Game 2: Bowling Green at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
on
Basics
Who: Michigan (1-0) vs. Bowling Green (1-1)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Thursday, November 18th, 7:00PM
TV: BTN
Radio: MGoBlue, 1050 AM/950 AM/Sirius Ch. 127
Pre-Game Video: Beilein, Novak & Morris

Michigan welcomes the Falcons of Bowling Green, who will make the quick drive up US-23 to Crisler Arena. Bowling Green, projected to finish near the bottom of the MAC East (which is coincidentally significantly stronger than the West), is just two years removed from a MAC Championship.

Early season prognosticators tend to be down on Bowling Green due to the graduation of Otis Polk, Erik Marschall, and Marc Larson, the Falcons’ three best post players. The good news is that BGSU still returns three experienced guards and wings that started last season in Scott Thomas, Joe Jakubowski, and Dee Brown. Of the trio, Thomas is the most proficient scorer and best returning defensive rebounder. Jakubowski is the Falcons’ best setup man and his three point shooting last season (39.4%) was only topped by Brown’s 42.7%. The bad news is that Jakubowski and Brown were benched after the Falcons’ season opening loss.

Things have yet to shakeout in the Bowling Green frontcourt. 6-10 freshman center Cameron Black is one of just two players to start both of Bowling Green’s games; averaging 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds on 69.2% shooting. He should provide a more substantial test for Michigan’s young and inexperienced front line. Sophomores A’uston Calhoun and Danny McElroy, who started versus Ohio Dominican, will provide depth in the front court.

Under coach Louis Orr, who played for Jim Boehim at Syracuse, Bowling Green has been known primarily for running the 2-3 zone. However, Orr has mixed in heavy doses of man-to-man defense this season, opting to play man for the entire exhibition game and for the first half of the Falcons’ loss to Howard. From a Michigan perspective, it’d be great to get a look at a 2-3 zone similar to the Syracuse zone they’ll see next week in Atlantic City.

Offensively, Bowling Green has struggled a bit coming out of the gate. They managed just .81 points per possession in their season opening loss at Howard and only scored 51 points versus Adrian in their exhibition game. After shooting a combined 36% in those first two games  the Falcons were marginally better versus Ohio Dominican, shooting 44% from the field en route to 81 points. All in all, this is a team that clearly hasn’t found their game offensively at this time.

Michigan stifled South Carolina Upstate in their season opener but it remains to be seen how good of a defensive team John Beilein has on his hands. Bowling Green should pose a more stringent, yet very passable, test for Michigan’s defense. Bowling Green prefers to play a slow tempo game similar to Michigan so we shouldn’t see much more than 64 or 65 possessions in this one.

Bowling Green plans to hang their hat on their defense this year and they have played very good defense in their first two contests. With Michigan’s history of inconsistent three point shooting I think you can expect to see the Falcons at least experiment with their 2-3 zone, daring Michigan to shoot over it. Zone defenses can pose problems for young teams that often times settle for the subpar shots instead of attacking the zone properly.

Overall this is obviously a winnable game for Michigan. But guessing what you are going to get from a team that has only faced Saginaw Valley and South Carolina Upstate is a risky business. The next two games will provide a slightly better taste of what we have but will still leave plenty of question marks. Pomeroy projects Michigan to win 65-55, I’ll take Michigan 68, Bowling Green 54.

EXTRA! We’ll be hosting our first live post game chat with David Merritt after tonight’s game. Head to the blog after the final horn and join in on the fun. Be sure to follow along the comments during the game as well. When we’re all done tune in for all your post game coverage — including videos and analysis.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Good stuff Dylan. I’m looking forward to the post game chat with DM. I’ll have to steal the laptop from the girlfriend and take part in that.

    Also, I know I posted it a couple of times, but the torrent for the SC Upstate game is up on BigTenTracker.com. Here’s the link:

    http://bigtentracker.com/torrents.php?id=203

    We’re having difficulties getting categories besides football to show up at the moment, so follow the direct link to the torrent.

    I’ll be grabbing as many games as I can throughout the season and posting them on the site, so look for them for any future televised games as well.

  • JimC

    Would love to see M make 3’s above 30%, way above.

  • Section13Row15

    I agree with JimC. I’ve been watching a lot of those college basketball marathon games the last couple days and the difference between some of the good teams and the average ones are just knocking down shots when they’re wide open. Ohio State was good at that on Tuesday against Florida and it opened stuff up for Sullinger inside. We need our 3-pt guys to just start hitting their open shots like they’re supposed to. We were terrible against zone defense last year both 2-3 and 1-3-1 so it’ll be interesting to see how we do against it.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    I bet some of you can guess who coached this team ;-)

    RT @raphiellej: The NCAA record for most 3’s attempted w/o a make remains at 22. #Canisius vs. rival St. Bonaventure on 1/21/95.

  • C weezy

    Coach B!!

  • C weezy

    Guess this.. Michigan’s ’95-96 recruiting class ??

  • AG2

    Wow, so its been since 1992 that Michigan has recruited a player from either Flint or Saginaw?

  • Retire the patented Beilein ball quick, Coach–it’s killin’ us!!! :)

  • bilbo

    anyone know of any streams for the game tonight?

  • AG2

    The game is on TV B10 network.

    Wow, Nebraska and Davidson go a combined 2-32 from 3 and North Carolina goes 10-11 from 3. Its like the elite teams have become so elite they’re out POT-ing the perimeter-oriented teams. The difference is that they’ve got a lot more than perimeter shooting going for them.

    The rich keep getting richer.

  • Brian W

    Deshawn is in the house. Back to cheer on his former teammates.

    Go Blue.

  • drae

    hopefully Smotz has a better game tonight… His head was else where last game and they need him to help out…

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Yup, Peedi in the house and reports on twitter are that he’ll start playing in the D-League soon.

  • drae

    Good for Peedi

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Same starters for Michigan.. Morris, Novak, Hardaway, Smotrycz, and Morgan.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    No lack of confidence for Smotrycz… who hits his first shot: a three in transition.

  • Zach

    you should get a live blog going

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Usually do live blogs for a couple big games. Think the comment system works well enough though.

      • MarcO

        Dylan,

        I recommend starting a new entry solely for game comments prior to each game. This will reduce the load on your site as you don’t have to pull up all the pic’s and pre-game text as people comment and refresh the page.

        I expect it’ll make for a slightly improved in-game experience.

        MarcO

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          This is actually a great idea. We’ll start that on Sunday.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    That’s two fouls on Tim Hardaway Jr. in 1:22. Looks like we’ll see a lot of Vogrich this half.

  • drae

    Good for Smotz, get him involved early and confident in his skill set…

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Doing a great job on the defensive glass and looks comfortable offensively. He had one good close out but also left his man open for a three point shot. Defensive consistency is still an issue for him — understandable in his second game.

  • AG2

    Well, there’s 3 offensive rebounds for BGSU on one trip, including off a free throw.

  • Zach

    How about an analysis of how we’re doing through 10 min for those of us in class

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Sloppy game offensively. Michigan trailing by one. Hardaway picked up two cheap fouls and has been on the bench since.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        And with that, back to back triples for Michigan for Douglass off penetration and then Novak with a long one on the secondary break.

  • Zach

    … score is not encouraging

  • AG2

    We’re doing well except when BGSU crashes the boards.

  • Tweeter

    couple quick threes by Douglass and Novak. Great penetration and kick by Morris. And a great defensive possession by Horford there.

  • Fisherman

    They’re heating up…

  • Tweeter

    I am really impressed with the skill of BGSU. For a team that struggled to score against bad competition, they sure look like they have some players. Maybe it really was just off-shooting days in those other games.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Michigan’s offense really heating up, averaging 1.24 points per trip, shooting 50% from three. Need to do a better job on the defensive glass, as Bowling Green has rebounded 40% of their misses. Love what Morris is bringing to the table — he’s had some really nice assists and looked to score when needed.

  • Zach

    Has Mich run any of the 1-3-1?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      One possession — resulted in a BGSU layup over Colton Christian.

  • Tweeter

    @Zach: yes they ran it one possession. It looked ok until Christian got lost and they found a guy underneath wide open. Christian got back to challenge the shot which was a miss but the guy got a tip in.

  • Tweeter

    ugh, Vogrich does not look so hot. He made one nice jumper off a screen, but any time he has had the ball in his hands, he does not look comfortable.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    A lot of frustrating defensive breakdowns for Michigan. We are switching almost every screen which results in Smotrycz on a smaller faster guard and one of our guards trying to defend a bigger player in the post.

  • Tweeter

    One big thing I have noticed. BGSU is really taking advantage of Mich switching screens. Every time one of our wings or guards get switched on to one of their bigs, they are posting up and going to it. This is one thing that has bothered me for awhile about this team defensively. They like to switch screens. Sometimes it is needed, but a lot of times they switch screens that are not even there. Would much rather see guys fight thru screens and only switch when needed.

    • Tweeter

      lol. Dylan too fast for me twice.

  • Zach

    tell that to d’antoni and the knicks…

  • Tweeter

    Vogrich = disaster right now. Bad foul at one end that resulted in a three point play, followed by getting stripped of the ball at the other end.

    • Tweeter

      two straight turnovers for Vogrich. Great block by Novak and ofcourse vogrich gets wide open three.

      • aMaized

        i think Vogrich is going to be a contributor – 6 pts a game would be welcomed as a backup? and a 3 rebounds a game would be good.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    39-31 at the half. Smotrycz feeling it from three and Morris is playing extremely well. Michigan averaging 1.26 points per trip and shooting 55% from three.

    As mentioned, Zack Novak’s chase-down block to stop a fast break sprouted a 9-0 run.

    12 points for Smotrycz at the half 4 of 6 shooting (3-5 3pt). Morris has 6 points and 7 assists.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. only played 2 minutes. Jon Horford also played just two minutes but was very active while on the court.

  • aMaized

    D Mo – 6 pts 2 reb 7 assists 0 to
    wow!

  • drae

    That’s the Smotz I was hoping to see this game… Too bad THjr got in early foul trouble, we would be up by more right now if he was in… If we could get just a little bit of offense from Colton that would help out a lot…

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Not too bad. Defense needs a little more effort and we’ve got to do a better job on the glass. Hopefully we can keep up the hot shooting, because it looks like we might need it.

  • Tweeter

    First half thoughts: UM a little sloppy with the ball except Morris. Need to box people out. BGSU is really playing hard and making UM pay for every missed box out. Morris looks terrific. Good decisions, good passing, good finishing. Vogrich needs to be limited to catch and shoot only. Any time he has had to make a decision with the ball, it has not ended well. Smotrycz is the real deal when he is hot. He has a really quick release that is almost impossible to defend at 6’9. Several of the bigs seemed to struggle with holding on to the ball. Switching every screen is bad, please stop that. The defense other than that, was really ok. BGSU mad several very tough shots with a hand in their face.

    Start of the second half is going to be big just to make sure that this team does not hang around and gain more confidence.

  • AG2

    I really think Horford has potential. Bulk that kid up and he’s a legit Big Ten banger.

    • Tweeter

      agreed AG2. I have been very happy with the way Horford has played so far. Given its only in limited minutes, but he looks like a smart guy that understands the game and plays with high energy. Add to that he is very long and has a nice touch. Still think he is only going to be a limited contributor this year because of his lack of size (also he tends to play small at times when he has the ball), but the future is bright for him.

  • At mgoblue it says “live audio,” but when you click it you get a vid on Michigan’s outgoing football seniors. Anyone else find that, or a way to get to the sound? Thanks in advance. . .

  • Merlin

    Mattski: connect to the audio via the ganmetracker,

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    9 assists and 0 turnovers for Darius Morris. Safe to say he’s really showing something tonight.

  • Tweeter

    I take back everything I said about BGSU’s skill. They are barely drawing iron on shots right now. However, I will say that UM looks like they are playing thru screens more this half which is a great sign.

    Ugh, Morris two straight turnovers! What is going on?

  • Go Blue

    This is very encouraging, I see some real talent . Morgan is much more atletic than I thought and Morris, Smotryz and even Horford and Christian look like contributers.

    • MarcO

      I concur. Morgan looks like a B10 player and CC looks athletic enough and scrappy to be the kinda guy that a team needs.

  • drae

    Score

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      58-40 Michigan. Really opening things up in the second half.

      Be sure to join us after the game for Merritt’s chat!

      • Tweeter

        Dylan, I dont remember the Merritt post. Is this a CIL chat or a video chat of him and coaches/players?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Cover-it-live Q+A session with Merritt. Joe will have post game videos and interviews later.

  • drae

    They need to get that “killer” mentality… When you have a team down you have to put you the game away…

  • Thanks, Merlin.

  • drae

    Dylan do you see Jordan Dumars being able to get any PT and make any type of contribution?

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    We’re chatting live on the main page with David Merritt. Submit your questions now.