Michigan played its best defensive game in four tries on Wednesday, earning a victory over Iowa’s explosive offense. The Wolverines’ ability to slow down Iowa’s transition game was critical, but Spike Albrecht and Jordan Morgan were Michigan’s stars on the defensive end.
Morgan, always known as a good defender, played a great game on the glass and marshaled the defense effectively. He provided critical plays in the game’s closing minutes and was solid throughout, playing a season-high 32 minutes. Albrecht, a surprise starter, has rarely been known for his defense, but his ability to force timely turnovers bolstered his statistics. Yes, there were times that Albrecht was outmatched when he was switched onto Devyn Marble, but was getting deflections, steals and drawing offensive fouls while keeping Mike Gessell in check.
After the jump find additional individual thoughts on the defensive effort.
- Glenn Robinson III was a major reason that Melsahn Basabe scored so many points early on, but he was also a big reason that Basabe was essentially eliminated from the game for the final 25 minutes. Robinson also did a much better job on the glass after the first 10 minutes of play.
- Nik Stauskas played great defense against Aaron White early on, but White found a groove down the stretch. White started his hot scoring spree with Stauskas on the bench, but he wasn’t able to recover once he got back on the floor.
- Caris LeVert continues to be Michigan’s high usage guy on the perimeter defensively. At this point, I’m not sure what to make of that. Is he contesting so many shots (many of which are made) because he’s late on rotations, over helping or just that active? Roy Marble did have a poor game, and given that LeVert was tasked with defending him for most of the night he deserves some credit there.
- Zak Irvin’s numbers are ugly, but the damage was all done in the first half. He gave up baskets on three of four possessions during his first shift, but was much better in the second half.
- In the three games I’ve tracked these numbers, the leaders have been Jon Horford, Caris LeVert and now Spike Albrecht. Horford struggled against Iowa because he kept picking up shooting fouls while he was on the floor, despite limited playing time.
Previous Defensive Score Sheets:
Find the full calculations regarding the defensive score sheet here. The primary stats that may be unfamiliar are:
- FM – Forced field goal miss (includes blocks)
- FTO – Forced Turnover (steals, charges taken)
- FFTA – Forced missed Free Throw Attempt
- DFGM – Allowed Defensive Field Goal Made
- DFTM – Allowed Free Throw Made
Defensive Rating (DRtg) is calculated based on the stops and scoring possessions assigned to the player, it’s an estimated measure of points per 100 possessions.