Michigan hosts its second GLIAC opponent in seven days but this one counts in the record books. Ferris State took Indiana to overtime at Assembly Hall last season and finished first in the GLAIC North and advanced to the Division II Sweet 16. However, this year’s Bulldog squad is almost certainly a cut below last year’s with significant departures across the board.
Ferris was already blown out, 85-58, at the Breslin Center and lost at Division III Calvin College in exhibition games this season. The Bulldogs lost four starters from a year ago and return only one player that averaged more than six points per game . It’s safe to say that this year is a rebuilding year in Big Rapids.
Michigan announced its third confirmed letter of intent this morning as 2012 shooting guard Nick Stauskas made things official. Stauskas signed his letter last night and is the third and final prospect that Michigan plans to sign in the early signing period. Here’s Beilein on Stauskas:
“Nik is an outstanding three-point shooter who becomes a playmaker with the ball off the bounce,” said Beilein. “He possesses tremendous ball handling skills and outstanding court vision which allow him to be an exceptional passer. Nik loves the gym and works tirelessly to expand his skill set. We welcome him to The University of Michigan with great anticipation.”
Moe Sport Shops has agreed to sponsor Pick to Click for a second consecutive season.
Today’s pool of eligible players includes: Trey Burke, Stu Douglass, Jon Horford, Jordan Morgan, Zack Novak andEvan Smotrycz.
For those that need a review, the contest is relatively simple. For each game you pick the Michigan player that you expect to have the best performance (sometimes picks will be restricted to a pool of players). If that player does have the best game (calculated by the formula below) you will earn a point. Full rules after the jump, submit your entry in the comments.
On Thursday, John Beilein met with the media to preview Michigan’s season opener versus Ferris State. The big news out of press conference was that Trey Burke will be replacing Stu Douglass at point guard in the starting line up. Here’s high definition video of the press conference followed by notes and quotes after the jump.
Earlier today we looked at five reasons why Michigan should excel this season but now we take a look at why the Wolverines might struggle. Michigan fans remember the last time the Wolverines were ranked in the preseason top 25, a disappointing 15-17 season in 2010, and here are five reasons why it could happen again.
1. Negative Conference Efficiency Margin
In 2010 this was the red flag that nobody saw coming. Despite a .500 Big Ten record and a second round NCAA appearance, Michigan was outscored during Big Ten games. We’ve touched on how effective John Beilein has been at winning (NCAA tournament games specifically) with a negative conference efficiency margin, but that doesn’t always translate to success down the road.
A negative conference efficiency margin means that Michigan’s record was actually better than its performance (U-M was outscored by its opponents but went .500). There’s no more natural statistical indicator of regression, just as a team that outscored it’s opponents but lost a lot of games is a prime candidate to improve. Michigan fans should take solace in the fact that their season changed so dramatically. This wasn’t the case of a mediocre team playing inconsistent basketball all season. Instead it was the case of a seemingly hapless team figuring things out and playing some of the best basketball in the country for the final two months of the year.