Form Tracker: February 5th, 2013

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Michigan-74-Illinois-60-13[1]

Our weekly feature tracking the performance of Michigan players over the last week’s action. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

Mitch McGary: 8 (Last Week: 7)

McGary played the best offensive game of his career at Indiana, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds and two steals. Jordan Morgan’s injury has presented opportunity and McGary made the most of it. He plays a more gambling style of defense than Morgan but his aggressive nature can change games quickly. Are we witnessing the rise of Mitch McGary? The trend in his recent form is positive and he continues to improve every time he steps on the floor.

Trey Burke: 7.5 (Last Week: 8)

Similar to last week, Burke had one great game at home followed by a so-so game on the road. Of course Burke’s so-so game was 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds at Assembly Hall. To be honest, we probably grade Burke on far too difficult of a scale. His form chart shows regression in recent weeks but on the national stage he seems to move closer to player of the year honors with each passing week. A marquee performance against Aaron Craft tonight could serve as a massive confidence boost before trips to Madison and East Lansing.

Jon Horford: 7 (Last Week: 6.5)

It’s encouraging just to see Horford register a score in consecutive weeks. Horford isn’t just playing, he’s playing well. The 6-foot-10 junior blocked five shots in two games and scored a season best 10 points against Northwestern, showing off an array of moves around the basket. It will be interesting to see how John Beilein manages his front line rotation when Morgan returns to the lineup as all three players have proven they deserve opportunities.

Tim Hardaway Jr.: 6 (Last Week: 9)

Hardaway was just okay over the last week. His performance was quiet against Northwestern, scoring 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting and he needs 16 shots to score 18 points at Indiana. However, we are at the mid-way point of the Big Ten season and Hardaway’s improvement over last year is drastic. The junior has raised his Big Ten offensive rating from 98.4 a year ago to 115.7 and his effective field goal percentage from 46% to 60%.

Glenn Robinson III: 6.5 (Last Week: 8.5)

Robinson was exploited to a degree at Indiana – playing 40 minutes and scoring just two points and struggling on the defensive end of the floor. He had his shot blocked several times and his inability to create his own offense was painfully obvious against a swarming Indiana defense. However, he also played a flawlessly efficient game against Northwestern at home last week, scoring 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Nik Stauskas: 6 (Last Week: 7.5)

Stauskas hasn’t been putting up the sort of shooting numbers we saw early in the season but it’s tough to make over half your threes against Big Ten defenses. The road struggles are a real concern though. Michigan isolated the 6-foot-6 freshman on the first two possessions of its game at Assembly Hall and he missed both attempts at the bucket over Jordan Hulls. He’ll have the opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday evening against Ohio State, the only team to shut him out earlier this season

Caris LeVert: 4.5 (Last Week: 3.5)

LeVert looked to be operating on pure adrenaline in Bloomington, but he made a positive impact. The 6-foot-5 freshman snapped an 11-0 Indiana run with a bucket and an assist in the second half and finished with four points at Indiana.

Spike Albrecht: 2.5 (Last Week: 3.5)

Early in the season, Albrecht seemed to have a knack for making a positive impact. Of late, his play has been more about holding things in line rather than making the occasional surprising play.

Max Bielfeldt: 1 (Last Week: N/A)

After playing six minutes at Illinois after Morgan’s ankle injury, Bielfeldt appeared to have an opportunity to make an impact. However, McGary and Horford’s strong play essentially cut him out of the equation as there just weren’t enough minutes to go around. Bielfeldt played three minutes against Northwestern, failing to record a statistic, and didn’t play at Indiana.

  • Leonard Schwartz II

    I think your Hardaway critique is a little short-sighted. You criticize him needing 16 shots to tally 18 points, but credit Burke for scoring 25 when he needed 24 shots to do so. I thought Hardaway, though he had some misses at the rim, was the best offensive player on the floor against Indiana.

    • Didn’t think Hardaway’s game was poor against IU, probably similar to Burke’s (which I called “so-so”). The difference in their two scores is that Burke had a great game against NW and Hardaway never found a groove.

      • MLaw

        I agree with Mr. Schwartz generally, but I think that is what makes form tracker both interesting and difficult: evaluating multiple games and creating one score. I think Hardaway had a rather poor game against NW in a game where his effort was unnecessary. Against IU he stepped into a big role to keep us in the game when we really only had 3 players for 40 minutes. Without him and Burke we would never have been close. I give him more credit for being (slightly) inefficient in a big game against a big time defender, than criticize him for having an off game against an inferior team. 6 seems harsh, but anything above 7.5 is really unwarranted, so it isn’t that far off.

        One question, that may have been answered already- is the score relative to the prior week? whole season? independent from prior performance?

        • Week by week. Each score should encompass the two games since the last post.

    • AADave

      I agree with your assessment of Hardaway against Indiana. He had a very solid game overall. Offensively, he was in rhythm and had some unlucky rolls cost him a couple buckets. Plus, he essentially hit a 3 which was called a 2 due to a toe touching the line (similar to a Stauskas 3 turned into a 2). He didn’t force any shots and played under control with confidence and poise. He and Burke (although Burke might have looked to pass a bit more) kept Michigan in the game while their two other top scoring options, GR III and Stauskas, were essentially MIA. I think their youth/inexperience was a significant factor.

      Overall, I think Michigan played pretty well. I think GR III and Stauskas will learn from this game and will be less likely to have similar off games. Morgan will be back to full strength and McGary will learn from this game as well and Zeller will have fewer easy putbacks when they play again. Michigan was essentially 2 or 3 possessions from winning an essentially unwinnable game. IU’s hot start was just enough of a cushion to hold off what I believe was the better team. Winning in Bloomington is almost impossible even when IU doesn’t have one of the top few teams in the country. I expect a much different result in Ann Arbor.

  • Daniel My Brother

    re: stauskas how much of a factor do you think having the flu had on him during the IU game? Enough to warrant a poor performance? I understand this is pure speculation but just wondered. Obviously, it didn’t help him.

    • mikey_mac

      It would be nice to think it was a big factor, but that crutch isn’t available for his similar result at OSU. Some more experience to mentally slow down these big road games for him next year, and hopefully he emerges as a cold-blooded sniper.

  • James

    Its getting to the point that I get mad every time Burke misses a shot. Totally unfair but when you play at such an elite level the mistakes stick out

  • mikey_mac

    For Spike, did you mean “Early in the season”?