Form Tracker: November 29th, 2012


Dustin Johnston

This is the first edition of a new feature, what we’re calling Form Tracker. The season is a grind and we’ll be evaluating each Michigan player’s individual contribution over the week that was on a scale of 1 through 10 — 1 being a horrible week, 10 being near perfect. Borrowing an idea that stems from soccer, we’ll keep track of trends while we chart individual ups and downs throughout the season.

Tim Hardaway Jr.: 9

Hardaway has been perhaps the toughest player on Michigan’s team for opponents to stop, simply because he can hurt opposing teams in so many different ways. Hitting an astounding 70 percent of his two-point attempts this season, Hardaway took home the NIT Tip-Off Most Outstanding Player award after Michigan won the tournament on Friday.

Trey Burke: 8.5

Burke is coming off of what was perhaps his most complete performance of his career against NC State on Tuesday. The point guard had 18 points and 11 assists for what was, unbelievably, his first double-double at Michigan. Burke is now ranked 3oth in assist rate by Ken Pomeroy, a marked improvement over his final ranking last year — 129th.

Nik Stauskas: 8.5

The freshman has been one of Michigan’s most pleasant surprises this season, and against NC State on Tuesday the talented shooter took a big leap forward by leading all Michigan scorers with 20 points. Stauskas has also been shockingly efficient — his offensive efficiency ranking of 161 is fifth in the country. He’s not just a shooter though, and he’s capable of driving to the hole:

Glenn Robinson III: 7.5

Michigan fans expected Glenn Robinson III to make athletic plays in the open court, but one of the surprises so far has been his shooting — the freshman is hitting a slightly higher percentage of his 3-pointers than both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke. He’s also rebounding the ball extremely well, with over seven rebounds per game.

Jordan Morgan: 6

The redshirt junior has provided a steady hand for the Wolverines on defense, though he needs to stay out of foul trouble — Morgan played only six minutes against Kansas State in the NIT Tip-Off Final. He has also been collecting offensive rebounds, notching two against NC State.

Mitch McGary: 6

The frenetic McGary continues to improve with every game. The Chesterton native has his freshman moments, but he is invaluable on the offensive glass, with a offensive rebounding percentage of just over 19 at this early point in the season. McGary played the best game of his young career against NC State and should improve by leaps and bounds as the season continues.

Spike Albrecht: 5

While Albrecht was a bona-fide playmaker in the preseason, he has — as expected — regressed toward the mean as the regular season gets into full swing. He is still solid in spelling Trey Burke and is good for the occasional 3-pointer. Look for Albrecht to get some extra opportunities as Michigan’s schedule softens in December.

Jon Horford: 4

We don’t have a very large sample size to draw from, much to John Beielin’s chagrin, as he laments his crowded frontcourt after almost every game in which Horford sees limited minutes. When he’s on the court, Horford isn’t eye-popping, but it can be difficult to find a groove without much run.

Matt Vogrich: 3

Unfortunately for the senior shooter, it seems the only reason he remains in the starting lineup is because of John Beilein’s superstition. However, after a slow start against NC State and given the immediate spark Nik Stauskas gave the offense coming off the bench, even that may not be able to keep him there.

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  • bsand2053

    Great idea! Looking forward to these posts in the future

  • ChathaM

    …and an already outstanding site gets better.

    • You guys are too kind. Also far too kind for all of the support in our donation drive, we are at 70% with 7 days to go. Thanks again.

      • DingoBlue

        Dylan, adding this and the podcast (looking forward to the next!) along with the new look for the 2015 recruits page has taken this site to a new level. Love the quick access to the schedule on the front page as well. Threw in my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!

  • Chabvis

    As great as it has been for Stauskas to be playing so well, I would really like to see Vogrich get some consistent minutes when we can afford to give them to him in the next couple games. Obviously it is hard to give him minutes in a game like NC State when Stauskas is on fire and Vogrich can’t hit a shot, but if we have a lead and he can get some run I think we need to give it to him. The only way you get out of the kind of shooting slump he is in is the shoot your way out. I also don’t think that it will be good for Nik’s health to be playing 30+ minutes a game for the duration of the season. If Vogrich can get going, making some shots (his defense has been pretty decent so far), then we will have two really good options at the 2 spot. That could be crucial this year.

    • mtung

      Agreed. And if you watch Vogrich’s shooting mechanics, he has far less rotation on the ball this year. His shot is flatter, with noticeably less arc. It makes you wonder if he is spending too much time in the weight room.

    • David

      “Vogrich can’t hit a shot”

      Well, to be fair, he’s only taken 8 threes so far this year (2-8), and none in the last 3 games. It’s a pretty small sample size to be talking about his “shooting slump.”

      • Chabvis

        Yeah that is true, but it seems to be stretching through preseason (not sure if those 8 shots include preseason) and even back to last year. Coming in his freshman year I felt very confident when he lined up a 3. Now it just doesn’t look like it is going in. I know that he is a really good shooter, but rhythm is huge for shooters. Him only taking 8 shots to this point takes him out of his normal shooting rhythm as much as only making 2 of them does. I guess the “shooting slump” could be more of: He has only made 2 threes so far this year. In what, 5 games now. Something like that.

    • gpsimms

      I completely agree that Vogrich needs more minutes, and I *probably* agree that Stauskas should be playing less, just to save the freshman from hitting a wall. BUT the easy way to get Vogrich more minutes: give him some run at the two. I was a big proponent of this idea when I thought Timmy would be a terrible two.

      Now Timmy’s playing great, so I’m not talking about tons of minutes, but damn, when Eso is out there chucking up crap shots and giving NCState a 8 point run in meaningful minutes, who wouldn’t rather have Vogrich out there? I mean, he might be in a “slump” (2 for 8 as David says), but the thing about Vogrich is that he never takes a bad shot. He only takes shots within the offense and he’s good for a back cut per game.

      • Jonathan Cummings

        I’m absolutely no expert, and I know there are better shooters on the team, but Eso’s two shots against NC State weren’t really contested, and he was shooting well in earlier games this season. I actually thought the three he took was going in until it rimmed out. Not saying I wouldn’t rather have Vogrich in there, but I think Eso should have taken those shots against NC State.

        • gpsimms

          It definitely seems like Eso can shoot the 3. I’ve seen him make a lot. However, that first shot was terrible. He was not at all open for his first shot. He took a few dribbles at the guy and took a contested pull up. I would have been mad with Tim Hardaway Jr. for taking that shot.

          The second one was an open three, which I would not have minded at all if he hadn’t just taken a terrible shot.

        • Chabvis

          Even if they go in, both of the shots that he took where brutal. I am not 100% sure of the shot clock time on the 2 pointer, but I know that the 3 was taken with 20 something left on the shot clock. When he is on the floor he should be the 5th option offensively. If Kobe Bryant takes those shots I still say they are bad shots. It is just that Kobe makes bad shots all the time. Akunne should be doing nothing on the floor but taking wide open shots and hustling everywhere. I personally do not think that he is the type of player that can do that. So if it were up to me I would not give him any minutes.

  • Mattski

    Neat idea, including because it can arouse some great debates. My only quibble is with Morgan. I think his contribution thus far merits something like 6.5 or 7. Which begs the question: are we scoring on the basis of the player’s own potential? Overall contribution to the team?

    • Lynette Gascoigne

      I’d love to see them dish the ball to Morgan some more. Many times he’s under the basket calling for it! Feed your big man!

  • mikey_mac

    Dylan, this cool new feature screams for data visualization to track “form” over the span of the season … I’d suggest Google Charts — free and easy to use. Let me know if you’re interested and need help!

    • We’re definitely planning to chart this stuff.. Just hard to chart the first one :-)

  • Champsweat

    Not to nit pick, but I don’t see Stauskas as a SURPRISE. At least not his shooting ability. From all the video you have posted on this site, it was obvious that he was an elite shooter. However, I have been additionally pleased by his ability to get in the lane and finish, defend and rebound.