Hoops Preview: Oakland

Or: Tim’s foray into tempo-free statistics.

On Saturday at 6, Michigan will return to the hardcourt, this time taking on the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland at the Palace of Auburn Hills. How do the teams match up? Let’s take a look at the tempo-free analysis and Pomeroy Ratings (if you need an explanation of what any of these things mean, head to KenPom’s website):

Michigan v. Oakland: National Ranks
Category Michigan Oakland Advantage
Mich eFG% v. Oak eFG% D 64 240 MM
Mich eFG% D v. Oak eFG% 72 186 MM
Mich TO% v. Oak Def TO% 29 184 MM
Mich Def TO% v. Oak TO% 145 186 M
Mich OReb% v. Oak DReb% 252 309 M
Mich DReb% v. Oak OReb% 262 121 OO
Mich FTR v. Oak Opp FTR 208 124 O
Mich Opp FTR v. Oak FTR 24 217 MM
Mich AdjO v. Oak AdjD 14 246 MMM
Mich AdjD v. Oak AdjO 104 107 Push

Differences of more than 100 places in the rankings garner two-letter advantages, differences of more than 200 get a third I’m still getting used to a 100 ranking being anything other than awful, so keep in mind there are some 344 teams in Division I – and we’re playing #344 in a week and a half!

Things look to be pretty slanted in Michigan’s favor, and Pomeroy’s prediction agrees: he sees Michigan winning 79-64 in a 62-possession game. According to Ken, the Wolverines have a 92% chance of winning.

One thing to look for in this game: Oakland’s defensive efficiency is correlated with how well opponents shoot the ball, and Michigan’s offensive efficiency is strongly correlated with how well they shoot the ball. Looking at the chart above, Michigan looks to have a good shooting night against the Grizzlies – which can help lead them to victory.

Oakland’s key players are point guards Johnathon Jones and Eric Kangas, along with big man (6-11) Keith Benson. Jones almost never comes off the court (2nd nationally in minutes played), and he and Kangas account for much of the team’s offense – including Jones leading the squad in assists. Benson has gone to the stripe 48 times this year (perhaps because he is only making 62.5% of free throws), and is shooting .575 from the field.

One other thing to keep in mind: the Oakland game will also be the debut of one Laval Lucas-Perry in a Michigan uniform. It should be interesting to see how LLP affects the overall chemistry and production of the team. One thing is for sure: It will be nice to have another solid combo guard to fill in at the 1 & 2 spots, decreasing the minutes that are occupied by former walk-ons.

Go Blue!

Posted under Analysis, Basketball, Other Sports
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3 Comments so far

  1. David says...

    Tim, one thing to keep in mind: Oakland has two guys who can really, really shoot it (Kangas and Jones). They can keep it close if M’s zone does not aggressively target these shooters.

  2. a2matt says...

    word is that kangas is hurt.

  3. Drew says...

    I watched Kangas play in high school, and he could easily play on this Michigan team, without a doubt. Never got any looks from big time schools. EMU offered Olivet product Zane Gay over Kangas and he has been an absolute bust. Says a lot about the state of that program.

    As far as Kangas being hurt, he played 42 minutes and hit the game winning 3 in overtime last night. He had 27 points and was 6-12 on threes. So unless he tripped getting onto the plane home, I’m thinking he’s ok.

    Also, I wouldn’t say JJ is a spectacular shooter, but i also think he is a near Big Ten caliber point guard.

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