Game 10: Delaware State at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
Who: Delaware State (0-8) at Michigan (6-3)  2821[1]
Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
When: 12:00 p.m., December 12th, 2015
Radio: 950 AM, 102.9 FM

Michigan hosts Delaware State (0-8) on Saturday afternoon as it looks to bounce back from Tuesday’s loss while facing one of the worst teams in Division I.

The Hornets have been hurtling toward the last spot in KenPom’s rankings steadily this year, opening the season at 335th and falling steadily to 345th in the country. Most recently, they lost 82-38 at Old Dominion — the only top-100 team on its schedule to date — in their worst loss of the season.

The Hornets

There’s a whole lot of red on Delaware State’s KenPom profile. The Hornets’ offense is ranked 345th nationally and they are one of the worst shooting teams in the country. DSU shoots 38% on twos (344th), 29% on threes (308th) for just a 40% effective field goal percentage. Delaware State has failed to reach a point per possession of offensive output this season and has topped .9 points per trip just twice — against Nebraska and Lamar.

Delaware State rarely gets to the free throw line (25 FTA per 100 FGA) and is a poor shooting team when it does get there, connecting on just 58% of its freebies. The Hornets are also ranked 235th or worse in turnover rate (20% of possessions) and offensive rebounding rate (26.7%).

The Delaware State defense is terrible inside. The Hornets allow their opponents to shoot 53% on twos (297th) and rebound 39.9% of their missed shots (342nd) on the season. Teams attempt a lot of threes — 43% of FGA (335th) and shoot 34.6% from long distance — against DSU’s zone defense for a 52.6 effective field goal percentage. Duncan Robinson should be salivating at the sight of this zone defense as the three-point opportunities should be available early and often.


Delaware State plays its bench more minutes than any other team in the country. Hornet starters account for only 50% of available minutes and head coach Keith Walker will routinely play 12 or more players in a given game with 13 Hornets averaging over 10 minutes per game.

6-foot-2 junior DeAndre Haywood is the primary playmaker and distributor for the Hornets. Haywood leads the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game and gets to the free throw line more often than his teammates, but is just a 46% shooter at the charity stripe. The majority of his offense comes inside the arc, but he’s a 50% shooter from deep.

6-foot-3 sophomore Todd Hughes leads the Hornets in field goal attempts, but is woefully inefficient. He’s connecting on just 28% of his twos (14-50) and 23% of his threes (3-13) and averages twice as many turnovers as assists per game.

Malik Carter and Devin Morgan are two other guards with the ability to distribute. Morgan shoots 48% on twos, but the majority of his shot attempts are threes where he connects at just a 24% clip. Carter has a team-leading assist rate, but shoots just 30% on twos and 18% on threes this year.

The best rebounder on the roster is 6-foot-9, 225 pound junior Joseph Lewis.Lewis has an impressive defensive rebounding rate, but he’s not an effective offensive player. He’s shooting a meager 39% on twos and 29% on threes on the season.

Bottom Line

This is a game that Michigan should win comfortably and probably won’t learn much about itself in the process. KenPom projects a 78-54 Wolverine victory and gives Delaware State just a 1% shot at an upset in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have plenty to improve on defensively, but facing off against the worst offensive team on the schedule isn’t going to serve as much as a progress report.

This game should be an opportunity to potentially rest Derrick Walton and also continue to get other players some experience including in the frontcourt where Moritz Wagner and DJ Wilson haven’t really been able to get their feet underneath them in recent weeks.

  • rlcBlue

    If Walton rests (as he should), we’ll see some interesting lineups when MAAR is not on the floor. LeVert and Irvin in the backcourt? Chatman running the offense? Dakich’s redshirt soaking in kerosene even as we speak?

  • Champswest

    This is a Michigan win, obviously, and the final score doesn’t even matter. What matters is if they show improvement in the areas where they need to. It may be hard to evaluate due to the level of the competition. I would like to see us run 3 or 4 pick-and-rolls for each guy at the 5. I want to see effective dribble penetration. I want to see dominating defense on the perimeter and the low post. A desire and commitment to rebound would be huge. A big win because we got a lot of fast break opportunities or made a bunch of threes isn’t going to mean much.

    • Tuff Enough

      I agree 100 and they need to just get the Bigs work like you said. We already know they can shot the 3 so I hope they just work and work on the low post game and Pick-n-roll please..

  • A2MIKE

    Dylan – Beilein stated that there were more injuries to be announced. Any inklings as to whom?

  • Wayman Britt

    Over the next 4 games why not give the majority of minutes to Wagner and Wilson. I would rather see them make mistakes, but gain experience and learn. The coaches know what they have in Donnal, let’s see what Wagner can do.

  • James Ryan Robinson

    I know, I know, but go after Josh Jackson, and retain Jalen Rose in some recruiting capacity. And were ready to go in 2016. Jalen would own the Detroit. Detroit and Flint are two of the toughest cities in the country, and they are in the backyard. Please.