Monday Night Links

012711_SPT_UM at MSU bball_MRM Photo Credit: Ann

  • College Basketball’s One-Man Gangs
    Darius Morris gets props in the Wall Street Journal who points out that Morris is responsible for major conference best 53.4% of Michigan’s made field goals. Yes, that’s more than Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker.
  • Look At Them Now: Darius Morris
    Sean Ceglinsky (who actually tipped us off about Morris’ commitment two and a half years ago) penned a nice ESPN feature on Morris’ improvement including a couple quotes from Demetrius Calip.
  • Everything slow is new again
    John Gasaway explains that near-upsets in slow paced games aren’t due to the tempo but merely underdogs playing exceptionally well. So lets show restraint before proclaiming that Michigan’s slow tempo means an upset is likely at Value City Arena.
  • Big Ten Midseason Report Card
    Brent Yarina puts together some all-Big Ten teams half way through the season. He named Morris most improved, put Hardaway on the all-freshman team, and gave Michigan a ‘B-‘ grade overall.
  • Crashing the Dance
    Our favorite mathematician bracketologist is back in action. He has seven Big Ten teams in the dance right now.
  • Big Ten power rankings: Week 6
    The Inside the Hall Crew has Michigan ranked 9th in this week’s power rankings.
  • BIG TEN NOTEBOOK: Blizzard forecast changes travel plans for Michigan State, Penn State, Michigan and other notes
    Somehow this year’s biggest snow storm ever even affects your basketball coverage. Snow!

Big Ten Roundup: January 31st, 2011

Team W L Poss. Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Eff. Margin
Ohio State 9 0 63 1.15 1.01 0.14
Wisconsin 5 3 57 1.17 1.04 0.13
Purdue 7 2 64 1.16 1.04 0.12
Illinois 4 4 63 1.10 1.04 0.06
Penn State 5 4 59 1.09 1.08 0.01
Minnesota 5 4 62 1.09 1.09 0.00
Michigan State 5 4 65 1.05 1.06 -0.01
Indiana 2 7 64 1.08 1.15 -0.07
Northwestern 3 7 64 1.08 1.15 -0.07
Michigan 3 6 60 1.08 1.18 -0.10
Iowa 1 8 66 0.99 1.16 -0.17

View Updated Tempo Free Scatterplot

With a two game lead record wise, it should come as no surprise that Ohio State has emerged as the conference leader in terms of efficiency margin. Ohio State has the conference’s best defense and trails Wisconsin and Purdue on the offensive end by just a hair. It’s still two weeks away but Ohio State will receive its first true test with a road trip to Madison.

Purdue and Wisconsin, despite their rough weeks, are finding a niche in the conference’s second tier. The Badgers and Boilermakers will square off this week in Madison as they try to keep pace with Ohio State. Purdue took a beating in Columbus but the Boilers are still just two games back in the standings with a home game against Ohio State still to play.

Illinois is falling fast, having lost four of its last five games, but the Illini are still a more efficient team than the others in the middle of the pack. Penn State, Minnesota, and Michigan State are all right around the break even point, as would be expected for teams hovering around .500. It’s worth noting that Minnesota has four remaining road games compared to Michigan State, Illinois, and Penn State with five.

Michigan has trudged up to 10th place with slightly better defense but mostly due to much better offense. Iowa has established itself as the conferences bottom feeder with the only offense scoring less than a point per possession. –Dylan Burkhardt

Surprise, disappointment, unsung hero, game, and stat line of the week after the jump.

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Darius Morrris Named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week

morrisDarius Morris and Talor Battle were named co-Big Ten Players of the Week.  Here’s the official Big Ten notes on Morris’ performance:

Darius Morris led Michigan in two victories last week, helping the team to the program’s first win over Michigan State in East Lansing since 1997, followed by the third triple-double in Michigan history against Iowa. For the week Morris averaged 14.5 points, 9.5 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 63.2 percent from the field. Against the Spartans, the sophomore tallied 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting with eight assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Three days later, the Wolverine posted 12 points, grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds and recorded 11 assists. Morris joins Gary Grant and Manny Harris as the only Wolverines in program history to record a triple-double. This marks Morris’ second weekly award of the season.

Last Michigan Player of the Week: Darius Morris (Dec. 27, 2010)

The freshman of the week honors went to Jared Sullinger, again. (Photo Credit:

Game 22: Iowa at Michigan Recap

Photo Credit: MGoBlue

Post Game: Beilein Presser Notes / Player Videos

It was perhaps the most enjoyable Michigan game to watch all year. It featured everything from 60-foot assists, follow up dunks, a barrage of three pointers, and even a rare triple double. Darius Morris was the catalyst, notching a triple double, but he had plenty of help. Morris’ support cast shot the ball extremely well and allowed him to do what he does best: distribute the ball.

All five Michigan starters scored in double figures and Novak, Hardaway, Smotrycz, and Morgan combined for a 76% effective field goal percentage on 23 of 38 (12-22 3pt) shooting. Morris’ triple double was just the third in Michigan history and the first one against a Big Ten foe.

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Notes & Quotes from John Beilein After Iowa Win

beileinApparently I bought the "moody" edition of the Mino HD FlipCam, because mine decided to lock up just in time for John Beilein’s post-game press conference. Here are notes and quotes, more detailed than usual.

  • "From a Michigan fan’s perspective, it was a great game to watch." Would like to have "solid, across-the-board scoring" more often.
  • Iowa is "a challenge to stop," but Michigan’s defense is not where it needs to be, either.
  • "Things are going to go up and down," but it’s clear Evan Smotrycz and Tim Hardaway Jr. have come a long way. Evan has worked very hard in practice and Tim had a stomach ache for most of the game but didn’t play like it.
  • Darius Morris had a very "intense" performance. "We tried to give him a rest each half." Every game it’s a different game plan and Darius is asked to do different things. Iowa did a lot of double-teaming off the ball screen, and Darius "for the most part, did a wonderful job."

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Video: Morris, Morgan, Hardaway and Smotrycz Discuss Iowa Win

One extra video today. Darius Morris talks about his triple-double and Jordan Morgan talks about letting the guards go after rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. disproves Darius’s claim that he didn’t know how close he was to a triple-double and Evan Smotrycz goes into how it’s easy to knock down 3-pointers when your guards are finding you in open spots.

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