exhibition game ?? If so.. what time ??

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Replay: 8pm Sunday BTN

  • maxwell’s demon

    Please just hit some threes.

  • Bigfoot

    ice the knees, ice the threes…

  • AG2

    Um, Gardner Webb is smokin’ UNC Charlotte right now…

  • Love the redesign on the website. Hopefully will love the three point shooting percentages after Saturday night.

  • Bluebufoon
  • AG2

    On the other hand, Bowling Green lost to Howard, so I don’t anticipate they’ll be that tough. Here’s to another season full of twists, turns, ups, downs, and general court-storming craziness.

  • drae

    Anyone know much about the kid who just walked for U of M?

  • colt7974

    Should be a tell tale sign of what this team is going to look like from this point on. Hopefully big blue pulls out a W, which I expect they will 67-52. A lot of different lineups will be presented to us like the exhibition game, but over all we will get the main lineup that we are going to see from now forward.

  • georgeesq.

    The walk-on is a former HS teammate of Jordan Morgan. Strictly a practice player.

  • Here is what Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale said about UM basketball:

    You look at their roster right now, they’ve got some good freshmen coming in,” Bilas said. “But a good part of that roster that is coming back is not an upper division Big Ten roster. And I think that’s got to change.”

    Vitale said it’s not a secret. “Many of the national championship-caliber teams have three players who probably could play at the next level. The Wolverines don’t have that.”

    Beilein is starting to turn the corner, but he needs to land 1 or 2 Top 25 recruits.

  • Mith

    I’m not sure why Vitale is comparing Michigan to national championship caliber teams. A national title is the farthest thing from my mind these days. I just want a team that can finish about 4th-5th yearly in the Big Ten and make the Big Dance. Some might call it low expectations, but I’d love to have that.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    That was the worst football game I’ve seen in a long time but it’s almost basketball season! Tip off at 7.

  • sven

    So does the Bigtennetwork.com not have any sort of archive feature?

  • AG2

    If Michigan had lost to Purdue, that would have been a bad loss for which our offense was primarily responsible. Make no mistake, that win saved Rodriguez’ job.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Who *IS* Matt McGloin!? First he torches us on 3rd downs, then he leads PSU on a 35-0 run to beat NW for JoePa’s 400th win, now he’s torching OSU in the shoe!

    Go Blue tonight! Come out firing! Beat the (USC Upstate) Spartans!

  • Aaron

    is there an online stream for this anywhere?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      BTN.com but it’ll cost you $8-10

  • CB2009

    is there a (free) online stream for this anywhere?

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    10-3 Michigan at the first TV timeout. Hardaway with 6 pts on 2-4 3pt shooting. 15 minutes to play in the first.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    21-5 Michigan. Hardaway and Morris have 19 of Michigan’s 21.

  • Old Style

    I can’t believe the BTN is playing volleyball instead of this game.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Don’t think it’s the volleyball. I think it’s the 8pm Illinois/S. Illinois hoops game.

  • Ryan

    Hardway with 3/5 3’s. 2/3 free throws. Morris with 6 points. They are looking good!

  • Ryan

    Also just instituted the 1-3-1 for the first time this season (i believe) and it resulted in a turnover.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I think they might have ran it for one possession versus Saginaw as well.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    A little sloppier with Michigan’s 2nd unit in the game: Douglass, Novak, Vogrich, Christian, and McLimans.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Right on cue, Vogrich hits a three. 24-5 Michigan.

  • smance

    Who started? Morris, Novak, THJ, Metric & Morgan?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Yup. Same as the exhibition game.

  • sven

    I don’t think Trey Burke is going to have much trouble taking that backup PG spot next year. :)

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Michigan’s effective field goal percentage is 88.5% right now. They are feeling it across the board. Hardaway, Vogrich, and Novak have all hit threes.

  • Giddings

    There goes Horford’s redshirt…

    • Sam

      I believe in basketball you can actually play a certain percentage of the games at the BEGINNING of the season and still get to redshirt as long as you don’t play past a certain point. In football, obviously, once you step on the field, your redshirt is gone unless you get hurt but bball is a little different. I’m still thinking Horford is headed for a redshirt.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        I thought there was something like this too but last night Beilein said something along the lines of “we burnt Horford’s redshirt.”

  • sullycu

    i’m pretty sure south carolina upstate is division 1-AAA, not D-1

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Michigan’s offense started sputtering over the last couple minutes. 31-17 Mich now with 3:23 left.

  • Alex

    USC Upstate is part of Atlantic Sun. They’re D1.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Michigan leads 36-18 at the half. Hardaway with 13 (3 of 7). Morris with 10. Douglass and Novak with 5. Vogrich with 3. Michigan shooting 50% from three.

  • smance

    No scoring from the bigs? Hopefully they’ll contribute in the 2nd half…

  • sven

    That girl is always stealing my highlighters!

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    From beat reporter Rod Beard on twitter: Just talked to U-M recruit Carlton Brundidge at halftime. He said he expects to sign his letter-of-intent for Michigan on Monday.

    http://twitter.com/#!/rodlbeard/status/3613407785779200

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    51-28 with 7:58 to go.

  • AG2

    Wow, THJR is feelin it. I’m not surprised to see Horford out there, we need all the Big Men we can get this season. I’m glad he’s not redshirting.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Game over. Michigan 66, USC Upstate 35. I’ll have post game later tonight. No videos because Joe was at Purdue for the football game.

  • Old Style

    I’m hoping to watch the replay sunday at 8.

  • drae

    Pretty even scoring from everyone?

  • Sounds like a decent start to the season. I will be watching tomorrow night. I heard the hockey team won tonight also so it was a 3 for 3 day for the BLUE!!!