Form Tracker: January 4th, 2013

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Dustin Johnston

Our weekly feature tracking the performance of Michigan players over the last week’s action.

Trey Burke: 9.5 (Last Week: 9.5)

What’s a guy gotta do to get a 10? Burke’s performance over the past two games has been sublime, particularly his first half against Northwestern. Forget being the best point guard in the country; Burke is making a rather convincing case for Player of the Year honors (he’s currently 3rd in the Ken Pomeroy Player of the Year Standings). Burke scored 22 and 23 points against Central Michigan and Northwestern, respectively, and added 11 assists for a double-double against the Chippewas. While Burke didn’t manage double-digit assists against Northwestern, he forced four steals and grabbed four rebounds. But what Burke does best is make the Michigan offense go — there simply isn’t a better scoring point guard in the country, hands-down.

Glenn Robinson III7.5 (Last Week: 6.5)

Robinson continues chugging right along and he was just one point from tying his career high of 21 points against Central Michigan. The vast majority of his points continue to come off of cuts to the basket near or around the baseline but don’t sell that production short. Per statistics from Synergy Sports, Robinson is scoring 1.8 points per cutting opportunity and has converted an impressive 26 of 30 opportunities. There are just seven players in the country more effective when cutting to the basket and all seven have used roughly half as many possessions (or fewer) than Robinson. His superb finishing ability is what allows him to go 13-of-17 from the field over a two game span and make it look easy.

Jordan Morgan: 7.5 (Last Week: 6)

While Morgan turned in a lackluster performance against Central Michigan, his showing against Northwestern — 12 points and 13 rebounds — was one of his best of the season. At times it feels like he struggles to finish at the rim but, per Hoop-Math, he’s still converting 70% of his field goal opportunities at the rim, a better mark than Michigan’s other bigs. He is always in position to rebound, he knows where to outlet the ball, and he rarely takes poor shots. Morgan showed off all of these aspects of his game against the Wildcats, and provided Michigan with exactly what the team needs from him: tough, hard-nosed post play and active rebounding.

Nik Stauskas: 7.5 (Last Week: 6.5)

The freshman was nearly flawless against Central Michigan, hitting five straight 3-pointers en route to a 19-point, seven-rebound performance. And while Stauskas had trouble hitting from deep against Northwestern (2-of-7), the Canadian showed us other aspects of his game. He was able to get in the lane and create for his teammates on multiple occasions and also finish at the rim. One important stat category Stauskas has cleaned up the past two games? Turnovers — he had only one in the past two contests combined.

Tim Hardaway Jr.: 7 (Last Week: 8)

Hardaway missed a game due to injury but his performance against Northwestern was essentially flawless. The junior scored 21 points on just eight shots and handed out four assists to boot. Initially it seemed as though Hardaway would miss the game, but he ended up gutting out one of his most impressive showings of the year.

Caris LeVert: 6.5 (Last Week: 6)

LeVert continues to be a great option at guard — he makes few mistakes and can help the team in a bunch of different ways. He just stuffs stat sheets: in only 15 minutes against Northwestern, the freshman logged 6 points (2-of-2 on 3’s), two assists, two rebounds and no turnovers. Playing most of the game against Central Michigan he was less efficient, but scored a career-high nine points. Wolverine assistant coach Bacari Alexander recently tweeted that LeVert arrived on campus at 6-foot-4, 164 pounds and now stands 6-foot-6, 185 pounds.

Mitch McGary: 4.5 (Last Week: 7)

It seems as though McGary is struggling a bit. He isn’t playing with a ton of confidence under the basket (3-of-9 over the last two games) and needs to work on being stronger with the ball in his hands in the post. He continues to grab rebounds — he had eight against Northwestern — but finishing inside continues to be an issue. McGary has it in him and I think he’s on his way to a breakout game, but the last two games have been tough sledding.

Max Bielfeldt: 3.5 (Last Week: 3.5)

Bielfeldt is a bit limited in what he can do because of his lack of explosiveness, but he is a smart player with excellent timing and really doesn’t take much off the table when he’s in the game. He played strong inside against Northwestern, finishing with four points.

Spike Albrecht: 2.5 (Last Week: 3)

In 10 minutes against Central Michigan, Albrecht notched two points, an assist and a steal. He hardly played against Northwestern and his only statistic was a turnover on an ill-fated backdoor pass.

  • Daniel

    I saw at 11w an OSU poster described ADV, the player we chose LeVert over, as

    ” an Italian kid who could hit threes if no one else was in the gym but
    had never learned defense, never played the kind of physical ball he
    would be facing in America, and now appears to be almost a complete bust.”

    I’m quite pleased we ended up with Caris.

    • John

      Wasn’t it really down to Spike or ADV? I thought I remembered that we pulled ADV’s scholarship offer and quickly handed out an offer to Spike. I could be wrong though.

      • DingoBlue

        That is about what I recalled. Once we seemed to have the inside track with Spike, we pulled the offer from ADV and he expressed his displeasure on twitter.

      • swinawer

        We never offered ADV and stopped recruiting him after Spike committed.

        • Chris

          Wrong. Beilein started focusing in on Caris and stopped recruiting ADV because he wanted Caris instead.

      • Chris

        We took Caris instead of ADV not Spike.

  • UM Hoops Fan

    Just to be clear, THJr is at 7 (and not higher) because he missed a game, right?

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Yes. His single game alone would probably be a 10.

      • John

        Should you really dock him points for being injured? Shouldn’t you just rate him on the time that he spent out there, thus being more like a 9 or 9.5?

        • DingoBlue

          This is always the problem with doing grading/rating systems, people will disagree. It’s a weekly feature and if he had a full week of games like this he would have gotten the 10. Do you really need him to get a 10/10 to appreciate how good he was?

          • Chris

            It is a little comical to dock a guy because he didn’t play. Just saying. Not that it matters though.

  • Jgiebz

    Did anyone else notice that they gave Northwestern an extra point last night? I feel like a crazy person. When Persons misses his second foul shit at the end of the game, they gave NW a point to give them 65, and they never corrected it. What am I missing?

    • DingoBlue

      I didn’t notice that, but is it possible they accidentally showed a 3-pt shot from NW as a 2-pt shot and then corrected it at that time? I’m only guessing.

      • Jgiebz

        That was my guess too, but I went back several plays and didn’t see anything.

        • Jgiebz

          They didn’t score a free throw make on the previous northwestern possession. Mystery solved.

          • geoffclarke

            Thanks for figuring that out. As insignificant as it was, it would have been like a fly buzzing around my head.

    • geoffclarke

      I remember seeing that but must have quickly forgot about it. Did northwestern only hit 1 FT after that?

      • Jgiebz

        Yeah. Their freshman missed his first and hit his second and they ended up with 66. Obviously doesn’t matter in a 30 pt game; I doubt it even mattered in Vegas. It is just weird.

  • Distik

    Dylan I love everything you guys put out. I was wondering though, when you post the postgame interviews could also post the opposing teams?

    • gobluemd16

      I don’t think they have access to that, but it would be pretty cool. I also love all the content they put out :)

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Not sure how much interest in this there would be. For big games we’ll sometimes include the opposing coach’s presser. Opposition players don’t always come out to the same media room, but even when they do I think it would demand a pretty big game to warrant posting their video interviews on the site.

      Curious what others think in terms of interest.

      • BlueBear_E

        Depends on the coach more than game significance. Izzo, Groce, Tubby (more so because Minnesota is an interesting team, I could do without Tubby most years), Matta, and Crean are the guys I want to see after a Michigan game. (in a rough most-to-least interested order)

        I only want to see Ryan when we beat Wisconsin. Just to see if it is possible for me to like any words that come out of that sniveling face.

        Dylan – loved the use of the word ‘ill-fated’ in the Spike write-up. Poetic and accurate. Think 7 is a little harsh for a guy that was injured one game and played a great game coming back from injury? It is true that Tim did not throw his body after defensive rebounds against NW, but he probably shouldn’t be on a weak ankle. He more than made-up for those rebounds on the other end of the court.

  • michiganman777

    I think you should only rank players by what they did on the floor. If they are hurt and miss a game or only play 5min it shouldn’t take away from what they gave us when they were on the court. Seems silly to include minutes on the bench (for whatever reason) into how someone “played” over the week.

  • Mac

    So what Bacari was saying is Levert actually grew 2 inches since he arrived on campus?

    • DingoBlue

      I’m thinking it’s more likely he maybe grew half an inch and bulked up. Gotta be a good sign. I wouldn’t mind him not being 6’6″, we have too many of those already /s

  • Wayman Britt

    Last year I had huge doubts Trey would make it in the NBA, maybe make a team for one or two years than done. Well, this year he has definitely shown he will be ready for the NBA.

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