Form Tracker: January 7th, 2014

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Michigan vs Northwestern_3
Our weekly feature tracking the performance of Michigan players performance over two game segments of the season. (Photo: Scott Mapes) Form Tracker is now interactive. Readers can vote on each player’s rating by hitting ‘Too low,’ ‘Too high’ or ‘Agree.’

Nik Stauskas: 9 (Last week: 8)

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Nik Stauskas continued his very impressive season over the course of Michigan’s first two Big Ten games. Against Minnesota, the sophomore scored 14 points and handed out a career-high seven assists. Oh yeah, he also hit two clutch free throws late in the game to seal the win for the Wolverines. Continuing his trend of not-great shooting from long range against high-level opponents, Stauskas hit 2-of-3 from inside the arc while hitting only 1-of-4 from outside. Against Northwestern, Stauskas was good again, scoring 18 points on 50 percent shooting from the field to go along with four assists and three rebounds.

Jon Horford: 7.5 (Last week: 5)

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Jon Horford played perhaps his best game as a Wolverine against Minnesota, hitting six of his eight field goal attempts for 14 points along with pulling down nine rebounds. The redshirt junior came up big in Michigan’s first Big Ten game and as a result dominated the minutes at center — his 30 minutes played at the Barn was his highest total of the season. Back at the Crisler Center against Northwestern, Horford was one half of a great performance by Michigan’s big man duo: seven points, eight rebounds, a steal, an assist and a block.

Zak Irvin: 7 (Last week: 6.5)

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Michigan’s sharpshooting freshman is hitting his stride. Irvin had a huge game against Minnesota, scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in 27 minutes standing in for an injured Glenn Robinson III. Irvin’s shooting numbers have been good, but against the Gophers he didn’t attempt a single two-point field goal. This is something John Beilein would like to see change, as the coach has mentioned on numerous occasions that he would like to see Irvin attack the basket and get to the line more. For now, though, he’ll take the hot shooting.

Jordan Morgan: 6.5 (Last week: 6)

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With more minutes, Jordan Morgan continues his return to form. The big man didn’t have a very effective game against Minnesota, as the coaching staff elected to ride Horford’s hot hand. But against Northwestern, Morgan provided some crucial help to an offense that didn’t play great in the first half. Morgan led the Wolverines in scoring with eight points in the opening frame and didn’t miss a field goal or free throw all game. He also pulled down eight rebounds, contributing to a dominant day for Michigan on the glass.

Derrick Walton: 6 (Last week: 4)

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Michigan’s freshman point guard is steadily learning the college game. Over Michigan’s first two Big Ten contests, Walton has shown solid improvement and growing confidence. While it didn’t necessarily show in the scoring column against Minnesota, Walton had a solid game on the road — he scored seven points, handed out four assists to only one turnover and grabbed four rebounds in 30 minutes. Against the Wildcats, Walton had a stronger scoring night, hitting all three of his two-point field goal attempts for 11 points.

Glenn Robinson III: 5.5 (Last week: 9)

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Robinson came back strong against Northwestern after only playing 20 minutes against Minnesota due to injury (though it’s worth mentioning that he did have four blocks against the Gophers). The sophomore looked fine jumping and cutting off his ankle on his way to 12 points. Robinson shot an impressive 6-of-8 from two but a disappointing 0-for-4 from long range, continuing a troubling trend of poor 3-point shooting that began with a 1-for-4 outing against Stanford.

Spike Albrecht: 5 (Last week: 4.5)

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Spike Albrecht is back to his zero-turnover self, not giving the ball up once over the last two games. Derrick Walton has continued to take the lion’s share of minutes at the point, but he and Albrecht shared the court quite a bit against Northwestern due to pressure. Albrecht was effective against the Wildcats, hitting his only shot attempt (a 3-pointer) and dishing out four assists to go along with two rebounds.

Caris LeVert: 4 (Last week: 6)

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It’s been a rough start to the Big Ten season for LeVert. The sophomore didn’t have a good game against Minnesota, scoring only four points in 31 minutes on 2-of-7 shooting. He had three assists, but also accounted for four turnovers. Against Northwestern, he was better but still not good: seven points on mostly free throws, two assists and two rebounds in 30 minutes.

  • Matt

    Love the polls!

    It’s a little confusing how you interpret minutes in these. Ignoring how the player actually performs, does amount of minutes affect the score? It seems like it does, e.g. low minutes guys rarely get high scores, even if they play well. It’s true that someone playing better is likely to get more minutes as well, but that’s not always the case.

    I think with a name like ‘form’ (as opposed to something like ‘contribution’), the score should consider only how well they played, not how long.

    Looking at the polls and Spike in particular this week, maybe others agree?

    • catwomanrx

      I agree.

  • MLaw

    Really love the poll feature. Really loved the effort at Minnesota. When we play driven we can be a great, but not elite team. This is still exciting basketball and I am so grateful for the work put in by those players further down the bench who are contributing this season.

  • Dr_ZC

    Great feature with the voting. And very interesting results. I figured that the “agree” score can be valid when the number of voters is at least twice as the voters in either “high” or “low” Category. I thought for GR3 and Spike, the original score was too low, and the majority of voters clearly agree with that. In GR3’s case, the too low is twice as high as the agree, which is quite significant.

    • gobluemd16

      Yup, I was immediately in disagreement with Glenn and Spike’s ratings. I thought both played quite well, albeit in reduced minutes, this week. Spike’s game against N’Western was about as close to a 10 as you could get for the minutes he played. The results definitely show that others feel the same as well. Love the feature with the voting added

  • Wayman Britt

    Caris has had a slow start in the league, but will have a chance to showcase his dribble drive skill against UW and MSU. Both of those teams will over play the wings and deny Nik the ball. We will need Caris to drive and finish.

  • rlcBlue

    GRIII cut off his own ankle? That seems drastic – but it’s comforting to know he looked fine doing it. Still, I’d prefer he follow McGary’s example and leave the surgery to the professionals.

    • Dr_ZC

      What is interesting here, is that GR3 gets no love from 5 out of 124 voters, who thought he should be even lower than a 5.5 !!! And this is after 70% of voters who thought is too low, and 27% (less than half) that thought it was OK. I guess he is the Ronnie Dangerfield of the UM Basketball team.