The graphs above demonstrate the difference in the shift in expectations since Thanksgiving. Michigan’s most likely win total then was 14 and there was less than a 50% chance that Michigan won over 14 games. Now the Wolverines sit at 14-10 with seven games to play the most likely win total is 17 games with ~37% chance of 18+ wins.
On the Dime: The Lucious Effect
The Only Colors breaks down the loss of Lucious. The shocking stat to me is that 81% of Durrell Summers’ field goals this season have been assisted. Summers doesn’t return the favor with an assist rate of just 3.8% — meaning he assists just 3.8% of his teammates’ makes while he’s on the floor.
I scouted the talented guard when he faced off with Lakewood St. Edward and, despite Northland losing its first game of the season, Burke was extremely impressive. The scouting report lives here. Here is the film:
Burke scored his 1,000th point on Friday in a blowout win over Brookhaven. In a Monday night game with Linden-McKinley, Burke notched 32 points on 9 of 16 (2-5 3pt) shooting with seven assists, four steals, and one turnover.
The middle of the Big Ten becomes more confusing by the day. Eight Big Ten teams have 3-5 wins and the conference race, making it almost impossible to separate contenders from pretenders. The efficiency numbers infer that some teams might be better than their record indicates (Illinois and Indiana) while others might be worse (Michigan State, Michigan).
When you look down the list, it’s tough to find a team without glaring issues at the moment. Michigan State has lost 5 of 6 games and Illinois has lost 5 of 7. Minnesota is on a three game losing streak and without a point guard. Penn State just blew a 10 point lead to lose to Michigan at home. Indiana just lost at home to Iowa, who is also 3-8. Northwestern finally notched a quality win, at home over Illinois, but sits at just 4-7. Sometimes it’s tough to tell whether we have good teams beating up on each other or a bunch of mediocre teams stuck in neutral.
Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer attended Notre Dame’s 58-51 victory at Manual on Jan. 28. The next day, following the Irish’s 55-39 win at Bloomington, Bielfeldt hopped in the car and made the six-hour drive to Ann Arbor.
“It was pretty cool,” Bielfeldt said. “I really, really liked what I saw there.”
Bielfeldt continued to say that was not given a scholarship offer that weekend, but that he would certainly be interested if Michigan did offer. He was told that Wolverines head coach John Beilein plans to watch an upcoming game and that Michigan has narrowed down its final scholarship offer in the Class of 2011 to Bielfeldt and another player (who he didn’t know).
Bielfeldt has been posting gaudy numbers this season against quality competition, including 39 points and 13 rebounds versus 2012 Purdue commit Jay Simpson. Illinois and Valparaiso also recently hosted Max on unofficial visits. Illinois has offered Bielfeldt a preferred walk-on slot. Michigan has already taken Sai Tummala as a preferred walk-on and has been very aggressive with the walk-on program, so that is also a possibility. We’ll have more on Bielfeldt when we get the chance to catch up with him.
Whether Bielfeldt gets an offer (or a preferred walk-on offer) or not, this does prove that Michigan is continuing to pursue 2011 prospects and is not opposed to adding one more member to the class.
David Merritt is a former Michigan basketball captain and played on the 2008-2009 NCAA Tournament Team. David is also the founder of I Miss You, Inc. & The IMU Brand, an apparel company focused on offering high quality product while spreading happiness and bettering communities.
This flurry of great outside shooting could not have come at a better time. Before the barrage of 3-pointers, Michigan was down 11 with four minutes to go in the first half. The Wolverines looked, for all intents and purposes, dead. Then three possessions later, Michigan was down just one and had all the momentum. This was about as key of a stretch as it gets. On the first play, Darius Morris is classic Darius: reading screens, dribbling maybe a little too much, trying to sneak his way into the paint, and then finding Stu Douglass with an open window for a long 3-pointer. The next two threes came very fast, mostly thanks to good defense and defensive rebounding. As Bacari Alexander tweeted after the game, solid defense leads to fast-break offense. Both triples were results of alert fast-break offense and the defense not being in position to guard effectively. It was great to see Michigan find offense in transition because the half court offense had been stagnant early on. [click to continue…]